I’ve been asked why I return to Alaska so often. For one thing, it’s stunningly beautiful. And then there’s the fishing. If you like to fish, it’s paradise. Well, it is anyway, but it’s even more irresistible if you’re someone who likes to be on the water casting a line. When I first moved to Iowa, my father-in-law took me fishing on Lake Red Rock, and I caught a six-inch walleye. The following year I flew to Alaska and caught a 103-pound halibut. I rest my case. Sorry. I couldn't resist the pun.
Here’s the IRL funny part, though: I’ve been trying to duplicate my first-visit feat ever since . . . without success!
It’s not like I’m not landing, literally, big fish. This year I caught an 82-pound halibut, a yellow eye, a ling cod, a coho salmon and my favorite, a black sea bass, but I’m still waiting for the halibut that will outweigh the very first one I caught. It’s out there somewhere.
Donna Button who in addition to being my sister-in-law, owns Travel Services in Palmer located about an hour east of Anchorage, arranges my trips. They’ve been chiefly to Homer, the self-proclaimed halibut fishing capital of the world.
,In July I flew to Alaska to go fishing. I’ve traveled there at least 10 times, roughly every other year since 2000, with an additional trip to testify in a court settlement negotiation. I made that trip in winter. As a word of friendly advice — don’t go there then. Yikes!!
This year, however, I wanted to experience a different part of Alaska, so my fishing buddy and I flew to Kodiak Island, which BTW is the second-largest island in the United States and famous for the bears that are native to it.
And bears there were! We met up with 35 to 40 of them who were fishing Frazer River the same time we were. Remember that coho salmon I caught? A bear stole it off my line. Oh well. He had more right to it than I did. It’s his (or her) island after all.
I'm proud to be a member of the Rotary Club of Des Moines. In addition to all the other service my club contributes locally, nationally and internationally, every year we award six $8,000 scholarships, one each to a student chosen from each of Des Moines' six high schools. It's been my pleasure to serve on the selection committee for East High for five years.
East's able school counselors narrow the pool of applicants down to four, and I never fail to be impressed with the calibre of the candidates, not just in academic achievement alone — often while holding down more than part-time jobs, and participating in athletics, music, drama, debate and other specific interest groups — but also their commitment to giving back to the community through volunteer work.
Every year it's an extremely difficult choice, and each year my two co-evaluators and I want to award scholarships to them all. This year was no exception. One applicant's goal is to be a geneticist, and even before reaching graduation, she has interned in a genetics lab at Iowa State University. Two aspire to work in healthcare, one with her eye on becoming a nurse, the other a pediatrician. The fourth dreams of a business career in filmmaking.
But choose we must, and this year our winner was Robbi Boggess. Robbi will be attending the University of Iowa in pre-med with a goal of specializing in pediatric medicine.
Congratulations Robbi — and Isabel, Karen and Anthony. You're all winners!!
On July 1, 2017, new workers’ compensation statutes will take effect. The statutes have been changed in a number of ways.
A shoulder injury is no longer classified as “body as a whole” injury where industrial disability is awarded taking into account an injured workers’ age, education, and experience.
Going forward, a shoulder injury will be compensated as a “scheduled member” just like an arm or a leg based only on a percentage of loss of that member, with a maximum loss of 400 weeks of benefits.
This change has the potential to have a devastating effect on an injured worker who has sustained a shoulder injury and cannot return to physically demanding work.
A new vocational rehabilitation strategy has been put into place by the new law. When a worker sustains a shoulder injury and cannot return to gainful employment, the worker must now be evaluated by Workforce Development regarding career opportunities in specific fields that allow for accommodation for disabilities and vocational training.
Injured workers are no longer entitled to reimbursement for a second-opinion by an "independent medical examination” if the employer denies the case. In other words, an employer of an injured worker whose case has been denied is permitted to require an evaluation be performed by a doctor of the employer’s choice. But, the employee is not allowed a second-opinion at the employer’s expense. Before this change in the law, even when a case was denied, an employee could be reimbursed for a second-opinion evaluation if he or she felt that the employer-retained physician’s rating was too low.
Articles on this topic:
Iowa Public Radio: "Does Iowa’s New Workers’ Comp Law Give Shoulder Injuries The Cold Shoulder?"
The Des Moines Register: "Branstad signs bills limiting workers' compensation, blocking minimum wage hikes"
Link to the bill (HS 518): https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=87&ba=HF%20518
This Blog is made available by the publisher for educational and entertainment purposes only, as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.