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  • A Lassie Christmas with Jon Provost

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Dec 1, 2019

    BDuring the seven years Jon Provost starred as little Timmy Martin in the CBS TV series "Lassie" from 1957 to 1964, several end-of-year Christmas episodes aired. Most still stand out in Provost's mind for one reason. "The crazy thing is we would be filming a Christmas episode during summer in Southern California where it was 90 degrees," said Provost from his home north of San Francisco. "We were all bundled up like it was 30 degrees and just dying from the heat. But of course, you kept acting...

  • Make those final arrangements for yourself

    Kenneth Kirk, For Senior Voice|Dec 1, 2019

    By KENNETH KIRK For Senior Voice Since I finally got my TV antenna adjusted, I’ve been watching more of those higher-number UHF channels, the ones with numbers in the 30s and 40s. A lot of those channels run the same commercials over and over, which is why I want to talk to you today about reversing hair loss. No, wait! Wrong topic! I mean, final funeral and burial arrangements! Sorry. I see a lot of those commercials for small insurance policies which say you can’t be turned down, no mat...

  • Big TVs, voice assistants, preserving online accounts

    Bob DeLaurentis, Senior Wire|Dec 1, 2019

    Q. TVs in my price range are twice the size they were a few years ago. What should I keep in mind when buying one of these big sets? A. There are two measurements to focus on, screen size and resolution. The ideal screen size mostly depends on the room size and how far away viewers will sit. It is difficult to imagine how a TV will fit in a room without measuring the space where it will be placed, so start there. Sitting too close to a very large screen can be as uncomfortable as sitting in the first few rows of a movie theatre. There are...

  • Stonewall veterans speak: Val Harris

    Nov 1, 2019

    This year, SAGE commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the night in 1969 when New York City's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community fought back against years of police harassment and social isolation. Many of SAGE's program participants and supporters, in New York and across the country, were at the Stonewall Inn that night. Charles "Valentino" Harris, known to friends and family simply as Val, was 17 years old the first night of the Stonewall uprising. "On...

  • Older adopted cat a perfect match

    Laura Atwood, For Senior Voice|Nov 1, 2019

    Imagine being older and losing the only home you’ve ever known. Everything that was familiar to you is suddenly gone. That’s what happened to Qin Qin (pronounced Chin Chin), a 12-year old cat who had lived with the same people, in the same home, all her life. Due to an illness in her family, she found herself at Anchorage Animal Care and Control (AACC), with only her cat tree to remind her of what her life used to be. And now, imagine, as an elderly woman having to move from your home into your child’s home. You are welcome there so you are g...

  • Grandma's tiny house

    Maraley McMichael, Senior Voice Correspondent|Nov 1, 2019

    "Would you be willing to drive to Slana and help me retrieve the little 1955 camp trailer?" I asked my son Patrick. "Sure," he replied. He had just told me he was coming to Alaska this past August, only this trip he planned to help with projects on my "honey do" list. Because of his busy schedule with his architectural firm, he's lucky to make a trip to Alaska every two or three years, and when he does, he usually plays "fishing guide" to a group of his buddies that come along, too. A couple of...

  • First Alaska Territorial Legislature convenes in 1913

    Laurel Downing Bill, Senior Voice Correspondent|Nov 1, 2019

    Americans have been casting ballots on the first Tuesday in November since the mid-1840s. Why November and why Tuesdays? The answer goes back to our founding fathers when agriculture was prominent. Congress used to meet in December and adjourn in March every year because that's when farmers could get away from their land. A 1792 law established that elections should be held some time in November to give time to count the votes before the new congressional session started. Americans also began of...

  • Dee Wallace battles more Critters

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Nov 1, 2019

    The Critters are back and meaner than ever. Fortunately, Dee Wallace has also returned to take aim at the miniature alien monsters in "Critters Attack!" Released straight to Blu-ray, DVD, and digitally over the summer, the film had its television premiere on the Syfy Channel in October. Wallace starred in the original 1986 comedy horror, but skipped the three sequels and only agreed to do the new movie because it was a reboot of the franchise. "Too much time had gone by to go back and reprise...

  • Reader's question reveals legal complexities

    Kenneth Kirk, For Senior Voice|Nov 1, 2019

    In the last issue of the Senior Voice, a reader named Yvonne Gossett from Palmer asked what sounds like a simple question: When I die, will Medicaid take my life insurance? She complained that nobody, not even Medicaid, would tell her. Presumably her concern is, why should I keep paying the premiums if the government is going to take the proceeds? That’s a fair question to ask. And you would think that the answer would be simple. But it ain’t. To begin with, even for attorneys who deal with Medi...

  • New iPhones, streaming TV, and the Apple Watch

    Bob DeLaurentis, Senior Wire|Nov 1, 2019

    Q. What are your favorite new features on this year’s new iPhone? A. Every September Apple releases new iPhone hardware and a major system software update. Both deliver plenty of new features. This year the big hardware update is longer battery life. It is the best single-year battery life improvement ever for the iPhone. If a hardware upgrade is in the cards for you this year, the iPhone 11 128GB model delivers the most value. The system software update this year is iOS 13. Its marquee feature is dark mode. However, my favorites are some l...

  • Still in limbo: Senior health, hunger and finances

    Alan M. Schlein, Senior Wire|Oct 1, 2019

    Congress is making its end-of-year legislative sprint, with hot-button health care legislation stuck behind critical must-pass spending bills before a government shutdown. But lawmakers often push shutdowns off with temporary all-inclusive spending bills as they are likely to do this time, as they try to get out of town for the late December winter holidays. Even if the spending bills get approved individually or together in one big temporary bill, the must-do list leaves lawmakers roughly 40 days in which both chambers will be in session...

  • Submit proposals for 2020 American Indian Aging Conference

    Larry Curley, National Indian Council on Aging|Oct 1, 2019

    You are invited to submit a proposal to present at the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA)’s 2020 American Indian Aging Conference. The conference will be held August 17-21, 2020 in Reno, Nevada at the Nugget Resort & Casino (1100 Nugget Avenue, Sparks, NV 89431). The theme for NICOA’s 2020 conference is “Resilience for Tomorrow… Together.” Additionally, 2020 will be a major election year and NICOA’s conference will offer the opportunity to elevate issues in American Indian politics and legislation. The conference will also focus on is...

  • A working adventure in King Salmon

    Maraley McMichael, Senior Voice Correspondent|Oct 1, 2019

    During my senior year at Glennallen High School, my husband-to-be, Gary, was hired by Woodruff Construction, who had the contract to build an addition to the high school end of the K-12 building. After our wedding the end of the school year in May, 1973, we moved to Anchorage where Gary continued to work for Woodruff. Through Woodruff, he was hired by Mercer Construction to be part of the crew which would do remodel work at the King Salmon Air Force Base. Gary was excited at the opportunity to t...

  • Myth surrounds Alaska purchase

    Laurel Downing Bill, Senior Voice Correspondent|Oct 1, 2019

    One hundred and fifty-two years ago, a ceremony held in Sitka transferred Alaska from Russia to the United States. The agreed-upon purchase price of $7.2 million had been paid earlier in the year. It didn't take long after the American flag replaced the Russian flag on Oct. 18 for conspiracy theorists to start speculating that America had not paid that full amount for what some called "Seward's Icebox." Many people thought that the United States government was involved in a cover-up that...

  • Growing up with 'Dracula' in your blood

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Oct 1, 2019

    Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó was a veteran of over 170 stage plays and several silent films in his native Hungary when forced to flee to Germany in 1919 for political reasons. Known under the stage name Arisztid Olt, the 6' 1" actor with piercing blue eyes re-branded himself after his hometown of Lugos and appeared in a dozen German films billed as Bela Lugosi before moving to the United States in 1920. A decade later and approaching 50, Bela Lugosi's name would become forever etched in Ho...

  • Covering the expenses of bequeathed property

    Kenneth Kirk, For Senior Voice|Oct 1, 2019

    I have long been a fan of Robin Williams. From the first time I saw him, in "Mork and Mindy," to his wacky comedy routines on stage, to hilarious movies like "Mrs. Doubtfire" and "Good Morning, Vietnam," to sensitive performances such as "The World According to Garp" and "Good Will Hunting," Robin never failed to deliver. And along with most of the world, I was shocked and saddened when, five years ago, he took his own life after being diagnosed with Lewy Body Disease. In terms of his estate...

  • Password managers to the rescue

    Bob DeLaurentis, Senior Wire|Oct 1, 2019

    Q. What is a password manager and how does it work? A. Password managers are apps that use a master password to protect confidential information. They enable users to securely store more information than can be memorized. The two common configurations of password managers are device-based and cloud-based. Device-based managers keep data on a single device, while cloud-based managers keep data on multiple devices and share the data among them. Keeping passwords on a single device is simpler, but functionality is limited. Keeping passwords in...

  • The dual stigma of being HIV-positive and over 50

    Grace Birnstengel, Diverse Elders Coalition|Sep 1, 2019

    HIV/AIDS used to be considered a disease of the young. In the early 1980s, when doctors first reported cases of HIV, nearly 70% of diagnoses were among people under 40. Fast forward four decades later and more than 50% of Americans with HIV are now over 50. And by 2020 that number is expected to reach 70%. This is largely due to major medical improvements in the effectiveness of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) in suppressing the virus and transforming HIV from an often fatal disease into a chronic condition, like diabetes or hypertension. But...

  • Tales of The Beast and its admirers

    Maraley McMichael, Senior Voice Correspondent|Sep 1, 2019

    While looking through a box of artwork a while back, I came across an 11-inch by 14-inch pencil drawing of "The Beast." At the bottom right corner were the words: "To Pop... Christmas 1990...love, Patrick." Back then our son was 14 and called his dad "Pop". The drawing was framed in black construction paper and covered in plastic wrap secured with Scotch tape. Picture frame wire poked through the cardboard backing to form a crude hanger. This needs to be up on a wall, I thought, not buried in a...

  • Captain Healy rules Alaska waves

    Laurel Downing Bill, Senior Voice Correspondent|Sep 1, 2019

    A "floating court" of sorts evolved when justice was meted out from the decks of revenue cutters beginning in the late 1880s. And a commander in the U.S. Revenue Marine, precursor to the U.S. Coast Guard, was the first revenue cutter commander to make regular patrols into the harsh Arctic waters. Captain Michael A. Healy was about the only source of law in a lawless land, and he transported criminals onboard the cutter Bear from remote Alaska communities to Sitka for trial. Healy began his...

  • Newhart turns 90

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Sep 1, 2019

    Known for his gentle satire, basset hound eyes, and witty routines, former Chicago accountant-turned-comedian Bob Newhart turns 90 this month (Sept. 5). This year is also the 60th anniversary of Newhart's show business career – he signed with Warner Bros. Records in 1959. In 2008, I interviewed Newhart along with fellow entertainers willing to share some thoughts on the beloved comedian's career. Newhart said he suspected that he lacked the temperament to remain in the accounting profession b...

  • The Class Act that was anything but

    Kenneth Kirk, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2019

    What I really wanted to write about this month was the legislation making its way through Congress which would dramatically change how inherited IRAs can be taken out over time. That is what I wanted to write about. But I won’t. Part of the problem is that by the time this column reaches print, even though that may be only a few weeks, the legislation may have morphed into something completely different, or may have died completely. The other problem is that the details will probably change, a...

  • Internet speed, surfing incognito, USB-C flaws

    Bob DeLaurentis, Senior Wire|Sep 1, 2019

    Q. The Internet in my house seems slower than at my local coffee shop. How do I measure the speed and compare the two? A. My favorite test site is located at www.speedof.me. Each connection has three numbers: Ping, Download, and Upload. Ping measures the latency, or “raw” speed. Upload and download measure bandwidth, which is to say how long will it take to move a quantity of bits each second. When comparing connections, smaller latency means faster. Bandwidth is reversed, so that bigger is better. Here is how to think about it. Imagine a roa...

  • Successful aging and community engagement

    Jordan Lewis, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2019

    The school classroom is filled with children eager to hear stories from Marge, who is volunteering in the classroom. Marge speaks fluent Yup’ik and was raised in the community where she has lived her entire life. In both Yup’ik and English, Marge shares the history and language with the school kids, what life was like when she was a little girl, and words of wisdom and advice she wants the children to remember as they grow up. Even though she has a hard time walking and uses a walker for support, she makes her way to the school twice a week to...

  • Public assistance allowed my refugee family to build a better future

    Elaine Sanchez Wilson, Diverse Elders Coalition|Aug 1, 2019

    Born in Santa Ana, Calif., to two Muslim refugee survivors of the Cambodian genocide, Hatefas Yop wasn't aware of her family's use of public services when she was a young girl. After all, her peers in her elementary school all hailed from the local neighborhood, where many immigrant and refugee families had to live in one-bedroom apartments subsidized by Section 8 housing. She didn't understand the melancholy in an elder whom Hatefas referred to as "Grandma," when she said her food stamps...

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