Here’s some of my recent coverage.

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(Photos on this page are my own unless otherwise noted.)

Public access to SWIFT Center coming in 2019

The former Northern State Hospital is shrouded in mystery after being closed to the public for decades, but that’s soon to change.


VIDEO: Port of Skagit staff led the Skagit Valley Herald on a walk Oct. 17 through the former Northern State Hospital at the SWIFT Center in Sedro-Woolley. The historic buildings were flanked by fall foliage and stand in a state of disrepair the port and redevelopment partners hope over time to change. Pictured is the inside of the Denny Building — which was the main hospital — including empty patient wards, the surgery room and the meal preparation space. Also pictured is the exterior of the Hub Building and what was once the nurses quarters.

Despite attention, orca population continues to shrink

Photo by Elaine Thompson / AP

The population of the endangered Southern Resident orca has fallen to 74. Reaching that low comes 13 years after the whales received Endangered Species Act protection, seven years after rules limited how close boats can get, and three years after what was described as a “baby boom” among the iconic black and white mammals that are also known as killer whales or blackfish.

Samish tribe, Russian indigenous group compare cultures

From the Siberian tundra in Russia to islands in the Salish Sea, two indigenous communities have found they share a deep relationship with nature and a desire to preserve their traditions.

Two Nenets born into reindeer herding families recently visited Anacortes to see how the Samish live.

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MORE: Like the Nenets’ annual reindeer races, the Samish participate each year in a canoe journey.

AUDIO: Hear about the experiences in their own words.

Mountain goat releases underway in North Cascades

Nearly 100 mountain goats were moved this fall from the Olympic Mountains to the North Cascades.

Goat chopper

VIDEO: Eleven were released Sept. 12 south of Skagit County: six by helicopter, five by truck.

Navy’s final EIS sticks with preferred alternative for Growlers

The Navy will add 36 EA-18G Growler jets and related, controversially noisy jet operations, at its Whidbey Island base, Ault Field and Outlying Field Coupeville.


Wild, mysterious North Cascades National Park turns 50

The “sea of peaks” in Northwest Washington is home to melting glaciers, elusive grizzly bears and large expanses of national park land accessible only by foot.

North Cascades
Photo by Scott Terrell / Skagit Valley Herald

‘Fish Cops’ keep eyes on the water

While the job of marine patrol officer is varied, poaching is often the primary focus. During the past year and a half, officers have issued warnings, written tickets and recommended charges for dozens of poaching incidents in Skagit County alone.
fish cop