News releases: City slashes fine in Inland Octopus settlement

In March, a painting crew from out of town worked to quickly cover the Inland Octopus toy store mural on Main Street in Walla Walla.

In March, a painting crew from out of town worked to quickly cover the Inland Octopus toy store mural on Main Street in Walla Walla. Photo by Matthew Zimmerman Banderas.

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The following are news releases from Walla Walla City Manager Nabiel Shawa and the downtown toy store Inland Octopus. They are presented in the order received by the Union-Bulletin.

City news release

The City of Walla Walla and Bob Catsiff today jointly announced a resolution of all remaining issues relating to the purple octopus painted in 2010 on the front of the Inland Octopus toy store and gift shop.

In an effort to promote continued operation of Catsiff’s business, an agreement has been reached that reduces the fines imposed for violations of city sign regulations to a reasonable, but substantial amount while ensuring that there will be compliance with city regulations in the future.

The accrued $90,025 in fines will be reduced to $10,041, provided that Catsiff complies with City regulations going forward. City Manager Nabiel Shawa says that the reduced fines will cover the $5,041 of out-of-pocket costs incurred by the city plus a penalty. In addition to the reduction, the City is allowing Catsiff to make the payments over 36 months—rather than in one payment.

“The continued viability of my business is of the utmost importance to me and to this community,” says Catsiff. “The settlement agreement reached today between the City of Walla Walla and me allows for that. Additionally, it will allow me to again focus all my energy on making Inland Octopus the greatest toy store in the world.”

“It has never been our intent to cause harm to a small business,” says Shawa. “Our goal has always been to enforce the laws that are already in place. We were hoping for an outcome that both parties would feel good about, and are pleased that we were able to achieve that.”

Shawa says that both the City and Bob Catsiff look forward to working together to ensure that Inland Octopus remains a valuable downtown Walla Walla business and the Northwest's premier toy shop.

A copy of the settlement agreement is provided with this press release.

Inland Octopus news release

Inland Octopus is about happiness and unfortunately that idea has become lost in the magnitude of this issue.

I am truly grateful for the overwhelming support I have received throughout this endeavor.

The continued viability of my business is of the utmost importance to me and to this community. The settlement agreement reached today between the City of Walla Walla and me allows for that.

Additionally, it will allow me to again focus all my energy on making Inland Octopus the greatest toy store in the world.

Watch what happens next.

Inland Octopus, the Northwest's premier toy shop, is located at 7 East Main Street in downtown Walla Walla. Store hours are 10am to 6pm seven days a week.

For further information contact Bob Catsiff at 509-526-0115 or email@inlandoctopus.com

Interactive

Below is a timeline of events from when Inland Octopus added its mural to the day it was removed.

Interactives

Giant purple octopus controversy

In the dawn hours, a painting crew from out of town works to quickly cover the Inland Octopus toy store mural on Main Street in Walla Walla. After years of battling in the courts, the Inland Octopus toy store mural was painted over by the City of Walla Walla at dawn and the equipment removed before 7:00 A.M. on Thursday, March 28, 2013.

Comments

loplover 1 year, 4 months ago

Happy to read this news. I fully expected to read about the bankruptcy of the store, considering that it's unlikely he would have been able to pay the full fine. Kudos to Catsiff and the city for reaching a solution that allows him to stay in business. The expected conclusion---closing of the store and bankruptcy to avoid a huge fine---would have had a chilling effect on any business that considered standing up for its' rights in court.

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