7 Ways to Save Money on Your Health Care Costs

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0By Sandy Wood, CEBS, VP of Operations, GHB InsuranceAs insurance premiums and associated costs continue to rise, you may be asking yourself how you can stay ahead of the curve. Did you know the average person spends $2,600 a year in copays, deductibles, and coinsurance every year? By changing your habits, you can at least control these out of pocket costs.1. The switch is on.Save money by switching from a brand name to a generic drug if you can. And are you taking a “nonpreferred” drug? Choose a preferred one and you will be saving every time you fi ll that prescription!2. Get your oil changed.You take your car in for maintenance, why not your body? Plans include coverage for preventive care, such as a physical and lab tests and most now cover these at 100%. Catching something at the early stages can reduce your cost and your stress.3. Mail Order is not just for cool gadgets!If you take a drug every month, consider purchasing it through the mail. You can have it delivered to your home or work location. Typically you can save a month’s copay every three months!4. What’s up doc?Are you asking the right questions during your exam? If your doctor is asking for tests to be run, are you asking why? Before you go in for your visit, check out www.webmd.com for helpful hints on questions to be asking (check out the “symptoms” link).5. Breaking up is not hard to do.Did you know that some drugs can be split in half, and that the cost of a 20 mg tablet can be the same as a 40 mg tablet? Ask your doctor if any of your drugs can be split, and if so, get a new prescription and start saving!6. Get technical.Most insurance companies have links on their websites to help you manage your health. From discounts at gyms to nurses available via phone 24/7, use all the tools that are out there for the taking.7. Live long and prosperOf course, keeping yourself healthy goes a long way to lowering your healthcare costs. Eating a balanced meal, regularly exercising, and limiting alcohol all can help you stay out of the doctor’s office.For more information, contact author Sandy Wood at sandy@ghbinsurance.com or call 800.789.5011. GHB Insurance, the broker for the products in the Thurston County Chamber’s Benefits Trust, is located at 556 Lilly Road SE in Olympia.last_img read more

Back-to-School Immunization Clinic to Help Local Students

first_imgor via the Public Health Information Line at 360-709-3080. This clinic is being held for Pre-school through 8th grade students who do not have all of the required immunizations needed for school.According to Dr. Diana Yu, Thurston County Health Officer, “Many families in our region do not have insurance or a regular medical provider.  We very much appreciate Group Health signing on to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases.”  Group Health is providing their clinic facility and supplies at no cost. -MORE- Facebook1Tweet0Pin0OLYMPIA – Thurston County students have an opportunity to obtainschool required immunizations at no cost on Saturday, September 17th.A Back-to-School Immunization Clinic will be held at Group Health Cooperative’s Olympia Medical Center at 700 Lilly Road NE, in Olympia.The clinic will run from 10 am – 2 pm and is sponsored by Thurston County Public Health and Social Services, Group Health Cooperative, and the Thurston County Medical Reserve Corps. A parent or legal guardian must accompany children to the clinic.   Nopre-registration is required, and immunizations are available on a firstcome first serve basis.   Parents and guardians should bringimmunization records.    No one will be denied services because of lackof insurance.   No immunization exemptions or waivers will be signed. More information about this clinic, including a list of available immunizations, can be found on the web at http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/personalhealth/immunizations/backtoschoolclinic.html In addition to Group Health, the Thurston County Medical Reserve Corps is staffing the clinic.  The Medical Reserve Corps includes local licensed medical professionals and many others who have volunteered to help in the event of a disaster or health emergency.  Sue Poyner, Public Health Preparedness Coordinator for the Health Department, said “Well over 100 highly skilled and trained professionals are ready to act in an emergency.  The clinic gives us the opportunity to exercise our ability to conduct a coordinated, efficient response”.last_img read more

Thurston Solid Waste Recommends Bulk Shopping To Avoid Packaging Waste

first_imgPackaging makes up about 1/3 of the average household’s garbage and accounts for approximately 13 percent of the price you pay for food. There are some easy steps you can take to save money and reduce the amount of garbage and recycling produced from packaging. Try bringing your own container to the store and buying your goods in bulk.Packaging Facts from Portland State University:20,000,000 pounds of foil packaging could be avoided if all Americans bought coffee from the bulk bin.One half pound of waste per family could be kept out of the landfill if the average American family of four bought peanut butter in bulk.6,000,000 pounds of waste could be prevented if Americans purchased all their almonds in bulk for one month.Oatmeal purchased from the bulk bin can save five times the waste of its packaged equivalent.If all Americans chose to buy bulk options when possible, we would save more than 26 million pounds of packaging waste in just one month according to Earth911. Try it on and see if you can do it.Reasons to buy bulk:Items cost less than those of the same amount that are packaged.There is less transportation needed to ship.Bringing your own container that you reuse is better for natural resources.There is more flexibility in how much you buy.You get to see what you are buying.Bulk items take less space to store and less store labor to manage.Look for bulk shopping options at stores in our area. Listing a business below does not mean that Thurston County endorses any of these companies. Personal or home care products:Euphorium, OlympiaThe Olympia Food Coop, OlympiaRadiance Herbs and Massage, OlympiaPremier Salon and Spa, OlympiaFood:  Bayview Thriftway, OlympiaBuck’s Fifth Avenue/Culinary Exotica, OlympiaFredMeyer, Lacey, TumwaterTea Lady, OlympiaThe Olympia Food Coop, OlympiaTop Food and Drug, OlympiaWinCo Foods, LaceyYelm Food Co-op, YelmComing soon, the Zero Waste Home has also recently released a bulk shopping app available in iTunes and the Android Market. It is still in version 1.0 so they are working out the bugs. As soon as someone populates our region with the local options, it will be a terrific resource (hint, hint, wink, wink).You might already be recycling much of packaging you bring home and that is great but not enough. Earth’s inhabitants consume the amount of natural resources one year that it takes the Earth to generate in over 1.5 years according the Global Footprints Network. When you bring your own container to the store, reusing it many times over, you are saving the resources that would go toward something new. So when you go to buy bulk, don’t forget your containers. The Olympia Food Coop has limited supplies of donated and washed containers for you if you ask.Earth 911 has some good suggestions to get you started including choosing containers, how to read bulk price tags, and shopping.For more tips on how to reduce your consumption, go to www.ThurstonSolidWaste.org and click on “Recycling & Reuse”. Facebook25Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

Thrive Community Fitness Hosts 5K Fun Run Raising Funds for Military…

first_imgFacebook18Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Thrive Community FitnessIn partnership with the City of Lacey, Thrive Community Fitness will be hosting the 2015 “Lacey Days” THRIVE 5K Fun Run at 9:00 a.m. on July 3. This will be the third year that Thrive has held this event. The idea began back in early 2013 when Thrive franchise owner, Paul MacLurg, and manager Steven Singer were brainstorming ways in which they could bring the community together to support our large military population here in Thurston County.Part of the Thrive mission statement is to “transform the health of our community” and therefore they are always looking for ways to go beyond their walls to impact those around them. Thus, the idea for the 5K run was born as a fundraiser for a non-profit military organization called Always Brothers.Always Brothers began as a group of individuals who wanted to represent and give back to those that have given the ultimate sacrifice. Their founding core of Marines has now grown to veterans from every branch of service. They have also been blessed by the out pouring of support from family, friends, civilians, and organizations like Thrive. This year’s “Lacey Days” THRIVE 5K event will help raise money for the education funds of children who have lost parents in either the Iraq or Afghanistan war.The “Lacey Days” THRIVE 5K route will begin in the Thrive parking lot before connecting to the Chehalis Western Trail for most of the 3.1 miles. After everyone crosses the finish line, medals will be awarded for the top finishers of both men and women in seven different age brackets (19 & Under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+).There will also be snacks, drinks, and a free raffle drawing for prizes from different local businesses who have sponsored the event.You can sign up in person at Thrive Community Fitness or on-line through Active.com.  The cost pre-race will be $30, and $35 on race day. Check in will begin at 7:30 a.m. in the Thrive parking lot. Please join Thrive for this fun family event and to help support a great cause through Always Brothers.last_img read more

New Flagship Olympia Coffee Roasting Co Opening in Proctor District

first_imgFacebook149Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Olympia Coffee Roasting CoOlympia Coffee Roasting Co announced today they will expanding to the Proctor District of Tacoma. The brand is partnering with Lapis Tacoma, a business owned and operated by the team behind Compass Rose and Capitan Little on the 1400 square foot concept cafe, located at 2601 N Proctor St in the vibrant and historic Proctor District of Tacoma. The location is on the corner of Proctor St and 26th in the former Radio Shack. Olympia Coffee will occupy the Proctor frontage and Lapis will split the 3000 square foot building on the 26th St entrance.Oliver Stormshak (left) is the co-owner Olympia Coffee Roasting. He is pictured with Jim Johnson, Johnson Berry Farm. These two local businesses owners took home top honors from the Good Food Awards. Photo credit: Mary Ellen Psaltis.The Proctor location is the first Tacoma cafe for the Olympia based business; the company operates three cafes in Olympia and a soon-to-be open cafe in Seattle. “Opening a cafe in the Proctor neighborhood is a lifelong dream” for company owner and Tacoma native Oliver Stormshak. “I’m excited to be coming home and investing in my roots” says Stormshak.The company claims the Proctor location will be a “flagship” location, and plans to roast onsite alongside a full cafe menu concept, including Olympia’s award-winning espresso drinks, pour over coffees, espresso milkshakes, affogatos, and “Nitro Coffee Float” alongside its well known French pastry selections.The space will be designed by The Artisians Group, the multi-disciplinary design and passive house company behind Olympia Coffee’s previous projects.Olympia Coffee Roasting is differentiated from competitors by the high quality of their coffee as well as their unrivaled focus on customer experience, which will continue to be driving factors across the new locations. Olympia Coffee’s Mission Statement is to Improve quality of life for farmers, staff, and customers. Every action the company takes follows this ideal. The company sources 100% of coffees directly from farmers in the Americas and East Africa. Olympia as a company has won numerous honors over the last decade, including Micro Roaster of The Year, America’s Best Espresso, Northwest Barista Competition, and Northwest Brewer’s Cup Competition. The brand is also a three-time winner at the Good Food Awards in San Francisco, making Olympia Coffee among the most award-winning independent coffee companies in the state of Washington.For more information, visit the Olympia Coffee Roasting Co website.last_img read more

Celebrate the 4th of July in Tumwater

first_imgFacebook11Tweet0Pin0Submitted by City of TumwaterCelebrate Independence Day in Tumwater – join your neighbors at one of the free community events throughout the day.City ServicesCity offices will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, in honor of the holiday. This includes City Hall, Old Town Center, and Tumwater Library.The Tumwater City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 4, 2017, is cancelled.The next regularly scheduled meeting of the City Council will be Tuesday, July 18, 2017, at Tumwater City Hall at 7:00 p.m.Police, fire and emergency medical response services will not be interrupted. Call 9-1-1 for emergencies.Public Works (water, sewer, and street) problems can be reported by calling 360-754-4150.Tumwater Valley Golf Course will operate on a limited schedule, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (last tee time), all play must be completed by 3:30 p.m.Please Note: Pioneer Park will be closed all day on Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Fireworks are prohibited in all City parks.Fireworks Safety & RegulationsTumwater Fire and Police departments encourage everyone to prevent accidental fires and injuries from fireworks by using safety precautions.This is the last year personal fireworks will be allowed within the City limits. When using personal fireworks, please remember:Ignition or discharge of safe and sane fireworks is allowed within the City of Tumwater on July 3 and 4, between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. only.Patrol officers will enforce these regulations. Violators can be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $1,000.More fireworks information online at www.ci.tumwater.wa.us/fireworksIndependence Day ParadeTuesday, July 4, 11:00 a.m.This is the City’s 30th Annual Independence Day Celebration Parade – the theme is “Like Totally ’80s.”Parade Road Closures and Restricted Vehicle AccessTraffic on Linderson Way and West Lee Street will be restricted to emergency access only, beginning at approx. 8:30 a.m. on July 4. If you need access to these streets after 8:30 a.m. and prior to 12:30 p.m., please make advance arrangements for your vehicle in the event that you need to travel.From approx. 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., vehicular access to and from property along the parade route will be restricted due to street closures.The parade route begins at the corner of Capitol Boulevard SE and Lee Street, moves south on Capitol Boulevard to Israel Road, then turns west (right) onto Israel Road and continues past City Hall, ending at the intersection of Linderson Way. A parade route map is available online at www.ci.tumwater.wa.us/parade Artesian Family Festival & Thunder Valley Fireworks Show Located at the Tumwater Valley Golf Course Driving Range.6:00 p.m. Gates open for Festival10:15 p.m. Fireworks show and musicFestival and Fireworks Show are Free.Parking is $10 per car.For more information about activities, please contact Tumwater Parks and Recreation at 360-754-4160. More details available online at www.ci.tumwater.wa.us/parade or www.ci.tumwater.wa.us/festival.last_img read more

Shuttler Sourabh Verma falls at final hurdle in Syed Modi International tournament

first_imgImage Courtesy: Badminton Nation/HotstarAdvertisement jNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs5jy0hWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Eekihx7( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) c6u2oWould you ever consider trying this?😱a9ktCan your students do this? 🌚v3loRoller skating! Powered by Firework Three time Indian National Champion Sourabh Verma’s dream run in the 2019 Syed Modi International Badminton Championships terminated right at the final step as he suffered a heavy loss against Wang Tzu Wei from Taiwan in the men’s singles final at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium in Lucknow.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Badminton Nation/HotstarStraight victories against Kunlavut Vitidsarn in the quarter final and Heo Kwang Hee in the semis, the world no. 36 took on the Taiwanese in the grand finale, but the 2014 New Zealand Open tournament champion proved to be dominant over the 26 year old, as the match was over in two games.The champion and current world no 22 took the lead from a 10-10, and ended the first game with 21-17. Although Sourabh tried his best in an effort to secure the second game from 8-13, bringing it to 16-16, Wang ended the match with a 21-17 second game.Advertisement Hailing from the city of Dhar in Madhya Pradesh, Sourabh secured four BWF World Tour golds in his career two in the Russian Open and Dutch Open in 2018, and two in the Hyderabad Open and Vietnam Open this year.Formerly world no. 10, Wang represented Taiwan in the 2017 Summer Universiade, where he beat Kenta Nishimoto from Japan for the gold in the final. He also won gold in the 2014 New Zealand Open and 2016 Dutch Open.Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

Four Area Towns Get Low-Cost FEMA Loans

first_imgLoans cannot exceed 50 percent of a jurisdiction’s operating budget for the year in which the disaster occurs. The maximum loan is $5 million. Jurisdictions must demonstrate the need for assistance to perform government functions. The term is five years but can be extended to 10 years if the applicant chooses. Interest on the loans equals the rate for five-year maturities determined by the U.S. Secretary of 
the Treasury on the day the note is executed.In response to Super Storm Sandy, Congress allocated additional funds to the Disaster Assistance
Direct Loan Program Account. At the request of Gov. Chris Christie, FEMA activated the program 
in New Jersey.“Community Disaster Loans are based on need to bridge the revenue gap so local governments are 
able to continue to operate after a disaster,” FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Gracia Szczech said. “Loans are for local government operating expenses such as salaries of police, firefighters and teachers while the community recovers.”The loans cannot be used as a cost share for any federal grants or for capital projects. The area jurisdictions receiving loans are:Borough of Atlantic Highlands, $2,108,876;Borough of Little Silver, $1,829,324;Borough of Oceanport, $1,154,931;Borough of Sea Bright, $1,297,273; and TRENTON – Four Two-River area municipalities have received funding from Community Disaster Loans through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).The low-interest loan program helps eligible jurisdictions that have suffered substantial revenue losses from a major disaster to 
perform their governmental functions.last_img read more

LNG Port Hearings Nov 4, 5

first_imgBy John BurtonThe local community has an opportunity to weigh in on the proposed and controversial liquid natural gas port off of the New Jersey and New York coast, both Wednesday, Nov. 4 and Thursday Nov. 5 with environmental groups seeing it as one last chance to voice opposition.The local public input session, sponsored by the U.S. Maritime Administration, will start with an open house, beginning at 4:30 p.m. each day, with the formal hearings slated from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel, Hwy. 35, Eatontown.The Port Ambrose liquid natural gas terminal has sparked vocal opposition from environmental groups while those proposing the plan insist it will offer additional energy independence. The Maritime Administration is also holding hearings in New York on Monday, Nov. 2 and Tuesday, Nov. 3, at the Long Beach Hotel, Long Beach, Long Island.
In addition to the public hearings, the public can continue to submit written comments until the end of November.“This is where the story is going to end,” said Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action, one of the environmental organizations that have voiced staunch opposition for the plan. “Either we’re going to have an industrialized ocean off our coast or we’re not.”Representatives for Liberty Natural Gas, LLC, which is proposing the LNG, have continued to argue the facility will be a safe and effective way of storing the fuel off of the coast.Following the hearings, the maritime administration and the U.S. Coast Guard will evaluate the public comments and offer its recommendation and would be responsible for issuing the necessary permits. But before that, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will have a 45-day period to offer their take, with both having the ability to unilaterally veto the plan.As has been the case prior to the last public input sessions in January, calls to both governors’ offices seeking comment were not returned.But Christie back in 2011 did veto a similar proposal put forth by Liberty Natural Gas to establish a deep water natural gas terminal, Port Liberty, off of Asbury Park and had said publicly at the time he would continue to oppose such facilities off of New Jersey.State Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (both R-11) have also expressed their opposition.Liberty Natural Gas, Jersey City, is a privately held, for-profit holding company and is advised by the Toronto, Canada-based West Face Capital investment capital firm, according to information provided by Liberty Natural Gas.The firm would like to construct the terminal which would sit about 28 miles off Long Branch and 18 miles from Long Island, New York’s shore.Boaters let their objections known as they oppose the possible construction of a liquid naturalgas terminal off the New Jersey coast. Photo courtesy Clean Ocean ActionThe facility’s pipeline would run about 13 miles off Sandy Hook, Zipf maintained.Opponents see this as another unnecessary commercialization of the waterways, potentially environmentally harmful and posing a national security threat.“It’ll be very close to the most densely populated, urbanized area in America,” and could present a terrorist target, Zipf warned.Liberty Natural Gas, however, has maintained it would allow for an affordable and readily available supply of natural gas, helping stabilize prices, especially during the winter months, when natural gas can have wide price swings.Liberty said its position has been bolstered by the release of the maritime association and Coast Guard’s 4,000-plus page environmental impact statement, company representatives say support their assertion. Roger Whelan, Liberty’s chief executive officer said in a released statement that the report, “confirms that Port Ambrose is a safe and environmentally responsible project with minimum impact.”
Zipf countered by saying that report acknowledges the billions of gallons of Atlantic Ocean water that could be contaminated “and you read about the 46 million fish eggs and larvae they’re going to destroy.”last_img read more

McConnell Tract Ruling Under Appeal by Opposition Group

first_imgIn addition to residential development inside the flood zone, Asadi’s appeal, among other grievances, addresses the planning board’s decision to approve the construction of a sanitary sewer pump station inside a flood zone and questions the participation of board member and borough councilman Louis Fligor. The property is currently home to Blackfoot Mobile Marine Service, a boat storage and repair facility. Residential properties are located to the south and west of the acreage and the headquarters of the Sandy Hook Bay Catamaran Club is situated to the north. Chiles said Gluckstein isan advocate for open spacepreservation in regards tothe McConnell Tract andother borough lands. “All of our points of appeal are meritorious. The planning board made errors. But I think the one count that has most public concern is how the board ignored an ordinance regarding development in a flood area,” said Asadi, who noted the appeal is due before a judge Jan. 13, 2020, when a possible trial could be scheduled. Instead, Chiles said he is endorsing Republican candidate Loretta Gluckstein, who has served as president of both the Henry Hudson Regional High School Board of Education and the Atlantic Highlands Parent Teacher Organization. Fligor serves as a Class III member of the board and, according to the appeal, Class III members are prohibited from participating in the consideration of applications for development which involve relief, including conditional use variances. Fligor’s participation could potentially void the board’s action. ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS – Though the planning board gave its blessing in May for the construction of 16 townhomes on one of the last remaining pieces of undeveloped Bayshore property, the leader of a resident opposition group said the land battle isn’t over yet. Denholtz Custom Homes CEO Steven Denholtz declined comment on the appeal. In the May 2019 meeting, Chiles and another Atlantic Highlands resident, Brent Sonek-Schmelz, stressed the relevance of that ordinance, given that three of the 16 homes are positioned inside the AE flood zone, while portions of seven other proposed lots are also sited inside that risk area. “The opening line of the borough’s master plan recognizes the town is fully developed. There isn’t any land in the borough that hasn’t been developed at one time. The McConnell Tract had a refinery. The Bayshore Trail was a railway. So how can an ordinance in response to Sandy only apply to lands that haven’t been developed, when you recognize that the borough is completely built out? What was the purpose of adopting the 2013 ordinance? What was it supposed to protect as open space if not a property like the McConnell Tract,” Asadi asked in an interview. According to Asadi, in response to Super Storm Sandy, the borough council adopted an ordinance in April 2013 requiring all properties located in the FEMA-designated flood zone to be preserved as undeveloped open space. center_img Neighbors for Waterfront Preservation is non-political group, but acting on his own accord this past spring, Chiles said he was considering a mayoral run to further promote the concept of open space preservation in Atlantic Highlands. “After (Super Storm) Sandy, the borough updated an ordinance to prohibit new construction in the flood zone. The reason we’re appealing is because we do think this applies and we can’t explain how they (the planning board) willfully ignored this part of the ordinance,” Chiles said. The McConnell Tract is a 7-acre plot of land thatoverlooks the Sandy HookBay at the end of AvenueD. The most eastern pointof the property presses upagainst a bulkhead thatseparates the land from aslender beachfront and thebay waters. An appeals process is underway, said Benson Chiles, a borough resident and the face of nonprofit corporation Neighbors for Waterfront Preservation. Chiles said in the months following a 6-2 decision that approved the Denholtz Custom Homes application for these residences – each expected to be priced between $1 million and $2 million – several questions still remain unanswered. “An important part of my agenda and my running mates Steve Borrachia and Brian Boms over the next few years will be to preserve open space in Atlantic Highlands,” Gluckstein said. “We have a lot of natural beauty in town and should do everything we can to preserve it for future generations. I welcome support from Benson Chiles and I look forward to working closely with him, the borough council and the residents of our community to preserve the McConnell Property for public use.” According to Chiles, Neighbors for Waterfront Preservation attorney Kevin Asadi of Zager Fuchs, Red Bank, filed an appeal July 30, most notably for a piece of zoning legislation the opposition group feels was overlooked during the 27 hours of testimony and 10 months of hearings that preceded the planning board’s ruling. The 7-acre Bayshore property known as the McConnell Tract was approved for 16 luxury townhomes following a May ruling by the Atlantic Highlands Planning Board, but local opposition group Neighbors for Waterfront Preservation has filed an appeal. Photo courtesy Fred Yahn/ Eagle Drone Asadi said the planning board chose not to apply the legislation in its ruling because of an interpretation that the McConnell Tract had previously been developed in 1929 by Standard Oil as a refinery. The site was later owned and operated by Exxon for other industrial operations. Gluckstein will run against borough mayor Rhonda C. Le Grice, who is seeking a second term, and independent candidate Joshua Leinsdorf, who last ran for elected office in 2017 when he opposed Sean Byrnes for the Democratic party nominee in the election for the 13th Legislative district. The Senate seat was ultimately won by Republican Declan O’Scanlon, who replaced former Sen. Joseph Kyrillos.last_img read more