Senior Beacon Newspaper, December 2019

Page 1

Senior Beacon SB Eldest & Locally-Owned Senior Newspaper in Southern Colorado


Vol. 38:11

Established February 1982

455 Consecutive Months!

Committed To Southern Colorado Seniors For 38 Years And Counting!!

ElectriCritters expands at PUEBLO ZOO

A WINNER IN the “Best Place for Family Entertainment� category in Pueblo Chieftain’s Best of Pueblo, ElectriCritters is presented by Black Hills Energy. ElectriCritters at the Pueblo Zoo is sure to brighten your 2019! In addition to more than 250,000 lights and over 150 sculptures, enjoy touring two buildings with some of your favorite exotic animals and on select nights, get a free photo with Santa! Guests can enjoy holiday music while warming up in the EcoCenter with a cup of hot chocolate or Solar

HOLIDAY FLAIRE. Santa, gingerbread houses and holiday lights take place at the Pueblo Zoo.

Roast Coffee at the Candy Cane CafÊ. The Pueblo Zoo gift shop offers unique holiday gifts for animal lovers. New ElectriCritters’ exhibits were exclusively designed for the zoo by local artists, Richard Montano & Design Specialties, sculpted by the PCC

SkillsUSA Welding Club, and installed by the “Critter Crew.� Thanks to our sponsors Black Hills Energy, Colorado Lottery, Wagner Rents, Mission Side, Neil & Lynne Wainwright, Solar Roast Coffee, The Pueblo Chieftain, Thatcher Mini Storage, and KOAA 5.


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Page 2 - Senior Beacon - December 2019 FINANCE

3 Ways to Make Smarter Investment Decisions WELL, IT'S ALMOST a new year and I think most of us want to see more gains for the stock and bond markets. But are there any ways to increase our “odds” for success? Most advisors would agree there are a few things we can do as investors to make good returns. There are also a few things to NOT do. 1. Don’t Make Emotional Decisions. What other kinds of decisions are there?! We all tend to make those emotional decisions day-to-day. But the market is already emotional and manic enough without us adding to the volatility. If everyone decided to sell when the market was performing poorly then we would be selling three times for every one time we’re buying. According to Ned Davis Research, for the last 100 years, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is either in a bear market or recovering from a bear market. The


Independent Financial Advisor and a Pueblo, Colorado native


We’re always in the middle of some kind of volatility. But you need to get some good, fundamental advice about the markets and the economy. I highly recommend books. If you want my recommended reading list just email me your request. DJIA is actually only making new highs (and therefore creating “new” wealth for stockholders) 22.6% of the time. You’ve probably heard it more than once: stay in the market for the “long term.” And long term is not really that long. Ibbotson Associates research says that if you were invested in the market for any 5-year period from 1926-2000 (which includes The Great Depression) you would have had a 90% chance of getting a positive return. Those are solid odds. 2. Get Accurate Information. It’s very tempting to look at the financial & political news and check up on things. But along with

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that good information is sensationalist journalism. They need to get “eyeballs” somehow. And that way is usually by exaggerating bad news and good news. Think about it. When we had the Tech Bubble all you could read about or see on TV was the “new economy.” Everyone was talking about the tech stocks they bought last week that just doubled. The media fed this frenzied bubble. The same goes for the bubbles that followed. Remember gold and real estate? What new bad news is the media focusing on now? We’re always in the middle of some kind of volatility. But you need to get some good, fundamental advice about the markets and the economy. I highly recommend books. If you want my recommended reading list just email me your request. What would happen if you listened to doom and gloom? If

you had missed the 40 best days in the market in the last century then your return would be a very small 4.15% annually instead of the 13.05% if you had not gotten out of the market (source: Ibbotson Associates). 3. Follow What Has Worked In The Past. Warren Buffett’s mentor Ben Graham believed highly in asset allocation, owning many different asset classes to even out your returns. It’s easier than ever to own asset classes that move in different directions from each other. If you have a diverse portfolio (one with ten or more unique asset classes) then you should be in good shape to weather most market storms. If not, now is a great time to re-allocate your funds and buy high-quality assets. Have a Happy & Prosperous New Year! Ronald S. Phillips is a Pueblo native and an independent financial advisor. Order a free copy of his book Investing To Win by calling 545-6442. Visit or email


December 2019- Senior Beacon - Page 3


Auto Dealership Now Italian Restaurant DI RITO'S ITALIAN Restau-

rant opened in 2001 when Bob, Lettie, and their son Greg DiRito, took an old automotive dealership and remodeled it into a 185-seat restaurant specializing in homemade Italian dishes.

MADE FROM SCRATCH. Di Rito's Italian Restaurant brings fresh ingredients and homemade delights to its menu in Canon City.

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To rewind a little, the seed of growth for restaurant in Bob started in 1956 when, Bob and his brother Richard opened the Joker Drive-in in Canon City. They were the first to sell pizza in Canon and those same recipes were carried forward 45 years later, when Bob opened up a restaurant with his son. They have homemade soup and bread made daily, that pairs well with Di Rito’s signature Roasted Garlic. From the Red Sauce, to the Meatballs, to the Ravioli, Di Rito’s menu is filled with homemade delights. The steaks are fresh cut in house, the smell of freshly grated parmesan permeates the air, and the feel of Nonos’ Kitchen is ever present. The lions’ share of their menu was formed on scratch made recipes and fresh ingredients, and carries forward today, nearly 20 years later with those same principles. The building started with 70 seats and has since grown, to also now include 2 outdoor dining areas, but a local favorite is the “Garage” room, that uses that same door that rolled in new Plymoths’ years ago. They have a room available for private parties, and feature happy hour every day from 4-6 pm in “Bobby’s Grotto.” Bob DiRito also worked and helped his son Rob and daughter Marian open Bernardino’s Italian Restaurant, in Florence Colorado in 1991. Bob passed in 2007, but you will find Greg in there and Lettie continues to work on occasion, as well as at any point in time, various grandchildren and cousins might be found taking care of you. The Di Rito family left Taranta Peligna, Italy 100 years ago, to become a member of Canon City, and they plan to be here with you, making all feel a part of the family at Di Rito’s Restaurant for many years to come.

Page 4 - Senior Beacon - December 2019 NEWS

Medicare Income-Related Premium Wrong? SOCIAL SECURITY CARES

about accuracy and we want you to get the exact benefit amount you deserve. Changes in the law affect how we calculate monthly Medicare Part B (medical insurance) and Medicare prescription drug coverage premiums. Medicare Part B provides coverage for physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and other items. Most beneficiaries will pay a standard premium for Part B coverage. Some beneficiaries may also pay a late enrollment surcharge. A small number of beneficiaries with higher incomes will pay a higher Part B premium based on their income. Medicare prescription drug coverage helps pay for prescription drugs. Plan costs vary depending on the plan, and on whether you get Extra Help with your portion of the MediCOUNTING PENNIES. Social Security is about accuracy and makes sure benefits are the exact amount care prescription drug costs. owed to people. A small number of beneficiaries with higher incomes will pay a the decision, you may request an 10125.pdf. miums: Rules for Higher-Income higher prescription drug premium If your income has gone down appeal. Beneficiaries (SSA Publication No. based on their income. due to certain specific circumstancThe fastest and easiest way to If you’re a Medicare beneficiary 05-10536) at www.socialsecurity. es, or if you filed an amended tax rewho must pay more for your Medi- file an appeal is by visiting www. gov/pubs/EN-05-10536.pdf. You care Part B or Medicare prescription turn, you can ask for a new decision don’t have to file an appeal to get a without having to file an appeal. You can also read more at www. drug coverage premium because of See our fact sheet, Medicare Prenew decision. your income, and you disagree with

Why Not Give a Shout Out to

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December 2019- Senior Beacon - Page 5

SRDA DECEMBER 2019 CALENDAR Special information from Pueblo’s SRDA (Plus)

Senior Resource Development Agency 230 N. Union Ave. (719) 553-3445 Calendar of Events DECEMBER 2019

■ Monday – DECEMBER 9 9-10 Computer Class (3rd floor) 10-12 ACRYLIC ART CLASS 2:00 – 3:00 SELF DEFENSE 3:00 – 4:00 TAI - CHI

■ Monday – DECEMBER 2 9-10 Computer Class (3rd floor) 10-12 ACRYLIC ART CLASS 2-3 Sr. Self Defense 3-4 Tai Chi

■ Tuesday – DECEMBER 10 9-10 Laptop & Tablet Classes 8:45-9:45 Morning Tai Chi 9-2 Pinochle 10-11 Chair Yoga 11-12 Line Dancing 1-3 Knit & Chat

■ Tuesday - DECEMBER 3 9-10 Laptop & Tablet (3rd floor) 8:45 – 9:45 Morning Tai – Chi 9-2 Pinochle 10-11 Chair Yoga 11-12 Line Dancing

■ Wednesday – DECEMBER 11 9-12 Mahjongg 12-3 Party Bridge 1-2 Zumba 3-4 Tai Chi 3-5 Volunteer Singers

■ Wednesday –DECEMBER 4 9-12 Mahjongg 12-3 Party Bridge 1-2 Zumba 3-4 Tai Chi 3-5 Volunteer Singers

■ Thursday – DECEMBER 12 8:45-9:45 Morning Tai Chi 9-2 Pinochle 9- 11 Sewing Club 10-11 Chair Yoga 11-12 Line Dance Too ■ Friday – DECEMBER 13 10-11 Jian Qi Gong

■ Thursday – DECEMBER 5 8:45-9:45 Morning Tai Chi 9:00 – 10:00 Mayor Community Meeting 9-2 Pinochle 10-11 Chair Yoga 11-12 Line Dance Too ■ Friday – DECEMBER 6 10-11 Jian Qi Gong

■ Monday – DECEMBER 16 10 Computer Class 10-12 Art Class 1-3 Mat 2-3 Sr. Self Defense 3-4 Tai - Chi

■ Tuesday – DECEMBER 17 9-10 Laptop & Tablet Class 8:45-9:45 Morning Tai Chi 9-2 Pinochle 10-11 Chair Yoga 10-12 Line Dancing ■ Wednesday – DECEMBER 18 8 – 1 AARP Drive Safe 9-12 Mahjongg 12-3 Party Bridge 1-2 Zumba 3-4 Tai Chi 3-5 Volunteer Singer ■ Thursday – DECEMBER 19 8:45-9:45 Morning Tai Chi 9-2 Pinochle 10-11 Chair Yoga 11-12 Line Dance Too

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230 N. Union Ave. Pueblo, CO 81001

Call us: 719-545-8900 3:00 – 4:00 Tai Chi (Make up for 12/25) ■ Wednesday - DECEMBER 25

■ Friday – DECEMBER 20 10-11 Jian Qi Gong 1:30-3:30 Social, Music and Treats Provided

Closed for Christmas (offices

■ Monday – DECEMBER 23 9-10 Computer Class 10-12 Art Class 2-3 Sr. Self Defense 3-4 Tai – Chi

■ Thursday – DECEMBER 26

■ Tuesday – DECEMBER 24 9-10 Laptop & Tablet 8:45-9:45 Morning Tai Chi 9-2 Pinochle 1-3 Knit & Chat 10-11 Chair Yoga 11-12 Line Dancing

10-11 Chair Yoga

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8:45-9:45 Morning Tai Chi 9-2 Pinochle 9:00 – 11:00 Sewing Club 11-12 Line Dance Too ■ Friday- DECEMBER 26 10:00 – 11:00 Jian Qigong ■ Monday - DECEMBER 30 8:45 – 9:45 am Tai Chi Make up 9-10 Computer Class 10-12 Art Class 2-3 Sr. Self Defense 3-4 Tai – Chi ■ Tuesday – DECEMBER 31

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9-10 Laptop & Tablet Class 8:45-9:45 Morning Tai Chi 9-2 Pinochle 10-11 Chair Yoga 10-12 Line Dancing ■ WEDNESDAY- JANUARY 1 Closed for NEW YEARS (offices and dining room )

Page 6 - Senior Beacon - December 2019


Director of Prayer for Prisoners International



arely into November Rick said, “Well, I think it’s time to turn on the Christmas lights!� “What?� I protested. “It isn’t even Thanksgiving!� On a beautiful sunny day, or rather a few beautiful sunny days long before

Halloween, Rick plunged into the boxes of Christmas decorations. After hours of hanging lights, garlands, red bows and glittering bells, he stood back to determine where something might be missing. After more trips up and down the ladder he checked his work again. He requested my help to determine the right spot for the lighted buck and doe. When every garland and string of lights was hung, he stepped back once more to admire his efforts. When darkness closed in he called me to the door, turned off the lights in the house, walked me to the street and with his new remote in hand lit up every corner of the house and everything between. Breathtaking! His enthusiastic work is displayed in brilliant full color as Christmas lights up our house and the immediate neighborhood. Rick beams with satisfaction. A job well done. This man loves to decorate our house inside and outside for Christmas. This year he added tinsel and lights inside the front picture window to compliment the lavish treatment displayed on the outside.

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Standing back, I observe his delight as he unwraps unique ornaments or carved angels and frosted children playing in glittering snow. “Wow! This one is beautiful! I never saw this before.� His delight in discovering special treasures is contagious. He sets the nativity pieces in perfect order on the mantel and strings above the fireplace sparkling tinsel entwined with twinkling white lights. When we traveled to Europe a few years ago we rode the train to Koblenz where Rick’s father grew up. His grandparents moved to America when his dad was 13 years old. When we stepped off the train in Koblenz, Rick could barely contain his tears. Emotions rocked him. As is our habit when we travel, we purchased a beautiful glass ornament with a picture of the monument at Deutsches Eck (German Corner) in the center of Koblenz where the Rhine and Mosel Rivers merge. A couple years ago, I dropped it and it shattered into several pieces. Gluing these pieces together was difficult and still, it looks broken. When I was recently in Europe my trip didn’t include Koblenz. However, in Rudesheim I asked a shopkeeper if he had Koblenz Christmas ornaments and was ecstatic when he returned with one. Of course, I brought it home and when Rick unwrapped it he was speechless. It is exactly the same as the one I had broken. Rick and I celebrated 15 years of marriage in October. Before we married, he had never decorated a house for Christmas. From our first year he has taken great pride in decorating our home. When he began, I protested new nail holes in the siding or interior walls. Today, I back off and chuckle at his child-like enthusiasm. Last year Rick suffered a massive heart attack and our Lord was merciful and restored him to amazing health with two thirds of his heart functioning. After nearly a month in UC Health in Denver and several months to recuperate and regain his strength, he began hanging Christmas decorations, this time with tears streaming. Periodically he exclaimed, “Thank you, God, for giving me one more year to do this.� You see, Rick isn’t just decorating the house for Christmas, he is celebrating the Christ of Christmas. He understands the grace of God which has granted him not one but two more years to decorate the house and shine for Jesus. Rick shares Jesus regularly and with enthusiasm to prisoners and decorates their darkness with joy. They love his miracle story and the Light of Christ he takes to them in prison. Many of these prisoners were a part of Rick’s miraculous story through their



December 2019- Senior Beacon - Page 7


Alzheimer's, Caregivers Holiday Gift Ideas HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS for people with Alzheimer's and their caregivers Holidays can be stressful enough, but when you add in a person living with dementia, gatherings with family and friends become more complex. Finding the right gift for our loved ones can be challenging. The Alzheimer's Association offers a caregiver holiday guide that shows how, with careful planning, family celebrations can continue to be a meaningful part of the holidays while ensuring safety, comfort and enjoyment for everyone. If you have a caregiver or a person with Alzheimer's on your gift-giving list, we've got some suggestions to make your shopping a bit easier. Gifts for people with Alzheimer's – in the early stages Items to help remember things: Magnetic reminder refrigerator pads Post-it notes Baskets or trays that can be labeled within cabinets or drawers A small pocket-size diary or notebook Erasable whiteboards for key

rooms in the house A memorable calendar featuring family photos – write in special family occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries Items to help with everyday tasks: A memory phone that can store up to eight pictures with the names and contact information of family and friends Automatic medication dispenser that can help the person living with Alzheimer's remember to take medicine Nightlights that come on automatically when it gets dark A clock with the date and time in large type Items to help keep the person engaged: An outing to a movie, play or concert, sporting event, museum or possibly an organized holiday shopping trip with friends and family Favorite musical CDs or a CD with a compilation of favorite tunes DVD collection of favorite movies Activities such as scrapbooking or other craft projects Gifts for people with Alzheimer's – in the middle-to-late stages

Gifts that stimulate the five senses may bring back pleasant memories: Scented lotions A fluffy bathrobe in a favorite color A soft blanket or afghan to keep warm Comfortable clothes that are easy to remove and washable, such as sweatsuits, knits, large banded socks, shoes with Velcro ties, wrinkle-free nightgowns, nightshirts or robes Music – research shows that music has a positive impact on individuals with Alzheimer's, bringing them back to good times, increasing stimulation and providing an opportunity to interact with family members Framed photographs or a photo collage – insert the names of the people in the photo and put in frames or in a photo album created specifically for that person Gifts for caregivers The most important gift you can give a caregiver is the gift of time: Self-made coupons for cleaning the house, cooking a meal, mowing the lawn or shoveling the driveway Time off so a caregiver can do something to meet their needs

Gift cards and certificates for restaurants, laundry/dry cleaning services, lawn care services, computer/ technology support, maid services, and personal pampering services such as massages and pedicures Books – in addition to giving novels on the caregiver's "must read" list, there are a number of books on caregiving The Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association serves families across the state at no charge through offices in Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Durango, Fort Collins, Grand Junction, Greeley and Pueblo. Since 1980, the chapter has provided reliable information and care consultation, created supportive services for families, increased funding for dementia research, and influenced public policy changes. The Colorado Chapter serves more than 325,000 Coloradans affected by Alzheimer's disease, including over 73,000 people living with the disease and more than a quarter of a million unpaid family caregivers. For more information, visit www. or call the free 24-hour Helpline at (800) 272-3900.

Page 8 - Senior Beacon - December 2019

NEWS OF THE WEIRD SPECIAL TO THE SENIOR BEACON FROM THE EDITORS OF ANDREWS MCMEEL move on," but they maintained that the tradition does "absolutely nothing to harm" the animal. Animal Help Now, however, is continuing its campaign against the state statute that makes it legal for people to treat opossums however they wish between the dates of Dec. 29 and Jan. 2. [Raleigh News & Observer, 11/18/2019]

Curious Tradition Animal Help Now, a group that assists in "animal emergencies," has gathered almost 160,000 signatures on a petition to repeal legislation allowing "Possum Drops" in North Carolina. In a number of communities in the state, the custom of putting an opossum in a transparent box, suspending it in the air and then slowly lowering it to the ground is a feature of New Year's Eve celebrations. Organizers in Brasstown told the Raleigh News & Observer they ended its Possum Drop after the 2018 event because it's "a hard job to do, and it's time to

Bright Ideas ■ Maybe they're betting no woman will reveal what she weighs in public, but the Fusion Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is offering women free drink credits

based on their weight. For example, a woman who weighs 150 pounds would receive about $18.50 in free cocktails. Anil Kumar, spokesman for the club, told Insider that while they have a scale behind the bar, they will also accept a woman's word about what she weighs. "They can just write the weight on a paper and give it to the bartender discreetly," he said. "Very simple, no strings attached. We wanted the ladies to surprise their partners and friends that it's good to gain weight!" [Insider, 11/15/2019] ■ A 16-year-old boy was detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents on Nov.

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17 after an agent saw him hiding in brush about a mile north of the Otay Mesa Point of Entry near San Diego. Authorities said the teenager had a remote-control car with him, along with two large duffel bags stuffed with 50 packages of methamphetamines, weighing more than 55 pounds and worth more than $106,000. Border Patrol spokesman Theron Francisco told The San Diego Union-Tribune that authorities believe the car was used to carry the bundles across the border, making many trips through the bollard-style fence from the south side and driving to the teen on the north side. The boy was charged with drug smuggling and held in Juvenile Hall. [San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/19/2019] Yeah, No If you're passing through the seaside city of Fukuoka, Japan, here's a tip for a cheap hotel: A night in room No. 8 at the Asahi Ryokan will cost you just $1. And your privacy. In return for the low rate, your entire stay in your room will be livestreamed on YouTube. Hotel manager Tetsuya Inoue told CNN on Nov. 20 that while the world can watch the room's guests, there is no audio, so conversations and phone calls can remain private. Also, the bathroom is out of camera range. And, of course, guests can turn out the lights. "Our hotel is on the cheaper side," Inoue said, "so we need some added value, something special that everyone will talk about." [CNN, 11/20/2019] Crime Report When Martin Skelly, 41, was arrested on Nov. 16 in a Clearwater, Florida, McDonald's for possession of methamphetamines, he told officers he did not have any other contraband. But during his intake at the Pinellas County Jail, a deputy found a "small bag of crystal powder substance wedged deep within (his) belly button cavity," Fox News reported, which later tested positive for meth. Skelly, who is 5-foot-9 and weighs 380 pounds, received two additional charges for introducing contraband into a correctional facility and narcotics possession. [Fox News, 11/20/2019] People Different From Us Bodybuilder Kirill Tereshin, 23, a former Russian soldier also known as Popeye, underwent surgery in Moscow in mid-November after doctors told him that the petroleum jelly he had been injecting into his biceps to increase their size might result in the amputation of his arms. Surgeon Dmitry Melnikov told Metro News: "The problem is that this is


December 2019- Senior Beacon - Page 9


SPECIAL TO THE SENIOR BEACON FROM THE EDITORS OF ANDREWS MCMEEL petroleum jelly. (Tereshin) injected this so thoroughly that it spread in the muscle and killed it." In this first of four surgeries, doctors removed 3 pounds of dead muscle and 3 liters of jelly that had formed into a solid lump. The injections were causing Tereshin high fevers, pain and weakness. Following the operations, doctors have told Tereshin, he will have arm movement but his arm muscles will be diminished. [Metro News, 11/20/2019] Awesome! Over the past five years, 12 separate bundles of cash, totaling nearly $45,000, have turned up on sidewalks in the quiet, beachside Eng-

lish village of Blackhall Colliery, posing a mystery for local Detective Constable John Forster. "These bundles are always ... discovered by random members of the public who have handed them in," Forster told 9News, although he did admit he suspects some bundles have not been turned over to police. Officials have no evidence of a crime committed related to the bundles, usually containing about 2,000 pounds apiece. After a period of time, if no one claims them, the folks who discovered the bundles will get to keep them. [9News, 11/19/2019] Compelling Explanation Police and firefighters in Liber-

ty, Ohio, were called to the Liberty Walmart on the afternoon of Nov. 16 to find a car on fire in the parking lot, reported WFMJ. Owner Stephanie Carlson, 40, told them there was a can of gas in the trunk and she had lighted a candle to get rid of the smell, but she later admitted she had poured gas on the seats and started the fire with a lighter because the car was dirty and there was a problem with the front wheel. The car belonged to her husband, who said he had been looking for her all day, and also told officers she had allegedly been found huffing mothballs and paint thinner recently. Police took her into custody and


Suspicions Confirmed After the death of their uncle, Sifiso Justice Mhlongo, in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, Thandaza Mtshali and Thobeka Mhlongo ran into trouble trying to settle a claim on his life insurance. According to The Daily Star, Old Mutual required confirmation the man had passed away and delayed payment because they were waiting for "additional assessments." So on Nov. 19, the women went to the funeral home, retrieved their uncle's body and took it to the company's local office.

Call SRDA at 545-8900 for congregate meal sites and Meals-on-Wheels info!

DECEMBER LUNCH MENU ● Dec. 2 – Shepard’s Pie, Roasted Herb Cauliflower, Scandinavian Mixed Vegetables, Beef Barley Soup/Crackers, Chilled Diced Pears. ● Dec. 3 - Tuna Noodle Casserole, Seasoned Corn, Harvard Beets, Italian Vegetable Toss, Oranges w/Whipped Topping. ● Dec. 4 – Chili Con Carne, Spanish Rice Seasoned Yellow Squash, Corn Bread w/Margarine, Chilled Apricots. ● Dec. 5 – Ham & Potato Casserole, Seasoned Asparagus, Capri Mixed Vegetables, Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup/Crackers, Peach Crisp. ● Dec. 6 – Beef & Bean Burrito w/Green Chili, Calabacitas, Cape Cod Mixed Vegetables, Beef Noodle Soup/Crackers, Grape-Fruit Cup. ● Dec. 9 – Sweet & Sour Chicken, Fried Rice, Oregon Mixed Vegetables, Creamy Tomato Soup/ Crackers, Fresh apple, Raisin Nut Cup. ● Dec. 10 – Green Pepper Steak, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Cheesy Cauliflower, Chicken Barley Soup/ Bread Stick, Vanilla Pudding/ Strawberries & Peaches. ● Dec. 11 – Pork Sukiyaki, Sugar Snap Peas, Carrots, Egg Drop Soup/Crackers, Confetti Cottage Cheese w/Nuts, Cherry/Blueberry Crisp. ● Dec. 12 – Turkey Rice Cheese Casserole, Roasted Brussel

found a lighter and mothballs in her purse; she was charged with arson, inducing panic and criminal damaging. [WFMJ, 11/20/2019]

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Local Decisions We offer loans and accounts that fit your needs! Stop by any of our branches or give us a call. • 719-545-1834 Pueblo • Cañon City • Salida • Leadville Colorado Springs • Denver Sprouts, Creole Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Strawberry Applesauce. ● Dec. 12 – Turkey Rice Cheese Casserole, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Creole Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Strawberry Applesauce. ● Dec. 13 – Chicken Noodle Casserole, Winter Mix Vegetables, Italian Mixed Vegetables, Pea Salad/Breadstick, Coconut Fruit Salad. ● Dec. 16 – Sloppy Joe Sandwich, Seasoned Spinach, Prince Edward Vegetables Mix, Beef Vegetable

Soup/Crackers, Mandarin Oranges, Hamburger Bun. ● Dec. 17 – Cuban Pork Roast, Roasted Rosemary Potatoes, Cabbage and Carrots, Black Bean Lentil Soup, Yogurt w/Granola, Peaches, Tomato Cucumber Salad. ● Dec. 18 – Citrus & Herb Fish, Vegetable Couscous, Harvard Beets, Washington Chowder Soup, Chilled Apricots, Broccoli Salad, Dinner Roll w/Margarine. ● Dec. 19 – BBQ Chicken, Sea-

soned Pinto Beans, Hot Fruit Compote, Garden Vegetable Soup/Crackers, Sweet & Sour Coleslaw, Hamburger Bun. ● Dec. 20 – Roast Beef w/Gravy, Lyonnaise Potatoes, Peas & Mushrooms, Cream of Broccoli Soup, Strawberry Blueberry Crisp, Dinner Roll w/Margarine. ● Dec. 23 – Beef Pot Pie, Zucchini & Tomatoes, California Normandy Vegetables, Navy Bean Soup/ Crackers, Fresh Grapes. ● Dec. 24 -Baked Glazed Ham, Sweet Potatoes, Green Bean Almandine, Cranberry Pear Salad, Sugar Cookie, Fresh Orange. ● Dec. 25 – Chili Mac, Cheesy Cauliflower, Cape Cod Vegetables, Cinnamon Applesauce, Butterscotch Pudding/ Raisin Nut Cup. ● Dec. 26 – Meatloaf w/Mushroom Gravy, Seasoned Asparagus, Peas & Onions, Cream of Mushroom Soup, Fresh Orange, Dinner Roll w/Margarine. ● Dec. 27 – Chicken Cacciatore, Creole Green Beans, Chicken Gumbo Soup, Breadstick Carrot Raisin Salad, Blueberry Fruit Cup. Mon. Dec. 30 – Pueblo Beef Stew, Cilantro Rice, Lima Beans, & Carrots, Calabacitas, Banana. ● Dec. 31 – Turkey Green Chili, Scandinavian Mixed Vegetables, Mexican Corn, Waldorf Salad, Tortilla, Raisin Nut Cup.


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Page 10 - Senior Beacon - December 2019


Columnist, author and lawyer



a car at Union Station last Thursday night, I was treated to a giant TV screen playing Christine Blasey Ford’s

testimony from last year against then-nominee Brett Kavanaugh — now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The display had been arranged by feminists to protest the justice’s speech to a Federalist Society dinner inside the station. Thanks for the memories! I’ve been meaning to mention that Kavanaugh’s opponents are inveterate liars, who cannot be trusted to tell the truth about anything. This was just the nudge I needed! Today, we’ll cover some of the left’s lies about “white privilege.” (More to come in a future column.) In their now discredited book, “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh,” Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly describe a mythical Yale University of the 1980s, teaming with rich preppies swatting down humble Puerto Ricans with their polo mallets.

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The humble Puerto Rican in question is Debbie Ramirez, who didn’t remember what Kavanaugh had done to her for more than 30 years, until he was nominated to the Supreme Court, after which she spent “six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney,” as The New Yorker put it. That doesn’t sound like much of an accusation, but liberals have a better method of deciding the truth: Male: bad; Female: good; White: bad; Half-Puerto Rican: good; Rich: bad; Poor: good. Using this abacus, the authors set out to prove that Ramirez is pure as the driven snow (except snow is bad because it’s white), and Kavanaugh is lower than pond scum. Ramirez is depicted as a plucky ingenue from humble beginnings, who’d been thrown into a maelstrom of preppies at Yale. “[S]he often felt,” Pogrebin and Kelly write, “insufficiently rich, experienced or savvy to mingle with her more privileged classmates.” Outside of a Hollywood movie set, no living American would recognize the place described by the authors. Does Yale have any WASPs anymore? As proof of Ramirez’s meager beginnings, the authors note that, “In the summer, she worked at Carvel dishing ice cream.” Wow, that is a hard-knocks story! By contrast, with his heaping hunks of white privilege, Kavanaugh luxuriated in mowing lawns in the summer. Pushing a 100-pound, thundering machine around for hours in the sweltering Virginia heat is obviously far preferable to scooping ice cream at an air-conditioned

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Carvel stand. In Ramirez’s “working class” town, she “enjoyed simple pleasures like swimming in their above-ground pool, taking camping trips and riding behind her father on his snowmobile.” Suspicious of Pogrebin and Kelly’s description of Shelton, Connecticut, as “working class” — despite the above-ground pool, parks and snowmobiles – I looked up a New York Times column from 1986, “You’re Thinking of Living in Shelton,” which is about the time Ramirez would have been at Yale. Start with the fact that Shelton was zoned for single-family homes on one acre or more. Not only that, but the town had its own tennis courts, a golf course, “hills, woods, fields, lakes and streams,” as reported by the Times. Another crucial fact cited by Pogrebin and Kelly to buck up their Poor Little Puerto Rican story was this: Ramirez had to take out student loans. BREAKING: In 1987, so did half of all college students in America. (Apparently, the authors did not, inasmuch as they treat student loans as evidence of grinding poverty.) The authors seem to have settled on their hard-luck story about Ramirez and then deployed adjectives to make the facts fit. A liberal sprinkling of words like “elite,” “privileged” and “working-class,” and — voila! — we have Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy in “Trading Places.” Or as The New York Times headlined an excerpt of the book: “Brett Kavanaugh Fit In With the Privileged Kids. She Did Not.” The actual facts reveal that Kavanaugh and Ramirez come from quite similar middle-class homes. Maybe I’ll give you: “solid middle class” vs. “slightly-upper middle class.” Ramirez’s father had a good job with the telephone company, and her French mother was a medical technician. Both Kavanaugh and Ramirez went to private Catholic schools. (Admittedly, hers was just a plain vanilla private Catholic school, while he lived high on the hog at an “elite” private Catholic school.) What are we to make of authors with so little comprehension of the very facts they are reporting? It’s getting to the point that the only purpose of the establishment media is to alert us that there’s a story about something. You see a headline “Carnage in Las Vegas” or “How Voters Turned Virginia From Deep Red to Solid Blue,” and think to yourself, Oh, I’ll have to look that up from a fairer source.


December 2019- Senior Beacon - Page 11

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with paying for high utility charges throughout the winter months, especially heating costs. Colorado policy makers are hoping to bring relief to more Coloradoans this year. The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) is especially important to low income older adults as the income guidelines have been increased. Individuals who live in their own home or apartment who pay heating costs or fuel costs are eligible. Individuals who pay rent if utilities are included in the rent (except those living in subsidized housing) are eligible for benefits. Individuals are eligible if they are lawfully present and are legal residents of the United States may submit an application for assistance. Individuals whose income is less than $2371 (or $3101 for a couple) may apply. To apply an individual should submit an application, either online at Colorado PEAK or a paper application, to the appropriate county department of human services or the state contractor. Applicants must include a copy of a Colorado ID or a driver’s license, a signed


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their heat bill while the application is being processed. LEAP will not pay all of the costs of heating bills. Applications must be submitted by April 1, 2020. To receive application or help with the submitting the application, call Heat HELP at 1-866-432-8435 or 303-333-3482 Eileen Doherty, MS is the Executive Director of the Colorado Gerontological Society. Her areas of expertise include

◀ FROM LIGHT, PAGE 6 prayers for him. Has God granted you one more year to do something for Him? Are you doing it? Are you decorating the world around you with Christ? Myriads of people live in darkness. Find ways to light up their world with a touch of the Master’s love. Bring some color and joy to folks who have lost their enthusiasm for life. Reach out. Find ways to serve. You will find your rewards beyond imagination. What do you have to lose? Nothing! And with so much to gain. Thank Jesus for the gift of another year to be His light to a dark world. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will


be measured to you” (Luke 6:38 NIV). “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35 ESV). Oh by the way! Our Christmas lights are turned on and will probably be on every evening from 4:00 to 11:00 well into January when Rick pulls them down and stores them for a few months. By God’s grace, he will pull them out again in October and thank the Lord for another year to celebrate the gift of Jesus and the joy in lighting up our little corner of the world! © 2019 Jan McLaughlin - Jan is Director of Prayer For Prisoners International and can be reached by e-mail – or by phone 719-275-6971

management and administration of nonprofit organizations, education and training on issues related to older adults, advocacy and policy development on senior issues, and clinical practice in working with seniors and families to manage their lives in the later years. She has been the Director of the Society since 1982. She teaches Nonprofit Management for Fort Hays State University.

Page 12 - Senior Beacon - December 2019



efore attending one of Linda Ronstadt’s thrilling “Canciones” live concerts back in the 1980s, I was already a fan. Her singing has always captivated me. So it was a pleasure to watch “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice,” a wonderful documentary about this amazing chanteuse. The film gives us a chance to hear Ronstadt reminisce about her life while we view nostalgic clips and appearances by friends and collaborators including Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne. Ronstadt takes us back to her early years “growing up in Tucson singing Mexican canciones with her family,” followed by a tour through

her folk experience and her country rock days. As we watch, we can’t help cheering her role as a champion for women in the male-dominated music industry and her human rights activism. And we feel so lucky to get another look at some of her unforgettable performances. Her diversity as a successful singer is quite remarkable. She made her mark in rock, pop, country, folk ballads, American standards, classic Mexican music and soul. And how well I remember her stealing the show in the 1983 movie version of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, “The Pirates of Penzance.” Her extraordinary voice simply outclassed the rest of the cast. To me, the highlights of this documentary are the clips of Ronstadt belting out “You’re No Good,” “When Will I Be Loved,” “Blue Bayou” and “Desperado.” No wonder she won 10 Gram-

my Awards. Nothing gold can stay, as the old saying goes. Ronstadt retired early because of the impact Parkinson’s disease made on her vocal cords. “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice” ends up being a celebration of this timeless artist and the music she loves. She definitely deserves a poem. Linda Ronstadt – how she could sing! Rich tones, wide range, she’d always bring. She conquered all musical types with her glorious golden pipes. Pop, country or Latin or blues, at times performing without shoes. “Blue Bayou” and “Desperado” Linda sang with such bravado. Many awards, recognition until there came this condition. Parkinson’s hurt our songbird’s tune. But her life it did not ruin. This film shows Linda looking back and helping others stay on track. An inspiration she now is. A stunning star of true showbiz! (Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeff Friedman; released by Greenwich Entertainment. Rated “PG-13” by MPAA. Available December 3 on DVD.)

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FOR A HEALTHIER YOU Holiday Help for Alzheimer’s Caregivers MANY PEOPLE CONSIDER the holiday season a hectic time, due to the preparations and festivities that typically take place. Staying sane, not to mention enjoying this special time of the year, is even more of a challenge when you're caring for someone with LISA M. PETSCHE dementia. Medical social worker Follow these suggestions to and freelance writer help keep stress manageable for everyone in your household.

physical functioning and any uncharacteristic behaviors. Enlist a friend to occupy your relative while you're engaged in hosting duties. Keep rooms well-lit, since shadows may cause confusion and fear. Avoid candles. Keep music soft and familiar. Keep gatherings small. Otherwise, situate your relative in a quiet spot and have guests visit one or two at a time. Instruct guests to introduce themselves to your relative by name and relationship – for example, “I’m Mary, your brother John’s wife.” Place guests’ coats and handbags in a secure area so your relative can’t rummage through them. Clean up immediately after entertaining, before your relative has a chance to consume anything that might make them ill. Before inviting overnight guests, consider how disruptive this might be to your relative's routines.

Gifts Shop by mail order or buy gift cards. Use decorative bags and boxes to streamline wrapping. Keep presents stored away until it’s time to exchange them. Be prepared when friends ask for suitable gift ideas for your relative. Suggestions should take into account cognitive and physical limitations.

Outings If you accept an invitation, do so on the condition that you may back out if your relative is having a bad day. Limit the time and ensure there's a quiet place your relative can retreat to if they can't handle the stimulation. Take along medications, adapted dishes and utensils, a bib, extra incontinence briefs and a change of clothes as needed. Accept that your rel-

Decorating Don’t decorate too far in advance. Keep decorations minimal and out of reach as much as possible. Forego anything valuable or fragile. Avoid lights that flash or play music, and soundor motion-activated items. Don’t keep food, such as candy or a gingerbread house, out in the open. Don’t let extension cords dangle or run across walkways, and don’t rearrange furniture. Steer clear of decorations that could be harmful if ingested. Entertaining Whenever possible, entertain at home rather than go out. Familiarity is reassuring. Prepare guests for your relative’s cognitive and

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ative may not eat as well as usual, due to anxiety or distractions. Attend an event without your relative, if it's not feasible to take them with you or you need a break and can arrange respite care. Further Tips Let family and friends know your needs and limitations. Share plans with your relative on a need-toknow basis. Include your relative in simple preparations to make them feel valued. Share holiday memories. Bring out photo albums or home movies and play favorite seasonal music. Schedule holiday activities during your relative’s best time of the day. Space them out and try to stick to routines. Have a plan in place to deal with challenging behaviors. Don't pressure your relative to participate in festivities. Previously enjoyed events may cause distress if they don’t understand the purpose or no longer recognize loved ones. Last, but not least, find something relaxing you can do each day. And do treat yourself to a special gift. Lisa M. Petsche is a social worker and a freelance writer specializing in boomer and senior health matters. She has extensive experience with elder care.

Page 14 - Senior Beacon - December 2019



● Dec. 2: Sloppy Joe on a bun, scalloped potatoes, broccoli and carrots, apple ● Dec. 3: Smothered pork chop with cream gravy, collard greens, smashed red potatoes, bran muffin, apple ● Dec. 4: Macaroni and cheese, tossed vegetable salad, asparagus, banana, ww bread ● Dec. 5: Beef barley soup, ww crackers, sesame broccoli, apricot/pineapple compote, ww bread, apple ● Dec. 6: Pasta primavera, spinach salad with egg and lite Italian, apple/pear salad with almonds, plum, garlic bread ● Dec. 9: Bratwurst on a bun with coleslaw, ww hot dog bun, creamy coleslaw, banana, sliced peaches ● Dec. 10: Turkey pot pie, broccoli spears, tossed salad with French, drop biscuits, chilled apricots ● Dec. 11: Hungarian goulash, California veg medley, green peas, pineapple tidbits, ww bread with butter ● Dec. 12: Smothered chicken, cornbread stuffing, peas and carrots, cauliflower and broccoli, applesauce waldorf salad, ww bread ● Dec. 13: Pot roast, brown gravy, baby carrots, new potatoes, green beans, cantaloupe, raisin nut up, ww bread with butter

● Dec. 16: Hamburger on a bun, catsup, mustard and onion, split pea soup, creamy coleslaw, banana ● Dec. 17: Chicken and noodles, seasoned green beans, baked acorn squash, apricot/pineapple compote, ww bread with butter ● Dec. 18: Spinach lasagna, green beans, tossed vegetable salad with lite Italian dressing, banana, ww bread with butter ● Dec. 19: Black bean and tortilla casserole, steamed brown rice, sweet potatoes, mixed fruit ● Dec. 20: Sweet and sour chicken, brown rice, Asian veggie blend, mandarin oranges, fortune cookie, ww bread with butter ● Dec. 23: Roast turkey with gravy, smashed potatoes, butternut squash, cream of spinach soup, mitzie’s ww roll, orange ● Dec. 24: Christmas Eve – Closed ● Dec. 25: Christmas Day – Closed ● Dec. 26: Baked ham with raisin sauce, sweet potatoes, green bean amandine, cranberry mold, pecan pie, ww dinner roll ● Dec. 27: Tuna stuffed tomato, cottage cheese, spinach salad with mandarin oranges, pasta salad with chickpeas and sunnies, apple and rye bread ● Dec. 30: Chicken a la king, smashed red potatoes, seasoned asparagus salad with lite ranch, apple, ww bread with butter

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● Dec. 3: Pueblo beef stew with brown rice, cornbread, coleslaw, raisin nut cup, orange ● Dec. 5: Beef barley soup, ww crackers, sesame broccoli, apricot/pineapple compote, ww bread, apple ● Dec. 6: Pasta primavera, spinach salad with egg and lite Italian, apple pear salad with almonds, plum, garlic bread ● Dec. 10: Turkey on whole wheat, mustard and salad dressing, tomato soup, seasoned green beans, tangerine, almond peaches ● Dec. 12: Smothered chicken, cornbread stuffing, peas and carrots, cauliflower and broccoli, applesauce waldorf salad, ww bread ● Dec. 13: Pot roast, brown gravy, baby carrots, new potatoes, green beans, cantaloupe, raisin nut cup, ww bread with butter ● Dec. 17: Chicken fried steak, cream country gravy, smashed red potatoes, California mixed vegetables, apple, ww dinner, ● Dec. 19: Black bean and tortillas casserole, steamed brown rice, sweet potatoes, mixed fruit ● Dec. 20: Roast turkey with gravy, smashed potatoes, butternut squash, cream of spinach soup, mitzie’s ww roll, orange ● Dec. 24: Christmas Eve – Closed 405 Broadway-Penrose (Tues/Thur-Noon) ● Dec. 26: Baked ham with Call in advance, 719-372-3872. raisin sauce, sweet potatoes, green bean amandine, cranberry ● Dec. 3: Beef Stroganoff, Bread, mold, pecan pie, ww dinner roll Broccoli ● Dec. 27: Tuna stuffed tomato, ● Dec. 5: Chicken Tacos, Peach cottage cheese, spinach salad Cobbler with mandarin oranges, pasta ● Dec. 10: Chicken Tenders, Mac salad with chickpeas and sunn Cheese, Peas nies, apple, rye bread ● Dec. 12: Chili n Cheese Baked ● Dec. 31: Italian sausage, marPotato. Salad inara sauce, spaghetti, broccoli, ● Dec. 17: Hamburgers, Baked tossed salad, pears, ww bread Beans, Potato Salad ● Dec. 19: Christmas Lunch: Ham, Scalloped Potato, Veg ALL MEALS SERVED Center Closed: Dec: 24- 26 WITH MILK AND BREAD. Merry Christmas Call ahead for info! ● Dec. 31



December 2019- Senior Beacon - Page 15



Reporting Forms Set for Imposter Scam Calls ANDREW SAUL,

Commissioner of Social Security, and Gail S. Ennis, the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, announce the launch of a dedicated online form at to receive reports from the public of Social Security-related scams. These scams—in which fraudulent callers mislead victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for purported Social Security number problems—skyrocketed over the past year to become the #1 type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration. To combat these scams, Social Security and the OIG will use the new online form to capture data that will be analyzed for trends and commonalities. The OIG will use the data to identify investigative leads, which could help identify criminal entities or individuals participating in or facilitating the scams. Ultimately, these efforts are expected to disrupt the scammers, help reduce this type of fraud, and reduce the number of victims. “We are taking action to raise

This month’s Senior Safety Page is Proudly Sponsored by AMERICAN VEIN INSTITUTE. Give them a call right away! And thank them for sponsoring this valuable addition to the Senior Beacon!! awareness and prevent scammers from harming Americans,” Commissioner Saul said. “I am deeply troubled that our country has not been able to stop these crooks from deceiving some of the most vulnerable members of our society.” Commissioner Saul and Inspector General Ennis encourage the public to use the new online form to report Social Security phone scams including robocalls and live callers, as well as email, text, and in-person scams. The form allows people to create a unique Personal Identification Number (PIN), so if OIG contacts a person about their report, they will know the call is legitimate. “Awareness is our best hope to thwart the scammers,” said Inspector General Ennis. “Tell your friends and family about them and report them to

us when you receive them, but most importantly, just hang up and ignore the calls.” Social Security employees do occasionally contact people--gener-

ally those who have ongoing business with the agency--by telephone for business purposes. However, Social Security employees will never threaten a person, or promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information or money. In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and people should just hang up.


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Page 16 - Senior Beacon - December 2019


December 2019- Senior Beacon - Page 17


Ideas From the High Line THE HIGHLINE IS a gritty,

city and the river. glorious garden in the pulsing heart Eric Rodriguez, the High Line's of New York City, full of ideas for director of horticulture, is the gardens and gardeners everywhere. steward of hundreds of thousands It is a landmark, an ever-changing of plants, many of them North horticultural and social scene -American native perennials and and an inspira- grasses, woven into a design by MARTY ROSS tion. the renowned Dutch plantsman Freelance garden This garden Piet Oudolf. The High Line doesn't journalist and syndicated doesn't attempt represent an unobtainable model gardening columnist to hide its inof perfection, Rodriguez says: It dustrial roots. is a garden full of possibilities for The abananyone. "We are actively trying doned train to encourage people to take ideas tracks running home," he says. through the The park's design took its cues elevated park from the wild, weedy nature that near the Hudhad established itself on the tracks son River are as in the 25 years after the line was much a part of abandoned. It is a lively, excitthe garden as the flowering shrubs, ing, densely packed garden -- of perennials and grasses that flourish surpassing beauty at all seasons there. The High Line celebrated -- filled with hard-working perenits 10th anniversary this year and nials, shrubs and small trees. It's opened an extension, known as the also an environmentally friendly Spur, the last section of the former place, designed to invite pollinators freight line 30 feet above the hurand conserve resources, and mainly-burly of the city streets. With the tained without the use of herbicides addition of the Spur, the thriving or pesticides. greenway of the High Line is now Rodriguez thinks of the High nearly 1.5 miles long. Line's planting scheme as "a vertiMillions of visitors explore the cal sandwich." In each area, he says, space every year while taking in "we have a grass matrix, and on sensational views of the bustling top of that is an herbaceous peren-

nial matrix." In areas with woody plants, the design expands to include a layer of shrubs and a canopy of trees -- but since the soil is only about 8 inches deep all along the High Line, only relatively small trees and shrubs can be planted. Species with multiple stems, including buckeyes, fringe trees and serviceberries, thrive in the harsh conditions, exposed on all sides to wind and weather and to the reflected light and deep shadows cast by tall buildings. Although most High Line trees will never be giants, leafy trees embrace the beds in summer; in winter, their trunks, branches and bark impart a rare beauty. Multistemmed trees and shrubs are easier to manage in the garden

than single-trunk plants, Rodriguez says. When stems get too tall or too lanky, or start to grow out of bounds, they can be cut back (sometimes to the ground), and new stems emerge. It's a great strategy for home gardeners, too. Oudolf 's planting design calls for extremely tight spacing: six to eight plants per square foot. To make it work, "we put plants in very small," Rodriguez says. "In some ways, we push back on the instant gratification" by using smaller plants, he says, but the planting style allows the garden to conserve resources. Tight spacing reduces watering needs because the plants shade the soil, limiting moisture loss to evaporation.

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Page 18 - Senior Beacon - December 2019 RELIGION

Christmas Is For Older Folks OUR CULTURE TREATS

Christmas as a holiday for children about a child. Young ones anticipate the Christmas gift extravaganza. In Christian pracDARLENE FRANKLIN Writing at the Crossroads tice, the of Love and Grace baby in the manger lies at its heart, God clothed in human flesh. In the nursing home where I live, Christmas passes by without much thought beyond new blankets and socks. Yes, many groups visit throughout December. But on Christmas Day, we’re often alone and the place is silent, without the laughter of children around the tree. This year, joy tickled my imagination as I reread the Christmas story. The first person to receive the good news wasn’t the teenage mother-to-be. No, God told a man in his seventies, who couldn’t even talk about it until after his own son was born. That’s right, the elderly priest Zechariah was the first to hear. In the forty-plus years since his marriage to Elizabeth, the couple had prayed God would give them

This year, joy tickled my imagination as I reread the Christmas story. The first person to receive the good news wasn’t the teenage mother-to-be. No, God told a man in his seventies, who couldn’t even talk about it until after his own son was born. a child. They must have learned to worship God without the joy and solace of children, and now they were past their child-bearing years. But they weren’t too old for God. He gave them a son in their old age. Oh, what things the angel promised. John would be a joy and a delight—of course. He would be great in the sight of the Lord. Praise God. He would go … in the spirit and power of Elijah … to make a people prepared for the Lord. What did Zechariah think when the angel quoted Malachi’s prophecy? Maybe he remembered Isaiah’s words: “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘prepare the way for the Lord.’” Did his heart leap with the realization his son heralded the arrival of the Messiah? Did they talk about it when Mary was their guest for three months? Other seniors received advance

notice about the coming Messiah as well. Joseph and Mary presented Jesus at the temple when he was eight days old. Probably several people asked to see the baby, but two of the worshippers stood out. Imagine the couple’s shock when Simeon said, “Now I can die in peace. I have seen God’s salvation.” How did he know? The elderly prophetess Anna joined Simeon in his recognition and praise. She talked about the baby to everyone who awaited the promised Messiah. Thank God for those seniors who participated the in the Nativity story. Today’s seniors play similar roles during the holidays. Like Zechariah, we draw from our knowledge of God and His Word. Our tales of Christmas past suggest the outline of Christmas

yet-to-come. Like Simeon, we face deaths with peace, for the Messiah has come into our hearts to stay. We cannot be shaken, for God is with us. Like Anna, we share the good news of the Christ-Child with those pining to see a God who cares. We can say, “I know that God is here, for I have touched his hand.” Children may be the focus at Christmas, but seniors build the bridge between past and present.

Senior Beacon

Senior Beacon serves Pueblo, El Paso, Fremont and the 12 surrounding counties that make up most of Southeastern Colorado. It is a monthly newspaper dedicated to inform, serve, educate and entertain the Senior Community of these areas. Subscriptions are available, prepaid with order, at $34.95 for one 12-month period. Send your order to the mailing list below. Publication of advertising contained herein does not necessarily constitute endorsement. Signed columns are the opinions of the writers and not necessarily that of the publisher. Senior Beacon is locally owned and operated. Founded in February of 1982.

BEACON NEWS GROUP d/b/a Senior Beacon P.O. Box 8485 Pueblo, CO 81008 Publisher Beacon News Group Publisher Emeritus, CCO James R. Grasso Advertising Manager Ronald S. Phillips Advertising Executives Jan McLaughlin Rick Forman Mark Phillips Jim Grasso Graphic Design and Layout Christine Ina Casillas Distribution Manager Braden Phillips IT Support Robin Eckelberry


719-247-6580 SUBMISSIONS: Senior Beacon welcomes reader contributions in the form of senior groups news, stories, poetry, recipes and happenings. Letters to the Editor must be typed and double spaced, signed with address and phone number submitted. Deadline is the 10th of the month prior to publication. Copyright 2019-Evergrowth Media, LLC


December 2019- Senior Beacon - Page 19



Social Security Benefits Increase in 2020 EACH YEAR, WE announce the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). By law, federal benefits increase when the cost of living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Usually, there is an increase in the benefit amount people will receive each month, starting the following January. Nearly 69 million Americans will see a 1.6 percent increase in their Social Security benefits and SSI payments in 2020. Other changes that will happen in January 2020 reflect the increase in the national average wage index. For example, the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security payroll tax will increase to $137,700 from $132,900. The earnings limit for workers who are younger than "full" retirement age (age 66 for people born in 1943 through 1954) will increase to $18,240. (We deduct $1 from benefits for each $2 earned over $18,240.) The earnings limit for people turning 66 in 2020 will increase to $48,600. (We deduct $1 from benefits for each $3 earned over $48,600 until the month the worker turns age 66.) In December 2019, we will post Social Security COLA notices online for retirement, survivors, and disability beneficiaries who have a my Social Security account. You will be able to view and save future COLA notices via the Message Center inside my Social Security. You can log in to or sign up for a my Social Security account today at myaccount to get more information about your new benefit amount. You can choose to receive an electronic notification by email, text, or both ways under “Message Center Preferences.” Our notification will let you know that a new message is waiting for you. We will not send any personal information in the notification. The Message Center also allows you to go paperless by opting out of receiving agency notices by mail that you can get online, including annual cost-of-living adjustments and the income-related monthly

Nearly 69 million Americans will see a 1.6 percent increase in their Social Security benefits and SSI payments in 2020. Other changes that will happen in January 2020 reflect the increase in the national average wage index.

adjustment amount increases. The Message Center is a secure portal where you can conveniently receive sensitive communications that we don’t send through email or text. More information about the 2020 COLA is available at www.

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Page 20 - Senior Beacon - December 2019 SOCIAL SECURITY & YOU Question: My daughter is nineteen years old. In her senior year of high school, she had an accident that paralyzed her. It doesn’t look like she will be able to work in the near future, and since she has never worked she hasn’t paid Social Security taxes. Can Social Security still help her? Answer: Your daughter may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. SSI is a needs-based program paid for by general revenue taxes and run by Social Security. It helps provide monetary support to people who are disabled and who have not paid enough in Social Security taxes to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. To qualify for SSI, a person must be disabled, and have limited resources and income. For more information, visit our website and check out our publication, You May Be Able To Get SSI, at www. Question: My grandfather, who is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), will be coming to live with me. Does

he have to report the move to Social Security? Answer: Yes. An SSI beneficiary must report any change in living arrangements before the 10th day of the following month. If you do not report the change, your grandfather could receive an incorrect payment and have to pay it back, or he may not receive all the money that he is due. Failure to report a change to us could result in the deduction of a penalty from his SSI benefits. Your grandfather also needs to report the new address to us to receive mail from us. You can report the change by mail or in person at any Social Security office. Call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778). You can get more information by reading Understanding SSI at Question: I moved in with my parents until I get back on my feet. Why did my Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment decrease? Answer: If you receive SSI, your living arrangements can affect your monthly

payment. When you live in another person’s home and do not pay your fair share of the living expenses, that is counted as “in-kind” income and can reduce your SSI payment. You must report any changes in your living arrangement to Social Security within 10 days of the change. When reporting a change in living arrangement, you need to tell us your address, who you live with and what you contribute toward the household bills and expenses. You also need to report if you move into a private or public hospital or nursing home, an institution run by the government, jail, another person’s home or a new place of your own. Report changes in your living arrangement at 1-800772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Learn more about SSI and the things you need to report when you get it at Question: What is the purpose of Supplemental Security Income, or SSI? Answer: The purpose of SSI is to help aged,

blind, and disabled people who have little income and few resources to support themselves. It provides financial assistance to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. You can receive SSI even if you have not worked and paid into Social Security. SSI is a federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes). Find out more at www.socialsecurity. gov/ssi. Question: My brother died recently and left me some money. Will this inheritance affect my SSI benefits? Answer: We consider the money inherited from your brother as income for the month you receive it. That could make you ineligible for SSI that month, depending on the amount of the inheritance. If you keep the money into the next month, it becomes a part of your resources. You cannot have more than $2,000 in resources and remain eligible for SSI. You should call Social Security at 1-800772-1213 (TTY number, 1-800-3250778) and report the inheritance.

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Post-Gazette emeritus executive editor and a nationally syndicated columnist.


the most, fresh inspiration about the value and virtue of a free press is here. It’s from the year 1644. The 375th anniversary of John Milton’s “Areopagitica” is occurring at a time when the press is under siege — from the White House, from purists at both ends of the political spectrum, from remorseless economic forces that have replaced profits with losses and depleted reporting staffs at all but a handful of news outlets. And yet this anniversary is cause for two cheers — not three, as we will see — for Milton and for his famous tract.

These two cheers, moreover, come with an important academic finding, the identification of the London printers Matthew Simmons, Thomas Paine and perhaps Gregory Dexter as the figures behind the brave act of bringing Milton’s words to the page. This is significant because the courage that fired Milton would have escaped notice had it not been for the courage of the printers who brought his ideas to the public. Often cited in law school First Amendment classes as a foundational tract for the notion of press freedom, “Areopagitica” is a manifesto for intellectual exchange, unfettered expression and vigorous public debate. In its pages, Milton demands “liberty to know, to utter and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.” He embraces “much arguing, much writing, many opinions.” He endorses the struggle of ideas and ideals, urging, “Let [Truth] and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the [worse], in a free and open encounter?” Milton’s pamphlet begins with a frontispiece quote from Euripides arguing, “This is true Liberty when free born men / Having to advise the public may speak free.” Above all, “Areopagitica” is an argument against pre-publication censorship, a position the Supreme Court generally has supported, most significantly in the

Pentagon Papers case in 1971. For nearly four centuries, the pamphlet has been cited, debated and sometimes derided. Its author was known from the start, but how it came to be printed has been a lingering mystery that a team of Carnegie Mellon University scholars and researchers, using high-tech means to discover the origins of a work written in a low-tech era, have solved. “This is significant because we have spent a lot of time thinking about the freedom of the press without thinking too much about the individuals who are responsible for the materials in which those ideas were expressed,” said Christopher N. Warren, who teaches 17th-century literature at Carnegie Mellon. “There are real flesh and blood humans who were making

books and making arguments, risking their lives so they could give this idea attention.” Using computer software that is sensitive to subtle differences in the peculiarities of letterpress printing, the CMU team examined pieces of damaged type, evaluated differing fonts and, with an eye to the mechanics of early modern print, attacked the mystery of a pamphlet deliberately designed to cloak the identity of its printer. The task was formidable: Each page of “Areopagitica” used an average of 240 lower-case e’s and 3.7 upper-case C’s. “In early modern literary studies, we often say we value new ways of looking at old texts,” they wrote, “but here we mean that literally.”


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December 2019- Senior Beacon - Page 23

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Page 24 - Senior Beacon - December 2019 HOME TOUCH


putting the design of a home's dining room on the table. A home's dining area is simple by nature, but the space has evolved, as the kitchen-dining layout has become more MARY G. PEPITON Freelance writer with open by design. Andrews McMeel While some Sundication Universal homes still have a traditional dining room with four walls, in many new houses, the dining "room" is an extension of the kitchen itself. "The dining table plays a big role in bringing everyone together," says Marta Eriquez, senior director of interior design for Ethan Allen, in Danbury, Conn. "It's the place where we gather to catch up, break bread, honor traditions and create new memories with those who are dearest to us." Unlike a family room, which of-

ten has multiple purposes, a home's dining room is about eating and entertaining. The ingredients for an inviting dining room are simple: a large table with plenty of chairs and a buffet or bar cart on which to serve food and drinks. But, because of its simplicity, a dining room can be difficult to decorate or renovate. "Generally speaking, today's lifestyle is trending toward casual. However, many of our clients in the South still appreciate separate formal dining rooms," Eriquez says. "But one thing remains constant: Wherever the home, people want dining spaces that are functional, beautiful, and comfortable." Treat the dining room as an extension of the kitchen area and make it a feast for the eye as well. Start with the flooring of the dining room and work your way up the walls. Wood, tile or stone floors found in the kitchen can be continued into the dining room, while a large rug makes the space more inviting and can also help define the area,

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especially if it is one without walls. Look to the kitchen for continuity and cues in paint colors. If the kitchen and the dining area share a continuous ceiling, it's wise to keep paint colors the same, too. However, a separate dining room has more room for creativity, where homeowners can serve up drama with dark, rich paint colors and opulent light fixtures. Rich red or midnight blue walls can create an elegant look, while black or gray coloring can set the stage for a thoroughly modern meal. Mirrors can reflect light in the space, while stunning artwork on the walls becomes the topic of conversation at mealtime. But, make sure all design elements work together to create an appetizing aesthetic that fits with the rest of the home. Along with the food, the dining table is the focal point of the room and can be an investment that lasts for generations. Solid wood, metal or glass-topped tables are options, but should reflect a family's supping style. "It's okay to mix formal with funky. People are using furniture in new ways these days," Eriquez says. "When company arrives, it's not unusual for us to drag a wing chair up to the dining table, or borrow a bench from the foyer. It's smart to make the most of what you already own." Eriquez encourages playing with your food space by mixing family heirlooms with new pieces to create a culinary hot spot. And, while homeowners may be moving away from formal dining room sets --

which can include matching table, chairs and buffet -- make sure your choices have unifying themes, including color, style and scale. A quality dining table can cost at least $1,000, and go up from there, so make sure you try out the table before "tucking in." A rectangular table with four legs placed at each corner is a sturdy design, and, while a round pedestal table can create immediate intimacy, this style may also be more prone to wobble. The size of the dining set is determined by the amount of space in which it is placed. As a general rule of thumb, the linear length or diameter of a table determines the number of people who can comfortably sit around the table. For example, a rectangular table that is six feet long can comfortably seat six, or a round table that is four feet in diameter easily seats four. When it comes to purchasing chairs, on average, allow at least two feet at the table for plenty of elbow room and about three feet from the edge of the table to the wall, so people can push back comfortably. For dining options, purchase a table that can expand with the addition of table leaves. The best place to keep additional leaves is in the table itself, but if you desire a more intimate setting with a smaller table, make sure to store leaves flat, not standing on end, so the wood won't warp.

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1-800-MEDICARE | 1-800-MEDICARE | General Medicare information, ordering Medicare booklets, and information about health plans | Toll free: 800-633-4227 |

Millions Spend $5K On Medicare Premiums AN ESTIMATED 10 million Medicare beneficiaries who are covered by a Medigap policy and a Part D plan, will spend about $5,000 in 2019 ($416 month) just for Medicare premiums, according to a national survey conducted by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). “Medicare Part B and Medigap premiums are among the fastest growing costs in retirement, yet the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is adjusted using an index that does not include any Medicare premium data,” says Mary Johnson, a Medicare and Social Security policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League. “Consequently, the annual COLA increase lags behind the growth in Medicare premiums significantly,” Johnson says. “This is a major reason why it’s important for retirees to compare both health and drug plan coverage during Medicare’s fall Open Enrollment period,” she says. Research by Johnson found that Medicare Part B premiums grew 198 percent from 2000 through 2019, JOLYNN ALLEN

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and the average Medigap premium grew 135 percent over the same period. But, since 2000, COLAs have raised Social Security benefits just 50 percent. “The disparity between the COLA and premiums means that today’s retirees rely more heavily on other sources of income in retirement, such as savings and pensions,” Johnson notes. The U.S. Government Accountability Office however, recently estimated that 48 percent of U.S. households age 55 and over have no retirement savings. The Medicare Open Enrollment period is going on right now, and continues through December 7th. Johnson, who volunteers to help friends compare plans says this is the time to evaluate the health and drug coverage you have now, and to switch plans if you can find better coverage at a lower cost. “Retirees with a Medigap supplement and Part D plan who are having trouble affording their premiums may want to learn about options for Medicare Advantage and compare it with their current coverage,” Johnson says. For 2020, 49 percent of Medicare Advantage plans nationwide will charge no monthly premium other than the Part B premium and, among those that do, the premium averages $36 per month, according to a data note from the Kaiser

Family Foundation. Including the monthly Part B premiums, Medicare beneficiaries covered by a Medicare Advantage plan may spend about $180 per month – less than half the monthly average of people with Medigap coverage,” Johnson says. There are significant trade -offs in total out-of-pocket costs though, particularly for people who are seriously ill, and those who require a lot of services or hospitalization. Medicare Advantage plans require co-pays for almost every service and the use of in-network providers. On the other hand, Medigap plans pay most, or even all, of out-of-pocket costs, and beneficiaries can use any doctor. In some areas of the country, another issue may be access to Medicare Advantage plans. In rural areas, there may be few plans and participating providers available. “Where I live, we only have one Medicare Advantage insurer in my county, and just two plans to choose from,” Johnson says. “While the premiums for those Medicare Advantage plans are lower than those for most Medigap plans, some doctors, particularly specialists, don’t participate in the plans. In addition, these plans require prior authoriza-

tions for procedures more often than we see under Medigap coverage,” she says. Consumers should be careful to nail down details about a new Medicare Advantage plan before disenrolling from a Medigap supplement. Unlike virtually all other health insurance, there are only limited guaranteed coverage periods for Medigap, and it may be difficult or impossible to purchase a Medigap supplement later on if enrollees want to drop Medicare Advantage. In most states, the only period when Medigap coverage is guaranteed is generally when an individual first becomes eligible to enroll in Medicare. “After that, insurers may require going through underwriting, and may exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions and charge more,” Johnson notes. Seventy-two percent of participants in The Senior Citizens League’s Senior Survey think Congress should amend the law to allow for a Medigap Open Enrollment period with guaranteed coverage rules. “Comparing plans is best undertaken with free, unbiased, one – on - one help from a Medicare benefits counselor,” Johnson observes.

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Page 26 - Senior Beacon - December 2019 ‘INTERMISSION — A PLACE IN TIME’



ndeniably, my mother was convinced of connecting with a kindred spirit, perhaps an unidentified cousin who still lurked on the beautiful island of Sark. Then, conspiratorially, she turned again and said to the pale face in the window, “Not to worry, we will return my dear.” Tugging at her arm, we stealthily hurried from the picnic spot on the green, green grass of Sark. The boat ride home was glorious, as the afternoon sun was sinking into oblivion. Simultaneously we sought a wooden bench on

the upper deck as screaming seagulls swooped down for the crusts of stale bread. “What a gorgeous evening.” Mum was content. A balmy warm day encouraged crowds on the white beaches and, reluctant to conclude our day together, we stopped at a local pub. I had budgeted money for a small Drambuie each. Once arriving in port, I asked if she would like a small Scottish whiskey. Her face lit up. “You’re just too good for me. Yes, please,” she purred. The oak beamed pub was cool, partially empty, and too early for most revelers. We stepped inside and commented on the ancient, worn, and tarnished tile floors, which added to the ambience of the fabulous interior. Weighty decorative brasses adorned the small room, and two men sat, deep in conversation, at the bar. The publican asked for our order, and moments later, the two tiny liqueurs arrived. “Enjoy your whisky.” He gallantly stared in my direction. Shyly I thanked

him, knowing our limit would be two drinks. Gracefully, we slowly sipped our Drambuie. “Here’s to a wonderful day, my love,” said Mum contentedly lifting her glass. For forty minutes, we chatted and finished the last sip of the intoxicating golden liquor. Then together, with our tongues extended, we licked our tiny glasses clean. Cheerfully, we thanked the bartender. Drying his beer glasses, he graciously nodded his head and smiled. Arm in arm we breathed deeply and began our long walk home. My time in gorgeous Jersey concluded with tearful goodbyes as I left Mum and new friends for the unknown. Although optimistic, I had barely enough funds for survival, so immediate employment was crucial. Idealistically confident, I hoped that my window display diploma would provide a secure future in London’s metropolis. My flight into Heathrow airport occurred on November 5th ‘Guy Fawkes’ festivities were in full swing. Reminiscent of my childhood, I watched from above as hundreds of cherry red bonfires glowed in the darkness. Kindly, a young gay man, a traveling companion from my flight, carried the small suitcase through busy Oxford Street where I instantly found work in London’s West End and lived temporarily with a cousin where I slept on the couch. However, within a few weeks, I yearned for independence, but the first rat infested basement bedsit (room) was an appalling blun-

der. Although always conscious of monetary survival, my pride also prevented disclosure to family of an unspeakable living environment. Ignoring my pleas, the immigrant property owner dogmatically refused to exterminate the treacherous and contaminated fleeting black silhouettes that incessantly darted across the room. Terrified of touching the cement floor, and in panic and desperation, I curled up on the bed restlessly waiting for daylight. Living alone in London was not for sissies. Once established in London I rented a one-room attic bedsit (apartment) in the suburb of Stockwell. I felt very privileged there, as the large double balcony on each side of the Victorian building offered unequivocal views of the city. Middle-aged Joan was my mentor, associate, and friend and together we worked at Harvey’s, an established dress shop located in Oxford Street near Selfridges. My window dressing job paid seven pounds (fifteen dollars) each week, from which I barely paid my bus fare, rent and infrequent groceries. My two pairs of jeans fit snugly, so the hunger was beneficial in a warped kind of way, and when feasible I walked across the road to the magnificent Selfridges’ department store, where I enthusiastically ‘tasted’ their food samples. My usual evening meal was Indian cuisine, consisting of a box of dehydrated vegetables and rice, but when affordable, an anchovy sandwich was heaven. I relished


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December 2019- Senior Beacon - Page 27


Legislation Would Boost Social Security THE AVERAGE SOCIAL Securi-

ty benefit would increase an additional $30 per month in 2020, if legislation under consideration in the House is signed into law before the end of the year, according to a new analysis from The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). “The boost, coupled with the modestly higher annual-cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) provided by the bill, would increase average Social Security benefits an estimated $70 per month more than under current law for retirees by the end of the first ten years,” says Mary Johnson a Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League. The analysis is based on provisions of The Social Security 2100 Act (H.R. 860) which is currently under consideration in the House. By tying the annual COLA to the Consumer Price

Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), the bill would increase benefits by an estimated 3.8 percent more over the first ten years, than benefits would increase under current law. The legislation would provide $5,497.00 more in Social Security income (for retirees with an average benefit of $1,460) over the first ten years— an amount that would further grow over time due to the compounding effect. The Social Security Office of the Chief Actuary (OCACT) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) have each reviewed the legislation, but arrived at different conclusions about the impact it would have on Social Security. The main difference between the two conclusions is the estimated size of Social Security’s shortfall. The Social Security OCACT has estimated that the legislation would provide 75

◀ FROM VOLLMECKE, PAGE 26 my employers’ left over chicken liver sandwiches from their family’s bar mitzvah. Overtime for teenagers in the West End was illegal, and shop owners deftly dodged the heavy fines issued by the government. While working late, and prior to realizing the hidden cost of my chicken liver lunch, inspectors arrived, and I was hastily ushered into a dressing room. Normally I was innately shy as a teenager and whilst designing windows in the infamous Oxford Street I felt like a goldfish in an outsized bowl. London presented indescribable challenges, and unmistakably my tight jeans attracted substantial interest. Many people including major celebrities crossed my path. In due course, our lads returned from Germany, and performed gigs in London. Bursting with pride, I eagerly showed my new friends in Harvey’s my postage stamp sized photo of the Beatles, which I had clipped much earlier from a variety magazine. Few knew of them, but I was thrilled to see our local boys becoming so popular. While humoring me, the shop employees were indifferent to my life up north, until, direct from Wales, Tom Jones appeared on the scene, and ultimately our Liverpool boys, ‘The Beatles’ took London by storm. They had arrived! One rainy day at work, Joan touched my shoulder. “Glen. Can I see that little photo of your friends, the Beatles, again?” This excerpt is from Glenn Vollmecke’s newly published book: “Intermission: A Place in Time.” Her memoirs describe life in war-torn

Great Briain. Typical British humor is evident, offering a mixture of Wallace & Gromit and Angela’s Ashes. Her book’s cover is an original Beatles ticket, introducing Liverpool’s “Mersey Beat” era. Enjoy reading “Intermission” monthly: Contact Availability: Amazon/Barnes & Noble. An autographed copy is available from Here’s a direct link to her book:

years of “sustainable solvency.” The CBO estimates that the Social Security Trust Fund would become insolvent by 2036 instead of the currently estimated 2032. “The Senior Citizens League encourages Congress to continue its efforts to strengthen Social Security benefits while also strengthening solvency,” says Johnson. Passing legislation now would keep the size of the needed revenue changes smaller, and would allow more time to phase in the changes. “Many of the provisions of the Social Security 2100 Act have strong support from retirees regardless of their party affiliation,” Johnson notes. The Senior Citizens League’s national surveys of adults 62 and older have found the following: • 82 percent support using the

Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) to calculate the annual cost-ofliving adjustment (COLA). • 77 percent support providing a modest monthly boost of Social Security benefits. • 75 percent support applying the full payroll tax to all earnings. • 61 percent support increasing the payroll tax rate by 1 percent each for workers and their employers. • 55 percent support lifting the threshold for taxation of Social Security benefits from $25,000 to $50,000 for single filers and from $32,000 to $100,000 for joint filers. Only 12 percent oppose. “A Social Security boost of this size will better maintain the buying power of Social Security benefits over time, and provides the greatest protection for the oldest beneficiaries when they need it the most,” Johnson says.

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Page 28 - Senior Beacon - December 2019 NEWS

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