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January 16, 2019

Future charter ballot measure almost a certainty
THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE – John Doyle spent Monday evening considering a possible alternative future for Skagit County governance, and thus the county’s citizens. The next vote might be three years away, but the retired town administrator patiently participated in a post election debriefing session organized by Home Rule Skagit. – Photo by Ken Stern

THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE – John Doyle spent Monday evening considering a possible alternative future for Skagit County governance, and thus the county’s citizens. The next vote might be three years away, but the retired town administrator patiently participated in a post election debriefing session organized by Home Rule Skagit. – Photo by Ken Stern

If democracy must never sleep, the 28 people who met at the Burlington library Monday to discuss the defeat of the November “Yes on Charter” election measure are fully woke. They were asked by Home Rule Skagit, the grassroots citizens group that put the measure on the ballot and organized the campaign to pass it, to review the reasons for the results and to consider what needs to be done to convince Skagit County voters to vote yes in the future.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019


Visionary La Conner business owner Linda Freed remembered
Linda Freed, an award-winning business owner as well as accomplished hiker, mountain climber and equestrian, passed away last week at age 71 following a brief illness.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Art and science 'Surge' merger closes at MoNA
Research merged with imagination as scientists and artists gathered for a final time to consider the effects of their expressions about climate change as shown in their MoNA exhibits displayed during the past quarter. A panel of artists and scientists reflected on their collaborative work Saturday, during the last of three discussions about the Surge 2018 exhibit at the Museum of Northwest Art that was open since October. 
Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Local floral designer judged Rose Parade floats
Kimberly Oldis rooted hard for the University of Washington football team from one of the best seats available at the storied Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.
The underdog Huskies came up just short in a frantic fourth quarter comeback bid against Ohio State, the only time Oldis didn’t pick a winner during her time in Pasadena.
The Shelter Bay resident, a nationally renowned floral designer, was one of three persons selected to judge the 40 floats entered in the annual Tournament of Roses Parade, the majestic prelude to the Rose Bowl Game.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Tuning in on Skagit Valley swans
The fall migration has brought swans, trumpeter and tundra, to grace our skies and landscape in the Skagit Valley. As their breeding grounds freeze over in Alaska, the swans follow traditional migration routes returning to Skagit County’s abundant farm fields and wetlands.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Check out whisky at this library
The new year has begun. Auld Lang Syne has been sung. Let’s take a glass of kindness yet: a glass of whisky.
There are many varieties of whisky.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Novel dog saves Skagit vet practice
Nicola Pearson’s latest book, “The Gift,” is a romp through the hills and valleys of Skagit County and a no-holds-barred peek into owning and working in a small animal veterinary practice. Human and animal interactions are enmeshed with compassion and humor in a way that anyone, but especially an animal lover, will appreciate and enjoy completely. One little stray dog has an especially substantial impact on them all, leading to unexpected outcomes. 
Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Snow fell near La Conner Monday
THERE’S SNOW IN THEM THAR FIELDS – It’s not even a micro-climate, says geologist Brad Smith. Bob Hamblin came into the office Monday and said he had gone through snow, out by the Farmhouse restaurant. The staff person answering the phone said no, there were sun and clouds and it was in the 40s. But at Best and McLean roads snow fell Monday afternoon. First of the year, first of the winter in the area, stepped on by one journalist.  – Photo by Ken Stern
Wednesday, January 9, 2019

December ends with rainy weekend
Water stands in farm fields around La Conner at the start of the new year. Almost half of December’s rain, 1.85 inches, came the last weekend, Dec. 28-30. The month’s 3.79 inches was about 10 percent above the 3.35 average rainfall for the 17 years of data this century.
Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Local news, yes. Local mail in the local mail slot, no
A NEW NOTE DELIVERED AN OLD WAY – That is clear packing tape over the slot for local mail at the La Conner post office. Some folks have been told that La Conner addressed mail first went to Wenatchee. The evidence is clear: In 2019 it doesn’t stay in La Conner.    – Photo by Ken Stern
Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Curt McCauley: still kicking after all these years
Curt McCauley lives the adage, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” The 75-year-old seventh degree black belt and teacher is once again on the mend: He is recently back home in Shelter Bay following 12 days at the University of Washington hospital in Seattle for pneumonia. In his 34 years of practicing and teaching the Korean martial arts Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan, he has probably voiced that sentiment in class. 
Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Brian Lease, public works head, gets two thumbs-up from Town officials
His work often goes unseen but never unnoticed.
Or unappreciated.
At least by those who occupy offices at Town Hall.
After two decades on the job, Town Public Works Director Brian Lease knows every inch of La Conner’s underworld yet has also played an integral role in development of key high-profile landmark projects here as well.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019


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