Posted: Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Hello, neighbors.

Today is the day our political hopefuls have been targeting for the last couple of years, but more intensely for the last three months. Today all that ends. Help me celebrate its ending by digging out your voter registration card, your driver's license or any kind of identification. Slick back your hair, grab a jacket and head for the polls.

If you don't know where to vote, call the city offices, the borough offices or even the library. Somebody will help you find your correct precinct. They'll let you vote a question ballot if you aren't sure where you're supposed to be, but get out and vote. You'll get to wear a snazzy "I Voted" sticker.

This is what it's all about, freedom to choose who you want to look to for leadership. Make today a day to honor our citizenship in this great land.

The Central Peninsula General Hospital, although located in our sister city, Soldotna, is indeed "our hospital."A year ago last month, the hospital auxiliary opened a new gift shop called The Care Package. It's doing well but still needs volunteers to help staff it. If you have a couple of hours a week and would like to get involved, call Michelle Crawford at 714-4778 or Pat Gilbreath at 283-0246 to see about helping out or joining the auxiliary.

Or even better, stop by the shop when you attend the holiday bazaar in the Iliamna conference room of the hospital on Friday and Saturday. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature items made by CPGH employees and volunteers. Homemade cookies also will be served. Check out what may become an annual event.

On the first Thursday of every month, there are artistic and musical events happening all over the peninsula. Janie Odgers at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce has been working to help the local art community expand the First Thursday offerings in the Kenai area. This Thursday some of the events happening locally include: A reception and the unveiling of the new art exhibit on wildlife photography called "Alaska Wild" at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center from 5 to 7 p.m.; the Amanita Trio will perform at Veronica's that day in Kenai, featuring Sarah Glaves, Maria Allison and Emily Grossman; an artist reception at Artworks in Soldotna for Thor Evenson from 6 to 8 p.m.; and a bluegrass jam at the Christ Lutheran Church in Soldotna from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The juried clay exhibit opens at the Kenai Fine Arts Center on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and will feature a reception. If you are new to the area, or you just haven't checked these events out before this, might be a great way to begin the winter arts season.

It's that time of the year again for the annual ski and sports swap at Kenai Central High School. Here's a chance for people to make some money clearing out their old sporting equipment and to find some good deals, too. Your outgrown, unused sporting equipment can be sold or traded for some new skis, a snowboard, skates, hockey equipment, a bike or boots.

The swap is sponsored by the KCHS ski team. Equipment can be brought to the high school cafeteria from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday or from 8 to 9 a.m. on Saturday. The sale will run Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 283-9472 for more information or to arrange another time to drop off used equipment.

The spooky play, "The Uninvited" will be performed one more weekend at the Old Town Playhouse by the Kenai Performers. Performances will be Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Directed by Kim Lee, the play is a chance for local talent to show acting skills and for community members to spend a couple of hours being entertained.

Tickets are available at Charlotte's in Kenai and at the door.

The Boys and Girls Club is taking registrations through Friday for the third- and fourth-grade co-ed basketball season. The season runs from Dec. 13 through Feb. 12. The cost is $50.

Registration is being taken at the Kenai Boys and Girls Club Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. or it can be mailed or faxed in. Call Kathy Ehrhardt, the club's athletic director, at 283-2682 or fax to 283-8190.

Happy birthday Wednesday to Ed Ferguson, Cherlyn Landford and Pete Johnson; Thursday: Margaret McCubbins; Friday: Karen Campbell, Braden Ellis, Laurie Hack, Shirley Henley and Aaron Porritt; Saturday: Edwin Marshall, Kelly Saltzgiver (60), Aud Walaszek, Betty Talent, Megan Brenner and Patty Edgar; and Monday: Adria Dyer, Lillie Barrett, Brandilyn Cooper, Ronald Engebretson and Sandra Schroeder. Best wishes to all of you.

OK neighbors, everybody out to vote. Come say hello to me at the polls. I'll be the one trying to find your name or handing out stickers.

Joan Hansen can be reached by phone at 283-5872 or by email at

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