How Eating Snails Changed My Life: A Story About Traveling

As I grabbed my backpack and walked toward the van taking us to SeaTac, my friends and I were surrounded by crying, fearstruck family members. There was this nervous air surrounding us, yet I didn’t quite understand why. Was going to North Africa really going to be that scary?

When I get asked as to why I like to travel, the first thing I say is, “To experience new cultures and meet amazing people.” Having lived in America all my life, I started creating this safe little bubble. The starving kids or hurricane-ravaged cities seemed so far away. Those countries and people living in them started to become “others” to me.

When I began to tell people I was going to North Africa back in March 2016, the first thing they’d say to me was normally along the lines of, “Is that really safe?” Or “You should probably go somewhere more welcoming.” Yet, not one of these people had visited the country I was going to.


Lake Diablo: A Devilishly Good Time

Lake Diablo is a gorgeous Lake that can be found off of Highway 20 in the Northern Cascades. The closest town to the lake is Newhalem. This lake has an amazing turquoise tint to the water, due to the glacier rock floor of the lake. The turquoise tint mixed with the frigid temperature of the lake, mostly made of glacier water, make an experience that is unique to other lakes around the Washington State area.

Lake Diablo’s main campground, Colonial Creek Campground, has a large load of things to do when it’s open during the summer. These things include a dock for fishing, a boat launch, trails to hike on site, an amphitheater that has events weekly, and recreational areas for day trips.


After a Minor Bump, the Road to Singapore Seems Smooth

When President Trump called off his summit with Kim Jong Un, the enigmatic leader of North Korea, it rocked the diplomatic world and seemed to dash hopes which had been so high following a number of historic moments between North Korea and the rest of the world. A little over two weeks after, following many fragile talks and constant communication within the diplomatic community, President Trump announced that the formerly canceled meeting on June 12th is back on.

It now seems almost a distant memory of last summer when tensions between the North and the U.S. were at a great and frightening high. After watching the news one could be forgiven for thinking that nuclear war was nearly upon us.


A Lost Treasure

Hidden away between 5th and 6th street in downtown Anacortes, there is a tiny brick building, old and worn, that houses Watermark Book Co. This tiny shop, walked by daily for most, is truly a hidden gem. Far smaller than everyone’s favorite bookstore, Barnes and Noble, Watermark houses just enough of the newest books to keep any book worm satisfied. The only other bookstore in town, Pelican Bay Books, is much larger and mainly filled with used books. It’s larger setup and tiny coffee shop draw in quite a few people, but Watermark has a certain charm to it that people like myself find the most enjoyable. Instead of being crowded and overwhelming, it is small and intimate and allows for a quiet perusing of the shelves or a quick chat with the few other customers and employees.


Can Presidents Kill the Clean Power Plan?

March 29th, 2017 President Trump ordered the fight against climate change to stop. Since being voted to presidency, President Trump has discussed many national and global issues, including our environment. These discussions have led to initiatives against President Obama’s previous initiatives for fighting climate change.

In the past, the United States was considered a global leader in “curbing emissions” according to the Los Angeles Times. But after President Trump dislodged the Clean Power Plan initiated with President Obama, regulations on coal, oil, and gas drilling have been eased. 


Get to know Urban Fitness and Health in Skagit Valley

Urban Fitness and Health has been providing a healthy environment to workout for members at Skagit Valley more than 20 years. Located at College way, it is one of the health clubs in Skagit Valley. Urban fitness and health advocates body strength and health care from multiple perspectives. It is understood that customers’ needs and preferences would be different and constantly-changed.  The health club has more than 15,000 square feet, and it has a comprehensive facility because there are over 200 machines. Also, the health club uses an open design to increase the transparency and sense of space. 


Relay For Life Raises Awareness and Dollars Towards Fighting Cancer

Starting at 2 pm on Saturday June 9th, the opening ceremony for the Skagit County Relay for life will begin at Burlington Edison High School football field.

After the opening ceremony, participants will do the survivor/caregiver walk. During this walk the survivors and caregivers are honored for their strength and courage with every step they talk. Those participating in the walks that aren’t survivors or caregivers of cancer are encouraged to cheer on everyone and walk along side them. A Luminaria ceremony follows the walk. During this ceremony, lights that represent a life taken by cancer or someone still fighting are lit around the Burlington Edison field. Finally, a closing ceremony is available to take action by (donating money??) and celebrate the progress already made.


Restaurant Review Taqueria La Bamba

Taqueria La Bamba is a mexican restaurant off of riverside drive in mt vernon. On the walls there are spanish beer posters and advertisements, there is an abundance of seating inside the restaurant and there is always music playing. My personal favorite item to get on the menu is the burrito which comes with so much meat on the inside that you cannot close the tortilla, if you order your food ‘for here’ they bring you out a tray of five sauces that range in spice, two of my favorites are the salsa and the spicy chile sauce. The prices of the food are very reasonable for the amount of food you get: around $10 for a very large burrito that comes with lettuce tomato and sour cream on the side and about $1.50 for a  taco, I would say that Taqueria La Bamba is one of the better mexican restaurants I have eaten at.


A Labor Strike in Berkley

Several weeks ago, I had to fly down to California to visit quickly family.  While I was down there, I decided to take the short time I had and see what I could of San Francisco and Berkeley, places with a rich cultural history that deserve a longer exploration then I was able to give them.  I had never been before, and with a day for each I chose two places bound to be packed with interesting people places and things to do.  I took a train to downtown San Francisco and walked Haight street and golden gate park, and the next day, got up early and headed for breakfast in Berkeley.  The second day, and also the last, I would fly out that evening, would be spent in and around the campus of UC Berkeley.  An area surprisingly subdued for its reputation, at least as known to me, it was full of coffee shops, empty restaurants catering to the quick eater, and high end and low-end bookstores and thrift shops


A Rich History: SVC’s Law Enforcement Academy

By S.N. Boreham

The Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program (SLETP) is a national program that consists of a minimum of 650 classroom hours and prepares students to become law enforcement rangers for the National Park Service. There are only 7 locations scattered across the country in which a person can attend a law enforcement academy, and SVC has the honor of being home to one of these.

After a lengthy 17-week course and approximately 720 hours completed, SVC students taking part in the program will 

graduate prepared to start careers as park rangers. Former Academy Director Bill Overby described the course as a “police academy with a natural and cultural… emphasis taught on a community college campus…”


Roozengaarde Garden Cultivates Tulips and Tourists

By Katherine J. Zumpano

Attending college can be expensive: while most students at a community college like SVC may only pay for tuition, books, and supplies, students enrolled at larger universities may also be required to pay food and lodging expenses. However, a handful of colleges across the country offer their students free education and, in some cases, room and board.

The College Board publishes an annual report titled Trends In College Pricing. Their most recent report, from 2017, shows the differences between the 2016-2017 and the 2017-2018 school years…



By Elizabeth Gibbs

May 17th marks the beginning of the 10th biennial Skagit River Poetry Festival run by the Skagit River Poetry Foundation, located in La Conner. The festival goes from May 17th-20th and will be hosting a diverse group of poets including Robert Pinsky, Tony Curtis, Ada Limon, and many more. Molly McNulty, executive director of the foundation, describes it as being “a love letter Skagit River Poetry Festival gives to our community.” McNulty wants to encourage all students to come and discover the power of poetry.



Mexican Consulate Delivers Mobile Services to Skagit

By Desiree Deleon

Over the course of three days, March 9-11, the Mexican Consulate visited Skagit Valley College’s Mount Vernon campus. The appointments were held in the Multipurpose room, ranging in time from 8:30 am -5 pm. The annual visit was carried out by consulate officials traveling from a local office based in Seattle. During this time, Mexican nationals were able to obtain various legal documents without the extra burden of having to travel south.



Skagit/Islands Head Start & ECEAP to Receive Edward Zigler Innovation Award

By Cassidy Boyd

Skagit Valley College’s Skagit/Islands Head Start and Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program has been chosen to be awarded the Edward Zigler Innovation Award for the 2017-2018 program. The Edward Zigler Innovation Award is to “celebrate programs…to create high impact services to children and families” according to, The National Head Start Association’s website.



Better Set Your Alarm an Hour Earlier in Whidbey

By W. Yiu

There is a construction work has caused a serious traffic jam in Whidbey for long time, due to a Sharps Corner roundabout is easier to cause accident. In order to improve the safety quality and increase the flows.

The construction work will expect significant delays. During the instruction, the roads will only have one lane opened with flaggers alternating north-south flows. The drivers claim that it happens a traffic jam during peak time, so it may wait for 15 minutes to over an hour.