“Frosty Moon River” Photo Courtesy Scott Skaleski
Archives for February 2018
Staying warm in the doghouse at Crazy Dog Kennels.
Photo Courtesy Steven Miley Photography
By Marla Lowder
When I was on a plane this past year, a 6-year-old sitting behind me kept kicking my seat. Now, I fly a lot and this is not unusual, but towards the end of the flight the child starting kicking the armrest and pushing it down. I would put it back up and she kept doing it. I finally put my arm in front of it so she couldn’t push it forward any more. She still kept trying and the parent would just look at her and say, “Don’t do that, they don’t like it.”
That was it and she never apologized to my seatmate or me, which would have made the situation a little better. I often wonder about what this parent was teaching her child and how the girl will be when she grows up.
Every child is different and parents need to learn how to help their children become better people as they grow and build their values. There are a lot of values, too: consistency, tolerance, hard work, generosity, perseverance, honesty, respect, gratitude, service, faith and many more. Values should be taught as early as possible, but as children get older they will start to understand them and their importance in our society.
It seems anymore that the media and individuals are talking about the deterioration of our values. As adults, parents and positive adult role models, we need to teach our youths that if they have strong value system it will affect them and they will have better self-worth, will be able to communicate more effectively, develop respect for others, develop stronger and healthy relationships and have a clearer vision of what they need to do. In other words, these values are the foundation that builds our society as we progress and thrive.
To quote a wise New Zealand judge who worked with young people and adults:“The world does not owe you a living; you owe the world something. You owe it your time, energy and talent . . . You are important, and you are needed.”
This judge’s counsel is over 60 years old. It is just as important for us to hear it today and for us to work with our teens today, whether it is as a parent or a positive adult role model. We need to remember not to be overbearing but to be firm and bold. It is easier on the child if both parents agree early in the child’s life what they feel are the most important standards and values they want to teach and then stick with them. It is also important to find organizations and such to associate with that have close to the standards/values you are trying to teach your children. In the end, though, it is ultimately the responsibility of the parent to teach the child.
4-H is a youth organization for youth K-12 that helps youth learn about certain items of interest to them, but also teaches them life skills. 4-H has a club structure with leaders who are adult volunteers with current background checks. To learn more about the local program, contact Marla Lowder, Tanana District 4-H agent, at 474-2427. You can also check out our web page at www.alaska4h.org/fairbankstanana-district.html. 4-H is a part of the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Seems like most folks I talk with about disaster prep sooner or later ask for a list. At that point in the conversation I usually do one of two things. I tell them to just imagine not being able to go to the store for a long period of time. What would you need to get by? It’s a little like planning a camping trip, what are you going to need? Make a list then lay in some supplies that would see you through most emergencies. The other option is to refer them to www.ready.gov or www.redcross.org. Both websites have excellent lists and suggestions for getting your kit together.
But for those who need that list right now, here’s a good starter:
1. Water-at least a gallon per day per person.
2. Food-a three day supply of non-perishable food, (a two-week supply is even better)
3. Radio-battery powered or hand-crank and a NOAA weather radio. Batteries for both.
4. Flashlight and extra batteries, lots of batteries
5. First aid kit.
6. Whistle-to signal for help
7. Moist towelettes, five gallon cans and garbage bags for sanitation purposes. (Eeeew!) The term “bucket seat” takes on a whole new meaning.
The list can go on, but don’t forget things like duct tape, zip ties, a wrench for shutting off the natural gas or propane, plastic sheeting, some cash, extra medications, and vitamins. This would be a good time to sit down with the family and brainstorm.
It is best to get a couple of totes and keep all your stuff in one place. Things like matches, candles, flashlights, batteries, some fuel canisters for your Coleman stove, and don’t forget a hand-crank can opener. I know from experience that kits tend to ‘grow’ as you accumulate more essential items. Vitally essential items, you understand..
Your list is going to be different than your neighbor’s. Their needs and priorities are different than yours. The needs of seniors will be different from the family that has an infant or children in the house. Also your home list is going to look differently than your “get home bag”. That’s the one you carry in your car to get you through an emergency if you happen to be away from home when disaster strikes.
If you’re at a loss as to what to add to your list, there are dozens of websites that are eager to sell you a kit. Click your way to their site and go over the list of contents in their kits. You will get good ideas on what to put in your own kit.
As always, if you have questions or comments you may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous columns can be found 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.
Photo Courtesy Dwight Phillips
Sunday, March 4 at 4:00pm
“TAIKOPROJECT is a tsunami of sound. As pure as a tea ceremony, as fresh as hip-hop, and as focused as a laser, their show will stun you with their grace and precision”
-Mark Sovel, Curator, 2012 Port of LA Lobster Festival, Los Angeles CA
TAIKOPROJECT was founded in 2000 in Los Angeles, California by a group of young, emerging taiko drummers. They were seeking to create a truly American style of taiko, blending traditional forms in which they were raised, with an innovative and fresh approach to the Japanese drum.
TAIKOPROJECT first made waves when they became the first American taiko group to win the prestigious Tokyo International Taiko Contest in 2005, besting all of the Japanese taiko groups in the competition. That year, they were cast in the Mitsubishi Eclipse commercial, the first and still only national advertising campaign to prominently feature taiko.
Since then, the group has performed on the 2009 Academy Awards, the 2011 Grammy Awards, NBC’s “The Voice,” Syfy’s Face/Off, The X-Factor, and were honored with the prestigious Visionary Award from East West Players. In 2013, TAIKOPROJECT was featured in rock band 30 Seconds to Mars’ epic “Up in the Air” music video and appeared with the band on Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and the iHeartRadio Music Festival.
Sponsored by Fairbanks Cancer Care Physicians, Alaska Airlines and Kinross Ft Knox Goldmine and ConocoPhillips Alaska
I witnessed this amazing sunset display over Mt. Hayes in the Alaska Range. Taken February 9, 2012 in Delta Junction, Alaska. Photo Courtesy Sebastian Saarloos
It is interesting the effect that the wind has on fireworks.
Photo Courtesy Fronty Parker
Beautiful display of northern lights. Looks like a heart. Happy Valentines Day!
Photo Courtesy Sebastian Saarloos
Anchorage, Alaska — Feb. 13, 2018 A study released by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) reveals an estimated 1 million Americans have been victimized in romance fraud scams with losses nearing $1 billion over the last three years. BBB warns those who use dating websites to be wary of scammers who prey on unsuspecting victims.
The study – “Online Romance Scams: A Better Business Bureau Study on How Scammers Use Impersonation, Blackmail and Trickery to Steal from Unsuspecting Daters” – says the scheme can take a number of months to play out as the scammer gains the victim’s trust. The scammer eventually will ask for small amounts of money to feel out the victim. Victims often turn into unknowing accomplices of money laundering.
The study recommends that law enforcement agencies share more information about successful romance fraud prosecutions, do more training and prosecute more cases. BBB recommends online dating sites and social media do more to screen, identify and remove profiles used for scams. There also needs to be more support services offered for romance fraud victims.
According to BBB Scam Tracker, an Anchorage woman reported losing $5,000 to a romance scam in November 2017. She reported she started a long-distance relationship with a man she found on a dating site. He told her he lived in Malaysia and often asked her for money for rent, hospital bills and business endeavors. The man claimed he would come live with her when he received his visa. When she tried to talk to him about it, he stopped communicating with her. After three years of a long-distance relationship, she gave him a total of $5,000.
Among the report’s key findings:
- There is no “typical” victim of romance fraud. They can be male or female, young or old, straight or gay. The common denominator is that they are seeking a loving relationship, and they believe they have found it.
- Scammers often portray themselves as U.S. military members. Military officials say they receive thousands of complaints yearly from scam victims around the world. Officials note military members will never need money for leave or health care.
- The majority of romance fraud has its home in West Africa, particularly Nigeria. There also are groups that operate in Russia and the Ukraine that employ online dating sites to defraud victims.
- At any one time, there may be 25,000 scammers online working with victims. A company that screens profiles for dating companies told BBB that 500,000 of the 3.5 million profiles it scans monthly are fake.
The report was prepared by C. Steven Baker, BBB International Investigations Specialist. Baker is the retired director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Midwest Region.
BBB offers the following tips for daters to avoid being caught in a romance scam:
- Protect your identity and your wallet. Scammers prefer prepaid cards and money transfers. Never send money or any personal information to someone you’ve never met in person. Visiting with someone via a video call doesn’t mean they’re not a scammer. Also, be cautious to not reveal any personal information or do anything you might regret later when using video applications. Some scammers use software to record video calls and then use it to extort money from victims. Don’t succumb to pleas of financial crisis.
- Think before going from public to private. Be hesitant if the conversation moves from a monitored site like social media or a dating site to a more private form of communication like email or instant messaging. This strategy might be a way for the scammer to draw you in without other people interfering.
- Do your research. Pour over the profile image and description. If it sounds too good to be true, verify it. You can perform a reverse image search to see if the profile photo has been used on other websites. You can also copy a portion of their biography and search to see if it’s been used on other sites. Scammers often use the same profile details and photos on multiple sites.
- Ask for details and get specific. Request other forms of identification, like a photo of them holding a piece of paper with their username on it. Ask specific questions about details in their profile. If they claim to be a military member, ask for their official military address as those all end in @mail.mil. Scammers likely will make excuses for why they can’t provide you more information.
- Pay attention to communication. Be wary of bad grammar and misspelled words. No one is perfect, but if mistakes often are repeated, it may suggest they aren’t from where they claim. Be on guard for use of pet names or discussions of marriage early in correspondence.
- Report it. If you feel like you’ve been victimized, report it to BBB’s ScamTracker, the Federal Trade Commission and FBI.
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