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Mt. Zion Church Day of Caring, Seattle

Volunteers wrap Christmas presents at the 6th Annual Christmas Day of Caring, Saturday, Dec. 20, at  Mount Zion Baptist Church.  The event, which serves hundreds of families, includes free gift wrapping and lunch. Susan Fried photo

New Seattle Food Waste Requirement Kickoff

Starting Jan. 1, 2015, the City of Seattle will no longer allow food or compostable paper, including pizza boxes, paper napkins and paper towels, in the garbage.

Part of the city’s solid waste comprehensive plan, the food waste requirements were passed earlier this year by the Seattle City Council and signed into law by Mayor Ed Murray. The ordinance is projected to divert as much as 38,000 more tons of food scraps from the landfill each year, helping Seattle achieve its goal to recycle or compost 60 percent of its waste by 2015.

Today, more than 300,000 single-family, multi-family and commercial properties participate in food and yard waste collection. Seattleites divert more than 125,000 tons of food and yard waste from the landfill each year. In 2013, Seattle’s diverted 56.2 percent of its waste – 407,125 tons - from the landfill via recycling and composting.

Learn more about Seattle Public Utilities, at: www.seattle.gov/util.

Enjoy Free Films at the Seattle Public Library

Catch a free screening of popular movies, including "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "22 Jump Street" through mid-January at The Seattle Public Library, Northgate Branch, 10548 Fifth Ave. N.E.

Northgate Branch patrons had the opportunity to vote on which films they wanted shown at the Library. Times, dates and film titles are outlined below.

1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Sunday, Dec. 28 - "22 Jump Street" (R)

1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Sunday, Jan. 11 - "The Hundred-Foot Journey" (PG)

Library events and programs are free and open to the public. Free parking is available at the branch. Space is limited to 60 people and the films are all ticketed events. Free tickets will be available at the circulation desk 30 minutes before the movie starts.

For more information, call the Northgate Branch at 206-386-1980, visit www.spl.org/movies or www.spl.org.

Plan Ahead to Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Planning ahead can make your holiday to-do list so much more manageable. WSU Lewis County Master Gardener and Master Recycler Composter volunteers have announced the schedule for Christmas tree recycling this year so you can get it on your calendar.

Undecorated Christmas trees and wreaths will be accepted from Dec. 26 through Jan. 11, 2015, in the parking lot outside the gate at the Lewis County Central Transfer Station, 1411 S. Tower Ave., in Centralia. Volunteers will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays to accept the trees for chipping.

The Christmas trees are chipped up for use in compost bins, trails and other yard and garden projects. All decorations and tinsel must be removed from the trees and wreaths.  No flocked or artificial trees or wreaths will be accepted.

Trees or wreaths that do not comply may be disposed of at the transfer station, where regular charges will apply. There is a $10 minimum fee for refuse loads weighing 200 pounds or less.

Unwanted holiday lights can be recycled during the event as well as any time the Central Transfer Station is open, which is from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Holiday wrapping papers, cards and boxes may be recycled in residential curbside recycling containers or containers at the transfer stations in Centralia and Morton.

Anyone with questions regarding recycling may call 360-740-1452.

The Seattle Public Library Rolls Out New Computer Resources

The Seattle Public Library is expanding technology access and learning resources for Library patrons. All Library locations now offer upgraded workstations, full access to Microsoft Windows and relaxed permissions for patrons.

$1n  More applications - The Adobe Creative Cloud suite of applications, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere and more, is now available on all public workstations. Microsoft Office applications are still available as well.

$1n  Full access to Microsoft Windows - Library computers now look and act just like a "normal" Windows computer. Computer users have full access to built-in software applications, accessories and functions.

$1n  More permissions - Library patrons now have the ability to download and install applications during their computer-use session. All computers are restored to a default state after a session ends.

Learn more about the Library's public computers at http://spl.org/computers. Library patrons can use their Library card to reserve a computer for up to 90 minutes a day at http://spl.org/reserveacomputer.

For more information, call the Library at 206-386-4636 or www.spl.org.

Scammers Target Utility Customers by Phone, Email and In-Person Visits

As temperatures continue to drop and the importance of keeping your home warm rises, scammers are taking full advantage of the situation by targeting utility customers; threatening to shutoff power unless payment is made to a fraudulent bill collector.

Seattle City Light is receiving 25 to 30 reports per week from customers targeted by such scams, often some of Seattle’s most vulnerable residents.

Scammers commonly target non-English speaking individuals, elderly and small business owners. They use phone calls, email, even home visits, posing as Seattle City Light employees.

Seattle City Light does not call, email or visit customers demanding immediate payment to avoid shutoffs. Anyone who falls behind on payments will receive at least two written notifications before the shutoff process starts.

Additionally, City Light employees will never need to enter your home to conduct any kind of test. If someone claiming to be from City Light approaches you at home and asks for personal or financial information, requests to enter your home, or cannot provide you with employee identification, immediately shut your door, secure your home and call 911.

If a customer suspects a scam attempt or has any questions regarding their bill, City Light urges them to call a customer service representative at (206) 684-3000.

City Light is taking a proactive approach toward stopping scams through its “Spot It, Report it, Stop it,” scam prevention campaign. To learn more about how you can end scams, please visit:  www.seattle.gov/light/EndScams. The website offers various resources for customers to protect themselves and their family and friends from scams.

Scholarship Workshop for High School Seniors

Jan. 10-11

The Seattle Public Library will help college-bound high school seniors work on and complete a Gates Millennium Scholarship (GMS) application on Saturday, Jan. 10 and Sunday, Jan. 11.
Help will be offered by the Scholarship Junkies team, Gates Scholars and Gates alumni at The Seattle Public Library, Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Level 4, Washington Mutual Foundation Meeting Room 1. Registration is required at http://scholarshipjunkies.org/gms. The registration page outlines eligibility for the GMS. Times and dates for scholarship help are as follows.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10

Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 11

Students may sign up for one or both sessions. Before the workshop, attendees should save any files for their scholarship application via Dropbox, or email their files to themselves, so that the files are easily accessible. Scholarship applications will be due online by 8:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 14.

Library events are free and open to the public. Seating is limited and registration is required. Parking is available in the Central Library garage for $7.

For more information, call the Central Library at 206-386-4636 or www.spl.org.

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