Red Monkey: It's 3 celebrations in one

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A first anniversary, weekend breakfast and a Halloween bash are all on the menu at the Red Monkey.

The downtown lounge is celebrating its first anniversary this week with daily food and drink specials, including 20 percent off all lunches every day through Sunday 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Surprise items will also be thrown in the mix throughout the week, said Red Monkey owner Juston Watson.

The lounge at 25 W. Alder St. draws a weekend morning crowd since the introduction of breakfast awhile back. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, it serves breakfast burritos, sandwich melts and sides, as well as Blood Marys and other items served with a view of NFL and college football games.

Watson said the lounge is preparing for a Halloween base on Oct. 30. Staff will be clad in super hero costumes. Guests will compete for best costume with a prize of $150. Other theme prizes will be available, and a $100 bar tab will go to the best group costume.

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No need to adjust your eyes. The Marcus Whitman Hotel amp; Conference Center has not moved.

An item in last Friday's Strictly Business column incorrectly identified the location of the hotel as the corner of First Avenue and Rose Street. Of course, it can't be missed at its actual location at Second Avenue and Rose.

In any case, the hotel is just one of several spots food donations are being accepted as part of the Walla Walla Association of Realtors' Care amp; Share Food Drive.

For every nonperishable food donation made at the hotel by Friday, a $1 coupon will be presented -- up to $5 -- to be used in the 1928 Gift amp; Wine Shop, The Marc Restaurant, The Vineyard Lounge or a hotel guest room stay by Oct. 31.

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Liberty Tax Service is calling on local residents for cellular telephone donations to help U.S. soldiers overseas.

The "Cell Phones for Soldiers" program is in full swing in preparation for the holidays, said Sharon Dodgin, franchise owner-operator for Walla Walla's Liberty Tax Service.

The business at 688 W. Rose St. is a collection site for old cell phones, which help defray the $15-a-minute charge to soldiers for a phone call from overseas. The donated telephones are exchanged for phone cards so those in the military can connect with loved ones during the holidays.

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The Milton-Freewater Public Library will be the place to bone up on identity theft, home buying and money management next month. A four-week program directed toward consumers and their credit will kick off Nov. 2, according to the library, 8 S.W. Eighth Ave.

Each weekly program runs Tuesdays 7-8 p.m. in the Albee Community Room at the library, located next to City Hall. The programs are free and open to the public. Attendees can participate in one or all of the programs and do not need to register in advance.

The credit-oriented programs are provided through the "LEO Saves" initiative, sponsored by Libraries of Eastern Oregon. LEO Saves is a two-year project for the public libraries in Umatilla and Morrow counties to encourage people to learn more about saving, investing and sound financial management, according to the announcement.

Staff members of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Tri-Cities preside over the programs.

The first Tuesday will be "Financial Management 101," focusing on financial self-sufficiency through the use of budgets. It will be followed Nov. 9 by "Know Your Credit," which will explain how to obtain a free credit report and how to understand exactly what your creditor sees when looking at the report.

"Identity Theft: It Can Happen to You" will be Nov. 16. That program focuses on consumer protections against fraudulent use of credit or savings. The final program on Nov. 23 is "Home Buying," a guide for pre-qualifying for a loan and targeted toward low- and moderate-income first-time home buyers, limited equity borrowers and others interested in learning about today's housing market.

For more information call Rachel Rodriguez, LEO Saves field coordinator, at 541-667-5059; Milton-Freewater Public Library Director Bob Jones at 541-938-8246; or LEO executive director Lyn Craig at 541-763-2355.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 509-526-8321.

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