Norwin Chamber of Commerce Real Estate in Norwin
Welcome to the spring issue of Norwin. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday filled with family, friends, and fun. Typically, I use this space to talk about your community or features in the magazine that spotlight the people in your community who are doing wonderful things. Well, this time I want to update you regarding our newest feature for 2011— our new website. Without venturing too far into the realm of shameless selfpromotion, I want to emphasize that this website is something for you, our readers. How so? Well, you can have input and help shape the website just like your ideas help shape your magazine. Now you have a place to list all of the nonprofit community organizations that are active in the community. We are also developing pages where we list the local houses of worship. In addition, we now offer every magazine in a fully downloadable PDF format, rather than the outdated flipbook format we used to have. This will allow you to send the magazine, or links to it, to friends and family both near and far. We tied our website into Facebook as well, not to get the biggest list of “friends” we could get but to have a place to keep our readers abreast of all the news we get between issues. It also gives us a place to upload all the photos from community events that we don’t have room for in the magazine. As with all things, there’s always room for improvement, but we always have open ears. If you have comments about our new website or want to see your organization listed, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your link or feedback. There’s no charge for listing your church, synagogue, or scout troop’s link, so send your links in today! And if you happen to be on Facebook and like what you see in the magazine, don’t hesitate to click that “Like” button. It’s always nice to be liked! I hope you have a wonderful spring!
SPRING 2011 IN Norwin is a non-partisan community publication dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting the Norwin area and its comprising municipalities by focusing on the talents and gifts of the people who live and work here. Our goal is to provide readers with the most informative and professional regional publication in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PUBLISHER
Wayne Dollard ASSISTANT TO THE PUB LIS H ER
Mark Berton email@example.com MANAGING EDITOR
Marybeth Jeffries firstname.lastname@example.org OFFICE MANAGER
Leo Vighetti email@example.com EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
Jamie Ward firstname.lastname@example.org WRITERS
Jonathan Barnes Kelli McElhinny
Wayne Dollard Publisher
When I think about spring, I can’t help but think about light. The days get “lighter,” the sun stays with us a little longer each day. When we have a great idea, a light bulb goes off in our minds. At Norwin Magazine we try to spot-light our communities. What are you doing to be a “light”? If you or an organization that you volunteer or work for is a light in the community, will you let me know? So many good deeds are left unsung! If you have a family member who is in the armed forces, your church group or even Mom or Dad are providing a service to someone in need, we want to know! Please e-mail your ideas and photos to me at Marybeth@incommunitymagazines.com. On page 3 of this edition, I want to introduce you to Mike & Paula Ziemski. This couple is passionate about music education! The Ziemski’s are a fine example of residents from this community striving every day to make things better! As we look forward to warmer and brighter days ahead, I hope you will enjoy this edition of Norwin Magazine.
Cassie Brkich Anna Buzzelli Susie Doak Pati Ingold
Jan McEvoy Joe Milne Tamara Tylenda Tracey Wasilco
Rebecca Bailey Garyyonphotography.com One Way Street Productions ADVERTISING SALES
Nicholas Buzzell Brian Daley Gina D’Alicandro Tina Dollard Rose Estes Jason Huffman Jessie Jones Connie McDaniel Brian McKee
David Mitchell Tamara Myers Gabriel Negri Robert Ojeda Annette Petrone Vincent Sabatini Michael Silvert RJ Vighetti
This magazine is carrier route mailed to all district households and businesses. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Copyright 2011. CORRESPONDENCE All inquiries, comments and press releases should be directed to:
Marybeth Jeffries Managing Editor
IN Community Magazines Attn: Editorial 603 East McMurray Road McMurray, PA 15317 Ph: 724.942.0940 Fax: 724.942.0968
Summer content deadline: 4/28 www.incommunitymagazines.com
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – CHARLES DICKENS
Please recycle this magazine when you are through enjoying it.
Contents Norwin | SPRING 2011 |
Publisher’s Message COMMUNITY INTEREST
Norwin Band is Playing It Forward Norwin School District
The Norwin Chamber of Commerce
Greensburg’s Westmoreland Museum of American Art UPMC Today
Health and Wellness News You Can Use | 21
Older Adults in Norwin In Kids
Real Estate in Norwin
Both Buyers and Sellers Need to Beware of Overpricing | 42
Norwin Faith in Action
Striving to Help the Elderly Everyday | 44 FEATURES
Nonprofit Group Grants Wishes for Senior Citizens Home Improvement
Female Fit-It-Yourself Revolution | 46 Rethinking the Attic | 47
Venue Planning for Your Wedding | 48 Wedding Etiquette for the Socially Inept | C3 INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
All Kare Chiropractic
Experts in Weightloss in the Pittsburgh Area | 19
Dr. Dominic Sabatini
Read This Immediately If You’re Missing Teeth or Have Dentures | 20
Garage Door Doctor
ON THE COVER
Ryan Brooks, an 11th-grade student at Norwin High School, builds a support structure for the main set piece that serves as an elevated stage for both the Copacabana and Tropicana clubs within the school musical. In the background is Taylor Churchfield, grade 10.
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The Norwin “Play It Forward Fund,” a component fund of the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, is embarking on a mission to take the Norwin Band’s recognized performance excellence to a new level. A local couple, Mike and Paula Ziemski, working in close collaboration with Norwin Director of Bands Robert Traugh, kicked off the fund with a major gift to assist motivated Norwin band students, grades 5–12, with subsidies for private music lessons and summer music camp experiences. “Having the availability of these supplemental funds will help to level the playing field—no pun intended—for those students who desire to advance their musical education, and at the same time make a commitment to the Norwin Band program,” said Traugh. The fund raised some money this winter through a benefit concert and wine tasting at the Greenhouse Winery in Rillton, where the five-piece acoustic musical group, Rising Regina, performed. Rising Regina’s sound incorporates the best of American roots music including rock, folk, blues, jazz, bluegrass and Celtic. The band has played in many high profile venues and festivals and shared the stage with such diverse artists as Enter The Haggis, The Clarks, Guggenheim Grotto, Kaj, The Weathered Road, and Brewers Row. The benefit also featured a gourmet popcorn bar catered by the Pittsburgh Popcorn Company, as well as refreshments, prizes, auctions, and more. Wine sampling and sales were provided by Greenhouse Winery. Proceeds from the event funded the Play It Forward Fund to help students with financial need. Mike Ziemski said that more programs will take place in 2011 to keep the fund going. Ziemski said that private lessons in music have enriched his life and those of his family, so when Traugh suggested a fund for private lessons to help Norwin’s students, he said the idea was a no-brainer. “Private lessons in addition to the school instruction, would give students the tools to excel in music for the band and in their personal lives,” Ziemski said. “I’ve had private lessons. My daughter—a senior now—and my son, both had private lessons. We saw the potential that lessons unlock in students.
Unfortunately, in times of need, or economic difficulties, if a student is taking lessons, they’re the first thing to go.” As a result of the fund, Norwin’s band has seen their competitive music scores grow. “They placed 7th at a regional competition in Indianapolis,” Ziemski said. “Mr. Traugh would have been happy with making it to finals, but we placed 7th at finals against schools that have 200–300 members in their band.” Paula Ziemski said that when the fund was set up, fund administrators advised funding it to the $10,000 level in order to keep it up. Thanks to their fundraisers, the fund is now at $12,000, she said. “We’ve actually exceeded that goal. We’re up to $12,000 in 11 months. Ideally, $10,000 was the minimum that should be in the account, but we’ve had corporate and private donations to boost that for us,” Paula Ziemski said. “We really want to grow still, and we’re using the 80/20 rule: If 20 percent of students have financial need, we’d like to have 20 percent participation. For that, $100,000 is the long-term goal. Right now, we can probably sustain 20 students with the money that’s there over the course of the year. We have about seven right now benefitting by receiving free or reduced lessons.” While all Norwin band students are eligible to apply for funds, preference will be given to those students with financial need. The goal for students who benefit is to ultimately “play it forward” in the future, either financially or by giving of their time and talent to help other band students. With enhanced musical education experiences, it is the hope that the historically successful Norwin Band program will continue to grow and flourish. The high school band performs and competes locally and nationally, and has a strong support system of current and alumni members, parents, and community. For more information on the Play it Forward Fund, go to www.norwinplayitforwardfund.com, or by calling your band director in your school.
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The Annual Dinner and Business Expo will be held on Thursday, March 24, 2011 and draws businesses large and small. This event provides our membership with the opportunity to showcase their businesses during the expo, recognize outgoing Board members, welcome new Board members and honor the Chamber Person of the Year and Community Volunteer of the Year. Attendees enjoy hors dâ€™oeuvres, cocktails, dinner and DJ entertainment throughout the evening. This yearâ€™s theme is Mardi Gras! The Excellence In Education Luncheons are held every May to honor the top 20 students or 5% (whichever is greater) of the graduating class from Norwin High School and Penn-Trafford High School. The local business community and Chamber members sponsor the students' lunches and gifts. The Norwin Excellence In Education Luncheon is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18, 2011 while the Penn-Trafford Luncheon is scheduled for Thursday, May 26, 2011. Both Luncheons will be held at Strategos Banquet Centre. If your business would like to sponsor a student, please contact the Norwin Chamber at 724-863-0888. Career Fair at Norwin High School. Local companies, hospitals, armed services, businesses and professionals set up displays in the high school class rooms. Grades 9 through 12 attend informational lectures throughout the morning. Students are able to ask questions and address concerns about the area of their career interests.
The Annual Golf Outing is held each June and draws over 115 golfers, both male and female. This four person scramble includes breakfast, boxed lunch, a round of golf, drink tickets, full dinner, 50/50 raffle, Chinese Auction and Skill prizes. The Outing will be held this year at The Madison Club on Friday, June 3, 2011. 14
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The Women In Business Initiative is a quarterly networking program that focuses on educating, inspiring and empowering women in business. Each event includes introductions and 30 second commercials, a business growth series that includes speakers on women-related topics and a business forum that focuses on networking. A continental breakfast is sponsored by a Norwin Chamber woman in business. The Young Professionals Group is for members or employees of members (between 21-40 years of age) who are young entrepreneurs or young working people interested in enhancing their leadership skills. Young Professionals will learn various business skills, learn to be comfortable with networking and learn from seasoned business professionals. Activities of the group includes educational seminars, social gatherings, tours of local companies, mentoring opprotunities and community service projects. Health Insurance is offered to Norwin Chamber members through ChamberChoice. Special programs through ChamberChoice include healthcare, dental and vision, health savings accounts and reimbursements, life insurance and short-term and long-term care.
For more information on the services, programs and member benefits offered by the Norwin Chamber of Commerce, call 724-863-0888 or visit www.norwinchamber.com
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WESTMORELAND MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART Greensburg’s Westmoreland Museum of American Art recently offered local residents an exciting preview of two upcoming exhibitions: American Landscapes: Treasures from the Parrish Art Museum and At the River’s Edge: Paintings by Patrick Ruane. Approximately 150 area residents attended the free event, which took place on January 29, 2011, and offered attendees light refreshments and a cash bar. American Landscapes: Treasures from the Parrish Art Museum, organized by the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York, depicts the evolution of American landscape paintings through a selection of forty-one 19th and 20th-century pieces of art. Artists featured in this exhibition include William Merritt Chase, Asher B. Durand, Martin Johnson Heade, Alex Katz, John Marin, Fairfield Porter, Theodore Robinson, John Sloan, John Henry Twachtman and Earnest Lawson. At the River’s Edge: Paintings by Patrick Ruane, presented the stunning paintings of Glenshaw resident Patrick Ruane. “It’s great to have my paintings out of the studio and on the walls,” commented Ruane. “It’s important for me to see people’s responses and reactions to my paintings.” Ruane, who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, has had his work featured throughout Pennsylvania and in cities across the country including New York City, Washington, D.C.; Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Tucson.
Artist Patrick Ruane discusses his work with Gloria and Lowell Smith
Alice Kaylor, Timothy Thompson 16
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Katie and Stewart Smith of Pittsburgh Norwin
Both exhibitions will be open to the public from through April 24, 2011. For more information on the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, visit their website at wmuseumaa.org.
Arlene Kendra, Virginia Fallat of Greensburg
Auto & Home Insurance Serving Our Community For Over 20 Years
(724) 863-9520 12120 Route 30, Irwin, PA 15642
EVERYONE HAS A STORY Would you or someone you know like to be featured IN Norwin Magazine for our newest feature â€“ Resident Profiles? Please suggest a resident for the community to get to know! Email our Managing Editor at Marybeth@incommunitymagazines.com
Peggy Moriarty, Marie Brigham of Washington, PA
(Must be a resident of the Norwin community)
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in the Pittsburgh Area
It is my pleasure to introduce myself to the readers of IN Norwin Magazine. My name is Dr. William Roscoe of ALL KARE Chiropractic and Laser Clinic in North Huntingdon, Pa. I will be writing a column in each issue of IN Norwin Magazine this year covering weight loss, overall health and wellness plus chiropractic care. The information I will convey is researched and compiled through my years of continuous study. I am a graduate from Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic, valedictorian of my class, putting in countless hours of study, learning about how the body works, physiologically, and about what the body needs (nutritionally, mechanically and biomechanically) in order to stay healthy or recover from an unhealthy state. I returned to Southwestern Pennsylvania and acquired All Kare Chiropractic in 1998. Again, I started to work hard to build a practice so I could, God willing, bring health and well-being to the people in the area that we have loved our entire lives. It was at this point that all of my hard work was paying off for me. I had a very successful practice but continued to further my knowledge in healthier lifestyles and ways to prevent people from having health issues. Then it hit me that my success had a huge price. I was 100 pounds overweight, completely out of shape and not practicing what I preached. So to be a better role model, I started making better choices more often, eating healthier, simple exercise, less TV, less computer games and NO FAST FOOD. It took 5-6 years but I have lost over 100 pounds and I have kept it off for years. I can teach you how to easily lose the weight and keep it off for the rest of your life. Research shows that lifestyle accounts for 70% of the way a person feels. This is true for things like pain in your back, neck, hips, arms and legs, but is also true for more serious health concerns like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. Research also shows that a person diagnosed with diabetes prior to age 40 will lose 11-14 years from their lifespan. In most cases, this is preventable through proper diet and exercise. In order to help more people more effectively, I have recently added new technology to my practice at ALL KARE Chiropractic and Laser Clinic, “The Zerona LIPO Laser.” It has been featured on television shows like Rachel Ray, The Doctors and Extra. You can check it out on the web at zeronalaserpittsburgh.com or AllKare.com The Zerona laser has been used for years to assist in traditional liposuction surgery but because liposuction surgery is very expensive, invasive, painful and has the chance of serious infection, the manufacturer received FDA approval to use the Zerona laser for non-surgical purposes. The Zerona is a 635 Nanometer cold laser that excites fat cells to dump their fat into the interstitial fluid of the body, without pain and without
downtime. It is the only laser that, at the time I am writing this, is FDA approved for fat reduction. During the procedure the Zerona Lipo Laser treatment that is being administered is a low level laser that does not produce heat, and it is completely non-invasive and has never shown any recorded side effects beyond fat reduction. Research shows that treatment should take 40 minutes and needs to be administered every 48 hours, three times a week for two weeks for best results. The laser will be applied to the targeted areas i.e. waist, hips, thighs for 20 minutes then patient will turn over to do the same treatment on the opposite side. Your first step for the patient to take is to decide that you want to be healthy and happy. Next is to schedule a free consultation, where we can start the journey and you can commit to making the lifestyle changes that will start to change your life for the better. When you commit to a new you we will commit to being your coach, your mentor, your advocate...not just your doctor. After completion of the two week Laser session, along with the lifestyle changes that we have implemented, the average patient can expect 5-6 inches of fat loss, in the stomach, hips and thighs.
For more information, call ALL KARE Chiropractic & Laser Clinic at 724-864-3310. You can either come in for a free consultation or come to one of our free monthly seminars. William H. Roscoe, D.C.
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READ THIS IMMEDIATELY If You’re Missing Teeth or Have Dentures. This Directly Aﬀects Your Health! Report on Denture Creams and Zinc Poisoning In August 2008, researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas reported on four patients who suffered from neuropathy and other neurological problems associated with zinc poisoning. All were denture cream users. The article, published in “Neurology”, noted that one tube of denture cream should last 3 to 10 weeks, but patients in the report were all using at least two tubes per week. Three had also lost their teeth at a relatively young age, meaning they had used “extremely large amounts of denture adhesive daily for years.” The researchers tested the denture creams the four patients used, and found zinc concentrations between 17,000 and 34,000 micrograms per gram. Based on the patients’ denture cream use, the researchers estimated that they were exposed to at least 330 mg of zinc daily, far more than the recommended daily allowance of 8 mg for women and 11 mg for men. The National Academy of Sciences stated in 2001 that the largest daily tolerable zinc intake is 40 mg. According to the University of Texas researchers, all of the patients had abnormally high levels of zinc in their blood, accompanied by abnormally low levels of copper. Normal blood levels of copper range from 0.75 to 1.45 micrograms per milliliter (mL), but levels for the patients in the report ranged from less than 0.1 to 0.23 micrograms per mL. The top normal number for zinc blood levels is 1.10 micrograms per mL, but patients had levels ranging from 1.36 to 4.28 micrograms per mL. Another patient’s neurological symptoms included weakness in the hands and poor balance, while another had weakness in her arms and legs that made her wheelchair dependent, along with cognitive decline and urinary incontinence. These patients showed “mild neurological improvement” after they quit using denture cream and began taking copper supplements. Individuals with ill-fitting dentures may use excess cream in order to secure their dentures. The University of Texas researchers recommended that patients facing this problem seek professional help, and possibly have their dentures replaced or implants placed in order to avoid using too much denture cream. Loose dentures can cause sore spots in your mouth as well as stomach problems from not being able to chew food properly. They could also cause changes in your facial features. Dentures won’t cause oral cancer, but poorly fitting dentures and poor oral care over a long period can cause irritation, infection, and the inflammation that has been associated with oral cancer. You should have the fit of your dentures checked by your dentist regularly. You can also limit your risk of oral cancer by avoiding tobacco and heavy alcohol use.
Missing Teeth Having gaps where teeth are missing affects the way the jaw closes. The remaining teeth begin to tilt and drift into the gaps. In addition, food can become trapped in these spaces, increasing the risk of decay and gum disease. The tilting and drifting can also cause problems for the opposing teeth. An opposing tooth will begin to hyper erupt and begin to drift into the open space of the missing tooth, causing the opposing jaw-line to have bite relationship problems; thus beginning TMJ problems (problems with the jaw joint). As soon as a tooth is lost, either from gum disease or an extraction, the supporting bone in the jaw begins to dissolve. This process is called resorption. The longer a tooth is missing, the greater the bone loss. Over time, resorption of the jawbone has a considerable effect on quality of life and on the possibility of replacing the missing teeth. As teeth are lost it becomes more difficult to eat and chew food. Studies have shown that 29 percent of denture wearers eat only soft or mashed foods and 50 percent avoid many foods altogether. And over time, more and more of the jaw bone disintegrates until it becomes very difficult to place any dental restoration. 20
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The effects of missing teeth can be detrimental to your long term oral and medical health. Missing teeth are also associated with old age and can make you look older than you are. Replace your missing teeth or stabilize your denture in one visit with a gentle, non-surgical procedure that gives immediate results.
Dentures Your denture or a new denture is made to snap on the implant heads in only one visit.
Missing Teeth Replaced in just one Visit! Dr. Sabatini will place the implant(s) in your mouth, and will position the final restoraction(s). In about 30 minutes, a single tooth can be replaced without the need to grind down any healthy teeth next to the space. In either case, you can walk out ready to enjoy the foods you wish. Laugh, smile, and be comfortable and confident. Call Dr. Sabatini for a free consult or second opinion. By mentioning this article, you will receive $100.00 off any implant treatment. Find the latest news and information at Dr. Sabatini's Facebook page or www.drsabatini.com
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Good Tidings for the Greatest Generation
Older Adults in Norwin
ow that the holidays are behind us, you’re hopefully putting that smoking credit card back into your wallet or purse for a while. But even though this may be a down time for you and your credit card, it’s no time to be lax about your credit card security. So what do you need to know about keeping your credit card safe? First, off, don’t give yourself a pin number that’s easy to guess. Issuing banks typically assign you a random pin number when you first get your card that you can change later. Keep this assigned number and avoid picking a pin for yourself like “1234” or your birth date. While it may be easy for you to remember, those choices are also very easy for predators to figure out. If you make a lot of online purchases or just want to dip your toes into the world of Internet shopping, get yourself a dedicated card with a low credit limit. You can open up a secured credit card at most financial institutions that require you to deposit a balance to borrow against, allowing you to open a card with a $500 limit. Your deposit will gain interest and you will be able to use your card for online purchases. What’s more, most scammers try to run a small purchase through before running a larger purchase on 36
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the card. You may not notice a $0.32 charge right away, but when your bank calls you asking if you tried to purchase a $779 laptop, you’ll be happy your limit was low enough to be declined. If your credit card number is compromised, you should call your bank immediately and report it. While police are able to enforce credit card fraud on a local level, with the Internet the person trying to run your numbers may be six states away, if they’re in the United States at all. In all cases, the sooner it’s reported, the better. Your bank will cancel the card number and reissue you another card. While you’re online, keep in mind that your bank will most likely never contact you via email regarding your account. If you do get an e-mail from a bank that you use, double check the address. Chances are it will be slightly askew from any legitimate address. Instead of “@yourcreditcard.com,”
you may see, “@yourcreditcard1.com” or “@yourcreditcard.uk.” Banks understand that scammers routinely try to get you to give up your personal information via e-mail. Therefore, most have secured e-mail available through their websites, where you can be sure you’re talking straight to legitimate bank representatives. Lastly, if you have several credit cards that you use often, take the time to flip them over and write down the 1-800 customer service numbers on the back and keep that list in a safe place. It’s also a good idea to keep a copy in your purse or wallet. This way, when you notice your card is missing and are frantic, you can at least go to your list and call to report the missing card. In the end, you should treat your credit card like you would treat your cash—never leave it lying around.
f the last time you took holiday photos required clumsily spooling film into your 35 mm camera, don’t be intimidated by what technology has done to photography in the past few years. In fact, once you have some basics down, you may find that your digital camera is easier to use than you thought. So let’s start at the beginning and go over your new toy from stem to stern. We can’t go into detail about every feature of every camera, but luckily most cameras share the same properties, so we can cover most scenarios. More than likely, your camera came with a lithium ion battery pack and charger. All you need to know about this is that this battery can last a long time. Thanks to self-timers built into your camera, if you forget to shut it off, it will shut off automatically for you, saving battery life and allowing you to take that unexpected shot when the time comes. That said, the battery won’t last forever, especially if you are shooting with the flash often or shooting video, if your camera has that feature. If you know you’re going to be somewhere with a lot of natural light, turn your flash off altogether and shoot longer. The second thing to familiarize yourself with is your memory card. Cameras come with a variety of memory cards to choose from. Regardless of the kind your camera takes, just remember that bigger is better. A 16 gigabyte memory card can hold hundreds of photos, and if you’re not in the habit of printing your photos right away or moving them to your computer, the extra space is a must. How many pictures you can store on your memory card depends on your resolution setting for your pictures. Your resolution is how big the picture is. If you’re shooting for a website, low resolutions are better because the file size is smaller. However, if you try to print the same low resolution photo as an 8x10, it will appear distorted or “pixilated” because the camera wasn’t set to capture all of the fine details of the image. With most point-and-shoot cameras on high resolution, you can print very large prints or zoom in to crop shots for better composition. The last thing to get to know is the USB cable. This is the cable that came with your camera and connects it to any USB port on your computer. Through this cable, you can transfer your images for future sorting, correction, or sharing. Believe it or not, once you have those things down, your digital camera has many of the same features of your old 35 mm. You can zoom in, set a timer so you have a chance to get into frame, and set a scenic mode where you can select how the camera operates in certain conditions, such as a portrait, sports shot, night shot, or landscape. Your manual will list the specific icons and their meanings. Don’t be afraid to leaf through it if you get stuck. Manuals have come a long way as well and are clearly written for users of all experience levels.
SeniorAgencies Jeannette Senior Center c/o Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Gaskill & Third Streets Jeannette, PA 15644 Phone: 724.527.3200
Transportation For Older Adults There are several agencies that offer free or reduced-rate transportation services to individuals who qualify: Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP) 1.888.547.6287 Provides non-emergency medical transportation to residents of Allegheny County who have a valid Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Medical Assistance Card. Free Bus Pass for Senior Citizens The Port Authority allows Allegheny County residents, 65 years of age and older, to ride free on local public transportation (buses, trolleys and rapid-transit lines). Participants must obtain identification cards, which are available free of charge, from participating transportation providers. Call 412.442.2000 for the location nearest to you. Older Persons Transportation Transportation for medical appointments, grocery shopping, senior center activities and other needs throughout Allegheny County is available to adults 60 years of age and older who live in Allegheny County. Call SeniorLine at 412.350.5460. ACCESS 65 Plus and ACCESS ADA Program 412.562.5353 or TDD 1.800.654.5984 ACCESS is doorto-door, advance reservation, sharedride transportation provided throughout Port Authority’s service area. It serves primarily senior citizens and persons with disabilities. There are no restrictions on the purpose or number of trips which may be taken by riders, except that riders are required to share their vehicle with others traveling in the same direction and at the same time. Are you a nonprofit Senior Center serving the needs of our community’s older adults? We would be happy to post your contact information. Contact Marybeth@incommunitymagazines.com with your center’s name and phone number. Norwin | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 37
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R E A L E S TAT E
“You have to make sure that your agent But there’s no similar failsafe with overAs with any major purchase, doing your does comparisons to similar homes in the pricing. A home that’s overpriced may get a homework should be something you do bearea, knows the market, and gets supporting nice oﬀer, but ultimately, the final arbiter of fore you sign on a major loan. Never before evidence that the house is really worth what it’s truly worth is the appraiser, assigned has this been more true than in the housing what it’s being advertised at before you independently by the bank or lender. That market, where overpricing can create major put in an oﬀer,” Fincham said. “If the house appraisal will dictate the future of the sale. headaches for buyers and sellers. doesn’t appraise for the agreed upon price, The resulting appraisal could tank the sale For sellers, overpricing can mean that your it is unlikely that you will receive any altogether, or force buyers to seek extra home sits on the market longer, raising flags seller’s assist.” money or alternative financing to to potential buyers that something is amiss. compensate for the missed seller’s For buyers, an overpriced home can assistance. Either way, it’s going to mean a loss in seller’s For buyers, an overpriced home can mean a loss mean a hassle for the buyer and assistance, money that sellers in seller’s assistance, money that sellers frustration for the seller. sometimes bring to the table from sometimes bring to the table from their profits However, if an agent does the their profits to help defray closing homework and knows their business, costs for the buyer. Worse yet, if to help defray closing costs for the buyer. Fincham said the home should be there is no appraisal contingency listed at a fair price, resulting in a addendum attached to the relatively smooth sale in reasonable agreement of sale, a buyer may be length of time. forced to go through with a home “It is now imperative that agents and purchase after being told that it is not worth clients know the recent selling prices of what they have agreed to pay. What’s more, overpricing is a one-way Sharon Fincham, a Realtor with street by way of mistakes. Homeowners who comparable homes,” she said. “Buyers and sellers agreeing on a price is not Prudential Preferred Realty, said that, list their homes for too little may receive necessarily enough anymore. The study in addition to including an appraisal multiple oﬀers, allowing the power of free of a neighborhood before an oﬀer is made contingency addendum to an oﬀer, you market economic supply and demand can save everyone involved a lot of grief need to make sure that your agent is to take over, driving the price up until and frustration.” doing the proper legwork before the it’s comparable to the other homes in oﬀer is even made. the neighborhood.
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Norwin | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 43
NORWIN FAITH IN ACTION Striving to Help the Elderly Everyday
“Our volunteers will go through the house, look for hazards, and, if needed, install free grab bars or inside hand railings,” Whalen said. “We have a licensed contractor who performs the work, and we leave them with home safety supplies. We’ll install up to two smoke detectors if they don’t have them, or check and replace the batteries if they do. We can provide them with flashlights and other safety items that they should have in the home. They get a nice package of safety supplies when it’s all said and done.” The organization works with Irwin Volunteer Firefighters as well as its own volunteers to do the checks, Whalen said. “We’re really a fill-in for other services. A lot our seniors receive Meals on Wheels and things like that. We supplement what they don’t have,” Whalen said. “We don’t bathe them. We don’t dress them. We don’t do anything that would require a doctor.”
Sometimes, it takes a little polish to put the shine back into what are supposed to be the “golden years.” And in Westmoreland County, Brush Creek Faith in Action is helping to make those years brighter for the senior citizens it serves.
A program of the United Way, Faith in Action provides free, non-medical services to area seniors, and, unlike other programs of its kind, it has no income requirements. Teri Whalen, program director, said the only prerequisite for obtaining Faith in Action’s help is reaching the age of 60. “If a senior citizen wants to enroll, I go to the home to meet with them and enroll them in the program. Essentially, I do the paperwork for them,” Whalen said. “But I like to go out to the home to spot anything that may be a health hazard, a fire hazard. By being there talking to them at their home, I can see if they need other assistance.” The spot check may help the senior acquire assistance that they may not be aware they could, Whalen said. “We provide free, non-medical services to the elderly, living in our service area—Irwin, North Irwin, and Jeanette by the end of the year,” Whalen said. “Our non-medical services include taking them to the grocery store, to get their hair done, or to go shopping. If I have a volunteer available, we’ll do it. We’ll check in on people to make sure they’re OK once or twice a month. We’ll do minor house work, vacuuming, dishes, etc. We’re not a cleaning service, we’re just a helper.” Faith in Action also has volunteers who provide minor handyman services such as lock replacement or fixing leaky faucets. Whalen said the organization also will provide a 91-point home safety check to pinpoint fire and falling hazards.
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Despite its being a supplemental program, Whalen said that more than 150 seniors partake in the program, and more call every day. Not every senior requires regular service, however. Whalen said that many just need a ride to the doctor’s office every six months. “We have some from Irwin Manor who go to the supermarket on Social Security day. Some have regular eye appointments because they’re legally blind. Some call once a year and need a ride to the doctor. It varies,” Whalen said. “I would say we have 100 that get regular service of some kind.” Faith in Action asks that seniors give them 7-10 days to arrange transportation requests. The planning time is shorter for home repair projects. The client-tovolunteer ratio is 2 to 1, and volunteers tend to work after their regular workday is over or on the weekends. Whalen said more volunteers are always welcome, regardless of the time they are able to commit. For more information regarding services, volunteering, or donating to Brush Creek Faith in Action, call 724.863.5950 or mail a contribution to 412 Main Street, Irwin, Pa., 15642.
Everyone’s heard of Make-AWish, but where do you turn if you’re a senior citizen or know a senior citizen who has a real need that can’t be met? That’s where Twilight Wish comes in. It was started by Cassy Forkin in 2003, when she saw three elderly women pinching pennies to pay for a small tab in a diner. Forkin gave the waitress a $20 bill and paid for their meal. The ladies were so appreciative, Forkin decided to start an organization to fulfill the wishes of seniors without means. Since that time, Twilight Wish has established chapters all over the United States and fulfilled thousands of wishes for grateful seniors. Colleen Bratkovich, an eldercare attorney who volunteers with the Western Pennsylvania Chapter, said Twilight Wish is reaching out to Westmoreland County in particular because there has only been one wish in that region. “We’ve been able to grant wishes in Allegheny County, but had no wishes in Westmoreland County,” she said. “If people know of someone in their community who might benefit from a wish, we want
to get the word out that they can contact us.” Bratkovich said a wish is basically “anything that’s needed for an individual.” Items ranging from dentures and hearing aids to special arrangements have been granted. “We had one individual who wanted to visit her son one last time, and he was in a prison in central Pennsylvania,” Bratkovich said. “They collected donations to pay for the wheelchairaccessible van, the driver and all particulars of the trip. One lady wanted to pay for a tombstone for her deceased husband. She had no money to pay for it and saved and saved, but after a year, she only had $15.” Other wishes include home repairs. One individual lost her home in a fire and Twilight Wish replaced her furniture and helped her to get back on her feet. To be eligible for a Twilight Wish, seniors must be 68 years of age or older, less than 200 percent of the poverty level – $21,660 annually for a household of one as determined by the federal definition of poverty level for 2009 – and cognitively able to enjoy the wish. Seniors must also be a legal U.S. citizen with a history of giving back to their community during the course of their life. Bratkovich said the financial requirements don’t come into play if it’s a wish that you can’t put a price tag on like meeting a player for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Wishes can be kept private or seniors may share their good fortune with the members of the media, Bratkovich said. Anyone wishing to download an application can go to www.twilightwish.org or call 724.712.5655. Wishes are approved at the national level and implemented by the local chapters, which do all the fundraising and networking necessary to fulfill the wish. Bratkovich said that the Westmoreland County Chapter holds monthly meetings at various business locations, however, the Westmoreland County Twilight Wish Foundation will be establishing a permanent home in Southeastern Westmoreland County in the near future.
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SOLVE 5 COMMON HOUSEHOLD PROBLEMS
From pink screwdrivers and mini toolboxes to a surge of female-targeted home improvement sites and guidebooks, the fix-it-yourself revolution has come for women in the U.S. More empowered females are taking on household problems themselves instead of spending the money to hire a plumber, electrician or contractor. In fact, a recent study by the Medelia Monitor showed that more than 60 percent of women are more likely to tackle the work on their own. The majority of these women (63 percent) are being more resourceful to avoid the high costs of hiring a professional. And 71 percent of women say the desire to “fix-it-myself” stems from the empowering feeling of having the knowledge to improve their home. Sound familiar? If you’d like to empower yourself and join the fix-it-yourself revolution, start by picking up a few affordable tools and products to tackle quick fixes. Here are easy tips for solving five common household problems: Unstick sticky windows by opening them and rubbing wax or spraying silicone into the tracks on both sides. Move the window up and down several times to work the wax or silicone lubricant into the frame. Fix squeaky wood or tile floors by sprinkling baby powder on the surface of the floor that’s squeaking. Then place a chisel between the boards and gently hammer the top to pry up the tile or floorboard. Sprinkle more baby powder underneath the board to seal the excess space causing the squeaking. If your drains are draining slowly or clogged completely, try a de-clogging gel that clears the toughest clogs at a fraction of the cost of a plumber house call. Liquid-Plumr’s new Penetrex Gel is a fast-acting, powerful formula that can clear the toughest clogs in just seven minutes. Mend unsightly holes or tears in your window screens by using a screwdriver to straighten the bends in the mesh and dabbing clear nail polish to seal the hole. Allow it to dry. Then repeat the polish application until the hole is completely sealed. A wobbly table leg may seem hard, but it’s a surprisingly easy repair. Just figure out how it’s attached to the seat. Then either screw the leg back into its socket or glue it back into place.
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Fix-it resources abound online and at your local bookstore. But here’s a few to get you started: Facebook.com/LiquidPlumr: Most clogged drains are caused by hair. Get tips on how to keep all drains clear and while you’re there, enter the Big Locks Rock! Contest before December 15th for a chance to win a trip for four to L.A. to get haircuts by a celebrity stylist. BeJane.com: A site where women of all ages and skill levels can find answers to home improvement questions and connect with others for inspiration and advice. “Dare to Repair” by Julie Sussman: This book offers a “do-it-herself” guide to fixing almost anything in the home.
f you’re more than four feet tall and live in western Pennsylvania, chances are that your attic is not a comfortable space that you would consider livable. Your attic can be modified, however, by the do-ityourselfer into more than adequate storage for a variety of your belongings, if you get creative.
The first thing you need to consider is the space itself. Is it finished at all? Many attics in the area are open spaces broken up by roof and flooring joists and wads of insulation. The first thing you want to do is inspect your attic for leaks and whether those joists are strong enough to support extra weight. You can add flooring by screwing down plywood or other subflooring. Avoid nailing materials down to prevent damaging the ceilings underneath you through the vibrations of hammer blows. Once you have your flooring down, you can decide whether or not you want to finish the ceiling joists. You can insulate and attach drywall or plywood to these joists, depending on how fancy you want to get with the finished look; or you may decide that having the recessed areas between the joists is beneficial to your storage needs. Keep in mind that a triangular space is limiting only if you have boxes or items that you need to store vertically. Items that are smaller and that can be arranged into nooks and crannies can be ideal for these odd-shaped spaces. Also keep in mind that, because of the nature of attic access in older homes, the route to your attic may be through a small trap door in a hall closet, so items you put in the attic might be limited to long-term or permanent storage, like old college textbooks, holiday decorations, luggage, or all those old National Geographics that you can’t throw away because the pictures are too pretty. If you do have easy access to your attic, either by way of a dedicated staircase or pull-down steps, more options may offer themselves to you. Even tight attics have enough room for several two-drawer filing cabinets, allowing you to store many years’ worth of tax returns or product manuals.
Easier access means even more versatility when it comes to your storage plan. Rather than long term, you can use the space for things that require infrequent use—bins for extra blankets and pillows for when guests are in town, large children’s toys or games that don’t get played with during the school week, and sporting equipment when it’s out of season. Storing items like these in the attic will keep them out of dank basement conditions, and, in the case of linens and sporting equipment, keep the smell of mildew away.
Keep in mind that the attic, while dryer than the basement, still has its own set of issues. Temperatures often vary wildly in attics depending on how insulated they are, so items that can’t stand high heat or low temperatures – like candles, for instance – may not fare well in the attic environment. Each space is different, but each is unique, and how you use that space can be a fun project for the whole family.
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