Articles written by Leonard T. Kelley


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

    Leonard T. Kelley, For Senior Voice|Jan 1, 2018

    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 oneself. Do not hunt alone. I have a cabin 25 miles up Alexander Creek from its confluence with the Susitna River. Now that I am in my 70s I limit my river trips to higher water. Gone are the days when I could pull an 18-foot boat with gear and engine through shallow water. This year we had high water, so...

  • Legislation undermines value of human life

    Leonard T. Kelley|Apr 1, 2017

    Under the guise of compassion, a Physician Assisted Suicide bill (HB 54) has been filed by Representative Harriet Drummond. This so-called “Right to Die” bill is nothing less than “State Sponsored Homicide”. Homicide is the “killing of one human being by another human being”. In 1959 Alaska instituted its state constitution. Section 7 of the Alaska Constitution provides that no person will be deprived of life without due process of law and Section 22 protects a person’s right to privacy. The Alaskan Supreme Court in Sampson vs. Alaska 31P 3r...

  • The Senior Property Tax Exemption is at risk

    Leonard T. Kelley, Older Persons Action Group|Apr 1, 2016

    During the 1980 recession, Alaska lost over 20,000 jobs, most of which were in Anchorage, where a majority of the oil, construction and related services were located. The 2015 reduction in oil prices have resulted in over a $3 billion state budget deficit. This deficit means the State of Alaska will have less money to allocate to local municipalities and less money to fund a capital budget upon which local construction companies rely, creating economic instability. Already job losses in Anchorage for 2016 are estimated to be 2,000. Job losses f...

  • Short term problems need short term fixes

    Leonard T. Kelley, Older Persons Action Group|Jan 1, 2016

    Governor Bill Walker wanted the job as governor, and he got it. As our chief executive officer he is responsible for establishing the state’s budget. The legislature must fund it. The problem is that government expenses exceed available state income by approximately three billion dollars. In an effort to get the budget under control, the governor is looking at increasing all manner of taxes, including a 6 percent personal income tax. He also wants to change the Permanent Fund so that it becomes a perpetual source of state funding, thereby d...

  • Physician assisted suicide is not compassionate

    Leonard T. Kelley|Jul 1, 2015

    Under the guise of compassion a Physician Assisted Suicide Bill (HB99) has been offered by certain members of the legislature. The so called “Right to Die” bill is nothing less than “State Sponsored Homicide”. In 1959 Alaska instituted the state constitution. Section 7 provides that no person will be deprived of life without Due Process of Law, and Section 22 protects a person’s Right to Privacy. The Supreme Court in Sampson vs. Alaska held that physician assisted suicide is illegal. Notwithstanding, authors of HB99 state that the bill is a...

  • Alaskans' current economic dilemma

    Leonard T. Kelley, Older Persons Action Group|Apr 1, 2015

    Alaskan economics are connected to Petroleum prices. The price of petroleum is down and the state budget is under attack. The legislature and Gov. Bill Walker estimate the yearly budget deficit is between 3.2 to 3.4 billion dollars. There are only two ways to balance the budget; one is to reduce state spending and the other is to raise revenues. In an effort to reduce state spending the Governor has recommended cutting senior benefits by 25 percent. Senior benefits only go to those seniors whose incomes are between 75 and 175 percent of the fed...

  • Cuba visit brings people, headlines closer

    Leonard T. Kelley, Older Persons Action Group|Feb 1, 2015

    President Obama in December of 2014 took the first step in removing the last vestige of the cold war by restoring relations with Cuba. The United States for over 53 years maintained sanctions against Cuba because it was a communist country depriving its citizens of democratic freedoms, freedoms which were already eliminated by Fulgenco Batista when he abrogated the Cuban constitution in 1958. By the late 1950s, the Cuban people's negative feelings against Batista's repressive policies and govern...

  • Chalk it up to experience, opportunity and effort

    Leonard T. Kelley, Older Persons Action Group|Dec 1, 2014

    I have been harvesting moose for over 40 years. When I first began moose hunting my technique was simple-I would sit in a field and wait. In time I learned how to call and when to be in the field. Simply stated, the best time to hunt moose is after Sept. 12, when the bulls are in full rut and looking to mate. I also limit my time in the field to five hours in the morning and at night. Moose are less active during the day. This year we were to hunt Unit 18, which is located in the...

  • Go outside and enjoy summer while it's here

    Leonard T. Kelley, Older Persons Action Group|Aug 1, 2014

    We at OPAG advocate a healthy lifestyle for seniors. We encourage seniors to partake in every outdoor activity in Alaska, whether it is snowmachining, river boating, biking, hiking, hunting, fishing or photography. This July four friends and I fished the Arolik River, which is located southwest of Bethel. The river is only 25 miles long starting at Arolik Lake and ending at the village of Quinhagak. The river was particularly low resulting from a lack of winter snow and rain. This required us...

  • Stay out of Iraq and focus on our veterans instead

    Leonard T. Kelley, Older Persons Action Group|Jul 1, 2014

    During the past few years I have limited my Senior Voice commentary to non-controversial matters; however, I want to take this opportunity to expand the dialogue regarding further American military involvement in the Middle East. After 9/11, the USA went to war in Iraq to eliminate weapons of mass destruction and contain Al-Qaida, a radical Sunni Islamist organization originally nurtured in Saudi Arabia, a USA friend. The Saudi are a theocracy and adhere to the conservative Wahhabi sect of Islam. In fact, most of the 9/11 attackers were Sunni...

  • Don't let a scam ruin your summer, or worse

    Leonard T. Kelley, Older Persons Action Group|Jun 1, 2014

    Seniors must be diligent and not give out Social Security numbers or credit card information to telephone or email inquiries. Here are some of the latest scams. Medicine/service scam Scammers are looking to steal Medicare numbers and financial information from unsuspecting consumers. The victim receives an unsolicited telephone call or email offering free diabetes testing or other medical supplies. The scammer then asks for the victim’s Medicare number and address. Once the scammers have the Medicare number they can steal the victim’s ide...

  • Personal Care Assistants: Alaska needs more

    Leonard T. Kelley, Older Persons Action Group|May 1, 2014

    Alaska’s senior population has grown 7 percent since 2000. The publication Alaska Economic Trends states the number of Alaskans over the age of 70 will grow 60 percent in the next several years. More than 130,000 baby boomers will reach retirement age (65) in Alaska over the next 16 years. (Alaska Economic Trends, 2014). In fact, Alaska ranks first in the nation on a per-capita basis of states with a resident population 65 years or older, according to the Alaska Commission on Aging. As seniors age they become increasingly susceptible to c...

  • Our mission is to educate and advocate for seniors

    Leonard T. Kelley, Older Persons Action Group|Mar 1, 2014

    Older Persons Action Group exists to serve all Alaska, with a special emphasis upon the senior community. Our mission is to reach out and advocate regarding senior issues. We do that by providing relevant information to seniors and advocating for their collective benefit through our publication, Senior Voice This has been a year of retrenchment. OPAG’s executive directory, Gary Wells, and assistant, Maggie Zabinko, have done well in stabilizing the internal working of OPAG. David Washburn, as editor of Senior Voice, assures that relevant i...

  • Choose medical alert services carefully

    Leonard T. Kelley, Older Persons Action Group|Feb 1, 2014

    Medical alert devices are a beneficial life saving tool that can assist seniors in the event of a fall, and/or medical emergency. With a properly set up system, assistance can be dispatched within minutes. Most seniors want to live at home and keep their independence as long as possible. Medical alert systems are generally easy to activate and provide peace of mind both for seniors and their families. Recently, a long-term friend contacted me about problems she was having with her medical device company. My friend told me that a...

  • Alaskans benefit from a sound federal budget

    Leonard T. Kelley, Older Persons Action Group|Jan 1, 2014

    Prior to construction of the Alaska oil pipeline, Alaska’s economy was principally financed with federal monies. The federal government still provides substantial funding to the state in the form of federal land control, military personnel and facilities. The federal government also funds veterans health care, Indian health care, Social Security benefits, Medicaid, Medicare benefits, not to mention the Housing and Urban Development agency, environmental protection and other federal agencies. Alaska has always received more federal monies than A...

  • Seniors, watch out: Scammers are targeting you

    Leonard T. Kelley, Older Persons Action Group|Nov 1, 2013

    We seniors are natural scam targets and very susceptible to fraud. As we get older we are less likely to consider the downside of the financial risks – we are more apt to look at the upside. We are less critical in our decision making, which makes us vulnerable. The scammers are perceived as trustworthy helpers. They may be a family member, financial advisor or another senior. The National Council on Aging, AARP and OPAG suggest you watch out for the following scams: Prescription drug scams. Seniors often take a myriad of prescription medicatio...

  • The key to healthy longevity is staying active

    Leonard T. Kelley, Older Persons Action Group|Sep 1, 2013

    Oler Persons Action Group encourages seniors to engage in activities that maintain a healthy lifestyle. Basic factors contributing to healthy living are: good nutrition combined with physical, social and mental activity. Nutrition. People eating meals at a senior center will receive balanced and nutritious meals. However, those living on their own are encouraged to remember to include vegetables, fruits and fish in at least one meal a day. Avoiding fatty foods and excessive use of alcohol are also important factors in maintaining a healthy and...

  • OPAG is all about staying active, moving forward

    Leonard T. Kelley, Older Persons Action Group|Aug 1, 2013

    Seniors are living longer and do not meet the stereotype of sedentary old people to be warehoused until they die. Today’s seniors watch what they eat and stay mentally and physically active. This positive approach to senior lifestyle is embraced by Older Persons Action Group and its publication, Senior Voice. You can connect with OPAG through the hard copy of the Senior Voice or through the website. OPAG also has a Senior Voice account on Facebook and a Twitter account (@seniorvoiceak). OPAG Media Manager David Washburn is diligently working t...

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