Enjoy all the Peninsula has to offer this season

Who says there’s no culture here on the central Kenai Peninsula?

Why, just this weekend, Kenai-Soldotna area audiences had opportunities to take in a high school comedy, a dinner theater murder mystery and a dance performance. Over the past month, we’ve had numerous performances, from a show of one-act plays to rock concerts to magicians and hypnotists to traditional Native dancing. All this is in addition to a wide variety of art exhibitions in just about every medium under the sun.

Indeed, one could argue that there’s more cultural opportunities here than one could shake a stick at.

On top of that, theater- and gallery-goers often find themselves at least pleasantly surprised — if not absolutely blown away — by the quality of local cultural offerings. Our community is filled with remarkably talented musicians, actors, dancers, painters, sculptors, photographers, carvers — artists of every kind — and we’re fortunate that so many are willing to share their talents with the rest of us.

So, the next time you’re looking for a little culture, there’s no need to roam too far from home. Check the “What’s Happening” listings in Thursday’s Arts & Entertainment section — you’re sure to find something that will pique your interest.

Speaking of what’s happening, this coming week marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. Many of the local holiday bazaars and craft fairs will feature work by some of our local artists and artisans. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for at a craft fair, why not check out the wares at one of our many local merchants?

Buying local is a great way to make the holiday merry for not just yourself and the recipients of your gifts, but for the community as a whole. Dollars spent here are recirculated here, boosting the local economy. And when you factor in the drive to the big city, or the shipping costs when ordering from Outside or online, it just makes sense to spend your money here at home.

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Op-ed: Trump won the news conference

Donald Trump should do press conferences more often. Not for the country’s sake, certainly not for the media’s sake, but for his. He really shouldn’t have waited 167-plus days to hold one, because the man gives great sound bite. Although I’ve participated in probably thousands of these staged encounters as a reporter, they’re not my favorite way of getting news — you almost never get any. The guy at the podium controls the proceeding. He can get his message out with little challenge from the assembled journalists who are limited to a question and a follow-up, maybe. Politicians can bob and weave through that without any of us landing a blow. And that’s our job: to penetrate the canned responses to their version of the controversy du jour and get at whatever truth they are hiding. Besides, Trump — who uses contempt for the media as a weapon, his preferred way to discredit reporting that displeases him —has a wonderful forum to do that. At the very least he should hold these confrontations as a supplement to his Twitter tirades. And frequently. It’s his opportunity to hold the media hostage as they cover live his rain of abuse on them.

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Good luck in Juneau

The 30th Alaska Legislature gavels in on Tuesday, and we’d like to take a moment to wish our Kenai Peninsula legislators good luck over the coming months in Juneau.

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Ready to weather the storm

If there’s a bright spot in the recent headlines regarding Alaska’s economy, it’s this: on the Kenai Peninsula, the bad news isn’t nearly as bad as it could be.

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Letters to the editor

Chuitna mine threatens Alaska way of life

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