Denali….The Great One, Sunday September 17, 2017.
Photo Courtesy Dwight Phillips
Denali….The Great One, Sunday September 17, 2017.
Denali….The Great One, Sunday September 17, 2017.
Photo Courtesy Dwight Phillips
Those automatic payments sure make our life easier, don’t they? You set up the payments and from then on, bills automatically get paid regardless of other things happening in our life. A little bit of awareness and caution is called for to keep these conveniences from harming our fiscal fitness.
Do you know how many automatic payments you have set up on your accounts? I inventoried mine and found that all except one of my monthly recurring bills are set up on an automatic payment, a total of eight payments. That means eight fewer times I have to remember to pay a bill. No doubt, autopay is convenient. However, losing track of all those payments can cause some real challenges.
Your bank balance is the first hurdle. Losing track of what you are spending can cause overdrafts and uncovered spending when those automatic payments hit your account. I always reserve the amount of my automatic payments at the first of the month. There can be surprises, however. My husband’s cellphone bill came in at three times the normal amount this month due to a trip where he was always paying roaming charges.
Because of these variable payments, I always estimate an amount higher for safety. Losing sight of how much is spoken for could also lead to the danger of overspending since we think we have all this leftover money.
A greater danger for most of us is forgetting that we have agreed to make payments. There’s the payment for the gym that you no longer exercise at or the movie subscription that you haven’t used this month. Since they are automatic, it’s easy to lose track of what is actually coming out of your account.
Make note of the automatic payments you have agreed to and make sure you are still using that service. If it is something that you haven’t used, cancel it.
Remember that some of the subscription payments may occur on a monthly basis, but others are on a quarterly or annual basis. So it may take some long-term monitoring to catch all the recurring automatic payments.
A survey by the website CreditCards.com found that 35 percent of those Americans surveyed had made automatic payments that they had forgotten about. In more than half of these cases, the unexpected charges occurred when the person had signed up for a trial subscription or trial period and forgot to cancel.
This isn’t surprising, since most of us are creatures of habit. When a process is set up, it continues because it is easier to continue than untangling the methods to stop the charge. We are great at setting defaults to control our finances, but not at changing those defaults.
So why not make the default settings in the form of automatic payments benefit your fiscal life? Automatic savings is another type of default setting on our accounts that can benefit you. Go through your account and see if there are stray automatic payments that you have forgotten about and no longer need.
Change that default from paying the money out and instead put the money in your savings account. Even if you have no automatic payments to repurpose, set up an automatic payment to your savings account. You’ll be improving your finances, one automatic payment at a time.
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 email@example.com or by calling (907)474-7201.
Anchorage, Alaska — Oct. 25, 2017 Halloween is the second largest shopping holiday of the year, which means unscrupulous businesses have plenty of opportunity to cash in. In the rush to purchase a costume or decorate the house, consumers can miss red flags. This Halloween, watch out for pop-up store confusion, online shopping scams, haunted events, and other seasonal hazards.
Halloween is getting very popular with grown-ups, and there are numerous haunted theme events you can attend with your friends. Be cautious of events that advertise only online or in social media, or that don’t provide information on how to contact the event organizers. When in doubt, contact the venue and see if they have a paid booking for the date and time listed, or if they have heard of the organizer. One company that came to BBB’s attention has a stated “No Refund” policy… which applies even when they are the ones to cancel the event! Talk about scary…
Each fall, pop-up Halloween stores appear in empty storefronts across the United States and Canada. These shops can be a great way to purchase costumes, decorations, and other themed merchandise. But their temporary nature can leave consumers in the lurch.
Here are some tips for shopping at a seasonal Halloween store.
A popular alternative to pop-up shops is ordering Halloween costumes and decorations online. When shopping online, make sure the website is secure before entering your credit card information (look for URLs that start with “https ://”). Read the fine print, making sure you understand the return policy and shipping times. Also, ensure the shop has working contact information, so you can follow up in case of problems.
Check bbb.org/shoppingonline for more tips about shopping online.
Saturday, November 11 at 7:30 p.m. – Hering Auditorium
La Santa Cecilia started their career by serenading passersby on Los Angeles’ historic Olvera Street. La Santa Cecilia is a musical phenomenon that defies musical and cultural boundaries. Named after the patron saint of music, La Santa Cecilia is composed of accordionist and requinto player Jose ‘Pepe’ Carlos, bassist Alex Bendaña, percussionist Miguel ‘Oso’ Ramirez, and vocalist ‘La Marisoul’.
With a captivating voice that sings about love, loss, and everyday struggles, the band has become the voice of a new bicultural generation in the United States, fully immersed in modern music, but still close to their Latin American influences and Mexican heritage.
They have won a Grammy; toured from coast to coast; collaborated with legends including Elvis Costello, Bunbury, Fito Paez; appeared on Conan; and most recently shared the stage with Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones and Pepe Aguilar. Their upcoming 2017 performances include a show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles with Cafe Tacvba and Mon Laferte.
In January of 2017, the band again broke new ground by recording a unique visual album of traditional Mexican and Latin American music titled Amar y Vivir. The 12 song set was recorded entirely live in 5 days in the streets, bars, and parks of Mexico City. The visual album is an exploration of the bands roots and counts with the collaboration of the iconic Mexican singer Eugenia Leon, Chilean star Mon Laferte and the legendary Mariachi America amongst others.
“Rainbow Mountain in Winter”
Photo Courtesy Scott Skaleski
On September 3, I was on my way to Valdez and captured this awesome fall scenery shot.
Photo Courtesy Richard Mitchell
(FAIRBANKS, Alaska) – The Fairbanks International Airport Police and Fire Department is conducting live-fire training Thursday, October 26th and Friday, October 27th in accordance with FAA requirements under FAR 139.319 and State of Alaska Firefighter training requirements
The live-fire trainings will begin at approximately 7 p.m. Large columns of black smoke may be observed rising from the fire training area on the south side of the airport. Area emergency services agencies will be notified prior to commencing the training and upon training cessation.
Group Releases Statement on the Start of Alaska’s Fourth Special Session to Raise Taxes
Anchorage, AK – Americans for Prosperity (AFP) – Alaska released a statement on the beginning of the fourth special session called by Gov. Walker to force a vote on legislation that would raise taxes. The bill would increase the tax burden on working Alaskans by $300 million.
Last week, AFP-Alaska began a media campaign advocating against any tax increases, especially any tax increase that would target working Alaskans and small business.
“Working Alaskans and small businesses have made it abundantly clear that new taxes are not the solution to our state’s fiscal woes,” said Jeremy Price, AFP-Alaska State Director. “Implementing this tax is not a serious attempt to address the growing state budget, which can only be solved by cutting government spending. AFP-AK encourages all legislators to be leaders and vote against any new tax increase during this special session.”
Submitted by John Rich
James “Jim” Barry Storey, of Delta Junction, passed away Oct. 15, 2017, from ALS at the age of 78.
Jim was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 29, 1939, but lived his entire boyhood in the rural hill country of western Pennsylvania. He attended a one-room, all-grades schoolhouse through eighth grade and was eventually bused to nearby Vandergrift for high school. He recalled that the roads and buses weren’t much, and they were constantly getting stuck or breaking down. “They would make us little kids get out and push the buses and it was surprising none of us were killed doing so.” He and his three siblings led an austere “Daniel Boone” lifestyle of hunting and fishing until the family moved to Avonmore, Pennsylvania.
He joined the U.S. Army after high school and served for over 20 years, including two Vietnam tours in 1964 and 1968-69. He was assigned to the Thai Army forces and also worked with the Montenards and Hmong peoples of Vietnam. Jim said he was better suited than most and could easily adapt to these roles due to his “woodsy upbringing.” An accomplished shooter, he served as a sniper and later with the Army’s marksmanship programs. He earned many medals and honors, including the Bronze Star.
Jim spent much of his career in the Army’s vehicle and weapons testing programs at locations across the country, operating and testing almost everything in the U.S. and many foreign inventories. He served twice in Germany and was eventually assigned to the Cold Regions Test Center at Fort Greely in 1975. He attained a vast depth of expertise across many weapons, equipment and vehicle systems, as well as cold weather operations issues. He was very meticulous and always striving to ensure the systems were realistically tested and best suited for the soldier.
After retiring from the Army as a master sergeant in 1977, Jim continued to work at CRTC. He was the lead test officer for a wide variety of U.S. and foreign test programs over the years, including tanks, artillery, missiles, munitions, explosives, clothing and even skis. He could usually be found out on the ranges, testing day and night in extreme weather conditions. He was a talented writer and articulate speaker who represented CRTC as their subject matter expert to many U.S. and allied foreign military representatives as well as commercial industry representatives.
Jim had friends all over the world and brought many soldiers, civilians and foreign visitors home over the years for his wife, Jane, to feed – often with no notice. He was known by many in the Test Division as “the Red Fox”, for his bright red hair and expertise. He was also known for his candor, integrity and work ethic. He retired in March 2003 after over 45 years of immeasurably dedicated service to our army and to our nation. He continued to help many in the community utilizing his maintenance skills.
Jim was well known for his love of Alaska, the outdoors and wildlife. He spent virtually all of his free time hunting, fly fishing, hiking and skiing across Alaska. He disdained four-wheelers, preferring to hike or ski in remote areas to enjoy pristine Alaska. He especially enjoyed bird hunting with his dog, Jenny. He served several years on the Delta Fish and Game Advisory Committee to the Alaska Board of Game. He was especially proud of his role as a grandfather, spending untold hours hiking and fishing with his granddaughters each summer.
Jim loved his family and would go to great lengths to care for and support them. He is predeceased by his dear wife, Jennie “Jane” E. Storey (2014), and by his parents, James E. Storey and Helen D. Storey. He is survived by his two daughters, Mary H. Sheehan (Joe) and Sheila K. Johansen (Chris), and his two grandchildren, Talia Johansen and Makenna Johansen. He is also survived by his siblings, Brian Storey (Nancy), Edwina Confer (Wayne) and Conrad Storey; sister-in-law, Alda Foeks; brother-in-law, Andrew Bennardo; and nieces and nephews.
Special thanks to Bassett Army Community Hospital and its wonderful staff. Jim and his entire family appreciated their extraordinary care and dedicated support of him.
A service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Delta Presbyterian/Faith Lutheran Church, followed by a potluck celebration of life at the adjacent Delta Community Center. We invite his many friends and the community to attend. Jim Storey was a great American and will be missed.
If you have ever taken the time to actually read those newspaper articles about the likelihood of a major earthquake off the Pacific Northwest coast, then you’ve read about tectonic plates. Tectonic plates are those giant puzzle pieces that make up the earth’s crust, that are constantly in motion, rubbing against each other and creating havoc when they collide or try to slide past one another. The colliding and sliding past isn’t so bad, it’s when they collide, push, build tension, then suddenly release that causes an earthquake. If the sudden release is at sea, then a tsunami is generated and we all remember watching the videos of Japan’s tsunami after their earthquake on March 11, 2011.
Even as we speak, two tectonic plates are entangled in a dance off our coast that will one day result in a cataclysmic upheaval which will result in an earthquake the likes of which we have never seen.
In January 1700 a similar quake rocked the entire northwest. That was 100 years before Lewis & Clark found their way to the mouth of the Columbia River. Before any white man showed up with a clipboard to keep records of what happened. The Japanese, were of course keeping records and recorded an orphan tsunami which wiped out a portion of their coast, washing at least one fishing village out to sea. It wasn’t until just recently estuary core samples revealed major tsunami activity along the Oregon and Washington coasts precisely at that same time. It has been determined the entire coastline of Oregon and Washington had dropped anywhere between three and ten feet. Farther up north red cedar stumps can be found in salt water marshes along the coast.
Everybody knows red cedar trees don’t grow in salt water so logic says “something” had to happen to lower the landscape enough so that those stumps are now surrounded by salt water.
Some of those same experts have determined that the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate is pushing its way under the Continental plate. This part is normal, but when the plates get hung up on each other, there is a tension generated which bends the entire plate. Some have likened this to pushing a fishing rod along the ground until it hangs up on something. Sooner or later something lets go and great energy is released. Such will be the case when the two plates off our coast let loose. I should also add that the experts stress this is not a matter of “if”, but most certainly a matter of “when!”
This set of facts is the best reason I can think of for prepping. When this quake strikes, there will be no roads in and out of our entire region. Closed bridges, blocked highways and busted pavement will shape our travel plans for weeks, maybe months. Grocery stores will be sold out within hours of the event with no means to restock. Electrical grid down for weeks on end and emergency responders unable to answer your 911 calls which aren’t going through anyway because all cell phone systems are down as well. One account even suggests that our hospitals won’t be up and running for three years!
Now is the time to store up some food, supplies and check out your camping gear and make some plans. Is that old camp stove still working? Lantern, candles, extra water? If you have a generator, will it start? Do you have enough fuel to run it as long as you need it?
As always, send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can check out previous columns on my blog at www.disasterprepdave.blogspot.com. Dave Robinson is a retired Postmaster, and the author of “Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us,” available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and other online booksellers.