Business briefs

"Fleet offers Lolita discountAugust is Lolita Freedom Month in the Puget Sound area. To celebrate, Mosquito Fleet, a whale watching boat tour company, is offering reduced rates for tours. The cruise line is working with the Seattle Aquarium, the Whale Watch Association of the Northwest, and the Orca Conservancy to offer the special.The Mosquito Fleet will give a $10 discount to anyone who identifies themselves as a friend of Lolita. The Lolita cruises will feature naturalists and Lolita experts, plus special activities.Lolita is the last orca of a group that was captured in Penn Cove in August 1970. She has spent the last 30 years in a pool at the Miami Seaquarium. For Mosquito Fleet information call 800-325-ORCA.Hawley quilting article availableIsland Fabrics in Freeland has extra copies of McCall's Quilting, a magazine that this month features the work of award winning Freeland quilter M'Liss Hawley.Store owner Judith Martin said Hawley is featured in an artricle on kit quilting. There are four pages on Hawley's quilt in a how-to-do-it format. It's in the September/October issue of the magazine.Join trade fair to display waresAnyone on Whidbey Island who wants to show off their products and services is invited to participate in the ninth annual Uniquely Whidbey Trade Fair and Home Show at Coupeville High School.While the fair isn't until Oct. 14 and 15, those interested in having a booth at the event must register by Sept. 8. The organizers encourage unique, elaborate booths and promotional items like samples and door prizes.Last year more than 3,000 people attended. More than 125 businesses are expected to participate this year. Admission is free. Call 888-506-7999 with questions.Oak Harbor hotel set backAn Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce committee's ambitious plan to lure developers to the city in order to build a 150-room hotel and convention center hasn't succeeded.A group of city business people secured an option to purchase three adjoining waterfront properties earlier this year, but the deal expired Aug. 13 without a developer in sight. The chamber's Waterfront Improvement Network, chaired by George Churchill, scrambled all summer to make the deal worh and it still hasn't given up. Until the lots are sold to someone else, the hotel idea is still possible. It has received widespread support. We're highly encouraged by the spirit and the energy of the community, Churchill said.Coupeville fest rated a successLast weekend's Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival was a record-breaker, according to Benye Weber, president of the 37th annual rendition of the festival.The weather was wonderful, the crowds were big, the volunteers worked hard, Weber said. It went beautifully.More than 200 vendors displayed their products, attracting thousands of visitors to the town. The festival usually nets about $40,000 for the sponsoring organization, which in turn uses much of the money to support the arts in Island County. "

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