Columns

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Will cuts be needed to offset tax reductions?

With the tax bill signed into law, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has set his sights on reforming Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and welfare in 2018. But he will have to overcome several big barriers to be successful, including reversing...

 

The importance of sleep for elders

Learning the causes of sleep deprivation, especially in the winter, and how to overcome them are important steps for our elders to take in order to get a good night’s rest and increase their overall physical wellbeing. Why sleep is important Sleep...

 

Emergency planning is a year-round priority

With the New Year behind us and February under way, many of us have already forgotten our well-intended resolutions and plans to change something in our lives for the better. The old standbys are...

 

First Fur Rondies help beat the winter blues

In the mid 1930s, a few fellows got together and decided it would be great to put together a winter sports tournament for all of Anchorage's residents. Vern Johnson, Clyde Conover, Thomas Bevers and...

 
 By Nick Thomas    Columns    February 1, 2018 

40 years on, Debby Boone is still lighting up our lives

Debby Boone's recording of "You Light up My Life" not only became a monster hit of 1977, but went on to become one of the most popular songs of the decade. "I have a hard time believing it's been 40...

 

iPhone battery woes; smartphone battery apps; retire a smartphone

Q. Are recent reports of iPhone battery problems serious or much ado about nothing? A. The truth lies somewhere in between. When it comes to the battery strength, your smartphone “lies” to you all the time. At first glance the battery-level icon...

 

If you like to hunt, don't let age stop you

I have been hunting since I was 12 years old and still enjoy it, though I am now in my 70s. The key to hunting when one gets older is to think safety at all times and try not to over-challenge...

 

Will Social Security be around in your future?

Will Social Security be in your future? The short answer is “yes.” The other short answer is “maybe.” Let’s start at the beginning. Who cares if Social Security has a future? About 61 million people, or more than one in every six U.S....

 

Which way HHS if Alex Azar is confirmed?

In the nation’s capital, where politicians are always wearing partisan political jerseys, the nomination of Alex Azar to be the new Health and Human Services Secretary may offer the hope of a fresh start on health care issues. President Trump’s...

 

Sixty-six and still a caregiver – facing the future

By all accounts, Bharti Parikh, 66, has led an exciting life: from a childhood in the tiny village of Patton in Gujarat, India, to a law degree and fulfilling years in America that included working fo...

 

Out-smarting the porch pirates

My Anchorage neighborhood had been chattering about packages disappearing from doorsteps. Security camera footage was posted to Facebook of people stealing boxes. So I was not stunned when one of...

 

Depression hits older veterans hard

The holiday season is a joyous and festive time of the year for most folks. But some in our community don’t feel celebratory due to depression. Be it because of long term illness, the loss of a...

 

Jewel's concert, imagery leave lasting impression

In late November I sat with my son and his friend enjoying the ambience of the historic Paramount Theater in downtown Denver. We waited with quiet anticipation along with the rest of the sold out...

 

How did Juneau become Alaska's capital?

Juneau became the capital of the 49th state on Jan. 3, 1959, after U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the statehood act into law. It became the only state capital not accessible by road. But...

 
 By Nick Thomas    Columns    January 1, 2018

Jay Sandrich directed classic sitcoms

Starting out as an assistant director on "I Love Lucy" in the late 50s probably wasn't a bad introduction to Jay Sandrich's television career behind the camera. "I wrote a letter to Lucy's company...

 

Three uncommon uses for your smartphone

Q. How can I use my phone to take a family photo and include everyone in the picture? A. Smartphone cameras have gotten so good that there has never been a better time to put one on a tripod. Phone cameras perform magic to keep images sharp in all...

 

Christmas form letters leave treasured legacy

Form Christmas letters. Whether they arrive by snail mail or email, people seem to either love or hate these annual family newsletters. Let me just state up front that I am a fan. Because my mother...

 

Aging undocumented day laborers face uncertain options, future

By JACQUELINE GARCIA Diverse Elders Coalition Every morning, Eduardo arrives at a day laborer center in Los Angeles to pick up his crew for the day. Depending on the working schedule, the 52-year-old...

 

Giving a pet for Christmas – magical or a mistake?

The holiday season is upon us and that means people are searching for the perfect gift for friends and family. From socks to wine and pajamas to animals, people will receive both wanted and unwanted...

 

The heartstring-tugging song that nobody knows

Even as people attempt to sing it, few know the words of the world’s best-known and most-sung song (outside of “Happy Birthday”). Or much else about the mystery song. Dick Clark, long the host of the new year’s eve TV broadcast from Times...

 

Statehood ignites land rights legal battle

More than four decades ago Congress enacted the Alaska Native Land Claims Settlement Act, which conveyed about 40 million acres to Alaska Native-owned corporations and settled aboriginal land claims....

 

The roller-coaster life of Connie Francis

The tragedies that befell singer Connie Francis throughout her life would challenge the most resilient of souls. Nevertheless, she navigated each dark, engulfing personal tunnel with unwavering...

 

Clean screens, facial ID, and moving iTunes

Q. What is the best way to clean the screen on a smartphone or tablet? A. My favorite method is a microfiber towel sold under the trademark Dash Gear (www.cleantools.net/products/dash-gear). I discovered these in a local auto parts store a few years...

 

Rationing forced sacrifice, resourcefulness

To author Studs Terkel, World War II was The Good War. And to Tom Brokaw, those who lived through it were The Greatest Generation. Sacrifice was the order of the day. And, as Betty Curtis and Carmen S...

 

The contentious history of Social Security

In 1935 the National Association of Manufacturers testified before Congress that Social Security would represent “ultimate socialist control of life and industry.” Other opponents argued that the initial Social Security registration process was...

 

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