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Articles from the February 28, 2024 edition

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  • A fallow field

    Wary farmers watch weak snowpack

    Adam Sowards|Feb 28, 2024

    Last summer's drought lingered all the way to January before Skagit County officially finally emerged out of it. But that does not mean this year's water situation is secure. Snowpack in the Cascade Mountains remained well below normal based on Feb. 4 data. The most recent data of snow water equivalent from the Natural Resource Conservation Service shows the North Puget Sound Basin at 50% of the average, based on the period 1991-2020. By contrast, a year ago, the snowpack registered 78%. Nick Bo...

  • Tribe plans to sue feds over salmon habitat

    Kurt Batdorf|Feb 28, 2024

    The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community has notified the federal government it intends to sue for its failure to protect threatened and endangered salmon runs. In a 15-page document submitted Feb. 22 to the Environmental Protection Agency, National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Department of the Interior, tribal counsel Earthjustice of Seattle claims the federal government has violated two sections of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). “The Swinomish people’s way of life and livelihoods, as well as pro...

  • Citizens gather at a public forum

    Would one-way boost First St. safety?

    Ken Stern|Feb 28, 2024

    Safety. That is the number one concern for La Conner's First Street, Fire Chief Aaron Reinstra told the 40 people gathered to discuss parking and traffic patterns at last Tuesday evening's Community Mingle at the Civic Garden Club, Feb. 20. His early remarks set the tone and focused residents' attention on fire department data: La Conner's firetruck has been on South First Street for two calls per month on average over the past two years. In his opening remarks, Director of Planning Michael...

  • How might First St. travel and parking transition?

    Ken Stern|Feb 28, 2024

    What is the process, procedure, requirements and schedule to make South First Street one way? First, it will not happen in a hurry. Town Administrator Scott Thomas, Planning Director Michael Davolio and Mayor Marna Hanneman’s responses to emailed questions indicate that the issue is complex and it will be some time before there is a decision and any new signage gets posted. Thomas wrote that “First, staff will define the problems that we hope to address” and noted it was not obvious to him, that while both parking and public safety were discu...

  • Man holds salmon

    La Conner mourns death of Rich Watkins, coach and fisherman

    Bill Reynolds|Feb 28, 2024

    In his all-too-short life, La Conner's Rich Watkins created a legacy to last generations. Consider pre-season baseball practices now under way at La Conner High School, where two decades ago Watkins was the team's head coach, an ideal role for the former Spokane area sports standout. His influence is still felt by current Braves' coach Jeremiah LeSourd, whom Watkins mentored. "He prepared me for the job," said LeSourd, who along with Andy Otis has since coached the baseball team to numerous post...

  • From the editor: La Conner's parking problem

    Ken Stern|Feb 28, 2024

    If the 30 residents at the Feb. 20 community mingle on what was billed as a forum to discuss parking on South First Street had their way, the clear sentiment was to improve safety in the downtown by making it a one-way street south of Washington Street, past the post office. At the start of the evening, La Conner Fire Department Chief Aaron Reinstra was asked to speak on safety from his perspective. He did. The data he shared showed that on average, a fire department vehicle was called to First Street twice a month over the last two years. But... Full story

  • Hope springs eternal for this local lawmaker

    Sen. Ron Muzzall|Feb 28, 2024

    Nothing changes your outlook on life quite like the birth of a child. Seeing the helpless life for which you’re now responsible can be scary, but as many parents find, that gives way to excitement and optimism for what the future holds for this precious gift. What will their personality be like? What will their laugh sound like? What impact will they have on our community and world? I’m eagerly awaiting the birth of a grandchild and considering what the world will look like for them. It got me thinking that too many people aren’t as optim...

  • Keep student learning locally focused

    Glen Johnson|Feb 28, 2024

    Oh how I wish I didn’t think about our little town’s budget, but as a businessman, I can’t help myself. I had to manage a small farm’s budget, and I didn’t get any grants from either the state or the feds, and I had to educate my employees, since they hadn’t been educated by the education system in place. I employed many college grads who had no understanding of economics, even with their four-year degrees. So, it was with great interest that I read La Conner Schools Superintendent Will Makoyiisaaminaa (Nelson)’s letter of recognition to our sc...

  • Letters to the editor

    Feb 28, 2024

    Recognizing Zach Battle’s life I was shocked and saddened to read of the death of Zachery Battle in the Feb. 21 issue. I got to know Zach when I was fundraising for the new library several years back. We became friends. And he became a supporter of the library. Here’s what he said for one of our presentations: “This inviting and spacious facility, with up-to-date materials and technology, programs relevant to the needs of its users, and a trained and helpful staff will be a hub for innovation and will spur personal and business growth in our c...

  • Presidential primary requires party declaration

    Ken Stern|Feb 28, 2024

    Voting in Washington state’s presidential primary is underway for voters willing to declare their party on their ballot. The ballot instructions state “The major political parties require voters to mark a party box” and then vote for a candidate from that party. The Democratic ballot lists Joe Biden, Dean Phillips, Maranne Williamson and uncommitted delegates. The Republican ballot lists Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Rama­swamy and Donald Trump. Not voting is an option for those not supporting either party or any of the ca...

  • Town's January tax receipts are solid

    Ken Stern|Feb 28, 2024

    Lots of tourists stayed overnight in La Conner last November. The town council’s January packet summarizing revenues reported $9,464 was collected in hotel/motel taxes, above 2023 and the second highest ever. The visitors did not spend a record amount of money, though. Still, the $42,875 in sales tax was only 1.2% and $516 below last year’s total. It is the third highest January total reported to the town by the state’s Department of Commerce. The $4,281 collected for the Special Use Fire Tax was below 2023’s total, by $225. Residents were mo...

  • 3 ballot initiatives will get legislative hearings

    Mary Murphy and Aspen Anderson, Washington State Journal|Feb 28, 2024

    Three citizen-led initiatives will receive hearings in this session of the Legislature, Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, D-Spokane, and Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma reported last week. The Legislature will debate I-2113 on reasonable police pursuit; I-2081 on restoring parent’s “right to know”; and I-2111, on prohibiting a state income tax. “Washington voters will hear a lot between now and November on any initiatives that end up on the ballot,” Billig and Jinkins said in a press release. “It will be up to them to decide w...

  • Susan Jane Faller

    Feb 28, 2024

    Susan Faller passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, in Mount Vernon. She was born on Oct. 19, 1938, in Mount Vernon to Earl and Alice (Van Sickle) Moore. Susan graduated from Queen Anne High School in Seattle and continued her education at the University of Washington. After she married Gerald Faller, the couple operated the Full Schooner Tavern and D&D Grocery until their retirement. Prior to her marriage to Gerald, she volunteered as a Girl Scout leader, 4-H leader and in the classroom at...

  • Norma LaMoyne Bryant, 1930- 2024

    Feb 28, 2024

    Norma LaMoyne Bryant (Bowdry-Bergeron), 93 of La Conner, passed away Jan. 21, 2024. She was born Feb. 4, 1930, in Dallas, Texas, to Clifford and Ethel (Lilly) Bowdry. LaMoyne was preceded in death by her parents, sister Shirley Bowdry, husbands Al Bergeron and Joe Bryant, daughter Teresa Bergeron, son Gary Bergeron, and daughter-in-law Penny Bergeron. She is survived by sons Ronnie Bergeron of Austin, Texas, and Chip Bergeron of Mount Vernon, grandchildren Heather (Bergeron) Kendrick and Laura (...

  • Golden retriever wears sunglasses, sits behind steering wheel of car

    Often-photographed Brodie Coyote didn't have a bad side

    Bill Reynolds|Feb 28, 2024

    Longtime La Conner news photographer Don Coyote is renowned for making magic with his camera. But no magic was needed to enhance the image of his favorite photographic subject, the late Brodie Coyote, the endearing golden retriever who was loyally at Don's side for more than a decade before the four-legged La Conner goodwill ambassador's death Feb. 15. Variously described as a "godly creature" and "darling retriever," Brodie Coyote was the ideal model and photographer's sidekick. Coyote called...

  • Coach talks to basketball players in a huddle

    Both La Conner basketball teams ousted from state playoffs

    Bill Reynolds|Feb 28, 2024

    State seeding sent La Conner High School's basketball teams south. Unfortunately, their hopes of advancing to the round of 12 at the Spokane Arena this week went south as well. The boys' team was eliminated by Adna with a heartbreaking 66-62 overtime loss in Chehalis on Saturday, a game that saw the Braves battle back from foul trouble and a double-digit deficit to have a shot at winning in the waning moments of regulation. The youthful girls, meanwhile, with six eighth graders and no seniors...

  • Boy poses with NFL swag

    La Conner second grader snags NFL swag

    Bill Reynolds|Feb 28, 2024

    A La Conner youth sports standout is already on the radar of all 32 National Football League teams. And soon he will attract that same kind of attention from major league baseball. Cassius Landworth, a second grader in teacher Stacy Silver's classroom, has received an impressive collection of memorabilia from some of the nation's most famous and popular sports franchises. It started last fall when Cash, as he's known to friends and family, decided to write to each of the NFL teams. It was no...

  • Theater review: March yourself over for a jubilant 'Music Man'

    Judy Booth|Feb 28, 2024

    The rousing performance of “The Music Man” at McIntyre Hall Saturday night trumpeted the talents of Diane Johnson, the production’s music director and music department chair at Skagit Valley College. From “76 Trombones” to “Till There was You” – popularized by The Beatles – Johnson, with only her white hair and conductor’s baton visible above the blue-curtained orchestral pit – magically led the packed house into believing the cast of 40-plus actors on stage were actually playing the trombones and trumpets they were dancing with and not...

  • Library Friends focus on the future

    Marion Melville|Feb 28, 2024

    Friends of the Libraries are nonprofit groups that support libraries in their communities. They consist of volunteers and exist throughout the United States and around the world. In general, most Friends groups work to advocate for the library at the local level and provide direct financial assistance for needs not normally covered by the library’s operating budget. Friends of the La Conner Memorial Library was officially formed in June of 1988 and had its 100th member by that October. Friends raised thousands of dollars, paid the mortgage o...

  • Anacortes jazz walk

    Feb 28, 2024

    The Anacortes Jazz Walk offers six stages of live music Friday, March 1 from 6-9 p.m. Add this to the First Friday Art Walk and stop at venues clustered in the downtown core, including The Rockfish Grill, The Masonic Lodge, The Blackbird Wine Bar, The Majestic Hotel Lounge, Johnny Picasso’s and Watermark Books. Sample a wide variety of jazz styles, from Seattle vocalist Eugenie Jones at the Rockfish Grill to The Skagit City Slickers at the Majestic Hotel lounge. Support the musicians by buying a $10 donation button. It is presented by the M...

  • 'Mary Poppins Jr.' flies into Lincoln

    Feb 28, 2024

    “Mary Poppins Jr.” opens March 8 at the Lincoln Theatre. This Theater Arts Guild’s production of a younger nanny is Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s “Mary Poppins, Jr., a musical based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney film. Enjoy Bert, the Jack of All Trades, the troubled Banks family and the “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” nanny, Mary Poppins complete with umbrella. Tickets and times: Source: Lincoln Theatre...

  • Legal Notices

    Feb 28, 2024

    SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON FOR SKAGIT COUNTY In the Matter of the Estate of Grace Feddema, Deceased. Cause No. 24-4 00075 29 PROBATE NOTICE TO CREDITORS (RCW 11.40.030) The Personal Representative named below has been appointed as Personal Representative of this estate. Any person having a claim against the decedent must, before the time the claim would be barred by any otherwise applicable statute of limitations, present the claim in the manner as provided in RCW 11.40.070 by serving on or mailing to the Personal Representative...

  • Lemon in Honey

    Patricia Aqiimuk Paul Esq.|Feb 28, 2024

    Simplicity. Nutritious. I will serve a slice in hot tea. I started out dehydrating lemon slices from an abundance of fresh lemons. One of my friends, Colleen, commented on my endeavors. Her recipe is to add honey to fresh lemon slices. After 10 hours in the dehydrator, my lemon slices were still moist. Last fall I stocked up on honey from the local farm stands. That is enough honey to splurge on a whole pint jar for this recipe. Ingredients Lemons, 6 Honey, 1 pint Preparation Wash the lemons...

  • Police Blotter

    Feb 28, 2024

    Sunday, Feb. 18 6:54 p.m.: Bad dog owners – Aggressive dogs keep getting loose and being a problem for neighbors. The dogs were in a driveway and not allowing the homeowner to exit her car. The owner was contacted and animal control is working on the issue. McLean Rd., Greater La Conner. Monday, Feb. 19 6:43 p.m.: Drinking and speeding – Vehicle was stopped on Maple Street for 40 mph in a 25 mph zone. The driver was determined to be intoxicated and was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Maple Ave. / Caledonia St., La Conner. Thursday, Feb. 22 5:5...