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Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Here and Now

Shark week

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, home to the largest and most comprehensive shark collection in the Pacific Northwest, is celebrating Shark Week through Saturday with shark feeds, shark videos and daily children's games and crafts. Activities are free with zoo admission. Shark Week is designed to teach visitors that, contrary to popular belief, sharks are not necessarily blood-thirsty monsters but rather avoid human contact unless provoked. The zoo is at 5400 N. Pearl St. and is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Consumer protection

Consumer advocates say some commercial tax preparers are offering loans to low-income individuals in anticipation of tax refunds without first disclosing fees or other options. Seattle City Councilman Tom Rasmussen, who has proposed a bill that would prevent tax-loan deceptions, would like to hear from citizens about their experiences with commercial tax preparers and undisclosed fees. A hearing on the issue is 5 p.m. Thursday at the council chambers on the second floor at City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave. Information: www.seattle.gov/council/rasmussen/legislation.htm.

Volunteer circle

People for Puget Sound, a nonprofit citizens' group dedicated to restoring and protecting natural habitats, is looking for volunteers to monitor and maintain habitats on the Duwamish River. Training sessions are available at the group's headquarters, 911 Western Ave., Suite 580, Seattle. Training sessions are:

• Today from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

• Next Tuesday from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

• Aug. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., including a field trip to the Duwamish.

Information: 206-382-7007 or www.pugetsound.org.

Site-seeing

In response to Gov. Gary Locke's request for state agencies to renew their commitment to voter registration, the State Patrol has established a link to its home page, www.wsp.wa.gov/. The new link takes voters to the secretary of state's site and provides information about general elections, voting guides, voter registration and much more.

Here & Now is compiled by Suesan Whitney Henderson of The Seattle Times staff. To submit an item, e-mail herenow@seattletimes.com or call 206-464-2226.

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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