V o lu me T h i rt y F o ur , N umber 1
Januar y - Februar y 2020
Beaumont revises long-term capital budget plan to address current and future needs
Text and photo by Lynn Ayres
An Operational Budget addresses ongoing, shortterm revenues and expenses. A Capital Budget addresses long-term expenditures for specific projects. 2016 EVALUATION: Our community was built over 30 years ago. As all homeowners know, by this time major repairs and replacements are needed. To that end, with the help of consultant zumBrunnen, Beaumont re-evaluated its capital budget and developed 10and 20-year plans which would put $41 million into renewal, enhancement and preventive maintenance projects. At this time, capital projects costing $26 million over the next 10 years would replace the exterior layer of the building envelope with vinyl siding. In addition, the plan would replace windows, doors, gutters, attic insulation, all HVAC systems, common-area kitchen equipment and probably the campus-wide generator. It would also be used to improve common-area interiors; install new emergency call systems; and enhance landscaping. After three years of the 10-year plan, a good deal has been accomplished. However, some of the most critical and costly items remain.
QUESTION & ANSWER time with Funding Committee members (from left to right) CEO Joe Peduzzi and residents Gerry Isom, Jim Zug and Jamie Bromley. Initially, the cost of implementation was to be by means of a special capital assessment flat fee of $350 per unit each month, in addition to each unit’s regular monthly fee—with the possibility of an additional increase in the capital assessment fee of about $100 per unit each month, for a total of $450, at some unspecified time in the future.
BUDGET continued on page 11
Residents display impressive talent, skill and imagination
Text and photos by Linda Madeira
In December, the 2019 Resident Art Show filled the Beaumont Room with an exciting display of talent. It was not a contest; the show was a chance to share interests. Twenty-seven residents participated— and no one was late in joining the show! Media included oil, watercolor, pencil (both colored and charcoal), needle work (embroidery, needlepoint, crochet), photography, shell art, computer design,
A CLOSER VIEW is needed to fully admire the details of Grace Madeira’s “ Leaving Boston Harbor—Sailor's Valentine” shell art.
ART SHOW continued on page 6
A smiling face and desire to help greets residents at the Wellness Center By Deborah Bishop
es in technology became a career-changing factor, and the Valenza family decided to venture West to explore new employment opportunities. They moved to Billings, Montana, where they lived for 12 years while Patty worked in a hospital as a patient service representative, and Frank was with an outdoor advertising (billboards) company. Another change became timely, and promising, so the family moved to Orange County in California, where they lived for two years. Then on to Charleston, South Carolina, where her son Charles, who was born deaf, completed his post high school education at the Culinary Institute of Charleston and became a certified chef. Charles’s hearing is aided by a cochlear implant, and he prefers work as a private chef. Daughter Anna, who had remained in California, enlisted in the Navy and became a cryptologist in Arabic. She now lives in New York City and works for Facebook. After South Carolina the family returned to Philadelphia in 2010. The Valenzas are a close-knit family. After her mother’s death, Patty’s father was persuaded to move in and live with them, which he did for 25 years, until his recent demise. Patty Valenza, warm and enthusiastic, loves her job and the people here at Beaumont. Whether being greeted at the Wellness Center or speaking on the telephone, her positive personality inevitably brightens the day.
The first person you will most likely meet when entering our Wellness Center is Patty Valenza, the highly informative and always cheerful medical receptionist. Patty has bestowed her positive personality on that office since she first arrived on July 28, 2014. She came with many years of experience with a “physician advisor” company, which contacted, by telephone, case managers at hospitals. Due to the many changes in communication technology, that company closed and Patty was welcomed at Beaumont. Patty was born, raised and educated in Philadelphia. She went to St. Clement’s Grade School and graduated from West Catholic Girls High School in 1974. She married Frank Valenza in 1982 and subsequently had two children, Patty Valenza Charles and Anna. The family lived in West Chester for 11 years, where Frank was a self-employed intermediary in the printing business. Advanc-
Help Our Planet: Read Our New Flyer!
By Virginia Rivers for the Green Committee
M. Rust Sharp January 28, 2020
The flyer enclosed with this Beaumont News describes our efforts to improve sustainability here at Beaumont. Our program stands out among the local retirement communities. By reducing consumption, reusing and recycling, we can help reduce greenhouse gases and slow global warming.
Ivy Lee January 29, 2020
Maryann Collett January 30, 2020 Members of the Beaumont Community extend deepest sympathy to their families and friends.
Dining Green? Conserve Bags! By Frank Kampas for the Green Committee
BEAUMONT NEWS The Beaumont News is published by the residents and staff of the Beaumont Retirement Community, 601 N. Ithan Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Health code regulations prevent residents from taking home leftovers in containers that they bring from home. However, these regulations do not prevent residents from bringing bags to put the containers in. Bringing reusable paper or fabric bags to dinner to take home leftover containers is the preferred approach, from an environmental standpoint. The white plastic bags provided by Dining require special recycling, just as plastic grocery bags do.
Executive Editor Lynn Ayres Managing Editor Irene Borgogno Deputy Executive Editor and Production Manager John Hall Graphic Designer TJ Walsh Photo Editor Louise Hughes Contributing Editor Linda Madara Quality Control Jennifer Frankel Index Manager Nancy Harris Consulting Assistant Editors Mary Schnabel, Jean Homeier, Peggy Wolcott, Wistie Miller
Beaumont’s warm and welcoming reputation is epitomized by this long-time resident By Deborah Bishop dinner and danced, and that was when Mary and Nipper kissed for the first time. Mary Hyatt and Nipper Schnabel were married four years later in New York City. Mary moved to Boston, as Nipper had three more months at Massachusetts General. Nipper and Mary moved to Philadelphia, and Nipper went to work at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. One year later Mary had her first child. Many young doctors and their wives lived in West Philadelphia, as did Mary and Nipper. It was a happy community, but Mary and Nipper outgrew their apartment. They moved to Narberth and then to Rosemont. When her children grew up and left home, Mary became a volunteer guide at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Then, of course, Mary got a job at the museum in the public-relations office and became head of the Women’s Committee. As head, she did talks for her ladies about the best way for women’s committees to support their organizations. The talks were a hit! Mary became interested in lecturing about costumes and history. She lectured everywhere. Then she became head of the Friends of the Bryn Mawr Library. Mary and Nipper moved to a villa at Beaumont. After five years, in 2004, they moved to an apartment in the mansion. At that time, Mary was put on the Board of Beaumont. The chairman of the Board died suddenly, and Joe Fortenbaugh, Beaumont’s President, informed Mary that she was now the new chairman. After her stint as Chairman of the Board, Mary organized many activities for the residents, including a Spelling Bee and the Fashion Show. She is a member of the Writers’ Circle and a contributor to the Beaumont News, often writing about the overlooked but essential areas of Beaumont, such as the loading dock and the laundry. Nipper died from a stroke in 2009. Not long ago, Mary moved from her apartment to the Health Center. Upon her arrival, she threw her own welcome party, inviting all Health Center residents.
Scratch the surface of any resident and a delightful and helpful character emerges, both in history before coming to Beaumont and in behavior once here. The story of Mary Schnabel, a longtime resident of Beaumont, is representative. After graduating from Immaculata Junior College, Mary moonlighted as a model while working in the typing pool at NBC in New York City. Mary did not like typing. One day while modeling in a department store, she found the sewing section. She saw a lady discussing McCall’s patterns with a shopper. Mary went over and asked the woman about her job, and she got a name to call. She applied for a position at McCall’s and was hired. Among many things, Mary is very good at sewing. At the ripe old age of 22, Mary started traveling on her own around the United States—first class! Mary attracts happy, kind people. She knew someone everywhere she went. Mary came to Philadelphia, stayed at the Bellevue and called a young man she knew who was in the Navy. World War II was raging by that time. He suggested dinner and then a party he was giving. Mary said fine. It was at that party Mary met her life-long love, Nipper Schnabel. Nipper was a doctor in the Army, waiting Mary Schnabel to be shipped out to Italy. At that first meeting, Nipper asked Mary to meet his parents for breakfast the next morning. Fast worker! Mary and Nipper saw each other three times. The last time was in Washington, D.C., just before he left. Mary was staying at the Statler Hotel, which had a band. They had
Reflection Over Coffee I dispense myself as casually as coffee Over a counter on a rainy morning. Not potent, really, only clear, hot power To ease a spirit twisted tight from sleep.
I wish I were champagne, cupped within crystal, Golden as sunlight, subtle as a waltz, Blown back by wind across a midnight lake.
But I am merely coffee, as useful and forgotten As headlines in a hometown morning paper.
—Bette Keck Peterson
By Irene Borgogno
Be careful what you ask for; you may get it
Sometimes you don’t realize what you are getting into. This time, the topic was bats. Why it arose is lost in the mists of my memory. What remains is my surprise at how many people have had bat encounters. It was obvious fodder for an October Beaumont News article. Couldn’t be more seasonal. Each story would be summarized in two or three sentences and strung together like beads. Perfect! A request was issued for bat stories. (And thank you to everyone who took the time to share.) Then things went awry. It was an instant replay of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Disney’s 1940 animated film Fantasia. There were far too many bat stories to be able to include even a brief summary of each…and they kept coming! INEPT APPRENTICE shirks his job We decided of fetching water and casts a spell to have not to re-tell broomsticks do it. Unfortunately, he never stories, but rather learned how to stop them. Result: flood. to discuss bats. The stories were grouped by recurring themes, and just the similarities were reported. This proved to be a work-
able approach. But one story did not slide easily into this structure. Submitted by Linda Madara, it was my favorite, and we offer it here: The Phantom Bat It was 1925. Silent films were the rage when Phantom of the Opera, an adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s novel published 15 years earlier, appeared in movie houses. Lon Chaney played the lead role—a deformed phantom haunting the Grand Opera House in Paris. His only goal was to ensure the lady he idolized became a star. Produced without sound other than some musical accompaniment from the local theater organist, it was truly a horror-filled film complete with mayhem and murder. Fast forward 50+ years to Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, where organist Jeffrey Brillhart convinced the church’s Fine Arts Committee to present the original silent Phantom of the Opera. It would be absolutely perfect shown in the chapel. What’s more, he would happily provide appropriate musical accompaniment on the organ, enhancing the horrifying experience. All went as planned. The flickering black and white story danced across the screen at the front of the chapel. The organ bellowed forth spooky notes. The music grew louder and became more exciting, building up with each scene. Suddenly something swooped down out of nowhere. Down the center aisle and across the screen it moved, throwing a huge shadow with remarkable timing. Terrifying!
BE CAREFUL continued on page 11
Photos by Louise Hughes
HIGH COURT LADIES: From October until January, the National Museum of American Jewish History hosted the first East Coast stop for an exhibition about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman and first Jewish woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Beaumont visitors, robed and gaveled, pose with “Justice Ginsburg” in front of a Supreme Court backdrop. They are (from left to right) Ginny Rivers, Debbie Zug, Sonia Triester, Joan Roberts and Helen Gannon.
The robots are coming! The robots are coming!
Text and photo by Lynn Ayres
pick up. If there’s a discrepancy, a human will investigate. Robots have been part of our lives for a long time, and mostly we take them for granted, especially if they don’t look human. The aforementioned checkout scanner, for example, was implemented years ago to avoid errors and make checkout faster and easier for customers and employees. Now those immobile scanners have a mobile electronic colleague. The same day as my tiff with Marty I had to call my credit card company. My entire conversation was with a robot, and it was surprisingly quick and easy. No human intervention needed. A word of advice, however: don’t try to joke with a robot. It won’t “get” it. At least not yet.
No, they’re already here. A few weeks ago, I ran into Marty, a new acquaintance who works at the Giant supermarket on Lancaster Avenue in St. Davids. Marty is the tall, silent type and very polite, moving aside if someone is in his way. This time, though, he was not very helpful. He was starting down an aisle where I wanted to go. When I started down the same aisle, he seemed to get confused and wouldn’t stand aside for me. Then he backed up into my shopping cart. There was quite a kerfuffle, and angry words were spoken—by me, not him—but then he stopped and allowed me to go around him. I was miffed. He had always been such a gentleman. Marty is a robot. He’s over 6 feet tall and slender, with large eyes and a friendly smile. He was “hired” to survey his surroundings and look for problems, such as spills or debris that might be a safety hazard for customers. These he reports to his bosses, who send a human to take care of the situation. He also scans the shelves for empty areas and reports that restocking is needed. While he’s there, he scans the bar-coded price tags on the shelves to make sure they agree with the prices that the bar-code scanner at checkout will
Winter getaway to sunny Mesoamerica takes only three hours, door to door
By Lynn Ayres
A large blue bus filled-to-bursting with passengers departed Beaumont on January 9, heading for the newly refurbished Mexico and Central America Gallery of the Penn Museum. Penn has a long history of archaeological excavations in that region. The docent gave us an overview of Mesoamerican cultures with sculpture, jewelry, textiles and timelines on display. The Olmec in southeast Mexico were among the first complex societies. They are known for the immense stone heads they carved from volcanic rock. They played the Mesoamerican ballgame, adopted by nearly all subsequent Mesoamerican societies. The Teotihuacan culture was centered in a large, planned city in central Mexico, near Mexico City. They built pyramids and painted murals on plastered walls. Part of their religion was a cult of the feathered serpent, later named Kukulkan by the Maya and Quetzalcoatl by the Aztecs. The Maya in the Yucatan, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras developed astronomy, calendar systems, and hieroglyphic writing made up of 800 glyphs. They also created elaborate architecture: pyramids, temples, palaces and observatories. The Aztecs were the new kids on the block, arriving from the north and settling in central Mexico just 200 years
MART Y makes his rounds.
before the Spanish arrived. They cultivated the land, introduced irrigation, drained swamps, and created artificial islands in lakes. In 1519, Conquistador Hernán Cortés defeated Aztec King Moctezuma II, and Spain colonized central Mexico, followed quickly by the rest of Mesoamerica. Kudos to Louise Hughes for organizing such a fascinating trip.
ON DISPLAY: Maya Stela 14 was excavated by Penn archaeologists in Piedras Negras, Guatemala, and brought to the Penn Museum in the 1930s. It shows a ruler sitting on a raised dais. The glyphs on the left side of the stela tell us that his name was Yo’nal Ahk, and he came to power in 758 CE. At the lower left, looking up, stands a woman who is almost certainly his mother. One of the glyphs on the stela has been outlined for clarity.
ART SHOW continued from page 1 collage, ceramics…. Showstoppers included Nancy Sharp’s eleven amazing needlepoint Christmas stockings done for her grandchildren, which Santa borrowed for 24 hours to fill and then returned to the display! Grace Madeira’s Sailor’s Valentine in an octagonal frame was made of endless beautiful shells surrounding an antique post card. Leonard Randolph’s sculpted work of white marble begged visitors to run their fingers over the smooth surface of the design—despite the “Do Not Touch” sign. Betty Rippel’s two ecclesiastical embroidery pieces were worked in gold threads among silk, with stitches so small that they were almost invisible.
2. 1. 1. CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS— needlepoint by Nancy Sharp. 2. CLIMATE CHANGE— oil paint and ink on two layers of Mylar, by Jean Homeier.
3. SOCIALIZING—adds to art appreciation. 4. JUICY DISCUSSION— about the art, no doubt. 5. JUNGLE WILDLIFE— needlepoint, by Joan Greene.
Traditional holiday activity yields sweet results
Text and photos by Linda Madara
Even those who don’t bake all year will dig out their cookie sheets and cooling racks in December. But baking is only part of the story. Decorating the cookies is another level of fun. In the Music Room on December 19, Chef John Bauer coached a group of residents on decorating tips and showed how to pipe the butter cream frosting (a.k.a. glue for the decorations). Anne Godfrey and her aide Mary dived in with great enthusiasm. Eta Glassman chose gingerbread people to decorate, while Betsy Slattery preferred trees. Jane Ruffin, wearing a favorite apron from cooking school in 1959, was quite a pro with the frosting tubes and assorted decorations. Linda Parrotto’s granddaughter and four Baldwin School classmates on a tour of Beaumont stopped to decorate, as well. Some cookies were eaten, others shared. It was a delightfully sweet run-up to Christmas.
3. 1. Chef John and Eta Glassman 2. Betsy Slattery and the five Baldwin girls 3. Jane Ruffin
4. Anne Godfrey and her aide
Depictions of Gatehouse Lane Bridge illustrate different points of view
Text and photo by Lynn Ayres
Beaumont’s entrance on Ithan Avenue was originally the rear entrance, giving access to the stables, barn, chicken house and garage of William Austin’s mansion. It also led to the greenhouses and a huge vegetable garden. The front entrance, where guests arrived, was accessed at the Gatehouse on Old Gulph Road. The lane that leads up to the mansion includes a stone bridge over a creek that cuts through the property.
5. The Beaumont sign at the corner of Old Gulph Road and Ithan Avenue depicts the original Beaumont logo. It adorned the front page of every Beaumont News issue, but several years ago the logo was changed to acanthus leaves. Less bucolic; more classical. The bridge has been painted and photographed from various perspectives, but depictions always include the bridge and prominent tree(s). Former resident Helen Stephens painted several pictures of Beaumont, including the bridge. The artistry of Helen’s son, current resident Richard Stephens, is achieved by camera instead of paintbrush. Resident Leonard Randolph produced a seasonal selection of bridge paintings. It’s a popular view, and how it is depicted depends on who is viewing it.
3. 1-3. SEASONAL CHANGES painted by Leonard Randolph 4. GATEHOUSE LANE BRIDGE painted by Helen Stephens
5. "BRIDGE TO LISETER HALL" photographed by Richard Stephens 6. BEAUMONT SIGN on the southeast corner of Old Gulph and Ithan
BEAUMONT SINGERS' WINTER CONCERT on December 19 brightens the holiday season, as conductor Kevin Vondrak puts them through their paces.
Photos by Linda Madara
L L TA
E L TA By Irene Borgogno
Club Room chandelier’s donor takes a magical mystery tour of its past
The chandelier rested on a drop cloth on the floor of the Club Room. Marge sat in the love seat, looking at the disassembled pieces while waiting for the electrician to return. The fixture was being installed today, and she intended to watch. She leaned back comfortably, thinking back to when she had acquired the chandelier. Marge told the salesman that she wanted to look at chandeliers. He led the way to the lighting area and was gesturing towards a fixture when a different one caught her eye. Something about it appealed to her, and it was the one she purchased. While the paperwork was being processed, the salesman smiled and said, “There’s a story that goes with that one. Let me tell you about it.” A chandelier was commissioned by the fifth Earl of Owlcrest to hang in the foyer of his London townhouse. That fixture supported 20 candles, twice the number of lights on this fixture. Its central luster was a large, white sapphire. The earl had received the stone from the Rajah of Narikurava, in recognition of services rendered. The earl was very proud of his sapphire, but he was eventually forced to sell it to pay gambling debts accumulated by his heir. The earl refused to take out a mortgage to pay those debts. When he inherited the title, he inherited an encumbered estate. He would not inflict the same on his heir, however much he might regret this individual. It was his third and least loved son who was set to inherit. The earl still grieved for his two oldest sons, both of whom had died in a tragic boating accident. The third son became the sixth Earl upon the death of his father. He led a wild and profligate life, but did not have time to bankrupt the estate. He died within a year of his father’s death, his neck broken after being thrown by his horse in a fox hunting accident. The title passed back to the fifth earl’s one remaining son, who became the seventh earl. This youngest son had always suspected his third brother of orchestrating the boating accident that killed his two older brothers. He loathed the chandelier because of memories it raised regarding his father’s grief and his brothers’ deaths. He removed it from the foyer and would have had it thrown into the sea, but the vicar’s wife learned of his plan and requested the chandelier for the annual parish jumble sale. The chandelier was not in good condition. During his brief, wild reign, the sixth Earl occasionally used it for target practice. One arm was broken, and several luster pendants were missing. Whispers of a possible curse clung to the chandelier, arising from the suspicions held by many local people regarding the deaths of the two oldest brothers. Only one person showed any interest in the chandelier, a young journeyman glassblower. He thought he could produce a new body and attach the remaining lusters and pendants. He would design the body to accommodate that exciting new lighting phenomenon, electricity. The vicar’s wife decided to give it to the journeyman, who could
Photo by Richard Stephens, Beaumont News, November 2014
CLUB ROOM CHANDELIER undergoes changes from incandescents to LEDs with the help of Beaumont Maintenance Supervisor Paul Conboy and Marge Helmetag, who brought the chandelier from her previous home. Marge also paid for the new bulbs. not afford to buy it. He took his treasure and made the chandelier he had imagined. The master glassblower was impressed with his work, and the chandelier was added to a consignment of fixtures that were to be sent to the United States. A sharp ping, the sound of metal hitting crystal, startled Marge. She opened her eyes. Her chandelier was no longer on the floor; it was hanging from the ceiling, and the electrician was attaching the crystal lusters, one-by-one. She had fallen asleep! She had missed the entire installation process. But she had experienced one phenomenal dream. Looking at the electrician, Marge recognized the face she had placed on the salesman, the earl, and all the other characters. She grimaced and thought, “Oh, wonderful. Taking naps at 10 in the morning. And how did I come up with a white sapphire, an Indian Rajah and the Earl of Owlcrest? Owlcrest?! I should start writing Regency romances; my imagination seems to run in that direction. Isn’t there a creative writing group here at Beaumont?”
Editor's Note Fact: The chandelier in the Club Room was given to Beaumont by long-time resident Marjorie Helmetag, who died at the age of 100 in October 2019. Fiction: The dream sequence was the author’s imagination.
By Lynn Ayres
Color is literally in the eye of the beholder
The two examples here show the same scene as painted in 1897 and again 26 years later. Not only did the cataracts prevent him from seeing details, but the colors he saw had undergone an astonishing transformation. Gone were the tranquil blues and greens. In their stead were strong reds and yellows, as if the trees were on fire. Cataracts, even in early stages, skew color perception because they do not allow certain wavelengths of light to pass through them. By the way, I looked again at my friend’s boa. I have to concede that the color now looks more gray, probably because of the additional blue that I can see now.
The sky is blue, grass is green, bananas are yellow and stop signs are red. However, there are many different shades within a color. Do we all see the same shade? Or even the same color? No. A few years ago a friend bought a crocheted boa in burgundy, pink and green. Or so I thought. Where I saw green, my friend saw gray. We showed it to a group of friends and asked the color. The “green-or-gray?” results were 50-50. Why do people see colors differently? One answer is colorblindness, but no one in the group was colorblind. There are other reasons, as well. Remember Roy G. Biv, an old friend from school days? It is a mnemonic device for remembering the order of the colors in the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. If visible light is passed through a prism, it is broken down into those colors.
Prism diagram from Encyclopedia Britannica How do we perceive the colors? Light falls on an object, let’s say a red apple. The apple absorbs some of the light. The rest—in this case red—is reflected into our eyes, which react to the reflected color. Different colors have different wavelengths, and this information is relayed to the brain. The brain interprets the data and decides “red.” Many Beaumont residents have had cataract surgery. I joined those ranks last August. The procedure was straightforward enough, but later I had a few surprises. After my right eye was done, I could cover one eye and then the other to compare what I saw through each. Vision with my right eye was greatly improved, but the colors had changed! In addition to being brighter and sharper, everything was bluer. After surgery, white things were no longer yellowish; they looked freshly bleached. (Remember when bluing was used to make white laundry brighter?) The summer leaves on the trees were no longer “warm” green, containing yellow, but “cool” green, containing more blue. I wondered if something was wrong, but a friend mentioned Impressionist artist Claude Monet, known for his water lily series of paintings, mainly in shades of blue, green and white, just as he saw them in his garden in Giverny, France. As he got older, his perception slowly changed because of cataracts.
TWO PAINTINGS OF THE SAME SCENE: The Waterlily Pond, 1897, and The Japanese Bridge, 1923, both by Claude Monet.
Photos from http://www.intermonet.com/colors
‘ Blizzard’ of snow geese from high Arctic descends upon temperate mid-Atlantic
Text and photos by Jane Ruffin
A week after I had enjoyed the wind and cold in New Jersey, I went to Bombay Hook near Dover for colder weather but not quite so much wind. I arrived about half an hour before sunrise and chose a spot where I could see the flock of snow geese. It was 19°F but little wind. As the sun came over the horizon something disturbed the geese and they took off as one. The noise was amazing, and they chattered and called as they circled two or three times before landing. Almost immediately they settled down to sleep. I looked at the sighting lists, and flock size estimates varied from 800 to 3,000. I have no idea exactly how many were there. A young bald eagle flew in, and the geese all stood to attention. But the eagle was looking for smaller prey, and they settled down again. Later they took off and flew to farm fields to graze and glean. 1. SNOW GEESE landing at sunrise create a fantasy in pink. 2. YOUNG BALD EAGLE seeks breakfast. (Bald eagles do not get their white heads and tails until they are five years old.) 3. NAPPING on the ice.
Frigid, blustery January weather creates challenges for hooded mersangers
Text and photos by Jane Ruffin
On January 17, I decided to go to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, just north of Atlantic City. I knew it was going to be cold, about 27°F, and also windy. The west wind blew at 20 mph making holding a camera outside quite difficult. I stayed in the car! There were not as many birds as I had hoped, but there were plenty of my favorite duck, the hooded merganser. Hooded mergansers are small ducks with a thin bill and a fan-shaped, collapsible crest that makes the head look oversized and oblong. The male is a dapper-looking fellow—at least when his hairdo stays in place. The tide was very low and the wind had blown a lot of water out of the impoundments. The fact that it was low tide didn't help much. The good thing was that the ducks were in the pools of water near the road. They dive to find small crabs and fish to eat. I had such fun watching the mergansers being blown inside out! 1. THE MISSUS gives hubby an earful. 2. REALLY BAD FEATHER DAY! It's hard to stay well groomed in all this wind! 3. TUMMY ITCH: Male merganser flips onto his back to preen himself.
BUDGET continued from page 1
quarter of 2021. Funding Pathway: Funding Committee members Gerry Isom and Jim Zug explained issues that affect financing this project. Building envelope costs will be addressed separately from other capital improvement costs. The present stream of income covers capital expenditures for the next 25 years, not including the building envelope. Exact numbers for the building envelope project cannot be determined at this time, but assessments to be paid by residents will be based on each unit’s square footage. Costs associated with remaining areas of Commons will be allocated equally to all 200 units. The committee presented estimates of costs to residents for different units, basing estimates on $10 million, $20 million and $30 million loans. For example, if the loan were $20 million, the building envelope assessment would range from a monthly cost of $540 for the smallest unit to $1,400 for the largest (or a total cost of $64,000 to $170,000). These numbers do not include loan interest or the ongoing $350/month assessed in 2016. Payment Options: There will be three ways to pay the assessment. • 100% up-front: With this option there is no interest to pay. • 3-year payoff: This matches the heaviest cash flow period. With this option there is no interest. • Monthly: over the term of the loan.
2019 UPDATE: The 2020 budget plan was presented to residents on November 12, 2019. In 2019, Intertek was engaged to conduct a more thorough examination of the building envelope—not just the stucco but also the sheathing and structures underneath. The result was a far deeper and more urgent problem than had been anticipated. To deal with scope, cost and funding options, the BRCI appointed the Capital Development Committee (CDC), with three subcommittees to recommend the best courses of action. The Construction Committee will work with Lenhardt and Rodger Architects and Intertek (building engineers) on schematics more consistent with Beaumont standards. They will also identify, interview and select general contractors. The Funding Committee will research and devise a comprehensive capital plan. The Communications Committee will work on internal and external updates. 2020 UPDATE: A Town Hall meeting was held on January 29, 2020. Intertek Presentation: Senior Managers Matthew Ridgeway and Kevin Weise gave a comprehensive presentation showing external and internal damage caused by water penetration. Patching is not an option; the job requires removal of all existing exterior materials until all framing is exposed. Construction Group: Planning and preliminary activities, including submission of permit drawings to Lower Merion Township, will proceed, and the construction firm will submit the final budget. Construction will begin in the first
What is next? In March and April, each unit owner should seek counsel with self, family and financial advisor to determine which payment option is best. AND THE BEAT GOES ON: Senior Song Book videos of interviews and performances by Marv Weisbord (piano) and Alan Tripp continue into the New Year.
BE CAREFUL continued from page 4 To this day Jeffrey swears he was as stunned as the audience. Somewhere up in the chapel rafters, a poor, crazed, and lonely bat had been rudely jolted out of its peaceful somnambulant state. In abject terror, it had taken flight as if propelled from a canon, straight down the Chapel’s center aisle toward the screen. Then it vanished…. Was the bat ever found? Not that anyone admits… which is a shame, because the little creature is certainly in line for an Oscar for perfect timing.
Photos by Linda Madara
Boas, beads and flapper headbands embellish Great Gatsby New Year's Eve To welcome 2020, Beaumont turned the calendar back a century with a “Roaring Twenties” party theme. It was all feathers and beads for décor as well as attire. Paige Welby’s team from Resident Services arranged the jazzy and imaginative decorations. Art Deco, the artistic style in vogue back then, was also reflected in Paige’s fringed frock. Food and Beverage Director Zack Margolis coordinated the menu and food service, including a wine fountain. The lobster soufflé and filet mignon were very well received, and residents’ comments about service were A+. Zack took great pleasure in pouring champagne for the guests. Family members also joined the celebration, including the Collett clan’s triplet grandchildren. Dining, dancing, socializing and a champagne toast welcomed the New Year.
All photos by Linda Madara