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Articles from the March 13, 2024 edition


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  • Enrollment slump continues for La Conner

    Bill Reynolds|Mar 13, 2024

    La Conner Schools officials are bracing for fewer students again this fall. School district financial chief David Cram is projecting 460 full-time K-12 enrolled students in 2024-25, 30 fewer than this year. “That’s the number we’ll use as we build our budget,” he said. The net loss of 30 students translates to a loss for La Conner Schools of about $330,000 in state funds next year. Enrollment is the main driver of support the state provides to its public school districts. Cram told school board members at their March 11 study session that hi...

  • Three people walk dogs on sidewalk

    It's a very breezy Pet Parade

    Judy Booth|Mar 13, 2024

    A cold wind ripped up the Swinomish Channel, swirled around Gilkey Square on Saturday and undid plans for the La Conner Pet Parade's red-carpet walk. Still, around 50 registrants and a small crowd of intrepid pet lovers, their pets all dolled-up for photo ops, shivered down First Street from the La Conner Marina to Gilkey Square, up to Maple Hall and back to the square for judging. Mayor Marna Hanneman was on hand and the La Conner Chamber of Commerce "made a showing." Cameras were clicking,...

  • a deteriorating wooden warehouse building is surrounded by cyclone fence

    Citizens see Moore-Clark building dangers

    Bill Reynolds|Mar 13, 2024

    Earth, wind and fire. It's not just a famous 1970s soul band. The three elements also represent threats to the vacant and dilapidated Moore-Clark warehouse and areas around the former industrial hub, a landmark on the La Conner waterfront since 1898. Residents wary of the building's vulnerabilities shared their concerns with the Town Emergency Management Commission during its March 5 meeting at Maple Hall. "I think of Lahaina," Lori Wise, who has a background in real estate development, said of...

  • A school bus in La Conner

    Zero-emission school buses on the horizon

    Mary Murphy, Washington State Journal|Mar 13, 2024

    School districts will be required to transition to zero emission school buses under a law recently approved by the state House and Senate. The bill received numerous amendments after districts voiced concerns over reliability, range and the time allowed to make the switch. Introduced by Rep. Tana Senn, D-Mercer Island, HB 1368 is an effort to not only reduce emissions, but to prioritize the health of children. Six other states have zero-emission school bus transitions already written into law....

  • Town still focusing on First St. parking and traffic solutions

    Bill Reynolds|Mar 13, 2024

    Town officials say they heard plenty of valued input during the recent community mingle addressing First Street parking and traffic issues, but there’s still plenty of time to get the last word in. “We haven’t taken anything off the table,” Town Assistant Planner Ajah Eills told planning commissioners during their March 5 meeting at Maple Hall. “We’re still in the information gathering mode.” Among those whose insights are being sought is Public Works Director Brian Lease. Commissioners want to hear from Lease before a target date is set f...

  • La Conner will mull options for Jenson property development

    Bill Reynolds|Mar 13, 2024

    Town officials over the next few months will begin examining potential options for the Jenson property located south of Channel Cove near the Maple Avenue approach to Pioneer Park. The Jenson family sold the land to the town at a reduced price – about one-third its assessed value – on condition it be utilized in the best interest of the community. Suggested uses for the property have ranged from affordable housing to a public garden. “We have saved the letters and emails that we have received about options for the use of the property when...

  • Town leaders mourn death of key advisor

    Bill Reynolds|Mar 13, 2024

    New La Conner Emergency Management Commission chair Jerry George had sad news to share when the panel met March 5 at Maple Hall. George had the unenviable task of announcing the death of commission charter member Duane Carpenter, 64, whose expertise in meteorology was frequently tapped during the board’s inaugural year as it considered flood mitigation strategies. George said that Carpenter, with an extensive background in cartography and weather analysis, died unexpectedly March 1 from complications following a surgical procedure. “Duane was...

  • King tide season ends this week

    Mar 13, 2024

    The last king tides of this winter season are this week on the Swinomish Channel. The USHarbors.com tide table predicted 11-foot-plus tides Monday-Wednesday mornings and a 10.9-foot tide March 16 at 8:27 a.m. The last 10.9-foot tide is scheduled for 4:36 p.m. Friday, March 27. Town of La Conner public works staff plan to remove and store the channel area sandbags by the end of the month....

  • Braves basketball players receive All-League honors

    Bill Reynolds|Mar 13, 2024

    The season is over but La Conner High School basketball standouts are still scoring points with their conference peers. Seven players – four boys, three girls – have garnered All-League recognition in recent polling of NW2B/1B hoops programs. La Conner’s Ivory Damien and Brayden Pedroza were first team All-League picks on the boys’ side while Maeve McCormick was a girls’ All-NW2B/1B first-unit selection. Damien and Pedroza were reliable scorers all season for the Braves. Damien netted a game-high 38 points – all but three of those in the seco...

  • Ex-Brave Worgum leads WWU golfers at California tourney

    Bill Reynolds|Mar 13, 2024

    La Conner High School alumnus Emma Worgum, who won a state title her senior year with the Braves, led the Western Washington University women’s golf team during its recent season debut at the Tim Tierney Pioneer Shootout in Alameda, California. Worgum, a WWU sophomore, placed 15th out of a 96-player field by shooting 6-over-par at the 36-hole event. The Lady Vikings finished 10th overall. Worgum carded four of her five birdies during the tournament’s first round. “Emma continued her solid play and finished the tournament with two consi...

  • Kiwanis Club names February Students of the Month

    Mar 13, 2024

    The La Conner Kiwanis Club high school Student of the Month for February is Jaydin Clark, a junior. Jaydin's parents are Fred and Lori Cayou. Jaydin's favorite classes are lifetime fitness and science. He enjoys playing football and basketball with his friends. After graduation he is hoping to attend the University of Alabama with a major in business management. La Conner Middle School Student of the Month for February is Maicy Bowles. Her parents are Matt and Beth Bowles. Maicy is in eighth gra...

  • Murder Mystery event taps local rumrunning history

    Bill Reynolds|Mar 13, 2024

    No one in town knows a better yarn than Chris Jennings. The owner of Jennings Yarn & Needlecrafts, a fixture on First Street for more than a half-century, is spinning a yarn in the literary sense these days, coordinating the plot for La Conner’s Second Annual Murder Mystery event set for March 23. Chamber of Commerce Director Mark Hulst credits Jennings with weaving the thread that ties together “The Case of the Bumped-Off Bootlegger,” a throwback to the 1920s Prohibition era of rumrunners and speakeasies, among the more colorful chapt...

  • Theater review: Theater Arts Guild delivers in 'Mary Poppins Jr.'

    Judy Booth|Mar 13, 2024

    TAG did it again! Skagit County’s own Theater Arts Guild musical production of “Mary Poppins Jr.” is full of happy and talented kids on stage and in the audience. It was uplifting, rambunctious and joyful last Saturday night. All 40 performers and crew were 18 years old or under. What a tribute to TAG for creating great opportunities for young talent. We are first invited into the dysfunctional Banks family home in 1910 London by Bert, a jack-of-all-trades, played by 15-year-old Helaina Madden. Helaina’s first local performance at age 8 was a...

  • Red-breasted nuthatch

    Meet the red-breasted nuthatch

    Rosi Jansen|Mar 13, 2024

    The red-breasted nuthatch is one of our smaller songbirds at 4-1/4 inches, with a stubby tail and a slightly upturned beak. It's blue-grey above and features a black cap with a white line and a rusty chest. It's the only bird in this area that can climb down a tree headfirst, checking out the tree bark for insects. The nuthatch will also come to bird feeders to feed on sunflower seeds and suet. During springtime, it typically excavates a nest cavity in rotten wood, but will also use nesting...

  • From the editor - Rick Larsen's Israel dilemma

    Ken Stern|Mar 13, 2024

    On Feb. 13, the United State Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid bill containing military aid of $61 billion for Ukraine and $14.1 billion in security assistance for Israel. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is in no hurry to take it up in the House of Representatives, but sometime this spring it is likely that it will be debated and passed in that chamber. Not many newspapers of any size around the country are editorializing to have their U.S. representatives vote against that bill, but this one is. Rep. Rick Larsen is as knowledgeable as... Full story

  • Musings - On the editor's mind

    Mar 13, 2024

    I can’t believe anyone assessing the results of Washington’s presidential primary today and throughout this week will be surprised. Actually, there is one vote tally that is not certain: the total for uncommitted delegates in the Democratic primary. There was no organized campaign that I was aware of, as in Michigan two weeks ago, but the same opportunity for people of conscience insisting on an end to the destruction of the Palestinian people in Gaza had existed for registered Democrats and any resident willing to use her ballot to send thi... Full story

  • Even before Trump goes on trial

    Shunji Asari|Mar 13, 2024

    When the Supreme Court took up the issue of presidential immunity, it became even more doubtful that the former president’s criminal trials could be completed before election day. So what is a voter to do without a trial? I say, look to information that can be relied upon with confidence. We all experienced the horror of Jan. 6, 2021. Many of the 91 counts charged against the president in various indictments relate to the events of that day. But what do we know without a trial? We know a lot. We know from uncontroverted reports that a United S...

  • Ordinance limiting parking first

    Mar 13, 2024

    Dear Neighbors: First of all, it is not too late for you or for me to keep the ideas about parking flowing in. That is what they say at their meetings every week but it doesn’t always get out to the public. So opine on. I want the town to start with incremental changes rather than going whole hog into all the possible changes at once. I personally would want to start with the writing of an ordinance to limit parking to three or four hours at a time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Write it, do it. Watch and see the effect. Let the people who have a h...

  • Pet Parade was doggone good fun

    Mar 13, 2024

    Hooray for volunteers who made the La Conner Pet Parade a rousing success. What fun to see parade dogs meeting spectator dogs after the parade at Gilkey Square. B.J. Carol La Conner...

  • Comparing costs to heat hot water

    Greg Whiting|Mar 13, 2024

    Adding up electricity, gas and propane, most (probably half to two-thirds) of the energy you use in your house is for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. One of the most significant other uses is water heating. In most homes, the same hot-water source is used for bathing, dishwashing and laundry. To compare water heaters, I looked up the specifications for similar, popular water heaters at one of the big-box stores. The propane water heater requires about 0.267 gallons of propane per...

  • Pan Fried Halibut

    Patricia Aqiimuk Paul Esq.|Mar 13, 2024

    This is the perfect quick meal. The aroma when it cooks is amazing. A bit of the wild. This recipe marks 12 years of Aqiimuk’s Kitchen. Over 600 recipes published. Three newspaper awards. I appreciate all of you. Love hearing how you enjoy the recipes; simple to make. Thank you! Ingredients Halibut steaks, 1 inch thick Butter, 4 tablespoons Olive oil, 1/4 cup Preparation Rinse and pat dry the halibut. Add butter and olive oil into a sauté pan. Heat until hot but not smoking. Put halibut in, sk...

  • Farmworkers cut daffodils in a field

    Signs of springtime

    Mar 13, 2024

    GETTING DAFFODILS TO THE STORE – Local fields are yellow with flowers now, but farmworkers have been working in the fields since February. Monday, they were doing the hard work of getting flowers ready for tables in the Skagit Valley and around the country....

  • Police Blotter

    Mar 13, 2024

    Tuesday, March 5 9:33 p.m.: They followed Wile E. – Caller reported her two dogs ran off after coyotes. She wanted the sheriff’s office to know and advised it was OK to give out her information if someone found her runaway dogs. Ring Lane, La Conner. Thursday, March 7 10:45 p.m.: Unwelcome surprise – Caller left work and came outside to find her car had been covered with red spray paint. It was randomly sprayed all over the whole exterior. Deputies are investigating possible leads on who was involved. Morris St., La Conner. Friday, March 8 6:5...

  • Legal Notices

    Mar 13, 2024

    IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF WHATCOM IN RE THE ESTATE OF CHARLOTTE G. HUNTLEY, DECEASED. NO. 24 4 00166 37 NONPROBATE NOTICE TO CREDITORS RCW 11.42.030 JUDGE: DAVID E. FREEMAN The notice agent named below has elected to give notice to creditors of the above-named decedent. As of the date of the filing of a copy of this notice with the court, the notice agent has no knowledge of any other person acting as notice agent or of the appointment of a personal representative of the decedent’s estate in t...