Downtown Issaquah Association announces 2015 board of directors

December 30, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 30, 2014

The Downtown Issaquah Association has chosen its 2015 board of directors, including new members Jamie Lilly and Robyn Barfoot.

Lilly, director of marketing for the Village Theatre, has increased subscribers and attendance there. She is an active member with the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, and has served on the ambassador’s committee and tourism advisory committee. She is passionate about music and arts, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in music from Whitman College.

Barfoot, former general curator of Cougar Mountain Zoo and now a zoo and wildlife consultant brings more than a decade of work collaborating with the local media and business community. She also is on the Tourism Advisory Board for Issaquah.

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

November 25, 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 Nov. 17.

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 businesses, such as Darigold and Costco, said that was just too much.

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Volunteers sought for holiday light-hanging party Nov. 22

November 18, 2014

Help light up downtown and some key spots around downtown (and get a free lunch) at the annual holiday light-hanging party beginning at 10 a.m. Nov. 22.

The event, sponsored by the Downtown Issaquah Association, starts at the Hailstone Feed Store, 232 Front St. N.

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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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Guest column — Slow down, support business growth and connect to economic plan

November 4, 2014

As a part of the proposed 2015 city of Issaquah budget, municipal leaders have proposed major changes to the cost of doing business in Issaquah — some welcome changes and some troublesome — involving the city’s business and occupation (or B&O) tax, a tax on total gross (not net) income.

The first change is a welcome and very much common-sense improvement to the B&O exemption, raising it four-fold to help the smallest local enterprises while also streamlining collection.

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Business community raises concerns about new B&O tax

October 21, 2014

As the city of Issaquah considers raising its business and occupation tax for the first time since 2004, local business owners gathered to offer their concerns about the proposal at an Oct. 15 roundtable at Tibbetts Creek Manor.

The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce-hosted event showed business leaders have plenty of questions about the tax increase, including where the extra revenue will be spent.

“I don’t want to pay for fluff,” said Norma Stephens, Curves of Issaquah owner.

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Patriots get their palace

October 14, 2014

District unveils remodeled Liberty High School

The new Liberty High School building is sleek, modern and almost industrial in its appearance.

Past Liberty students would hardly recognize it as the same school, but some internal touches, most importantly a can’t-miss banner inscribed with the words “Proud to be a Patriot,” bring familiarity and warmth to the newly remodeled campus.

The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and Issaquah School District partnered to unveil the new Liberty at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 10.

By Greg Farrar Marnie Maraldo, Issaquah School District School Board president, cuts the ceremonial ribbon as other board members, Superintendent Ron Thiele, Principal Josh Almy and others applaud and smile, as the completion of the final phase of the school remodel is celebrated Oct. 10 during a community open house.

By Greg Farrar
Marnie Maraldo, Issaquah School District School Board president, cuts the ceremonial ribbon as other board members, Superintendent Ron Thiele, Principal Josh Almy and others applaud and smile, as the completion of the final phase of the school remodel is celebrated Oct. 10 during a community open house.

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Liberty High School hosts Oct. 10 open house for the community

October 9, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 9, 2014

Community members can get a look at the remodeled Liberty High School at an Oct. 10 open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce.

Highlights of the remodel include the replacement of the old 500 wing of classrooms, a new and enlarged commons, and a new auxiliary gym. There is also a culinary arts instructional kitchen and a new library. More science labs were added and existing ones were upgraded.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony starts at 12:30 p.m., followed by school tours led by Liberty Principal Josh Almy. The school is at 16655 S.E. 136th St., Renton.

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2014, the year the Salmon Days’ new carnival came to town

September 16, 2014

I can remember it like it was yesterday. It was Salmon Days weekend, 2014. I’m sure of this because I still remember counting more than 200 mid-term election signs on the way to the festival. I was 12 years old, which meant in my family, this was my 12th Salmon Days.

My sister and I always looked forward to Salmon Days with my parents. My dad would hand each of us $20 to spend on whatever we wanted, much to the disapproval of our mom and dentist.

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Salmon Days is more than fishy fun

September 9, 2014

After 44 years, most people around the Puget Sound area have an awareness of the Salmon Days Festival.

For some out-of-towners, it’s “that arts and crafts festival with the huge salmon in that beautiful Eastside community.” To others it’s “the last big not-to-miss festival of the year.” To those who live in Issaquah, however, the festival is so much more.

To most locals, it’s a yearly tradition spanning generations, a time for the community — businesses, nonprofit organizations, city leaders, citizens, young and old alike — to come together for a weekend of community pride and community showcasing. Some businesses report they have their busiest two days of the year.

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