Articles from the August 16, 2023 edition

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 By Bill Reynolds    News    August 16, 2023

Canoe racing, basketball, games: Swinomish Days offers it all

They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch anymore. Unless, of course, you’re willing to race canoes on Swinomish Channel all day in the August heat, often doing so while pulling against the...


Drought could persist here until October

The 0.06 inches of rain last week, 0.03 inches Aug. 7 and again Aug. 9, measured at Washington State University’s Memorial Highway Mount Vernon station, was not drought-breaking ­precipitation. Far from it. The U.S. Department of Agriculture...

 By Ken Stern    News    August 16, 2023

Town sales taxes hit record in July

Better weather in May is probably why tourists again made La Conner their destination. The $55,179 collected in sales tax revenue is the first record high collection for its month in 2023, topping July 2022 by 2.3%. The state’s Department of...

 By Ken Stern    News    August 16, 2023
A red chalk heart surrounds the word CO-OP on a sidewalk

Skagit Valley Food Co-op members share the love of 50 years

More than 500 people crowded Mount Vernon's Riverwalk Plaza last Wednesday, Aug. 9 in response to the Skagit Valley Food Co-op invitation to its 13,000 members and the general public to celebrate its...

 By Bill Reynolds    News    August 16, 2023

Council keeps focus on king tide flood readiness

Town officials remain focused on mitigation of flood conditions ahead of king tide season in the fall. La Conner Town Council members last week endorsed recommendations proposed by Public Works Director Brian Lease for immediate short-term saltwater...

 By Bill Reynolds    News    August 16, 2023

Skagit Bay Rescue, Fire District 13 may align

Gary Ladd was bare headed on Thursday, though figuratively he was wearing two hats that morning. A Skagit County Fire District 13 officer, he also serves as an officer of Skagit Bay Search & Rescue – and he spoke for the latter during the fire...

 By Kurt Batdorf    News    August 16, 2023

Valve fault cuts Channel Cove water

Five households in Channel Cove lost water overnight when a valve failed after routine maintenance by La Conner Public Works staff on Aug. 8. Supervisor Todd Park said his crew had been “exercising a valve” when it apparently failed and started...

 By Bill Reynolds    News    August 16, 2023

La Conner Schools superintendent finishes doctoral degree

A former marathoner, La Conner Schools Superintendent Dr. Will Nelson knows the value of committing to a plan for the long run. He Is also familiar with having to negotiate different routes leading...

 By Glen Johnson    News    August 16, 2023

Cascadian Farm now a Rodale Institute center

The day dawned cloudy and there was an up-valley smokey haze. It would be less hot than it has been. I was destined for the Cascadian Farm Home Farm, a famous place, a fertile bench of farmland near Rockport across Highway 20 from the emerald green...

 By Marlene Finley    News    August 16, 2023

Wildfire preparedness for home landscapes

The wildfires in Hawaii make it clear few locales are immune from the devastating effects caused by wildfire. Despite Western Washington’s wet reputation, we also are not immune to wildfires, especially during drier years. Here in Skagit County,...

 By Chloe Peterson    News    August 16, 2023
The sun sets behind a beachfront cabin

Reflecting on La Conner: My Skagit summer vacation

There is truly no gig greater for a college student than housesitting.  Instead of spending my July in a tiny I-5-adjacent apartment where, if I open my windows I'm greeted by the cacophony of cars...


CORECTION/UPDATE: Roger Small opening Aug. 23

Roger Small’s opening for an ongoing exhibit of his paintings at La Conner Brewing Co. on First Street is 5-7 p.m. Aug. 23. He typically presents themes and images that define Skagit Valley and its people, painting landscapes in acrylics and oils....

A seaplane floats after landing

Puyallup Tribe's partnership with Kenmore Air takes off with scenic South Sound seaplane flights

Members of the Puyallup Tribe described it as an historic day, when a newly-painted seaplane from Kenmore Air touched down on Commencement Bay, with a distinctive red, black and white livery...

 By Shaylee Ragar    News    August 16, 2023
Student protesters gather outside a courthouse

Montana judge rules in favor of youth plaintiffs in landmark climate trial

A district court judge in Montana handed down a landmark decision Monday, ruling that the state violated its own constitution by failing to consider fossil fuels' contribution to climate change....

 By Bob Hamblin    News    August 16, 2023

Bird migration and nesting patterns

We almost always assume everything will be the same. That is not true for humans or birds. Climate change in California is affecting birds more so than people. Thirty percent of California forests have burned in the last decade. This does not...


Police Blotter

Sunday, August 6 1:20 p.m. Big truck gone – A person called in to report a stolen Ford F-350 truck taken sometime in past two days. Truck was black in color with a canopy and has not been recovered. 2nd St., La Conner. Tuesday, August 8 8:00 p.m....

 By Chris Omdal    News    August 16, 2023

Marina Moorings, Port of Skagit

The weather has been fabulous for boating this summer and our guest docks continue to be full. Many of our guests are stopping in La Conner on their way to or from Seattle. They come in around lunch t...


Obituary: Florence B. Lockrem

Florence B. Lockrem passed away on the night of Aug. 7 at 11:20 p.m. She slipped peacefully into the next world with her eldest son by her side. Florence was born on Jan. 24, 1935, in the town of...


Obituary: Douglas Keith Otis

Douglas K. Otis, age 85, of La Conner, Washington, died on Aug. 7, 2023.  Doug is preceded in death by his parents, E. Donovan Otis and Gayle (Hancock) Otis; wife of over 50 years, Dixie (Maloy)...



Emergency Management Commission, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22, Council Room, 104 Commercial St. AGENDA Minutes Public Comment (items not on the agenda) OLD BUSINESS Upper Skagit Tribe communications Temporary flood measures: Update Conditions to...

 By Ken Stern    Opinion    August 16, 2023

From the editor: The Food Co-op's next 50 years

Some readers, surely, were among the over 500 people crowding Mount Vernon’s Riverwalk Plaza last Wednesday, raffle tickets in hand, as Skagit Valley Food Co-op General Manager Tony White called out winner after winner, giving away prizes donated b... Full story


Letter to the editor

Try reliable solar power Dear Skagit County citizens, As the vice president of Skagit Valley Clean Energy Cooperative (SVCEC), the organization sponsoring the Solarize Skagit 2023 program, I want to remind folks that one of the benefits of the... Full story


Letter to the editor

Questions about flooding I was pleased to read in last week’s Weekly News of the emergency flood commission touring the areas that were breached in last year’s flood. It has been seven months since the high tide inundated the town causing 1.8... Full story


A citizen's view: Enough with the status quo of gun violence

Governor Gavin Newsom of California calls for a constitutional amendment enshrining common-sense gun control. He calls his effort a “mechanism to address the echo chamber of despair” – the ever-more-frequent mass shootings. Newsom’s proposed... Full story


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