AK Fall cgla indd by benbenzhou


									50+ Alaska News                                  www.aarp.org/ak
                                                                                         AK                                                   Fall 2008

Workshops to Educate
Investors, Consumers
Nov. 7 – 8, Juneau
Nov. 14 – 15, Fairbanks
                                                 Protect Your
Nov. 21– 22, Palmer
Dec. 5 – 6, Kodiak
Jan. 16 – 17, Wrangell
Jan. 23 – 24, Anchorage
                                                 Nest Egg
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 jschnidr@usgs.gov.                 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
                                                                                                                                             Non-Profit Org.
Alaskans Speak Out .............. 2              3601 C St., Suite 1420
                                                                                                                                               U.S. Postage
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
preventive efforts.

   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-
tion/consumer protection
                                      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.
per individual.
                                      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
              Jackson, 86
                                      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 info@alaskabar.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-
         AARP Alaska
                                   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
        ak@aarp.org                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-
                                   Rose, execu-
        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
    Joaquin Barbachano
                                   ing law when I realized that       be weatherized and appliances         e-mail him at crose@alaska.net.
  AARP Driver Safety Program
      State Coordinator
         Marie Darlin
   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 SSOCIATION
                                  president great was working on         every minute                  do for all.”
                                  issues that make a difference for
         Barbara Rich
                                  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.
Housing Office
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.
ak@aarp.org:                           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.

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