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March 18, 2019

Navy declines following most preservation recommendations
The U.S. Navy will “move forward” with increasing Growler airfield operations at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer wrote in a March 8 letter to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, a federal agency. The Navy will adopt some of the Council’s recommendation for noise mitigation while it “decline[s] to implement additional noise monitoring efforts” and declines further study and discussions with stakeholders, Spencer states in the five page letter.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019


Pirate literacy night at elementary school
AND THE RACE IS ON –Conner Ritchie, 7, has to hold on to his hat, he blew so hard in his effort to best his friend Elsie Goodman, 6, at last Wednesday’s very well attended Pirate Literacy Family Night at the elementary school. The kids were tricked into attending a costume party for parents and school staff.   – Photo by Ken Stern
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Quilt collector covers family history
Jim Tharpe returned to La Conner March 6 to share more of the story of his remarkable collection of family quilts, “The Hartsfield Family Quilt Collection.” The 12 quilts are being exhibited as a set for the first time at the Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum. Tharpe, who has stayed often in La Conner, chose its museum for the first complete exhibit of the family collection.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Good efforts abound around town
Twice last week Whitney Meissner, superintendent of the La Conner school district, enacted a cornerstone of the district’s strategic plan: communications. Last Wednesday Meissner hosted a community meeting in the district’s auditorium. Monday she spoke at the La Conner Rotary Club’s second annual Farmers-Merchant Dinner to 115 attendees, including Town and County elected officials and staff.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Spring almost here, daffodils on the way

DAFFODILS FOR SALE, YES. BLOOMING IN THE FIELDS, NO – Greenhouse-grown stems were available at RoozenGaarde’s gift store on Beaver Marsh Road Sunday. Their daffodil field on Calhoun had nary a flower in sight, alas. The brown is frost burnt leaves. Middle and late season varieties will be blooming soon. It’s been wet, and warm sunny days, what the plants need, are coming. – Photo by Ken Stern


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Larsen listens at La Conner coffee
Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, shared coffee and conversation with 40-plus people at the Civic Garden Club Saturday. He started with a summary of Congressional and House of Representatives accomplishments, touting a Land and Water Conservation bill authorizing permanent funding that is awaiting President Trump’s signature. 
The House has passed two pieces of legislation on gun violence and voted to terminate the national emergency Trump declared Feb. 15. These measures becoming law is uncertain.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Lady Braves battle to fifth place at Spokane
La Conner had a winning recipe at Spokane last week – until it lost its Cook.
The third-seeded Lady Braves were in a tight semifinal contest with eventual State champion Tri Cities Prep when starting guard Sarah Cook was literally knocked out of the game.
And the rest of the State 2B girls’ hoop tournament, it turned out.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Famed Swinomish totem pole stands tall again
The third time was indeed a charm for Swinomish Tribal Community members last week.
The replica Swinomish totem pole, crafted and installed as part of 1989 Washington State Centennial festivities, was put back in place last Wednesday morning after undergoing extensive revamping to erase effects from a generation of Pacific Northwest weather.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Town gets $100,000 for cell tower lease
Town Councilmembers were like surprised cats suddenly learning of 100,000 available canaries at their Feb. 26 meeting. The agenda item: “presentation Crown Castle, cell tower lease and tower point” was completely different from September, when Councilmembers admonished company representatives for being in arrears on an existing lease.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

School levy gets 70 percent yes vote
It’s official: The La Conner School District replacement educational programs and operations levy’s approval was certified Feb. 22 by Skagit County. The final vote count was 1,135 to 487. The 70 percent yes vote was the highest ratio of the three county school districts approving replacement levies.
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Navy Whidbey Island jet expansion plans not sufficient
The U.S. Navy has been urged to put on hold its plans to expand Aircraft and Aircraft Operations at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and “accept and carry out recommendations” of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation for minimizing and mitigating noise the expansion will create. This is the conclusion delivered in an eight page letter from Council Chair Milford Wayne Donaldson dated Feb. 19. The letter recognizes the significant impact to historic properties from the proposed expansion.
The letter, to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, follows last November’s termination of consultation by the Navy of Section 106, dealing with the preservation of historical properties in Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve, part of the Central Whidbey Island Historic District. The Navy’s pullout ended a four year process with local and state stakeholders, including the State Historical Preservation Office, the National Park Service, Indian tribes, local governments and environmental and historic preservation nonprofits.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

'Richard II' rules at Skagit Valley College
Go to Skagit Valley College’s Phillip Tarro Theatre to see an energetic and disciplined cast perform Shakespeare’s “Richard II.” The large cast is well dressed, especially Richard (Michael Trochie), in his gowns and highly embroidered robe, with its three foot train.
Director Damond Morris’s Richard is a super-agent, confident from the opening scene, when he banishes Henry of Bolingbroke (Matthew Small) and Mowbray (Eli Young), to the end when he nearly out fights the assassination team that murders him in prison. 
Neither is historically true. England’s Richard II was weak of character and a weak monarch at the end of the 14th century. He did abdicate but probably was starved to death in prison. He had married a six year old to ensure peace with France. There were no passionate kisses when she (Claire Andrews) was exiled to France.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019


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