50+ Alaska News www.aarp.org/ak
AK Fall 2008
Workshops to Educate
Nov. 7 – 8, Juneau
Nov. 14 – 15, Fairbanks
Nov. 21– 22, Palmer
Dec. 5 – 6, Kodiak
Jan. 16 – 17, Wrangell
Jan. 23 – 24, Anchorage
Jan. 30 – 31, Cordova
Admission is free. To register, go Tough times call for educated
to www.aarp.org/ak or call 1-866-
227-7447. investors. AARP has joined state
Keep blooming this winter.
leaders to help Alaskans learn to
The Alaska Botanical Garden
needs volunteers to help in the
manage their money wisely.
office, set up a shop, run errands
and design a recruitment bro- Alaskans had the highest encourage people to strength- fessionals, who are not allowed
chure. Call 907-562-7020 or visit average credit card debt of all en their basic understanding of to pitch any financial product or
www.alaskabg.org. Americans this spring, accord- money management before they service to participants. “In this
ing to TransUnion, one of the retire.” industry there are no secrets,
Help maintain the USGS
archival collection. three major credit rating agen- The Friday workshops focus only facts that people can get
The U.S. Geological Survey cies. To help residents protect on consumer protection; inves- confused about,” said Chris
welcomes volunteers to assist themselves and grow their nest tor education is taught on Beck, who has taught several
with public inquiries, computer eggs, AARP is offering work- Saturdays. Consumer protec- workshops.
indexing, filing and other aspects shops through the Alaska tion covers fraud, identify theft, Jessica Edwards, 32, found
of office operation. Call Jill Campaign for Safe and Wise protecting your credit, preda- value in the workshop held in
Schneider at 907-786-4757 or Investing, sponsored by the tory lending, foreclosure pre- Haines. “I’m employed by a
e-mail her at email@example.com. AARP Foundation, the Investor vention and reverse mortgages. small business where I don’t
Feed the hungry. Protection Trust and the State The workshop is taught by rep- have a pension plan. I have to be
The Fairbanks Community Food of Alaska Division of Banking resentatives from Consumer responsible for my own finan-
Bank needs volunteers a few and Securities. Credit Counseling Services of cial future,” she said.
hours a week to prepare and “It’s important to try to reach Alaska and NeighborWorks
distribute food boxes for hun- as many Alaskans as possible,” Anchorage. See the workshop calendar at
gry families and to assist in the
said Ken Osterkamp, AARP The investor education work- left. To register, go to www.aarp.
office. Call 907-457-4273.
Alaska state director. “We shop is taught by financial pro- org/ak or call 1-866-227-7447.
In This Issue AARP Alaska
Alaskans Speak Out .............. 2 3601 C St., Suite 1420
Haines residents assess the Anchorage, AK 99503 PAID
resource rebate. Permit No. 43
Long Beach, CA
Q&A ........................................ 3
“Energy efficiency is still the
low-hanging fruit.” Chris Rose
Divided We Fail ......................4
Alaskans can help reduce
health costs by stepping up
Alaska ranks 37th in the country in foreclosure ﬁlings, with the rate in August down 20 percent from the previous month.
Keep up to date on the festivities for Alaska’s celebration of 50 years of statehood: visit www.gov.state.ak.us/ascc.
A Healthier Community
Voices on the Street F ROM THE G RASSROOTS Is Just One Call Away
During an investor educa- Juneau Member Wins Alaska Health Fair teams up with organizations and vol-
Andrus Award unteers to provide health education and free and low-
workshop sponsored by AARP
Alaska in September (see story
AARP Alaska is pleased cost health screenings and tests in communities across
on page 1), residents of Haines to announce the win- the state. It assists with more than 170 health fairs
were asked, “Will the $1,200 ner of the state’s 2008 annually, emphasizing wellness and disease prevention.
resource rebate make a differ- Andrus Award for For more information or to learn how to organize a
ence with your energy bills? Community Service: health fair in your community, call Claudia Hering at 907-
Marie Darlin, a third- 278-0234 or visit www.alaskahealthfair.org.
I think it’s a great generation Juneauite.
idea for Alaska. I At 83, Darlin is one of Find an upcoming fair near you:
hope people will
the most active mem- Nov. 6: Credit Union 1 Health Fair, 1453 University Drive,
use it wisely. —
Judi Rice, 52
bers of the Juneau Fairbanks.
chapter, helping to create it and serving as its first
Nov. 7: Fairbanks Senior Health Fair, 1424 Moore St.,
president. She co-chaired the Juneau Widowed
It will help with Persons Service in support of the newly bereaved.
my personal heat- She also helped form the Alaska Federation of Nov. 8: Muldoon Health Fair, Begich Middle School,
ing costs, but the Retired Federal Employees and served as its state 7440 Creekside Center Drive, Anchorage.
assistance should president for four years.
be per family, not Nov. 8: Ketchikan Community Health Fair, Plaza Mall,
Darlin is a tireless legislative advocate. She has Ketchikan.
been a member of the Juneau Capital City Task
Greater assistance Nov. 15: Naknek Community Health Fair, Camai Clinic,
should go to remote villages
Force since 1990 and coordinator since 1998.
She is the face of AARP in the Legislature and Naknek.
where energy prices are highest.
— Diane LaCourse, 59 frequently walks the halls of the Capitol building, Feb. 9: Rogers Park/College Village Health Fair, 3031
where she is well known to legislators. She has LaTouche, Anchorage.
testified on benefits for older residents, the lon-
It’s our royalty oil, gevity bonus, identity theft, transportation, hous-
so it’s something ing, long-term care, home and community-based phone service and for standard local exchange
to give back to our- services, utilities and access to health care in rural service. As of 2007, the maximum income varies
selves as Alaskans.
Alaska. Darlin has several concerns going into from $19,152 for a single person to $51,780 for
— June Haas, 74
next year’s legislative session. “We must work on a family of six. The program has been available
a statewide fiscal plan,” she said. “We also have for many years, but according to Grace Salazar,
I hope it’s going to to develop a strategy for long-term care and the chief of consumer protection for the Regulatory
pay for a couple of need for assisted-living facilities in Alaska.” Commission of Alaska, few people know about
months of oil. — it. For more information and guidelines, call the
Marge Ward, 85 L EGAL R ESOURCES Regulatory Commission of Alaska in Anchorage at
907-276-6222 or toll free at 1-800-390-2782.
Bar Associations Offer Tips for Older Alaskans
With a grant from the American Bar Association, O N THE M OVE
At today’s prices, it the Young Lawyers’ Section of the Anchorage
didn’t even fill my Bar Association has produced a booklet called Cutting Back on Driving is Tough in Alaska
oil barrel. — Tom
Seniors and the Law: A Guide for Senior Citizens High gas prices are driving many Americans age
in the Last Frontier. Content includes legal issues 50 and older to use cars less. A new report by
associated with recreation, health care and estate AARP finds that their attempts are challenged by
planning, as well as financial problems and legal inadequate sidewalks and bike lanes and insuf-
rights in the state. A resource guide points readers ficient public transit options. Almost 40 percent
It’ll fill my tank
just one time, but
to sources of more specific help. For a free PDF of those surveyed said they do not have adequate
I’m thrilled to get copy of the 24-page booklet, call Krista Scully at sidewalks; 44 percent said they do not have
it. But there may 907-272-7469 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org — or nearby public transport that is accessible; and
have been a bet- download a copy at www.alaskabar.org by click- 47 percent said they cannot cross the main roads
ter way to use the ing on the link under “What’s New.” safely. The proof of these complaints lies in the
money. Instead fatality rate of pedestrians age 65-plus; in Alaska,
of every man, woman and child I N Y OUR P OCKET it is far above the national average, placing the
receiving the money, the state state second in the nation. The worst five states to
should develop different sources Cheaper Phone Service Is Available for Some be an older pedestrian: Hawaii, Alaska, New York,
or alternative sources of energy,
Lifeline and Linkup provide qualifying low- California and New Mexico. To read the report,
like wind power.— Paula Martin,
income Alaskans with reduced monthly recurring visit www.aarp.org/research/housing-mobility,
charges and installation fees for basic wireless then click on “Transportation.”
Proximity to glaciers and salmon ﬁshing help make Girdwood one of National Geographic Adventure’s top places to live in 2008.
Find links to more legal resources from the Alaska Court System online by visiting www.state.ak.us/courts/aklegal.htm.
Q&A many of the largest world need to be replaced with more
problems are related to how we efficient ones. There are also a
Serving 96,160 members obtain and use energy. Fossil growing number of remote com-
The Future of fuels prices are rising because munities that are installing small
3601 C St., Suite 1420 Alaska’s Energy of escalating world energy wind farms to displace diesel.
Anchorage, AK 99503
1-866-227-7447 toll free
Challenge demand and diminishing finite
supplies; climate change is tied Q. Is it realistic to talk about
www.aarp.org/ak With energy
to carbon emissions from burn- energy independence at any
email@example.com costs and sav-
ing fossil fuels; and our econ- level, from local to national?
ings on every-
omy is struggling in large part A. Not at our current rates
S TATE O FFICE S TAFF one’s mind this
because of our heavy depen- of consumption. The United
Kenneth Osterkamp winter, AARP
dence on foreign oil. I started States may have 4 percent of
State Director Alaska talked
going to meetings around the world’s oil, but we cur-
Christa Hernandez with Chris
Senior Operations Administrator
Alaska, where I met a wide rently consume about 25 per-
J. Patrick Luby range of energy stakeholders. cent of that oil, so there is no
tive director of the Renewable
Advocacy Director In 2004, after about 18 months way to drill our way out of our
Energy Alaska Project (REAP).
Daryl Royce of groundwork, we started dependence on foreign energy
Community Outreach Director Q. As director of the Renewable REAP as a large coalition of sources. It’s going to take a
Ann Secrest Energy Alaska Project, what do electric utilities, environmental long and concerted effort to
Communications Director you do? and consumer groups, Alaska develop more renewable energy
A. REAP is an education and Natives and businesses inter- resources. In Alaska, we could
E XECUTIVE C OUNCIL M EMBERS advocacy group, so I spend a lot ested in renewable energy become energy independent
George Hieronymus of my time making public pre- development. much sooner than the rest of
State President sentations to civic groups and the country if we develop more
Rosemary Hagevig educating policymakers about Q. High energy costs hit our of our vast wind, geothermal,
Charles Johnson the merits of flat-priced, clean rural communities particularly hydro, biomass and ocean
Barbara Rich renewable energy. hard; what immediate steps can power resources.
be taken to reduce costs?
Jan Watson Q. How did REAP get started? A. The low-hanging fruit is For more information, call
AARP Tax-Aide State Coordinator A. In 2002 I was still practic- still efficiency. Homes need to Chris Rose at 907-745-6000 or
ing law when I realized that be weatherized and appliances e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AARP Driver Safety Program
Lead Advocacy Volunteer F ROM THE S TATE P RESIDENT Working for You — and With You
AARP C HAPTERS As I end my term as volunteer and on expanding home and community-based
Anchorage Sourdough president of AARP Alaska, I want services for older Alaskans and their caregivers.
Chapter #533 to reflect on some of our suc- And, although the legislation died in the final
907-243-4601 cesses. My wife, Marianne, and I weeks of the last legislative session, AARP will be
Fairbanks North Star are moving to Texas to be closer back in Juneau in January to again work on bring-
Chapter #770 to family, but Alaska — and AARP ing back a public pension system so that Alaska
907-458-7161 — will forever remain close to can attract and retain qualified firefighters, safety
Mt. Juneau Chapter #865 my heart. When I took office in officers and teachers for our grandchildren.
907-586-3637 March 2007, we had 89,000 members; today, we I urge you all to get involved in AARP. It’s
Ketchikan Chapter #1824 have more than 96,000 members. That’s incred- a great organization, working to improve the
907-225-2814 ible growth! lives of not only our 96,000 members in Alaska,
Mat-Su Valley #5280 I’ve enjoyed every minute I’ve but their children and grandchil-
907-745-5033 spent as AARP Alaska state presi- “I’ve enjoyed dren. As our founder, Ethel Percy
dent. What made my time as Andrus, put it, “What we do, we
A LASKA R ETIRED T EACHERS
president great was working on every minute do for all.”
issues that make a difference for
Alaskans of all ages. We worked I’ve spent George Hieronymus will retire at
on securing funding for the Senior the end of the year as chief operat-
Benefits program. We worked on as AARP ing officer of the Foraker Group,
strengthening Alaska’s identify which works to increase the lead-
theft law in a bipartisan effort; Alaska state ership and management skills of
on establishing preventive den- those working for Alaska’s non-
tal care for low-income Alaskans; president.” profit and tribal organizations.
Alaska high school graduates rank 50th nationally in “readiness” for college, according to the Center for American Progress.
Learn more about programs to help Alaskans reduce energy bills through efficiency: www.ahfc.state.ak.us, click on “Energy.”
Resources D IVIDED W E F AIL
To call or visit online: A Few Easy Steps Can
AARP Driver Safety Program
Lead to Better Health
www.aarp.org/drive Inactivity coupled with years of a diet high in
fat and sugar have made one-third of us obese and
Alaska Attorney General’s another one-third overweight. Chronic health
Office of Consumer conditions such as diabetes are rapidly becoming
Protection commonplace. In Alaska, the number of adults
1-888-925-2521 (toll-free hot line)
with diabetes who are obese increased from 36.4
percent in 1995 to 48.9 percent in 2004.
Alaska’s Aging and Disability But however old you are, you can take simple
Resource Centers steps to keep healthy, starting with eating whole
www.alaskasilc.org/adrc.cfm grains, fruits and vegetables and going for a brisk
walk (visit www.aarp.org/walking for tips).
Alzheimer’s Disease Giving up tobacco is another effective way to
Resource Agency of Alaska improve your health. Nationally, tobacco use
907-561-3313 accounts for approximately 438,000 deaths a even more critical after age 50, when more than
year, according to the Centers for Disease Control half of us have high blood pressure, heart disease,
Home and Community-Based and Prevention. Tobacco use contributes to the diabetes or some other chronic condition.
Services (Alaska 2-1-1) death of nearly 600 Alaskans every year, and Americans need to make wellness a national
Dial 211 more than 19,000 Alaskans under the age of 18 priority — we all will reap a bounty of potential
www.alaska211.org today will die from tobacco-related illness. savings and health benefits. Through Divided We
Visiting your medical provider regularly for pre- Fail, AARP is pressing our elected leaders to stand
Alaska Housing Finance ventive screening and vaccinations can also put up for effective solutions. You can help by signing
Corporation Senior you on a path to better health. Screening becomes the pledge below.
senior_guide.cfm Join Divided We Fail
State of Alaska Senior I want to join with millions of other now. Candidates owe
and Disability Services
Americans to support candidates who will us action and answers,
www.hss.state.ak.us/dsds give us action and answers on health care and they must commit to delivering
and lifetime ﬁnancial security. We need to long-term, lasting solutions if elected.
State of Alaska Senior elect leaders who will end the gridlock in
Benefits Program Washington and get things done. Signature .......................................................................
I pledge to: Name ..............................................................................
State of Alaska Senior
Information Office ❏ Vote for candidates who will ensure Address ..........................................................................
1-800-478-6065 that all Americans have access to afford-
www.hss.state.ak.us/dsds/ able, quality health care. City, State, Zip ...............................................................
❏ Vote for candidates who will ensure E-mail .............................................................................
that all Americans have peace of mind
To read: about their lifetime ﬁnancial security. ❏ Please keep in touch with me by e-mail
To receive the following free
AARP publications and others, ❏ Vote for candidates who are speciﬁc about AARP activities, events and mem-
call 1-866-227-7447 or e-mail about what they’ll do and how, and who ber beneﬁts.
email@example.com: stop speaking in generalities. Please mail your signed pledge to
Insomnia: Know Your Rx I’m using my vote to deliver the message AARP Alaska, 3601 C St.,
Options (#D18537) that the time to address these problems is Suite 1420, Anchorage, AK 99503
Managing Chronic Pain
(#D18555) AARP is nonpartisan and does not own a political action committee (PAC), endorse political candidates, or
contribute money to political parties or political candidates’ campaigns. AARP educates the public about issues
of concern to older Americans and their families through voter guides, issue workshops and candidate forums.
In 2007, 26.2 percent of Alaskans were obese — above the U.S. average and nearly double 1990’s rate, but down from 2006.
Get tips on a range of health issues; visit the state’s Division of Public Health at www.hss.state.ak.us/dph/chronic/pubs.