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Articles from the May 22, 2024 edition

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  • Native Americans carry offerings for the First Salmon ceremony

    We bless this fleet

    Judy Booth|May 22, 2024

    Five-year old Drea Edwards-Gould hugged her Auntie Melinda tight as the Swinomish Fish and Game Enforcement boat pulled out of the docks and propelled in one of the four directions to make an offering to the sea for a safe fishing season – the annual Blessing of the Fleet and First Salmon Ceremony of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. Sgt. Shaun Beasley navigated Skagit Bay at 24 knots with the precious cargo of a king salmon dressed in crab, clams, mussels, blackberries and blueberries o...

  • First Street will switch to one-way

    Bill Reynolds|May 22, 2024

    The La Conner Town Council last week chose to forego the path of least resistance when dealing with future downtown traffic flow and parking. Rather than table action and extend discussion of options for S. First Street, council members voted 4-0 during their May 14 meeting at Maple Hall to convert the historic and narrow route along the town’s popular waterfront to single lane one-way traffic with parking on both sides. Councilor Ivan Carlson was absent. Town Planner Michael Davolio suggested the change go into effect this fall, which would g...

  • Two musicians stand behind four guitars

    Guitar Festival fills La Conner with music

    Judy Booth|May 22, 2024

    A couple thousand artisans, luthiers, musicians and wood millers from as far away as Italy and Spain, landed here last weekend for the sixth annual La Conner Guitar Festival to see, listen to and play the handcrafted and carefully sourced guitars and mandolins. Most prices ranged from $8,000 to $26,000. "I make high-end rectangles!" said walnut-wood lover Felly Smith. His stack of walnut and red cedar, milled to the size of the neck and body shape of a guitar, begged for a luthier. Before...

  • Man stands beside berry vines

    Berry good: Dean Swanson is outstanding La Conner alumnus

    Bill Reynolds|May 22, 2024

    He was raised and again resides on a diversified century-old farm north of town, but more than any single crop it's been goodwill that Dean Swanson has spent a lifetime cultivating. "I've been lucky to have grown up in a community that really cares," Swanson, 67, told the Weekly News. "I had all the support I ever needed. That's why I've always chosen to give back and (my wife) Becky, who's the rock of our family, is in on that with me." Because he mastered the concept of "paying it forward"...

  • Dave Cram takes the oath as school superintendent

    Ken Stern|May 22, 2024

    In preparation for becoming interim superintendent of the La Conner School District, Dave Cram took the oath of office during the district’s board of directors meeting Monday and he did not stop there. The school board methodically and unanimously passed seven resolutions authorizing Cram to sign ­documents, invest funds, pay bills and designating him as agent and auditing officer and more. Board President Susie Deyo told Cram, “You are official. On July first, you have all the authority of the school district. Have fun.” Deyo had first recogn...

  • A superstructure is lowered onto a passenger ferry hull

    A 'mating' milestone marks Mavrik ferry #3

    Anne Basye|May 22, 2024

    Ferry #3 under construction by Mavrik Marine had a little sunshine on Thursday, May 16, when its superstructure was rolled from one Mavrik building to another. The hull has been under construction in the taller building while the superstructure has been built in the smaller one. During Thursday's move, the two parts of the vessel were placed side by side and "mated" when the superstructure was lifted onto the hull. Two high-speed, passenger­-only, Mavrik-made ferries are already in service on th...

  • State biologist named to town emergency panel

    Bill Reynolds|May 22, 2024

    A Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife ­biologist will look to maintain the ­chemistry enjoyed by the Town's ­Emergency Management ­Commission since its inception in 2023. Three-year town resident Jonah Keith was confirmed last week by the La Conner Town Council to fill a commission vacancy created by the death of Duane Carpenter, who had been the advisory panel's chief meteorologist. Keith brings to the board not only his extensive background in science and marine biology, but also the...

  • Court of Appeals may consider Henrie's Shelter Bay board case

    Ken Stern|May 22, 2024

    The 2023 lawsuit brought by then-resident Jan Henrie against the Shelter Bay Community’s board of directors executive committee may be considered by the Washington Court of Appeals. Skagit County Superior Court Judge Laura Riquelme granted the defendants motion to stay the proceedings before May 10 pending the outcome of the defendants’ request for a discretionary review by the appeals court. The judge agreed with the defense that the case involved “a controlling question of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opini...

  • Election results for Shelter Bay board

    Ken Stern|May 22, 2024

    The Shelter Bay Community voted to continue Wendy Poulton, Pat McGarry and Monte Hicks as members of its board of directors at its election and annual meeting Saturday, May 18. Poulton, with 307 votes, and Hicks, with 273, were reelected. McGarry, with 294, had been appointed in February. All will serve a three-year term that starts July 1. Julie Peddy came in fourth, with 170 votes. She fills the position of reserve director. The board has until July 17 to fill Jan Paul’s seat. She resigned in April. That term ends June 30, 2026. The c...

  • A debate of two-party U.S. politics

    May 22, 2024

    Come hear what the Mount Vernon High School debate team is thinking about our two party political system tomorrow, Thursday, May 23. The League of Women Voters of Skagit County organized the debate for its 2024 outreach series of voter education, part of their ongoing commitment to community engagement and understanding of key electoral issues. Guest judges are Claudia Avendano-Iberra, Skagit Valley College human services department chair, and Paul Neilsen, Skagit County: District Court judge. They will support the students by offering their...

  • Pavement work on Best Road

    May 22, 2024

    Through June 6, Skagit County Public Works crews will grind out worn pavement and replace it with new asphalt on Best Road, between McLean and Chilberg roads. During the work, traffic will be reduced to one lane of alternating traffic....

  • Teacher at a table helps children with math games

    Math Night adds up to fun time for students, families

    Bill Reynolds|May 22, 2024

    Math can be serious stuff, but it's also a great vehicle for fun and games. That was spelled out at La Conner Elementary School during the annual campus Math Night celebration May 1, when parents, students and staff geared up to experience the magic of numbers. "It's great that people can come in and see how math is fun," said Beth Clothier, La ­Conner School District's director of teaching and learning. "It's nice to see so many families here to do math games." The mood was festive, akin more...

  • Braves trio qualify for state 2B/1B golf

    Bill Reynolds|May 22, 2024

    Three of six La Conner High School golfers advanced from Northwest Tri-District 2B competition to state brackets this week in Tumwater. Seniors Abigail Udlock and Sammy Williams and junior Corran Eisen represented La Conner in state 2B/1B play, a two-day contest that began yesterday (Tuesday) morning at the Tumwater Valley Golf Club south of Olympia. Udlock teed off on the girls' side of the state tournament at noon on Tuesday. She was grouped with ­­Chloe Anderson-Cleveland of Orcas Island a...

  • Braves junior Kendall Lee qualifies for state tennis

    Bill Reynolds|May 22, 2024

    Kendall Lee has brought her A-game – as in Anacortes – to area tennis courts this spring. The La Conner High School junior has competed in 2024 for Anacortes head coach Jeff Leer and the 2A Seahawks since tennis is no longer offered at La Conner. The arrangement has paid dividends for Lee, who qualified last week for the Washington State Girls' 2B/1B Tennis ­Championships May 24-25 in Yakima. Playing for Anacortes during the regular campaign kept Lee sharp for 2B/1B post-season action May 17 at...

  • Baseball, softball shine in league awards

    Bill Reynolds|May 22, 2024

    The La Conner High School baseball and softball teams fell short in their respective league title races this spring, but they were winners nonetheless. Both programs were recipients of 2024 Team Sportsmanship Awards in recent balloting by their NW2B/1B rivals. The softball team, coached by Loran James and Taysha James-Sherman, also garnered two individual honors. Infielder Taylor-Rae Cayou, who enjoyed a monster day at the plate during La Conner’s late season conference doubleheader sweep of Concrete, was a first unit All-League selection. P...

  • Library Happenings

    Jean Markert, Library Director|May 22, 2024

    Instead of my regular La ­Conner Swinomish Library column, Jim Airy, who was board chair during much of the 2020-2022 state audit period and I would like to respond to the recent article about library audit findings in the May 15 La Conner Weekly News. The board and the library recognize the importance of accountability and transparency for the operations of our library district and are committed to ongoing improvements to our service and to compliance with state laws and regulations and library policies. Jim Airy’s response: The recent state a...

  • La Conner isn't only rural library that struggles to meet state certification

    Ken Stern|May 22, 2024

    When the La Conner ­Swinomish Library Board of Directors named Jean Markert the library’s director in 2022, it did so despite Markert’s lack of a library science degree and required state certification. La Conner is not alone in operating a library without a trained librarian. “Unfortunately, it is not unusual for rural libraries in ­Washington (and nationwide) to have library staff or library directors who are not certified librarians. Rural areas are notoriously challenged to recruit and retain certified librarians,” Washington Library A...

  • Anna Tivel releases new music

    Chloe Peterson|May 22, 2024

    We’re splitting the difference between singles and the album drop for La Conner born and raised musician, Anna Tivel. I first discovered Tivel while covering the 2023 Christian Lee Hutson/Fenne Lily tour stop in Seattle for The Daily of the University of Washington. From the moment she began to sing, I knew I was in for a treat. There’s a great fear of unknown openers in concert going, but Tivel surpassed all expectations with her haunting voice, narrative lyricism and command of the stage. To my surprise she then uttered a familiar name, “La...

  • Goldfinches perch in a tree

    American Goldfinch

    May 22, 2024

    This is the time when the male American Goldfinch looks his best! You can't miss seeing them with their bright yellow feathers and they hope that the females will do the same. They come to seed feeders with sunflower and thistle seed, or look for seeds on grasses and in deciduous trees and shrubs. It helps them not to mow everything, and even let a thistle plant grow for the fun of seeing them eat those seeds. During wintertime, their plumage changes and they look more subdued like the females...

  • A&E Briefs

    May 22, 2024

    Mark your calendars for some upcoming fun activities. Skagit Community Band free ensemble concert: “Postcards of Gratitude” at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at Maple Hall. This concert features groups that represent all sections of the band, including Fluteus Maximus, Barefoot Jazz Dixieland, Skagit Brass Quintet and more. Expect to hear traditional music, jazz, show tunes and more. As a backdrop to the music, there will be a silent dessert auction with a variety of sweet selections on display. Maple Hall, 104 Commercial St., La Conner. Info: www...

  • Police Blotter

    May 22, 2024

    Sunday, May 12 7:38 a.m.: Hoax or mirage, maybe – Report of multiple cows in the road. A deputy checked the area and did not find any loose cows or issues with the fence. Highway 20 / La Conner-Whitney Road, greater La Conner. 1:32 p.m.: You can’t have a hot dog – Dog reported in a vehicle with no water and the interior getting hot. A deputy arrived and found the vehicle to be unlocked. The dog was removed from the car and the door left open to air out the inside. The dog was provided water. The deputy found the owner and was able to discu...

  • Asparagus and lemon

    Patricia Aqiimuk Paul Esq.|May 22, 2024

    This recipe works well with thicker stalks of asparagus and serves two. Get them as fresh as possible. The lemon flavor enriches the dish. I finish up in the microwave to get to the tenderness we enjoy. Ingredients Asparagus, 8 stalks Lemon, 1, cut in half Olive oil, 1 T Preparation Soak the asparagus to remove any dirt. Snap off the bottom end. Drain well on paper towel or a cotton kitchen towel. Heat the olive oil in a broad bottom pan at medium-low heat. Snap each asparagus stalk in two. Add...

  • We're long overdue for a county library system

    Ken Stern|May 22, 2024

    If there is fault to be had and people to be held accountable for the state auditor’s staff finding shortcomings in the oversight of the La Conner Rural Partial County Library District – for that is what the library’s official name is – that fault lies with all the Skagit ­County commissioners for the years and decades of a lack of vision and leadership that has allowed all residents countywide to languish with antiquated, piecemeal and completely underfunded and understaffed independent municipal and partial county library districts. It is no... Full story

  • That mist in your valley deserves protection

    Maggie Wilder|May 22, 2024

    Almost 50 years ago I ­extracted myself from a life and livelihood in our nearest ­metropolis to follow a dream, a soul mandate, to live in Skagit Valley. A decade earlier, when I was 16 years old, I’d seen it for the first time and its beauty kept calling: those flat vistas, miles of mist and farmland. As the greening of this place happens once again and we ­celebrate this season, let me, please, rain a bit on your parade by mentioning something your sense of beauty, indeed none of your senses, will be good at detecting: Glyphosate. While Mons...

  • Follow God for the good of all

    May 22, 2024

    Well, I don’t need to write what is happening in our own country and around the world. Unless one is living under a rock, or is deliberately denying what is before our very eyes each day, we clearly see the U.S. and other countries are in a world of hurt. The only solution, in my opinion, is: we better turn back to the God of the universe, repent of our sins and let God back into our individual lives, our government, our schools, our business ventures, etc. In other words, recognize He is God and we desperately need Him. He is the answer. We a...

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