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

MAY 2020

Vol. 39:4

Established February 1982

460 Consecutive Months!

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


our way THROUGH




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People are resilient. People have many experiences to call on in times of crises. People know how to cope and make do in this time of COVID-19, we are all needing to use our skills and past experiences to meet the challenges of staying home, being dependent on someone to do our grocery shopping, maybe even being told that we can’t leave our room.

BUT GIVEN THESE choices to stay healthy and free of COVID-19 gives us hope to continue keeping ourselves healthy. This is also the time to review our advance care planning documents. Who will speak for you if you need help and have to make medical decisions? Do you have a trusted family member who will manage your money and pay your bills? The purpose of medical and financial powers of attorney allows you to give that authority and responsibility to a trusted family member or friend. Many of us complete these forms and then put them on the shelf. Many of us never have the conversation or complete the forms. In this time of COVID-19, we should review our documents and share our wishes. Specifically review your advance directives from the viewpoint of “if I get COVID-19, do I want to be placed on a ventilator?” “Do I want to receive care in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU)?” “Do I want palliative/hospice care, if I am having difficulty breathing and am not able to handle the planned treatment?” “Do I want to be treated in my own home by loved ones?” “Can my loved

ones take care of me?” Currently the Colorado Department of Public Health has approved Crises Standards of Care. Decisions are being made about scarce resources. “Who gets taken to an emergency room by an ambulance is being prioritized based on a set of medical criteria?” Similarly, the State is low on masks, gloves and protective gowns. Hospitals are getting priority to get supplies; whereas, other programs such as nursing homes and assisted living residences, as well as hospices, are looking at ways to re-use supplies to conserve resources. Community members are being asked to make masks. All residents of Colorado over age 18 are encouraged to review their advance care planning documents. While some older adults may not be able to successfully fight COVID-19 and will die, more are surviving. In this time of a state of emergency, it is important that you share with your loved ones your wishes in light of COVID-19, have current advance care planning documents, and have a plan in place to provide for your future, even if you never contract



Page 2 - Senior Beacon -May 2020



AS WE ALL know, aging is not for the faint of heart! It usually means a complete change in your life. Most of us have married and had children to raise, groceries to buy, meals to be prepared, taxi service for our children’s many activities, perhaps sports to play (ah yes, the ravages of time really change one’s sports life), bills to pay, various jobs and employers, faith concerns, crises to which we grapple, taxes to pay, family vacations to plan, well, the list continues but space concerns come first. These younger years make you what you are. But then, if we are reading this, most of these on the aforementioned list melt away. Life becomes easier but our bodies aren’t the same. Now, there are outliers like the physically fit who have fine tuned their bodies with various forms of exercise their entire lives but even they succumb to the vagaries of age. Where am I going with this, you ask? Where do I start? Older folks have all sorts of maladies and for some reason COVID-19 hits us more than any other age groupings so we need to protect ourselves. As we come out of this pandemic, the more seasoned of us should take heed and continue to be wary of this disease. You all know the drill of protecting yourselves. I won’t enumerate what’s been said on a daily basis. But we know we have to

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be more aware that the virus is still out there and it stalks the boomers and above. But where does it fit in the pantheon of medical problems we all must endure? Pain, weakened resistances, new hips, new knees, repaired eyes, the Big C, the loss of loved ones of all stripes, changes in eating habits, changes in sleeping habits, inability to do things that a few short years ago were mundane, all these things and more make us wary of the future. Planning activities or even chores must include so many variables. Even going to the store becomes a countdown of all the accoutrements (some French lingo there, probably misspelled) needed for the aging. Myself, I dislike gravity. Never liked the stuff except for the fact that it kept me from floating out to space or some such but throughout my life gravity has been a particularly large thorn in my side. From objects sliding off plates and onto the floor to valuables jumping out of my hands and hitting the deck it was gravity that vexed me most. Gravity keeps us on the planet as we age but all those things that fall to the ground, must be picked up and includes the use of dust rags and vacuums, but what gravity does to our bodies is of particular concern. Man, I haven’t been this short since I was in the 10th grade and bending over to pick errant things up is okay but fighting the gravity to straighten up is a drag! I won’t even get to other things that sag because of gravity but bellies are one particular problem. How about the progression of sports. You get to the point that you can’t even think of participating in sports because of the aging process. I used to play all the sports but one by one they have been taken away from me because of that gravity pulling me downward. I think you get the idea. I needn't get into the details. Our lives pivot from all those earlier days of strong muscles, great balance and endurance to something much less. We all know it and accept it according to our dispositions but endure it we must. Some days are better than others but we know deep down that the “ole bod” is destined



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Buy Fear, Sell Greed

IS NOW THE TIME TO BUY? Just like last month’s article mentioned, just above 18,000 was a good support level to buy at. Did you buy on fear? Stock prices have very quickly gone up since. If you did follow my idea then you can sell at a nice profit today, or soon. If you didn’t buy, don’t worry. I think we’re going to correct yet again and have lower pricing. Hopefully, it’ll be around that last support level (18k). WHY SHOULD THE MARKET

If you bought at the Great Recession depth you would have bought the Dow Jones index when it was 6,500. Then ridden it all the way to 29,000. Quite a profitable saying! If you followed the second part of that advice you would have also sold the dot-com bubble around 1999 after it hit record highs. It was at record-high valuations, too. CORRECT AGAIN? Of course, anything can happen. Maybe it keeps moving up. But the current move is on lower trading volume. This isn’t a positive technical indicator. Also, we’ve yet to actually see the negative numbers on the economy. This fundamental side is what could shoot prices down again…and be the time to buy up bargains. A SHINING EXCEPTION If you’re really wanting to buy there’s what I’m calling a golden opportunity: oil. And all things related to oil. Stocks. Mutual funds. Services. Exploration. Transportation. The actual commodity itself. Pricing on services companies are running at half book value. Oil futures prices actually went very negative for

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still the biggest, most dynamic economy on the planet. I said that exact thing at the depths of the Great Recession. We’ve been here before folks, bet on the hottest hand on the globe. Expert economists see a bad second and third quarter for the economy. Very bad. But then we turn upwards for the final part of the year and grow with a loud roar. That’s probably too late to buy low. So be ready to pounce if we see fear pricing again. Written on 04-27-2020 Ronald S. Phillips is a Pueblo native and an independent financial advisor. Order a free copy of his book Investing To Win by leaving a message at (719) 220-3005. Visit or email RonPhilWHY SHOULD YOU BUY AT A LOWER PRICE…


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the first time in history. Black gold is cheap. Are you still going to drive a car or use the 1000s of oil-based products made? Unfortunately, most of us are. Put another way, how many people on the planet are 100% off of the electric grid and oil infrastructure? Or living in sustainably-built houses? Chances are oil prices should come back up to some degree. Politically, we not only have Russia and Saudi Arabia’s oilbased economy but the U.S. is one-fourth larger of an oil producer than those giants. What are the chances that these and other countries will let oil languish?

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LIKE "BUY LOW, sell high,” that headline is another famous Wall Street saying. It has some relatives: “Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.” Or “buy when there’s blood in the street.” That last one is my oft-repeated favorite. Besides being very colorful these sayings can be useful. If you bought at the Great Recession depth you would have bought the Dow Jones index when it was 6,500. Then ridden it all the way to 29,000. Quite a profitable saying! If you followed the second part of that advice you would have also sold the dot-com bubble around 1999 after it hit record highs. It was at record-high valuations, too.

Page 4 - Senior Beacon -May 2020

May 1: Baked ziti with sausage and marinara, Bahama vegetables, Caesar salad, orange, raisin nut cup May 4: chicken fajitas with pepper, onion, cheese, sour cream, salsa, tortillas, Spanish rice, sw black beans, peaches May 5: Hamburger with lettuce, tomato and onion, carrots, coleslaw, dice pear May 6: Pork chow mein, brown rice, winter blend vegetables, ww roll, pear May 7: Honey current chicken, wild and brown rice, peas and carrots, broccoli slaw, apple, spice cake May 8: Salmon with lemon and dill, roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, banana, ww choc chip M&M cookie May 11: Chicken cordon bleu, roasted sweet potatoes, mixed vegetables, ww roll, mandarin orange May 12: Turkey salad sandwich on croissant, minestrone soup, broccoli sunflower salad, apple May 13: Pork pot roast with onion, celery, carrots, potato medley, Caesar salad, orange May 14: Chicken teriyaki, brown rice, peas, Asian cabbage slaw, apple May 15: Beef tacos with lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream and salsa, spiced pinto beans, apple-


sauce May 18: Cheese ravioli with marinara, Bahama vegetables, tossed salad, peaches, raisin nut cup May 19: Lemon pepper cod, brown rice pilaf, peas, 3 bean salad, mandarin orange May 20: Ham salad with ww bread, cream of mushroom soup, spinach mandarin salad, strawberries May 21: Chicken a la king, jasmine rice, green beans, carrot raisin salad, apple May 22: meatball sub, vegetable soup, cauliflower, orange May 25: Memorial Day – Hamburger with lettuce, tomato and onion, carrots, coleslaw, diced pear May 26: Beef bourguignon, mashed potatoes, broccoli, roll, strawberries May 27: BBQ chicken, baked potato soup, peas and carrots, 3 bean salad, apple May 28: Baked ziti with sausage and marinara, Bahama vegetables, Caesar salad, orange, raisin nut cup May 29: Pico lime cod, lemon herb rice, carrots, coleslaw, banana

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◀ FROM CAVE, PAGE 2 to break down. It was made that way and we’ve known it all our lives Each person is unique, of course, and we all handle our “nicks and bruises” differently but I know folks as you know folks who have been hit harder than others with the various maladies I spoke of earlier that bounce back cheerily from each one. I have no problem asking people personal questions and so ask these types of folks what their secrets are of bouncing back from one blow to another. I’d say that better than 90% of the ones that answered (some just grumble and change the subject) say something to the effect that “it’s just the way it is.” “Just the way it is!” you ask? Yep, it’s better to live life knowing what can come and then dealing with it, than being waylaid and falling apart. When I probe further those same 90% seem to have an innate sense, a comfort level let’s say, that there is something out there bigger than they are and they are quite contented in the knowing. It’s great knowing that because if you truly believe, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. So why not be happy. Remember the saying "Grin and bear it?" Be peaceful in the arms of something bigger than you. Enough said and I hope you all get my drift! See you in the June issue, Godspeed to you and yours!


May 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 5

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

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

Senior's Shopping Time Scheduled

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following article is rerunning because of the COVID-19 relief efforts.

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

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230 N. Union Ave. Pueblo, CO 81001

Call us: 719-545-8900 Dollar General, 2417 Prairie Every day, 8 –9 AM King Soopers North and South Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 7 – 9 AM LaGrees Every day, 8 – 10 AM Natural Grocers Sundays, 9 – 10 AM Safeway Southside and Pueblo West Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 – 9 AM

Everybody has a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable in Pueblo Sam’s Club Thursdays, 7 – 9 AM Save-A-Lot Every day, 7 – 8 AM Target Every day, 8 – 9 AM Walmart; South, North, Pueblo West, Neighborhood Market Every day 6 -7 AM All public and media inquiries in Pueblo are answered through the local hotline at Pueblo’s Joint Information Center. Pueblo COVID-19 Hotline is answering questions 8 AM – 5 PM, Monday – Friday, 719-583-4444.   Everybody has a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable in Pueblo by: ■ Minimize social activities and

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being physically close to other people. ■ Do not go to the emergency room unless medically necessary. ■ Wash your hands with soap regularly. ■ Cough or sneeze into elbow or tissue. ■ Stay home when you’re sick. ■ Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Avoid close contact with sick people. ■ Clean surfaces frequently touched. Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment encourages residents to seek out credible, reliable sources of information on COVID-19: Pueblo’s COVID-19 Hotline 719-583-4444.

◀ FROM COVID-10, PAGE 1 COVID-19. If you just want to talk or need assistance with reviewing your current documents, finding current forms, or want help with completing forms, visit us at or call 303-33-3482, 1-855-293-6911 or 1-855-880-4777 (Spanish). Eileen Doherty, MS is the Executive Director of the Colorado Gerontological Society. Her areas of expertise include management and administration of nonprofit organizations, education and training on issues related to older adults, advocacy and policy development on senior issues, and clinical practice in working with seniors and families to manage their lives in the later years. She has been the Director of the Society since 1982. She teaches Nonprofit Management for Fort Hays State University.


Page 6 - Senior Beacon -May 2020



Director of Prayer for Prisoners International



f my people . . .” IF! Consider this tiny huge word. Consider II Chronicles 7:14, “Then if my people who are called

by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” Now, consider the words in the preceding verse. Why does verse 14 begin with this word, “If?” Let’s look at verse 13 for our answer. “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people . . . Then if . . .” A type of drought has affected the world in a way no one would have dreamed. Physical drought. Financial drought. Social drought and more. Did you see the pictures of the enormous locusts invading African nations? They are devouring the land. Pestilence? From the dictionary pestilence means a deadly and overwhelming disease that affects an entire community. The Black Plague, a disease that killed over thirty percent of Europe's population, was certainly a pestilence. In the current situation, a pestilence that is affecting the world is this virus, this pestilence. Are we living within a part of this prophecy of Christ? Look at Matthew 24:6-7 “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against

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kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” When birth pains begin, the only thing that will stop them of course is the delivery of the baby. Have the birth pains begun? Are we about to witness a birth? Is the body of Christ doing what God commanded in 2 Chronicles 7:14? Is the body humble? Is the body praying and seeking God’s face? Has the body turned from wicked ways? Look around. What do you see? How does the “if ” fit your lifestyle? Billy Sunday said, “An excuse is the skin of reason stuffed with a lie.” God has promised: when that happens, when His children obey, He WILL heal the land. Now is a time to look up and look within. David prayed to the Father, “Search my heart, O’ God, and see if there is any wicked way in me.” Ask the Father to search your heart as David did. Make confessions and corrections as He exposes things that need to be made right with Him. Precious and powerful is the awareness of a clean heart before God when nothing stands between you and Him. 2 Cor 13:5 tells us to examine our own hearts to see if you are not living as Christ wants. Because of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit within, a believer has the power to walk in obedience. If you are a born-again Christian, you possess that power. “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test” (2 Corinthians 13:5 NIV)? Reading the book of Daniel is an amazing adventure. Have you experienced that adventure? I’ve read it many times but after reading it in my daily devotion recently curiosity sparked a driving passion to learn more. A passion to discover the meaning of the visions Daniel experienced in Babylon. The first two fascinating chapters are jaw dropping. Imagine! His three friends thrown into a furnace heated so super-hot that the guards who threw them in burned to death from the flames. Still, Daniel’s friends came out of the furnace with not a hair singed and they didn’t even smell like smoke. If you haven’t read Daniel recently, read it again. Astounding miraculous stories spur us on to desire a Daniel-like faith in Jesus. Align Daniel’s vision with St. John’s Revelation. Are we today walking in their prophetic words? There are many voices coming from all directions and sources. Who do we listen to? Which talking head has it right? There is only one true source for Christians. The Bible. Fear is not the answer, in fact, fear is sin. Faith overpowers fear. How do we get faith to withstand the buffeting and storms of this season? Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Read it. Devour it. Dream it. Meditate on it. Sing it. Live it. There is power in the Word of God to withstand any and every evil force that comes against us. Remember the tremendous power of that tiny - huge word, if! Hosea warns and encourages God’s people, “Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring” (Hosea 6:1-3 NLT. If Rick and I can pray for you for any specific need, please contact us. Stay safe. Wash your hands. And KEEP LOOKING UP! Maranatha, even so, come Lord Jesus! © 2020 Jan McLaughlin, all rights reserved. Jan McLaughlin is Director of Prayer For Prisoners International and can be reached by e-mail – or by phone 719-275-6971



May 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 7


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

Why instill conceivable belief of the existence of unique beings into a child's psyche? Will this phenomenon encourage, or be lost amid the strains and stresses of inevitable adulthood? The answer is affirmative. Faeries provide gifts of healing and spirituality by inspiring the imagination. Prospects are infinite.

By encouraging the young to look beyond the material realm we open wide another domain. Adults have little involvement in this sphere. Children feel liberated and empowered-a necessity to mental health. Although unknowable for absolute certainty, beyond a shadow of a doubt, these facts inspire the soul. It's never too late for adults to nurture and contemplate this faerie lore and history, leaving the mind open and accepting of innate and unbelievable possibilities. Our child within never left us, leaving us all susceptible and equipped to discover the imaginable. Encouragement into faerie lore can open doors for the young, and the young

at heart. Try it! While quietly relaxing on a warm spring day, quietly, visually search the underbrush of a small garden. You'll see moths, butterflies, and bees amid a multitude of small insects you'd not noticed before. With wonder you'll soon recognize magnificent ethereal transparent wings, iridescent in their exquisiteness. Attached to this imitable beauty is an energy which carries these wings into flight. You have now established the revelation of the faerie realm. Two dragon flies play hide and seek, their colors glowing and sparkling, in the sunlight. You've now witnessed a faerie aura, and with certainty they'll make a lasting impression on your soul. Awaken the senses, as ahead a magnificent expedition awaits. Suddenly these legends have significance and are limited only by a resistance to believe. Derived from the faeries

atypical tales of antiquity and fantasy are forewarnings, never misjudge the 'little people.' Don't be fooled! These trusty little creatures can raise havoc if provoked. With innate intelligence and power to foresee the future, they are always one step ahead of us mortals. Rewards relating to them are enchanting, but the perils are colossal. Here the legends of old, fostered by age old philosophies, and misconceptions must have credence in our chronicles, and subsequently shall be addressed. Individuals in many European/Scandinavian countries unashamedly hold strong opinions and passionate belief in these ancient interpretations. Stay tuned, and soon we'll search more systematically in our future interpretations of faerie lore‌


Page 8 - Senior Beacon -May 2020


SPECIAL TO THE SENIOR BEACON FROM THE EDITORS OF ANDREWS MCMEEL Police Report Early on the morning of April 15, an unidentified driver smashed his yellow Mustang into a fence in unincorporated Marin County, California, KPIX reported. California Highway Patrol Officer Andrew Barclay later recounted what followed: The driver tried to back out of the fence, but failed to realize he was in drive and crashed through a home instead. The homeowner came out to investigate and, noting the driver's impaired state, removed the keys from the Mustang and returned inside to call police. The driver then discovered the keys inside the homeowner's Toyota and tried to make his getaway, Barclay said, but he shifted the

car into drive and barreled through the house once more, coming to rest alongside his Mustang. When the homeowner again tried to take the keys away, the driver allegedly hit him repeatedly, causing major injuries. CHP arrested the driver for suspicion of DUI involving drugs, battery and theft of a vehicle. [KPIX, 4/15/2020] Bright Ideas -- Many hospital workers are self-isolating to keep their families safe from COVID-19 exposure, but Corpus Christi, Texas, emergency room doctor Jason Barnes, 39, is taking a novel approach: He's moved into his kids' treehouse in his backyard. Barnes told the Caller

Times on April 20 that he's lived in the treehouse for about three weeks. If he needs something, he'll shout down to the kids or call the house. "(T)he Wi-Fi reaches the treehouse, so I have my laptop and my own little command center here," Barnes said. He uses a camping toilet with disposable bags, and he either showers at the hospital or "my oldest son will rig up a water hose. ... Luckily, my fence is pretty tall." As for when he can re-enter the house, Barnes said, "We're always looking at the CDC and Gov. Greg Abbott's decision, but the final determinator is the wife." [Caller Times, 4/20/2020] -- The Washington Examiner reported on April 21 that some

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The Entrepreneurial Spirit At the Peace N Peas Farm in Indian Trail, North Carolina, owners Francie and Mark Dunlap have launched a new career for their 8-year-old mini donkey, Mambo, and their other horses. For $50, Mambo, Eddie, Zeus or other animals will make a 10-minute guest appearance to liven up your next videoconference, the Charlotte Observer reported. You can even give the four-legged interloper the on-screen name of a regular attendee: For instance, Zeus might become Paul, the guy who asks too many questions. The Dunlaps also arrange for their animals to visit classrooms or happy hours. [Charlotte Observer, 4/19/2020] Reports of My Death Cancer patient Gladys Rodriguez Duarte, 50, was rushed to a clinic in Coronel Oviedo, Paraguay, on April 11, after her blood pressure shot up, according to the Paraguay National Police. Two hours later, Dr. Heriberto Vera declared her dead and shared the news with Duarte's family, but her daughter, Sandra, later told local media, "He assumed she was dead and ... they disconnected her and passed her off to the funeral home." The Daily Mail reported that funeral directors told investigators they were shocked to find she was breathing and moving around inside the body bag at the funeral home. Duarte was immediately transferred to another hospital for observation. [Daily Mail, 4/14/2020]

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people appear to be spending their coronavirus stimulus checks on another kind of stimulation. The adult live model site says it has seen a surge in traffic. "Since April 13, we've seen a 22% uptick in traffic to our livestreaming site, and tips to our models have increased by 40%," said Gunner Taylor, director of strategic development for FriendFinder Networks, of which is a part. Traffic from Washington state is up 204%, and it's up 83% in Illinois, but it's down in Washington, D.C., by 29%. [Washington Examiner, 4/21/2020]

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The Continuing Crisis Geauga County (Ohio) Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand told WJW his office was called to break up a large party of Amish late on April 18 in Huntsburg Township. "When we got there, there was a barn full of people and some of them ran," he said. One partier was arrested for disorderly conduct, two were charged with underage drinking and another was issued a summons


May 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 9


SPECIAL TO THE SENIOR BEACON FROM THE EDITORS OF ANDREWS MCMEEL for violating the state's stay-athome order, according to the sheriff. "We won't tolerate this," Hildenbrand said, "and we have to keep everybody safe." Amish people are reportedly continuing to gather in large groups, and the county health commissioner has sent a letter to Amish bishops about an increase in COVID-19 cases in that community. [WJW, 4/20/2020] NOT COVID-19 An unnamed 22-year-old Chinese woman has spent the last 14 years trying to discover the cause of her persistent cough, which started when she suffered a serious fit of coughing as a child, Oddity Central reported on April 22. Over the years, she has been misdiagnosed numerous times, but as she recently prepared for an unrelated surgery,

the mystery was solved. Dr. Wang Jiyong at Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine ordered CT scans that revealed a foreign object in her right lung that turned out to be a chicken bone fragment just over half an inch long. Doctors said she had probably inhaled it at 8 years old, when the coughing started. [Oddity Central, 4/22/2020] Ignorance Was Bliss Elena Manighetti and Ryan Osborne, formerly of Manchester, England, followed their dream and have been sailing around the world on their boat since 2017. They were en route from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean, where they planned to dock on a small island in mid-March, but were surprised to discover the island's borders were closed because of a


worldwide pandemic. "In February, we'd heard there was a virus in China, but ... we had figured by the time we got to the Caribbean in 25 days it would all be over," Elena told the BBC. The couple had told friends and family they didn't want to hear any bad news, but Elena is from the hard-hit Lombardy region of Italy and has since caught up with her family. "It's a very macabre picture at home, there are no more coffins, no more cemetery space. ... My family is thankfully safe ... but people we've known for years have died," Elena said. The couple was eventually able to dock in Saint Vincent, and they hope to head north before hurricane season starts in June. "We're sandwiched between the hurricane season and the virus," Elena said. [BBC, 4/21/2020]

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

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

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Numbers Game Doriana Fontanella contacted KDVR in Denver to report that she's been inundated with phone calls recently and she suspects she know why: Her mobile phone number is just one digit off Colorado's fax number for the Department of Labor and Employment, where people are trying to send applications for unemployment claims. "There's a real need out there, and I needed to let people know that I'm not the one they want," Fontanella told the station's Problem Solvers team. "I see on the news they're saying they can't get any response from unemployment, and I think that's because they're not getting the right number." [KDVR, 4/22/2020]

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Page 10 - Senior Beacon -May 2020



Columnist, author and lawyer


be appalled that Trump didn’t issue his stay-at-home protocols for the Wuhan virus back in January or early February. What do you think the media’s reaction would have been if Trump had started babbling about a viral pandemic in the middle of his impeachment trial? Let’s see. On Jan. 28, Trump released his long-awaited “Middle East Peace Plan,” which was immediately denounced by everyone except Jared Kushner and Sheldon Adelson. Still, the last 1 million Middle East Peace Plans led to tons of think pieces, analyses and arguments. Here’s how Trump’s “Peace Plan” was reported: “Tonight, impeached and indicted. Seems like a good

time for a distraction: Their plan for peace in the Middle East.” -Becky Anderson, CNN, Jan. 28, 2020 “The Trump administration has dubbed it the deal of the century. Critics see it as a PR stunt to distract from Trump's impeachment.” -- Michele Kelemen, NPR's "All Things Considered," Jan. 28, 2020 “Many analysts and supporters of a two-state solution to the [Middle East] conflict have called the promised rollout of the plan this week a distraction from Mr. Trump's impeachment trial.” -- The New York Times, Jan. 25, 2020 There are plenty of reasons to attack Trump for the virus sweeping our country, but the media are mad at him for not doing something that would have been absurd: shutting down the country when there wasn’t a single Wuhan flu death in the nation and the media had barely mentioned it. In fact, the first time most news consumers heard about the latest Chinese coronavirus was when liberals attacked Trump for shutting down travel from China at the end of January. The Times responded with an op-ed titled, “Who Says It’s Not Safe to Travel to China?” bemoaning “xenophobic rhetoric and the building of walls.” Sen. Bernie Sanders mocked the ban at a CNN town hall debate, saying, “I don't know you have to stop travel from China,” but Trump likes “to build walls ... to

separate us from other people.” Politico cited “a growing chorus of public health experts” who warned that the China travel ban could “stigmatiz[e] people of Asian descent.” The Nation magazine reported that the risk to Americans from the Wuhan coronavirus was “low” and accused Trump of playing to “well-worn, racist tropes that depict Chinese people as dirty and disease-carrying.” So go screw yourselves, media. On the other hand, Trump does deserve a lot of the blame for the Wuhan virus by keeping -- wait, checking my notes -- NONE of his promises on China. This, the media will never mention. During the campaign, Trump sure talked a good game. He said, “We can't continue to allow China to rape our country.” He vowed to put tariffs on their goods and bring manufacturing home. Then he got elected, and Jared Kushner, Gary Cohn and Trump’s other salt-of-the-earth advisers told him tariffs were a bad idea. So he imposed no tariffs for two long years and, today, almost all our pharmaceuticals, face masks and other crucial supplies are still being made in China. On the bright side, China fasttracked all of Ivanka’s trademarks! Trump has allowed hundreds of thousands of Chinese students to keep attending American universities. He can’t stop gushing about the

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H-1B workers. In 2018, Trump tweeted a warm welcome to H1-B visa holders, promising them “a path to citizenship” and heaping praise on these “talented and highly skilled people” taking American jobs. Norman Matloff, University of California, Davis, computer science professor recently wrote: “Here is something you won’t read elsewhere: Silicon Valley leads the SF Bay Area in COVID-19 cases -- leads by FAR .... “Silicon Valley, of course, is home to very large numbers of immigrant engineers from China, who have the means to make frequent trips to China to visit family, especially during Chinese New Year, when the virus started to spread like mad within China and started to do so in the U.S.” As we now know, the first two Wuhan flu deaths in America were in ... Silicon Valley. “Birth tourism” has also continued apace under Trump, with tens of thousands of pregnant Chinese ladies flying to America every year for the sole purpose of giving birth to an anchor baby, who will then be used to bring the whole family here. There’s one way to stop it, and Trump could do it tomorrow. Sign an executive order ending the anchor baby scam. Not say he’s going to sign it, as he does whenever he wants to gin up the base. Actually sign it. The Supreme Court has never ruled that the children born to illegal aliens or tourists are citizens, for the simple reason that that would be insane. The 14th amendment is about slavery, as the court has repeatedly held, not Chinese birth tourists or pregnant Mexicans. But he won’t do it. Ivanka needs her trademarks -- and Goldman might give Jared a job! Sorry about that Wuhan flu, America.


May 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 11

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Centura Health- St. Thomas More Hospital is pleased to welcome family and geriatric nurse practitioner Dawn Atkinson, NP, to St. Thomas More Physician Group - Family Medicine, 1338 Phay Ave. She specializes in providing comprehensive health care for the entire family, from pediatrics to internal medicine. Atkinson enjoys working together with patients to meet their health care goals. “I treat my patients like I want to be treated,” Atkinson explained. “I want to provide the best information possible to my patients so that we can meet their health care goals.” Atkinson earned his undergraduate degree in nursing from Marian College at Fond du Lac, WI; and her Master of Science degree in geriatric nursing from Concordia University in Mequon, WI. She earned her Certificate of Completion in family nursing following her Master of Science degree at Concordia University. For more information, visit St. Thomas More Physician Group – Family Medicine’s website.

Pyrography - Monday, May 4 - May 18, 9-11:30 am Handling & Mixing Watercolors Monday, May 4 - May 18, 9:3011:30 Understanding the Watercolor Process - Monday, May 4 - May 18,1-3 Watercolor Greeting Cards - Tuesday, May 5 - May 19 , 9:30-11:30 Gemstone Faceting - Tuesdays, May 5 - June 2 , 1-3:30 Painting Oils & Acrylics - Tuesdays, May 5 - 26, 9-11:30 Drawing Like the Masters - Tuesdays, May 5 - May 26, 1-3 Quilt Block Magic - Tuesdays, May 5 - May 19,1-3 Watercolor Flowers & Seasonal Plants - Wednesday, May 6 - May 27, 1-3 Plein Air - Thursdays, May 7 - May 28 9:30-11:30 Painting People in Watercolor Thursday, May 7 - May 21, 9:3011:30 Painting the Watercolor Masters Thursday, May 7 - May 21,1-3 Beginner's Delight Watercolor Friday, May 8 - May 29, 9:30-11:30





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Starting March 12th, the Senior Center will be a drop in location to fill out your census form online or via telephone. We will have volunteers to help assist you in the process MondayFriday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Stop in if you have any questions or would like assistance. April 1st is Census day.

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Page 12 - Senior Beacon -May 2020




reta Gerwig’s marvelous version of LITTLE WOMEN is the fifth feature film based on Louisa May Alcott’s timeless story written way back in 1868. I have loved the four pre-

vious movies, so maybe it’s Alcott’s appealing story that charms me no matter who writes, directs or stars in each film version. However, this time we are treated to perfect casting and perhaps the liveliest movie presentation of Alcott’s iconic tale about four sisters growing up during the Civil War era. Katharine Hepburn (1933), June Allyson (1949), Wynonna Ryder (1994), and Sarah Davenport (2018) have given excellent screen performances as Jo, the story’s main character. But none of them touched me as deeply as Saoirse Ronan in this new “Little Women,” written and directed by Gerwig. Perhaps the recent experience Ronan and Gerwig shared working together in

“Lady Bird” helped bring out even more levels of their extraordinary talents in this impressive offering. Speaking of talented cast members, the entire supportive ensemble deserves recognition. Laura Dern as Marmee, Frances Pugh as Amy, Emma Watson as Meg, Eliza Scanlen as Beth, Meryl Streep as Aunt March, and Timothée Chalamet as Laurie all stand out. In particular, Chalamet impressed me with the best ever interpretation of Laurie, who suffers from his unrequited love for the independent Jo, whose writing always seems to come first. His interpretation of this important character went straight to my heart.

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The March sisters on screen again. Greta Gerwig gives them a spin. “Little Women” – a tale well-told and led by Jo, the sister bold. Saoirse Ronan plays that key role with intellect and heart and soul. This version skips around in time, which ends up being quite sublime. A lovely film for families. Plus other viewers it should please. Remakes often fail movie fans. But this one might be safe from pans. Splendid production values make us feel like we have been transported back in time. Period costumes and sets plus atmospheric cinematography and background music are all first rate. But don’t expect linear storytelling here. Surprisingly, Gerwig’s version uses out-of-sequence flashbacks that actually heighten our interest. As expected, Gerwig’s remake emphasizes the importance of family, especially sisterhood, through the ups and downs of life. That’s why this review is dedicated to my dear sister, Ruella Anderson. I like to help women help themselves…Whatever we can do and do well we have the right to and I don’t think anyone will deny us. --- Louisa May Alcott (Released by Sony Pictures and rated “PG-13” by MPAA. Available now on DVD.)


May 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 13

FOR A HEALTHIER YOU Life After A Hospital Discharge THERE'S A GOOD chance that, sooner or later, your parent, or another aging loved close to you, one will require hospitalization, especially if they have chronic health problems. LISA M. PETSCHE Once their Medical social worker and freelance writer condition is stable, hospital staff will work with them and the family to formulate a discharge plan. When a patient makes a good recovery, planning may be simple and straightforward. In other situations, though, varying degrees of assessment and problem solving are required. A good discharge plan involves communication and collaboration among the patient, family members and healthcare providers. It addresses issues around medical management, activities of daily living (self-care and home management skills), mobility, safety and finances, as well as psychosocial needs. The goal is to determine the most

appropriate setting to meet the patient’s needs and facilitate a smooth transition. The hospital discharge planner usually a social worker - serves as the coordinator. An expert on community resources, he or she can assist with decision making and provide information and referral to community support services as needed. The planner may also arrange a discharge conference that includes key members of the health care team. Options Read on for an overview of typical settings to which a hospital patient may be discharged. Home Many people are able to return directly to their home, especially if they have good family support. Some may require specialized equipment and/or support services on a transitional or long-term basis. It’s important during the planning stage to be open and honest with your relative and the healthcare team

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about the type and amount of assistance you’re prepared to provide. If your relative is receptive to outside help, community or private pay agencies may be able to fill in any gaps. Prior to discharge, clarify your relative’s medication needs and ensure necessary prescriptions are provided. Obtain details about any home healthcare services being arranged. Also inquire about follow-up medical appointments and tests, including who is responsible for arranging them. Convalescent Care Some patients, especially if they live alone, need additional time to regain their strength before they can adequately manage at home. Selected retirement homes and nursing facilities have shortstay programs that, in addition to providing meals and housekeeping service, offer medical monitoring, treatment (such as surgical wound care), personal care and perhaps also some degree of physical therapy during this recuperation period.

Rehabilitation If your relative has been hospitalized due to a stroke, hip fracture, prolonged acute illness or other type of major health crisis, an inpatient rehabilitation program may be recommended. Reactivation may occur on-site or at an acute rehabilitation facility or skilled nursing home. The goal is to help patients regain their strength and endurance, through participation in various kinds of therapy. Long-Term Care Some patients do not make a good recovery and require a setting where 24-hour supervision or assistance is available. Even if they are able to perform self-care activities, they may have difficulty with one or more instrumental tasks that are necessary for independent living, such as medication management, meal preparation, doing laundry and housekeeping. Several levels of long-term care



Page 14 - Senior Beacon -May 2020


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Calling all 'Crisis Christians!' IN AN INCREASINGLY secularized world, organized religion and faith-related matters are no longer relevant for many. The more pressing matters are family, careers or jobs, social life and recreations - not necessarily in that order. These are all important both for our well-being and productivity. What about our relationship with God, our faith REV. EDMUNDO VALERA life? For the St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church most part, faith-related matters are relegated in the back-burner somewhere, at best an after-thought. There are a few life events that many still associate with their Christian faith such as baptisms, first communions, confirmations, weddings & funerals. I’m afraid these are done for sentimental reasons and not avenues to pursue a lifelong relationship with God - in the context of actively belonging to a church community. Across Christian denominations, we cannot deny the fact that fewer people practice their Christian faith. At any given Sunday Mass or Worship Service,

attendance is decreasing and demand for the sacraments are also in decline. Bishop Robert Barron, a Catholic prelate and a popular author and evangelist, often speak of the “rise of the nones.” These are the increasing number of mostly young people who may identify as spiritual but claim no religion of their own. He founded Word On Fire to draw back into the Church these“nones” using the various social media outlets to reach out to them. His basic premise hinges on the fact that our young people’s (millennials) striving for relevance, excellence and transcendence is a reaching out to God. As St. Augustine once said: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” Some of you readers might be old enough to remember an April 8, 1966 TIME cover and the accompanying cover story with a gut-punch title: “Is God Dead?” The article was written by John Elson & he featured the thoughts of the so-called “death-of-God theologians” such as Don Hamilton, Thomas Altizer, Paul van Buren and Gabriel Vahanian (all of whom are deceased!). They were not necessarily atheists but they grappled with the age-old question: “How can an omnipotent God exist in a world with so much misery and injustice?” They also muddled through

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the whole idea of “sustaining faith while living a mortal life.” It has been over a month now that we’ve been living under the dark spectre of this deadly worldwide pandemic caused by COVID 19. It radically affected and changed, not only our way of life but our faith life as well. The death toll has been staggering and continues to ravage and claim so many lives. I am the pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church here in Pueblo West and many of my parishioners have raised the inevitable question: “Is this a punishment from God?” When we bring “punishment” into the equation, there’s a certain admission of guilt involved. There’s a sense that we are not behaving as children of God should. However, to think negatively of God as knitting a virus to punish his errant children is not in keeping with our classical understanding of a good God. Still, none of us could fathom God’s mysterious ways. “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 55:8) When natural catastrophes happen such as earthquakes and hurricanes, we presume that these are “acts of God.” Viral evolution is also a natural phenomenon. So, when a deadly viral strain decimates a huge swath of human population, we are also quick to call it

“an act of God.” Personally, I don’t think this is good theodicy, that a good & omnipotent God would condone evil and suffering. But how do we make sense of our current grappling with this coronavirus pandemic? It is my humble opinion that many of us are “crisis Christians.” God is the farthest in our minds - until crisis or tragedy strikes. I’ve witnessed this first-hand during the unprovoked 9-11 terrorist attack in our country and so many people flocked to the church to pray on that fateful day. This sudden display of piety did not last. As soon as the horrible dust of that terrorist attack settled, people went back to their normal daily routines. For many, faith life was not part of that routine. Our current medical crisis, COVID 19, is a very different breed of natural catastrophe. It is novel & unknown, swift & deadly, and highly contagious. Since there is no cure yet, the mandated “social distancing” is meant to slow this pandemic’s contagion so that hospitals won’t get overwhelmed. For over a month now, we are not allowed to gather and worship in our churches. There are talks of lifting the “lockdown” and “distancing” by the end of April. For now, however, such talks are mere speculations. We live in very uncertain


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May 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 15



Prescription Drug Costs Raise Concerns CONCERNS OVER growing that prescription drug shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic may cause significant spikes in prescription drug costs for retirees, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) warns. “Some of the recent data, and email from the public suggests that we may be in for stiff jumps in some prescription drug prices,” says Mary Johnson, a Medicare and Social Security policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League. A new poll conducted by The Senior Citizens League, from January through March 20, 2020, when there was still a relatively low number of U.S. COVID-19 cases, indicates that 36 percent of survey participants report that they expected their total drug costs will grow by more than 10 percent this year. Of those, 19 percent thought their costs would grow by more than 20 percent, based on their best estimate of 2020 Medicare drug or health plan premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. “But those estimates did not anticipate COVID-19 - caused drug shortages for some of the most widely-prescribed medications, such as albuterol inhalers, or the insulin drug Lantus,” says Johnson. A study published in the Annuals of Internal Medicine in 2018 suggests that pharmaceutical companies raise prices of drugs that face shortage about 20 percent annually on average, but about 9 percent annually for medications in good supply. “There is nothing in Medicare Part D pricing system that protects older Americans from stiff price increases during the coronavirus crisis,” Johnson says. Johnson recently refilled a

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!! prescription for albuterol inhalers, a drug that is reported to be in short supply. Her drug plan’s online pharmacy posted an estimated copay of $81.00 each. Her small, privately- owned walk-in pharmacy was still was charging $46.99 each. “While I managed to save on this refill using our local pharmacy, it’s not clear whether I will be able to do that again for the next one,” Johnson notes. Johnson put together a list of steps that consumers can take if encountering significant prescription drug price increases: 1. Contact your doctor’s office and alert them to the price increase. Ask if they have emergency samples of your prescription that they can provide, or if they can give you the contact number of programs that can help you. 2. Ask your doctor if you have alternate drug choices to manage your condition. Ask your doctor if there are changes you can make in diet or exercise that could help reduce your reliance on the medication or help lower the quantity that you need to take. 3. Call your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and ask for free counseling from a Medicare counselor. You can find local contact info here: Many of these programs operate through local agencies on aging or senior services departments. Counselors can help you over the

◀ FROM HOSPITAL, PAGE 13 are available, depending on the type and degree of services required. Hospice/Palliative Care For patients in the end stage of a life-limiting illness, inpatient hospice or palliative care may be recommended. The focus is on maximizing comfort and quality of life. Patients receive medical care to alleviate pain and other distressing physical symptoms and interventions that address psychological

and spiritual concerns. This type of program is not limited to patients with a cancer diagnosis. People with advanced heart, lung or liver disease and neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease are among those who may benefit from specialized end-of-life care. Lisa M. Petsche is a medical social worker and a freelance writer specializing in boomer and senior health matters. She has personal experience with elder care.

phone from home. 4. Depending on your income, you may qualify for Medicare Extra Help, which can cover most or all of your prescription drug premium

and out-of-pocket costs. A SHIP counselor may also know of special programs in your state. 5. Double check the price quote that you received by checking the difference in price between several retail walk-in pharmacies and mail-in. Often, mail order can be less expensive than walk-in retail, but not always. If you have your


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Page 16 - Senior Beacon -May 2020



May 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 17


Edible Flowers A ROW OF bright flowers in a kitchen garden isn't just an ornamental gesture. Colorful blooms attract pollinators to the whole plot and increase the productivity of any vegetable garden. They also MARTY ROSS Freelance garden have a place journalist and at the table: in syndicated salads, soups, gardening columnist drinks and desserts. Nasturtiums are a classic, peppery-tasting flower. Eat the blooms or buds -- and toss a few leaves into a salad, too. This one is Tip-Top Rose, an All-America Selections winner. To grow them from seed, soak the seeds for a couple of hours before planting. Nasturtiums are a classic, peppery-tasting flower. Eat the blooms or buds -- and toss a few leaves into a salad, too. This one is Tip-Top Rose, an All-America Selections winner. To grow them from seed, soak the seeds for a couple of hours before planting. Edible flowers are no longer an exotic novelty. Sparkling nasturtiums, golden calendulas and mini violas "are riding the wave of increased interest in salads and microgreens, baking, and -- not least -- craft cocktails," says Hillary Alger, flower production manager at Johnny's Selected Seeds in Albion, Maine. Johnny's, a mail-order seed company with customers among both backyard gardeners and commercial market growers, has seen tremendous growth in interest in edible flowers recently, Alger says. Customers still love the old favorites, including tiny Gem marigolds, cornflowers, pansies and snapdragons, but more adventurous choices are gaining in popularity, Alger says. Instead of pinching off the flowers from the tips of mint and basil plants and tossing them on the compost heap, people are putting these blooms into salad mixes. Pea blossoms and wispy pea shoots are flavorful and elegant garnishes for cakes and other desserts. Cilantro flowers are coming to the table, too, adding spice to salads and Southwestern-style dishes. Johnny's has developed an edible flower guide (available on the company's website) to help gardeners and market growers appreciate the spicy, nutty, intense flavors of some unexpected flowers and herbs and to experiment well beyond the basics. Blue borage blooms, yellow mustard and arugula flowers, and peppery stock flowers have distinctive flavors and can "add whimsy

COLORFUL EATS. Nasturtiums, borage, marigolds and calendula flowers turn an ordinary salad into a colorful feast.

and beauty to an event," says Joy Longfellow, a flower production technician at Johnny's. "The range of colors and varieties in these crops gives so much room for creativity." Growing edible flowers is easy, even for novices. Many grow best from seed sown directly in a sunny spot in the garden in spring or early summer. Bachelor's buttons (cornflowers), sunflowers and marigolds will bloom all summer long, which gives you plenty of time to experiment with their colors, textures and flavors in recipes. Make room for these blooms in beds around the margins of a vegetable garden, in colorful sweeps between rows of beans and tomatoes, or in garden beds of their own near the kitchen door, so you can step outside to pick a few flowers -- for bouquets or for baking -- whenever you like. Many vegetable flowers are a bonus crop you may not have appreciated before. Instead of ripping out the last of the spring radishes when they start to turn pithy, let them come into bloom, and you'll discover that the flowers are a spicy and delicious accent for salads. Broccoli flowers, strawberry blooms and the wispy white sprays of flowers of bolted kale and collard plants are also edible -- and tasty. Squash blossoms, of course, are a classic salad garnish, and their bright yellow flowers can be stuffed with mild cheese and herbs for a popular appetizer. Bees appreciate these blooms in the garden, but the plants are prolific, so there will be plenty of flowers to harvest for the table, too. The best time to pick edible flowers is moments before you use them, when their colors and flavors are at their best. If you need to harvest flowers several hours to a day before using them in recipes, make a bouquet for the kitchen counter and

keep it out of direct sunlight. Lavender flowers, as well as the blooms of basil, chives, dill, mint and other herbs, hold up surprisingly well in a vase. Recipes for basil-flower mojitos, lemonade with borage blooms, and gazpacho decorated with calendula-petal garnish are a good start to your floral recipe repertoire, but don't stop there. You'll find inspiration for all kinds of edible flower-power salads, soups and desserts online. "Edible flowers are a wonderful way to elevate the look of any table," Longfellow says, "whether that means some nasturtiums tossed into a salad or an intricately decorated wedding cake." Of course, you don't need any particular excuse to experiment.

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Page 18 - Senior Beacon -May 2020


motivated by their concern for the safety and life of the faithful. Another burning question: Having witnessed how a pandemic can truly claim countless lives so violently and swiftly, would people begin to re-think their priorities in life? Would God loom larger now that our mortality is threatened? Would people consider the notion of after-life, a spiritual mode of existence in which our good deeds would be rewarded and our bad deeds punished? I find it providential that this corona virus came around during Lent, a season when our prayer life must be heightened. As it turned out, while we

times indeed. For a pastor such as myself, there are some nagging questions. Would the faithful come back to the Church? And if they don’t, is it because they are afraid that this virulent contagion is not yet safely contained? Since “faith practice” or “church going” was not deemed “essential” during this pandemic (when liquor & pot shops are business as usual), why would they even bother coming back to worship? Perhaps some people would argue that there’s always the option of live-streaming and online worship that we resorted to during this pandemic. In defense of our church leaders, their decision to close churches was


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are “socially distancing,” many of us find ourselves “getting cozy” with God. God’s ears must have been burning for the past month or so - because of incessant prayers coming from multitudes of believers. It’s a truism that when we are in crisis, we are brought down to our knees to pray. And isn’t it comforting to know that, even if we’ve turned away from God for so long, He is always there patiently awaiting our return. What about the atheists, those who publicly profess that they do not believe in God? I am willing to bet that they are also praying right now. An old saying goes: “There are no atheists in fox holes.” When one’s mortality is in danger, the instinct of invoking a “higher power” kicks in. This reminds me of the 17th century French philosopher Blaise Pascal’s “gambit” or “wager.” He argues that humans bet with their lives that God either exists or does not. He proposes that a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to obey/believe in God. In the end, if God does exist, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. During this time of crisis and uncertainty in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, when our churches are closed and devotions are not practiced publicly, fear and anxiety won’t serve us - but a strong & steady faith will. The namesake of our parish, St. Paul, reminds us to “have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil 4:6). We are now in the midst of the hopeful Season of Easter and we believe that our Risen Lord will “dispel wickedness, wash faults away, restore innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners” (Easter Proclamation). I am a Catholic priest and I am imploring all Catholics to come back home into our Church. I am also calling upon all Christians of good will to go back to your door of faith. We may practice and profess our faith differently - but we are all commanded to love God and neighbor. In the end, we are all members of GOD’s one big family and our Risen Lord continues to pray for us:“May they be one, Father, as you & I are one.” (John 17:21)

◀ FROM DRUG COSTS, PAGE 15 prescriptions set up for automatic mail order shipments, double check the current prices and make adjustments if you can lower that cost. Check for each separate drug. 6. If you feel the price increase isn’t justified, send an email to your Members of Congress! “This is an election year and the last thing your Members of Congress want to hear is that health insurers are blaming COVID-19 for their steep price increases,” says Johnson. There is a tool for checking whether there really is a shortage. Look up your prescription in the FDA’s drug shortage database. Safeguarding the health of Americans is of primary importance now. The Senior Citizens League is working for legislation that would help strengthen and boost Social Security and lower out-of-pocket Medicare costs. To learn more, visit ### With 1.2 million supporters, The Senior Citizens League is one of the nation’s largest nonpartisan seniors’ groups. Its mission is to promote and assist members and supporters, to educate and alert senior citizens about their rights and freedoms as U.S. Citizens, and to protect and defend the benefits senior citizens have earned and paid for. The Senior Citizens League is a proud affiliate of The Retired Enlisted Association. Visit for more information.


May 2020 - Senior Beacon - Page 19



2020 Projections Do Not Reflect COVID-19 THE SOCIAL SECURITY

Board of Trustees today released its annual report on the long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds. The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASI and DI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2035, the same as projected last year, with 79 percent of benefits payable at that time. The OASI Trust Fund is projected to become depleted in 2034, the same as last year’s estimate, with 76 percent of benefits payable at that time. The DI Trust Fund is estimated to become depleted in 2065, extended 13 years from last year’s estimate of 2052, with 92 percent of benefits still payable. In the 2020 Annual Report to Congress, the Trustees announced: The asset reserves of the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds increased by $2.5 billion in 2019 to a total of $2.897 trillion. The total annual cost of the program is projected to exceed total

annual income, for the first time since 1982, in 2021 and remain higher throughout the 75-year projection period. As a result, asset reserves are expected to decline during 2021. Social Security’s cost has exceeded its non-interest income since 2010. The year when the combined trust fund reserves are projected to become depleted, if Congress does not act before then, is 2035 – the same as last year’s projection. At that time, there would be sufficient income coming in to pay 79 percent of scheduled benefits. “The projections in this year’s report do not reflect the potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Social Security program. Given the uncertainty associated with these impacts, the Trustees believe it is not possible to adjust estimates accurately at this time,” said Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security. “The duration and severity of the pandemic will affect the estimates presented in this year’s report and the financial status of the program, particularly in the short term.”

Other highlights of the Trustees Report include: Total income, including interest, to the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds amounted to $1.062 trillion in 2019. ($944.5 billion from net payroll tax contributions, $36.5 billion from taxation of benefits, and $81 billion in interest) Total expenditures from the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds amounted to $1.059 trillion in 2019. Social Security paid benefits of $1.048 trillion in calendar year 2019. There were about 64 million beneficiaries at the end of the calendar year. The projected actuarial deficit over the 75-year long-range period is 3.21 percent of taxable payroll – higher than the 2.78 percent projected in last year’s report. During 2019, an estimated 178 million people had earnings covered by Social Security and paid payroll taxes. The cost of $6.4 billion to administer the Social Security program in

2019 was a very low 0.6 percent of total expenditures. The combined Trust Fund asset reserves earned interest at an effective annual rate of 2.8 percent in 2019. The Board of Trustees usually comprises six members. Four serve by virtue of their positions with the federal government: Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury and Managing Trustee; Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security; Alex M. Azar II, Secretary of Health and Human Services; and Eugene Scalia, Secretary of Labor. The two public trustee positions are currently vacant. View the 2020 Trustees Report at TR/2020/. View an infographic about the program’s long-term financial outlook at


Page 20 - Senior Beacon -May 2020 SOCIAL SECURITY & YOU Question: I just got a notice from Social Security that said my Supplemental Security Income (SSI) case is being reviewed. What does this mean? Answer: Social Security reviews every SSI case from time to time to make sure the individuals who are receiving payments should continue to get them. The review also determines whether individuals are receiving the correct amounts. You can learn more about SSI by visiting our website on the subject at Question: What is the difference between Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability? Answer: Social Security is responsible for running two major programs that provide benefits based on disability. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is based on prior earnings. SSDI is financed through the taxes you pay into the Social Security program. To be

eligible for an SSDI benefit, the worker must earn sufficient credits based on taxable work to be "insured" for Social Security purposes. SSDI benefits are payable to eligible blind or disabled workers, the widow(er)s of a disabled worker, or adults disabled since childhood. SSI disability payments are made based on financial need to adults or children who are disabled or blind, have limited income and resources, meet the living arrangement requirements, and are otherwise eligible. SSI is a program financed through general revenues. For more information, visit Question: How can I apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? Answer: If you are applying for SSI based on a disability, you can start the process by going online to complete the disability report at www.socialsecurity. gov/disabilityssi/ssi.html. Then you can call us toll free at 1-800-772-1213

(TTY 1-800-325-0778) to schedule an appointment with a Social Security representative. When you meet with a representative, bring the items listed in our online publication, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), available at Even if you do not have all of the things listed, apply anyway. The Social Security staff in your local office can provide guidance to help you get the information you need.

Answer:A PASS helps Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability beneficiaries return to work. It is a written plan of action for getting a particular kind of job or starting a business. In it, you identify: • The job or business (this is your work goal); • The steps you will take and the things you will need in order to achieve your work goal (for example: education or training, transportation, child care, or assistive technology); • The money you will use to pay for these things (this may be any income (other than SSI benefits) or assets, such as Social Security benefits, wages from a current job, or savings); and • A timetable for achieving your goal. For more information, visit our publication on the subject at

Question: I was turned down for Supplemental Security Income (SSI); can I appeal the decision? Answer: You can appeal a decision made on your SSI claim. Learn more about appealing a decision, including how to submit your appeal online, at www. html.

Question: I am trying to save up for a truck. I have $1,200 in the bank now and need a little more. How much cash can I have in the bank without affecting my Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility? Answer: The resource limit is $2,000. Unless you have other valuable resources, this means you could save up to $2,000 before you would become ineligible for SSI. We generally do not count your primary car, the home you live in or certain amounts set aside for burial expenses as resources. In some cases, if the vehicle you’re saving for is part of a plan to return to work, you can have higher resources — but Social Security would need to approve your plan in order to exclude those resources. For more information, you can visit our webpage about SSI at

Question: What is a Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS)?

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



victim to the coronavirus that has swept across the globe: the decades-old amity that tied Canada to the United States in cross-border marriages and commercial relationships, that deepened during World War II, that took the form of three landmark 20th-century freetrade agreements, and that burst into full flower when Canada welcomed American jetliners and their passengers to Newfoundland after the 2001 terrorist attacks. These new tensions -- flaring now that fear of COVID-19 has gone viral -- have swept away the welcome mat that Americans for generations have crossed to enter Canada for vacations, family visits and business. They are a fresh example of the diminishment of American influence in the first quarter of the 21st century. On the North American continent, the result is an unexpected and perhaps unprecedented case of social distancing. True to the maxim of Canada’s Inuit, that all threats come from the south, Andre Picard, a columnist in The Globe and Mail newspaper, riffed off the old adage that when the United States sneezes, Canada catches a cold. “What happens when the U.S. coughs? When it coughs that dry hacking coronavirus cough?” he asked. “We’re about to find out.” This spring, with neighboring New York and Washington considered hotbeds of the menacing virus and with Americans stocking up on firearms, the United States is at risk of losing its cultural and emotional most-favored-nation status here. “There's no precedent for

this,” said Stephane Paquin, a speher country was a threat to the John F. Kennedy, who considered cialist in Canadian international more powerful nation south of the his counterpart, Prime Minister relations at the Montreal campus border. John Diefenbaker, an “S.O.B.," of the National School of Public “I would just say to all of Cananonetheless is remembered espeAdministration (ENAP). “And of da’s American friends ... Seriously?” cially fondly in Montreal -- where a course there is the Trump factor Though deep ties of anti-Ameridowntown street is called “Avenue that doesn’t make things better." canism swirl along with deep perdu President-Kennedy” -- for delivPresident Donald J. Trump’s sonal ties, the two countries have ering, in a 1961 speech in Ottawa, a swiftly changing views of the longstanding links. line that Canadians revere: “Geogseriousness of the virus and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who raphy has made us neighbors. Hisnation’s response to the COVID-19 vacationed (and likely contracted tory has made us friends.” George threat have exacerbated concerns in polio) at Campobello, New BrunW. Bush took it one step further, Canada. swick, traveled to Windsor, Ontar- calling the two countries “family.” “Americans have been behind io, in 1937. There he assured Prime “These two countries have always the curve and haven’t done a lot of Minister William Lyon Mackenzie been close," said former Gov. Mitesting,” said Christopher Kirkey, King that the U.S., which had chael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts, director of the Center for the Study mounted repeated invasions of its a state that in 2018 exported $3 of Canada at the State University of neighbor, would defend Canada billion in goods to Canada, more New York College at Plattsburgh. from foreign incursions. than a tenth of its total exports. “So it is natural that people think These ties have physical form in “They’ve got a pretty impressive Americans pose a threat. There is a the bridges that connect the two prime minister. How are we looklot of fear about this.” countries, particularly the poigning these days?” Then came the military threat: antly named Peace Bridge that conCanada -- which University of Trump’s trial balloon about posting nects Buffalo with Fort Erie, OnToronto historian Robert Bothwell American soldiers at the Canadian tario, and in the canals, locks and once described as oscillating “on border. dredged waterways of the 2,300the American horizon somewhere The response from Ottawa was mile St. Lawrence Seaway that between an anomaly and a conunswift and angry. “We don’t think extends from the Atlantic Ocean to drum” -- was bewildered when this is the right way to treat a trust- Lake Superior and was dedicated Trump attempted to cut off supplies ed friend and military ally,” said jointly by Queen Elizabeth II and of the N95 masks, an impulse from Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia President Dwight D. Eisenhower in which the White House finally Freeland. 1959. backed away. To be sure, there have been squalls in the two countries' relationships before. Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper once noted that an American invasion of Canada during the War of 1812 “made Canada possible.” Canadians looked askance as American involvement in Apartment Homes for 55+! Now is a great time to move-in! Vietnam deepened and were horrified TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR STRONGER TOGETHER MOVE-IN SPECIAL AND SAVE UP TO when President Lyndon B. Johnson, meeting with Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson *New INDEPENDENT LIVING Residents Only. Must move-in prior to 6/1/2020; cannot combine with other offers. at Camp David in 1965, grabbed the We are prepared to prevent communicable diseases (including Covid-19). Nobel Peace Prize winner and shook • Staff available 24/7 Bundled Rent Includes: him while remon• Staff informed and prepared with most up-to-date information • All utilities (except phone) strating that the • Apartment homes disinfected and ready for move-in • Two meals a day Canadians' critique • Scheduled transportation • Environmental cleaning specialists on-site daily of American war policies was unwel• Weekly housekeeping • Physician and therapist visits come. • Basic cable • Caring neighbors look out for one another When, two years and more! • Continuum of care campus ago, Trump invoked ”national security” to defend Call Alex Today for More Information! 719.545.5911 his decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Freeland, then Canada’s 1 1 1 1 B o n f o r t e B l v d . , P u e b l o , C O 8 1 0 0 1 I w w w.V i l l a P u e b l o . c o m foreign minister, mocked the notion


Page 22 - Senior Beacon -May 2020


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

Know Your Rights With Fraud Protection What are my Medicare rights? No matter how you get your Medicare, you have certain rights and protections. All people with Medicare have the right to: Be treated with dignity and respect at all times Be protected from discrimination Have personal and health information kept private Get information in a format and language they understand from Medicare, health care providers, Medicare plans, and Medicare contractors Have questions about Medicare answered Have access to doctors, other health care providers, specialists, and hospitals for medically necessary services Learn about their treatment choices in clear language that they can understand, and participate in treatment decisions Get Medicare-covered services in an emergency Get a decision about health care payment, coverage of services, or prescription drug coverage Request a review (appeal) of certain decisions about health care payment, coverage of services, or prescription drug coverage File complaints (sometimes called “grievances”), including complaints about the quality of their care What are my rights if my plan stops participating in Medicare? Medicare health and prescription drug plans can decide not to participate in Medicare for the coming year. In these cases, your coverage under the plan will end after December 31. Your plan will send you a letter explaining your options. If this happens: You can choose another plan between October 15–December 7. Your coverage will begin January 1. You’ll also have a special right to join another Medicare plan until February 29, 2020. You may have the right to buy certain Medigap policies within 63 days after your plan coverage ends.

What’s an appeal? An appeal is the action you can take if you disagree with a coverage or payment decision by Medicare or your Medicare plan. For example, you can appeal if Medicare or your plan denies: A request for a health care service, supply, item, or prescription drug that you think should be covered by Medicare. A request for payment of a health care service, supply, item, or prescription drug you already got. A request to change the amount you must pay for a health care service, supply, item, or prescription drug. You can also appeal: If Medicare or your plan stops providing or paying for all or part of a health care service, supply, item, or prescription drug you think you still need. An at-risk determination made under a drug management program that limits access to coverage for

frequently abused drugs, like opioids and benzodiazepines. If you decide to file an appeal, you can ask your doctor, supplier, or other health care provider for any information that may help your case. This will make your appeal stronger. Keep a copy of everything related to your appeal, including what you send to Medicare or your plan. How do I file an appeal? How you file an appeal depends on the type of Medicare coverage you have: If you have Original Medicare Get the “Medicare Summary Notice” (MSN) that shows the item or service you’re appealing. See page 52 for more information about MSNs. Circle the item(s) on the MSN you disagree with. Write an explanation of why you disagree with the decision. You can write on the MSN or on a separate piece of paper and attach it to the MSN. Include your name, phone number, and Medicare Number on the MSN. Keep a copy for your records.

Send the MSN, or a copy, to the company that handles bills for Medicare (Medicare Administrative Contractor or MAC) listed on the MSN. You can include any other additional information you have about your appeal. Or, you can use CMS Form 20027. To view or print this form, visit cms20027.pdf, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to have a copy mailed to you.

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




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

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