The District 31 Democratic Party meets from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 13 at the home of Taz Tally, District 31 Chair, 58467 Bruce St. For more information, call him at 907-435-7906 or email him at taztally@me.com or co-chair Carrie Henson (Kenai/Soldotna) at courageoustiger@gmail.com.

The Kachemak Emergency Service Area Board holds its regular monthly board meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at the McNeil Canyon Fire Station, 53048 Ashwood Ave. (Mile 12 East End Road). The public is welcome to attend. The agenda will be posted at the fire station and also at the KPB Annex building at 206 E. Pioneer Ave. Call 235-9811 for more information.

A Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) course is offered 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 17 at Alice’s Champagne Palace. The certification exam will be administered at about 4 p.m. at the end of the class. The fee is $177.38 and includes the course handbook, exam and proctoring fees, and Homer sales tax. For more information or to register, contact JTAK Food Safety at 907-398-2584 or john@jtakfoodsafety.com.

Homer Native Plant Society will meet at 7 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. The program will be “Fire and Vegetation in a Changing Climate on the Kenai Peninsula: a 14,000-year Record’ with Edward Berg, PhD. This presentation looks at the role of fire on the Kenai landscape since the end of the last glacial period. It is based on many years of fire history research using fire scars on trees, soil charcoal and charcoal in lake sediment cores, as well as post-fire vegetation plots that have been monitored since 1950. With recent drying of wetlands and drought-driven spruce bark beetle outbreaks, it seems likely that wildfires will increase in frequency and severity, which could convert much of the Kenai to grasslands or hardwood forest. This is a free program with light refreshments. For more information, email jwoodring@alaska.net, call 235-9344 or visit us on Facebook.

The Anchor Point Fire & Emergency Medical Service Area Board will hold its next board meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the Anchor Point Fire Station, 72440 Milo Fritz Ave. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information, call 235-6700.

The board also seeks applicants for a board seat that will be vacant this month and no candidate ran to fill. Any qualified voter who has resided within the service area for 180 days may apply for appointment to Seat C. Questions regarding eligibility may be directed to the Office of the Borough Clerk at 907-714-2160 or 1-800-478- 4441 ext. 2160.

There will be a nonpartisan community discussion about the importance of voting no matter what your views are from 5:30-8 p.m. Oct. 20 at Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. Refreshments will be provided. This community discussion is not being used to promote any political issue. The forum’s focus is on increasing voter turnout in Alaska. Andy Hass will facilitate the forum, which will allow for freedom of expression. Questions will be presented about the issues involved with voting and how more voter turnout can be encouraged. For more information, see our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1097347217039984/.

The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies will have its annual meeting from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at its headquarters, 708 Smokey Bay Way. The meeting is an opportunity for a community celebration, recognition of CACS volunteers and partners, and a look at the achievements of the past year and plans for the future. The meeting will include a “zero-waste” potluck. Those attending are asked to bring their favorite appetizer and a bowl or plate and challenge themselves not to use anything disposable. There will be door prizes. There will be an opportunity to renew memberships during the meeting. For more information, call 907-235-6667 or email info@akcoastalstudies.org.

There will be a square and contra dance on Saturday, Oct. 22, starting at 7:30 p.m. at West Homer Elementary School. Beginners welcome. Please bring clean, soft-soled shoes to dance in. Laura Patty will call to music by the Boat Shop Boys. Admission is $7. Kids under 16 get in free.

Friends of the Homer Library will be offering a series on Romeo and Juliet with Bette Van Dinther. This three-part class will begin on Thursday, Oct. 27, at 6 p.m. and will run through Nov. 10. Each week the class will read Romeo and Juliet together and discuss its relevancy to contemporary family life. Space is limited. Please sign up in advance by emailing mercedes@friendshomerlibrary.org, calling 435-3195 or stopping by the front desk at the library.

Homer Community Food Pantry is having its annual Empty Bowls Soup Luncheon on Nov. 4 at the Homer United Methodist Church, 770 East End Road. All local restarants have donated soup and the Homer potters have made bowls for the event. To go orders may be placed the morning of the event by calling 399-4574 and then picked up at the church.

Anchor Point Senior Citizens

The Anchor Point Senior Center on Milo Fritz Road is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9 a.m.-noon Friday. The center serves Thursday night dinners starting at 5:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Bingo is at 6:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6 p.m. on Friday nights. The Helping Hands Thrift Store is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Exercise sessions are at 10 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. For more information, call the senior center at 235-7786.

Friendship Center

Friendship Center Adult Day Services is open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday with extended hours for special situations. Programs are offered daily, including story time, crafts and musical performances. Call 235-4556.

Homer Senior Citizens

Homer Senior Citizens will host next week’s Homer Chamber of Commerce mixer. It will be from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Homer Senior Citizens Center, 3935 Svedlund St.

Homer Senior Citizens lunch is open to seniors and guests and is served noon-1:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The lunch menu for this week is: today, pork roast; Friday, salmon; Monday, chicken saltimbocca; Tuesday, barbecue beef brisket; Wednesday, chicken parmesan; next Thursday, pot roast with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Strong Women classes are 1:30-2:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Homer Senior Center. The cost is $3 for members and $6 for nonmembers per class.

Zumba Gold classes with Maria are 11 a.m.-noon Tuesdays and 1:30-2:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Homer Senior Center. The cost per class is $4 for members, $6 for nonmembers.

Duplicate Bridge meets at 1 p.m. Thursdays. Tai chi classes are Thursdays at 3 p.m. The cost per class is $3 for members and $6 for nonmembers. Call Daniel Weisser at 235-4555.

Caregiver Support Group meets 2-3:30 p.m. the second and fourth Thursday in the senior center conference room. Call Jacquie Thaute at 299-2924 or Daniel Weisser at 235-4555.

Kachemak Bay Campus

Registration for special short credit and noncredit workshops and classes is going on now. Courses include Science and Nature Writing, Intermediate Hatha Yoga (Oct. 17), Grant Proposal Writing (Oct. 21), Watercolor Painting (Oct. 21), Fiberglass Gel Coat Repair (Oct. 14-15), Qaspeq-making (Oct. 14-16), Aluminum Fabrication (Nov. 4-5, 11-12), and Marine Electronic Navigation (Dec. 6). Call 235-7743 or visit kpc.alaska.edu.

Visiting writer Bryan Fierro reads from his work at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 14. The reading is open to the public. Fierro is the author of “Dodger Blue Will Fill Your Soul” and recipient of the Maureen Egen Writers’ Exchange Award in Fiction.

Pratt Museum

The museum gallery winter hours are noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Business offices are open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.The 31st annual Ritz gala fundraiser is Nov. 5 at Wasabi’s, with the theme, “A Black and White Cabaret Ball.” Artists and businesses are invited to donate art and other items for the auction. For more information, call 435-3334. The Ritz art preview exhibit opened last week.

Rotary Health Fair

The 33rd annual Rotary Health Fair is 7:30 a.m.-1: p.m. Nov. 5 at Homer High School. “It’s Your Life … Take a Day to be Well” is the theme of the fair, sponsored by Homer Kachemak Bay Rotary Club in cooperation with South Peninsula Hospital. As part of the health fair, comprehensive blood analysis is available for only $40, a sizeable discount from the average cost of a comparable test. In addition to the basic wellness test, additional tests are available for purchase, including prostate, thyroid, cardiac, vitamin D and hemoglobin A1C.

These tests are offered by appointment at the fair, or before the fair at the hospital with the results available for pickup at the fair. Appointments are offered from Oct. 17-Nov. 4 in the hospital conference room on the hospital’s lower level. Appointments can be made at www.sphosp.org or by calling the health fair hotline at 399-3158.

The purpose of the fair is to set aside just one day of your life to take advantage of free and inexpensive health screenings and up-to-date information on relevant health topics. More than 50 exhibitors will be available to offer various health screenings, demonstrations and services, including blood pressure, vision tests, hearing tests, flu shots, fitness tests and more.

South Peninsula Hospital

South Peninsula Hospital offers a Safe Sitter class 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Oct. 21-22 at the hospital. The class is designed to prepare students in grades 6-8 to be safe when they’re home alone, watching younger siblings or babysitting. The class teaches basic child care, infant and child CPR, first aide, safety for the sitter, behavior management and business etiquette. It is filled with fun games and role-playing exercises. Students even get to use manikins to practice rescue skills like choking rescue and CPR. Pre-registration is required. The cost is $75 per person; scholarships are available based on need. Space is limited. To register or for more information, call the hospital education department at 235-0285.

South Peninsula Hospital offers “Living Well Alaska,” a six-session chronic disease self-management class. Developed by Stanford University, this group workshop is for people dealing with ongoing health conditions or the family members who support them. People with all kinds of long-term conditions such arthritis, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses can benefit. It offers fun with others while practicing skills to live life to the fullest and meet day-to-day challenges. At a Living Well Alaska workshop, participants will learn the skills to solve problems that prevent them from doing what they want to do; set goals; understand and handle symptoms; eat well and be active; deal with difficult emotions; and collaborate with their health care team. The workshop meets Mondays and Wednesdays from Oct. 31 to Nov. 16 from 3-5 p.m. The cost is $10 for the entire six-week series. Registration is required. For more information and to register, call 235-0285.

Veterans of Foreign Wars

The Veterans of Foreign Wars is kicking off its national youth scholarship programs: The Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy Program.

The Patriot’s Pen is a youth essay contest and open to students in grades 6-8. Last year, more than 132,000 students participated nationwide. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $54,500, with each first-place state winner receiving a minimum of $500 at the national level. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. In addition to national prizes, there are also prizes on the local and state level. The theme for this year’s essay is “The America I Believe In.”

Each year, nearly 40,000 high school students from across the country enter to win a share of $2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition. The VFW established the Voice of Democracy program in 1947 to provide students grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic ideas and principles. The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. Other national scholarships range from $1,000- $16,000, and the first-place winner from each (state) VFW Department wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. There are also prizes on the local and state levels. This year’s theme is “My Responsibility to America.”

These programs are open to students who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial or home study programs.

For contest rules and entry forms, contact local chairperson: Cherie Richter, president, VFW Post 10221 Auxiliary, P. O. Box 288, Anchor Point, AK 99556; 907-299-1996; cherie.a.richter@gmail.com.

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