It's the season to be frightened, but some things are neither trick nor treat.

Don’t be too scared to attend when the Columbus Metropolitan Club and the Columbus Council on World Affairs team up to convene a conversation on North Korea, Russia and Future of US National Security during Wednesday’s noon luncheon at the Boat House.  

It may be a little frightening to lose the leadership of Columbus City Schools Superintendent Dan Good when he retires at the end of the year, but you can help make the situation less alarming by offering input to help shape the search for his successor. Community meetings complete with translators are scheduled in two locations each of two evenings, Oct. 24 and 25. Or provide your thoughts online in a new superintendent survey.

Running for elective office can be really terrifying, but the John Glenn College of Public Affairs stands ready to make the prospect less daunting for women in an effort to increase their representation in all levels of government. A daylong conference at the Fawcett Center at Ohio State University, Ready to Run—Campaign Training for Women, is scheduled for Dec. 7.   

The prospect of buying or selling something online and meeting a stranger to complete the purchase is a spooky proposition. The Columbus Department of Public Safety has made it less frightful by creating five monitored Internet Purchase Exchange Zones at police substations across the city. Signs mark the spots where video surveillance cameras will catch transactions to keep them safe.

Knowing what information to rely on when creating public policy is unnerving enough; doing it in an environment of partisan tension and public skepticism elevates the fear factor. Health Policy Institute of Ohio aims to hearten policymakers and others in an Oct. 26 forum, Politics, Perceptions and the role of evidence in policymaking. Not to scare you off, but beware: I will moderate the afternoon panel.