Articles from the July 12, 2023 edition

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 By Anne Basye    News    July 12, 2023
A field of barley is ready for harvest

Bye bye, barley?

Amber waves of grain are beautiful, until you can't sell them. Dave Hedlin's barley fields along Chilberg Road – labeled "Spring Malting Barley" on crop signs – will be ripe in about a week, alo...

 By Ken Stern    News    July 12, 2023

Solarize Skagit signs up 129 to consider solar panels around La Conner

This corrects the July 19 story headlined: “Solarize Skagit will power 129 homes.” The headline is incorrect. As the cooperative’s Vice President Mary Wohleb states in her letter below this artic... Full story

 By Bill Reynolds    News    July 12, 2023
Sheriff's Sergeant Brad Holmes patrols downtown La Conner

Veteran sheriff's sergeant takes the lead on La Conner policing

With the last name Holmes, it was only natural that he entered law enforcement. And with interests in boating and basketball and a knack for building relationships, the La Conner detachment office...

 By Ken Stern    News    July 12, 2023
New homes are shown at Channel Cove

Five Channel Cove homes newly done

Finally, five new homes are complete and ready for move in at Channel Cove, at the south end of Park Street in south La Conner. Construction started last December on the one duplex and four single...

 By Bill Reynolds    News    July 12, 2023
An illustration shows the front of the proposed Talmon Building

The Talmon: Center Street condo project plans bear familiar sounding name

onner resident Linda Talman has crafted an enduring legacy through long service on the Town's planning commission, tireless advocacy of open government and access to public records and support for...

 By Ken Stern    News    July 12, 2023

Town tax revenues remain solid

Good but not a record may become the new normal for 2023 Town of La Conner tourist tax revenues. The June sales tax revenues of $53,130 reported to town council by the state’s Department of Revenue are the third highest total for the month, but a...

 By Ken Stern    News    July 12, 2023

Rental costs in Washington are climbing out of sight

Buying a house in Western Washington seems out of reach for many wage workers. Affording rent is a struggle for many as well. The state minimum wage is $15.74, but in Skagit County a two-bedroom apartment may cost $1,407, requiring an hourly wage of...

 By Mel Damski    News    July 12, 2023
Bob Grace, left, pushes Francis Sylvester in his wheelchair

We are ready to roll

If you often drive over the Rainbow Bridge between La Conner and Shelter Bay, you are likely to have seen a man pushing a disabled tribal member in a wheelchair and they both seem to be very comfortab...

 By Bill Reynolds    News    July 12, 2023
Author Matika Wilbur talks to people

Matika Wilbur meets readers at book signing

Home-grown talent Matika Wilbur has spent years traveling the country to exhibit her critically acclaimed photography and compile narratives for her ground-breaking book "Project 562: Changing the...

 By Sayer Theiss    News    July 12, 2023
Steve Schuh drives his tractor in a parade

Schuh Farms, a pillar of the Skagit community

At the July Fourth parade, the townsfolk of La Conner greeted a tractor driven by Farmer Steve of Schuh Farms towing his trailer of loved ones down First Street during the annual celebration of...

 By Bill Reynolds    News    July 12, 2023

Skagit Pioneer Picnic, a La Conner summer tradition, scheduled for Aug. 3

As has been the case for more than a century, history comes alive in La Conner this summer. The 119th annual Skagit County Pioneer Association Picnic and General Meeting will be 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 3, at Pioneer Park near the Rainbow Bridge. The...

 By Bill Reynolds    News    July 12, 2023
An historic photo of one of the buildings at Northern State Hospital

Northern State Hospital history program on July 29

At times shrouded in mystery after its closure in the early 1970s, Northern State Hospital and its unique history will be revisited during a July 29 public program at the former mental health facility...

 By Greg Whiting    News    July 12, 2023

Off-the-grid living is possible – and affordable – electricity-wise

Given national and international news, you may be thinking that it would be great to build a self-sufficient cabin in remote northeastern Washington. My grandfather did that, about 120 years ago....


Grant County Journal closure feels like 'death in the family'

The Grant County Journal published its final edition June 29. Its front page was a reproduction of the Oct. 18, 1907 front page of the old Ephrata Journal. A story inside on page 2 told the story: “It’s like a death in the family,” said Managing Edit...

 By Karen Richards    News    July 12, 2023

Microplastics in gray whales: OSU study looks at toxins in diet

Recent research out of Oregon State University found micro plastics in some mega-fauna. Scientists estimated gray whales off the Oregon Coast ingest between 6.5 and 21 million micro particles per day, including micro plastics and fibers from...

 By Ken Stern    Opinion    July 12, 2023

La Conner needs to plan for more than just floods

The Town of La Conner’ s emergency management commission will start meeting monthly after half a year of bi-weekly sessions. It has made some progress and is settling into a routine. The town council and mayor moved quickly to form the commission aft... Full story

 By Ken Stern    Opinion    July 12, 2023

Musings – on the editor's mind

In Seattle in June I had an opportunity rarely considered, much less repeatedly realized: I went up in more elevators, stepped onto more escalators and craned my head up at more buildings in two days than I have in two years – indeed – ever, in La... Full story

 By Denny Sather    Opinion    July 12, 2023

A citizen's view: A strict Supreme Court decision and salmon

In looking at the U.S. Supreme Court decisions at the end of June, it is heartening to see they are finally abiding by the Constitution and common sense instead of shooting from the hip regarding affirmative action. If today’s court had been in o...

 By Jerry George    Opinion    July 12, 2023

A citizen's view: La Conner residents will benefit from a time bank

In 2010 Christchurch, New Zealand was devastated by two magnitude 7 earthquakes only days apart. Buildings were shaken to the ground; roadbeds overturned; water pipes snapped, etc. Nearby, the hamlet of Littleton, a town somewhat larger but like La... Full story


Letter to the editor: Talmon project still has shortcomings

For a while I was googling for an engineer named Talmon for the 306 Center Street project. But now I see that the name of the project is the Talmon Project in drawings submitted by the developer to the Town of La Conner. Since projects are usually... Full story


Letter to the editor: Oppose cluster-bomb use on moral grounds

News that President Biden intends to permit the release of cluster bombs to the war in Ukraine needs to be challenged on moral and legal grounds and I would ask that we reach out to Rep. Rick Larsen as a member of the House Armed Services Committee... Full story


Letter to the editor: She is smitten with charming La Conner

I recently had the pleasure of visiting La Conner for an impromptu girls’ trip. This was my first time here and it was so enjoyable that I booked another visit before I left! We came to watch our friend in the Pretty Woman polo tournament at the L... Full story



The June 28 story, “Construction started on La Conner Heights homes” did not correctly name the company, BYK Construction, Inc., the contractor building for the development entity, Snapdragon Hills Estate, LLC, which owns the property. Con...


Community Calendar

NOT TO BE MISSED Fidalgo Island Rotary presents the annual Shipwreck Day, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, July 15, on Commercial Avenue in downtown Anacortes. It’s a community garage sale, antique show and flea market. More information and vendor a...


Aqiimuk's Kitchen: Cucumber radish salad

Cucumber Radish Salad. After slicing the cucumbers, lightly salt them. No need to drain off the salted cucumber juice. You want it to mingle with the fresh squeezed lemon juice. The result is...


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