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News Roundup -- Steves travels to Bainbridge/Rake-and-run Halloween/Let's talk local elections

Steves travels to Bainbridge

Whether in Oslo or Ometepe, international travel “makes a difference in the world and people’s understanding of each other.”

That’s the thinking behind a Thursday night fund-raiser featuring travel writer and TV host Rick Steves, said Barbara Tolliver, who helped organize the event.

“Rick Steves helps people have confidence to travel on their own and have experiences closer to the people and culture,” said Tolliver, a co-owner of The Traveler store on Winslow Way.

All proceeds from Steves’ discussion of European travel will benefit the Bainbridge-Ometepe Sister Island Association. Five percent from the evening’s sales of Steves’ most recent guidebooks, including “Smart European Travel 2006,” will go toward the island nonprofit.

“This is Rick Steves’ second benefit for us,” said BOSIA founder Kim Esterberg. “The first time he was invited to speak on the island he said he’d do it if the sister island association benefited, so he already knew the work we were doing.”

BOSIA has for nearly two decades maintained a connection between Bainbridge and the Nicaraguan island of Ometepe. BOSIA’s work on Ometepe has included building schools, establishing a clean water system, scholarship programs and support of organic, shade-grown coffee cooperatives. The organization also sponsors numerous exchanges, including high school student and teacher trips.

Money raised at Thursday’s event will help bring 15 to 20 Ometepe residents to Bainbridge next fall to celebrate BOSIA’s 20th anniversary, Esterberg said.

The Traveler has been a significant contributor to BOSIA for the last 10 years. The store has donated an annual 5 percent of its December sales to the organization, amounting to $10,000 over the years.

Rick Steves will speak Thursday from 7-9 p.m. at the Pavilion on Madison Avenue.

General admission tickets are $10. Limited reserved seats, available at the Traveler, are $25. Call 842-4578 for more information.

—Tristan Baurick

Rake-and-run Halloween

Teen-agers from the Bainbridge Island Boys and Girls Club’s Keystone Club will help spruce up local neighborhoods during the Rake N’ Dash on Oct. 30.

In a random act of kindness, teens are driven in club vans in search of yards filled with leaves. They will rake and put the leaves in garbage bags and place the bags neatly on the sidewalk for pick up.

Each home will receive a flyer explaining what happened to their yard and who did it.

Keystone Clubs are chartered small-group leadership and service programs for youths 14-18. Participants elect officers, choose activities and plan and implement community service hours.

For more information visit www.bipositiveplace.org or call 855-8486.

Let’s talk local elections

The weekly Conversation Cafe hosted by Kat Gjovik, from 7-8:30 p.m. Thursdays at Pegasus Coffee House, takes on election topics for a second week.

“One of the most telling questions (to each candidate) was ‘What do you want people to see in you?’” Gjovik said. “I came away seeing all the candidates as real people, thoughtful and insightful.”

Candidates who dropped in at last week’s discussion included Mary Fearey (for park commission), Michael Adams and David Coatsworth (for fire commission) and Emaline Renna for her husband Frank Renna, Jr. (for city council)

Gjovik is inviting candidates again this week to join in the discussion, to listen and learn – but not campaign.

Candidates participate as another voice in a conversation among equals.

Gjovik said that by evening’s end, the overall agreement was, “We need more of this kind of conversation. There’s no agenda, no problem to solve, no decision to make,” Gjovik said. “It’s just good healthy civil debate.”

For more information, call 842-0223.

--Tina Lieu

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