Senior Beacon Newspaper, January 2020

Page 1

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


Vol. 38:12

Established February 1982

456 Consecutive Months!

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



ROUGHLY ONE-HALF of all retiree households report that a portion of their Social Security benefits are subject to taxation, according to recent survey results from The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). “This is a tax that was estimated to affect just 10 percent of Social Security beneficiaries when it was first enacted in 1983,” says Mary Johnson, a Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League.

“AT THE TIME of enactment, The Congressional

Quarterly referred to this revenue change as ‘taxing the benefits of high-income recipients’” says Johnson, citing the publication’s summaries of major Social Security changes from 19831984. Social Security’s archives state that “Congress intended that the taxation of benefits should not affect ‘lower income’ individuals.” The revenues from the tax on Social Security benefits are credited to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds and provide a growing share of the programs’ financing. But, unlike other parts of the tax code which are adjusted for inflation, such as income brackets, the income thresholds that subject a portion of Social Security benefits to taxation have never been adjusted. “Today, the Social Security benefits of even modest-income retirees — those who have modified gross incomes of more than $25,000 (single filers) or $32,000 (joint filers) — are affected by the tax,” Johnson says. Had the income thresholds been adjusted for inflation the $25,000 threshold would be about $63,137 today and the $32,000 would be about $80,815, using the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator. New retirees can be caught off guard by the tax, and the Social Security Administration’s information about it “can be easily misunderstood,” Johnson notes. Information about the tax on the Social Security Administration’s website says that the tax affects retirees with “substantial income.” It states: “Some of you have to pay federal income taxes on your Social Security benefits. This usually happens only if you have other substantial income in addition to your benefits (such as wages, self-employment, interest, dividends and other taxable income that must be reported on your tax return). To determine if a portion of the taxpayer’s Social Security benefits are taxable, half of Social Security benefits are added to the adjusted gross income, plus any tax - exempt interest, and certain other tax - exempt income. “Few people today think of an adjusted gross income of as little as $25,000 -$32,000 as ‘substantial’ income,” Johnson says. To calculate the taxable portion of benefits, taxpayers can find a worksheet in IRS publication 915. Legislation is currently under consideration in the House, The Social Security 2100 Act (H.R. 860), that would adjust the income thresholds that subject Social Security benefits to taxation, from $25,000 to $50,000 for single filers and from $32,000 to $100,000 for joint filers. According to a survey by The Senior Citizens League, 55 percent of survey participants support lifting the threshold for taxation of Social Security benefits to those levels, and only 12 percent oppose. The bill would pay for this as well as providing a boost in Social Security benefits and a more generous cost-of-living adjustment, by increasing the amount of wages subject to payroll taxes and by very gradually increasing the tax rate that workers and employers pay. 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 Association. Visit for more information.


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Page 2 - Senior Beacon - January 2020 FINANCE

State of the World WELCOME TO THE new decade! This last one has been good for America, good for some other countries and not great for many others. 2020 is looking like the same direction. Here’s the “state of the world” as I see it. And maybe you, too, if you’re keeping up with the headlines. Major Euro Countries Continue Staggering We’ve all heard and seen the Euro woes. The stand-out is France. Our allies just can’t seem to catch a break. For a while there, Paris itself kept burning with protests. Now, they’re back at it with general strikes due to social security upsets. They also have a CEO fugitive, Carlos Ghosn, on the loose. He’s with Nissan but ties to France through the Renualt brand. French citizens are even upset about self check-out stands at grocery stores! This apparently steps on their days off. Britain and Brexit has to be mentioned, too. The Guardian says they’re


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The million-dollar question: When will the stock ride end? Look for future articles covering that. The short answer is 2-4 years, as the tax reform winds down. This could be sped up by “black swans” or bad policy. facing their weakest growth since World War 2. This latest quarter could see very low growth of 0.1 percent. Just squeeking by negative territory. Germany faces a similar low-growth story. According to the IMF, these three heavy-hitters won’t have higher than 1.4 percent annual growth. Some lower. Emerging Asia Grows, Welcomes New Leader The old growth leader was China but they keep ratcheting down growth. The same IMF figures say under six percent growth. Many China experts always round down even those numbers. Years ago an expert China-watcher even doubted they were much higher than four percent. Ouch. India and other emerging Asian countries brighten this area. The largest democracy is expected to grow

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at seven percent this year. They are officially the new heavy on the block. Wal-Mart, Amazon, all the big boys are investing heavily into India. United States Shines We’re still experiencing a tax-reform and interest rate tailwind. We’ve hit many stock records this last few years. I recently wrote that Dow 30,000, as predicted by legend Mark Mobius, is not a real courageous bet. It seems all but guaranteed. Our economy and corporate earnings still look on-track for new records and the markets could/should follow. The million-dollar question: When will the stock ride end? Look for future articles covering that. The short answer is 2-4 years, as the tax reform winds down. This could be sped up by “black swans” or bad policy. Frankly, I think the U.S. has sneezed, given the rest of the world the flu, and has avoided these maladies. It’s still smart to be heavily in U.S. growth and bonds. Our economy and corporate earnings still look on-track for new records and the markets could/should

follow. The million-dollar question: When will the stock ride end? Look for future articles covering that. The short answer is 2-4 years, as the tax reform winds down. This could be sped up by “black swans” or bad policy. Frankly, I think the U.S. has sneezed, given the rest of the world the flu, and has avoided these maladies. It’s still smart to be heavily in U.S. growth and bonds. Brazil is Slow Grower, Remains in the Game The once-loved BRIC component is growing like a mature economy: slowly. That shouldn’t be the case. The International Monetary Fund says look for just 2 percent growth. The U.S. is expected to beat that at 2.1 percent. C’mon Brazil. Bottom line: always keep a truly diverse portfolio, including international exposure. All of this bad news can make good opportunities (after careful research). Make sure your international pieces pay you large income and you can hold these under-favored areas until they cycle back around to growth. 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


January 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 3


Black Forest Chapter Potpourri Success

SMILE SAYS IT ALL. Beverly Schaab proudly displays the quilted table runner made by Shirley Karlstrum for presentation to the veteran’s widow.

one of the eligibility rules for receiving benefits from the Tri-Lakes branch of Care and Share. In addition to the activities above, there was a semi-annual chapter outing to a local restaurant. The President of AARP Chapter 1302 in Riverside Rhode Island, Ken Gagner and his wife Karen, joined the group for this enjoyable meal and meeting. The Chapter also had a good number of Chapter volunteers who

helped in the preparation of, and who attended, the annual Senior Resource Council Holiday Dinner Dance at the Colorado Springs City Auditorium. The December meeting featured delicious catered meal with outstanding Christmas music provided by The Fermata’s Recorder group of Colorado Springs. Individuals desiring to give something back to the community as a volunteer can find some inter-

esting and enjoyable social connections with AARP Chapter 1100 in Black Forest. Those interested in visiting or joining the chapter can contact the Chapter President, Ray Rozak, at 719.495.6767. The Chapter motto is “To Serve, not to be Served”. Additional information on Chapter 1100 activities can be found at

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A POTPOURRI OF fall events has kept the Black Forest AARP Chapter members busy in the service to the community. The work has included some educational and enjoyable social moments as well. The Black Forest AARP Chapter presented Jake Skifstad, Shield 616 founder, with a donation check for $1,500 to purchase an armor package designed to protect local peace officers and first responders from rifle threats. The package includes a Trauma Kit Ballistic Helmet, Plate Carrier Vest with Pouches, and Rifle Rated Armor. Shield 616 is a local 501(c)3) organization. A drawing for a commemorative quilt especially designed and made by Shirley Karlstrum for a Chapter 1100 veteran was won by Anita Wolfe. Beverly Schaab won the quilted table runner especially made for a veteran’s widow. A highlight of another Chapter meeting was an excellent program on Dementia and Caregiving by Kent Mathews MSW, from the Colorado Spring Area Agency on Aging. The program provided basic legal, financial, medical, and emotional insights a caregiver needs to consider in order to cope with brain and behavioral changes often the seen in a person being cared for. Kent also provided a long list of caregiver support and education agencies in the Colorado Springs area. At the October chapter meeting several members came dressed in Halloween costumes. A fun costume contest was conducted. Ray Rozak, Beverly Schhaab, and Patricia Dix were voted to have the “best” costumes. Chapter 1100 Member Longevity Badges were presented at the November meeting. Gwen Burk was awarded a 25year badge certifying she has been a member in good standing of Chapter 1100 in Black Forest for 25 consecutive years. Five-year Chapter member longevity badges were presented to Stephen Blucher, Patricia Dix, Herb Guild, Pat Guild, Roberta Hagmaier and Linda Siebe. Chapter members also supported recent community service outreach activities by participating in the Gazette Senior Life Expo, co-hosting the monthly Senior Social gatherings, hosting an AARP Smart Driver Course, and staffing a reception table at a recent informational program discussing Caregiving for Caregivers. Paula Blair also reminded every-

Page 4 - Senior Beacon - January 2020

Jan. 1: Closed for New Year’s Day Jan. 2: BBQ turkey sweet potato fries, green beans, tossed salad with dressing, orange Jan. 3: Beef burrito/green enchilada sauce, sw black beans, Spanish rice, mandarin oranges, raising nut cup Jan. 6: Riblettes, baked beans, potato salad, applesauce Jan. 7: Hamburger with lettuce, tomato and onion, carrots, coleslaw, diced pear Jan. 8: Pork chow mein, brown rice, winter blend, vegetables, ww roll, pear Jan. 9: Honey curry chicken, wild and brown rice, peas and carrots, broccoli slaw, apple, spice cake Jan. 10: Salmon with lemon and dill, roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, banana, ww chocolate chip M&M cookie Jan. 13: Chicken cordon bleu, roasted sweet potatoes, mixed vegetables, ww roll, mandarin orange Jan. 14: Turkey salad sandwich on croissant, minestrone soup, broccoli sunflower, salad, apple Jan. 15: Baked citrus tilapia, lemon herb rice, peas and carrots, strawberries, roll Jan. 16: Chicken stir fry, peas, brown rice,

Asian cabbage slaw, apple Jan. 17: Beef tacos with lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream and salsa, spiced pinto beans, applesauce Jan. 20: Closed for Martin Luther King Day Jan. 21: Lemon pepper cod, brown rice pilaf, peas, 3 bean salad, mandarin orange Jan. 22: Ham salad with ww bread, cream of mushroom soup, spinach mandarin salad, strawberries Jan. 23: Chicken a la king, jasmine rice, green beans, carrot raisin salad, apple Jan. 24: Meatball Sub, vegetable soup, cauliflower, orange Jan. 27: Breaded chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato, California blend, vegetables, salad with raspberry vinaigrette, pear Jan. 28: Beef bourguignon, mashed potatoes, broccoli, roll, strawberries Jan. 29: BBQ chicken, baked potato soup, peas and carrots, 3 bean salad, apple Jan. 30: Baked ziti with sausage and marinara, Bahama vegetables, Caesar salad, orange, raising nut cup Jan. 31: Pico lime cod, lemon herb rice, carrots, coleslaw, banana

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

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Page 6 - Senior Beacon - January 2020


Director of Prayer for Prisoners International



od has a way of speaking to the secret most part of my heart even when I don’t want to hear Him. His message comes through, loud and clear. Since becoming a Christian over 45 years ago I have received in my often stubborn and reluctant heart countless messages and lessons from Jesus. The message this time wasn’t new. I’ve heard it before. “Jan, you must forgive.� This time, the message was regarding my son who had betrayed me. So, you wonder. How did He give me the message? How do I know I’m hearing from God? If you are a believer and have walked with the

Lord for any length of time, you’ve heard from Him too. You know the answer. It’s that constant nudge, the movie that speaks of the importance of forgiveness, the devotional that reminds, “Jesus said, if you forgive others, my Father in heaven will forgive you.� All the above and more invade my thought life, my leisure life, my prayer life and nearly every waking moment. For several months, my anger has burned against my son and even though it is warranted, I have no choice but to forgive him. The reminders begin as subtle prodding. Then they become more intense, deafening. For example, while I watched the last of the Sarah Plain and Tall movie series, Winter’s End, Jacob’s father returns after years of estrangement. Jacob struggles with anger and unforgiveness until he gives his father an opportunity to tell him what really happened in the past. Jacob forgives and in a tender moment embraces his father, both in tears. An excellent book from Voice of the Martyrs, Hearts of Fire, Eight Women in the Underground Church and Their Stories of Costly Faith left me reeling. In 1999 Gladys Staines lost her husband and two small sons who were burned alive in a jeep set afire by angry Hindu zealots in a small Indian village. My heart ached for Gladys and her daughter as I read about the horrible

attack. At the funeral for her husband and 5 and 7-year-old sons. Gladys and her daughter sang Because He Lives, I Can Face Tomorrow at their memorial service. In a statement to the press she said, “I am thankful that God allowed them to suffer for His sake.� When people asked her how she could forgive such evil this is her response: “You have to forgive. Forgiveness brings healing.� Gladys’s inconceivable response to the cruel and barbaric murder of her husband and sons in addition to her words on forgiveness pierced my heart with guilt. How petty my silly upset over my son’s behavior is after reading what Gladys and her family suffered. With each message from the Father, my name is inserted. “Jan, you have to forgive. Forgiveness brings healing.� I know this is true. Honestly, I don’t think my son knows I am angry with him. This sounds ridiculous and as I write it, even more so. My favorite chide from my Father is the one from David Jeremiah’s Turning Point devotional. Three-year-old Holland was arguing with her mom during bedtime. Finally, her mother Mary Katherine Backstrom, tucked the girl in, saying firmly, “I love you, Holland, but not another word tonight. You are going to sleep now. I’m done fussing with you over stuffed animals.� But Holland had one more thing to say: “Mommy, I forgive you.� Mary Katherine didn’t know Holland even knew

the word forgive, so she asked what she meant. The girl said, “It means you were wrong and I’m tired of being mad and now I’m going to sleep, and my heart won’t have a tummy ache.â€? Dr. Jeremiah’s wise counsel is that when we forgive someone, we aren’t condoning their actions. It means we are tired of being angry and we are letting it go so our heart won’t ache. On the cross, Jesus forgave those who were crucifying Him. He plead with the Father to forgive them. “They know not what they doâ€? (Luke 23:34 NLT). Do you have someone you need to forgive? Just DO it! Do it before you go to bed tonight so you can sleep, and your “heart won’t have a tummy ache.â€? As the Spirit leads call, write or meet with that person and let them know you forgive them. What a wonderful way to begin the new year for both of you. Ponder this. Jesus told us to pray, “. . . and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against usâ€? (Matthew 6:12 NLT). How do you want your Father to forgive you? The Apostle Paul admonishes . . . And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.â€? Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil (Eph. 4:6-7 NLT). Š 2020 Jan McLaughlin - Jan is Director of Prayer For Prisoners International and can be reached by e-mail – Jan@PrayerForPrisoners. org. or by phone 719-275-6971



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January 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 7


Monte Vista Crane Festival Scheduled MARK YOUR CALENDARS

for the 37th Monte Vista Crane Festival, scheduled for March 6-8, 2020. Ticket sales for the tours, speakers, movies and other events will go live on January 2 at The annual festival celebrates the remarkable journey of some 25,000 Sandhill Cranes through the San Luis Valley each spring—a migration that begins in southern New Mexico’s Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge and ends at the crane’s nesting grounds in the greater Yellowstone area of Wyoming and Idaho. While passing through the Valley, the tall, elegant birds gather by the thousands in and around the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge. Refuge staff manage the onsite wetlands and barley fields specifically to attract cranes and other wildlife. “The wetlands offer nighttime roosting sites,” said refuge manager Suzanne Beauchaine. “We mow the barley fields just before the festival, which provides a virtual smorgasbord.” The cranes feed on the fallen

grain as well as small animals attracted to the food. “If you watch closely, you may see a crane spear a vole or mouse with its long beak and toss it to its partner,” Beauchaine said. “You’ll also see cranes hop and dance in courtship and hear collective sound of their calls, which is breathtaking, especially with the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the background.” This year’s festival includes craneand hawk-viewing tours as well as expert-led excursions to Elephant Rocks, Blanca Wetlands, the Scott Miller Archaeological Site and a private conservation site protected under the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust. Local ornithologist John Rawinski will return to lead bird walks around the Home Lake State Wildlife Area (the bird walks sold out quickly in 2019). The wildly popular craft and nature fair will once again be held in the Monte Vista's Ski Hi Building, with live birds on display from Hawks Aloft, a raptor rescue and rehabilitator out of New Mexico. This year’s keynote speaker is Colorado-based historian and

Theodore Roosevelt reenactor Kurt Skinner, who whisks audiences of all ages back to a time when the former president imprinted on Americans a love of the natural world. Other speakers include Cleave Simpson and Max Ciaglo. Simpson is general manager of the Rio Grande Water Conservation District in Alamosa, Colorado. His talk, "Dealing with Water Scarcity,” will spotlight water issues facing the Rio Grande Basin and San Luis Valley. Ciaglo, a biologist and intern with Colorado Open Lands, will present on the "Grains for Cranes" project—a unique partnership between federal agencies, local businesses and private barley growers to manage barley as a vital food for cranes. This year’s featured movies include “Rango” and “Bird of Prey.” “Rango” is a good, old-fashioned (animated) western about a less-than-courageous chameleon who unwittingly ends up in the town of Dirt, a lawless outpost populated by desert creatures. Rango becomes sheriff---as well as the town’s last hope from a greedy

developer’s water grab. Winners of the 4th Annual Kid’s Crane Coloring Contest will be announced before the movie. “Bird of Prey” weaves together stunning footage of the critically endangered Great Philippine Eagle with the remarkable story of wildlife cinematographer Neil Rettig and a small group of conservationists from the Philippine Eagle Foundation—who work tirelessly to save the bird from extinction. Please note that except for the Friday night movie this year all tours, speakers and movies will require a ticket for admittance. For schedule and ticket information, visit Also please note that the crane festival is organized every year by a dedicated group of volunteers who depend on sponsorship dollars to support the event. Without sponsorship, the crane festival would not happen. Folks interested in supporting this important community event, please email or call 720-940-7561, or donate directly at

Page 8 - Senior Beacon - January 2020

NEWS OF THE WEIRD SPECIAL TO THE SENIOR BEACON FROM THE EDITORS OF ANDREWS MCMEEL Asparagus is healthy and delicious. But for 63-year-old Jemima Packington of Bath, England, the columnar vegetable is much more: Packington is an asparamancer, a person who can foretell the future by tossing the spears into the air and seeing how they land. "When I cast the asparagus, it creates patterns, and it is the patterns I interpret," Packington said. "I am usually about 75 to 90 percent accurate." In fact, out of 13 predictions she made for 2018, 10 of them came true. What's in store for 2019? Packington tells Metro News that England's women's soccer team will win the World Cup; "A Star Is Born" will win an Oscar; and fears over Brexit will be largely unfounded. Oh, and asparagus will see an all-time high in sales. [Metro News, 12/31/2018] People With Issues Locally Owned!


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KION TV reported on Jan. 7 that a Salinas, California, family's Ring doorbell camera captured video of a man licking the doorbell for more than three hours. The homeowners were out of town during the encounter, which took place around 5 a.m., but their children were inside. Sylvia Dungan, who was alerted to the activity at her front door on her phone, said, "I thought, boy there's a lot of traffic. ... Who the heck is that?" Salinas police identified the man as Roberto Daniel Arroyo, 33. Arroyo also relieved himself in the front yard and visited a neighbor's house. "You kind of laugh about it afterwards because technically he didn't do anything," Dungan said, although police later charged him with petty theft and prowling. [KION, 1/8/2019] Blame It on the Meth Debra Lynn Johnson, 69, of Searles, Minnesota, suffered from heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and mental illnesses, according to the Mankato Free Press, and was a patient at a transitional care center before her husband took her home to have a "death party," he later told authorities. Brown County sheriff's officers responding to a 911 call from Duane Arden Johnson, 58, on Jan. 24 found the words "Death Parde God Hell" spray-painted on the front door. Duane came out of the house naked, yelled that his wife was dead and ran back inside, where officers found him in the bathtub picking "things" from his skin. Debra's body, still warm, was wrapped in a sheet. Duane told police his wife had begged him to take her home to die, so they had staged the party, "rocking out" to Quiet Riot's "Metal Health" and taking methamphetamines. After her death, Duane said he washed and wrapped her "like the Bible told me to do." Police found stolen guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in the home, and Duane was charged with felony counts of theft and receiving stolen property. [Mankato Free Press, 1/26/2019]

Inexplicable ▪ Sharisha Morrison of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and her neighbors have been the recipients since Jan. 1 of an odd gift: plastic grocery bags with slices of bread and bologna inside, delivered by an unknown man. At first, Morrison told KOB TV, she thought the food deliveries were acts of kindness, until she opened the bag and smelled the contents. "It smelled like urine," she said. Morrison said she can watch the man on her surveillance camera. "He'll just walk up and drop it on the little doorknob and walk away," she said. "I just want it to stop." Police have told her they can't do anything unless they catch him in the act. [KOB TV, 1/29/2019] ▪ Zack Pinsent, 25, from Brighton, England, hasn't dressed in modern clothing since he was 14 years old. Instead, he makes and wears clothes that were popular in the 1800s. "At 14, I made the symbolic decision to burn my only pair of jeans in a bonfire. It was a real turning point," Pinsent told Metro News. On a typical day, Pinsent wears a floral waistcoat and knee-high leather riding boots, along with a jacket with tails and a top hat. He explains that his obsession started when his family found a box of his great-grandfather's suits. He now researches, designs and sews clothing for himself and other history buffs, to great response: "I've been all over the world and people are inquisitive and appreciative," he said. [Metro News, 6/27/2019] Ewwwww! Silence of the Lambs, indeed. A Manchester, England, woman named Joan has a unique project in mind for a custom clothing designer. Joan, 55, is anticipating having her leg amputated because of peripheral arterial disease, reported the Daily Mail, so she posted on, requesting help to "create something beautiful and useful" -- a handbag, using her own skin. She has budgeted about $3,900 for the project, which she envisions as a "medium-sized handbag with a short strap and a section down the middle that will be made from my skin," she explained in the post. "I know it's a bit odd and gross ... but it's my leg, and I can't bear the thought of it being left to rot somewhere."


January 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 9


SPECIAL TO THE SENIOR BEACON FROM THE EDITORS OF ANDREWS MCMEEL There are no laws against her keeping the limb, although there is paperwork to fill out. Boris Hodakel, the founder of, reports that no designers have come forward yet to help with Joan's request. [Daily Mail, 2/20/2019] Dumb and Dumber Rogers, Arkansas, neighbors Charles Eugene Ferris, 50, and Christopher Hicks, 36, were hanging out on Ferris' back porch on March 31, drinking and enjoying the spring air. Ferris was wearing his bulletproof vest -- because why not? -- and invited Hicks to shoot him with a .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle. KFSM reported the vest blocked the bullet from striking Ferris, but it still hurt and left a red mark on his

upper chest. Next, Hicks donned the vest and Ferris "unloaded the clip into Christopher's back," according to the police report, also leaving bruises. That's where it all would have ended had Ferris not gone to the hospital, where staff alerted the Benton County Sheriff's Office. Ferris initially told officers an elaborate story about being shot while protecting "an asset" in a dramatic gunfight, but Ferris' wife spilled the beans about the backporch challenge. Both men were arrested for suspicion of aggravated assault. [KFSM, 4/2/2019] The High Price of Vanity A "vampire facial" is a procedure during which blood is drawn with a needle and then "spun" to separate the plasma, which is then injected into the


face. For customers of a spa in Albuquerque, New Mexico, though, the most lasting effects may come after a blood test. The state's Department of Health is urging customers of VIP Spa, which closed in September 2018, to undergo HIV testing after two people were infected following treatment there. Dr. Dean Bair of the Bair Medical Spa said people should always make sure they're going to a licensed facility for such procedures. "This is just the worst example of what can go wrong," he told KOAT. The spa closed after inspectors found its practices could potentially spread blood-borne infections, including hepatitis B and C as well as HIV. [KOAT, 4/30/2019] Free Speech TSA agents at Juneau International


Airport logged unexpected cargo on April 15 when a "large organic mass" was spotted in a traveler's carry-on bag. TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein explained to KTOO that such a flag can indicate the presence of explosives. However, when agents opened the bag, they found a plastic grocery bag full of moose "nuggets." "The passenger told the TSA officers that he collects this and likes to present it 'for politicians and their (bleep) policies,'" Farbstein explained. The passenger was not detained and was allowed to continue on with his bag of moose poop. Later that day, the Anchorage Daily News reported that a man was seen at the state capitol, handing out baggies of moose nuggets in protest of Gov. Mike Dunleavy's proposed budget. [KTOO, 4/26/2019]

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5 Important Medicare Changes Coming IF YOU'RE ENROLLED in a Medicare Advantage plan, or are considering one, you will have more plan choices with a wider range of benefits to help you better manage your day-to-day health needs during this year’s open enrollment period. Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period, which runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, gives Medicare enrollees a chance to revisit their Medicare insurance coverage, make sure it still fits their needs and make changes for the coming year. Online health insurance broker eHealth outlines five of the most important Medicare changes to be aware of this year: 1. New benefits to help those with chronic illness. Starting in January, 2020, some Medicare Advantage Plans will include benefits for people with chronic illness that will help to support their care. A few examples include nutrition services, transportation to doctor’s appointments and home improvements like shower grips and wheelchair access. More traditional services like dental care, vision care and hearing aids also have been expanded. 2. Medicare Advantage premiums will be lower next year. The average

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monthly premium for Medicare Advantage plans is expected to be $23 in 2020, a decrease of 14% from an average of $26.87 in 2019, and down 28 percent since 2017. The average Medicare Advantage premium this year is the lowest it’s been since 2007. 3. Part D drug plan premiums will be lower, too. The average Medicare

prescription drug plan premium for 2020 is $30, a decline of 13.5% as compared with 2019 costs. Savings on out-of-pocket costs may be available as well. A recent eHealth analysis of people using to compare Medicare plans found that fewer than one in ten were enrolled in the lowest cost plan for their personal prescription

drug regimen. Those who switched to their optimal drug plan stood to save an average of $900 per year. 4. Seeing a doctor without leaving home will get easier. Many seniors will have access to Medicare Advantage telehealth benefits to connect with health care providers online or by phone. For 2020, more than half of all Medicare Advantage plans will offer added telehealth benefits, reaching up to about 1.7 million enrollees. 5. Medigap plan options are changing. Two of the most popular supplemental plans (so-called Medigap plans) used by those enrolled in original Medicare—Plan F and Plan C—will no longer be available to new Medicare members or those born after January 1, 1955. Fortunately, Plan G, another Medigap policy, offers the same level of coverage provided by Plan F—minus the Part B deductible—and will continue to be available after January 2020. The Part B deductible was $185 in 2019. Even if you’re happy your Medicare coverage, eHealth recommends that you review your current coverage during open enrollment because each year plans can and do make changes in costs, physician networks or drug benefits.


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Page 10 - Senior Beacon - January 2020


Columnist, author and lawyer

WHO IS DOING THE RAPING? NOT WHO 'LAW & ORDER: SVU' SAYS! AMERICA'S apparently unstoppable gusher of mass Third World immigration is on track to deliver a sick, dystopian future, where some

people will do very well — cheap maids and all — but women and children will fare quite poorly. (Finally! A story where women and children really ARE “hit hardest.”) (That’s Joe Sobran’s gag on a typical New York Times headline.) With the major media actively covering up the crimes of immigrants, and big tech companies censoring people who point out the peculiarities of other cultures, there seems to be a major campaign on to prevent Americans from noticing. Luckily, we have “Law & Order” to tell us the truth — technically to prompt me to tell the truth by correcting their scripts, in which sex traffickers, little boy rapists and women-hating mass shooters are invariably Trump-supporting white American males. Beautiful actors and actresses

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spout dialogue written for them by “queer Jewish feminists” — according to one writer’s self-description in response to my recent “Law & Order: SVU” column. I had pointed out that sex traffickers of 9-year-old illegal alien girls — while prevalent in our new “diverse” country — have never, ever, ever been what the show advertised: married white American businessmen. Celine Robinson responded on Twitter: “I could not be more proud that ann coulter hates an episode of TV that I wrote. Nothing makes my heart sing like a fuming racist all-capsing about the progressive messaging she cannot stop due to her eternal and total irrelevance. "Yours, "A half French, queer, Jewish feminist” I can’t help but notice that they don’t let viewers get a gander at Celine. No, they use hot actors and actresses — pretty much the molecular opposite of a “queer, Jewish feminist” — to express the multiple hatreds of a “queer, Jewish feminist” to the TV viewing public. You can view Celine’s photo here: It’s always Opposites Day at “Law & Order: SVU”! Today, I will review another totally believable episode, from Season 20, titled “Man Up/Man Down.” In this show, a blond, blue-eyed married American man anally rapes his teenaged sons when he takes them … hunting. Yes, hunting. The only thing missing was the MAGA hat. Checking my research on child rape in America, I see this has hap-

pened NEVER. To the contrary, American men who look a lot like “Law & Order’s” idea of a pedophile came home from Afghanistan sickened by the boyrape frenzies of our dear Afghan “allies.” I don’t know what we’re supposed to be doing in Afghanistan at this point, but apparently stopping child rape was never on the agenda. Our own troops were ordered not to interrupt the Afghanis’ boy-rape bacchanals. Even the left-wing (but not “Law & Order: SVU”-level dimwitted) Guardian (in the U.K.) has written about the gusto for boy-rape in the Arab world: “[M]en who sodomise young boys are not considered homosexuals or paedophiles. The love of young boys is not a phenomenon restricted to Afghanistan; homosexual pederasty is common in neighbouring Pakistan, too.” Numerous documentaries have covered Afghanistan’s practice of “bacha bazi,” or “boy play.” This includes such “fuming racist all-capsing” productions as Vice Media’s “This Is What Winning Looks Like” and Najibullah Quraishi’s “The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan.” In the Vice Media documentary, after a young boy is shot trying to escape his indigenous sodomizer, a U.S. Marine demands that the barracks be searched and any Afghan policemen hiding children be tried and jailed. The Afghan police chief replies: “[The boys] like being there and giving their asses at night.” He demands of the U.S. Marine: “If [my commanders] don’t fck the asses of those boys, what should they fck? The p*ssies of their own grandmothers?” Thank heaven we have “Law & Order: SVU” to expose NRA members! In the brain of a “queer, Jewish feminist,” the thought process is: I personally don’t enjoy this perfectly traditional, masculine, Anglo-Saxon sport of hunting; therefore, I will portray American male hunters as butt-raping their own sons. “Toxic masculinity” today: Dads don’t show up to their sons’ soccer practice in time because they’re too busy working 60 hours a week to put a roof over their families’ heads. “Toxic masculinity” tomorrow: Dads demand the right to anally rape little boys — else they “fck? the pssies of their own grandmothers.” I just want to be there when it happens.


January 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 11

SENIOR SERVICE DIRECTORY These are some of the top service providers in your community! Please mention the paper and receive a discount from most!

Home For The Holidays WITH TODAY'S technology, staying in touch with loved ones around the country—and the world—is easier than it’s ever been. We are connected to each other virtually day and night—from cell phones and video calls to social media, texting and e-mail. While we may rely on this technological closeness throughout the year, the holidays offer a unique opportunity to sit and spend time with family members, particularly older family members, whom we don’t see on a regular basis. This face-to-face time provides a chance to connect, catch up, and observe behaviors that may go undetected over the phone or through e-mail. Certain changes in these behaviors from year to year may indicate a need for long-term care. While each passing year will show some changes in an older family member’s capabilities and function, the list below provides common changes in behavior to watch for to get a better idea of where your loved ones stand functionally. It’s important not to focus on the behavior itself, but rather the change in that behavior compared to what is considered normal for that person. For example, someone who has always been quiet and somewhat introverted would be held to a different standard than someone who is usually very outgoing and conversational, but now seems withdrawn and isolated. Based on the information you gather, it may be time to start thinking about your family’s plan for long-term care.


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of family members and friends, this support is often not available or may be a bigger challenge than many expect or are willing to take on.

Take a closer look By paying attention to some common behaviors, you can begin to determine whether a loved one is having difficulty performing everyday activities. Noticing changes in behavior that may be due to an emerging physical or cognitive impairment is an important first step. Based on what you observe, the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) may be worth considering when developing your family’s plan for long-term care. Cleanliness of the home: Is there clutter in the hallways, stacked mail, uncleaned dishes, etc.? Social interaction: Are they engaged with friends and The time to plan is now Millions of Americans require long- family, getting out and about, and continuing social interaction at their term care at some point during their normal level? lifetime. This type of care includes Personal hygiene and care: assistance with everyday activities, Are activities like regular bathing, like bathing, dressing and eating, or supervision due to a severe cognitive laundry, grooming, etc., taking place? Level of independence: impairment, like Alzheimer’s disease. Has the level of reliance on a spouse Surprisingly, the type of care needed to provide assistance with these activ- or guest for various things increased ities can be expensive and is generally (e.g., getting a glass of water, answering the phone or doorbell, etc.)? not covered by traditional health Financial health: plans or Medicare. In many cases, Are bills piling up, being paid on taking care of an older relative often time, etc.? falls on family members or friends. However, depending on the location Mental sharpness:

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Is your loved one participating in conversations, staying up-to-date with the news or favorite sports team, etc.? Nutritional balance: Maintaining normal eating habits, food within “best by” ranges, cupboards stocked, etc.? How did you answer? Mostly unchanged The best time for you and your family members to consider longterm care insurance is long before it’s needed. Because the FLTCIP is medically underwritten, it’s important to apply while you’re still in good health

to avoid the risk that a future illness or medical condition may prevent you from obtaining coverage later. Also, premiums are directly related to age. This means that premiums tend to be lower for younger applicants. Recognized changes If you’re already a FLTCIP enrollee and recognize some of these behavioral changes in a loved one, contact a FLTCIP care coordinator at the phone number provided below to gather important information about the different care options that may be available.

Page 12 - Senior Beacon - January 2020



udy,” starring Renée Zellweger as entertainment icon Judy Garland, would be a perfect movie release for 2059. By then, Judy’s children and adoring fans like me would no longer be around to watch the suffering of our dear Judy on screen. This has nothing to do with the quality of the film. It’s simply the humane thing to do. Because Judy Garland’s talent and artistry have meant so much to me during most of my life, I felt sheer torture while watching this downer biopic. Although Zellweger delivers a first-rate performance, she’s no Judy Garland. And, as film historian James Colt Harrison says, “But then, who is?”

My sister and daughter, who attended the screening with me, really enjoyed the movie. In fact, my daughter tried to calm me down by saying, “You wanted a happy musical about Judy Garland with Judy herself in the starring role!” And my sister chimed in with, “She was a mess in her private life.” Both of them might be right. But I wanted more scenes showing Judy at her best, not so many emphasizing her weaknesses that started when studio officials gave her pills to keep her thin and perky. (Brief flashbacks deal with this sad state of affairs.) But to be fair, Zellweger’s Judy points out, “I’m JUDY GARLAND for only one hour a day.” The movie follows Judy during the last year of her life while she’s in London to perform concerts at The Talk of the Town venue. She needs money so she can keep her children with her (all except Liza, who is already getting a start in showbiz). Judy’s need for pills and booze has taken its toll on her by

this time. She’s late for shows, uncooperative, and sometimes even insults members of the audience. During this period, Judy meets her last husband, Mickey Deans (Finn Wittrock), who makes her happy at first but disappoints her later. And, sadly, her vocal skill has deteriorated. Zellweger masters Garland’s facial moves and body language, but her vocals don’t sound like Judy to me. However, I love the way she belts out “Come Rain or Come Shine” and “The Trolley Song.” Finally, it’s the last scene of the movie -- and an unusual rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” -- that probably cinches an Oscar nomination for Zellweger, which seems ironic, because the real Judy Garland failed to win an Oscar for her amazing performance in “A Star Is Born” back in 1954. Judy, Judy! We still love you. Your talent always seems brand new. Now comes a movie about your life concerning your last year of strife. No matter what the critics say, your shining star will ever stay. Singing, dancing and acting too – no one performs them all like you! (Released by Roadside Attractions/ BBC Films and rated “PG-13” for substance abuse, thematic content, some strong language, and smoking. Available now on DVD, Amazon Prime, and iTunes.)

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January 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 13

FOR A HEALTHIER YOU Coping With Difficult Feelings CARING FOR AN aging relative involves physical, psychological, emotional and financial demands. It can be particularly challenging when the person has heavy hands-on needs, a difficult personality or mental impairment. LISA M. PETSCHE Medical social worker Caregivers may experiand freelance writer ence a variety of distressing emotions along the way. The most common ones, along with precipitating factors, are as follows. Guilt because, unlike their relative, they enjoy good health; they haven't, until recently, been significantly involved in their relative’s life; they have mixed feelings about being a caregiver; they sometimes lose patience with their relative; they made a promise that they would never place their relative in long-term care and they’re not sure if they can keep it. Resentment because they have had to make personal and financial sacrifices, such as giving up a job or leisure pursuits or letting other relationships slip; their relative has treated them badly in the past; their relative is demanding and critical and they don’t feel appreciated; family members aren’t providing much, if any, help with their relative’s care; family members are critical of their care provision. Frustration due to the helplessness of being unable to change the course of their relative’s illness; personality differences between them and their relative; having to contend with “nuisance” behaviors, such as repetitive questioning and rummaging; being unable to reason with their cognitively impaired relative. Anxiety and fear stemming from safety concerns, such as falls or, if their relative has dementia, household accidents, wandering away from home or physical aggression; concerns about what the future holds in terms of their relative’s disease progression and care needs and their own physical and mental health.

Loneliness arising from social isolation; feeling no one understands what they are going through; having to do things alone that they used to do with their relative, such as attending social events; being unable to relate to their relative in the usual ways due to changes in his cognition. Sadness because their relative is gradually losing his abilities and perhaps also his personality; joint plans for the future must go unrealized; they can’t imagine life without their relative. Anger that their relative is ill or disabled; he is overly dependent on them; he refuses mobility aids or other recommended equipment; he refuses community support services. Feelings of anger may be directed towards their relative - especially if his lifestyle may have contributed to his disease, family members, healthcare providers (continually finding fault with them) or God, or they may be non-specific. Caregivers may also be angry at themselves for taking on the caregiving role or not being more assertive with their relative, family members or healthcare professionals. While a certain degree of caregiving-related stress is inevitable, when left unchecked it can lead to burnout. Physical warning signs include fatigue, memory problems, sleep difficulties, significant weight loss or gain, frequent illness and development of chronic health problems. Some emotional red flags are fre-

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quent crying, frequent irritation by small annoyances, difficulty controlling one’s temper, feeling overwhelmed, feeling inadequate and feeling hopeless. In severe cases, burnout can lead to abuse of the care receiver; this signals the need for immediate help. Coping Strategies If you are a caregiver, read on for some strategies to help keep stress manageable. Look after your health: eat nutritious meals, get adequate rest, exercise and schedule regular medical checkups. Find something relaxing you can do to give yourself a break every day - perhaps quietly enjoying a cup of tea, reading something uplifting, writing in a journal or listening to music. Stay connected to your friends, your faith community and other supportive groups. Find at least one person you can talk to openly, who will listen and empathize. Accept the reality of the illness. Focus on your relative’s abilities, not disabilities, and the things you can still do together. Acknowledge your relative’s right to make decisions you disagree with (provided he is mentally capable). Lisa M. Petsche is a social worker and a freelance writer specializing in family life. She has personal experience with elder care.

Page 14 - Senior Beacon - January 2020



● Jan. 1: Closed for New Year’s Day ● Jan. 2: Chicken cordon bleu, wild rice pilaf, seasoned asparagus, chilled apricots, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 3: Spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad with lite Italian, green beans, orange, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 6: Kielbasa, parsley buttered new potatoes, mixed vegetables, baked acorn squash, pineapple mandarin, orange compote ● Jan. 7: Beef Stroganoff, orange spiced carrots, pickled beet and onion salad, orange, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 8: Lemon baked fish, scalloped potatoes, spinach salad with mandarin oranges, malt vinegar, banana, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 9: Meatloaf with sweet potatoes, brown gravy, brussel sprouts, tossed vegetable salad, pineapple tidbits, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 10: Honey bbq chicken, oven browned potatoes, broccoli and carrots, diced pears, carrifruit salad, ww bread with butter Jan. 13: Pueblo beef stew, sour cream, ww crackers, brussels sprouts, vegetable salad, banana ● Jan. 14: Stuffed peppers, chopped spinach with malt vinegar, applesauce cake, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 15: Ham and beans, collard greens, cornbread, orange juice ● Jan. 16: Chicken cacciatore, seasoned green beans, smashed red

potatoes, banana, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 17: Roast pork loin, brown gravy, smashed red potatoes, orange spiced carrots, orange, Mitzie’s ww dinner roll ● Jan. 20: Closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day ● Jan. 21: Combination burrito with salsa, lettuce, tomato, cilantro lime rice, refried beans, citrus cup ● Jan. 22: Salisbury steak, brown gravy, smashed red potatoes, California mixed vegetables, nectarine, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 23: Oriental pepper chicken, brown rice, steamed broccoli spears, apple, fortune cookie, ww bread with butter● ● Jan. 24: Corned beef dinner, new potatoes, cabbage and carrots, spinach salad with mandarin oranges, apple ● Jan. 27: Tuna salad, shredded romaine with tomato slice, pasta salad, orange, raisin nut cup, ww dinner roll ● Jan. 28: Swiss broccoli pasta, 5-way vegetable tossed salad with lite ranch, banana, Mitzie’s ww roll ● Jan. 29: Chicken fried steak, cream country gravy, smashed red potatoes, California mixed vegetables, apple, ww dinner roll Jan. 30: Swedish meatball, whipped potatoes with beef gravy, chopped spinach, orange, bran muffin Jan. 31: Hot turkey sandwich, whipped potatoes, asparagus amandine, pineapple mandarin compote, banana

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nana, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 9: Meatloaf with sweet potatoes, brown gravy, brussel sprouts, tossed vegetable salad, pineapple tidbits, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 10: Honey bbq chicken, oven browned potatoes, broccoli and carrots, diced pears, carrifruit salad, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 14: Sloppy joe on a bun, scalloped potatoes, broccoli and carrots, apple ● Jan. 16: Chicken cacciatore, seasoned green beans, smashed red potatoes, banana, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 17: Roast pork loin, brown gravy, smashed red potatoes, orange spiced carrots, orange, Mitzie’s ww dinner roll ● Jan. 21: Salisbury steak, brown gravy, smashed red potatoes, California mixed vegetables, nectarine, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 23: Oriental pepper chicken, brown rice, steamed broccoli spears, apple, fortune cookie, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 24: Corned beef dinner, new potatoes, cabbage and carrots, spinach salad with mandarin oranges, apple ● Jan. 28: Bratwurst with onions and cabbage, oven browned potatoes, peas and carrots, orange ● Jan. 30: Swedish meatballs, whipped potatoes with beef gravy, chopped spinach, orange, bran muffin ● Jan. 31: Hot turkey sandwich, whipped potatoes, asparagus amandine, pineapple mandarin compote, banana

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● Jan. 2: Chicken cordon bleu, wild rice pilaf, seasoned asparagus, chilled apricots, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 3: Spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad with lite Italian, green beans, orange, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 7: Kielbasa, parsley buttered new potatoes, mixed vegetables, baked acorn squash, pineapple mandarin orange compote ● Jan. 9: Meatloaf with sweet potatoes, brown gravy, brussels sprouts, tossed vegetables, salad, pineapple tidbits, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 10: Honey bbq chicken, oven browned potatoes, broccoli and carrots, diced pears, carrifruit salad, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 14: Beef barley soup, ww crackers, sesame broccoli, apricot pineapple compote, ww bread, apple ● Jan. 16: Chicken cacciatore, seasoned green beans, smashed red potatoes, banana, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 17: Roast pork loin, brown gravy, smashed red potatoes, orange spiced carrots, orange, Mitzie’s ww dinner roll ● Jan. 21: Chicken fried steak, cream country gravy, smashed red potatoes, California mixed vegetables, apple, ww dinner. ● Jan. 23: Oriental pepper chicken, brown rice, steamed broccoli spears, apple, fortune cookie, ww bread with butter ● Jan. 24: Corned beef dinner, new potatoes, cabbage and carrots, spinach salad with mandarin oranges, apple ● Jan. 28: Chili con carne, steamed broccoli, scratch made cornbread, trail mix with nuts and raisins, apple ● Jan. 30: Swedish meatball, whipped potatoes with beef gravy, chopped spinach, orange, bran muffin ● Jan. 31: Hot turkey sandwich, whipped potatoes, asparagus amandine, pineapple mandarin compote, banana



January 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 15



Alzheimer’s Warnings Show During Holidays IT ISN'T SURPRISING that the time when family members are most likely to recognize the first signs of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia in a loved one comes during the holiday season. Family members and friends who have not seen one another for months or even a year gather, and the signs of memory loss or behavioral change become obvious. The Alzheimer’s Association’s free and confidential 24/7 Helpline (800-272-3900) sees its highest volume of calls at the end of the year. Changes in memory or behavior that seem gradual to those in daily contact can appear as abrupt declines in cognition to out-of-town visitors. The Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association has developed a helpful checklist of 10 Signs to aid in the early detection of Alzheimer’s. Why is early detection important? Without it, the ones we love may wait too long to make necessary lifestyle changes that are important to ensure that all medical care options are explored, ranging from medications to research. Other considerations include personal safety as well as quality of care, and to make necessary financial and estate planning adjustments. Here is a brief overview of the 10 Signs: ● Memory loss that disrupts daily life. A typical age-related memory change is occasionally forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later. A common sign of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the early stages, is forgetting recently learned information. The increasing need to rely on memory aids (reminder notes, electronic devices) or family members for things that one previously handled on their own is a sign. ● Challenges in planning or solving problems. Making occasional errors, such as checkbook balancing, is not uncommon. If a person experiences changes in the ability to follow a plan or work with numbers, or has difficulty concentrating and completing a task, that may be a concern. ● Difficulty completing familiar tasks. People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks. They may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget, or remembering the rules of a familiar game.

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!! ● Confusion with time or place. Losing track of dates, seasons and the passage of time is another indication. Sometimes people with Alzheimer’s can forget where they are or how they got there. ● Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. For some individuals, vision problems can be a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast, which may cause problems with driving. ● New problems with words in speaking or writing. People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word or call things by the wrong name (such as, calling a “watch” a “hand clock”). ● Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. Putting things in unusual places and being unable to find them. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing – with more frequency over time. ● Decreased or poor judgment. People with Alzheimer’s may use poor judgment when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. They may also pay less attention to grooming and personal cleanliness. ● Withdrawal from work or social activities. Some individuals may avoid being social because of changes they’re experiencing, removing themselves from work projects, hobbies and sports. ● Changes in mood and personality. Increased incidences of confusion, suspicion, depression, fear or anxiety can be a sign. Individuals can become more easily upset at home, work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone. If you or someone you care about is experiencing any of the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, please contact the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado’s 24/7 bilingual Helpline at 800-272-3900 for more information (with translation services offered in more than 200 languages and dialects). The Helpline is staffed by trained

professionals and offered at no charge. # # # Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter is the premier source of information and support for the more than 73,000 Coloradans with Alzheimer’s disease, their families and caregivers. Through its statewide network of offices, the Alzheimer’s Association offers education, counseling, support groups and a 24-hour Helpline at no charge to families.


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Page 16 - Senior Beacon - January 2020


January 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 17


Flower Power: What It Means Today FLOWER POWER TODAY in means colorful, low-maintenance blooming plants of all kinds that support a healthy environment and make our world ever more beautiful. Hybridizers are MARTY ROSS putting flowers Freelance garden powerfully to journalist and work. syndicated gardening columnist "The whole world of breeding is more sophisticated" than it used to be, says Diane Blazek, executive director of All-America Selections and the National Garden Bureau, sister organizations that test new plants and promote top performers. Gardeners are looking for beautiful flowers they can rely on, but they also want to attract pollinators and conserve resources -including time and energy. Modern hybridizers are hip, Blazek says. New plants in garden shops and in the glossy pages of the latest plant and seed catalogs are hardy and adaptable. Annual flowers are heat- and drought-tolerant, and they produce lots of long-lasting flowers.

Begonias introduced in the past few years have transformed consumers' experience with the genus, Blazek says. Large, colorful Viking begonias make big statements all by themselves in pots, and they hold their own with ease in flower beds. Lantanas aren't what they used to be, either. New sterile varieties produce lots of nectar for butterflies and other pollinators, but do not go to seed. Because the plants don't expend energy producing seeds, they bloom almost continuously through summer's heat, without pampering. This year, the National Garden Bureau's "Year of " program, which promotes stellar garden performers, selected hydrangeas as their first featured shrub. "They're everywhere now, and they are better than ever," Blazek says. "They are longer-blooming (and) easy to care for, they have bigger flower heads, and they're great for sun or shade." Interest in hydrangeas has skyrocketed in the past few years as hybridizers have introduced new mop-top varieties that bloom reliably even after the coldest winters. New introductions among the panicle hydrangeas, prized for their late-summer and fall flowers, bloom earlier than old-time varieties, and

their cone-shaped flower clusters keep their form and freshness for weeks. Hybridizers have also increased the selection of native oak-leaf and smooth hydrangeas, and they've introduced compact varieties just right for small gardens or containers. Among perennial flowers, such as coneflowers, black-eyed Susans and day lilies, hybridizers have put efforts into increased hardiness, reliability and flower production. These days, gardeners are looking for plants that are hardy even in places where winter temperatures may drop to -30 degrees Fahrenheit. Russian sage Denim 'n Lace is a good example -- it's a sun-loving, drought-tolerant perennial hardy in bone-chilling Zone 4 winters,

but equally at home in the mild winters of the south. The Perennial Plant Association's list of perennials of the year is a roll-call of such tough, colorful garden performers. Past winners include Millennium, a showy and floriferous summer-blooming allium; flashy, bright orange butterfly milkweed, which attracts butterflies and other pollinators; and the graceful fall-blooming anemone Honorine Jobert, which has snow-white flowers. Interest in kitchen gardening is driving demand for hard-working flowers, too. Pollinators and other beneficial insects are "the heroes of the vegetable garden," says Lisa Mason Ziegler, a flower farmer in Newport News, Virginia, and the author of Vegetables Love Flowers.

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Page 18 - Senior Beacon - January 2020 RELIGION

A New Decade MAYBE IT'S MY age. 1920 seems more real to me than 2020. What will the “Roaring Twenties” look like in the 21st century? Will we see the same kind of culture shift as those reflected by bobbed hair and shorter skirts for the newly-enfranchised female vote? Will mariDARLENE FRANKLIN juana make inroads into Writing at the Crossroads normal American life, of Love and Grace like alcohol and the overthrow of prohibition? What larger-than-life figures will emerge, like that staple of entertainment, cartoons, or home run king Babe Ruth? World War I affected the young adults of the 1920s. Today’s young adults have grown up in the aftermath of 9-11, with the War on Terror. Both led to a sense of despair. Perhaps the 65-year-olds in 1920 felt as disconnected with their present as I do with mine. I greeted 2010 with great opportunities in writing and with the arrival of my grandson. In short order I lost my mother and my own health and I’ve spent most of the decade in a nursing home. With Netflix as my only television, without seeing a movie in the theaters for all these years, without trying out new restaurants or shopping in the stores, without aptitude or desire for electronics, I increasingly feel like an anachronism, out of place “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Mt. 6:25-33 When we read these words, it is easier to read and say them than it is to really live them. One of the lessons I have learned this week is to learn to live by this verse. To aim at and to strive after God's Kingdom and His righteousness, or doing what is right in His sight and what He thinks is right, not what I think is right. (In order to live in the Kingdom as Kingdom kids, we first need to know the King and what He provides for us.) Righteousness & justice are the foundations of His throne. To truly follow these foundational truths, we are going in the opposite direction of virtually the whole world except those who have truly made the same decision. (Psalm 89:14) An intentional decision must be made in our life--when we read--really read a scripture, what do we do with it? Do we make that intentional decision to do what the Word says? Like reading Mt. 6, I think it's more important now than ever before that we learn to make these intentional decisions. But even in our weaknesses, he is made strong (2Cor. 12:10). Even when we have difficulty acting on His Word-He makes up the difference. In the Old Testament, God simply multiplied four men's footsteps to sound like a mighty army. There were thousands of troops running for their lives, scared to death, thinking they were being attacked by a massive army when in fact, it was just four people. Why!!! God made up the difference! He knows how to make up the difference, He can multiply our strength, our talents, our influence, our income- any need we have, we don't need to figure it out, all we have to do is go back to Mathew 6 and trust him. That is my prayer for you in the coming NEW YEAR.

— by Kay Owen-Larson

in my own lifetime. I still connect to people, though, and my stories are as timeless as ever. As is the comfort of the Word of God. I guess it’s natural, that as we age, things that endure loom larger than today’s fads, and yesterday’s memories seem better than today’s realities. In spite of every thing, though, I’m looking forward to a fresh start that the turn of the calendar brings. The consideration this might be my last full decade doesn’t detract from my excitement. I’m watching my grandkids grow into teens and young adults with baited breath. They’re so bright and full of promise. I pray they will receive enough testing to make them strong, but enough faith and guidance to keep them on the right path. What a thrill to see my son and daughter-in-law take on new roles as they come into the prime of their lives! They’re molders and shapers of young people at home, at school, and at church. I’m proud of both of them. My own career path remains secure, with new contracts. I don’t know when—or if—God will take the pen from my hands. Not yet! Every now and then I get to see their impact. A devotional I

wrote has been in the top one hundred on Amazon since before Christmas. I have more books in large print than ever before, and I hope to publish a chapbook of poetry. My collections resell extremely well. Even children’s church curriculum I wrote more than ten years ago continues to sell. I’m blessed to see my life’s work make a difference. If I were to change anything, I want to make more of a difference in my here and now: to connect with the people in my immediate neighborhood, with my roommate and folks down the hall, with the nursing home staff and visitors. The older I get, the more life gets stripped to its essentials. And that can be a beautiful thing.

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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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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 2020-Evergrowth Media, LLC


January 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 19



Social Security Expands Public Hours SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICES

nationwide will be open to the public on Wednesday afternoons, Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security, announced. This change restores Wednesday public service hours that were last in place in late 2012. “I don’t want someone to come to our office at 2:30 on a Wednesday only to find our doors closed,” Commissioner Saul said. In another move to improve service to the public, Commissioner Saul announced in his Open Letter to the Public at agency/coss-message.html that the agency is hiring 1,100 front line employees to provide service on the agency’s National 800 Number and in its processing centers. The agency is currently bringing onboard 100 new processing center employees and approximately 500 new teleservice representatives for the 800 Number. An additional 500 hires for the 800 Number will occur later in 2020. “Improving service is my top priority. Increasing full public service hours at our nationwide network of more than 1,200 field offices is the right thing to do and will provide additional access,” Commissioner Saul said. “The hiring of a thousand new employees to provide service through our National 800 Number and an additional 100 hires to process people’s Social Security benefits at our processing centers around the country are steps in the right direction in our mission to greatly improve the service we provide.” Currently, a field office is generally open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to Noon on Wednesdays. Beginning on January 8, 2020, offices will remain open until 4:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, with typical field office hours from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. While the agency continues to improve both the access to and the experience with its services, it is important to note that most Social Security services do not require the public to take time to visit an office. People may create a my Social Security account, a personalized online service, at Through their personal my Social Security account, people can check personal information and conduct

business with Social Security. If they already receive Social Security benefits, they can start or change direct deposit online, and if they need proof of their benefits, they can print or download a current Benefit Verification Letter from their account. People not yet receiving benefits can use their online account to

get a personalized Social Security Statement, which provides earnings history information as well as estimates of future benefits. Currently, residents in 40 states and the District of Columbia may request a replacement Social Security card online if they meet certain requirements. The portal also includes a retire-

ment calculator and links to information about other online services, such as applications for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits. Many Social Security services are also conveniently available by dialing toll-free, 1-800-772-1213. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call Social Security’s TTY number, 1-800-325-0778.

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Page 20 - Senior Beacon - January 2020 SOCIAL SECURITY & YOU Question: What do I need to report to Social Security if I get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments? Answer: You need to report any changes that may affect your payment amount. This includes changes in your income or resources. You must report changes of address, changes in your living arrangements, and changes in your earned and unearned income. To learn more about SSI, visit our website at ssi. Question: How can I become a representative payee? Answer: If you know someone who receives Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and who needs assistance managing their payments, contact your local Social Security office about becoming their representative payee.

Go to payee for more information. Question: I am getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Can I get other kinds of help? Answer: You may be able to get other assistance. For example, in most states, SSI recipients also get Medicaid. You should contact your medical assistance office. Also, SSI recipients are sometimes eligible for social services provided by the state, city, or county where they live. These may include arrangements for meals or transportation. SSI recipients also may qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, or “food stamps,” in many states. More information is available at your local public assistance office. Question: My grandmother receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

benefits. She may have to enter a nursing home to get the long-term care she needs. How does this affect her SSI benefits? Answer: Moving to a nursing home could affect your grandmother’s SSI benefits, depending on the type of facility. In many cases, we have to reduce or stop SSI payments to nursing home residents, including when Medicaid covers the cost of the nursing home care. When your grandmother enters or leaves a nursing home, assisted living facility, hospital, skilled nursing facility, or any other kind of institution, you must notify Social Security right away. Learn more about SSI reporting responsibilities at You can call Social Security’s toll-free number, 1-800772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to report a change. Question: Does where I live affect the

amount of my Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits? Answer: It might. First, where you live might affect your benefit amount because some states add a supplement to the federal payment. If you live in your own place and pay your own food and shelter costs, regardless of whether you own or rent, you may get up to the maximum SSI amount payable in your state. You also can get up to the maximum if you live in someone else's household, as long as you pay your food and shelter costs. If you live in someone else's household and don't pay your food and shelter costs or pay only part of them, your SSI benefit may be reduced by up to one-third of the SSI federal benefit rate. To learn more, read Supplemental Security Income (SSI) available at Question: What is the definition of disability for children filing for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? Answer: Social Security has a strict definition of disability for children under the SSI program. A child who is under age 18 is considered disabled if he or she: ● Has a physical or mental condition (or a combination of conditions) resulting in “marked and severe functional limitations.” “Marked and severe functional limitations” means that the condition very seriously limits the child’s activities; and ● The condition has lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year or is expected to result in death. To decide whether a child is disabled for SSI purposes, we look at medical and other information (such as information from schools, parents, and caregivers) about the child’s condition(s), and we consider how the condition affects his or her daily activities. We consider questions such as: ● What activities is the child not able to do or is limited in doing? ● What kind of and how much extra help does the child need to perform age-appropriate activities — for example, special classes at school, medical equipment? ● Do the effects of treatment interfere with the child’s day-to-day activities? Read Benefits For Children With Disabilities, available at, for additional information on how we decide if a child under age 18 is disabled.


January 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 21



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

CHANGE IS COMING TO STEADFAST NEW HAMPSHIRE SOME 47 OF the last 56 governors of this state have been Republicans. For six decades, every major-party nominee for statewide office has pledged not to support a sales or income tax. For 340 years, New Hampshire has delegated major powers -- pardons, contracts, nominations -- to a body called the Executive Council that has few analogues in the other 49 states. This is the only state that has never numbered highway exits by miles. The more things change elsewhere, the more they remain the same here.

Until now. Just six weeks before this quirky state -- rich in scenic byways, cheap in government spending -- takes center stage in presidential politics by conducting the first primary in the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination, New Hampshire is overrun with White House candidates who are promising change, some of it dramatic. But a state where political candidates used to print placards that had taglines boasting they were "Honest. Hard-working. Conservative" is itself undergoing change. A state that voted Republican in 28 of the 34 elections between 1856 and 1988 -- between GOP nominees John C. Fremont and George H.W. Bush -- has given its electoral votes to a Democrat in six of the last seven presidential elections. A state that once was so isolated that homeowners in Grafton County in northwestern New Hampshire got only one television station now are awash in cable TV and internet information. The state that once lived by colonial-era Blue Laws that shuttered businesses on Sundays is a veritable vanity fair of commerce, with factory outlets in this community open only one hour less on Sundays than on Mondays. A state Robert Frost -- who boasted "I suppose I've slept in more towns in New Hampshire than you've ever

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Hampshire, once argued that the geological curiosity known as the Old Man of the Mountain -- an outcropping that looked eerily like the old Yankee of New Hampshire myth celebrated by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Daniel Webster -- was "a revealing fusion of landscape and persona in the Granite State." The Old Man endures on road signs and on the state's license plates, but it crumbled to the ground nearly 17 years ago. These changes are more than the fact that state game wardens no longer pay a 25-cent bounty for each porcupine nose -- the notion I had for my winter evening walk of counting noses has an entirely No one at all with whom to talk, different meaning at primary time But I had the cottages in a row -- or the fact that the shoe, textile and Up to their shining eyes in snow. wood-product industries that dominated the state's economy in 1850 But the state that sits at the geodisappeared more than a half cengraphical center of New England and tury ago. The late Hugh Gregg, who that invented Old Home Week -- an served between 1953 and 1955, once 1899 gubernatorial invitation from told me, in a reference to his years as Frank West Rollins for the state's nagovernor: "The economy back then tives to return to their jagged homewas a lot like the way it had been a land that helped seal New Hampcentury earlier. There was no new shire's identity of Yankee farmers living in neat communities with green industry. The state was pretty remote. Auto travel was very difficult." town commons and white-steepled None of that is true today. Nor are churches -- no longer is almost entirethe cultural characteristics of the state. ly populated by people of English and Only a committed nostalgist knows French Canadian extraction. (Many that Claremont, on the Connectiof the latter flooded into the state in the late 19th century to work in textile cut, once had an opera house and a mills along the Merrimack, Salm- Roseland dance hall where Tommy Dorsey played regularly. Mr. Dorsey, on Falls and Connecticut rivers.) whose signature tune was "I'm GetToday only 42% of New Hampting Sentimental Over You," died 26 shire residents were born here, a years before Pete Buttigieg was born. rate of in-state native population Two decades ago New Hampshire far less than that for the New ranked 15th among the states in the England region (58%) or for the percentage of its population with a country as a whole (59%). Jere Daniell, the revered retired college degree (27%). Today it ranks Dartmouth historian, raconteur second, with 36% of its residents posand master of all things New sessing a bachelor's degree or higher.

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heard of" -- saw as a center of what his New Hampshire-born biographer Lawrance Thompson listed as its "cities and towns and villages and mountains and lakes" now conducts almost all of its presidential politics in its cities, leaving its towns, villages, mountains and lakes playing a role only as scenic background. Those towns and villages and mountains and lakes remain, and it is still possible, especially in February primary season, to have the sort of experience Frost celebrated in the poem "Good Hours":

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SENIOR CLASSIFIED AD REQUEST This classified ad section of the Senior Beacon carries advertising of all sorts. The cost is $10.00 for the first 20 words or less and $.25 for each word over twenty words. TO PLACE AN AD either: (1) Write your ad in the space provided below. Please print clearly. _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ Phone:_________________ Your Name:______________________ Then mail ad and check (send no cash) to:

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Newcomers Orientation: Thurs, Jan 2,1011:30 Free New Years Black & Gold Ball: Fri, Jan 3, 68 $10 Coffee with a Cop:K-9 Unit: Mon, Jan 13, 1:30-2:30 Free “Behind The Springs: City Podcast : Tues, Jan 21, 1:30-2:30 Free Saxophone Quartet Concert: Tues, Jan 28, 1:30-2:30 $3

Cathedral Basilica of The Immaculate Conception: Mon, Jan 13, 12:30-7:30 $45 Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum: Thurs, Jan 16, 8:15-3:15 $45 Wings Over the Rockies: Wed, Jan 22, 10 -4:15 $45 City Rock-Boomer Style: Thurs, Jan 30, 1:30-6 $40

Thursday Dances: 1:30-3 Ping Pong Fridays:1:30-2:30 Movie Fridays: 1-3 AARP Driver Safety Class: Wed, Jan 8 or 22, 1-5 Private Music Lessons: Tuesdays, by appointment only Silver Key Connections Café: Lunch, Mon-Fri, 11:15-12:15 No reservation

Go Month-Get Organized in the New Year: Mon, Jan 6, 10-11:30 $3 Schemes, Scams & Scum: Tues, Jan 7, 3:30-4:30 Live Your Divinity: Tues, Jan7-14, 1011:30 $12 Conversational German: Wed, Jan 8Feb 5, 1-2:30 $30 Carpooling Metro Rides: Thurs, Jan 9, 9:30-11 Free Mexican Bingo: Fri, Jan 10, 1;30-2:30 $1 Downsizing, Rightsizing & Simplifying: Tues, Jan 14, 1:30-3 Free Truth About Transitions: Wed, Jan 15, 10-11:30 Free Mediterranean Diet Workshop: Wed, Jan15, 1-2:30 $5 Zero Based Budgeting: Thurs, Jan 16, 10-11:30 Free Tales of The South Pacific: Thurs, Jan 16, 1-3 $5 Veterans of Foreign Wars: Wed, 1011, 10-11 Free Fitness to Drive: Thurs, Jan 23, 1-2:30 Free Wine & Cheese Pairing: Fri, Jan 24, 34:30 $15 Living History; Bear Claw The Mountain Man: Mon, Jan 27, 1-2 $5


Colorado Creative Co-op: Find Senior Center patron’s art work for sale in Old Colorado City! 2513 1, 2 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80904

January 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 23

Medicare Made Clear: Fri, Jan 3, 1011;30 A 20/20 Look at Whole Body Health Goals: Wed, Jan 8, 10-11 Breath & Be: Thurs, Jan 9, 10-11 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s: Mon, Jan 13, 10-11:30 Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine: Wed, Jan 15, 10-11 Long Term Care Planning: Wed, Jan 22, 10-11:30 Nurse Chats/Planter Fasciitis: Wed, Jan 29, 9-10

We appreciate your $1.00 donation . Every dollar helps offset the cost of these classes.

We offer several exercise and dance classes:

Personal & Small Group Training Massage Therapy Yoga: Beginner, Gentle Flow and Chair Silver Sneakers: Open Gym, Stability Classic, Circuit, Stretch It Cardio Drumming TaijiFit: Combines traditional Tai Chi & modern Western fitness. Zumba Jazz Dance Fitness Dance Classes: Line Dancing, Fox Trot, Jitterbug Nia: Fusion of martial arts, dance, and healing art.

Many more classes!

Changes to Colorado’s Retail Food Inspection, Enforcement Process PUBLIC HEALTH

Officials announced effective January 1, 2020, there will be changes to Colorado’s retail food establishment inspection and enforcement process, as enacted in House Bill 19-1014. “The changes will ensure the safety and prevention of foodborne illnesses in food provided at retail food establishments in Colorado,” stated Vicki Carlton, program manager at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment (PDPHE). A summary of key changes and support available is provided below: Inspections will be based on a point system. Violations more critical to health and safety, i.e. those which contribute most directly to food-borne illness or injury,

will have the highest point values. Violations will be ranked on a low, medium, or high severity/prevalence scale of the observed conditions during an inspection. The more severe and prevalent the violation, the higher the point value. The total points of an inspection will determine one of the following results: “Pass”, “Re-Inspection”, or “Imminent Hazard/Closure”. Closure of an establishment, i.e. “Imminent Hazard/ Closure” result, could occur from a high point value, conditions which meet the definition of imminent health hazard or multiple inspections which do not “Pass”. The definition of an "imminent health hazard” includes fire, flood, extended

interruption of electricity or water, sewage backup, misuse of toxic/poisonous materials, onset of a foodborne illness, grossly unsanitary conditions or other circumstances that may endanger public health. A retail food establishment which does not “Pass” four consecutive (or four out of five) inspections could be closed for up to three days and is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000. The minimum amount for a civil penalty has been removed and the maximum amount of $1,000 for inspection violations has been established. The bill clarifies it is against the law to continue to operate a retail food establishment after its license or certificate of license is suspended.

Woodcarving: Mon, Jan6-27, 9-11:30 $60 Handling & Mixing Color in Watercolor Paintings: Mon, Jan 6-Feb 10, 9:3011:30 $47 Pen & Ink: Mon, Jan 6-Feb 10, 1-3 $40 Understanding & Painting the Watercolor Process: Mon, Jan 6-Feb 3, 1-3 $47 Gemstone Faceting: Tues, Jan 7-Feb 18, 1-3:30 $47 Illustration: Tues, Jan 7-Feb 11, 9:3011:30 $53 Watercolor Greeting Cards: Tues, Jan 7Feb 4, 9:30-11:30 $47 The Art of Collage: Tues, Jan 7-Feb 11, 1 -3 $53 Acrylic Magic: Tues, Jan 7-Feb11, 1-3 $53 Japanese Paper Crafts: Tues/Thurs, Jan 7-23, 10-11 $20 Creating a Pair of Slacks or Jeans: Wed, Jan 8-Feb 19, 1-4 $43 The Joy of Watercolor Pencil: Wed, Jan 8-Feb 12, 1-3 $53 Sewing with Stretch Fabric: Thurs, Jan 9 -Feb 20 1-4 $43 Painting People in Watercolor: Thurs, Jan 9-Feb 6, 1-3 $47 Painting the Watercolor Masters: Thurs, Jan 9-Feb 6, 1-3 $47 Portraits & Hands: Fri, Jan 10– Feb 14, 9:30-11:30 $53

Computer Basics: Mon, Jan 13, 1011 $10 Android Phones & Tablets: Wed, Jan 15, 9:30-11:30 $20 1 on 1 Technology Help: Fri, Jan 17, 3-4:30 $10

Page 24 - Senior Beacon - January 2020 HOME TOUCH

Dog-Gone Good Design FOR MORE HOMEOWNERS, being in the doghouse is a good thing, especially when it comes to design centered on their four-legged family members. According to the American Pet Products AssoMARY G. PEPITON ciation (APPA) Freelance writer with Andrews McMeel National Pet Sundication Universal Owners' Survey from 2018, an estimated 84.9-million United States households own a pet. The research found that Americans spent more than $72 billion on their pets, and that spending has steadily increased every year over the past two decades, says Tierra Bonaldi, Pet Lifestyle Expert with APPA, based in Stamford, Connecticut. "Owners no longer consider their pet just an animal, but rather, equate them to another family member," Bonaldi says. "Because

we view our pets in more human terms, our demand for higher quality and design has grown to be more in line with our preferences for products for the rest of the family." Homes can have that (bow) wow factor with doggie decor and feline furnishings, which mirror our human preferences. "Home decor manufacturers are making products for pets that are not only functional and convenient for owners, but also something pet owners actually want to display in their homes," Bonaldi says. "With millennials now taking over as the primary pet-owning demographic, there is a demand for pet furniture that takes up minimal space, stores easily or seamlessly fits into their living space." According to APPA, many builders are investing in special architectural accommodations for the four-legged inhabitants of homes. "Builders recognize that more than two-thirds of the population owns pets, and accommodating their needs as pet owners only makes

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for a more desirable home," Bonaldi says. Evidence that home construction has gone to the dogs -- in a good way -- includes: â–Ş Washing and grooming stations in a mudroom, custom cabinetry with built-in food and water bowls, doggie doors and specialized low windows so pets can see outdoors. â–Ş Simple pet-friendly built-in options such as wall hooks for leashes and collars by the door; bins for pet food and toy storage; or a folddown pet bed that is hinged at one end to store vertically against the wall when not in use. â–Ş Flooring and home furniture manufacturers offer pet-friendly options that essentially protect from everyday wear and tear of pets, including stylish stain-proof fabrics, while using materials that are durable, easy-to-clean and made to withstand claws and paws. But to understand what pets truly need, form and function must also work from the four-legged perspective, says Abbey Stark, senior interior design leader at Ikea-US. A Swedish-founded company, Ikea designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture and home accessories, and is one of the most accessible contemporary home-goods retailers in the world. "We brought in pet-loving designers and trained veterinarians to help develop Ikea's cat and dog home collection," Stark says. "The LURVIG line was created with our pets' natural needs and behavior as starting points."

With products that include a cozy cat hidey-hole, which fits into a bookcase, and snug dog beds with easy-to-clean cushions, a pet's essentials can be integrated into a minimalistic home design. "Having dedicated spaces for food storage, toys, and a place for your pet to enjoy a good night's sleep are all important for the happiness of your pet and the organization of your home," Stark says. APPA says pet products that serve a dual function are most popular, including a dog bed and nightstand in one, or a litter box and end table combination. "We also noticed many manufacturers offering white and gray furniture, with more modern designs, again, mirroring the decor trends we're seeing on the human side," Bonaldi says. Pet owners and homeowners can stylishly coexist by creating Zenlike zones for animals inside a house. "Nooks can create a cozy sleeping area for your pet, store a litter box or a food station," Stark says. "Selecting blankets and cushions that match the decor of your home is one easy way to provide a cozy place for your pet, while protecting furniture and not compromising the design of your home." Homeowners don't have to undergo a house remodel to enjoy the perks of having a pet. Items in Ikea's LURVIG line range from $5 to $50, but you can also borrow inspiration from existing items in your home to attain pet purr-fection.

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January 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 25


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

Medicare Premiums Set To Take Big Jump MEDICARE PART B premiums are getting set to make one of the biggest jumps in 14 years, according to new analysis from The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). While the Social Security costof-living adjustment (COLA) will increase benefits by 1.6 percent in 2020, Medicare Part B premiums are climbing by 6.7 percent, “more than four times faster than the COLA,” says Medicare and Social Security policy analyst, Mary Johnson. The standard monthly Medicare Part B premium, which covers doctors and outpatient services, will increase by $9.10 from $135.50 in 2019, to $144.60 in 2020. At the same time, the COLA will increase an average Social Security benefit of $1,460 by only $23.40. After deduction for the Part B premium, that would leave just $14.30 per month for someone with average benefits to cover all other rising costs, including other rising Medicare premiums for prescription drugs or supplemental coverage. “The 6.7 percent increase in the Part B premium is the largest since 2006 for a year in which a COLA is payable,” Johnson says. There have been bigger jumps in Part B premiums as recently as 2016 and 2017, but those were two years in which there was no or almost no COLA paid. This situation can cause unusually high Part B premium spikes. In 2016 the COLA was zero and Part B premiums rose by 16.1 percent. In 2017 the COLA was just 0.3 percentage point, and Part B premiums rose by 10 percent. “Those premium spikes were due in large part to the cost-shifting effect created when no COLA was payable,” Johnson notes. When there is no or a very low COLA, a special provision of law known as “hold harmless” protects beneficiaries when the dollar amount of their COLA is lower than the dollar amount of their Part B increase. The Part B premium is adjusted to prevent a reduction in Social Security benefits from one year to the next. “But when this provision JOLYNN ALLEN

Owner of Allen Insurance in Pueblo. She specializes in life, health, annuities and Medicare


Owner of Century Investments in Pueblo. He is a Financial Advisor, author and teacher

care Part B premium consume their entire COLA,” Johnson notes. Medicare costs take a significant portion of retirees’ Social Security benefits. A survey conducted by The Senior Citizens League found that more than 51 percent of survey participants report spending at least $376 per month on total healthcare costs (including premiums and out-ofpocket costs) and more than one – in- five spend $1,000 or more per month. To learn more, visit ###

occurs on a program-wide basis — as it did in 2016 and 2017, the entire increase in Medicare Part B for the year is shifted to the people who are not protected by hold harmless, Johnson notes. Instead of the Part B increase being spread over all Medicare beneficiaries, the total cost increase is borne by only 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who are not protected by the hold harmless provisions. They include: people who are still working and pay Medicare Part B by check, low - income Medicare beneficiaries whose Part B is paid for by state Medicaid programs, and, beneficiaries with incomes in 2019 are $85,000 (single) $170,000 (couple) or more and who pay an income-related surcharge. Because Medicare Part B premiums are automatically deducted from Social Security benefits, retirees find it difficult to fully anticipate the squeeze that rising Medicare Part B (and other Medicare premiums) can put on benefits and their budgets. In the past 15 years the percentage of the Social Security COLA increase has been lower than Medicare Part B premium increase 9 times. All beneficiaries get a notification letter from the Social Security Administration explaining the amount of their benefits and the amount that will be deducted for Part B and any other deductions.

“Those with the lowest benefits – less than $570 per month in 2020 — are at risk of seeing their Medi-

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 Association. Visit


NOTE ANY CORRECTIONS OR MODIFICATIONS. __________________________________________ AD NUMBER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20982

Page 26 - Senior Beacon - January 2020

THERE’S NOTHING LIKE A HOLIDAY White Island Was Rugged, Questionable MY CRUISE SHIP shore excursion to an active volcano on White Island, off the north coast of New Zealand, was the strangest and most exciting tour of my life. Never was it a trip for the queasy or careful. (This report was updated in December 2019, after White Island, which is the exposed tip of a mostly undersea volcano, exploded, killing at least 18 guides and travelers, some of whom were on a shore excursion from a cruise ship. My guide on the island, Hayden Marshall-Inman, was among those killed during the volcanic eruption.) One American expert on volcanic activity told me, before I left the United States for New Zealand, that White Island was highly dangerous. Maybe that’s why some cruise passengers chose to remain above the island, booking a flight-seeing tour offered by several ships. DAVID G. MOLYNEAUX

Writes travel pieces and is the editor of

ACTIVE VOLCANO. A tour group gathered, with hard hats and gas masks, for a dangerous walk across the crusty surface of the earth on White Island. ■ Photo by DAVID G. MOLYNEAUX

The report that follows was not a recommendation for other travelers to fly above or to board a boat to the island on a tour from Whakatane, near New Zealand’s port of Tauranga. It was written as a tale from a traveler who made the ques-

tionable sea journey in 2013. This is my story. White Island, formed by volcanic eruptions, is a world of gaseous steam and serious acid, where the ground shakes from the Ring of Fire that burns below the rim of the basin of the Pacific Ocean. Though 15,000 to 20,000 people arrived at White Island by boat each year, at first, when I stepped off a skiff onto the island, I felt foolish, wondering why a rational person would choose to saunter through a bubbling minefield

that could explode at any time. Then, I felt the exhilaration shared by volcano explorers through the centuries, being the rare witnesses to the natural power and fury that usually hides from our view beneath the surface of the Earth. Besides, my will was up to date. The island was like no other tourist attraction. Handrails and fences did not exist. Travelers donned gas masks and hardhats for guided tours of more than an hour over rugged terrain where no one took a step without asking whether it was safe to move forward, back, left, or right. “You could walk into a hole in the earth,” said my guide, Hayden Marshall-Inman, “and be steamed to death while the acid stripped your hide to the bone.” Our group of about a dozen kept close to the guide. From the moment we slid out of a skiff onto a small dock, Hayden had our full attention, though most injuries on White Island, he said, were sprained ankles. Travelers were captivated by picture opportunities, he said, and missed the loose rocks that littered the unmarked and unrecognizable trails.

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January 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 27


Inspiration, Vintage Exhibit At Art Center ARE YOU READY for the New Year? We have lots of things happening at the Arts Center in 2020, including our premier summer exhibition: Inspiration, Vintage Venetian Glass. The very popular Friday Arts Academy gets under way Jan 17, which is also the first of three Winter Festival Fridays, voted the Best Place in Pueblo to Dance! Jan 17 is Suga Bear and the Showtime Band, Jan 24 feature Finaleyes, and Martini Shot wraps it up on Jan 31. Outsider Art: The Collection of Victor Keen | Through Jan 12 Pueblo native Victor Keen shares his extensive collection of outsider art. He continues to seek out the artists and artworks that interest him not only visually, but also through the stories they tell. A Spirit of Tradition: From the Bishop Tafoya Collection | Through Jan 19 Santos have been made for centuries, since the early Spanish Colonial era. In the Americas, local expressions and native materials created a distinctly New World Style. The Collector’s Aesthetic: Victor Keen | Through Jan 5 Victor Keen’s interest in collecting encompasses much more than outsider art. He has also assembled an extensive array of Catalin radios, antique toys and banks, milk glass, toasters, vintage postcards, etc. Color in Color: Celebrating the Vibrancy of Minority Women | Jan 18 – Apr 26 Perennial Favorites from the Francis King Collection of Western Art | Jan 25 – May 3 George Widener: From the Collection of Victor Keen | Through Jan 12 Self-taught artist and calendar savant, George Widener, employs his extraordinary mathematical & calculating capabilities along with memorized census population statistics to create artworks based around significant dates and historical events. In the Buell Children’s Museum: Happy Trails: How the West was Fun | Jan 12 – June 6 Hitch up the wagons, strap on your spurs, and join Sparky the Art BOB CAMPBELL

Marketing and events manager with the Sangre de Cristo Arts & Conference Center

HAPPY TRAILS. How the West was Fun hits Jan. 12 to June 6.

Dog in a classic cowboy cattle drive to the Old West! Performances: Jan 16, 7:30pm: Oddville The Sangre de Cristo Arts

Center galleries are open Wed through Sat 11 AM - 4 PM, Sunday 12–4PM, 210 N Santa Fe, Pueblo. The Buell Children’s Museum is open Tues through Sat 11 AM - 4 PM, Sunday 12–4PM. Admission grants

entry to both the Children’s Museum and Helen T. White Galleries and is $10 for adults, $8 for children, seniors 65+ and military. Arts Center members are always free. Visit online at

Page 28 - Senior Beacon - January 2020 NEWS

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