Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at kcapps@newsminer.com, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

Women can be hesitant to run for public office or to serve on community boards. The American Association of University Women wants to take some of the mystery out of that whole process.

That’s why the group is sponsoring the panel discussion “Women In Local Government” to provide information on what is involved in running for office or applying to serve on commissions. The panel meets at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the IBEW Hall, 2000 Airport Way.

AAUW is the perfect organization to host a meeting like this, according to Ritchie Musick, who is vice president of programming for the local organization. AAUW, after all, seeks equity for women.

“We’re hoping to plant some ideas,” she said — especially with women who may not have seriously thought about running for office. There are lots of ways to serve besides political office, she said.

The panel will include women who already serve on boards or commissions, including Valerie Therrien, Fairbanks City Council; Leah Williams, Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly; Tammie Wilson, Legislature; Wendy Dominique, Fairbanks North Star school board; and Corinne Fisher, Fairbanks Planning Commission.

Each panelist will take about 10 minutes to explain why she decided to get involved in their communities in this way and what was involved. They’ll talk about what led them specifically to serve and what it cost in terms of time and money. The panelists will share specific problems they have encountered and specific successes and benefits they have experienced as a result.

Questions from the audience will follow.

Open House

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Rasmuson Library will host an open house from 5-7 p.m. today at the Alaska and Polar Regions Collection and Archives in Room 210. This highlights the reopening of the Paul H. McCarthy Research Room and features exhibits of materials from the Michael Krauss and Candace Waugaman collections.

The archives are located two floors down from the ground floor of the library. For more information, call 907-474-6400.

Iowa Alert

If you are from the state of Iowa, you are invited to a Transplanted Iowan Reunion Potluck lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 25 at 1226 Cowles, across from the Noel Wien Library.

Ruth Knapman spearheads the annual event, which began about seven years ago.

“That’s where my roots are,” said Knapman, who has lived in Alaska for 57 years.

It’s always fun to visit with others from that state, and she’s hoping to include some new faces this year, she said

“We visit, we tell stories about our childhood,” she added.

Knapman has great memories of Iowa — especially the fresh sweet corn and some of the people. But she doesn’t miss the hot humid summers, biting cold winters or tornadoes.

Also hosting the event are Claude and Joanne Klaver and Mary Moriarty. Questions? Call 371-9538.

Come for lunch, visit, then leave when you must, Knapman said.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at kcapps@newsminer.com. Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

This story has been updated to reflect that GVEA will not have a representative on the panel.