By Peninsula Daily News staff
and The Associated press
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Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce — Weekly luncheon meetings are held Mondays at noon in the second-floor meeting room of the Port Angeles Red Lion Hotel, 221 N. Lincoln St.
Today's (this Monday's) meeting will focus on the federal Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” and its impact on businesses.
Panelists will be Andy Callis, president of Callis & Associates Insurance; Eric Lewis, CEO of Olympic Medical Center; and Larry Little, executive director, and Mary Hogan, manager, of Volunteers in Medicine of the Olympics clinic.
Also, candidates for the chamber's board of directors will be introduced.
Luncheon tickets are $15 and can be purchased from the meeting room cashier.
For those not having lunch, there is a $3 participation fee that includes a beverage.
Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce — Weekly luncheon meetings are held Mondays at noon at the Port Townsend Elks Lodge, 555 Otto St.
Today's (this Monday's) speaker will be Carl Smith, Jefferson County community development director, who will discuss development trends in the county and changes in the Department of Community Development.
Lunch at $8 will be catered by Subway. The meeting sponsor will be Hope Roofing.
Forks Chamber of Commerce — Luncheon meetings are Wednesdays at noon at JT's Sweet Stuffs, 80 N. Forks Ave., Forks.
The first meeting of the month is reserved as a chamber business meeting. Topics on this Wednesday's agenda include nominations for the chamber board of directors, ratification of a board vote on officer terms and discussion involving the chamber's annual Wine and Cheese Event scheduled for November.
Lunch costs $8; a bowl of soup, $4.75; and a cup of soup, $4. The entree is spaghetti.
Port Angeles Business Association — Breakfast meetings are Tuesdays at 7:30 a.m. at Joshua's Restaurant, 113 DelGuzzi Drive, Port Angeles.
This Tuesday's scheduled speakers will be Mike McCarty and Cindy Kelly, candidates for Port Angeles School District Position 2 director in the Nov. 5 election.
There is a $3 minimum charge by Joshua's for those who do not order breakfast.
PA veterinarian to head up regional association
PORT ANGELES — Carmen Czachor, veterinarian and owner of Family Veterinary Clinic, has been elected to the Evidence Based Veterinary Medical Association board as the regional director for Western U.S. and Mexico.
She has been a member of the group since its first year.
Evidence-based veterinary medicine is the formal strategy to integrate the best research evidence available combined with clinical expertise as well as the unique needs or wishes of each client in clinical practice.
More information can be found at www.ebvma.org.
Czachor sees cats, dogs, mice, rabbits and other animals that need care Monday through Saturday at Family Veterinary Clinic, 3217 E. Mahogany St., Port Angeles.
Appointments can be made by phoning 360-452-9682.
Insurance agent gets certification
PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles insurance agent Bruce Gagnon of Olympic Associates Financial Services Inc. recently received all training and certification to offer health insurance on Washington's new health insurance exchange Healthplanfinder.
The exchange, a new online insurance marketplace available at www.wahealthplanfinder.org, will go live Tuesday (Oct. 1).
“There will be online help, customer service reps and navigators available. It is important to understand that people will be able to partner with professionally trained insurance agents,” said Gagnon.
“Properly trained and certified insurance agents are the only ones that can recommend plans that are appropriate for your needs.
“Certified agents also can answer questions and help you enroll,” he said.
Gagnon, with more than 30 years' experience in the health insurance business, can be reached at 360-452-7093.
SEQUIM — A two-part first-time-homebuyers class will be presented at the Quality Inn, 134 River Road, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday (Oct. 1-2).
The class is free, and refreshments will be served.
Keynote speaker is Michele Adkisson of Eagle Home Mortgage.
This class is sponsored by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.
To reserve a seat, phone 360-683-2688.
Four agents from PA gain certification
PORT ANGELES — Four licensed insurance agents from Callis & Associates Insurance attended classes in Seattle on the Washington Healthplanfinder, the new healthcare insurance exchange that will launch Tuesday (Oct. 1) at www.wahealthplanfinder.org.
Julie Jeromchek, Laurie Fineout, Erika Kerschner and Melissa Middleton are all certified to sell and advise clients on the available plans through the exchange.
“We are very excited to partner with the exchange to offer an additional opportunity to our current and prospective clients with more health plan options and the possibility of tax credits to lower their monthly household costs,” said Jeromchek, Callis & Associates personal lines manager.
Callis is accepting appointments to walk prospective clients through the maze of options connected to the federal Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” including whether a client needs to do anything at all and if the person might be eligible for premium tax credits through the exchange.
For more information, phone 360-452-2314. The agency's office is at the corner of Eighth and Vine streets in Port Angeles.
PA winery given 3 medals, Best of Show in Colo.
PORT ANGELES — Judges at the 2013 Denver International Wine Competition have awarded three medals plus a Best of Show designation to Olympic Cellars.
The winery's 2009 Cabernet Franc received a double-gold medal and Best of Show in the red wine category; the 2011 Barn Nouveau, a Malbec blend, won gold; and the 2009 Syrah scored silver.
More than 750 wines from around the world were entered in this competition, which took place Sept. 7-8 at the Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield, Colo.
Judges were Colorado wine industry professionals, wine writers and retailers.
“We couldn't be more thrilled with the awards,” said Lisa Martin, winery co-owner and operations manager. “All three of the wines that we entered in the competition came home winners.
“We are particularly proud of the Best of Show designation given to our Cab Franc. This means that the wine scored more points than any other red wine in the Denver competition.
“We look forward to sharing this wine with our customers.”
Martin will fly to Denver to receive Olympic Cellars' awards and to represent the winery in two celebratory events, the Pairsine Chefs Food & Wine Competition and the Denver International Wine Festival Grand Tasting.
The events are Nov. 7-8 at the Omni Interlocken Resort.
Surgeon joins practice
PORT TOWNSEND — Dr. Mitra Jafari will join Port Townsend Surgical Associates on Tuesday (Oct. 1).
A general surgeon, Jafari's practice includes endoscopy and laparoscopy, hernia repair, cholecystectomy, thyroidectomy and treatment of skin and soft tissue disorders.
She took her medical degree and completed her internship and residency at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
She is certified by the American Board of Surgery, Advance Trauma Life Support and Advance Cardiac Life Support, and is a member of the Association of the American College of Surgeons. She has a special interest in advanced laparoscopy for gastrointestinal health issues.
“I am pleased to partner with Dr. Jay Lawrence and Dr. Don George and the surgery clinic,” Jafari said. “I feel fortunate to be a member of Jefferson Healthcare.”
Port Townsend Surgical Associates, 1010 Sheridan St., Suite 201, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Phone 360-385-5444.
For more information, visit www.jeffersonhealthcare.org.
Free taco giveaway
Taco Time locations in Port Angeles and Sequim will celebrate National Taco Day this coming Friday by giving away free orders of crisp beef tacos.
No purchase is necessary, and the promotion is limited to one free order per customer.
All 74 Taco Time Northwest locations in Western Washington are participating.
Tastings at market
PORT TOWNSEND — Eaglemount Wine and Cider and Finnriver Farm & Cidery will offer samples of their wines, ciders and fruit liqueurs at the Port Townsend Farmers Market every Saturday through Dec. 21.
Eaglemount and Finnriver ciders have been profiled in national publications including The New York Times and National Geographic Traveler.
Port Townsend Farmers Market hours are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through October and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays from November through Dec. 21.
The market is located on Tyler Street between Clay and Lawrence streets in Uptown Port Townsend.
For more information, email market director Will O'Donnell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Fed donation
PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles Symphony recently received a $1,000 contribution from First Federal to the symphony's Adventures in Music school project.
Adventures in Music is a collaborative project of the symphony with five school districts in Clallam County and provides live performing-arts programs during the school year for all elementary students.
Supporting curriculum materials provided to teachers offer lesson plans and suggestions for integrating arts into other curriculum areas.
The program also provides free admission to the families of every elementary student to all five Saturday morning concerts of the symphony.
“The orchestra is grateful that First Federal is partnering with us to enhance the lives of our children in Clallam County,” said symphony Executive Director Mark Wendeborn.
“This demonstrates their commitment to the communities they serve.”
For more information, phone Wendeborn at 360-457-5579 or visit www.portangelessymphony.org.
Seattle No. 1
SEATTLE — Move over, San Francisco.
Seattle now has the highest percentage of gay-couple households among America's large cities.
Recently released estimates from the Census Bureau show that in 2012, 2.6 percent of Seattle households were gay couples. That is the highest percentage among the 50 most populous cities in the United States.
San Francisco, which had held the top spot since the Census Bureau began counting same-sex couples in 2000, ranked second with 2.5 percent of all households.
It's a sharp reversal from previous census estimates. In 2011, San Francisco had 2.4 percent gay-couple households to Seattle's 1.7.
Seattle is still No. 2 to San Francisco, however, for the percentage of gay-male households.
But Seattle claimed the top city for the percentage of lesbian couples by a relatively wide margin.
With lesbian couples making up 1.2 percent of households in 2012, Seattle was the only large city to exceed 1 percent.
Gas prices fall
NEW YORK — Gasoline prices have fallen steadily throughout September, and drivers should look forward to even cheaper fill-ups in the weeks ahead.
The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.42, down from $3.59 on Sept. 1.
On the North Olympic Peninsula, the price averages $3.69 a gallon, down from $3.77 a week ago and $4.03 this time last year, according a Peninsula Daily News survey.
The price is the lowest it's been at this time of year since 2010 and is likely to keep falling.
“It's a layup for me to predict lower prices until Columbus Day weekend,” says Tom Kloza, Chief Oil Analyst at GasBuddy.com and Oil Price Information Service, which tracks retail and wholesale gasoline prices.
There are a number of reasons for this fall's drop in price, including the seasonal switch to cheaper winter grades and no hurricanes and few unexpected problems at refineries or pipelines, unlike last year.