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Articles from the July 28, 2021 edition

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  • School board, tribal senate agree to keep Braves mascot

    Bill Reynolds|Jul 28, 2021

    La Conner High will remain the home of the Braves. The school district’s board of trustees on Monday formally approved a unanimous Swinomish Tribal Senate resolution supporting retention of the Braves name for La Conner athletic and academic teams. Board president Susie Deyo joined members Amanda Bourgeois, John Agen and Lynette Cram in approving the Senate measure. Board member J.J. Wilbur, who also serves on the Swinomish Senate, abstained. The joint tribal-school district action is in accordance with state legislation passed earlier this y...

  • Council takes first look at $265,000 in federal funds

    Ken Stern|Jul 28, 2021

    At a special budget workshop Tuesday La Conner’s Town Council spent 30 minutes deliberating how to spend $264,911 in federal funds from the America Rescue Plan Act. Spending is prescribed by Congress, Administrator Scott Thomas informed council in a four-page memorandum July 21 sent with Mayor Ramon Hayes’ notice of the meeting. Summarizing “Options for Use of Fiscal Recovery Funds,” Thomas wrote, “the Town will have flexibility to decide how best to use the funding to meet specific community needs.” Thomas outlined “potential uses of these...

  • ‘Get vaccinated’ Skagit health officer says

    Jul 28, 2021

    “Get vaccinated today” was the rallying cry of Dr. Howard Leibrand, Skagit Health Officer, in a Monday, July 26 statement released after eight westside county health officers, from San Juan to King, jointly promoted wearing masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. The goal is to protect high-risk individuals and those who are not able to be vaccinated, including children under twelve years old, Leibrand noted. While fully supporting masks, Leibrand championed vaccination as “the absol...

  • Spendng federal dollars in town

    Ken Stern|Jul 28, 2021

    All of a sudden the windfall hits home. Last night the La Conner town council and staff started a discussion over spending almost $265,000, half of which has already been deposited into the 2021 general fund. What to do with the money? First, though, a recognition that a trillion dollars here and a trillion dollars there has trickled down from the other Washington. Like every municipality in this state, and probably across the nation, La Conner is benefitting from decisions the Biden administration and congressional Democrats made early this...

  • If I ran the zoo

    Mel Damski|Jul 28, 2021

    I recently said goodbye to my Uncle Harry Rosenfeld. Three weeks ago, when our part of the world was experiencing record high temperatures, I flew across the country to Albany, New York to visit my famous 91-year-old uncle who had contracted COVID-19 in his retirement home. We hugged, we chatted. I took pictures of Harry and my wonderful aunt Annie and I left knowing that it was likely that this was the last time we would be together. Last week, I got to watch Harry’s funeral live online. It w...

  • La Conner library expands open hours

    Jared Fair|Jul 28, 2021

    Fully open library adds Saturday hours The library is fully open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays. During the time businesses were restricted to curbside service, we worked on numerous projects and priorities in preparation for the upcoming transition to the new library. Moving an entire library requires quite a bit of organization and effort. We have removed some of the furniture in the library to provide more space for browsing and movement. The extra space is also part of prioritizing the collection in...


    Jul 28, 2021

    Viola Jo Caldwell, resident of the Skagit Valley died in Burlington, WA on Tuesday, July 13, 2022, after reaching the age of 100 years. She was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas where she later attended Secretarial Business College. Jo met her husband, Wallace, when he was briefly stationed at Fort Worth after serving as a fighter pilot in WWII. Shortly after, they married and moved to Whidbey Island where they started a family. Other homes included: Walla Walla, Pasco, Wenatchee, and... Full story

  • Twin softball sisters swing in Dominican Republic

    Bill Reynolds|Jul 28, 2021

    An American youth softball team playing in the Dominican Republic last week had an Edge against its competition. Make that two Edges. Twin sisters Alissa and Kelsey Edge were selected to play seven games in the Caribbean for a national team assembled through the American Based Sports Abroad organization. The Edge sisters are products of the Marysville-Pilchuck High School softball program, but their dad, Bernie Edge, is a La Conner alum who played baseball for the Braves. “It’s been a lot of fun watching them develop and play,” he told the W...

  • School board retreats to look at new academic year

    Bill Reynolds|Jul 28, 2021

    Reflection and projection. Those two apparent opposites intersected seamlessly during a five-hour La Conner School Board retreat session on the district campus July 19. Board members and new Superintendent Will Nelson reflected upon the past school year and how it was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic while discussing at length strategies for moving forward in terms of curriculum, budget and capital project goals. The retreat opened with a working lunch outdoors at the elementary school, then shifted inside to the board’s meeting room in the d...

  • Old time fiddler Mary Acocello a Good one

    Bill Reynolds|Jul 28, 2021

    Pat Good earned his reputation as an outstanding cook, most notably when he prepared barbecued salmon for large crowds attending the annual Pioneer Picnic in La Conner. He came by his culinary skills naturally. Good’s mom, Mary Acocello (1909-2002), co-owned with her sister, Clara, a coffee shop in Burlington and once ventured to Alaska to cook at a hotel, where patrons told her she “was the best cook we ever had.” But that’s only half her story. Make that, one-third – as Acocello was also a highly skilled shipyard welder during World W...

  • New Braves coach Woods has deep basketball roots

    Bill Reynolds|Jul 28, 2021

    C.J. Woods represents the latest branch off a decades old Friday Harbor basketball coaching tree dating to the late Dean Turnbull, for whom the gymnasium at the island school is named. Woods is now looking forward to setting down roots in La Conner as the new Braves head hoops coach. The Friday Harbor and University of Idaho alum was chosen to succeed Todd Hinderman, an award-winning science teacher at La Conner Schools who guided the Braves to a State 2B sweet sixteen berth in 2019 and whose up...

  • Calico Cupboard general manager was on a roll at national skating trials

    Bill Reynolds|Jul 28, 2021

    Work and play are sometimes separated by a mere fine line. Or even a blur. Calico Cupboard general manager and competitive roller skater Brenda Schmidt knows that as few do. “I almost need my skates to keep up these days with the return to full capacity and lack of help,” she told the Weekly News from work on Monday. “We are short-handed at all of our locations.” Schmidt herself was briefly away from the popular restaurants last week, but it had nothing to do with the post-COVID economy...

  • Skagit County Police Blotter

    Jul 28, 2021

    Monday, July 19 11:07 a.m.: Daughter verified – Caller reported her daughter as a missing person. Deputies had contact with the daughter and determined that the daughter was not a missing person. Pearle Jensen Wy., La Conner. 9:44 p.m.: Seat belts work – Deputies investigated a one car rollover accident. The three occupants were wearing their seatbelts and were not injured in the crash. La Conner Whitney Rd., Greater La Conner. Wednesday, July 21 8:04 a.m.: One less cat – Caller found a deceased cat in her back yard. Deputies...

  • Blueberry Butter

    Patricia Aqiimuk Paul|Jul 28, 2021

    This recipe prepares in the slow cooker. It will make 2 to 3 pints. You can refrigerate and it keeps a month. Or you can water bath can it so it stores longer. I was describing this recipe to two young millennial women. They both asked, when do you add butter? I replied, “this is fresh fruit cooked down to be smooth as butter.” Ingredients Blueberries, ½ flat (6 pints) Sugar, 2 cups Cinnamon, 2 teaspoons Nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon Canning jars, 2 to 3 pints Preparation Wash and remove any...

  • Marilyn Frey

    Jul 28, 2021

    On Friday, November 13, 2020, Marilyn Alice Frey, loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, passed away peacefully of natural causes at age 87. She was a resident of Serenity Assisted Living in Bellevue, Washington Marilyn was born on April 30, 1933, on San Juan Island to Roy and Mary Gresli. After graduating from Friday Harbor High School, Marilyn attended Western Washington State College (now WWU) in Bellingham, Washington, where she met her future husband, Stanley Frey. Married on... Full story