As funding cuts loom, LifeWalk helps fill the gaps

Walkers can register themselves — and their dogs — online to participate in the 21st annual event benefiting AIDS Arms, 7 partners

LifeWalk
WALK ON | Walkers head out along the 3.2-mile route out in the the 20th annual AIDS LifeWalk in 2010. Tori Hobbs, development director for AIDS Arms Inc., said funds from the walk this year are vital to AIDS Arms and its partner beneficiary agencies due to further cuts in funding from the federal government.

Tammye Nash  |  Senior Editor
nash@dallasvoice.com

As local AIDS service organizations face even more cuts this year in federal and state funding, local fundraising efforts are becoming increasingly important in their efforts to keep their programs alive. One of those local fundraisers is the annual AIDS LifeWalk, produced each year by AIDS Arms, Inc.

This year’s walk, the 21st annual event set for Sunday, Oct. 2, also benefits AIDS Arms’ seven partner agencies: AIDS Services of Dallas, Bryan’s House, the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, Legal Hospice of Texas, Resource Center Dallas, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas and the Turtle Creek Chorale.

Tori Hobbs, director of development for AIDS Arms, said this week that LifeWalk this year is expected to account for about 5 percent of the agency’s annual budget.

“As the government cuts back on funding to those most vulnerable, agencies such as AIDS Arms must try and fill in the gaps,” Hobbs said. “LifeWalk is a very direct way to fill in those gaps in needed services for those impacted by HIV/AIDS.”

Hobbs said that currently, walker registrations online — and fundraising — are lagging a bit off the pace set by last year’s 20th annual LifeWalk, “so we really need folks to get signed up to walk and start asking their friends and families to support them in the walk.”

She said that individuals can register online, at AIDSLifeWalk.org, and that when they do so, they can create their own fundraising page and use that page to send emails directly to friends and family members to ask for donations.

The cost to register is $40 per person, and walkers can get their pets in on the fundraising effort as well, registering their dogs, for $10 per pooch, for LifeBark.

LifeWalk begins and ends at Lee Park. On-site registration begins at 11:30 a.m. in Lee Park on the day of the walk, and the walk itself begins at 1 p.m.

“All the funds we raise will go directly to access medical care for our clients with HIV/AIDS,” Hobbs said. “These clients can come to AIDS Arms and find the care they need. We are there to tell them that there is hope.

“We are really feeling the cuts from Washington right now, and we really need people to turn out again this year to support this walk, and to be part of this wonderful and caring community,” Hobbs said.

For more information or to register for LifeWalk, go online to AIDSLifeWalk.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 16, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Starvoice • 03.11.11

By Jack Fertigstarvoice

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Kevin Williamson turns 46 on Monday. The screenwriter scared us with his Scream trilogy and upgraded the teenage drama with Dawson’s Creek. The out writer keeps churning out the hits with his latest TV creation The Vampire Diaries and has just penned the script for Scream 4.

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THIS WEEK

A Mercury-Saturn opposition normally sharpens minds as well as tongues, but with Neptune in hard aspect to both planets, misguided bitchiness and ill-considered control games are a lot more likely. Examine your own anxieties. They are too easily projected onto others.

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PISCES Feb 19-Mar 19
How does sex fit in your relationships, reflect your values and connect you to your deeper self? Take time to meditate, to understand better whatever gaps you may be trying to fill.

ARIES Mar 20-Apr 19
Ideas from the top of your head are probably wrong. Take time to figure out why. Well-meaning friends stumble in their efforts to assure you; give them credit for trying.

TAURUS Apr 20-May 20
Being a raging control queen will not relieve the stress; getting some professional help could. Relax. Meditate. Doing nothing is the best answer. Consider process and priorities.

GEMINI May 21-Jun 20
Your friends lead you astray if you give them a chance. It could be an adventure if you’re ready to pay the price. Think ahead, but remember the biggest regrets are the things you didn’t do.

CANCER Jun 21-Jul 22
Don’t keep secrets. Keep your attention elsewhere. You’re probably exaggerating threats from someone close to you. Staying focused on goals will help you keep perspective.

LEO Jul 23-Aug 22
Resisting the urge to correct ideas can be the biggest challenge. A touch of surrealism can be fun. If practicality is necessary, ask how those wild ideas would work rather than insisting they can’t.

VIRGO Aug 23-Sep 22
Whatever you say is likely to come out sounding dirtier than you intend. That can be great for fantasy role-play, but awkward in real life. Listen between the lines for what’s really important.

LIBRA Sep 23-Oct 22
Enjoy some twisted fun now, but trying to make it last will get less fun. Criticism to or from your partner is more projection than either of you admit. Do not start or end a relationship now.

SCORPIO Oct 23-Nov 21
Worries about home and family are exaggerated, but not out of place. Meditation helps keep perspective. Clean up what you can, admit you were wrong and the rest takes care of itself.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 22-Dec 20
Your mouth is determined to get you into trouble. Stick to the facts and accept lots of correction. Creative writing is safer than speaking. Just don’t let anyone read it.

CAPRICORN Dec 21-Jan 19
Criticism at home challenges you to re-evaluate your career goals.  Some adjustments may be necessary, but do not doubt yourself! You need to stay especially sharp now.

AQUARIUS Jan 20-Feb 18
Whatever you say is easily misunderstood. Hone your arguments on screen or paper where you can review your own sympathies and see how they affect your logic, or vice versa.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 11, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Little crooked house • Defining Homes

Don’t get tripped up on uneven floors before buying that new home

By M. ­­M. Adjarian

After a long stretch of searching, finding that perfect house is not only a relief, it’s a glimpse into a whole new future. When the pieces fall together, such as location, price and a great neighborhood, you might pinch yourself thinking “Is this too good to be true?” The idealism in it’s close proximity to work, school, shopping and the big yard for the dogs is shaded by beautiful trees might give the impression that this really is home sweet home.

But you keep hitting your foot on that little bump in the floor. Before you think it’s just the character of the house, give it another look and then have a professional take a gander. There could be more to that misstep than you think.

“If there is unevenness in the beginning,” Brian Mulvehill warns, “between heat and contraction and all other issues, it’s only going to get worse over time.”

As the Fort Worth-based owner of Carpet Direct, Mulvehill knows his floors, and uneven ones can slip through the buying process if one doesn’t take a close eye to the walk-throughs. For instance take a look at where the floor meets the baseboard and if you see gaps; those will indicate uneven floors.

Once a floor starts to warp, one of two things will eventually happen. The floor will either pull away from the house walls or start pushing against them. Neither scenario is especially desirable, but when the floor pushes against the walls, it’s also pushing against molding and drywall, which could get messy — and expensive.

“Once drywall starts to crack, or moisture gets into the drywall, then you’ve got big structural issues,” says Mulvehill.

Regardless of whether the flooring is wood, tile, laminate or carpet, warping problems usually have to do with the installation — something to which a potential homebuyer will not have been privy. Reputable installers should be licensed and come with a good reputation and references. That person should always check the slab or sub-floor before laying any material on top of it. A problem with either indicates a need for structural rebuilding, which could cost thousands of dollars. More typically, though, the problem will arise from the quality of the materials actually used.

“One of the big things a buyer should know is [to] ask the potential home seller what the floor is made of,” advises Mulvehill.

He notes that if the floor is made from cheaper imported wood, chances are that’s why it’s uneven. “You can take a plank out of a box coming in from China, and just twist it. It will actually warp in your hand.”

If faulty building materials are to blame for uneven floors, a potential homebuyer could have them repaired through a procedure called floating,which usually runs about $200 per 1,000 square feet floated. A contractor will pour concrete-like material under the affected areas to raise them up so they are level with the rest of the floor.

So exactly how can a homebuyer tell whether floors are level are to begin with?

“It might sound crazy,” says Mulvehill, “but just get down on one side of the floor and just look across.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition of Defining Homes Magazine October 8, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens