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


Vol. 40:1

Established February 1982

469 Consecutive Months!

Committed To Southern Colorado Seniors For 39 Years And Counting!!


AN EYE-POPPING NEW LIST compiled by The Senior Citizens

League (TSCL) indicates that, by late 2020, price increases for many of the expenditures of older Americans far outstripped the modest 1.3 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) boost that Social Security recipients start receiving this month. “This list is a snapshot of how COVID-19 affected prices of certain items through the end of November 2020,” says Mary Johnson, a Social Security policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League. “There are surprising price aberrations that

we haven’t seen before,” Johnson says. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that toilet paper and disinfecting wipes could wind up on our annual list of fastest growing retiree costs,” Johnson says. The far greater worry, however, is a sharp increase in almost every source of quality protein — including meat, poultry, and even canned tuna. “With many meat price increases in the double digits, we are highly concerned that older households may not be getting adequate supplies of protein

in their diets,” Johnson says. “This was a nationwide problem prior to the pandemic, and the problem has been exacerbated by shortages and disruptions during the pandemic,” she points out. While appliances and used vehicles are generally only purchased occasionally, 2020 was not a good time to be shopping for a new washing machine or used car. Appliances increased by an astonishing 17.2 percent and used vehicles rose by 10.9 percent. Johnson points out that, this time a year ago, the price increases of used vehicle prices were negative, at minus 12 percent. However, manufacturers of appliances as well as new cars and trucks shut down production lines at the start of the pandemic. While plants have slowly re-opened, supply chain disruptions and social distancing requirements have slowed production recovery. That’s led to long waiting lists for appliances, and the demand for used vehicles shot up. Even more surprising is what isn’t showing up on the list — medical costs. The cost of medical care services still increased 2.5 times faster than the COLA, rising by 3.2 percent. That’s nothing new. In many years medical costs have

increased more rapidly than in 2020. Emergency coronavirus legislation last spring restricted what providers could charge for many COVID-19 related services, and large numbers of patients and their doctors postponed non-urgent care. When food and other important costs rise faster than the Social Security COLA, that means that retirees aren’t able to purchase as much with their benefits. This can lead to older consumers going without essentials. Research by Johnson has found that Social Security benefits have lost 30% of buying power since 2000. “We encourage everyone to consider who you may know that might need help with food costs,” Johnson says “Perhaps you can drop off a few groceries (including protein sources such as meat, chicken, eggs, milk or canned beans), or share your next batch of home - made soups, chili, or stews with others you know,” Johnson adds. “Mercifully, this list of prices will likely change in time, especially as we get COVID-19 under control and people return to work,” Johnson says. In the meantime, The Senior Citizens League supports legislation that


Page 2 - Senior Beacon - February 2021




SO IT BEGINS. Don't let anyone tell you different. It may say his name as the president of the United States but watch what he does and what he says. This, my readers, is BHO's third term. He suspended just about everything that DJT did already. He's suspending gas and oil leases. He has opened the doors to the U.S. to anyone and everyone. Both of those moves look very familiar to the BHO administration, don't you think? But that's not all. We are once again paying for overseas abortions. Why that political party likes to kill babies is beyond me. Why the United States thinks socialism will be the answer is beyond me, also. Have they been brainwashed by the liberalness of their teachers throughout all grades of schooling? Do they think that if everyone follows them into the "dustbin of history," (Ronald Reagan's quote, not mine), they will have all the answers to all our problems? We boomers are now entering the late stages of our time on the planet. Many will look to the government to bail us out. Eventually the rest of the actors that are on the stage now will get tired of paying for us and things will be muddy again. Hopefully, we'll truly be sent a statesman or woman with a clear head and adult-like demeanor. If not, the next generations will be in for a very rough ride. I subscribe to the adage that a government that gives you everything, can take it away. Beware socialist youngsters. It's never

worked in the history of the world because it is doomed to fail. Do you really think the head of the Democrat Party can pull off this charade of being all things to all people? Honestly? Nancy Pelosi, BHO, his wife, Joseph Robinette Biden and all our new left leaders? They will lead us to nirvana? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Enough of that. This month I will be working on my 73rd year. Every minute we age it seems we lose some icon or other from the American scene. It's one of those "You know who died?" moments everyday. With the pandemic it just heightens it. My wonderful wife of 46 years and partner for 48 counting the first two years we courted, and I had our first Covid vaccination and our booster is due at the end of this month. I wonder if we can take our masks off like a week after that? I'll keep you posted on our progress. (Right now all's well). This will be another unusual trip in our life span. The '50s were idyllic, the '60s were chaotic as were much of the '70s. Since then it's been a roller coaster with spins and curves and doggone insanity. We now enter into the danger zone. Be aware. Be ready. Be prayerful, Love your neighbor. You can do that and still not agree with him/her. Be honest. Be humble. Be helpful and charitable. But most of all turn to God for help. No one else can truly help you. Just you and God. Be safe. Godspeed to you and yours.

Stephen Blucher Receives AARP Award MR. BLUCHER, of Colorado Springs, has

been recognized as an annual AARP Chapter & REA Unit Community Service Award recipient for 2020. The award, based on 2019 activities, consisted of a trophy and a Certificate signed by Jo Ann C. Jenkins, AARP Chief Executive Officer. The award presentation, delayed by the impact of the COVID- 19 pandemic, was recently present to

Stephen, virtually, by Black Forest AARP Chapter 1100 President Candace Lehmann on behalf of the AARP CEO. The following are examples of how Stephen Blucher contributed significantly to the local community: Stephen has served in a superior manner as an AARP Driver Safety Instructor for over 22 consecutive years. During 2019 alone he

instructed 303 students. Stephen has also served the local community through his extensive support to AARP Chapter 1100 in Black Forest. He assisted the Chapter at the Black Forest Festival by helping provide AARP information and literature to the many individuals who stopped by the Chapter 1100 booth. He also greeted and assisted the over 300 individuals in June who brought items to the Chapter 1100-sponsored free shredding event. The objective of the shredding event is to safely destroy personal documents and thus prevent them from being used by scammers, ID theft individuals and other nefarious persons. Another benefactor of his volunteer services was the SRC Holiday Dinner Dance in November of 2019, which hosted over 500 people at the Colorado Springs Civic Auditorium. His service included working several other charitable projects which had a positive impact on numerous citizens in the community. Stephen is also a member of the elite AARP Chapter Advisory Team, a branch of the AARP National Office of Volunteer Engagement in Washington D.C. The Chapter Advisory Team is dedicated to working to make chapters throughout the United States more viable, effective, and responsive to local community needs. His contributions over many years have contributed significantly to the good reputation of AARP Chapter 1100, and to the general positive image of AARP as a whole.


February 2021 - Senior Beacon - Page 3


TREASURY BONDS NO LONGER “REAL” INCOME INVESTMENT RONALD S. PHILLIPS Author of two books, teacher & trusted columnist

TREASURIES LOSE SOME LUSTRE BUT STILL GOOD YES, THAT'S A BOLD STATEMENT to some but hear me out. You might be entertained.

THE GOOD THINGS ABOUT TREASURY BONDS Besides having a new respect for gold I also have a new respect for Treasuries. They’re one of the rare assets that actually move in the opposite

direction of the stock market during volatility. So if the market tanks T-Bonds usually go up. They have a negative correlation to stocks so this is expected during the rough rides. In the Great Recession they went up in value as much as 38 percent! Even gold doesn’t usually do that good in down markets. It might hold it’s value, have a little return, or even drop with stocks. T-bonds as a safe haven? Check!

T-Bonds can also go up in value as well as paying out income. TREASURIES LOSING MUCH OF THEIR LONG-TERM INCOME? This point is where I really see these risk-free bonds failing the investor. I pulled up research from that covers over nine decades of returns for T-Bills (government obligations of one year or less in maturity). We had low dec-

Now here comes the new normal, in my opinion. For twenty years, and counting, we have had below-average T-Bill returns. Throughout long




ades in the past but then rates went back to a more-normal position. For example, from 1965 to the end of the 1970s T-Bill total returns were around four to six percent. Pretty normal. Then we had the crazy 1980s with very high interest and returns then back to normal with around five percent returns.

periods bond income is going to account for most of bond returns, unlike stocks, which we’re hoping gain in value rather than pay big income. So these low returns are emblematic of low yields. That’s a problem for investors wanting income. How low are these yields? Accord-



Page 4 - Senior Beacon - February 2021

February 2021






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healthcare spending and utilization has truly come to light in the last couple of years. To explore how that’s affecting veterans in Colorado, my team analyzed annual VA expenditures and determined the state of veterans’ affairs. Here’s a breakdown for Colorado: --Only 33% of VA spending in Colorado was allocated to medical care (one of the lowest com-

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February 2021 - Senior Beacon - Page 5

SRDA NOVEMBER 2020 CALENDAR Special information from Pueblo’s SRDA (Plus)

Recreation Department is currently CLOSED due to Covid - 19. All information provided depends on when SRDA reopens, which includes Matter of Balance. Also, all outside activity start up, like AARP -Taxes and Driver Safety classes will be determined by their national office.

Senior's Shopping Time Scheduled EDITOR'S NOTE: The following article is rerunning because of the COVID-19 relief efforts. MANY STORES IN the area

are offering a separate time for senior only shopping to assist in keeping one of the most vulnerable populations protected from the spread of COVID-19. At this time, information for senior only shopping is as follows: Albertson’s Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 – 9 AM Dollar General, 1245 Spruce Every day, 8 – 9 AM Dollar General, W. 18th Street Sundays, 8 – 9 AM Dollar General, 1502 Troy Every day, 8 –9 AM Dollar General, 609 Pueblo Boulevard Thursdays, 12 – 1 PM; All other days, 8 –9 AM Dollar General, 1610 Santa Fe Every day, 8 – 9 AM Dollar General, 2417 Prairie

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Page 6 - Senior Beacon - February 2021



Director of Prayer for Prisoners International



trange title for Light For The Journey, you say? Perhaps not so strange if you read on. Since 1998, Prayer For

Prisoners International has recruited volunteers to send Christmas cards to prisoners. This Christmas outreach began in Colorado with 900 prisoners on our data base. Since then, as many as 32,000 cards per year are mailed to prisoners across the United States and Africa. Because of unusual circumstances in 2020 the number was down and still over 16,000 cards and greetings were sent to prisoners across the country. Regular volunteers participate every year and new volunteers jump on board and get involved. This year 20 new volunteers from across the US contacted us through the website. We were amazed at that number because normally only 2 or 3 new volunteers sign up on the website. I have a theory about why so many wanted to be involved. First, people were locked in and searching for ways to serve the Lord under the circumstances. This outreach is an amazing evangelical mission for the Christmas season. I will explain further on. Secondly, people are experiencing imprisonment. They are confined and, in a way, incarcerated. They have gained a new understanding and compassion for prisoners locked behind prison walls. The volunteer impact is profound. Prisoners must sign a paper to receive a Christmas card from a PFPI volunteer. The sign-up

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sheet reads, “I understand by signing this I am asking for a Christian Christmas card from a Christian ministry.” I mentioned the powerful evangelistic opportunity! 90% of prisoners never receive any mail. They are desperate to hear their names at mail call. They are desperate for mail. Muslims, Mormons, JWs, Wiccans, Satanists, Atheists, and those of other faiths and no faith request a Christian Christmas card. What a beautiful, simple, and profound way to share Jesus. One man told us the only reason he signed up to receive a card was so other prisoners would hear his name at mail call and think someone cared about him. He went on to say that when he read what the volunteer had written, he was so moved he wanted to know more about this Jesus and how he could be saved. The prisoner responses can be tear jerkers. One man wrote that it was the first mail he had received in 32 years. Another man with a life sentence was preparing to jump from the 4th tier in his cell house to commit suicide and heard his name at mail call. The Christmas card he received changed his mind, his life, and his eternity. He became a powerful witness for Jesus in prison. Gratitude flows from the prisoners’ hearts as they send thank you notes to volunteers. Let me share a few. Martez from Marianna, AR: “It’s strange how you get the most love from people who have never met you a day in your life. I don’t know why God loves me enough to send people like Dan and Sara into my life just to make life in prison a little less painful, but I’m thankful. This is how I know God is real. Peace and blessings and love to you from the bottom of my heart.” Jose in Graceville, FL: “When I received the card from you at Christmas I was thinking about ending my life. Why? Because I grew up in the system. Taken away from my parents at age 7 because of abuse. All my life, this was all I knew. Out of the blue, I received your card and realized that you cared enough about me to write encouragement in a card. Jesus’ love through you touched my heart and I wanted to live again. I thank you for what you do. I am forever grateful to you.” Paul in Blountstown, FL: “What a joyous surprise to receive your card. It is a blessing to know there are caring people who take the time to send a warm greeting to a complete stranger. Your actions have brought light into my dark world. God bless you.” Theresa in Wyoming wrote, “Thank you for the Christmas card. I am used to getting cards from my mom. She passed away recently. Thank you for all your prayers and blessings. As well, I pray for you and your family. I miss being home with my children for Christmas.” George, Fulton, MO: “Thank you so much for


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February 2021 - Senior Beacon - Page 7


Excerpt: AFLDS White Paper On Experimental Vaccines For COVID-19

Simone Gold, MD, JD, James Todaro, MD, Lee Merritt, MD, Richard Urso, MD, Robin Armstrong, MD, Scott Barbour, MD, Jeff Barke, MD, Mark McDonald, MD, Teryn Clark, MD, Shelley Cole, MD, Geoff Mitchell, MD, JD

THIS DOCUMENT represents

the preliminary findings of an investigation conducted by the member-physicians of America's Frontline Doctors. We are recommending caution for patients and policy makers and employers. Additional transparency and more research are needed before we ask Americans to embark on the largest experimental medical program in US history. The unknowns must be addressed through a scientifically rigorous process. Mandates for experimental medical therapies are neither permissible nor advisable. Ordinary Americans should not be compelled to sign up for a "vaccine passport" or similar mandate just to travel on an airplane or see a concert with friends. The potential for third-party abuse of private health information and real medical risk to individuals remains much too high. Concentrations of private power pose a threat to privacy and other civil liberties and policy makers must proceed with caution. We also ask our public health agencies to avoid prioritization of experimental biological agents based on race. Zero-pressure “optout” policies should be continued with the COVID-19 vaccine just as they have with previous inoculations. Furthermore, the CDC's tiers of prioritization place seniors not residing in long-term-care facilities last in line for immunization, even though patient expe-

rience and data tell us that 70 percent of US deaths have occurred among those 70 and older.

population, obesity, and older age). Despite the similar scope, the national response was completely different. American life continued I. COVID-19: POLICY MYTHS entirely normally during the Hong COVID-19 was first identified in Kong Flu, with no suggestion of Wuhan China in December 2019. It locking down anything – in fact spread from China to Europe and the Woodstock Festival took place ultimately it swept the globe with in the midst of the Hong Kong Flu. the first non-travel cases in USA We start with this to remind the in late February. Since then COVreader that current information ID-19 has dominated every news must be understood in the context story, every day, in every national of other events or the reader will be and international conversation. easily misled. Such omnipresent media attention There has been massive disinforis unprecedented for a pandemic. mation from the beginning of the The American public heard about COVID-19 pandemic, starting with Zika, Ebola, Swine Flu, but nothing its name. Everyone recalls that its like this. Scientists know that there name was initially the Wuhan Viare pandemics every few years. In rus. That is because epidemics have fact, this is the third respiratory historically been named for the lovirus that escaped from China in cation from where they arise or are the past 25 years; first the bird flu, associated. Consider: Rocky Mounthen SARS, then H7N9. tain Spotted Fever, Spanish Flu, The most recent large pandemic Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, to affect USA prior to COVID-19 Lyme Disease, Zika, Ebola as some was the Hong Kong Flu of 1968-69. examples. The re-branding as As of mid-2020, it was similar size COVID-19 took significant media to COVID-19. (By CDC calcueffort and signaled a massive disinlations, at this time COVID-19 formation was coming. has overtaken the Hong Kong Flu Following its re-branding as in deaths but the CDC numbers COVID-19, the disinformation reare widely accepted as inflated as garding the pandemic continued in deaths “with” COVID are counted many other areas. Most notable was alongside deaths “from” COVselling the lie to the American and ID.) As reported in the New York European people that hydroxychloTimes in 1968-69: “Hong Kong Flu roquine is an unsafe medication. Attacks Thousands Here Swiftly” This incredibly safe medication, and “Hong Kong Flu is Affecting which halts SARS-Co-V-2, was Millions in Wide Areas Around rebranded as unsafe in 2020. the World.” 100,000 Americans This disinformation campaign died (equivalent to about 150-175k largely succeeded – until Amertoday with COVID due to higher ica’s Frontline Doctors came

forward. We revealed four levels of censorship regarding HCQ safety: the scientists, the media, Big Tech, and the government itself. On February 19, 2020, before a single case of non-travel COVID-19 was in the USA, the Chinese government mandated that this drug be used for COVID-19. “The drug [chloroquine] is recommended to be included in the next version of the Guidelines for the Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Pneumonia Caused by COVID-19 issued by the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China for the treatment of COVID-10 infection in larger populations in the future.”12 This was followed two weeks later by the printing of a successful trial of chloroquine in France, and another two weeks later by a report of 1450 patients successfully treated with only two deaths.13 14 On March 22 the country of India had made it their national policy to recommend HCQ broadly to its population, a policy from which it has never deviated, and it continues to enjoy a death rate a fraction (~10%) of the USA even in the most densely populated slums. 15 Since February through December there have been 195 HCQ studies worldwide. 100% of the studies that gave HCQ early, showed dramatic improvement, and 75% of those studies that gave HCQ late, also showed substantial improvement. The Senate Homeland


Page 8 - Senior Beacon - February 2021




The Sun reported on Jan. 18 that a woman in the United Kingdom suffered an "inferno" in her living room after a candle exploded as she was lighting it. Jody Thompson, 50, won the candle, labeled "This Candle Smells Like My Vagina," in an online quiz from Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop website. "The candle exploded and emitted huge flames," Thompson said, "with bits flying everywhere. The whole thing was ablaze and it was too hot to touch." Thompson and her partner "eventually got it under control and threw it out the front door."

In Plane Sight

On Jan. 16 at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, two employees of United Airlines approached a man and asked for his ID. Aditya Singh, 36, of Orange, California,

produced an employee badge, but it was not his: Another employee had reported it missing on Oct. 26, the Chicago Tribune reported. Authorities said Singh had arrived at O'Hare on Oct. 19 from Los Angeles and was too afraid to fly back home because of COVID-19, so he hid in a secured area of the airport for three months, living off food given to him by strangers. Singh is unemployed but has a master's degree in hospitality and doesn't have a criminal background. He was charged with felony criminal trespass.

The Devil Made Them Do It

Members of Poughkeepsie, New York's Church of Satan are down in the dumps this week after someone torched their gathering place, known as "Halloween House," on Jan. 14. According to the Pough-

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keepsie Journal, video footage shows a person carrying two gas cans, splashing liquid on the front porch, lighting it and running away. Two people who were inside at the time escaped unharmed; the arsonist has not been caught. "Sadly there are some 'people of faith' who are intolerant, and typically ignorant, of other belief systems," noted Church of Satan high priest Peter H. Gilmore. Church member Isis Vermouth called the arson a "terror attack. Whoever did this is going to be hexed by all of us," she said. "I just don't understand why anyone would want to piss off Satanic witches. 'Cause now there's going to be hell to pay."

Unclear on the Concept

Nicholas Debetes, 18, was finally placed in handcuffs in Titusville, Florida, on Jan. 14, after Brevard County officers chased him as he drove "at an extremely high rate of speed" to his mother's trailer. Debetes, Click Orlando reported, had a unique excuse: "If I would have tried to stop quicker I would have crashed the vehicle," he told police. He went on to say that his mother wanted him home for an un-

known reason. Debetes had an outstanding warrant and was driving a stolen Hyundai Elantra.

Police Report

In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Curtis McCoy, 46, and his husband of 10 years got into a spat "that escalated since they have been drinking alcohol" on Jan. 17, police reported. The argument got out of hand when McCoy "brought up how the victim has only one testicle which caused the victim to get upset," according to The Smoking Gun. When the victim pointed his finger at McCoy, he grabbed and twisted it, "causing him pain." McCoy was arrested for domestic violence; his criminal history includes shoplifting, disorderly conduct, assault, larceny and other offenses.


Esequiel Robles, 40, was caught after a traffic stop in Williston, North Dakota, with methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia on Jan. 14. The Smoking Gun reported that Robles was on probation for narcotics possession at the time, following a 2019 conviction for meth possession. Notably, however,


February 2021 - Senior Beacon - Page 9


SPECIAL TO THE SENIOR BEACON FROM THE EDITORS OF ANDREWS MCMEEL when Robles was arrested, he was Wright, his companion, Christian some were musicians, as he was. Awwwwww wearing a T-shirt with the message, "Don't Do Drugs." Do as I say, not as I do.

Least Competent Criminals

On Jan. 7, police received a call from a 7-Eleven store in Lehi, Utah, where earlier in the day a man wearing a "sheriff 's deputy" jacket stole a doughnut, then left in a white pickup truck. KUTV reported that Lehi police examined surveillance video and tracked the truck to a nearby motel parking lot, where they knocked on the door of 47-year-old Daniel Mark Wright, who was staying there. As officers spoke with Wright, they saw a Salt Lake County Sheriff 's jacket hanging in the room's closet. They arrested Wright for impersonation of an officer and theft, along with receiving or transfer of a stolen vehicle in relation to the truck.

Olson, and another accomplice are also under investigation for racketeering.

Leobardo Hernandez, 32, of Pomona, California, went to extraordinary lengths on Jan. 16 to evade police after allegedly stealing a car. As Hernandez ran from officers, he entered an apartment complex and found an unlocked door, the Daily Bulletin reported. The apartment residents were not at home, so Hernandez moved right in, shaving his face, changing clothes and even cooking tortillas to make it seem as if he lived there. Unfortunately, he also burned the tortillas, summoning the fire department. Hernandez eventually surrendered and was charged with burglary and possession of a stolen vehicle among other offenses.

SRDA MONTHLY MENU ABOUT THE MENU â—? Nutrition Services (Congregate) Eligibility Policy: Individuals are eligible to participate in the congregate meals service in one of the categories listed in this below: Persons 60 years of age or older and their self-declared spouses of any age; Disabled persons under 60 years of age who reside with persons over 60 years of age, when the care and maintenance of the disabled person otherwise prevents the older adult from participating in the program and when the participation of such individuals does not prevent the participation of older adults and their spouses. The disabled person must accompany the eligible older consumer to the site; Disabled persons under 60 years of age who reside in housing facilities occupied primarily by older adults and at which congregate nutrition services are provided when such participation does not prevent the participation of older adults and their spouse Persons under 60 years of age who provide meal related volunteer services and individuals providing volunteer services at congregate meal sites during meal hours when the participation of such individuals does not prevent the participation of older adults and their spouses; and Staff members of the nutrition program who are 60 years of age or older when such participation does not pre-

Russell Jones of London couldn't figure out why his dog, Billy, was favoring one of his front paws while walking. He took the pet to the veterinarian to have X-rays, United Press International reported, but the vet found nothing wrong. Jones, however, had recently broken his own ankle and was wearing a cast and limping. At the $400 vet visit, the doctor suggested that Billy was simply imitating his owner. Man's best friend, indeed.

What's in a Name?

Before social distancing and masks became the world's norm, CBS News reported on Jan. 12, Paul O'Sullivan of Baltimore was noodling around on Facebook one night, searching for other Paul O'Sullivans. Several of those he found accepted his friend request, which was when he noticed that

NOTE: Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), meal sites are closed. Meals-on-Wheels is still open

vent the participation of other older adults and their spouses. Nutrition Services (Home Delivered) Eligibility Policy:

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

Persons age 60 years or older who are homebound or who are geographically isolated; Disabled persons under age 60 years who reside with eligible consumers; and


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Baltimore Paul, as he's known, reached out to others, and eventually he and three others formed the Paul O'Sullivan Band. Manchester Paul plays bass; Pennsylvania Paul is the percussionist; and Baltimore Paul and Rotterdam Paul play guitar and sing. They recorded a single at the beginning of 2020, but when COVID hit, they thought it was a great opportunity to make a whole album. "It feels great to be able to contact people on the other side of the world when you're in lockdown because you don't feel alone at the moment," commented Rotterdam Paul. "If you learn to play an instrument, it can help you through some dark times," said Manchester Paul.

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Page 10 - Senior Beacon - February 2021



Columnist, author and lawyer

QUADRUPLE MURDERER IS NYT’S PROFILE IN COURAGE HAVING RUN OUT of international con women to promote or innocent biological weapons researchers to accuse, The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof is banging on about a spectacularly guilty quadruple murderer who — according to Kristof — “is very likely innocent.” In this belief, he is opposed by more than a dozen courts, including the California Supreme Court, the infamous 9th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. Joining Kristof ’s crusade are Kim Kardashian and the usual pro-criminal misfits. (At least Ivanka is no longer making criminal justice decisions for the White House!)

On June 4, 1983, a Chino Hills, California, couple and two children were hacked to death by a perpetrator using a hatchet, an ice pick and a hunting knife. Doug and Peggy Ryen, both 41 years old, had been chopped, slashed and stabbed 37 and 33 times, respectively. Their 10-year-old daughter, Jessica, had 46 wounds, and a visiting neighbor, 11-year-old Christopher Hughes, had 25. Some of the victim’s body parts had been fully amputated. The Ryens’ 8-year-old son, Josh, miraculously survived, despite a slit throat and hatchet blows to his head. Christopher’s father discovered the nightmarish scene the next morning, when he came to pick up his son for church. In 1985, a unanimous jury convicted Kevin Cooper, a violent rapist, career criminal and escaped mental patient, of the murders and sentenced him to death. His story illustrates why more prisoners on death row die of natural causes than execution. One year before the Chino Hills slaughter, Cooper was released from a Pennsylvania prison, where he’d been serving time for a string of burglaries. In short order, Cooper violently

kidnapped and raped an underage girl who’d interrupted him in the middle of yet another burglary, stabbing her in the eye with a screwdriver. He was sent to a state psychiatric hospital, escaped and fled to Los Angeles, where he was soon convicted of two more burglaries and incarcerated in a men’s prison in Chino. Unaware of his criminal and psychiatric history, prison authorities mistakenly housed Cooper in a low-security wing. He escaped on June 2, 1983, and made his way to a furnished, unoccupied house just 50 yards from the Ryens’ home. There, he spent two days hiding out, watching the news about his escape, and calling friends, asking for money to get out of Chino. On June 4, the night of the murders, Cooper fled to Mexico, checking into a hotel in Tijuana, about 130 miles south of Chino Hills, at 4:30 p.m. the next day. A few days after the murders, the Ryens’ stolen station wagon was found in a church parking lot in Long Beach, California. Cigarette butts in the car were identified as prison-issued Role-Rite tobacco and rolling papers, unique to the Chino prison. The butts also matched those found in Cooper’s hideaway house. In

Mexico, Cooper introduced himself to an American couple as “Angel Jackson,” and became a deckhand on their sailboat for a trip up the California coast. At a stop in Pelican Cove, near Santa Barbara, the three of them joined another couple for dinner on their sloop. Later that night, “Angel” returned to their hosts’ boat and raped the wife at knifepoint. The rape victim and her husband called the police, and “Angel” was arrested. (He said the sex was consensual.) While at the sheriff ’s office to give her statement, the wife noticed a “Wanted for Murder” poster with a picture of her rapist. “Angel Jackson” was identified as Kevin Cooper and sent back to San Bernardino to face charges for the Chino Hills massacre six weeks earlier. Among the hundreds of pieces of evidence used to convict Cooper for the Ryen murders were: • Shoe prints on a sheet in the Ryens’ master bedroom and on a spa cover outside the house. The prints, in Cooper’s shoe size, were made by a Pro-Ked Dude shoe — the shoes issued to Chino prison inmates and not available to the general public. They matched footprints in the unoccupied house where Cooper had been squatting for two days before the murders. • A bloody hatchet found near the Ryens’ home that was identified by two of the absentee homeowners as having come from their house. The sheath to the hatchet was still in the bedroom where Cooper had slept for two nights.

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• A drop of blood in the Ryens’ hallway that was consistent with Cooper’s rare blood type, establishing that the murderer was an African American. • Luminol tests revealing a large quantity of blood in a shower where Cooper had been hiding. Cooper’s groupies ignore all this evidence — and more! — and invent fanciful alternative theories of the crime. Why not? DNA’s use for identification purposes wasn’t

VISIT US ONLINE AT: discovered until 1984. The first time DNA evidence was ever admitted in an American courtroom was in 1987. Consequently, if a single piece of evidence that was merely “consistent” with the defendant’s profile in the 1980s turns out not to match the defendant under more rigorous testing 40 years later, it’s a cheap Get Out of Jail Free card. And if the DNA matches? No harm, no foul. So, in addition to nonstop frivolous appeals, Cooper’s advocates took up the cry for DNA testing, insisting that the DNA would prove him an innocent man, “framed” for murders he did not commit! Asked by CBS News if he would stop fighting and submit to his execution if the DNA was his, Cooper said, “That’s right. Because see, I say this with all the confidence in the world: I, Kevin Cooper, was never inside the home that I now know is the Ryen home.” Guess whose DNA it was? The California Department of Justice DNA Laboratory at Berkeley definitively established that Cooper’s DNA was in: • a bloodstain inside the Ryen home; • the cigarette butts found inside the Ryens’ stolen station wagon; • a bloody T-shirt found near the Ryen home, which also contained Doug Ryen’s DNA. And guess who hasn’t given up demanding more tests, more appeals and more investigations of their preposterous theories of the crime? Well, yes, obviously Kevin Cooper, the mass murderer himself, but also, Nick Kristof, the most easily fooled man in America.

February 2021 - Senior Beacon - Page 11


MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES keep their Plan J, rather than to enroll new law regarding Medicare Part D. who have a Medicare Supplement in Medicare Part D. Similar to this To change your coverage to a Plan Plan C, F, or F+ should consider change in the law, Medicare beneD, G or G+, you will have to work changing to a Plan D, G, or G+ beficiaries could no longer purchase a with an agent. Medicare supplements tween now and June 30, 2021 during a Plan J starting in 2006. Today, those must be purchased through an agent. special enrollment period approved by beneficiaries who chose to keep Plan If you need assistance selecting an the Colorado Division of Insurance. J with the limited prescription drug agent or have other questions, please Starting January 1, 2019, insurance coverage, are now paying hundreds call our office at 303-333-3482. agents were not able to sell Medicare of dollars each month, sometimes in Supplement Plans C, F or F+. It was Eileen Doherty, MS is the Executive one of the provisions of the Affordable excess of $700 or $800. They were hesitant to make the change as they Director of the Colorado Gerontological Care Act. did not trust the federal government’s Society. As a result, the law was changed so that all Medicare beneficiaries who have a Medicare Supplement will have to pay the Medicare Part B deductible, which in 2021 is $148.50. Due to this change in the law, Medicare 10 WARNING SIGNALS OF HEARING LOSS beneficiaries in Colorado 1. People seem to mumble 6. You no longer hear normal household will have a special enrollmore frequently sounds such as the dripping of a faucet ment period to change to or the doorbell 2. You hear, but have a Plan D, G, or G+ either trouble understanding 7. You have trouble hearing when with the company they are your back is turned to the speaker currently doing business or 3. You often ask people to repeat they can change to a differ8. You have been told that you speak what they have said too loudly ent company. 4. You find telephone conversation Medicare beneficiaries increasingly difficult 9. You experience ringing in your ears who want to stay with their 5. Your family complains that you play 10. You have diffuculty understanding when current Medicare Plan C, F the radio or TV too loud in a large group or crowd or F+ won’t have to pay the Medicare Part B deductible. If you can answer yes to any one of these, please call one of However, The Society is our offices for your FREE consultation. advising that beneficiaries consider changing as we Dr. Bill Herholtz III, CCC-A, F-AAA Owner and Founder expect the Plan C, F or F+ Dr. Herholtz is a third generation audiologist and was Southern Colorado’s first Doctor of Audiology. He premiums will escalate as holds a Doctorate in Audiology from the University of Florida where he graduated with honors and a Master’s of Science in Audiology from Arizona State University, and he completed his undergraduate fewer and fewer older adults studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Herholtz also attended Cheyenne Mountain High are enrolled in those plans. School here in Colorado Springs. He specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss with an emphasis in fitting the most advanced digital hearing instruments from the best manufacturers in the We have witnessed this world. With three generations of knowledge, twenty years of experience and a Doctorate in Audiology, type of premium escalation you can rest assured you will receive excellent hearing care combined with good old fashioned service. with beneficiaries could have NOW SERVING PATIENTS William F. DeHaan III, BC-HIS purchased a Part D plan ON W. COLORADO Hearing Instrument Specialist in 2006, but who chose to William F. DeHaan III (Bill) is a second Dr. Anneke Lee, Audiologist


Dr. Anneke Lee, audiologist, holds a doctorate of audiology from A.T. Still University. She also holds a Master of Science in Audiology from Colorado State University. Dr. Lee has been practicing audiology in Colorado Springs since 1993. She concentrates on the diagnosis and treatment of hearing, tinnitus, and balance disorders. Dr. Lee was diagnosed with a hearing impairment at the age of 25 and wears hearing aids. As a hearing healthcare provider with over 25 years of experience, she has expertise and compassion to bring you world-class hearing care. Dr. Lee and her husband, Randy,have been married for 32 years.They have three adult daughters, two dogs, and one cat.

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generation Nationally Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist. He has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is a graduate of Cheyenne Mountain High School. Mr. DeHaan has been running hearing clinics in Colorado for over 17 years. He concentrates on the diagnois and treatment of hearing lossand tinnitus. In addition, Mr. DeHaan specializes in dispensing the latest digital hearing instruments from a variety of the best manufactuers in the world. As a second-generation hearing health provider with 17 years of experience, Mr. DeHaan has the expertise and compassion to bring you world-class hearing care. He takes great pride in taking care of each of his patients as if they are family.


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Page 12 - Senior Beacon - February 2021


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February 2021 - Senior Beacon - Page 13


be difficult to find things to talk about, especially other than the pandemic, since both residents and their families have had their activities and contacts with others curtailed to a significant degree, and thus may not have as much to share as they normally might. I’d like to share some examples of how I’ve been staying connected with my father in care and trying to maximize his quality of life during the pandemic. I will focus on in-person visits—which in many facilities are confined to the resident’s room--and address in next month’s column how to remotely support a loved one. Visiting tips For visits, I bring a newspaper and read aloud headlines and stories that might be of interest

Dad loves music but is no have had a major impact on longer able to operate his CD seniors in care, both in terms of player, so playing music during maintaining their connections our visits is a must. Sometimes to others and, more generally, it will be soft in the background, their quality of life. Programs while we’re chatting; at other they attended in the community times it’s louder and we sing have been LISA M. PETSCHE along, tap our feet and so on. It Medical social worker suspended. triggers many good memories. I and freelance writer Some resiput on a fresh CD before leaving, dents are not It goes without saying that allowed to technology is a real blessing at leave their this time. If you have a tablet or building, smartphone, you can ask family or only for members to send you short video medical apclips, such as babies babbling, pointments. toddlers newly walking or older Some have kids telling anecdotes, and play furthermore these for your relative. You can been confined to their room. To make matters worse, visitalso facilitate video chats between ing has been greatly restricted your relative and other family in care facilities, depending on members and friends. Phone calls the pandemic can be arranged situation in For visits, I bring a newspaper and read too, of course. In the commuDad’s case, he no aloud headlines and stories that might nity and the longer initiates be of interest to Dad. I also share news residence at use of the phone about family members, especially his any given or answers it, so time. No-visgrandchildren and great-grandchildren, the only opportuitor policies even if it's just the little things. nities for phone have been conversations are common, with when someone at his end facilito Dad. I also share news about exceptions made if death is imtates this. family members, especially his minent. Currently, many facilities are allowing one or two “essential grandchildren and great-grandLisa M. Petsche is a medical social caregivers,” who can’t be swapped children, even if it’s just little things. Such news is gleaned worker and a freelance writer specialout and are subject to a host of largely from social media these izing in boomer and senior health rules and guidelines. days. matters. She has personal experience In my father’s care home, curI regularly bring recent photos with rently one essential caregiver can from online postings or emailed elvisit under certain conditions. by family. Often, too, we’ll peruse der Family and friends have been challenged with finding new ways a photo album together. Whenev- care. to support our loved ones in care, er possible, I tie in reminiscing to the current season and any speoften from a distance. This involves creativity and flexibility on cial occasions in the offing, such as Valentine’s Day, which helps our part. And more than a little heartache, as we worry and won- orient Dad to the time of year. I der about a loved one we can’t be also decorate his room for every with. The concern is even greater possible occasion. This helps to make it cheerful, keeps it visually if that person has dementia, like stimulating and doesn’t involve Dad does. much money since the items are When we do connect, it can from dollar stores.


SRDA. Recreation Dept. is currently CLOSED due to Covid - 19. Taxes being done by AARP starting February 1st, 2021, you MUST CALL 211 to set up an appointment, there are NO WALK-INS. All Lunches are being provided by Meals on Wheels for our home bound and congregate participants. All regular group actives are canceled.There are free Tai Chi classes at the park by the duck pond or in the Pavilion during the winter. The schedule for these classes is Tuesdays 5-6 pm, Thursdays 5-6 pm, and Saturdays 9-10 am. You can call Instructor Jim Klodzinski at 719544-6521 or email him at jeklodzinski. with questions about Tai Chi classes. There are also free Jian QiGong all classes are held on Zoom at 10:00amMDY Sunday through Friday, classes are offered through SRDA by instructor Bob Marsh. He can be reached by phone at 510-932-9268 or email at with questions about classes. There are No classes or activities happening at this moment in recreation, we are not loaning Bikes. Startup depends on when SRDA reopens. Also, all outside activity startup, like AARP - Driver Safety classes will be determined by their national office. Call our Center for more information at (719) 553-3445. For Matter of Balance information please call Jane at 719-553-3422.

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Page 14 - Senior Beacon - February 2021

Penrose (719) 372-3872 Florence (719) 784-6493


Canon City (719) 345-4112 Salida (719) 539-3351


February 2021 Florence Senior Center Upper Arkansas Area Agency on Aging Nutrition Program

February 2021 Upper Arkansas Area Agency on Aging Nutrition Program

Tuesday 2 #6 Baked Potato Broccoli w/Cheese Sauce Tossed Salad w/Lite French Peaches Fruit Cocktail Drop Biscuit w/Butter

Thursday 4 #37 Combination Burrito Sala, Lettuce, Tomato Cilantro Lime Rice Refried Beans Citrus Cup

Friday 5 #105 Vegetable Soup WW Crackers Tuna Salad on Lettuce w/Tomato Slice Backed Acorn Squash Pear Halves

Monday 1 #97 Teriyaki Beef Brown Rice Chinese Vegetables Asian Cabbage Salad Orange Fortune Cookie WW Bread w/Butter

Tuesday 2 #87 Stewed Chicken w/Olives Greek Spinach Rice Salata Parslied Carrots Orange Raisin Nut Cup

9 #51 Hot Turkey Sandwich Whipped Potatoes Asparagus Amandine Pineapple Mandarin Compote Banana

11 #53 Hungarian Goulash California Vegetable Medley Green Peas Pineapple Tidbits WW Bread w/Butter

12 #72 Roast Chicken w/Broth Scalloped Potatoes Brussels Sprouts Apple WW Bread w/Butter

8 #31 White Bean Chicken Chili Spinach Salad w/Lite Italian Apple Cornbread w/Butter Orange Juice

9 #5 Smothered Pork Chop w/Gravy Smashed Red Potatoes Cooked Collard Greens Apple Bran Muffin

16 #12 Beef & Sweet Peppers Steamed Brown Rice Orange Sliced Carrots Grapefruit WW Bread w/Butter

18 #9 BBQ Chicken Potato Salad Spinach Salad w/Mandarin Oranges Apple WW Roll w/Butter

19 #59 Macaroni and Cheese Salad w/Lite Italian Asparagus Banana WW Bread w/Butter


23 #65 Pork Chow Mein Steamed Brown Rice Cabbage w/Red Pepper Banana Fortune Cookie WW Bread w/Butter

25 #83 Spaghetti and Meat Sauce Salad w/Lite Italian Green Beans Orange WW Bread w/Butter

26 #84 Spicy Beef Rice Casserole Cut Broccoli Sliced Yellow Squash Pineapple Tidbits WW Bread w/Butter

22 #79 Salisbury Steak Brown Gravy Smashed Red Potatoes Nectarine WW Bread w/Butter

A $3.00 suggested donation per meal is appreciated, but not required. Must have assessment form for our meal program on file with UAAACOG.

2% milk served with all meals. Most meals served with whole wheat bread.


A $3.00 suggested donation per meal is appreciated, but not required. Must have assessment form for our meal program on file with UAAACOG

Please call (719) 784-6493 before 9:30 a.m. for reservations for grab-n-go meals served Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. All menus subject to change.

Thursday 4 #37 Combination Burrito Sala, Lettuce, Tomato Cilantro Lime Rice Refried Beans Citrus Cup

Friday 5 #105 Vegetable Soup WW Crackers Tuna Salad on Lettuce w/Tomato Slice Backed Acorn Squash Pear Halves

10 #15 Beef Stew Sweet Corn Cauliflower Broccoli Salad Peaches WW Crackers

11 #53 Hungarian Goulash California Vegetable Medley Green Peas Pineapple Tidbits WW Bread w/Butter

12 #72 Roast Chicken w/Broth Scalloped Potatoes Brussels Sprouts Apple WW Bread w/Butter

16 #81 Sloppy Joe on a Bun Scalloped Potatoes Broccoli & Carrots Apple

17 #60 Meatloaf w/Gravy Roasted Sweet Potatoes Brussels Sprouts Salad w/Lite Ranch Pineapple Tidbits WW Bread w/Butter

18 #9 BBQ Chicken Potato Salad Spinach Salad w/Mandarin Oranges Apple WW Roll w/Butter

19 #59 Macaroni and Cheese Salad w/Lite Italian Asparagus Banana WW Bread w/Butter

23 #58 Lentil Soup Egg Salad Sandwich Shredded Lettuce & Tomato Slices Banana

24 #91 Sweet and Sour Chicken Brown Rice Asian Vegetable Blend Mandarin Oranges Fortune Cookie WW Bread w/Butter

25 #83 Spaghetti and Meat Sauce Salad w/Lite Italian Green Beans Orange WW Bread w/Butter

26 #84 Spicy Beef Rice Casserole Cut Broccoli Sliced Yellow Squash Pineapple Tidbits WW Bread w/Butter




#93 Swiss Broccoli Pasta 5-Way Vegetables Tossed Salad w/Ranch Banana WW Rolls w/Butter

2% milk served with all meals. Most meals served with whole wheat bread.

Please call (719) 345-3064 before 9:30 a.m. for reservations for grab-n-go meals served Monday – Friday. All menus subject to change.

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February 2021 - Senior Beacon - Page 15




Security & Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on November 19, 2020 on early treatment and heard testimony under oath from many physicians that if USA normalized its HCQ policy, deaths would plummet to a fraction of what they are. America’s Frontline Doctors successfully challenged the narrative that HCQ was unsafe. In response to our efforts, many states were forced to revert back to the pre-COVID rules of no restriction on HCQ. We have also made it possible for any person to obtain HCQ legally by consulting with a telemedicine physician. We did this

IV. COVID-19 Experimental Vaccines Controversies: Safety Concerns Regarding the Experimental COVID-19 Vaccines: 1. Brand New Technology. No vaccine based on messenger RNA has ever been approved for any disease, or even entered final-stage trials until now, so there’s no peer-reviewed published human data to compare how mRNA stacks up against older technologies. How well mRNA vaccines will actually prevent COVID-19 remains unknown. This new technology is less stable than older technolo-

This month’s Senior Safety Page is Proudly Sponsored byAMERICAN VEIN! Give them a call right away! And thank themfor sponsoring this valuable addition to the Senior Beacon!! Vaccines. 3. No Independently Published Animal Studies. 4. Known Complications. Other known complications of vaccines include neurological diseases such as transverse myelitis, Bells’ Palsy multiple sclerosis, autism, and Guillain-Barre. For example, in 1976 the government attempted a

mass vaccination of the population with a newly created Swine Flu vaccine. The vaccination program was aborted after about 450 people came down with Guillain-Barre. The extremely limited COVID-19 vaccine data already has at least two transverse myelitis cases29 and four Bell’s Palsy cases that may be linked to vaccination.

Access to hydroxychloroquine compared to COVID-19 deaths across the USA, worldwide, and Europe vs. Africa

TAKE BACK because Americans are dying and we felt an obligation to help, and also because we care deeply about our profession and watching the media and politicians lie to the American people that a drug waunsafe whenit was not unsafe was unacceptable to us as practicing physicians.

gies, for example, requiring deep freezing temperatures up to negative 70 degrees Celsius for Pfizer’s vaccine. This differs from other vaccines that are typically kept in ordinary refrigerators. Recently a vaccine candidate had to be halted because test 2.Failure of Previous Coronavirus

your legs

COME BE OUR VALENTINE! We Need Volunteer Drivers! Here at Golden the GAC we are starting to reopen and get The Shuttle/Fremont County back to a “new normal”. We know that the past year Program has been hardTransit on everyone, but we has are open and ready to start offering activities again.

expanded service to Florence and Penrose Join us for Koffee Klub offered every day at 9:00, Arkansas River Carvers Thursdays at 1:00pm, Silver Sneakers Mon-Thurs at 9am or on Wednesday, which requires more February 10th at 1:00 to make Valentine’s Day cards and decorations. Also be on the lookout for more fun and exciting actives coming soon. Please drivers. wear your mask whenever entereing the building. Call 275-5177 you are Also, we are still providingifgrab-n-go meals. Just call 719-345-3064 the day you would like to receive a meal. Fremont County Transit is also running as usual.interested. Call 719-276-5200 to schedule your ride. If you would like to receive our newsletter via email, send an email to newsletter@theCCgac. No needed. com special requesting tolicense be added. We’ll get you on the list!

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Page 16 - Senior Beacon - February 2021




ith so much bad news about the dangers of climate change and the global spreading of Covid-19, THE MIDNIGHT SKY seems like a prophecy of what might happen to the world in about forty years from now. The movie posits that some kind of tragedy has made Earth inhabitable then. Our only hope? Find another planet. Luckily, a space station has already been set up for just that, and the crew is waiting to return to report on their mission.


The entire plot of this movie revolves around the efforts of an elderly space professor, played by George Clooney, who wants to get in touch

Many interesting scenes with the crew in space are also included -- both inside and outside their station. The interactions among the crew members evoke our empathy because the actors make them appear so real. Felicity Jones, Kyle Chandler, Demian Birchir, David Oyelowo and Tiffany Boone deliver excellent performances here. Also, the stunning visual effects outside the station give us a sense of “being there” which adds to the suspense.

with the crew to warn them not to return home. Clooney’s grizzled

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character has made it through a terrible snow storm and icy terrain with a mysterious youngster (Caoilinn Springall), and they find a deserted location where the equipment to make contact with the space station is located. I breathed a sigh of relief when this desperate duo finally found some kind of shelter!

It’s interesting to see Clooney, who also directed “ The Midnight Sky,” playing a much older character than we are used to seeing him do on screen. He gets most of the close-ups, and he’s definitely ready for them. His expressive facial reactions to each crucial situation are quite impressive. I especially enjoyed watching his character’s growing relationship with the darling young child he takes under his wing. And Caoilinn Springall is a real find. I loved her – and so will you. While “ The Midnight Sky” is no “ Gravity,” I recommend it for fans of George Clooney and science fantasy. (Released by Netflix and rated “PG13” for some bloody images and brief strong language.)


February 2021 - Senior Beacon - Page 17


Let Nature Surprise You THE BEST GARDENS aren't pictures of perfection; they're pleasantly imperfect places where nature, design, resourcefulness and the unexpected all come felicitously together. When you stop trying to control everything in MARTY ROSS your garden, Freelance garden journalist and good things syndicated happen. gardening columnist To cultivate an imperfect garden, put away your leaf blower and take a break from using herbicides and pesticides. Right away, you're saving time, energy and resources and turning your backyard into a healthier environment. When you stop using herbicides, you may soon notice pretty violets spreading like a soft blue carpet in shade -- where grass never really flourished, anyway. Clover may appear in the lawn, another sign of environmental diversity. Don't fight it: Clover acts as a natural fertilizer, tolerates drought, and attracts butterflies, bees and other pollinators. In an imperfect garden, plants have a way of finding their own places. Larkspur, poppies, cosmos, columbine, coneflowers and other flowers that are allowed to go to seed in the garden in autumn naturally spread in the wind, or with the help of birds, to nooks and crannies where they flourish. Few flowers look as charming as those that find their way home in this way, but you can always help them along by moving a few seedlings to other spots that look promising. Cultivating imperfection simply recognizes that a garden is a process, not a product. It doesn't imply that a garden isn't thoughtfully designed or well maintained. A small tree that seemed just right when you planted it doesn't have to stay there forever if it grows too fast -- or too slowly -- or if it gets in the way of plans for a new porch or potting shed. When you decide to put in a pond, or take one out, it doesn't mean you made the wrong decision the first time, but that your interests are developing. Gardeners who move plants around frequently, digging up and dividing a clump of day lilies, for example, and distributing them around the garden, understand the beauty and inevitability of incremental improvement and the satisfaction that comes from trying something new, even though

it might not work out in the long run. When plants die -- it happens to everyone, everywhere -- it's not a sign of defeat, but an opportunity to experiment further, just as nature does ceaselessly. Many of nature's signals are not subtle. A tree limb that falls on the birdbath is a reminder to have an arborist check the strength and structure of the magnificent specimen you may have taken for granted for too long. Mature trees show their age in many wonderful ways, developing ever greater character and distinction, and sensitive professional pruning can help you continue to enjoy a venerable tree that may have taken root long before you were born. Natural cavities aren't necessarily bad -- they attract woodpeckers, owls and other birds. To have the pleasure of listening to them and seeing them come and go, you have to accept imperfections in your trees. When you're pruning trees and shrubs yourself, take it slowly. Make a few cuts, then remind yourself to step back to study the result. Instead of dealing summarily with wayward limbs, try to bring out the plant's natural shape and structure. A branch that seems to lean too close to a garden path may not be at all out of place if it

allows you to enjoy the flowers of a blooming shrub up close and to appreciate its fragrance. Insect hotels, which give shelter to pollinators and other beneficial bugs, draw your eye to the often

incidental but beautiful details and detritus of a garden -- pinecones, seed pods, acorn caps, bits of moss, tubular stems. These small structures are, in their nature, imperfect, accidental and fun. A simple wooden frame a couple of inches deep, open except for a facing of half-inch wire mesh on one or both sides and divided into little rooms any way you fancy, filled with

comfortable and reassuring natural furnishings, will be an attractive oasis for insects wandering through life in your garden. Finding a use for leftover materials is another charming hallmark of an imperfect garden. Shards of broken flowerpots can be used to make a crevice garden for rock-garden plants. Chunks of cement from a broken-up patio can be reused as the foundation of a rock garden. Broken bricks make first-rate paving material when they're set in sand. Irregular assemblages of stones or shells or water-worn glass make interesting mosaic designs when there is no need for a more perfect pattern. Let the ramblers ramble; let your imperfect garden go to seed. Don't fret about last fall's leaf litter under the shrubs: It's good for the soil and for foraging birds. Don't worry about a few dandelions in the lawn: They sparkle on a late-winter day and are an important source of nectar for bees. If you see these as signs of neglect and ask yourself where you went wrong, the answer may be easy: You didn't. Collaborating with nature makes a more perfect garden than any leaf blower ever could.

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Get Your Social Security Benefit Statement TAX SEASON is approaching, and replacing your annual Benefit Statement has never been easier. The Benefit Statement, also known as the SSA-1099 or the SSA-1042S, is a tax form we mail each year in January to people who receive Social Security benefits. It shows the total amount of benefits you received from us in the previous year so you know how much Social Security income to report to the Internal Revenue Service on your tax return. If you live in the United States and you need a replacement form SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S, simply go online and get an instant, printable replacement form using your personal my Social Security account at A replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S is available for the previous tax year after February 1. If you don’t have access to a printer, you can save the document to your computer or email it to yourself. If you don’t have a my Social Security account, creating one is very easy to do and usually takes less than 10 minutes. With a personal my Social Security account, you can do much of your business with us online. If you receive benefits or have Medicare, your personal my Social Security

account is also the best way to: Request a replacement Social Security number card (in most states and the District of Columbia). Get your benefit verification letter. Check your benefit and payment information. Change your address and phone number. Change your direct deposit information. Request a replacement Medicare card. Report your wages if you work and receive Social Security disability insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits. If you’re a non-citizen who lives outside of the United States and you received or repaid Social Security benefits last year, we will send you form SSA-1042S in the mail. The forms SSA-1099 and SSA-1042S are not available for people who receive Supplemental Security Income benefits.

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This year, America Saves Week runs from February 22 – 26. The week is an opportunity for organizations to promote good financial habits. It’s also a great time for people to assess their own saving status, as planning and saving are key to a successful retirement. Each day of the week will focus on a different aspect of saving: Monday – Save Automatically Tuesday – Save for the Unexpected Wednesday – Save to Retire Thursday – Save by Reducing Debt


Friday – Save as a Family It’s never too early to start planning for your retirement. Set a goal, make a plan, and save automatically. People with a plan are twice as likely to save successfully. Pledge to save for America Saves Week at We have many tools to help you with your goals as you save for retirement. You can access our online information and resources at www. It’s never too late for you and your loved ones to begin saving. Younger workers may think they have time to put off saving for their future, but the sooner they begin, the more their money can grow. Visit our website for young workers at for resources that can help you secure today and tomorrow.

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Page 20 - Senior Beacon - February 2021


SOCIAL SECURITY & YOU Question: How much will I receive if I qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits? Answer: The amount of your SSI benefit depends on where you live and how much income you have. The maximum SSI payment varies nationwide. For 2018, the maximum federal SSI payment for an eligible individual is $750 a month and $1,125 a month for an eligible couple. However, many states add money to the basic payment. For more information, go to www. Question: Is it true I can save about $4,900 per year if I qualify for Social Security’s Extra Help with the Medicare prescription drug program? Answer: Yes. If your income and resources meet the requirements, you can save nearly $4,900 in prescription costs each year. Resource limits for 2018 are $14,100 (or $28,150 if you are married and living with your spouse). Income limits are $18,210 (or $24,690 if you are married and living with your spouse). If your income or resources are just a bit higher, you might be eligible for some help with prescription drug costs. To learn more, visit www. Question: I usually get my benefit payment on the third of the month. But what if the third falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday? Will my payment

be late? Answer: Just the opposite. Your payment should arrive early. For example, if you usually get your payment on the third of a month, but it falls on a Saturday, we will make payments on the Friday prior to the due date. Find more information about the payment schedule for 2018 at www. htm. Any time you don’t receive a payment, be sure to wait three days before calling to report it missing. To ensure that your benefits are going to the right place, create a my Social Security account. There, you can verify and manage your benefits without visiting your local office. Please visit to create your account. Question: Who can get Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug coverage? Answer: Anyone who has Medicare can get Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. Joining a Medicare prescription drug plan is voluntary, and you pay an additional monthly premium for the coverage. People with higher incomes might pay a higher premium. If you have limited income and resources, you may be eligible for Extra Help to pay for the costs — monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments — related to a Medicare prescription drug plan. To qualify for Extra Help, you must reside in one of the

50 states or the District of Columbia. For 2018, your resources must be limited to $14,100 for an individual or $28,150 for a married couple living together. (Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks, and bonds. We do not count your house and car as resources.) Your annual income must be limited to $18,210 for an individual or $24,690 for a married couple living together. Even if your annual income is higher, you still may be able to get some help. Learn more at www. Question: My aunt is considering applying for Extra Help with Medicare Part D prescription drug costs, but she has about $10,000 in the bank. Would she still be eligible with this much money? Answer: Based on the resources you mentioned, it sounds like she may qualify. However, there are other factors to consider. In most cases, recipients of Extra Help are limited to $14,100 (or $28,150 if married and living with a spouse) in resources in 2018. Resources include the value of the things you own, such as real estate (other than the place you live), cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds and retirement accounts. To learn more, visit the Medicare link at or call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800325-0778). Question: If I receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, what is the effect on my benefits if I work? Answer: In most cases, your return to work would reduce your benefit amount. Unlike Social Security disability, there is no “trial work period” for people who get SSI disability benefits. If your only income besides SSI is from your work, you can earn up to $1,585 in a month (in 2018) before we stop your payments. Reporting wages each month helps us pay the correct amount of SSI. Timely reporting may also prevent you from owing us money or may allow us to pay a higher amount. We have several publications about SSI, including Reporting Your Wages When You Receive Supplemental Security Income, available at Note that there are other work incentives that can help you return to work when you receive SSI. You can read about them in What You Need To Know When You Get Supplemental Security Income (SSI), also available at For more information, visit our website at Question: What is the average Social Security retirement payment that a person receives each month? Answer: The average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker in 2018 is $1,404 (up from $1,377 in 2017). The average monthly Social Security benefit for a disabled worker in 2018 is $1,197 (up from $1,173 in 2017). As a reminder, eligibility for retirement benefits still requires 40 credits (usually about 10 years of work). Question: I recently retired and am approaching the age when I can start receiving Medicare. What is the monthly premium for Medicare Part B? Answer: In 2018, the standard Medicare Part B premium for medical insurance is currently $134.00 per month. Some people with higher incomes must pay a higher monthly premium for their Medicare coverage. You can get details at or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-6334227) (TTY 1-877-486-2048). Question: What is the maximum Social Security retirement benefit? Answer: The maximum benefit depends on the age you retire. For example, if you retire at full retirement age in 2018, your maximum monthly benefit would be $2,788. However, if you retire at age 62 in 2018, your maximum monthly benefit would be only $2,158. If you retire at age 70 in 2018, your maximum monthly benefit would be $3,698. To get a better idea of what your benefit might be, visit our online Retirement Estimator at Question: How do I earn Social Security credits and how many do I need to qualify for benefits? Answer: We use your total yearly earnings to figure your Social Security credits. The amount needed for a credit in 2018 is $1,320. You can earn a maximum of four credits for any year. The amount needed to earn one credit usually increases each year when average wages increase. You must earn a certain number of credits to qualify for Social Security benefits. The number of credits you need depends on your age when you apply and the type of benefit application. No one needs more than 40 credits for any Social Security benefit. You can read more about credits in How You Earn Credits at



the cards you sent to us for Christmas, for your prayers and being obedient to the Lord. In doing so, you blessed us. Some of us don't get any mail except through people like you who don't forget about us in here. Some of us have no family to reach out to us. We are lonely and full of regret and guilt. Just a simple card in the name of Jesus not only gives hope, but can change a life, a perspective, and compel someone to open the Word of God.” Joseph in Canon City, CO: “Thank you so very much for your wonderful words. My heart is warmed to know there are people who care about us. What you wrote really moved me and I looked up all the Scriptures. I feel very blessed to have such amazing people like you at Prayer for Prisoners care about me. Mary, Ocala, FL: “The Christmas card from you is the only one I received. It means more than you could ever understand and made me feel like Jesus Himself was reaching out to me. Thank you for being obedient to the Lord and remembering us behind bars.” About the title of this article. Prisoners are often relocated or released after they sign up for a Christmas card from PFPI. Their cards are returned to us marked in different ways. If the message is “name and number don’t match,” the cards go right back in the mail with the corrections. Others are marked as “paroled.” We remove those prisoners from our data base. Some are “transferred”, and those cards are turned around and sent to the prisoner at the new facility. Recently, some returned cards were marked “deceased.” These take my breath away and make me sad. A Colorado prisoner from a facility we normally hold worship services in let us know that his friend had passed away from the covid virus. Shortly after that the deceased man’s letter was returned marked deceased. We were heart broken. Several prisoners have succumbed to the virus just as have many outside. Last year was a strange year indeed. On the bright side, thousands of men and women received encouraging letters and cards from PFPI volunteers. Those who step up to be a blessing are encouraged when they receive a thank you letter telling them how God used their small gift of a Christmas card to change a life. You can learn more about this ministry and how you can make a difference, not just at Christmas but all year. Check out the PFPI website. Or call me. I would love to tell you more about prison ministry opportunities. Your prayer, card or letter could change a life for eternity.

February 2021 - Senior Beacon - Page 21


would boost Social Security benefits and tie the annual COLA to an index that better reflects the expenditures of retirees, such as the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly. To learn more visit ### With 1.2 million supporters, The Senior Citizens League is one of the nation’s largest nonpartisan seniors’ groups. Its mission is to promote and assist members and supporters, to educate and alert senior citizens about their rights and freedoms as U.S. Citizens, and to protect and defend the benefits senior citizens have earned and paid for. The Senior Citizens League is a proud affiliate of The Retired Enlisted indeed be a new normal. So CD inDo you see where I’m going with Association. Visit this? The fox is in the hen house. The vestors and savers may need to open for more information. fox is us. We’re going to pay ½ trillion up their portfolios a bit by adding

◀ FROM T-BOND PAGE 3 ing to, the iShares 1-3Yr Treasury ETF (symbol: SHY) is paying an SEC yield of minus 0.01 percent. Yes, they have a negative yield. The last twelve months it paid a total of 0.94 percent in income, though. Also, this fund invests in bonds with longer maturities so a fund that strictly uses one-year, or less, maturities would probably be paying out even less. Hmm. WHY WOULD WE EVER RAISE INTEREST RATES? At least raise them meaningfully or for long? We, as a country, have the largest generation ever just starting to retire, adding to the biggest obligations in global financial history. That’s the Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid obligation. That’s okay, of course, we’re all owed this but the reality is it’s a financial doozy: in the tens of trillions for these guarantees. Some estimates are as high as a $5070 trillion price tag. So we the people, via the government, sell some more bonds to cover the bill. This adds to the $27 trillion national debt we already have, according to What are we paying in interest for just the current debt? We have $27 trillion at, let’s ballpark it, two percent interest. That’s a bit over half a trillion a year for our interest payments. For the current debt only. Now add in fifty more trillion at the same interest. We’re now paying $1.54 trillion a year to keep our well-deserved promises….

So would the Fed/government/We The People really raise rates to the @ 2021 Jan McLaughlin. Jan more-normal five percent? If we did that for the total bill we’d be paying can be contacted at 719-649-2937 or by e-mail $3.85 trillion. Every year. In interest.

dollars not almost four trillion yearly, different bond types. especially if we’re setting the interest Due to what looks like perennial rates. low rates, I’ve changed my mind on another investment: Tax-free bonds, I’m looking at short-term T-Bills, rather than higher-paying long-term also known as municipals or munis. Please email or call to get my free bonds, and using overly simplified math to both paint the broad picture muni report and learn more. and to make a dramatic point. The Written on 1-29-2021 income component of U.S Treasuries has changed. Ronald S. Phillips is a Pueblo BUY TREASURIES FOR OTHER native and an independent financial advisor. ORDER A FREE COPY OF REASONS HIS BOOK INVESTING TO WIN Don’t buy Treasuries for the yield. BY LEAVING A MESSAGE AT (719) 220-3005. Visit Do buy them for safety/diversification and potential performance. Also, or email RonPhillipsAdvisor@gmail. this low-interest environment might com


Page 22 - Senior Beacon - February 2021



GLEN VOLLMECKE Author: "Intermission a Place in Time."

Even Shakespeare's Eternally, all of Europe's supposedly fantasies and beliefs are reliant Romeo and Juliet can attest to the cultured on actions from gnomes and faeries, which deter, or even accentuate the popularity of the faerie good, in the present time. Also England, Ireland and Scotland are all kingdom which occasionally within the immersed in these doctrines. human mind, invokes notions of juvenile 'Hear the call! fays be still! aspirations. Not so fast famous Bards' colorful age. A celemy friends! Kindly take a minute brated man's magical interpretation Noon is deep, on vale and hill. Stir from your isolation, or your busy of such whimsical creatures, surely no sound, the forest round! day, and reflect upon this column provides fact/authenticity which supand its significance. All is not what ports us mentally during this fractured Let all things hush that fly or creep. it seems. Reflect upon the imageexistence which we all share today. ries from poetries' world famous Eternally, all of Europe's supposedly Tree and bush, air and ground, Bard. What an incredibly descripfantasies and beliefs are reliant on active under worldly account from hear the call! Silence keep! One and tions from gnomes and faeries, which such a highly regarded scholar. deter, or even accentuate the good, all, hush and sleep. 'Her wagon spokes made of long in the present time. Also England, spinner's legs, the cover of wings Ireland and Scotland are all immersed Poem by William Allingham. of grasshoppers. Her traces of the in these doctrines. smallest spider web: her collar of Their day begins at dusk, and ends Hence another incredibly distincthe moonshine's watery beams at dawn, the magical hour being tive narration by a man. Gender her whip of cricket's bone, the midnight. Faeries enter our world lash of film: her wagon, a small during these times, and we can peek notwithstanding, these bards really grey-coated gnat.' William Shakeinto theirs. Daytime turns Gnomes speare's ‌A Midsummer night's into stone, and faes will be restricted come through for us. A more approdream. from returning to their world during Never again doubt one's underhours of sunlight. These tiny beings priate time could not be imaginable. standing and acknowledgement of flee when the cock crows, a sure sign Another world awaits albeit in our the faerie realm. His name alone of the imminent sun rise. Another 'Shakespeare' emits daunting phipoem called The Noon Call, reflects minds at this time in our lives. Fret losophies that many have never the world of faeries and is written actually recognized. Time for an by another creative poet‌William not in fear and do not be sad. open minded exploration into this Allingham.


February 2021 - Senior Beacon - Page 23



David M. Shribman isa North Shore native and Pulitzer Prize winner


Oval Office, Webster never inhabited the executive mansion, though he tried repeatedly between 1832 and 1852 to win the presidency. The closest he came to living in the White House was his brick house, right across the street, on a site now occupied by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Presidents make statements with their office furnishings, and for Biden, Webster is not a whisper but a shout. For decades, the New England lawmaker was the symbol of the Union, and Biden was quick -- on his first day -- to seize upon Webster in his national unity effort. At one time, every American schoolchild knew Webster responded to a speech 190 years ago this week by Sen. Robert Hayne of South Carolina advocating state nullification and slavery by bellowing, "Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable." But Webster's 1830 speech, one of the most famous ever delivered in the Capitol, illuminates an important nuance in the current debate about national unity in a time as fraught as the one in which Black Dan'l operated. Biden surely chose Webster for his hall of fame as a symbol of unity. But Webster was more a symbol of the Union than of unity. Throughout his life -- early as an opponent of slavery, late as the advocate of the Compromise of 1850 that gave succor to slave states -- Webster was involved in the most divisive debates in our history. "Everyone thinks about Webster in light of his 'Union-forever' oration, but he was a polarizing figure -- not as bad as some, but still a divisive figure," said Jay Sexton, a University of Missouri historian. "For him and those of his generation, compromise no

longer had the traction it once did. It seemed anachronistic." In short, in working for the Union, he did not sow unity. Soon after Webster replied to Hayne, Ralph Waldo Emerson said that Webster possessed a "mind great enough to capture the majesty of moral nature and to apply himself in all his length and breadth to it." After the Compromise of 1850, which included the reviled Fugitive Slave Act, Emerson described Webster as "a man of the past, not a man of faith or hope," concluding, "all the drops of his blood have eyes that look downward." Indeed, Webster had spoken out against Clay (and Calhoun) shortly after a pro-slavery mob murdered the abolitionist editor Elijah Parish Lovejoy and destroyed his presses in 1837, accusing the two of attempting "to make a new constitution." But Webster provides a case study for my belief, often argued in these pages, that the past is always changing.

"We have a higher sensitivity to the human price of the Union than Webster did," said Michael Birkner, a Gettysburg College historian who as a young man was one of the editors of the Webster Papers. "A generation ago, the 1850 Compromise was regarded as necessary to save the Union and buy a decade's time so the North could expand its industrial base and be in a position to prevail when the rupture did come. Today the question is why a pronounced anti-slavery man like Webster would accept something as offensive as the Fugitive Slave Act. We are less empathetic to Webster today than we were in the past." Today we see the limits of Webster and, through his life, the limits of talking about unity, a political state that cannot be cajoled, or argued, into being. It grows organically, not merely from oration. Biden is giving it a try, just as Webster did in 1850, when a Democratic acquaintance urged the Whig senator from Massachusetts to reconcile North and South: "Do it, Mr. Webster; as you can do it, like a bold and gifted Statesman and Patriot."

He tried. In the most famous riff from his Seventh of March speech, a three-hour oration from a 68-yearold man weakened by political strife and struggle, he said: "I wish to speak today, not as a Massachusetts man, nor as a Northern man, but as an American, and a member of the Senate of the United States. ... I speak for the preservation of the Union. Hear me for my cause." So when Biden looks across that great oak desk in the Oval Office and sees that Webster bust, he should see caution where he might seek inspiration. Even America's greatest orator couldn't talk the country into unity.

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



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Page 24 - Senior Beacon - February 2021


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