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Inside this issue Thursday, May 23, 2013

VOL. 18, NO. 42

Mayor: Town sales tax ‘steady’ By Nathan Whalen Staff Reporter

Around 40 Coupeville business leaders came to Christopher’s on Whidbey Monday evening to hear the mayor give a report on the town’s business environment. Coupeville Mayor Nancy Conard presented her “State of the Town” address during an event organized by the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce. With numbers in hand, Conard spent the first part of her address talking about sales tax collections and the business environment in town. She was quick to point out there are only three empty buildings within town limits. One of those buildings, the Mad Crab, was recently sold. She noted that Coupeville’s oc-

cupancy rate is higher than other communities on Whidbey Island. “I think there is a really good energy in our community,” Conard said. The town of Coupeville received more than $342,000 in sales tax revenues in 2012. That amount is lower than the $371,000 collected in 2011, but higher than the $300,000 the town had budgeted to collect in 2012. “It’s been fairly steady,” Conard said. She described that the town is in a “new normal” of collecting between $320,000 and $340,000 a year in sales tax. Sales tax collections peaked in 2007 when the town collected $476,000. She said that increase stemmed from the public See ADDRESS, page 16

Nathan Whalen photo

Coupeville Mayor Nancy Conard, center, chats with people before she gave her State of the Town address Monday evening.

Sharing Culture

First place winners 1 Woman - Debbie Alexander, Stahlo Canoe Club, Skowkale/Sto:lo/ Lummi 1 Man - Darren Malloway, Rikkole Cree/Nooksak Mixed Doubles - Darren and Lana, Rikkole Cree/Nooksak 6 Jr. Buckskin - Ocean Thunder II, Makah 6 Buckskin - Lady Rose, Stahlo Canoe Club, Skowkale/Sto:lo/Lummi

Megan Hansen photos

6 Woman - Blue Jay, Stahlo Canoe Club, Skowkale/Sto:lo/Lummi

Main: Racers make their way around a buoy in Penn Cove near Coupeville Wharf Saturday during the Penn Cove Water Festival. Inset: Gary Piazzon, a festival volunteer and Jim Hallaire from the Lummi Tribe, act as race announcers.

6 Man - Lil Cree, Nooksack

Tribes, Coupeville join in celebrating annual water fest.

11 Jr. Buckskin - Ocean Thunder II, Makah

By Megan Hansen Editor

Rain or shine, sleek tribal canoes glided through Penn Cove Saturday during the Penn Cove Water Festival. Racers from tribes all over the Pacific Northwest gathered to take part in the annual festival, which aims at maintaining a cultural relationship with Pacific Northwest natives. It’s really about a cultural exchange and understanding, said Vicky Reyes, festival president.

At the beginning of the festival, tribal leaders shared information about their culture by performing a song to kick off the festival. A tribal prayer was performed prior to the races. Clouds burned off in the early afternoon, giving visitors a sunny chance to watch racing, which went from the wharf to the boat launch. People watched from all over the area including the wharf, viewing decks on Front Street, along the walking path and boat launch. “I thought the festival was wonderful,” said organizer Kyle Waterman. “There was great attendance.” “We had a great time. It was another great festival.” Races including single-person entries as well as multi-person entries.

“I love the camaraderie of the races,” Reyes said. “They (the different tribes) seem to enjoy the day with each other.” “The races themselves are very exciting.” Cash prizes were awarded to the top winners. Local businesses and groups sponsored individual races, which covered the cost of the cash prizes. Around $4,000 in prizes is awarded. See RACES, page 16

11 Buckskin - Lady Rose, Lummi 11 Woman - Rikkole Cree/Nooksak 11 Man - Rikkole Cree/Nooksak

Whidbey Examiner, May 23, 2013