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VOL.8, NO.10




More than 100,000 readers throughout Greater Baltimore

Tour guide sweats the details

Off the beaten tourist track What makes Larson’s tours unique is the “behind the scenes” perspective she provides, based on her years of research and her intimate knowledge of the city. “I know every inch of town,” she boasts. That enables her to put together some rather unique tours. In fact, she said, “I don’t like to take people to places that are open to the public.”


I N S I D E …


By Carol Sorgen It wasn’t until Zippy Larson lived in Iran for several years that she came to realize how much she still had to learn about her native Baltimore. Though she had spent her life here, she realized that the people she met in Iran knew much more about American — if not necessarily Baltimore — history than she did. “I thought I was an educated woman,” said the former nurse, who turns 79 in October. “But I went to the other end of the world and found out that they knew so much more than I did.” Larson’s husband had been on assignment from Westinghouse in Iran. When they returned to Baltimore, she immediately set out to rectify what she perceived as her lack of knowledge. She began studying history, first at Goucher College, then at the University of Baltimore. When she completed her studies (as the oldest person in her class), one of her professors said to her, “Now you are a historian.” But Larson thought otherwise. “That was just the beginning,” she said. “I started an independent study program of my own, just for the sheer joy of it.” Larson’s independent research, which took her throughout Baltimore’s city neighborhoods — talking to people she met on the street, in diners and on Baltimore’s iconic marble stoops —eventually led her to create Zippy Tours 27 years ago. She offers customized tours to Baltimore visitors and residents alike. (Zippy, by the way, is her nickname. Her real name is Zapora.) In recent years, she has also begun giving talks at area senior and community centers, as well as for continuing education programs, such as Johns Hopkins’s Odyssey (a non-credit liberal arts program).

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The quaint Dutch city of Delft; plus, enjoyable outdoor adventures in the Dominican Republic page 26


Tour guide Zippy Larson explores Baltimore’s less well-known sites, sharing her encyclopedic knowledge of the city’s history, including the shipbuilding past of Fells Point.

So if you want to see Baltimore’s many museums (well worth visiting, it should be said), plan that on your own. But if you want to learn about “The Woman He Loved: The Duchess, The King and the Baltimore Connection,” Larson’s the guide for you. She has become the go-to person for information about Wallis Warfield Simpson, the gay divorcee from Baltimore who wooed a British monarch into abdicating his throne for her. The Duchess tour has been especially popular of late, Larson said, in part because of the film, The King’s Speech, in part because of the recent wedding of Prince William and his own “commoner,” Kate Middleton, and in part, because (as the hu-

morist Garrison Keillor said) a good story has five elements: sex, power, money, religion and mystery. “And the story of the abdication has it all!” said Larson. Larson is also receiving many requests these days from British visitors who are now able to watch the Baltimore-based/filmed show “The Wire” on British television.

From Little Italy to Locust Point Among Larson’s other specialized tours are “Horses, Hounds and Hunting,” which explores Maryland’s horse training and breeding industry; “Baltimore Gardens,” See TOUR GUIDE, page 29

Murder set to music in vampy Chicago; plus, Baltimore’s most photographed park, and the 35th anniversary of the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival page 31

FITNESS & HEALTH k Hypnosis can trump drugs k Seniors are safest drivers?


LAW & MONEY k Where to find stable stocks k Is gold the next bubble?





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Moving the folks (Part II) A number of readers have commented to entire past year has recently led to raging me on my column last month, in which I wildfires just outside the Austin city limits.) shared some observations on I mean that the people are the occasion of my parents warm and friendly. Strangers (ages 82 and 91) moving from say “howdy” as they pass you their condo into an assisted livon the street or in the aisles ing facility in Austin, Texas. of the grocery store. No one has actually asked While I was sitting on a chair me why my parents would in the hallway of their new asdecide to stay in Texas when sisted living facility, waiting for my brother and I, their only a staff person to return with a children, live in the greater key, I was addressed by three Washington area. But I think FROM THE different residents strolling by, PUBLISHER it’s worth an explanation. each of whom made a welcomFor one thing, not only my By Stuart P. Rosenthal ing or complimentary comparents, but their parents and ment or stopped to chat. grandparents lived in Texas. They have In contrast, when I took my parents to dozens, possibly hundreds of dear friends visit an otherwise lovely assisted living faciland family there who go back not only ity here on a visit last winter, they attempted decades, but generations. to strike up conversations with the residents Even more important, however, are in an elevator, outside the dining room and their “new” friends and neighbors: people in the lobby. The reaction, in all cases, was whom they’ve grown close to in the last either silence, a bemused grin, or a clipped few years from their condo development, response, as if to say, “you’re not from synagogue and in the course of daily life. around these parts, are ya’?” You see, Texas is a very warm place. I hasten to add that my parents received (And I don’t mean because it was 107 de- much warmer welcomes at other commugrees the entire time I was helping them nities in this area than they did there. It move, and because the severe drought this may have been a fluke.

Beacon The






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The Beacon is a monthly newspaper dedicated to inform, serve, and entertain the citizens of the Greater Baltimore area, and is privately owned. Other editions serve Howard County and Greater Washington. Subscriptions are available via third-class mail ($12), prepaid with order. MD residents add 6 percent for sales tax. Send subscription order to the office listed below. Publication of advertising contained herein does not necessarily constitute endorsement. Signed columns represent the opinions of the writers, and not necessarily the opinion of the publisher.

But still, when my dad later said to me, “it’s too cold in the East for us,” I think he meant more than the weather. And as for their newer friends in Texas, they have truly proven their genuine love for my folks through their actions. For several weeks prior to the actual move, neighbors and friends — even a former home health aide — came by repeatedly to help my parents sort through their memorabilia and clean up the house for sale. They brought them food, drove them around for appointments, referred them to movers and real estate agents, you name it. Some even provided hands-on help for the actual move and many have continued to check in on them regularly at their new community. It takes a village to care for older people as much as it does for children, and I can certainly say my parents have a caring village in Austin. Of course, what’s a village without a village idiot? Here I refer to some of the estate sale people we encountered. One of the first articles I wrote for the Beacon over 20 years ago was about a local estate sale lady and the wonderful services she rendered. In writing the story, I visited a home where she had set up display cases to sell her client’s excess furniture and clothing, jewelry, knick-knacks, even buttons. Since then, I have always recommended a professional estate sale for downsizing households. So imagine my surprise when I learned that nowadays, in Austin at least, it’s very difficult to find people who do estate sales at all. And when we finally located one, her fee was 40% of the proceeds plus being allowed to keep everything that does not sell! Because time was short and she came highly recommended, my brother booked her for the sale during the days immediately after the move, when I was to be there. But when I dared to raise a question about the terms — “what is your incentive to sell my parents’ valuables when you get to keep whatever does not sell?” — she simply emailed me back a few days before

the scheduled sale to say she would not be able to conduct my parents’ estate sale after all, leaving us in the lurch. (If you’ve had a negative — or positive — experience with estate sellers in this area, please contact me to share your story. I’m hoping this was an aberration.) There’s more to tell about how my parents are transitioning to their new community, about broken promises from the management, about my parents’ (somewhat unreasonable) expectations, and the like. But it’s probably time for me to move on to other topics. Still, don’t be too surprised if you read more from me about all this in a future column.

The low-down on Social Security Are you concerned about what will become of Social Security and Medicare? Would you like to hear from, and speak with, Senator Ben Cardin and Dr. Charles Blahous, one of the public trustees of Social Security and Medicare, about the future of these programs? Maybe it’s time you got some free health screenings and a flu shot? How about an opportunity to gather information from and ask questions of government agencies, nonprofits and area businesses that address the needs of people 50 and over? For all of these reasons and more, mark your calendars for the Beacon’s upcoming 50+Expos, taking place from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30 at Ballston Common Mall in Arlington, Va., and Sunday, Nov. 6 at White Flint Mall in N. Bethesda, Md. These free events attract thousands every year. Please come join us. In addition to the above, you’ll enjoy live entertainment from the Traveling Heart Band, door prizes and giveaways. Companies interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at the Expos may call Alan at (410) 248-9101.

Readers are encouraged to share their opinion on any matter addressed in the Beacon as well as on political and social issues of the day. Mail your Letter to the Editor to The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915, or email to Please include your name, address and telephone number for verification.

• Publisher/Editor ....................Stuart P. Rosenthal • Associate Publisher..............Judith K. Rosenthal • Vice President, Operations........Gordon Hasenei


• Director of Sales ................................Alan Spiegel • Assistant Operations Manager ..........Roger King

2010 Outstanding Publication Award

• Managing Editor............................Barbara Ruben • Contributing Editor ..........................Carol Sorgen • Graphic Designer ..............................Kyle Gregory • Advertising Representatives ............Ron Manno, ........................................................................Steve Levin

The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915 (410) 248-9101 • Email: Submissions:

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Children whose parents have been incarcerated need special attention. Spending just one hour a week for one year with a child can make a huge difference in his or her life. Alternative Directions mentors meet with a child one hour, once a week, for one year. Mentors are screened and trained before being matched with a child, and are assisted throughout the duration of the match. If interested, call Jessica Turral at (410) 889-5072.



Volunteer to accompany Augsburg Lutheran Home residents to various doctor or dentist appointments to reassure and support them. You will not be required to drive the resident. Transportation is provided by facility. If interested, call Nancy Ernest, therapeutic activities director, at (410) 486-4573.


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r u o r! Y a k d ar len M a C


Ballston Common Mall Arlington, VA Sunday, October 30 Noon – 4 p.m.

SPECIAL PROGRAM: What will become of Social Security and Medicare? Featuring:

White Flint N. Bethesda, MD Sunday, November 6 Noon – 4 p.m.

Charles P. Blahous

Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin

Public Trustee of Social Security and Medicare

(invited; speaking at White Flint)

Informative Exhibits • Expert Speakers • Flu Shots Health Screenings • Entertainment • Giveaways To exhibit, sponsor, volunteer, or for more information, call The Beacon at 301-949-9766.







Health Fitness &

IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT Kids are safer with their grandparents driving than with mom or dad IS ROBOTIC SURGERY BETTER? While the technology is impressive, so far there aren’t proven benefits VAIN ABOUT VEINS? There are many ways to prevent and treat varicose veins in the legs ANCIENT REMEDIES Chinese herbs may protect against Parkinson’s disease and IBS

Don’t just cut sodium, boost potassium By Mike Stobbe The debate about the dangers of eating too much salt has gained a new wrinkle: A federal study suggests that the people most at risk are those who also get too little potassium. The new research is one of the first and largest U.S. studies to look at the relationship of salt, potassium and heart disease deaths. Potassium-rich foods, including fruits and vegetables, have long been recommended as a dietary defense against heart disease and other chronic illnesses. “If you have too much sodium and too little potassium, it’s worse than either one on its own,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City’s health commissioner, who has led efforts to get the public to eat less salt. He co-wrote a commentary published with the study in a recent issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. Potassium may neutralize the heart-damaging effects of salt, said Dr. Elena Kuklina, one of the study’s authors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Aim for balance Sodium increases the risk of high blood pressure, a major cause of heart disease and stroke. Salt — or sodium chloride — is the main source of sodium for most people. The research found people who eat a lot of salt and ver y little potassium were more than twice as likely to die from a heart attack as those who ate about equal amounts of both nutrients. Such a dietary imbalance posed a greater risk than simply eating too much salt, according to the study. Exactly how potassium and salt interact is not understood, and no one believes that simply taking a potassium pill will protect someone against the dangers of a high-salt diet. Instead, the take-home message is what health officials have been saying for years: Eat a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables and other potassium-rich foods, and eat less

salty, processed foods. Health officials say no one should eat more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, equal to about a teaspoon of salt. Certain people, such as those with high blood pressure, should eat even less. But it’s not just a matter of putting down the salt shaker. More than three-quarters of the sodium in the U.S. diet is in processed foods, and only one in 10 Americans meet the teaspoon guideline.

Potassium may neutralize the heart-damaging effects of salt

Sources of potassium Americans aren’t much better at getting enough potassium. The recommended amount is 4,700 milligrams a day. The average woman gets only about half that; the average man gets slightly more. Spinach, bananas, broccoli and prunes are among the foods known as good potassium sources. [For more on good food sources,

see our Nutrition Wise column on page 22.] In the new study, researchers surveyed more than 12,000 U.S. adults ages 20 and older, asking them what they ate the previous day, and calculating their daily consumption of sodium and potassium. The participants were followed for 14 years, and 433 died from heart attacks. In addition to the increased risk of high sodium and low potassium, the study also found ill effects from high sodium alone. People who consumed 5 grams a day had nearly twice the risk of dying from a heart attack as people who ate 2 grams a day during the follow-up period. Some experts found the results interesting, but also noted several limitations of the study. Results are based on what people said they ate on just one day of their life. That day may not have been typical and it may not be representative of their diet in the years since, noted Dr. Robert Eckel, a UniSee POTASSIUM, page 7

Hypnosis can replace general anesthesia By Maria Cheng As the surgeons cut into her neck, Marianne Marquis was thinking of the beach. As she heard the doctors’ voices, she was imagining her toes in the sand, the water lapping. Marquis had been hypnotized before surgery to have her thyroid removed. She’s among a growing number of surgical patients at the Belgian hospital, Cliniques Universitaires St. Luc in Brussels, who choose hypnosis and a local anesthetic to avoid the groggy knockout effect of general anesthesia. These patients are sedated but aware, and doctors say their recovery time is faster and their need for painkillers reduced. This method is feasible for only certain types of operations. In her case, Marquis, 53, imagined herself in a field near a beach — which her anesthetist began describing by whispering into her ear about 10 minutes before surgery. She remembers hearing the doctors talk to her, but said it was as if they were far away. “I was imagining squishing my toes in the sand and feeling water come up over them,” Marquis said. She felt a little pres-

sure on her neck with the first incision but said it wasn’t painful. Since doctors began offering hypnosis at the hospital in 2003, hundreds of patients have chosen it. At another Belgian hospital, more than 8,000 surgeries have been done this way since 1992.

Sense of pain diminished Doctors say nearly any surgery usually done with a local anesthetic could work with hypnosis and less pain medicine. Proponents say hypnosis can dull patients’ sense of pain and that it also cuts down on the need for anesthetic. That means patients recover faster and hospitals save money, according to some studies. But it may require doctors to spend more time with patients beforehand to do the hypnosis and they may need more careful monitoring during surgery. The technique has become increasingly popular in France and Belgium in recent years. Some plastic and facial surgeons in Germany also use hypnosis, as do some British dental surgeons. The French Society of Anesthesiolo-

gists describes hypnosis as a valid way to supplement anesthesia to reduce stress, anxiety and pain. But neither the Belgian nor British anesthesiology groups offer specific hypnosis advice. Because of demand, the French Society of Anesthesiologists created a special hypnosis branch in their organization last year. There are no figures on how widely hypnosis is used across Europe. In several of the nearly dozen French hospitals in Rennes, a northwest city of about 200,000 people, it’s used in about half of all operations, said Claude Virot, a psychiatrist and director of the Institute of Research and Training in Therapeutic Communication there. Virot helps organize hypnosis training and said about 500 health professionals get it every year in France. Dr. Fabienne Roelants, Marquis’ anesthetist, described hypnosis as a modified state of consciousness. “The patient’s mind goes to a pleasant place, but the body stays in the operating room.” At Roelants’ hospital, one-third of all surgeries to remove thyroids and one-quarter of all breast cancer surgeries, including

biopsies and mastectomies, use hypnosis and a local anesthetic. She and colleagues hope to expand the technique to procedures like hernias, knee arthroscopies and plastic surgeries. Roelants said if patients feel any pain during the procedure, anesthetists immediately give them a painkiller shot. During a recent procedure in Brussels where Christel Place, 43, had her thyroid removed, she furrowed her brow a couple of times to signal to Roelants she needed more drugs. In a green-lit room that helps relax the patients, Place pictured herself hiking in the French Alps while surgeons sliced her neck open. The thyroid is a small gland at the bottom of the neck and makes hormones to control the body’s metabolism. It is sometimes removed when it becomes enlarged, overactive or cancerous. The surgery can be done either with local or general anesthesia and is considered low-risk. Place said waking up from the surgery was more abrupt than she’d expected. “It See HYPNOSIS, page 6

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Warm surroundings are home to a wealth of amenities, like the full woodworking studio where Larry can pursue his love of sculpting. Creative, intelligent, stimulating – these are the traits that describe the Broadmead community and its residents – people like Larry, people like you.



Larry has a passion for art and a passion for life. That’s why he chose Broadmead.

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Life’s passion:

vantage plan offered by the same insurer. The cost and coverage could be different. They also could be dropped into regular Medicare, which does not provide prescription drug coverage. Options do not completely dry up if a beneficiary misses the Dec. 7 deadline. From January 1 to February 14, Medicare

Beneficiaries will receive their annual notice telling them about any changes in their coverage for next year by Sept. 30, which is a month earlier than last year. Insurers then will start marketing their 2012 plans on Oct. 1. This fall’s open enrollment period for Medicare Advantage plans and Part D prescription drug coverage has been changed to Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. (Last year, it was from Nov. 15 through Dec. 31.) Closing the enrollment period in early December aims to provide more time for applications to be processed by the end of

providers. What happens if you miss the deadline and make no changes? This can get complicated. If the plan is still offered for 2012, then a customer who doesn’t make any changes remains enrolled. But important aspects of that plan may change. If the plan is discontinued, customers may be switched to another Medicare Ad-


Deadlines moved up

the year. This should help prevent the problems many late deciders had last year in getting coverage started by January 1. But the change could also create other problems for many beneficiaries. Here are answers to some common questions. Will the deadline changes af fect many beneficiaries? Medicare Advantage customers will have enough time to consider their options and enroll in another plan if they avoid waiting until the last minute, said Judith Stein, executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy. But last-minute stragglers are common. Plans can receive as much as a quarter of the applications for coverage they normally get during open enrollment in those last three weeks of December, according to Matt Burns spokesman of UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest Medicare Advantage coverage provider with more than 2 million customers. Many people take time to make their coverage decisions. Beneficiaries start seeing Medicare Advantage ads in the fall. Then they might talk to their families, stew on the decision, and wait for the holidays to pass, said Dr. Jan Berger, chief medical officer at Silverlink Communications Inc., which works with Medicare Advantage


By Tom Murphy A new deadline for Medicare Advantage plans — privately run versions of the government’s Medicare program — may trip up seniors who typically wait until the holidays to settle on their health insurance coverage for the coming year. Medicare Advantage plans cover more than 11 million people. They offer basic Medicare coverage topped with extras, such as vision or dental coverage or premiums lower than standard Medicare rates. Most beneficiaries enroll after they turn 65. Then they have an open enrollment window every fall in which they can drop their coverage and switch to another plan.


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Robotic surgery may not be better choice By Dr. Richard A. Hodin Q. A hospital in the area is advertising robotic surgery. Is it really any better than having a surgeon do the operation? A. A better term might be robotic instrumentation, because ultimately, there’s always a human surgeon with his or her hands on the robot’s controls. The first such surgery was performed in the mid1980s. Now thousands of operations are being done with the assistance of robots. Even without robots, a lot of surgery is less hands-on than it used to be. For decades, surgeons have been doing many common abdominal operations, like gallbladder removals, with laparoscopes — tube-like instruments with video cameras on the ends — and long-handled surgical instruments, all of which are inserted through small incisions. Surgeons watch magnified images on video monitors to see

what they are doing so they can guide the surgical instruments. There was a learning curve, but laparoscopic surgery is actually easier to perform in some ways than surgery done with direct visualization through large incisions and with instruments that bring the surgeon’s hands in closer contact with the tissue that’s being operated on. And the smaller incisions of laparoscopic surgery have made a big difference for patients: There’s less pain and scarring, and people usually recover much faster, so hospital stays are shorter. Robotic surgery is being touted by some as the next generation of laparoscopic surgery. In the most common setup, surgeons don’t stand at the operating table, but instead sit and watch a video console that displays three-dimensional images. They use computer controllers to guide the large robotic arms that maneuver the sur-


volving the heart or other internal organs because the pain would be unbearable. “If hypnosis doesn’t work and you’ve got somebody’s abdomen or chest open, then you’re in big trouble,” said George Lewith, a professor of health research at Southampton University. “You need to be able to switch to another option immediately,” he said. Consistency is also an issue. “It’s not used

From page 4 was like I was really in the mountains and then ‘poof,’ it was over,” Place said, laughing.

Some caveats Other experts caution that hypnosis would be impossible in major operations in-

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It’s impressive technology, but what are the benefits? Unfortunately, up to this point, there’s remarkably little, if any, evidence that robotic surgery helps the patient or the surgeon. For example, studies comparing robotic with standard laparoscopic approaches for prostate surgery haven’t shown any real improvements in recovery times or in reducing the incidence of impotence or urinary problems. Yet more hospitals are buying these machines, not out of any real medical need or demonstrated advantage, but because of smart, skillful marketing by the companies

that make them. Once a hospital has robotic surgery equipment, it needs to justify the cost by marketing it to the public. That’s why you are seeing ads from the hospital in your area. Surgeons are now using the machines to perform cardiac, rectal, thyroid and other operations. Surgeons at the hospital where I work, Massachusetts General Hospital, are doing robotic surgery, too. I’ll keep an open mind. There may be some benefit. But so far, I think much of robotic surgery has been a costly experiment in marketing that has mainly benefited the companies that make the machines. In healthcare, we have to resist falling into the trap that newer is always better. © 2011 President and fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

routinely because it’s not effective in everyone and it takes a while,” said Dr. Mark Warner, president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. He said doctors would need extra time to conduct hypnosis and would need to work more closely with surgeons. Warner said there are no guidelines on its surgical use in the U.S. “If we could get more research on the right patient groups that would benefit from (hypnosis), that would be wonderful,” he said. Some experts said hypnosis is a hard sell because no one really profits from it. “The problem is the money doesn’t really go into anyone’s hands, and the only person who really benefits from it is the patient,” said Guy Montgomery, an associate professor at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, who led a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2007.

In that research, Montgomery and colleagues randomly assigned 200 patients in the U.S. having a breast biopsy or lumpectomy to get either hypnosis or a brief session with a psychologist beforehand. They found hypnotized patients needed fewer painkillers and sedatives and required less time in surgery. On average, each hypnotized patient cost the hospital about $770 less than those who weren’t hypnotized. Marquis recommends hypnosis to patients who want to avoid anesthesia, but warned it isn’t for everyone. “You have to be in the right mental frame of mind for this, be properly prepared, and trust the medical staff to take care of you,” she said. “If you’re very skeptical of hypnosis and freaked out about whether it’s going to work, it probably won’t.” — AP

gical instruments inside the body. The machines are expensive to buy (the price tag is well over $1 million) and operate (disposable instruments are used for each operation).

Benefits not proven

You’re Cordially Invited! The community is invited to join us for a fun Haunted House in October and a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner in November. Both events are free, but space is limited. Call Julie at 410-979-4822 for details and to make your reservation.

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Medicare From page 5 Advantage customers can drop their plans and enroll in regular Medicare. During this time, they also can pick a Part D prescription drug plan to go along with that coverage, but they can no longer jump to another Medicare Advantage plan (as used to be the case prior to this year). Here’s another wrinkle: Beneficiaries can enroll any time during the year in a Medicare Advantage plan that has prescription drug coverage if they receive a

Potassium From page 4 versity of Colorado heart expert. Also, it’s an observational study that shows an apparent link, not the kind of rigorous scientific study used to prove cause and effect, he added.

low-income subsidy or if they have access to a plan with a five-star quality rating. The catch: Only a few plans attained that rating for this year, said David Lipschutz, an attorney with the Center for Medicare Advocacy. The government will announce a new list of five-star rated plans sometime in October. Should Medicare Advantage customers review their coverage even if they don’t plan to make changes? Absolutely. Plans can change what they cover from year to year, and what they charge.

Alice Lichtenstein, a Tufts University nutrition scientist, said the attention on salt has created a lot of backlash. The CDC study “is a confirmation that dietary salt does matter, and all these public health efforts and the dietary guidelines are appropriate,” she said. — AP

Customers may find that prescription drugs that were covered last year aren’t covered in the new year, or they may suddenly face a big bill for a costly treatment like chemotherapy that used to be covered. Any changes will be laid out in the annual notices consumers receive from their insurers. “People really, really need to look carefully and not assume that because some-

thing worked last year it will work this year,” Stein said. Local Senior Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP) provide one-on-one assistance to help you understand the Medicare programs available to you and make a good choice. Their services are free. In Baltimore City, call (410) 396-2273. In Baltimore County, call (410) 887-2594. — AP

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410-837-0180 524 North Charles Street (utilities included, underground parking available)

Is sodium so bad, after all? Health officials have increasingly pushed the public to reduce their salt intake, but the CDC study comes in the midst of some scientific back and forth over how dangerous dietary salt is. In a recent review of seven smaller studies, other researchers found no strong evidence that people with high or normal blood pressure reduce their risk of death by reducing sodium consumption. That review, by the Cochrane Collaboration, had limitations because of its size. Still, it prompted the Salt Institute — an industry group — to call government policy on reducing salt consumption ill-advised. “In light of this, and other recent research, it is time for the government to cease its costly and wasteful efforts to reduce salt consumption until it can conclusively prove a tangible benefit for all consumers. This can only be done through a large-scale clinical trial on the impact of dietary salt reduction on health outcomes,” said Lori Roman, the Salt Institute’s president, in a statement.

Get your Flu and Shingles vaccinations* at our Pharmacy

O GROCERI FF ES **Exclusion

s apply.

Our Pharmacists are immunization specialists.


Oct. 14+


Quick and easy every day!


• We accept all major insurance plans


• Walk-in or by appointment

Those ages 9 and older are welcome

• Flu HD is available for seniors 65 years & older

to St. Joseph Medical Center, 7601

nations. They will be offered Friday, Oct. 14 from 4 to 7 p.m., Saturday,


Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., ®

Sunday, Oct. 16 from noon to 4 p.m., Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 6 from noon to 4 p.m. Appointments are required. Call (410) 337-1337 to make an appointment and for a specific room number. *Age restrictions apply. See Pharmacy for details.


Expires 11/30/11

* Coupon valid at any participating Safeway store. Coupon must be presented at time of purchase and will be redeemed at face value. Only one item per coupon, one coupon per transaction, and one coupon per customer. You pay sales tax and deposit, if applicable. Void if copied, tranferred, or expired. Cannot be combined with any other offer, including store coupons. No cash value. While supplies last. Some items, prices, or varieties may not be available in every store. No rainchecks. Void where prohibited by law. Coupon expires 11/30/2011


Plus: Safeway has everything you need for the cold and flu season

Osler Dr., Towson, for free flu vacci-



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Poll asks what boomers think about aging By Connie Cass and Stacy A. Anderson Baby boomers say wrinkles aren’t so bad and they’re not that worried about dying. Just don’t call them “old.� The generation that once powered a youth movement isn’t ready to symbolize the aging of America, even as its first members are becoming eligible for Medicare. A new poll finds three-quarters of all baby boomers still consider themselves middle-aged or younger, and that includes most of the boomers who are ages 57-65. Younger adults call 60 the start of old age, but baby boomers are pushing that number back, according to the Associated poll. The median age they cite is 70. And a quarter of boomers insist you’re not old until you’re 80. “In my 20s, I would have thought the 60s were bad, but they’re not so bad at all,� said 64-year-old Lynn Brown, a retired legal assistant and grandmother of 11 living near Phoenix in Apache Junction, Ariz. The 77 million boomers are celebrating their 47th through 65th birthdays this year.

about the negatives, like declining health. A third of those polled feel confident about growing older, almost twice as many as those finding it frustrating or sad. Sixteen percent report they’re happy about aging, about equal to the number who say they’re afraid. Most expect to live longer than their parents. “I still think I’ve got years to go to do things,� said Robert Bechtel, 64, of Virginia Beach, Va. He retired last year after nearly four decades as a retail manager. Now Bechtel has less stress and more time to do what he pleases, including designing a bunk bed for his grandchildren, remodeling a bathroom and teaching Sunday school. A strong majority of baby boomers are enthusiastic about some perks of aging — watching their children or grandchildren grow up, doing more with friends and family, and getting time for favorite activities. About half say they’re highly excited about retirement. Boomers most frequently offered “the wisdom accumulated over their lives� as the best thing about aging.

A positive view of aging

Chief concern: health

Overall, they’re upbeat about their futures. Americans born in the population explosion after World War II are more likely to be excited about the positive aspects of aging, such as retirement, than worried

“The older you get, the smarter you get,� said Glenn Farrand, 62, of Ankeny, Iowa. But, he adds, “The physical part of it is the pits.� Baby boomers most often brought up

failing health or fading physical abilities when asked to name the worst thing about getting older. Among their top worries: physical ailments that would take away their independence (deeply worrisome to 45 percent), losing their memory (44 percent), and being unable to pay medical bills (43 percent). Many also fret about running out of money (41 percent). Only 18 percent say they worry about dying. Another 22 percent are “moderately� concerned about it. More than twothirds expect to live to at least age 76; 1 in 6 expects to make it into the 90s. About half predict a better quality of life for themselves than their parents experienced as they aged. “My own parents, by the time they were 65 to 70, were very, very inactive and very much old in their minds,� said Brown. So they “sat around the house and didn’t go anywhere.� “I have no intentions of sitting around the house,� said Brown, whose hobbies include motorcycle rides with her husband. “I’m enjoying being a senior citizen more than my parents did.� But a minority of boomers — about a fourth — worry that things will be harder for them than for the previous generation. “I think we’ll have less,� said Vicki Mooney, 62, of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., who

fears older people will be pinched by cuts to Social Security and Medicare and rising healthcare costs. “The main difference in the quality of life is wondering if we will have a safety net.� Baby boomers with higher incomes generally are more optimistic about aging than their poorer peers. Women tend to feel sunnier than men; college graduates are more positive than those without a degree. A third of baby boomers say their health has declined in the last five years, and that group is more likely to express fear or frustration about aging. Still, most boomers rate themselves in good or even excellent health overall, with less than 1 in 10 doing poorly.

The vanity factor Looking older is seriously bugging just 12 percent of baby boomers. The vast majority say they wouldn’t get plastic surgery. That includes Johanna Taisey, 61, of Chandler, Ariz., who said aging is “no problem at all ... it’s just nature. Age with dignity,� she advises. Among the 1 in 5 who have had or would consider cosmetic surgery, about half say they might improve their tummy or eyes. A sagging chin is the next biggest worry — nearly 40 percent would consider getting that fixed. See AGING POLL, page 10

Open House Saturday, November 5, 2011 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A Patient Focused






Your First New or Transferred Prescription NeighborCareÂŽ Professional Pharmacy. Limit one per person. Offer not valid for prescriptions from other NeighborCare Pharmacies. No Cash Value. Per federal law, offer not valid if any portion of prescription is paid for by a government program. *BB - SP2011 For Internal Use Only

New Customer Existing Customer

Store Location No. Prescription No.

The day will include tours of the facility and demonstrations of services offered to our residents. Exhibitors will provide valuable information for seniors, their families and caregivers, and physicians. 29449 Charlotte Hall Road / Charlotte Hall, MD 20622 301.884.8171 /


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Grandparents drive children more safely By Lindsey Tanner Kids may be far safer in cars when grandma or grandpa are driving instead of mom or dad, according to study results that even made the researchers do a double-take. “We were surprised to discover that the injury rate was considerably lower in crashes where grandparents were the drivers,” said Dr. Fred Henretig, an emergency medicine specialist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the study’s lead author. Previous evidence indicates that car crashes are more common in older drivers, mostly those beyond age 65. The study, however, looked at injuries rather than who had more crashes. It found that children’s risk for injury was 50 percent lower when riding with grandparents than with parents. The study was released online in the journal Pediatrics.

Insurance records analyzed The results are from an analysis of State Farm insurance claims for car crashes in 15 states from 2003 to 2007, supplemented by interviews with the drivers. The data involved nearly 12,000 children up to age 15. Henretig, 64, said the study was prompted by his own experiences when his first grandchild was born three years ago. “I found myself being very nervous on the occasions that we drove our granddaughter around, and really wondered if anyone had ever looked at this before,” he said. Reasons for the unexpected findings are uncertain, but the researchers have a theory. “Perhaps grandparents are made more nervous about the task of driving with the ‘precious cargo’ of their grandchildren, and establish more cautious driving habits” to compensate for any age-related challenges, they wrote.

Grandparents are younger now Northwestern University Professor Joseph Schofer, a transportation expert not involved in the research, noted that the average age of grandparents studied was 58. “Grandparents today are not that old” and don’t fit the image of an impaired older driver, he said. “None of us should represent grandparents as kind of hobbling to the car on a walker.” Grandparents did flub one safety measure. Nearly all the kids were in car seats or seat belts, but grandparents were slightly less likely to follow recommended practices, which include rear-facing backseat


Oct. 11


Kidney Evaluate Yours (KEY) screenings identify early markers for high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney disease. Screenings are free and open to the public at the Arbutus Senior Center, 855-A Sulphur Spring Rd., on Tuesday Oct. 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call (410) 887-1410.

car seats for infants and no front-seats. But that didn’t seem to affect injury rates. Only about 10 percent of kids in the study were driven by grandparents, but they suffered proportionately fewer injuries. Overall, 1.05 percent of kids were injured when riding with parents, versus 0.70 percent of those riding with grandparents, or a 33 percent lower risk. The difference was even more pronounced — 50 percent — when the researchers took into account other things that could influence injury rates, including not using car seats, and older-model cars. Kids suffered similar types of injuries regardless of who was driving, including concussions, other head injuries and broken bones. The study does not include data on deaths, but Henretig said there were very few. It also lacked information on the types

of car trips involved. For example, driving in busy city traffic might increase chances for crashes with injuries. Schofer, the Northwestern professor, said other unstudied circumstances could have played a role. For example, grandparents

could be less distracted and less frazzled than busy parents dropping their kids off at school while rushing to get to work or to do errands. Driving trips might be “quality time” for older drivers and their grandchildren, Schofer said. —AP


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Health Studies Page



Older volunteers with sleep apnea needed By Carol Sorgen With increasing age, some people experience growing frailty, with symptoms such as muscle weakness and exhaustion. Sleep apnea — a common disorder in which one’s breathing is interrupted during sleep — also grows more prevalent with age. The two conditions may be linked; researchers believe that sleep apnea may increase the risk of developing or exacerbating the problems caused by frailty. Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

is conducting a clinical trial for those between the ages of 60 and 75 to determine whether lifestyle interventions for treating sleep apnea may help reduce the incidence, or slow the progression, of frailty. Volunteers are now being sought.

Understanding apnea In sleep apnea, breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They often occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing eventually resumes, sometimes with a loud snort or


Sept. 24

AN INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE APPROACH TO IBD If you or a loved one is living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative coli-

tis, join Johns Hopkins experts in inflammatory bowel disease and integrative medicine for an educational, half-day symposium for patients, families, caregivers and physicians. Several specialists will present up-to-date information followed by a Q&A lunch discussion. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided. The cost is $10, and the event runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Tremont Grand Historic Venue, 225 N. Charles St. For more information, or to register, call (410) 502-9636 or visit

Knee arthritis pain?

Volunteers are needed for a research study conducted at Johns Hopkins Bayview

choking sound. Sleep apnea is typically a chronic condition. Being overweight contributes to the condition, and losing weight can help reduce the incidence of apnea. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This most often means that the airway has collapsed or is blocked during sleep. The blockage may cause shallow breathing or breathing pauses. Patients often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep when their breathing pauses or becomes shallow. This results in poor sleep quality that makes them tired during the day. Sleep apnea is thus one of the leading causes of excessive daytime sleepiness. Unfortunately, there may be even more serious consequences. One study conducted in the 1990s at the University of Pennsylvania Health System found that sufferers of both sleep apnea and excessive daytime sleepiness had twice the risk of death compared with those who complained of just one of the conditions. In addition, excessive daytime sleepiness creates a greater chance of falling,

Aging poll From page 8 Only 5 percent of baby boomers say they might use the chemical Botox to temporarily smooth away wrinkles; 17 percent would consider laser treatments to fix varicose veins. But boomers, especially women, are taking some steps to look younger. A majority of the women — 55 percent — regularly dye their hair, and they overwhelmingly say it’s to cover gray. Only 5 percent of the men admit using hair color. A quarter of the women have paid more than $25 for an anti-aging skincare product, such as a lotion or night cream. Just 5 percent of the men say they’ve bought

cognitive problems and functional impairments.

Taking part in the study All participants in the Hopkins study will undergo three months of monitored exercise, consisting of aerobic and resistance training three days per week for one hour. Participants will also meet with a registered dietician, who will prescribe an American Heart Association low-fat diet. The goal is to achieve a weight loss of one to two pounds per week. To qualify for the study, participants must be overweight, with a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 42, and have apnea with sleep interruptions at least 10 times an hour. They cannot currently be following a weight loss diet or be participating in moderate to vigorous exercise most days of the week. They also cannot have a history of cardiovascular disease or substance abuse, smoke cigarettes, or currently be treated for sleep apnea. For more information or to volunteer, call Anita Bacher, RN, at (410) 550-5428 or email her at skincare that expensive. Almost all baby boomers — 90 percent — have tried to eat better. Three-quarters say they’re motivated more by a desire to improve their health than their appearance. Most boomers — 57 percent — say in the past year they’ve taken up a regular program of exercise. About the same number do mental exercises, such as crossword puzzles or video games, to stay sharp. The poll involved online interviews with 1,416 adults, including 1,078 baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964. The margin of sampling error for results from the full sample is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points; for the boomers, it is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points. —AP

To study sleep in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. To participate, you must be 50 years or older. Both good and poor sleepers are needed. Parking, and tests are provided at no cost. Compensation is provided.

Depression and memory problems in older adults are common and are often undetected.

Call 410-550-7906

If you are feeling depressed or having memory problems, are not taking antidepressant medication, and are in good physical health, you may be eligible to participate in a research study.

and/or visit the website at

• Symptoms of depression may include feelings of sadness or hopelessness, loss of energy, inability to enjoy pleasurable activities, or changes in appetite or sleeping patterns.

• Problems with memory may include difficulty remembering recent events, misplacing household objects or poor concentration.

Qualified people will participate at no cost to them and will be compensated for time and transportation. For more information about the study, please call:

410-550-4192 Principal Investigator: Michael T. Smith, Ph.D. Protocol NA_000118021

Approved 08/24/2009

Approved November 2, 2010 IRB Protocols: NA_00021615, NA_00026190 Principal Investigator: Gwenn Smith, PhD

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Falls, eye problems may herald Alzheimer’s By Marilynn Marchione Scientists in Australia are reporting encouraging early results from a simple eye test they hope will give a noninvasive way to detect signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Although it has been tried on just a small number of people and more research is needed, the experimental test has a solid basis: Alzheimer’s is known to cause changes in the eyes, not just the brain. Other scientists in the United States also are working on an eye test for detecting the disease. A separate study found that falls might be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s. People who seemed to have healthy minds, but who were discovered to have hidden plaques clogging their brains, were five times more likely to fall during the study than those without these brain deposits, which are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s. Both studies were discussed at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference this summer in France. More than 5.4 million Americans and 35 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. It has no cure and drugs only temporarily ease symptoms, so finding it early mostly helps patients and their families prepare and arrange care. Brain scans can find evidence of Alzheimer’s a decade or more before it causes memory and thinking problems, but they’re too expensive and impractical for routine use. A simple eye test and warning signs like falls could be a big help.

Clues from the retina The eye study involved photographing blood vessels in the retina, the nerve layer lining the back of the eyes. Most eye doctors have the cameras used for this, but it takes a special computer program to measure blood vessels for the experimental test doctors are using in the Alzheimer’s research, said the study’s leader, Shaun Frost of Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO.

Researchers compared retinal photos of 110 healthy people, 13 people with Alzheimer’s and 13 others with mild cognitive impairment, or “pre-Alzheimer’s,” who were taking part in a larger study on aging. The widths of certain blood vessels in those with Alzheimer’s were different from vessels in the others, and the amount of difference matched the amount of plaque seen on brain scans. More study is planned on larger groups to see how accurate the test might be, Frost said. Earlier work by Dr. Lee Goldstein of Boston University showed that amyloid, the protein that makes up Alzheimer’s brain plaque, can be measured in the lens of the eyes of some people with the disease, particularly Down syndrome patients who often are prone to Alzheimer’s. A company he holds stock in, Neuroptix, is testing a laser eye scanner to measure amyloid in the eyes. Goldstein praised the work by the Australian scientists. “It’s a small study” but “suggestive and encouraging,” he said. “My hat’s off to them for looking outside the brain for other areas where we might see other evidence of this disease.” Eye doctors often are the first to see patients with signs of Alzheimer’s, which can start with vision changes, not just the memory problems the disease is most known for, said Dr. Ronald Petersen, a Mayo Clinic dementia expert with no role in the new studies.

More falls, more risk Other signs could be balance and gait problems, which may show up before mental changes do. Susan Stark of Washington University in St. Louis led the first study tying falls to a risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease before mental changes show up. It involved 125 people, average age 74, who had normal cognition and were taking part in a federally funded study of aging. They kept journals on how often they fell, and had brain scans and spinal taps to look for various substances that can signal

Alzheimer’s disease. In six months, 48 fell at least once. The risk of falling was nearly three times greater for each unit of increase in the sticky plaque that scans revealed in their brains. “Falls are tricky” because they can be medication-related or due to dizziness from high blood pressure, a blood vessel problem, or other diseases like Parkinson’s, said Creighton Phelps, a neuroscientist at the National Institute on Aging. Falls also can cause head injury or brain trauma that leads to cognitive problems, said Laurie Ryan, who oversees some of the institute’s research grants but had no role in the study. Older people who hit

The warning signs of Alzheimer’s: • Memory loss that disrupts daily life • Trouble planning or solving problems • Difficulty completing tasks • Confusion with time or place • Trouble understanding images and spatial relationships • New problems with speaking or writing words • Misplacing things and inability to retrace steps • Decreased or poor judgment • Social withdrawal • Changes in mood or personality — AP

If you are interested, please call U. of MD-BVAMC 410-605-7179 mention Code: Vitamin D

Investigators from the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Campus are looking for individuals aged 70 or older to participate in a research study that is looking at the aging process. Tests would include measurements of strength, walking speed and questions about your physical activities. We may also request a blood draw and urine sample. You will be paid $10 for participating depending on the study and we can conduct the study in your home. No travel required. If you choose to travel to Bayview, a parking pass will be given to you.

For more information, please call our study coordinators at Bayview:

410-550-9016 or 410-550-2113

Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care of Maryland and Jewish Community Services are offering a community bereavement group for anyone mourning the death of a loved one. The free, eight-week series begins on Thursday, Oct. 27, at Jewish Community Services, 5750 Park Heights Ave. Pre-registration is required. For more information, schedule and registration, call Jewish Community Services, (410) 466-9200.

Have you been depressed since you had a traumatic brain injury? PROCEDURES: • Screening to determine eligibility • Administration of escitalopram (Lexapro) or placebo (sugar pill) for 12 weeks • Brain scans at the start and end of treatment • 4 scheduled clinical visits during the 12 week period All subjects who complete the 12 week study will be paid $200.00 at the end of the study.

For information, contact Vani Rao, M.D, at Approved February 25, 2010

Males and females 50-85 years needed to participate in a Vitamin D research study, which may include exercise. Work with Doctors, Dieticians and Exercise Physiologists to change your diet and physical activity. Includes health evaluation of cardiac, diabetes, blood pressure risk, body composition and Vitamin D level assessment. Must be non-smoking, free of heart disease and not taking insulin. Women must be postmenopausal.

Are you 70 years or older?


The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine is seeking people who have developed depression since the traumatic brain injury for a treatment research study with escitalopram (Lexapro) or placebo (sugar pill)

Medically Structured Vitamin D Study

Studies on Aging: Johns Hopkins University


Oct. 27+

their heads and suffer a small tear or bleeding in the brain might seem fine but develop symptoms a month later, she said. The bottom line: “If you see somebody who’s having falls for no particular reason,” the person should be evaluated for dementia, said William Thies, the Alzheimer’s Association’s scientific director. — AP


Principal Investigator: Vani Rao, M.D. Application No.: NA_00020154

We look forward to hearing from you!

Want to Prevent Falls in the Elderly? Seeking Men and Women to participate in a research study at the University of Maryland &Veterans Affairs of Baltimore to better understand balance and the prevention of falls in aging individuals. You will receive:

• • • •

Health evaluation Balance, step, strength, and/or flexibility exercises Compensation for your time Free parking

410-605-7179 Mention code: LIFT You must be at least 65 years old and in good health. CALL TODAY!


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You’re on top of your medications. But we make a good back up. You know it’s important to stay on your medications exactly as prescribed. However, if you miss a dose, want a lower-cost alternative, or experience any side effects, we can answer any questions. Speak to your local CVS Pharmacist to learn more. Find a store near you at




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Ways to prevent and treat varicose veins By Dr. Robert McBane Dear Mayo Clinic: Is it possible to treat varicose veins? I have several that don’t bother me much, but a few that are slightly painful. Veins anywhere in the body can become enlarged and twisted (varicose), but varicose veins most commonly occur in the legs and feet. Age, pregnancy, obesity or work that involves standing for long periods can all increase the risk of developing varicose veins. So can genetics and your gender. If other family members had varicose veins, there’s a greater chance you will, too. Women also are more likely to develop this problem than are men. Varicose veins are sometimes viewed as just a cosmetic concern. Most varicose veins are dark purple or blue in color. They can also bulge out from under the skin, making them quite noticeable. However, varicose veins can cause other problems, including an achy or heavy feeling in your legs. Some people also experience throbbing, cramping or mild swelling in the lower legs — especially after standing for long periods of time. More-serious complications are rare. But varicose veins can sometimes lead to an itchy skin rash (dermatitis) and cause open sores (skin ulcers) to develop. Occasionally, blood clots may develop in a vein

and cause pain, tenderness and swelling. Talk to your doctor if you have varicose veins and notice a change in how your legs feel, have skin discoloration, or have swelling in your legs. Skin ulcers and sudden, painful swelling should receive immediate medical attention. Depending on your signs and symptoms, varicose veins may be treated with lifestyle changes, medical procedures or a combination of both. Lifestyle changes are recommended for mild symptoms because they can reduce discomfort and keep varicose veins from getting worse. These include not staying in one position for hours on end, elevating your legs above your heart a few times a day, and doing any physical activity that gets your legs moving. Losing weight, if necessary, also may help. Your doctor also may recommend that you wear compression stockings. These create gentle pressure up the leg, which can keep blood from pooling in the legs and decrease swelling. If your varicose veins don’t respond to these treatments, or if your veins are causing severe problems, your doctor may suggest one or more of these procedures: • Sclerotherapy uses a chemical injected into a varicose vein to cause irritation and scarring. Several treatments may be needed to completely close off a vein and




Join a group of 1,200 volunteers serving Baltimore County through the Retired and Senior Program (RSVP), a key component of Senior Corps, which is overseen by the Corporation for National and Community Service. As an RSVP volunteer, make a difference in the lives of the people you touch. Volunteer activities range from tutoring elementary school children to leading classes in senior centers. To learn more, call (410) 887-3101 or email

Oct. 27


If you haven’t had a Dexascan or ultrasound bone test in the past year and you are worried about your bone density, come to St. Joseph Medical Center, 7601 Osler Dr., Towson, Thursday, Oct. 27. Reservations are required and are available from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Call (410) 337-1479 to make an appointment and for a specific room number.

allow it to fade. • Laser therapy uses strong bursts of light directed at a vein, making it slowly fade and disappear. This is mostly used to close off smaller varicose veins. • Endovenous thermal ablation uses the heat from lasers or radio waves to close off larger varicose veins. • Vein stripping involves tying shut and removing large varicose veins through small cuts in the skin. Vein stripping was commonly used in the past. But now it’s mostly recommended for people who aren’t good candidates for endovenous thermal ablation. • Ambulatory phlebectomy involves making tiny cuts to remove small veins close to the skin’s surface. It’s often done

at the same time as endovenous thermal ablation or vein stripping. Another option, endoscopic vein surgery, is typically used only for varicose veins that are causing skin ulcers. Although most procedures used to treat varicose veins can be done on an outpatient basis, be sure to ask about health risks, possible side effects and needed recovery time. You may also want to inquire about insurance coverage. Most policies don’t cover the cost of purely cosmetic procedures. However, insurance may cover treatments used to relieve pain, swelling, or other signs and symptoms of varicose veins. © 2011 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Research Study Have you been told you snore? Do you need to lose weight? Johns Hopkins Medicine is conducting a research study in persons who may snore and are not currently being treated for snoring. Eligible participants must be over 60 years of age, overweight, not smoking, and not regularly exercising. All visits are free, including parking, at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

For more information, please call 410-550-5428 or 410-550-5429 or 410-550-6997. Principal Investigator: Devon A. Dobrosielski, PhD IRB# NA_00040314

Research Study

Are you having memory problems? We could help! Are you having memory trouble? Or do you know someone who is? Do you want to help us find better treatments?

Johns Hopkins doctors have several research studies for people with memory trouble, dementia, or Alzheimer’s. Our research studies cover a variety of age ranges, but most are for persons 60 years and older. For more information and to learn how to participate, please call, 1-855-204-4797 Constantine G. Lyketsos, MD, Principal Investigator Johns Hopkins Medicine IRB#HBV84-04-26-01


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Should I use a stability ball for exercising? Q: Does exercising with those big allow for a greater stretch. plastic balls I see in gyms really proYou can also use the balls in place of an vide any special benefits? exercise bench for strengthA: Stability balls — inflattraining exercises in which able plastic balls usually rangyou lie on your back (such as ing from 18 to 30 inches in dichest presses and tricep exameter — aren’t essential for tensions) or face-down (such fitness, but they are inexpenas flies). When using the ball, sive options and can add beneother muscles are actively enfits to the exercises you do. gaged to keep your balance, Here’s how: When you lie and you are able to extend with the ball under the small motions farther than if you of your back, with feet on the were simply lying on the floor holding you steady, the NUTRITION floor. abdominal, back and leg mus- WISE Keeping your balance can cles that make up your “core” By Karen Collins, be a bit tricky at first, so it can automatically start working to MS, RD, CDM be helpful to view a video for keep you from rolling off. stability ball exercise techAnd when you use a stability nique before you start, or ball for abdominal crunches (like sit-ups), check YouTube. this extra muscle work, combined with the Most balls are sold as 45, 55, 65 or 75 extra distance you can roll backward com- centimeters, and you need a ball sized corpared to doing crunches flat on the floor, rectly for your frame. Fully inflated, when provides additional benefits because of the you sit on it with your feet flat on the floor, extra challenge to muscles. your knees should form a right angle so You can also use a stability ball behind that your thighs are parallel to the floor. your back as you stand with your back to a Q: I heard that coffee is one of the top wall, sliding up and down into squats. As sources of potassium in the U.S. diet. Is part of stretching routines, the balls can coffee high in potassium?

To subscribe, see page 32.

A: No, coffee is not nearly as high in potassium as many other foods. Coffee is one of the top five sources of potassium for U.S. adults, but that’s because we drink so much of it and we don’t eat enough of the foods that are the best sources of this important nutrient. A potassium-rich diet helps to lower blood pressure, apparently counteracting to some degree the blood pressure-raising effects of sodium. Getting enough potassium may also help reduce bone loss with age; more research is needed. Vegetables and fruits highest in potassium include spinach and other cooked greens, winter squash, white and sweet potatoes, tomato juice and sauce, bananas, citrus fruit, cantaloupe, dried apricots and raisins. Legumes (dried beans such as kidney and garbanzo) are also very high in potassium as well as fiber and natural antioxidants that provide other health benefits. In addition, choosing whole-wheat bread gives you two to three times the potassium of white bread. Q. How often should I weigh myself? A: Some research suggests that weighing yourself regularly can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, both as a reminder to continue behavior changes you make, and as a way of catching and reversing small weight gains before they become big ones.

The frequency of weight checks that is most helpful is still an unanswered question, although a recent review of six studies concluded that somewhere between daily and weekly weight checks can support weight loss and decrease weight regain. Clearly, it does no good to weigh yourself more than once a day. All you see are shifts in water balance, and checking weight this often is a mark of someone possibly becoming un-healthfully obsessed with their weight. Experienced registered dietitians (RDs) say that many factors go into the effects that weight checks have for any given individual. If you have had disordered eating patterns or much emotional “baggage” from a long history of going on and off diets, and for people in their mid-20s and younger, frequent weight checks done on their own may do more harm than good in some cases. One important key is how you use what you learn when checking your weight. The goal is not to find fuel for self-criticism, but feedback that can lead to better eating and physical activity habits. Courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research. Questions for this column may be sent to “Nutrition Wise,” 1759 R St., NW, Washington, DC 20009. Collins cannot respond to questions personally.

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Chinese herbs may help Parkinson’s, IBS

How herbs help Li Min, a traditional Chinese doctor at Hong Kong Baptist University who was not involved in the study, thinks she knows how it works. Parkinson’s is caused by the destruction of brain cells that produce dopamine. Studies have suggested this destruction is caused by an abundance of a protein called alpha-synuclein. Those studies triggered

interest in substances that get rid of the protein by encouraging the programmed cell death — autophagy — of the cells that contain it. Min’s team has found one such substance, the alkaloid isorhy, present in gou teng. It induced autophagy at a similar rate to a drug called rapamycin, which has recently been touted as a candidate for Parkinson’s treatment. However, because rapamycin depresses the immune system, it would have serious side effects, whereas gou teng has been taken for centuries with no apparent ill effects. Min will begin trials of synthesized isorhy in rodents later this year.

a drug that interrupts nerve impulses responsible for digestion — or Holopon alone. After eight weeks, 52 percent of those given JCM-16021 with Holopon had reduced IBS symptoms, compared with 32 percent of those given just Holopon. IBS is partly caused by high levels of serotonin in the gut. Last year, Bian found that giving JCM-16021 to rats with IBS-like symptoms broke down serotonin in their bowel faster than normal, reducing their discomfort.

His team has since isolated several compounds in JCM-16021 that block serotonin’s activity in the rat gut, including magnolol, an herb taken from magnolia trees (World Journal of Gastroenterology). Conventional drugs target only one aspect of IBS. Bian is now combining the active components of JCM-16021 to develop a new drug that attacks the disease on several fronts. © 2011. New Scientist Magazine. —TMS

Getting you back to your life.

Targeting IBS Meanwhile, Zhaoxiang Bian, also at Hong Kong Baptist University, is developing a drug called JCM-16021 for IBS using seven herbal plants, based on a formulation called tong xie yao fang, which has been used to treat IBS in China since the 1300s. IBS affects up to 20 percent of people, causing abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea, said John Furness at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Stress management can help, but there’s no effective medicine for it. In 2007, Bian gave 80 people with IBS either JCM-16021 together with Holopon —

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By Wendy Zukerman A hooked herb, root extract and a dash of bark — it may sound like a witch’s brew, but these mainstays of Chinese medicine could provide treatments for diseases that have foiled Western doctors, such as Parkinson’s and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). “In the past, the pharmaceutical industry didn’t put much effort into traditional Chinese medicine,” said Jing Kang, a biochemist at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass. “More people are now paying attention.” For more than 2,000 years, Chinese doctors have treated Parkinson’s-like symptoms with gou teng, an herb with hook-like branches. Early this year, 115 people with Parkinson’s were given a combination of Chinese medical herbs, including gou teng, or a placebo for 13 weeks. At the end of the study, volunteers who’d taken the herbs slept better and had more fluent speech.

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Baltimore Eye Doctor Helps Legally Blind to See Again Diplomat in Low Vision Care trains Dr. Thomas Azman to help those with age-related macular degeneration with reading and driving. By Elena Lombardi Freelance Writer

Donald Paquette, 72, a former assessor from Anaheim, California, thought that his driving days were over. “I could not read the street signs soon enough and I couldn’t pass the vision test at the DMV office.” Gonzalo Garcia, 74, Albuquerque, New Mexico, wanted to be able to read and write more easily. He wanted to see the nails and screws when he tried to use them in home repairs. He wanted see his grandchildren singing in the church choir. But he thought those days were over when he was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration. California Opthomasetrist, Dr. Richard J. Shuldiner and Baltimore opthomasetrist Dr. Thomas Azman are using miniaturized binoculars or telescopes to help people who have lost vision from macular degeneration or other eye conditions. “Some of my patients consider us

Hank Frese wearing Bioptic Telescope Driving Glasses

the last stop for people who have vision loss.” said Dr. Azman, a low vision opthomasetrist who has just completed training with Dr. Shuldiner in California. “Amazing!” says Donald. “I can read the street signs twice as far as I did before and even see the television better!” Macular degeneration is the most common eye disease among the senior population. As many as 25% of those over 65 have some degree of degeneration. The macula is one small part of the entire retina, but it is the most sensitive and gives us sharp images. When it degenerates, macular degeneration leaves a blind spot right in

the center of vision, which makes it impossible to recognize faces, read a book, or pass the drivers vision test. The experts do not know what causes macular degeneration. But major factors include UV light from the sun, smoking, aging, and improper nutrition. Vitamins can help. The results of two studies, AREDS and LAST demonstrated a lowered risk of progression by about 25% when treated with a high-dose combination of vitamins. Dr. Azman advises patients on the best nutritional supplements during the low vision evaluation. Nine out of ten people who have macular degeneration have the dry type. There is no medical treatment except for vitamins. The wet type involves the leakage of fluid or blood from the blood vessels behind the macula. Injections of Leucentis or Avastin are very effective in preventing the vessels from leaking. “Our job is to figure out anything and everything possible to keep a person functioning,” says Dr. Azman. “Whether it’s driving, reading, watching television, seeing faces, playing bridge… we work with whatever is on the persons “wish list.” Even if it’s driving.

Maryland and California are two of many states that allow the use of telescopic glasses for safer driving. Hank Frese, 69, a former High School Principal from La Palma, California saw Dr. Shuldiner last August. “I could not read the street signs soon enough when driving, and I could not read my morning paper.” Bioptic Telescopic glasses were prescribed to read signs and see traffic lights farther away. As Hank puts it, “These telescope glasses not only allow me to read signs from a farther distance, but makes driving much easier. I’ve also used them to watch television so I don’t have to sit so close. Definitely worth the $2450 cost. I don’t know why I waited two years to do this; I should have come sooner” “Telescopic glasses start at around $1500”, says Dr. Azman, “and low vision prismatic reading glasses start at $500. A small price to pay for better vision and increased independence.” If you or someone you care about is struggling with vision loss, call Dr. Thomas Azman for a free telephone interview. You can reach Dr. Azman by dialing (410) 561-8050.


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Are your meds giving you nightmares? Dear Pharmacist: My doctor is referring me to a psychologist because I’m having so many bad dreams. These are new for me, and while I believe that dreams are “telling,” I can’t help but wonder if it’s something I’m taking. In the last six months, I’ve begun taking three new prescriptions. Could my drugs have any bearing on my sleep or dream state? —T.H. Dear T.H.: Yes, medications can definitely impact the way you sleep and cause vivid dreaming and even nightmares. There are more than 130 medications that can cause nightmares and I’ve posted the whole list at my

website,, because I don’t have the room to do so here. I’ll mention a few of those drugs shortly, but for the moment, let’s talk about nightmares. It’s normal to have them on occasion, but not all the time. I believe that dreams are a way for our unconscious mind to get our attention about a life situation — one that is particularly troubling. They are frightening and often contain emotional content or vivid details that stick with you throughout the day, if not forever. Nightmares are fairly common in children, but they are not usually associated with any underlying psychological problems. About 5 to 8 percent of the adult population, mostly women, have to deal with

recurring nightmares. Citalopram and Escitalopram: two Just FYI, nightmares are considered one newer antidepressants of the hallmark symptoms of Fenfluramine: an appetite post-traumatic stress disorder suppressant used for weight (PTSD). Many war veterans loss and child abuse survivors can HCTZ (Hydrochlorothattest to this. iazide): a popular diuretic But as I said earlier, medicaused to reduce blood prestions can trigger nightmares, sure too. Below is a list of some of Levofloxacin: An antibiotthe most popular drugs or diic etary supplements that have Melatonin: a natural sleep the potential to affect dreaming. aid, but excessive amounts DEAR If you see your medication on can cause nightmares PHARMACIST the list, and nightmares have beMugwort: a natural herb By Suzy Cohen come troublesome for you, sometimes used to expand speak to your doctor about lowconsciousness and dream ering your dose a little, switching medication states, as well as for digestive health categories, or trying something natural. Propranolol: used for high blood presAlbuterol: a popular inhaler used for sure, migraines and heartbeat irregulariasthma or bronchospasm ties Alprazolam and diazepam: these Zanamivir: inhaled drug used for Inmedications are used for relaxation or fluenza sleep Zolpidem: popular sleep medication Amitriptyline and doxepin: two older This information is opinion only. It is not antidepressants intended to treat, cure or diagnose your conStatins: a class of medications used to dition. Consult with your doctor before using reduce cholesterol any new drug or supplement. Bisoprolol: a blood pressure drug Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist Carbidopa/levodopa: used to treat and the author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist Parkinson’s disease and Real Solutions from Head to Toe. To Cetirizine: an antihistamine contact her, visit

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Losing weight, choosing a mate and more Dear Solutions: wants to marry me. I like him a lot, I’ve been overweight all my life, and but I don’t think I love him. However, I come from a family of he’s very wealthy, and it’s obese people. We always tempting. have these big family gathA month ago, a friend of erings where people enjoy mine introduced me to a the company, and food is man whom he thought the main event. would be a good match for Now I’ve started to serime. I really enjoy being with ously lose weight, so when I this person because he go to these gatherings, a lot makes me laugh all the time, of the family is acting angry and I love to laugh. at me when I don’t eat their He’s not a ver y ambiSOLUTIONS food. A couple of cousins tious man, though, and alBy Helen Oxenberg, admire what I’m doing, but though he’s still working, MSW, ACSW the rest almost ignore me or he just makes a modest livcriticize me and try to presing. sure me to eat. What would you advise? I don’t know whether to give up the — Andie well-off boyfriend. My sister says I Dear Andie: should stick with him because I’ll alDon’t let them throw their weight ways have a full belly. I’m afraid to around! They resent what you’re doing be- give him up, and yet I’m torn. cause they feel it as a critical judgment of — Jen themselves. Dear Jen: If you want to keep going to these gathDepends on whether you want a belly erings, you have to tell them that you love laugh or a belly full. Laughter is a great them the way they are, but you have to do glue that helps to keep people attached. this for yourself. You have to decide whether you want to It’s very hard to do what you’re doing, stick with that good trait (assuming other so join as many support groups as you can traits are good also) or take your chances. to be with people who will admire and enMoney can be lost — how would you feel courage you. about being with the other boyfriend if he As for the family, those who want you to lost his wealth? Could you laugh that off? succeed will be supportive, and the rest — Bottom line: if you really cared enough remind yourself that although you would about the money man, you wouldn’t be like their approval, you don’t need it! asking the question. Dear Solutions: Dear Solutions: I’m a widow, and I’ve been going out As much as I love being out with my with someone for a long time. He husband, I find that when I’m with

women we laugh at ourselves and our lives and our mistakes. If I try the same kind of good-natured ribbing with my husband or even with other men, there’s no laughter, just dead silence. I do notice, though, that my husband will tell stories about silly things that I did, and if I confront him about why he can do this about me, but I can’t do this about him, he says, “Oh, you’re a good sport. You can take it better.” Then I really get annoyed. I don’t feel that way with the women, but when he does this I feel that I’m being set up. — Ellen Dear Ellen: You are. The setup, though, has to do

with his male ego and his old-fashioned view of women as “cute,” “silly” or whatever else makes him feel good about himself. The difference when you’re with women is that you’re each telling these stories about yourself. You’re able to laugh at yourselves without feeling diminished. So tell him that you’re willing to listen and laugh at silly things you’ve both done together, but your sportsmanship runs out when he’s just using you as a foil. © Helen Oxenberg, 2011. Questions to be considered for this column may be sent to: The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915. You may also email the author at To inquire about reprint rights, call (609) 655-3684.

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BUY CASH-RICH STOCKS? Many companies have built up huge cash reserves, but is that an asset when considering stock purchases? WHERE TO STASH YOUR CASH CDs and high-yield checking accounts offer better returns than money market funds and are safer than short-term bonds

Consider mutual funds that limit volatility By Mark Jewell The best move for an investor suffering from stock shock might be to stick with the market. But do it in a way that takes some of the edge off its ups and downs. If you want smoother investment returns, put your money in a bond mutual fund. But don’t forego stock funds whose managers strive to reduce volatility. A few have consistently delivered on that difficult-to-achieve goal. And they’ve done so without giving up too much of the greater long-term earnings potential of stocks versus bonds. That’s a particularly appealing approach for investors in or near retirement. They may be living off of their savings, rather than building them up, so they’re not in position to wait long for stocks to rebound from a rough patch. “Volatility, in and of itself, is not bad if you’ve got enough time to make up for it,” said Harry Milling, a fund analyst with Morningstar. “If you don’t, then a lowvolatility strategy is really important.”

It’s easy to see why investors are wary of stocks now. Last month, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index whipsawed at least 4 percent for four consecutive days — two days up, two down. By mid-September, the index was down 6.3 percent for the year. That drop helps explain investors’ net withdrawal of $40 billion from mutual funds in a single week in August. It was the biggest such exit in nearly three years. Three-quarters of the amount withdrawn came from stock funds.

Finding safer stocks In a market like this one, stock funds that specifically pursue strategies to limit volatility tout any success they’ve had achieving that goal. They use a wide range of approaches — from investing in dividend-paying stocks of companies that typically offer greater stability than growth stocks, to buying halfstock, half-bond hybrids called convertibles. Yet there is a downside. When stocks

rally, low-volatility funds are likely to underperform peers taking less-constrained approaches. “You give up a little on the upside, in order to save you on the downside,” Milling said. “But over time, that approach often ends up winning the race.” Below are six low-volatility funds that are among Milling’s favorites. Each has either a top-rung 5-star or 4-star rating from Morningstar. Those ratings are based on past performance, and the level of risk taken to achieve investment returns. Over the long-term, each fund has demonstrated lower volatility than its peers — based in part on downside and upside “capture ratios.” Low-volatility funds with good downside capture ratios consistently suffered smaller losses than the S&P 500 when stocks declined. Conversely, during rallies these funds captured most of the gains, or in some instances beat the market. Those are among the volatility measures found on by clicking on a fund’s “risk &

ratings statistics” tab. The downside capture ratio is of particular interest in this market decline. The selloff offers a fresh but painful reminder of the realities of recovery math. If your stock portfolio loses 50 percent of its value, you’ll need a 100 percent gain — not 50 percent — to get back to where you started.

Six low volatility funds 1. American Century Equity Income (TWEAX): This large-cap value stock fund invests in dividend-paying companies best positioned to weather tough times. Managers also invest in convertible bonds, which offer the option of converting into the issuer’s common stock at a predetermined price. Convertibles provide the safety of a bond along with an opportunity to profit if the company’s stock rises in price. Over the past 15-year period, this fund has See MUTUAL FUNDS, page 20

Will uncertainty affect healthcare stocks? By Dave Carpenter Healthcare stocks historically provide a relatively safe haven in roiling markets. They’re less tethered to the economy’s every movement than other stocks and tend to be less volatile. Anxious investors might be considering putting money in the sector, but the current outlook is complicated by uncertainty over the government’s changing involvement in healthcare. The wild card is potential cuts to Medicare or Medicaid, soon to be considered by Congress’ new debt-reduction supercommittee. So, is healthcare still a good defensive play given the possible reductions to entitlement programs? Healthcare stocks may bounce around more than usual for awhile because of the questions. But while extra caution is merited, they still have a strong chance to outperform other sectors in a down market, looking better than most other sectors from a defensive standpoint. Healthcare companies’ recent earnings and full-year outlooks have been strong.

And although volatility has been high, the sector’s swings have been less severe than in others. The Standards & Poor’s 500 index is down about 6.3 percent in 2011 as of mid-September, for example, while its healthcare components were up 1.4 percent.

Medicare’s impact One big concern is the hit that pharmaceutical stocks could take. A cutback in the $55 billion a year that the federal government spends on Medicare Part D, its fiveyear-old prescription drug plan, would likely affect prices. The impact has to do with the difference between Medicare, which is designed to help with long-term care for the elderly, and Medicaid, which covers healthcare costs for the poor. Seniors who are eligible for both government programs currently are reimbursed at Medicare rates, which are more profitable for pharmaceutical firms, noted Damien Conover, associate director of equity research at Morningstar. If reductions

are made, these seniors could be reimbursed at the less generous Medicaid rates instead. Another problem that could hurt the stocks is the flood of patent expirations and the shift toward generics. Generic versions of seven of the world’s 20 top-selling drugs will come on the market in the next 14 months, which will further hurt drug makers’ profit margins.

Government cuts raise concern Still another issue is that healthcare companies count on the government for more money than any other sector, according to Goldman Sachs, and those amounts are now vulnerable to cuts. It’s not just the drug manufacturers, such as Baxter International Inc. (68 percent of revenue from government), but a wide range of firms from insurers Humana Inc. (79 percent) and UnitedHealth Group (35 percent), to medical device makers Becton Dickinson & Co. (66 percent) and Medtronic Inc. (61 percent), to for-profit hospital chain HCA Holdings Inc. (41 percent).

The good news is that stock-watchers say the uncertainties already are factored into stock prices. Better-than-average cash flows and dividends make healthcare more defensive than the market as a whole, said Mitch Schlesinger, chief investment officer at FBB Capital Partners, an investment management firm in Bethesda, Md. Among strong companies with attractive dividend yields are Johnson & Johnson (3.6 percent), Novartis (3.6 percent) and Pfizer (4.5 percent). Those looking to buy a fund should consider the iShares S&P Global Healthcare exchange-traded fund (IXJ), which is down 11 percent since early July but still up 0.9 percent this year. “Healthcare isn’t what it used to be in the ’90s, when pharmas were coming out with all kinds of miracle drugs and they were considered sexy growth companies,” said Russ Koesterich, global chief investment strategist for BlackRock Inc.’s iShares. “But it’s a reasonable place to hide given the volatility.” — AP

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Opinions differ on wisdom of buying gold By Sarah DiLorenzo For what is normally a sleepy month, there were so many customers at the Gold Standard, a New York company that buys jewelry, that it felt like Christmas in August. And Uncle Ben’s Pawn Shop in Cleveland has never seen a rush like this. Welcome to the new American gold rush. The price of gold is on a remarkable run, setting a record seemingly every other day. Stomach-churning volatility in the stock market last month has only made investors covet gold more. Some want it as a safe investment for turbulent times. What worries some investors is that many others are buying simply because the price is rising and they want to make money fast. “Is gold the next bubble?” asked Bill DiRocco, a golf company manager in Overland Park, Kansas, who shifted 10 percent of his portfolio earlier this year into an investment fund that tracks the price of gold. He stopped buying because the price kept rising. In October 2007, gold sold for about $740 an ounce. A little over a year later, it rose above $1,000 for the first time. This past March, it began rocketing up. On August 22, it set a record high at $1,911. But in the following two days, gold prices fell by $150 an ounce, the largest two-day drop in more than decades. However, it’s still far higher than the $1,400 an ounce that gold fetched at the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, stocks, despite rising sharply in the last two and a half years, are only slightly higher in price than they were a decade ago. Since hitting a record high in October 2007, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index is down 23 percent.

Why so valuable? Gold hits a sweet spot among the ele-

ments: It’s rare, but not too rare. It’s chemically stable; all the gold ever mined is still around. And it can be divided into small amounts without losing its properties. Ultimately, though, gold is valuable because we all agree it is. It was used around the world as a currency for thousands of years, and then it gave value to paper currencies for a couple of hundred more. Now, in a time of turmoil — from the credit downgrade and debate over raising the debt limit in the U.S., to the growing financial crisis in Europe, to worries of slow growth across the globe — gold is dazzling investors. Since the financial crisis in 2008, central banks around the world have bought gold as a hedge against their foreign currency holdings. Earlier this month, South Korea announced it had bought gold for the first time in more than 10 years. Gold is “an effective hedge in a world where there is too much debt and uncertainty,” said Jim McDonald, chief investment strategist at Northern Trust, which owns $2.8 billion of gold in a gold fund. The last time gold prices rose so precipitously was a few years after President Richard Nixon ended a decades-long fixed relationship between the value of the dollar and the value of gold. In those days, the price of gold was fixed at about $35 an ounce. And many foreign currencies were pegged to the dollar. Gold gave the dollar its value, and the dollar gave everything else value. Then the U.S. began running a trade deficit, and dollars piled up abroad. Central banks could redeem dollars for gold. But it was a poorly kept secret that the U.S. didn’t have enough gold to cash out every dollar in circulation. To head off a rush, Nixon “closed the

gold window,” essentially saying that confidence in the U.S. government, not gold, gives the dollar its value. Gold and the dollar began to rise and fall freely, and gold earned its place as protection against the falling dollar when confidence lags. As inflation worsened later in the 1970s and dollars were worth less, the price of gold took off. Gold hit its high in 1980 — $850 an ounce, or more than $2,300 in today’s dollars.

A stable hedge or a bubble? This time is different because gold is rallying against all currencies, not just the dollar, said Jim Grant, editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer. “Gold is the reciprocal of the world’s

faith in the world’s central banks,” Grant said, and right now, “the world is in a pickle.” Gold prices will probably keep rising until the U.S. and Europe get their finances in order, he said — and Grant doesn’t expect that to happen soon. He predicts inflation, low for the moment, will soar, further eroding the value of the dollar and leaving only gold as a good investment. Cetin Ciner, a professor of finance at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, disagrees. He thinks gold is near a peak and people who buy now are blindly chasing the rising price. “I’m thinking of it as like the dot-com See GOLD, page 20


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Mutual funds From page 18 earned 70 percent of the S&P 500’s gains, while suffering just 49 percent of its declines. 2. BlackRock Equity Dividend (MDDVX): This large-cap value fund invests at least 80 percent of its assets in dividend-paying stocks. Over the past 15-year period, the fund has captured 79 percent of

Gold From page 19 stocks,” Ciner said. Both Ciner and Grant caution, however, that when it comes to gold prices, no one really knows. That’s because gold doesn’t have intrinsic value. It doesn’t offer an interest rate, like a bond, or represent a share of a company, like a stock. Gold is inherently speculative as an investment: You only make money if the


the market’s gains, while suffering 63 percent of its declines. 3. Calamos Growth & Income (CVTRX): This aggressive allocation fund holds a mix of stocks, bonds and convertibles. Over the past 10-year period, the fund ranks in the top 3 percent among its peers, with an average annualized return of nearly 6 percent. 4. LKCM Equity Institutional (LKEQX): Milling considers this large-

cap blend fund a hidden gem. It’s got a 5star ranking, yet is relatively small, with $89 million in assets. Over the past 10-year period, it has captured 95 percent of the market’s gains, while suffering 87 percent of its losses. 5. Queens Road Small Cap Value (QRSVX): With $56 million in assets, this small-cap value fund remains small despite its top rating. Its performance surpassed the overall market over the last 5-year period,

capturing 104 percent of the gains, while suffering 88 percent of its losses. By keeping as much as 21 percent of its assets in cash, its managers have helped limit recent losses. 6. Royce Special Equity Investment (RYSEX): This well-known small-cap blend fund has captured 102 percent of the market’s gains over the last 10-year period, while suffering only 66 percent of the market’s losses. — AP

price goes up. Sharlett Wilkinson Buckner, of Humble, Texas, recently took an old bracelet, ring and necklace to her local jeweler and walked out with $1,070. “I couldn’t wait for my husband to come home,” she said. “I fanned my money in front of him and said, ‘Look what I got for my gold.’” The next day, he sold an old gold necklace for $650. If Peter Hug is right, this frenzy for gold

is likely to continue. The director of the precious metals division for Montrealbased Kitco, one of the largest dealers of precious metals, said gold is no longer “just for the crazy people” — Henny Pennys expecting the sky to fall. Hug said that until the U.S. tackles its debt and deficit problems, there’s no limit for the price of gold. “As long as people are terrified that their purchasing power is going to be eroded, gold goes to $3,000 an ounce,”

Hug said. Whether or not prices climb that high, many people are deciding it’s as good a time as any to sell Grandma’s jewelry. Pawn shops and gold brokers report a surge of people cashing in their gold. In the past two years, Tansky, who runs Uncle Ben’s and is president of the Ohio Pawnbrokers Association, said gold sales have doubled or tripled. That figure actually masks how hot gold is right now, he said, because others who would have come to his store have gone instead to unlicensed brokers that are trying to cash in. “I saw a barber shop that had a sign, `We buy gold,’” he said. “A barber shop! Can you imagine?” — AP

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scams and frauds, including telemarketing, vacation, work-at-home investment and insurance scams. Also included is a Directory of Consumer Resources, listing local and national numbers to report suspected economic crime. You may pick up a copy of “How to Avoid Scams & Frauds” and “Avoiding Telemarketing Scams & Frauds” at any Baltimore County Senior Center, or call (410) 8872594 for more information.



The Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program helps seniors understand Medicare and health insurance matters and complete the paperwork that follows. Personal assistance is available from trained volunteers at most Baltimore County senior centers or by phone. To learn more or to make an appointment, call (410) 887-2594.

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The best options for stashing your cash By Dave Carpenter Cash is king again for many unsettled investors. The crisis in confidence that has spooked investors this summer is prompting many to pull their money from the stock market, with others poised to follow. The problem is, where to park it? Here’s a look at the safest options and what you can earn on your cash. If you’re primarily concerned about limiting your risk, you’ll want to focus on various bank products, such as certificates of deposit, savings accounts and high-yield checking accounts. Keep in mind their returns aren’t keeping up with inflation, so they’re not a great strategy in the long run. But if your top priority is safety, at least for the near future, they offer plenty. Here’s a snapshot of key considerations. Online savings accounts: These accounts are a reliable option if you need swift access to your money. The rates aren’t generous, topping out at only about 1 percent. But they are convenient and protected. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. guarantees money deposited in savings and checking accounts and CDs up to $250,000. An online account is ideal for your emer-

gency fund or any money you may need on short notice, said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at You can also get an ATM card to access your account. CDs: If you won’t need the money for a while or can afford to park it for six months or longer, consider a CD. Topyielding CDs with a one-year term pay up to about 1.25 percent. Longer maturities offer higher yields, but not by much. Buying a five-year CD won’t get you even 2.5 percent. The highest current rate is 2.4 percent offered by First Internet Bank of Indiana, followed closely by Discover Bank (2.35 percent) and Aurora Bank (2.31 percent), as listed on And if climbing rates in the years ahead tempt you to take your money out early, remember that you’ll pay for it. The withdrawal penalty for CDs will typically dock you six months’ interest. High-yield checking accounts: Sometimes called rewards checking accounts, these provide greater benefits under certain conditions. With most, if you make at least one automatic deposit or payment and at least 10 debit transactions a month, the annual percentage yield is 2.5 to 3 percent. The money is very liquid — you can get to it when you need it.

The downside? You have to meet those requirements every month to get the top yield. And there’s usually a cap, most commonly $25,000, on how much you can park in an account to earn the maximum return. If you fall short of reaching the required thresholds — say, if you make only nine debit-card transactions — your yield plummets to around 0.1 percent. So to make one of these accounts worthwhile, make sure you’ll be able to clear the hurdles every month.

Less appealing options Money-market deposit accounts: As with bank savings accounts, low yields of no more than about 1 percent make this a less attractive option. But safety is high and you will have easy access through

checks, transfers and even ATMs. Money-market mutual funds: These funds invest in short-term debt such as Treasury bills or corporate bonds. Traditionally a safe haven for investors, they’re currently paying next to nothing, averaging just 0.03 percent. So you shouldn’t let your cash pile up there, McBride emphasized. Furthermore, unlike the other bank options, money funds are not FDIC-insured. Short-term bond funds: These should not be considered “cash” because of the risk involved. Morningstar said they have returned more than 1.5 percent this year. Still, it’s possible to lose money in a bond fund. And bonds would lose value if interest rates start to rise. — AP


Sept. 25

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Cash-rich stocks to consider purchasing By Kathy Kristof Is cash king, or is cash trash? If you’re an investor, the question has never been so pertinent or pervasive. Dozens of major corporations reacted to the recession the same way consumers did. They started paying off debts and building up cash reserves. The industrial companies in Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index are now sitting on a record stockpile, estimated at $959 billion, according to S&P.

Plusses and minuses This situation presents tremendous opportunities, but also enormous challenges. Experts say that investors’ fortunes could be made or broken depending on how the companies handle their cash. “You have to look at each company individually and figure out what they’re going to do with their treasure trove,” said Mark Boyar, principal at Boyar’s Intrinsic Value Research, in New York City. “Some companies will squander the money. Others will use it to significantly improve their performance.” Gigantic cash hoards have become important for several reasons. First, cash gives companies staying power and flexibility. Sitting on billions of dollars of easy-toaccess capital gives them the potential to start or boost dividends, buy back shares, and turbocharge future growth by purchasing other companies or investing in new facilities, technology and brainpower. But in today’s low-interest-rate environment, cash can also be a negative for companies — and by extension, their investors — because it doesn’t generate much income.

Some experts, for example, say they’ve been nervously picking up shares of the nation’s fattest cash cow, Microsoft Corp. (symbol MSFT), which is sitting on a stockpile of nearly $50 billion. Why nervously? The stock looks cheap, selling for nine times estimated earnings for the fiscal year that ends in June 2012. But Microsoft also has a sorry history when it comes to deploying its assets, spending billions on ill-fated products, such as the forgettable Zune music player, and making disappointing acquisitions. Now Microsoft is getting ready to spend $8.5 billion on Skype, the Internet phone service. “There seems to be universal agreement that Microsoft overpaid,” said John Osterweis, co-manager of Osterweis Fund. “But if Skype makes sense strategically, it is going to turn out to be very wise.”

We give the nod to six companies — Apple (AAPL), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Google (GOOG), Intel (INTC), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Whirlpool (WHR) — because they are not only cashrich but have executives who know what to do with all that moolah. Plus, their stocks

are relatively cheap. Kathy Kristof is a contributing editor to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to For more on this and similar money topics, visit © Kiplinger’s Personal Finance


Oct. 1+


In recognition of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, Baltimore Heritage, Inc. is sponsoring a free two-part program focusing on slavery in America. Louis Fields, historian and Frederick Douglass expert, will lead a walking tour of Frederick Douglass’s Fells Point, featuring Baltimore sites that have important ties to slavery on Saturday, Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to noon. Meet at Broadway St. and Thames St. in Fells Point for the tour. Estevan Rael-Galvez, of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, will speak on the interpretation of slavery at historic sites on Thursday, Oct. 6 from 7 to 8 p.m. in Ebenezer AME Church, 20 West Montgomery St. Visit or call (410) 332-9992 for more information or to register.

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Oct. 14


The Maryland Chapter of the American Sewing Guild presents seamstress and educator Anne St. Clair, who will share all the secrets to a correctly fitted bra on Friday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. The lecture will take place at the Conference Center, Maritime Institute, 692 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum. The cost is $45, but those who also join the guild that day save $10 on the admission cost. For information, email Kathy Semone at


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Careers Volunteers &

Does your organization use senior volunteers or do you employ a number of seniors? If you do and you’d like to be considered for a story in our Volunteers & Careers section, please send an email to

Advocate for neglected, abused children Parenting skills helpful According to Webster, the most important experience needed as a CASA volunteer is that of being a parent. She herself has three children, each of them with unique needs, and that has immensely helped her help others. For example, her eldest has learning differences. “I have had significant experience with school systems in Baltimore, Texas and Indiana, as well as in Ireland, advocating for a child who needs accommodation in the classroom,” said Webster. Another of her children is a recovering addict, and Webster said she has had the benefit of excellent parent education and counseling in dealing with a child with this issue. And her third child, though very successful in college and her career, suffers from a mild anxiety disorder. “My desire to get re-involved with CASA came from wanting to take all of this experience and use it to benefit another child,” said Webster. The first child assigned to Webster by CASA had already been assisted by several other volunteers when Webster became in-

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volved two years ago. Unfortunately, each of those predecessors had experienced personal events that caused them to leave the program. Webster’s CASA child has been in the car e of the state for 13 years and is “aging out” this month. Though Webster admits that the child can at times be As court-appointed special advocates, volunteers Peggy Webdifficult, he also has a ster (left) and Mary Boenning assist Baltimore County’s gentle, caring side to abused and neglected children who live in foster care. him, she said. “I have come to see my role with this and complicated set of arrangements.” child as ensuring that nothing falls between the cracks, and if it does to fix it,” One-on-one relationships Mary Boenning was a stay-at-home said Webster. mom for whom being involved in her chilThat has involved setting up meetings with his new school, obtaining his birth dren’s lives was important. She was an accertificate so he could get a Social Security tive participant in the local PTAs, a board number and then a job, and meeting with a member of two local Boy Scout troops and child psychiatrist to review, and ultimately a Girl Scout leader. “Being involved with children and their change, the child’s medications to more efdevelopment has always been a part of my fective ones. “These are small things, but examples of life,” said Boenning. When her youngest child graduated what a CASA [volunteer] can do to keep things from going off the rails,” said Webster. from high school, Boenning started inves“In this case, we needed to get all of the tigating ways to volunteer the skills she players in the child’s life to step up their had developed, which led her to CASA. “The development of a one-on-one relaperformance a bit, and I think I can say tionship with the child is what appealed to that happened,” she said. “I did not expect to develop a great bond me,” she said. She has been an active caseworker for with him because he had already had a almost two years with a teenage boy. “Witnumber of CASA volunteers come and go. I do think, though, that he now trusts me nessing the evolution of this young man to help him through the system and to act See ADVOCATES, page 25 as his advocate in a very often confusing PHOTOS COURTESY OF CASA OF BALTIMORE COUNTY

By Carol Sorgen Since 2000, CASA of Baltimore County has provided Court Appointed Special Advocates for children who have been removed from their parents’ or guardians’ care due to abuse or neglect. Since its founding, CASA has trained more than 300 volunteers who have worked to improve the lives and the future of children in need. Baltimore County’s volunteer office named CASA its 2011 Nonprofit of the Year. Peggy Webster and Mary Boenning are two of CASA’s long-time volunteers. Webster first became involved with CASA in Ft. Wayne, Ind., when the company she was working for stressed the need for its employees to give back to the community. “I chose CASA because it looked to be the type of organization where one could make a real difference,” Webster recalled. After moving first to Ireland and then to Baltimore, Webster felt she needed to give more back to the community and remembered her days with CASA in Indiana. She contacted the national organization in Seattle by email, and it referred her to the Baltimore County chapter.

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How to profit from your hobbies, interests By Elliot Raphaelson Wouldn’t it be nice if you could spend your time on your favorite hobbies or interests and actually make money doing it? Plenty of people do, but how can you? The first step is to identify how your avocation, and the skill and expertise you bring to it, matches an opportunity in the marketplace. About 20 years ago, a close friend of mine needed a way to generate more income for her family. She had always been interested in the food business — desserts in particular. She started out by distributing baked goods prepared by another acquaintance, but then took on the baking herself, in her garage. A key to her early success was research: She talked to local stores, restaurants and hotels to find out what types of desserts were popular and to determine the latest trends. As her business grew, and as she expanded her product line, she understood that her success depended on keeping on top of national trends. She started attending national shows in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles that emphasized the latest trends in high-end desserts. So, for example, she recognized early the

latest trends in large cakes and was able to provide them to her customers first. Her ability to recognize opportunity has served my friend well, as she now has more than 40 full-time employees and a thriving Internet business ( Her products, a full line of cakes and pies, are so popular that they are featured in the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog.

on most large cruise ships. Many cruises feature bridge lessons and tournaments. Knowing we would eventually move to Florida, where a number of cruise ships originate, I became a certified bridge director so I could direct games and conduct lectures on board. I became a bridge director on a Norwegian Line cruise to the Caribbean, and the cruise cost less than $500 for both my wife and me.

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Even if you don’t have the time or inclination to develop a full-time business out of your hobbies, you can still take advantage of existing opportunities if you use your creativity. Several years ago, my wife and I took a Caribbean cruise. The trip was very enjoyable. It was not cheap, however, costing close to $3,000. I noticed that there were many activities on board led by individuals who were not full-time ship employees. I talked with several of them and discovered that many of them received either free passage or discounts for their participation. Contract bridge happens to be one of my favorite hobbies, and it’s a popular activity

If you choose to make a business out of your hobby or interest, identifying opportunity is only the first step. Making your business viable, avoiding fatal mistakes and helping it thrive are challenges you’ll face. A great resource for any budding entrepreneur is SCORE, a nationwide organization of experienced business professionals, mostly retired, who volunteer their time to assist owners of small businesses and those who would like to start one.


“A Harvest of Hope for Children,” on Thursday, Oct. 27, from 6:30 to 10 p.m., at the Oregon Ridge Lodge, 13401 Beaver Dam Rd., in Cockeysville. The business casual event, co-chaired by Webster and Boenning, will feature cocktails and a buffet dinner, along with a silent auction. Tickets are $75 in advance and $80 at the door. For more information about the event , or about volunteering for CASA, call (410) 828-0515 or visit

From page 24 and helping explore his future has been an amazing experience and a privilege to be a part of,” said Boenning. Volunteers are needed to help CASA achieve its goal of providing an advocate for every child in need. Volunteers devote 10 to 12 hours a month on average. Another way to help is to participate in the upcoming benefit,

Adults 62+ – Make Your Move!

SCORE has 364 chapters throughout the United States and 13,000 volunteers. I have volunteered for SCORE for 10 years. SCORE provides two basic services: comprehensive seminars at nominal cost, generally $50, for two members of a business, and one-hour counseling sessions at no cost. The basic seminar covers issues such as forms of organization, financing a business, basic marketing and seeking professional services. Other seminars go into more depth about building a business plan, finances and marketing. Visit for more information. Have a story about how you turned your hobby into a business? Feel free to share it with me at the address below. Elliot Raphaelson welcomes your questions and comments at © 2011 Elliot Raphaelson. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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Travel Leisure &

Going Dutch in Delft. See story on page 27.

Be adventuresome in Dominican Republic More than beaches and resorts Many people who think of the Dominican Republic, if they think of it at all, picture broad, golden sand beaches and a wide choice of all-inclusive resorts. There are many such settings, most located around Punta Cana at the eastern end of the island, and they have much to offer. But we set our sights elsewhere. Fyllis and I opted to spend our time at less-visited Puerto Plata on the northern coastline. It also boasts lovely beaches that are bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, and an inviting if more limited choice of resorts, some particularly affordable. An added bonus is a long list of activities beyond those available at most other places in the DR, as we learned to call our temporary home away from home. Visitors who are so disposed may spend their time basking in the sun at the resorts and on the beaches. If they do, they’ll miss opportunities to explore largely unspoiled countryside, interact with local residents, visit towns and villages little touched by tourism, and enjoy encounters with Mother Nature, ranging from tranquil to tough. PHOTO BY VICTOR BLOCK

For a glimpse of local life, visit the small villages beyond the Dominican Republic’s beach resorts. Residents are invariably friendly and welcoming of tourists.

First, a little history It doesn’t take long for today’s visitors to understand why, after spotting the verdant, mountainous land mass in 1492, Christopher Columbus wanted to establish a colony on the island that the Dominican Republic now shares with Haiti. As it turned out, it was another explorer who founded a city there 10 years later and named it Puerto Plata (“port of silver”). Among reminders of Spanish colonial days is a small but interesting stone fort, Fuerte de San Filipe (“Fort of Saint Phillip”), which still gazes out over the north shore. The oldest military fortification in the Americas, its massive walls enclose a little historical museum and a tiny cell in which Juan Pablo Duarte, a hero of the Dominican Republic’s fight for independence, was once detained.


By Victor Block “You expect me to climb up that?” I inquired of Carlos, who was guiding my wife Fyllis and me on our morning outing in the Dominican Republic. “And then to slide back down?” I added with growing trepidation in my voice. We were about to scale the first of what’s billed as “27 waterfalls,” a series of cascades and pools created by a rushing river whose arctic-like water contrasted with the heat of the surrounding rain forest. Only slightly reassured by our guide’s words of encouragement, I donned the required life jacket and helmet, swam to the bottom of the first fall, and climbed a rickety wood ladder to its summit. Only the devil-may-care attitude that Fyllis displayed as she plummeted down the chute prompted me to follow, rather than thinking of some excuse to descend the same way I had gone up. After returning safely, if slightly bruised, Fyllis and I stopped for a lunch of pit-roasted pig washed down by a cold local brew. That was followed the next day by hiking in a rainforest, pausing to explore caves that have been carved out over eons.

Fort San Felipe was built by the Spanish on a peninsula overlooking the north shore of the Dominican Republic, in part to ward off attacks by pirates. Construction began in 1539 and took several years to complete.

A later colonial period from the late 19th and early 20th centuries is brought to life by a cluster of wooden Victorian houses around Central Park. Their gingerbread motifs and wooden filigree are set off by a kaleidoscope of pastel colors. Another worthwhile stop in Puerto Plata is the Museo de Ambar Dominicano (Amber Museum). The northern shoreline of the country is known as the Amber Coast because the area contains the largest deposits of that semiprecious stone in the world, including rare blue, red and black varieties. Amber is fossilized pine resin that was formed some 50 million years ago. Specimens that contain preserved fossils are favored by many collectors. For anyone interested in buying amber who is not an expert, the museum’s shop is the safest bet. That offered by street vendors or at some stores may not be the real thing. The town of Puerto Plata is well located for visits to nearby villages, tourist complexes and beaches. Playa Cabarete (Cabarete Beach) is popular among both locals and visitors, especially those who like to wind surf. Prevailing breezes blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean make this one of the best locations in the world for that sport. Once a tranquil fishing village, Sosua evolved into a bustling (read that “touristy”) community known for an enclave of Jewish

residents whose relatives fled Europe just before World War II. Many are descendants of German and Austrian Jews who took advantage of the policy adopted by the Dominican Republic to help alleviate the suffering caused by the Holocaust. The townspeople were entirely Jewish until the opening of the Puerto Plata airport in 1980 led to the transformation of Sosua into a beach resort. The village is home to the first synagogue that was established in the country and a small museum that preserves the history of the original Jewish immigrants. The Sosua beach is one of the best in the Dominican Republic, a strip of soft white sand tucked into a cove sheltered by coral cliffs. Along with a collection of tourist shops selling the usual resort clothing and knickknacks, the beach is lined by little restaurants that serve good, simple food at reasonable prices.

Outdoor adventures with “Mama” When Fyllis and I sought a change from checking out beaches and sightseeing attractions, the challenge became which of an inviting choice of activities to select. As non-golfers, we couldn’t take advantage of well-known courses designed by the likes See DR ADVENTURES, page 28

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Vermeer and porcelain in quaint Dutch city

Touring Royal Delft Delft, the town, is synonymous with Royal Delft porcelain. An entire industry of so-called Delftware began in the 17th century (during Vermeer’s time), but just this one factory remains today. It’s open for tours and even offers would-be painters the chance to get a feel for the craft through workshops. Visitors get a thorough look at the history of the porcelain, and can watch it being decorated in the present-day by the factory’s seven painters or handful of artisans.

To try your hand at it, book a workshop in advance. They start at $21 (14.5 euros), which does not include the pottery. Regular entry is $11.50 (8 euros). Skip the guided audio tour; there’s plenty of information on the walls and in pamphlets. There’s also a café and a shop where you can buy Delftware. See for more information. Delft’s charm is best experienced by ambling. Walk along the canals, admire the architecture, watch out for bikes and enjoy. There are several must-sees, including the towering, brick cathedral in the old city center, the Oude Kerk (Old Church), which dates to at least the 1200s. See Vermeer was buried here in 1675. The Vermeer Center showcases the life and work of Vermeer, who was born in Delft in 1632. The center, which is housed at the former St. Lucas Guild — where Vermeer served as dean of the painters — has examples of his work, a recreation of his studio and more. Entry is $10 (7 euros). See The Museum Het Prinsenhof tells the story of William of Orange, who led the Netherlands Revolt — a clash between the Protestants and Catholics in the late 1500s. Also on display are art and other wares from the city’s 17th century Golden Age. Entry is $10.70 (7.50 euros). See Search for the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) but don’t let the name fool you. Work on this cathedral, on the market square, started in 1396. Entrance fee of $5 (3.50 euros) gets you into both the Old and New churches. See On a visit here with my boyfriend, we became intimately acquainted with the bells of the Nieuwe Kerk, hearing them


By Emily Fredrix You don’t have to be in Delft long to see what inspired Johannes Vermeer. Meandering up and down countless bridges that stretch over canals, and past storefronts and slender houses, the quaint Dutch life sets in. It’s this life — with its scenes of domesticity, milkmaids, and yes, that girl with the pearl earring — that the famed Dutch master so cherished during his lifetime in the city in the 1600s. And it’s one that comes alive for anyone who visits this city of about 100,000 people even centuries after Vermeer’s time. Granted, Delft is often overlooked as a tourist destination considering its larger, more cosmopolitan neighbors: Amsterdam is an hour by train and Den Haag (The Hague), some 25 minutes. But quaint does have a place and a time — and Delft exemplifies it. From the famed blue-and-white Royal Delft porcelain factory, to old Gothic churches, streets bordered by canals, and miles of bicycle paths, Delft is an ideal stop in the Netherlands. It’s also close enough for daytrips to Den Haag to visit the M.C. Escher Museum and, if you’re there in the spring, to see the famed tulips at Keukenhof.

Houses line a canal in the center of Delft, Holland, once home to painter Johannes Vermeer. Visitors can learn more about the artist at the Vermeer Center, as well as visit the facility where the famed Royal Delft porcelain is made and decorated.

each morning from Hotel Emauspoort, where we were staying. Our room at the hotel was actually one of two Dutch caravans set up inside the courtyard. The trailer-like caravans look like wheeled wooden circus wagons, though

they’re equipped with heat, shower, toilet and TV. They’re named for a famous Dutch clown character, Pipo, and his wife Mammaloe. Caravans cost about $135 (95 euros) per See DELFT, page 29

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DR adventures From page 26 of Robert Trent Jones and Jack Nicklaus. So we decided to focus on new experiences. While options included dirt-biking, wind surfing and deep sea diving, we immediately added those to our “not in this life” list. Whitewater rafting, kayaking, river tubing and horseback riding had appeal, but we have enjoyed them in other places at other times. Then we found the perfect solution. We were directed to Iguana Mama, an outdoor tour operator that lives up to its slogan, “Mama knows best.” That heart-pounding climb up, and plummet down, waterfalls described earlier is but one choice among its long menu of offerings. Along with the usual selection of recreational pastimes available at many vacation spots, Mama throws in a few that catch your attention and, if you participate, your breath. Canyoning and zip lining provide trips over and down into the landscape. Sailing

on a catamaran, ocean fishing and whale watching cruises get salts and landlubbers alike out on the sea. After a detailed discussion of the alternatives with Michael Scates, who owns the operation, we selected two options that we thought would provide challenge enough but not too much. Michael described the six available mountain bike adventures in descending order of difficulty. He began with a 45-mile “Maximum Endurance” ride that even he admitted involves “hideousness and pain.” Not for us, we replied in unison. Instead, we opted for a gentle pedal over dirt roads that passed through neighborhoods of modest homes, waving to children playing in the streets as we steered to avoid what appeared to be bicycle-eating potholes and chickens scratching in the dust. No hideousness, no pain. After riding past coconut, mango, grapefruit and other trees that our guide, Carlos Rios, identified, we paused at a tiny collec-



tion of animals too small to deserve the name “zoo.” A few pink flamingoes, turtles, iguanas and a sassy parrot had the run of the place, while a pair of crocodiles lay dormant, as crocs do, in small enclosures. Next on the itinerary was a ride in a rundown outboard motor boat on the slow-flowing Yessica River, past cows grazing in fields near the water and fishermen throwing their nets. Back on land, we enjoyed a cool drink of coconut milk sipped from the shell, and then pedaled back to our starting point. Another day, another outing. This time, it was a hike in the Choco National Park, named for the chocolate color of the earth. As with everything else Iguana Mama, this was not just a hike. It also involved exploration of several of the more than 100 limestone caves, many connected by underground rivers, which added a whole new dimension to the usual walk in the woods. Even more interesting to me was an encounter with an elderly man who invited us into his tiny, primitive hut, made of palm

tree wood and fronds, and offered us a snack of warm yucca. This epitomized every experience with the Dominicans we met, who invariably were friendly and courteous. The people I meet when traveling have much to do with how much I enjoy a destination. Add beautiful beaches, magnificent scenery and tiny towns, then throw in the long list of activities both familiar and less so, and the Dominican Republic has much to offer those seeking active days, hours lolling on the sand, or a combination of both.

If you go All-inclusive resorts are the choice of many travelers to the Dominican Republic. The Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort in Puerto Plata lives up to its name, offering every comfort in accommodations, along with opportunities to book virtually any recreation outside the sprawling property you might wish to pursue. There are several levels of lodging and lavish opulence, depending upon price. The usual “all inclusive” endless supply of food and beverages is available, along with swimming pools, spas and tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, plus other amenities. Daily activities range from golf and tennis lessons to classes in Spanish, aerobics and preparing a Dominican cocktail. For just one idea of what makes this resort special, picture the typical chaise lounges lined up on beaches, then think again. Guests luxuriate on queen-size platform beds, some double-decker, some slung hammock-like from palm trees. All-inclusive nightly rates for lying in the lap of luxury here start at $82 per person a night for a limited time, with your seventh night free after a six-night stay. Other seasons (and fancier accommodations and suites) can be considerably higher. For details, log onto or call (809) 970-7777, ext. 70083. Dining at the Lifestyle resort means selecting from four or more restaurants, ranging from white tablecloth to casual buffet. Fresh-caught seafood, beans and rice and fried plantain are among popular Dominican dishes, often prepared with a Spanish flair along with local touches. We also enjoyed lunch at the modestly priced Jorge Restaurant on Coco Beach, which consists of a few plastic tables and chairs on the sand. It offers excellent fish soup ($6), shrimp salad and curried chicken (both $8). We had dinner one night at Le Pappillon, just outside the entrance to the Lifestyle resort. Jovial, German-born Tomas Ackerman prepared his special onion pie appetizer ($8), along with goulash soup ($7) and chicken stroganoff ($13). For more information, call (809) 970-7640 or email the owner-chef at Flights from the Washington area start at $422 roundtrip on Spirit Airlines from Reagan National Airport to Santo Domingo Las Americas International Airport. For more information about the Dominican Republic, call 1-888-374-6361 or log onto

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Tour guide From page 1 which peeks into the private gardens behind Baltimore’s row houses as well as the city’s Colonial gardens; “Hairspray in Baltimore,” for fans of the John Waters’ Broadway show and movie; and walks through such neighborhoods as Little Italy, Fells Point (where Larson herself was born and still lives) and Locust Point. Locust Point is an especially popular tour, and Larson’s favorite as well. “This is a neighborhood that is truly Old Baltimore,” Larson said, for several reasons. First, it is not as commercialized as,

Delft From page 27 night. Inside the hotel, a themed-Vermeer room costs $216 (150 euros). For more info, see

A side trip to Den Haag The home of the United Nation’s International Criminal Court offers a larger city feel and standout museums, well worth a trip from Delft. The museum devoted to the avant-garde graphic artist M.C. Escher is well worth the trip to Den Haag alone. Visitors to the museum, Escher in Het Paleis, see the works of Dutch-born Escher

say, Fells Point. Second, generations of the same families still live within houses of each other. And finally, it retains a link to Baltimore’s industrial past through Domino Sugar, which is still headquartered there. Larson’s tours have won rave reviews, including from the venerable Fodor’s tour guide, which says, “Energetic, irrepressible Zippy Larson is by far the city’s most engaging tour guide….Zippy’s witty, wellresearched tours take you outside the tourist bubble.” For Karen Gray, tour coordinator for the Smithsonian Associates program, Larson’s “ability to make a site or area come alive and to give people a sense of its people and displayed in the Lange Voorhout Palace, which has been owned by the Dutch royal family for more than a century. The museum showcases Escher’s life and work, while also telling the story of the royal family. Even the light fixtures in each room are a sight. Entry is a bargain at $11.50 (8 euros) — look for a euro-off coupon at tourist centers. Splurge on the $7 (5 euros) chance to play with depth and be in your own Escher-style keepsake print picture (and accompanying digital copy). See To see one of Vermeer’s most famous works, “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” and art by other Dutch masters including Rembrandt van Rijn, visit the Mauritshuis.

changes through time is an invaluable experiential and educational gift.”

Tailored tours She may make it look easy, but a lot of preparation goes into Larson’s tours. Not only does she design a customized itinerary, but she tests the route out herself — multiple times, if necessary. Larson is meticulous to the point of accompanying a motor coach driver beforehand so she’ll know which lane they should be in so that members of the tour have the best vantage point to see what she is talking about. Most people who contact Larson to design Housed in a stately 17th century mansion, the collection is also called the Royal Picture Gallery. Entry ranges from $15 to $17 (10.50-12 euros), depending on the season. (Check before you go as the museum is to begin renovations in April 2012.) See

A tulip wonderland If you’re visiting in the spring, don’t miss Keukenhof. This massive garden is open from late March to late May — when literally millions of Holland’s famed tulips, and other botanical delights, are on display. Cheesy but fun, Keukenhof is like an amusement park for flowers. A calliope at


a tour don’t have any idea what they want to see. Larson believes it is her job to help them figure it out, so she asks them many detailed questions. (Only one woman has ever balked at providing so much information.) “I want to know what your interests are, where you went to school, what did you study, why you are coming here, and much, much more,” said Larson. When you buy a dress, she explained, you can go to a department store and purchase “off the rack,” or you can fly to Hong Kong and have a dress custom-made that will last you a lifetime. “I’m the Hong Kong tailor of tours,” Larson laughed. the entrance plays hits by the Bee Gees. Visitors can climb a windmill, take a boat tour through canals and tulip fields, and step into giant wooden shoes. See It’s reachable from Den Haag or Delft by hopping a train to nearby Leiden and then catching a bus. A $30 (21 euros) ticket from the tourist center across from the train station covers garden admission and round-trip bus ride; otherwise admission alone is $21 (14.50 euros). To see colorful tulip fields in the area, rent bikes outside the park starting at $12 (8.5 euros). — AP


Oct. 18


Enjoy a day of fun and shopping at Roots Country Market on Tuesday, Oct. 18. There are more than 200 stands to browse and lots of good food to eat. The trip costs $30. Call Seven Oaks Senior Center, (410) 887-5192, to learn more.

Oct. 30


Take the Baltimore’s Architectural Landmarks Tour with Wayne Schaumburg. The Sunday, Oct. 30 trip includes a champagne brunch at the Engineers Club, and the cost is $75. To learn more, call Senior Box Office at (410) 882-3797.

Oct. 2


See Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story at Allenberry Playhouse in Boiling Spring, Pa., on Sunday, Oct. 2 for $89. For more information, call Cockeysville Senior Center at (410) 887-7694.

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Arts &

What’s new at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival? See story on page 33.

Murder, blackmail and music in Chicago

Corruption in ‘20s Chicago The story — which deals with murder, corruption, blackmail, sex, adultery, cheating and exploitation, among other wicked human ways in 1920’s shoot-‘em-up Chicago — is told, as one would expect in a musical, mostly through song and dance. The overall production and performanc-

es are first-rate and enjoyable, despite the confined space of the dinner theater. Still, it takes some smart maneuvering by directors Toby Orenstein and Lawrence B. Munsey, and choreographer Ilona Kessell, to allow the chorus guys and girls to take the modified, but still hard-swinging steps originally conceived by the great Bob Fosse. By the way, while Chicago, the movie, won six Academy Awards, the way it was put together as a film seems less daring then its staged construction. The movie narration was more traditional than it is in the play, giving more gradual and conventional motivations for most of its characters. But for my money, the stage version — with its black-out scenes and swiftly drawn reasons for the action — carries more of a wallop. The characters are hit, and hit you, over the head much quicker on stage. Just like the tabloid world being satirized.

Stand-out stars The local cast, meanwhile, is more than worthy. While Fosse’s choreography undoubtedly has had to be harnessed, the vivid songs by John Kander (music) and Fred Ebb (lyrics) are properly belted out. Carole Graham Lehan, who plays Roxie Hart, the wannabe vaudeville star, is my kind of leading murderess. Poor Roxie, who knocks off her lover for his too-quick departure from her loving arms, legs and other parts, wants her whole life played

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By Robert Friedman When Chicago: A Musical Vaudeville opened on Broadway in 1975, many in the audience were said to be shocked — shocked! — by the show’s subversive view of such seeming American verities as a fair and impartial justice system and the secular sainthood of celebrities. But that was then, 36 years ago. Now, yesterday’s biting cynicism has become today’s relished realism. The play is still a stinging satire. But it is doubtful, given the intervening real-life trials and tribulations of O.J., Robert Blake, Casey Anthony and assorted honest-as-the-nights-are-short politicians, that much ado will now be made about the message. The rechristened Chicago: The Musical, finally became a huge Broadway stage hit in 1996, not to mention an Oscar-winning film in 2003. The show is still going strong along the Great White Way. Audiences here also have a chance to see a version of the play with a resident cast at Toby’s Dinner Theater in Columbia. The show runs through Nov. 6.

Manipulative attorney Billy Flynn (lying on a bench), played by Jeffrey Shankle, tells the audience of Chicago that the murder trial at the center of the musical “is all a circus.”

out in headlines. But she only manages her 15-minute quota of fame. Lehan comes across as a sweet tough cookie who puts all that jazz into numbers

such as “Me and My Baby,” “We Both Reached for the Gun” and especially See CHICAGO, page 32


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Photographer focuses on Baltimore parks By Carol Sorgen Jerome Golder became entranced by the natural world through a decade of family trips to national parks throughout the United States with his wife, two daughters and two nephews. To record the beauty of that world, Golder, now 78, began photographing the flowers, plants and trees that he so enjoyed. It wasn’t enough, though, for Golder to save those images for himself. To bring the outdoors to others, Golder now regularly exhibits his work throughout Baltimore. “For those who can’t get out anymore, this is a way of bringing the outdoors in and bringing a smile to someone’s face,” he said.

A peek at Leakin Park Golder’s latest exhibit, “Leakin Park: A Stream Runs Through It,” is on display

Chicago From page 31 ”Roxie.” Jeffrey Shankle rankles wonderfully as Billy Flynn, your usual media-manipulating, double-dealing, jury-duping, evidencecontorting shyster attorney. In “All I Care About is Love” Flynn-Shankle sings and

s a t! e ak if M at g e gr

through the end of September at Baltimore City Hall. Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park is one of the largest municipal tracts in the United States and is a distinctive natural environment situated within a highly urban setting. Its well-preserved natural landscape includes rolling woodlands and a large oak grove. In addition, the grounds featured many interesting original structures that remain standing. Once a country estate in the mid-19th century, the ItalJerome ianate stone mansion known as Oreanda is currently used by the Parks and People Foundation for park offices and recreational programs. The stone stable/carriage house, gothic chapel, care-

dances and you know he is sweetest on himself. Debra Buonaccorsi displays the proper pizzazz as Velma Kelly, a hubby murderer (she also knocked off her sister, in bed with hubby at the time), who longs for a return to the life of a trouper. She scores with Roxie in a couple of duets (“My Own Best Friend,” and “Nowadays”) and with the

Beacon The






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taker’s house, water wheel and “mock” fort are still open to visitors. The 30 photos included in Golder’s current exhibit were taken over a number of years on his many visits — at least several times a week — to the park.

“Official photographer” Though Leakin Park has often had a “sinister” reputation through the years because of criminal activity, Golder said he has been intent on showing the beauty Golder of the park as he experiences it. In fact, he has been such a strong promoter of the park and recorder of its beauty that he has been named official

prison matron, when the two show off their “Class.” Others who deserve mention are Nancy Tarr Hart, who plays the matron in the women’s prison and will do anything for the girls, as long as the price is right; Munsey, the co-director, who’s also all over the place acting the master of ceremonies and what seems like a half dozen other parts; and Chris Rudy, as Mary Sunshine, the gabby reporter who looks happily at life from all sides and reveals that not much is as it may seem There’s also David James, playing Amos Hart, Roxie’s nebbishy husband whom no one notices, even when he sings “Mister Cellophane,” a song about no one noticing him. I think James should work harder in that song at not being noticed. Kudos to the real live band, maybe five or six pieces that swung along with the singers and dancers. The band, hidden behind a curtain, was directed by Christopher Youstra. While this production of Chicago may not blow you away, it certainly will stir you up enough for an invigorating evening or matinee.

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Going to the show Chicago continues at Toby’s Dinner Theatre, 5900 Symphony Woods Rd., Columbia, through Nov. 6. Prior to the show, the all-you-can-eat dinner buffet features steamship round, roast turkey breast, baked ham, chicken and tilapia, a salad bar, and a large variety of side dishes and desserts. In addition to many of the dinner items, the Sunday brunch buf fet also includes scrambled eggs, French toast, bacon and sausage. Tickets, including both meal and show (but not sodas or alcoholic beverages) are $50 for Sunday and Thursday evening shows and Wednesday matinees, $51.50 for Friday evening, $53 for Saturday evening, and $48 for Sunday matinee brunch. Tickets for children ages 12 and under are $34.50 for all performances. For tickets and more information, call (410) 730-8311 or go to Robert Friedman is a freelance writer.


Ongoing Address:___________________________________________

photographer by the Friends of Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park. Using a digital Canon camera with a telephoto lens, Golder takes what he calls snapshots, rather than photos. “What I see in the lens is what I develop,” he said. “I don’t enhance the images in any way.” As many photos as he has already taken, and as many times as he has visited Leakin Park and Baltimore’s other sites of natural interest, Golder doesn’t tire of heading out every day with his camera. “It’s not just about the photos,” he said. “It’s about meeting people and sharing the beauty of the world.” Golden will host a photo tour of Leakin Park on Tuesday, Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (rain date, Oct. 27). Come to the park


To mark the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, local photographer Denny Lynch has mounted an exhibition of his photographs concerning New York City in the Lenrow Gallery in Goucher College’s Athenaeum, 1021 Dulaney Valley Rd. The exhibit will include images Lynch took of the Twin Towers before the September 11th attacks and photographs he took in October 2001 when he visited firehouses in Manhattan. The exhibit will be on display through Tuesday, Oct. 4 and is free and open to the public. For more information, call (410) 377-6251.

Oct. 9


Visit Gormley Gallery, in Fourier Hall at the College of Norte Dame, 4701 N. Charles St., and view the new exhibit, “Collaborations,” which highlights work by clients at Penn Mar Human Services in Freeland, Md. and students at Notre Dame. The exhibit features works completed through a program that provides therapeutic and physical training to adults with disabilities. The exhibit runs Monday, Oct. 24 to Friday, Dec. 2, and an opening reception will take place Sat., Oct. 9 from 4 to 6 p.m. Admission to Gormley Gallery is free. Regular gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.



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Festival spotlights latest trends in crafts By Carol Sorgen So, what’s new in the crafts world? More than 250 American craftspeople and artists will answer that question at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival in Timonium, taking place from Friday, Sept. 30 through Sunday, Oct. 2. The theme of this 35th anniversar y festival is “New This Season.” It will showcase the latest work, techniques and materials of the jury-selected artists. Among the items to be displayed are functional and decorative pottery, sculpture, glass, jewelry, fashion, wood, metal, furniture, home accessories, photography and fine art.

Hot trends “American craftspeople are always inventing and experimenting,” said Deann Verdier, president of Sugarloaf Craft Festivals. “They set the style and create the trends in fashion, housewares, jewelry and art.” According to Verdier, what’s new this season in American crafts includes: Fashion: In right now is wearable art —

Photographer From page 32 with your own camera, or a disposable camera will be made available from the

items that can be worn in a variety of ways, including sweaters, shawls and shrugs that double as scarves or belts, and outerwear that serves double duty as dresses or blouses. Jewelry: The trend for jewelry artists is combining traditional metals with found objects, such as beach glass, driftwood, windshield shards or old coins. Home décor: In home fashions, the buzzword for this season, according to Verdier, is “raw.” Wood coffee tables, chairs and lamps, for example, are retaining their natural shape, color and textures, while metal artists are accentuating the inherent qualities of their materials rather than embellishing them. Fine art: Digital images and techniques are more prevalent in painting, printmaking and photography, and fine artists are manipulating images to create unique collectibles.

Baltimore artists In addition to artists from across the country, a number of recognized Baltimore-

Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks, Senior Citizens Division. To register for the program or for more information, call Jo Ann Cason at (410) 396-2920.

area artists and craftspeople will be featured in the festival. Among them are Ann Tyler of Baltimore, who creates handbags through her limitededition collection, Millie Bags; Olga Goldin of Reisterstown, who specializes in traditional Jewish ceramics; Barbie Levy of Owings Mills, who is known for her lightweight earrings that incorporate metal and colorful glass beads; and Lucile Martin (Marti) MacSherry of Butler, who creates classic jewelry with a simple, modern edge. Visitors to the festival can also enjoy entertainment and activities such as artist demonstrations, live music and specialty

foods sampling. Hours for the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival are Friday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission (good for all three days) is $7 when purchased online; $9 at the door. Children under 12 are admitted free. The festival will be held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Rd. in Timonium. Free parking is available on site. For more information, including driving directions and admission discounts, visit or call 1800-210-9900.





From page 34.



We all know someone. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2011 Hunt Valley, Maryland REGISTER NOW 410-938-8990 | Register online by Wednesday, October 5, 2011 and get your Race T-shirt mailed to you for free.








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28 31 34





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Scrabble answers on p. 33.




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61 65

71. Oboe part 72. Direction to Toledo Spain from Toledo Ohio 73. Goes on endlessly

Down 1. Part of a Cuban dance 2. Owned 3. Sorts 4. NFL pre-game ritual 5. Sort 6. Cheerleader’s specialty 7. Deplaning 8. Chocolate producer 9. Stylish 10. Wine bottle 11. Lounged on the pool deck 12. Having a hot streak 13. Humbleness 21. Environmental club 24. Penthouse floor, generally 25. Maddux measure 27. Fantasy 28. Foreshadow 34. Swiftly 35. Patches the outfield 38. Regarding 40. Parade place 41. More audacious 42. ___ Less Conversation (Elvis’ last #1 hit) 43. Unlike oil and water 45. Not one; not the other 47. A different shape you can make from this puzzle’s X’s 48. Stay alive 49. Rotten, like an apple 51. Put butter on toast 55. Furious 56. Grams 61. “I have finished talking” 64. Tell a tall tale 66. Space bar neighbor 67. Stockholm-based airline

Answers on page 33.


CLASSIFIEDS The Beacon prints classified advertising under the following headings: Business & Employment Opportunities; Caregivers; Computer Services; Entertainment; For Sale; For Sale/Rent: Real Estate; Free; Health; Home/ Handyman Services; Miscellaneous; Personals; Personal Services; Vacation Opportunities; and Wanted. For submission guidelines and deadlines, see the box on the bottom of this page. CAVEAT EMPTOR! The Beacon does not knowingly accept obscene, offensive, harmful, or fraudulent advertising. However, we do not investigate any advertisers or their products and cannot accept responsibility for the integrity of either. Respondents to classified advertising should always use caution and their best judgment. EMPLOYMENT & REAL ESTATE ADS: We will not knowingly or intentionally accept advertising in violation of federal, state, and local laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, familial status or handicap in connection with employment or the sale or rental of real estate.

Business & Employment Opportunities $2,000 MONTHLY POSSIBLE GROWING GOURMET MUSHROOMS FOR US. Year Round Income. Markets Established. Call Write For Free Information. Midwest Associates, Box 69, Fredericktown, OH 43019 1-740694-0565. 2011 POSTAL POSITIONS $13.00$36.50+/hr., Federal hire/full benefits. Call Today! 1-866-477-4953 Ext. 150. ACTORS/MOVIE EXTRAS - $150-$300/Day depending on job. No experience. All looks needed. 1-800-281-5185-A103. AIRLINES ARE HIRING - Train for high paying Aviation Maintenance Career. FAA approved program. Financial aid if qualified Housing available CALL Aviation Institute of Maintenance (866)453-6204.. EARN $1000’s WEEKLY Receive $12 every envelope Stuffed with sales materials. 24-hr. Information 1-866-297-7616 code 14.

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Financial Services



LOOKING FOR CASH??? Look no further. We’ll purchase all or part of your real estate notes structured settlements and other future payments. Call Private Not Investors, 1-866-420-5885.

VINYL RECORDS WANTED from the 20s through 1985. Jazz, Rock-n-Roll, Soul, Rhythm & Blues, Reggae and Disco. 33 1/3 LPs, 45s or 78s, Larger collections preferred. Please call John, 301-596-6201.

WANTED: LIONEL & AMERICAN FLYER TRAINS – Vintage electric trains from the 1930-1960’s. Any age or condition, also buying old fountain pens, 410-363-4873.

For Rent/Sale: Real Estate

CASH BUYER SEEKING WATCH MAKER’S TOOLS & PARTS, wrist & pocket watches (any condition), costume jewelry and antiques, coins. 410-655-0412.

***FREE FORECLOSURE LISTINGS*** OVER 400,000 properties nationwide. Low down payment. Call now 800-250-2043. AVAILABLE NOW!!! 2-4 Bedroom homes Take Over Payments No Money Down/No Credit Check Call 1-888-269-9192. STOP RENTING Lease option to buy Rent to own No money down No credit check 1-877-395-0321.

For Sale CEMETERY LOT 726C Holy Cross Section Dulaney Valley Gardens. Timonium, MD. 21093. $1,999. Contact Ray 410-744-5219 FOR SALE: BARTON CHAIR (Replaces lift) $1500 or best offer. Hospital Bed (Electric) $150. Folding portable wheel chair $150. 410944-3970. DISH NETWORK PACKAGES start $24.99/mo FREE HD for life! FREE BLOCKBUSTER® movies (3 months.) Call1-800-915-9514. STEEL BUILDING CLOSEOUT SALE! 5060% off prefabricated kits Free Shipping. Layaway available USNational Steel 1-800-917-7080.

Health DIABETIC? for great discounts on products/services! FREE Membership! 1-888-295-7046 for FREE diabetic bracelet!

BUYING NUMISMATIC COINS and most gold or silver items including coins, sterling, jewelry, etc. Will come to you with best cash offer. Call Paul: 410-756-1906. STAMPS! U.S. only. Small collector buying singles, sets or collections. Best price paid. Southwest Stamp Club meets Friday, October 21st, 2011, 1PM, Arbutus. 410-247-4169. ESTATE BUY-OUTS / CLEAN-OUTS RECORD COLLECTIONS, HIFI STEREO, LARGE OLD SPEAKERS, OLD ELECTRONICS, CAMERAS. BEST PRICE. CASH BUYER. PLEASE CALL ALAN 240-478-1100 or 410740-5222. STAMP COLLECTIONS, AUTOGRAPHS purchased/appraised – U.S., worldwide, covers, paper memorabilia. Stamps are my specialty – highest price paid! Appraisals. Phone Alex, 301309-6637.

TOP CASH FOR CARS, Any Car/Truck, Running or Not. Call for INSTANT offer: 1-800-454-6951. WANTED DIABETES TEST STRIPS Any kind/brand. Unexpired up to $18.00. Shipping Paid Hablamos espanol 1-800-266-0702 WANTED JAPANESE MOTORCYCLES KAWASAKI 1970-1980 Z1-900, KZ900, KZ 1000, H2-750, H1-500, S1-250, S2-250, S2-350, S3-400 CASH. 1-800-772-1142, 1-310-721-0726 FINE ANTIQUES, PAINTINGS AND QUALITY VINTAGE FURNISHINGS wanted by a serious capable buyer. I am very well educated [law degree] knowledgeable [over 40 years in the antique business] and have the finances and wherewithal to handle virtually any situation. If you have a special item, collection or important estate I would like to hear from you. I pay great prices for great things in all categories from oriental rungs to Tiffany objects, from rare clocks to firearms, from silver and gold to classic cars. If it is wonderful I am interested. No phony promises or messy consignments. References gladly furnished. Please call Jake Lenihan 301-279-8834. Thank you.


Oct. 19


Enjoy brunch with a chef, followed by a fashion show of Taylor Marie’s Apparel on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at the Arbutus Senior Center, 855 A Sulphur Spring Rd., Halethorpe. The brunch runs from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., and the fashion show from 1 to 2 p.m. The cost is $7.50. Call (410) 887-1410 for more information.

Home/Handyman Services ARTISTIC SLIPCOVER & UPHOLSTERY COMPANY Your fabric or mine. Since 1966. Steve Gulin, 410-655-6696. Cell: 410-207-7229.

Miscellaneous ATTEND COLLEGE ONLINE from home. Medical, Business, Paralegal, Accounting, Criminal Justice. Job placement assistance. Computer available. Financial aid if qualified. Call 800-494-3586

MYSTERY SHOPPERS! Earn up to $150 daily. Get paid to shop pt/ft. Call now 800-690-1272.

PREGNANT? CONSIDERING ADOPTION? You choose from families nationwide. LIVING EXPENSES PAID. Abby’s One True Gift Adoptions. 866-413-6292, 24/7 Void/Illinois.


Personal Services

LICENSED, EXPERIENCED CNA + RN nursing student seeks full-time night position. Pet-friendly & with stellar references. If interested, please call Jacqueline @ 301-787-3555.

LEARN ENGLISH – SPANISH – ITALIAN – FRENCH – PORTUGUESE Conversational. Grammatical. Private lessons. Reasonable Rates. Tutoring students. 443-352-8200.


Deadlines and Payments: Ad text and payment is due by the 5th of each month. Note: Only ads received and prepaid by the deadline will be included in the next month’s issue. Please type or print your ad carefully. Include a number where you can be reached in the event of a question. Payment is due with ad. We do not accept ads by phone or fax, nor do we accept credit cards. Private Party Text Ads: For individuals seeking to buy or sell particular items, offer a personal service, or place a personal ad. Each ad is $10 for 25 words, 25 cents for each additional word. Commercial Party Text Ads: For parties engaged in an ongoing commercial business enterprise. Each ad is $25 for 25 words, 50 cents for each additional word. Note: Each real estate listing counts as one commercial ad. Send your classified ad with check or money order, payable to the Beacon, to:

The Beacon, Classified Dept. P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915-2227



Some residents in the Baltimore area need assistance with their food delivery. Volunteer with Meals on Wheels and help homebound seniors stay connected to the community while delivering a nutritious meal. To find a site near you, whether you bike, drive or walk, call (410) 558-0827.

The Maryland Respite Care Coalition invites you to join us for our 14th Annual Respite Awareness Day Conference!

Revitalizing Respite!

Monday, October 24, 2011 : 8am – 4pm The Conference Center at the Maritime Institute (near BWI airport) 692 Maritime Boulevard || Linthicum Heights, MD || 21090-1952 Lunch and Refreshments Provided

Honorary Chair: Secretary Gloria G. Lawlah Maryland Department of Aging

Keynote Speaker: Lon Kieffer, RN, BSN, MBA, NHA Lon Kieffer is not only a registered nurse and an internationally known Motivational Speaker, “EnterTrainer”, Author and Consultant of Common Sense; he is, first and foremost, a Caregiver!

Just some of the many exciting topics include: Caregiver Advocacy What is Respite and How to Use It Getting Caregivers to Trust and Utilize Respite Turning Leisure Choices into Respite Opportunities Mental Wealth: Create It! “Till Death Do Us Part” - From Military Wife to Veteran Caregiver Defending the Caregiver Teaching Self-Medication Resilience and many more, including caring for children with special needs

For more information, call (240) 453-9585 Register online at

Family Caregivers $60/person Professionals (CEUs awarded) $125/person Professional Group (5 or more registrations) $100/person



More at

I want more than I am getting from Original Medicare and Medicaid.

If your Medicare Advantage plan has reduced your benefits or become more expensive, Bravo Health may be able to help. Offering Medicare Advantage plans is our main focus,

+ A few of Bravo Health’s benefits: + $0

monthly premium with full state medical assistance

and that’s what allows us to do it well. See how Bravo Select (HMO SNP) can help you save and get the benefits you need. +

Part D Prescription Drug coverage

+ $0

primary care provider visits with full state medical assistance

Call a Sales Representative at

+ $99

allowance for over-the-counter items

1-888-332-2827 (TTY 711), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm, or visit


24 one-way trips per year to and from doctor appointments

Bravo Health plans are offered by subsidiaries of Bravo Health, Inc. A Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract. This plan is available to anyone who has both Medical Assistance from the State and Medicare. Enrollment is open year round. All cost-sharing is based on your level of state medical assistance - premiums, copays, coinsurance, and deductibles may vary based on your income. The benefit information provided herein is a brief summary, not a comprehensive description of benefits. For more information contact the plan. Benefits, formulary, premiums, and copayments may change on January 1, 2012. H2108_11_0034 File and Use 12142010

October 2011 Baltimore Beacon Edition  

October 2011 Baltimore Beacon Edition

October 2011 Baltimore Beacon Edition  

October 2011 Baltimore Beacon Edition