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The Howard County



VOL.2, NO.8




More than 30,000 readers throughout Howard County

A chance to shine in ‘Olympics’

5 0 AUGUST 2012

I N S I D E …


By Robert Friedman Henry Dahlen brought home a gold medal from the National Senior Games in Houston last year as a member of the Maryland men’s volleyball team, 60- to 64-year-old category. Now he’s revving up take part in this summer’s Maryland Senior Olympics. But winning gold isn’t everything for Dahlen. “To participate is to win,” he said philosophically. The Maryland Senior Olympics commissioner from Ellicott City will take part in his 13th year of the games. Dahlen is getting set to join as many as 200 Howard County athletes over the age of 50 who will be off and running, jumping, swimming, bowling, golfing, shuffle-boarding, shot-putting, line-dancing and bocce ball-tossing, among other competitions, when the two-month-long Maryland Senior Olympics gets fully underway Aug. 18. Women’s volleyball will take place on that date at the Meadowbrook Athletic Complex (MAC) in Ellicott City. Men’s volleyball games will be held the following day at the MAC. (One earlier event, bass fishing, was held July 14 in Chase, Md.) Dahlen expects a sizeable participation from the county because this is a qualifying year for the 2013 National Senior Games set for Cleveland, Ohio. Almost 2,000 older Marylanders are expected to compete in 23 sports and nearly 100 events in different venues across the state. Those finishing in first through fourth place (except in golf and tennis) will be eligible for the national games. Senior Olympics participants compete by gender and in five-year age categories, starting at 50-54 and going all the way up to the 95-plus grouping. This year, Dahlen, a Long and Foster associate broker and former gym teacher in Howard County schools, is recruiting his “50-plus-year-old” wife, Donna, to take part in her first senior games. They will team up in a new senior event, called cornhole, which is similar to horseshoes and involves tossing bean bags. The Dahlens, residents of Ellicott Hills (a ”55-plus” community) “love to get involved in games. I play over 10 hours of volleyball a week. We also stay active by walking, working out and swimming in the pool there,” he said.


L E I S U R E & T R AV E L

New casinos in Maryland dazzle with high-tech; plus, some new airline rules to be aware of page 23

ARTS & STYLE Runner Lee Meizlesh climbs stairs as part of his workout routine. A Maryland Senior Olympics commissioner, Meizlesh recruits older athletes from around the state for the competition, which begins in August. About 200 Howard County residents typically take part in the Senior Olympics, and this year’s volleyball competition takes place at Meadowbrook Athletic Complex in Ellicott City.

Al fresco Pride and Prejudice offers strong acting; plus, writer Anna Quindlen celebrates growing older page 26

In the swim of things Swimming is the activity that brings Doris Russell, 92, to the games. It provides her with medals upon medals (probably hundreds; she’s lost count), has been central to her life, and keeps her going and going. “I’ve said it over and over: swimming keeps you young, it’s the fountain of youth,” Russell said. “I feel just as good and as strong as I did 20 years ago,” said the Ellicott City mother of eight and grandmother of seven, who has high hopes that one of her recently married granddaughters will soon place

her in the great-grandma category. Nevertheless, she sometimes uses a cane or a walker when she leaves the house to protect herself from falling. A Howard County school bus driver for 15 years, she gave up her driver’s license five years ago. “My eyes were getting weak,” she said. And her legs have never been strong. “But once I’m in the pool, my upper body is really strong and it carries me along,” she said. Russell is known in swimming circles as See SENIOR OLYMPICS, page 7

FITNESS & HEALTH k A do-it-yourself drug lab? k Nuts boost brain power


THE SENIOR CONNECTION 16 k Howard County Office on Aging Newsletter LAW & MONEY k Use coupons like a pro k Pay zero capital gains tax




A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 — H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N

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Self-interest redefined Supposedly, we human beings are pro- because she couldn’t let herself watch what grammed for self-preservation. The prob- was happening and not attempt to stop it. lem is, we don’t always know Just as the grandmother has what is really in our own best chosen to interrupt her generinterest. ally peaceful retirement to For example, sometimes tackle one of the most difficult being self-less is a better way challenges there is, so the to ensure our own future granddaughter has taken the than being self-ish. painful step of leaving her parI imagine we’ve all had exents, boyfriend and school periences that helped teach friends behind to start a new us this counterintuitive truth, life halfway across the country. but I’ve also read several artiIn some sense, this situacles lately that reinforced this FROM THE tion blurs the line between conclusion for me, and I’d PUBLISHER selfish and selfless, for while like to share them with you. By Stuart P. Rosenthal each woman is denying herOne of them is the column self the easier choice — to Bob Levey wrote for us this month, which continue living as they have been — they appears in this issue on page 28. He writes are both also acting in their self interest to of a friend of his who has taken into her some degree. They want to preserve their home one of her granddaughters (her son’s own life or that of a close family member. 16-year-old daughter) because the girl’s parA second, somewhat different, example ents are in and out of jail and often stoned, of this lesson can be found in the story of and she is showing signs of following in Hattie Washington, a school administrator their footsteps. with a big heart, which starts on page 8. I The grandmother could see how her won’t be spoiling the surprise too much if I granddaughter’s future was being compro- tell you that one day, she brought home mised by her environment, and intervened with her an otherwise homeless young

Beacon The






5 0

The Beacon is a monthly newspaper dedicated to inform, serve, and entertain the citizens of Howard County, and is privately owned. Other editions serve Greater Baltimore, Greater Washington, and the Coachella Valley in California. Subscriptions are available via third-class mail ($12), prepaid with order. Maryland 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. • 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 • Managing Editor............................Barbara Ruben • Graphic Designer ..............................Kyle Gregory • Advertising Representatives ........Doug Hallock, ................................................ Steve Levin, Jill Joseph • Intern ............................................Jacob Schaperow

The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915 (410) 248-9101 • Email: Submissions: The Beacon welcomes reader contributions. Deadline for editorial and advertising is the 1st of the month preceding the month of publication. See page 31 for classified advertising details. Please mail or email all submissions.

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student who had ended up at her office carrying all his worldly possessions in a garbage bag. Now I can understand taking home a needy child for a night. But that child spent the rest of his childhood and adolescence with her (she adopted him). And during that first year, Washington added another six foster boys to her household. Today, she operates three group homes for such lads, helping them find self-confidence and dignity after childhoods of neglect, abuse and worse. A number of them have made it to and through college, and credit Washington with changing their life’s trajectory from a downward spiral to one with honor and potential. Yet Washington says she thanks them for giving her a greater sense of purpose in life and for allowing her to return a similar favor she received as a young child from one of her teachers. She also says she feels she is helping herself, because these boys will be among those “who are going to be taking care of me when I’m a senior citizen.” Both of these stories show older women who have gone well out of their way to see that troubled youth turn out psychologically sound and prepared to assume the responsibilities of adulthood. They have done so because they see that kind of transformation ultimately to be in their own best interest as seniors and as citizens. I find this so striking because of a recent, powerful essay written by William H. Frey, a well-known Brookings Institution demographer, appearing in the June 10 issue of the Washington Post. Frey reported that surveys indicate many older adults and baby boomers see

the growing immigrant population as a threat. They also tend to look less favorably on government programs (other than Social Security) than they did when younger. He goes so far as to say boomers show “more than a little antipathy toward today’s diverse, younger Americans.” Yet, he also points out, “it is this diverse youth population that the largely white baby boomers will rely upon in their retirement years to keep paying into Social Security and Medicare.” Given the recent demographic trends of a declining under-18 population and the retirement of the boomer generation, there won’t be enough adults in the workforce to keep Social Security afloat without a large influx of immigrants, Frey said. Without investments to help minority children gain a quality education and practical work skills, he asserts, they will not be able to fill the jobs our society needs them to do. The result will be economic stagnation and an inability to retain social programs for seniors as well. The studies Frey references seem to characterize older adults and baby boomers as so focused on their selfish needs that they can’t understand how the younger and older generations are interdependent. In stark contrast, our stor y on Hattie Washington and our Bob Levey column this month independently (and without any premeditation on our part) illustrate a strong selfless streak in older adults who care deeply about the young and their futures.

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. BEACON BITS

Aug. 11


Share a delicious afternoon tea with your grandchild or that special little one in your life on Saturday, Aug. 11 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Historic Oakland Manor, 5430 Vantage Point Rd., Columbia. The cost is $25 per twosome and $9 for each additional guest. The event is open to children ages 5 through 10; youngsters must be accompanied by an adult. For the required advance registration, call (410) 730-4801. For additional information, visit

Aug. 7


Information, music and bingo are on tap at the Howard County Fair’s Senior Day celebration on Tuesday, Aug. 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Activities Building at the Howard County Fairgrounds, 2210 Fairground Rd., West Friendship. Free for those 62 and over.

Aug. 28


Bain Center celebrates the end of summer on Tuesday, Aug. 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with a block party featuring the Golden Gals & Guys and the Theatre Club along with favorite cookout treats at the Bain Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia. For more information, call (410) 313-7213.

H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N — A U G U S T 2 0 1 2

Technology Breakthrough

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A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 — H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N

Health Fitness &

HELPING FOSTER TEENS Hattie Washington has opened three group homes for young men KEEPING YOUR COOL How to stay cool and healthy during this summer’s unprecedented heat SCRUTINIZING SIDE EFFECTS Medications can cause nutritional deficiencies, with a range of symptoms FRIENDSHIP ETIQUETTE How to nicely get a friend to stop monopolizing the conversation

Will we one day ‘print’ drugs at home? By Katherine Sanderson Technology is being developed that could one day allow anyone with a 3D printer and an Internet connection to set up a homebased pharmacy. (A 3D printer builds solid objects by depositing repeated layers of a substance in much the same way an ink-jet printer deposits ink on a page. A digital file instructs the printer exactly what to do.) A team of researchers led by chemist Lee Cronin at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, has made a selection of chemicals using a digital blueprint and a 3D printer costing $2,000. The printer essentially builds the necessary lab equipment and then squirts the ingredients into the right places to make the desired compounds. Though the most immediate application is to existing chemists by providing new ways to discover compounds, it has practical implications for the masses as well. “It’s a way of democratizing chemistry, bringing chemistry to the masses,” Cronin suggested. For example, people in farflung regions could make their own

headache pills or detergent, he said. The technique might also allow people to print and share recipes for niche substances that chemical or pharmaceutical companies don’t make because there aren’t enough customers — or because they simply haven’t dreamed up those ideas. Of course, such freedoms will bring challenges, too, including ensuring that drugs are made safely, and dealing with black markets that might offer prescription-only or illegal drugs.

How does the process work? With the potential to allow anyone to build almost anything, 3D printing is no stranger to controversy, but how do you make chemistry printable? Cronin and his colleagues turned to a version of the $2,000 3D printer used in the Fab@Home project, a collaboration aiming to bring self-fabrication into the home. They discovered that they could use a common bathroom sealant as the primary material for printing chemical reaction

chambers of all shapes and sizes, as well as connection tubes of varying lengths. After the material had hardened, the printer’s nozzles squirted in the reactants, or “chemical inks.” In principle, the dimensions of the equipment and chemical ingredients required to produce a particular product can all be predesigned and embedded in the same software blueprint. All a user needs to do is download the software and send the commands to a printer. The researchers envisage an online store where you download an app for a particular drug to your 3D printer and order a standard set of chemical inks. Potential health dangers from allowing people to print their own legal or illegal drugs would be minimized, Cronin said, as his team would only write software for specific end products that would be difficult to modify into making other reactions. “We would have pre-evaluated the reactions in the lab so no one would be allowed to hack.” That’s a way off, though. So far, Cronin

has printed a simple block containing two chambers connected to a central mixing compartment. That was enough to carry out simple inorganic and organic reactions, and produce totally new compounds. This was done as a proof of principle; the resulting compounds don’t have specific applications. The researchers also carried out a wellknown reaction requiring a catalyst. They printed the catalyst into one of the chamber walls and produced the expected product, showing that this method works. To provide a heat source, equivalent to a Bunsen burner or hotplate, he suggests printing metallic elements into the flasks at certain spots, which would heat up when placed in a microwave oven. It should also be possible to print a window into the reaction vessel. That way, the camera on your smartphone and an app could examine the mixture to tell you how a reaction is progressing. See PRINTING DRUGS, page 6

Antibiotic linked with rare but deadly risk By Lindsey Tanner An antibiotic widely used for bronchitis and other common infections seems to increase chances for sudden deadly heart problems — a rare but surprising risk found in a 14-year study. Zithromax, or azithromycin, is more expensive than other antibiotics, but it’s popular because it often can be taken for fewer days. But the results suggest doctors should prescribe other options for people already prone to heart problems, the researchers and other experts said. Vanderbilt University researchers analyzed health records and data on millions of prescriptions for several antibiotics given to about 540,000 Tennessee Medicaid patients from 1992 to 2006. There were 29 heart-related deaths among those who took Zithromax during five days of treatment. Their risk of death while taking the drug was more than double that of patients on another antibiotic, amoxicillin or those who took none.

Highest risk for heart patients To compare risks, the researchers cal-

culated that the number of deaths per 1 million courses of antibiotics would be about 85 among Zithromax patients versus 32 among amoxicillin patients and 30 among those on no antibiotics. The highest risks were in Zithromax patients with existing heart problems. Patients in each group started out with comparable risks for heart trouble, the researchers said. The results suggest there would be 47 extra heart-related deaths per 1 million courses of treatment with Zithromax, compared with amoxicillin. A usual treatment course for Zithromax is about five days, versus about 10 days for amoxicillin and other antibiotics. Zithromax is at least twice as expensive as generic amoxicillin; online prescription drug sellers charge a few dollars per pill for Zithromax. “People need to recognize that the overall risk is low,” said Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a Yale University health outcomes specialist who was not involved in the study. More research is needed to confirm the findings, but still, he said patients with heart dis-

ease “should probably be steered away” from Zithromax for now. The study appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute helped pay for the research.

One of the most popular antibiotics Zithromax, marketed by Pfizer Inc., has been available in the United States for two decades. It’s often used to treat bronchitis, sinus infections and pneumonia. Wayne Ray, a Vanderbilt professor of medicine, decided to study the drug’s risks because of evidence linking it with potential heart rhythm problems. Also, antibiotics in the same class as Zithromax have been linked with sudden cardiac death. Zithromax is among the top-selling antibiotics. U.S. sales last year totaled $464 million, according to IMS Health, a healthcare information and services company. Pfizer issued a statement saying it would thoroughly review the study. “Patient safety is of the utmost importance to Pfizer, and we continuously monitor the

safety and efficacy of our products to ensure that the benefits and risks are accurately described,” the company said. Patients studied were age 50 on average and not hospitalized. Most had common ailments, including sinus infections and bronchitis. Those on Zithromax were about as healthy as those on other antibiotics, making it unlikely that an underlying condition might explain the increased death risk. Medicaid patients generally have more disability and lower incomes than other patients, so whether the same results would be found in the general population is uncertain, Ray said. Dr. Bruce Psaty, a professor of medicine at the University of Washington, said doctors and patients need to know about the potential risks. He said the results also raise concerns about long-term use of Zithromax, which other research suggests could benefit people with severe lung disease. Additional research is needed to determine if that kind of use could be dangerous, he said. — AP

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H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N — A U G U S T 2 0 1 2


Nuts improve thinking, memory, diabetes fat content, to decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, even Parkinson’s disease.

Brain boosters Now comes evidence that they also improve cognition in general and specific ways. Most have high concentrations of vitamin E, the B vitamins (including folate), antioxidants, minerals like magnesium, as well as omega-3 fats, all of which support myriad functions of the nervous system. Crack open some walnuts and improve your ability to think critically. Researchers find that eating a high concentration of

See HEALTHY NUTS, page 6

No fee, but to schedule an appointment, call (410) 313-0380. And from 1 to 3 p.m., she’ll lead group exercises and teach proper use of fitness equipment. Free,





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but a fitness pass (available from the front desk) is required for the group class.


a.m. to noon at the North Laurel 50+ Center, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Rd, Laurel.


will be available to discuss individual exercise needs on Thursday, Aug. 9 from 10



Jennifer Lee, Howard County Office on Aging exercise specialist,




Mice rendered temporarily amnesiac were more apt to remember their way around a maze 24 hours later if they first consumed an almond paste. The evidence suggests that almonds slow the decline in cognitive abilities linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Investigators attribute the memory effects to the presence of the essential amino acid phenylalanine and L-carnitine, believed to boost neurotransmitters essential to memory.



Aug. 9

walnuts (half a cup a day) boosts inferential verbal reasoning, especially the ability to distinguish true from false. An array of compounds in walnuts, including vitamin E, folate, melatonin and varied antioxidative polyphenols, protect the central nervous system and speed synaptic transmission. The significant supply of alphalinolenic acid is essential for stability of neuronal membranes, through which all neuronal actions transpire. Although almonds are not strictly tree nuts — they are the seed of a fruit related to plums — they may help save your memory.

By Julie Bodenmann Tree nuts are among the earliest known foods. Archaeological evidence suggests that they were a major part of the human diet 780,000 years ago. Several varieties of nuts, along with the stone tools necessary to crack them open, have been found buried deep in bogs in the Middle East. Rich in energy and loaded with nutrients, nuts, and particularly their cargo of omega-3 fatty acids, are thought to have been essential to the evolution of the large, complex human brain. Researchers have long linked consumption of tree nuts, despite their significant


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Healthy nuts From page 5

Body benefits, too Pecans may slow down the rate of age-related motor degeneration. University of Massachusetts scientists fed two versions of a nut-rich diet to rats specifically bred to develop motor-neuron decline. All pecan-fed animals outperformed control animals on subsequent tests of activity, and those fed the highest percentage of nuts outran them all. The researchers believe the high con-

A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 — H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N

centration of antioxidant vitamin E shields neurons from degenerative conditions like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. A hefty handful of Brazil nuts can spare the obese the vascular damage associated with adiposity. An excess of fat tissue stimulates low-grade inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which can lead to cardiovascular disease. With high levels of unsaturated fatty


Aug. 7+


In a randomized controlled study, a team of Chinese and American researchers found that four weeks of an almond-augmented diet improved blood lipid levels, abolished a postprandial rise in glucose levels, and reduced body fat in 20 patients with type 2 diabetes. The magnesium, fiber, monounsaturated fat and polyphenols in the nuts all contribute to the improvements in glycemic control. — Psychology Today Magazine © 2012 Sussex Publishers. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Printing drugs

something like Teflon, such air-sensitive reactions will become easier.

From page 4

A registered nurse from Howard County General Hospital is available to offer free blood pressure readings on Tuesday, Aug. 7 from 9 a.m. to noon and on subsequent Tuesdays through the month at the Ellicott City Senior Center, 9401 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City.

acids and bioactive substances that combat inflammation — selenium, phenolic compounds, folate, magnesium among them — Brazil nuts improved microcirculation, lowered cholesterol levels, and normalized blood lipid profiles without causing weight gain in 17 obese female adolescents. For the world’s 20 million diabetics, almonds may improve blood-sugar control while decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

There are bound to be some limits, though. Cronin admits he’s had to deal with a few fires in trying to print reactions that can be explosive in the presence of oxygen. He hopes that by changing the flask material from bathroom sealant to

BRAND NEW APARTMENT HOMES FOR ACTIVE ADULTS 62 OR BETTER Regency Crest is an extraordinarily carefree community because of the convenient lifestyle enjoyed by those who live here. We go the extra mile to provide our residents with distinctive amenities and service that cannot be found in ordinary active adult communities. COMMUNITY AMENITIES • Beautiful club room with theater and demonstration kitchen • Wellness center • Indoor saltwater pool • Yoga studio and classes • Cooking Classes, and many more planned activities

The team is currently working on a kit to print ibuprofen. “In countries where there’s little access to even the most basic drugs and cleaning products, most people still have access to mobile phones,” Cronin noted, which would allow them to download the software. But how will such people get a 3D printer and the chemical ingredients? There are projects to distribute 3D printers in the developing world to enable things like bicycle parts to be made, and Cronin points out that most drugs and detergents are made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, which are also the components of readily available substances such as corn syrup, glycerol and paraffin. There is also the possibility that nonchemists in the developed world will use the technology to buy and share recipes directly from chemists, perhaps for substances that a company hasn’t thought up or commercialized. Chemist Fraser Stoddart, at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., calls the work “a conceptual breakthrough of refreshing proportions.” Another chemist, Oren Scherman, at the University of Cambridge, is reserving judgment until Cronin proves he can perform otherwise expensive and difficult reactions. Cronin’s ambition is unabated. “I imagine years from now, people will make drugs in their 3D printer at home,” he said. —New Scientist Magazine


• Movie theater • Billiards room • Business center • Incredible courtyard and meditation garden with koi pond and gazebo


A practical example

Aug. 7


National Night Out will be celebrated with a free band concert and skate park demo on Tuesday, Aug. 7 from 6

3305 Oak West Drive Ellicott City, MD 21043


to 9 p.m. at the North Laurel Community Center, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Rd., Laurel. The North Laurel Senior Council will be selling refreshments to benefit North Laurel 50+ Center programs. For further informa-

Directions: We are located at the corner of Rt. 40 and Rogers Avenue.

tion, call (410) 313-0380.

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H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N — A U G U S T 2 0 1 2

Senior Olympics From page 1 “Madame Butterfly” for her mastery of the difficult butterfly stroke, which she added to her repertoire at the age of 70. She expects to compete in at least four events — the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyle and the 50-yard butterfly — at the Germantown Indoor Swim Center, where the swimming competition will be held on Sept. 8. Since she will be stroking the water in the over-90 category, her competitors may be few, if any. She did run into competition in April last year at the YMCA Nationals swim meet in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She managed to bring home eight medals from that event — three from relays and others in individual competitions in the 85-plus age bracket. Russell, who stands five feet and weighs 115 pounds, can be seen when she works out three times a week at the Columbia Swim Center. Brandon Thornton, a manager at the center, said that Russell’s appearances are a special occasion. “She’s our most senior member, and we make a lot of noise and ask about upcoming meets. Every practice is like Christmas to her,” he said in an article about Russell last year in the Baltimore Sun. A native of Catonsville in Baltimore County, Russell and her late husband, Jim, a college diving champ, moved to Ellicott City 46 years ago. “Our goal back then was to find a swimming club first, then look for a house after,” she recalled. The first objective was met when they found the North St. Johns Swim Club. They then found their new home nearby. For Russell, the daughter of a high school swimming coach, and for her eight children, “swimming has always been and still is very important to us.” Three of her children have been swimming coaches,

and son Larry, 52, still competes against fellow lifeguards in Jupiter, Fla. “He has beaten in competitions other lifeguards who are so much younger, and as a lifeguard, he has saved so many people down there,” she said proudly. Unfortunately Russell never got to try out for the U.S. Olympic team. There was a 12-year World War II hiatus (1936-1948) in the world games, when she was between the ages of 16 and 28, the prime years for swimmers. Russell expressed no regrets at not competing in a world Olympics. “After the war, I was busy,” she said of the years when she was raising her eight children. She undoubtedly has broken world records in her age bracket, but she doesn’t seem to keep a running count. What she does like to impress people with is her deep feeling for the aquatic life. “There’s just something about water that’s magic,” she said. “Even if you just get into the water to walk around in it, whatever your age, it’s magic.”

high school. He has run in the 100-meter, 220-meter and mile relay during the senior games. An arthritic hip may keep him out of this year’s runnings. Then again, “I may take three or four Advils and compete,” he said. Deadline for registration is 30 days before each event’s start date. The fee for participating in the first event is $25, plus $5 for each event after that. Registering after the deadline will cost $60 on be on a space-available basis. Registration closes two weeks before the event. Team fees include $200 for softball, $175 for volleyball, and $100 for the three-onthree, half-court basketball competition. Registration kits and further information may be obtained online at www.mdse-, or by calling the Maryland Senior Olympics office at (410) 396-2020. Other events scheduled for Howard County are the singles, doubles and mixed doubles bowling competitions on Sept. 10 and 11 at the Brunswick Normandy Lanes in Ellicott City. The track and field competition, which will include 26 events, will be held Aug. 2526 at Johns Hopkins University’s Eastern High Campus in Baltimore. Competitions between Aug. 18 and Sept. 30 include archery, badminton, basketball, billiards, bocce, bowling, cornhole, disc golf, golf, horseshoes, lawn bowling, line dancing, racquetball, 5K and 10K running, shuffleboard, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and field and volleyball.

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Running and recruiting Lee Meizlesh, another Maryland Senior Olympics commissioner from Ellicott City, recruits seniors for the games through his talks around the state. “I tell them I want them to lose the first time, so they’ll tell themselves, ‘Let me do better the next time,’” he said. And there is almost always a next time for the senior athletes, who look forward to the yearly event. “Once they start, they don’t drop out,” said the 84-year-old Meizlesh, who has been taking part in the games for the past 10 years. ”It’s the camaraderie, and the exercises” leading up to and during the games that take hold on the older athletes, he said. The franchise specialist, who began his career with MacDonald’s in 1956 with founder Ray Kroc, has been a runner since

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A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 — H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N

Aunt Hattie’s place changes boys’ lives By Barbara Ruben One day in 1994, while an assistant superintendant at Baltimore City Public Schools and director of a program for unruly students, Hattie Washington was sent a boy who had been kicked out of his foster home and suspended from school. “He was slouched down in his chair. I told him to sit up, and he did. He wore his pants low, and I said ‘pull your pants up,’ and he did. Then I said ‘take your hat off.’ When he did all three, I thought, ‘this kid

can’t be all that bad,’” Washington recalled. When she learned that he was carrying all his belongings in a garbage bag and had no idea where he’d spend that coming night, Washington decided to take him home with her. Little did she know at the time that he would become her first foster son and ultimately change both their lives.

Paying it forward Washington thought she’d be taking the boy home for a few nights at most, recalling

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that a teacher had done the same thing for her as a child growing up in Norfolk, Va. “My mother died when I was 2,” Washington said. Her father then married a woman with six children and they proceeded to have more together. So she grew up in a chaotic household of 15 kids, some of whom were her step- and half-siblings, and she would get lost in the shuffle. “My teacher used to take me home occasionally, clean me up, wash my clothes, make me feel brand new.” Those nights with a caring teacher made all the difference, Washington now says. So, over the last 15 years, she has more than paid that kindness forward by opening three group homes for troubled teenage foster boys in Baltimore and Montgomery County. Each home, dubbed Aunt Hattie’s Place, provides structure and nurture to six to 12 boys. Washington, 65, lives next door to her newest group home in Sandy Spring, Md. She also teaches graduate students in the education department of Coppin State University in Baltimore. Back in 1994, though, Washington thought she was just helping one boy for one night. But Social Services never came to collect him, and over the following year Washington found herself taking in several other boys she found slouching on street corners in inner city Baltimore when they should have been attending school. She eventually housed at her Baltimore home six boys who were slipping through the cracks of the foster care system, taking a 12-hour course to become a licensed foster care provider. However, with a demanding job, Washington felt she couldn’t give the boys the attention they needed. One night she arrived home close to midnight from a contentious school board meeting to find all six of them waiting up for her. “They said, ‘Can we talk to you?’ One said, ‘Do you think when my daddy gets out of jail he will come looking for me, he’ll want me back?’ Another wanted to know, ‘Why do you think my mother gave me up to Social Services but kept my brother? Do you think my mother will ever get off

drugs and take me back? Do you think she’d love me?’” But Washington had no easy answers. “I was bone tired, and I knew then these kids needed more than a meal and a place to sleep. They needed some psychological counseling, therapy. That’s when I started thinking if I had a group home, I could provide all of that. But as a foster parent, I just didn’t have the resources.” In opening her first group home (a much more arduous task than becoming a certified foster parent), Washington amassed enough paperwork to fill a four-inch binder. “It took me two years to get my PhD, but took me 3½ years to write up the proposal for the group home and get it approved,” she recalled. Washington cashed in her retirement savings to fund the first house. She gets reimbursed by the state of Maryland for each boy cared for, but payment can lag behind for months. During this time, she moved from one demanding job to another, eventually rising to become the first female vice president of Coppin State University.

Opening her newest home But nothing prepared her for the struggle to open her third home, in a house bequeathed to her by a longtime friend in Sandy Spring, Md., north of Silver Spring and east of Olney. Washington wanted to demolish the sprawling house’s five-car garage and ballroom to make way for a wing that could be home for eight boys. But some community members balked, worried that the home’s residents would be out of control, bring crime to the community, and bring down property values. They didn’t pay attention when Washington talked about how the residents are handpicked and don’t have criminal records or serious psychological problems. Washington found some of her biggest allies to be residents of the Friends House Retirement Community just down the street. Friends House is affiliated with the Quaker church, and Sandy Spring itself See FOSTER HOMES, page 9

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H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N — A U G U S T 2 0 1 2

Foster homes From page 8 was founded by Quakers. They “came by the busload to the hearing. They said, ‘We’re a Quaker community, a caring community. This is what we do in this community to take care of people.’ They came full force,” Washington said. Fortunately, after Aunt Hattie’s Place opened in 2010, some of the home’s biggest

naysayers became her most loyal volunteers, finding they had nothing to fear once they visited the house, with its pristine, oversize kitchen, recreation area with exercise machines and large screen TV, library and five bedrooms. The backyard includes a basketball court and small swimming pool.

Helping boys become men Washington calls living at Aunt Hattie’s Place a leadership training program. PHOTO BY BARBARA RUBEN

The boys all help with chores, from laundry to cleaning bathrooms. They also must learn a musical instrument, learn a foreign language, and play a sport. Over the summer, they each must read 10 books. Washington makes surprise visits to their school to ensure the boys are in class. They have bed checks every hour during the night to keep them from sneaking out. They earn points for good behavior, which they can trade in for outings to movies, allowance and other perks. To encourage a family atmosphere, the boys call all staff by their first names, preceded by “aunt” or “uncle.” Each home has several staff members who cook, take the boys on appointments and watch over them. Washington works hard to keep the boys on the straight and narrow, a kind but firm grandmotherly presence, as reflected by this exchange during a recent

visit to the Sandy Spring home, where the boys were friendly and polite. “Everything going good?” Washington asked one boy. “Mmm, yeah,” he responded. “Excuse me?” said Washington, raising an eyebrow. “Yes, ma’am,” he revised his response with a grin. Washington and her staff also work to instill a sense of self-esteem in the boys, nearly all of whom come from backgrounds where they were abused and neglected. A sign above the full length mirror at the front door contains such affirmations as “I am smart” and “I am kind,” which the boys are supposed to recite each time they look at themselves. “I remember one boy would say “if I See FOSTER HOMES, page 11

Your New Lifestyle Begins Here

While an assistant superintendent of Baltimore City Public Schools, Hattie Washington became a foster parent to a handful of troubled teenage boys. She eventually decided to establish a group home and now runs three Aunt Hattie’s Place homes for boys. Here she is pictured at the newest facility, in Sandy Spring, Md., which is home to eight teens.

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A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 — H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N


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H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N — A U G U S T 2 0 1 2

Foster homes From page 9 grow up,” not “when I grow up,” Washington said. “For a kid to come in with that pessimistic, fatalistic, self-destructive notion, it’s a societal ill. “It’s hard to feed them every day, clothe them, try to get through that psychological crust to tell them that ‘You’re going to be somebody.’ “What helps me [prove that] are kids who are already in college or have finished because they’ve been where [the boys] are right now,” Washington said. One of those young men is Devin Collins, who came to Aunt Hattie’s Place as a 10-year-old. Collins, whose mother was a drug addict, spent time homeless and bouncing from foster home to foster home for several years before he ended up at Aunt Hattie’s Place in Baltimore City. “By 9 or 10, I sold drugs, had been homeless, didn’t care about school or anything else, really,” Collins said. But moving into Aunt Hattie’s Place turned his life around. “Aunt Hattie just made you know somebody loves you. Someone actually cares about the decisions that you make,” Collins said. “From that point on I chose that I wasn’t going to be one of those statistics where you’re dead or in jail. Aunt Hattie got behind me and everything I wanted to do. I knew I’d have someone to support me.” Collins lived at Aunt Hattie’s Place until he was 18, winning scholarships both for Calvert Hall, a Catholic boys prep school in Towson, and Norfolk State University. Now 26, Collins is working at both Aunt Hattie’s Place and Johns Hopkins. He has one more year of college left and hopes to finish at Coppin State. “I’m living proof that you can come out of the foster system and not be a statistic, that you can be a productive citizen. I tell the boys that being at Aunt Hattie’s Place is probably the best head start that you’re going to have,” he said.

database people. I need to have someone help me do clerical-type stuff, the whole gamut. It’s just like running any other business, except it’s a home,” she said. Washington would also like the boys to have older adults as surrogate grandparents. “When [older] people come in to help, the boys cling to them. They’re looking for grandparents. They’re looking for older people because they don’t have that part of their family,” she said. Washington herself is a grandparent. One daughter, who is a doctor, lives in Florida with Washington’s two granddaughters. Her other daughter, a lawyer in Maryland, served as executive director of Aunt Hattie’s Place for six years. Washington, who divorced when her daughters were young, stepped down as vice president of Coppin State when construction began on the Sandy Spring house. She now works full time as a professor at the university, and said she will continue to do so for the foreseeable future to help pay

the mortgage on the house. Washington said she’s had interest in her starting Aunt Hattie’s Places in Norfolk and even the Virgin Islands. But she has her hands full in Maryland, she said. Despite her 18-hour days, Washington says she can’t imagine a different life, and that she is as grateful to have the boys in her life as they are to be there. “I say this is my way of giving back. Somebody helped me one day, so I say


July 29

TASTE FOR LIFE The area’s top chefs

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Maryland CASA Association is recruiting for runners and walkers for its charity team, which will participate in the Under Armour Baltimore Running Festival taking place on Saturday, Oct. 13. This will be the child advocacy organization’s third year participating in the citywide running event to raise funds and awareness about Maryland CASA’s efforts on behalf of victims of child abuse and neglect. Volunteers are also needed to help plan the event, secure sponsors and help out on the day of the event. Participants and volunteers may register online at or contact Maryland CASA at (410) 828-6761 to register by mail.

Now I make my health a priority! Maxine Beale Columbia Association New U Physician Referral Program Participant

American Cancer Society’s 13th Annual Taste for Life at the Lyric Opera House on Sunday, July 29 at 6 p.m. Proceeds go toward cancer research, programs, advocacy and education. Tickets are $90. For more information, call (410) 781-4316 or visit

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thank you [to the boys] for taking advantage of the opportunity, thank you for wanting to be somebody so my time and resources aren’t wasted,” she said. “You are thanking me, but I’m also thanking you because you are part of the future, part of the people who are going to be taking care of me when I’m a senior citizen.” For more information or to volunteer, see or call (410) 367-2472.


Helping Aunt Hattie Doing all this good work takes helpers and money. Volunteers, along with monetary donations, are needed at all three of the Aunt Hattie’s Place homes. “We’re in need of everything: people who can cook and clean up. I need typists, I need


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Health Studies Page

A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 — H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N


Studying the effect of a cancer diagnosis By Carol Sorgen More than 60 percent of cancers in the United States develop in individuals age 65 and older. The most common cancers among those in this group are prostate, breast, pancreas, bladder, stomach, lung and colorectal cancers. As our population ages, and as more people are living longer, healthcare professionals expect the number of new cancer diagnoses in older people to rise. Older adults with cancer and their families often have different needs from those of younger adults and children. Older people, for example, often have or are at higher risk for developing chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, arthritis or high blood pressure.

These health conditions — known as comorbidities or co-existing conditions — can affect the treatment of and recovery from cancer. In addition, older people may not always have access to transportation, social support or financial resources, which can affect their care and recovery from cancer.

Understanding the challenges Little research has been done about how older individuals with chronic conditions accept a cancer diagnosis, what it means to them emotionally, and how it affects their daily life. “The lack of research on this topic hinders the ability of healthcare professionals to effectively help older individuals man-



SENIOR NETWORK OFFERS HEALTH PROGRAMS The Senior Network of North Baltimore, located at 5828 York Rd.,

age their overall health and well-being,” said Susan M. Hannum, with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Center for Aging Studies. “Closing this gap could enhance illness management by realizing common areas of stress for the older individual.” To add to knowledge on this topic, the center is conducting in-depth interviews with older adults who have been diagnosed with certain types of cancer during the past 12 months. Participants will each be interviewed three times, for approximately one hour per interview. The overall goal of the project is to add to the basic knowledge of how older adults with pre-existing, chronic health conditions react to a new cancer diagnosis and how this might affect their notions of self, identity, healthcare and care management. The study is funded by a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Baltimore, offers an ongoing calendar of health activities, such as exercise class-

Who may participate?

es and flu shots. For more information, visit the website at

The study is open to individuals 65 and over who have received a diagnosis within the past year of stage I-III solid tumor can-

cer, and who have not had a prior cancer diagnosis within five years. In addition, participants must have at least one moderate to severe chronic health condition that has a negative impact on the person’s daily level of functioning. The interviews will be conducted at a location of the participant’s choice, most typically in his or her home. The interviews are generally scheduled one week apart, though that can be changed to fit each person’s care schedule. During the first interview, a life history will be collected that includes information about the participant’s childhood, middle years, etc. The second interview will focus on preexisting chronic conditions and how these have affected the participant’s daily life and relationships. The third, and final, interview will address the participant’s cancer, the diagnosis, and how they have affected his or her everyday life. Participants who complete the interview series will be paid $60 for their time. For more information, call Susan Hannum at (410) 455–8729 or email her at


You Can Beat Colon Cancer. But Only If You Know You Have It. We are currently seeking volunteers for a clinical research study to evaluate a colon cancer screening test. You may qualify if you are: ■ 65-84 years old and never had a colonoscopy or ■ 65-84 years old and more than 9 years since your last colonoscopy You will be compensated $100 for your participation in this study. Thank you for considering this volunteer opportunity.



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H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N — A U G U S T 2 0 1 2

Staying cool in this summer’s record heat June and July’s string of unprecedented hot days — and lack of power — are to blame for more than a dozen deaths in Maryland. Most of the victims were 60 or older. To help keep older residents cool, the Howard County Dept. on Aging is encouraging people to use local senior centers as cooling centers — both to get relief from scorching temperatures and to take park in the centers’ activities. Some senior centers stay open for extended hours on the hottest days. “During these periods of extreme heat, I would urge family members, caregivers and neighbors of older individuals to frequently check on them to make sure their homes are properly ventilated and cooled, and that they have adequate fluids and foods,” said Maryland Secretary of Aging Gloria Lawlah. During the summer, it is important for older adults to remember that they are at particular risk for hyperthermia — a heatrelated illness brought on by long periods of exposure to intense heat and humidity, which causes an increase in a person’s core body temperature.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke The two most common forms of hyperthermia are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is a warning that the body is getting too hot. The person may be thirsty, giddy, weak, uncoordinated, nauseated, sweating profusely, and have cold and clammy skin Heat stroke, caused by excessive exposure to hot, humid temperatures, kills an average of 1,700 persons in the United States each year. About 80 percent of heat stroke deaths occur in persons age 50 and older, because age and other factors such as disease, dehydration and medications diminish the ability of the body to compensate for increased core temperatures. A person with heat stroke has a body temperature above 104°F. Symptoms may include confusion, combativeness, bizarre behavior, faintness, staggering, strong

rs 34 Yeraing of Ca

rapid pulse, dry flushed skin, lack of sweating and possible delirium or coma. Immediate medical attention is essential when problems first begin.

How to keep your cool Here are some tips from the Maryland Dept. of Aging for staying safe in the summer heat: • Drink plenty of liquids — eight or more 8-ounce glasses per day of water and/or fruit juices. • Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. • Dress appropriately. Wear loose-fitting clothes in natural fabrics like cotton, and dress in light colors that will reflect the sun and heat instead of darker colors that will absorb them. • When outdoors, protect your skin from damage by wearing hats, sunglasses and a sunscreen of 30 SPF or more. • Stay indoors during extreme heat. Make sure you check in with family or friends everyday if you live by yourself. • If you do not have air conditioning, go somewhere that does. A movie theater, the mall, a friend or relative’s home or a community senior center are all good options. • If you need to get out of the house and don’t drive a car, call a taxi, a friend or a transportation service. Do NOT wait outside for the bus in extreme heat. • If you are absolutely unable to leave the house and do not have air conditioning, take a cool bath or shower to lower your body temperature on extremely hot days. • Temperatures inside the home should not exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit for prolonged periods of time. Know the signs of heat stroke (e.g., flushed face, high body temperature, headache, nausea, rapid pulse, dizziness and confusion) and take immediate action if you feel them coming on. For more information and to find a senior center near you, contact the Howard County Dept. on Aging at (410) 313-6410 or

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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 If interested call: 410-605-7179 & Mention code: LIFT at Baltimore VA/University of Maryland Gerontology Recruitment Line *You must be at least 65 years old and in good health *Participants will be seen at the Baltimore VA Medical Center and University of Maryland School of Medicine *You will attend approximately 41 visits for 1 to 4 hours each per visit


Cancer screenings help put you in control of your health. Be part of an important colorectal cancer screening study. Colorectal cancer kills 50,000 Americans each year. Exact Sciences is focused on detecting pre-cancer and cancer through the development of groundbreaking screening approaches. You can be part of an important research study. The Colorectal Cancer (CRC) Screening Test for the Detection of Colorectal Advanced Adenomatous Polyps and Cancer (DeeP-C) study is a multi-center clinical research study looking for men and women between the ages of 65 and 84. Qualified participants may be eligible for compensation for their time.

To learn more about participating in this study, call 410-730-3399 ext. 137


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1.0 2012 0216


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A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 — H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N

Do I have a new condition or a side effect? Dear Pharmacist: offenders are diabetes drugs, estrogenI’ve recently developed minor containing hormones, antacids/acid blocknumbness and tingling in ers and steroids. my hands. Could it be a Nutrient deficiencies side ef fect my medicacaused by such drugs may tions? I’m scared of what cause numbness and tingling else could cause this. in your extremities, and a — S.L. host of other plaguing disorDear S.L.: ders. Oh boy, l love talking about I’m happy to say this conside effects. Obviously, concept has gained traction in the sult your doctor to rule out medical community, partly beother causes, but the simple cause I’ve been hammering it DEAR answer is “Yes!” in the media for 13 years and Most practitioners today PHARMACIST also because I published a are not aware that side effects By Suzy Cohen book on it called Drug Muggers, are often the result of drug nunow available worldwide in sevtrient depletions, which I call the “drug eral languages. mugging” effect. If you experience uncomfortable side efNumerous drugs can cause deficiencies fects at any time, make a phone call to your of necessary nutrients. The most popular physician and pharmacist. That’s what

we’re here for. There’s another layer to consider. We all have unique genetic SNPs (pronounced snips, standing for single-nucleotide polymorphisms) in our DNA code that cause us to process medications, foods and nutrients a little differently from one another. For example, most autistic children and 20 percent of the general population are poor “methylators” and thus need a nutritional helping hand, usually folic acid. Vitamin B6, B12 (methylcobalamin), and SAMe are useful, too. Your particular SNPs or sluggish enzymatic pathways explain varied individual reactions among people. The picture includes delayed metabolism, chronic nutrient deficiencies, or hypersensitivity to medicines. I was reminded of this when a friend required emergency treatment from a rela-

tively innocuous antibiotic, but did perfectly fine on a strong steroid that knocks most people for a loop. For your safety, read the medication leaflet that comes with your receipt at the pharmacy. Ask your doctor and especially your pharmacist about potential side effects before you take the first dose. You need to educate yourself, because drugs are tested in relatively healthy individuals, not in average folks who usually takes multiple meds and deal with several major health concerns. Also note: side effects don’t always develop immediately. For example, the lowered thyroid hormone that women typically experience from oral contraceptives could take up to a year to show up as they become increasingly fatigued, overweight, cold, uninterested in sex, depressed or anxious. That’s because the medicine gradually depletes essential nutrients that support healthy mood, metabolism and libido. If you don’t know to explore drug mugging side effects as the cause, before you know it you’re on three other medications for what is just a nutrient deficiency. My point is that side effects are mistakenly diagnosed as new major illnesses. In my world, these “diseases” are side effects until proven otherwise. Your side effect solutions are in my book Drug Muggers (sold online and at book sellers nationwide). Also, I routinely post free information at my website ( and on Facebook as a public service. This information is opinion only. It is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose your condition. Consult with your doctor before using any new drug, herb or supplement. Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist and the author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist and Real Solutions from Head to Toe. To contact her, visit


Aug. 7


Learn principles of internal energy work (qigong) in order to coordinate physical exercise with the movement of qi (chi) through the body to improve posture, balance, mobility, and energy levels. The free class is offered in partnership with Bravo Health at Catonsville Senior Center, 501 N. Rolling Rd., Catonsville, on Tuesday, Aug 7 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. For more information, call Grace McDowell at (410) 887-0900.

H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N — A U G U S T 2 0 1 2


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Getting along with old and new friends date so the two of you can talk. Also, tell her you really admire her wish to start a walking routine and you’ll be happy to give her some tips to help her get started. Should she eventually hit your stride, you can walk together then.

© Helen Oxenberg, 2012. 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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Dear Solutions: with a therapist. Her need to talk there can An old friend of mine recently moved really help her. into my community. I’ve Dear Solutions: been trying to include her in After a lot of slow pracactivities with other people tice, I now go for a brisk here, but it’s hard and a litwalk every morning. I’ve tle embarrassing because really built it up to a defishe talks too much. nite speed, which helps to Whatever subject comes start my day. up, she starts talking about Now my neighbor, who her experiences and goes has never done walks, has on and on. I don’t want to asked if she could join me. shut her out, but how can I I’m in a bind. I like her, deal with this before no one SOLUTIONS but I know she will slow wants to be in her company? By Helen Oxenberg, me down and I’ll lose the — Irene MSW, ACSW gains I’ve made. Dear Irene: I don’t want to insult her, You don’t have to shut her out in order but I don’t know how to tell her. She to shut her up. When she starts to tell a moved in recently, and she doesn’t know story, try to cut in from time to time men- many people. How do I handle this? tioning that, oh, that happened to you also. — Meg Then turn to the group and ask if any of Dear Meg: them have ever had that experience. In other words, how do you walk away That way you will give others a chance from this without stepping on her ego? to talk about themselves and their experi- Well, you can walk around this by stepping ences. They may actually come to like her lightly but honestly. for bringing up things they’ve experienced Tell her that, although you would love in the past and would enjoy discussing. her company, you consider your walk as When you meet with her alone, try to part of your health requirement, and you give her a chance to talk about things — can’t slow down or it won’t work. like silence, perhaps — that make her feel However, since you would really like to nervous and that she may need to explore spend time with her, try to make a lunch

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VOLUME 2,  N  O. 8 â&#x20AC;˘ A UGUST 2012


A Message from the Administrator By Dayna Brown, Office on Aging Administrator

Winston Churchill once said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.â&#x20AC;? For some time now, I have wanted to plan community listening sessions so that I can learn what Howard County residents want and expect from the Office on Aging. I must be feeling very brave this summer, because my plan is about to become a reality. With support from the Howard County Commission on Aging, I am planning a series of community meetings where I hope to sit down with as many of you as possible, to listen to your comments and entertain your suggestions. And, while I am always happy to hear about what the Office on Aging is doing well, I encourage you to share your concerns as well. How do you feel about growing older in Howard County â&#x20AC;&#x201D; now, and over the next five, 10, or 20 years? I want to know! Community listening sessions will be held in August, September and October, at Howard County senior centers and other convenient locations. If you have a group or venue that you would like me to include on the schedule, please call (410) 313-6410 and let me know about it. Meeting times and locations will be posted at senior centers, on our website ( and on Facebook ( Please try to attend one. Of course, I will continue to enjoy meeting residents informally as well at Office on Aging events throughout the community. Join me on Tuesday, August 7 for Senior Day at the Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Activities Building at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship. Admission to the fair is free all day for everyone age 62 and older, so donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss out on the fun! I will leave you with one more thought, this one from an old Turkish proverb, which says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.â&#x20AC;? I urge you to share your wealth of insight and experience with me; I know we will both be the richer for it.

Juicing Your Way to Health 


By Rona Martiyan, MS, RD, LDN, Office on Aging Nutritionist

Juicing â&#x20AC;&#x201D; using juices, fruits, vegetables, herbs and extracts to help with body cleansing, weight loss, or simply as a means to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables â&#x20AC;&#x201D; is growing in popularity. Consuming more fruits and vegetables may offer health benefits by adding vitamins and minerals to your diet, but if you are using juicing as a cleanse or to lose weight, there are some health risks you should consider. These include: â&#x20AC;˘ Limited clinical evidence on the effects on our bodies â&#x20AC;˘ Potential harm from food-medication interactions

Beginnersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Green Juice â&#x20AC;˘ 1 cup kale â&#x20AC;˘ 1/2 cup spinach â&#x20AC;˘ 1/2 cucumber â&#x20AC;˘ 1 stalk celery â&#x20AC;˘ Âź cup green apple, core and stem removed, skin on â&#x20AC;˘ Âź lemon, peeled â&#x20AC;˘ Blend and drink ( : Summer 2012 Issue)


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2012 9:00 am - 4:00 pm â&#x20AC;˘ Wilde Lake HS


For event info, call 410-313-6410 or

â&#x20AC;˘ Increased incidence of gas, bloating and diarrhea â&#x20AC;˘ Consuming fruits and vegetables while limiting protein and fat may lead to nutrient deficiencies of Vitamin B, D and E â&#x20AC;˘ Decreasing protein intake may affect your ability to maintain muscle mass â&#x20AC;˘ Food safety concerns â&#x20AC;&#x201D; fresh juice can develop harmful bacteria, so make only what you plan to drink immediately. Always let your healthcare provider know when you are making significant changes to your diet. While eating more fruits and vegetables is a good thing, if you plan to juice, make it a part of a well-rounded diet.

Fruit Smoothie â&#x20AC;˘ 4 oz. plain low fat or fat free yogurt â&#x20AC;˘ ½ cup berries â&#x20AC;˘ 1 banana, ripe â&#x20AC;˘ Ice â&#x20AC;˘ Blend and drink

The Senior Connection is published monthly by the Howard County Office on Aging, Department of Citizen Services. We welcome your comments and suggestions. To contact us, or to join our email subscriber list, email with â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;subscribeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in the subject box. Howard County Office on Aging

6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia, MD 21046 410-313-6410 | Dayna Brown, Administrator Advertising contained in the Beacon is not endorsed by the Howard County Office on Aging or by the publisher.

Coming Events

H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N — A U G U S T 2 0 1 2

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The Senior Connection

Wednesday, July 25, 10 a.m. – Terra Cotta Warriors, Glenwood 50+ Center Join historian and archeologist Lee Preston for a presentation on Terra Cotta Warriors. Lee traveled to China and has brought back an amazing presentation on these ancient clay soldiers. Free; call 410-3135440 to register. Wednesday, August 1, 11 a.m. – What You Can Expect From Medicare, Kiwanis-Wallas Recreation Center, 3300 Norbert’s Way, Ellicott City 21042 Learn how Medicare works, what the benefits are, how it relates to supplemental health insurance, and what Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage is all about. Sponsored by the Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP); call 410-3137391 to register. No fee. Fridays, August 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Massage Therapy with Ellen Consoli, North Laurel 50+ Center Massage therapy can help relieve the stress in your life. Choose full body ($50/50 minutes, $30/20 minutes) or chair ($22/20 minutes, $11/10 minutes). Call 410-3130380 to schedule an appointment. Thursdays, August 9 – 23, 9 a.m. – Bone Builders, East Columbia 50+ Center Take our introductory class to increase your bone density and muscle strength while improving posture and balance. Free; call 410-313-7680 for details. Thursday, August 9, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Relaxing Table Massage, Elkridge Senior Center Enjoy 45 minutes of pampering pleasure! Cost: $40/session. Call 410-313-5192 for appointments.

Thursday, August 9, 11:15 a.m. – Howard County Ballet, Ellicott City Senior Center The Howard County Ballet will perform live under the direction of Desiree KoontzNachtrieb with choreography by Kathi Ferguson. Call 410-313-1400 for details.

Tuesday, August 14, 10 a.m. – Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture, Glenwood 50+ Center Explore the basic principles of Chinese medicine including Qi, Yin/Yang, 5 Element Theory and acupuncture. Free 15 minute consultations available after discussion. Call 410-313-5440 to register.

Tuesday, August 14, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. – “Summertime Dreams” with Ballet Mobile, The Bain Center Enjoy an inspiring and creative program by Ballet Mobile, and experience how movement and music can improve your health and spirits. Free; call 410-313-7213 for details.

Tuesday, August 14, 11 a.m. – The American Songbook, Ellicott City Senior Center Julie Hall and Daughters will perform songs from “The American Songbook,” singing classics from the ‘20s thru ‘60s, as well as songs from The Sound of Music. Call 410-313-1400 for details.

Wednesday, August 15, 11 a.m. – Why Medicare Isn’t Enough, Kiwanis-Wallas Recreation Center, 3300 Norbert’s Way, Ellicott City 21042 Learn about the gaps in Medicare coverage, ways to cover them, and whether you have the insurance package that best suits your needs. Discussion includes Medicare Supplement Policies (Medigap) and Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C). Sponsored by SHIP; call 410-313-7391 to register. No fee. Wednesday, August 15, 11 a.m. to noon – Dogs Days of Summer, North Laurel 50+ Center Ellis Woodward will entertain us with his energetic song stylings, followed by lunch at noon. Program cost: $3 lunch donation suggested for those 60 and older; $6.16 for those under 60. Call 410-313-0380 by August 8 to register. Wednesday, August 15, 12:30 p.m. – Iced Tea Luncheon, East Columbia 50+ Center Enjoy a cool summer tea menu with entertainment provided by the Howard County Ballet. Cost: $6. Call 410-313-7680 for reservations.

Riding High with your Feet on the Ground!

SENIOR DAY AT THE FAIR Howard County Fair 2012 FREE ADMISSION for ADULTS 62+ Tuesday, August 7 • 10 am - 3 pm VISIT THE ACTIVITIES BUILDING FOR FUN THINGS TO DO... Healthy Aging Programs Entertainment & Exhibits Bingo, Games & Prizes Great Information Demonstrations


Thursday, August 16, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Jewelry & Beading Class, Longwood Senior Center Join instructor Cindy Patarini for a summer-themed jewelry & beading session. Class includes instruction and materials for a nominal fee. Call 410-313-7217 to register.

Tuesday, August 21, 7 to 8 p.m. – Shades of Grey Book Discussion, East Columbia 50+ Center If you have read the book, join the discussion! Free; call 410-313-7680 for details.

Wednesday, August 22, 9:30 a.m. to noon – Pancake Breakfast, Elkridge Senior Center Enjoy delicious homemade pancakes and many other breakfast favorites! Cost: $4/person. Call 410-313-5192 to register. Wednesday, August 22, 10 a.m. to noon – Bitter Memories: The Fall of Saigon, Glenwood 50+ Center Join Tom Glenn for an in-depth presentation on this sensitive topic. Call 410-313-5440 for details.

Wednesday, August 22, noon to 1 p.m. – Chef Special Omelet Brunch, The Bain Center Join us for a summer brunch with omelets cooked to order! Register early to reserve your spot; deadline is August 15. Lunch donations accepted; call 410-313-7213 for details.

Wednesday, August 29, 1 to 2 p.m. – Senior Safety Forum, Longwood Senior Center PFC Holly Burnham, HCPD, and Lila Boor, Office of Consumer Affairs, will discuss crime prevention, community safety, fraud and theft. Call 410-313-7217 for more information.

SENIOR SAFETY AWARENESS DAY Presented by Ellicott City Senior Center

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 10 am - 2 pm • Ellicott City Senior Center 9401 Frederick Road, Ellicott City, MD

Learn the latest safety initiatives from the Howard County Police and Fire Departments Consumer Affairs Office, the Mid-Atlantic AAA, and MVA Also, tour the HC Police Mobile Command Unit 4 PRESENTATIONS AT 10 AM, 11 AM AND 1 PM

Don’t Get Burned (Fire & Safety Tips) Arm Yourself with Knowledge (Preventing Home Repair Scams) The Silent Crime (Domestic Violence) Preparing for the Road Ahead (Driving As We Age) Hosted by PFC Holly Burnham HOWARD COUNTY POLICE COMMUNITY OUTREACH SENIOR LIAISON

A gourmet box lunch is available for $5; you must pre-order by calling the Center at 410-313-1400.



A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 — H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N

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Money Law &

INVESTING IN INDIA Its fast-growing economy has attracted investors to India-focused mutual funds. Potential is high, but so are costs, and the market is volatile SAVE ENERGY AT HOME Get an energy audit to help discover ways to conserve power and save money throughout your house

You can learn to use coupons like a pro By Joseph Pisani Armed with a stack of coupons, Amanda Ostrowski paid just $51.67 for $1,175.33 worth of groceries on TLC’s reality show “Extreme Couponing.” I remember watching that episode and wondering if I could do that. Ostrowski admits that that kind of savings is hard to copy for the average person. “Searching for all the deals is time-consuming,” she said. It took Ostrowski nearly two days of planning and six hours in the store, according to the episode. She walked out with nine shopping carts, including 218 boxes of pasta. I don’t have that kind of time. And I will never eat that much ziti. But I wanted to see if I could at least cut my grocery bills. So I called up Ostrowski and a few other coupon experts to pick their brains. I planned to test out their tips at my local Target store. When I told Ostrowski I didn’t want to spend too much time finding coupons and didn’t want to stray too far from my typical grocery list, she gave me a sarcastic response: “Good luck with that!” Still, here are some tips from the experts that will help you save money even if you don’t want to build your life around couponing. Put together a grocery list. This will allow you to search out coupons and see if

your store has sales on the products before you go shopping. My list was pretty short: I wanted frozen meals that I can bring to work, diet soda, Wholly Guacamole 100-calorie snack packs, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que sauce, Fiber One cereal and Seventh Generation laundry detergent. Don’t be picky. To get the biggest savings, you need to be flexible with the brands you buy. “I love French’s mustard, but if the store brand is on sale, I suck it up and deal with it,” Ostrowski said. But that’s not always realistic. I wanted the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que sauce because it has less sugar than other brands (and I think it tastes better), and I have to use Seventh Generation detergent because other ones irritate my skin. I kept them on my grocery list even though Cathy Yoder and Monica Knight, who run coupon and savings website, suggested I make my own detergent. (I will not be doing that, but the recipe is on the homepage of their website if you’re more adventurous.) Find coupons online. Although you should look through your Sunday newspaper insert, most coupons can be found online. Ostrowski recommends,, and Over the last six months, manufacturers

have been putting more coupons on their Facebook pages, according to Joanie Demer, who runs and was also on the TLC show (she paid $2.64 for $638.64 in groceries during her episode). To print those coupons, you’ll need to “like” the brands on Facebook. Through Facebook, I found a 75-cent coupon for Fiber One cereal and a $1 coupon for Wholly Guacamole. There are also several websites that list coupons and deals at certain stores and link to coupons that you can print. I recommend the websites of the people I interviewed (, and, but also check out and I found a $3 coupon for 10 Smart Ones frozen meals and a $1.50 coupon for the Seventh Generation detergent through Check store rules, coupons and weekly ads. has pages dedicated to most major grocery stores, from Walmart to Kroger to Whole Foods. On the Target page, it recommends using the store’s debit card to save 5 percent on each transaction (I already have one). Target will also give you 5 cents for each reusable bag you bring (I brought

five with me!). And I also learned that Target lets you use coupons that the store issues along with coupons that the manufacturer issued during the same transaction. I found a $3 coupon on Target’s website that I planned to pair with the $3 coupon I found through I also looked through Target’s weekly ad and saw that it was offering a $5 Target gift card if you buy 10 Smart Ones frozen meals. So I figured I would buy 20 Smart Ones frozen meals, and get $10 in gift cards. I also printed out two copies of the Smart Ones coupons I had found. Organize your checkout. Demer said I should break up my purchase into three transactions. Buy the 10 Smart Ones meals first, use the $6 in coupons and get the $5 Target gift card. Then do a separate transaction for the next 10 Smart Ones. Then use the $10 worth of gift cards on the rest of my items. How I did. I had two setbacks. The Seventh Generation $1.50 coupon was for a different type of detergent that I couldn’t use, so I had to pay full price for the one I wanted: $14.19. When I went to the register and separated my items into three different transactions, I accidentally put 11 boxes of Smart See COUPONING, page 19

Should you cash in capital gains in 2012? By Susannah Snider Lynne Spichiger, 65, believes she has a clever tax trick up her sleeve. She plans to sell some winning stocks sometime during 2012 to cash in on the expiring 0-percent tax rate on long-term capital gains. But she wants to go on investing in her favorites, so she intends to buy back those shares. “This way, when I sell the stocks in the future, I’ll have restarted at a higher cost basis and won’t be hit as hard with taxes,” said Lynne. Zero taxes and stock market profits are rarely in the same conversation, but Lynne, a self-employed grant writer and instructional designer, is eligible for this benefit for two reasons. First, she expects her 2012 income to

qualify for the 0-percent capital gains provision, which phases out for single filers at a taxable income of $35,350 (the limit is $70,700 for joint returns). Second, she’s held her winners, which include McDonald’s (symbol MCD) and Caterpillar (CAT), for more than one year.

Steering clear of tax traps “It’s a brilliant tax maneuver,” said Sheryl Garrett, founder of the Garrett Planning Network. As long as Lynne avoids a couple of traps, she’s off to the races. The first pitfall would be allowing the gains to push her over the income limit. Lynne said she wouldn’t mind overshooting the 0-percent income limit — and owing 15-percent tax on the slice of the

profits that exceeds it — because she wants to take the profits before she begins collecting Social Security in 2013. From that point on, if her taxable income (plus half her benefits) tops $25,000, the government will tax up to half of her Social Security payments; if it exceeds $34,000, then up to 85 percent is taxable. Anyone on the verge of claiming Social Security should investigate whether it pays to grab capital gains early.

Review records for accuracy Trap number two would result from sloppy math or poor record keeping. Capital gains are calculated by subtracting what you paid for an asset (plus fees and commissions) from the sale price. But what happens if you’ve reinvested

dividends? That ratchets up your cost basis and reduces the capital gains or conceivably triggers a loss. Review your statements or check with your brokerage firm to make sure you report the proper gains. Generally, it is unwise to let tax strategy dictate investment moves. But Lynne’s case is an exception because she has access to an unusual tax break. “Lynne is working the tax system legally and effectively,” Garrett said. You can’t ask for more. Susannah Snider is a staff writer at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to For more on this and similar money topics, visit © 2012 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

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H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N — A U G U S T 2 0 1 2


Treasury bond yields plunge; what to do By Jeffrey R. Kosnett The 30-year rally in the Treasury bond market is ending. The economy seems robust enough to predict that the bond market is moving closer to its next extended interest rate cycle. When that cycle gets under way, the direction of rates will surely be up because the cost of borrowing is far below the historical levels that are normal in anything but a deep recession. Moreover, with the 10-year government bond yielding a measly 1.63 percent in late June, the risk of losing principal due to rising interest rates dwarfs any further reward you may get from owning Treasury bonds (bond prices move in the opposite direction of yields).

Time to sell Paul Lefurgey, bond boss at Madison Investment Advisors, in Madison, Wis., says that at best, you have little or nothing more to gain now from holding long-term Treasuries, either individually or in a fund. But under the worst assumptions, you could lose 25 to 30 percent. I don’t like those odds, and neither should you. If you have a lot of savings in T-bonds — or in a long-term government or high-grade diversified bond fund with a duration of 8 years or more — you ought to sell some or all of your holdings and preserve the gains

Couponing From page 18 Ones in the first transaction. When the second one rang up, I only had nine left, so I had to run to the back of the store to make it an even 10 to get the $5 gift card. (I blame that mistake on me being distracted while I was cutting coupons. Tip: Cut them before you get to the store.) I also had two unexpected surprises. After buying the first group of Smart Ones, a $3 coupon printed at the register for frozen meals. I used that coupon on the second transaction. And the Fiber One cereal was unexpectedly on sale for $3.64, meaning I would get it for under $3 with

you’ve accumulated over the years. You don’t have to react instantly. Lefurgey expects yields for long-term bonds to rise gradually rather than explode. My colleagues at the Kiplinger Letter see the 10-year Treasury yielding 2.5 percent by the end of 2012. Richard Saperstein, of Treasury Partners, a New York City investment firm, said we’re in a “sleepwalking bond market.” By that he means bond yields (and prices) are meandering in a narrow range. He thinks Treasury yields will eventually get so high that it will pay to buy them — but not this year.

ture in five years or less, so you get excellent yield but less sensitivity to rising interest rates than with a regular junk fund. One standout is Wells Fargo Advantage Short-Term High-Yield Bond (STHBX). It

yields 3.1 percent, and its average duration is 1.6 years. Jeffrey Kosnett is a senior editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. © 2012 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance



SUBSIDIZED HOUSING APPLICATIONS Howard County Housing is accepting applications through Tues-

day, July 31 for the County’s Moderate Income Housing Unit (MIHU) program. To rent an MIHU unit, an applicant’s household income may not exceed 60% of the Howard County median income, which was $101,771 for a family of four as of Jan.

Some alternatives For now, Saperstein prefers to stash fixed-income money in bonds that have short maturities and could benefit from a better economy. In that regard, I like Ginnie Mae funds. Their durations are typically about 4 years, compared with 15 for long-term Treasury bond funds, yet Ginnie Mae funds pay nearly as much despite dramatically lower price risk. One of my favorites is Vanguard GNMA (symbol VFIIX), which charges only 0.23 percent in annual fees and yields 2.8 percent. I also like funds that invest in high-yield debt with short maturities. Funds of this sort own junk bonds that are due to mamy 75-cent coupon. In all, I paid $53.06 for $82.25 worth of groceries. I saved $29.19, or 35 percent. That includes the $10 in gift cards, the 25 cents for bringing reusable bags, $2.19 for using my Target debit card and $16.75 in coupons. It took me about 45 minutes to do the research and print the coupons, and I think it was worth it. Couponing should get easier and take less time for the next supermarket trip, Demer said. “The learning curve with couponing is steep, but short,” said Demer. “Once you master a few basic principles, the time you spend planning your shopping trips will drop significantly and you’ll be getting a good return on the time you do invest.” — AP

1, 2012. Open enrollment periods for the MIHU purchase program are held quarterly. Interested persons should call Howard County Housing at (410) 313-6318 or visit

HAVE YOU SUFFERED SUBSTANTIAL LOSSES IN YOUR INVESTMENT OR RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS? State and Federal Laws Protect Investors Against Negligent, Unsuitable, Fraudulent, or Illegal Conduct by Stockbrokers/ Financial Advisors, Financial Planners, and Other Financial Professionals. Wronged Investors Have the Right to Seek Restitution for Losses Caused by such Misconduct. Contact the Law Firm of West & Gaarder, LLC by Calling 410-296-4655 or by Visiting our Website at to Arrange a FREE/No Obligation Initial Consultation


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A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 — H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N

Mutual fund investors look toward India By Mark Jewell Investors who see opportunity in Asia’s growth typically think of China first. That’s one reason why there’s no shortage of options for U.S. investors looking to buy a stock mutual fund that focuses on China. But venture southward to another Asian giant, India, and there are just 10 specialized funds to choose from — less than onethird of the number focusing on China. That’s despite the fact that India is projected to overtake China as the world’s

most populous nation around 2030. India also has an economy that’s growing nearly as fast as China’s. The modest number of India funds is a result of the relatively small value of India’s stocks in the global markets. Mutual funds tracking a broad index of foreign markets typically devote just 1.5 percent of their portfolios to stocks from India. Narrow the focus to funds investing in fast-growing emerging markets, and the weighting in India is 6 percent — that’s

one-third as much as they typically hold in Chinese stocks. Yet India’s profile is rising. Half of the India stock funds have launched within the past year and a half. And there are 10 exchange-traded funds focusing on India, most less than two years old. All focus on a mature stock market with more than 5,000 listed companies, including such names as Infosys Technologies, outsourcing company Wipro, automaker Tata Motors, and drug maker Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.

Be prepared for risk

Serving the Community for over 50 years

For over 11 years Kathy Clark has been helping families save money on their preplanning needs.

Call Kathy at (410) 442-5700 or (443) 804-4464 2150 Mount View Road • Marriottsville, Maryland 21104

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verything you need to enjoy a healthy, convenient shopping experience every day... in the center of it all!

Concert Series Dorsey’s Search Village Center – Thurs. 6-8 p.m. Kings Contrivance Village Center – Fri. 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Harper’s Choice Village Center – Fri. 6-8 p.m. River Hill Village Center – Fri. 6-8 p.m.

The concerts continue thru the first 3 weeks in August! Hickory Ridge Village Center Wilde Lake Village Center

Columbia’s Village Centers


High expenses Costs are also an issue. The majority charge expense ratios of 1.90 percent or higher. That’s about double the expenses that a typical investor pays on average at international funds of all types Matthews India (MINDX) is the largest

See INDIA, page 21


Aug. 22+


Attorney Lawrence J. Brill of the 60 Plus Legal Assistance Program will be avail-

roceries and Gas Wine and Dining Fashion and Beauty Banking and Insurance Cards and Gifts Packing and Shipping

able to discuss wills, advance health directives, powers of attorney and other legal documents on Wednesday, Aug. 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Ellicott City Senior Center, 9401 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. The program is free for residents over age 60 with limited assets and income. An appointment is required and should be

Life’s daily necessities...all right here!

The growth in options for investing in India led Morningstar to create a new fund category for the group in May. Previously, they were part of a broader category that invested across much of Asia and the Pacific. But anyone considering a fund focusing on a single foreign market should know the risks can be much higher than investing in a diversified U.S. stock fund. For starters, there will be sharp ups and downs. Consider that India funds have posted an average annualized return of 8.7 percent over the past 3 years. Yet over one month in the spring, these funds lost nearly 12 percent as worries mounted about a host of economic challenges in India, from inflation risks to slowing industrial production. Also consider whether you already have enough money invested in emerging markets across your portfolio. “If you’ve already built a balanced international portfolio, investing in a singlecountry emerging markets fund is like making an extra bet on top of that,” said Bill Rocco, a Morningstar fund analyst. “Think of it like owning a single company’s stock, in terms of the risks and rewards.” And investors who prefer funds with established records have little to choose from. Just three of the 10 India funds have 5-year records.

India fund in terms of assets, $673 million, with the category’s top 5-year record and lowest expense ratio. Sharat Shroff manages the 4 star-rated fund with Sunil Asnani. Shroff, who earned a bachelor’s degree and MBA attending schools in India, discussed his outlook in an interview. Here are excerpts: Q: What’s the chief obstacle for India’s economy? A: The lack of clear and forceful leadership within the ranks of the central government is choking the flow of investments. It’s a significant deterrent for businesses to invest in the country. The aspirations of the people translate into growing demand for goods and services, and it would be a pity if this demand remains unmet because of the intransigence of policymakers. Q: Do you think India can get back on track, given recent problems such as growing inflation, coupled with an economic slowdown? A: Many of the problems are self-inflicted. The lack of strong leadership within the government has stalled decision-making, which is delaying the passage of economic reforms that are necessary for investment-led growth. Q: So why consider investing in India? A: The underlying fundamentals of the Indian economy remain strong, led by growing household income, a high saving rate that can be channeled into productive investments, and good quality companies that can take advantage of these trends. In recent years, there has been a noticeable pick-up in economic activity in rural areas. That has provided some cushion to the overall economy. Also, two-thirds of India’s economy is led by domestic consumption, which helps to reduce volatility in corporate earnings. However, India’s capital markets are entwined with global capital markets. As such, volatility remains a constant companion, and the importance of a longer investment time horizon cannot be overstated. Q: Is there anything else U.S. investors might be unaware of about India? A: The reason to get excited is not so

scheduled well in advance by calling (410) 313-1400. Scan for Savings

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Big & small ways to save on energy costs By Patricia Mertz Esswein You can’t do much about how much energy costs, but you can control how much of it you use. One place to start is with a home energy audit. Do-it-yourselfers can try Energy Star’s Home Energy Yardstick ( or, for a more in-depth look, the Home Energy Saver, developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory ( For a more rigorous evaluation, you could hire an energy auditor. The auditor will size up your home inside and out —basement to attic — and run tests to measure the efficiency of your heating equipment and the leakiness of your home’s exterior. A typical audit takes three to four hours and costs $250 to $600. Baltimore Gas and Electric (BG&E) customers can get a free Quick Home Energy Check-up, a one-hour home examination, by calling 1-877-6857377 or visiting and clicking on “Quick Home Energy Check-up.” A more detailed audit is available for $100.

India From page 20 much the macroeconomics, but the microeconomic prospects of individual companies. Many are world-class already. These sorts of companies span a wide gamut of sectors like services, pharmaceuticals, telecommunication and financials. Information technology services tend to grab the headlines, but the sector accounts for only 5 percent of gross domestic product and 1 percent of total employment. Q: I hear plenty about the growth of China’s middle-class, and resulting

The Department of Energy estimates that the average U.S. household pays a hefty $1,900 annually in utility bills. The biggest slices are likely to be heating and cooling (about 40 percent), and water heating and lighting (each about 10 percent). With a few no-sweat moves, you can reduce your annual costs by $250 to $300.

Turning down costs Start attacking your heating and cooling bills by using a programmable thermostat. Set the temperature as high as you can tolerate it in the summer and as low as possible in winter, and program the thermostat for greater energy savings when you’re sleeping or away from the house. In summer, for example, every degree you set your air conditioning above 72 degrees will save you 3 to 5 percent on your energy bill. You’ll make an even bigger dent if you reduce “solar gain” from sundrenched windows by closing curtains or shades during the day. If you haven’t replaced incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents, target your

growth potential for Chinese stocks due to expansion of the domestic economy. Do you see similar potential in India? A: India’s demographics are in many ways more favorable than China’s. The population is young, and the ratio of working-age people relative to those who are too young or old to work will improve. That is likely to support consumption growth for the next several years. However, in order to harness demographic dividends, the creation of employment opportunities needs to remain vital, otherwise there is a risk of social unrest. — AP

Don’t Let Nursing Home Costs Take Every Dime You’ve Worked For. Medical Assistance Planning and Eligibility Advance Medical Directives / Living Wills Trusts / Estate Planning Administration

home’s five most-used or hardest-to-reach fixtures — say, in your kitchen or family room.

Appliance and hot water tips Use your dishwasher’s air-dry option, or turn it off and crack the door after the final rinse. To save on hot water, keep your showers short, and switch from the hot wash/warm rinse setting on your washing machine to warm/cold or cold/cold. If you need to replace or add an appliance, big or small, buy an Energy Star model. One-fourth of all American homes have an energy-sucking second refrigera-

tor, usually retired from the kitchen to the garage or basement. And stop the drain of “vampire” appliances and electronics that use energy even when they’re turned off. For a listing of financial incentives to save energy, visit Patricia Mertz Esswein is an associate editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to And for more on this and similar money topics, visit © Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Heartlands: a home that touches your heart

From the daughter of our resident Mr. Dell Bean... Moving my dad to Heartlands has given my family the peace of mind to know that he is being taken care of. It gives us a real sense of relief knowing that he is eating well, having the opportunity to exercise in a safe environment, and being a part of a community. Everyone at Heartlands has opened their hearts to him and it has been really great! -Lindsey Marks

At Heartlands Ellicott City, you will find: • Cottages with updated kitchens, walk-in closet and three-season porch • On-site medical services and wellness center • State-of-the-art fitness and rehab center with indoor pool and spa

• Recreational and cultural events, trips and scheduled transportation • Gazebo, patio, pond and fountain • Shopping and medical centers nearby • And more...

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For a complimentary lunch and personal tour, please call Denise Giffin at (410) 461-9494


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We want to be your Family’s Pharmacy That’s why we give you more. Our pharmacists are at the heart of everything we do. They can counsel you on your medications, side effects, drug interactions... even vitamins. We give you more than your medications; we’ll give you the advice you need. Plus a series of pharmacy benefits like no other drugstore.



When we fill your prescription, our LifeCheck computer system lets our pharmacists triple check your prescriptions.*

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Since all of our Pharmacies are linked by satellite network, we can access your prescription profile and fill your prescription at any location.* *If on file at another Rite Aid store.

Refills By Phone

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Refills just got easier. Call the Pharmacy number on your prescription bottle, enter the prescription I.D. number printed on the label and we will tell you when it will be ready.

With Internet Refills, you can order your prescription without ever leaving the house. Just go to and click “Refill Now”, select Store Pick-up or Mail Delivery and simply enter prescription information.

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With every prescription, you will receive written information on the dosage, side effects and potential drug interaction.

Only Rite Aid pharmacists are specially trained to know vitamins. Ask your Rite Aid pharmacist for a personal vitamin profile.

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“Being injured on the job is hard enough. Your Rite Aid Pharmacist is here to personally help you along your road to recovery.” Ask us about our Workers’ Compensation Prescription Program. There are no hassles, no delays and no out-ofpocket expenses.

We make children’s medicines a lot less yucky. Ask the pharmacist to add any of our 20 great flavors to any of your liquid medications.

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New airline rules are mostly helpful. See story on p. 25.

High-tech gambling at Maryland’s casinos


opened: Hollywood Casino in Perryville (Cecil County), Ocean Downs in Berlin (near Ocean City), and most recently, Maryland Live! in Hanover, next to Arundel Mills Mall. The state lottery agency is working with developers of two more yet to come: one at Rocky Gap State Park in Allegany County, which has just been awarded its license and is slated to open late next year with 850 slot machines, and a much larger one in Baltimore City, currently at the proposal stage, expected to have 3,750 slot machines and a 4,000-car garage. A sixth gambling site — in Prince George’s County, at National Harbor on the Potomac — remains under consideration, with Governor O’Malley still calling for a special legislative session this summer to get the proposal on the November ballot. Gambling appeals to the state because of the high tax revenues the casinos bring in. During May alone (before Maryland Live! opened), Hollywood Casino and Ocean Downs raked in $14 million, half of which went to the Maryland Education Trust Fund. Maryland Live! is expected to bring Maryland $400 million in tax revenue each year.

Patrons try their luck at some of Maryland Live!’s 3,200 slot machines. By October, the casino, located at Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover, Md., will grow to the size of three football fields with 4,750 machines, making it one of the largest casinos in the country.

Maryland Live! Maryland Live!, the area’s newest casino, is located at Arundel Mills Mall just south of Baltimore-Washington International Airport. It seeks to “give customers a ‘wow’ experience every time they visit,” said Joseph Weinberg, managing partner of its developer, the Cordish Companies, at the grand opening on June 6. More than 10,000 people flooded through the doors for the 10 p.m.(!) opening, many having sweated through clogged traffic for miles. Managers boast that Maryland Live! is one of


By Glenda C. Booth The flashing lights of the cavernous compounds lure you in, then the promise of instant riches, jackpots, bonanzas and sweepstakes captures your imagination, as a dizzying array of sparkly numbers and images flash across row upon row of slot machines. And that’s the whole point of a casino, isn’t it? To engulf you, engage all your senses, and entice you to take a chance with your money. Without the reality checks of windows or clocks — and amid a steady din of throbbing music and bleeping machines, where it’s too loud to hear your cell phone — you can easily lose track of the day, time and, perhaps, your worries as thousands of slot machines roll, clang and flash, feeding your fantasies of hitting the perfect getrich-quick combination. Since Maryland voters passed a ballot initiative in 2008 to allow up to five casinos with slot machines in the state, three have

Perryville, Md.’s Hollywood Casino, about 40 miles north of Baltimore, boasts 1,500 slot machines and a décor focused on silver screen stars of the 1950s and ‘60s.

the largest casinos in the country, and that there are 1,400 hotel rooms within a mile. Sprawling across 160,000 square feet to serve up to 12,000 gamblers, the casino currently has 3,200 Las Vegas-style slot machines plus electronic table games, like Blackjack, roulette, mini-baccarat and Pai Gow poker. Slot machines are emblazoned with names like “Stinkin’ Rich,” “Queen of the Wild,” “Instant Riches” and “Three Alarm Fire.” By October, when Maryland Live! is fully open, the casino will stretch to the size of three football fields with 4,750 machines, more than almost any other gambling palace in the country. Even in its current configuration, it’s hard to see an outside wall. The slot machines seem to go on forever. Casino-goers can chomp a burger at Bobby’s Burger Palace (by celebrity chef Bobby Flay), grab takeout at Phillips Seafood, or have a more relaxed dining break from the one-armed (actually, pushbutton) bandits and clatter of casino central at the Live! Market Buffet. The buffet bulges with seafood, pasta, salads, Asian cuisine, rich desserts and more, much of it purchased fresh locally. The Prime Rib restaurant is coming, and the 500-seat Rams Head Center Stage will

open soon for live nightly entertainment. From the mammoth dangly chandelier of color-changing LED lights, at the entrance, to the interactive R Bar (R for round) where you can bet while you sip, Maryland Live! is an electronic gambling extravaganza. Officials like to point out the automated roulette wheel and video blackjack (with no dealer) as modern advances in gaming. Slots players who get nostalgic can opt for electronic Monopoly or Wheel of Fortune, as tunes like “Boys Just Wanna Have Fun” boom across the gambling floor. At Maryland Live! you can place bets from one cent to $100. What are people winning? Officials closely guard statistics on what is ventured and what is gained, but Carmen Gonzales, director of communications, said that “there have been several $10,000 jackpots lately and at least one $50,000 jackpot.” Maryland Live! also has what owners say is the gaming industry’s first play-forfun online casino at, a free website for playing slots and table games and winning “virtual credits.” “Maryland Live! provides visitors with a total entertainment experience filled with See CASINOS, page 24


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Casinos From page 23 shopping, dining, gaming and nightlife,” tout the casino’s press releases. Hence the omnipresent exclamation point. At Maryland Live! a devoted bettor from Bethesda said she was there because “I don’t have to think. You can come for a few hours and forget your problems,” as she headed to the “Instant Riches” machine. Non-gambling companions can shop in more than 200 stores at the Arundel Mills Mall right next door.

Hollywood Casino Hollywood Casino in Perryville, Md., just off Interstate 95, has a 75,000-squarefoot gaming floor and 1,500 flickering, coinless slot machines bearing names like “Wild Shootout,” “Sabertooth,” “Arctic Spirit,” “Dragon’s Temple” and “Wild

Stampede.” Hollywood Casino, a Penn National Gaming facility 40 miles north of Baltimore, transports you to Tinseltown to have fun with the stars. The décor showcases stars and starlets, with considerable emphasis on 1950s and 1960s beauties like Marilyn Monroe and Kathryn Hepburn. Some slot machines have images of popular vintage television shows such as “I Love Lucy,” “Rawhide,” “Hee Haw,” “Tarzan” and “Gunsmoke.” The video poker game draws you into a semi-circular table wrapped around a video screen from which a slim, gentlysmiling young woman, cleavage amply displayed, leans over to “deal” the cards. She’s just a pretend, “virtual” card dealer, but she makes coquettish eye contact from her video screen with the real players, as her hands disappear downward and virtual poker cards appear for the players. Wel-


Aug. 1


A motor coach trip to St. Michael’s, with a cruise along the Choptank River, the Bay Maritime Museum, lunch and shopping, are all included in the Recreation & Parks excursion on Wednesday, Aug. 1 from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Cost is $99 per person. To register or for more information, call (410) 313-7279 or (410) 313-7275.

We promote communication, cooperation and education among nonprofits, agencies, businesses and professionals serving older adults in Howard County. Learn more by calling (410) 997-0610

or visit us at

A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 — H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N

come to electronic poker. A major highlight of this casino is the centerpiece in the main restaurant — a ceiling-high glass case displaying replicas from the movie Titanic, with a jumble of plates, lamps, wine glasses and the blue diamond necklace dropped into the sea. But any sinking feeling is counteracted by the ever-present promise of riches. “Every machine has a different payback,” said Amy Young, advertising manager. “Some pay back 95 cents on the dollar, some more, some less.” On some days, Hollywood awards big prizes like trucks, a new Mustang, or cash up to $75,000. One day this spring, the casino gave away 2,000 camping chairs. When I asked a woman walking into the casino around 6:30 p.m. on a recent Friday night why she had come to the casino, she said without hesitation, “It’s mindless.” After a long work week, she drove to Perryville from Baltimore for what her friend called “a release.” Every Saturday night local musicians entertain. If you don’t want to gamble, you can check out the gift shop or eat. The Epic Buffet teems with many choices of seafood, vegetables and desserts (even sugarless ones). One lady’s dinner was a pile of clams and New Zealand mussels. The Extra Grill has food to go, like sandwiches, wraps and fries. The gift shop sells jewelry, knickknacks and some locally-made items like Belle’s Acres goat milk lotion with a baby powder aroma. The Perryville Outlet Center, with 20 stores nearby, can provide a break from the slots.

More gaming details Slots are the main attraction at both casinos. (Las Vegas-style table games with live dealers are prohibited by Maryland law at the moment, though allowing all of Maryland’s slot locations to offer table

games is being considered in conjunction with the efforts to allow a sixth casino at National Harbor.) Casino-goers get “loyalty” rewards cards allowing them to earn points as they play. Points can be used for dining or playing more. At Maryland Live!, 3,000 points translates into $5. Both also have promotions and hotel partners that offer some discounts. In a distinct contrast with Las Vegas, the main floor at both casinos has a no smoking policy. Maryland Live! has a balcony smoking deck; Hollywood a smoking room. And of course, both have convenient ATMs. Maryland Live! is located at Arundel Mills Mall, 7002 Arundel Mills Circle, Hanover, Md., Hours are Sunday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) has buses that run to Arundel Mills Mall and service the casino. Visit You can also take a bus or taxi from the BWI airport’s Amtrak station. Hollywood Casino is located at 1201 Chesapeake Overlook Parkway, Perryville, Md., It is open Sunday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. During the week, visitors can take the MARC train to Perryville, a two-hour ride on the Penn Line, and then ride the blue LINK bus or take a taxi two to three miles. The last train leaves Perryville at 6:25 p.m. This is a commuter train, so there is no weekend train service. Some Harford Transit LINK bus and Cecil Transit buses stop at the casino. Visit Glenda C. Booth is a freelance writer in Alexandria, Va.

7th annual Fall Fest 2012 ten oaks Ballroom Friday, november 2, 2012 • 6-10 p.m. Save money. Buy Your tickets now! Featuring a fabulous dinner, entertainment by Frank and Trish Curreri, and a silent auction

Save the Dates

all proceeds Benefit neighbor ride and the Howard County office on aging’s vivian reid Community Fund

Early Bird Tickets are $55 through July 2012 - $65 August 1 Tickets are on sale at Make a Difference in the Life of a Senior – Support Fall Fest 2012 Thank You to Our 2012 Sponsors PLatinum SPonSorS Howard County General Hospital – Johns Hopkins Medicine • The Beacon

Keynote speaker: Political commentator,

Mark Plotkin

GoLd SPonSorS Being There Senior Care • Howard County Office on Aging • Visiting Angels

SiLver SPonSorS Bayada Home Health Care • Carney, Kelehan, Bresler, Bennett & Scherr LLP • Deborah L. Herman, CPA Ellicott City Pharmacy • Gary L. Kaufman Funeral Home at Meadowridge Memorial Park

50+ Expo in Arlington, Va. Ballston Common Mall • Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012 • Noon - 4 p.m.

Bronze SPonSorS Earl Wilkinson, M.D., ENT • EverCare Hospice & Palliative Care • Homewatch Caregivers Professional Healthcare Resources, Inc. • Transitions Healthcare Patron memBerS Alzheimer’s Association – Greater MD Chapter • Brooke Grove Retirement Village • Elizabeth Cooney Care Network Gentiva Health Services • Home With You, LLC Ivy Manor Normandy • Meals on Wheels • Morningside House of Ellicott City Premier Planning Group • Right At Home Russell Craig Witzke – Funerals & Cremations, P.A. Whaley Financial Services • Winter Growth • Wood Builders Collaborative

50+ Expo in Rockville, Md. White Flint • Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012 • Noon - 4 p.m.

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New airline rules are mostly in your favor By Susannah Snider The Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued new rules for air travel. Here are some of the most important changes that affect travelers: 1. Look for more truth in advertising. Advertised fares must include all mandatory taxes and fees. That means airfares will seem even higher this year, on top of fare hikes and fuel surcharges. Spot attractive deals by registering for alerts through, or your favorite airline. Fee-inclusive advertising will also be reflected in vacation package deals. 2. Pesky baggage fees aren’t covered. It’s up to you to factor in baggage fees and other add-on charges, such as for extra legroom and priority boarding. But the new protections do give you a leg up. Now when you book online, you’ll see a link to a list of baggage charges. And optional fees are printed on your e-ticket confirmation. 3. Take advantage of an amazing grace period. If you see a fabulous fare on a Tuesday night, click “buy” and clear the vacation time with your boss in the morning. Under the new rules, you have 24 hours to cancel the ticket without penalty. Most airlines and many ticketing sites already offered such a grace period, but now it’s required. 4. Expect cancellations. The DOT levies fines on domestic airlines that allow planes to sit on the tarmac longer than three hours for domestic flights and four hours for international flights. Now the rules have expanded to include overseas carriers that let planes sit on U.S. runways.

If a summer storm comes roaring through, airlines may cancel flights preemptively to avoid costly tarmac delays, said Anne Banas, of 5. Bumped? You might not hit the jackpot. If you’re booted from your seat, rules entitle you to up to $650 (or twice the ticket value) if the next flight leaves in less than two hours and up to $1,300 (or four times the ticket price) for longer delays. The time limits double for international flights. That sounds generous, but be aware that your compensation is based not on your round-trip fare but on the value of the one-way flight, so you would have to hold an expensive ticket to reap the highest reward. If you elect to give up your seat for a flight voucher or other payout, the DOT doesn’t set compensation. You’ll need to hash it out with the airline.

6. Especially for seniors. If you’re 75 or older, the Transportation Security Administration has introduced a practice at several airports, including select security lanes at busy O’Hare in Chicago and Denver International, allowing you to wear

shoes and a light jacket while passing through security. Agents will estimate your age. Susannah Snider is a staff writer at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. © 2012 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance


Aug. 7


Enjoy the internationally acclaimed Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art and adjacent grounds on a bus tour to Salisbury scheduled by Parks & Recreation on Tuesday, Aug. 7 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fee is $99. To register or for more information, call (410) 313-7279 or (410) 313-7275.

Aug. 9


The Sons of the Pioneers and the Opry Review present Remembering Elvis in a performance at the historic Star Theatre in Mercersburg, the focal point of a Parks & Recreation bus trip on Thursday, Aug. 9 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fee is $99. To register or for more information, call (410) 313-7279 or (410) 313-7275.


Aug. 18


Join Parks & Recreation’s trip to the Totem Pole and Hickory Bridge Farm for a production of Cole, the life and songs of Cole Porter, preceded by lunch in a 180-year-old barn on Saturday, Aug. 18. Trip leaves at 9 a.m. and returns at 5 p.m. Fee is $99 per person. To register or for more information, call (410) 3137279 or (410) 313-7275.

Aug. 21


Several stops are planned for passengers to chose their favorite site to visit on their own in this Parks & Recreation bus trip to the Nation’s Capitol, leaving on Tuesday, Aug. 21 at 8:30 a.m. and returning at 4:30 p.m. Youngsters six years and older welcomed, too. Tickets for all ages are $45 each. To register or for more information, call (410) 313-7279 or (410) 313-7275.



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Words of praise for a meddlesome grandma. See Bob Levey commentary on page 28.

A Pride and Prejudice to be proud of Elizabeth gets to know Darcy, who’s really a nice, gentle guy, even with his highly mannered and moral ways.

Translating novel to stage Austen’s aphorisms — “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife,” etc. — often come through via the reading of letters and sudden comments by the actors seeming to step out of character for the moment to give a Jane Austen perspective on what’s unraveling around them. Christina Calvit gets credit for wonderfully accomplishing the always-difficult task of turning a classic novel — particularly one detailing in more than 300 pages the lives, loves and manners of English society — into two hours on stage. And director Isabelle Anderson beautifully utilizes the Patapsco ruins, what’s left of its windows, balconies and doors, to gracefully move the myriad characters that pop up here, there and all over the place. The directing is so smart and the acting so good that despite the almost-nothing sets, viewers have little trouble imagining the “thereness” of the fancy balls, high-


By Robert Friedman The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company is doing itself proud in its current stage version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, the forever popular novel of love at tenth-or-so sight. The adaptation appears to have lost little of the novel’s wit and wisdom, or at least it has caught the gist of Austen’s take on money and marriage, which for the 18th century English upper class went together like the era’s mode of travel (horse and carriage). Because of a clause in the family’s will that does not allow any of the females to inherit the family estate, the five unmarried young women of the Bennet family seem unable to have one —marriage or money — without the other. While antic, scheming and sympathetic characters prance and dance across the outdoor stage at Ellicott City’s Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park, the story eventually settles on the strong-willed Bennet daughter Elizabeth and the early-on haughty and overbearing Fitzwilliam Darcy. At the first of several meetings, the couple loves to hate each another. But gradually, emotions tumble head over heels as

Blythe Coons, Kathryn Elizabeth Kelly, Lizzi Albert, Jana Stambaugh and Rachael Jacobs star as the five unmarried Bennet sisters in Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s production of Pride and Prejudice. The play based on Jane Austen’s novel is now being presented al fresco at Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park in Ellicott City.

class mansions and other rarified English countryside places.

Ovation-worthy cast A standout performance is given by Lesley Malin, as Mrs. Bennet, the nattering noodge who wants her daughters married in, if need be, the worst way. Blythe Coons is also first-rate as Elizabeth, who is both pointed in her observations and sweet in her disposition as she looks for true love. Adam Sheaffer starts off wonderfully obnoxious as Darcy, then convincingly portrays his character’s kinder nature. Also outstanding are Rachael Jacobs, as Lydia, the irrepressible youngest Bennet daughter, whose teenager wackiness hits some exasperatingly contemporary notes, and Jose Guzman, as Collins, the aspompous-as-possible young clergyman in line to inherit the Bennet estate, and who gets the hots for Elizabeth. Terrific performances are also turned in by Molly Moores as Lady Catherine de Bourgh, whose greedy, haughty world revolves solely around Lady Catherine de Bourgh; Heather Howard, as Caroline Bingley, the phonybaloney scheming sister of Charles Bingely; and James Jager, as Bingely, the young, wealthy, pleasant, malleable, single fellow whose move to a nearby manor gets Mrs. Bennet, and the plot of the play, going. Just about everyone else in the very large cast is tip-top, including, among

many others, Lizzi Albert, as Mary, the bookish and unworldly Bennet sister; Katherine Elizabeth Kelly, as sweet eldest sister Jane; Jonas David Grey, as don’tbother-me-I’m preoccupied Mr. Bennet. One caveat. If possible, you should attend the play on a night when only lightning bugs occasionally light up the sky. It is a Howard County truth (maybe not universally, but at least locally acknowledged) that when real lightning appears overhead, all people high on the Patapsco Park hill must be evacuated to safer Ellicott City ground. The recent derecho that hit the area on June 29 occurred on the night this reviewer saw the production. About halfway into the second act, while what seemed like summer lightning blinked above, the imagined curtain came down on the performance and audience members were told they could use their ticket stubs as a rain check. I will go out on a (hopefully, still standing) limb to say the concluding words and action had to be at least as enjoyable as what preceded. The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company is rotating Pride and Prejudice with Romeo and Juliet through July 29. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $36. Children under 18 accompanied by an adult are admitted free. For more information and remaining dates of the plays, call (410) 313-8661, or go to

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H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N — A U G U S T 2 0 1 2


Quindlen reflects on aging in new book

A personal view on aging How you feel about Quindlen’s latest book probably depends on a) whether you like Quindlen’s writing to begin with (I do), and b) how you feel about yet another writer — even one as talented as Quindlen — ruminating about her life (I myself have no problem with that). If you didn’t get all the fuss about the wildly popular book-turned-film Eat, Pray, Love, this might not be up your alley ei-

ther, but if you’re an observer of your own life, you should enjoy Quindlen’s mostoften amusing, sometimes heartbreaking thoughts on where the past 60 years has brought her up to this point. As anyone familiar with Quindlen knows, her mother died when she was 19, leaving her the mother-figure to her four younger siblings which, in turn, left her convinced she never wanted to have kids of her own. That is, until she woke up one day at the age of 30, and said to her lawyerhusband, “Let’s have a baby.” It is both her early sense of loss and the joys (and accompanying travails) of motherhood that have been the central themes not only of Quindlen’s life, but of her writing as well, and this book is no different. What is different is that Quindlen has now moved on from full-time writer/fulltime mom to full-time writer with fewer “mom responsibilities,” as all three of her children are grown and seemingly successful on their own. (No boomerang kids for Quindlen, though she waxes ecstatic about the fact that they all now live in town — New York — so the family remains more or less intact.) As many an empty-nester can relate, Quindlen still feels a sense of loss, though, in the middle of the afternoon when she realizes yet again that she has no kids to pick up at school. What she does have is what many of us also now have: dismay at not being the fresh-faced 20-year-olds we once were, anxieties relating to the latest mammogram or colonoscopy, the too-early loss of close friends, and the realization that there is more behind her than in front of her.


July 25


Bring the grandkids for a fun morning viewing Dolphin’s Tale on Wednesday, July 25 at 9:45 a.m. at the Bain Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia. For more information, call (410) 313-7213.

Aug. 3+


A music appreciation program featuring a series of lectures by Professor Robert Greenberg at San Francisco Performances will be held on Friday, Aug. 3 and subsequent first and third Fridays through September 21 at the Bain Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia. For more information, call (410) 313-7213.

Aug. 14


Experience how music and meditation can improve health and spirits in this free program featuring Howard County’s Ballet Mobile on Tuesday, Aug. 14 from 10:30 -11:30 a.m. at the Bain Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia. For more information, call (410) 313-7213.

Aug. 6+


Join the Howard County Library’s Contemporary Fiction group, which meets Mondays. The Aug. 6 book discussion will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and focus on Semi-Sweet: A Novel of Love and Cupcakes by Roisin Meaney. The discussion will be at the Glenwood Branch, 2350 State Route 97, Cooksville. For more information, including future discussions, call (410) 313-5577.


By Carol Sorgen When humorist Nora Ephron died last month, the baby boomer-and-beyond generation lost one of its wittiest and most clever observers of the ups and downs of getting older (I Feel Bad About My Neck and I Remember Nothing). Fortunately, we still have Anna Quindlen, whose own sharply drawn observations have also resonated with millions of readers whose life stages have paralleled her own. In her latest memoir, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, the now-60-year-old Quindlen writes about her life and the lives of women today, as she turns her attention to the issues of middle age — marriage, girlfriends, our mothers, faith, loss and more. Quindlen is the author of five previous bestselling novels (Rise and Shine, Blessings, Object Lessons, One True Thing, Black and Blue), and seven nonfiction books (including A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Living Out Loud and How Reading Changed My Life). Her New York Times column “Public and Private” won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992. From 2000-2009, she wrote the “Last Word” column for Newsweek.

Anna Quindlen writes about the joys and challenges of growing older in her new book, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake. The Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist is the author of 12 other books.

Expanding, contracting horizons Lest you think the book is all gloom and doom, however, far from it. For the most part, Quindlen tries, not necessarily to fight aging, but to rewrite its story. Not as strong as she once was? Quindlen spent two years learning to do a headstand. She can now flip over onto her head at a moment’s notice, she’s happy to report.

Aware of the fact that, as she ages, her choices in life will narrow? “I won’t be going to medical school and becoming a surgeon,” she writes. “I’m not going to live in Italy or learn Chinese. I may have to become more thrifty and less spontaneous, may be loneSee QUINDLEN, page 29


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A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N

Saving a granddaughter from her parents Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on the edge of turning 70. Her tiple stretches in prison for each parent. Not to mention massive financial irresponhealth isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the greatest, and her bank balsibility â&#x20AC;&#x201D; loans never repaid, ance doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exactly lead the windfalls blown on weekends in league, either. Las Vegas, an $800,000 home In the best of all possible bought at the peak of the marworlds, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be closing off ket that is now (no surprise) in distractions and commitments foreclosure. and focusing on the woman Through it all, however, she sees in the mirror. Makthis dysfunctional crew has ing each day â&#x20AC;&#x153;me time.â&#x20AC;? She somehow hung together. Ashhas earned the right. ley went to school regularly. But my friend Pat, a grandmother six times over, is She avoided the bad crowd. HOW I SEE IT Her grades her OK. about to welcome her 16-yearBy Bob Levey But then Pat went out to old granddaughter, Ashley, into her home. visit over Easter. As she loves to say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;the eyes never lie.â&#x20AC;? Permanently. Ashley had sprouted tattoos all over her Ashley will move all the way across the country â&#x20AC;&#x201D; from rural Oregon to the sub- arms and shoulders. She was smoking cigurbs of New York City. She isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t eager to arettes and using foul language. She was make the jump, because sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll leave behind hanging around a young man who looked her friends, her school and her favorite as if he hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t had a bath or a square meal in a month. haunts. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take a genius to see what was Ashley will also leave behind her parents. Which is exactly the way Grandma coming next,â&#x20AC;? Pat told me. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pregnancy. A car accident. An arrest. Maybe all of the Pat wants it. Patâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s son is Ashleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s father. As Pat puts above.â&#x20AC;? So Pat decided to stage an intervention. it, â&#x20AC;&#x153;the only question in this childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life is whether my son is the worst influence on Not a kidnapping. An appeal â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to Ashleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s her, or whether her mother is.â&#x20AC;? better nature. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re talking drugs here. And alcohol. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I told her, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re heading for a bad And regular screaming matches. And mul- place,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Pat said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ask her parents for

permission to move her. I asked Ashley. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It took her a while, but she finally said yes.â&#x20AC;? The parents tried to block it. They played the card that parents always play â&#x20AC;&#x201D; weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re the people who created her, so weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re the people who should raise her. But Pat wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t having any. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how much longer I have,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not going to bed every night thinking that I could have done more to save Ashley, and didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t.â&#x20AC;? There was a titanic telephone argument one night between mother and son. Very harsh judgments were laid on the table â&#x20AC;&#x201D; most of them by Pat. She had the displeasure of telling her son that he was irresponsible and unfit to be a father. He hung up on her. But the next morning, Ashley called to say that she was coming to grandmotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s house. Neither the son nor his wife tried to stop it. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve recounted the Pat-Ashley story to several grandparents â&#x20AC;&#x201D; all in the same age range, most with the same financial and health issues that Pat has. Every single one said theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d have done what Pat did. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let a kid drift into big trouble,â&#x20AC;? said one grandfather, who is 75 and whose grandchildren are â&#x20AC;&#x153;mercifully doing fine.â&#x20AC;?

A lot more than you thought. For a lot less than you think. Welcome to the Village at Rockville, the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest value in Independent Senior Living.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is your flesh and blood,â&#x20AC;? said a grandmother, about 70, who has helped raise an autistic grandchild from birth. â&#x20AC;&#x153;How could hobbies and cruises be more important?â&#x20AC;? I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t agree more. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re talking about a potential emergency here, not about a fairy-tale family. If Pat and her son have now exploded their relationship, well, that might have been coming anyway. However, as one grandmother said to me, sometimes the situation isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t as clear as it is in Ashleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s case. What if your adult children allow the grandkids to play with their smartphones at the dinner table? What if the grandchildren donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t send thank-you notes for birthday gifts? What if the adult children undermine Grandma and Grandpa when they try to talk about the old days in the old neighborhood? Are these enough cause for a grandparent to say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Let me intervene with my grandchildren because I know better than you, even though youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re my child?â&#x20AC;? Or worse, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m done with all of you?â&#x20AC;? Pat and I discussed this on the phone the other day. Ashley arrives in a few days. Pat says she has no intention of being her granddaughterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parent. See BOB LEVEY, page 29

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Quindlen From page 27 lier and needier than I’d like… (but) I like sitting in a big chair with a long book. I like spending an hour pulling together ingredients for a stew and then staying inside all day while its aroma seeps into every corner of the house. And later on, I don’t mind dishing out a portion for myself alone and eating it while I read, my book to one side of the plate.” Of course, as some critics have written, the fact that Quindlen doesn’t have to eat alone, except when she chooses to; the fact that she has thus far escaped the illnesses and infirmities that have begun to beset so many others of her generation; the fact that she has not one, but two houses to spend her time in, may make her introspection seem like the musings of someone just a bit out of touch with those who aren’t as fortunate to be in her position. Still, Quindlen herself is very much aware — from her own personal experience — that tragedy can strike at any time. “Once my mother was gone, I was left trying to wrap my mind around the fact

Bob Levey From page 28 I have to confess that I scoffed at that. “You’ve in effect declared that she doesn’t have parents,” I told her. “Who’s going to lay down the law about curfews and studying and hygiene if you don’t?” The good news about Pat is that she still has her acid sense of humor. “Well,” she said, “I did such a fabulous job with my son that I can hardly wait to try again.” But then she added a note that every grandparent should appreciate.

that death was always lurking,” she writes in her chapter titled “Mortality.” “It was difficult, returning to college [after my mother’s death], going about the ordinary life of a 20-year-old, which is as removed from mortality as it is from the kind of domestic responsibility that had become second nature to me. “There was suddenly an unseen barrier between me and nearly everyone else. I knew the secret that was not a secret, that the molecules of the living world are always rearranging themselves so that something is lost, something is lost every day.” What readers will come away feeling is that Quindlen is more than grateful for the blessings in her life — a long, successful marriage to her college sweetheart; her three kids; and a successful career doing what she loves most. And despite the uncertainties that lie ahead, she is curious to see what comes next. “I couldn’t imagine what it would be like, this growing older. I couldn’t have imagined it would be like this. And so I say, and pray, and think again: To be continued. It’s another day, and I’m off and running. See you.”

“I think Ashley will know that I’m coming from a different place,” she said. “I just love her, that’s all. And I care. I’m expecting her to run with that.” I’m merely hoping, not expecting. Meanwhile, to Pat, I send a bouquet of virtual roses. It would be great if her 70th birthday could be like something out of a coffeetable magazine. But life has dealt her a different hand, and this wise, wonderful woman is eager to play it. Bob Levey is a national award-winning columnist.

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Aug. 24

GOSPEL CONCERT AT BAIN CENTER The Bain Gospel Choir will perform in the lobby’s center on Friday,

Aug. 24 in a free concert from 11 a.m. to noon at the Bain Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia. Light refreshments will be served. Pre-registration in the lobby is suggested. For more information, call (410) 313-7213.

Aug. 16+

TEA AND TOMES Enjoy a spot of tea with a book during this monthly library book club. On Thursday, Aug. 16 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., the group

will discuss Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson at the Miller Branch, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. For more information, call (410) 313-1950.













From page 30.

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Puzzle Page

Crossword Puzzle Daily crosswords can be found on our website: Click on Puzzles Plus Bathroom Humor by Stephen Sherr 1



















49 53



















3. Greek letter that looks like a “P” 4. “___ you can, with what you have, where you are”: Teddy Roosevelt 5. “... ___ saw Elba” 6. Soft ball 7. Banned bug spray 8. He said “Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.” 9. Permit 10. Title character who sang Put the Blame on Mame in a 1946 film 11. DiMaggio record 12. Birthday party prop 13. Indifference 18. “The boat rocked ___ side” 23. Bullet stopper 24. Inventor’s requirement 25. Under the weather 27. Result of a hung jury, sometimes 28. Blessing 30. Cluster of hair 33. Track in an LP 34. Ingredient in Total Cinnamon Crunch 35. Competed in a triathlon 37. Son of Aphrodite 38. Mourn 39. The ___ Lady (Thatcher nickname) 40. Military vehicle 41. Quiche-like 45. Vegetarian lizard 46. Drank slowly 47. Became high-strung 48. Select graduate of the Naval Academy 49. The Treasure of the ___ Madre (Bogart film) 51. Schleps 52. Group of scouts or soldiers (but not actors) 57. Urban endings 58. Astonish 61. Beatles inspiration, some say Down 62. “Oh no; a mouse!” 1. Word sung 16 times in Jumpin’ Jack Flash 63. Homophone for 62 Down (barely) 2. Fireplace residue 64. In the dumps








28 31
















Scrabble answers on p. 29.


18 20







1. Kale locale 7. Bummer, man 11. Rejuvenation location 14. Beached 15. Sandwich shop 16. Capsize 17. Delay in cleansing 19. Genetic letters 20. Sound standard, circa the 60’s 21. Olympic figure 22. Try the pie 23. AmEx alternative 26. Prepare an illustration for this puzzle 29. Chop down a treatise 30. New driver, typically 31. Give a thumbs-up 32. Min. fraction 33. Jeff ’s partner for 75 years 34. Mom and Dad’s other son 36. Shown new counter samples 42. Go bad 43. Founding member of OPEC 44. Piano piece 45. Fascinated by 48. Common street name 49. Cheap price 50. The story of how they got here 53. Like a printer’s hands 54. Coffee holder 55. Three-time hockey MVP 56. Workbench attachment 59. Ignoramus 60. What bidets grow from 65. Jackie Kennedy, ___ Bouvier 66. Geologic periods 67. State motto of California 68. Put in the secret ingredient 69. Earned a ticket 70. Curved back and forth

Answers on page 29.

Answer: What the flies passed on the movie set -- THE "SCREEN" TEST Jumbles: MUSTY RAVEN SOCKET DEVICE

H O WA R D C O U N T Y B E A C O N — A U G U S T 2 0 1 2

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Word of the Month Dear Word of the Month: I sometimes see a copy of The Beacon and enjoy your column. I’ve wondered about the word “wack.” What is wack? I know wacky means irrational. But what is “out of wack”? I use it to mean something is not right. Should I strive to be “in wack”? Thanks, A. Burke Dear A. Burke: Given the definition of out of wack, it would make sense to be “in wack.” On the other hand, wack — sometimes spelled wHack — seems like something you’d want to avoid: In the underworld, to wack is to kill. In the drug world, to be wacked is to be under the influence of a powerful substance. However, in British slang, a wacker is a friend, for sharing is to wack. Wack doesn’t seem to have derived from any other word(s). It is among those words that is onomatopoeiac, i.e, the word sounds like its definition — in this case, the noise that is made when something is struck sharply. But don’t think about this too much. Might United We Rock! make you wacky! Thanks for your comments. Hope you continue to enjoy our column and The Beacon. JPO Prepared for The Beacon Newspapers by Wizard Communications©. All rights reserved. Want to have a word/phrase or ritual/custom researched? Contact

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August 2012 Howard County Beacon Edition  

August 2012 Howard County Beacon Edition

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