If you decide that you want to hire an attorney for your workers compensation claim, you should first interview a few to see who you like.  It is important to feel comfortable with the attorney and be able to communicate with him or her.

When interviewing attorneys, you will want to know how long they have been litigating workers compensation cases, what kind of associations they belong to, whether they take continuing legal education, whether they have malpractice insurance and what their fees are.

In workers compensation cases, the attorney is allowed to charge a maximum of $300 for services in a consultation.

If the attorney accepts the case, he may require you to post litigation costs.  Otherwise, his fee will be paid when the Board enters an order determining whether the employer or the employee should pay the fees.  Usually the employer is required to pay the fees.

Never consult or hire someone who is not licensed to practice law in the State of Alaska.  There are people who claim to be paralegals or some other kind of legal professional but they have not gone to law school, have not passed the bar examination, are not regulated by the Bar Association and do not carry malpractice insurance.  If they give you bad advise or make a mistake in your case, you have no recourse against them.

By hiring an attorney licensed to practice law in the Alaska, you have the comfort of knowing that they are required to take at least 3 hours of ethics classes per year, that they are governed by the Bar Association and should have malpractice insurance.   In the event that something goes wrong, you can file a compliant with the Bar Association and/or file a malpractice suit against them.

By hiring an experienced attorney, you have the comfort of knowing that, in your best interests, that person in considering the ramifications of every action taken or not taken which can be particularly important in proper documentation of the claim, negotiations, settlement and timely prosecution of the case.  People who do not practice law do not have this experience.

Finally, practicing law without a license is a crime.  It should be reported to the Alaska Bar Association and to the District Attorney’s Office.

Anchorage and the vicinity is busy with summer events during July:

Gold Rush Girls, a play is beings staged at Cyrano’s, 413 D St from June 28 through August 4 at 7 PM.

Eagle River is celebrating the Fourth of July on the July 3 at the Eagle River Lions Park.  Fireworks at midnight.

Anchorage is celebrating the Fourth of July on July 4 with a parade and festival from 9 AM to 6 PM downtown.  Fireworks at Mulcahy Field.

Girdwood Forest Fair is July 5 through July 7.

Bear Paw Festival in Eagle River is July 11 through July 14: www.bearpawfestival.org.

The Governor is hosting the annual family picnic on Delay Park Strip on July 20 from 12 to 3 PM.

Ongoing events include:

Food truck carnival, Thursdays from 11 AM to 3 PM at Chilkoot Charlie’s.

Anchorage Market on Saturdays from 10 AM to 6 PM at Third and E Street.

Potter Marsh Bird Walk on Saturdays from 8 AM to 10 AM and Tuesdays from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

Landscape Oil Painting class is offered by Linda Infante Lyons at the Anchorage Museum from July 15 to July 18, 6:30 to 9 PM.  For more information:  http://www.anchoragemuseum.org/learn/learn.aspx

Color Me Mine is hosting summer workshops.  For more information: www.anchorage.colormemine.com.

RED, the Tony award winning play about American abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko as he paints the biggest commission in the history of modern art, a series of murals for New York's famed Four Seasons Restaurant.

May 2nd, 2013 - June 16th, 2013, 7 p.m. Thurs, Fri, Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday, Cyrano's Theatre Company, 413 D St , Anchorage, AK 99501, Local: 263-2599, Website: http://www.cyranos.org.

BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP.  Brush up on traditional black-and-white digital photography techniques. Learn how to evaluate shades of grey, light and form in subjects to capture dynamic monochrome images. Monday through Wednesday, May 6-8, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. http://www.anchoragemuseum.org/learn/CLASSES_adult.aspx.

ALASKA WWII REMEMBRANCE DAY.  This musical narrative is dedicated to the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Attu and will take you on a journey through Alaska’s history during WWII. The program will include music from many cultures touched by the tumultuous time period of 1941-1945.  Alaska WWII Remembrance Day is presented by Russian American Colony Singers., May 9th, 2013 - May 11th, 2013, 7 p.m. Thursday; 2 p.m. Saturday, St. Patrick's Parish. http://alaskapac.centertix.net/eventperformances.asp?evt=1088.

FOOD TRUCK CARNIVAL.  Every Thursday, April 18th, 2013 - September 26th, 2013, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Chilkoot Charlie's parking lot

ARCTIC SIRENS CABARET FUNDRAISER FOR YWCA ALASKA, May 10th, 2013, 7:30 p.m., Snow Goose Theater, 717 3rd Avenue , Anchorage, AK 99503, Local: 907-245-7311, Website: http://www.arcticsiren.com.

ANCHORAGE MARKET & FESTIVAL, May 11th, 2013 - September 8th, 2013, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., 3rd & E St. Parking Lot, 225 E Street , Anchorage, AK 99501, Local: 907-272-5634, Website: http://anchoragemarkets.com.

BEAR AWARE AT THE ALASKA ZOO, May 12th, 2013, Noon to 4 p.m., Alaska Zoo, 4731 O'Malley Road , Anchorage, AK 99507, Local: 907-341-6463, Website: http://www.alaskazoo.org/bear-aware-event.

Not my usual topic, but I had the unhappy opportunity to review the law, and so I am sharing the benefit of my knowledge:

New vehicles:  Generally the manufacturer’s written warranty, including exclusions, will determine whether or not the dealer is responsible for repairs on new vehicles.  There is an exception, the so-called “federal emissions warranty” which is properly known as the Clean Air Act section 207 and codified at 42 USC 7541: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/42/85/II/A/7541.

Amongst other warranties, 42 USC 7541 states that the manufacturer must warranty catalytic converter, electronic emissions control unit, and onboard emissions diagnostic device.  These components are warrantied for a period of 8 years or 80,000 miles.

GM in particular seems to be having problems with catalytic converters.  As long as you have properly maintained your vehicle (keep records), then GM is required to replace it.  Take your vehicle to an authorized dealer and demand repair.

Used vehicles:  Used vehicle service warranties are established by Alaska law.  See Alaska Department of Law Consumer Protection Unit’s website: http://www.law.alaska.gov/department/civil/consumer/4545130.html.

Amongst other duties, a shop must provide a written repair order, a written estsimate, may not exceed the charges in the estimate without the customer's agreement, may not charge excessively, must return parts if requested by the customer when the repair order is place, and provide a written invoice when the repairs are completed.

Moreover, a shop may not refuse to release a vehicle if it is charging more than estimated without consent or charging excessivley.

If you are having a problem with a dearlership or a shop, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Unit:  http://www.law.alaska.gov/department/civil/consumer/cp_complaint.html.

Don't forget First Friday!  Artique will host First Friday on April 5 from 5-7 PM with new works from local artists on the theme of birds.  http://www.artiqueltd.com/.  Check out Linda Lyon's fabulous painting that will be in the exhibit on my FB:  https://www.facebook.com/keenanpowellak.

Artic Rose is featuring Alaska State Parks and Arts in the Parks program and is accepting submissions.

Comedy Improv, Fridays 8 PM.  Snowgoose.

Dead Man’s Cell Phone.  March 29 through April 21.  Thursdays to Saturdays 7 PM, Sundays 3 PM.  Cyrano’s.

The Circuitous Route of a Raven.  A lunch time talk given by Don Reardon, author of The Raven’s Gift, about his experiences in publishing.  April 4, 2013 11:30 AM  to 1 PM.  Kinley’s Restaurant.

April First Tap with Brett Dennen, folk/pop singer.  Bear Tooth.  Doors open at 8 PM.

Pirates of Penzance.  April 5 through April 7.  Friday through Saturday 8 PM, Sunday 4 PM.  PAC.

The Step Crew.  Irish step dancing.  April 13 at PAC.

Mosiacs workshop.  April 13-14.  Saturday 10-4, Sunday 12-2.  Museum.  If you like mosiacs, there are ongoing classes in the Valley: http://arcticmermaidmosaics.com/.

Anchorage Symphony Orchestra Season Finale.  April 20 8 PM.  PAC.

Montery Jazz Festival on Tour.  April 28 7:30 PM PAC.

For more information, see http://www.anchorage.net/events.



The Anchorage School District Art Show, opens March 1 at the Anchorage Museum (First Friday event).  The annual Anchorage School District exhibition showcases artwork from the district’s most creative student artists, giving them the rare opportunity to display their art in a museum. This year’s theme is Flight of the Imagination, a nod to the museum’s Arctic Flight exhibition.  Works are chosen by teachers and include drawings, paintings and sculpture.  http://www.anchoragemuseum.org.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival featuring mountain themed cinema is Friday, March 1 beginning at 7 Pm at UAA Wendy Williamson auditorium.

March 5, 2013:  Alaska Youth Orchestra Winter Concert at the PAC performing Night on Bald Mountain and other selections.

St. Patricks Day Celebrations in Anchorage include:

Friday, March 15:   St. Patrick’s Dinner, Show and Dance at St. Patrick’s Parish (where else?).  Serving Corned Beef and Cabbage is followed by a musical review by Chaos. Marge Ford and the Alaska Polka Chips, along with the Alaska button Box Gang round out the evening.  $20 per person for the Dinner, Show and Dance. $9 per person for the Polka Dance Alone.  Because what else would you do on a St. Patrick’s Day weekend besides polka?

Saturday, March 16, meet at 8:30 AM for Bear Tooth & Skinny Raven Shamrock Shuffle 5K.  Race starts at 9:30 AM.  www.skinnyraven.com.  Free Mizuno t-shirt and free pint glass filled once with beer or soda on race day, and that night you can continue your celebration with:

Saturday, March 16 7:00p: St. Patrick’s Eve Celebration at the Snow Goose. Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with The Derry Aires, The Irish Dance Academy and the Northern Lights Celtic Dancers, Soloists Dawn Berg, Beth Margeson, Terri McCoy and Destany Hawley, the Band Wings to Fly.  Full beverage service available throughout the evening.

Or, if you prefer: Ladysmith Black Mambazo at the PAC on March 16 starting at 7:30 PM.

Whistling Swan is bringing Rickie Lee Jones to the PAC on March 24http://www.whistlingswan.net/

And at the end of the month, the Alaska Railroad Easter Train is Saturday March 30 starting at 10 AM.  Take a ride with the Easter Bunny from the Historic Anchorage Downtwon Depo down Turnagain Arm to Indian and back.  Search "special trains" on http://www.alaskarailroad.com/.

"Rondy is a 77-year tradition in Anchorage and you are invited to join us for our 10-day celebration of life in Alaska!"  http://www.furrondy.net/.  Fur Rondy is a fun time for the whole family with events taking place all over Anchorage from February 22 through March 3.  There will be a parade on Saturday, Feb 23 on 5th and 6th Avenues starting at 10:30.  The carnival will be on 3rd and E St starting  on Feb 22 at 1 PM. The Victorian Tea at the Senior Center is on Saturday, Feb 24 from 2-4 PM (Must purchase tickets in advance.  Call 770-2000). The fur auction will be Sat. Feb 23 from 11 AM to 4 PM at 3rd and E St.   Snowshoe softball at Kosinski Field on Saturday, Feb 23 from 8:45 AM to 6 PM. Outhouse races on Sat Feb 23 at 4 PM on 4th Ave between E St and F St.  dog races, Blanket toss on the weekends from 2PM to 4Pm at 3rd and E St. Snowboarding demo (I saw that a couple of years ago.  Awesome!) is on 2d Ave downhill from the Carnival on Sat. Feb 23 from 5 PM to 6 PM.  The melodrama is again at the Snow Goose Theatre on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.   There will also be a juried art competition at the Senior Center, a hockey tournament, basketball, Runnning of the Reindeer, Frostbite Footrace on 5th Avenue starting at Egan Center skywalk (you can register on-line by going to the Fury Rondy website), snow sculptures on Ship Creek Avenue, Native arts market at Dimond Mall.   My favorite event: the fireworks display will be on Saturday, February 23 starting at 6:45 PM at the small boat harbor, Ship Creek Avenue.  Shake off cabin fever, get out and rondy!