Lathrop High School Music & Drama Presents: Mary Poppins, the musical!

Mary Poppins flies into the Hering Auditorium this March 5th, 6th, and 7th. This show is practically perfect in every way. We are excited to welcome “Flying by Foy” to add some flying effects to this wonderful show

Location
Hering Auditorium
Airport Way

Tickets
Tickets can be purchased at online or at the door.
Get your tickets now before they are sold out!
You can purchase tickets online now at showtix4u.com

Price
$15 Adults/ $10 Students and Seniors

Contact Phone
907-456-7794

Contact E-mail
tristan.hovest@k12northstar.org

Showtimes are:
Thursday, March 5th – 7pm
Friday, March 6th – 7pm
Saturday, March 7th – 2pm
Saturday, March 7th  – 7pm

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“A Big Thank You”

Living Waters Assembly Of God Church would like to express special appreciation to the owners of Up A Creek Farm and IGA Grocery Store and employees for their generosity in helping us with the Valentine Taco and  Baked Potato Dinner.  Also a special thank you To the many helping hands for preparing and serving the food and for all the baked goods prepared for the bake sale.

Many Thanks to the those who attended the fund raiser and enjoyed the delicious food. Your generous donations will help to reach our goal to improve the parking lot and also have better water.

God Bless You,
Pastor Jared and Vicki Myrick
And Church Family

 

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Photo of the day February 28

Spotted Sky
A recent sunset had these interesting looking clouds that lit up nicely around 4 pm.  Sebastian Saarloos

 

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Millennium Anchorage named official host of the World-Acclaimed Alaskan Iditarod

ANCHORAGE (February 27, 2015) – With the iconic Iditarod kicking off next week, Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage, a 27-year sponsor of the race, announces an extraordinary five-course meal and cash prize for the award winner of the first Musher to the Yukon.  This honor is designated for the first musher that crosses the Yukon Territory and this year the celebratory dinner will be held in Galena, Alaska.  Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage will present the lucky winner with a cash prize of $3,500 as well as a scrumptious feast prepared by the hotel’s culinary team.

“This legendary event offers our chef and his team the opportunity to demonstrate their passion for innovative, local cuisine,” said Carol Fraser, general manager of Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage.  “The freshest Alaskan seafood is used to create a meal worthy of the first musher that crosses these borders.  And to make the entire evening a uniquely Alaskan event, Executive Chef Bobby Sidro and his team prepares the meal on camp stoves.

The special wine-paired dinner menu includes:

·      Alaskan Halibut and Coconut Cream Soup with Crusty Parmesan Crostinis

·      Southeast Alaskan Jumbo Spot Shrimp wrapped in Prosciutto

·      Cajun Kodiak Scallops and Caesar Salad with Salmon Caviar

·      Bering Sea Red King Crab-stuffed Tenderloin

·      Bananas Foster Flambé

·       The $3,500 After Dinner Mint will be presented on an Alaskan Gold Pan, accompanied by a bottle of Dom Perignon

Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage is the official host hotel of the Iditarod.  The Iditarod’s ceremonial start will be held March 7th in downtown Anchorage, with the official start following on March 9th in Fairbanks.

The property is currently undergoing an $8.3 million renovation, encompassing a total overhaul of all 248 guest rooms along with the exterior.  This lakeside hotel – the only one in Anchorage – will unveil its upgrades by the spring, marking the completion of Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage’s phased renovations.

For more information on the Iditarod, visit http://iditarod.com/

For more information on Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage, visit
http://www.millenniumhotels.com/millenniumanchorage/

Jessica D. Foreman
Account Executive | Laura Davidson Public Relations

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Photo of the day February 27

On this particular evening, it was a really dark night which gave an interesting silhouette appearance to Donnelly Dome and trees in the foreground with those incredible stars.
Steve DuBois

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2015 Interior Wedding Showcase

Sunday, March 8th  11am – 4pm at the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel

Are you planning a wedding?

The 2015 Interior Wedding Showcase brings together the best wedding related services of the Interior and throughout the state. From jewelers and caterers, to photographers and venues, DJs, florists, and much more, the Interior Wedding Showcase is your place to find everything you’ll need to make your wedding absolutely perfect!

Admission is FREE!  Enjoy fashion shows by Alaskan Floral and Wedding and Anderson’s Bride!  There will be door prizes, refreshments and more!

Would you like participate as a vendor?

The Interior Wedding Showcase has become the largest bridal showcase in the Interior. If you haven’t been a part of the Interior Wedding Showcase in the past, now is the year to join the fun. Just download and return the forms.

For complete details, vendor package and registration form see http://webcenter11.com/wedding-showcase

If you have comments or questions, please contact Brittney Holaday at (907)458-1801 or brittneyholaday@ktvf11.com

 

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Hydroponic Gardens

Imagine it is winter and you are cooking homemade spaghetti sauce to warm up your family. You need some fresh basil so you walk over to your in-house culinary herb garden and cut a few fragrant leaves for the simmering sauce. What could be better than culinary herbs fresh from the garden in winter in Fairbanks? Is this a pipe dream or could it be reality?

The answers are, indeed, nothing could be better, and yes, it can be a reality. On Tuesday, March 3, at the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel and Conference Center, there will be an afternoon workshop on setting up home-sized hydroponic gardens for vegetable and culinary herb production. You will have the opportunity to learn what kinds of materials and lights you will need and how to plant and care for your vegetables and culinary herbs.

Many of us would like to be able to get all of our produce locally year-round, but in actuality, this is a difficult thing to do. By using hydroponics, even in Fairbanks in deepest, darkest winter, we can grow our own vegetables and culinary herbs indoors.

Hydroponics is about growing plants without soil. There are systems that can be set up or created that will produce amazing amounts of vegetables and culinary herbs for your table. These systems take up little space and are not as high maintenance as you would expect. As with anything Alaskan, hydroponics is about creativity and doing it on your own terms.

The workshop is only $25 for an afternoon of learning valuable and practical skills you can use at home. You can find out more and register for it at http://bit.ly/sareconf. At that registration site, you will notice that the 11th Annual Alaska Sustainable Agriculture Conference will also be held the following two days at the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel and Conference Center.

The Alaska Sustainable Agriculture Conference will include a wide array of topics such as economics, food security, livestock, fruit, vegetables, sustainable practices, marketing and management.

Another worthwhile event is the Alaska State Master Gardeners Conference March 7 at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge. There will be a variety of excellent speakers addressing all aspects of gardening in Alaska. This conference will be fun and informative for anyone with a home garden or flower bed. You do not have to be a Master Gardener to attend and you will meet many people who are excited about and skilled at growing plants in Alaska. Information on talks and registration for this conference can be found at fairbanksmastergardeners.wordpress.com.

Spring is not that far away now and we are finally beginning to see the backside of winter. The lengthening days probably make all of us eager to start planting seeds in preparation for flower, vegetable and culinary herb gardens. These March conferences are perfectly timed to give you information you can use this spring and summer. We also hope you meet people who will inspire you to have your best growing season ever.

Growing plants and raising animals in Alaska has challenges and opportunities unlike almost anywhere else in the world. Come share what you know, learn from the experts and be part of the unique and wonderful community of Alaska growers.

Steven Seefeldt is the Tanana District agriculture and horticulture agent for the Cooperative Extension Service, a part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He can be reached at 907-474-2423 or ssseefeldt@alaska.edu.

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Photo of the day February 26

“Moose & Moffit”
A moose stands in some snowy spruce trees as Mt. Moffit looms in the distance this morning.      Sebastian Saarloos

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Black Rapids Lodge Avalanche Level 1 Course

AIARE Level 1 is traditionally a 3 day/24 hour introduction to avalanche hazard management focusing on creating options and making informed decisions for travel in avalanche terrain.

We are excited to be participating in a pilot program this season that adds an online component to an AIARE I course, freeing up more time to spend in the field practicing skills. Students enrolling in the “Blended Learning AIARE I” will receive an additional 8 hours of self-directed online instruction. This additional instruction will give students a head start on understanding avalanche terminology, weather and avalanche forecasts and skills needed for safe travel in the backcountry, enabling them to take the most from their class experience.

Major themes emphasized in this course are: decision-making, avalanche terrain recognition, planning and preparation, and effective companion rescue. This course meets the American Avalanche Association guidelines for Level 1

When:  March 14-16, 2015

Where:  Black Rapids Lodge, Alaska Range MP 227 Richardson Highway
Cost:    $350  Register for the course (907) 255-2242
http://www.alaskasnow.org/educatoin/courses/aiare-level-1/

Students arrange lodging and meals with The Lodge at Black Rapids

Please contact Black Rapids Lodge to arrange lodging and food during the course. blackrapids@ureach.com  877-825-9413 | 907-388-8391
lodgeatblackrapids@gmail.com  or call Helen (907)388-8391

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Seniors: The Other Side of the Coin

The last article I wrote talked about the more healthy and vital seniors in our community and their many activities. I received a very thoughtful email from a Fairbanks doctor who sees a different, sadder story. I think this story needs to be told too.

Dr. Barbara Creighton brought to my attention that many seniors get closed in by the weather and the cold and dark environment. Many have a medical event that destroys their finances, making life very difficult in Fairbanks.

The lack of assisted living facilities in our area means many elderly who fail to plan or who have no financial reserves end up having to move away from family and friends. Many end up in Anchorage, which has many more facilities and the competition means there are some facilities that accept the relatively small reimbursement offered by the state.

Those with a mental illness and in need of an assisted living facility will need a “dual diagnosis” or mental health home that can only be found in Anchorage, according to Creighton. And Alaska has the highest-priced assisted living facilities in the nation. There are a few retirement communities in Fairbanks for independent living, but there is a real lack of affordable choices for senior living.

The Fairbanks Memorial Hospital Hospice is a good start for end-of-life care. But as Creighton, who specializes in internal medicine, hospice and palliative care, says, “If you don’t have a large devoted family, a team of devoted friends, or the resources to hire 24-hour care, you end up dying in the hospital. There is no inpatient hospice in Fairbanks and you may not get into Denali Center for end-of-life care if you don’t need skilled nursing care, i.e., you are actively dying or need IV medications.” She says you may get stuck in the hospital while applications are made for an assisted living facility, which could take weeks. There is no formal outpatient palliative care access in Fairbanks, but a formal inpatient palliative care consultation service started in January.

I did a little research into some options in Fairbanks. Assisted living facilities are listed on this website: www.assistedlivingfacilities.org/directory/ak/fairbanks/.

The Fairbanks Pioneer Home and another facility in North Pole are available to those who need assisted living. It is a good idea to do the paperwork to get into one of these facilities before you actually need them. The Pioneer Home has an inactive list, kept by date, and an active list. So, first you get on the inactive list and the length of time you are on that list will determine where you end up on the active list when you apply for it.

The Senior Center in Fairbanks has Meals on Wheels that can help housebound seniors. There are also various activities and gatherings at the center. You can find out more from its website or by calling 452-1735. The Santa’s Senior Center in North Pole also hosts various activities and you can call 488-4663 to find out how to become a member or visit its website.

Fairbanks Resource Agency Senior Services offers home- and community-based services to adults with Alzheimer’s disease or age-related dementia, and seniors experiencing frail or disabling conditions. Its comprehensive range of services is designed for those who can no longer manage independently.

According to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services website, “Aging and Disability Resource Centers connect seniors, people with disabilities, and caregivers with long-term services and supports of their choice. The ADRC network serves Alaskans statewide, regardless of age or income level, through regional sites.” Unfortunately, the closest Aging and Disability Resource Center is in Anchorage.

Another website that might help is www.yellowpages.com/fairbanks-ak/senior-apartments. This has links to independent living and assisted living situations and senior help agencies.

So even before your “golden years” approach, it is a good idea to start planning for not only your retirement, but also for what will inevitably happen after. Growing older is inescapable. You may have more choices and a better ability to cope with growing older by planning, communicating with family and friends, and becoming familiar with the choices available to you. And it might behoove all of us to take a look at legislation that could help our elderly. We’ll all be there someday.

Marsha Munsell is a health, home and family development program assistant for the Cooperative Extension Service, a part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Contact her at 907-474-5414 or mkmunsell@alaska.edu.

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Photo of the day February 25

This photo was taken at Birch Lake north of Delta. There was a lot of purple light this particular night which results from electrons hitting nitrogen molecules in the atmosphere giving off blue and red light which combines to form purple. The camera picks up the purple light better than our eyes do, but this particular night I could see it. Birch Lake is about 60 miles from Fairbanks and the lights from Fairbanks and Eielson Air Force Base were lighting the clouds in the sky. And as usual, the stars were incredible.  Steve DuBois

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BLM Requests Nominations for the 2015 Reclamation & Sustainable Mineral Development Awards Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking nominations for the 2015 Reclamation and Sustainable Mineral Development Awards. The deadline to submit nominations is April 22, 2015.

“The BLM awards program showcases sustainable development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” said Michael Nedd, BLM Assistant Director for Energy, Minerals and Realty Management.

“These awards exemplify what the new legacy of mining has become in the West,” Nedd said.  “They highlight responsible mineral development that protects and restores the environment while meeting modern needs for these raw materials.”

These non-monetary awards highlight some of the finest examples of responsible mineral resource development and illustrate the principles of sustainable development without compromising the needs of future generations.  The awards program also helps to promote successful ideas and practices that may be implemented at various locations throughout the nation.

The awards fall under five categories: the Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award, the Hardrock Mineral Community Outreach and Economic Security Award, the Hardrock Mineral Small Operator Award, the Hardrock Mineral Directors Award, and the “Fix A Shaft Today!” Award.

The Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award recognizes efforts in environmental stewardship.  This category recognizes achievements demonstrating continuous or repeated efforts to successfully meet or exceed Federal, State, or local reclamation requirements with minimal oversight.

The Hardrock Mineral Community Outreach and Economic Security Award recognizes projects that show concern for community responsibilities and the economic benefits of mineral development.  This award recognizes successful coordination of projects with local and regional stakeholders.  Projects that contribute to quality of life or show concern for a community’s long-term health are also eligible.

The Hardrock Mineral Small Operator Award recognizes efforts in environmental stewardship of operators with fewer than 15 employees.  Similar to the Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award, this award recognizes achievements demonstrating continuous or repeated efforts to successfully meet or exceed Federal, State, or local reclamation requirements with minimal oversight.

The Hardrock Mineral Director’s Award is for outstanding achievement in a particular area of sustainable development.  The award will recognize an operator whose dedication and commitment to excellence has resulted in the use of a new or innovative design or technique that allows or enhances successful operations in technically challenging conditions or in critical environmental settings.

The Fix A Shaft Today!”(“FAST!”) Award recognizes active participation in the FAST! Campaign, which is a partnership initiative aimed at eradicating unsafe abandoned mine land features, especially open mine shafts.

Nominations are to be submitted to the BLM State Office (Attention: Solid Minerals) that has jurisdiction in the State where the operation is located.  It is anticipated that the presentation of the awards will take place in Washington, DC in the fall of 2015.

Mining companies, regulatory authorities, geologists, and members of the public may nominate operators or organizations in the non-coal solid minerals industries for an award.  Nominations need not be limited to operations on land managed by the BLM.  For detailed information on the nomination and selection processes, including the required format for nominations CLICK HERE.

Maureen Clark
Public Affairs Specialist
BLM-Alaska Office of Communications

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Alaska Sustainable Agriculture Conference Agenda

TUESDAY, MARCH 3 — Preconference Workshops
7:30 – 8:30 Registration
8:30 – 5:00
Holistic Management and Improved Decision Making — Yukon Room, Phil Metzger, Holistic Management International.
(Lunch will be served from noon to 1 p.m.for attendees of this workshop.)
What are the questions you need answers to when making farming decisions, and who should be involved in the discussion? Learn to manage toward profitability, land health and social well-being.
1:00 – 5:00
Hydroponics for Vegetable Production —Gold Room, Jeff Werner, Watanuska LLC, Arth Brown III, North Slope Borough School District, Eric Cook, UAF, and Jason Hoke, Copper River Economic Development Corp.
Learn about hydroponic systems for growing fresh produce year-round.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4 — Conference Day 1
7:30 – 8:00 Registration
8:00 – 8:30
Welcome, Steve Seefeldt, UAF Cooperative Extension Service, Franci Havemeister, director, Alaska Division of Agriculture, and Jim Freeburn,
Western SARE PLENARY SESSION — Gold Room
8:30 – 9:30 I’m in It for the Money! And Other Reasons We Farm, Phil Metzger, Holistic Management International
9:30 – 10:00 Developing and Utilizing Enterprise Budgets for Profitable Farm Management, Gina Greenway, College of Idaho Department of
Business and Accounting
10:00 – 10:30 Break and networking (Visit exhibits!) BREAKOUT SESSIONS (Concurrent sessions in Yukon and Gold Rooms.) Livestock — Yukon Room
10:30 – 11:00 Animal Care and Husbandry Practices: The Future Outlook in Alaska, Dr. Robert Gerlach, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
11:00 – 11:30 Livestock Fencing, Dan Rees, Moose Creek Farm
11:30 – 12:00 Winterizing Cattle, Russ Pinkelman, Delta Meat/Northwest Land and Livestock Fruit — Gold Room
10:30 – 11:00 Apple Rootstock Trial, Rusty Foreaker, Alaska Plant Materials Center
11:00 – 11:30 Rhubarb Production and the Alaska Rhubarb Juicing Project, Jeff Smeenk, Palmer Soil and Water Conservation District
11:30 – 12:00 Fruit Trees, Steve Masterman
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch on site — Gold Room BREAKOUT SESSIONS (Concurrent sessions in Yukon and Gold Rooms.) Livestock — Yukon Room
1:00 – 1:30 Reindeer are Livestock, George Aguiar, UAF Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station
1:30 – 2:00 Sheep in Alaska, Catherine Hadley, Last Frontier Agricultural and Environmental Services
2:00 – 2:30 Meat Goats in Alaska, Paul Finch, North Country Farm
2:30 – 3:00 The Raw Truth about Raw Milk, Dr. Lisa Lunn, UAF Department of Veterinary Medicine Vegetables — Gold Room
1:00 – 1:30 Cilantro Bolting Trial, Julie Riley, UAF Cooperative Extension Service
1:30– 2:00 Cutworms to Know and Control, an IPM Approach, Janice Chumley, UAF Cooperative Extension Service
2:00 – 2:30 Growing Garlic in Alaska, Heidi Rader, UAF Cooperative Extension Service and Tanana Chiefs Conference, and Julianne McGuinness, Aisling Mhor Consulting
2:30 – 3:00 Breeding Turnips, Kurt Wold, Pingo Farms
3:00 – 3:30 Break and networking (Visit exhibits!) BREAKOUT SESSIONS (Concurrent sessions in Yukon and Gold Rooms.) Livestock — Yukon Room
3:30 – 4:00 Antibiotic Use On-farm, Dr. Rosemarie Lombardi, USDA APHIS Veterinary Services
4:00 – 4:30 Overwintering: The Beekeeper’s Biggest Challenge in Interior Alaska, Stephen Petersen, Toklat Apiaries
4:30 – 5:00 The Economic Viability of Farming Muskoxen, Laura Starr, UAF School of Natural Resources and Extension Sustainable Practices — Gold Room
3:30 – 4:00 On-farm IPM Plan Development, Darcy Etcheverry, UAF Cooperative Extension Service
4:00 — 4:30 Monitoring Impacts of High Tunnels on Growing Conditions and Season Extension in Southcentral Alaska, Rachel Lord, Alaska Stems
4:30 – 5:00 Plants for Pollinators, Pat Holloway, UAF Georgeson Botanical Garden

THURSDAY, MARCH 5 — Conference Day 2
7:30 – 8:30 Registration BREAKOUT SESSIONS (Concurrent sessions in Yukon and Gold Rooms.) Sustainable Practices — Yukon Room
8:30 – 9:00 Earthworms: Friend or Foe? Matt Bowser, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
9:00 – 9:30 Managing Your Soil Test Parameters, Mingchu Zhang, UAF School of Natural Resources and Extension
9:30 – 10:00 Efficacy Comparison of Marketed Organic and Natural Herbicides, Heather Stewart and Robert Carter, Alaska Plant Materials Center Marketing — Gold Room
8:30 – 9:00 Farm to School: Five-Year Vision, Johanna Herron, Alaska Division of Agriculture
9:00 – 9:30 Agritourism and Alaska, Jacquelyn Schade, Alaska Division of Agriculture, and Mike Williams, EagleSong Family Peony Farm
9:30 – 10:00 Alaska’s Food Policy: What works, what needs changing? Darren Snyder, UAF Cooperative Extension Service
10:00 – 10:30 Break and networking (Visit exhibits!) BREAKOUT SESSIONS (Concurrent sessions in Yukon and Gold Rooms Sustainable Practices — Yukon Room
10:30 – 11:00 Division of Agriculture Pathology Program, Todd Steinlage, Alaska Plant Materials Center
11:00 – 11:30 Community Weed Control, Phil Kaspari, UAF Cooperative Extension Service
11:30 – 12:00 Cover Crop and Tillage System Impacts on Weed Seed Banks, Erin Carr, UAF Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Managing Your Farm — Gold Room
10:30 – 11:00 Farm Liability Insurance, Laura Brugger, Country Insurance and Financial Services
11:00 – 11:30 Introduction to US Army Corps of Engineers, Wetland Permits, Ben Soiseth, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
11:30 – 12:00 Energy Audits, and Current Opportunities for Financial Assistance Under the 2014 Farm Bill, Jon Oestreich, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch on site — Gold Room PLENARY SESSION — Gold Room
1:00 – 1:30 Hydroponics for Vegetable Production, Jeff Werner, Watanuska LLC
1:30 – 2:00 Building Food Security in Alaska, an Overview of Ken Meter’s Report, Amy Pettit, Alaska Food Policy Council
2:00 – 2:30 Developing Niche Markets in Alaska Agriculture, Gina Greenway, College of Idaho Department of Business and Accounting
2:30 – 3:00 A Self-Governing First Nation and Post- Secondary Institution Partnership — Leading to a Sustainable Yukon Klondike Region Farm, presenters to be announced.
3:00 – 3:30 Break and networking (Visit exhibits!) PLENARY SESSION — Gold Room
3:30 – 4:15 Industry Updates and Changes to the Farm Bill — How Will It Affect Farmers? Amy Seitz, Alaska Farm Bureau, and Lloyd Wilhelm, USDA Farm Service Agency
4:14 – 5:00 Managing Your Farm Holistically — Getting Started, Phil Metzger, Holistic Managemen

Meet our Keynote Speakers

Phil Metzger Holistic Management International
Gina Greenway College of Idaho Department of Business and Accounting
Phil Metzger is a farm and natural resources development consultant, having retired from a 31-year career as a conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. He has extensive experience working with an array of farms, businesses and organizations of all types and sizes. Phil instructs and consults on farm, personal and organizational goal setting, improved decision making, financial, land/infrastructure and grazing planning, biological monitoring and land health. He has been a certified educator in holistic management for more than 12 years. Currently, Phil is an instructor for Holistic Management International’s Western SARE Whole Farm Planning Distance Learning program, Northeast Beginning Women Farmer program, Cornell University Beginning Farmer Holistic Financial Planning online course and he consults with private clients.

Gina Greenway College of Idaho Department of Business and Accounting
Gina Greenway is an assistant professor of business and accounting at the College of Idaho. Gina received her bachelor of science, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Idaho where she also taught agricultural economics courses and worked as a research associate. Her focus is on applied research and extension in the areas of potato industry economics and marketing, price forecasting and farm management.

Agenda Subject to Change!
For most recent updates, visit www.uaf.edu/ces/ah/sare/conference or contact Darch Etcheveryy at 907-474-2422 or ddetcheverry@alaska.edu.
877-520-5211 • www.uaf.edu/ces
UAF is an AA/EO employer and educational institution.

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Team Greely Presents Indoor Triathlon

Saturday, March 14th

Fort Greely Fitness Center, 11am
– 20 minute bike, 20 minute swim, and 20 minute run. Participates can sign-up at the Fitness Center NLT than 11 March. Inquiries can be directed to the Fitness Center at 873-2696.

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Team Greely Presents Latrines on Ice

Saturday, March 7th

Fort Greely Primitive Campground, 11am
– Teams can sign up at the CAC. For questions regarding rules and regulations, inquiries can be directed to the CAC Front Desk at 873-4782

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Team Greely Spring Fling Events March 7-21, 2015

Team Greely presents Spring Fling.  More information will be posted for each event as the time nears.  For the events that have registration dates, they will be posted ASAP.

Latrines on Ice, BOGO Bowling, Nerf Battles, Indoor Triathlon, Community Concert, Adult Prom

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Alaska Sustainable Agriculture Conference ~ Mar 3

One week to go! Alaska Sustainable Agriculture Conference kicks off March 3!

We are one week out from the 11TH ANNUAL ALASKA SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE CONFERENCE, set for March 3-5 at the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel and Conference Center.

Registrations are climbing, but there is still space available in the preconference workshops March 3 as well as the conference March 4 and 5. There also are a few exhibit tables open.

For more information, visit the conference website at www.uaf.edu/ces/ah/sare/conference/

To register online, go to http://bit.ly/ces-workshops

For questions, please contact Darcy Etcheverry at (907)474-2422 or ddetcheverry@alaska.edu.

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Important ARC/PLC Program Deadlines Approaching & New Farmer Website

With this warm February weather, Valley farmers are preparing greenhouse operations and planting seeds!  Please contact us for information about microloans and small operating loans for spring start up costs.

See the newsletter for more information.

Important ARC/PLC Program Deadlines Approaching
Producers are reminded that the deadline to update yield history and/or reallocate base acres is Feb. 27, 2015. Farm owners and producers can choose between the new 2014 Farm Bill established programs, Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) through March 31, 2015. The new programs, designed to help producers better manage risk, usher in one of the most significant reforms to U.S. farm programs in decades.

USDA Announces New Support for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers
Department Implementing New Farm Bill Programs, Unveiling New Centralized Online Resource to Support Next Generation of Farmers

USDA has announced the implementation of new Farm Bill measures and other policy changes to improve the financial security of new and beginning farmers and ranchers. USDA also unveiled  www.USDA.gov/newfarmers, a new website that will provide a centralized, one-stop resource where beginning farmers and ranchers can explore the variety of USDA initiatives designed to help them succeed.

Danny Consenstein
Executive Director
USDA Alaska Farm Service Agency

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Photo of the day February 24

This image depicts the mountain ridges at Thompson Pass before descending into Valdez, Alaska. Photo by Dwight Phillips

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Fairbanks Rollergirls Double Header!

February 28 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks

Wheels roll between the Cold’n Heart Junior Derby – then the Raven Rebels take on the Gold Diggers!

Don’t miss out – action begins at 6:30pm.

 

 

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Photo of the day February 23

A gorgeous early spring day that just makes you want to get outside, especially before the wind forecast was calling for 60 mph winds the next day,  Bill Todd and I snowshoed along the Delta Clearwater River on this particular afternoon. A set of coyote tracks crosses the snow in front of Bill. Steve DuBois  

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Prism Optical of Alaska is coming to Delta Junction

March 2 and 3
Location:  Kelly’s Alaska Country Inn

Complete pair of eyeglasses only $99
Select frames with single visioin plastic lenses (exam additional)
With single vision plastic Transition Gray lenses $169

For an eye exam appointment call (800)478-5510
(on days of the visit call 895-4667 for an appointment)

Most insurance, Medicaid and Denali Kid Care accepted.
All major credit cards accepted

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Tired Iron Starts on Saturday

Saturday, Feb 28, 2015
Downtownon the Chena River
Fairbanks, AK 99701

Admission: Free Snowmobile races for older model machines plus fun activities for the entire family downtown on the Chena River.Call  (907) 452-8602

The 2015 Tired Iron”FROZEN”SOUPER Saturday
(Help raise food for the Fairbanks Community Food Bank)
Bring some SOUP cans to the Tired Iron SOUP drive and get
FROZEN…

For 2015, we’ve added the Fairbanks “FROZEN” characters to the list of fun for the kids!Here’s how it works:

Parents bring their kids, their camera and a few cans of SOUP, to the Tired Iron, on “Souper Saturday” February 28th, and take FREE pictures of your kids with Elsa, Sven and the entire crew! What a great picture to send to friends and relatives, all while supporting a very good local cause; Feeding those in need.

Then, grab a hot dog and drink from the Boy Scouts Food Tent, and stick around for the biggest kid’s event in Fairbanks… The Tired Iron “Spring Ping Fling”, where we drop 10,000 bright orange ping pong balls from a City Fire truck! Find one of the (more than 50) specially marked prize balls, and you’ve won anything from a Disney “Frozen” toy, to a Nook or an iPad, or maybe even the Grand Prize… a brand new Arctic Cat 120 cc mini snowmachine, courtesy of Northern Power Sports! ($3,000 value)

It all happens Saturday, February 28th from 10 am – 4 pm, followed by 3 Tired Iron vintage snowmachine races on Sunday, March 1st. Don’t miss the biggest outdoor winter weekend in Fairbanks

2015 Tired Iron – Events Schedule
(Schedules may change! Check back for updates.)
10:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. River Games & Kids Events! •Human “Moose Nugget” Bowling  •Ice Putt-Putt Golfing  •New River Game – TBA

(These events take place between the Finish line and just below the Cushman Street Bridge)
10:30 A.M. – 11:30 A.M. “Jurassic Classic “Sponsorship Available” (Same 1.6 mi. track as previous years x 5 laps for 8 mi. total) (Starts at the Start/Finish line in front of the Golden Heart Plaza)

11:30 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.  Mini Arctic Man Contest!– Sponsored by:  “Sponsorship Available” -120 cc sleds pulling skier or snowboarder on short course between the Centennial Footbridge and the Wendell Street Bridge

1:30 P.M. – 3:00 P.M. Spring Ping Fling! At least 10,000 orange ping pong balls will be showered over excited kids between the ages of 5 and 12 years! Tons of cool prizes for participants… Free Klondike Ice Cream bars… No one goes home without something!  In fact, some lucky kid will go home with a brand new Arctic Cat ZR 120 Mini Snowmachine courtesy of the good folks at Northern Power Sports!

12:15 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.  “2014 Iron Dog” Finish Timed “Hot” finish ends just downriver from the Wendell St. Bridge, near the confluence of the Noyes Slough. Then they proceed downriver, in a shutdown mode, to the Centennial Footbridge, for interviews and media coverage and then exit the river on the south bank into Griffin Park.

6:30 P.M. – 8:30 P.M. Drivers’/Safety Meeting -MANDATORY The Driver’s meeting will be held upstairs at the Elks Club. This meeting is a mandatory drivers/safety meeting for all Sunday races. this year.

Some Tired Iron
History The Fairbanks Tired Iron Race is a vintage snowmobile race, first organized in 2006, to encourage restoration of “Vintage” snow machines, that had been, or were soon to be, relegated to the garbage dumps and landfills of history. We believed that if we did a good job of recreating the excitement of snowmobiling that existed here in the Interior during the 1960’s and the 1970’s, it would go a long way to achieving our goal of saving these vintage sleds. Our events are designed to produce willing restorers of an important part of Alaska’s (and the Nation’s) history, as it pertains to the snowmobile. Our goal is to educate the public, document and preserve the history of snow machining and snow machine racing. Our Tired Iron Race has evolved from a one day event to a two day event with lots of fun for everyone

For complete details, history, registration forms, links click here

All information has been used from the Tired Iron website

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Photo of the day February 21

Every time I think I’ve found my favorite in the hundreds of images I captured, another one takes its place – This one is definitely in the running! Taken February 17, 2015 at 1:01am on Birch Lake south of Fairbanks, Alaska
Birch Leaf Photography

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2015 BP World Ice Art Championships

February 23 – March 29
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily

Ice Park offers the best in family entertainment! Ice Alaska is in its 26th year hosting the finest annual ice art competitions and exhibitions in the Western World. The Fairbanks event, the BP World Ice Art Championships, has grown to a month long attraction involving over 70 teams from all over the world. The competitions, and the accompanying kids park, attract more than 100 ice artists and approximately 45,000 visitors from Alaska and all over the world.

We are excited to be in our 4th year at our new location. The new Ice Park has a larger, deeper pond – O’Grady Pond Too – that produces abundant world class ice.  The Single Block sculptures are nestled in a grove of trees and Multi-Block ice sculptures have a back drop of large trees with attractive sunscreens separating each piece. The center of the park provides ample open space for all the Kids Park activities which are highlighted by the big slides and an ice skating rink.

Season Passes – Unlimited entry into Ice Park – BEST BUY! Adult Season Pass…$ 40 per person – Free Ice Art Pin while they last + one free train ride/day  Youth Season Pass…$ 20 Youth – 6 – 17 years old + one free train ride/day

Family Punch Card Pass…$ 100 – 20 Visit Punch Card ($300 value) Patron of the Ice …$100 – 2 Gold Season Passes – 2 Ice Art Pins + unlimiterd train rides/day + special vehicle parking Lifetime Season Pass/Membership ….$1,000 – Lifetime Season Pass – Lifetime Ice Alaska Membership – Annual Pin
Day Rates – All day visit to Ice Park – 10 AM to 10 PM
Day Pass…$ 15 Per person (ONE day-Unlimited visits to Ice Park) Youth 6 – 17…$ 8 Per Person (ONE day – Unlimited visits to Ice Park ) Children under 6…$ FREE

The Kids Park is open on Monday, February 23; the first day the park opens, until the gates are closed for the final time on March 29.This magical Kids Park is like any children’s playground, ONLY it is constructed entirely from ICE. There are slides and rides for all ages, challenging mazes, and life-sized sculptures of favorite animals, popular characters and toys to touch and climb on.

Kid’s Park is a giant playground made entirely from ice. If you want to slip, slide, and twirl on ice creations, this is the place for you. We also have a skating pond complete with skates to borrow for your day at the Ice Park. Take a walk through our kids park photos, or better yet, please come down and join us for some fun!

All information is being used as a courtesy of Ice Alaska

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Photo of the day February 20

Alaska Nights
The scene near Rainbow Mountain on a recent moonless night.
Sebastian Saarloos

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DCSP 3rd Annual Masquerade Ball & Menu ~ Feb 21

“Tickets still available”

Click here for complete information

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Gary Dube Award

Hello Delta Community,

The Delta High School Booster Club has generously bought two beautiful plaques recognizing our recipients of the Gary Dube Award from the past 35 years.  We have the plaques hanging in our Senior Lobby and can be viewed as your walk through the school or come to watch an event in the gym.  However this is a slight problem!  We only have a handful of the winners on record and need your help to identify them.  We are certain the award started in the 1979-1980 school year, but we need the winners of the award to engrave on our plaque.  If you know of a year or years that people have won the award, please contact the high school office, 895-4460 or email me at rvandenboom@dgsd.us.

Thank you again for your support of our school and look forward to recognizing the past winners of this great award.

Rick Vanden Boom, DHS Principal

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Fee Implemented for use of JBER Recreational Lands

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson will institute a recreational permit fee for activities covered by the iSportsman program, beginning April 1, 2015.

The annual fee is $10 for active duty, military-affiliated and civilian personnel. Senior citizens 60 years of age and older, and those disabled 50 percent or more as documented by the Department of Veterans Affairs, will see a $5 rate per year.

Establishing the fee is necessary to sustain JBER’s recreational program, according to Brent Koenen, 673d Civil Engineer Squadron, chief of the natural and cultural resource program at JBER.

“Programs such as this are required, by DOD and Air Force instructions, to be self-sustaining — essentially meaning, they must pay for themselves,” Koenen said. “We will use all revenue collected from recreational fees exclusively to support the Natural Resource, Conservation and Enforcement programs at JBER.”

Anyone wishing to recreate on JBER must have a permit, as has formerly been the case. After March 31, 2015, all current-year permits will become invalid and a new permit must be purchased through the JBER iSportsman web site at: www.jber.iSportman.net.

The iSportsman recreational permit is not an installation access permit. Recreational users not affiliated with the Department of Defense are still required to obtain an installation pass from Security Forces at the JBER-Richardson Visitor Center located on Arctic Valley Road. Those recreating on JBER are required to have an iSportsman recreational permit and a government issued form of identification on them at all times.

Not every recreational activity on JBER requires an iSportsman permit. Some activities — such as camping, picnicking, cross country skiing, boat or pavilion rentals, for example — fall under the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program. The iSportsman web page has further details on the applicable policies and when a permit is required.

All recreational users are required to sign in and sign out using the iSportsman system.  The system can be accessed using computers, kiosks located at the JBER-Richardson Visitor Center and the JBER-Elmendorf Visitor Center at the Boniface Gate, as well as by phone. Koenen said this requirement is essential for accountability of people, to avoid disrupting military training, and to ensure public safety.

Questions regarding this policy may be directed to 552-2439 or 384-6224.

Jim Hart
JBER Public Affairs
Media Relations

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Community Listening Sessions ~ Feb 23 & 24

HEADQUARTERS, U.S. ARMY ALASKA, JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – The Anchorage and Fairbanks communities are invited to participate in community listening sessions next week to offer public input to be considered in the Army’s force reduction decision process.

The Anchorage session will begin at 6 p.m., Monday, Feb. 23, in the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center. The Fairbanks session is set for 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 24, in the Carlson Center.

Topics of special interest to the Army include key community-unique facts that senior leaders should consider, especially with respect to military considerations, infrastructure, community investment, schools and education, medical services, family and veteran support and quality of life.

Decisions on which Army units and organizations will be selected for possible reductions have not yet been made. The analysis of environmental and socioeconomic impacts as well as community feedback from listening sessions will help force structure decision-makers as they identify the specific units and organizations that may be reduced in coming years.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 – also commonly known as sequestration – mandated that the Army reduce its troop strength from a high of 570,000 in 2010 to 450,000 by the end of FY 2017.  If sequestration-level funding continues in FY 2016, the Army will be required to reduce its Active Component force to 420,000.  There are currently 30 installations being considered for possible force reductions, including Fort Wainwright and JBER.  The Army is looking at ways to reconfigure the force to best support the Army’s continued mission, while minimizing the effects on military communities.

John Pennell
Public Affairs Office

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Photo of the day February 19

Here is a picture of the DHS Varsity Boys who WON the 38th Annual Elks Tournament in Valdez last weekend. Both the Boys and Girls Teams won the Sportsmanship Award!!! Photo Courtesy Sheryl Mills

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Mary Glazier Ministering at DCC ~ Feb 22

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Taxes

Tax time will soon be upon us. This is a time when pinching pennies becomes extra important. I don’t mind paying my share of taxes, but I don’t want to pay more than is due. To avoid paying more than your share, take care to properly file your tax return before that looming April 15 deadline.

Tax deductions must be backed up by paperwork and receipts. Keeping up with these papers can sometimes be a challenge. Even if your record keeping is less than stellar during the past year, now is the time to set up a system to help with your taxes for next year. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Use a file folder that you drop in everything that is related to taxes during the year. In my case, I put everything on a certain shelf in the cabinet. Then, when the time comes to do my taxes, all the receipts are in one place.

If your taxes are relatively simple, you may not need to pay someone to complete your tax return. With the information we can access from the Internet, we can file our taxes with minimal to no filing fees. The Internal Revenue Service has partnered with several different income tax programs to provide free federal and tax filing software online. Just go to www.IRS.gov and select one of the programs for filing.

Or if you want to go direct to a website, try www.myfreetaxes.com. Filing is free for those who have incomes less than $60,000, with fees for those who make higher incomes.

If you file using a software program, don’t head to your local office supply store, instead search online and you should be able to find the same filing programs and save as much as $10 per package.

Some of us need a little more help and want someone else to help us out with filing. If you want a little more help from a real live person, we have great volunteers here in the Fairbanks area who are trained through IRS programs to complete tax returns. They are ready and willing to help you out.

The Tax-Aide program is helping people prepare their tax returns at the Noel Wien Library Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. In addition, the volunteers work directly with seniors at the Fairbanks Senior Center Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. or by appointment. Call 452-1735 to set up a time.

The Great Alaskan Accounting People (GAAP) from the UAF School of Management Accounting Department are also available to help complete returns. They will be working with taxpayers on selected Saturdays (Feb. 14, March 28, April 4 and April 11) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Bunnell Building on the UAF campus.

No matter how you choose to file, make sure you have all your records in order to correctly complete the returns. The tax man cometh — get ready.

Roxie Rodgers Dinstel is associate director of Cooperative Extension Service, a part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Questions or column requests can be e-mailed to her at rrdinstel@alaska.edu or by calling 907-474-7201.

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Photo of the day February 18

“Red Aurora”
I’ve captured reds in the aurora with my camera before, but on this particular night, it was by far the most red I have ever seen. It lasted for a good hour before turning to the standard green.   Sebastian Saarloos

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Texas Hold’Em League/Tournament

February 21, March 21, April 18 and May 23

Aurora Community Activity Center
Starts at 4pm

Tournament:  Saturday, May 23
No Limit Hold’Em – No Buying Back In

Top 8 players with the most points at the end of the season will advance to the Championship!

18 and over to participate
For more information call: 873-4782

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Construction Trades Technology Courses

Interior Aleutians Campus in partnership with UAF Community and Technical College present Construction Trades Technology Courses in Delta Junction

March 9th – March 14th

Classes count toward an Occupational Endorsement, Certificate and Associates of Applied Science degree.

CTT F135 IT2 ‐‐ Boiler Troubleshooting & Burner Repair
Instructor: Michael Hirt
Tuition: $135 Credits: 2
When: 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Focuses on the basic components of boilers and burners used in industry for heating residential and commercial properties. Key concepts and strategies related to the process and safety operations of combustion, boiler thermodynamics, control systems, fuel pumps, ignition systems, draft and venting principles and boiler operation according to hydronic
principals and Alaska code.

CTT F138 IT2‐‐ Residential Heating Controls
Tuition: $135 Credits: 2
When: 1:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Provides conceptual and practical applications for students wishing to become a residential heating control technician. Topics will explore diagnosis of equipment problems in operation, testing and adjusting conventional and electronic thermostats. Students will also receive instruction on the operation of common electrical and electronic circuits used to control residential heating systems.

It is recommended that both courses be taken concurrently.

Required Book: NORA Oilheat Technicians Manual , $72.00
(Texts will be available for purchase at class)

To register or to get more information about these courses call: Partners for Progress in Delta, 895-4605 or UAF Tok Center, 1-800-478-2773

Classes held at the
Delta Career
Advancement Center
1696 N. Clearwater Ave.
Delta Junction, AK 99737

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Mine Safety and Health Administration – MSHA Certification Class

24 HOUR NEW INEXPERIENCED MINER
MSHA CERTIFICATION CLASS
March 9, 10, 11
8 a.m. to 5 p.m
$100/person

8-HOUR RE-CERTIFICATION CLASS
March 11
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
$50/person
Must register by March 3. Class size is limited, payment is required at registration.

Call 895.4605 for more information or stop by to register!

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Biweekly Payments

When do you spend less and get more? It might be when you pay your bills, if you pay them in the right way. Today let’s talk about making half payments to get ahead.

The basic idea is to divide the payment in half and make a payment every two weeks. On the surface, you are still paying the same amount, but how does it change your payoff amount on a debt?

Let’s say you have a $200,000 mortgage at 4.2 percent. The payment would be $978 per month (not including the escrow account that pays taxes and insurance). If you made a payment of $436 every two weeks, would it save you any money?

If you pay on the first and the 15th, you would still be paying one payment each month and the savings would be only about $2,200 over the life of the loan. But if you pay every two weeks, you would actually make 26 payments during the year. This means you are paying one extra payment each year. That’s how many of us get paid, which also makes it much simpler to budget with half the mortgage payment out of each check. Using this procedure, you will be able to pay off your 30-year note in 25 years. That will save you real money — about $48,000 on the example mortgage of $200,000 according to my calculations using the calculator on bankrate.com.

Before you start to make half payments, make sure your lender allows early payments and what rules apply to them.

If you want to see how your mortgage would work on biweekly payments, check this website for a biweekly mortgage calculator at http://bit.ly/bankratecalulator.

Some loans offer to set up your mortgage as half payments, for a fee. In most cases, you can do the same thing yourself without the fee. Or, if you still want to make the same monthly payment, you can accomplish this early payoff by adding one-twelfth of the payment ($81 in our example) to the regular house payment each month.

Can the same process work on a car payment? Again, the biweekly payments make the most difference in pay off. A $25,000 car loan at 7 percent for 5 years would have a payment of $495 per month. If you pay $247.50 every two weeks, the vehicle would be paid off in 4 years and 7 months, saving you almost $2,500. Again, you need to check with your lenders and make sure they will accept biweekly payments.

The same principle works when it comes to your credit cards. Paying half the minimum payment 26 times a year will reduce the amount of time till that debt is paid off. It works by lowering your average daily balance, whichreduces the amount on which you have to pay interest, effectively lowering your credit charges. If you really want to pay that debt off sooner, pay the minimum amount twice a month. That debt will come down in a hurry.

Biweekly payments can help you save money and pay your debts off sooner.

Roxie Rodgers Dinstel is associate director of Cooperative Extension Service, a part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Questions or column requests can be e-mailed to her at rrdinstel@alaska.edu or by calling 907-474-7201.

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Community Science Night ~ “Permafrost & Snow”

Date – Friday, February 20, 2015
Time – 7:00 – 9:00pm
Location – Delta Community Library

– Touch 30,000 year old ice ~ See an ice wedge model
– Learn about permafrost all over Alaska ~ Maps, displays & videos
– See a model of a mammoth & make a mammoth mask
– Identify ancient bones ~ Try a frost probe & other tools
– Go inside the Portable Permafrost Tunnel ~ Smell thawed permafrost

Free ~ Family Friendly ~ Door Prize ~ Refreshments
Questions?  Call the Library 895-4102

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