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Articles from the May 15, 2024 edition


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  • Audit dings La Conner Library, faults compliance

    Ken Stern|May 15, 2024

    A state accountability audit of the La Conner Swinomish Library for the years 2020-2022 found serious faults in some of the district's practices and procedures. "District operations did not comply, in all material respects, with applicable state laws, regulations, or its own policies. Additionally, the District did not provide adequate controls over safeguarding of public resources in most of the areas we examined," the Washington State Auditor's Office summarized in its report. The Auditor's...

  • People march down a road

    Marchers raise awareness of missing, murdered native women

    Bill Reynolds|May 15, 2024

    In the walk-up to Mother's Day, supporters met at John K. Bob Ball Park Friday to march in honor of missing and murdered indigenous women. Marchers from as far as British Columbia walked shoulder-to-shoulder through Swinomish Village, raising awareness to the disproportionate risk Native American, First Nations and Alaska Native women face when it comes to experiencing violence, murder or going missing. They make up a significant portion of North America's missing and murdered cases, a fact not...

  • Pink and green northern lights reflect on a bay

    Spectacular night lights

    May 15, 2024

    A LIGHT SHOW LIKE NO OTHER – If you live on any side of Skagit Bay, this was the scene outside your door Friday night, May 10. If you walked down to Snee Oosh Beach, maybe you took photos similar to this one. The aurora borealis made the sky glow and shine like no other night. – Photo by Ryan Hiller...

  • A dry winter will make for a dry summer

    Ken Stern|May 15, 2024

    Washington snowpack at April’s end was called “snow drought pervasive” for much of the state in the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s May 1 monthly Water Supply Outlook Report. It cites the mid-April statewide drought emergency declared by the Department of Ecology due to low snowpack and below normal water supply outlook for much of the state. NRCS staff measure the statewide snowpack at 71% of normal, with pervasive snowpack deficits persisting for most basins. The North Puget Sound basin snowpack is 61% of median slightly above t...

  • Great weather, but a cloudy potato forecast

    Anne Basye|May 15, 2024

    A bumper crop of Northwest potatoes in 2023 is driving the price of potatoes down, but John Thulen of Pioneer Potatoes is not worried – yet. Many of the challenges cited in a March 31 Market Snapshot from AgWest Farm Credit (the new name of the former Northwest Farm Credit in Burlington) concern russet potatoes grown in Eastern Washington. Thulen agrees that overproduction in 2023 has “plugged up” processors like McCain Food USA, whose enormous processing plant in Othello produces 15% of all the frozen French fries, hash browns and tater tots p...

  • Planning Commission gives council multiple First St. options

    Bill Reynolds|May 15, 2024

    There are several directions town council members can take when it comes to future traffic flow and parking schemes on South First Street. The La Conner governing panel was scheduled last night to hear separate recommendations from its planning staff and planning commission for options for downtown traffic and parking as part of an ongoing update of the transportation element of the town’s Comprehensive Plan. Planner Michael Davolio and Assistant Planner Ajah Eills have proposed South First Street be converted to one-way southbound traffic w...

  • Candidates file for elected offices

    Ken Stern|May 15, 2024

    Candidates seeking elected office faced a deadline last week to toss their hats into the ring. Skagit County Commissioner Ron Wesen, a Republican, is running for re-election. His challenger for the District 1 seat is Rylee Fleury, an independent, who has a Hope Island address. Wesen has registered with the Washington Public Disclosure Commission. Fleury has not. Nor has he provided a phone number or email address District 1 covers western Skagit County north and west of the Skagit River south fork and west of I-5, generally. District 2...

  • Fire District 13 puts 2 EMTs at Summit Park

    Bill Reynolds|May 15, 2024

    There’s supply and demand, but it can be demand and supply. The latter condition has led Skagit County Fire District 13 to assign two emergency medical technicians for 12-hour shifts two days per week at the Summit Park station near Highway 20 starting in mid-June. “We need to be out there,” Fire Chief Wood Weiss told district commissioners via Zoom during their hour-long May 9 meeting at the Snee-Oosh Road station. Weiss was in Leavenworth. He said staffing that station full-time twice weekly will help response times to a growing number of ca...

  • Town sales tax revenue rises

    Ken Stern|May 15, 2024

    Bounce back. The $42,671 reported in sales tax revenue to the La Conner Town Council in April by the state’s Department of Revenue is the second highest ever for the month, behind 2022’s record $44,210. It topped March by $8,741. These are February sales: the state Department of Revenue reports on a two-month lag. Hotel/motel April tax collection was $10,165, 4% behind 2023’s record total but significantly higher, by 48%, than March’s report. Similarly, the $4,255 in special-use fire tax revenue was $141 below the record 2022 collect...

  • Braves take second in district track

    Bill Reynolds|May 15, 2024

    Tommy Murdock, Yandel Rosales-Rojas, Kiana Jenkins and Morgan Huizenga each won multiple events and four eighth graders teamed to win the girls’ mile relay to lead the La Conner High School track teams to second-place finishes at the Northwest District 2B Track Meet in Coupeville on Saturday. Murdock, the reigning Washington State 2B boys’ hurdles champion, claimed titles in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and the 110- and 300-meter hurdles. The senior hit the tape in the 100 in 11.5 He ran 23.14 in the 200, 15.21 in the 110 hurdles, and 39....

  • Tommy Murdock leaps a hurdle

    Murdock named Herald ­athlete of week

    Bill Reynolds|May 15, 2024

    La Conner High School senior Tommy Murdock, the defending state 2B champion in the 110-meter hurdles and two-time state title winner in the 300-meter hurdles, is reaching new heights this spring. Murdock, who set a new school mark in the 110s at the recent NW2B/1B Championship Meet, was named the Skagit Valley Herald Boys' Athlete of the Week following his stellar performance at the recent league trials in Mount Vernon. Not only did Murdock establish a new La Conner High School standard in the...

  • Golfers compete at Tri-District tourney today

    Bill Reynolds|May 15, 2024

    Six La Conner High School students will be doing their course work outdoors today. They will do so while exchanging textbooks for scorecards, having qualified for the May 15 Northwest 2B/1B Tri-District Golf Tournament at Tulalip’s Battle Creek Golf Course. Seniors Abigail Udlock, Ella Simpson and Hallie Walls will represent La Conner on the girls’ side of the Tri-District tourney. Senior Sammy Williams, junior Corran Eisen and sophomore Brooks Bushey are the boys Tri-District entries. All six La Conner golfers qualified for Tulalip tee times b...

  • Kiwanis Club names its April Students of the Month

    May 15, 2024

    The Kiwanis Club of La Conner announced its Students of the Month for April. High School Student of the Month is Samuel Williams. His parents are Carl and Naomi Williams. Samuel is a senior and his favorite class is wind ensemble. He plays trumpet in class and with the pep band. He also plays golf on the school team. Outside of school, he plays golf and does rock climbing. After graduation he would like to attend college but has not decided what he will study. Middle School Student of the Month...

  • Author and musician Lucky Diaz plays guitar for children

    Kids get a Lucky day at La Conner Swinomish Library

    Bill Reynolds|May 15, 2024

    Friday was a Lucky day in La Conner, and not just because of the Northern Lights. An upbeat, hour-long morning program at La Conner-­Swinomish Library by award-winning author and musician Lucky Diaz made the day special as well. Diaz, a bilingual force of energy, came to celebrate with area children and parents the wonder and joy that can create magic in the lives of young people. "I do this for the kids," Diaz told the Weekly News. "I started doing this to entertain my oldest daughter. I'd...

  • Plant clinics offer wealth of knowledge to gardeners

    Ginny Bode and Anne Hayes, Skagit County WSU Extension Master Gardeners|May 15, 2024

    When you’re facing issues with your garden, from troubled roses to fungus on your fruit trees or even perplexing plant identification, you need not rely on uncertain advice from neighbors or online forums. Visit a WSU Extension Master Gardener Plant Clinic in Anacortes or Burlington for reliable answers and assistance. The free Master Gardner Clinics offer extensive on-site resources, including a comprehensive library, print materials, access to online resources and microscopes for plant identification and disease diagnosis. The plant clinic v...

  • A&E Briefs

    May 15, 2024

    Mark your calendars for some upcoming fun activities. La Conner Guitar Festival 2024, May 17-19. Listen to, play and shop for the world’s finest handmade instruments with three days of events and exhibitions in Maple Hall and evening concerts at the Civic Garden Club. Vendors room open 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday in Maple Hall. Luthiers exhibitions 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday in Maple Hall. Evening concerts 7-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Civic Garden Club. Tickets on s...

  • Baked steelhead filets

    Baked steelhead

    May 15, 2024

    Steelhead is one of the wild fish species on the Skagit River, an ocean-going rainbow trout. It has few contaminants, is light in flavor and less oily than salmon. Our son-in-law, Camas Logue, used a gas fired outdoor grill and coated his filet with herbs. It turned out tasty. My recipe is simple and allows each bite to be enjoyable with the light flavor. Ingredients Steelhead, 2 filets Olive oil, 1 T Garlic powder or granules, a few shakes to taste Preparation Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line...

  • Community Calendar

    May 15, 2024

    NOT TO BE MISSED Paths to Understanding presents The Let’s Go Together Partnership! 7 p.m. Thursday, May 16, Lincoln Theatre, Mount Vernon. Event is free. Walk-ins welcome. Join in the first public gathering for an evening of storytelling, music and conversation focused on strengthening our Skagit community. All, including community leaders, will speak about the importance of lifting up our common humanity. Come and join us to meet people from across the county and stand together to go into a brighter future. Let’s go together! More info: ­pa...

  • Police Blotter

    May 15, 2024

    Sunday, April 28 8:43 p.m.: Hey, hey, let’s calm down – Dispute between neighbors escalated as one man got a handgun to protect himself, which caused the other to call 911. Both sides were able to calm down and no crime was committed. Rawlins Road, greater La Conner area. Monday, April 29 1:49 p.m.: Possible vehicle prowl – A caller believed that someone had been in her car as items were moved around but nothing seemed to be missing. No other reports in the area and unknown if when or if someone had been there. S. Third Street, La Conne...

  • Feel the climate change

    May 15, 2024

    What a weekend we had, weatherwise. Saturday was perfect for the Skagit County Master Gardeners plant sale and so tomato plant seekers were lined up at 6:30 a.m. at the county fairgrounds. Sunday was perhaps better, a gift to mothers and their families to make Mom’s day a picnic, or at least opportunities to go for a walk. Highs were in the 70s May 9-12 and after 1.9 inches of rain May 2, skies have been mostly blue. It is almost like Oregon, if not quite California. Maybe we don’t want too much sunshine too soon or for too long. But that is... Full story

  • Local, community journalism is the bulwark of democracy

    Andrew Paxton|May 15, 2024

    Knowing what to believe these days can be a challenge. From AI-generated images and text to blatant disinformation from political campaigns and foreign governments, the number of scams, spoofs and charlatans seems to be never-ending. However, there are those who continue to stand against the tide of false information, men and women who will continue to seek truth and report it, without fear or favor. I recently worked with some of these people to highlight the importance of local news, during the April 29 forum hosted by the League of Women... Full story

  • In defense of editorials

    May 15, 2024

    Mr. Doerflinger last week accused the editor of this paper of “outrage and personal insults against some (Supreme Court) justices” (“More light, less heat on court,” letter, May 8). I looked back and could not find examples that would justify his accusations. Yes, the editor has found fault with the court, for good reason. Certain justices appear to have been influenced by gifts and associations. The taint of corruption has stained the image of the current court. Add to that the fact that, while president, Donald Trump appointed three of the ju...

  • Hamas creates children who hate

    May 15, 2024

    I am heartsick every time I see a wounded or dead child injured in the Israeli attack on Hamas. I sit in sorrow for a time, then I realize why they are suffering just like the children in Germany in World War II. The residents of Germany supported murderous leaders like Hamas who taught hate for Jews and dedicated their lives to killing every Jew and driving them from the face of the earth. The so-called Palestinians unequivocally support Hamas in their efforts. Hamas fighters slaughtered, raped tortured and killed 1,200 Israelis on Oct. 7 and...

  • We'll need to consider all power options to meet growing demand

    Greg Whiting|May 15, 2024

    For most of the last 10 years, electric consumption in Washington has been relatively flat or even falling. Innovative technologies like LED lighting and heat pumps have been replacing less efficient incandescent lighting and the older generation of HVAC systems. Moderate weather, on average, in both winter and summer has also flattened electric loads. Some Washington utilities have been concerned that falling demand would affect their ability maintain their systems without substantial rate...

  • Legal Notices, May 15, 2024

    May 15, 2024

    SUPERIOR COURT OF WASHINGTON FOR SKAGIT COUNTY Estate of PETER ROBERT MAHLER, Deceased. NO. 24-4-00251-29 PROBATE NOTICE TO CREDITORS (RCW 11.40.030) PLEASE TAKE NOTICE The above Court has appointed me as Personal Representative of the Decedent’s estate. Any person having a claim against the Decedent must present the claim: (a) Before the time when the claim would be barred by any applicable statute of limitations, and (b) In the manner provided in RCW 11.40.070: (i) By filing the original of the claim with the foregoing Court, and (ii) By s...

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