Wednesday, November 23, 2011

in the November 23, 2011 issue

Photo by Marci Plank
NOT ON THE MENU – Other turkeys ended up in ovens on Thursday, but Monty gets to hang out at the hot tub. Formerly a ranking tom in the wild bunch that was run out of La Conner this year, Monty has settled into his new position as Overlord of the Chickens at the Pleasant Ridge home of Marci and Bob Plank.

And we live here... Photo by Don Coyote

  Photo by Karla Reynolds
OUR MAN OF THE CENTURY – La Conner icon Austin Swanson was the center of attention Sunday. And for good reason. Family members and his many friends gathered to honor the beloved farmer (and witty philosopher) on his 100th birthday. Austin's nephew Dean says his uncle had yet another reason to celebrate; Austin recently had his driver's license renewed – and it’s effective until he’s 105 or so. Not bad for a guy who was alive when the Titantic was still in dry dock.
Crime wave in town
Residents are asked to stay vigilant, report any little thing out of the ordinary to 911 and above all, keep their doors and cars locked, said Skagit County Sheriff’s Sgt. Bill Wise.
During the past two weeks, there have been at least seven burglaries and car prowls in the La Conner town limits. Also, people who live in Shelter Bay and Hope Island areas say their neighborhoods have been hit too.
Wise said there has been an increase in crimes all over the county, but around here, where some people routinely leave their vehicles unlocked and may not even lock their houses unless they’re going on vacation, thieves are walking in and helping themselves.
 “In every case, a building was unlocked, the car doors were unlocked or a trailer was unlocked,” he said. Items stolen include a purse taken from an unlocked car and power tools stolen from sheds and trucks. 
 Photo by Solveig Lee
Historical Museum has new director
By Adrian Sharpe
The Skagit County Historical Museum now has Clark McAbee at its helm as director.
McAbee was chosen from a field of 44 applicants.
He has a degree in history from Washington State University along with a certificate in museum studies from the University of Washington.
Working in the museum field for more than 20 years, McAbee’s most recent post was with the Northwest Railway Museum working on the restoration of century-old railroad cars. Read Adrian's profile on him in today's paper.

La Conner housing count to grow
Home Trust of Skagit, a new entity that’s grown out of the Skagit Community Action Agency, has plans to expand low-income and affordable housing options in La Conner.
Home Trust has taken ownership of Channel Cove, the housing development at La Conner’s south end formerly known as Southfield, said Dave Malsed, the new agency’s executive director.  Home Trust plans to build out the 10 remaining lots at the Channel Cove, which now has 22 rental units.
Of the 10 structures to be built, five will eventually be Habitat for Humanity homes.Talks are underway with Habitat for Humanity, he said, to start construction next year on three new homes there.

Photo by Kirsten Morse
SWEET REWARDS – Skagit County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Wade encourages safety every chance he gets. Here he presents young skateboard enthusiasts Alex Ring and Skyler Morse with treats for remembering to wear their helmets at the La Conner skateboard park. 

From the Police Blotter:
7:59 p.m.: Really weird – When the owner of a red Honda returned from shopping they found their car had been stolen and replaced with a black Honda. At the same time, a caller at Conway Elementary School reported that their black Honda had been stolen from school. In comparing theft reports, deputies determined that both Honda owners worked at the same school and the red Honda’s key unlocked and started the black Honda. After dark, one of the school employees had accidently driven off in the wrong car and went shopping. Arrangements were made to swap the cars and both stolen car cases were closed. Seriously, how could we make up stuff like this?

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