Archives for August 2018
FTC Files Temporary Restraining Order Against Company
Anchorage, Alaska — Aug. 21, 2018 After receiving a pattern of complaints, Better Business Bureau has issued an alert against Sellers Playbook, a Minneapolis-based consulting business. Sellers Playbook advertises services to people looking to start their own online Amazon stores. According to complaints in BBB’s files, the company offers a no-cost informational meeting wherein attendees are encouraged to attend and pay $997 for a three-day training. In recent months, Sellers Playbook has held seminars in various cities across the United States, including Anchorage. At these sessions, consumers are encouraged to sign up for consulting services at a much higher cost. Some complainants have alleged high-pressure sales tactics at these three-day sessions while others state the company did not provide the resources or support promised.
On August 6, 2018, BBB became aware of action taken against Sellers Playbook by the FTC and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. The U.S. District Court entered a temporary restraining order against the company and its owners, who have been charged with violating the FTC Act, the Business Opportunity Rule, the Minnesota Prevention of Consumer Fraud Act and the Minnesota Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and violations of the Consumer Review Fairness Act.
Based on customer complaints, the first seminar is informational and free. From there, the company offers more intensive courses at a cost. At these three-day courses, complainants state that people are encouraged to sign up for different tiers of support/services – Diamond, Platinum or Gold and Silver. These different packages range in price up to more than $35,000. BBB has noted a pattern of customer complaints alleging Sellers Playbook failed to provide services as outlined in agreements or alleging the company provided incomplete or insufficient training.
Sellers Playbook has responded to some complaints brought to their attention by BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB). In some cases, the company has provided refunds as requested. In other cases, the company has stated they honored the terms of their agreement and were willing to pursue dispute resolution as outlined in their contract.
In January 2018, BBB offered to provide arbitration services to resolve a dispute with one of the company’s dissatisfied customers. Sellers Playbook Inc. declined that offer, as well as an offer to come in for an in-person meeting with BBB representatives about the pattern of complaints which has been noted. However, Sellers Playbook has been responsive via email to BBB concerns, making changes to their website so that customers will have a clearer understanding of the services they offer. BBB has processed 29 customer complaints filed against the company.
BBB encourages consumers to always read contracts in their entirety, including any clauses that could affect their legal rights. BBB also urges consumers to verify with the American Arbitration Association that dispute resolution services may be available as described in the company’s dispute resolution clause.
Michelle Tabler, Alaska Marketplace Manager| 907-644- 5208 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Veronica Craker, Content & Communications Director| 253-722-8732| email@example.com
Rachel Bandy (Hoffman) 96, died of natural causes in her home in Delta Junction, Alaska on Sunday morning August 12, 2018. She was born on October 3, 1921 in Oakland, California.
Mrs. Bandy was a beloved woman who was fiercely independent and possessed incredible strength, humility, wisdom, humor and kindness. She served as an elementary school teacher in Delta Junction for 27 years. Her gift of making children feel loved and accepted was marked by her fun nature and positive spirit. In a recent newspaper interview she was quoted as saying, “I taught school and loved it.” Indeed, love was her trademark.
She was a member of Clearwater Baptist Church, serving many years as a Sunday School teacher marked by her famous Felt Panel Board which she used to illustrate her classes.
Mrs. Bandy loved animals, especially her horses and dogs. She was a passionate lover of nature, respected all living things and cherished hiking with her dogs and riding horses with friends and relatives through the trails behind their home. As a proud Alaskan and she was eager to show it to anyone who visited.
Mrs. Bandy graduated from the Oakland High School, California and from San Francisco State College (Salutatorian) with a degree in Education. She served in the United States Navy as a WAVE (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service) during World War II.
She and her husband of 64 years, Carl Bandy, were married on May 11, 1945 in Santa Rosa, California in the former First Baptist Church, known as the Church of One Tree, because it was built out of one Redwood tree.
As the stepmother of Carl’s daughter, Patricia, Mrs. Bandy raised her as her own until Patty’s high school graduation in 1954 during the difficult years that followed when they moved from California, to New Jersey and then to Lake City, Iowa where she also taught school. Later she and Carl would host several foster children making a special difference in the lives of many.
Carl and Margie moved to Kotzebue, Alaska in 1958 when he got work with the Civil Aeronautics Authority (now the FAA). She taught in Kotzebue and Northway for several years before she moved to Delta Junction in 1963 to teach where Carl followed in the spring of 1964, a time marked by the great earthquake. She and Carl stayed in Delta Junction until their deaths.
She is survived by her Niece Jeanne Bruce and her husband John Bruce, who devotedly cared for her during her final years: Nephew Mark Mayo, Nephew Ken Mayo and his wife Cheryl Mayo and Lisa Mayo; Step Grandchildren Robert Mark Simpson and John Timothy Simpson; Great Granddaughters Caitlin Simpson Tucker, Mallory and Hannah Simpson.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Carl Goldman Bandy (d.2008), her Step daughter
Patricia Burnette Simpson(Bandy)(d.2018) and her husband Dr. Robert E. Simpson: her sister Eleonor Mayo (Hoffman), and her parents George Hoffman and Euphemia Mary Dukich Hoffman.
The Memorial Service for Mrs. Bandy will be on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. in the Clearwater Baptist Church, Clearwater Road and Remington Road, Pastor Glen C. Cotton presiding. She will be buried in the Rest Haven Cemetery in Delta Junction following the service in a private ceremony.
The family of Marjorie Bandy requests that memorial donations be sent to Clearwater Baptist Church, ℅ Pastor Glen C. Cotton, P.O. Box 907, Delta Junction, AK 99737.
Arrangements are through the Legacy Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, 415 Illinois Street, Fairbanks, AK 99701, (907) 456-5566, www.legacyalaska.com.
Hiking on a beautiful blue sky day in the Alaska Range above Black Rapids.
Photo Courtesy Steven Miley Photography
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) and the Red Cross, the mantra for disaster preparedness is: Get A Kit, Make A Plan, and Be Informed. Trust me when I say that survival is not a kit. Knowledge is more important than “stuff.” Preparedness and survival is all about a plan, your kit is simply a big part of your plan. I must admit that building a kit is more fun than making a plan, but it is all about a balanced approach to coming out ahead in the event of a disaster.
For the past few weeks, I have been providing a shopping list and a list of tips for building a 72 hour kit. I firmly believe a 72 hour kit is only a good start. Your long-range plan should be to extend your kit to a fourteen day supply as most disasters don’t know to stop at 72 hours. Ask those folks who have left their homes in Northern California in the face of wildfires. Some have no home in which to return, others have been gone way more than fourteen days.
After seven weeks, those who participate will have a well-rounded starter kit that should see them through most emergencies. Because we all have different needs, everyone’s kit will be different. Some of us have babies in the house, so those families will want to stock up on infants’ things, others will have folks with special needs and those requirements must be considered as you build your kit and make your plan. For those reasons, I don’t recommend buying one of the kits on the market, as they will probably not meet your family’s complete needs during an actual emergency. So having said that, let’s get to it!
Shopping list for Week Five:
1. Gloves. Latex or non/latex, plus a good pair of work gloves.
2. Paper plates, cups and utensils
3. Canned vegetables, soup/stew.
4. Toilet paper (lots) and paper towels.
5. Travel sizes of personal hygiene items, dental care, soap, feminine care, deodorant, etc.
6. Disinfectant wipes.
7. Supplies for baby, elderly or special needs.
Tips for Week Five
Select an emergency contact person residing out of the area for family members to contact in case they are separated. Sometimes it’s easier to connect a phone call out of the area than it is to get through locally.
Keep a copy of this seven week list in your car when you go shopping. Check off items as you go.
Make sure that all adults and teens in your household know how to shut off water and utilities.
Never use a portable generator in an enclosed area. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Clean, pure drinking water may be in short supply during an emergency. For a free set of plans to build a water filtration system send me an email. As always send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous columns are 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 at Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and other online booksellers.
By Leslie Shallcross
Freshly back from judging the preserved food entries at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer, I am pleased to report that people are still preserving at home with good results.
Proud preservers entered colorful, delicious Alaska berry and floral jellies and jams, pickled spruce tips, dried morels, smoked fish, fruit leather, bright orange carrots, rosy rhubarb sauces, tangy pickles and relishes, and beautiful, fragrant dried teas and herbs. With more than 420 entries, there are now many brightly beribboned, prize-winning jars on display.
Prize-winning entries have adhered to proper canning times, jar sizes, headspace (the space between the lid and jar contents), U.S. Department of Agriculture-tested recipes and proper canning methods. Entries should have clean, rust-free jars, rings and flat lids, no jar contents on the inner surface of the lid, and should follow best practices (i.e. peeling carrots before jarring removes traces of dirt and mold).
If you are entering in a fair, choose your most attractive product because products should also look good — this is a sign of following best practices to the letter and using top-quality raw materials. Some people will take time and make a few products just for fair competitions.
Taste, which many believe is the defining criterion, weighs less in the scoring than one might believe — in fact, some fairs don’t taste products due to concerns about foodborne illness. Bold judges are often happy to taste properly jarred high-acid products such as jellies, jams or pickles; but, don’t try to slip a vegetable broth jelly in among the other jams and jellies. There is no tested, safe method for canning a low-acid broth jelly — vegetable broth or chicken/meat broth can be canned in a pressure canner.
My time with volunteer judges and entrants revealed that many home preservers still don’t realize that USDA-published food preservation guidelines assure both safety and quality. This is true whether you are drying, freezing, fermenting, pickling or canning. Judges will ask about processing methods, times and even recipes to determine that entries represent safe, properly preserved products.
Safety is achieved by sufficient drying, sufficient heating, fermenting or adding an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice, and by proper processing in either a boiling water bath canner or a pressure canner as appropriate for the product — the amount of time cannot be reduced from the current published recommendations. Incorrectly or insufficiently processed products may contain the potentially fatal toxin botulism or they may contain mold or bacteria. Canned products such as pickles, chutney, salsa or barbecue sauce are only safe when they contain the correct amount of acid; you cannot make up these recipes at home without technical guidance and the ability to measure the pH or the acid level.
Quality is maintained by using the best handling techniques, including a precise “headspace.” This may make the difference between a product that your family will eat and one that looks too unappetizing. This may also determine whether you go home from the fair with a ribbon. Believe me, the judges can tell quality by the appearance of the product.
Summer is still providing ample cultivated and wild berries and vegetables. While you may preserve these by canning, freezing might be a quicker and easier method if you have an abundance of berries or vegetables and little time. And, you can use previously frozen products for canning later — people often do this with fish and berries. We don’t judge frozen products at the fair. But, if we did, my concern would be less about safety and more about following proper technique to maintain quality. I’ll talk more about freezing in a future column.
Whether you are entering in your local fair or preserving food for your family, proper techniques can mean the difference between a safe and delicious product and one that is unsafe, unappealing or inedible. Be sure to review research-based food preservation methods from the USDA before preserving or call your local Cooperative Extension office to get the latest guidelines.
Leslie Shallcross is the Tanana District health, home and family development agent for Cooperative Extension Service, a part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She can be reached at 907-474-2426 or email@example.com