Join officials at 11:30 a.m. today for the inauguration of Seattle's new streetcar operation at the Westlake Hub, at Westlake Avenue and...

Join officials at 11:30 a.m. today for the inauguration of Seattle’s new streetcar operation at the Westlake Hub, at Westlake Avenue and Olive Way. The first streetcar is expected to leave Westlake Hub at 12:12 p.m., and passengers on the first three vehicles will get inaugural golden tickets. All passengers will ride free through December.

As part of the opening-day celebrations, several stations along the 1.3-mile line have planned special events and giveaways.

Pacific Place (Westlake Hub). Giveaways include holiday guides, shopping bags and chocolate samples. The city will give away several items including magnets, stickers, buttons, posters and bookmarks.

Pan Pacific Hotel Station at 2200 Westlake Avenue (Westlake and Denny Way). Hotel stewards will distribute complimentary tote bags with special offers, food samples and beverages from South Lake Union retailers and restaurants at the station. The Clark Gibson Quartet from Cornish College of Arts will play jazz and blues.

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Group Health Station (Terry Avenue and Thomas Street). Giveaways are from Group Health, Group Health Credit Union, Rain Fitness and Starbucks.

UW/UW Medicine Station (Lake Union Park). Lake Union Park, the Museum of History & Industry and The Center for Wooden Boats will provide walking tours and holiday music.

Through the first week of operation, passengers riding the streetcar may pick up “I Rode the Streetcar” stickers that entitle them to discounts and freebies at participating shops, restaurants, businesses and attractions along the streetcar line, from downtown Seattle to South Lake Union. For a complete list of participants and giveaways as well as a list of other programs, see the streetcar Web site, www.seattlestreetcar.org.

As part of the opening activities, Westlake Avenue between Stewart Street and Olive Way will be closed from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. today. Those traveling north on Westlake Avenue will be detoured to Fifth Avenue via Stewart Street.

Civic calendar

Disposal fees waived

Through Sunday: The Metropolitan King County Council waived disposal fees at solid-waste-handling facilities for county residents with flood-damaged debris. The free disposal of flood-damaged items applies to residents of King County outside of the cities of Seattle and Milton, which are not part of the King County system for handling solid waste. To qualify for the offer, a resident needs to provide proof of residence such as a current utility bill or other piece of mail showing the resident’s current address. For restrictions and guidelines, see www.metrokc.gov/dnrp/swd

Here & Now is compiled by Seattle Times lead news assistant Lynne Berry. To submit an item, e-mail herenow@seattletimes.com or call 206-464-2226.

Dec. 12, 1997: After years of wrangling among Seattle-area jurisdictions, the Navy conveys its remaining property at the former Sand Point Naval Air Station to the city of Seattle. The air station operated from 1926 to 1970, after which most of the Sand Point peninsula on Lake Washington was conveyed to the city for Magnuson Park and to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Several jurisdictions expressed interest in taking over the remaining naval property and structures, including the Muckleshoot Tribe, Seattle Public Schools and the city. The latter prevailed with a 1997 plan incorporating recreational, arts and housing uses, with 10 acres occupied by the University of Washington.

Source: Historylink.org