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  • Program offers housing assistance in Mat-Su

    Randi Perlman, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2024

    The twists and turns of everyday life can sometimes take a toll on families and individuals residing in the Mat-Su Valley, unexpectedly and through no fault of their own. Just paying the bills to keep utilities on and prevent eviction can become a serious challenge at times. But there is a program in the Valley that can provide financial housing assistance during those low times. Since 2012, the primary purpose of Valley Charities, Inc. (VCI's) Housing Assistance Program (HAP) has been to help f...

  • Black History is Alaska History

    Dimitra Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2024

    Two white guys have written a book, "Black Lives in Alaska." We are glad they stepped up. Ian Hartman, associate professor and department chair at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Department of History, and David Reamer, well-known historian, especially to readers of his column the Anchorage Daily News column "Histories of Alaska," both say they published the stories because of "the absence of material on this subject." "This book has its roots in the Anchorage centennial publication,...

  • Under construction

    Senior Voice Staff|Jun 1, 2024

    Fairbanks Senior Center's reception area, pictured here in April, gets a serious remodel makeover, with removal of 1980s-era wallpaper and installation of new enhanced lighting, new flooring and paint and a new reception desk. The center's renovation project started in August 2023, and will include a 3,700 square foot expansion. Closed to the public due to COVID in March 2020, the center has undergone upgrades and expansion and will finally reopen this summer. An open house celebration, with a...

  • Recognizing service to seniors

    Senior Voice Staff|Jun 1, 2024

    Congratulations to Jim Bailey, here displaying his award plaque for the 2024 Ron Hammett Award for Community Service. He was presented the award at the Older Americans Month Kick-Off Event, May 1 at the Anchorage Senior Activity Center. The award recognizes people whose work and dedication has benefited seniors in the Anchorage area. Jim's resume is long, being actively involved in many initiatives and workgroups to enhance the voice and safety of seniors, from playing an integral role in the...

  • Alzheimer's resources offered year-round, thanks to support

    Lisa Sauder, Alzheimers Resource of Alaska|May 1, 2024

    Spring is a season of renewal, symbolizing hope, and growth. As snow melts away and nature awakens, its impact on Alaskans living with Alzheimer's and dementia and their caregivers is profound. The changing season may spark memories and enhance cognitive function. The sight of blossoming flowers or the smell of freshly cut grass can evoke nostalgic feelings, fostering moments of clarity and connection. Additionally, exposure to natural light can help regulate sleep patterns and improve mood, reducing agitation and anxiety commonly associated...

  • Cal Williams: A community activist comes to Alaska

    Lawrence D. Weiss, For Senior Voice|May 1, 2024

    Senior Voice contributor Lawrence Weiss sat down in late March for an interview with longtime Anchorage resident Cal Williams. Here is their Q&A. People often refer to you as a "community activist." Why is that? Just prior to coming here, I was involved with CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality, in Monroe, Louisiana -marching picketing, doing voter registration and voter education with CORE-the summer of 1964. Then in September of 1964, I, along with six other black students, was accepted at...

  • Here are the top 5 scams in Alaska

    Teresa Holt, AARP Alaska|Apr 1, 2024

    The Federal Trade Commission recently shared its 2023 fraud report, “Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2023.” I looked at the data for Alaska and was shocked to see that 6,456 Alaskans reported losing 20.5 million dollars in 2023. Impostor scams are the top reported fraud in Alaska, making up 22% of all reported scams. These scams generally start with an unsolicited call, email, text, or social media message posing as someone you trust—your bank, a business you know, or even a government agency. Criminals play on our emotions by creat...

  • Medicare counseling by phone

    Lee Coray-Ludden, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2024

    I am a Certified Medicare Counselor working under SHIP. My office is in the Soldotna Senior Center, but I serve the state via phone. If you are local, I can help you as a walk-in. I am here Mondays through Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Fridays, 8 a.m. to noon. Call with your Medicare questions, 907-262-2322....

  • Genealogy seminar in Anchorage, May 4

    Senior Voice Staff|Apr 1, 2024

    The Anchorage Genealogical Society will hold its annual Spring Seminar on May 4 at the Loussac Library Event Center, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The featured speakers will be Alison and Tom Taylor, owners of “Pictures and Stories” from Utah. Sessions will include how to tell the best stories of your life, making a family story cookbook, organizing a family history, and advice on digitizing photos. Organizers notes that the Taylors are in demand all over the country. Cost is $55 per person; $45 for Society members; $30 for a half day, morning or aft...

  • Hardship assistance available in Juneau

    Senior Voice Staff|Apr 1, 2024

    Juneau residents age 65 and older are encouraged to apply for the 2024 Senior Citizen Hardship Tax Programs, offering assistance through the Senior Citizen Real Property Hardship Exemption and the Senior Citizen Sales Tax Hardship Rebate. Both programs, which require annual applications, aim to alleviate financial burdens for qualifying seniors. Eligibility is based on the gross income level for the previous year, with applications now open for consideration. Real Property Hardship Exemption The Senior Citizen Real Property Hardship Exemption...

  • March for Meals in Fairbanks

    Senior Voice Staff|Mar 1, 2024

    Fairbanks Senior Center’s annual March fundraising campaign returns this year, with a goal to raise $100,000 to fight hunger and isolation. The month-long March for Meals campaign supports Meals on Wheels, which last year delivered 60,000 meals to some 400 seniors in the Fairbanks area, the senior center says, noting that over half live on an income of $19,000 or less per year. Activities scheduled throughout March include a “Lend a Hand” fundraiser at the Co-Op Market on Gaffney road; Volunteer Appreciation Week, March 11-15; “Cham...

  • Mr. Whitekeys' new act

    Dimitra Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Mar 1, 2024

    Perhaps you remember those nights in the Fly By Night Club watching Mr. Whitekeys' "Whale Fat Follies" or "Christmas in Spenard," and laughing so hard you snorted your drink through your nose. He skewered politicians so deftly it was as if he stuck needles in a voodoo doll and they felt them. That cast parading around with a salmon around their waist or an Alaska Marine Highway ferry were portends of their problems still unsolved. How the Anchorage comedy scene must miss him. The show closed aft...

  • Beau Bassett: Outward bound to a full life of service

    Lawrence D. Weiss, For Senior Voice|Feb 1, 2024

    Beau Bassett is 74 years old. He spent the past 27 years training over 1,000 students in community leadership across Alaska through the Points of Light Youth Leadership Institute (PYLI). visit: www.alaskapyli.org What made you think about coming to Alaska? I came up with this idea that I would combine my law background and adventure education, and I would aspire to create an adventure-based program. It all came together with setting off for Alaska. That was part of my sort of 10-year plan. I...

  • Patience, enjoyment are key for local bonsai group

    Michael Dinneen, For Senior Voice|Feb 1, 2024

    Robert Fowlkes, 75, has been an Alaska resident since 1975 and is a member and past president of the Anchorage Bonsai Study Group. Fowlkes has some 20 trees he maintains. It can take years to create a successful bonsai tree, he says. With 18 years of leadership, past club president Paul Marmora says people have been doing bonsai in Alaska for many years. The bonsai group became a club in 1998, and membership exploded since that time. Anchorage resident Tim Pack is in his second year as current c...

  • MASST opens doors for Fairbanks advocate

    Jim Warren, For Senior Voice|Feb 1, 2024

    Linda Webb escorted me into a conference room at Access Alaska in Fairbanks. There were photographs on the walls and a Christmas tree in the corner. Outside, it was still an hour before sunrise; the temperature hovered at -15 degrees, and ice fog hung above the roads. Inside, Linda talked warmly and easily about her journey from Georgia to Alaska. She came to Fairbanks in late summer of 1999 to help her daughter-in-law while her son was on military duty in South Korea. She decided to stay...

  • Lifelong learning with OLE and OLLI

    Senior Voice Staff|Feb 1, 2024

    Spring semester is here for older (aka “lifelong”) learners, with registration underway both in Fairbanks, through the OLLI program, and in Anchorage’s OLE. OLE stands for “Opportunities for Lifelong Education” and while courses are open for all ages, they are designed for learners age 50 and older. Members pay $200 per year, which allows them to register for as many courses as they like. Spring semester classes begin the week of Feb. 12. A full catalog with course descriptions is available on the OLE website. There truly is something...

  • Age-Friendly Anchorage: Moving forward in 2024

    Anchorage Age Friendly Team|Jan 1, 2024

    Since Anchorage became a member of AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities in June 2021, AARP volunteers have been collecting feedback from Anchorage residents regarding what can be done to make Anchorage a more age-friendly place to live. Here is a reminder of what it means to be an Age-Friendly community: An Age-Friendly community should provide safe, walkable streets; age-friendly housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities for residents to participate in community life. Well-designed, a...

  • Kwethluk's Grandma Luula brings wisdom, joy to the classroom

    RurAL CAP Elder Mentor Team|Jan 1, 2024

    My name is Lola Evan. I am from Hooper Bay, and I was born in 1947. As I was growing up there weren't many houses, only a few. It was a real beautiful small village with smiling friendly people. Always happy. I never did attend school, but the Elders talked to me about when we grow up to respect our parents and Elders. I used to stay with Elders most of the time, and we mostly stayed in tents by the Point. When men came from seal hunts we would line up. Our parents would teach us how to cut up...

  • The history of the Klondike Gold Rush never gets old

    Dimitra Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Jan 1, 2024

    Somewhere in the wilds of Homer is Brian George Smith, a self-proclaimed "male action figure of the opposite of a crazy cat lady." He has 13 older, special needs cats who keep him company while he writes. With a video, screenplay and film background, this man who hasn't watched TV in 20 years turned to writing books after his business died during the pandemic. "The books aren't making much money, and they pay you squat," he says of the self-publishing approach, "but I'm happy as a clam selling a...

  • Become a Long Term Care Ombudsman volunteer

    Senior Voice Staff|Jan 1, 2024

    The Alaska Long Term Care Ombudsman’s next volunteer orientation is Jan. 4-5 and Jan. 11-12, noon to 4 p.m. Volunteer ombudsmen advocate for Alaska seniors. No experience required, just bring your empathy, patience and desire to help. Free training provided so you feel completely supported. Contact Alvin Ancheta at 907-334-4480 or 1-800-730-6393 to learn more about this rewarding role....

  • Still impressed by Alaska's new election system

    Juli Lucky, Alaskans for Better Elections|Dec 1, 2023

    It’s been one year since Alaskans used our new election system - nonpartisan open primaries and ranked choice voting - for the first time. What were the results? • Open primaries opened doors for voters and candidates. All voters could choose from all candidates, regardless of party, and those with the most support from a broad group of voters won. There were more candidates, leading to more competition in both the primary and general elections. • 99.8% of ballots were filled out correctly. With redistricting challenges, a special election, and...

  • Christmas and cultural exchange with Elder Mentor Maryann Johnson

    RurAL CAP Elder Mentor Team|Dec 1, 2023

    Hello! My name is Maryann Johnson. I'm from Montana. My grandfather homesteaded there in the late 1800s, and the family is still there. They came from Norway, and my other grandparents came from Poland. My grandpa started with 360 homestead acres and turned it into 4,000 acres. He built a beautiful two-story white ranch house. His was the first home with electricity and plumbing. It was pretty exciting times. They were just starting to put up telephone lines then, at the turn of the century. We...

  • Become a Long-Term Care Ombudsman volunteer

    Alaska Long Term Care Ombudsman|Dec 1, 2023

    Do you want to improve the lives of older adults in long-term care facilities? We need caring people like you to advocate for Alaska seniors. As a Long Term Care Ombudsman volunteer, you’ll speak up for residents of assisted living homes and nursing facilities across our state. We’re seeking compassionate volunteers to protect seniors’ rights and dignity. No experience required—just bring your empathy, patience and desire to help. Free training provided so you feel completely supported. Volunteer in Anchorage, Bethel, Eagle River, Fairban...

  • Series: Working past retirement in Alaska

    Lawrence D. Weiss, For Senior Voice|Nov 1, 2023

    This interview was conducted on Oct. 8, 2023, at Village Inn in Anchorage. Wilson Justin, please tell us a bit about your early history. Everybody calls me Justin, but it doesn't make much difference. It's Wilson Justin. I turned 73 on August 2, this year. I was born in Nabesna, Alaska, which is part of the Nabesna Valley, which is an old traditional homeland. I was born about six miles from the original village, 1950, mid-century. How about some high points of your work history? The guiding...

  • The intriguing life of Fairbanks Elder Mentor and children's book author Judy Miller

    RurAL CAP Elder Mentor team|Nov 1, 2023

    Hello there! My name is Judy Miller. I am 80 years young, and published my first book at 80 years old. I've always believed that older people have an influence on the lives of younger people. That's why I believe the Elder Mentor Program works. You can share with the next generation some of the things you learned and saw growing up, and at the same time, you also find a way to relate to their generation and their time, too. For example, if you bring kids into a nursing home, the residents love i...

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