This car clinic should be billed as a care clinic. Twice a year, the Northshore YMCA Single Parent Family Program and volunteers from the...

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This car clinic should be billed as a care clinic.

Twice a year, the Northshore YMCA Single Parent Family Program and volunteers from the Clearview Foursquare Church hold a car clinic. Saturday more than a dozen men changed the oil and filters on 45 cars owned by single moms.

The free event came with perks.

Moms were sent into the church hall to wait while their cars were tuned up. Their kids were whisked away to an entertainment area, complete with a video, snacks and supervision by a teen volunteer. Another volunteer brewed espresso drinks. There were snacks and free manicures, too.

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Meanwhile, the cars were given brief mechanical checks and the oil change. Then other volunteers vacuumed the insides, and teenagers washed the cars.

This was the eighth time the Y and the church have provided the free clinic to help single women keep their vehicles on the road. The next clinic will be in October.

“We’re hoping to expand it to 100 cars,” said Lori Vos, one of the event’s YMCA organizers.

Good catch

Candy Young of Redmond and her family were at Palisade Restaurant in Seattle for Mother’s Day dinner. The customer waiting area is near Palisade’s free-form indoor rockery, footbridge and a series of saltwater-fish ponds.

Young and her family, along with other diners waiting for tables, watched the fish swimming in the pond. Then a staff person came with a long pole and fish net and began scooping through the water.

“We wondered if he was getting a fish for someone’s dinner,” Young said.

A crowd gathered to watch the young man work the net. His catch? A cellphone a customer dropped while leaning over the bridge.

Working principal

Enthusiastic school administrators make a difference in our children’s education — a big difference. Consider Rick Burden, the principal at Peter Kirk Elementary School in Kirkland.

To encourage his 500 students to read, Burden made a bet. If they read 25,000 words during March, he would dress up as Captain Underpants, get up on the roof and sing the school song.

Captain Underpants is a fictional character in a hilarious series of children’s books. In them, a nasty school principal, Mr. Krupp, becomes a superhero when two fourth-graders use a magic 3-D hypno-ring. Captain Underpants dresses in nothing but briefs and a cape. Krupp has no recollection or knowledge of being the Captain.

Unlike Krupp, Burden knew exactly what he was doing after the students read 85,000 words in March.

During Friday’s recess, Burden climbed up to the school roof. He wore boxer shorts over the top of sweat pants, and a shirt. He wore a regulation superhero cape, and carried the ultimate Captain Underpants weapon — a toilet plunger. He also had a megaphone.

When he began singing the school song, the delighted students sang along.

Burden has a reputation as a good sport. Last year after a similar challenge, he dressed as Pippi Longstocking.

Road trip

Sharyn Shipley of Sammamish will celebrate a premier weekend. Her latest play, “StarCrossed,” opens in San Francisco on Friday night.

Shipley, who writes under the name S. Abramhoff Shipley, went to New Hampshire in February for the East Coast premiere.

“StarCrossed,” a prequel to “Romeo & Juliet,” has received great reviews. There’s no word yet on a Seattle production.

Sherry Grindeland: 206-515-5633 or