I O C V E Ju n e 2009
Local Attractions • Scenic Places • History • Money • Health • News
Indian Ghost Peaks Mountain Town Wilderness In Northern Colorado
Stone Age Longs People Peak North Pioneer
Colorado Climbers and Wyoming
Outlaws First In Early Colorado
Cars In Greeley Late 1800s
Skiing Steamboat Cover Springs Picture: See page 3
2 • June 2009 • The Senior Voice
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Early digging at the Lindenmeier site. Photo from Roy Coffin’s book. By Peggy Hunt
f you like local history, you’ll enjoy a small book that might still be available at the Fort Collins Museum, titled “Northern Colorado’s First Settlers,” by Roy Coffin. It’s about one of the most important early archaeological finds in the United States. The discovery of the Lindenmeier Site in 1924 proved that stone-age people had inhabited northern Colorado and Wyoming 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, after the last Ice Age. Before that discovery, archaeologists had found evidence of stone-age people mainly in Europe. The Lindenmeier Site (named for a local rancher) proved that those people had also lived in North America. The book’s author, Roy Coffin, was an early geology professor at what’s now Colorado State University. He and his brother, Judge Claude Coffin, hunted artifacts as a hobby much their lives. In 1924, Claude Coffin, his son Lynn and a friend, discovered the Lindenmeier Site in the foothills near the Wyoming border at the northern end of Larimer County, a few miles west of what is now Interstate 25. Roy Coffin became involved and notified the Smithsonian Institution of their find. The Coffin brothers realized that spear points they uncovered at the site were different from those they had found at other Indian sites. The points were larger, made differently and appeared to be much older. The men became excited at the possibility that they had made a major discovery—and they had. Smithsonian archaeologists spent
three summers excavating the site in the 1930s and confirmed that it had been the home of ancient Folsom Man—not just a temporary hunting camp, but a permanent home. In his 1937 book, Roy Coffin said the discovery formed the “basis for speculation that Northern Colorado might have been the ‘Garden of Eden’ of the Western Hemisphere.” That was important. It meant that here in our back yard lived some of the first humans on the North American Continent. They probably came across the Bering Strait when land connected Alaska and Russia, migrated south along the Rocky Mountains, and some of them settled here. Our terrain and climate were much different then. Folsom Man hunted mammoth and some other creatures that no longer exist in North America. His stone spear points found by the Coffins were up to two-and-one-half inches long and nearly an inch wide. His weapons required him to get dangerously close to large animals. He probably stampeded them over cliffs and speared the wounded in vital organs. These ancient people lived in several northern Colorado and Wyoming locations. Their spear points have been found in the high mountains at the top of Rocky Mountain National Park and elsewhere. They hunted Big Thompson Canyon, Poudre Canyon, the Platte River areas and other places. We are in their homeland. If you’re lucky, you might someday stumble onto one of their ancient spear points, as the Coffin brothers did. ■
The Senior Voice • June 2009 • 3
Indian Peaks Wilderness
Published Locally Since 1980 VOL. 29, NO. 7
970-229-9204 Lambdin@frii.com theseniorvoice.net PUBLICATION INFORMATION The Senior Voice newspaper has been published locally the first of each month since 1980 for residents age 50-plus.
ADVERTISING Ad deadline is 20th of month. For rates, call 970-229-9204; email Lambdin@frii.com or see theseniorvoice.net.
Early climbers on Arapaho Glacier in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Boulder got its city water from the glacier for several years. Colorado Historical Society. By Bill Lambdin
f you drive or hike around the Indian Peaks Wilderness west of Longmont and Boulder, you’ll see places with interesting stories associated with them. Arapaho Glacier was located high in the mountains there, discovered in 1897 by two men, Darwin Andrews and H.N. Wheeler. The discovery caused much excitement among scientists because no one knew that glaciers existed this far south in the United States. The glacier was later named for the Arapaho Indians, who probably knew of its existence long before the white men found it. The city of Boulder used the discovery to attract early tourists and residents, saying it was the only town in America that drank pure glacial water. Boulder did, in fact, get its drinking water supply from melting glaciers for some time. Several other glaciers were found in the same area. Boulder judge Junius Henderson found Henderson Glacier in the early 1900s, and he helped discover Fair Glacier and Isabella Glacier. Lone Eagle Peak in the area was named for famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, who was nicknamed the Lone Eagle after he flew alone across the Atlantic in 1927. Before that, in 1923, Boulder city promoters offered
$1,000 to any aviator who could land a plane on one of the glaciers in the Indian Peaks. Lindbergh was a young barnstormer then and the only flyer who wanted to try the stunt. But officials looked at Lindbergh’s rickety plane, held together by bailing wire, and decided they didn’t want bad publicity if the plane crashed or couldn’t return. Lindbergh said he didn’t plan to return it. He’d leave the plane on the glacier, figuring he could get another plane for $1,000. Officials turned him down and dropped the idea. Four years later, Lindbergh made his famous flight and officials decided to name Lone Eagle Peak after him. Mount Audubon was named for famous wildlife expert and artist James Audubon. He was never in Colorado, but two of his admirers were. In 1864 botanist C.C. Parry and zoologist J.W. Velie climbed this 13,223-foot mountain and named it for Audubon. Mount Achonee was probably named for a Cheyenne chief whose name was sometimes spelled Ochanee or Ochinee. Well known to white settlers, he was among the Indians killed by Col. Chivington’s troops at the infamous Sand Creek Massacre in 1864 in southeastern Colorado. Ochinee’s granddaughter later wrote: “Grandfather Ochinee escaped from the camp. But seeing that all his
people were to be slaughtered, he deliberately chose to go back into the one-sided battle and die with them.” She added, “Mother (Ochinee’s daughter) was always bitter about the Sand Creek massacre. A number of years later, while she was was attending a meeting of the Eastern Star in Denver, a friend brought Chivington over to introduce him to mother, saying, “Mrs. Prowers, do you know Colonel Chivington?” “My mother drew herself up with that stately dignity peculiar to her people and, ignoring the outstretched hand, remarked in perfect English audible to all in the room, ‘Know Colonel Chivington? I should. He was my father’s murderer!’” ________________ COVER PICTURE: Mountains on the north end of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Taken by Fort Collins professional photographer Gregory Mayse, who has published two, new coffee-table books of photos: “Colorado: Rocky Mountain Magic” and “Rocky Mountain Wild.” His photos have been featured on many Senior Voice covers, on television, and in magazines such as BBC Wildlife. He has received numerous awards, and his pictures have been sold to private collectors around the world. See his gallery at gregorymayse.com. Email email@example.com; phone 970-412-3600. ■
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Ft. Collins and Greeley (970) 229-9204 Loveland and Estes Park (970) 482-8344 EDITORIAL DEADLINE Announcements and stories must be received by the 10th of the month.; ads by the 20th of the month. READER INFORMATION Subscriptions $48 a year. The Senior Voice welcomes readers' letters and contributions. The Senior Voice assumes no responsibility for damaged or lost material submitted by readers.
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1471 Front Nine Drive Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 223-9271 email firstname.lastname@example.org see theseniorvoice.net No material may be reproduced by any means without permission of the publisher.
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4 • June 2009 • The Senior Voice
Social Security Payments
etirees will probably see no costof-living increase in their Social Security benefits in 2010 and 2011, and that could have serious implications for their Medicare benefits. A Congressional Budget Office report says Social Security increases are tied to inflation. The current economic recession has resulted in such low inflation that there will be no Social Security benefit increases. But Medicare Part D premiums (for drug coverage) will probably continue to increase, which means millions of retirees could see their
S ocial S ecurity checks reduced because premiums are tied to those checks. AARP legislative counsel David Certner told the New York Times, “If, as expected, there is no COLA (increase) in Social Security next year but premiums for drug coverage increase, as expected, millions of beneficiaries will see their Social Security checks reduced for the first time.” Some beneficiaries will also see their Part B premiums (for doctor coverage) increase, from $96.40 a month now to $123 by 2011. ■
Big Drug Cost Increases
rices of the most popular brandname drugs increased nearly 9 percent in 2008, according to a report from AARP. That was an average; some drugs increased much more. Prevacid, for instance, went up by 30 percent. It’s used for acid reflux. Lunesta, used for sleeping, went up 20 percent. The report surveyed 219 of the most widely used brand-name drugs. “Just about everybody in today’s economy is feeling some economic pressures, and it does not help that
the drugs you take to keep healthy are much more expensive than last year,” said John Rother, AARP’s public policy director. He and other AARP officials argue that health care reform is long overdue in America. The drug lobbying group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PRMA) said AARP’s survey was biased because it covered only brand-name drugs. Generic drug costs decreased an average of 10.6 percent in 2008, said PRMA. ■
Conflicts of Interest
he current guidelines for treating depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia were written by psychiatrists who have close ties to drug companies, says a report in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. This raises conflict of interest questions and makes the guidelines of questionable value, say researchers at Harvard, the University of Massachusetts, and Tufts University. The guidelines mainly recommend drugs for treatments and largely ignore non-drug treatments. That benefits drug companies the psychiatrists have ties to. The guidelines also say little about how to get patients off of drugs. The psychiatrists ties to drug companies include stock ownership, research grants, speaking fees and other benefits. Researchers said that, for 90 percent of the guidelines, the authors had at least one tie to drug companies. One researcher said, “The lack of biological tests for mental disorders renders psychiatry especially vulner-
able to industry influence.” It is situations like that that recently prompted the Institute of Medicine to say all doctors should stop accepting gifts or money from drug companies. “It is time for medical schools to end a number of long-accepted relationships and practices that create conflicts of interest, threaten the integrity of their missions and their reputations, and put public trust in jeopardy,” said the group’s report. Drug companies presently spend more trying to influence doctors and hospitals to use their medicines than they do on research and advertising. More than 75 percent of doctors accept free drug samples and free food from pharmaceutical companies, said the report. Nearly 40 percent get financial help for refresher courses, and over 25 percent get paid for lectures and other activities that can benefit drug companies. Even a former Merck executive said he has worried for years that drug companies have too much influence over doctors. ■
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The Senior Voice • June 2009 • 5
First Autos in North Colorado (Editor’s Note: Greeley historian Hazel E. Johnson wrote the following story years ago.) By Hazel Johnson
n the fall of 1892, the first motor cars arrived in Greeley. They were owned by George and Will Van Sickle, the town’s first car dealers. George bought his Friedman in Denver for $1,000, guaranteed or it could be returned in six months. The salesman drove it to the edge of Denver, then told George to take over. George had to cope as best he could. He claimed he left a trail of metal shavings all the way to Greeley. Top speed of his Friedman was 25 miles an hour. “The first cars,” he recalled,
“had hard rubber tires, like bicycle tires without inner tubes. There was no top, no windshield, and the lights were oil lanterns that threw a dim light only a short distance.” George’s license was number 6 in Colorado. You were assigned a number, then you bought regular house numbers and nailed them onto the car. “The license plate was good for as long as the car lasted,” said George. One early buyer was a Methodist minister. He never could start the engine though he cranked and cranked. He would always end up calling George to start his car, and the minister became so frustrated that he finally asked George to sell the car for him. “I’ve either got to get rid of this
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First automobile garage in Greeley. Hazel Johnson Collection. car or leave the ministry,” he said. George sold one car to Fred James, who fiddled around with it for an hour at the garage, trying to learn how to operate it. James thought he had it mastered and took off for home. About 30 minutes later, George
saw him coming around a corner. “How do you stop this damn thing!” yelled James. He had driven it all the way home but couldn’t stop, so he drove back to town. George yelled, “Turn the little button!” ■
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6 • June 2009 • The Senior Voice
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Prostate Research T
he American Urological Association recently changed its recommendations for how often men should have a PSA (prostate specific antigen) test to check for signs of prostate cancer. The group now says men over age 50 probably do not need to have the test every year. The group did not say exactly how often men should have a PSA, which involves a blood test and physical exam. The group does recommend men get a baseline PSA at age 40; if that test shows a high reading, men should get the PSA more often. But other experts do not recommend even the baseline PSA. Dr. Barnett Kramer at the National Institutes of Health said there is no proof the baseline test saves lives. It just leads to over-diagnosis and unnecessary treatment in too many cases, he said. High PSA readings can be caused by physical activity, recent sex and other things besides prostate cancer. Elsewhere, researchers at Duke
University and other institutions say statins such as Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor might benefit men in several ways in addition to reducing cholesterol. “There seems to be mounting evidence that there may be a future role for statins in prostate cancer treatment or prostate cancer prevention,” said Dr. Lionel L. Banez at Duke. Dr. Robert Hamilton at the University of Toronto found that men who had prostate cancer surgery and took statins reduced their risk of cancer recurrence by 30 percent. He thinks statins’ anti-inflammatory benefits might cause that. Other researchers say statins might reduce urinary tract problems associated with an enlarged prostate by up to 63 percent. And others believe statins can help men avoid erectile dysfunction. Mayo Clinic researchers said, “The use of statins may result in the lowest risk of erectile dysfunction.” ■
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Hip Replacements Improved
otal hip replacements can now last 20 years, about twice as long as previous replacements, according to a report in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. The reason: The latest method does not use glue that wore out and needed replacing in previous procedures. Now a porous material to which bone can fuse is used. Average age of participants in the 20-year study was 52. Study results were released by researchers at Rush University in Chicago.
“Our results confirm earlier work done at Rush and at other institutions: that cement-less acetabular components work very well and that long-term biological fixation can be obtained,” study Dr. Craig Della Valle, an orthopedic surgeon at Rush. Researchers said this is good news because many people can now get replacements at a younger age than was previously common; and they will be less likely to have to repeat the procedure. ■
Pancreatic Cancer Study H eavy alcohol consumption might cause pancreatic cancer, according to a report in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Researchers defined heavy drinking as daily consumption of four or more beers, three glasses of wine, or two drinks of whiskey, brandy and other liquors. The researchers did not find any association between pancreatic cancer and moderate or low consumption of alcohol. They studied the drinking habits of over 120,000 men and women
between the ages of 55 and 70. In the 13-year study, 350 of the participants developed pancreatic cancer. Of those 350, nearly 80 percent of them reported drinking alcohol daily. The study was conducted by Dr. Mirjam Heinen and colleagues at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. They did not conclude that alcohol definitely causes pancreatic cancer but that “if alcohol plays any role in the etiology of pancreatic cancer, it is likely to be among heavy drinkers.” ■
The Senior Voice • June 2009 • 7
Sleep Apnea Can Be Risky
bout 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, and they are more likely to have a stroke and die in their sleep than other people, according to a report in the Journal of Applied Physiology. Sleep apnea can decrease blood flow and increase blood pressure to the point that the brain cannot modulate the changes, and the problem carries over into the daytime. People with sleep apnea are three times more likely to have strokes or die than others, said researchers. When sleep apnea occurs, the upper airway becomes blocked, and the person stops breathing for several seconds. This causes the blood pressure to rise and blood oxygen levels to drop. Symptoms include loud snoring, snorting, and feeling tired during the day even after getting many hours of sleep. Treatment with an airway pressurization mask worn at night relieves the condition for many people. The mask simply pushes air into the lungs and keeps breathing passages open. However some people find the mask too uncomfortable or say it causes eye and nose irritation. For them, two other treatments are available: A surgical procedure called TAP (transpalatal advancement pharyngoplasty) that removes tissue behind the palate to widen the breathing space; and a device called MAD (mandibular advancement device) that pushes the lower jar forward to prevent airway blockage. Both treatments are reasonably successful, according to studies reported in the Archives of Otolaryngology. The improvement rate for the MAD treatment was 75 percent for people with severe apnea and 82 percent for those with mild apnea. Researchers said MAD is “simple, non-invasive, and easy to use.” The improvement rate for the TAP was 60 percent; 35 percent of apnea sufferers using TAP experienced a complete cure, said researchers. One method used to determine improvement is called AHI (apnea hypopnea index), which measures how many times a person with apnea stops breathing completely or partially during the night. ■
8 • June 2009 • The Senior Voice
Frontier Con Man Soapy Smith By Bill Lambdin
oapy Smith was one of Colorado’s most colorful characters and the most famous con man in the early West. He was also an enigma. Though he ran a gang of thieves and murderers, he was well known for his philanthropy. At Denver in the late 1800s, Soapy frequently gave away small fortunes to churches and poor people. On Christmas day for
years, he personally handed out hundreds of turkeys. Recipients of his generosity often thanked him with, “God bless you, Soapy.” Yet he was ruthless and as crooked as a snake. He arrived in the bustling frontier town of Denver in the early 1880s and immediately set up his first con game—standing on a street corner, wrapping $10, $20 and $100 bills around bars of soap, covering them with paper, shuffling them in a
basket with other bars of soap, and inviting the audience to pick a winner for just $5. He put small creases in the wrapping paper so he knew which bars to pull out of the basket. He always had a crony in the crowd who started the game by winning a $100 bill. And he knew when to quit. When he had taken several hundred dollars from the crowd, he would fold up the game before someone called the police or figured out his scheme.
arrived in Creede, Bob Ford was shot dead. Officials said a man named Ed O’Kelly killed Ford. But some believed Soapy put him up to it. Soapy ruled Creede with an iron hand and became so wealthy that he returned to Denver and opened the posh Tivoli Club on Larimer Street. He also continued his philanthropic activities and was popular with many citizens. But Colorado’s mining boom declined after the 1893 silver crash,
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Soapy Smith, Colorado Historical Society. That’s how Jefferson Randolph Smith got the name of Soapy and made his first fortune. From that, he went on to other rackets in Denver and organized a powerful underworld gang that dominated criminal activities in the town. When Denver grew more civilized and things slowed down for him, Soapy moved to the wild, wide open mining town of Creede in western Colorado. There he controlled gambling, prostitution and other rackets as a virtual dictator in the town—except for one competitor. Bob Ford, the man who had shot Jesse James, owned another saloon. Within a few weeks after Soapy
and Soapy decided to seek greener pastures in the Klondike gold rush. In 1897 he went to Skagway, Alaska, and tried to establish the same underworld dictatorship he had enjoyed at Creede. He succeeded for a while and, in fact, was known by such nicknames as the “King of the Klondike” and the “Sultan of Skagway.” But he had either grown soft or negligent. He didn’t kill off all of his rivals, and one of them shot him in 1898. Soapy was buried in a simple miner’s cemetery with only a plain wooden marker over his grave. This time there was no one to say, “God bless you, Soapy.” ■
The Senior Voice • June 2009 • 9
Colorado Crosswords By Tony Donovan
ACROSS 1. 6. 10. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 21. 22. 25. 27. 28. 30. 33. 34. 37. 38. 40. 42. 44. 46. 47. 50. 51. 53. 54. 56. 58. 59. 62. 64. 65. 66.
Pirate’s prosthesis Town midway between Pierce and Eaton Family nickname Beginning of an answer to the question: “What do you do for a living?” ___ Butte Dir. from Denver to Burlington Ground above timberline Cameron or Independence John Adams to John Quincy Adams Greeley campus, for short Taj Mahal site Currier’s partner ___ Hammarskjold (former U.N. chief ) Boulder County town named for an Arapaho chief Weather disappointment for spring breakers in Mazatlan (2 wds.) Victoria’s Secret creations What you do before you “shine” Beverly Sills and Lily Pons French pronoun Aspen’s river French word for soul or spirit Where to expect a play’s “denouement” “Tony” part of Denver, briefly Garden pest Milliken neighbor Pyromaniac’s crime Poet’s “sphere” Some wrestlers Word before “balls” or “eaten” “Sioux City, ___“ (Gene Autrey hit of 1946) Lennon’s gal Stadium sounds Politician’s specialty Tax type This French sounding town was the first county seat of Larimer County Fish eggs
67. Part of a Royal Flush 68. 60s TV series featuring a talking horse 69. Smoke alarm, e.g.
DOWN 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 20. 21. 23. 24. 26. 29. 31. 32. 35. 36. 38. 39. 40. 41. 43. 45. 48. 49. 52. 55. 57. 59. 60. 61. 63.
Aspen’s county Big bird Sacred river to Hindus Panty hose shade Word preceding “Lake” or “Canyon” Venomous snake Jazz locale’ A first for Brown or Paul NFL scores Colorado’s most northeastern county A rose ___ ___ ___ Puts under, medically With #40 down, shrine near the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave which celebrates the first American saint This is thin at #16 across “I do,” e.g. Fair Avalanche coach Bread quantity Some Poudre waders Furniture piece “Proper’s” partner It’s easy to lose one in the washer or dryer ___ Castle was built by coal baron John Cleveland Osgood in the town of the same name Mapquest suggestions (abbr.) Where you might find a motel when visiting the Great Sand Dunes National Monument Stupid Nabors or Croce ___ la la Many WWII souvenirs See #20 down Some museum pieces Washington County site between Yuma and Flagler on US 36 Dueling weapon Gov. agency largely responsible for much of the states’ public lands and resources Galley tool Instant grass for the homeowner Whisper romantically
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10 • June 2009 • The Senior Voice
Frontier Fort in Wyoming C
amp Carlin, a frontier army depot, was built in 1867 just west of Cheyenne. It was the second largest depot in the nation, capable of holding 1,000 mules plus shops for blacksmiths, carpenters, wheelwrights, a store, bunk houses and wagon sheds. It supplied army posts and settlements as far as 500 miles away. Mule pack mule trains transported everything. A white mule that wore a bell
around her neck and was called the “bell mare” led the procession. Camp Carlin employed thousands of civilian workers— teamsters, harness makers, mule skinners, cooks. Many of them later helped build Cheyenne There were no social affairs at the camp other than the Sunday “open houses” when the wives cooked large amounts of food before they went to
church, and then visited with each other afterward. The citizens of Cheyenne held themselves somewhat aloof from the depot workers, but it was that body of workmen and women who helped to build “the magic city of the plains” after Camp Carlin was closed. Orders from Washington required complete demolition of the camp. All the buildings were sold for fifty dollars to be moved or demolished at
By Margaret Laybourn
the new owners’ expense. Many went to Cheyenne. A few graves were moved to Fort Russell cemetery nearby and later moved again to Cheyenne’s Lakeview cemetery. Today no trace of Camp Carlin is left except for a marker placed by the Daughters of the American Revolution to remember the place where men and materials that made a great contribution to winning the West came from. ■
Flomax and Cataract Surgery
Cheyenne in 1867, when Camp Carlin was built. Wyoming History Museum.
ature men who take Flomax for prostate trouble are twice as likely as others to have problems with cataract eye surgery, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The cataract problems include retinal detachment and inflammation around the eye. Researchers studied more than 96,000 men over age 66 who used Flomax and had cataract surgery from 2002 to 2007. Flomax relieves urinary problems by relaxing muscles in the prostate
and bladder. Researchers said the drug appears to have the same effect on certain muscles in the iris of the eye, resulting in a problem called floppy iris syndrome. By age 70, most men have an enlarged prostate that causes urinary problems. Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries in the United States, performed on about 2 million people a year. Researchers said men should tell their eye doctors of all medicines they take. ■
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The Senior Voice • June 2009 • 11
Question About Estate Planning By Ron Rutz, Attorney Legal Correspondent Q: My boyfriend and I have decided to live together. We have grown children, and both of us are getting along in years. What is your advice? A: You need to have your documents in order and arrange your affairs. If you decide not to marry, try
to agree on a number of key issues. For example, identify who owns what property assets and how are they titled. What are the rights of a nonowner if the owner of an asset like a house dies first? Colorado has a low threshold triggering common law marriage. So be careful not to cross the legal line. The test is what a third party would conclude
Family History Expo P
eople interested in family history can attend the Family History Expo, June 12-13, at the new Embassy Suites Hotel south of Fort Collins next to the Budweiser Events Center on I-25. Expo admission and some events are free. A small fee is charged for classes with professional genealogists. Expo producer Holly Hansen said this is an opportunity for people working on family histories to ask questions and learn from experts. The keynote address is free and will be given by Bernie Gracy, a Pitney
Bowes executive who has spent ten years tracing his family history. “Gracy has learned all the tricks of high-tech family history,” said Hansen. Other presenters include Richard Martinez with the National Archives and Records Administration’s Rocky Mountain Region. For more information, see fhexpos.com. Family History Expos is a Utah-based company that has presented events throughout the western U.S. It will hold an expo in Sheridan, Wyoming, July 17-18. ■
Unsafe Medical Devices
any of the medical devices Americans use have never been proved safe and effective by the FDA, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report. The FDA “approves” drugs, but it only “clears” medical devices. This leaves patients at the mercy of device manufacturers, who can easily mislead patients and doctors about the safety of devices. Several women are suing the manufacturer of a device that was supposed to treat urinary incontinence
but caused serious problems such as painful, bloody vaginal discharges. The device, called a vaginal sling, is inserted under the urethra. So far over 266 women have reported serious problems with it. They assumed, as do most Americans, that a product requiring surgical insertion would have to be tested and “approved” by the FDA. Not so; the FDA does minimal testing of a device if the manufacturer says it is similar to a device already on the market. ■
based upon observing the couple, not necessarily what the couple intended. Thus, elements that suggest the intent to be married are put on one side of the scales of justice and the contradictory elements are placed on the other side. An affidavit denying common law marriage would just be one factor to be placed on the scales. Then whichever way the scale tilts (even slightly) in the eyes of the decider determines the presence or absence of common law marriage. If a common law marriage is found to exist, the “spouse” has certain elective shares, allowances and claims against the deceased’s estate that supersede the will and in Colorado even a living trust. Thus, the “unintended spouse” has rights that are prior to the children receiving their inheritance and the other provisions of the estate plan. If no marriage is intended, then do not act or arrange your affairs as a “married” couple. Be sure your wills and durable powers of attorney are updated after commencement of cohabitation to reflect the separate status.
We Help Solve the Mysteries About Hospice Care Last year, 1.4 million dying Americans were served by the nation’s hospice providers, reports the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Yet there are many myths about hospice that keep people from getting this compassionate care when they need it most.
Hospice is where you go when there is nothing more a doctor can do.
Hospice is a philosophy of care providing medical, emotional, and spiritual care focusing on comfort and quality of life. Medicare beneficiaries pay little or nothing for hospice, and most insurance plans, HMOs and managed care plans include hospice coverage. Hospice patients and families can receive care for six months or longer, depending upon the course of the illness. Hospice places the patient and family at the center of the careplanning process and provides high-quality pain management and symptom control. Hospice goes to the patient and family at homewhether that's a private home, a nursing home or assisted living facility, or a hospice residence. Fifty percent of hospice patients are diagnosed with conditions other than cancer or AIDS. Hospice involves families, and offers them professional support and training in caring for their loved ones. Hospice serves anyone facing a Iife-limiting illness, regardless of age. Hospice offers grief and bereavement services to family members and the community.
Good care at the end of life is very expensive. Hospice is only for the last few days of life.
Choosing hospice means giving up all medical treatment.
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Some couples even enter into an agreement to not only set up the presumption of the lack of intent to be married but also to address issues such as property ownership. An attorney can help suggest additional elements to observe and things to do. If a couple marries, then the estate documents and powers of attorney should be updated to reflect the new marital status, and a nuptial agreement becomes very important. Legal rights of the new spouse such as elective share, allowances, claims, maintenance, etc., are addressed. In addition, the nuptial agreement should cover not only death but also possible future divorce. Thus living together may not be as simple as you first thought. At some point, see a lawyer so that your intent as a couple is properly established in order to reduce future unhappy surprises. ________________ Attorney Ron Rutz will answer questions sent to 2625 Redwing Road, Suite 180, Fort Collins CO 80525, phone 223-8288, email rutz@ ronaldrutz.com. ■
Everyone dies in a hospital.
Hospice is only for cancer or AIDS patients. Families are not able to care for people with terminal illnesses. Hospice is just for the elderly. Hospice only focuses on the dying process.
12 • June 2009 • The Senior Voice
Traveling by Stagecoach By Bill Lambdin
hat was it like to travel by stagecoach in the 1800s? A man named Raphael Pumpelly described his trip in 1860: “The coach was fitted with three seats, and these were occupied by nine passengers. As the occupants of the front and middle seats faced each other, it was necessary for these six people to interlock their knees. “And there being room inside for only ten of the twelve legs, each side of the coach was graced by a foot dangling near the wheel, trying in vain to find a place of support. “An unusually heavy mail (load) in the boot, by weighing down the rear, kept those of us on the front seat constantly bent forward, taking away all support from our backs, rendering rest at all times out of the question... “The fatigue of uninterrupted traveling by day and night in a
crowded coach, and in the most uncomfortable positions, was beginning to tell seriously upon all the passengers, and was producing a condition bordering on insanity... “In some persons, this temporary mania developed itself to such a degree that their own safety and that of their fellow travelers made it necessary to leave them at the nearest station, where sleep usually restored them before the arrival of the next stage on the following week. “Instances have occurred of travelers jumping in this condition from the coach and wandering off to a death from starvation upon the desert... “Nothing but the most perfect presence of mind on the part of the driver could prevent accidents. Even this was not always enough, as was proved by a stage we met in which every passenger had either a bandaged head or an arm in a sling.” The romantic West? Hardly. ■
Stagecoach at Dolores, Colo. W.H. Jackson photo. Colorado Historical Society.
Local Stonehenge By Arlene Ahlbrandt
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The “Colorado Stonehenge” in Fort Collins. Photo Arlene Ahlbrandt.
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spectacular rock garden called the “Colorado Stonehenge” is located in north Fort Collins at College Avenue and Terry Lake Road (along Highway 287). It resembles the Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plains of England and was built by Jim Striggow, who said, “I’m a dreamer like my grandfather.” His grandfather built Sunset Watergarden in Michigan. Jim came to Colorado 28 years ago and has rock quarries near Owl Canyon north of Fort Collins. He used heavy equipment to place the large monoliths and cap stones in his rock garden, which includes a pond and beautiful fountain.
There are paths for visitors to walk on. The large upright stones weigh eight tons each and are ten feet high. Jim visited England’s Stonehenge in 1996. It is believed those stones may have been transported from Wales over 300 miles away sometime before 1800 BC. It is also believed the famous landmark served as a place of worship and as an astronomical calendar. Jim was so impressed with Stonehenge that he decided to build something like it here in Fort Collins. It serves as a landmark for his business office, which is in the rock building on the property. It is also an unusual place to visit. ■
The Senior Voice • June 2009 • 13
Investment Questions By Scott Burns Financial Writer Q: I have a daughter who will be turning 21 in a few months. She lives in New York. She will be coming into about $40,000. I have been told that land in Florida has been reduced in price due to the market. Do you think it would be a wise long-term investment for her to purchase land in Florida? If so, what area would you recommend? A: This is not a good idea. Not because the land is in Florida. It is a bad idea because you are contemplating an investment in an illiquid asset that costs money to hold since it will require paying real estate taxes. Your daughter is facing a major period of uncertainty in her life— establishing a career, possibly getting married, perhaps buying a house. She may also be moving several times. That means her assets should be in
things that are easy to sell, if necessary. Still more important, her assets should be salable in small portions. That isn’t land, which doesn’t come in shares. As an alternative, I suggest buying a variety of index funds when the market stabilizes. She could include one that invests in REITs, real estate investment trusts. Q: You have written that you do not believe target funds may be a good investment choice. I have a financial planner who advised me to use Vanguard Target 2025 for a small amount that I have in a Roth IRA account. Since she felt there was not enough money to diversify to any large degree ($28,000) in a number of funds, she said this would be a diversification within one fund. I am 72 years old. I think she has a good idea here. I am well-diversified in my taxable and IRA accounts and will probably never touch this
account. Your thoughts? A: Yes, that’s a good idea. It works because you aren’t likely to access the money, and it can grow without tax liability. If you think of it as money intended for your heirs, the current 80 percent commitment to equities is a good idea for future growth. Better still, the risk will automatically diminish as you age, and the odds of a transfer will increase. In this instance, the structure of a target portfolio suits your individual purposes very nicely. The reason you haven’t seen much enthusiasm for target-date funds in this column is that it isn’t always a good idea to reduce equity commitment as one ages. Yet that is the underlying premise of all these funds. ________________ Scott Burns is a longtime financial writer for the Dallas Morning News and other newspapers. He answers some general questions sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org. ■
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14 â€˘ June 2009 â€˘ The Senior Voice
Laughter Is the Best Medicine
â€œWatching sports on TV is now crystal clear and colorful again â€“ thanks to Dr. Kirk.â€?
â€” Jim Curtis Loveland
im Curtis likes everything sports â€” the Broncos, his grandchildrenâ€™s sports activities and watching games on television. When he couldnâ€™t read the stats on TV, he knew he needed help with his vision. â€œDr. Kirk did cataract surgery on both eyes and it was wonderful. He saved me the cost of a new television. Thereâ€™s only one place when it comes to your eyes â€” Kirk Eye Center.â€?
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n Irishman who played the bagpipe told this story: â€œA funeral director asked me to play at a graveside service for an old Irishman who had no family. â€œThe director said the burial would be far out in the country at an old farm. He hoped I could find it. I got lost on the way and arrived an hour late. No one was there except a few workers standing next to a backhoe beside the grave. â€œSome dirt was already on the coffin, but I stepped up beside the grave and began to play for the poor old Irishman. I played my heart out for an hour, everything from Danny Boy to the Battle Hymn of the Republic.â€? â€œTears came to the eyes of the workmen standing beside me, and as I left I heard one of them say, â€˜I ainâ€™t never heard nothinâ€™ like that in all my born days, and I been burying septic tanks for 30 years.â€™â€? An Australian tour guide was showing a group of American tourists around. On their way to Kakadu, he was describing the abilities of the Aborigine to track man or beast over land, through the air or beneath the sea. The Americans were doubtful. Later, the tour rounded a bend on the highway and discovered an Aborigine lying in the middle of the road. He had one ear pressed to the ground. The guide and tourists gathered round. â€œJacky,â€? said the guide, â€œwhat
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