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Articles from the November 1, 2023 edition


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  • Costumed children parade down 1st Street in La Conner.

    Goblins on the loose

    Nancy Crowell|Nov 1, 2023

  • 306 Center Street permit problems

    Ken Stern|Nov 1, 2023

    The application for the three-story condominiums and first floor rentals at 306 Center Street needs to be revised to meet the town’s code height requirement, Town of La Conner Planning Director Michael Davolio wrote property owner Bandon Atkinson at 10:50 p.m. Oct. 24. “[Y]our design plans appears to show an elevator shaft that exceeds the town’s 30’ height limit. This drawing will not be approved.” Davolio’s communication might have been prompted by questions at the town council meeting earlier that evening. Residents Linda Talman and Leslie...

  • Agritourism code changes will be a multi-year process

    Anne Basye|Nov 1, 2023

    Nearly 1,400 individuals and organizations from inside and outside Skagit County submitted comments on proposed changes to county code regarding agritourism last summer. During its Oct. 10 meeting, the Skagit County Planning Commission reviewed 1,367 written and oral comments (493 from people who do not live in Skagit County, 36% of total) and discussed next steps of the process. Twenty five comments supported the county’s Agricultural Advisory Board’s recommendation to clarify existing restrictive code rather than open new allowances or new...

  • Head shot of Bruce McCormick.

    La Conner blessed with lasting memories of iconic nonagenarians

    Bill Reynolds|Nov 1, 2023

    One was a true La Conner original, scion of a storied pioneer family, blessed with a bevy of talents – singing, strumming and storytelling among them. The other was born on the other side of the country, in industrial Pittsburgh, and built an amazing career in southern California before bringing his myriad creative skills and good cheer to La Conner. Both lived richly full lives, artists in their own way, each enjoying more than 90 trips around the sun before passing in recent weeks. Bruce McCor...

  • Record frosts last week

    Nov 1, 2023

    Temperatures were record lows the mornings of Oct. 27-29 for their dates and have dipped below 32 degrees through Oct. 31, starting with Oct 25’s 31.2 low temperature, the first frost this fall. Oct. 27 went down to 30.8 degrees; Saturday’s 25.8 degrees was October’s coldest recording. Temperatures dropped to 26.1 degree Sunday and 26.9 degrees Monday. High temperatures hovered around 50 degrees last week. Measurements at Washington State University’s Memorial Highway station.... Full story

  • Last week to vote

    Nov 1, 2023

    Help get all ballots counted quickly: Vote and return your ballot now Sign your ballot envelope Use a county dropbox Mail your ballot by Nov. 3 Election drop boxes nearby: La Conner Regional Library, 614 E. Morris Street Swinomish Indian Tribal Community: Social Services Building, 17337 Reservation Road Ballots must be in drop boxes by 8 p.m. Nov. 7. You can register to vote on election day. Voting information and register to vote at VoteWa.gov. Skagit County Elections: 360-416-1702... Full story

  • Cooperating all the time, everywhere

    Ken Stern|Nov 1, 2023

    October was National Co-op Month, the annual celebration of this alternative way to engage with each other in our business dealings and thus as people in relationship with each other. National Co-op Month offers the time to reflect on and promote a more humane and sustainable way of living. The 2023 theme, “Owning Our Identity,” is, its champions write, “a chance to lift up what makes cooperative businesses unique in the marketplace. Guided by a set of shared principles and values – among them democracy, equity and solidarity – co-ops ar... Full story

  • No weapons for Israel

    Jai Boreen|Nov 1, 2023

    I read your recent editorial (No military aid to Israel, Oct. 25) with a mix of agreement and sorrow. The horror and inhumanity around the Israel/Palestine conflict seems to defy solution. The many players repeat the same moves over and over, expecting a different result, but just continuing the nightmare. Fifty years ago I met a young man on the train going from Libya to Egypt. He had been born and spent his whole life in the camps in Gaza. I was relatively unversed on what had been going on in the Middle East and he was a fountain of... Full story

  • Voter pamphlet omission

    John T Agen|Nov 1, 2023

    Gale Fiege was correct in asking about the failure to submit a profile for the Skagit voter pamphlet. I apologize for my failure to do so; I missed the deadline and I take responsibility for that. I did provide one when I first ran for a school board director position four years ago and should have this year. On a related note, my opponent (Janie Beasley) and I both attended the candidate forum put on by the Skagit League of Women Voters. Their website: skagitlvw.org. Once you find the correct forum, Janie and I are after the Sedro Woolley and... Full story

  • Musings-On the editor's mind

    Ken Stern|Nov 1, 2023

    Listening to and watching the devastated residents of Mariupol after the Russians began bombardment of the city in February 2022 in the film “20 Days in Mariupol,” the pain and incomprehension – the entire scene – could have been labeled Gaza, October 2023. The Israeli war on Gaza is the start of the 2022 Russian invasion all over again – the complete destruction and total terror on an entire population, making almost no distinction between the military and civilians. The language is the same, from the term “siege” to Russian President Put... Full story

  • Faith without borders: Reflections after a spring tour of Israel and Palestine

    Rev. Don Robinson|Nov 1, 2023

    The current Israel / Hamas war is tragic. The scenes of devastation and destruction in the Gaza strip and the reports of those killed and injured is heartbreaking, The continuing loss of human life and growing humanitarian crisis is overwhelming in the reality of little or no promise of reconciliation or peace. This past May my wife and I were able to join a group of people in a religious study tour of Israel and Palestine (also called the West Bank, Judea and Samaria) visiting the historical sites. It was good to see the land and to walk the... Full story

  • High power EV chargers needed to keep keep tourists coming

    Greg Whiting|Nov 1, 2023

    Last week I talked about electric vehicle chargers in rural British Columbia. Charger availability there is still improving. Flo.com’s map shows that the charger in Woss, BC (population about 200), has been upgraded since Jenelle and I traveled there about a year ago. Woss now has a Level 3 (fast, 50 kilowatt) charger, with two Level 3 plugs. It’s about 40 miles from the nearest larger town, Port McNeill (population about 2,000). Port McNeill also has a public Level 3 charger. For ref... Full story

  • Paid downtown parking an option

    Bill Reynolds|Nov 1, 2023

    Historic First Street could look different in the future as Town officials ponder proposals ranging from one-way traffic flow, occasional pedestrian only access and angled and paid parking downtown. Those are options being discussed in the review and update of the transportation element of La Conner’s comprehensive plan. A presentation on paid parking infrastructure will be made at a joint town council-planning commission meeting Nov. 28 at Maple Hall. Staff from at least one firm marketing metered parking are expected to attend. “There sho...

  • Long-term strategies for emergencies discussed

    Bill Reynolds|Nov 1, 2023

    The Town’s saltwater flood barriers are nearly all in place ahead of king tide season, but for La Conner’s six-member Emergency Management Commission the heavy lifting is just getting started. The panel has focused primarily on short-term flood mitigation this year. It shifted attention during the second half of its one-hour Oct. 24 hybrid session at Maple Hall to long-range preparedness strategies along the waterfront. The commission endorsed a potential cooperative venture between the Town, Port of Skagit and Swinomish Tribal Community to...

  • Rep. Larson hosting veterans forums

    Nov 1, 2023

    The week of Nov. 6 U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Everett) will host a series of five in-person veterans forums and one veterans telephone town hall. The forums and telephone town hall are opportunities for veterans to receive updates on legislation benefiting them and their families and to get answers to questions about the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), health care, job training, housing and more. The forums are in Anacortes, Bellingham, Camano Island, Eastsound and Everett. Larsen served as a member of the Armed Services Committee for 22... Full story

  • Morgan Huizenga

    November Soroptimist student

    Nov 1, 2023

    Meet Morgan Huizenga, Soroptimist International of La Conner honored Student of the Month for November. Morgan, a senior participating in Running Start at Skagit Valley College, views her life as focused on school and volley ball. She started playing as a fourth grader and has become a valuable team leader. She also runs track and discovered that she could excel at throwing the javelin as well. While she was recovering from an injury she wanted to try the javelin and ended up fourth in the state...

  • Braves beat Tacoma handily in finale

    Bill Reynolds|Nov 1, 2023

    The La Conner High School football team saved its best for last, closing out the campaign with a convincing 26-13 non-league victory over Annie Wright Academy of Tacoma on Senior Night at Whittaker Field last Friday. Versatile junior C.J. Edwards paced the La Conner attack – doing damage as a runner, passer and receiver – while the Braves stop unit forced Gator freshman quarterback Charlie Finch to flee the pocket much of the night, often resulting in tackles for loss. Edwards rushed for two scores, reeled in two touchdown passes from Ivo...

  • Both sides are the home team at final high school soccer match

    Bill Reynolds|Nov 1, 2023

    There was no way La Conner wouldn’t win its soccer match at Whittaker Field last Wednesday. But the question afterward was which of the two teams the Braves or Lady Braves won the impromptu home finale match. A paper tally, including post-game penalty kicks, had the Braves posting an 11-4 triumph. The scoreboard told a different story. It indicated the Lady Braves had recorded a lopsided 50-11 victory. “Look, we won!” exclaimed a member of the girls’ team, who recorded the electronic final score with her phone camera. The afternoon pairing...

  • La Conner High School volleyball team vies for state tourney berth today

    Bill Reynolds|Nov 1, 2023

    This year’s La Conner High School volleyball team, with its several underclassmen – including eighth graders – playing key roles, has taken a different route to reach a familiar destination this fall. That being the Northwest 2B Bi-District Tournament. The Lady Braves tuned up for a postseason run with an impressive 3-1 victory at Mount Vernon High Thursday. Monday they were paired against Auburn Adventist in a first-round bi-district clash at Landy James Gym. On the opposite side of Monday’s bi-district bracket, NW2B/1B rival Coupevi...

  • Both sides are the home team at final high school soccer match

    Bill Reynolds|Nov 1, 2023

    There was no way La Conner wouldn’t win its soccer match at Whittaker Field last Wednesday. But the question afterward was which of the two teams the Braves or Lady Braves won the impromptu home finale match. A paper tally, including post-game penalty kicks, had the Braves posting an 11-4 triumph. The scoreboard told a different story. It indicated the Lady Braves had recorded a lopsided 50-11 victory. “Look, we won!” exclaimed a member of the girls’ team, who recorded the electronic final score with her phone camera. The afternoon pairing...

  • Film festival included '20 Days in Mariupol'

    Ken Stern|Nov 1, 2023

    The eleventh annual Friday Harbor Film Festival showed 25 feature and 14 short documentary films last week, Oct. 27-29. The volunteer staff and festival volunteers once again offered a well organized and smooth running experience, with screenings at three venues throughout the weekend. A journalist attending a film festival has an obligation to report on films that interest the community and a responsibility to cover films that interest him. For that I viewed “20 Days in Mariupol,” an AP – FRONTLINE/PBS film of journalists providing video repor...

  • Alzheimer's Awareness Month benefit

    Nov 1, 2023

    Skagit Adult Day Program, a local nonprofit which cares for dementia clients, is showing the Academy Award winning movie “The Father” 7 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 15 at the Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon. This is a community awareness opportunity, in honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and Caregiver Month and a fundraiser. The public is invited. Anthony Hopkins, who won the Best Actor Award in 2020 for this role, heartbreakingly portrays the father experiencing dementia. Olivia Colman, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, is his careg... Full story

  • An image of a needlepoint picture of red lips

    Sweet Adelines sing with red lips

    Nov 1, 2023

    Harmony Northwest Chorus, Skagit County's only Sweet Adelines International acapella group, entertained the residents at the La Conner Retirement Inn last week with a fun twist in their patriotic segment honoring veterans. "When we perform, it incorporates more than singing," explained chorus director Cheryl Isaac. "We often add stories, jokes, and even history lessons." She related how each chorus member held bright red embroidered lips to their mouths, as their emcee related a patriotic story...

  • Government & Resiliency Panel at MoNA Saturday

    Nov 1, 2023

    Attend the Government & Resiliency Panel, part of the “Surge” exhibit, at the Museum of Northwest Art Nov. 4, 1 p.m.. The program is part of the education programming for the exhibition “Surge: Mapping Transition, Displacement, and Agency in Times of Climate Change.” The public is invited to meet critical players in a moderated discussion about how our local governmental organizations respond to climate change. This question will be addressed: “Are there opportunities to increase the resilience of communities, natural resources, and infrastru... Full story

  • 'Wizard of Oz' opening at Lincoln

    Nov 1, 2023

    The Theater Arts Guild’s production of “The Wizard of Oz,” opens Friday, Nov. 3 at the Lincoln theatre in Mount Vernon. This stage adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s beloved tale features the iconic musical score from the MGM film. Watch as young Dorothy travels from Kansas over the rainbow to the magical Land of Oz. Shows are then Thursday-Sunday through Nov. 19. It is co-directed by Myles Doorn and Abigail Hanson. Times and tickets information: lincolntheatre.org/.... Full story

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