Search Results : If We Want It

Letter to the Editor: “We can have it if we want it badly enough!”

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Feb 082016
 

Editorial Comment by Joanne Cvar

The 2016 election campaign is bringing media attention to health care reform, including scare tactics about the cost and viability of comprehensive universal health care.

Contrary to claims that comprehensive quality health care for everyone in the country would “break the bank,” such existing systems in Canada and Scotland spend about 40% less for universal health care coverage than we spend for our system, with better outcomes. And the Affordable Care Act currently leaves about 33 million people uninsured and many more under-insured.

Surprisingly,the cost of health care coverage for all those uninsured Americans would not raise taxes as much as the media claims. As it turns out, taxpayers already pay two-thirds of the health care dollar in the US. In addition to Medicare and Medicaid. the VA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American taxpayers, including the uninsured, pick up the tab for the benefit costs of state and federal public employees like teachers, FBI agents, firefighters and members of Congress. We also pay for the tax subsidy granted by the ACA to private health insurance, about $326 billion a year, expected to increase to $538.9 billion by 2024.

An expanded Medicare for All system in the US would result in massive savings in administrative costs. Canada and Scotland, with universal health care, pay about 16.7 cents of the health care dollar for billing and administration, while we pay about 31 cents here. We could save $400 billion annually on paperwork alone, enough to cover all of the uninsured and eliminate co-payments and deductibles for the rest of us..Without those savings, there is no way to pay for expanded coverage.

We already pay for universal health care. We just aren’t getting it. We need to counter the misinformation the media is spreading with the facts. Voters will support new taxes if they know the money will be well spent to bring health care justice to the USA at last.

 Posted by at 10:39 PM

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputies and other law enforcement sweep county of wanted persons

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Oct 122010
 

Lincoln County law enforcement has successfully completed its 8th annual countywide sweep to arrest offenders on outstanding warrants for family violence related charges, as well as compliance checks of registered sex offenders residing in Lincoln County. The local enforcement campaign was part of the National Family Violence Apprehension Detail which involves dozens of police agencies and hundreds of law enforcement officers nationwide.

The District Attorney’s Office, Lincoln County Sheriffs Office, Lincoln City Police Department, Newport Police Department, Oregon State Police, Toledo Police Department, and Lincoln County Community Corrections conducted the Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team sweep in all areas of Lincoln County on Tuesday, October 12, 2010. The fifteen officer team made 182 registered sex offender contacts to verify compliance with registered sex offender requirements, and made 88 warrant arrest attempts. The effort of the participating officers resulted in the identification of 20 registered sex offenders who were out of compliance.

Arrest warrants will be requested for these subjects for Fail to register as a sex offender.

Sheriff Dennis Dotson stated, “The coordination and cooperation between the law enforcement agencies in Lincoln County was the principal reason for the success of this campaign. The officers involved in the sweep worked as a team and made contacts in and out of their respective jurisdictions. This effort is but one more example of our officers’, troopers’ and deputies’ commitment to making Lincoln County a safer place to live.”

(Authorized by Committee to Elect Patricia Patrick-Joling)

 Posted by at 5:00 PM

Four Ways to Double the Power of Your Tax Refund

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Apr 112017
 

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Duane J. Silbernagel
Financial Advisor
Waddell & Reed

Four Ways to Double the Power of Your Tax Refund
Provided By: Duane J. Silbernagel

The IRS expects that more than 70% of taxpayers will receive a refund in 2017.¹ What you do with a tax refund is up to you, but here are some ideas that may make your refund twice as valuable.

Double your savings

Perhaps you’d like to use your tax refund to start an education fund for your children or grandchildren, contribute to a retirement savings account for yourself, or save for a rainy day. A financial concept known as the Rule of 72 can give you a rough estimate of how long it might take to double what you initially save. Simply divide 72 by the annual rate you hope that your money will earn. For example, if you invest your tax refund and it earns a 6% average annual rate of return, your investment might double in approximately 12 years (72 divided by 6 equals 12).

This hypothetical example of mathematical compounding is used for illustrative purposes only and does not represent the performance of any specific investment. Fees, expenses, and taxes are not considered and would reduce the performance shown if they were included.

Split your refund in two

If stashing your refund away in a savings account or using it to pay bills sounds unappealing, go ahead and splurge on something for yourself. But remember, you don’t necessarily have to spend it all. Instead, you could put half of it toward something practical and spend the other half on something fun.

The IRS makes splitting your refund easy. When you file your income taxes and choose direct deposit for your refund, you can decide to have it deposited among two or even three accounts, in any proportion you want. Qualified accounts include savings and checking accounts, as well as IRAs (except SIMPLE IRAs), Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, health savings accounts, Archer MSAs, and TreasuryDirect® online accounts. To split your refund, you’ll need to fill out IRS Form 8888 when you file your federal return.

Double down on your debt

Using your refund to pay down credit card debt or a loan with a high interest rate could enable you to pay it off early and save on interest charges. The time and money you’ll save depend on your balance, the interest rate, and other factors such as your monthly payment. Here’s a hypothetical example. Let’s say you have a personal loan with an $8,000 balance, a 12% fixed interest rate, and a 24-month repayment term. Your fixed monthly payment is $380. If you were to put a $4,000 refund toward paying down your principal balance, you would be able to pay off your loan in 12 months and save $780 in interest charges over the remaining loan term. Check the terms of any loan you want to prepay, though, to make sure that no prepayment penalty applies.

Be twice as nice to others

Giving to charity has its own rewards, but Uncle Sam may also reward you for gifts you make now when you file your taxes next year. If you itemize, you may be able to deduct contributions made to a qualified charity. You can also help your favorite charity or nonprofit reap double rewards by finding out whether your gift qualifies for a match. With a matching gift program, individuals, corporations, foundations, and employers offer to match gifts the charitable organization receives, usually on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Terms and conditions apply, so contact the charitable organization or your employer’s human resources department to find out more about available matching gift programs.

¹IR-2017-01, irs.gov
I hope you found this beneficial and informational. For more information about me and my services, visit my website:
www.duane.wrfa.com
Thank you for your interest.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 2:13 PM

A heart-felt good-bye to a sweet soul….

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Apr 062017
 

Wendy
Forever almost 14

My beagle Wendy died this morning, and its kind of numbing. We spent the last eleven years together 24/7. She was almost fourteen.

I got her when she was almost three. Not house broken because she lived in a kennel before she came to me. The bathroom was her bedroom at first and that’s where she chose to die this morning. Kind of full circle.

Now I’m alone for the first time in my life. It never dawned on me when I walked by her at the Loyalty Days Parade what an impact she would have on me. She was the typical beagle with that puppy face. The owners wanted $100 I gave $40. She never looked back when we left – didn’t cry or whimper – nothing.

It started off a little rocky – poop on the rug and other things and the fact that she was a beagle. A wiff in the air could send her off on a bolt. But we both learned to get along with each other. Or I should say, she decided to keep me.

I wasn’t a very good companion at first. I drank too much – was always a little distant – but she stayed and kept telling me in various ways that it’s ok to love her. Eventually I did. She accomplished what no one could do in fifty years. She made me feel human.

I buried her below the bedroom window and although I can’t reach over and rub her head, I can still say good night.

After twelve hours the reality is setting in that she’s not on the porch waiting to be let in.

Wendy’s gone and I miss her. She had a good soul.

Boris White
Forever Wendy’s pal

 Posted by at 9:45 PM

Why Diversified Investing is Smart – Especially in the long run….

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Apr 032017
 

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Duane J. Silbernagel
Financial Advisor
Waddell & Reed


Why Diversification Matters
Provided By : Duane J. Silbernagel CFP®

When investing, particularly for long-term goals, there is one concept you will likely hear about over and over again — diversification. Why is diversification so important? The simple reason is that it helps ensure that your risk of loss is spread among a number of different investments. The theory is that if some of the investments in your portfolio decline in value, others may rise or hold steady, helping to offset the losses.

Diversifying within asset classes

For example, say you wanted to invest in stocks. Rather than investing in just domestic stocks, you could diversify your portfolio by investing in foreign stocks as well. Or you could choose to include the stocks of different size companies (small-cap, mid-cap, and/or large-cap stocks).

If your primary objective is to invest in bonds for income, you could choose both government and corporate bonds to potentially take advantage of their different risk/return profiles. You might also choose bonds of different maturities, because long-term bonds tend to react more dramatically to changes in interest rates than short-term bonds. As interest rates rise, bond prices typically fall.

Investing in mutual funds

Because mutual funds invest in a mix of securities chosen by a fund manager to pursue the fund’s stated objective, they can offer a certain level of “built-in” diversification. For this reason, mutual funds may be an appropriate choice for novice investors or those wishing to take more of a hands-off approach to their portfolios. Including a variety of mutual funds with different objectives and securities in your portfolio will help diversify your holdings that much more.

Mutual funds are sold by prospectus. Please consider the investment objectives, risks,
charges, and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus, which contains this and other information about the investment company, can be obtained from your financial professional. Be sure to read the prospectus carefully before deciding whether to invest.

Diversifying among asset classes

You might also consider including a mix of different types of asset classes — stocks, bonds, and cash — in your portfolio. Asset allocation is a strategic approach to diversifying your portfolio. After carefully considering your investment goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance, you would then invest different percentages of your portfolio in targeted asset classes to pursue your goal.

Winning asset classes over time

The following table, which shows how many times during the past 30 years each asset class has come out on top in terms of performance, helps illustrate why diversifying among asset classes can be important.

Performance is from December 31, 1986, to December 31, 2016. Cash is represented by Citigroup 3-month Treasury Bill Index. Bonds are represented by the Citigroup Corporate Bond Index, an unmanaged index. Stocks are represented by the S&P 500 Composite Price Index, an unmanaged index. Foreign stocks are represented by the MSCI EAFE Price Index, an unmanaged index. Investors cannot invest directly in any index. However, these indexes are accurate reflections of the performance of the individual asset classes shown. Returns reflect past performance and should not be considered indicative of future results. The returns do not reflect taxes, fees, brokerage commissions, or other expenses typically associated with investing.

The principal value of cash alternatives may fluctuate with market conditions. Cash alternatives are subject to liquidity and credit risks. It is possible to lose money with this type of investment.

The return and principal value of stocks may fluctuate with market conditions. Shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. U.S. Treasury securities are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest, whereas corporate bonds are not.

The principal value of bonds may fluctuate with market conditions. Bonds are subject to inflation, interest rate, and credit risks. Bonds redeemed prior to maturity may be worth more or less than their original cost.

The risks associated with investing on a worldwide basis include differences in financial reporting, currency exchange risk, as well as economic and political risk unique to the specific country.

Investments offering the potential for higher rates of return also involve higher risk.
Diversification and asset allocation are methods used to help manage investment risk; they do not guarantee a profit or protect against investment loss.

I hope you found this beneficial and informational. For more information about me and my services, visit my website:
www.duane.wrfa.com
Thank you for your interest.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 1:20 PM

Newport City Council: Teaming up with AirBnB, Sewage Spills, Fortifying NFD HQ, Aquatic Center Update, and Pesticide Spraying Controversy

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Mar 212017
 

Newport City Councilors Monday night decided to allow the vacation rental booking giant AirBnB to collect the town’s hotel-motel room tax on properties that aren’t signed up with the city to rent rooms in their homes or apartments. Right now there are about 150 such rentals that the city knows about because they have a business license and so the city collects that tax.

But, like many people, the council figures there are a lot of AirBnB rentals operating “out there” that operate without a business license and so are NOT signed up with the city. So councilors took AirBnB up on their offer to collect the city’s room tax on prroperties listed with them. But part of the deal is that AirBnB won’t divulge who their booking clients are and so the city will simply get a monthly check from AirBnB without revealing who their clients are. No estimate yet on what the room tax boost might add up to.

City gets hit with DEQ fine

As everyone knows, this past winter was a tough one for Oregon, but especially tough for the coast where rain came down in terms of feet, rather than just a lot of inches. And with all that rain getting into the city’s sewer system, certain sections overflowed and diluted sewage was sent down Nye Creek, Big Creek, Schooner Creek and Agate Creek.

One of those overflows didn’t get reported right away to the State Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and so that triggered a nasty fine for the city. City Public Works Director Tim Gross told the council that DEQ over-reacted – that the minute they knew the huge rainfall event had triggered the spill, they sent crews out to post signs saying there’s been a spill at such and such a beach and to be forewarned about walking across any creeks that empty out onto an affected beach. That part of the public notification part was performed. But because there was a new city technician working the weekend shift, he thought the warning signs on the beach was enough. But of course it wasn’t. He had to notify the DEQ as well – but he didn’t because he didn’t know. So when DEQ was eventually notified, the city got hit with a fine.

Gross said it was the first such fine in years against the city because the city, up until then, was Johnny-on-the-spot to DEQ with notifications if anything went wrong. Sewer spills are common along the Oregon Coast because cities and counties have very old sewer collection systems that date back 50 or more years, back when local governments got financial assistance from the federal government. But that assistance has tapered off over the years, and it’s forced local sewer and water operators to scrounge for what state or federal grant money might still be out there.

Gross wrote a letter to DEQ telling them of the millions of dollars that Newport has spent over the last ten years on their sewer collection system and how they’re on the verge of bringing a big part of it up to snuff. Gross said the city’s mistake did not change anything in terms of notifying the public and taking note of the completely unavoidable overflow. The problem was in sending an email a little late to the DEQ.

In the end, the city settled with DEQ and is paying a $22,400 fine with DEQ agreeing to not fine them again as long as sewer upgrades, as outlined by the city, stay on schedule.

Newport Fire Dept.
Undergoing earthquake strengthening.



Fire Department given green light on renovation to Main fire station

A long-awaited green light to stiffin Newport Fire Department’s headquarters building against “The big One” was awarded Monday night. The nearly $1.5 million dollar project that will re-fortify the building just off Nye and NW 10th was approved by the city council on a unanimous vote. The planned renovation to the building was originally priced much higher, so the city had to take a very sharp pencil and start trimming it down. Fire Chief Rob Murphy the lower figure will work based on the way he and the architects did some corner-cutting – but not so much that it would substantially affect the building’s susceptiblity to a large Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake.

Chief Murphy told the council that when the project is launched, the fire department will have to move out of the building – administration to the north station, equipment scattered between the old sewer plant and fire training center and the Newport Airport station. No project start date has yet been formally announced.

Finishing touches to Newport Aquatic Center

Hopefully the last “Change Order” for the new Newport Aquatic Center

The council got hit with a couple of change orders on the town’s new Aquatic Center. The $86,000 bump in price for construction was blamed on some overlooked items on the original list of ingredients, not the least of which link the new pool with the City Recreation Center right next door. It wasn’t because they had forgotten that stuff, but rather there were changes that had been made to the new pool, that made the original link-up of the two buildings more challenging than they envisioned. The council voted unanimously for the price bump.

Chemical Spraying
BLM photo



To aerial spray pesticides or not to aerial spray pesticides – that is a question for the May ballot

And finally, there were a few citizens at the city council meeting that wanted the council to oppose Measure 21-177 – the big anti-aerial spraying measure on the May ballot. A few residents told the council that the voter initiative is poorly written and if passed at the polls May 16th, will hurt the county’s economy including the area’s two major ports. They contended that the measure would throw the county into chaos due to allowing individual citizens to file complaints against many businesses that work on and for the Newport fishing fleet and other industrial operations in the region.

The council said it would schedule a public comment session at the next city council meeting to get a feel of how Newport residents weigh in on the issue.

Supporters of the measure say 21-177 merely protects the rights of Lincoln County residents to live in peace, without fear of overhead pesticide spray helicopters – some of which has contributed to the polluting of salmon and trout streams along with human health. Spray victims contend that pesticides can “drift” in the air from where they are released by a helicopter or airplane. They say if a ban on aerial spraying is good enough for the U.S. Forest Service, it’s probably good enough for the rest of Oregon’s private lands. Aerial pesticide spraying is state regulated for state lands and private timber companies. There is going to be a lot of smoke and fire on this issue.

 Posted by at 8:32 AM

Free choral concert set for Wednesday, March 22

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Mar 192017
 

OCCC Chorus Class March 22, 12:10pm OCCC Newport


OCCC invites public to Chorus final performance
Free choral concert set for Wednesday, March 22

The Oregon Coast Community College Chorus class will present its final concert for the Winter term on Wednesday, March 22 at 12:10 in the Commons of the OCCC Central County Campus in South Beach.

Under the direction of OCCC Music Instructor Dr. Mary Lee Scoville, the class will present a variety of musical selections, including the Love theme From ‘Titanic’, arranged by Alan Billingsley; an arrangement of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” arranged by Jeff Funk; “You’re the One That I Want” from the Musical ‘Grease’, arranged by Billingsley; a Fifteenth Century ‘Villancico’, arranged by R.L. Goodale, and a medley: “Tribute to The Beatles: Love Is All You Need” arranged by Roger Emerson.

For more information, call Oregon Coast Community College at 541-867-8501. There is no admission fee and the public is cordially invited to attend.

 Posted by at 10:27 PM

Weather or Not: Sunny Last Day of Winter

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Mar 192017
 

Sunday, Mar. 19th – Lincoln County

Summary: Rain early, then dry, mixed skies yesterday, clear and cold overnight.

Past 24 Hours High/Low/Gust/Rain…
Lincoln City: 51F/38F/23mph/0.37”
Depoe Bay: 50F/32F/26mph/0.13”
Newport: 48F/32F/21mph/0.32”
Waldport: 47F/35F/23mph/0.21”
Yachats: 46F/31F/20mph/0.25”

Newport Airport Conditions…
Ceiling: unlimited
Visibility: 10 miles/Wind: ENE 8 mph/Altimeter: 30.25”

Forecast: After the coldest night since February 23rd, you’ll have to get up and at ‘em if you want some time in the sunshine for outdoor recreation or chores on the Honey Do list (tough choice, eh?). This last day of Winter will be one of its nicest and we’re going to dust off the ol’ Sun icon. Along with the sunny skies, look for light winds and a high near 55F today. Increasing clouds are expected tonight, low around 45F. Spring begins tomorrow and the rain returns, maybe a half inch, high again of 55F. Outlook is for little chance of a dry day the rest of the week as steady rain is interspersed with showery periods Tuesday through Saturday. The mercury will hover just below seasonal with highs of 50-55F and lows of 40-45F.

wxon-twitterBe sure to follow Weather or Not’s Twitter feed to keep current on the latest Winter conditions. You’ll get updated travel info and notification of any new advisories, watches or warnings. Follow @chrisburnswx.

Travel: In the Coast Range this morning, highways have spots of ice/frost, temp right at 30F. Willamette Valley roads are dry, thermometer readings near 35F. The Columbia River Gorge has bare pavement, temperatures 35-40F. For the Cascades, highways are wet with areas of black ice this morning and 25-30F.

* Outlook for weekend travelers is mainly bare pavement tonight but a chance of icy spots in the Cascades.

* An interactive map of the latest Northwest/Central Oregon travel weather is available here. Also, motorists should always visit ODOT’s TripCheck before hitting the road.

Marine: Winds are NE 10-20 knots this morning with seas 7 feet at 11 seconds. A Small Craft Advisory for winds is in effect from this afternoon through late tonight out past 10 miles from shore. A large surface trough with multiple low pressure centers settles near 130W Monday night. This will increase wind speeds, especially over the outer waters. Gale force wind gusts are possible late Tuesday. Forecast models show a frontal system moving through the waters Thursday night, which could produce gale force winds as well. Seas remain below 10 feet for the next several days, hovering in the 4-6 foot range through at least Tuesday. Seas building to 10 feet or slightly higher late Wednesday and again Thursday night. * Full text of the latest marine forecast is available here. And, make sure you check the latest Bar Reports before venturing offshore.

On the Beach… Sunny, light wind, surf 6-7 feet (moderate).
* For a safe and enjoyable time on the Central Coast, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department offers these Beach Safety Tips.
* Tides
03/19 Sun 11:58 AM 1.56 L
03/19 Sun 06:31 PM 5.79 H
03/19 Sun 11:41 PM 3.82 L
03/20 Mon 05:56 AM 7.16 H

In Short: Clear, warm, then wet and unsettled all week.

 Posted by at 8:00 AM

Sen. Merkley & Sen. Wyden – GOP medical plan is a disaster – But see at the end “The Real Answer”

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Mar 132017
 

Sen. Jeff Merkley
D-Oregon

Merkley: Congressional Budget Office Evaluation Sounds the Alarm – Life-and-Death Care at Risk for Millions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued its scoring of the American Health Care Act, or “Trumpcare:”

“Now we know why Republicans worked so hard to hide the truth about their bill. This report by the non-partisan CBO, whose director was handpicked by Donald Trump’s own Health and Human Services Secretary, sounds the alarm that life-and-death care is at risk for millions.

“Under this Trumpcare plan, 24 million Americans will lose their health care coverage, and with it, the assurance that they will be able to receive the care they need if they develop a life-threatening medical condition. Under this Trumpcare plan, health insurance premiums will spiral out of control for Americans over 50, and American families will have higher deductibles and pay more out of pocket. But the very richest Americans will receive a tax windfall worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

“Millions kicked off their coverage, skyrocketing premiums and deductibles—all to hand an enormous tax giveaway to the wealthy and well-connected. That is what this bill is truly about, and that is what its sponsors don’t want you to know.

“All Americans who care about the future of their health care should pay attention to the contents of this report, and let their representatives know that what they want is quality, affordable health care—not another back-room giveaway to special interests and the wealthy.”

Sen. Ron Wyden
D-Oregon


From U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D, Oregon

The odds were against Republicans writing just one piece of legislation that would make health care more expensive for working Americans, kick millions off their coverage, gut Medicaid, harm Medicare, and give enormous tax breaks to the wealthy all at the same time, but they found a way to do it.

And now they’re rushing to get Trumpcare passed before the American public catches on.

What we know so far is horrifying.

Trumpcare will make it impossible for states to cover seniors in nursing homes, leaving those who outlive their savings with nowhere to go. Trumpcare jeopardizes the health of millions of women, and leaves older Americans to pay for a $275,000,000,000 tax cut for America’s top income earners.

Trumpcare repeals the tax the wealthiest Americans pay for Medicare while unfairly leaving the Medicare payroll taxes the same for working Americans. This guts funding for Medicare – all for yet another tax break for the wealthiest.

With this plan Republicans take care of monied interests rather than their own constituents. But health care has real impacts, and it affects the lives of real people. A plan like this—which is health care for only the healthy and the wealthy—would result in a disastrous outcome for Oregon.

For example, I just learned that in rural areas like Lake, Grant, or Union Counties a 60-year-old with an income of $30,000 a year could see their health care costs go up by over $8,000. Or, consider the Trumpcare “age tax” that allows insurers to charge Americans over 50 years old five times as much as they charge younger Americans. From Planned Parenthood to opioid addiction treatment, critical programs will lose their funding under this plan.

I’ve already heard from thousands of Oregonians who reject Trumpcare for what it is: a poorly disguised tax cut for the most well-off in our country.

Trumpcare is a bad deal for Oregon and Americans across the country, and I will fight tooth and nail against it.

-Ron

Rep. Greg Walden
R-Hood River


(From The Oregonian) Rep. Greg Walden, the Oregon Republican who helped author the legislation, said the budget office’s review is somewhat irrelevant as the bill is just one piece of a package.

“The Congressional Budget Office has not yet analyzed our entire proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare, and today’s score reflects only a portion of the actions we will take to roll back red tape, free markets and empower consumers,” he said.

MEANWHILE…The inevitable answer is still, to this day, still being denied to the American people – waiting in the wings in the U.S., long after being adopted around the world.

Former Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchhill once observed about the United States….”America can always be trusted to do the “right thing.” But not until it has wasted years and great fortunes pursuing everything else.”

Here’s what many call the “right thing.” Medicare for all – Universal Health Care. Just like European and other countries. It saves billions upon billions of dollars while providing vastly superior health care. Here’s some headlines on how it can work in the U.S.A. as well:

Universal Health coverage. IT’S TIME. In fact IT’S LONG PAST TIME.

 Posted by at 5:05 PM

How can I prepare financially for stormy weather?

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Mar 132017
 

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Duane J. Silbernagel
Financial Advisor
Waddell & Reed

How can I prepare financially for stormy weather?
Provided By: Duane J. Silbernagel CFP®

Floods, tornadoes, torrential rain, lightning, and hail are common events in many parts of the country during the spring and may result in widespread damage. Severe weather often strikes with little warning, so take measures now to protect yourself and your property.

Review your insurance coverage. Make sure your homeowners and auto insurance coverage is sufficient. While standard homeowners insurance covers losses from fire, lightning, and hail, you may need to buy separate coverage for hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and other disasters. Consult your insurer or insurance professional, who can help determine whether you have adequate coverage for the risks you face.

Create a financial emergency kit. Collect financial records and documents that may help you recover more quickly after a disaster. This kit might contain a list of key contacts and copies of important documents, including identification cards, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, home inventories, wills, trusts, and deeds. Make sure your kit is stored in a secure fireproof and waterproof container that is accessible and easy to carry. The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit, available online at ready.gov, offers a number of checklists and forms that may help you prepare your own kit, as well as tips to guide you through the process.

Protect your assets. Take some commonsense precautions to safeguard your home, vehicles, and other possessions against damage. For example, to prepare for a possible power outage, you might want to install an emergency generator and a sump pump with a battery backup if you have a basement or garage that is prone to flooding. Inspect your yard and make sure you have somewhere to store loose objects (e.g., grills and patio furniture) in a hurry, cut down overhanging tree limbs, and clean your gutters and down spouts. Check your home’s exterior, too, to make sure that your roof and siding are in good condition, and invest in storm windows, doors, and shutters. In addition, make sure you know how to turn off your gas, electricity, and water should an emergency arise. And if you have a garage, make sure your vehicles are parked inside when a storm is imminent.

What are some tips for creating a home inventory?

Imagine having to remember and describe every item in your home, especially after you’ve been the victim of a fire, theft, or natural disaster. Rather than relying on your memory, you may want to prepare a home inventory — a detailed record of all your personal property. This record can help substantiate an insurance claim, support a police report when items are stolen, or prove a loss to the IRS. Here are some tips to get started.

Tour your property. A simple way to complete your inventory is to make a visual record of your belongings. Take a video of the contents of each room in your home and spaces where you have items stored, such as a basement, cellar, garage, or shed. Be sure to open cabinets, closets, and drawers, and pay special attention to valuable and hard-to-replace items. You can also use the tried-and-true low-tech method of writing everything down in a notebook, or use a combination approach. Mobile inventory apps and software programs are available to guide you through the process.

Be thorough. Your home inventory should provide as many details as possible. For example, include purchase dates, estimated values, and serial and model numbers. If possible, locate receipts to support the cost of big-ticket items and attach copies of appraisals for valuables such as antiques, collectibles, and jewelry.

Keep it safe. In addition to keeping a copy of your inventory in your home where you can easily access it, store a copy elsewhere to protect it in the event that your home is damaged by a flood, fire, or other disaster. This might mean putting it in a safe deposit box, giving it to a trusted friend or family member for safekeeping, or storing it on an external storage device that you can take with you or on a cloud-based service that provides easy and secure access.

Update it periodically. When you obtain a valuable or important item, add it to your inventory as soon as possible. Review your home inventory at least once a year for accuracy. You can also share it annually with your insurance agent or representative to help determine whether your policy coverages and limits are still adequate.

I hope you found this beneficial and informational. For more information about me and my services, visit my website:
www.duane.wrfa.com

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 Posted by at 3:56 PM