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Continental Takes the Plunge for Special Olympics

January 11th, 2016

Many of Continental team members have a lot of fun donating their time and energy to many local charitable organizations and community causes.

On December 19th, seven brave team members participated in the annual Polar Plunge at Goose Lake and raised over $2000 that will benefit Special Olympics of Alaska. Together we do great things!

Continental Auto Group Polar Plunge 2015

Jumpers from left to right are: Morgan Wright-Continental Tire & Auto; Ashley Soennichsen-Accounting; Breanna Osenga-Honda Service; Connie Willard-Accounting; Brye Warner-Subaru Service; Kim Schlimgen-Customer Relations; and Linda Gerwin-Accounting.

Share the Love 2015

Written by: Evelyn Stice

November 18th, 2015

A week from today, most of us will gather around tables laden with mashed potatoes and gravy, candied yams, green bean casserole, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and that glorious, gorgeous, crispy-skinned turkey. And also, for reasons no one really understands, a can-shaped mass of cranberry sauce on a small plate, sliced into dark red gelatinous disks. We will eat ourselves into a stupor with family and friends, and likely at some point set our forks down and express thankfulness for the bounty in our lives, bounty that may even include a brand new Subaru in the driveway.

Most of us really are fortunate. Life isn’t perfect, but when we have the warmth of family and friends, a place we call home, and a fridge full of leftovers, we do indeed have much for which to be thankful. And it’s a great time to share that good fortune with others. Subaru knows this, so starting today and going through January 2, 2016, customers buying or leasing a new Subaru from Continental Subaru can select one of six participating charities to receive a $250 donation, courtesy of Continental Subaru and Subaru of America’s 2015 Share the Love program.

What can $250 do? For any of the six charities listed below, quite a bit. But of course, it’s when all the donations are lumped together that the power of good really makes an impact. In March 2014, Subaru of America and Continental Subaru presented a total of $48,091 to the 2014 Share the Love recipients, the Eva Foundation and the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage. This year, the selected charities—two of them hometown charities selected by Continental Subaru, the rest with Alaskan chapters that will be helped by your purchases—are:

  • Meals On Wheels. The Meals On Wheels Association of America provides the elderly with nutritious meals, friendly visits, and safety checks, enabling many to live independently. Locally, MOWAA benefits places like Ninilchik Senior Center, enabling them to continue providing crucial services to area seniors.
  • Make-A-Wish. You can help the Make-A-Wish foundation grant life-changing wishes for critically ill children in your area and nationally. Its Washington-Alaska chapter grants an average of 300 wishes a year to kids with life-threatening medical conditions.
  • National Park Foundation. Alaska is home to more than 20 stunning national parks. Unfortunately, while interest in the parks is increasing, budget constraints are making it difficult for park staff to continue to offer the programs that inspire generations of national park enthusiasts. The donation you enable can help provide funding for the National Park Foundation to continue those programs throughout the country.
  • ASPCA. If you’ve got a soft spot for animals, your $250 could go to the ASPCA, which has been a leading advocate for animals for nearly 150 years, rescuing pets from abuse, introducing more humane legislation, and supporting shelter communities.
  • Clare House. Between homelessness and independent living, there is Clare House, one of the local charities in this year’s program. Clare House provides temporary emergency 24-hour shelter to women with children and expectant mothers, along with many services that help bridge the gap to independent living, a crucial step in breaking the cycle of poverty.
  • Charlie Elder House. The other local charity in the 2015 Share the Love program, Charlie Elder House provides housing and other services to help homeless teenage boys transition to independent living as productive, happy adults contributing to society. At the house, the boys focus on schoolwork and learn skills such as cooking, doing laundry, and conducting job searches, skills that provide a foundation for adult life.

Clare HouseMost of us have so much to be thankful for this holiday season. If to the usual friends, family, food, home, and health we can add “a new Subaru,” isn’t it great that we can at the same time help those who aren’t quite as fortunate? Any time between now and January 2, come in to Continental Subaru, buy or lease a new Subaru, and $250 will be donated in your behalf to one of the above charities of your choice. Can’t choose? That’s understandable; they’re all worthy causes. In that case, Continental Subaru would be happy to select a charity for you.

Happy holidays, everyone. May 2016 bring you even greater fortune.

Well, this sucks…

Written by: Evelyn Stice

November 11th, 2015

Well, this sucks. Despite my previous excellent advice and helped along by slick road conditions, you’ve gotten stuck, or even slid into someone or something. (Or been slid into.) Great. Now what?

First, of course, in the event of a collision, if you or anyone else involved has been injured, call 911. Or even if only your cars have been injured, call 911. If only your dignity has been injured, however, 911 doesn’t want to hear from you. If you’re in a city that requires it, like Anchorage (and there were no injuries), you’ll want to move the cars to a spot that doesn’t block traffic, such as a nearby parking lot. If you’re able, do all the normal post-collision stuff: call your insurance company, snap pictures of the accident, exchange information with the other driver, get statements from witnesses, post about your crappy day to Facebook. That kind of thing.

If you haven’t been in a collision but are merely stuck, you can call a tow truck, but you’ll feel mighty silly (and a little bit poorer) if the tow truck gets there and the driver hops in your car and simply drives it right back onto the road for you. So if you can do so safely, you should probably try to unstick yourself before admitting defeat. Here are some tips for doing just that.

  1. If you are anywhere where you might create a road hazard, put your emergency lights on. (Remember that winter conditions can make it harder for other drivers to spot you.)
  2. Clear any snow from in front of and behind your car with the snow shovel that of course is in your trunk. Break up ice with anything sharp you have available, being careful not to puncture the tires.
  3. While you’re out there: remove any snow, ice, or mud that might have gotten shoved into your exhaust pipe. Because carbon monoxide.
  4. If you’re by yourself, get back in the car, turn off electronic stability control if you’ve got it, and slowly, slowly (don’t jam on the gas) try to steer the car out of its current spot. If you can’t get immediately out, try going forward, then quickly reversing, then back and forth a few more times, also know as “rocking.” (Only try this a few times; too much and you can damage your transmission.) Sometimes this can get you just far enough out of the really slick spot.
  5. You can also use items to try to give your car traction: ice melt or kitty litter in front of/behind your tires, your car mats, even cardboard. I’ve successfully used cheap carpet mats that I happened to have on hand (I was stuck in front of my own driveway ... hey, it was really slick, and I lived on a hill!). Use what you’ve got as long as it won’t hurt your car, you, or anything else expensive.
  6. If you’ve got help, try having others push while you do all the above, if they can do it safely. IMPORTANT: Anyone pushing should be very careful not to exert themselves beyond what their bodies can handle. Every winter people die of heart attacks triggered by overexertion.
  7. Finally, once you get moving, don’t stop. Continue driving, slowly and safely—I know I keep using that word; that’s ‘cause “safely” is kind of a big deal—to your destination. Or back home. Back home is always a great option. I’m a big fan of back home. It usually has heat and warm beverages and wifi.
  8. Didn’t work, huh? Well, it happens. Time to call a tow truck. And post about the whole crappy day to Facebook.

That’s all for today. Next time we’ll talk about something a little more fun than the pain caused by eternal, endless, dark, dark winter. No, really. We will.

Anchorage Snow Plowing

November 9th, 2015

snowplowingWinter weather has fully arrived and with it the Anchorage municipality is offering an online map tracking the city’s efforts to keep the roads clear.

“We can’t control the weather, but our new map provides Anchorage residents with plow plans and real-time updates for roads the municipality maintains, as well as contact information for state-maintained arterials and streets,” Mayor Ethan Berkowitz said in a Monday statement announcing the new map.

City employees are responsible for approximately half of the paved roads in Anchorage—1,300 lane miles of road, 1,400 cul-de-sacs and 200 miles of sidewalks and trails.

Anchorage maintenance equipment included 30 graders, 9 sander truck and 2 de-icer vehicles.(2015)

Of note: Anchorage de-icer vehicles use magnesium chloride rather than salt (sodium chloride) due to environmental concerns. Saltwater runoff can contaminate soil and leach into rivers and lakes damaging salmon habitat. Electrolytes from saltwater increase the rate at which metals will rust.

Interactive map: Snow Plowing in Anchorage

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