Articles from the December 20, 2023 edition

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Excavation begins for Center Street project

No building permit has yet been issued, but excavation began at the 306 Center Street condominium project site last week to find the water table on the property so that paperwork could be completed for removal of contaminated soil. Following that ini...

 By Adam Sowards    News    December 20, 2023

Managing food insecurity key to a strong local food system

Local grocery shoppers pause and compare prices. They add up the rising costs of food and wonder how they will afford their next meal. This is how Arin Magill, director of the La Conner Sunrise Food Bank, defines food insecurity: concern about where...

 By Anne Basye    News    December 20, 2023
Building made of old barn wood at Christianson's Nursery.

County planning commission says 'no' to easing agritourism rules

In the latest step in the process of reviewing and perhaps changing county code around agritourism, the Skagit County Planning Commissioners voted 5 to 2 to recommend that Skagit County Commissioners...

 By Ken Stern    News    December 20, 2023

November felt cold and was damp but not much rain fell

Don’t let December’s rain, gray skies or fields of standing water distract you into thinking it has rained a lot. November maintained 2023’s pattern of rainfall below the monthly century’s norms. While precipitation came down 22 days, half of thos...


Holiday Closings

Holiday Closures Christmas Monday, Dec.25 Closed: Everything Bank: Closed Buses: No service Library: Closed Post Office: Closed Schools: Till Jan 3 Town Hall: Dec 22-26 County government: Closed Trash Pick Up: None Weekly News: Closed And God bless... Full story

 By Ken Stern    Opinion    December 20, 2023

Finding hope in dark times

Tomorrow, Dec. 21, is the solstice, the shortest day of the year. In BCE, Before the Common Era, and for all the centuries in our Common Era, people have celebrated the end of the year’s dark period and the beginning again of the coming of the l...

 By Ken Stern    Opinion    December 20, 2023

Musings - On the editor's mind

We, tell – and listen to – stories for a reason. Way before the internet or radio or even telegraph lines, communities collectively gathered around the campfire to both tell each other the important stories of the day and to recall and pass down myt... Full story


Preserve Skagit County's small business farmers

Did you know that in Skagit County only 2% of the farms in the valley are over a thousand acres? Did you also know that 41% of farms in Skagit County are noted as residential or lifestyle farms, aka hobby farms? The face of farming has changed:... Full story

 By Tim Manns    Opinion    December 20, 2023

Report: The Sound is holding on; recovery uncertain

The Puget Sound Partnership recently released its biennial State of the Sound report concluding that while, overall, Puget Sound is holding on, its recovery remains uncertain (Puget Sound Partnership: State of the Sound ( This very mixed... Full story


Loss, politics, family love

Kudos to the editor for being willing to post a letter in last week’s issue that, I suspect, did not align with his perspective. This gives credence to his professed belief that a free press, uncensored, is best and open communication can, h... Full story


Mayor Hayes' final council meeting ends without fanfare

Four-term La Conner Mayor Ramon Hayes chaired his final town council meeting Dec. 12, but it was a business-as-usual session with no celebration or reception. Hayes wouldn’t have had it any other way. “It’s just not my personality,” he told the Wee...


FD 13 plans a windstorm disaster exercise

It’s been said that an ill wind blows no good. In the case of the Skagit County Fire District 13 coverage area, which entails Swinomish Reservation and rural La Conner, a facsimile windstorm at the end of March is designed to do plenty good. P...


Community emergency management communications planning underway

It’s often said that to everything there is a season. For La Conner’s emergency management commission, that means development of a comprehensive guide addressing all disaster scenarios. “We’ve been working on flooding issues hot and heavy for qui...


Girl hoopsters drop Acorns in big win

It was junior cheer night at Landy James Gym last Friday. And the La Conner High School girls’ basketball team gave both the youth cheerleaders and a large crowd plenty to applaud. Maeve McCormick scored a game-high 26 points, Shaniquah Casey f...


School district revs up for green energy

The atmosphere was electric at the Dec. 11 La Conner School board meeting. Campus solarization options lit up the room. La Conner Town Council member MaryLee Chamberlain and resident Bob Raymond, of the Skagit Valley Clean Energy Cooperative, provide...


La Conner Boys' defense cracks Acorns for 69-51 basketball win

Coming off his selection as the Skagit Valley Herald Boys’ Athlete of the Week, La Conner’s Brayden Pedroza provided Braves fans an impressive encore at Landy James Gym Friday night. The junior guard dazzled with an array of shots on his way to a g...

 By Kay Torrance    News    December 20, 2023

Start an indoor grow stand for fresh homegrown salads

From mid-August through early November, daylight in the Pacific Northwest decreases by about three minutes per day. When the winter solstice arrives on Dec. 21 there is only 8.5 hours of daylight. This is an excellent time to start an indoor growing...


State parks free for 'First Day Hike' Jan 1

OLYMPIA —Begin the new year with Washington State Parks during their annual First Day Hikes Jan. 1, 2024. Over 20 of the more than 40 state parks participating are in northwest Washington. Choose between staff-led and self-guided hikes, snowshoe e...

 By Ken Stern    News    December 20, 2023

2023 Town of La Conner budget will end in black

The 2023 Town of La Conner budget has met its $5.8 million revenue goal with December not yet counted. Even better, expenditures, now at $4.55 million, are likely to finish below 67% of projections. The budget surplus is $1.23 million and may still...

A photo of fudge.

Old Fashioned Fudge

Old Fashioned Fudge with roasted walnuts. A rich holiday favorite. There's nothing quite like creating your own holiday sweets. Ingredients Sugar, 3 cups Butter, ¾ cup Evaporated milk, 2/3 cup...


Community Events Calendar

NOT TO BE MISSED The Town of La Conner December 26, 2023, Council Meeting has been CANCELED. Go to for current information and sign up for “Notify Me”. The Stanwood Area Historical Society presents: Jazzin’ with the Class...

Alex Martin

November Kiwanis Students of Month

The Kiwanis Club of La Conner November High School Student of the Month is Alex Martin. Alex is a La Conner High School a senior. His favorite class is math. He enjoys playing basketball and...


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