Monster cloud out in front of our house on Jack Warren Road.
Photo Courtesy Richard Mitchell
Monster cloud out in front of our house on Jack Warren Road.
Monster cloud out in front of our house on Jack Warren Road.
Photo Courtesy Richard Mitchell
By Art Nash
What did it cost you last time you went to the doctor or dentist? I mean before any insurance, Medicare or Medicaid kicked in to bring down the cost. And that may have been just for a routine checkup or work/school annual physical. What if you needed treatment for lung cancer?
The National Cancer Institute reports that the cost for the initial treatment of lung cancer in 2010 was $60,553 for women and $60,885 for men. Subsequent annual continued treatment was $8,130 and $7,591 respectively. The problem with this cancer is not only treatment expenditures, but also of survival. According to the America Cancer Society, most lung cancers have already spread widely and are an advanced stage when they are first found.
But what if a simple test could alert you the presence of the second leading cause of lung cancer — radon? There are certified professionals who, for a couple hundred dollars, will give you a detailed hourly average of radon levels in your home with sophisticated machinery.
You can also test the radon levels in your home with an easily available test kit containing activated charcoal, which is no different than what is used in common shoe deodorizers. The kit will give you an overall average of what the concentration of radon gas is in your home over a 48-hour period. Though the lab fee varies, the kits generally cost around $15-$20. Kits that also include the analysis are also available from Extension district offices or by ordering one at (877)520-5211.
And then what? If you have radon in your home what would the cost be to fix it? If it means merely filling in cracks in your cement floor or wall, you have some sweat equity and possibly $25 in patch materials. If you have a crawl space without any secure covering, you may run into a solid day and possibly $100 of materials, with the possibility of a sore back for the next week from leaning over.
If you invested either of those, and then spend a couple more hundred dollars to get a furnace repair man to balance your furnace and heat recovery ventilator (HRV) — and are still experiencing high radon levels, you can put in a PVC pipe chimney. This will evacuate the radon by depressurizing the soil under the floor. That will cost you up to $4,000 locally to have it professionally installed. Or you could buy 4-inch PVC pipe, rent a pile driver, and spend a $150 fan for a total around $600. You may then throw in a $125 monitor to make sure it works continually.
If you are building a new house and haven’t put in the foundation yet, you might have PVC or ABS piping put in under plastic sheeting and the cement slab for around $1,000-$1,500. Given the scattered uranium throughout the state, it will be all the more important for contractors to utilize radon-resistant construction so that from the git-go there is not only protective vapor barrier secured on the ground but also semipermeable membrane material such as Bituthene adhered to any pony walls before backfilling soils.
Remember, no matter where you are currently living, the only way you’ll know if you have a radioactive radon problem, is to test.
Art Nash is the energy specialist for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. Contact him at (907)-474-6366 or by email at email@example.com.
The phone rings — usually during a meal — and someone on the line demands that you pay a debt that you owe. The call could concern a legitimate debt, but sometimes the call is not from a collector at all. Rather it is a scam artist pretending to be a debt collector.
Recently there has been an increasing incidence of scammers masquerading as collectors and preying on unsuspecting victims.
First, don’t avoid real debt collectors. If you owe the debt, work with the collector to find a solution that works for both of you. If you avoid the situation, they will simply continue to call and may resort to more aggressive collecting tactics.
By law, collectors must verify your identity before talking to you. They are not allowed to talk about your debt with unauthorized people. They will ask you to verify your name, address, month and year of birth or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Once they have verified your identity, they will tell you the purpose of the call and will give you the name of their company, address, phone number and website. This is your opportunity to verify that they are a legitimate bill collector.
Those crooks who are pretending to be collectors may ask you for your whole Social Security number and won’t offer any other alternative to verify your identity. In fact, this should be one rule you should always follow — never give your Social Security number to anyone unless you know who you are talking to and completely trust their intentions.
Scammers won’t give you any information about themselves, the company they represent or the debt. They may also say they are from a fake agency that is close enough to an actual agency’s name to sound real. Ask for written information on the debt. Scammers may yell at you or threaten you with jail or violence, but when you ask for written information, they are likely to move on to the next person on their list.
Don’t dismiss the debt collector as a scammer simply if you don’t recognize the name of the company. Overdue payments are often sold to consolidators who attempt to collect on the debts, so the name of the company may not be familiar to you. Ask the person on the phone who they are representing and for their verifying information. If you have any doubts at all, ask for written information to be mailed to you and refuse to talk about the debt until you have reviewed the information.
If you receive a collection letter, read it carefully. Unless you have reason to think it is suspect, you should respond in some manner. Even if you can’t pay, call the company and discuss the debt. Don’t be afraid to negotiate if you owe the debt and can pay something. If you can’t pay the debt, try to set up a payment plan or agreement that you are comfortable with.
If it is a legitimate debt collector and you aren’t comfortable with the way you have been treated, you do have the right to submit a complaint concerning a collector to the company’s compliance complaint. If you continue to have trouble, complaints can be sent to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the state attorney general.
If you suspect a scammer, report the situation and as much information as you can glean to the Alaska State Troopers or the city police. Depending on the situation, there may not be enough evidence or damages to prosecute. However, it is always a good idea to share your experiences so others won’t get caught in the same scams.
Owing a debt is never an easy situation. However, don’t compound that challenge by becoming the victim of a scam artist pretending to be a debt collector.
Roxie Rodgers Dinstel is associate director of the Cooperative Extension Service, a part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Questions or column requests can be e-mailed to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (907)474-7201.
ANCHORAGE, AUGUST 30, 2017- Today the American Red Cross of Alaska announces a plan to provide volunteer opportunities to those Alaskans interested in helping with large disasters like Hurricane Harvey, but also when smaller disasters like home fires happen in local communities.
Hurricane Harvey has displaced tens of thousands of individuals, and the Red Cross is in need of volunteers to deploy to assist in recovery efforts that will continue for months.
The Red Cross of Alaska appreciates the overwhelming interest of the public to volunteer. Due to the tremendous outpouring of support, the Alaska chapter has scheduled a series of new volunteer training sessions that will prepare Alaskans to potentially deploy to Texas over the next few months. Once the training program is completed, new volunteers will also be qualified to respond to local disaster efforts.
“We greatly appreciate the response in our community to assist,” said Kelley McGuirk, Regional Disaster Officer at the Red Cross of Alaska. “Please be aware this will be an extremely challenging deployment. You must be in good physical and mental health and know that this can be mentally and emotionally exhausting.”
Volunteer training courses will begin next week in Anchorage and Fairbanks, and begin September 15 in Juneau.
The effects of Harvey will be felt for a long time. New volunteers interested in deploying with the Red Cross of Alaska should allow about a months’ time for the on boarding process to be complete.
The safety of the people we serve and the volunteers who help them is of utmost importance. Procedures are in place to track who is volunteering for the Red Cross to help keep people safe. This includes running a background check on all volunteers who will work directly with the people who turn to us for help or have access to funds. Volunteers also sign an agreement to abide by our code of ethics and conduct.
Once new volunteers are in the Red Cross system and qualify to deploy, they can expect their deployment to last for approximately 14 days.
Volunteer Training Course Details:
Anchorage Training Details
You will be required to attend one of the Red Cross of Alaska New Volunteer Orientation courses as well as one of the Saturday Shelter Fundamentals and Shelter Exercise.
Red Cross of Alaska New Volunteer Orientation
Please register for one of the following dates:
Anchorage Fire Training Center
1140 Airport Heights Dr, Anchorage, AK 99508
After completing the New Volunteer Orientation course, the next step is to attend a Shelter Fundamentals course and Exercise.
Shelter Fundamentals course and Exercise dates:
Please register for one:
Saturday, September 9, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Register here: http://www.cvent.com/d/btq7th
Saturday, September 16 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Register here: http://www.cvent.com/d/vtq7t7
Alaska Fire Training Center: 1140 Airport Heights Dr, Anchorage, AK 99508
For questions on Anchorage training courses, please contact Celia Jackson at email@example.com
Fairbanks Training Details
Course date: Tuesday, Sept 5 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Register here: http://www.cvent.com/d/5tq7tj
Red Cross of Alaska Fairbanks office: 3501 Lathrop Street, Unit #G Fairbanks, AK 99701
For questions on Fairbanks training courses, please contact Lori Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Juneau Training Details
Southeast Disaster Institute
A three-day workshop:
Friday, September 15, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, September 16, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, September 17, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Register here: http://www.cvent.com/d/ktq7t8
101 Egan Drive, Juneau, Alaska 99801
The American Red Cross of Alaska will host its Southeast Disaster Institute from September 15 to 17, at Centennial Hall in Juneau, during the Ready or Not, Don’t Get Caught! Juneau Safety and Preparedness Expo. Topics include:
101 Egan Drive, Juneau, Alaska 99801
For questions on Juneau training courses, please contact Andrew Bogar at Andrew.email@example.com
Additional classes may be offered at later dates if classes fill up.
This little fella was walking around near where I work at Fort Greely. You can see he’s beginning to shed (rub) the velvet on his antlers. Photo was taken in the fall of 2016. Photo Courtesy Dwight Phillips
Saturday, September 16 at 7:30 p.m. – Hering Auditorium
Melissa Etheridge stormed onto the American rock scene in 1988 with the release of her critically acclaimed self-titled debut album, which led to an appearance on the 1989 Grammy Awards show. In February 2007, Melissa Etheridge celebrated a career milestone with a victory in the “Best Song” category at the Academy® Awards for “I Need to Wake Up,” written for the Al Gore documentary on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth.
As a performer and songwriter, Etheridge has shown herself to be an artist who has never allowed “inconvenient truths” to keep her down. Earlier in her recording career, Etheridge acknowledged her sexual orientation when it was considered less than prudent to do so.
In October 2004, Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer, a health battle that, with her typical tenacity, she won. Despite losing her hair from chemotherapy, Etheridge appeared on the 2005 Grammy® telecast to sing “Piece of My Heart” in tribute to Janis Joplin. By doing so she gave hope to many women afflicted with the disease.
Known for her confessional lyrics and raspy, smoky vocals, Etheridge has remained one of America’s favorite female singer-songwriters for more than two decades.
More info: http://fairbanksconcert.org/project/melissa-etheridge-9-16-17/
Get tickets now: https://fairbanksconcert.secure.force.com/ticket
Budgeting is a dirty word for most of us. Not only does it smack of depriving ourselves, but it also is just plain complicated. You estimate what you are going to spend. You have to stay within these estimates, then you have to track your spending and revise those estimates to match what actually happened.
This multistep process is what turns most people off when it comes to budgeting. However, you can’t just stop planning. Having a handle on what you spend is crucial for your fiscal health.
Not spending at all doesn’t work for most. However, if your eyes glaze over at the thought of all those numbers, I’d like to offer a simplified version of budgeting that may help. It is a method of creating a budget for those who are math challenged, or at least budget-motivation challenged. It is based on the numbers 50, 30 and 20.
Start by noting your take-home pay. This is the amount of money you make minus taxes, retirement, health insurance and any other deduction you might have. This is the amount of money you can actually spend. Then figure out the amounts of 50 percent, 30 percent and 20 percent of this number.
Here’s how the budgeting process breaks down:
Fifty percent of your income goes to your needs. This is your house or rent payments, car payments, car insurance, gasoline, utilities, debt and groceries. These are the things you absolutely can’t do without. If your necessities are higher than 50 percent, see if there are ways to save money. Remember that the whole category is 50 percent, so you may choose to spend more on your housing and spend less on your groceries. As long as you spend no more than half of your income on the essentials, you are meeting the guidelines.
Thirty percent of your income goes to wants. This is what you like to spend money on: the cable bill, movies, entertainment, restaurants and travel. These are the fun things that take money out of your pocket. Granted, some of these items may seem more like a necessity than a luxury. For instance, your cellphone bill falls into this category. Whether you have a cellphone may not be negotiable, but the tier of service you have can be changed if needed to save money. Keep close track of this amount in your budget and be sure you don’t let fun creep up past the 30 percent mark.
The final 20 percent goes into savings. This is where you will grow your emergency fund, save for retirement and even save to vanquish your debt. Think of this as your “get ahead” category. Saving at least 20 percent of your income will allow you the money needed to pay down your debt, save for future obligations and reduce your reliance on credit cards.
Though I have listed the categories in descending order, it’s probably a good idea to put the savings category before fun. The better you get at limiting your fun spending, the more opportunity you will have to save.
The whole idea is based on the 50-30-20 breakdown. If this seems to be too austere for you, take a while to look at where your money is going now, then work toward this breakdown. It may take you a while to change your spending habits to match this pattern, but it is a worthy goal to work toward.
Roxie Rodgers Dinstel is associate director of the Cooperative Extension Service, a part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Questions or column requests can be e-mailed to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 907-474-7201.
Once again it will be proven that the heart of America is helping each other. Americans do care about each other and want the best for our towns and our country. Media lately has been highlighting all the tension between a few groups of people and hatred displayed by these groups. The vast majority of Americans may disagree and argue quite a bit. However, while Hurricane Harvey Hurts our country, it will demonstrate once again that the majority of Americans want the very best for each other. We will pull together for Houston and the other neighboring towns. This is one reason why we are still The United States of America and the greatest country of all.
(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – Governor Bill Walker has issued a proclamation declaring September 2017 Aviation Appreciation Month, recognizing the importance of aviation in the State of Alaska.
“Aviation is the primary statewide means of access and connection for eighty-two percent of Alaska’s communities not connected to the contiguous road system,” said Walker. “Alaska is home to 749 registered airports and seaplane bases, supporting 9,346 registered aircraft utilized by 7,853 active pilots.”
“The State of Alaska plays a major part in aviation operating 242 airports throughout the state. The International Airports have a combined annual payroll of nearly $1 billion and generate over 15,000 jobs in Anchorage, and over 1,900 jobs in Fairbanks,” said John Binder, Deputy Commissioner of Alaska’s Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF).
ADOT&PF joins with other aviation organizations such as the Alaska Air Carriers Association, Alaska Airmen Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Federal Aviation Administration, and Alliance for Aviation Across America to thank Governor Walker for his recognition of the significance of aviation in Alaska.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 242 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 731 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”
Thursday, September 7, 2017
TIME: 5:30 PM
PLACE: School Board Conference Room, District Office
The Delta/Greely School District provides each student with opportunities to become a
responsible and productive member of society.
Richard Mauer, President
Dana Mock, Vice President
Eileen Herman, Treasurer
Barbara Parker, Clerk
Kirstin Porter, Student Representative
LTC Michael Foote, Military Representative
A. Call to Order
B. Roll Call
C. Pledge of Allegiance
D. Correspondence to/from Board
E. Discussion Items
1. Public Heath Nurse – Discussion/Public Comment
2. AASB Resolutions – Discussion/Public Comment
4. District Test Results – Discussion/Public Comment
5. Fort Greely School – Discussion/Public Comment
F. Future Meetings
1. Business Meeting September 14, 2017
2. Work Session October 5, 2017
G. General Comments from the Public
H. Comments from the Board
3. Key Indicators – Discussion/Public Comment
2017 – 2018 Board Goals
1. Facilitate the planning, programming, budgeting, execution and reporting of a short and long term maintenance
2. The board will adopt key indicators of success and implement an annual review of those indicators.
3. The board will facilitate the on-going implementation and review of the strategic plan.
4. The board will continue to analyze budget data to identify efficiencies and priorities.