Columns

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Where the two presidential candidates stand on senior issues

Major-party presidential candidates Trump and Biden have dramatically different visions for the future on health care issues. So in assessing their policy positions, it's also important to look at...

 

How does unemployment affect Social Security's solvency?

Social Security’s finances depend largely on payroll taxes, tying the strength of Social Security to the strength of the U.S. economy.  The U.S. unemployment rate was more than 13.3% through May.  That was worse than the 2009 Great Recession,...

 
 By Laura Atwood    Columns    September 1, 2020 

Staying home doesn't have to be boring – for you or your cat

Although staying inside may be new, and a bit challenging, to us, it isn't new for our house cats. They know that inside your home is the safest place to be. While finding ways to keep yourself...

 

Ladies' nights out were rare, memorable

Every woman needs a ladies night out once in a while. I experienced one such evening in the fall of 2004 during the years my husband and I operated Nabesna House Bed and Breakfast out of our home in...

 

Alaska targets criminals running amok

Criminals dabbling in everything from prostitution to bootlegging to gambling flourished in the Alaska territory during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Believing that gold miners and other citizens...

 
 By Nick Thomas    Columns    September 1, 2020 

Olivia de Havilland (1916-2020) – the end of an era

It's a sobering thought for fans of classic film. The passing of Olivia de Havilland in late July, just three weeks after her 104th birthday July 1, represents the loss of the last surviving big-scree...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    September 1, 2020 

Will the estate tax be an unwelcome 'comebacker'?

Baseball fans love to nickname things. A home run can be a simple “homer” but it can also be a “tater,” a “dinger,” a “jack” or “going yard”. In fact, there are dozens of...

 

Printer woes, backup settings, Facebook 'news'

Q. I can’t print from my laptop computer. When I checked if my HP5255 was connected, I found a printer email address that ended with @hpprint.com. I also do not understand why that address is different than my regular email address. A. I feel your...

 

Trump is still pushing for ACA repeal

Amid the sharp political divides over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing racial protests, the Trump administration continues its push to invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the courts – a move that could prove to be...

 
 By Susan Stiles    Columns    August 1, 2020

Virtual classes for older adults are here to stay

"I look forward to the calls each week." This comment was typical of the feedback that Peggy Schmidt received when she offered a virtual Aging Mastery "book club" to her rural constituents in...

 

Berries bring out the good in us

One morning in August 2012 I answered the ringing phone and heard "Hi, this is Kim. Gary and I have been picking blueberries in Hatcher Pass and we have more than we need. Could we bring you some?"...

 

Newspapers spread the word of Yukon gold

Glowing reports, like the following excerpt from the Aug. 8, 1897, edition of the New York World newspaper, helped fuel the stampede for gold along the Yukon River. "Mr. J. O. Hestwod, one of the...

 
 By Nick Thomas    Columns    August 1, 2020

'Tinker Bell' ties the knot at 90

What could convince a 90-year-old actress – once a model for Disney animators creating the Tinker Bell character of 1953's "Peter Pan" – to abandon her West Coast home of nine decades and fly off...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    August 1, 2020

Putting away childish notions

You know how nice it is when you get a toy you have been wanting? If you don’t remember that far back, think about how a child’s eyes light up when it sees a toy under the Christmas tree. Or if...

 

TV slideshows, printer fix, beta software

Q. Is there a way to view personal photos on my television? A. A living room TV is a perfect venue to share your family photo collection, and there are choices to fit every budget. Many televisions built in the last decade can already display...

 

COVID-19 realities: Those here now and those likely coming soon

As the nation moves into whatever "reopening" the next phase of the COVID-19 challenge means, the pandemic's mark on American health will be a permanent one in good ways and unfortunate ones too. The...

 

Elder mental health in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19 is caused by something so small we cannot even see it, a virus known as SARS-CoV-2. This virus is causing illness and death throughout the world, and it seems to be targeting our elders especially hard. According to the CDC, 8 out of 10 de...

 

When bees and bears collide

During our first summer of trying to be self sufficient and live off the land, my husband, Gary, decided to keep honeybees. The year was 1974 and we lived 23½ miles out of Fairbanks on the...

 

Territorial days bring liquor smugglers

When the U. S. Army took over responsibility for administering Alaska in 1867, law enforcement found it had its hands full trying to stem the flow of liquor into the territory. Up until alcohol...

 
 By Nick Thomas    Columns    July 1, 2020

Fran Drescher and "The Nanny" reunion

Reassembling a dozen cast members from a popular 90s TV sitcom could pose a challenge for any network, much less an individual. But it was a task Fran Drescher relished. As the nasal-voiced star of th...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    July 1, 2020

Estate planners and the consolation of philosophy

I can sum up the premise of today’s column in two words: philosophy matters. I’m not talking about Plato and Sartre and Descartes. I’m talking about the philosophy each of us brings to our...

 

Disinfecting phones; HBO; how to avoid data caps

Q. How do I disinfect a smartphone or tablet? A. Manufacturers usually publish guidelines for their products, and you should follow them. The most common advice is to avoid using too much liquid by applying it first to a clean, lint-free cloth. Use...

 

Social Security not keeping up with living costs

Editor’s note: This press statement was received on May 12, 2020. Social Security benefits have lost 30 percent of buying power since 2000, according to the latest “Social Security Loss of Buying Power” study released in May by The Senior...

 
 By Teresa Holt    Columns    June 1, 2020

COVID scams are high for veterans, military

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there have been over 20,300 COVID-19 complaints carrying an estimated $15.6 million in losses since the start of 2020. U.S. service members and veterans should take particular notice because these...

 

Combating social isolation for LGBT elders

SAGE, the world's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT elders, has recently launched SAGEConnect, a program that matches LGBT elders with volunteer community...

 

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