What's behind the blue window at 1008 Commercial St.? What's a Wombat Moon? Staff from Raintree Information Technologies Education and Development will answer those questions and more at an open house from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at their new location, 1008 Commercial St.

Raintree I.T. was formed "from the ashes of another community-oriented technology group formerly located at 14th and Marine Drive," according to board member Mark Redwine. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to providing computer-based training and Internet access to area residents, Redwine said.

The group plans to open the storefront part of their offices as a cybercafe called Wombat Moon. Currently, Raintree offers Web hosting and Web site assistance and will soon be online for the public to search the Internet and check e-mail. Redwine said the group is looking for volunteers to help keep the computer equipment running smoothly, donations of retro furniture for the new location and tax-deductible donations. "It takes a lot of resources to run a nonprofit like Raintree," he stated, "but I'm confident that between the help of the local community and private grants, we will make headway towards accomplishing our mission."

Short-range goals of the group include providing computer training and Internet access that can "make a difference right now in the lives of those unemployed or underemployed residents in our area," according to board member Ian Boggs. In the long run, Raintree's sights are set on bringing computer-technology jobs into the area from Portland and Seattle. "We will provide the training that residents need for those jobs when they arrive," Boggs noted.

For information on Raintree Information Technologies, call 325-4570 or e-mail info@raintree.org

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