Liberty to offer teachers free tax preparation

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Educators can leave their tax homework to Liberty Tax Service this week.

The Walla Walla office, 688 W. Rose St. is offering teachers free tax preparation through Sunday as part of Educator Appreciation Days. All school employees, teachers and bus drivers can have their taxes prepared free if they are new customers of the office.

The offer is one of several planned over the next several weeks. Bob Dodgin, general manager of the local office, said the effort is a way to "show our respect for the teaching profession and those employed by the schools."

Liberty Tax has specific tips for educators. For example, those who use their own money on classroom supplies should be eligible for a tax break when filing a 2009 return. For more details, call 526-5081.

Downtown eatery Graze is giving up a portion of its afternoon sales to the Daily Market Cooperative.

Through March 13, Graze will donate 10 percent of all its sales between 3 and 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday to the Walla Walla grocery co-op, 508 E. Main St.

John and Becca Lastoskie, owners of Graze, 5 S. Colville St., have operated a panini stand at the Walla Walla Valley Farmers Market over the last several years and are showing their support for local farms and food through the fundraiser.

It's no tasting room, but the Walla Walla Valley Farmers Market could be the next new place to sample local wine.

According to a report from Oregon Public Broadcasting, a new bill in Olympia would allow wineries to offer tastes of their wines at Washington farmers markets. The proposed pilot program is similar to one approved last year for wine tasting in grocery stores.

L'Ecole No 41 owner and winemaker Marty Clubb told OPB that farmers markets are a venue to showcase "what is in essence a farm product."

The bill reportedly faces opposition from one group dedicated to preventing substance abuse. It has already passed the House and is pending in the state Senate.

Becky French of the Blue Mountain Humane Society will be the guest bartender Wednesday at the Stone Hut Bar & Grill in an effort to raise funds for the animal shelter.

French will pour drinks 6-9 p.m. at the Plaza Way bar. All proceeds from a special drink featured during the evening will benefit the shelter.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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