This Weekend’s Local Holiday Events in Skagit County

Visit With SantaYou better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, I’m telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to… Burlington! You can visit with Firefighter Santa on Friday, December 7th from 12-9pm and Sunday, December 9th from 12-7pm.

This local Skagit County free event will be at the Bay Ridge Station located at 16220 Peterson Rd in splendid Burlington, WA. This local Burlington event is hosted by Skagit County Fire District 6. Bring the family and your camera, you won’t want to miss your photo op with Santa. They will also be serving up some delicious cookies and hot apple cider.

There is no reason to cry or pout when it comes to real estate! Just contact Jean Groesbeck & Associates for 5-star real estate services.


Winter Wonderland Childrens MuseumSleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening. A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight, walking in a Winter Wonderland! The Children’s Museum of Skagit County is hosting a Winter Wonderland on Friday, December 7th from 12-8pm, Saturday December 8th from 10am-8pm, and Sunday, December 9th from 11am-5pm at The Outlet Shoppes located at 550 Cascade Mall Dr in charming Burlington, WA.

This free, annual, local Burlington event will feature numerous children’s activities such as real snow, bouncy inflatables, carnival games, crafts, face painting, and so much more! There will also be an elf and reindeer on site to meet, local food trucks to eat at, plus $5 gift shopping and wrapping for children and $10 Macy’s gift cards to the 1st 400 people.

Would you like to be local to Burlington, so you can enjoy free local Skagit County events year-round? Click here to start your Skagit County home search today!


Anacortes Tree LightingOh, Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how lovely are thy… crab pots! The local, annual Anacortes Christmas Tree Lighting event will take place on Friday, December 7th from 5:15-7:15pm at the Chamber of Commerce located at 819 Commercial Ave in brilliant downtown Anacortes, WA.

This free, local, annual Anacortes community event will also feature music, carolers, hot chocolate, and the jolly man himself, Santa Claus.

Are you in awe with the beauty of Anacortes and dream of relocating to this waterfront town? Click here to view properties available in Anacortes and initiate finding your new home.


Boat ParadeHere comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right before the boat parade! Visit with the jolly man himself on Saturday, December 8th from 5-6pm at Gilkey Square located at 103 Morris St in the seaside town of La Conner, WA.

Afterwards, stay for the Christmas Lighted Boat Parade from 6-7pm. This local, annual La Conner tradition will feature festively decorated lighted boats sailing thru the Swinomish Channel.

Are you craving the peaceful pace of the lovely beachfront town of La Conner? Click here to find out how much your home could be worth in this new Skagit County real estate market!


Lions Club ParadeHave a holly, jolly Christmas with the Anacortes Lions Club Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 8th from 10am-12pm.

This annual, local Anacortes, WA holiday parade will start on Commercial Ave heading south from 3rd St, then turning west on 10th St and will end at Causland Park.

And in case you didn’t hear, contact Jean Groesbeck & Associates for 5-star real estate services. Commence your Anacortes home search by clicking here!


Gingerbread House PartyYou may not be able to catch the gingerbread man, but you can take home a gingerbread house on Saturday, December 8th or Sunday, December 9th from 1-4pm at the Quaker Cove Retreat located at 14694 Gibralter Rd in captivating Anacortes, WA.

The Gingerbread House Party is a local, Skagit County family event. For only $5 you can decorate a homemade gingerbread house with candy and icing included. While you decorate you can enjoy some complimentary hot chocolate or apple cider, fresh popcorn, and more!

If you’ve been contemplating upgrading from a gingerbread house to a new house in Skagit County then click here to launch your new home search today!


Celebrate the SeasonCelebrate the season at the Port of Anacortes Event Center located at 100 Commercial Ave in lovely downtown Anacortes, WA on Saturday, December 8th or Sunday, December 9th from 12-4pm.

The free, annual, local, Family Holiday Fair will feature local entertainment, games, crafts, gingerbread house decorating, and of course, hot chocolate. Be sure to stop and visit Santa Claus who will be accompanied by the Grinch, don’t forget your camera! This is a hometown holiday experience that you won’t want to miss.

Are you ready to start you own hometown holiday experience in Anacortes year after year? Click here to get your home search started!

Community Profile: Samish Island

samish island

A blissful small town resting inside Padilla Bay, Samish Island has approximately 500 full time residents. Samish Island is well connected to the surrounding regions by offering an array of coffee shops and local boutiques.

Just a short drive from Anacortes and Mount Vernon, and just an hour from and Bellingham, Samish Island is within Anacortes School District, therefore your children will attend excellent schools. An outstanding hospital is also within close proximity.

Samish Island also offers a wide variety of year-round recreational sports such as sailing, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and more.

For additional information about Samish Island, visit

Help Anacortes Middle School Students!

Attention Anacortes Bargain Shoppers!

Save Money and help Anacortes students at the same time!  Anacortes Wildlife (middle school division of Younglife) are having a fundraising garage sale Saturday March 24th from 8am to 4pm at 3220 West 3rd Street Anacortes.

Don’t miss this chance to big up some great bargains and cool stuff for your home!  They will have a wide selection from household items to unique collectables.  They will also have a bake sale come early!  Proceeds will go toward funding for summer camp for 7th grade girls to go to Washington Family Ranch Creekside in Oregon.

Spread the word!

New Principal of Island View Elementary

On Friday a new principal for Island View next year was hired. 

Brian Hanrahan will be joining the fantastic team at the school and all are excited and fortunate to welcome him.  He is already a member of the Island View family with 2 children currently attending.   He is already a vested member of our community and came with outstanding experience and references.  He is currently the Dean of Students at Little Mountain Elementary in Mt. Vernon.   He will be a tremendous asset to our school for many different reasons!

Anacortes Elementary School Science Fund – New Project

The Anacortes School District has recognized the importance of early science education by providing each of its three elementary schools with a specifically trained science teacher and classroom space devoted to science. However, due to funding cuts during these difficult economic times, supplies for the science classrooms haven’t kept pace with computer- based technology.  The annual supplies budget for these 233 students at Island View is $1,000, which is about $4.30 per student per year. 

District Parents and the Anacortes School Foundation are coming together to fund  new  lab equipment that will  help  prepare the  students for living in our technological society and for helping them do well  in future middle, high school, and collegiate science and math-related classes. The Anacortes Schools Foundation is a 501(c)(3) corporation that functions independently of the school district for the benefit of students, educators and the community.

Funds from this effort will be used to purchase physics-related probes that interface with computers. The probes will replace the present equipment of thermometers, compasses and stopwatches that are stand-alone and allow for only basic investigations. The probes or sensors to be purchased can measure motion, temperature, magnetism, force, sound, and light much more accurately and the data collected can be analyzed with the lab’s computers.  More Information about the probes is at


Donations to this cause may be tax deductible. Please make out the check to “Anacortes Schools Foundation.”   Write in the memo portion of the check “Island View Elementary School Science Fund.”  You may also designate the funds to another elementary school (Fidalgo, or Mt. Erie) or to all the elementary schools by writing the school’s name in the memo space or by designating the funds to “Anacortes Elementary School Science Fund.”  Send the donation to Anacortes Schools Foundation, 2200 M Avenue, Anacortes, WA 98221.  Information can be obtained by contacting Phil Cohen directly at or by phone at 360 202 8753.

Coldwell Banker Island Living is a large part of the community and we would love to help out your volunteer organization.  If you have an event that you would like us to blog about, please call the office at 360-293-4511 and we will be happy to help you.

Anacortes WA – Most Secure Places to Live in the U.S.

Study Ranks the Most Secure Places to Live in the U.S.

RISMEDIA, December 17, 2010—Safety and security are among the most basic human needs, and a safe, secure environment in which to live, work and raise a family is of utmost importance to many Americans.

According to the seventh annual Most Secure U.S. Places to Live rankings from Farmers Insurance Group of Companies®, Madison, Wis., is the most secure U.S. community among large metropolitan areas (population of 500,000 or greater).

The rankings, compiled by database experts at, took into consideration crime statistics, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, housing depreciation, foreclosures, air quality, terrorist threats, environmental hazards, life expectancy and job loss numbers in 379 U.S. municipalities. The study divided the communities into three groups: large metropolitan areas, mid-size cities and small towns.

Small Towns (Fewer than 150,000 residents)
1. Lewiston, Idaho–Clarkston, Wash.
2. State College, Pa.
3. Ithaca, N.Y.
4. Bismarck, N.D.
5. Logan, Utah
6. Wenatchee, Wash.
7. Morgantown, W.Va.
8. Billings, Mont.
9. Corvallis, Ore.
10. Midland, Texas
11. Sioux City, Iowa
12. La Crosse, Wis.–Winona, Minn.
13. Elmira, N.Y.
14. Rapid City, S.D.
15. Oshkosh–Neenah, Wis.
16. Eau Claire, Wis.
17. Mount Vernon–Anacortes, Wash.
18. Fond du Lac, Wis.
19. Blacksburg–Christiansburg–Radford, Va.
20. Grand Forks, N.D.–Crookston, Minn.

Call Coldwell Banker Island Living today at 360-293-4511 to experience Anacortes small town living for yourself.

Let Your Voice Be Heard for Anacortes

Anacortes Futures Project
December 9, 2010
05:00 PM – 07:00 PM

How will the next 15 years change Anacortes? 

Join your neighbors for the third community forum to discuss how to shape that change.  

The Anacortes Futures Project will outline a collective vision for the community and then design a strategy to implement that vision.


For all of your Real Estates needs in Anacortes, please call one of our brokers to help you find what you are looking for.  Coldwell Banker Island Living is located at the corner of 32nd and Commercial in Anacortes and our telephone number is 360.293.4511.

Cap Sante HS Offers Different Path to Diploma

New to the school district this year is Cap Sante High School, an education alternative situated in portable buildings just east of Anacortes High School.

 Cap Sante High School, with an enrollment of almost 50 students in grade 9-12, offers not only a learning alternative, but proximity to AHS features such as the high school’s library, the counseling center, and elective classes.

AHS Assistant Principal Jon Ronngren wears another administrative hat as Principal of Cap Sante High School. Some of the community’s brightest students, Ronngren noted, face out-of-the-ordinary challenges including a need to earn money from a daytime job. Some are simply more comfortable in a non-traditional classroom setting more suited for their learning style.

Cap Sante High School students attend four days a week, and their responsibilities include work outside of class. Friday sessions offer tutorial support as needed. These sessions are required for those who are not making adequate progress. In addition, Cap Sante High School students can participate in “Work Based” learning opportunities. An evening session is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays for students who are older, close to graduating, or facing extenuating circumstances that prevent participation in the daytime program.

Ronngren emphasizes that students are required to satisfy all district and state graduation requirements. They are required to be “respectful, responsible, and productive learners,” and in fact must “make their case” to administrators to be enrolled as Cap Sante High School students.

“Our students recognize that we have not lowered the bar, but are offering them an opportunity that comes with responsibilities,” he said. “We have a great staff, teachers and parapros alike. I’m very happy with our achievements to date. It takes a very special person to work on a team like the one we’ve assembled at Cap Sante High School. Mutual respect among staff and students is what it takes to make it happen.”

Jim Sikkema, one of the school’s certified teachers, has been teaching in alternative settings since 1975. He is particularly excited about “project learning,” a method that gives students the freedom to integrate academics and experience.

Goals of projects include:  1) encouraging students to think analytically, logically and creatively, integrating experience and knowledge to solve problems; 2) giving students a chance to explore a topic in which they have great interest; 3) offering students an opportunity to apply their learning in a “real world” way. In other words, practicing adult living skills; 4) applying previously acquired skills to gain new knowledge and understanding.

“I love to see students reading and writing about stuff they’re interested in,” said Sikkema. “I love to see them dream big, and pursue those dreams.”

Coldwell Banker Island Living dreams big and loves to help you fullfil your dreams of owning a home, selling a home or just wanting to know what your home is worth.  Just like the Cap Sante Sutdents, our agents are goal oriented and want to help you pursue all of your real estate dreams!

Service Learning Projects Help Trestle

For one of the service learning projects the Challenge Class at Island View Elementary have elected to hold a walk-a-thon this coming Friday (1/19, 1:30-2:30). Funds raised will go to the Tommy Thompson Trestle restoration project. Both Mrs. Heffelfinger’s & Mrs Bakke-Schultz Challenge classes will be participating.  Friends and family can choose to sponsor their child per lap (it’s a quarter mile loop on our playground) or as a flat donation for the entire hour of walking/running. On completion of the walk-a-thon, students will get a card that certifies how many laps they did. Then they will go back to their sponsors this weekend to collect the money.

Not only are they learning about helping in the community, but the older Challenge Class (5th – 6th grade) has a math assignment …  They need to be  prepared to write an algebraic expression for each donor’s pledge. If you are interested in pledging support, you can e-mail Mrs Heffelfinger or Mrs Bakke-Schulz

We will rebuild our trestle one student and one lap at a time!



Have you been receiving new phone books and wondering what is good way to dispose of your old phone books?  Jessica Notaro’s son Anthony is a student at Mt. Erie Elementary and they are having a phone book recycling drive.  The used phone books are donated to Habitat for Humanity and used in making insulation for homes.

 If you would like to bring your used or new phone books into Coldwell Banker Island Living at 3110 Commercial Ave. Suite #101, Anthony will have a box in the office and he will get those to his school program.

 Thank you for your consideration!