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Articles from the November 24, 2021 edition


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  • Waterfront Cafe serving annual turkey day special

    Bill Reynolds|Nov 24, 2021

    As the oldest town in Skagit County, La Conner takes pride in its traditions. One of the best of those, it turns out, is also one of the more recent. For the past 12 years the Waterfront Café downtown has hosted a free community Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings. Thanksgiving 2021 will be no exception. “We’ll be open from 12-noon until 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving,” the Waterfront Café’s Chef Dagmar confirmed to the Weekly News last Thursday. As always, everyone is invited to dine in or pick up take-out turkey day meals at no c...

  • Power outages darkened Valley during storm last week

    Bill Reynolds|Nov 24, 2021

    Last week’s local flooding and storm conditions were bad. Still, as anyone who was here in 1990 can attest, it could have been worse. Far worse. Then, Rexville Grange was converted to an emergency staging area for National Guard members called in to provide relief on Fir Island, which witnessed mass evacuations after a 40-year-old Skagit River dike broke, inundating the area. Fast forward to last week and impacts from relentless rain and high winds in and around La Conner and Skagit County were again severe and stressful, but less so than w...

  • Comment by Dec. 1 on proposed Center Street apartments

    Bill Reynolds|Nov 24, 2021

    Tis the season for writing Christmas cards. In La Conner, it can also be time to write Town Hall to comment on a proposed 20-unit apartment building on Center Street behind The Slider Café. The deadline for such correspondence is drawing near, however. Written comments are due by Dec. 1 in response to the formal legal notice of Application of Preliminary Determination of Non-Significance published in the Nov. 17 Weekly News. The proposal calls for construction of a residential building...

  • Gathering for Thanksgiving

    Ken Stern|Nov 24, 2021

    Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. How can we be thankful together, as families, as communities, as a nation? Thanksgiving, along with July 4th, is the foundational American holiday. It is more than bedrock: the holiday honors English speaking Europeans surviving and starting to take root on the Massachusetts shore of what would become the United States. Thanksgiving. By definition giving thanks is plural, communal. It recognizes the others in the community, those we are showing appreciation for for the help they have given to us. We are thankful,...

  • If I ran the zoo

    Mel Damski|Nov 24, 2021

    I finally had the courage to go to my synagogue in Bellingham last week and there were only nine of us actually there in person plus Rabbi Josh Samuels and Cantor Andrea Shupak. Others were attending via Zoom but it didn’t seem like a big turnout. We know that COVID-19 will have a big place in our history books because it has affected people’s lives in so many ways, short and long term, from losing loved ones to starting to new careers. I reached out to the contributors to the monthly Our Faith...

  • I am against the proposed 5-year sheriff’s contract

    John Leaver|Nov 24, 2021

    My thoughts about law enforcement in La Conner: • The sheriff is a town “vendor.” If any vendor has complaints regarding provision of contracted services, it makes little sense granting the vendor a longer, five-year contract which, except for commitment to walk First Street twice weekly, is essentially the same. Logic dictates finding an alternative vendor or re-thinking the contract entirely. • Current/ proposed contract provides 80 hours weekly patrolling Zone 1 and “guaranteeing” a ten minute response. • During 2020-20...

  • Musings – on the editor's mind

    Nov 24, 2021

    Before Tom Hanks rode through post-Civil War Texas on his rescue mission bringing the 10-years old Johanna to her grandparents south of San Antonio in the film “News of the World,” there was Paulette Jiles’ 2016 novel. Her protagonist, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, was older than the century, having been born in 1798. He had first seen war in 1812 and lived through it again in 1846 in Mexico. Kidd was old, 72, and thoughtful and wise, not merely because he had experienced war three times, but because he was a printer in an era when every lette...

  • Tell new council you care

    Nov 24, 2021

    The Weekly News’ Nov. 10 editorial assessed the Town as having “Truly a new council.” That was true even before we knew who would take over the vacant seat. First, I’d like to thank John Leaver and Bill Stokes for all the time they spent doing our business. Moving on, I anticipate good things that will come from the deliberations, decisions and foresight of Mary Lee Chamberlain, Mary Wohleb, Annie Taylor, Ivan Carlson and Rick Dole. Each, I believe, has the inclination to be in close contact with the community. And the community has the respons...

  • The malignment of apple pie

    Nov 24, 2021

    Ken Stern, the Weekly News editor, was accused by Sandy Stokes, former editor, of misquoting her in his article about Annie Taylor’s appointment to the Town Council. Taylor won by a 3-1 margin over Bill Bruch. On social media Stokes claimed (speaking to Stern,) “You misquoted me in your story on the Taylor appointment. You inaccurately wrote that I said you “ostracized” Bill Bruch. I said you maligned him with a partisan hit piece and that you continued to malign him with your “where’s Billy” Musings column. Stern’s “partisan hit” piece was tak...

  • New dike needed now

    Nov 24, 2021

    Wow! Did we dodge a bullet or what?! That firehose hit us, but the worst of the rains landed in the Frazier River watershed. If what the Canadians got lambasted by had fallen just thirty miles further south, the Skagit River could have been in our face, not in the channel of our choosing. The levees held, but now they’re heavily saturated, a bit mushy at their base. It’s very early in the flood season, so we should not be complacent. If the river got any higher for any longer, we could have been in for a wet surprise: the library project cou...

  • Tribe has debt for school debt service fund

    Nov 24, 2021

    The superintendent of the La Conner School District met with the tax committee of the Swinomish Tribe last Thursday. He asked for $500,000 for the general fund and $100,000 for the capital fund. He also presented a list of projects for funding. He did not ask for a contribution toward the $1,348,499 debt service fund. This is the fund that pays the bond that financed the middle school. Roughly 34% of the students are Native American. The Tribe’s fair share for debt service would be $458,490. There are 2,295 non-Indian taxpayers in the d...

  • Junaper Swanson Soroptimist student for November

    Nov 24, 2021

    It was a pleasure to talk with the November Honored Student of the Month, Junaper Swanson. Juna is a senior at La Conner High School and working toward her AA degree at Skagit Valley College. She is staying closely connected to school – participating in sports, activities and volunteer opportunities. She has been starting point guard for the varsity basketball team all four years – calling plays, bringing the ball down the court and helping her teammates get in position to score....

  • The great Bow-Edison flood

    Marissa Conklin|Nov 24, 2021

    I have grown up in the Bow-Edison area. The rains over the weekend starting Nov. 12 was not the first time I have experienced flooding near my home. However, the extremity of the 24 hours overnight from Monday, Nov. 15 is something I have not endured before. Never before have I seen neighbors wading through waist-deep water in their own backyards to lead their horses to safety. Nor have I seen a full size Greyhound bus tipped over in a ditch with over 20 people scrambling to evacuate. Last week...

  • Lots of happenings at the library

    Susan Macek and Jared Fair|Nov 24, 2021

    5 Festival of Tiny Trees From “Kiss Me Under the MistleJoe,” to “Skagit Valley Tree of Plenty,” 29 tabletop trees featured in local businesses created a buzz in downtown La Conner last weekend, as the holiday season kicked off with the Festival of Tiny Trees Trail. Started five years ago in the library as a silent auction of decorated tabletop trees, the event took a year off in 2020. This year a new twist featured local merchants, many of whom wanted to showcase a tree in their shops. A total of 29 trees were decorated by local businesses a...

  • Rotary bringing ho-ho-holiday fun and Santa to La Conner

    Nov 24, 2021

    This year the La Conner Rotary Club is bringing back an old favorite – the Santa Breakfast. Add a craft fair the same day and selfie photo opportunities at the boardwalk gazebo, and you have a formula for fun. The ever-popular Santa Breakfast will be held 8:30-11a.m. Dec. 4 at Maple Hall. Come join us for eggs, sausage and pancakes. Santa will be there for photos with families and/or pets. We will help you take photos of your loved ones using your own cell phone, no waiting for us to send you finished prints. Our thanks in advance to the...

  • Town council election victors cite key goals

    Bill Reynolds|Nov 24, 2021

    With ballots having been counted, recently elected La Conner Town Council members are now adding input regarding goals they hope to achieve in their upcoming terms. That post-election math includes factors ranging from infrastructure planning and finding solutions to La Conner’s housing crunch to improving access to town meetings and addressing sea level rise and other local environmental concerns. Rick Dole and Ivan Carlson, III, who successfully ran as challengers in this year’s elections and incumbent MaryLee Chamberlain, who won her con...

  • Annie Taylor: La Conner’s newest council member

    Ken Stern|Nov 24, 2021

    Annie Taylor was appointed to a La Conner Town Council seat by a 3-1 vote Nov. 9, becoming the third women on council, the youngest – until Ivan Carlson takes office in January – and is the only member who works in La Conner and walks to a wage job. The proprietor of Crescent Moon Yoga, and property owner, she has a seven block walk to her server’s job at Nell Thorn. Last Friday she spoke to the Weekly News. She said that she recognizes and looks forward to the challenge before h...

  • La Conner sports community mourns loss of legendary Lynn Weidenbach

    Bill Reynolds|Nov 24, 2021

    As is the case each November there is much anticipation here about the start of the La Conner High School basketball season. But this year there is also a sense of loss – one far more pronounced than can be reflected on any scoreboard – around the school’s hoops programs. Lynn Weidenbach, 81, who across several decades served various roles with both the La Conner boys’ and girls’ teams, died Nov. 8 after a brief illness. A memorial service celebrating his extraordinary life is tentatively scheduled for next summer. Few people have...

  • Skagit County Police Blotter

    Nov 24, 2021

    Monday, November 15 10:25 a.m.: Ripped off – Caller reported a theft of Amazon packages from her residence. The caller reported two ripped open boxes were turned into the post office with her address on them, but nothing inside. Ring Ln., La Conner. 5:29 p.m.: Water, water everywhere – Report of water over the roadway and cars speeding through it. Public Works was requested to put warning signs out. Farm to Market / T Loop Rds., Edison. 3:00 p.m.: Knocked down – Report of a down stop sign, Public Works notified. Calhoun /...

  • Swinomish receive funding to build nation’s first modern clam

    Bill Reynolds|Nov 24, 2021

    The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community has reason to be happy as a clam these days: The tribe has received two major grants to build the first modern-day clam garden in the United States. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Saltonstall-Kennedy Competitive Grants Program and Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center are providing monies to build the garden, allowing the tribe to retain access to traditional foods and reinforce maricultural practices going back more than three millennia. “We are thankful to receive this f... Full story

  • Kiwanis Club October students of the month

    Nov 24, 2021

    High School Student of the Month for October is Delaney Cobbs. Delaney is the daughter of Amanda Buck of La Conner. She is a senior at the La Conner High School. Delaney active in school sports. She participates in soccer and wrestling. She says sports are her whole life and are a huge part of what she does inside and outside of school. She plans to attend college after graduation and study sports nutrition. Middle School Student of the Month for October is Mason Magill. He is the son of Ethan and Arin Magill of La Conner. He is in eighth...

  • Pesto Covered Halibut

    Patricia Aqiimuk Paul|Nov 24, 2021

    A thick layer of pesto permeates the flavor of the halibut. We are fortunate to have generous friends. The halibut and pesto were gifts. One from a fisherman, the other, from a cook. I doubt they even know each other. Ann Maroney I met through my association with the Skagit County Historical Museum. We share a passion for cooking and baking. We share recipes and home-created foods. The fisherman, Pete Wedin, fishes in Alaska and makes his home in La Conner. He pickles fish and we often gift...

  • Musings – on the editor's mind

    Ken Stern|Nov 24, 2021

    Before Tom Hanks rode through post-Civil War Texas on his rescue mission bringing the 10-years old Johanna to her grandparents south of San Antonio in the film “News of the World,” there was Paulette Jiles’ 2016 novel. Her protagonist, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, was older than the century, having been born in 1798. He had first seen war in 1812 and lived through it again in 1846 in Mexico. Kidd was old, 72, and thoughtful and wise, not merely because he had experienced war three times, but because he was a printer in an era when every lette...