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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Fond farewell

January 14, 2014

Ava Frisinger reflects on her 16 years as mayor

These days, Ava Frisinger, when not volunteering her time on various councils and boards, is spending a lot of catch-up time with her grandchildren. She won’t say which role is harder, being Issaquah’s longest-serving mayor or that of grandmother.

By Greg Farrar New Mayor Fred Butler (left) presents Ava Frisinger with a gift from city employees as her husband Bill Frisinger looks on.

By Greg Farrar
New Mayor Fred Butler (left) presents Ava Frisinger with a gift from city employees as her husband Bill Frisinger looks on.

“But being a grandmother is a very satisfying job, rewarding as well,” Frisinger said. “It’s neat to watch kids grow, encourage them to do what it is that they want to do.”

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Finley and Gillda have a new fishy friend at the hatchery

January 7, 2014

Finley and Gillda, the two Issaquah Salmon Hatchery mascots, turned in for the night after New Year’s Day, and slept so soundly that they were not awakened by an anonymous overnight visitor with a delivery.

If they have ever yearned for an addition to the family, that wish was being fulfilled while they dreamed.

By Greg Farrar Jane Kuechle, executive director of Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, enjoys the 5-foot salmon chainsaw art mysteriously donated in the wee hours of Jan. 2. The anonymous sculptor left it at the front entrance to the hatchery.

By Greg Farrar
Jane Kuechle, executive director of Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, enjoys the 5-foot salmon chainsaw art mysteriously donated in the wee hours of Jan. 2. The anonymous sculptor left it at the front entrance to the hatchery.

When the two steel sculptures awoke the early morning of Jan. 2, they had a new buddy, 5 feet tall, made of a wooden log, with “Issaquah” carved in its base. The obvious intention was of it being a new permanent artistic attraction for local residents and annual Salmon Days visitors to enjoy.

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Time runs out for end-of-year donations to nonprofit organizations

December 31, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. Dec. 31, 2012

The need is up nonprofit organizations, but as donors start to make out checks for year-end donations, local organizations sometimes struggle to stand out in a field crowded with requests for giving.

In King County, end-of-year charitable giving to nonprofit organizations is on the to-do list for many donors. The average person makes 24 percent of annual donations between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, according to research from the Center on Philanthropy.

Issaquah and the Puget Sound region maintain a long-held reputation for generosity to charitable causes. The key for nonprofit organizations to successfully solicit donations, local leaders said, is to highlight successes.

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Issaquah Community Network, FISH net statewide award

November 20, 2012

Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and the Issaquah Community Network garnered a top honor for offering employment opportunities for young people with disabilities, officials announced Nov. 1.

The organizations received the Youth Employer Award from the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment. The honor recognizes the organization’s partnership to accommodate workers with disabilities, and for efforts to create a productive and inclusive workforce.

The state-level committee behind the award advises the governor, legislators and state agencies on policy affecting people with disabilities.

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Issaquah Salmon Hatchery spawns chinook, coho

November 6, 2012

FISH docent Grace Reamer holds a handful of chinook salmon eggs for students at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery on Oct. 30. By Greg Farrar

Issaquah Salmon Hatchery workers and volunteers sloshed around in 40-degree water Oct. 30, as the annual effort to spawn coho salmon started again.

Teams from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery plan to collect 1.2 million coho eggs. The process to spawn coho started about a month after hatchery workers and volunteers started spawning chinook. In the resulting effort, teams collected 2.2 million eggs.

FISH Executive Director Jane Kuechle and John Kugen, hatchery foreman, said the partnership between the nonprofit organization and the state agency is essential for the survival of Issaquah Creek salmon — and the hatchery.

The hatchery, a fixture in downtown Issaquah for 75 years, spawns and raises coho and chinook.

State fisheries experts expected a more robust chinook salmon return but a smaller coho salmon return to Puget Sound streams in 2012.

“It comes and goes,” Kugen said. “The best one that we had that I can remember was 2001, when we had 18,000 coho and then a couple years ago we had 13,000. Coho come back in bigger numbers because they’re released as bigger smolts. They’re about 7 or 8 inches long, so there’s less predation on them than chinook.”

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FISH, Issaquah Community Network earn state award

November 5, 2012

NEW — 8 p.m. Nov. 5, 2012

Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and the Issaquah Community Network garnered a top honor for offering employment opportunities for young people with disabilities, officials announced Nov. 1.

The organizations received the Youth Employer Award from the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment. The honor recognizes the organization’s partnership to accommodate workers with disabilities, and for efforts to create a productive and inclusive workforce.

The state-level committee behind the award advises the governor, legislators and state agencies on policy affecting people with disabilities.

In recent years, students with disabilities from local school districts received paid internships at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, and helped hatchery staffers and volunteers complete important tasks.

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FISH lures public to annual meeting

October 30, 2012

Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery volunteers and hatchery crews spawned 996 chinook in the past month, as the autumn salmon run transformed the hatchery into a hub of activity.

Now, residents can learn more about the salmon conservation efforts spearheaded by FISH at the nonprofit organization’s annual meeting next month.

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Hatchery celebrates 75 years as Salmon Days returns

October 6, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 6, 2012

Salmon Days draws an average of 150,000 visitors to the streets of Issaquah. However, over the course of the fall season, between 9,000 and 10,000 students alone journey from all over the Puget Sound region to the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery to learn more about the star of the show.

Celebrating its 75th year in operation, the hatchery has evolved to include more learning opportunities for the young and young-at-heart. Bringing that history lesson to the masses via PowerPoint is Jane Kuechle, hatchery executive director.

The hatchery site actually was once part of the aptly named City Park, connected to downtown Issaquah via a wooden bridge over Issaquah Creek. The park, with its bandstand and speaking platform, played host to holiday celebrations and many a family picnic along the creek.

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Issaquah Salmon Hatchery celebrates 75 years

September 4, 2012

See salmon, Snoqualmie carver at open house

Members of Girl Scout Troop 200 and some Canadian Girl Scout guests sit at the edge of one of the fish ponds Oct. 3, 1970, during a tour of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery given by Mayor Keith Hansen (far left) during the first Salmon Festival. File

Salmon reached the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery late last month, but the arrival is not the only celebration at the downtown landmark.

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