Monthly Archives: December 2010

Photo of the day December 30

Looking out my back door on December 19 the moon made a prefect tree topper.
Photo courtesy Barb Tharp.

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Home Choice ~ Free 8 Hour Seminar

Home Choice is a free Homebuyer and Financial Education Seminar.  To register: call (800)459-2921.  or visit www.ahfc.us

Pre-registration is required as classes may be cancelled due to lack of participation. 

Join us at our upcoming class in Delta Jct, Wednesday and Thursday, January 19-20, 2011
6:00pm – 10:00pm each evening

Location: Jarvis West Conference Room.  Mile 1420.5 Alaska Highway

Our Mission:  “To provide Alaskans access to safe, quality, affordable housing.”

Class topics include:
- Preparing for home ownership
- Buying a home
- Getting a mortgage
- Closing a loan
- Being successful homeowner
- Energy efficiency programs

Alaska Housing Finance Corporation

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Photo of the day December 29

“Choosy Moms Choose Jif or was that Choosy Chickadees Choose Jif?”
 
 A few years back when chatting “birds” with my friend Mary Leith, she shared some of her wisdom on feeding chickadees here. It was then she told me about putting extra crunchy peanut butter on the tree branches for them. They love and need that extra fat during our frigid winter days. I put it out each winter along with their black oil sunflower seeds. Like many other Alaskans, chickadees are my favorite backyard bird so I like to spoil them a bit! Photo Courtesy Kathy Trim

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New Year’s Resolutions: Better Credit, Less Debt

Anchorage, Alaska – Dec. 29, 2010 Pledging to fix finance and debt problems as a New Year’s resolution? Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington has resources and tips to help.

1)     Utilize BBB’s Managing Credit – Made Simpler. This free online program walks consumers through steps to better manage their credit, regardless of their financial situations. Visit www.bbb.org/credit-management.

2)     Stay in contact with lenders. If having trouble with payments, try to work out a plan with them first before enlisting outside help. Be wary of companies that urge consumers to stop talking to lenders.

3)     Understand debt help terms. Those who receive solicitations for debt help should understand the differences between debt consolidation, debt negotiation and debt elimination offers. Although some offers are legitimate; offers concerning debt “elimination” are virtually always scams.

4)     Research aid companies. Before getting assistance from a debt help service, get a free BBB Reliability Report on the company at www.bbb.org. It may be a good idea to start with a credit counseling service; which are often nonprofits that offer financial guidance for a small fee or for free. Get details on services and fees in writing. Understand plans and if they will negatively or positively affect credit scores.

5)     Verify legitimacy of unknown debt calls. Ask debt collectors to provide official documentation to substantiate debt. If contacted unexpectedly by a debt collector or debt help company, do not provide or confirm any bank account, credit card or other personal information over the phone until confirming the legitimacy of the call.

 Beware of offers that sound too good to be true. Remember, debt doesn’t disappear overnight, so be cautious of companies making inflated unsubstantiated claims and guarantees. For more financial tips, visit www.bbb.org.

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Deltana Community Services Partnership Gathering Recipes

The Deltana Community Services Partnership is gathering recipes for a Deltana Heritage Cookbook and we are asking for recipes from our area. We would like to have stories that accompany your favorite recipes as well.

Please send recipes and stories to:

Deltana Community Services Partnership
PO Box 1071
Delta Junction, AK 99737

or email them to morona@nwresource.org.

If you have questions our office number is (907) 895-3234, please leave a message.

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Are you Missing a Cat

This very hungry cat was begging to be let inside my house on Spengler Road on December 27.

If it belongs to you, please call 895-7448.

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Photo of the day December 28

Brayden Wirick & Wyatt Lemons received their Eagle Scout rank on December 23, 2010.  Mrs. Eileen Mock made them this wonderful cake! Photo was taken by Mr. Jesse Schexnayder.   Congratulations!

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BBB Tips on Returning Gifts

Anchorage, Alaska – Dec. 28, 2010 – Doesn’t fit. Not my style. Already have one…

Not all gifts satisfy. And some may be difficult to return: No tag, no receipt, and in some cases, no store to trace it to. Regardless, millions of determined consumers will be battling long lines at shopping malls, department stores and other retailers over the next few months to exchange or return unwanted merchandise.

Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington offers tips:

  • Policies: Return and exchange policies vary: some merchants do not return or exchange merchandise; some only issue in-store credits; others offer full cash refunds. Policies may differ for seasonal, clearance or sale items. Stores are only legally required to refund or exchange defective or misrepresented merchandise.
  • Returns: If possible, leave items in original packaging—especially electronics—and avoid removing tags. Although many stores are accommodating on holiday returns, consumers with no receipts or tags may not be able to return items. If a gift receipt is not enclosed with the present, it may be necessary to ask the gift giver where the item was purchased and find out if they still have a receipt.
  • Guarantees: A “Satisfaction Guarantee” implies that the seller will authorize a full refund on unwanted or defective merchandise; if that is not the case, marketers should avoid using those terms or specify restrictions within the guarantee. Information on returns, exchanges and refunds should be publicly posted on the company’s website, marketing collateral, or at their storefront location.
  • Time limits. Pay attention to return expiration dates. Most time limits start at the purchase date, not the date the gift is received.
  • Gift cards: Most retailers won’t take back unwanted gift cards. There are third-party websites that allow consumers to resell gift cards for cash; most charge a small fee and offer between 50 and 90 percent of the gift card value. First, research companies with BBB and online.
  • Refunds: Many stores refund items purchased by credit card by issuing a credit back to the buyer’s card. When returning an item, explain that it was a gift and ask the store to pay cash or in-store credit—instead of refunding the buyer.
  • In-store credits: If issued an in-store credit or gift card, make sure to get a receipt with the balance printed on it.
  • Attitude: Be polite. Let the representative know what you’re looking for: repair, exchange or refund. Regular store shoppers should mention their loyalty.

If a retailer isn’t honoring a published policy, present the issue to a store manager. If the issue isn’t resolved, file a complaint by visiting www.bbb.org.

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Weekly Gas Updates

Alaska, December 28- Average retail gasoline prices in Alaska have fallen 0.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.45/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has increased 4.3 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.03/g, according to gasoline price website AlaskaGasPrices.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Alaska during the past week, prices yesterday were 1.4 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 2.4 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has increased 17.7 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 42.9 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

About AlaskaGasPrices.com

GasBuddy operates GasBuddy.com, AlaskaGasPrices.com, and over 225 other local gasoline price-tracking websites that follow prices at over 125,000 gasoline stations in the United States and Canada. GasBuddy also uses Facebook (facebook.com/gasbuddy) Twitter (twitter.com/gasbuddy), and phone apps to keep motorists ahead of changing gasoline prices. GasBuddy.com was named one of Time magazine’s 50 best websites and to PC World’s 100 most useful websites of 2008.

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Photo of the day December 27

This little screech owl hit our window and knocked the wind out of itself, but it recovered and flew away. Photo Courtesy Nancy Johnson

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Save the Date for UAF/CES Workshops & Events

Cooperative Extension Service will be offering a 2-day pesticide safety certification class January 12th and 13th.
 
 Food preservation classes to be offered late January with Roxie Rodgers-Dinstel.
 
 Solar Energy and the Cold Climate Building workshops will be coming to Delta in a date in early February.
 
 The annual Delta Farm Forum is set for Saturday, February 26th.
 
 If you are interested in any of these subjects please contact the Delta District office: 895-4215, cmroden@alaska.edu or stop by the Jarvis Office Center room 114.
 
 We will be closed December 20, 2010 – January 2, 2011. Messages will be checked weekly.

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BLM Proposting to Construct Foot Trail

BLM proposing to construct foot trail along Denali Highway within the TLAD
 
The Bureau of Land Management Glennallen Field Office is proposing to construct a 1.5 mile, non-motorized, foot trail within the Tangle Lakes Archaeological District, originating at milepost 19.5 of the Denali Highway and heading south to an unnamed peak behind the Tangle River Inn.

The project would take place in June and July of 2011. The approximately 20 inch-wide trail would be constructed using sustainable design methods and through the use of hand tools. This proposal is being considered in response to meet growing demands for hiking and non-motorized recreational opportunities across field office managed lands.

Please direct comments or questions related to this proposal to Cory Larson, cory_larson@blm.gov,
 907-822-3217, no later than January 31, 2011

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Notes and News From Alpha Omega Life Care, Inc.

Music is a primary element and driver in our life.  Seasonal music is especially important, and each year we begin reviewing and refining

Christmas music in October.  Music is a gift to give and share. 

Of course, the Holidays are not just about music–they are about family and friends as well.  Since we have no family nearby, it is friends for us.  We were blessed to be able to spend Christmas eve with a group of wonderful friends, and Christmas day with some precious Russian, Ukranian and Kazakhstanian friends at their warm and welcoming church.  Ate far too much at each gathering, and there was music at each. 

On another note (no pun intended) several benefactors have temporarily rescued the Delta Food Bank , so that even tho some folks have been notified that there would be no further deliveries, we find that we will be able to make a January pickup and delivery.  These Angels have made it possible pay for the truck repairs and have a slim margin of operating funds for the month, while we (and the city) seek other funding sources.  Hallelujah!  We still will operate on the very edge of the disaster chasm and risk finding ourselves unable to continue. 

Ideas, assistance and prayer are welcome!

Returning to the opening paragraph:  as we brush up on Christmas music each year, it seems that we are presented with a new set of meaningful lyrics to ponder, reflect upon and appreciate.  Last year it was the lesser known (at least to us) devotional song Still, Still, Still–this year we have been deeply touched by a

QUAKER BENEDICTION–

When the song of the angel is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart.

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The Christmas Gift

The Christmas Gift  ~ By Glenna F Mckinley

Born this night a world of sin,
The Prince of Peace the Redeemer of Men.
This child of God, that was sent from on High.
To be born of Mary to suffer and die!
 
Rejected by men from the day of His birth;
To suffer and die on Calvary’s tree.
For the sins of the world to set me free.
From Bethlehem to Golgotha, he never complained
Laughed at! Spit on! Mocked in shame!
 
He was born of a woman, but He knew no sin,
This babe in the Manger the Savior of Men

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Photo of the day December 25

Photo Courtesy Lou Ann Fett

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Merry Christmas from the City of Delta

From left to right: Nicole Porter, Dawn Grossmann, Sherman Stebbins, Mayor Mary Leith Dowloing, JW Musgrove, Mayor Pro tem Pete Halgren, Lou Heinbockel

City Council members posed inside the City hall gazebo, an Eagle Scout project built by Paul Bealer in 2000.  The City of Delta Junction officially incorporated as a fourth-class city on December 15, 1960 and automatically reclassified as a second-class city when a statue was enacted on September 10, 1972.

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Photo of the day December 23

Santa’s visit to Story Hour on Wednesday — the kids were SO surprised — they had no idea he was going to stop by while he was out for a test run with his reindeer!  Everyone received a book and Miss Nancy was Santa’s Helper with the usual story, craft and snacks for the little ones.  Photos Courtesy Joyce McCombs

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Delta Fish and Game Holiday Office Hours

Due to the small staff the Delta Fish and Game office will be Closed December 24 (State Holiday observed), December 27, 28, 30 and December 31 (State Holiday observed).

 We will be Open December 29, 8:30-4:30.

 The ADF&G Delta Field Office would like to wish you all a safe and Happy Holiday Season!

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Photo of the day December 22

Here is a time Lapse of the Lunar Eclipse taken from 8:30pm to 1:30am, if you missed it, then you missed a once in a life time show, because the Eclipse will not happen again and the Winter Solstice for another 372 years.  Photo Courtesy Randi Owen 

My camera was not able to get the total eclipse but it worked a bit for these before & after phases. 
Photo Courtesy Mike Kingston/CRTC

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GasBuddy unveils Cheap Gas app as national average hits $3/gallon

Brooklyn Park, MN, December 22, 2010- GasBuddy is pleased to announce the newest iPhone app designed to help users find the cheapest local gas prices, just as prices hit 15-month highs. Motorists looking for cheap gasoline can now find local gas prices and see real-time pricing on their iPhone devices.

The free-to-download application uses GPS and cellular triangulation technology to provide listings for gasoline stations, or alternatively, users may search via zip code or city. The Find Cheap Gas app has been very popular among motorists, having been downloaded over one million times in just a few months on other platforms. The app is designed to show the user local stations and their prices using information reported by GasBuddy spotters.

“Saving money at the pump is now easier than ever. With the mobility that smartphones provide, our new app will save motorists money at the pump immediately by showing them the cheapest stations in their area,” says Jason Toews, Co-Founder of GasBuddy. “We hope our app will be able to increase competition in areas as motorists have a powerful new app that enables them to make their purchase from the cheapest station, putting pressure on stations charging a higher price,” adds Patrick DeHaan, Senior Petroleum Analyst at GasBuddy.

The GasBuddy app also awards points to motorists who sign up for free to report prices. Spotters are awarded based on their level of participation and can enter to win a $250 gas card using the points awarded. GasBuddy gives away a $250 gas card every week.

The GasBuddy application is now available for free on iPhone, Android, and Windows handsets. GasBuddy also has a simple to use mobile website, m.gasbuddy.com, which is nearly identical in interface to the new app. The mobile site is available for everyone who has an internet browser on their device.

About GasBuddy

GasBuddy operates GasBuddy.com and over 200 local gasoline price-tracking websites that follow prices at over 125,000 gasoline stations in the United States and Canada.
GasBuddy also uses Facebook (facebook.com/gasbuddy) Twitter (twitter.com/gasbuddy), and phone apps to keep motorists ahead of changing gasoline prices. GasBuddy.com was named one of Time magazine’s 50 best websites and to PC World’s 100 most useful websites of 2008.

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Mouse Cab 1 Being Repaired

Mouse Cab 1 is currently down for much needed repairs.

We are still providing alternative transportation though. We will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We will be in full swing for New Years Eve and New Years Day. Lets make this New Year the one that starts out without a single DUI.

Please remember to try and call 45 minutes in advance or feel free to make a reservation.

To all of our regulars these past several months we thank you for your patronage and hope to continue serving you in the New Year.

Merry Christmas,

Melanie Burgett and Garry Farnham

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Photo of the day December 20

A couple of photos displaying the great beauty of Alaska from this past fall. Photos Courtesy Mike Kingston/CRTC

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Eagle Scout to be Presented to Lemons and Wirick

Wyatt Lemons & Brayden Wirick will be receiving The Eagle Scout Awards.

The Court of Honor will take place Thursday, December 23, at 7pm

Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Deborah Street in Delta Junction.

Everyone is invited to attend and help us celebrate the Scouting achievements of Brayden and Wyatt

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Photo of the day December 20

The ice storm in November and snow since then have flocked the trees and bowed branches over the trails.  This picture is of a trail near Quartz Lake taken on the community ski day there December 12th.  Photo by Ellen Clark.

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Weekly Gas Updates

Alaska, December 20- Average retail gasoline prices in Alaska have risen 1.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.48/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has increased 0.3 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.97/g, according to gasoline price website AlaskaGasPrices.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Alaska during the past week, prices yesterday were 7.1 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 9.0 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 10.0 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 39.2 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

About AlaskaGasPrices.com

GasBuddy operates GasBuddy.com, AlaskaGasPrices.com, and over 225 other local gasoline price-tracking websites that follow prices at over 125,000 gasoline stations in the United States and Canada. GasBuddy also uses Facebook (facebook.com/gasbuddy) Twitter (twitter.com/gasbuddy), and phone apps to keep motorists ahead of changing gasoline prices. GasBuddy.com was named one of Time magazine’s 50 best websites and to PC World’s 100 most useful websites of 2008.

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Photo of the day December 19

This Arctic ground squirrel has its jowls about full as it prepares itself for another long Alaskan winter.
Photo by Steve Thomas

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Long named Wells Fargo Delta Junction store manager

[Delta Junction, Dec. 17, 2010] – Wells Fargo has named Allison Long store manager for Delta Junction. 

Long most recently worked in the Alaska tourism industry as a guest relations manager for two major cruise ships.  She was born and raised in Interior Alaska where she attended Lathrop High School.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Loughborough University in England, and she is pursuing a master’s degree from UAF.  She is a new member of the Delta Junction Chamber of Commerce and former board member for Northstar Imagination Library, Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau committee member and Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer.

Long ’s goals in her store manager role for Wells Fargo are to “be involved in the community and create a positive, friendly and supportive environment in which our customers receive the personalized service they need to realize their financial aspirations.”

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo has 1,100 team members in Alaska who serve customers through a network of 60 banking, mortgage, consumer lending, insurance and investment offices, 120 ATMs and online.  Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.2 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 10,000 banking stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com and wachovia.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With more than 278,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America.  Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 19 on Fortune’s 2009 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.

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Photo of the day December 17

This newly fledged Great Horned owl is just starting to get it’s horns. Photo by Steve Thomas

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Delta Presbyterian Faith Lutheran Church Candlelight Service

The Christmas Eve Candle Light Service will begin at 6 pm on Friday, December 24 at the Delta Presbyterian Faith Lutheran Church.

The service will include reading of the Christmas story from scripture and singing Christmas carols.

The individual candles will be lighted during the singing of Silent Night. There will be no sermon.

For more information, leave a message at 895-4322.

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First Baptist Children’s Christmas Program

The First Baptist Church is pleased to announce that their children’s Christmas program will be presented in the evening on Sunday, December 19, at 6:00 pm.

The whole community is welcome to come and enjoy this delightful program.

Please bring a new toy or canned food item to support the youth choir’s toy and food drive.  For more information call: 895-4400 or 895-5260.

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CES Holiday Closure

The Delta District Cooperative Extension Service will be closed for two weeks during the holidays December 20, 2010 – January 2, 2011.

We will be open, January 3, 2011. CES offices around the state will also be closed at this time.

We will be checking messages weekly.

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Photo of the day December 16

What can a person do at -40 in Delta?  Well, as you can see by the photos above, not even a bird is stirring, they have apparently left town. Photos Courtesy Carol Dufendach

As these photos are being added, the webmaster has -46 outside.  Mike Schultz, Fairbanks news said the cold spell will last through Friday night, and we will have slowly rising temperatures to the mid minus teens this weekend.  So throw another log on the fire and stay safe and warm. For all of our newcomers to Delta, welcome to the Last Frontier and your first REAL cold winter.

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Distinguish Between Naughty and Nice “Santa Sites”

BBB’s Checklist: Parents, Ensure Safety and Security Online

Anchorage, Alaska – Dec. 15, 2010 – Children aren’t just writing letters to Santa the old-fashion way; some are visiting St. Nick online and e-mailing him their wish lists. With over 60 domain names registered in the name of Santa Claus, parents need to be cautious of possible Grinch companies.

“Though most Santa sites operate with the best intentions, it is important for parents to screen websites to ensure children aren’t being targeted by unethical individuals or at risk for identity theft,” said Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington.

BBB offers a checklist to help parents review Santa sites:

What information does the website request? A legitimate Santa site might ask for names and basic contact information—like home or e-mail addresses—to send correspondence. Be wary of sites requesting superfluous data beyond what is needed to participate.

Who should manage the account? Most children writing to Santa don’t have an e-mail address yet. Setup a temporary e-mail account for Santa correspondence or use a parent’s e-mail address. To avoid the risk of unwholesome content, a trusted adult should screen all communications and ensure the site does not contain hyperlinks with inappropriate content.

How does the site use collected information? Make sure the site has a privacy policy explaining information collection practices; including who is seeking the data, how it will be used and whether it will be shared with third parties.

Is there a way to reach Santa directly? Somewhere on the site, the company should list its full business name and at least two forms of contact information—such as a phone number, e-mail address and physical address (and “The North Pole” doesn’t count). Try calling the company before making purchases.

Is it free or does it cost a fee? Certain Santa sites claim to be free, while others ask for payment—between $5 and $50. If paying online, make sure the payment page is secure with an “s” in “https” before the web address. Never wire money.

When can children expect correspondence? Find out when letters should be received—typically by Christmas. Have a plan in case Santa doesn’t follow through.

Where can consumers get information about children’s advertising? Check with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) for guidance. Visit www.bbb.org for more tips.

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Photo of the day December 15

A plaque honoring Mabel Olmstead Memorial Gardens can be seen at the Sullivan Roadhouse. 
Photo Courtesy Barb Tharp

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Post your Church Events for the Holidays

Is your church having special events for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve or New Years Day?

If you would like to have your event listed for the holidays please send your information to webeditor@deltanewsweb.com

Merry Christmas!

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Photo of the day December 14

This small bumblebee is seen getting a little nectar from this yarrow bush.
Photo by Steve Thomas

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Op-Ed: A healthier future for our kids

By Danny Consenstein, USDA, Farm Service Agency, State Executive Director

There are few things that should be more important to Alaskans than the health of our children. Yet, we face serious twin problems of childhood obesity and hunger. In the Anchorage School District, an astounding 36 percent of our students are overweight or obese.  And the obesity numbers are even higher for minority students.  Four out of every ten Anchorage students go without the food they need.  This means that many kids are not learning as well as they should in school because they can’t concentrate. In the long term, it threatens the safety and prosperity of our nation, as fewer 18-year-olds are fit for military service, fewer folks have the skills they need to compete in a global economy, and obese adults strain our health-care system.   Obesity costs Alaskans an estimated $195 million annually in direct medical expenses.

School cafeterias must be on the front lines of our effort to confront both of these challenges and build a healthier future for America’s children. Nationally, thirty-one million kids participate in USDA’s National School Lunch Program every day, and an additional 12 million eat school breakfasts. For some kids, school meals may be the only calories they consume all day.

This is a great week for kids, parents and farmers in Alaska.  There will soon be healthier and more nutritious food in our schools.  Monday, President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.  This bi-partisan bill will help us make the first major changes in 30 years to serve healthier meals to America’s youngsters. USDA will update the nutritional standards for school meals so that they include more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy – and less sodium, sugar and fat. And we will provide additional funding to schools when they meet these standards.

The bill recognizes the value of linking farms directly to schools as a way to get the freshest, tastiest vegetables and fruits into the cafeteria.  To ensure that these efforts are not undermined by foods from vending machines, a la carte lunch lines, and school stores, USDA will help make the healthy choice an easy choice for our kids by setting nutritional standards for all food sold in schools.

The bill also strengthens our safety net against hunger. It will increase the number of eligible children enrolled in the school meals programs by using Medicaid data to determine their eligibility. And in select high-poverty communities, we will eliminate paper applications altogether – freeing up school district resources and parent time, while ensuring that kids who face some of the highest barriers to success in life never go to school hungry. Finally – we know that hunger doesn’t end when the school bell rings, and this legislation will provide more meals for at-risk children nationwide by reimbursing providers of after-school meals in all 50 states.

And the benefits of this bill go beyond the cafeteria. The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act gives parents the tools they need to play a larger role in helping their kids make the right nutritional choices – requiring schools to share information about the nutritional quality of the food their kids are eating with families.

And the legislation also recognizes the importance of beginning life with good nutrition. It will make it easier for qualifying women to enroll in WIC, which puts million of America’s kids on the road to a healthy life by providing nutrition assistance to pregnant women and encouraging breastfeeding.

Many schools have already begun to make these positive changes, and the USDA is ready to implement the provisions under the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act once it is signed into law. But our efforts cannot stop here. At USDA, we are working every day with parents, teachers, schools, local governments and non-profit partners to encourage kids to lead healthy, active lifestyles. We are working to improve access to healthy food in rural and urban communities that may lack a convenient supermarket. We are teaching kids about healthy foods through schools and community gardens.

Our nation will not succeed if our children are not learning because they are hungry, or are not achieving because they are unhealthy. We are confronting these challenges – we are committed to raising a generation of healthy Americans ready to learn, innovate, prosper and lead our nation. Thanks to the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, we will improve school meals, combat hunger and support families, but we must all work together to continue down this path for a better future for our nation.

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Verify Accountability Through BBB’s Charity Review

Anchorage, Alaska – Dec. 13, 2010 – Due to fictitious charities and fraudulent solicitors, charity accountability issues have surfaced in recent years. Legitimate organizations are concerned about building trust and assuring donors that they are operating responsibly.

Through BBB Foundation, Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington conducts its Charity Review Program to foster public confidence in charitable organizations.

While some charity watchdogs confine their reports to finances, BBB looks at more than just “the numbers.” BBB’s 20 Standards of Charity Accountability evaluate organizations on: governance, fundraising practices, solicitations and informational materials, as well as how money is allocated. In doing so, the Charity Review Program serves as a resource and research tool for prospective donors to make sound giving decisions.

Organizations that meet the Standards of Accountability are eligible to participate in the Charity Seal Holder Program and display the recognizable Charity Seal on their promotional materials. Many local organizations meet BBB’s standards; some have become verified BBB Charity Seal Holders.

Charity Reviews are available for free at www.bbb.org/us/Charity-Reviews. Contact BBBFoundation@thebbb.org to learn more about Charity Review and the Charity Seal Holder Program.

Before donating this season, read Holidays: The Time For Smart Giving.

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Photo of the day December 13

Rafe Grossmann exploring an ice cave at Worthington Glacier, taken earlier this year.
Photo Courtesy Dawn Grossmann

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Personal Thank You from Alpha Omega

Alpha Omega Life Care, Inc. would like to heartily thank the handful of folks who turned out to help us with our annual Children’s Christmas Party. I (Judith) graciously thank Vel Wager and Ruth Chaney for spending long hours Friday night to wrap gifts for an expected 50 children. This year the gifts were donated. Traditionally, over the years we gave the same gifts, only different for gender and 2 age groups: the “small children” and the “large children.” So, this year no two children received the same thing.

We thank Mr. Farrow for playing us some Christmas melodies on his autoharp. Mrs. Mary Lou Longwell came early on Saturday to help with last minute preparations. She also donated the door prize for an older sibling, a very large teddy bear who wore a Christmas scarf!

Ruth Chaney was back on Saturday morn to continue helping and stayed the day until we walked out and locked the doors! Mr. Rick Tirrell showed up late Saturday morning to help us out, and stayed to take photos for me while I was busy with the activity of the party. Sorry that I did not receive my photo with Santa this year, because my camera battery pooped out just before Rick took that shot!

Mrs. Pam Dunklebarger, friend and news editor, and her daughter Rachael came Saturday morning followed by Lana Zhdanov to help decorate and bring baked goodies for the party. Pam and her daughter, Rachael, also helped with Santa and crowd control during the party.
 
Other bakers were Marsha Taylor, Patty Griswold; Darlene Chaffin and granddaughter, Britney (who both also worked cleaning the kitchen) and I’m sure others that I’m leaving out because there were soooo many goodies. So, I apologize to those I cannot remember.
 
Mrs Karin Carr donated several dozen cookies. Mr Bob Carpenter followed our yearly tradition by reading the “Night Before Christmas,” and verses from the bible to tell the Nativity story to the children. Thanks Bob!

Bobby McFarland and his family stayed over so that Bobby could man the vacuum. Many helped to fold away tables and chairs. Last but not least Vel Wager came to the party with her grandson JD, and then Vel stayed to help clean as well as transport stuff back to Alpha Omega.

Sooo many helpers, I hardly had to do a thing!

AND to our dear Santa (Ron Magee), good show ol’ chap! Don’t forget we’ll be looking for you on the second Saturday, December, 2011!

Thanks again to all you folks,
Judith & Ken Farrow for the Board of Directors
Alpha Omega Life Care, Inc

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