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News Roundup -- Yet easier to walk about/Harbor Square hums along/More time to comment/‘Joust Read’ this summer

Yet easier to walk about

Bainbridge’s own little “Who’s Who” is billed as a must-have for residents and visitors.

The just-published 2005 “Downtown Bainbridge Island Walkabout Guide” features an easy-to-read color map with numbers that correspond to the various downtown businesses.

On the same side of the pamphlet are the listings, each with a phone number and address. Many also provide hours of operation and a website.

“It’s a miniature phone book,” said Cris Beattie, executive director of the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association, “a very tasteful marketing tool for the whole area.”

This pocket-friendly guide offers such categories as “Things to do,” “Community Resources,” transportation sources, real estate firms and even public restrooms.

Nonprofit organizations were added so people would know where to find them, Beattie said. The flip side of the guide showcases photographs by islander Joel Sackett and a bit of downtown information.

Of the 80 businesses, 18 are new this year. The first guide, produced in the mid-1980s, featured 59 establishments. The designs have become more sophisticated and easier to use with time.

“This year, the map by Mabe Ng is bigger and we used sturdier paper,” Beattie said.

Eagle Harbor Congregational Church is the lone religious listing.

The church is a member of the downtown association, Beattie said, and the two are working together on the historic preservation of the church steeple – which is part of the association’s logo.

The Walkabout Guides are available in local restaurants, shops, bed-and-breakfasts, the ferry terminal and Seattle hotels.

Of the 8,000 copies printed, half were distributed in the first week.

The other guides are slated for event planners, convention and visitors’ bureaus and requests from out of state, Beattie said.

To make things even easier, the map is the homepage of the downtown association’s website: www.bainbridgedowntown.org.

Just roll a cursor over the map and the businesses and their numbers will pop up. Then click on the names to find out more.

– Rhona Schwartz

Harbor Square hums along

A large condominium development taking shape on Winslow Way’s eastern edge has sold half of its units just after breaking ground.

The Opus Corporation has sold 90 of its 180 Harbor Square units since the condos went on the market in late April, according to Gary Blakeslee, real estate manager.

Opus will now begin taking rental applications for the development’s 15,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

“With our unit sales going so well, we’re ready to begin leasing retail space,” Blakeslee said in a news release.

Featuring views of Eagle Harbor and the Olympic Mountains, the development was aggressively marketed in magazines and on the Web. Opus also opened “presentation centers” in Seattle and Winslow to show potential buyers promotional videos and scale models of the 4.3-acre development.

Priced from $200,000 for a 580-square-foot unit and up to $800,000 for roomier pads, the development has drawn interested buyers from the East Coast and as far off as Singapore and Iraq.

Blakeslee expects to complete the project by spring of 2006.

More time to comment

The board of commissioners of the Bainbridge Island Park and Recreation District have extended the deadline from June 2 to June 23 for comment on a proposal by Bainbridge Island Youth Soccer Club to install artificial turf fields with lighting at Battle Point Park. Send comments to Perry Barrett at perry@biparks.org or BIPRD, P.O. Box 10010, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 or call 842-2306.

The issue will be discussed at a 7 p.m. July 14 park board meeting at the Strawberry Hill mini-gym located in Strawberry Hill Park.

‘Joust Read’ this summer

Kitsap Regional Library’s summer reading program takes on a medieval flavor this year with “Dragons, Dreams and Daring Deeds” for young readers and “Joust Read” for teens.

For every 15 minutes young readers spend reading or being read to, they can color in a star in the “knight sky.” Teenagers get a coffee-like punch card to track each hour read.

For every 10 hours of reading, each reader can choose a free paperback book to keep, courtesy of Friends of the Library. The first 3,000 to reach the 10-hour mark will get a free ticket to the Kitsap County Fair in August.

Summer reading events are hosted at 10:30 a.m. at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, located across the street from the library. Cowboy Buck opens the series with his guitar and harmonica on July 5. For other events, see www.krl.org.

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