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Current issue: AUGUST 2022
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[cover story] A gentle care. Terry Gifford’s chamomile farm offers rest, comfort, calm, and healing.

Volunteerism booms in Concrete. Town of Concrete is experiencing an unprecedented volunteer boom. More Concrete and Upper Valley residents than usual are turning out for local volunteer projects to contribute to town beautification.

Salary Commission created; Economic Development Commission appointments blocked. During the July 11 Concrete Town Council meeting, Mayor Jason Miller appointed five people to form the town’s first Salary Commission: former town councilmembers Mike Bartel and Jude Dippold, and town citizens Bill Sullivan, Leatha Sullivan, and Jeff Maher. The commission’s first meeting was held on July 28, when its members elected Mike Bartel as chair and Bill Sullivan as chair pro tem.

Cascade Days Grand Marshals named. Dalton Blodgett and Cheri Cook-Blodgett are this year’s Grand Marshals for the Cascade Days Parade.

Police-shooting report sent to county prosecutor. On July 27, Skagit-Island Multiple Agency Response Team investigators sent to Skagit County Prosecuting Attorney Rich Weyrich their report regarding the Feb. 16 Sedro-Woolley Police shooting of a Concrete man. The man, David A. Babcock, 51, of Concrete, died from from his injury.

Patrick resigns from Hamilton mayor seat; Bates assumes mayoral duties. Former Hamilton Mayor Travis Patrick resigned from the position at the end of the July 12 town council meeting, handing the gavel to Mayor pro tem Mandy Bates.

Mountain Day Celebration, Darrington Car Show, Big August Hoobajoob on tap this month in Darrington.

Softball tournament returns to Newhalem. After a three-year hiatus, the Newhalem Jack-and-Jill Softball Tournament arrived back in town on July 16, with all the raucous fun fans and players have come to expect.

Skagit County adopts moratorium prohibiting off-site compensatory mitigation projects on local farmland. In an effort to protect Skagit Valley’s farmland from the threat of incompatible commercial, residential, and industrial use, the Skagit County Board of Commissioners on July 18 adopted an interim ordinance banning offsite compensatory mitigation on Skagit Valley farmland.

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July 2022
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Infrastructure projects kick off this month. Grant-funded road overlays to begin July 11; sewer lift station repairs start July 20.

Candidates vie for two positions in Legislative District 39. Stiff races are shaping up ahead of the Aug. 22 primary election, with incumbents facing opposition in two key races for Upper Valley voters.

Fly-In returns for three days of fun. The Concrete Old-Fashioned Fly-In has soared back into town. After the pandemic put the event on hold for two years, family-friendly fun for aviation enthusiasts is slated this year for July 15–17, at Mears Field, the Concrete municipal airport.

Concrete sends off seniors. Valedictorian Joens collars $22,000 scholarship.

The joy of music. For Birdsview artist Gretchen Hewitt, music is a way of life.

Quilt show ready. Woolley Fiber Quilters will host its July 15–17 quilt show at Cascade Middle School in Sedro-Woolley.

Janicki to construct new green building in Hamilton. After securing a large contract that requires a new facility and equipment, Janicki Industries has broken ground on a new building in Hamilton to meet the demands of the project.

PSE opens Clubhouse Visitors Center. Puget Sound Energy’s Baker River Hydroelectric Project has a newly renovated visitor center known as the Clubhouse and a new day-use park at the Lake Shannon boat ramp.

Marblemount Conservation Area to host “Open House on the Land.” Skagit Land Trust invites community members to an “Open House on the Land” on July 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Marblemount Conservation Area just east of Rockport.

Pressentin Park ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrates improvement project. June 10 drew dozens of people to celebrate the grand reopening of the Pressentin County Park in Marblemount.

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May 2022

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Bear Square Market Village paused for one year. The concept of a “shed market village” in the Bear Square parking lot at 45938 Main St. has been bandied about for several years as a potential hub for small businesses and artisans. Mayor Jason Miller passionately supports the concept; Valerie Stafford, president of the Concrete Chamber of Commerce, just as adamantly opposes it.

Dollar General considering potential store on SR 20 in Concrete. Woodcrest Real Estate Ventures of Ramona, Calif., has proposed a Dollar General store on SR 20 in Concrete.

New director settling in at library. Erica Brown is happy to be here. The Upper Skagit Library director began her tenure with the Concrete library on Aug. 3 last year, and has spent much of her time since “figuring out the baseline for how the library will run in its new location and iteration.”

Semro named to resource center manager position. Stephanie Semro is the new manager for the East County Resource Center in Concrete. On March 1 she replaced former coordinator Claudia Marken, who left the position in January.

CHS students win at WoodFest. Concrete High School Woodshop students flooded this year’s WoodFest event with finely crafted wood projects. One of them took home the top prize.

Baseball swinging for the fences with new head coach. The Concrete High School baseball team has a new coach and a new team. Really new. Bringing the team back after a three-year hiatus is a challenge, said Head Coach Conner Bridgman.

Presenting … Pressentin Park. Pressentin County Park is ready for its close-up. The 40-acre Marblemount staple has come through five years of renovations and emerged a better place for people—and salmon. On June 10 the park will reopen to the public.

Cascadian Farm to remain closed for 2022 season. Cascadian Farm near Rockport will be closed to the public again in 2022, according to farmer manager Tim Colton. Its farm stand and U-pick option also will be closed for the 2022 season. No reason was given for the continued closure.

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