11 27 2015
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Young Women Empowered (Y-WE)

Maria Young, 15; Namaka Auwae Dekker, 13; Rajee’ Carpenter, 13 (center);  Majuma Abdikadir, 14; Katia Kreimer, 17; and other young women answer questions from the audience after performing an original theatre piece entitled Y-WE Speak: Our Legacy. Our Leadership, March 14 at the Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Leo K. Theatre. The kids created the piece about 'honoring your past in order to shape your future,' during an eight-month residency at the Seattle Rep. The girls worked with mentors from Young Women Empowered (Y-WE) and teaching artists from Seattle Rep. Susan Fried photo

The Seattle Public Library Joins 'Safe Place' Network for Teens

To kick off National Safe Place Week, The Seattle Public Library system has become a part of the Safe Place network in King County. As of today, all 27 of Seattle's public libraries are a Safe Place where youth ages 12-17 can ask for help when in crisis.

Safe Place in King County quickly connects youth ages 12-17 in crisis to help, through a network of local businesses and organizations designated as "Safe Places." Youth can approach any established Safe Place site, recognizable by a yellow diamond logo, or call 1-800-422-TEEN to receive immediate help. A Safe Place coordinator will respond 24/7, providing resources, connecting the young person to shelter services, or reuniting them with family when safe and appropriate.

The Safe Place program in King County is operated through a collaboration of Auburn Youth Resources, Friends of Youth, and YouthCare, and is funded by the United Way of King County. The Library joins a network of agencies and organizations providing over 1,900 Safe Place sites throughout the county, including Seattle Parks and Recreation’s community centers, Metro Transit buses, King County libraries and YMCA facilities.

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

Application Help for Section 8 Housing March 23

Low-income residents of the city of Seattle can receive help with their Section 8 housing applications from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 23 at The Seattle Public Library, Central Library, Level 4, Boeing Technology Training Center Room 4.

Library events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. No registration is required. Parking is available in the Central Library garage at the regular rates.

Staff from the Seattle Housing Authority's Section 8 voucher program will be at the Central Library to answer questions and help with Section 8 applications. Applications for the Section 8 voucher program will be accepted from 8 a.m. on Monday, March 23 through 5 p.m. on Friday, April 10. During this period, the application process will only be available online through www.seattlehousing.org.

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

Olmstead Place State Park Hosts Plowing Bee

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Washington Draft Horse and Mule Association (WDHMA) invite the public to an old-fashioned horse-plowing match and demonstrations of turn-of-the-century farm equipment at Olmstead Place State Park.

The second annual Plowing Bee is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 28 and Sunday, March 29 at Olmstead Place State Park, midway between Ellensburg and Kittitas, off Highway 90. The main event—the horse-plowing match—will feature draft horses such as Shires, Belgians, Clydesdales and Percherons. In addition, teamsters will be showing their horses and mules in traditional harness with horse-drawn farming equipment, including a variety of hitches, various plow styles, harrows and discs. Some of the farm equipment will be pre-tractor antiques, while others will be modern examples of horse-powered farm equipment.

The plowing competitions take place in the morning and in the afternoon on both days. The Ellensburg Moose Lodge will be serving lunch of hamburger, potato salad and drink for about $6. Free wagon rides will also be available.

For more information about the Plowing Bee, contact Eric Watness, ericwatness1@gmail.com, 206-669-7280; Richard Cameron, 3cshires@gmail.com, 509-312-9342 or Maurya Broadsword, Washington State Parks, 509-925-1943. Visit the WDHMA website at: http://wdhma.org/

Major Data Breach of Premera Blue Cross Affects Millions of Washingtonians

Premera/Blue Cross this week announced it has been the target of a major data breach.

The breach affected Premera Blue Cross, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, and its affiliated companies, Vivacity and Connexion Insurance Solutions, Inc. It impacts millions of individuals in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

It is unclear at this time what information was taken, but it may have included Social Security numbers, dates of birth, mailing and email addresses, telephone numbers, member identification numbers, bank account information and claims information (which includes medical information). The Federal Bureau of Investigation is working with Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm, to find out more about the attack and who was behind it.

The breach was discovered Jan. 29, 2015 and Premera has determined that the breach was the result of a May 5, 2014 cyberattack.

The company is offering two years of credit monitoring to all customers, ID theft restoration services and ID insurance through Experian. Customers can visit www.Premeraupdate.com to sign up for the services.

Premera/Blue Cross reports it is in the process of setting up a dedicated call center to handle breach-related questions. Affected consumers will also receive notices.

'Health Care Access Made Easy' March 30

The Seattle Public Library has partnered with the Chinese Information & Service Center (CISC) to offer a health care workshop aimed at removing barriers to health care access for low-income adults ages 55 and up. The workshop will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday, March 30 at the Beacon Hill Branch, 2821 Beacon Ave. S. (206-684-4711).

Library programs are free and open to the public. Registration is not required. Free parking is available in the lot on the west side of the building.

CISC provides assistance to help meet the needs of low-income, non and limited English speaking adults living in Seattle or the King County area who are 55 years or older, as well as those with disabilities. Social workers provide information, assistance and advocacy to help adults live healthier and more independent lives.

Help topics at the workshop will include (but are not limited to):

Transportation and taxi vouchers

Gift cards for eyeglasses or contact lenses

Interpreter and interpretation services

Health insurance options

Pro bono medical service providers

Incentives for accessing preventive services

For more information, contact the Library at 206-684-4711 or www.spl.org.

Free help with Tax Forms at the Rainier Beach Library

The Seattle Public Library and AARP have consolidated the free tax preparation service available in southeast Seattle. Tax help is no longer offered at the NewHolly Branch, but remains available at the Rainier Beach Branch.

Drop-in tax help at the Rainier Beach Branch, 9125 Rainier Ave. S., 206-386-1906 is offered on a first-come, first-served basis from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays through April 11.

Due to federal budget cuts, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is unable to provide the Library with certain tax forms and instruction booklets. Most IRS forms are available online at www.irs.gov. Black-and-white prints of the forms may be printed from Library computers for 15 cents per page. To request forms by mail, order online at IRS.gov/orderforms or call 1-800-829-3676.

Tax help at the Rainier Beach Branch is provided by AARP.

For more information, call the Rainier Beach Branch at 206-386-1906, visit spl.org/taxhelp, or www.spl.org.

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