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(365) stories found containing 'swinomish reservation'

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  • A fire boat shoots a stream of water at a dock

    First responders practice marina and wildland firefighting exercises

    Bill Reynolds|Jul 3, 2024

    If practice makes perfect and perfect needs practice, area firefighters and emergency responders are perfectly practiced and practically perfect. This after Swinomish Reservation and the Port of Skagit's La Conner Marina were sites last week of major multi-department training exercises that participants lauded afterward for their realism and long-term value. Skagit County Fire District 13 Training Officer Capt. Chris Olbu scripted a drill for June 26 that challenged several agencies, led by La...

  • A locomotive is tipped on its side after derailing

    Long time coming: Swinomish Tribe stands up to railroad

    Ken Stern|Jun 26, 2024

    Last week the Federal District Court in Seattle entered a final decision in a case brought by the Swinomish Tribe against BNSF Railway and ordered the railway to pay $395 million to the tribe for illegal trespass across tribal lands from 2012 to 2021. This amount represents the net profit the railway made while it intentionally violated limitations contained in an easement agreement the railway signed in 1991. While the decision will likely be appealed and litigation will continue, it reflects t...

  • Judge rules BNSF owes Swinomish Tribe $395M

    Bill Lucia, Washington State Standard|Jun 19, 2024

    BNSF Railway Co. must pay the Swinomish tribe $395 million for violating the terms of an agreement that allowed the railroad to run trains across a strip of the tribe's land in northwest Washington, a federal judge ruled Monday. U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik ruled last year against the railroad for trespassing between 2012 and 2021 as it sent trains carrying crude oil from North Dakota through the Swinomish Reservation, en route to refineries near Anacortes. Determining what amount of money...

  • Swinomish Tribe honors Pride Month with two public events

    Jun 19, 2024

    The public is invited to celebrate Pride Month with the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community with events on Thursday, June 20, and Wednesday, June 26. At noon June 20, celebrate pride on the longest day of the year in the Cedar Hats Pavillions at swadabs Park on the Swinomish Channel. Pick up your Swinomish Pride Day shirt. Enjoy lunch, snow cones, a bouncy house, art and sign making. Listen to hip hop by “Reservation Dogs” composer Mato Wayuhi. On June 26, Swinomish Pride Day car parade and community dinner begins at 4:30 p.m. at John K. Bob Bal...

  • Fire district training drills set for this month

    Bill Reynolds|Jun 19, 2024

    Drill, baby, drill. It’s not just a Sarah Palin slogan. Locally, it’s the approach Skagit County Fire District 13 is taking to prepare for emergency and disaster scenarios in greater La Conner. The fire district has planned two major training drills this month – a June 26 exercise at the La Conner Marina and a wildland fire practice session June 27 on the Swinomish Reservation. The district held a windstorm training exercise on March 30. The drills are designed to prepare fire district personnel and neighboring firefighters and emergency medic...

  • Native American students wear woven cedar graduation caps and colorful gowns

    Traditional Cedar Hat Ceremony honors La Conner tribal graduates

    Bill Reynolds|Jun 5, 2024

    It was hats off to La Conner High School's tribal seniors Thursday, May 30. And hats on, too. That's because those members of the school's Class of 2024 were honored during the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community's annual Cedar Hat Ceremony at Swedebs Park, an upbeat outdoor evening event featuring tributes from speakers that included four Swinomish senators and departing La Conner School District Superintendent Will Nelson, a member of the Blackfeet Nation. The grads, donning their finely woven...

  • Pitching La Conner's benefits in the 1950s

    Bill Reynolds|May 29, 2024

    Strange as it may sound today, there was a time when having a parking problem in La Conner meant more cars were wanted on First Street to spur retail shopping – and when retail meant purchases for home use. It was also a period when home builders were being actively recruited to develop vacant lots to grow a town census that barely rose above 625 residents. The year was 1957. Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House. The space race was launched with Sputnik 1 orbiting the earth. The Fortran c...

  • Fire District 13 puts 2 EMTs at Summit Park

    Bill Reynolds|May 15, 2024

    There’s supply and demand, but it can be demand and supply. The latter condition has led Skagit County Fire District 13 to assign two emergency medical technicians for 12-hour shifts two days per week at the Summit Park station near Highway 20 starting in mid-June. “We need to be out there,” Fire Chief Wood Weiss told district commissioners via Zoom during their hour-long May 9 meeting at the Snee-Oosh Road station. Weiss was in Leavenworth. He said staffing that station full-time twice weekly will help response times to a growing number of ca...

  • La Conner golf team sweeps two matches

    Bill Reynolds|Apr 24, 2024

    Home or away, it didn’t matter where La Conner golfers played to win last week. The Braves were equally strong at their Swinomish Links home course on April 16 and at the Battle Creek Golf Club on Tulalip Reservation on April 18. La Conner edged visiting Lummi 137-148 with Corran Eisen taking top medalist honors by carding a low score of 43 over nine holes. The team scoring was based on the top three nine-hole scores recorded by each team, La Conner assistant coach Galen McKnight told the Weekly News on Friday. La Conner enjoyed an even w...

  • After winter windstorm training success, FD 13 eyes wildfire exercise

    Bill Reynolds|Apr 17, 2024

    A recent training exercise was so well-received that Skagit County Fire District 13 officials are considering another such drill in the La Conner area later this year. The March 30 windstorm scenario was so successful that the local fire district, which serves rural La Conner and the Swinomish Reservation, may stage a wildland fire training event during the peak of dry summer conditions here. “I suggest we have a similar drill for a wildland fire on the reservation,” Capt. Ted Taylor told fire district commissioners during their meeting at the...

  • Return leftover medicines to Swinomish PD

    Apr 17, 2024

    The public can bring leftover or expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs to the Swinomish Police Department for disposal 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 27. Liquids up to four ounces in their original containers are accepted. The Swinomish Police Department is located at 17353 Reservation Road. There are three other drop-off locations in Anacortes, Mount Vernon and Sedro-Woolley. Free Naloxone, also known as Narcan, will be available. Do not bring intravenous solutions, injectables, inhalers, syringes, chemotherapy medications, medical waste,...

  • Board sees progress on disaster plan

    Bill Reynolds|Apr 10, 2024

    Working with several documents the past few weeks, members of the Town Emergency Management Commission are now on the same page. The local advisory board, which is developing a Community Emergency Management Plan for La Conner, has moved closer to completing the ambitious project after reviewing similar plans from Skagit County, the City of Anacortes, Shelter Bay, the Swinomish Tribal Community and other entities. Commissioners indicated during their April 2 public meeting that they’re ready to consolidate those outside resource materials i...

  • EMS Levy supports all fire departments

    Wood Weiss|Apr 10, 2024

    My name is Wood Weiss and I am the Chief of Skagit Fire District 13. Recently people have been asking me about the upcoming ballot measure for the countywide Emergency Medical Services (EMS) levy renewal. I thought it might help to clarify who we are as a fire district and how the EMS levy impacts us and the people we serve. Our district provides Fire and EMS protection for a 71 square mile area, which includes the Swinomish Tribal Reservation (Tribal village, Shelter Bay, Snee Oosh beach area, Casino), farmlands east of the Swinomish channel,...

  • People discuss at a meeting

    Mayor shares tribe's Didgwalic Wellness Center plans

    Bill Reynolds|Mar 6, 2024

    Word is getting out on one of Skagit County's best-kept secrets. That's thanks to La Conner High School alum and former Swinomish Tribal Community Senator Leon John, now the outreach director at Didgwalic Wellness Center northwest of town along Highway 20. The Didgwalic facility is a rehabilitation center for anyone, tribal and non-tribal, dealing with addiction or other challenges to mental and physical health. John outlined the Didgwalic mission as guest speaker for the second in a series of...

  • Council considers bond for fire boat

    Bill Reynolds|Feb 21, 2024

    If February's first town council meeting was any indication, new La Conner Mayor Marna Hanneman is in it for the long haul. The marathon Feb. 13 session covered new and old business and multiple discussion and action items before concluding with a closed executive session. "I thought after the first month," said Hanneman, who took office Jan. 1, "that things would be kind of calm. Then February came." The 95-minute meeting began on a pair of somber notes. Resident Debbie Aldrich shared that...

  • James, John win seats in Swinomish Tribal Senate election

    Bill Reynolds|Feb 14, 2024

    After having survived last month’s primary by a single vote, Bruce James, Jr. emerged from the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community general election on Saturday with a comfortable victory for a five-year Senate term outpolling Myrtle Rivas 167-124. Rivas had led a three-candidate field with 97 votes in a low turnout bad weather day Jan. 20 primary election. James followed with 84. Three-term incumbent Brian Wilbur, had 83 votes and was eliminated by a lone ballot. Prior to the primary, James told the Swinomish Qyuuqs publication that his ...

  • Winter cold snap closes La Conner

    Bill Reynolds|Jan 24, 2024

    So much for El Nino. The climate pattern linked to warmer than normal sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean and which led to forecasts of above average temperatures this winter went AWOL for more than a week. A major storm swept into Skagit County last Wednesday on the heels of an arctic blast that had earlier plunged thermometers and wind chill gauges into single digits. The result was an extended stretch of icy and snowy roads and streets that forced local business closures and pushed... Full story

  • Repainting Rainbow Bridge may be a dream

    Bill Reynolds|Jan 24, 2024

    When the iconic Rainbow Bridge, the often-photographed arched orange span synonymous with La Conner opened in 1957, it looked like a million. Fast forward to 2024 and the now faded local landmark requires several millions – as in dollars – to reclaim its original bright orange appeal. The estimated cost of repainting Rainbow Bridge, which links La Conner and the Skagit County mainland with Fidalgo Island and Swinomish Reservation, is about $4 million, town resident Linda Peterson learned fro...

  • FD 13's CARES program reduces stress on 911 system

    Bill Reynolds|Jan 17, 2024

    Skagit County Fire District 13 cares. In both deed and name. The district has implemented a proactive injury and illness prevention program that is providing medical care and assistance while reducing strains on the 911 system. Its coverage area includes Swinomish Reservation and rural La Conner, Early statistics show the effectiveness of District 13’s CARES (Community Assistance Referral and Education Services) program, staffed by three full-time paid personnel. Medical officer Capt. Drew Farrell presented graphs at the Jan. 11 District 13 m...

  • Santa and girl on lap

    Santa, Grinch join forces to celebrate children at Swinomish dinner

    Bill Reynolds|Dec 27, 2023

    The Grinch was on his best behavior at the Swinomish community dinner last Wednesday. The reclusive green grump, best known as the Dr. Seuss character intent on ruining Christmas for the cheery citizens of Whoville, showed his softer side during an appearance alongside beloved toymaker Santa Claus. The Grinch entertained dozens of children before and after they shared with Santa their Christmas gift wish lists. The spirit of goodwill was present throughout the gymnasium. A mountain of door...

  • FD 13 plans a windstorm disaster exercise

    Bill Reynolds|Dec 20, 2023

    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. Planning has started for a March 30 Emergency Operations Center Windstorm Disaster Exercise and unified command strategy. Captains Gary Ladd and Ted Taylor and Brad Reading of Shelter Bay summarized the training at the December commissioners hybrid meeting at the Snee-Oosh Road station last Thursday. ...

  • Fire District 13's 2024 budget includes levy hike

    Bill Reynolds|Nov 15, 2023

    Faced with rising costs across the board – from insurance to equipment – Skagit County Fire District 13 commissioners approved a resolution Thursday authorizing a one percent levy increase for 2024. The fire district, whose coverage includes Swinomish Reservation and the rural area around La Conner, realized $528,936 from its levy collection over the past year based on a $0.62 per $1,000 assessed property value. The action, coming during its Nov. 9 hybrid meeting at the Snee Oosh Road fire station, will result in an increased dollar amount of...

  • 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 Skagit County Elections: 360-416-1702... 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.’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

  • Ballots and local elections coming

    Ken Stern|Oct 18, 2023

    Voters living in the La Conner School District have one choice on their ballot in the school board race for the District 2 director. John Agen, elected to the District 1 position in 2019, has moved into the district. Janie Beasley, defeated in her 2019 reelection for that seat, is running again. No other local race is contested. Residents have to decide to vote their approval or not mark their ballots in these local elections: La Conner School District Alana Quintasket, District 1 Kim Pedroza, District 4 Town of La Conner Marna Hanneman, mayor...

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