News briefs

Light a candle in

memory of a loved one

The local Compassionate Friends Chapter, a nonprofit self-help support group for families who have experienced the death of a child, is sponsoring the North Olympic Peninsula's 11th annual candle lighting ceremony in conjunction with the worldwide candle lighting at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, at the Church of Christ, 1233 E. Front St., Port Angeles. Each person who attends will be given a candle to light and take home, the names of loved ones will be read. Participants are encouraged to share a special memory, poetry or reading during the service. For more information, call Kit Hill at 457-9786.

Point-in-Time count

planning meeting set

A preliminary meeting is planned for the 2009 Point-in-Time count of homeless people in Clallam County. The meeting will be 9-10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, at the Tempest Building, 535 E. First St., Port Angeles, in the downstairs portion of the Dream Center on the northwest corner of First and Albert streets. This meeting is for everyone interested in helping plan the count, which will be held Thursday, Jan. 29.

Bless the community with food

The CountyWide Classifieds of the Sequim Gazette is sponsoring a food drive for the Sequim Food Bank. For every five cans or pieces of nonperishable food items, you will free receive a free ad, value $9.50. You can place the ad immediately or receive coupons for future use, good for six months. Just bring your items to the Sequim Gazette office at 147 W. Washington St. before Dec. 17. For more information, call 683-3311.

Land Trust offers

lasting gift ideas

North Olympic Land Trust is offering gift ideas that will last much longer than the holiday season. Gift givers can purchase listings on a plaque at the Clallam County Courthouse and help the nonprofit land trust permanently protect special qualities of area lands. Listings can be names of givers or names of people they want to honor or memorialize. Each listing is $100. A form on the land trust's Web site,, for sending in names and making payments by credit card can be printed out and mailed to the land trust office, 104 N. Laurel St., Suite 104, Port Angeles, WA 98362. Donors also may pay by check enclosed with the mailed form or they may arrange for credit card payment and listings by calling the office, 417-1815. Names are added to a plaque at the courthouse each January.

Drivers should use

caution in winter conditions

The Department of Licensing and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission remind drivers to be prepared while navigating Washington roadways in winter conditions. If it feels like your tires have lost traction with the road surface, you should:

• Ease your foot off the gas pedal

• Keep the steering wheel straight. If you must turn, do it slowly or you will cause your vehicle to skid

• Do not try to stop or turn until your tires are gripping the road again.

Drivers also should be more aware of pedestrians and bicyclists as they are more difficult to see in the fall and winter months, even during daylight hours. According to a WTSC study, two-thirds of all pedestrian/vehicle collisions occur during the hours of darkness. By law, drivers must yield to pedestrians in any intersection, even if it is not marked with crosswalks.

Carrie Blake Park

before and after

The Sequim Valley Lions Club is writing a history of Carrie Blake Park for publication in the Lions Magazine and needs old photos and mini anecdotes of the area. The club is especially looking for photos of what it looked like before the Guy Cole Convention Center was built. There are rumors there was a skinny-dipping pond and necking spot, what else? Photos of family gatherings at the present park are welcome, as well. Call Kit Steward at 681-7365 for more information or to submit photos and articles.

Hospital guild hosts

Christmas luncheon

Sequim Dungeness Hospital Guild will host a Christmas luncheon beginning at 11 a.m. Dec. 12 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Those attending are encouraged to bring an unwrapped gift for a child, infant through 16 years. Gifts will be given to

Sequim Dungeness Community Aid for distribution. During the meeting, a check will be presented to Clallam County Fire District 3 to purchase computers. The Sequim High School chorus will perform a Christmas program. The Thrift Shop will be closed the day of the luncheon and starting Monday, Dec. 22, and will reopen Monday, Jan. 5.

School choirs plan concert

The Sequim High School and Sequim Middle School choirs will present their winter concert at

7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15, in the high school auditorium under the direction of choral director Stephani Clark.

Van De Wege gets

leadership post

State Rep. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, continued his ascent within the House Democratic leadership on Saturday when he was elected as "deputy majority whip."

Van De Wege, along with Rep. Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam, and Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, represents the 24th District which includes Clallam and Jefferson counties and one third of Grays Harbor County.

The deputy majority whip oversees the four assistant majority whips, who are responsible for organizing, vote-counting and developing relationships between the caucus leadership and membership.

Van De Wege, who was first elected in November 2006, previously had served as one of four assistant majority whips. Kessler also was re-elected last week as House Majority Leader - second only to the Speaker of the House - a position she has held since 2003.

The 2009 Legislature's 105-day session is scheduled to begin Jan. 12 and adjourn on April 26.

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