National Council On Aging
Aging Organizations Brace for Federal Budget Battles
he election is over, and all eyes are turning to Washington and the federal budget deficit. In the same way that a struggling senior has to choose between paying for food or medicine, Congress and the Administration must make major decisions about where to spend, where to cut public dollars, and what to do about taxes.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) says if Congress can’t come up with a serious, bipartisan plan to reduce the federal deficit by the end of the year, the nation will face drastic, automatic, acrossthe-board spending cuts starting January 2, 2013. Sequester would affect millions of vulnerable seniors across the nation with automatic cuts to the Older American Act, several tax issues, and an "extenders" package of expiring health provisions. Social Security and Medicaid are exempt from cuts, but Medicare providers would see a 2 percent cut in reimbursement rates. This could mean less physicians and health care providers will
treat new or existing Medicare patients.
What's at Stake for Older Adults?
The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) estimates that a sequester would mean: - 17 million fewer congregate and home-delivered meals for hungry seniors. - 1.9 million fewer senior transportation rides to medical appointments, grocery shopping, and other needs. - 1.5 million fewer people receiving personal care services such as in-home help with bathing and dressing. - 290,000 senior households losing heat from a $285 million cut in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. - 6,400 fewer unemployed low-income older adults getting hired and paid because of cuts to the Senior Community Service Employment Program. The LCAO is gearing up for the debate. LCAO is advocating that Congress work to "reduce the deficit over time through a balanced approach that includes budget savings from increases in revenue and thoughtful, targeted reductions in spending when and where necessary, without increasing poverty or income inequality."
December 2012 This Issue
page 3 - Aging Organizations Brace for Federal Budget Battles page 5 - Opinion: Working With President Obama for Seniors
page 28 - this ‘n that - Anne Vargas
page 32 - Seniors 4 Travel Robert Boyd & Carolyn Prusa
page 6 - Mary Liveratti to Retire
page 16 - Medicare Age is Still 65
page 11 - CMS: Picking the Right
page 18 - Caregivers Honored
page 12 - Eldercare: Caregiving for Elders is an Epidemic! Dr. Lawrence J. Weiss, Ph.D. Center for Healthy Aging
page 14 - VA Aid and Attendance page 17 -RSVP Celebrates Members page 20 - Earth Without Art is “Eh” page 33 - Pointy Thing & the Ball
page 22 - Eydie Scher - Excerpts page 24 - Eclectic Observer
page 8 - Dr. Marion: Caregiving Hospital for You
page 21 - Ophthalmology: Dr. Michael Fischer, M.D.
Make Sweeping Assumptions Bradley B. Anderson
page 26 - Biggest Little City page 27 - Calender
page 27 - Crossword
page 7 - Living Trusts: Don’t
Senior Spectrum Newspaper P.O. Box 7124 • Reno, NV 89510 (775) 348-0717 e-mai l : S eni orspectrumnv@aol . com S eni orspectrumnewspaper. com Publishers: Chris & Connie McMullen
Senior Spectrum is a monthly publication dedicated to inform, serve, and entertain. Publication of advertising contained does not constitute endorsement. Signed columns are the opinion of the writers, and not necessarily the opinion of the publishers. Copyrighted publication. All rights reserved.
December • 2012 • 3
4 • 2012 • December
Working With President Obama for Nevada’s Seniors
U.S. Senator Harry Reid
In 2008, Nevada’s economy was brought to its knees by the Sen. Harry Reid financial collapse. Since that time, I have worked with President Obama to make sure Nevada’s seniors have the oppor tunities they need to thrive and provide for their families.
We have come a long way in four years, but work remains to realize President Obama’s goal of creating an economy that’s built to last in Nevada and for the country. One thing remains clear we must keep healthcare costs low for Nevada seniors and give small business es proper support to expand. I worked with President Obama to pass the Affordable Care Act, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for those very reasons. The Affordable Care Act improves coverage for insured Nevadans, and will bar insurance com panies from discrimi nating against early retirees with preexist
ing conditions. Nevada seniors on Medicare have already saved more than $20 million on prescription medica tions. The ACA has also given seniors access to recommended preven tative care with no cost sharing, and provides small businesses with tax credits to make health insurance more affordable.
Nevada’s communities have been strengthened since the Recovery Act’s passage in 2009. Approximately $38 mil lion was directed to Nevada law enforce ment to strengthen our justice system and to keep our communities safe. More than $500 million helped to keep teachers in Nevada’s classrooms. And nearly $300 million went towards road, airport, and transit projects. These job creating measures ensure that seniors and their fami lies are able to enjoy the best quality of commu nity life possible. Nevada’s brightest days are ahead, and I will continue to work with President Obama to ensure Nevada seniors have opportunities to thrive.
December • 2012 • 5
Liveratti to Retire 20 Years of Service
Are you, or someone you love, suffering from depression? We’re here to help with personalized individual, group and family therapy for aadults dults aages ges 50 an and d oover. ver. Th Thee S Senior enior Brid Bridges dges Pr ogr g am ccombines ombines expertise experti p se in p ps ychiatric t Program psychiatric treatment tr eatment with the the medical medical resources resources of Northern N orthern Nevada Nevada Medical Medical Center. Center. Don’t suffer alone. Call us at 356-4071 for a free, confidential consultation.
www.NNMC.com/seniorbridges www .NNMC.c C om//seniorbridges Physicians ar are re independent practitione practitioners ers who ar are re not employees or agents of Northe Northern ern Nevada Medical Center b liable for actions or tr re eatments pr rovided o byy physicians. Center.r. The hospital shall not be treatments provided
6 • 2012 • December
Aging and Disability Services Division Administrator Mary Liveratti announced she is retiring January 11, 2013. Liveratti, 59, has worked for the state of Nevada 20years. In making the announcement during a Commission of Aging meeting in November, Liveratti said she plans to continue working as an advocate for senior issues and for people with disabilities, and views her retirement as a new opportunity. Liveratti began working for ADSD in February 1980. She was named acting administrator in November 1999, and held the position until January 2003 when she
was appointed Deputy Director for the Department of Health and Human Services, a position she held for nine years. Liveratti was renamed ADSD Administrator in April 2012. Liveratti was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for Dedication, Leadership and Advocacy on behalf of Older Nevadans at the COA meeting.
Living Trusts: Don't Make Sweeping Assumptions
Brought to you by Bradley B. Anderson Anderson, Dorn, & Rader, Ltd.
iving trusts are very valuable estate planning instruments. One of the primary reasons why living trusts are created is to enable probate avoidance. Probate is a legal process that your estate is subjected to if you don't take steps to avoid it. When you use a last Will to state your final wishes your family will have to wait until the probate process runs its course before they will receive their inheritances. Aside from the time involved probate can also be expensive. Plus, it opens the
The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys www.probatebusters.com • blog.wealth-counselors.com
door for interested parties who may want to challenge your estate. When you consider the above you can see why some people decide to use living trusts. Distributions of resources from the trust are not subject to probate. You may hear about living trusts and jump to some conclusions. It may seem as though you are divesting yourself of personal ownership of the assets. This can lead you to the belief that monies that you conveyed into the trust are protected
from creditors and claimants. In fact, with a revocable living trust you are retaining incidents of ownership because you still control the funds. For this reason the resources in the trust are not protected. Of course there are other legal instruments that can be utilized to provide asset protection. If you would like to explore your options in this regard don't hesitate to pick up the phone to set up a consultation with a good Reno trust attorney who has a comprehensive understanding of
advanced estate planning techniques. The Law Firm of ANDERSON, DORN & RADER, LTD is devoted exclusively to estate planning. We are members of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys and offer guidance and advice to our clients in every area of estate planning. For more information or attend an upcoming seminar, please contact us at (775) 823-9455 or visit us online at www.probatebusters.com.
December • 2012 • 7
Ask Dr. Marion
Dr. Marion Somers. Ph.D.
Caregiving Your Aging Parent
My father is 84 and doing very well, but I just don’t know where to start as a caregiver. If you had only one story to tell about your experiences with the elderly, what would it be?
Dr. Marion Somers
8 • 2012 • December
hanks for asking, Frieda. It’s too difficult to pick out just one story, so I’ll tell the first one that comes to mind. As a professional Geriatric Care
Frieda, 46, California
Manager for the last three decades, I have come across many unique situations that you just can’t make up. One particular circumstance involved an elderly woman I’ll call Susanna. She came into my life 16 years ago as a frail but independent 74-yearold woman who needed a Geriatric Care Manager to help her maintain her quality of life. Sadly, she didn’t have any other relatives who could serve in that role. We quickly hit it off, and after she got to know me well and trust was established, she revealed some charming,
intimate stories of her life. Susanna was depressed and feeling adrift because Norma, her friend of 22-years, had died recently. Susanna told me how their friendship had begun with a strange peculiarity. Norma had suffered with the physical anomaly of having feet that were an entire size different. When she was a child, Norma’s mother would buy her shoes in the larger size, and then stuff the smaller foot's shoe with newspaper or cloth. Norma was acutely aware of this situation, especially in the gym or in swim class. She went on to have an ordinary professional life and a successful (Dr. Marion page 10)
December • 2012 • 9
Dr. Marion / page 8
career, but when she wanted to buy shoes, she had to buy two pairs, one size eight and one size 9, so that she could be comfortable. Finally, one day Norma realized that there might be some other woman in the world who had the same problem, but on opposite feet. So she put an ad in the local newspaper, more as a lark than anything else. Susanna was shocked when she saw the ad, and she quickly responded. They met days
later, and a fast friendship was formed. It turns out they had similar interests, like going to the theater and the movies, especially to see comedies. Susanna and Norma even became traveling companions. They were also both single and labeled “spinsters.” And they were each proud that they had enjoyed successful professional lives in place of a family life. Most importantly, what had been cause for embarrassment was now a source of great fun. Shopping for shoes
became a thrilling activity. They’d hunt everywhere for two pairs of shoes that they both liked and could buy in the two correct sizes. Then they’d each take home the shoes that were right for them. Susanna said it was like gambling because they were beating the odds every time they could find and agree on the right two pairs of the same style shoe. They quickly became the family that neither of them had ever enjoyed. Susanna and Norma’s
warm and supportive friendship came about in a strange way, didn’t it? One never knows how having something in common with someone could lead to life’s great rewards. What might be your sore point could be a way to relate to someone else, so don’t be afraid to open yourself up to meeting new people. Even if you feel alone, there could be someone out there with an anomaly that fits you perfectly. Visit www.DrMarion.com for more on caregiving.
For more information, call 1.775.858.1900 or visit www.gentiva.com
10 • 2012 • December
Picking the Right Hospital for You By David Sayen
f you’re having a David Sayen medical emergency, the best thing you can do is get to the nearest hospital. But if you need non-emergency treatment, and you have time to plan, how do you find a hospital that best fits your needs? A good place to start is the Medicare website, www.Medicare.gov. There you’ll find an easy-to-use tool that has quality-ofcare and patient- satisfaction information on more than 4,000 hospitals around the country that participate in Medicare and Medicaid. The tool is called Hospital Compare. We have a similar, user-friendly tool – Nursing Home Compare – to find skilled nursing homes. More than 17,000 skilled nursing facilities in the United States are listed. We recently redesigned and added more information to both tools. Hospital Compare and Nursing Home Compare have two purposes. One is to help people make good decisions about where they get health care. By making quality-of-care information easily accessible to the public, we also hope to encourage hospitals and skilled nursing homes to improve their performance. You don’t have to be enrolled in Medicare to use Hospital Compare or Nursing Home Compare –
anyone can access them. Both tools give you a good snapshot of the overall quality of care at various local hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. Hospital Compare shows, for example, how often and how quickly hospitals give recommended treatments for heart attack, heart failure,
pneumonia, and children’s asthma. It also shows the percentage of patients who developed serious conditions such as bloodstream infections and bed sores while in the hospital. Such conditions are often preventable, if the hospital follows best practices. To find Hospital Compare
and Nursing Home Compare, go to www.Medicare.gov and scroll to the bottom of the page, under “Resource Locator.” We also have compare tools for home health agencies and dialysis centers. If you don’t have a computer, you can call us, toll free, at 1-800-MEDICARE.
December • 2012 • 11
Adding Life to Years
Eldercare: Caregiving for Elders is an Epidemic! Dr. Larry Weiss Center for Healthy Aging
This past month, I had the pleasure of Larry Weiss attending a special recognition luncheon for “Caregivers” in Northern Nevada. It was put on by the Caregiver Coalition, an organization that I was one of the founders of. The organization is dedicated to providing information, education, advocacy and recognition to both volunteer and paid caregivers in our community. What an incredible event, filled with powerful stories of people who go way beyond the call of duty to provide care to people, young and old, who need
12 • 2012 • December
help with a variety of daily activities of living – dressing, eating, transferring, medications, transportation, personal care, social support, etc. These “givers” do not see or recognize the tremendous impact that their service has on their care receiver, the healthcare system and our community in general. In fact, most of them do not even recognize that they are a caregiver…They are just providing mom or dad what they need. In my articles in the Senior Spectrum back in December, 2009 and March, 2011, I wrote about eldercare. In my 2009 article, I
stated that it is time to recognize the impact that eldercare has on ourselves, our employers, and our community. More than twelve years ago it was estimated that in 2000, 13 percent of residents in Nevada and 16 percent of adults nationally said they provided regular care or assistance to a family member or friend 60 or older who had a long-term illness or disability. Then in 2006, data showed that unpaid caregivers; like family, friends, and neighbors, contributed an average of 1,080 hours a year or about 21-hours a week in caring for adults with daily-living limitations.
That equated to an estimated economic value of $350 billion. Estimates today state that the aging population will double by 2020. Given these astonishing statistics think about where our healthcare system would be if the informal caregivers went on strike? Unfortunately, not much has changed since 2009 except there are more of us in a caregiving role, and the recognition of the caregiver needs have become even more crucial. You may ask, what impact does caregiving have on caregivers and employers? In my 2011, I conducted eldercare in the
workplace surveys with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Association and Washoe County employees. The findings from the Washoe County study of approximately 2500 employees generated 168 employee responses; about 6.7 percent or one-half to one-third of the national average of 15 – 25 percent who are employed, and have caregiving responsibilities. Caregivers spent an average of 260 working hours per year on caregiving. Based on their average salaries and time spent on the job dealing with elder caregiving, the employer’s cost was approximately $1 million per year in lost time and productivity at work. There is still additional expense in over use of sick time, absenteeism, tardiness, leaving work early, and ter-
mination. Based on our Center for Healthy Aging study, Washoe County workers who participated in the survey and revealed that they provided elder caregiving cost the county between $6,000 and $8,000 per year per employee in lost time and productivity at work. Given these results, wouldn’t you think that the county would sit up and take notice? Well the findings were presented to the Washoe County Commissioners and unfortunately they took no action. In some defense, at the time, the commissioners were battling financial issues and could not think about spending tax dollars on a “new” program, even though the return on investment would be worth it and cost the tax payer significantly less. What the caregiver wants
is simple information, education, and referral sources. This is not unique to government employers. National research indicates it crosscuts all businesses, large or small, public and private. What I wrote about in 2011 is even more valid today. We need to recognize the growing demands of caregiving, especially in the workplace. Most employers and employees do not recognize the needs of caregivers. They both underestimate the demands and/or deny the negative impact of family/informal caregiving of elders. As employers, employees, managers, workers, and citizens, we need to stand up and respond in an efficient and effective way. What can we do? Recognize caregiving and the demands associated with it. Ask for help from
your employer or suggest to your caregiver that they ask. Eldercare is just as valid as child care. If you are an employer, please contact the Center for Healthy Aging. We can survey your employees and provide valuable information as to how they can be more effective caregivers and save employer resources. So I am asking you to act. Let’s stand up and recognize that eldercare impacts all of us. We need to acknowledge it and add life to years for those that need it and those that provide it. Lawrence J. Weiss, Ph.D. is CEO of the Center for Healthy Aging. Dr. Weiss welcomes your comments on this column. Write to him at email@example.com or c/o Center for Healthy Aging, 11 Fillmore Way, Reno, NV 89519.
December • 2012 • 13
Aging Veterans and Spouses May Qualify for VA Pension Benefit
by Connie McMullen
eterans who served active duty in periods of wartime may qualify for the Veterans Aid and Attendance (A&A) Pension, a benefit that assists veterans and surviving spouses remain independent during retirement years.
don’t want to go to a state funded nursing home or other facility,” this is a program that you may qualify for. “This is a disability benefit,” he said. “You can qualify for up to $2,000 a month, tax free, as an income as long as you are disabled.”
John F. Kenneally, an insurance advisor with Veterans Financial, told 32 veterans and surviving spouses who were attending a workshop at Lakeside Manor in Reno, that the A&A benefit is tax free and will be provided to those eligible for the remainder of their life. “If you’ve worked your whole life and
The A&A Pension can provide up to $1,704 per month to a veteran, $1,094 per month to a surviving spouse, or $2,019 per month to a couple. Veterans with a disabled or ill spouse who’s medical expenses could deplete their combined monthly income or savings, can file for the benefit, earn-
14 • 2012 • December
John F. Kenneally, an insurance advisor, answers veterans questions about the Aid and Attendance Benefit at a Lakeside Manor, Reno, workshop.
ing up to $1,338 per month. A&A is a significant benefit for people living on a fixed
income. For those who may be eligible, the pension benefit is the difference between
an applicants “countable” income and the annual pension limit set by Congress. The VA will generally pay this difference in 12 equal monthly payments. Veterans who are eligible and are waiting 3-6 months for approval will receive their benefit dating back to first application. “Veterans who pay $1,600 in rent and have $3,000 in expenses may qualify for a partial benefit,” Kenneally said. Assets looked at include Social Security, pensions, investments, dividends, rental property, etc. Expenses can include skilled nursing expenses, home health, assisted living, and adult day care. “If you earn $80,000 typically your not eligible.” To qualify for the program
veterans must be 65 years and older. A doctor must certify that the applicant needs assistance with one or more activities of daily living (eating, bathing, dress, etc.), is legally blind, or suffering with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The veterans income must also not exceed medical expenses. “It is a program that can aid low-income veterans enabling them to pay living expenses to live in the community,” said Lakeside Manor Executive Director Ashley Ruppert. “Most people are not aware of the program that can help them avoid government supported nursing home care.” To qualify for A&A benefit a veteran must meet four eligibility criteria.
1. Military Service of Veteran – The veteran must have served during specific wartime and have been Honorably Discharged, plus 90 days of active duty, one day during wartime. The dates are critical; veterans will not qualify if their service dates were in between. The wartime periods are: WWII, Dec. 7, 1941 – Dec. 31, 1946; Korea, June 27, 1950 – Jan. 31, 1955; Vietnam, Feb. 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975 for veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam, otherwise Aug. 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975. 2. Health of the Claimant – Doctor’s certification that the applicant needs regular assistance with one or more ADLs, be legally blind, suffer with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or other need assis-
tance to be in a protected environment, including skilled nursing facility and assisted living. 3. Family Income vs. Medical Expenses – If medical expenses exceed income, applicant qualifies. Veterans must be receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. 4. Family Assists – OK to reposition, no look back period. To learn more about eligibility, veterans and their surviving spouse can contact the Nevada Office of Veterans Services, 5460 Reno Corporate Dr., Suite 131 Reno, NV 89511. Tele: (775) 688-1653 or (866) 630-8387, FAX: (775) 688-1656.
Get a flu shot, not the flu. UPCOMING SCHEDULE Tuesday, December 4 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Reno Town Mall on S. Virginia St.
Thursday, December 6 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Reno Town Mall on S. Virginia St.
Tuesday, December 11 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Reno Town Mall on S. Virginia St.
FLU SHOTS – No out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries with Part B, members of Senior Care Plus, members of Hometown Health fully insured HMO and PPO plans and State of Nevada PEBP-PPO members. Please bring your insurance card. All others: cost is $28. Call 775-982-5433 for information on pediatric flu shots. PNEUMONIA SHOTS – For those meeting CDC requirements, there are no out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries with Part B and members of Senior Care Plus. All others: cost is $60. For details and a complete flu shot schedule through December 2012, visit renown.org/flu.
SKILL. EXPERTISE. TECHNOLOGY.
December • 2012 • 15
Social Security Administration
Rita Meier Public Affairs Specialist
The Medicare Age is Still 65
f you’re in your sixties, you probably know that the age to receive full retirement
benefits has changed. But it’s important to remember that the age to begin receiving
Medicare has not — it is still 65. Even if you have decided to wait until after you are age 65 to apply for retirement Patty Duke and husband Mike demonstrate Medicare Photo-SSA online. benefits, most people should start getting Medicare cover- and submit your online age at age 65. Medicare application. If you would like to begin your Medicare coverage when you first become eligible, we suggest that you apply within three months of reaching age 65. You can do it online in as little as 10 minutes at www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly. At the website, you’ll find more than just the online Medicare application. You’ll also find information about Medicare, and have the opportunity to watch some short videos about applying for Medicare online. One is a family reunion for the cast of The Patty Duke Show. In another, Patty Duke and George Takei go boldly where you should be going — online. Why go online to apply for Medicare? Because it’s fast, easy, and secure. You don’t need an appointment and you can avoid waiting in traffic or in line. As long as you have ten minutes to spare, you have time to complete
16 • 2012 • December
People who started receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits before age 65 do not need to apply; they will be automatically enrolled in Medicare. There is no additional charge for Medicare hospital insurance (Part A) since you already paid for it by working and paying Medicare tax. However, there is a monthly premium for medical insurance (Part B). If you already have other health insurance when you become eligible for Medicare, you should consider whether you want to apply for the medical insurance. To learn more about Medicare and some options for choosing coverage, read the online publication, Medicare, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10043.html or visit www.Medicare.gov. To learn more about applying for Medicare Only using the online application, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ medicareonly.
Retired Senior & Voluteer Program Celebrates Members The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Washoe County celebrated its volunteers and the impact their service has in the community at the annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon held at John Ascuaga’s Nugget, November 2, 2012. Over 325 volunteers, university and community lead-
in action, and awards for particular volunteers and community organizations. Senior Outreach Services Program Volunteer Leslyn Raso received the Amos Tinkey Award for Outstanding Volunteer. Rasco was honored for exceptional and gracious care given to a senior to assist her to remain independent. Volunteer
(Left to right) Presenter Katie Pace, Regional Representative for Senator Dean Heller; volunteer awardee Steve Burns, Vaughn Middle School, WCSD; community awardee Ceci Martin of Five Star Premier Residences of Reno; presenter Craig Warner, Nevada State Director for CNCS; volunteer awardee Leslyn Raso, Senior Outreach Services; and presenter Susan Lisagor, Regional Representative for Senator Harry Reid.
ers attended the event emceed by Kristen Remington, news anchor of KTVN Channel 2. RSVP Director Scott Trevithick spoke of the importance of placing volunteers 55 and older in the community, connecting them with organizations, schools, government, and people in need. The celebration also featured a video of RSVP volunteers describing the impact of their work and why it’s meaningful to them, pictures of volunteers
Steve Burns, an algebra tutor at Vaughn Middle School, also received the Amos Tinkey Award for his impact on students. Ceci Martin accepted the Elsie Connor Award on behalf of Five Star Premier Residences of Reno for their community outreach, which includes an annual holiday program with children at the Anderson Elementary school. Five Star staff and residents purchase toys, books, and Teddy Bears requested by each student.
December • 2012 • 17
Caregivers Honored for Contributions By Connie McMullen
he Nevada Caregiver Coalition honored community caregivers at the 7th Annual Caregiver Recognition Celebration held November 15, at the Atlantis Resort. Each year the coalition accepts nominations and honors the caregivers in November, which is National Caregiver month. This year 45 caregivers were nominated for the Linda Carr Caregiver Award. Carr was a dedicated caregiver remembered for a life of compassionate giving. Six nominees were given special recognition for their tireless efforts. Kathy Carpenter was given the Linda Carr Double Life
Caregiver of the Year Award for dedication in caring for her 92-year-old mother, Julia, who lives alone in the same home she has lived in for the past 50-years. Carpenter cares for her mother before and after work, while working a full time position at the Reno Senior Center. “The love for her mother shows in her actions wether she is verbally talking to her during the 10th call of the day at work, or in her home about a routine daily task her mother no longer understands how to accomplish,” wrote Dawn Costa, a co-worker who nominated Carpenter. “For many years Kathy and her husband would wake very early in the
morning to get ready for work and then drive across town to her mom’s home to check on her, make
Kathy Carpenter at her office; and above mother, Julia, holding Kathy.
her breakfast and administer her medications. After work Kathy would return to her mother’s home and have dinner, visit and make sure all was well before returning to her home. This has been a daily part of her life for many
created with the residents of the Arbors, all of whom are living with some form of dementia. “She is reliable and passionate about her job and compassionate with our residents,” said Gina Stutchman, owner of the Arbors. “We
(Left to right) Bonnie Timmreck, Family Caregiver; Kathy Carpenter, Double Life Caregiver; Edwina Taylor, Caregiver for a Child; Rosa Moala, In Facility Caregiver; and Megan Riley, In Home Paid Caregiver.
18 • 2012 • December
years.” Another outstanding caregiver honored was Rosa Moala, who received the Linda Carr In-Facility Caregiver of the Year Award. Moala was nominated for the caring relationships she has
can all count on Rosa.” Additionally, Megan Riley was awarded In Home Paid Caregiver; Janet Hatch as Hospice Caregiver; Edwina Taylor, Caregiver for a Child, and Bonnie Timmreck, Family Caregiver.
when it comes to your health plan,
IS CLEAR. John Tyson Local Storyteller/ Northern Nevadan
Attend a free informational meeting: Carson City, Fernley, Fallon, Gardnerville, Reno, Sparks, Minden and Virginia City Call to reserve your spot: 775-982-3191 or 888-775-7003. A sales person will be present with information and applications. For accommodation of persons with special needs at sales meetings call (775) 982-3158 or (888) 775-7003, TTY Relay Service 711.
Choose Senior Care Plus –
The health plan that offers more value than just Medicare. • Low premium plans • Low prescription copays • Largest provider network in northern Nevada** • Multiple plan options • Access to Renown hospitals • No referrals to see specialists • Only not-for-profit Medicare Advantage plan in Nevada*** • Rx “gap” coverage
• Worldwide emergency care • Only locally owned and operated Mediare Advantage plan in Nevada*** • Local personalized customer service • Fitness club memberships • Hearing aid coverage • Supplemental dental and vision benefits • Largest Medicare Advantage plan enrollment in northern Nevada****
*Based on 2011/2012 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Health Plan ratings and Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Study - Medicare & You Handbook. **Based on comparison of plans provider networks offered in northern Nevada counties. ***Based on comparison of Medicare Advantage plans offered in northern Nevada counties. ****Based on CMS Medicare Advantage/Part D Contract and Enrollment Data for October 2011.Senior Care Plus is a 4-Star Rated Plan. Plan performance summary star ratings are assessed each year and may change from one year to the next. Senior Care Plus is a health plan with a Medicare contract, available to anyone with both Medicare Parts A and B. A member must be a resident of Carson City County, Churchill County, Douglas County, Lyon County, Storey County or Washoe County and continue to pay his or her Medicare Part B premium. John Tyson is a paid spokesperson for Senior Care Plus. Material ID: Y0039_2012_SeniorSpectrumJan File & Use: 01032012
HEALTH CARE PLAN IN NEVADA* Call Center Hours Monday-Friday 8am-8pm (Now-October) www.SeniorCarePlus.com (775) 982-3158 or (888) 775-7003 TTY Relay Service 711 830 Harvard Way Reno, NV 89502 Office Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8 am - 5 pm
A Medicare Advantage Plan from Hometown Health. December • 2012 • 19
The Art of Living Well Through Books Emily Headley, Ex. Director Sierra Place, Carson City Janice Jagoda, R.N., Director of Assisted Living
hanks to a dedicated, local grass roots organization, the Carson City Freeway now provides a glimpse into our city’s history along with many aesthetically pleasing pieces of art. Very few sections of road in the world
20 • 2012 • December
Earth Without Art is “Eh”
can make such a claim, and we are so fortunate to be the recipients of these public gifts. We are also grateful to local author Mary Fischer, who has recently published a delightful little book entitled “GROW – Carson City Freeway Enhancement,” that contains full color photos of and descriptive narratives about each piece. GROW, Gardeners Reclaiming Our Waysides, is the group that first conceived of the ambitious highway art project. In addition to ensuring that the visual impact of the freeway is mitigated by the use of creative landscaping with naturalized vegetation,
one of GROW’s goals is to “enhance the image of our state capital as a scenic city that values the quality of life of its citizens.” Our residents were recently treated to a guided tour, and to a person they all agreed that the scenic value these pieces impart to Carson City is not to be underestimated. Through federal, state, private grants and donations, GROW obtained the money necessary to fund Phase I, which took a total of 15 years to complete. Located at each of the gateways and interchanges of the new freeway, each art group represents a historical vignette. For example: a
massive eagle and its shadow, located at the North Carson Street interchange, representing the Eagle Valley area; miners of the Comstock Lode, located at the College Parkway bridge structure; stagecoach racing at Northridge Drive, representing the famous driver Hank Monk; and the Virginia and Truckee Railroad, along with its (Art page 21)
Gritty Determination Michael J. Fischer, M.D. Eye Physician & Surgeon Dry eye syndrome is characterized by persistent dryness that makes eyes look red and feel gritty, as if they were coated with a foreign substance. While the cause may be a chronic condition that is not completely curable, dry eyes can be managed with artifical tears and other measures. Prescription eye drops containing the drug cyclosporine may help increase natural tear production. Another treatment involves tiny hydroxypropyl cellulose
beads that are placed in the pocket of each lower eyelid. As the beads dissolve, they continuously release moisture throughout the day. In addition, temporary or permanent silicone plugs inserted in the eyelids’ lacrimal (tear) drainage ducts help keep moisture on the eyes by preventing tears from draining away to quickly. Note - the ophthalmologist may use the Schirmer test, which involves placing a thin strip of filter paper under the lower eyelid, to measure tear production.
You have the power to influence. Immunize Nevada wants to remind you the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against the flu is to get vaccinated. This season, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine. Art / page 20 intrepid Chinese construction workers, at the Highway 50 interchange. Prior to seeing Ms. Fischer’s book, we were admittedly not all that tuned in to the history of our local area. However the stories that she provides are engaging and entertaining. A whole history lecture could be developed around any one of the vignettes. From the first Holstein
cows in Nevada to the daredevils of the Pony Express – each one of them sparks the imagination of the courage and ingenuity of our forebears. Ms. Fischer’s book can only be purchased on the website of the publishing service “Blurb” at www.blurb.com. Pick one up and go for a drive on the new freeway!
To learn more, visit InfluenceNevada.org
Southern Nevada Immunization and Health Coalition
Funding provided by the Nevada State Health Division by Grant Number 5H23IP922549-10 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
December • 2012 • 21
Hearing with Your Eyes (not sign language)
22 • 2012 • December
drawer in my bathroom houses my latest discards. I hold onto them in case I need a spare although I know they won’t work well, if at all. Without hearing aids, I can’t drive, work, shop or converse with anyone including David. He berates me for not wearing them all the time at home. Oh, come on, we are married almost 50 years and he is used to it by now. My genetically acquired hearing loss has plagued me for most of my life. I try to learn sign language and do know some but I only have one person who can sign with me. She’s my granddaughter. She’s 17 and just got her first hearing aids, the newest and most popular variety. Unlike lots of people, she does wear them daily and thinks they help. In lieu of a foreign language, she is taking sign lan-
guage. Prior to this, she was having a tough time with French. That is one language that can destroy the faith of a hearing impaired individual since it has so many difficult sounds. I am very proud of the way she handles the disability she inherited from me. Through the years, there have been wonderful developments to make our lives better. One is Bluetooth. In my car, I can hear on my phone hands free. I can read text and send text on my iPad but NOT when driving! Another problem is listening to TV. Even with my aids on and the volume at full blast, I miss most of what is going on and David is losing, not only HIS hearing, but also his patience. Along comes captioned TV. My reading ability has skyrocketed. It’s breathed life into watching TV and movies. The first thing we do when we are staying at hotel or at someone’s home, is get the captioning going. It amazes me how fast the captioning person keeps up with the live dialogue. All TV’s sold during the last 10 years or so, must have CC abilities. If only telephones could be captioned like TV’s. Yes, it is already here. This is specifically for those who, like me, are hearing impaired, or just know someone who might have improved quality of life with this phone’s capabilities. Luckily we stopped at this year’s Senior Fest put on by the editors of Senior Spectrum. At a booth, a phone that captions a caller’s dialogue piques my attention. I must learn more about this amazing concept. A captioned phone is now part of my life. When I picked it up,
I questioned the fantastic representative at DHHARC, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advocacy Resource Center. Lorina answered all my questions. You might have similar questions when reading this so I’m using my questions and her answers to give you the information you might need to acquire one of these wonderful phones. 1. How much does this phone cost? It’s absolutely free. You do need to contact them and ask for an application. You also need a signed form from your audiologist attesting to your hearing loss. 2. Do you need Wi-Fi or Internet service to use one? Yes, you must have one or the other. The phone actually works without them but you would need to dial another # every time you use it. Connecting to Wi-Fi is easy. The phone asks for your password after it picks up the Wi-Fi connection you have in your home. It’s quick and easy. Connecting to the Internet took me a bit longer but it’s worth the effort and is better than wireless. If you can’t connect, a representative will come to your home and there is no expense involved. 3. Does the phone add charges to my monthly bill? No it doesn’t add anything. 4. How do I get captioning on the phone. A red captioning button lights up. It can be turned on or off or just left on. 5. Can I adjust the volume? Buttons at the bottom light up, press them to the right to increase volume or to the left to decrease it. 6. Do I need to have a landline at home? Yes, the connection requires a landline phone number. 7. What if you have questions that are not answered in the manual? I
pressed the blue button for help, and a live human came on immediately. He also called back to insure that my problem was solved. 8. Can the phone be used as an answering machine? Yes, but it may be difficult to tie it to the one you are already using. 9. Is this program available state and countrywide? Yes, the Public Utilities Commission, PUC, adds 7 cents or so to every phone bill as a TTY surcharge, and a portion goes for equipment. 10. How is the captioning done? I believe a voice recognition program does it. 11. Can the phone be captioned in another language? Yes, you can get captioning in Spanish.
S outhern Nevada: 2575 Westwind Rd., Ste. C 702 363-3323 Happy Holidays to every-
one. Give yourself a free present! Comments and questions always appreciated: firstname.lastname@example.org
The DHHARC encourages you to apply and pick up a phone. It may improve your quality of life! Northern Nevada: 1150 Corporate Blvd., Ste. 1 775 355-8994
December • 2012 • 23
THE ECLECTIC OBSERVER
by Janet Ross
24 • 2012 • December
ctober’s luncheon for the venerable Twentieth Century Club at the Atlantis provided an introduction to the Nevada Humane Society’s G.I. Dogs Program. Mitch Schneider, former manager of Washoe County Regional Animal Services, was on hand with his G.I. Dogs ambassador, Ninja, a young German Shepherd, to provide members and their guests with a hands-on demonstration of the benefits a loving animal brings to those in need of animal companionship. Ninja happily accepted pets and affection from the ladies present. Most of us were aware of the Nevada Humane Society’s benefits to our community, but few of us knew about the G.I. Dogs program that takes abandoned animals (mostly dogs, but cats as well) and transforms them into service dogs or pets for veterans of our Armed Services. The program has a dual purpose: “to meet the needs of veterans across northern Nevada while at the same time helping homeless pets.” There’s clinical evidence to support the benefits of animal companionship, both for the animal and service veteran. G.I. Dogs charges no fees to adopting military veterans and their families. All pets are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped, and those meant to be service animals receive professional training. The ladies of the Twentieth Century Club opened their hearts and pocket-books after learning about this heartwarming service and contributed more than $800 to G.I. Dogs.
I’m betting there’s at least one person on your Christmas gift list who has just about everything ... except a contribution, in their name, to the Nevada Humane Society’s G.I. Dogs program. (Donations are tax deductible.) You can mail your check to the Nevada Humane Society at 2825-B Longley Lane, Reno, NV 89502. (On Facebook at G.I.DOGS.) Grandchildren might be more appreciative of a donation for them to the Wild Animal Baby Adoption Center that’s part of the National Wildlife Federation. A $30 “symbolic wildlife animal baby adoption” will bring your special grandchild a small, plush baby animal, certificate of adoption and wild animal baby story card. Baby animals available for adoption include penguins, polar bears, pandas, koalas, tigers, elephants, giraffes, chimps, beavers, seals, dolphins, fish (Nemo lookalike), and many more. (www.shopnwf.org) The print version of the National Wildlife Federation’s gift offerings has a section devoted to great gifts for young children with books, games, night lites, wildlife pendants, and Christmas ornaments. There’s a toll-free number for ordering at 1-800-756-3752. Shipping is free on all Adoption orders. One last gift idea. The Nevada Humane Society can always use your donations of food and care items for their pets awaiting adoption. Consider volunteering your time as well. Give them a call to see what’s needed this month at 775- 856-2000.
December • 2012 • 25
BIGGESTlittle City Tahoe Ski and Tennis Legend Passes
hen you are a journalism student, one of the first things you learn is how to write an Obituary. You select a subject, usually a living person, and write the story of his life. Traditionally, your story goes in to the “morgue” at the local newspaper which is tantamount to an archive. Then, when your subject passes it is only necessary for the paper to add a paragraph at the beginning stating the time and place of the demise. The most difficult thing to write, as a journalist, is to write the full obituary of a good friend. Case in point, is the following obit of one George Galante, my best friend for the past 44 years. Ski runs and the tennis courts at Tahoe will never be the same again with this vigorous individual passing. George was a long time Incline Village resident. He was born to Florence and George Galante in 1943 in Newark, New Jersey. He was the oldest of four children. He arrived at Incline in 1968, after spending time as the coach of the US Ski Team in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It was his intention to try the skiing in the Sierra offered at that time and then move on to other locales. But like most people, he fell captive to the scenic wonder of Lake Tahoe and spent the remainder of his life here. During the winter months, he skied and taught 26 • 2012 • December
skiing every day the mountains had snow. Early that first year, in addition to hiking and biking he sought out other physical activities and discovered the sport of tennis. At that time, Incline Village was a hotbed for the racquet sport. Galante soon was taken under the wing of legendary tennis pro Fred Earl, who worked with him until Galante was able to take his turn as a teaching pro on the courts. A natural athlete, in his early years back East he excelled at ice hockey and race car driving. Of medium height and a sturdy physique, he gained the highest ranking in karate and was a daily presence at the local gym. He had a brilliant tennis career competing with many of the most famous names in the sport at that time. He enjoyed one of his most successful tennis seasons this year at the Tahoe Vista area where his students nicknamed it “Camp George” in his honor. As a teaching pro, during his 44-year career he taught at all of the tennis facilities on the North Shore, and served as a pro bono tennis coach at Incline High. (Biggest page 29)
December Dec. 1 - Jan. 13 - Aladdin, Eldorado Hotel Casino, showroom, downtown Reno, (775) 786-5700.
at 5 p.m., John Ascuaga’s Nugget, Sparks. Dec. 18 - Emergency Food Pantry, 7:30 a.m., first 300 people, (775) 328-2575.
Also Food Stamp Workshop, 8:30 10 a.m., Reno Senior Center. Dec. 21 - Operation: Stocking Stuffer, ages 0-17, 3 - 6 p.m., St. Vincent’s Dining Room, (775) 322-7073, x 235.
Jan. 4 - 6 - Dreamgirls, Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, (775) 686-6600, www.pioneercenter.com. Jan. 22 - Magique, Eldorado Showroom, downtown Reno, (775) 786-5700. Answers p.30
Dec. 3 - 21 - Can the Mayor, 8-5 p.m., drop off food for Food Bank, 431 Prater Way, Sparks City Hall. Dec. 8 - Senior Holiday Dinner, Sparks Sertoma, 4 - 6 p.m., Reno Senior Center, 9th and Wells, (775) 328-2575. Dec. 9 - Live a Year on Us, Silver Legacy, 7 p.m., give away promotion, call for details at (775) 325-7401. Dec. 9 - The Nutcracker, Peninsula Ballet Theatre of San Mateo, 7 p.m., Grand Sierra Resort, Grand Theatre, Reno. Dec. 10 - Veterans Outreach, 9:30 - Noon, Reno Senior Center, South Hallway, (775) 328-2575. Dec. 11 - Food Bank Truck, 11:45 - 12:30 p.m., Sparks Senior Center; Dec. 19, 9 - 10 a.m., Sun Valley Community Center; Dec. 20, 9:15 - 11:15 a.m., Reno Senior Center. Dec. 13 - Landlord/Tenant Seminar, 2 p.m., Reno Art Room, Reno Senior Center, (775) 328-2608. Dec. 14 - Bridge Group, 1-4 p.m., South Valleys Library, (775) 851-5190. Dec. 15 - Free Medical Student Outreach Clinic, 8 - Noon, uninsured citizens 55 and older, School of Medicine’s Family Medicine Center, UNR campus, call (775) 682-8470. Dec. 15 - Knitting Club, 1 - 3 p.m., NW Reno Library, (775) 787-4100. Dec. 15 & 16 - Miracle on 34th Street, 7 p.m.; Dec. 16
December • 2012 • 27
this ‘n that by Anne Vargas email@example.com
Perspectives Some people do, some people don’t Some people will, some people won’t Some folks groan at the very mention, While others give them enthusiastic attention
I used to be one of the groaners but I’ve graduated to the enthusiastic group.
What I once deplored, as both reader and writer, has become something I
genuinely look forward to. The creeping calendar has given me a very different perspective on a lot of things, and this is one of them. ‘talking about the “Christmas Letter,” those annual missives in the mailbox heralding the holiday season. We all get them; they’ve become a part of our culture as we’ve evolved from writing personal notes by hand, as my mother’s generation did, to the widespread acceptance of writing one message to be read by everyone. Some of those messages are well written; others merely an account of accomplishments (always outstanding) by every member of the family with nary a failure, disappointment, or piece of negative news.
28 • 2012 • December
Someone, (not me) wrote a humorous parody on an imaginary Martha Stewart communiqué: “This perfectly delightful note is being sent on paper I made myself to tell you what I have been up to. Since it snowed last night, I got up early and made a sled with old barn wood and a glue gun. Then it was time to start making the place mats and napkins for my 20 breakfast guests who will be arriving soon. I'm serving the old standard Stewart twelvecourse breakfast. I decided to add just a touch of the holidays so I repainted the dining room in pinks and stenciled gold stars on the ceiling. Before they get (Perspectives page 30)
Biggest page 26
George is best remembered for his wit and humor, which led him to emcee gatherings large and small. Relying on previous experience from back East, he once did a stint as a standup comic at the Tahoe Biltmore where he was also the Marketing Director. Another facet of his personality led him to a job as maitre d during the Cal-Neva Lodge’s heyday. One of his favorite haunts at Incline was the Village Ski Loft, where he acted as a rep for manufacturers and participated as a ski expert during annual sales events. He also donated his time as a mentor to members of the Incline High ski team, where he developed many outstanding young skiers. Galante was predeceased by his parents and is survived by his companion Marion Bach, twin brothers Nick and Pat and youngest brother John. When interviewed Ms. Bach said, “George Galante was a world champion freestyle skier. As a matter of fact, he won the Freestyle Skiing Championships in 1970 at Heavenly ski area. He spent his life sharing his love of skiing and tennis. Also, he was a comic, quick with a joke to bring a laugh from anyone. He has touched thousands of lives sharing his love of everything and showing people how to live the minutes of their lives. He has left a hole of love that will never be filled. His dog Shira shares his personality, in that she loves everyone and everyone loves her.” He had a legion of friends, whom he could call upon to assist him in his special event promotions that he did both locally and regionally. Two major events of which he was most proud of were the Long Beach Grand Prix and the Oakland Raiders “Snow Wars” celebrity ski event. He is a legend at the Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe Resort, where he is remembered on its Facebook page. A celebration of life is pending and will be announced at a later date. If you were a friend of George’s please visit the Facebook page: “In memory of George Galante.” We had joy, we had fun, We had seasons in the sun. Those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end.
December • 2012 • 29
Perspectives / page 28
here I need to finish the button holes on the dress I'm
wearing, then I'll get out the sled and drive this note to the post office as soon as the
glue dries on the envelope.” Over the years we’ve received a few that were nearly that ludicrous. Someone we casually knew decades ago and haven’t seen since annually sends 3-page descriptions of their perfect life. One can’t help but wonder whether she is trying to be funny but I suspect not, and they’ve become something of a family ritual in our house. “And what did Mrs. X have to say this year?” my now adult children will ask with a laugh. Other letters are written in the 3rd person, leaving us to wonder whether the family cat may be telling the tale. But another friend sends letters that are so wonderful I haunt the mailbox in eager anticipation every December and sit down to savor it with a cup of tea the moment it arrives. Her life is far from perfect and she writes with such candor and wry humor about coping with the warts in life we all experience it’s a joy to read.
30 • 2012 • December
The first holiday letter to reach our house is always from a particular couple, usually well before Thanksgiving. When it arrives, the season is officially here. For many years that return address served only to remind me how disorganized I am by comparison so instead of just enjoying it, it made me mutter and fret about my perpetual inefficiency. I’ve also been known
to grumble about the whole idea of the busiest time of the year being the same time we’re supposed to write to everyone in the address book. But that was long ago. I have had a love/hate relationship with this concept. My New Year’s resolutions invariably include the intent to keep in touch with everyone on a personal level throughout the year but that never seems to happen. Before I know it, another 12 months have passed and I’m caught up in the frenzy of sending greetings in group letter form, postmarked December 24th if I’m lucky. (One year it was mailed in time for Groundhog Day.) But time changes our perspective. In this chapter of life I welcome all of these “group” missives — the longer the better -- and I take pleasure in reading what friends are doing, how they are, what the past year brought them and, since we’ve reached the “medical issues” phase, how their health is. I treasure the opportunity to catch up, remember them fondly and reflect on experiences we shared in that cherished chapter of our lives; even the ones written by the family cat. Reading them prompts me to sit down to compose our own letter. As I relate the events of our year, I see our friends in my mind’s eye and keep them in my heart. What a lovely image. Happy holidays, happy reading and happy memories.
December • 2012 • 31
Seniors4Travel Robert Boyd & Carolyn Prusa
32 • 2012 • December
ast summer we took a road trip to Breckenridge, Colorado. The occasion was a reunion of the Prusa cousins, hosted by cousin Roger and his partner Edwin. We’ve traveled through Colorado on several occasions, but this was our first time in Breck (as our cousin and other locals call it), tucked away in the upper reaches of the Rocky Mountains. Breckenridge Ski Resort is one of North America's most visited ski resorts. The town boasts many ski-in, ski-out accommodations at the bases of the four peaks that make up the resort. Official elevation of Breckenridge is 9,600 feet, while the top elevation of Breckenridge Ski Resort is 12,998 feet. This time of year it’s a given there will be snow. Not into downhill skiing? Tour the Breckenridge backcountry by snow shoe or dogsled. Or, rent a snowmobile. We discovered that Breck is not just for snow lovers. It is a year-round vacation destination. The town was bustling with tourists when we were there. One day we all hopped aboard the BreckConnect Gondola. It runs from the downtown Breckenridge trans-
Main Street in Breckenridge
portation center to a Breckenridge Ski Resort mid-station at Shock Hill, through the Cucumber Gulch Preserve, to a mid-station at the Peak 7 base area and ends at the Peak 8 base. During the ski season the gondola serves as a transportation system between the town and the northern two peaks. When we were there, the Peak 8 stop had been transformed into a family activity area of eateries, horse rides, downhill go-cart tracks, a bounce house and other fun ways to spend the day (and money). Breckenridge is a historic mining community, founded in 1859 when prospectors first discovered gold. Today, Breck offers something for everyone: Upscale shopping, awardwinning arts district, fine restaurants, historic tours, cooking classes, theater performances, and gold panning. As if the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the area weren’t enough enticement, year-round events in Breckenridge promise a good time. There’s the Ullr Fest in January where costumed skiers and snowboarders hit the streets in a parade, followed by a massive bonfire and festivities. At the end of January the International Snow Sculpture Championship takes place in downtown Breck. Fifteen teams from ten countries vie for prizes. The first weekend in December, the town transforms into a holiday scene with celebrations continuing throughout the month. When it’s time to ring out the old, a torchlight parade proceeds down the slopes of Breckenridge Ski Resort. A spectacular fireworks display and concert ring in the New Year in style.
The Pointy Thing and the Ball By Paul M. Van Dort
I receive frequent e-mails from people asking for information about a photograph that includes “The pointy thing and the ball.” Of course what they are referring to is the Trylon and Perisphere, symbols of the 1939 New York World’s Fair. I must not be too critical of their lack of knowledge since out of all the Fairs and Expos, I can only identify three of the structures that symbolized a particular fair: - The Space Needle for the 1969 Seattle World’s Fair: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki /Century_21_Exposition); - The Unisphere from the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair: http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/1964_New_York_World’ s_Fair; - The Trylon and Perisphere from the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ 1939_New_York_World’s_ Fair. I know the Space Needle thanks to my friend Randy Richter, co-president of the World’s Fair Historical Society (http://www.crystalpalace51.org/) who has spoken about it quite frequently. The Unisphere sticks in my memory because I went to the 1964-65 Fair several times. The sad part is that except for the Unisphere, Chrysler’s Turbo Car, and “It’s a Small World,” I remember nothing else from
that Fair. Then in 2002, I published a book, (The 1939 New York World’s Fair Photo Collection), a CD, and my first World’s Fair website. Since those early days the site has undergone several changes and a lot more content has been added. The
original site consisted of 277 pages filled with my dad’s 271 photos. Today there are more than 1,000 pages and more than 2,000 images. Still, much of the Fair’s history lies in private collections where only the owner and friends get to see it, or in museums where a few get to enjoy the
items. I hope if you are reading this and have photos, souvenirs, handouts, or even some memories of the Fair, that you will share them. You can contact me at: Paul@1939NYWorldsFair. com, (775) 425-1944, or 70 W. Sky Ranch Blvd., Sparks, NV 89441.
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34 • 2012 • December
December • 2012 • 35