Here is what you saw on Good Day Alabama for March 4, 2014:
JEH JEH LIVE - Jeh Jeh joined us with Red Rock Tuesday. He joined us from East Thomas Park. The Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System will connect existing trails and parks connecting our communities while improving the health, economy, and quality of life for our region. For more information on the many hiking trails and future plans, visit http://www.redrocktrail.org/.
BETH K - UAB Nutritionist Dr. Beth Kitchen joined us to explain the new proposed food label. This is not a done deal - the FDA will be taking public comments on the label before the final decision is made. After that, it will have to allow the food companies a reasonable amount of time to make the changes. It's been 20 years since the label has been revised and research has changed our perspective on what the most important things in a food are. The biggest change in the new label is that calories are prominently displayed in a big bold font. Serving size is displayed big and bold in servings per container to avoid deceiving portion sizes - like1/2 a muffin being a serving! Added sugars are now clearly on the label! Before, you could not tell what "sugars" really meant. Was it part of the food (as in milk and juice) or added to the food (which we need to reduce) - now people don't have to look at the ingredients list to figure that out. Potassium and vitamin D are now two of the four key nutrients - vitamins C & A got booted off since few people have trouble getting enough of those two - vitamin D is critical for bone and potassium is especially important for lower blood pressure risk. You'll also see actual numbers next to the four key nutritrients so if you know how much you need of that nutrient, you can just add them up rather than wondering what those percentages mean! The %Daily value is still there - it tells you what percent of your daily need you are getting if you eat a serving of the food - but it is a "one size fits all" recommendation and some people like to know the actual number.
MONEY TUESDAY - Stewart Welch joined us to explain how life insurance is one of the most complicated and confusing financial products in the marketplace and how, for the uninformed, can create some nasty surprises under certain circumstances. Life insurance policies fall into two broad categories: 'term' life insurance and 'permanent' life insurance. Of the two, term insurance is much more easily understood.
With term insurance, you typically choose a policy for a specified death benefit, say $1,000,000, with level premiums paid over a specified period of time, say fifteen years. Each year you pay the premium and if you die during the year, your beneficiary receives the $1 million. If you don't pay the premium, the policy terminates. Typically you have the right to 'convert' your term policy to a permanent policy anytime without evidence of good health. At the end of the fifteen years, you must convert your term policy to a permanent policy (with much higher premiums) or the policy will lapse. All of this is fairly straight-forward but there are a couple of potential 'nasty' surprises you should be aware of.
Nasty surprise #1: Limited conversion right. Some policies terminate the guaranteed right to convert the policy prior to the full term of the policy. Check with your agent to learn how your conversion privilege works.
Nasty surprise #2: High cost of conversion. If you find yourself in a situation where your health status has changed and rendered you either uninsurable or highly rated and, still needing insurance, you desire to convert to a permanent policy, many companies only offer conversion to an 'uncompetitive' permanent policy versus their most consumer-friendly policies.
Nasty surprise #3: Phantom income. You've been paying premiums for decades and along the way you've borrowed money from your policy for some event or, in many cases, to pay policy premiums.
Nasty surprise #4: Modified endowment. One great thing about life insurance is the industry has secured some favorable tax benefits for policyholders. One of those benefits is what we refer to a FIFO (first in; first out) income tax treatment. This means that when you withdraw money from a policy, it's considered a return of your premiums paid until all such premiums have been withdrawn.
SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK - Cornerstone Schools of Alabama's ever growing Schoolhouse Rock event is back for another year of fundraising! Barber Companies, Maynard, Cooper, & Gale, Scott Stone & Co. LLC, and Strickland Trading, Inc., are the presenting sponsors for this year's event set for Friday, March 7th at Iron City Birmingham from 7:00 pm-11:00 pm. Schoolhouse Rock is an annual fundraiser hosted by Cornerstone School's Junior Board and has quickly become one the school's most successful events. Cornerstone Schools of Alabama, a non-profit Christian school located in Birmingham's Woodlawn area, is an elementary and middle school dedicated to serving Birmingham's inner city kids. Now serving a record-breaking 275 students, dually accredited with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), Cornerstone recently became the first International Baccalaureate Primary World School in Birmingham. Event-goers can look forward to a night of live music by Teenage Daddy, a live and silent auction, beverages, hors d'oeuvres, and fun event give-aways. Tickets to Schoolhouse Rock are $35 per person and can be purchased online at www.csalabama.org or at the door for $40 on the night of the event.
GARDENING - Sandra Reaves joined us to discuss what you need to do now to prepare for your spring and summer gardening. She recommends get seeds started indoors, buy organic seeds early, clean up the garden, amend soil with compost/soil conditioner, do a soil test, draw a plan, start getting mulch, do a tiller check up, organize stakes, nylon twine, fencing, check hand tools and hoses, and get garden shoes, gloves and a hat. For more information, visit her Facebook page - it includes lots of pictures, tips, how to videos, and info on veggie trials going on in the garden. It's a "real time, real life" look at home gardening and food preservation. You can find her at www.Facebook.com/JosieGladysGardens.
QUILT SHOW - The Friendship Quilters Guild Quilt Show will be at the Pell City Civic Center on Saturday from 9am until 5pm. This year there will be a live auction and David Tims is the auctioneer. The live auction will consist of Miniature and Small Quilts which the quild members created. All proceeds from the auction will be donated between Hospice of Pell City and Susan G. Komen Research Charities. For more information, visit http://friendshipquiltersalabama.wordpress.com/home
NEW IN BOOKS - Susan Swagler writes about about books at her "Turn the Page" blog and in Birmingham Magazine. She introduced us to books with the theme "Fancy Some Fiction" (and a Book of Poems). As winter winds down, let's cozy up a few more times with poetry from a celebrated local poet and some entertaining fiction (a few not quite new but well worth revisiting). Most of these books are travel-ready paperbacks-perfect for a spring break trip. The books she recommended this time were
The Sky Between Us by Irene Latham
Serena by Ron Rash
Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
Clover by Dori Sanders
Tomorrow on Good Day Alabama, famed sports author John Feinstein joins us with his new book - Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball! Jeh Jeh warms up with some chili for the Exceptional Foundation Chili Cook-off! The doctor joins us to take your questions about colon cancer and your risks! We're gardening with Jon Culver and Mickey takes us to meet his newest friend at the Birmingham Zoo! Join us for this and much more tomorrow on Good Day Alabama.