Good Day Alabama: Aug. 30, 2016

Good Day Alabama: Aug. 30, 2016

Here's what you saw on Good Day Alabama:

JEH JEH LIVE - The Greater Birmingham Home Builders Association gets busy this week building a Habitat Home! There are 13 participants this year- the builders are AGH Homes, Inc, Bluestone Building, LLC, Compass Home Builders, Drake Homes, Embassy Homes, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Birmingham, Harris Doyle Homes, Inc, Lovette Construction, Murphy Home Builders, LLC, Scotch Homes & Land Development Group, Inc, Taylor Burton Company, and J. Wright Building Company.

This blitz is part of a nationwide effort to encourage partnership between local Home Builder Association chapters and Habitat for Humanity to advocate homeownership and affordable housing. More than 1,300 houses have been built nationwide  97 homes have been constructed since 2006 in Birmingham as part of the Blitz partnership. When the builders come in on day one they have slabs poured and plumbing and electrical stubbed so they are able to begin framing right away. Habitat makes it easy by allowing them to deliver things to the site ahead of time and stocking materials so that they are here when they need them.

Habitat recently purchased this land as part of a multi-million dollar investment. Many people in the Birmingham area are familiar with Cascade Plunge and may have enjoyed the pool or had dances or other functions here, so Habitat is excited to be able to be a part of the efforts to revitalize the area. Each affiliate's family selection committee chooses Habitat homeowners for their local area, based on three criteria - the family's level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program, and their ability to repay the loan through an affordable payment plan. Visit www.habitatbirmingham.org to learn more about applying for a Habitat home.To volunteer to help this week, check in at the volunteer tent at the entrance from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. until Wednesday.

BETH K - UAB Nutritionist Dr. Beth Kitchin joins us to explain how to make the Calcium Connection. It doesn't matter where you get your calcium – food, supplements, or both – just as long as you get it! Calcium is important for bones. But it does other things as well. It may help control blood pressure and it also plays a role in sending nerve messages, blood clotting, and muscle contractions. Most people need a total of 1000 to 1500 milligrams every day. Here are some tips on how to get the right amount of this bone-building nutrient.

  • Read labels! You may already be getting some calcium through the foods that you eat and the beverages you drink. So how can you tell how much is in that glass or fortified juice or slice of cheese? Look at the "Nutrition Facts" and you will find calcium per serving as a percentage of your daily need – that is, if 1000 mg is your daily need. If you want to know how many actual milligrams are in a serving, simply remove the percentage sign, add a zero, and you now have milligrams of calcium. You can only use this trick for calcium - not for any other nutrients. But it will work for calcium on any label since all labeling must follow the same format. The new, updated food labels will show you the mg. So you won't have to do this trick after they come out!
  • Fortify with calcium. Many foods that are not normally high in calcium, like orange juice, are now being fortified with both calcium and vitamin D. If you drink orange juice regularly, why not get the extra calcium at the same time? Some people love almond milk. Almond milk usually has quite a bit of calcium added. Here are the best food sources – both fortified and natural – for calcium:

1 c calcium-added almond milk = 450 mg 
          1 c calcium-added orange juice = 350 mg
          1 c milk any type = 300 mg 
          1 c calcium-added soy milk = 300 mg
          1 ounce of cheese = 200 mg
          1 small carton of yogurt = 150 mg 
          1/2 c cooked collard greens = 180 mg 
          1 ounce almonds = 80 mg

  • Supplements vs. Food.  If you can't get enough calcium from foods, try supplements. The calcium from supplements is absorbed just as well as the calcium from foods. So top off your calcium from foods with the calcium from supplements.
  • Choosing a supplement. Quality supplements are available at very low cost. Take calcium carbonate supplement such as Caltrate, Tums, Oscal, or Viactiv with food for best absorption. You can take calcium citrate supplements with or without food.
  • Spread out your doses. Don't get all of your calcium at once. Absorption will be better if you spread it out to at least 2 to 3 times per day. If you have lots of calcium at one meal – like milk on your cereal and calcium-fortified juice at breakfast – save your calcium supplements for later on the day. You should get 400 to 600 mg of calcium two to three times per day.

These tips will help you make the calcium connection. But don't go overboard. The upper limit for calcium intake is 2400 mg so be wise and stay below 2000 mg per day to stay on the safe side. For more information about bone health and osteoporosis, visit: www.toneyourbones.org.

MONEY TUESDAY - Michael Wagner with the Welch Group joined us to explain a new tax for some online purchases! For years online retailers have had a strategic advantage over brick and mortar stores by avoiding state income taxes on sales. Since their inception, online retailers who do not have a brick and mortar store in Alabama have not had to pay state or local taxes. There have been several attempts to revise the tax code so that online-only retailers are given the same treatment as traditional retailers.  Online-only retailers have argued they remain exempt from state and local sales tax because they did not have a physical presence in the state.  In addition, the more than 700 different tax jurisdictions in the state were too numerous and cumbersome for online retailers to easily comply with a tax payment system.  The solution the state came up with was the Alabama Simplified Seller Use Tax Remittance Act.  The Act was enacted in October of 2015 and its main goal was to capture online-only tax revenue that has historically gone uncollected.

This program allows the eligible sellers to collect, report and remit a flat, fixed rate seller use tax of 8%. Initially, only a handful of online-only retailers voluntarily elected to participate.   There are now close to 50 online-only retailers participating and last month, Amazon, America's largest online retailer, announced they would comply with the Act effective November 1, 2016.  After that date, all Amazon purchases shipped to an Alabama address will be charged an 8% sellers use tax.  The tax will be split 50% to the state, 25 percent to the cities and 25 percent to the counties.

The winners here are

  • The State of Alabama - This is the obvious winner with a massive budget shortfall, this new revenue stream comes at a time of real need. The state estimates the tax could bring in $40-$50 million in 2017.  The expectation is that this will continue to increase as online purchases continue to increase.
  • The Cities and counties – Like the state of Alabama, local cities and counties also benefit as they will share the other 50% based upon population.  Local officials will be able to fund pet projects that they have put on the back burner for years.
  • Brick and mortar retailers – This is a big win for traditional retailers as they feel this will help level the playing field and allow them to compete with online-only retailers.  For some consumers, saving 8-10 percent on purchases meant that they would avoid a brick and mortar store and opt to go to Amazon instead.  Big box retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy have lobbied for years to for online-only retailers to charges sales tax like they are required to do.
  • Amazon – By voluntarily opting into the Act, Amazon and other retailers that have already complied locks in the 8 percent flat rate ahead of any state or federal laws that could impose higher tax rates or a more complex tax filing structure.

The losers in this situation are

  • Loyal Amazon Customers who will see their costs rise 8 percent.
  • Amazon and other online-only retailers who will have to collect, report and remit the tax causing their internal costs to rise.

For more information, visit www.welchgroup.com.

ALVIN GARRETT -  Janice talked with Alvin Garrett about memories coming on Good Day Alabama as part of Just a Few Cats with Ruben Studdard and again many times over the years with his solo career. We celebrate 20 years of Good Day Alabama this week. It first aired in August of 1996. For more on Alvin, visit www.alvingarrett.com.

ASK THE ANGLER - Reed Montgomery answers viewer questions about fishing. You can contact him with your questions at 205-663-1504 or on his website www.fishingalabama.com - there you can find lake reports, fishing tips, upcoming events, and more.

Tomorrow on Good Day Alabama, we look back at some of the big news stories that unfolded while we were on the air with you! Suicide is a serious topic and this week we focus on it nationally and how we can help loved ones in need of help! You could be the match for someone in need.... find out how you can get your blood tested to see if you're the match! Join us for this and much more tomorrow on Good Day!