Columns

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Great news! Medicare is not going bankrupt

Who in Alaska is glad to hear that Medicare is not going bankrupt? Certainly the 84,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Alaska are glad to hear that Medicare is not going bankrupt. And by the way, not all those beneficiaries are elders. Medicare...

 

Connecting across generations to support elders

Whenever I tell people that I work in the field of aging, it raises more than a few eyebrows. I started working with the Diverse Elders Coalition before my 30th birthday, and even though I'm a few...

 

A soft spot for rebuilt school buses

One evening last winter while searching my TV recordings for a certain movie I wanted to watch, the words "Bus Life Ever" caught my eye. Curious, I clicked to learn more and soon was intrigued. It was...

 

Reindeer herding introduced to Alaska

U.S. Revenue Cutter Service captains saw a need for supplemental food for Alaska's Native people in the Last Frontier during the late 1880s, as whale and seal populations had diminished. And since...

 
 By Nick Thomas    Columns    September 1, 2018 

The multitalented Richard Herd

A supporting actor for much of his film career, Richard Herd has worked with actors such as Jack Lemmon, Rod Steiger, Robert Redford, Sylvester Stallone and Robert Duvall. He has also been a frequent...

 
 By Laura Atwood    Columns    September 1, 2018 

Cautionary tales, and how to avoid dog-related injuries

True story: My husband and I are walking our two dogs on leash. Another couple is walking towards us with an unleashed dog. We step off the trail, heading slightly uphill. I place my dog in a sit and...

 

Adobe Flash, smartphone spies, tech tutorials

Q. I like to look at weather radar online but when I click on the radar site I get a message saying that Adobe Flash Player is blocked. What do I do? A. There are several possibilities behind why an application is blocked. Adobe is a reputable...

 

When Mom doesn't recognize me, I tie a knot and hold on

Editor's note: This article is part of an ongoing series provided by the Diverse Elders Coalition, focusing on different senior populations. I would have never believed there would ever come a time...

 

Alaska State Fair, a family tradition

My first experience at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer was back in the mid-1960s as part of a group of young 4-H girls from Glennallen. A couple mothers drove us in to Palmer to see our projects on...

 

Floodwaters fill Fairbanks, August 1967

Water in the Chena River inched up ever higher during July 1967 when 3.34 inches of rain, instead of the normal 1.84 inches, fell on Fairbanks. The city's 30,000 residents weren't too worried, though....

 
 By Nick Thomas    Columns    August 1, 2018

Beverly Washburn's favorite co-stars

Beginning her career as a talented child actress, Beverly Washburn worked alongside Hollywood's most popular actors and her list of favorites is long (see www.beverlywashburn.com). While she appeared...

 

iPhone radio, wireless speakers, yard sale apps

Q. I’m thinking I can rid my life of big, bulky speakers and use my iPhone to replace a skipping CD player. What would you recommend for listening to the radio in my house? A. Chances are excellent that you can find the stations you prefer streamin...

 

Blood Bank of Alaska vital to senior care

On February 15, the Blood Bank of Alaska (BBA) celebrated its second anniversary in the new facility it developed to serve Alaska’s patients in need. It has been a robust two years, and we continue to meet our primary objective of service to...

 
 By Andrew Lam    Columns    July 1, 2018

Long-term care's devastating toll on finances and emotional health

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series provided by the Diverse Elders Coalition, focusing on different senior populations. The cost of aging in America is exorbitant, which my siblings and I are finding out firsthand through our...

 

The pros and cons of 'Right to Try' legislation

Congress managed to pass well-intentioned legislation recently allowing people with life-threatening illnesses to bypass the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to obtain experimental medications. Unfortunately, it won’t do much to help the people...

 

Resurrecting details from a long-ago family hike

While looking for something else, I recently came across a photo that instantly brought back many good memories. In the photo, my Dad, my three siblings and I are standing by the Resurrection Pass signpost during the last family hike I participated...

 

Russian shipbuilding rises with the Phoenix

During July 1791, Alexander Baranof arrived at Kodiak Island to manage the fur exporting operation of Grigorri Ivanovich Shelikhov, who formed the North American Company. When he received orders to...

 
 By Nick Thomas    Columns    July 1, 2018

Eric Braeden is still the king of daytime drama

"The Young and the Restless" star Eric Braeden has been playing character Victor Newman for 38 years and says it's been an amazing run. But he doesn't believe daytime drama actors always receive the...

 

Advice on Windows, email addresses and smartphone backups

Q. What is the single most important piece of advice every smartphone owner should know? A. Back up your phone, especially photos. Your smartphone will eventually become the most important tech device in your life. All the gear that a generation ago...

 

50 years after the Fair Housing Act

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of Fair Housing Act, a pivotal piece of legislation that laid the groundwork for housing protections for marginalized populations in the United States. They say those who don't learn from history...

 
 By Laura Atwood    Columns    June 1, 2018

Treat your housecat to the outdoors

"Honey, did you walk the cat?" What? Walk the cat? Yes, you heard that right. Cats have spent too much time lying around inside, bored and under-stimulated while dogs are treated to walks, play dates...

 

President announces focus on high drug pricing

Drug prices in the United States are too high – nearly everyone agrees. But political consensus stops at how to lower prices and fix the problem. If it were easy, a simple solution would be found. But paying for prescription drugs is a complicated...

 

Pop quiz: Alaska highway numbers vs names

My husband, Gary, and I sat visiting with two couples after dinner one June evening several years ago. At the time, we were operating Nabesna House B & B out of our home in Slana. One gentleman...

 
 By David Washburn    Columns    June 1, 2018

Remodeling, decluttering leads to de-medicating

Our household recently replaced a bathroom vanity cabinet, something long overdue. The process revealed something else long overdue – bottle after bottle of expired, unused, leftover prescription...

 

Painter makes points with Alaskans, and beyond

Among the memorials in the Anchorage Municipal Park Cemetery stands a small, pink marker adorned with a palette. It is the final resting place of Sydney Mortimer Laurence, one of Alaska's greatest art...

 

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