Wednesday, December 28, 2011

in the December 28 issue

Photo by Gary Cole

Winds gusting at 50 miles per hour on Christmas Day in the Snee-Oosh Beach area knocked down a power pole at the corner of Keith Johnson’s yard. Doug Cole, reporting from the scene, said the power outage didn’t deter the Barbara Hoover family holiday celebration; they just fired up generators and carried on. Utility crews worked through the night to replace three poles and power was restored by 8:10 a.m. Monday.

2011 in Review
     OK, when you see a "Year in Review" or a "Look Back" on the front page of a newspaper, that's newspaper code for NOTHING IS HAPPENING. That's the real reason these things show up between Christmas and New Year's Day. It's the quietest time of the year for news...
     Nevertheless, some people enjoy looking back; and for those of us in La Conner the year had some events worth talking about.

 Photo by Ben Davidson
A happy memory: Canoe Journey
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community hosted the annual Canoe Journey, which drew about 80 family canoes carrying tribal people from throughout the northwest in July.
Almost everyone in the La Conner area participated in the event. Thousands of people lined up on both sides of the channel to witness the spectacular canoe landing, which included a surprise visit from Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, who was a paddler in Tribal Chairman Brian Cladoosby’s canoe.
Swinomish invited the whole town to dinner every night during weeklong gathering, which ran from July 25 through 31 and included Native American dancing and performances every day.
The event left the community with wonderful memories and a beautiful reminder – the three cedar hat-shaped pavilions at Swadabs Park across the channel from Gilkey Square mark the site of the historic canoe landing.

 Photo by Don Coyote
Scary day: Cops shut down the town
We’ll be telling the grandkids about the afternoon that quiet La Conner suddenly started swarming with police, their assault rifles at the ready ordering residents to take cover indoors while a low-flying Blackhawk helicopter circled overhead with armed officers looking out.
The Skagit County Sheriff’s Office, acting on a credible tip that a man who had just committed two murders in Oak Harbor had come to La Conner called in officers from six other law enforcement agencies to shut down the town.
The accused murderer, Joshua David Lambert, 30, was captured in Oak Harbor. He is charged with stabbing both his 80-year-old grandfathers to death in separate attacks on Monday, Oct. 3. Lambert has told the Island County Superior Court he plans to represent himself in his defense and that he is insane.

 Photo by Kane Stokes
Remember these guys?
 Town turkeys evicted
La Conner’s wild turkey flock, which once numbered 18, was run out of town.
Resident complaints about the birds’ foul habits, including digging up flower beds and pooping on porches, prompted the Town Council to order town employees to trap, chase and net the birds.
Public Works crews nabbed the last tom in May as he was taking refuge in the public restroom on Morris Street. That bird spent about a month in “solitary” in the old dog pen at the old public works department until Marci and Bob Plank took him in. Now the turkey has a name, Monty, and a job. He is overlord of the chickens, who stand around and admire him at the Planks’ ranch.

Columnists Mel Damski and Mickey Bambrick gave us some very personal information for Christmas. Look inside the paper for some great reading from these two amazing local writers.

From the Police Blotter:
11:57 a.m.: Animal mix-up – A resident in La Conner reported a suspicious package on her front porch, and was concerned it may be dangerous. Deputies found the box contained a near-lethal amount of cuteness in the form of a kitten. The kitten was taken into custody and transported to the Humane Society. Deputies determined that the kitten was intended as a gift for the caller’s daughter. Well, it could have been a bomb.

The paper is on the streets today in the news stands, in both gas stations, the liquor store, drug store and book store.

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