Presidential primary ends March 12

Washington voters will help pick the major political party nominees for president in March.

The state’s presidential primary asks participating voters to mark and sign party declarations on their ballot return envelopes, as part of state law that sets the process for how the Democrat and Republican parties pick their candidates and who gets on the ballot for the general election this November. The primary has special conditions unlike regular elections in Washington. More information about the process is available at, the website of the Washington secretary of state’s elections department, which administers statewide elections.

For the Democrats, names on the ballot are President Joe Biden and Dean Phillips. Marianne Williamson also appears but has suspended her campaign.

Republican candidates are Donald Trump and Nikki Haley, plus three who have suspended their campaigns or dropped out of the race–Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, and Vivek Ramaswamy.

March 12, the official election day, is the last date that voters can cast ballots by mailing them or depositing them in official ballot boxes in their counties. County election offices mailed ballots on Feb. 23 to registered voters.

For a list of ballot boxes or other local information, voters can contact the Pierce County election department at and 253-798-8683 and the King County election department at and 206-296-8683.

A free dental, vision, and medical clinic for seniors and other people in need is scheduled for Feb. 15-18 at Seattle Center.

Services that will be offered through Seattle-King County Public Health, regardless of insurance, income or immigration status, will include dental fillings and extractions, eye examinations and prescription eyeglasses, physical exams, behavioral healthcare, social work, immunizations, laboratory tests, mammograms, ultrasounds and x-rays.

A limited number of tickets will be distributed at Fisher Pavilion starting at 5:30 a.m. each morning on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional information is available at or call 206-684-7200.

“We primarily serve what we refer to those who are increasingly left out of our healthcare systems and safety nets.” said Julia Colson, the free clinic’s founder and project executive, “The elderly, immigrants and refugees, the uninsured and underinsured, those who may make too much to qualify for assistance but not enough to afford the care they need–this is who we most often see looking for help.”

As healthcare costs continue to rise and public services dwindle, the clinic fills a vital need, Carlson said. For many patients, it’s a long-overdue chance at care for chronic health conditions or treatment they couldn’t otherwise afford, she explained.

It’s time again to file income taxes, and the help is free

By Christina Clem

There are few constants in life, but there is something that happens like clockwork every year. That’s right. Tax season is upon us. Fortunately, AARP Foundation is providing free tax assistance and preparation through its Tax-Aide program, the nation’s largest free tax assistance and preparation service.

The program was conceived in 1968 by four volunteers who prepared 100 income tax returns at one site. Today, trained volunteers serve low to moderate-income taxpayers at thousands of locations in neighborhood libraries, malls, banks, community centers, and senior centers nationwide. There’s no fee, and AARP membership isn’t required. Almost anyone can receive free assistance. Those with particularly complex issues and complicated returns are encouraged to seek professional services.

Tax-Aide offers several tax preparation options, as well as the traditional in-person service. One popular option is the Drop-Off Model, where taxpayers come to a site with all their paperwork and return later to sign and pick up their completed return. Tax-Aide also provides taxpayers with free access to software so they can prepare their own taxes. Taxpayers can also request help from a Tax-Aide, IRS-certified counselor to coach them through the process through computer screen-sharing. 

“Every year, Tax-Aide helps tens of thousands of Washingtonians,” said Marguerite Ro, AARP Washington state director. “Whether you are a working or retired individual, our volunteers can help answer your questions and prepare your tax returns.”

For the 2023 tax season, 26,000 volunteers helped more than 1.5 million taxpayers receive over $1 billion in refunds.

Tax-Aide volunteers receive extensive training to ensure they know about and understand the latest changes to the U.S. Tax Code. Tax-Aide is offered in cooperation with the IRS.

Before visiting a Tax-Aide site, please note:

  • You will need to bring your important documents to the site.
  • Federal Tax assistance is available at all locations.
  • Site hours are subject to change on a weekly basis. Check again the day before you plan to go to the site.

To find an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide site or get more information, including a comprehensive list of documents to bring to the tax site, visit or call 1-888-227-7669.

The due date for the U.S. individual income tax return is April 15.

Christina Clem is a communications specialist for AARP Washington.

The Angle Lake light-rail station in SeaTac is no stranger to public art. Since opening in 2016, it has welcomed visitors with colorful floating discs, an undulating colonnade of blue aluminum planks, and a vortex of boomerang shapes escorting riders to the parking garage. And now riders will hear guitar strums, drumbeats, and vocal flourishes coming from a new performance space.
The Roadhouse, which opened Oct. 29, is an all-ages, live music venue at the station. Look for it near the parking garage, under a forthcoming neon sign. In addition to producing music shows, the venue (occupancy 145) will be rentable for special events, rehearsals, workshops and classes. It’s part of STart, Sound Transit’s public art program (funded by 1 percent of construction budgets for the regional mass-transit agency).

The venue will be managed by musician and arts educator Eduardo Mendonça, owner of Show Brazil Productions, an educational arts organization based in Kent, where he lives. After one year, stakeholders will determine whether The Roadhouse experiment is worth continuing.

“The Roadhouse will fill a gap of opportunities,” said Mendonça, who has performed guitar and percussion for luminaries from Nelson Mandela to former Brazil president Joao Baptista Figueiredo. “People need to go to Seattle to do things that are related to music and culture. We do have events and opportunities that happen in south King County, but The Roadhouse for sure will be a very good addition in a different way to having our community here.” 

Mendonça said his production company is planning approximately 20 events in the space over the next year, all free to the public. They include a series called “The Sounds of Roadhouse,” aimed at adults and teens and featuring local performers of anything from pop to Latin music.

The venue will also be open to community organizations to host their own events and increase their visibility. 

Source:, a Pacific Northwest, non-profit news site that’s part of Cascade Public Media.