Issaquah lowers B & O tax increase, raises property taxes, as expected

November 18, 2014

NEW — 11:26 p.m. Nov. 18, 2014

Business leaders spoke up and the Issaquah City Council listened.

In a 5-2 vote, council members approved a 50 percent hike in the city’s business and occupation taxes. The increase was a major part of the overall $168.6 million 2015 budget adopted by the council at its regular meeting last night.

Initially, Mayor Fred Butler proposed a 150 percent increase in the B&O taxes over a two-year period. At a public hearing Nov. 3, representatives from the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and some of Issaquah’s biggest business, such as Darigold and Costco, said that was just too much.

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Darigold, Costco ask council to rethink B&O tax increase

November 11, 2014

A few prominent Issaquah businesses are asking the city to rethink a business and occupation tax increase included in Mayor Fred Butler’s 2015 budget proposal.

Representatives from Costco, Darigold and the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce attended a Nov. 3 Issaquah City Council public hearing, where they offered similar concerns about the effect an increased tax rate would have on the business community.

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Editorial — Council considers B&O tax increase

November 11, 2014

The city had proposed a 150 percent increase in the city’s B&O tax to add $1 million to the budget’s general fund for 2015. The increase was to be phased in over the next two years with the first phase to be implemented April 1.

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Man behind the murals gets his day

July 15, 2014

Oregon-based muralist Larry Kangas wasn’t born in Issaquah and he didn’t live in the city for any significant amount of time.

But his stamp on the Eastside suburb is so visible that Mayor Fred Butler officially declared July 19 Larry Kangas Day in Issaquah.

Kangas is the artist behind the murals found at points across the city. He died of cancer Nov. 25, 2013, but his memory lives on in the more than 1,000 works he crafted in the Pacific Northwest, including six in Issaquah.

By Norb Ziegler Larry Kangas paints the side panels of the aquarium exhibit at the Issaquah Salmon History on Aug. 20, 2013.

By Norb Ziegler
Larry Kangas paints the side panels of the aquarium exhibit at the Issaquah Salmon History on Aug. 20, 2013.

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Pride of a city

February 21, 2014

Artist’s memory lives on in his many murals

Oregon-based muralist Larry Kangas was a one-man show with a paintbrush.

He had the innate ability to tell the story of a community with paint, ladders, a large blank wall and an unrivaled imagination.

 By Greg Farrar Larry Kangas puts some finishing touches on ‘The Mill Street Logging Scene,’ a mural of turn-of-the-century Issaquah, painted in 1997 on the wall of the Sunset Alehouse at the Downtown Issaquah Plaza.

By Greg Farrar
Larry Kangas puts some finishing touches on ‘The Mill Street Logging Scene,’ a mural of turn-of-the-century Issaquah, painted in 1997 on the wall of the Sunset Alehouse at the Downtown Issaquah Plaza.

Kangas died of cancer Nov. 25, 2013, but his memory lives on in the more than 1,000 murals he crafted across the Pacific Northwest, a few of which grace Issaquah walls.

“Larry never had any children. He was a great uncle for many kids, but he called his murals his kids, his legacy,” said Sandy Kangas, Larry’s wife.

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Shop small businesses Saturday

November 26, 2013

Shoppers this holiday season are being asked to join the nation in paying tribute to local venues when purchasing gifts for family and friends.

Several locations throughout Issaquah will participate in the national Small Business Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. Nov. 30.

In a bit of serendipity, shopping options this year include the new Grand Ridge Plaza in the Issaquah Highlands and Gilman Village celebrating its 40th anniversary. The two locations are in addition to the shops in the downtown corridor.

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Darigold union talks break down

September 18, 2013

NEW – 2:30 p.m. Sept. 18, 2013

Representatives from Darigold walked out of federal mediation Sept. 16, setting the stage for a potential lockout or strike at the company’s production facilities in Issaquah.

The walkout left no one with authority at the bargaining table, which could possibly lead to a labor dispute, according to a news release on the PR Newswire.

Bargaining between the union and the company began in April and continued throughout the summer, but talks broke down when Darigold insisted on significantly increasing the amount workers pay for their health care. On Aug.18, the workers voted 130-1 to authorize a strike.

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Issaquah receives creek restoration grant

January 1, 2013

Issaquah recently received a $225,000 state grant to restore salmon habitat along Issaquah Creek at a downtown parks site.

The grant is meant to supplement city dollars to restore aquatic and creekside habitat for chinook, coho and kokanee salmon, as well as cutthroat trout and steelhead, at the confluence of Issaquah Creek and the East Fork of Issaquah Creek. The city plans to contribute $45,000 to the project.

Plans call for crews to remove about 1,000 feet of rock creek banks, reconfigure 1,900 feet of channel, add logjams to form pools for fish, restore wetlands and replant vegetation along the creek.

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More kokanee return as community works to restore species

December 4, 2012

Homeowner funds $175,000 culvert project

Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon swim Nov. 27 in the restored stretch of Ebright Creek at Wally Pereyra’s property in the 100 block of East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast. By Greg Farrar

Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon — a landlocked cousin of sockeye and a species noted for distinctive red coloration — dwindled in recent decades, since before Wally Pereyra moved into a house along Ebright Creek in 1973.

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Darigold donates water for Lake Sammamish kokanee

November 6, 2012

Darigold joined the effort in recent weeks to preserve dwindling Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery announced Oct. 26.

The downtown Issaquah dairy is donating water from a well to the Lower Issaquah Valley Aquifer for the hatchery to use in the ongoing effort to restore kokanee. The contribution from Darigold should save the hatchery about $50,000 over the program’s anticipated lifespan through 2021.

Experts said the Darigold water is ideal for kokanee due to consistent quality and temperature. Using the water allows hatchery teams to prevent the fish from imprinting on Issaquah Creek water, and instead allows fry to imprint on Ebright, Laughing Jacobs and Lewis creeks.

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