55Plus CNY 84 Dec/Jan 20

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Why New Yorkers Continue to Flock to Florida


Issue 84 – December 2019– January 2020

For Active Adults in the Central New York Area

Dining Solo

Behind the United Way President Nancy Eaton steers agency through changing, challenging times

Six tips for solo diners. Plus: Want to find company for dinner?

Square Dance Members of Fulton Shirts ‘N’ Skirts still swing their partners ‘round and ‘round!

Travel Feel the France vibes of Quebec. 10 things you shouldn’t miss

free please share

Had a Stroke. Back on Stage.


Central New York music legend Todd Hobin knew nothing about stroke — but he does now. That’s why he’s raising awareness about stroke risk factors and its signs and symptoms.



A. S.



Fact: Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the U.S. Important to know: Stroke can happen to both men and women — at any age. Good news: Stroke is preventable by managing medical risk factors and healthy lifestyle choices. What to do: Time lost is brain lost. So it’s vital to know the signs of a stroke — F.A.S.T. Four words to live by: Call 911 and say, “Take me to Crouse.“ When it comes to stroke, every moment matters. As one of just 10 hospitals in New York State tohave earned Comprehensive Stroke Center status, and with the region’s newest ER and hybrid ORs, Crouse offers the most advanced technology for rapid stroke diagnosis and treatment

Read Todd’s story and learn more: crouse.org/toddhobin.






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Dec. 2019 / Jan. 2020


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Savvy Senior 6 12 DINING Gardening 8 • Table for one, please! Six tips for solo diners or new ways to meet other people Dining Out 10 for dinner Golden Years 18 14 HOLIDAYS My Turn 24 • ‘Experience’ is the name of the game Aging 28 when it comes to choosing smart holiday Life After 55 40 gifts for grandkids Consumers Corner 44 16 ECONOMY Druger’s Zoo 46 • The power of retirees: They bring a lot LAST PAGE

Fulton Mayor Ron Woodward, 70, will retire at the end of the year, after more than three decades of public service


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55 PLUS 22 26 TRAVEL • Locals’ favorite winter destinations

30 COVER • Presidebt Nan Eaton: Driving force behind United Way of Central New York

34 SAVINGS • Burned by home heating costs? There are ways you can save


of money to the table

•What’s next for Laura Hand



• Going gray? Are you for it or against it?

• Square dance, anyone?


• Feel the France vibe of Quebec — 10 things you should not miss if you visit this historic Canadian city

• Meet Bishop Lucia who is now heading the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse



December / January 2020 - 55 PLUS


savvy senior By Jim Miller


Who Needs to See a Geriatrician?

f your dad is dealing with a variety of health problems and is taking multiple medications, a visit to a geriatrician may be just the antidote to help get him back on track. Here’s a rundown of the different types of health conditions geriatricians treat and some tips to help you locate one in his area.

Geriatric Doctors For starters, it’s important to know that geriatricians are family practice or internal medicine physicians who have had additional specialized training to manage the unique and often multiple health concerns of older adults. Just as a pediatrician specializes in caring for children, a geriatrician is trained to provide care for seniors, usually over age 75. While most doctors, and even general practitioners, are trained to focus on a person’s particular illness or disease, geriatricians are trained to look at all aspects that can affect elderly patients — not just the physical symptoms. They also often work with a team of other health care professionals like geriatric-trained nurses, rehabilitation therapists, nutritionists, social workers and psychiatrists to provide care. And, they will coordinate treatments among a patient’s specialists. Patients who can benefit from seeing a geriatrician are elderly seniors with multiple health and age-related problems such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, confusion and memory problems, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, hypertension, depression, respiratory problems, osteoporosis, arthritis, chronic pain, mobility issues, incontinence, vision and hearing impairment and trouble with balance and falls. Geriatricians are also particularly 6

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adept at tackling medication problems. Because many seniors, like your dad, take multiple medications at the same time for various health conditions, and because aging bodies often absorb and metabolize drugs differently than younger adults, unique side effects and drug interactions are not uncommon. A geriatrician will evaluate and monitor your dad’s medications to be sure they are not affecting him in a harmful way. Geriatricians can also help their patients and families determine their long-term care needs, like how long they can remain in their own homes safely without assistance, and what type of services may be necessary when they do need some extra help. But not all seniors need to see a geriatrician. Seniors who have fewer health problems are just fine seeing their primary care physician.

Find a Geriatrician Unfortunately, there’s a shortage of geriatricians in the U.S., so depending on where you live, finding one may be challenging. To locate one in your area, use Medicare’s online physician search tool. Just go to Medicare.gov/physiciancompare and type in your ZIP code, or city and state in the “enter your location box”, and then type in geriatric medicine in the search box. Or, you can also get this information by calling Medicare at 800-633-4227. The American Geriatrics Society also has a geriatrician-finder tool on their website at HealthinAging.org. Keep in mind, though, that locating a geriatrician doesn’t guarantee your dad will be accepted as a patient. Many doctors already have a full patient roster and don’t accept any new patients. You’ll need to call the individual doctor’s office to find out.

55PLUS cny55.com Editor and Publisher Wagner Dotto

Associate Editor Lou Sorendo


Deborah J. Sergeant Mary Beth Roach Christopher Malone, Margaret McCormick, Tami Scott, Aaron Gifford


Bruce Frassinelli Marilyn Pinsky, Harold Miller Jim Sollecito, Marvin Druger Michele Reed, Sandra Scott Eva Briggs (M.D.) .


Amy Gagliano Cassandra Lawson

Office Manager Nancy Nitz


Dylon Clew-Thomas

Cover Photo

Chuck Wainwright 55 PLUS –A Magazine for Active Adults in Central New York is published six times a year by Local News, Inc., which also publishes In Good Health–CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper. Published at 185 E. Seneca St. PO Box 276 Oswego, NY 13126. Subscription: $21 a year; $35 for two years © 2019 by 55 PLUS – A Magazine for Active Adults in Upstate New York.

No material may be reproduced in whole or in part from this publication without the express written permission of the publisher.

How to Reach Us P.O. Box 276 Oswego, NY 13126 Phone: 315-342-1182 Fax: 315-342-7776 Email: editor@CNY55.com Editor@cnyhealth.com


Are you eligible to receive Medicare coverage, but unsure where to start? Visions invites you to start here. Our licensed Medicare experts help members enroll in the right plans and get the best coverage.

visionsfcu.org/medicare 800.242.2120 x10869 New York | New Jersey | Pennsylvania December / January 2020 - 55 PLUS


gardening By Jim Sollecito

Growing Up


s a boy, I climbed every tree in my neighborhood at least once. Even the “pricker t re e s ” ( a c t u a l l y B l a c k Locust), although they were just one and done. I got up close and personal with an assortment of trees growing on Onondaga Hill and learned how to distinguish them by the way their branches grew. The sugar maple would be one of my favorites. Its branching habit is called “opposite” because for every branch on the left there is one on the right, so it’s like the ladder of a ship’s mast. As I circumnavigated the trunk, I imagined I had a 360-degree view of the world. Climbing in autumn I marveled at the changing leaves. Mother nature has the best box of crayons, after all. I remember conquering a particularly large black cherry, eventually building a tree house with my best friend at the time, Matt Mastic. We used construction scraps we found. Materials were available to us in 1963 as new homes were being built on ground that revealed evidence of Onondaga Indian settlements. Inspired by that and the Tom Swift books we read, we shinnied up a knotted rope and entered our Dreaming Room. We watched as time and nature changed the leaves, and naturally, our lives. Why climb? According to my 82-year-old brother-in-law Ted Nickel, a very experienced climber who vividly recalls climbing as a lad, it was this: to escape, to hide or to get a better view of the world. Sometimes, all three. I attended Split Rock Elementary School in Camillus. A great name, foretelling our prison job if we didn’t succeed with our studies. Reflecting on those get-under-your-desk-forsafety air raid drills, my concerns weren’t about the end of the world, but more about the end of the week and where I’d be playing outdoors. It was a time when girls and boys were not yet old enough to think about dat-


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ing. We simply wanted to run around and play, scramble up anything that got us closer to the sky. Maybe swing from a tire hanging off a mighty oak until darkness chased us indoors. As we age, our revisionist history allows us to do some mental editing. We hold tight to those things that can still bring a smile. I believe it’s healthy to forgive some of the rough edges that forged us into the people we have become. To remember where we came from and let that form a foundation, not a boundary, for wherever we decide to go. The taller the tree grows, the higher we can go.

Ascending a tree can make you feel like you’re young and small again. Even now I make a point in autumn to climb a few times. As leaves drop, I am reminded of the lesson revealed, at how lovely it can be to let things go. I will take that thought and memories with me as I enter 2020. I’m still growing up. Jim Sollecito is the first lifetime senior certified landscape professional in NYS. He operates Sollecito Landscaping Nursery in Syracuse. Contact him at 468-1142 or jim@sollecito.com.

The author has enjoyed this sugar maple tree for decades outside of Baldwinsville.

To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors. Since 1974 the Loretto Foundation has helped support individuals served by the Loretto family of care. Through fundraising initiatives and a variety of giving opportunities, the Loretto Foundation provides additional funding to help enhance safe and secure facilities and deliver enriched programming for over 9,000 individuals in Central New York each year. Help us continue to support our community by giving a gift or volunteering.

Show you care by giving a gift today. • Give a gift in honor or in memory of a loved one • Give a gift to the Loretto Foundation’s Founders Endowment Fund • Give a restricted gift to any of the 19 affiliated Loretto sites and programs

• Give a gift of appreciation toward the 2,500 amazing caregivers of Loretto • Give a the gift of your time and volunteer

For more information, visit us at lorettocny.org/foundation.

December / January 2020 - 55 PLUS Loretto Foundation Ad_7.25x10_FullPage-March2019.indd 1


3/7/19 11:55 AM

DiningOut By Christopher Malone



The Bees burger ($11) at Anfry Garlic. It’s served with jalapeños, cheddar cheese, fried onions and honey garlic barbecue sauce.

Too Garlicy or Not Too Garlicy? Baldwinsville’s Angry Garlic answers the question


here’s nothing like a curmudgeonly garlic giving the stink eye to garner attention. If illustrated logos are worth a thousand words, well, Baldwinsville’s Angry Garlic, located at 29 Oswego St., probably says it all. Just stay off his lawn and away from his garden. Actually, Angry Garlic is a very welcoming place. Its bright interior shows off the restaurant’s casual vibe very well. After being open just over a year, the place still has that new venue feel and, judging by the floor, tables and bar, the place is very well


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maintained. The atmosphere is that of a typical restaurant, and there are televisions throughout. The loudest noises, when there aren’t live musicians crooning to patrons, are from people conversing themselves. The service was also notable. Aside from our server, we had a couple other staffers come by our table whether it was to assist in serving the food or to check on our meal. This place is more casual than anticipated. It’s also more affordable. This is a great spot to watch my Yankees not come back from a three-point deficit. Good thing they have a wor-

thy beer list. One of my former coworkers joined me on this eating excursion. In fact, he recommended Angry Garlic months ago. We were so wrapped up in conversation, it wasn’t until after all the food came out that it dawned on me — we probably ordered too much food. The bill came to just over $110 for two people before tip. Cheers to leftovers! Plus, we did have two pints each over the couple-hours-long meal of heavy, garlic-laden American fare. We opted for local brews — Talking Cursive (Syracuse) and Full Boar (North

Fish tacos: Despite the high price for two tacos (two for $12), the filled flour tortillas are of decent size. What made up for it was the flavor. Syracuse). I highly enjoyed the IPA from Full Boar, which I have yet to visit. Beer ranged from $6.50 to $8. The two of us kicked off the meal with an order of garlic parmesan wings (we opted for five for $7, but there is a 10-wing option for $12) and garlic meatballs ($10). The wings were, of course, garlic-heavy but not overbearing. They were some of the crispiest wings I’ve had in a long time. There’s a nice crunch when biting into them, and the chicken inside is wonderful and not compromised. The meatballs are served in fives as well. They’re large and in charge with an accompanying dish of marinara sauce. The garlic was noticeably more present in the meatballs, which were delightful. These presumably pan-seared meatballs do come out dry with the marinara serving as a dipping sauce. Despite enjoying the meatballs as-is, I’m not the biggest fan of the presentation. I would definitely love to try them after they’ve been basking in a hot vat of that sweet Italian gravy. We got a couple of hand-held mid-meal delights: The Bees burger ($11) and fish tacos (two for $12). Despite the high price for two tacos, the filled flour tortillas were of decent size. What made up for it was the flavor. The lightly breaded fish seemed to be the accompaniment of the onion, tomatoes, garlic chipotle cream and cilantro. Let’s not forget the conductor of the harmonious flavor — the pickled red cabbage. The Bees burger is a menu standard with heat. It’s served with jalapeños, cheddar cheese, fried onions

Vodka riggies ($16) with chicken ($3 extra). The sauce with garlic and basil is the standout ingredient to this dish.

and honey garlic barbecue sauce. The burger was cooked as requested and the meat itself had good flavor to it. However, it’s a specialty burger with flavorful pizzazz and not overpriced. In fact, all the burgers are reasonably priced. Both of those options are served with chips with substitute options. Passing the chips for the fries were $1.99 upgrades each. The super crispy seasoned fries were delightful. Speaking of sides — cue the mac and cheese ($4; entrée is $12). The portion of the side of mac and cheese is so large it boasts an aura of confidence. The absolutely shareable American fare staple with smoked garlic and blended cheeses with cavatappi pasta is heavenly. The last dish on the bill was the vodka riggies ($16) with chicken ($3 extra). The sauce with garlic and basil was the standout ingredient to this dish. I love how every restaurant does their vodka sauce differently. Unfortunately, the chicken was on the drier side. The Angry Garlic left me smiling. It’s something Baldwinsville needs. Sure, the cuisine isn’t as bold or experimental as The Chef & The Cook. However, when looking for a great meal out with family or friends intown or just visiting, Angry Garlic is a great place to go. It’s another reason to head to Baldwinsville and explore.

The portion of the side of mac and cheese ($4) is large and boasts an aura of confidence.

Angry Garlic Address 29 Oswego St., Baldwinsville, NY 13027 Phone 315-303-0453 Website/Social theangrygarlic.com www.facebook.com/garlicrocks www.instagram.com/theangrygarlic Hours Sun.: 11:30 a.m. - Midnight Mon: Closed Tues. – Thurs.: 11:30 a.m. – Midnight Fri. & Sat.: 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. December / January 2020 - 55 PLUS


Scott Severance of Manlius is used to eating alone, especially when he travels locally and outside of Central New York. “I’m not intimidated to dine alone,” he says. “What I’ll often do is look for a place that’s crowded — where I’m not alone, I’m one of many.”

Table For One By Margaret McCormick


hen he’s home in Manlius, Scott Severance has a network of friends he can call on short notice and make plans for dinner out. When he travels locally and outside of Central New York, it’s not uncommon for him to dine alone. He is a content solo diner. Severance, 70, hikes, bikes and skis and takes daytrips in the area once a week, usually. If he bikes to Cazenovia, for example, he might treat himself to lunch at the Pewter Spoon, a cafe in the village. A recent daytrip took him to the Cape Vincent area, where he discovered a small self-service bakery and cafe with todie-for homemade doughnuts and iced coffee. These are casual places, but he’ll take a table for one at more formal restaurants, too. Over the years, Severance has traveled to Hawaii, Africa, Japan, Martinique, Peru and France on many occasions. Even when visiting friends, he’s on his own, sometimes. He has a taste for adventure and that includes food. He always looks forward to trying “the local specialty I don’t know how to cook yet.’’ “I’m single. I live alone and work


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alone. I’m used to being alone,’’ says Severance, a licensed real estate broker. “I’m not intimidated to dine alone. What I’ll often do is look for a place that’s crowded — where I’m not alone, I’m one of many. If I have my phone, I’m not alone and I don’t mind sitting and waiting.’’

11 million people living alone Table for one, please: The thought of uttering that request might sound lonely, even depressing to some. But not everyone has someone to break bread with. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 11 million people, or 28% of Americans aged 65 and older, lived alone at the time of the census. As people get older, their likelihood of living alone increases — and so does their likelihood of eating alone, both at home and at restaurants. The loss of a spouse, significant other or best friend is often the loss of a key dining companion. The trend of people cooking for one or requesting a table for one is bound to continue as the baby boom generation ages. There may have been a time when

there was a stigma to dining alone in a restaurant or café full of families, couples and groups of friends. Marilyn Pinsky, founder of Community Dining Syracuse, a group that brings people, including many single baby boomers and seniors, together for meals at local restaurants (see sidebar), says restaurants have become more welcoming to people supping solo and diners of all ages have become less apprehensive about it. “Back in the day eating alone just didn’t feel comfortable,’’ Pinsky says. “Now you see people eating by themselves at a bar or a table for one and you just assume they are loaded with self-confidence. The message is times have changed.’’ Angie Knox, general manager of Phoebe’s Restaurant and Coffee Lounge in Syracuse, says the restaurant sees solo diners of all ages — Gen Xers, millennials, post-millennials and baby boomers, who have been coming to the restaurant for years. The restaurant, across the street from Syracuse Stage, draws diners from Syracuse University, the theater and nearby hospitals and hotels. “Table for one’’ is a common request.

“Some people are comfortable at the bar and some people might feel more comfortable at one of our smaller café tables off the bar, where there are window seats and you can watch the world go by,’’ Knox says. “Our staff is friendly and accommodating and we want to make our guests feel as comfortable as possible.’’

6 Tips for Solo Diners


Do some restaurant research. Put the internet to work and find a place that serves food you like and looks to be comfortable.


New to dining out alone? Start at a place where you place your order at the counter. Or begin with breakfast at a diner — sit at the counter and watch what’s happening in the kitchen. Try lunch at a restaurant that caters to working people, often dining alone.


If you feel self-conscious eating alone, go at a time where there is likely to be less restaurant traffic — say before or after the busy lunch and dinner hours.


Get to know the host or hostess at your restaurants of choice. Let them know you eat alone often and your preferences for seating, suggests Marilyn Pinsky, founder of Community Dining Syracuse. “Making friends with the bartender, at a time when the place is not jumping, is a good protective measure if you’re a woman planning to eat at the bar, as they will try and keep an eye out for you,’’ Pinsky adds.


Bring a dining “companion:” That could be a book, a magazine, a Kindle, your knitting project, your day planner or journal or your phone. Play Words with Friends or other games if you like.


People watch: Are you the only one dining alone? Is there a couple on their first date? A couple celebrating an anniversary? A couple bickering? Savor the scene and have some fun.

Don’t Want To Dine Alone? Several local groups on Meetup.com cater to solo diners (of all ages) Community Dining Syracuse This group, founded by Marilyn Pinsky, has more than 2,000 members on Meetup and meets once a month or so at area restaurants. For its most recent meet-up, the group enjoyed brunch at the Brewster Inn, Cazenovia. Visit www.meetup.com/ CommunityDiningSyracuse/

Ethnic Eats Syracuse This group was launched as a way to help support the many “exciting and interesting’’ restaurants opened by immigrant entrepreneurs in Central New York. Members of the group recently visited Tres Primos, a Mexican restaurant near Elbridge. Visit: www.meetup.com/ Syracuse-Ethnic-Eats/

Eat Local CNY This group, organized by Anthony Tringale, is for people interested in visiting both new and longstanding restaurants in the area. The group’s most recent event was at Mohegan Manor, in Baldwinsville. Visit: www.meetup.com/EatLocal-CNY/

Syracuse Vegans A group for vegans in Central New York who want to meet, eat and socialize with other vegans. The group recently met at Vietnamese Noodle House, Camillus. Visit: www.meetup.com/ syracusevegans/

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Billy Beez at Destiny USA will keep little ones through elementary age busy with its 25,000-sq.-ft. indoor play park climbing, hopping and exploring obstacles. Photo of Deborah Jeanne Sergeant.

Holiday Gifts for the Grandkids ‘Experience’ is the name of the game when it comes to choosing smart holiday gifts for grandkids By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


f your grandchildren have plenty of toys and games, consider giving experiences this year. What children enjoy most is the gift of time with the adults who love them. Pair up a gift card with the promise you’ll take them there this year and you can create memories neither of you will forget.

Here are some suggestions for holiday gifts this year: • Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse. Tickets start at $5 for kids (free for those 2 and younger). Buy them for all your 14

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pre-teen and younger grandchildren for a fun outing. Some teens may also enjoy the zoo; others may not. www.rosamondgiffordzoo.org • Museum Of Science and Technology (MOST) in Armory Square, Syracuse. It offers programming for all ages. While younger kids will go for story time and the hands-on activities, older children and teens will likely enjoy the planetarium and IMAX shows. Tickets start at $10. See the website for the list of discounts. www.most.org

• Billy Beez at Destiny USA will keep little ones through elementary age busy with its 25,000-sq.-ft. indoor play park climbing, hopping and exploring obstacles. Tickets for children aged 1 to 17 are $15.95. As a bonus, its location within Destiny USA can allow “tag team” caregivers to take turns exploring the mall while the children play. https://billybeezus.com/ location/destiny-usa • Also at Destiny USA, Wonder Works provides 100 hands-on activities across 40,000 square feet. Tickets start

at $7 and are needed per activity, including the Canyon Climb, Wonder Works Adventure, Laser Tag and Sky Types rope course. Wonder Works is perfect for families with children of broad ages. www.wonderworksonline. com/destiny • Family membership with Beaver Lake Nature Center in Baldwinsville is $40 and allows families access to the center’s many, many educational programs and activities. www.beaverlakenaturecenter.org


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• Waiting to use tickets to Thunder Island i n F u l t o n c a n b u i l d t h e anticipation all winter and spring. The park offers a variety of packages, from one-day tickets to the water park ($5.95 for ages 4 and younger; $21.99 for 5 and older) to full season passes ($69) to all-inclusive packages that include mini golf, zipline rides and go-kart rides. www.thunder-island.com • Also consider giving a gym membership, camp or lessons. If your grandchildren want to get fit, excel in their favorite sport, learn a new skill or improve in playing their instrument, discuss with their parents what you can do to support their interests.

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Ask for a Senior Discount Many of these tickets may be ordered online for easy shopping. Most places offer free admission for those 2 and younger. Some facilities like theme parks offer a “non-rider” entry at a lower cost if you came along only to watch. Of course, ask about a senior discount, since many venues offer this. Especially if your grandchildren are small, give a small gift along with their gift card so they have something tangible that represents their “real” gift, such as a plush puppet to go with a zoo gift certificate or a sporty water bottle to go with their gym membership certificate. Always ask their parents in advance about experience gifts to ensure that your gift is appropriate.

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December / January 2020 - 55 PLUS



The Power of Retirees By Aaron Gifford

More than wisdom, retirees bring major economic impact


n Central New York, retirees are often seen walking in the mall on winter mornings, congregating in McDonald’s for coffee, going to medical appointments and, yes, lining up for early dinners at Applebee’s. But all of those clichés aside, these folks are major contributors to the economy. They are also buying sports cars, building new homes, running small businesses that employ folks of all ages, playing rounds of golf at the area’s top courses, spending millions of dollars in discretionary income, and contributing to local and state tax coffers in massive fashion. A recent report from the New York State Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) tells only part of the story. In 2017, the latest year for which statistics are available, public retirees (those who worked for the state of New York, public schools or municipalities, or their surviving beneficiaries) generated $12 billion in economic 16

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activity across the state. That does not even account for those who were federal employees or worked in the private sector. It should also be noted that not all retirees are senior citizens, and it is not unusual for police officers or firefighters to retire in their 40s or 50s. In addition, many public retirees go back to work part time or full time in the private sector after they complete their service with New York state. And of the 470,596 retirees and beneficiaries in the state retirement system (only 1.9% of the state’s general population), the report said, 79% are living out their remaining years in New York state. The state fund pays out $9.8 billion in pension payments. The report also noted: • In 2017, state public retirees and beneficiaries paid $1.9 billion in local property taxes, and $650 million in local and state (sales and income) taxes.

• About 73,000 workers in New York state in various industries, including health care, food service and entertainment, mainly cater to retirees. In Central New York, 40,345 state retirees make up about 3.5% of the population in the eight-county area. The pension fund pays these folks more than $884 million annually, according to the report. From that total, the retirees or their beneficiaries in turn pay about $130 million in property taxes, or 5.9% of the total amount collected for the region. They also contribute about $60 million in state and local property taxes. And the goods and services they consume has resulted in the creation of 7,500 jobs in Central New York. The report also noted that, of the 51,052 public state employees working in this region, more than 18,000 of them will probably retire within a decade. A U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey outlines how folks 55 and over spend their money compared to the average American household. According to that list, the average senior household spends $13,432 on food annually, compared to the

national average of $14,403. But seniors spend more on small appliances ($88 compared to $81), more on health care ($2,416 compared to $1,758), and more on drugs ($467 compared to $266). Senior households spent almost as much on new vehicles ($2,052, or $3 less than the average U.S. household), and on entertainment ($2,060 compared to $2,142). Robert O’Connor, president of the AARP’s Onondaga County chapter and a legislative coordinator for the New York State AARP chapter, was not surprised by this data. He added that the area stands to lose millions of dollars if area seniors, whether or not they are retired, decide to move out of the state. “Seniors travel a lot, and many have winter homes down south, but they come back,” said O’Connor, a retired teacher and former Office for the Aging employee. He is among the public retirees who receive state pension benefit, but cautions that much has changed in recent years for private sector employees who lost their retirement benefits or savings during or after the Great Recession, which hit Upstate New York particularly hard. “A lot of us cannot travel, many cannot move, and many are still working,” he said. “Yes, that contributes to the economy, but that doesn’t mean the entire demographic is in a great situation.” As an Office for the Aging employee, O’Connor used to counsel retirees on Medicare plans. Now he is lobbying against high property taxes, high utility costs and skyrocketing health insurance and prescription costs that keep less money in seniors pockets — money that would otherwise help the local economy even more. During a petition drive recently (for lower prescription costs) at the Great New York State Fair, a local woman informed O’Connor that, with the rising prescription costs, it now costs her $1,200 a month for insulin. She has decided to start buying her drugs in Canada from now on. “That’s money going somewhere else,” he said.

70,000 AARP members in CNY There are about 70,000 AARP members in the Central New York region. But that represents a huge age

group (50 and over), and a variety of income levels, O’Connor, 83, explained. “Some of them live well and have big homes “but the trend is still to downsize, and some of those homes or condos can be pretty expensive,” O’Connor said. He added that many of the financially stable and somewhat affluent retirees can afford to move, but they stay here because of family, or because they enjoy the change of seasons. In addition, an increasing number of younger people are working multiple jobs and need their parents’ help caring for children. It is also not unusual for younger family members to live at home longer because they still don’t have the income for their own place, and they’re in less of a hurry to get married or start a family than the previous generations were, O’Connor explained. The oldest of the senior citizens, probably spend far less money if they are focused on estate planning and covering medical costs, O’Connor said. “Yes, those in their 50s, 60s and 70s have some money to spend and may spend a lot,” he said, “but when you turn 80, maybe you are more conscious of that.”

Major force According to the AARP’s “ L o n g e v i t y E c o n o m y ” re p o r t , Americans over 50 only make up 35% of the U.S. population but contribute 43% of total U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). By state, 35% of New Yorkers are over 50, but that demographic drives 50% of the state’s GDP of $704.4 billion. The GDP measures the value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period, which is also a measurement of the size of an economy. AARP’s report also said that in New York state, 67% of people between 50 and 64 are employed, compared to 78% of those between the ages of 25 and 49. Folks over 50 represent about 34% of the state’s work force. Among employed people, the report said, 13% between those 50 to 64 are self-employed entrepreneurs, compared with 9% of those 25 to 49. Additionally, 47% of those 50 to 64 work in professional occupations, compared to 49% of those between 25 and 49.

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golden years

Email: hmiller@mcsmms.com

By Harold Miller

New Yorkers Continue to Flock to Florida In the process, they’ve helped Florida become the third largest state, ahead of New York


oday, six out of 10 retirees pack up and leave our Empire State when they retire, and most are moving to Florida. The most famous New Yorker, President Donald Trump, is the latest to announce he’s changing residency. In September he filed a “declaration of domicile” saying that his property in Palm Beach in Florida will be his permanent residence. Just before this announcement, the legendary New York City businessman Carl Icahn made news when he said he is moving out of New York City to Florida. About 15 hedge and private equity funds have already moved to Palm Beach. Icahn has already put the stamp of approval on moving out of New York City where the cost of operating a business has skyrocketed in the past few years. Now a bunch more will follow. The exodus started in earnest with the changes to the U.S. tax code in 2017 – specifically a $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions and an existing estate tax (Florida has no state tax nor an estate tax). Additional savings for the average retiree in Florida includes lower property taxes, lower electric and fuel bills and generally a much lower cost of living Needless to say, the seemingly endless sunshine and warmer climate have an attraction all their own. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that while Florida received more movers than any other state last year (net domestic migration of 132,602), New York’s outflow to the Sunshine State were the highest (63,772 people). New York had one of the largest outflows of any state with a total of 452,580 people moving out within the past year.


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‘New York had one of the largest outflows of any state with a total of 452,580 people moving out within the past year.’

Consequently, the mass-migration from New York state and other high tax states in the Northeast such as New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut, have triggered a second building boom in Florida —the first building boom occurred when Disneyland opened in 1971. Palm Beach County, where I now reside part of the year, has seen one of the highest increases in population over the past couple of years. Everywhere you look you’ll see building cranes piercing the sky. Three 20-story condominium towers overwhelm the quaint little mission church next to it that we sometimes go to. One of our favorite restaurants on the Intercostal has been torn down and will be replaced with a huge development, including restaurants, shops and high-rise apartments all on the waterway. The quiet little town of Juno Beach on the ocean, where we live, had dirt roads leading to it when we settled

there 40 years ago. Today the traffic is intense. The main artery from the Northeast is Interstate 95, which runs from Maine to Miami. The Federal Highway Department is scrambling to widen it and soon it will have five lanes in both directions from Miami to Maine At the turn of the 20th century, Florida was little more than an endless sandy beach that stretched from the Gulf of Mexico to the mainland of North America. Henry Flagler, founder of Standard Oil Company, developed the Florida East Coast Railway and consequently built hotels, churches and schools from St. Augustine to Palm Beach to Miami. Only the wealthy could afford to build the winter get-aways that followed, until Walt Disney opened Disney World in 1971, which opened the housing market for the middle class. Now everybody can afford a home in Florida but in some cases, they can’t afford not to.

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Jenn Chapman of Manlius decided to stop highlighting her hair in her mid-30s when she first started showing signs of gray hair.

Sharon Grady started to color her hair at age 35. Eventually, she decided against it. “My hair is healthier and it’s kind of a free feeling.”

Going Gray Are you for it or against it? By Tami Scott


f you’re the type of person who follows trends, then you know gray hair is en vogue now more than ever. Celebrities like Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lawrence and Pink have all tried the silver hue, and then there’s Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton and Jamie Lee Curtis keepin’ it real — and looking good, too! Going gray, however, is not as easy as it might seem — be it by bottle or naturally grown. And it may or may not be for you, no matter the current craze. “Most of my clients panic when they start to see their gray hair coming in!” said Tracy Reagan-Isbell, a hairstylist at The Unique Hair Machine in Baldwinsville. “Most in the age range between 50 and 65 are still not


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ready to go all gray.” But there are exceptions, and Jenn Chapman, of Manlius, is one of them. She decided to stop highlighting her hair in her mid-30s when she first started showing signs of gray hair. She never liked the idea of trying to cover it only to have it grow and show again in three weeks time. So instead of resisting the natural progression of age, she embraced it. And as a mom of three, Chapman says it wasn’t worth the money, either. “It just seemed to be an expense that was not necessary,” she said, adding she’s been mostly gray for eight years now. Unlike Chapman, Sharon Grady had just begun to color her hair at age 35. Her trips to the salon were

consistent — every four weeks. Though she was a natural brunette, she’d dye her hair blonder and blonder to hide the gray longer. And each trip was another $100 out of her pocket. The now 76-year-old Westvale resident decided to go natural just last year. “At first, I scared myself when I looked in the mirror, asking, ‘Who is this white-headed person?’” said Grady, whose hair she describes as more of a silvery white than gray. “I am very happy with my decision. My hair is healthier and it’s kind of a free feeling.” Grady’s friend, Donna Ruth, 75, colored her hair into her 50s, but personal circumstances made it difficult to keep up with the appointments, or even primping at home. So Ruth, who lives in Liverpool, really didn’t have an option. She keeps her salt-and-pepper hair short and says many people, friends and strangers alike, compliment her natural style. “This is a personal choice for women; some look great with covering the gray — some do not,” Ruth said. “We all have different features and hair, so sometimes it’s not in your best interest to color. By going natural, a professional will be able to give you the best advice for caring for natural gray or white hair.” Going all gray is a gradual process, and hairstylists can help clients achieve the look they want, and advise how best to take care of their hair. Marian Kramer, owner of Hair & Body Center in Liverpool, says going gray can be beautiful, but can take a long time to get there, especially if growing out color-treated hair. Her advice is to try wearing a shorter hairstyle if you don’t already. Reagan-Isbell said sometimes, depending on their type of hair, clients can also begin with some foils of platinum to blend in with the gray. This is an option, too, for women who may not be ready to accept the full-on gray look just yet. For many, they’re still willing to pay the price for a more youthful appearance. “I think going natural as you age is a state of mind,” she said. As for the trend ... “I had a young gentleman tell me that friends his age are paying to have their hair dyed the color of mine,” Grady said. Words of wisdom? Patience. That’s all it takes for a fad that keeps on growing.

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December / January 2020 - 55 PLUS



Meet the New

Bishop By Mary Beth Roach

Father Douglas J. Lucia was ordained and installed Aug. 8 as the 11th bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, succeeding Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, who had served for 10 years


ather Douglas J. Lucia had finished saying Mass this past Memorial Day weekend, when he saw on his cell phone that he had missed two calls from Washington, D.C. A bit puzzled, but knowing that his bishop in the Ogdensburg diocese, Bishop Terry LaValley, had received a call from Washington the previous day, Lucia texted LaValley to ask him if he knew what this might be all about. LaValley texted back, his message in bold: “Make the call.” Needless to say, he did, and it would change his life. The call was from Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Vatican’s representative in the United States, also known as a Papal Nuncio, telling Lucia that Pope Francis had selected him as bishop. L u c i a re c a l l e d t h a t h e w a s momentarily speechless and was asked by the Nuncio whether he accepted the appointment or not. Of course he accepted, and on Aug. 8 in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Syracuse, Lucia was ordained and installed as the 11th bishop of the Diocese of


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Syracuse, succeeding Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, who had served for 10 years. Lucia had served as a parochial vicar and administrator in several parishes in the Ogdensburg diocese and Canada and was a part-time chaplain at Gouverneur Correctional Facility. Over the years, he has held other positions in that diocese, including secretary to the bishop, diocesan director of vocations, episcopal vicar for diocesan services, and diocesan director of seminarians. When asked if he knew why he was selected by Pope Francis as bishop of the Syracuse Diocese, he said he didn’t, but added, with a laugh, that “when I see him in a couple of weeks, I’m going to ask him.” And indeed, he was slated to see the pope in September. All new bishops throughout the world gathered at the Vatican to attend a 10-day school, and on the final day, they have the opportunity to meet the pontiff. Lucia explained the selection process. The bishops of New York state compile a list of three or four names of possible candidates in the event of a vacancy. When there is an opening,

they send the list, called a terna, to the Congregation of Bishops. Ultimately, the terna is sent to the pope, who makes the decision.

Viewing his role As bishop, Lucia directs the sevencounty diocese, which includes Central New York, the Mohawk Valley and the Southern Tier, and features more than 225,000 Catholics and 114 parishes. But he sees his role as much more than that of a CEO-type. “I’m supposed to oversee the diocese,” he said, “but more than that, I’m called to be a pastor. And of course, a pastor celebrates the sacraments, he preaches the Word, he shares forgiveness in the sacraments. Those are things as a pastor I’m called to do.” With this, Lucia has taken “In the name of Jesus” as the motto of his ministry. “Whatever I do, it’s about continuing the mission of Jesus himself. Jesus’ mission was to reach out to people where they were at, and he wanted to help heal, wanted them to know forgiveness, wanted them to know they were cared for, so for me, those words are a constant reminder of

what I’m supposed to really be about,” he said. Every bishop in his own diocese, he said, is like a pope, or pontiff, another term for pope. The term, “pope” comes from papa or father, and a translation of “pontiff” is bridge builder, he noted. “He’s meant to be that bridge builder,” Lucia said. To build those bridges, Lucia plans to get to know the diocese and the people, who, he said, are the diocese’s biggest asset. “The people have been wonderful to me. They’re just wonderful. I know I’m blessed,” he said. But Lucia knows the challenges facing the church, for example, the decrease in vocations, the staffing of parishes, and the sex abuse scandal. In a letter to the diocesan parishes dated Aug. 10 — just two days after his ordination — he addressed the scandal and the Child Victims Act, which allows for a one-year time frame for victims of child abuse in New York state to pursue litigation. He said the diocese has made strides in “trying to acknowledge its failures and seeking to insure that our children area safe.” He also wrote that, in the name of the diocese, he apologized to the victims for “the heinous acts perpetrated against them” and offered to meet with them if he could be of help. In addition, the Syracuse diocese, like so many others, faces fewer people entering the priesthood and consecrated life. This, along with a decline in population, impacts the staffing of parishes. Many parishes in the area have merged or linked with others nearby, and this sometimes can create hard feelings among those who have been long-time parishioners at a particular church. “For me, the challenge is how do we help people to still feel at home, even if we have to do some reconfiguration,” he said. The first way that Lucia contends with these situations is through daily prayer. “My day begins with prayer because I know I can’t do anything without that. That’s the fuel for whatever I do in a day,” he said. After that, he said the way he has been trying to deal with the challenges, whether it’s vocations or the sex abuse scandal, is “to live the life of a priest.” “In vocations, this is truly a calling from God. It is a good life in that sense.

Douglas J. Lucia reigns as new bishop for Syracuse Diocese, which covers Central New York, the Mohawk Valley and the Southern Tier, and features more than 225,000 Catholics and 114 parishes The priesthood is a wonderful life. But on the other hand, the sexual abuse crisis has shown us the weaker side, the darker side of human nature,” he noted. He likened the commitment of the priesthood to that of married life, and believes priests should wear a ring like a wedding band. “When we’re ordained, we are marrying ourselves to the church. That’s our commitment. Just like in married life, just like the way a husband and wife treat one another matters, so the way I live my life as a priest matters. And it’s when you ‘cheat,’ that’s where the trouble comes in. That’s the way I look at it,” he said.

Lighter side of Lucia As serious as Lucia is in fulfilling his duties and meeting his obligations, he has a sense of humor that was evidenced, for example, at his ordination ceremony. During his remarks to the congregation, he swapped out the traditional violet-colored zucchetto, a skullcap often worn by bishops, and for a short time, sported an orange one given to him in honor of his move to Syracuse, the home of the Syracuse University Orangemen. But he assured those gathered that a green one, to recognize Le Moyne College, was on the way. Later that month, he was part of opening-day ceremonies at Le Moyne, welcoming the college’s Class of 2023. He refereed a two-on-two celebrity basketball game with college president

Linda LeMura and men’s basketball coach Nate Champion facing off against Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon. When asked how anyone could argue a call made by a bishop, Lucia simply responded with a hearty laugh. Lucia marks his 30th year in the priesthood this year, having been ordained in 1989, but he admitted that as a boy, he also had aspirations of entering other professions as well. “When I was kid, I thought about being a priest. I also thought of being a policeman. As I got older, I really thought about wanting maybe to be a lawyer,” he said. Lucia and his twin brother, David, were born in Plattsburgh on March 17, 1963, to Leward and Betty, and grew up in Altona, about 25 miles west of Plattsburgh, along with a sister and younger brother. His parents, both 91, still reside there. He received his bachelor ’s degree from Wadhams Hall Seminary College in Ogdensburg and a Masters in Divinity from Christ the King Seminary In East Aurora, near Buffalo. While he was in theology school, his brother, David, had gotten married, and Lucia thought that perhaps he, too, wanted to have a wife and family. He recalled that at the time he was trying to figure things out, he had been working in a soup kitchen in a parish in Buffalo. He said he had pretty much decided he was leaving, but then he had what he called a “moment of change.” “Working in the soup kitchen, there was one moment where I knew what the Lord wanted, and as I tell people, ‘here I am today,’” he remarked. He had been doing the dishes at the kitchen, when the nun in charge of the kitchen told him to go out and wait on tables. He said he really didn’t want to and tried to convince her that there were still a lot of dishes to do. She wouldn’t be swayed. “I went to wait on tables. The lunch was a bowl of soup and sandwich. I remember getting to one gentleman. I was just putting the bowl of soup and sandwich in front of him, and I just simply heard the words, ‘The body of Christ. Amen.’ That moment I knew what was being said and it was a moment of deep peace, a peace that I still have to this day. I just knew this is what God wants.” December / January 2020 - 55 PLUS


my turn By Bruce Frassinelli Email: bruce@cny55.com


Explicit Rock and Rap Lyrics: Now and Then

ome of my not-so-young contemporaries will from time to time lament the fact that our beloved songs of the rock era of the ‘50s and ‘60s were oh-so-tame compared to today’s explicit rock and rap lyrics. Remember the fun songs — “Pink Shoe Laces,” “At the Hop,” “Happy Birthday, Baby,” “Sea Cruise” “Little Darlin’” and “Lonely Boy”? I am here to tell you that some of our songs were not as innocent as revisionists would have you believe. In some of these songs, you had to dig beneath the surface to understand the subtleties of what the lyrics were really saying and their hidden meaning. For example, in some hit recordings, male singers reflect on a girl’s “many charms.” Those who have studied the origin of rock songs from the ‘50s contend that this is a reference to her breasts, butt and other prominent body parts. The Everly Brothers’ No. 1 hit


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“All I have to Do Is Dream” features this line: “When I want you/In my arms/When I want you/And all your charms…” Many believe that the 1967 Beatles’ recording of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was a clever reference to the hallucinogenic drug LSD. The late John Lennon laughed out loud when he heard this theory, insisting that the idea for the song came from a drawing that his son, Julian, did of a classmate whose name was Lucy. The 1967 Rolling Stones recording of “Let’s Spend the Night Together” triggered almost immediate condemnations by church and other community leaders. The BBC outright banned the recording. As the Stones were about to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show, Sullivan suggested that they change the lyrics to “Let’s spend some time together.” Lead singer Mick Jagger agreed, but when it came time to perform the song live on the show, he mumbled the lyrics, letting viewers

to fill in the blanks. Because of Jagger’s shenanigan, Sullivan never invited the Stones to appear on his show again. The nearly incomprehensible 1963 mega hit “Louie, Louie” by the Kingsmen was banned by a number of radio stations because of its rumored explicit lyrics, but few could understand the words. In fact, there are some bogus versions of the lyrics that are truly obscene, even featuring the f-word. The real lyrics, however, despite being difficult to make out by most ears, are suggestive rather than lewd: “Louie, Louie/ Oh no/You take me where ya gotta go/Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah baby/Louie, Louie/Oh baby, take me where you gotta go.” Some parents complained to then Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, whose office began a 31-month investigation and concluded that most people could not make out the lyrics of “Louie, Louie” to determine whether they were obscene, so no action was ever taken.

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The Kingsmen’s lead singer, Jack Ely, was performing in pidgin English, screaming at the top of his lungs and wearing new braces, so his enunciation was greatly garbled, and the anti-lyrics rumors took off from there. To give you an idea of how far we have come, the Everly Brothers’ 1957 No. 1 hit, “Wake Up, Little Susie,” was banned by Boston radio stations for its suggestive lyrics. Don and Phil tell the tale of a young couple who fell asleep at a drive-in movie and didn’t wake up until 4 in the morning. “ Whatta we gonna tell your mama/ Whatta we gonna tell your pa/Whatta we gonna tell our friends/When they say `ooh-la-la’?/Wake up little Susie…” Record producer Archie Bleyer, who started Cadence Records and hired the Everly Brothers, didn’t like the song because he said it sounded like Susie and her boyfriend slept together (had sex) at the drive-in movie. Despite the pushback from Bleyer, the brothers recorded the

song, which zoomed to the top of both the country and pop charts. When he was 26, Johnny Burnette recorded a top-selling tune in 1960, “You’re Sixteen.” The lyrics raised eyebrows when he sang, “You’re all ribbons and curls/Ooh, what a girl/Eyes that sparkle and shine/You’re sixteen, you’re beautiful and you’re mine.” One of the most suggestive songs of the era was 1968’s ”Young Girl” by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. “Young girl, get out of my mind/My love for you is way out of line/Better run girl!/You’re much too young, girl.” When I first heard the song, I turned up the volume on the car radio to make sure my ears were not playing tricks on me. “With all the charms of a woman/You’ve kept the secret of your youth/You led me to believe you’re old enough to give me love/And now it hurts to know the truth.” Puckett followed up this hit later in the year with the equally suggestive “Lady Willpower,” whose lyrics were: “Lady Willpower, it’s now or never/Give your love to me, and

I’ll shower your heart with tenderness endlessly.” The lyrics to “Hideaway,” the 1958 recording by the Four Esquires, was banned by some radio stations because of these lyrics, “Wish I knew a hideaway/I could take you to/I would pass the night away/Making love to you.” The Shirelles’ “Tonight’s the Night” in 1960 pulls no punches with these lyrics: “…You say you’re gonna love me/Tonight’s the Night.” You probably don’t know it, but even the phrase “rock ‘n’ roll” was originally black slang for “sex.” Disc jockey Alan Freed, who led the rock ‘n’ roll generation in 1954 as the nation’s preeminent disc jockey, and who is credited with coining the term “rock n’ roll,” revealed this tidbit when he disclosed that the term came from 1922 blues singer Trixie Smith who recorded “My Man Rocks Me (with One Steady Roll).” The next time someone says to you, “OK. Let’s rock ‘n’ roll,” you might wonder: What does the person really mean? December / January 2020 - 55 PLUS


55+ travel

St. Martin in the Caribbean: One of Central New Yorkers’ favorite destinations in the winter.

Winter Getaways Local travel agents say Arizona, Florida and Caribbean cruises are popular options for Central New Yorkers who want to get away from the cold By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


ave you booked your winter vacation yet? Area travel agents are already booking trips for their clients’ getaways. According to two travel agents we interviewed, here’s what’s hot for locals who have the means and who want to get away from the cold. • “I think a lot of people want cruises to the Caribbean and more in the southern Caribbean like St. Martin, Barbados, St. Lucia and Aruba. • “Cruising is a nice, easy type of trip for people. Once they’re on the ship they can get involved with all the activities on board or just sit on a chair and simply enjoy the sunshine. The meals are included. It’s easy for people who don’t want to look around for where to eat. They don’t have to pack and unpack, yet they see different islands. They also don’t have to go


55 PLUS - December / January 2020

onshore if they don’t want to. They can stay on the ship if they wish to. • “There’s always Florida and Arizona. Some older adults have condos in Florida for the winter and just need an airline ticket. • “It’s generally warm-weather places that people want to go this time of year. You tend to have more European travel in the summer months. • “We do a little of Costa Rica and Belize. Marcia LaClair, bookkeeper and manager at Travel Leaders, Liverpool • “We book a lot of group travel for seniors to places in Florida, like Orlando or the West Coast. They go because of the lack of snow. It’s warmer and it can tend to be a little less expensive than the Northeast. There are more non-stop flights to places like Orlando and Tampa area.

They don’t have to go through the hassle of changing planes. It’s great to get a break from the winter weather. Quite often, they have friends they know down there and they arrange to get together for some or all of the time they’re down there. • “Myrtle Beach is also popular. It’s not as expensive. • “ We d o n ’ t s e e t o o m u c h international travel. There is a subset of the market that continues to travel overseas, but more are taking a pass on that. • “River cruises are very popular. Quite often, it’s the trip, not necessarily the destinations. They tend to be with a smaller number, 200 passengers. It’s a more personalized experience than large cruises and it includes all the meals and some of the sightseeing. That’s popular. The Rhine River is one a lot of people start with. Russia is less popular now. More people are looking for river cruises in the U.S., like the Columbia/Snake rivers, the Mississippi, or from New York City to almost as far as Albany on the Hudson. More and more people are looking for those kinds of things. • “Most avoid the Northeast during the winter because of the weather. They don’t want to get on a trip and have trouble getting home or have to cancel the trip at the last minute. Richard Oneil owner and travel agent, Travel Choice International, Syracuse

Attorney Anne Ruffer stands in her office at Mackenzie Hughes LLP law firm. Erik Osborne sits in the library of his home.

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December / January 2020 - 55 PLUS


aging By Marilyn L. Pinsky

Mastering Critical Thinking When Planning For a Quality Old Age Author’s Note: This is the second interview with Joy Loverde, author of “Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old? Plan Now to Safeguard Your Health and Happiness in Old Age.”


hink ahead,” says Joy Loverde. “Looking at older people as if they just came out of a space craft and then telling yourself you’ll never be like them will not serve you. Today’s elders are living answers to planning for a quality old age and the possibility of aging solo. And by the way, ‘just shoot me’ is not a plan.” Getting emotions out of the way is the first step in the planning process. Loverde suggests we do this by taking a look at some of the fundamental decisions we made in the past that are impacting our lives today. “We can pinpoint cause and effect and decide if we want to keep making those same decisions. For instance, our relationships with others, how we manage our finances, exercising or not, and what we choose to eat. If our choices continue to work for us, good. If not, now’s the time to rethink how we proceed into the future,” says Loverde. “Critical thinking has everything to do with the necessity to plan ahead and accept that sooner or later we are going to have to make decisions that seriously affect the quality of our life in the future. Because circumstances can change so quickly, making decisions can be extremely difficult as they may be based only on partial information.” A few of the situations that we may be dealing with going forward into aging are: • Should I retire or should I work? • Should I go through with this medical procedure? • Is this a good investment of my time and money?


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• Should I move out of my house or stay put? • Who will take care of me when I need help? • Who can I designate as my power of attorney? • What do I want for my end of life wishes? “The time is now, rather than in a crisis mode, to employ critical thinking to address these and other important questions. The good news is we can teach critical thinking to ourselves; in other words, learning how to use evidence over emotion to make important decisions.” “When making big decisions, we tend to talk to the same people about certain things,” says Loverde. “Instead, change your mindset and broaden your network. We do that by finding different people who will bring in ideas we might never have considered. For example, if you’re trying to decide on moving or staying in your house, find someone who is much older, or much younger to talk to. Explain your situation and ask, ‘what would you do if you were me?’ It could be a formal conversation such as asking your doctor or lawyer or as informal as asking someone at a bus stop, the gym or even your grandchild.” “Based on their age, their culture or their profession, you’ll get many different perspectives on your situation. Then follow up with ‘why do you think that?’ ‘What are you basing your answer on?’ This is a really simple process. By asking questions of people outside of your usual circle, you become an investigator and this is what takes the emotion out of the planning process. True, talking to strangers forces us out of our comfort zone, but is that a bad thing?” If you would like to have a more complete set of questions to print out, Loverde has provided on her website a

“what should I do” worksheet that you can get by going to www.elderindustry. com, click on “download II.” Also you can write out and answer these questions: • What is the decision that must be made? • By when must the decision be made? • What is making this decision problematic? • What proof do I have that a problem exists? • What about this situation is in my control? • What about this situation is not in my control? Loverde quotes Sirini Pillay, author of “Tinker Dabble Doodle Try: Unlock the Power of the Unfocused Mind.” Pillay views strategic thinking as a visual process. “When you program your car ’s GPS, it figures out how to take you where you want to go. Similarly, your brain has the ability to map out your course to your goal once you clearly communicate to yourself what this goal is. In addition, visually imagining your journey helps to keep your brain on track, as it will constantly refer to this image and update your journey with greater ease than if you did not provide this information to it.” “Another part of critical thinking is failure is an option and not a bad option either. If things don’t work out, failure teaches us what didn’t work and leads us to put our efforts in another direction. We often don’t do things because we are worried about failing, but we still need to move ahead. Learning from failure can make you smarter about your next decision. (I love that one because I always felt I never really learned anything from the things that went right, but I always learned from my failures, as painful as

they were.) Daydreaming is another Loverde strategy. “It allows for a fine tuning of the application of critical thinking. Sit back, relax into your thoughts and see how it feels. Ask yourself ‘is this decision I made serving me well?’” And my very favorite of Loverde’s advice…self talk. As she says, “Of course I talk to myself, who else can I trust? When I would see someone walking down the street talking to themselves, I’d say, wow, that’s a problem. Now guess who’s doing it? An example of self talk could be, ‘I just don’t feel like taking a walk today,’ versus telling yourself, ‘I choose to walk today to keep myself healthier in the long run.’” “Positive talk or negative talk has a real effect on planning for our future self so we need to pay more attention to what we’re telling ourselves; thoughts matter. When we plan, we’re working a lot of things out, whether we’re talking aloud or thinking things out in our mind. It’s common and it’s normal. But be careful, the cat knows more than you think.”

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December / January 2020 - 55 PLUS




‘We Can Do More Together’ Nancy Eaton: Driving force behind United Way of Central New York By Mary Beth Roach


t’s been just a little more than two years since Nan Eaton became the president of the United Way of Central New York. During an interview with 55 Plus magazine in 2018, she said her work with nonprofits and human service agencies for more than 25 years had prepared her for the new role. Today, Eaton continues to lead the agency, helping it to adapt to the winds of change in world, nation and the community. “When I came, I believed and the board recognized that this is a time of change for United Way organizations all over the country. Ours as well,” she said. Yet, its cornerstone is to highlight human needs in the community and then support services to meet those needs. Eaton referred to the vital role that United Way of Central New York plays


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by providing ongoing support to local programs and bringing community resources together to create a pool of funds to strategically invest in those programs. “Revenue comes mainly from workplace-giving campaigns, in which employees can give a percentage of their weekly or biweekly paycheck. Traditionally, many companies have conducted their United Way efforts in the fall, but the individual companies decide when to run their specific campaigns, depending on what works for their budget, their employees and their workload,” Eaton said. While these giving campaigns are still the lifeblood of the United Way, today’s economy, technology, shifts in population, the way people think about giving, the workforce dynamic, and recent changes in the tax law have required United Way organizations across the country to adapt their

models. One of United Way’s most recent changes has been its move this past summer from the 500 block of James Street, to space at 980 James St., the former WTVH studios. While the square footage is slightly less than the previous location, the layout is operationally more efficient, she said. Eaton also noted that the entire team is thrilled with the new home and delighted to be spending less in rent for much better space. She credits property owner A. Louis Santaro for the excellent work done on the building and his ongoing support.

But there are other changes. United Way of Central New York has a budget of just over $6 million and provides funding to programs at more than 30 agencies in Onondaga County. These services cover a wide range of

Nancy Eaton at her Syracuse office Oct. 31. Photo of Chuck Wainwright. December / January 2020 - 55 PLUS


At the ribbon cutting ceremonies at the United Way’s new office space earlier in 2019: from left, Helen Hudson, community services liaison for the United Way; Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh; Nancy Eaton; County Executive Ryan McMahon; and United Way of Central New York’s Board Chairwoman Ginny Biesiada O’Neill. programs addressing basic needs, education and health. As Eaton put it, “to help people get beyond today’s challenges and toward a brighter tomorrow.” Almost 60% of the budget is used for program allocations. Donors designate 30% to specific agencies, and nearly 12% covers operating costs. The United Way of Central New York also receives $2.3 million in funding for collaborative initiatives and grants. Eaton said funding from United Way of Central New York provides the match that’s required by government contracts. “Donors are delighted to learn that $1 million that we allocate to 23 of the programs leverages an additional $3 million in tax dollars,” she pointed out. “That type of return on investment, $1 million becoming $4 million in services, is a powerful outcome, with significant local impact.” The United Way of Central New York’s funding also supports programs that do not have a matching requirement. It allocates most of its funding in three-year cycles, so the last time agencies submitted requests was in 2017. At that time, the organizations that had made requests and then passed through the fiscal and management review process had submitted requests for more than twice the amount that the United Way of 32

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Today’s economy, technology, shifts in population, the way people think about giving, the workforce dynamic, and recent changes in the tax law have required United Way organizations across the country to adapt their models. Central New York had to give out. “Clearly, all the funding is going to incredible programs, yet so much need was not filled,” she said. The loss of some of this community’s larger employers severely affects the fundraising. For example, when New Venture Gear closed its plant in the early 2010, the United Way lost $500,000 in employee contributions, Eaton said. With companies downsizing, shuttering or moving elsewhere, the economy of the area has been shifting, and more businesses are service-related or entrepreneurial in nature.

Keeping the chin up Yet, Eaton remains enthusiastic about the future, with some new board

members added to the mix, a revised planning process, and a greater focus on partnerships and community leadership. The addition of some new faces to the board — some younger people, some entrepreneurs, its first New American, several marketing experts, and at least one new member who runs a digital marketing company — brings fresh ideas and innovative ways of connecting with the public. “We want to be nimble to be able to respond,” she said. Toward that end, the board in 2018 went through an intensive strategic planning process, the result of which was a plan that has the organization looking at everything it does to make sure it is aware of needs in the community. “It’s fair to say we’re looking at how we can best have the greatest impact in the community, trying to identify perhaps a little more specifically the role we will play, with respect to say seniors or youth, workforce development, school readiness, child care, addiction, mental health, and suicide prevention,” she said. “We are looking at how we can support smaller, newer agencies that are doing important work,” she added. The United Way can play a part in helping people transition from living paycheck to paycheck to finding financial mobility, she added.

Eaton, her staff and the United Way of Central New York board are also thinking differently these days in terms of how to effectively communicate with the younger workforce and how to navigate in the digital age, with all the benefits and disadvantages that the internet offers. The internet has had a huge impact on people’s charitable giving, she pointed out. So much of the United Way’s income stream came through those workplace campaigns, but now with websites and apps like GoFundMe and Kickstarter, that model might have to evolve into a range of choices. The United Way has to be sure that people understand its value, and Eaton said the United Way’s role is to help people understand why it continues to be an important part of the community, how it can help to identify significant issues and opportunities, and show that the types of services it offers demonstrate outcomes. “There’s no question that Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) and Generation Z (born 1997 to 2010) approach many things in unique ways. I think that’s why we have these incredibly successful entrepreneurs who are inventing things, who are imagining things, and who are not allowing themselves to be limited. They also ask a lot of questions. They think differently about making a difference,” she said. “They want to be involved, more than just by giving money. They want to be part of something. I think many organizations are looking to clarify how people can be involved with them.” Her optimism is also fueled by the collaborations she’s seeing among local foundations, human service agencies, leaders and their teams, and foundations. Also helping is the vision shared by leaders in the community, including Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon, CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity and the Manufacturers Association of Central New York. She said it the most powerful way to move a community forward. She pointed out various collaborations that the United Way of Central New York is involved in, including Work Train, Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County, Early Childhood Alliance, Housing and

Nancy Eaton during the agency’s Kickoff Cookoff in September at the NBT Bank Stadium. Homeless Coalition, 2-1-1, Ca$H Coalition, and Greater Syracuse H.O.P.E. “Everyone is really thinking together,” she said. “That to me represents incredible reason for optimism and belief in the community.”

Top-notch team As president, Eaton said one of the best parts of her job is “having the opportunity to pick a really dynamic and talented team. I have the privilege of working with people who share a vision of the impact we’re trying to have in the community.” Current efforts include a new marketing plan, which allows donors to know the impact of their contributions; an increased emphasis on partnerships; promoting greater community volunteerism, and increased education and advocacy programs. “ W h i l e t h e U n i t e d Wa y i s committed to people’s needs and creating ways to meet those need, for a community to be vibrant and thriving, we need a rich arts community. We need recreational opportunities,” she said. So, while the United Way does not fund the arts in the traditional sense, Eaton wants to see it help to connect volunteers with the arts, recreation or whatever their cause might be. “I think, in a way, volunteering is a little bit like getting in shape. When

you volunteer, you’re more energetic. Data shows that volunteers are happier and live longer,” she added. That Eaton is passionate about her work is no secret to anyone who knows her, and part of that positive energy comes from her staff and the board, and knowing that they are all working together for the betterment of the community. “My enthusiasm and excitement about being here is because I believe we can do more together. In my career in human services and in nonprofits, I have often found that when you have smart, caring people in the same room, the outcomes often aren’t on the agenda. They weren’t things that you gathered together to discuss; there are things that happened,” she said. As she moves her team forward, she wants to help Central New Yorkers understand why a strong and vibrant United Way matters. “I want people to know our United Way is at the table, ready to do research, ready to gather, ready to advocate for needs, ready to help people reduce stigma about getting mental health care, to help ensure the next opioid crisis isn’t one that has a huge impact on people, and most importantly, I really hope we are able to be part of this incredible time in our history — the history of this community — to really make it possible for every person born here and living here to learn to grow, to play, to thrive, and we can do this,” she stated. December / January 2020 - 55 PLUS


55+ savings Increase Home Heat Efficiency Burned by home heating costs? There are ways you can save By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


f you felt burned by home heating costs, you can dramatically decrease these expenses with a few changes and upgrades to your home. A few of them won’t cost much at all, such as installing a new furnace filter. “If you heat with gas, oil or a boiler, get it serviced minimally every two years,” said Lori Rubenstein, manager at Energy Savers, Inc. in East Syracuse. “A clean furnace or boiler uses less energy. Some don’t think about it for decades. Make sure the ducts aren’t leaking. Seal leaks with tape used for ducts. Also, the heating system should be checked so it’s drafting properly.” A space heater may seem an easily solution for rooms that always seem cold; however, electric space heaters can be costly to run. It’s better to redirect heat to where you want it. “Close off ducts and the doors to rooms you’re not using,” Rubenstein said. “Use thermal curtains as they help with heat loss.” If it’s time to replace your furnace, Rubenstein recommends getting the correct size for your home’s needs, as a unit that’s too big or too small wastes energy. If your current furnace is 15 years old or older, get ready for savings. Newer models may be up to 25% more efficient than older ones. Seal up windows with clear plastic shrink wrap covers if they’re not double pane windows or if they’re poorly sealed, indicated by the feel of cold air leaking in around the windows. Rubenstein said that expanding spray foam can help fill in little cracks around windows and in many places


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throughout a home. There’s little sense in keeping your home toasty while you’re away at work, on a weekend trip or asleep. Instead of paying for heat while you’re not even using it, turn it down. But otherwise, don’t fiddle with it. “Don’t keep putting it up and down while you’re at home,” Rubenstein. “Don’t go by the moment. Set it for certain temperatures.” Some thermostats, such as the Nest, may be controlled remotely through a smartphone so you can turn up the heat before you even leave work and come home to a warm home. If you’re ready for some renovation, take a close look at your home’s insulation, especially in the attic. Though it may be simply a partially finished space for stowing mementos, Rubenstein said that the the attic of many homes older than 30 years is not sufficiently insulate to help the home maintain its heat. A simple way to see if your home has insufficient attic insulation is to see if the snow melts very quickly off your roof compared with a newer home and if you have long icicles, according to Andy Fiorini, owner of USA Insulation of Syracuse. He suggested energy efficient windows, doors and insulation if you’re remodeling. “Building codes have changed over the years,” Fiorini said. “Most have attic insulation but it isn’t sufficient. They’re generally underinsulated in their attic. We provide free estimates to come out. We have camera equipment to look inside their walls and show them what they have.” He said that if the walls feel cool

to the touch or if rooms are different temperatures, it could indicate that your home is not sufficiently insulated. Lindsay Speer, campaign manager for HeatSmart CNY, an organization funded by NYSERDA, said that many homeowners can recoup the installation cost of geothermal or ground source heating systems within a decade or less, depending upon for what programs the homeowner qualifies. “For those on natural gas, because its cost is so low right now, it would take longer, but it does stabilize their cost,” Speer said. The systems don’t burn anything, but use a small amount of electricity to capture energy in the environment, such as under the ground. Aboveground systems use a heat pump that compresses the air and uses a heat exchanger to pump it into the house. Speer compared the latter to a refrigerator. “It pumps heat out of your food into the house,” she said. “A heat pump uses the same technology and it can go in reverse.” Geothermal systems require a half to a full acre of land, but the above-ground systems require a much smaller space. “It works well even at 13 below zero,” Speer said. “They lose some efficiency below 30 but not as much they used to.” To receive a free energy assessment from or find a NYSERDA-qualified installer, visit www.nyserda.ny.gov/ Contractors/Find-a-Contractor.

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55+ retirement

What’s Next for Laura Hand TV personality leaves legacy of outstanding reporting, community involvement By Mary Beth Roach


ocal news icon Laura Hand gave an interview to 55 Plus magazine in 2016, during which she told writer Aaron Gifford that she planned to retire “someday. But it won’t be tomorrow.” Well, that “someday” came on Oct. 12. After a career that spanned five decades, Hand signed off the air after 47 years in the studios that had been her television home. She has told people’s stories and kept Central New Yorkers informed of news from around the corner and around the globe. Several weeks before she was due to leave, Hand shared some of thoughts on her career, changes in the industry, and her post-retirement plans. Since first coming to the Channel 3 studios on James Street in 1972, Hand had been what she called “talking to people and telling their stories. It’s fun for me to be able to see what they do, but I think it’s also important for the community to know what they do and


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why what they do should be important to all of us.” She added, “I think everyone can make a difference. My job is letting people know.” Hand, too, has made a big difference not only in local broadcasting but in the community as well through her work with a variety of nonprofits. For example, she’s been on the board of the Salvation Army, had served on the board of Hope for Bereaved and helped to establish its Butterfly Garden of HOPE on Onondaga Lake Parkway in Liverpool. She’s involved with Oasis Syracuse, as well as reading programs for pre-K-aged children. Together with her therapy dog, a Pomeranian mix named Musetta, or “Moose” for short, she is fostering in youngsters a love for both reading and animals. The pair visits libraries, like the Onondaga Free Library on Onondaga Hill. She plans to expand on that by adding the Salvation Army and Vincent House to

her schedule. “A dog is an incredible dooropener. It’s a calming influence,” she said, adding that she also hopes children can also learn from “Moose” how to handle a dog, and animals in general. With more free time now, Hand, an accomplished equestrian and proud owner of a horse named Romeo, also plans to spend more time riding. “I’ve been around horses my whole life. It is my personal therapy,” she said. “When you ride, you can’t be thinking about what you’ve left behind in the office. You have to really concentrate, or you get into trouble. It’s a great mind cleanser to be out in nature.” She also plans to pursue more earnestly another one of her passions — gardening at her north side home. She is also looking forward to sleeping in on weekends. As the anchor on “Weekend Today” in Central New York on Saturday and Sunday mornings, she has had to get up at 2:30 a.m. on weekends, something she won’t miss, she admitted, with a chuckle. But what she will miss are the people she works with, not just her co-workers at the station, but the people she frequently deals with from the area, and the opportunity to share information about various events going on in the region. “There is so much to do in this community,” she said. “So many people give their time to make those events possible. It’s been my privilege, truly my privilege, to help publicize what they do and maybe get a few more people involved in their organizations.”

Paving the way Hand has always been interested in journalism and politics. She was inspired by Nancy Dickerson, the first woman to be a reporter at CBS, and like her role model, Hand would become the first woman in some of the newsrooms in Central New York. “I got into the business because of Nancy Dickerson. I watched her cover political conventions and I said, ‘Wow, if she can do it, I can do it,’” she recalled. That determination fueled her years at Syracuse University and her foray into broadcasting. It was the late 1960s and early 1970s. There was a great deal of unrest

on college campuses across the country, including Syracuse University, and the women’s liberation movement was gaining momentum nationwide and coming up against some resistance too. Hand came to SU because it was the only college that she found at the time that offered a double major in journalism and political science. She would become the first female news director at the student-run WAER radio station and a stringer for WFBL, a local radio station that had its own news department at that time. She also worked to help establish the radio and television news program. “I got here and I found out that the school of journalism had its television and radio area in the School of Speech and Dramatic Arts. I said, ‘No, no. I don’t want to be taking acting and drama classes. I want to be in journalism.’ So the dean at the time and I essentially designed the radio and television news program, and it’s the basis for what they teach students today,” she said. The student strikes at SU prompted Hand to earn her degree in 3 1/2 years, and upon graduation, she went to Washington, D.C. She decided she didn’t want to live there, so she returned to Central New York and was offered a full-time job at WFBL, where she worked for Art Peterson, the long-time news director there and one of her mentors. She learned a lot from both Peterson and Leroy Natanson, former reporter and editor at the Syracuse Post-Standard and an adjunct professor at SU, and one of Hand’s teachers as well. After admittedly hounding Channel 3 about when they’d start hiring women, she finally got a job there — becoming the first woman in that station’s newsroom. Today, the majority of staff at CNY Central are women. Over time, there have been some changes with some of the local television stations, and now Channel 3, Channel 5 and CW are all under the CNY Central News umbrella. “I never really thought of it as being a pioneer. I just did it because I knew it was what I wanted to do,” she said. “I did my job, and that’s all I’ve ever done.” Her original career plan was to remain in Syracuse for a couple of years and move on. But then she met her husband and they raised their two children. And landing here, she said, made her realize that “local news is where it’s at.”

“We decided to stay here, and have no regrets. I’ve grown here. I know the community. It’s my home,” she said. Throughout her career, she had taken on many roles at the station — reporter, news anchor, and producer, among them. She also created the content for the “In Your Community” segments and was the anchor and producer of NBC3’s Monday Night “Answer Desk,” offering viewers the chance to talk with a panel of experts. She even gave tours of the station. After all, having been there for nearly 50 years there, she knew the place inside and out.

Changing broadcast environment Broadcast journalism has changed dramatically since Hand first entered the field. “It’s a business where you have to change,” she said. “We used typewriters. We shot on 16-mm film when I started. The deadlines were definitely different,” she said. Reporters and photographers would have to race back from the scene of a story to the studio in order to process the film and make it ready for the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts. There were no on-location live shots. “It’s a lot more multi-faceted,” she added, referring to the ways that social media has affected the industry. Her ability and willingness to adapt to all these changes is part of the reason for her longevity. Doing a little reminiscing, she recalled a few of her more memorable interviews, some of which she has recounted over the years. The day before Election Day, 1972, was Hand’s first day at the television station. On election night, the candidates were due to come to the station to deliver their victory or concession speeches. Then-Congressman Jim Hanley had won re-election, but because some of the station’s hierarchy had been backing his opponent, Hanley’s visit to the station was a little tense. Hand was assigned to interview the congressman, and for several months following, she said she was the only one at the station he would talk to. “That’s what put me on the map in the building here,” she said. One of the first interviews she was tasked to do was at Hancock Airport with then-Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, who had come to Syracuse for an

event. The media were told by Rockefeller’s aides that there would be no interviews. So, Hand moved up to one side of where the governor was walking, and her cameraman was on the other. They stretched a microphone cable between the two of them, which literally stopped the governor in his tracks. Hand found the governor to be very receptive to an interview, and she said the two had a good relationship while he was governor. “I’m not aggressive by nature, but I’m going to get my story,” she said with a smile. Hancock Airport was also the scene for a chat she was able to have with former First Lady Nancy Reagan. She was unguarded that day for some reason, Hand said, so she approached Reagan and the two had a long chat. While she has interviewed some big names of the day, Hand’s most memorable stories seem to revolve around Central New Yorkers doing extraordinary feats. She spoke of the Tully Mud Slide in the spring of 1993, when mud covered 1,500 feet of the Tully Valley 15 feet deep. The news team was up to its knees in mud, and she recalled watching as a helicopter pilot was able to bring his chopper low enough to rescue people off their rooftops. And during the early 1990s, she was diligent in her coverage of the Gulf War, and especially the 174th Tactical Fighter Wing’s role in it. The squadron, based at Hancock Field, has since been redesignated as the 174th Attack Wing. For her work, Hand was awarded the Marguerite Higgins Journalism Prize for her coverage of that war, named for the female war reporter who covered World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. She was also part of getting the military families’ support group established for the people who were left behind as the unit’s members deployed. “That was a big deal for me,” she recalled. In her nearly half-century here, Hand has immersed herself in the news and various causes throughout the community. And while she has left the airwaves, she assures everyone that her retirement will not bring an end to her involvement in the Syracuse area. She has vowed that she will “not sit in a corner.” “I really feel like I’ve championed so many causes in the community, and I hope that’s my legacy,” she said.

December / January 2020 - 55 PLUS


55+ dance

Square Dance, Anyone? Members of Fulton Shirts ‘N Skirts still swing their partners ‘round and ‘round! By Mary Beth Roach


his is not your grandmother’s square dancing. The Fulton club of square dancers call themselves “Shirts ‘N Skirts,” a name that harkens back to their beginnings in the 1950s, but their attire is very casual. Most of the members on a recent Friday were dressed in jeans, capris, and T-shirts. The flounced skirts are optional. There are no Western-styled shirts, string ties, kerchiefs or cowboy boots. And the music is more current. “It’s not old-fashioned square dancing,” said Debby Allen, president of Shirts ‘n’ Skirts. The club does what is referred to as modern Western square dancing. It meets every Friday evening at the Fulton Municipal Building from September through spring, and it’s set up as a class. Caller Dave Eno explains a few new steps each week, and then puts them all together with upbeat music he has chosen. One of the only prerequisites, he told the class members during a recent gathering, is that they know their left from their right. While it may be considered a class, there are plenty of members who have been coming for years. Allen, the club’s president, and her husband, Bruce, have been members for about two decades, but she’d started square dancing as a young girl


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Group of square dancers from Fulton Shirts ‘N Skirts gather on a recent Friday night to dance. in Hannibal. “I was the only one that ever liked dancing in gym class. Then when I was a teenager and in 4-H, our county 4-H had a square dance club,” she said. They would practice throughout the year, culminating in a competition at the New York State Fair. “We’re always trying to encourage new dancers,” Allen said. ”Particularly in this day and age, we’re realizing what a benefit it is to seniors.” Square dancing not only gets people moving, it is also a good mental exercise, keeping one’s listening and memory skills sharp. “You have to be able to listen and think quick because the calls just keep on coming, and you have to be ready,” Allen explained.

Attracts all ages Square dancing tends to attract more mature audiences, but there is quite an age range in the Shirts ‘n’ Skirts group — from pre-teens to a dancing veteran at the age of 92, Walt Hobble, who’s been part of the group since the mid-1980s. One family who home-schools their children is using the classes to help meet physical education requirements. And while the music and clothing have been updated, one

thing apparently hasn’t changed, and that’s the fun that dancers are having, whether they’re promenading, allemanding, or do-si-do-ing. Even a few missteps here and there are laughed off. Patti Griffin was invited to the group about 10 years ago, and she’s been returning every year. “What keeps me coming back is the friends that you make here,” she said. Pat Whaley, who has been a part of the group since 2006, echoed Griffin’s sentiments. “It’s great exercise; wonderful people, and a lot of fun. Those are my criteria. We laugh all the time,” she said. One couple, Karen Lynch and Stef Mueller, came to the group for the first time last year, and they’re back for a second season, making the 40-minute trip in from Wolcott every week. While Lynch had done square dancing years ago, she was interested in starting up again, and got Mueller to join her. Like the others, they enjoy the social interaction and physical exercise. “It gets you up off the couch,” Mueller said. The Fulton group is one of nearly two dozen clubs that are members of the Rochester Area Federation of Western Round and Square Dance. The federation includes other groups in the Rochester area and its suburbs,

as well as Auburn, Liverpool, Bath, and Penn Yan. The classes in Fulton are mainstream and for all levels. Other chapters offer more advanced levels, with more steps included in the choreography. The classes are $5 per person per evening, and they are open to individuals and couples alike. Since the participants are learning new steps each week, it’s preferable that those interested start in the first few weeks of the fall, so they can catch up quickly. For more information, visit squaredancingrochester.org, click on Our Clubs and scroll down to Shirts ‘n’ Skirts. Debby Allen is president of Fulton Shirts ‘N Skirts. Next to her is a one of the club’s member, Walt Hobble, who is 92.

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life after 55

Photos by Bill Reed

By Michele Reed michele@cny55.com


Sagrada Familia: History Under Construction

ften, as we wander in France and Spain, exploring castles, cathedrals and chateaus, we feel like time-travelers, marveling at the architecture of some far-off historical era. But sometimes, we are lucky enough to come upon history in the making. The closest we have come to witnessing the actual construction of a European cathedral, which in the Middle Ages would have taken hundreds of years, is the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, or Holy Family, in Barcelona. True to the medieval tradition, the giant house of worship has been under construction for more than 100 years and is still under way. Completion is estimated for 2026, the centennial of its architect’s death. Looking like a giant sandcastle looming over the city of Barcelona, Sagrada Familia’s four facades depict events from the life of Christ. The first time we visited in 2013, only two facades were completed, those showing Jesus’ birth and death. We could see cranes and scaffolding on the other two sides, as workmen, much like the medieval stonecutters, carved figures of angels, saints and animals, into the surface of the other two façades. This magnificent cathedral was designed by the great Modernista architect, Antoni Gaudi, beginning in 1883. Although he started building it in a traditional style, he soon changed direction to the soaring, modern structure we see today. The foundations of the Nativity Façade, depicting the birth of Christ, were laid in 1892. When you look at the figures, it’s hard to imagine they were designed more than 120 years ago. It’s even harder to imagine this structure as dating back to the 19th century, when you see the wildly colored stained-glass windows, their


55 PLUS - December / January 2020

religious subjects depicted in sharp, geometric shapes. Gaudi designed the interior like a magnificent undersea world, with shell-shaped vessels, and walls that ripple like waves of the

Mediterranean, a stone’s throw away. When the light comes through the stained glass, depending on the time of day, ripples of green, blue, yellow and red fill the interior and the wavy

Depending on the time of day, the interior of the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia ripples with blue, green and red light from its massive stainedglass windows.

walls amplify the effect of being under the sea. It’s easy to get mesmerized, staring at the shimmering ripples of color, but turn a corner, and you see your way blocked, by yet more scaffolding, as artisans apply finishing details to a chapel, window or wall. An avid hiker in the Pyrenees Mountains near Barcelona, Gaudi took his inspiration from nature. Sagrada Familia is an exuberant explosion of leaves, animals, bugs and birds. The massive doors are cast in bronze and amid a profusion of leaves lurk frogs, snails, worms and insects. Gaudi was already famous before taking on the job of designing Sagrada Familia, having built the city’s massive Park Guell for a wealthy industrialist and homes for many of Barcelona’s most prominent citizens. But once he became architect of the basilica, it is safe to say that he devoted the rest of his life to this masterwork. He built himself a little studio and living space attached to the cathedral. There, he drew up the plans and supervised the workmen who carried them out. In 1925, he saw the first of the temple’s four towers completed. Only six months later, Gaudi died after he was hit by a streetcar in downtown Barcelona in 1926, but work continued on the cathedral, according to his plans. Now more than a century after Gaudi began his masterpiece, it is finally nearing completion, estimated to be finished within the next decade. In the basement of the church is a tiny museum, with reproductions of Gaudi’s workspace and the sleeping alcove he occupied while overseeing the building of the structure. The architect’s sketches are on display, along with the intricate string-andweight models he built to simulate – upside down – the vaulted arches of the cathedral. We left Sagrada Familia awed by the work and dedication which is still going into this piece of living history and ongoing massive construction project. We also took with us a sense of what it must have been like to be medieval people watching the construction of those great European cathedrals we love to explore.

This portion of the façade features a vertical column which echoes the four massive towers that rise above the cathedral.

For all its grandeur, the Sagrada Familia also features tiny details that reflect its architect’s love of nature, like this little snail nestled in the leaves that cover the massive bronze doors.

Each façade of Sagrada Familia depicts a time in the life of Christ. This is a detail from the Nativity Façade, begun in 1892. Sagrada Familia in Barcelona seems like an underwater paradise, with the light from massive stained-glass windows rippling through the church.

December / January 2020 - 55 PLUS


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Social Security

Q&A Q: Will my retirement benefits increase if I wait and retire after my full retirement age? Yes. You

can increase your Social Security retirement benefit in two ways: • You can increase your retirement benefit by a certain percentage if you delay receiving retirement benefits. We will add these increases automatically from the time you reach full retirement age until you start receiving benefits or reach age 70; and • If you work, each additional year you work adds another year of earnings to your Social Security record. Higher lifetime earnings may result in higher benefits when you do retire. For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs to read, print, or listen to our publication, “When to Start Receiving Retirement Benefits.” You also can use our Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity. gov/estimator to determine your estimated future benefits.

To do whatever you want takes careful planning. Let Pathfinder Investment Services help guide you on your road to retirement. RetiRement Asset AccumulAtion How to save money for use during retirement. ■ RetiRement income PlAnning Income strategies to maximize longevity of retirement nest egg. ■ Rolling oveR A RetiRement PlAn Discuss all of your various options for your retirement plan assets to make the correct decision. ■

Q: Can I use the metal or plastic versions of Social Security cards that some companies make? We don’t

recommend it. There is no need to have a replica of your card. In most cases, the only time you may need to produce your Social Security card is when you apply for employment. At other times, we strongly recommend that you keep anything with your Social Security number on it with your other important papers. Do not carry your Social Security card with you. Also, we strongly advise against laminating your card. Your Social Security card has many security features, which are not detectable if laminated. Those features include latent images you can only see at an angle and color-shifting ink.

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Craig G. Fitzpatrick Financial Consultant Toll-free: 800-811-5620 x8088 Phone: 315-207-8088 Email: cfitzpatrick@ae.cadaretgrant.com NOT FDIC INSURED • MAY LOSE VALUE • NO BANK GUARANTEE Securities related products and services made available through Pathfinder Bank are offered through Cadaret, Grant, & Co., Inc., MEMBER FINRA/SIPC. Insurance products and services are offered through Finger Lakes Investments Corporation (FLIC). Cadaret, Grant, & Co. and FLIC are not affiliated with Pathfinder Bank it’s affiliates, divisions, or subsidiaries. OSJ office: FLIC 65-A Monroe Ave, Pittsford, NY 14534. (585) 389-0326. Pathfinder Investment Services, Cadaret, Grant & Co, Inc and Finger Lakes Investments Corp. are separate entities.

December / January 2020 - 55 PLUS


consumers corner By Eva Briggs, M.D.


New Ways to Combat Drug Resistant Bacteria

t’s nearing Halloween as I write this, which reminds me that we have created a monster. Or, rather, billions of little monsters called drug resistant bacteria. Multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria have emerged, evolving to resist many different antibiotics. Infection with one of these strains is very bad news for a patient. The pace of new antibiotic development can’t keep up with this problem. About 700,000 people worldwide die from MDR infections each year. The United Nations predicts that number could reach 10 million by 2050. S o m e s c i e n t i s t s a re t r y i n g an entirely different approach to controlling MDR bacteria. They are using bacteriophages — phages for short. These viruses can’t grow, move or make energy on their own. But when a phage drifts into and sticks to a compatible bacterium, it latches on and inserts itself into the bacterium’s genome. It hijacks the bacterium’s cellular machinery and turns it into a factory producing more phages. Eventually all the new phages burst out, killing the bacterium. Antibiotics often indiscriminately kill beneficial bacteria as well as disease-causing bacteria. Phages have a narrower scope, killing the bad strains without harming good bacteria. Using phages to combat disease is actually not a new idea. After their discovery in 1910, phages were used against typhoid, dysentery, cholera and other illnesses. When antibiotics began to be used in the 1940s, phage use fell out of favor in the western world. Antibiotics were cheaper to produce and easier to use. Also some of the research relating to phage use was controversial. No phage treatment is approved or available for use in the United States. Phage treatments are still commercially available in former


55 PLUS - December / January 2020

Eastern Bloc countries. In 2016, biologist Benjamin Chan from Yale used phage treatment to treat a patient’s post-surgical pseudomonas aeruginosa MDR infection. This particular strain resisted antibiotics by a surface pump that sent antibiotics back out of the cell before they could penetrate sufficiently to kill the bacteria. Chan selected a phage capable of entering the bacteria by latching on to this pump. Individual bacteria that lacked the pump could survive the phage only to be killed by antibiotics. The patient recovered and lived several more years before succumbing to unrelated causes. Scientists use several approaches to combat disease with phages. One method is to administer a cocktail of phages that simultaneously attack different targets on a particular bacterial strain’s surface. Others use a sequential plan, first using one type of phage, followed by a second type, and so on.

Which approach is best remains unknown. Most phages used so far occur naturally in the environment. Scientists are also beginning to engineer phages designed to attach to specific bacterial cell receptors. Phage therapy currently is only available under the compassionateuse system. This is a process, usually difficult, where the FDA permits patients to try experimental drugs outside of clinical trials. The cost to treat a single patient with phage therapy is currently estimated at $50,000. Much more research is needed to determine whether, when, and how phage therapy will fit into mainstream medicine. Eva Briggs is a medical doctor who works at two urgent care centers (Central Square and Fulton) operated by Oswego Health.

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druger’s zoo

By Marvin Druger Email: mdruger@syr.edu


Adventures in Writing

s any author will tell you, writing is hard work, but fun. My aim in writing articles for 55 PLUS magazine for many years has been to stimulate readers to think about life in a positive way, with humor as a pathway to doing so. We all experience depressing events and humor is a way of fighting against depression. The ultimate humor was my wife’s last words to me just before she passed away: “Marvin, shut up!” Even in death, there can be humor. People often ask me, “Where do you get your ideas for an article in 55 PLUS magazine? Where does your humor come from? The humorous writing is the product of personality and experiences. I enjoy having people laugh at my stories. It’s my way of participating in the social world and promoting a helpful perspective. There is humor in every situation and laughter is curative. My ideas for articles just pop into my mind and sometimes are the result of specific personal experiences. For example, I played bingo at Turning Stone Casino for the first time and that experience resulted in an article (“Bingo at Turning Stone Casino,” 55 PLUS magazine, issue 81, June/July 2019, p. 46). I prepared dough for making doughnuts at Beaver Lake Nature Center’s Golden Harvest Festival, and that resulted in another article (“How to Make Dough,” 55 PLUS magazine, issue 72, December/January 2018, p.46). I like to share my experiences with readers in a humorous way to enable readers to reflect upon their own life experiences and recognize the uniqueness and commonalities among every one. I have some tips for readers who may also enjoy expressing their thoughts in writing.

1. 46

Try to make the writing meaningful and interesting.

55 PLUS - December / January 2020

Like any good teacher, you should ask yourself “What would a reader want to know about this topic and why?” Then, write accordingly. Have a message. When giving a lecture in my general biology course at Syracuse University, my goal for each class was to have students learn at least one new thing. After each class, I wanted students to say, “I never thought about it that way before.” For example, I never realized that plants were as alive as animals. In one sense, green plants are even more advanced than we are because they can make their own food in the presence of sunlight (i.e., photosynthesis). Animals cannot do that.


3. Don’t worry about whether your article or book To avoid writer’s block, just start writing.

will be a masterpiece. Just start writing. Later, when you review what you have written, you will find the writing was not as bad as you thought it would be. Indeed, you may well be surprised at how good your writing was. Get the job done. Set aside a regular time every day to devote to writing. I learned this lesson from Story Musgrave, the former astronaut who repaired the Hubble telescope in space in 1993. Story has had many accomplishments. He earned a mathematics and statistics degree from Syracuse University and six other academic degrees, including a medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He flew six space missions. I asked him, “How did you accomplish all that?” He replied, “I set my goals and I get the job done.” That’s a great attitude to have a productive life.



Don’t underestimate your writing ability or other abilities. You may have more talent

than you think. For example, I wrote a poetry book for children and adults, “Strange Creatures and Other Poems.”

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I wanted to hire an illustrator. I interviewed several individuals, but none could draw the kind of illustrations that I had in mind for each poem. I believed that I could not draw, but I decided to do the illustrations myself. I illustrated the entire book. Later on, a professional artist commented, “Who did the illustrations. They’re great!” So, you may have hidden talents in writing or illustrating or something else that you never knew about.

9. for writing may suddenly emerge

Keep a pad and pen at your bedside. Some great thoughts

while you are sleeping, and, if you jot down these thoughts, you will remember them when you awake.


Have a dictionary and thesaurus readily available. Undoubtedly, you will

forget how to spell a word or you will struggle to think of an appropriate word. Seek criticism. Let someone you trust read the draft of your writing and provide criticism and comments. We all have egos, and sometimes it is difficult to accept criticism. When we say, ”Tell me what you really think,” our ego is really saying, “Tell me that you like what I wrote.” But we have to view criticism as a way of making improvements, and there is always room for improvement in whatever we do. Persevere. There are many examples of now-famous authors who were initially rejected by the publishing world. A prime example is Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss). His first book (Mulberry Street)

11. 6. For example, you may decide to write 100 words or 1,000 Set a goal for your writing each day.

words a day. When you have finished, reward yourself with an ice cream cone, or just by switching on a light. Writer’s fatigue can set in, so take regular breaks from your writing. Have an occasional snack or drink. Then, you can return to your writing relaxed and eager to write.


8. 12. Then your mind thinks about this Stop your writing for the day in the middle of a paragraph.

unfinished paragraph all night, and you awake eager to complete the thought.

was rejected by 27 publishers before he found one willing to publish his work, leading to world fame and profits for all. So, don’t give up easily. I never took a formal course in writing, so the above tips reflect my personal experiences in writing. I’m sure that “real” authors can add or subtract from my comments, or disagree with many of them, but these tips work for me. When you write an article for a journal, it is peer reviewed and possibly rejected. The best thing about writing articles for 55 PLUS magazine is that they publish anything that I write. So, I can enjoy sharing my thoughts and experiences with many individuals. Their reactions may be positive or negative. When I boasted to a friend that I had taught more than an estimated 50,000 students in my teaching career, he responded, “Yes, You have influenced and offended a lot of people.” I hope that my articles have not been offensive to any of you, but that they have caused you to reflect on your own life and laugh. December / January 2020 - 55 PLUS




Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in the heart of Quebec.

Feel the France Vibes of Quebec 10 things you shouldn’t miss


an’t make it to France just yet? Then visit Quebec City, the most French place in all of Canada and the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec. It is one of the oldest cities in North America with history, adventure and culinary delights. It is the heart and soul of French Canada and an allseason destination. City Tours: First-time visitors should consider the hopon hop-off tour on a London-style double-decker bus, which visits all the important sites in the city. It makes 12 stops but those with enough time should consider taking it once around to enjoy the informative commentary and decide what places they would most like to visit then hop off to explore. There are also horse and carriage tours along with walking and bike tours. Old Town : Old Town is the historic center of the city with Our Lady of Victories one, of the oldest churches on Place-Royale.


2. 48

55 PLUS - December / January 2020

By Sandra Scott

Don’t miss the massive mural nearby depicting Old Quebec and many of Quebec’s leading writers and artists. It is an UNESCO World Heritage site. A funicular with the main entrance located in the historic House of Louis Jolliet (explorer of the Mississippi) connects the Old Town to the Upper City. Museum of Civilization: This is a culture-packed museum, with traveling exhibits that covers everything from religion to Rome’s history. It is the place to learn about the history and culture of Quebec but changing exhibits and the museum’s diversity make for an entertaining visit, whether it’s your first time or the hundredth. Learn about Canada’s “First People.” Topical guided tours are included in the admission price. La Citadelle: The star-shaped fortress perched high above the St. Lawrence River has protected the area since the 1750s. Once a formidable French fortress, it now hosts changing of the guard ceremonies every summer



day at 10 a.m. and soldiers beating the retreat on drums every Friday at 7 p.m. in the summer. Their guided tour shares information on more than 300 years of history. Plains of Abraham: Located next to the Citadelle it is where the fight for supremacy between the French and British empires occurred. The park is the scene of the 1759 Conquest, which changed the fate of North America. Apart from its historical past, there are over 250 acres of meadows and grassy knolls making it the Central Park of Quebec. There is a museum dealing with its history, a variety of activities and the Joan of Arc Gardens. The Arts: The Museum of Fine Arts, located on the edge of the Plains of Abraham, has more than 25,000 works produced by Quebec artists dating from the 1700s and including Inuit art. The museum has permanent and changing exhibits including one featuring the 260th anniversary of the Battle of The Plains



of Abraham. They often have special events and workshops. Free tours along with digital tours on mobile devices are available. Quebec City has several art galleries including Centre Materia, an artist-run center that promotes artistic research and creativity. Each year from mid-May to mid-June the Carrefour International Theater has a contemporary theater festival. Parliament Building: The 19th century house of government is fronted by statues of people and events important in Quebec history. There is a free tour of the building and it is possible to make prior arrangements for a reserved seat to observe the National Assembly. The National Assembly Library regularly house thematic exhibitions. The gardens are a pleasant place to stroll. There is a restaurant and a café open to the public. Notre Dame Cathedral: The cathedral is the oldest church in Canada and has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The ornate ceiling glitters with gold leaf. Tours are available during the summer that will unravel its history through two fires back to 1647. Visitors can see but not pass through the Holy Door, a real door in the wall of the Chapel of the Sacred Heart. One is only allowed to pass through the door on Jubilee Years, which only occur every 25 years. Check out their schedule of concerts. Culinary: Poutine is Quebec’s signature dish — fries, gravy and cheese curd — that is spreading worldwide. Tourtiere is Quebecois meat pie that can include minced pork, beef or wild game. Foodies might enjoy one of the several walking or bus food tours. There is a special food tour at Christmas time. Maple syrup is a good take-away gift. Afternoon tea at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac is an elegant affair in an elegant setting. There are also tours of the historic hilltop hotel that was once a 17th century castle complete with turrets. And more: The Museum of Naval History includes a small section dealing with the Battle of Oswego along with other fascinating exhibits of importance to Quebec’s strategic location. Montmorency Falls, which is higher than Niagara Falls, is often included in a Quebec City tour where there is a cable car ride to the top and viewing platforms. The falls are


Street in Old Quebec City filled with art galleries and paintings from local artists.


Square in Old Town is a favorite place for lunch or beverage.



Notre Dame Cathedral: The cathedral is the oldest church in Canada and has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. especially photographic in the winter. There are also trips to the shrine St. Anne de Beaupre with glorious stained glass, paintings, mosaics, and stone and wooden sculptures. Several ski

resorts are in close proximity to the city. Check out their unique ice hotel less than 45 minutes for the city.

December / January 2020 - 55 PLUS




By Mary Beth Roach

Ronald Woodward Sr., 70 Long-time Fulton mayor will retire at the end of the year, after more than three decades of public service Q: What prompted you to retire at this time? A: My health is not getting any better. I’ve had health issues for years. I’m a two-time cancer patient, I’ve had my heart operated on. When I leave at the end of this year, I’ll have 34 years of city service in. That’s a long time. I started in 1982. I was mayor is in 1986 and 1987. I was a councilman, then I was executive assistant to the last mayor, then mayor again. I’ve enjoyed it, but I think it’s time for someone new to take over, someone young, newer, with fresher ideas. I don’t care what your politics are. That doesn’t matter to me. All I care about is that they’re good for Fulton. Q: What are you most looking forward to in your retirement? A: I have quite a few grandchildren and a few great-grandchildren. I enjoy antiques. I shop for them. I sell a little bit. I’ll probably do more of that. In the good weather, I like gardening. I do a lot of vegetable gardening. I make my own chili sauce. I can tomatoes. Q: You worked at Nestle, you’ve been in government for a while. After all these years of working, what’s going to be the biggest challenge in retiring? A: Boredom. I believe a healthy body is not healthy unless you have a healthy mind. A healthy mind comes from being active. I’ve had my share of health issues over the years, twotime cancer patient, heart issues, blood pressure issues, but through it all, I was always busy. I kept my mind busy. I love the city of Fulton. I grew up here. I remember what it used to be like when we had all the old businesses. I’m smart enough to know it’s never going to come back. 50

55 PLUS - December / January 2020

Q: What would you like to see for Fulton in the next few years? A: I would like to see some jobs come here. Jobs are important for people. If you want young people to stay here, they have to make a living. Also, I want to see Lake Neatahwanta be cleaned up. I’ve been working on that. Finally, we got North Bay Campground into the city. That was in the town of Granby. [By annexing the campground into the city limits, it allows for easier funding and implementation of improvements.] Lake Neatahwanta, I’m told, means “little lake by the big lake.” It’s a beautiful lake. A lot of good fishing in it. Sediment from some of the surrounding farmlands and the towns made an issue of it with the springs. We own our own dredge now. We should be able to go in there and get that done. I’m confident that the next mayor will care as much about the lake as I do because Fulton people want it clean. They have fond memories of it. My administrative assistant has a newspaper clipping from back in the ‘20s. They called Lake Neatahwanta the “Coney Island of Upstate New York.” That’s an asset to Fulton. We should be proud of it. We should take care of it. Q: In your 12 years as mayor, if you had to name one or two of your greatest accomplishments, what would they be? A: I think the annexation of North Bay into the city and the annexation of the waste treatment plant into the city is one of them. The reason for that is the waste treatment plant is crucial to any business or industry. When it was located outside the city, we were paying $140,000 a year in taxes. I don’t

want to take credit for everything because at the end of the day, it’s the people that work for you that do the good stuff. But I worked with Danny O’Brien [city clerk/chamberlain] to introduce LED lights. That’s been one of my interests since I became mayor. That’s a huge thing going forward. Street lights, City Hall and all city buildings. Saved a ton of money. That Nestle project was huge — that’s a 24acre teardown. The Oswego County Industrial Development Agency is going to build a small interpretive center on the Seventh Street side [to keep Nestle’s history in the city alive]. We’re getting a lot of interest in that. Q: Is there anything you’d like to add? A: I just want to say that doing the job for the city for all these years. I appreciate the people that always supported me, and the public. But I am looking forward to retirement. And I wish whoever comes here all the luck in the world. Not that they would need my help, but if there’s any way I can help them, I will.


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