Renovation of the state ferry system's Seattle terminal at Pier 52's Colman Dock is nearly complete, and the first three vendors in the terminal's new food court are...

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Renovation of the state ferry system’s Seattle terminal at Pier 52’s Colman Dock is nearly complete, and the first three vendors in the terminal’s new food court are slated to open today.

The specialty coffee shop Caffè Appassionato, and two specialty fast-food businesses, Alaska’s Gourmet Subs and World Wrapps, are the first of seven planned new vendors in the food court.

Ferry officials said two more restaurants, a candy store and a newsstand should be open by late next month.

An open house for the food court will be Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., with free food and entertainment.

Postal progress

Automated postal centers, the U.S. Postal Service’s version of an ATM, have been installed in a dozen Seattle-area post offices to allow customers to mail packages and pay for postage without the help of a clerk.

Customers can now program in a ZIP code, and the APC, as the automated center is called, will weigh a package and calculate the postage due. Then the customer can pay with a credit or debit card, and the APC can print a meter strip for postage. The customer can then deposit a package in a bin without a wait at the counter.

Postal officials say that with the APC machines, customers can mail items by express, priority and first-class mail, as well as purchase insurance and get return receipts and delivery confirmation.

Besides Seattle’s main post office at Third Avenue and Union Street and the terminal annex at 2440 Fourth Ave. S., self-serve APC machines are at the Lake City, Bitterlake, Northgate, Wedgwood, Ballard, Wallingford, University, Westwood, Burien and Riverton Heights post offices.

Seattle Postmaster Katherine Nash will visit three post offices on Friday to demonstrate the new machines. She’ll be at the Bitterlake Station, 929 N. 145th St., from 8 to 9 a.m.; the University Station, 4244 University Way N.E., from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., and the Wallingford Station, 1329 N. 47th St., from 11 a.m. to noon.

Open house

The state Department of Social and Health Services will hold a public reception at its new White Center client-service facility tomorrow from 4 to 6 p.m., with refreshments and guided tours of the building.

The White Center Multi-Service Center, at 9640 15th Ave. S.W., offers medical and child-care assistance and other services for about 16,000 low-income clients.

Flu-shot update

It’s not too late for high-priority youngsters to get a flu shot. The state Department of Health is still pressing parents and health-care providers to see that those who need shots the most get them.

The state agency has received 202,000 doses of flu vaccine for high-priority children under 19. More than 46,000 doses are still available, state health officials said.

There’s not been the same shortage of vaccine for youngsters that there’s been for adult vaccine.

Flu shots are recommended for youngsters ages 6 to 23 months, and children with a chronic medical problem, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease.

For information about flu vaccine or where to get a flu shot, call your health-care provider or local health department. Parents also can find a nearby location for childhood immunization by calling the “Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies” information and referral line at 800-322-2588.

Here & Now is compiled by Seattle Times staff reporter Charles E. Brown and news assistant Suesan Whitney Henderson. To submit an item, e-mail

or call 206-464-2226.