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"Hold Them Accountable" campaign targets Congressional candidates

Big, Outside money is flooding our Alaska elections this season. Alaska’s strong, citizen-initiated campaign finance law was struck down by the courts last fall, and the Legislature failed to act to correct the problem, leaving our elections...

 
 By Jim Miller    Columns    September 1, 2022 

How the Inflation Reduction Act will lower your drug costs

Dear Savvy Senior: What kind of changes can Medicare beneficiaries expect to see in the Inflation Reduction Act that was recently signed into law? I’m enrolled in original Medicare and have a Part D prescription drug plan but spent more than...

 

My adventures at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix

The surgery I needed this summer was not available in Alaska. I could have had it done in several places in the lower 48, but I picked Mayo Clinic because of its excellent national reputation. It is the number one ranked hospital by U.S. News and...

 

Medicare Open Enrollment season is approaching

You may make changes to your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan coverage each year during Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, which runs Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. Beginning in September, you may receive notices with information about possible...

 

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

It’s a good time to talk about the newest resource available to Alaskans: 988, the three-digit, nationwide phone number which connects directly to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Not only is this an easy-to-remember number – it’s a direct...

 

You are not hearing what I am saying

Q: When I am with others, I occasionally feel dismissed and that my point of view doesn’t matter. How do I get others to listen to what I have to say? A: When we are with others that are of differen...

 

Cutting wood and tending brush as a family

Author's note: Life is a journey and circumstances change, as they always do. It was with bittersweet thoughts that I recently recalled this story from 10 years ago while tending a brush pile fire wit...

 
 By Jim Lavrakas    Columns    September 1, 2022 

Pickleball insights: 'It's all about your head'

A friend of mine recently sent me an excerpt from "Open: An Autobiography," by Andre Agassi, the retired tennis professional. In it he talks about the mental battle he learned to fight after finding...

 

Pioneering tourism with Alaska's first streetcar

A three-hour stopover in Skagway in July 1923 by President Warren G. Harding turned into a booming business for one Alaskan sourdough. Martin Itjen, an immigrant who came north from Florida in 1898...

 
 By Nick Thomas    Columns    September 1, 2022 

Adam-12's Kent McCord still on duty for fans

Not even a pandemic could slow down Kent McCord's desire to interact with admirers, even if only through virtual fan conventions. "I've done several of these online over the last two years and always...

 

Helping an adult with dementia with their finances

It is advisable for people who have recently been diagnosed with a serious illness that will result in declining mental or physical health to discuss and update their financial and health care affairs as soon as possible. People with Alzheimer’s...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    September 1, 2022 

DIY, outdated estate plans and what you don't know

I meet a lot of people who try to “do it themselves,” putting together their own wills, trusts or other estate planning documents from some website or kit, or just by copying something a friend...

 

Zoom audio, online photo galleries, and QR codes

Q. What is the least expensive way to improve Zoom calls? A. Adding more light and positioning the camera so you look straight ahead are the easiest things to upgrade. But the improvement that delivers the biggest impact is better sound. Most people...

 

Clinical trials and tribulations

I’ve been writing about the chance to participate in medical research by applying for clinical trials that could not only help oneself, but countless others. Being in the Chicago area, there are plenty of medical trials to choose from, so I decided...

 

Spawned out salmon: A personal reflection

It gives me a good feeling to spend my final days surrounded by family, friends and lovers. We are a great generation. We all were out at sea for our five year migration and life cycle. Most of us didn’t make it back. But look around... We are the...

 

Follow these steps to make gardening easier

I have noticed the last few years that although I love gardening and working outside, it seems a little harder each year to lift watering cans, bend and kneel on the ground, and work compacted soil. Gardening’s positive effects include relieving...

 

Don't overlook Medicare during your summer activities

Regardless of the area you live in, there are ‘must dos’ for the summer months for Alaskans. It is a time to plant, gather, harvest and, for many, fish. On the Kenai Peninsula, fishing is active with subsistence, dipnetting, setnetting, drift...

 

Managing pain and fatigue from injuries

Q: I was recently treated in the emergency room for falling when stepping out of a boat. One week later, my ankle is still painful to touch and I am tired. A: Thankfully you were treated by medical...

 
 By Lisa Pajot    Columns    August 1, 2022

Alaska's amazingly resourceful raptors

Alaska has a diverse range of habitats and ecosystems that support over 534 different species of birds. Most of these birds are migratory and travel great distances to spend the brief summers here to...

 

Suburban outhouse has rustic lineage

"I think I opened the wrong door and went into the 'men's'", her friend said to my sister, Shirley, after returning to their car, which was parked in the driveway of my house. "The one I went into...

 

Ship Creek school oversight causes delay

When Land Office chief Andrew Christensen opened the auction for townsites above Ship Creek on July 10, 1915, bidding became so brisk that prospective lot owners couldn't hold down prices. After sales...

 
 By Nick Thomas    Columns    August 1, 2022

Cynthia Geary heads to hospice in new TV series

Emmy-nominated actress Cynthia Geary was immediately drawn to her latest character Charley Copeland, a hospice nurse in the compelling new drama series "Going Home." Season one began streaming in...

 
 By Jim Miller    Columns    August 1, 2022

Paying for long-term care without insurance or savings

Dear Savvy Senior: What types of financial resources are available to help seniors pay for long-term care? My 86-year-old mother will need either an assisted living facility or nursing home care in the near future, but she doesn’t have long-term...

 
 By Jim Miller    Columns    August 1, 2022

How to sell unwanted burial plots

Dear Savvy Senior: How do I go about selling unwanted burial plots in my hometown cemetery? When my parents died about 25 years ago, my husband (at the time) and I bought two plots near them in the same cemetery. But we’ve gotten divorced since...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    August 1, 2022

Dickens, codicils and the Underwood

In a corner of my office is an old Underwood typewriter. It was built sometime around the 1920s, it weighs a ton, and there is no electricity involved in its operation. The keys still work, but if I...

 

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