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Her homes change 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.

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

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.

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.” See FOSTER HOMES, page 19

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Self-interest redefined Supposedly, we human beings are pro- tackle one of the most difficult challenges grammed for self-preservation. The prob- there is, so the granddaughter has taken the painful step of leaving her parlem is, we don’t always know ents, boyfriend and school what is really in our own best friends behind to start a new interest. life halfway across the country. For example, sometimes In some sense, this situabeing self-less is a better way tion blurs the line between to ensure our own future selfish and selfless, for while than being self-ish. I imagine we’ve all had exeach woman is denying herperiences that helped teach self the easier choice — to us this counterintuitive truth, continue living as they have but I’ve also read several artibeen — they are both also cles lately that reinforced this FROM THE acting in their self interest to conclusion for me, and I’d PUBLISHER some degree. They want to like to share them with you. By Stuart P. Rosenthal preserve their own life or that One of them is the column of a close family member. Bob Levey wrote for us this month, which A second, somewhat different, example appears in this issue on page 27. He writes of this lesson can be found in this month’s of a friend of his who has taken into her cover story. If you haven’t read yet about home one of her granddaughters (her Hattie Washington, a school administrator son’s 16-year-old daughter) because the with a big heart, I won’t be spoiling the surgirl’s parents are in and out of jail and often prise too much if I tell you that one day, she stoned, and she is showing signs of follow- brought home with her an otherwise homeless young student who had ended ing in their footsteps. The grandmother could see how her up at her office carrying all his worldly posgranddaughter’s future was being compro- sessions in a garbage bag. mised by her environment, and intervened Now I can understand taking home a because she couldn’t let herself watch what needy child for a night. But that child spent the rest of his childhood and adoleswas happening and not attempt to stop it. Just as the grandmother has chosen to in- cence with her (she adopted him). And terrupt her generally peaceful retirement to during that first year, Washington added

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The Beacon is a monthly newspaper dedicated to inform, serve, and entertain the citizens of the Greater Baltimore area, and is privately owned. Other editions serve Howard County and Greater Washington and Palm Springs, CA. Subscriptions are available via third-class mail ($12), repaid with order. MD residents add 6 percent for sales tax. Send subscription order to the office listed below. Publication of advertising contained herein does not necessarily constitute endorsement. Signed columns represent the opinions of the writers, and not necessarily the opinion of the publisher. • 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 • Contributing Editor ..........................Carol Sorgen • Graphic Designer ..............................Kyle Gregory • Advertising Representatives ............Steve Levin, ........................................................................Jill Joseph • Intern ..........................................Jacob Schaperow

The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915 (410) 248-9101 • Email: info@thebeaconnewspapers.com Submissions: The Beacon welcomes reader contributions. Deadline for editorial is the 1st of the month preceding the month of publication. Deadline for ads is the 1st of the month preceding the month of publication. See page 31 for classified advertising details. Please mail or email all submissions. © Copyright 2012 The Beacon Newspapers, Inc.

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 cover story and 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 barbara@thebeaconnewspapers.com. Please include your name, address and telephone number for verification.


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Important Product Information XIAFLEXÂŽ (ZĂŻ a flex) (collagenase clostridium histolyticum) What is the most important information I should know about XIAFLEX? XIAFLEX can cause serious side effects, including: 1. Tendon rupture or ligament damage. Receiving an injection of XIAFLEX may cause damage to a tendon or ligament in your hand and cause it to break or weaken. This could require surgery to fix the damaged tendon or ligament. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have trouble bending your injected finger (towards the wrist) after the swelling goes down or you have problems using your treated hand after your follow-up visit. 2. Nerve injury or other serious injury of the hand. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get numbness, tingling, or increased pain in your treated finger or hand after your injection or after your follow-up visit. 3. Allergic Reactions. Allergic reactions can happen in people who take XIAFLEX because it contains foreign proteins. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms of an allergic reaction after an injection of XIAFLEX: sHIVES sSWOLLENFACE sBREATHINGTROUBLE sCHESTPAIN What is XIAFLEX? XIAFLEX is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with Dupuytren’s contracture when a “cordâ€? can be felt. In people with Dupuytren’s contracture, there is thickening of the skin and tissue in the palm of your hand that is not normal. Over time, this thickened tissue can form a cord in your palm. This causes one or more of your fingers to bend toward the palm, so you can not straighten them. XIAFLEX should be injected into a cord by a healthcare provider who is skilled in injection procedures of the hand and treating people with Dupuytren’s contracture. The proteins in XIAFLEX help to “breakâ€? the cord of tissue that is causing the finger to be bent. It is not known if XIAFLEX is safe and effective in children under the age of 18. What should I tell my healthcare provider before starting treatment with XIAFLEX? XIAFLEX may not be right for you. Before receiving XIAFLEX, tell your healthcare provider if you:

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sHAVEANYOTHERMEDICALCONDITIONS sAREPREGNANTORPLANTOBECOMEPREGNANT It is not known if XIAFLEX will harm your unborn baby.

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s AREBREASTFEEDING)TISNOTKNOWNIF8)!&,%8PASSES into your breast-milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you receive XIAFLEX.

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sBLEEDINGORBRUISINGATTHEINJECTIONSITE sPAINORTENDERNESSOFTHEINJECTIONSITE or the hand

a blood thinner medicine such as aspirin, clopidogrel (PLAVIXÂŽ), prasugrel hydrochloride (EFFIENTÂŽ), or warfarin sodium (COUMADINÂŽ). If you are told to stop taking a blood thinner before your XIAFLEX injection, your healthcare provider should tell you when to restart the blood thinner.

sSWELLINGOFTHELYMPHNODESGLANDS IN the elbow or underarm

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Your healthcare provider will inject XIAFLEX into the cord that is causing your finger to bend. After an injection of XIAFLEX, your affected hand will be wrapped with a bandage. You should limit moving and using the treated finger after the injection. Do not bend or straighten the fingers of the injected hand until your healthcare provider says it is okay. This will help prevent the medicine from leaking out of the cord. Do not try to straighten the treated finger yourself. Keep the injected hand elevated until bedtime. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have: sSIGNSOFINFECTIONAFTERYOURINJECTION SUCHAS fever, chills, increased redness, or swelling sNUMBNESSORTINGLINGINTHETREATEDlNGER sTROUBLEBENDINGTHEINJECTEDlNGERAFTER the swelling goes down Return to your healthcare provider’s office as directed on the day after your injection. During this first follow-up visit, if you still have the cord, your healthcare provider may try to extend the treated finger to “break� the cord and try to straighten your finger. Your healthcare provider will provide you with a splint to wear on the treated finger. Wear the splint as instructed by your healthcare provider at bedtime to keep your finger straight.

sITCHING sBREAKSINTHESKIN sREDNESSORWARMTHOFTHESKIN

These are not all of the possible side effects with XIAFLEX. Tell your healthcare provider about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. General information about XIAFLEX Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed here. This is a summary of the most important information about XIAFLEX. If you would like more information, talk to your healthcare provider. You can ask your healthcare provider for information about XIAFLEX that is written for health professionals. For more information visit www.XIAFLEX.com or call 1-877-663-0412. Registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Š 2012 Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. For US residents only. 40 Valley Stream Parkway Malvern, PA 19355 www.auxilium.com 0412-020.b 0412-048.a


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GO NUTS Nuts offer a wealth of benefits, improving thinking, memory and diabetes REGAIN YOUR BALANCE A variety of exercises can be done at home to help improve balance IN THE SWIM OF THINGS Aquatic exercise helps arthritis, balance, sports injuries and leg swelling HELP PREVENT CANCER Join a study for those who have not had cancer to foster its prevention

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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Nuts improve thinking, memory, diabetes 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 nutri-

ents, 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 fat content, to decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, even Parkinson’s disease.

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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 omega3 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 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 alpha-linolenic acid is essential for stability of neuronal membranes, through which all

Printing drugs From page 5 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 something like Teflon, such air-sensitive reactions will become easier.

A practical example

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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 bi-

Assisted Living at Charlestown and Oak Crest offers your loved one everything she needs to live a rewarding life. Your mom will benefit from an entire community filled with great neighbors, top-notch on-site health care and lots of fun things to do.

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. 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.

Body benefits, too Pecans may slow down the rate of age-related motor degeneration. University of See HEALTHY NUTS, page 7

cycle 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

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❏ Alta at Regency Crest (see ad on page 8) ❏ Atrium Village (see ad on page 16) ❏ Bay Forest (see ad on page 17) ❏ Bentley Ridge (see ad on page 8) ❏ Charlestown Assisted Living (see ad on page 6) ❏ Charlestown Independent Living (see ad on page 22) ❏ Charlotte Hall (see ad on page 27) ❏ Glen Forest (see ad on page 17) ❏ The Meadows (see ad on page 17) ❏ Oak Crest Assisted Living (see ad on page 6) ❏ Oak Crest Independent Living (see ad on page 22) ❏ Oaks at Liberty (see ad on page 19) ❏ Park View Catonsville (see ad on page 20) ❏ Park View Dundalk(see ad on page 20) ❏ Park View Rosedale (see ad on page 20) ❏ Park View Towson (Timothy House) (see ad on page 20) ❏ Springwell Senior Living (see ad on page 19) ❏ St. Mary’s Roland View Towers (see ad on page 25) ❏ Tudor Heights (see ad on page 25) ❏ Westminster House Apts. (see ad on page 19)

I N F O R M AT I O N

He’s Always Been An Individual. Why Should His Home Care Be Any Different?

Housing Communities

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For free materials on housing communities and health studies, just complete and clip this coupon and mail or fax it to the Beacon.

Share your stories with other caregivers at this support group held the first Thursday of every month at St. Joseph Medical Center, 7601 Osler Dr., Towson. Call (410) 337-1109 for details.

MAIL OR FAX FOR FREE INFORMATION

I N F O R M AT I O N

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A panel of distinguished specialists, including a geriatric case manager, eldercare RN, elder law attorney, rehab therapist and senior move transition specialist, will discuss questions raised by children of aging parents on Tuesday, July 31 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Light buffet served. At Tudor Heights, 7218 Park Heights Ave., Baltimore. RSVP by Fri., July 27 to (866) 618-3244 (toll-free).

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I N F O R M AT I O N

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I N F O R M AT I O N

BEACON BITS

Diabetic foot exams Corns/calluses Wound/infection care Toenail fungus

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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 concentration 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 acids and bioactive substances that combat

Gentle Foot Care in Your Home

From page 6

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. 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.

I N F O R M AT I O N

Healthy nuts

7

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AUGUST 2012 — BALTIMORE BEACON

Variety of exercises can improve balance By Dr. Carmen Terzic Dear Mayo Clinic: I’m 83 years old and have osteoarthritis affecting several joints, as well as peripheral neuropathy. I’ve been in exercise programs for the past four years, but my balance seems to be getting worse. It’s difficult to stand in one spot without holding onto something. Is there any exercise that addresses such balance problems? Answer: Yes, a variety of exercises can help improve your balance. Most are simple and take no more than about 10 minutes a day. These exercises can increase your stability, help prevent falls, and en-

hance your overall fitness. With aging, balance tends to decline for a number of reasons, including deteriorating eyesight and loss of muscle mass. As in your situation, complications from other health conditions, such as osteoarthritis and peripheral neuropathy, can make good balance a challenge, too. Hearing problems or another disorder that affects your inner ears can also lead to balance problems because the inner ear plays a key role in your body’s ability to keep its balance. Balance problems are common in many older adults, and they need to be taken seriously and addressed. Poor balance can make walking and other routine daily ac-

tivities, such as putting on your shoes or going up and down stairs, difficult. It also greatly increases a person’s risk of falling and, especially in the elderly, breaking a bone or suffering another type of serious injury. That’s significant because research has shown that if an individual older than 65 falls and breaks a bone, that injury has the potential to substantially lower their life expectancy.

other activities have been associated with better balance and walking ability in older adults, including tai chi and yoga. Exercises designed to improve strength and increase muscle mass can also help balance because stronger muscles improve mobility and reduce the risk of falls. Exercises to help improve balance are critical for older adults who feel they’re losing their ability to balance well. But these exercises are also important for people of all ages and ability levels. There’s no need to wait until you have balance problems to start practicing these exercises. Everyone should make them part of an overall exercise program that includes aerobic exercise, as well as activities to maintain or improve strength and flexibility. Before beginning any new exercises, particularly when you are dealing with other health concerns, talk to your doctor. The doctor can help you determine the reasons for your imbalance and decide what’s best for your situation. In some cases, your doctor may refer you to a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist who can work with you to develop a comprehensive exercise program, as well as monitor your progress

Quick and simple exercises Exercises to help improve balance are usually simple and don’t take much time. For example, one easy exercise is moving from sitting to standing and back again in and out of a chair, first with your eyes open and then with your eyes closed. (Have someone else there to help when you close your eyes.) Another is standing on one foot, first using a chair or countertop to steady you if need be, then progressing to standing without assistance. Although these exercises are not complicated, if you do them consistently every day, they can be very effective in retraining your brain to help improve balance. As you become more confident and your balance improves, you can move on to exercises that are more complex, if you like. In addition to basic balance exercises,

See BETTER BALANCE, page 9

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The benefits of aquatic exercise, melons Q: Does exercising in water provide exercise provides enough weight bearing to special benefits? strengthen bones, but it does at least help A: Exercising in water, maintain bone mass. known as aquatic exercise, ofWater’s resistance means fers something for everyone. running in deep water will Its supportive properties espegive even more of an aerobic cially benefit people with workout without adding imarthritis, pregnancy or sports pact on your joints. You can injuries. increase the muscle- and The buoyancy of water deheart-training effects even creases painful spinal compresfurther by adding more resion (a condition that may be sistance with fitness equipcaused by injury or other disorment such as webbed gloves, der) because it can reduce how NUTRITION foam dumbbells and noodles. much weight our body puts on WISE Water’s pressure on the the spine by 50 percent in By Karen Collins, body reduces leg swelling, waist-deep water and 75 per- MS, RD, CDM decreases heart rate and imcent in chest-deep water. proves circulation. People For people with osteoporosis, with lung disease need to be water provides a place to exercise and im- cautious, however, since the increased aerprove balance with less fear of injury from obic workout in deep water may make falls. Experts disagree about whether aquatic breathing more difficult for them.

Better balance From page 8 and deal with any questions or setbacks along the way. Carmen Terzic, M.D., Ph.D., Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

Medical Edge from Mayo Clinic is an educational resource and doesn’t replace regular medical care. To submit a question, email: medicaledge@mayo.edu, or write to: Medical Edge from Mayo Clinic, c/o TMS, 2010 Westridge Dr., Irving, TX 75038. For health information, visit www.mayoclinic.com.

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Warmer water is best for arthritis, fibromyalgia or Parkinson’s disease. Cooler water minimizes multiple sclerosis symptoms and overheating in vigorous exercise, but may cause muscle cramps. Popular aquatic classes include circuit training, dance exercise, and yoga for relaxation and flexibility. Check for classes at your local YMCA or through the Arthritis Foundation which offers aquatic programs listed at www.arthritis.org. Q: How do melons like cantaloupe and watermelon rate for nutrition? A: All melons, especially cantaloupe, are excellent sources of vitamin C. A little less than a cup of cantaloupe provides an adult with half to two-thirds of current recommended amounts of vitamin C for the day.

Cantaloupe and watermelon are also rich in beta-carotene. In laboratory studies, beta-carotene seems to reduce inflammation, improve immune function, protect DNA and help control cell growth in ways that may reduce cancer risk. In addition, cantaloupe is a good source of potassium, which seems to help control blood pressure, and watermelon is an excellent source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. All this with no cooking on a hot summer day! To maximize health benefits, if the melon is uncut, keep it at room temperature for up to a week or until fully ripe, then refrigerate for up to five days. Not See NUTRITION WISE, page 11


10

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Health Studies Page

AUGUST 2012 — BALTIMORE BEACON

THE PLACE TO LOOK FOR INFORMATION ON AREA CLINICAL TRIALS

Volunteer for a cancer prevention study By Carol Sorgen The American Cancer Society’s Epidemiology Research Program is inviting men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 who have no personal history of cancer (except for basal or squamous cell skin carcinoma) to join the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3). This nationwide study will help researchers better understand the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer. (Once a person has cancer, the body has been affected by the disease, treatment, and/or lifestyle

changes as a result of the diagnosis, so they cannot take part in the study.) The first such study, CPS-1, established the link between smoking and lung cancer in the 1950s. In Maryland, the goal is to enroll 1,000 to 2,000 participants. Baltimore is one of the largest national enrollment areas. The national goal is a diverse population of up to 500,000 Americans.

Diversity of participants sought Because the genetic susceptibility to can-

Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren Are you a grandmother raising a grandchild age 4-12? Would you like to take part in a support and learning group? We are sponsoring grandparent programs and research to measure their impact. We provide compensation for interviews plus on-site babysitting and a meal during group sessions that last about 2 hrs and meet once a week for 10 weeks. For more information, call toll-free 855-462-8766. Dr. Frederick Strieder • Family Connections 1701 Madison Avenue • Baltimore, MD 21217

Do You Have Knee Arthritis and Difficulty Sleeping? Volunteers NEEDED for a Clinical Trial on New Non-drug treatment for problem sleeping Researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine are looking for volunteers to participate in a research study examining new ways of treating insomnia, in people with osteoarthritis in their knee.  To participate in this study, you must be: • At least 50 years of age OR 35 years of age and older with prior diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis • Have frequent knee pain • Interested in sleeping better  This study involves: • Sleep studies conducted in your home • Sensory testing and knee exam at Johns Hopkins • Meeting with sleep specialist to discuss ways to improve sleep • Additional optional medical tests • All examinations, parking, & tests are provided at no cost.  Compensation up to $870.00

cer can differ by race, having a diverse population to study allows researchers to examine genetic as well as lifestyle difference in relation to cancer occurrence and prevention.

Liver cancer rates, for instance, are higher in Hispanics than non-Hispanic See CANCER PREVENTION, page 11

Where to enroll in the study Sunday, Sept. 9, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Empowerment Temple, Charles Robinson Fellowship Hall, 4217 Primrose Ave. Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2 to 6 p.m. MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, Parker Center, 45601 Loch Raven Blvd. Wednesday, Sept. 12, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. MedStar Franklin Square Hospital, Conference Center B and C, 9000 Franklin Square Dr. Wednesday, Sept. 12, noon to 4 p.m. MedStar Harbor Hospital, Baum Auditorium, 3001 S. Hanover St. Wednesday, Sept. 12, 3 to 7 p.m. MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, Conference Center, 201 E. University Pkwy. Thursday, Sept. 13, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, Room L 1, 201 W. Preston St. (Note: Parking is limited. Public transportation should be utilized.) Thursday, Sept. 13, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. LifeBridge Health-Sinai Hospital, Cancer Institute Conference Room, 2401 W. Belvedere Ave.

RESEARCH STUDY PARTICIPANTS NEEDED The Johns Hopkins University is currently recruiting men and women for a study examining the relationship between sleep apnea and glucose metabolism. Eligible participants will receive a sleep study, blood test, EKG and other medical tests. Participants will be compensated up to $860 for their time. Subjects must be between 21 and 75, and in good health. Please call 410-550-4891 and ask for Kelly Devine, Project Coordinator, for more information.

The

Approved 8/16/10

Michael T. Smith, Ph.D., Principal Investigator Protocol: NA_00011802 Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Study

For information, please call (410) 550-7906

Principal Investigator: Naresh Punjabi, M.D., Ph.D. Application Number: NA_00036672

Thursday, Sept. 13, 3 to 7 p.m. Merritt Athletic Clubs – Canton, 3401 Boston St. Merritt Athletic Clubs – Security, 2076 Lord Baltimore Dr. Thursday, Sept. 13, 4 to 8 p.m. Merritt Athletic Clubs – Downtown, 210 E. Centre St. Friday, Sept. 14, 6 to 10 a.m. Merritt Athletic Clubs – Towson, 8757 Mylander Ln. Friday, Sept. 14, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. University of Maryland, Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, Patient Resource Assembly Room #S1D03, 22 S. Greene St. Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Physician Pavilion East/Conference Room A, 6565 N. Charles St. LifeBridge Health – Northwest Hospital, Education Center, 5401 Old Court Rd. Friday, Sept. 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Merritt Athletic Clubs – Owings Mills, 9710 Groff’s Mill Dr. Saturday, Sept. 15, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. MedStar Franklin Square, Room 1, 9000 Franklin Square Dr.

Breast cancer survivors between the ages of 45-80 years needed to participate in a diet and exercise research study. Work with doctors, dieticians and exercise physiologists to change your diet and physical activity to help improve your fitness. Includes cardiac, diabetes, and blood pressure risk evaluation. No diet drugs. If you are interested, please call U. of MD-BVAMC 410-605-7179, mention code: breast cancer.


BALTIMORE BEACON — AUGUST 2012

Nutrition Wise From page 9 only will the melon get better tasting, research on uncut watermelon shows that lycopene and beta-carotene content may increase during room temperature storage. Refrigerate cut melon in a tightly covered container and use within five days. Vitamin C and carotenoid content will drop only a little if at all during that time, so don’t hesitate to buy a whole melon rather than partial pieces to keep your grocery bill lower. Q: Is there a difference between seltzer, club soda and tonic? A: All three drinks are clear and fizzy,

Cancer prevention From page 10 whites, and CPS-3 provides a means to help scientists understand why. Rates of obesity are also increasing in U.S. Hispanic populations (as well as most other populations) and it has been proven that obesity is related to various types of cancer. Similarly, African American men have a higher incidence of prostate cancer compared to white men and the reasons are unclear. CPS-3 will allow researchers to better understand why. The incidence and death rate from lung cancer is also higher in African American men than white men. This is partly due to the fact that the types and amount of cigarettes African Americans smoke differ somewhat from those smoked by whites, but requires more research like that which will be conducted through CPS-3. The incidence of breast cancer in women under the age of 40 is higher in African American women than white women, and CPS-3 will help researchers understand why. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to participate in lifesaving cancer research,” said Gloria Jetter Crockett, American Cancer Society state vice president. “In order to reach the enrollment targets, we need passionate people who are committed to fighting cancer.” Participants will have a waist measurement taken and give a small blood sample.

but there are differences. Tonic water is the clear standout because it is the only one with calories. Despite the slight bitter taste from added quinine, it is a sugar-sweetened drink with almost as many calories as regular cola. Diet tonic is available with zero-calories because of artificial sweeteners. Seltzer is a zero-calorie drink because it is simply water fizzed up with carbon dioxide. Sodium content is essentially zero. Club soda is similar to seltzer, except for various “salts” added to enhance flavor. In this case, “salts” does not refer only to sodium chloride (table salt), but to a variety of different mineral mixtures, that may

They will also complete a comprehensive survey and follow-up surveys every few years.

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be sodium-, potassium- or magnesiumbased. Therefore, sodium content of club soda varies among brands. An eight-ounce glass may contain as little as 10 milligrams of sodium, which is negligible, or as much as 80 mg. Even the latter isn’t a lot out of a daily maximum of 1500 or 2300 mg. (depending on your age and health), but if you drink it frequently, it can add up. The American Institute for Cancer Re-

11

search offers a Nutrition Hotline, 1-800843-8114, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. This free service allows you to ask questions about diet, nutrition and cancer. A registered dietitian will return your call, usually within three business days. Courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research. Questions for this column may be sent to “Nutrition Wise,” 1759 R St., NW, Washington, DC 20009. Collins cannot respond to questions personally.

Diabetes Research Study 50-80 year old men & women with Type 2 Diabetes are needed to participate in an exercise research study at the University of Maryland/Baltimore VA Medical Center. Call 410-605-7179. Mention code: EPC-DM.

How to take part Those interested in participating will make an appointment at one of 15 sites in Baltimore City and Baltimore County between Sept. 9 and 15 (see box on page 10 for details). After scheduling the enrollment appointment, participants will receive a confirmation email with instructions to go online and complete the first, most comprehensive survey. This survey will ask questions regarding medications, family history of cancer, lifestyle and other behaviors and will take approximately 45 to 60 minutes to complete. At your appointment, participants will be asked to sign an informed consent, complete a brief survey, and provide a waist circumference measurement and a small blood sample (similar to a doctor’s visit). The blood sample will be taken by a certified, trained phlebotomist. The appointment should last approximately 20 to 30 minutes. At home, participants will receive periodic follow-up surveys, which will ask for information on lifestyle, behaviors and other factors related to their health. Participants will also receive annual newsletters about ongoing research. For more information or to volunteer, visit www.cancer.org/cps3 or call toll free 1-888-604-5888.

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

CALL TODAY!

STUDIES ON ANEMIA Are you 65 years or older? Have you been recently diagnosed with anemia? OR Have you had anemia in the past? en you may be interested in: “THE JOHNS HOPKINS registry of older adults with anemia” • Several new research studies are being designed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University specifically for older adults with anemia. • By volunteering to join our anemia registry, you will be kept up to date on anemia research studies that match your situation.

Call us at 410-550-2113 to join the Anemia Registry today! We can conduct the study in your home. No travel is required. If you choose to come to Bayview to participate, your parking will be paid.

We look forward to hearing from you! Principal Investigator: Dr. Jeremy Walston, MD. IRB application No: NA_00035307


12

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AUGUST 2012 — BALTIMORE BEACON

Do I have a new condition or a side effect? Dear Pharmacist: I’ve recently developed minor numbness and tingling in my hands. Could it be a side effect my medications? I’m scared of what else could cause this. — S.L. Dear S.L.: Oh boy, l love talking about side effects. Obviously, consult your doctor to rule out other causes, but the simple answer is “Yes!”

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Most practitioners today are not aware that side effects are often the result of drug nutrient depletions, which I call the “drug mugging” effect. Numerous drugs can cause deficiencies of necessary nutrients. The most popular offenders are diabetes drugs, estrogencontaining hormones, antacids/acid blockers and steroids. Nutrient deficiencies caused by such drugs may cause numbness and tingling in your extremities, and a host of other

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If you’re missing any permanent adult teeth, it reducing bone loss. And if well maintained, can definitely feel that way sometimes. Eating any replacement will look great, feel natural mouth-watering, delicious foods can be more and last a long time. of a pain than it’s worth. Call Dr. Kellner at 410-321-1100 to discuss Replacing missing teeth can make eating what options are best for you. Then make enjoyable again. It will also help retain the reservations at your favorite restaurant and natural shape of your face and jaw line by prepare to eat with abandon!

fects before you take the first dose. plaguing disorders. You need to educate yourself, because I’m happy to say this concept has gained drugs are tested in relatively traction in the medical commuhealthy individuals, not in avernity, partly because I’ve been age folks who usually takes hammering it in the media for multiple meds and deal with 13 years and also because I pubseveral major health concerns. lished a book on it called Drug Also note: side effects Muggers, now available worlddon’t always develop immediwide in several languages. ately. For example, the lowIf you experience uncomered thyroid hormone that fortable side effects at any women typically experience time, make a phone call to from oral contraceptives your physician and pharmacould take up to a year to cist. That’s what we’re here DEAR PHARMACIST show up as they become infor. By Suzy Cohen creasingly fatigued, overThere’s another layer to weight, cold, uninterested in consider. We all have unique genetic SNPs (pronounced snips, standing sex, depressed or anxious. That’s because for single-nucleotide polymorphisms) in the medicine gradually depletes essential our DNA code that cause us to process nutrients that support healthy mood, memedications, foods and nutrients a little tabolism and libido. If you don’t know to explore drug mugdifferently from one another. For example, most autistic children and ging side effects as the cause, before you 20 percent of the general population are know it you’re on three other medications poor “methylators” and thus need a nutri- for what is just a nutrient deficiency. My point is that side effects are mistaktional helping hand, usually folic acid. Vitamin B6, B12 (methylcobalamin), and enly diagnosed as new major illnesses. In my world, these “diseases” are side effects SAMe are useful, too. Your particular SNPs or sluggish enzy- until proven otherwise. Your side effect solutions are in my matic pathways explain varied individual reactions among people. The picture in- book Drug Muggers (sold online and at cludes delayed metabolism, chronic nutri- book sellers nationwide). Also, I routinely ent deficiencies, or hypersensitivity to post free information at my website (www.dearpharmacist.com) and on Facemedicines. I was reminded of this when a friend re- book as a public service. This information is opinion only. It is not quired emergency treatment from a relatively innocuous antibiotic, but did perfect- intended to treat, cure or diagnose your conly fine on a strong steroid that knocks dition. Consult with your doctor before using any new drug, herb or supplement. most people for a loop. Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist For your safety, read the medication leaflet that comes with your receipt at the and the author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist pharmacy. Ask your doctor and especially and Real Solutions from Head to Toe. To your pharmacist about potential side ef- contact her, visit www.dearpharmacist.com.

Looking for a Skilled Nursing/Rehab Facility? Here is just some of what we offer. Orthopedic Surgery Rehab • Cardiac Surgery Rehab Dialysis and TPN therapies for Long-term care • Therapy Gym Mental health wing for younger people • New Renovations New Fine Dining Program • Family Reception Areas TV, cable, wireless Internet • Private bathrooms • Social events Locked dementia and Alzheimer's care • Buffet style dining Private bathrooms • Private and 2 person-only rooms Call Julie today to schedule your personal tour today 410-979-4822.

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BALTIMORE BEACON — AUGUST 2012

13

Getting along with old and new friends Dear Solutions: for bringing up things they’ve experienced An old friend of mine recently moved in the past and would enjoy discussing. into my community. I’ve When you meet with her been trying to include her in alone, try to give her a chance activities with other people to talk about things — like sihere, but it’s hard and a litlence, perhaps — that make tle embarrassing because her feel nervous and that she she talks too much. may need to explore with a Whatever subject comes therapist. Her need to talk up, she starts talking about there can really help her. her experiences and goes Dear Solutions: on and on. I don’t want to After a lot of slow pracshut her out, but how can I tice, I now go for a brisk deal with this before no one SOLUTIONS walk ever y morning. I’ve wants to be in her company? By Helen Oxenberg, really built it up to a defi— Irene MSW, ACSW nite speed, which helps to Dear Irene: start my day. You don’t have to shut her out in order Now my neighbor, who has never to shut her up. When she starts to tell a done walks, has asked if she could story, try to cut in from time to time men- join me. I’m in a bind. I like her, but I tioning that, oh, that happened to you also. know she will slow me down and I’ll Then turn to the group and ask if any of lose the gains I’ve made. them have ever had that experience. I don’t want to insult her, but I don’t That way you will give others a chance know how to tell her. She moved in reto talk about themselves and their experi- cently, and she doesn’t know many peoences. They may actually come to like her ple. How do I handle this?

— Meg Dear Meg: In other words, how do you walk away from this without stepping on her ego? Well, you can walk around this by stepping lightly but honestly. Tell her that, although you would love her company, you consider your walk as part of your health requirement, and you can’t slow down or it won’t work. However, since you would really like to spend time with her, try to make a lunch

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 helox72@comcast.net. To inquire about reprint rights, call (609) 655-3684.

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AUGUST 2012 — BALTIMORE BEACON

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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.

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 FabulesslyFrugal.com, 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 Coupons.com, RedPlum.com, SmartSource.com and CouponNetwork.com. Over the last six months, manufacturers

have been putting more coupons on their Facebook pages, according to Joanie Demer, who runs TheKrazyCouponLady.com 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 (FabulesslyFrugal.com, TheKrazyCouponLady.com and MoneySavingAmanda.com), but also check out ExtremeSavingsWithDivaDesirae.com and MoneySavingMom.com I found a $3 coupon for 10 Smart Ones frozen meals and a $1.50 coupon for the Seventh Generation detergent through TheKrazyCouponLady.com. Check store rules, coupons and weekly ads. FabulesslyFrugal.com 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 TheKrazyCouponLady.com. 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 15

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 moneypower@kiplinger.com. For more on this and similar money topics, visit www.Kiplinger.com. © 2012 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance


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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 In-

Couponing From page 14 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

vestment 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 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, my 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

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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.

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 mature 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

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 www.westgaarder.com to Arrange a FREE/No Obligation Initial Consultation

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AUGUST 2012 — BALTIMORE BEACON

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.

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.

Be prepared for risk 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.

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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 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 See INDIA, page 17

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India From page 16 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 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 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

17

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

BEACON BITS

Aug. 13

RESUME WRITING WORKSHOP

The Rosedale branch of the Baltimore County Public Library will offer a resume writing workshop on Monday, Aug. 13, at 6 p.m. Learn tips and tricks for creating a successful resume or bring your current resume for an expert critique. The library is located at 6102 Kenwood Ave. For more information, call (410) 887-0512.

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Aug. 23

SIMPLE ESTATE PLAN

Simplicity Plan provides the guidance needed to organize, document and store all the important information your loved ones will need to care for you and your estate at this free workshop from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23. This plan covers making healthcare decisions, taking your financial inventory, estate planning, funeral wishes, and leaving a lasting legacy. The workshop will be held at Reisterstown Senior Center, 12035 Reisterstown Rd., Reisterstown. For more information, call (410) 887-2002.

Ongoing

LEGAL AID FOR SENIORS

Maryland Legal Aid provides a full range of civil legal services to financially qualified Marylanders and people over 60 through 13 offices around the state. For more information, visit www.mdlab.org.

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AUGUST 2012 — BALTIMORE BEACON

Careers Volunteers &

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

Volunteers help all ages maximize abilities By Carol Sorgen As Executive Director of Play Keepers, Inc., which provides before- and afterschool programs at a number of schools throughout Baltimore County, Maxine Seidman has had a longstanding interest in the welfare of children. It’s not surprising then that when it comes to her volunteer activities, children have played a leading role as well. As a member of the board of directors of the Abilities Network, Seidman, who is 74, takes an active part in organizing activities and services that support both children and adults with disabilities.

Looking at abilities According to Seidman, the mission of

Abilities Network is to “see abilities, not disabilities,” which leads to increased independence. The organization provides customized services to children, adults and seniors to promote more inclusive communities, and also offers extensive training opportunities for families, child care providers, teachers, and community members with the goal of fostering inclusion. The children, adults and families served, Seidman explained, are affected by a variety of factors, including a diagnosed disability, lack of environmental supports, low-socioeconomic levels, and limited knowledge about resources and/or the capacity to access them.

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Seidman encourages others to become involved with Abilities Network as well. Volunteers are needed to assist in the planning and execution of special events and to serve on the board of directors, donating their time, sharing their expertise and creating collaborations in support of Abilities Network. Abilities Network grew out of the Epilepsy Association of Maryland, which was established in 1964. As time progressed, the organization began providing services to individuals with varying types of disabilities and was incorporated as the Abilities Network in 2000. It still works closely with the Epilepsy Foundation of the Chesapeake Region, (EFCR). More than 21,000 people are served statewide through numerous programs and services available to individuals diagnosed with varying disabilities and to families at risk. The organization’s current programs include autism services; epilepsy services; Healthy Families of Baltimore County (a part of Healthy Families America, a national initiative that works with new mothers to develop positive parenting practices); Project ACT (an acronym for All Children Together, which provides child care centers, Head Start programs, family care providers, and preschool to elementary school classrooms with support); and the

most recent addition, senior services.

The new senior program The new Senior Services Department consists of move management and a speaker series. The fee-based management provides personalized relocation services that include planning, de-cluttering, coordinating and re-settling in to a new space. The Senior Speaker Series offers a variety of topics related to retirement, housing, safety and more. Topics are geared toward seniors, adult children and/or caregivers, and are held at Abilities Network’s Towson Office at 8503 LaSalle Rd. All are free of charge. Abilities Network board members not only plan activities but get a first-hand look at the services the organization provides. Seidman, for example, recently took part in a ride-along, where she accompanied a young man with disabilities as he looked for a job and a place to live so that he could move out of his parents’ home. “I’m involved because I’m so impressed with everything Abilities Network does,” said Seidman. One of the upcoming events Seidman and the other board members have worked on is the annual “Walkabout AbiliSee VOLUNTEERS, page 19

BEACON BITS

Ongoing This full-time, inside sales position pays a base salary plus commissions and benefits. We’re looking for a hard-working, detail-oriented people person. Must be outgoing, love selling, be comfortable with computers, e-mail and contact management software (such as ACT!), and be willing to follow direction, complete required paperwork, and work from our office in Kensington, MD. Inside sales or telemarketing experience a plus. If you love the Beacon — and would be excited to call potential advertisers — send your resume and cover letter to Alan Spiegel, Director of Sales, at: alan@theBeaconNewspapers.com.

The Beacon Newspapers, Inc. • 3720 Farragut Ave., #105 • Kensington, MD 20895

HELP HEARTLAND HOSPICE

Join the team at Heartland Hospice as it strives to make its patients’ lives more comfortable and meaningful. Volunteers visit patients, read, listen, play music, do crafts and provide much-needed respite time for caregivers. Volunteers receive 16 hours of training, followed by ongoing guidance and support. When training is complete, volunteers are assigned to patients in the area of their choice. To learn more, visit www.hcr-manorcare.com.

Ongoing

CASA RECRUITING PARTICIPANTS FOR CHARITY TEAM

Maryland CASA Association is recruiting 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 www.GoTeamCASA.org or contact Maryland CASA at (410) 8286761 to register by mail.


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BALTIMORE BEACON — AUGUST 2012

Foster homes From page 1 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

Volunteers From page 18 ties,” which will be held Sept. 30 at Goucher College. “Walkabout Abilities brings individuals, families and the community together to support individuals living with disabilities in Maryland,” said Tracy L. Pruitt, director of McGladrey & Pullen, LLP, who will serve as the event chair. “This signature event helps Abilities Network continue to provide quality services to those individuals and families in need.” Last year’s Walkabout Abilities drew more than 350 people and raised more than $45,000. Throughout its five-year his-

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 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, overtory, the event has raised $324,000. On-site registration starts at 8:30 a.m. Following welcome remarks and warm-up exercises, the two-mile walk around the campus will begin at 9:30 a.m. After the walk, there will be refreshments and entertainment. Early registration, before Aug. 1, is $10 for ages 12 and up and $5 for children under 12. After Aug. 1, the cost is $15 for ages 12 and up and $10 for children under 12. Admission is free for children 3 and under. To register for the walk, or for more information about volunteer opportunities with Abilities Network, visit www.abilitiesnetwork.org, call (410) 828-7700 ext. 1229, or email ldunn@abilitiesnetwork.org.

size 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. 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.

19

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. See FOSTER HOMES, page 20

Westminster House Apartments • Affordable housing for Seniors • In the heart of Mount Vernon • Only steps from the theater, library, churches, shopping and restaurants • Next door to The Walters Art Gallery

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Foster homes From page 19 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 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

AUGUST 2012 — BALTIMORE BEACON

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.

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 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.

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EEEP-&$.Q>(E+(%><$0>,>%?P'<D Call the community nearest you to inquire about eligibility requirements and to arrange a personal tour or email seniorliving@sheltergrp.com. Professionally managed by The Shelter Group. www.thesheltergroup.com

“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 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 http://aunthattie.homestead.com or call (410) 367-2472.

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MENTOR A TEENAGER

Volunteer with Icouldbe.org — an award-winning online mentoring program connecting middle and high school students from diverse communities with mentors from across the country. Since 2000, icouldbe.org has used a researchbacked curriculum to help over 25,000 students discover their passions and take action to realize their career and educational goals. For more information on becoming a mentor, visit www.icouldbe.org.

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TOUR GUIDES NEEDED AT CLIFTON PARK

Tour guides are needed for Clifton Mansion, the summer estate of Johns Hopkins. Learn about and share stories of this “home of service,” including the War of 1812 Horse Artillery Exhibit, the Italianate Mansion, views of Clifton Park and Baltimore from the mansion’s tower, and current civic works service programs. Training is provided. To learn more, visit www.civicworks.com/mansion.


BALTIMORE BEACON — AUGUST 2012

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Leisure &

Living large at the Mall of America. See story on p. 22.

High-tech gambling at Maryland’s casinos

PHOTO COURTESY OF MARYLAND LIVE!

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

PHOTO COURTESY OF HOLLYWOOD CASINO

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 www.Myliveonlinecasino.com, 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 23


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AUGUST 2012 — BALTIMORE BEACON

Live large in Minnesota, from mall to lake inside the mall. Walk past all the stores in the mall and you’ll log 4.3 miles on your pedometer. Eight acres of skylights bring in natural light.

Getting your bearings Given the Mall of America’s outsize dimensions, it’s surprisingly easy to navigate. The four floors form a rectangle around Nickelodeon Universe, and each side of the rectangle is logically labeled, north, south, east or west. Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Sears anchor each of the mall’s corners. Armed with a mall map, it’s relatively simple to look up, say, Coldwater Creek women’s clothing store and see it’s at S166, meaning it’s on the first floor’s southfacing corridor of stores. If you want to go to Victoria’s Secret or Kay Jewelers, it can get a little tricky because there are two locations for each store, perhaps because some visitors pick a sector of the mall to tackle rather than wander the whole thing. If you crave something from Caribou Coffee, you’ll have four locations to choose from on three floors. There are even two Mall of America gift stores, featuring everything from T-shirts to magnets emblazoned with the mall’s logo. From this sampling, it’s clear that the mall is overwhelmingly populated by chain

YOUR ODDS OF GETTING STUCK WITH ANOTHER HOUSE REPAIR THIS YEAR?

PHOTO BY BARBARA RUBEN

By Barbara Ruben From intrepidly trekking past all 520 stores in the behemoth Mall of America to hiking a solitary trail along the cliffs overlooking Lake Superior’s frigid waters, I like to think of my vacation trip as a tale of two Minnesotas. First, get your fill of the country’s largest shopping mall — an attraction located in the suburbs of Minneapolis and visited by more than 40 million shoppers each year. Then head three hours north to the small towns beyond Duluth, where quiet and wildlife reign. Located in Bloomington, just a few miles from the Minneapolis International Airport, the mall is a monument to conspicuous consumption. It’s also filled with myriad activities even for those who have no interest in shopping till they drop. Among the ticketed attractions are Nickelodeon Universe — one of the world’s largest indoor theme parks, with three roller coasters — and the SeaLife Minnesota aquarium, where more than 10,000 sea creatures swim through the mall’s lower level. A full 18-hole miniature golf course is located on the third floor near one of the mall’s three food courts, while a 14-screen movie theater is on the mall’s top (fourth) floor. The mall’s sheer size is astounding: More than 250 Statues of Liberty could lie

stores, many of which you can find right at home. But there are some stores carrying local crafts and tastes, including Minnesota Bound, Minnesotah! and Mystic Lake Casino Store. A couple nostalgia stores are also fun to browse. Bettie Page carries new, vintage-look, 1950s-style clothing, with a lot of slim-belted dresses with circle skirts, offthe-shoulder peasant blouses and crinolines. There are only five other locations of the store around the country. A Simpler Time has vintage art, décor and gifts. This is a place to find a tin sign advertising Aunt Bee’s kitchen from the Andy Griffith show, or a replica of the original Candyland game from the 1950s. And you won’t go hungry here. More than 50 The Split Rock Lighthouse perches on a 130-foot-high restaurants ring the mall. cliff above the rocky shores of Lake Superior in northern Again, they’re mostly Minnesota. Visitors can climb to the top of the 103-yearchains, such as Ruby old lighthouse and hike to the lakeshore below. Tuesday, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Rainforest Cafe. But a few turtles, rays, jellyfish, seahorses and more. Thanks to a unique 300-foot-long glass locals have sneaked in, including Twin City Grill, which focuses on steaks, tunnel, visitors can walk literally through the aquarium, getting a nearly 360-degree seafood and hickory barbecue. While the orange and blue-hued Nick- view as giant sea turtles, sharks and thouelodeon theme park is a big hit with kids, sands of fish swim above and on both sides the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium has its of their two-legged visitors. own allure. Located in the lower level of the See MINNESOTA, page 25 mall, the aquarium is home to sharks, sea

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WITH RETIREMENT LIVING AT OAK CREST AND CHARLESTOWN:

Aug. 26

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EVENT BENEFITS SENIOR CENTERS Take part in the Baltimore County Dept. of Aging 5K Walk/Run

on Sunday, August 26, at 8 a.m. at the Johnny Unitas Stadium, Towson University. Entry fee is $10 for seniors. Proceeds help the department’s fitness programs. Sign up at your local senior center.

Ongoing

TRAVEL HELP FOR THOSE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS Travel Training is a free service provided by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) in partnership with the IMAGE Center for

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BALTIMORE BEACON — AUGUST 2012

Casinos From page 21 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. Welcome 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

Submit a letter to the editor. See page 2.

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., www.marylandlivecasino.com. 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 http://mta.maryland.gov/ride-mta-maryland-live. 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., www.hollywoodcasinoperryville.com. 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 http://www.hollywoodcasinoperryville.com/~/media/Perryville/Documents/harfordtealroute.ashx. Glenda C. Booth is a freelance writer in Alexandria, Va.

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

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BALTIMORE BEACON — AUGUST 2012

Minnesota From page 22

A really great lake Once you’ve had your fill of the biggest mall in America, it’s time to visit the largest of the five Great Lakes. Beyond the urban sprawl of Minneapolis and St. Paul, the 165mile drive to Duluth at the southwestern edge of Lake Superior is fairly traffic-free. We didn’t stop in Duluth, but if you’re a Bob Dylan fan, you might want to. Dylan was born in Duluth in 1941 and spent the first six years of his life there. The city capitalizes on that claim to fame with a “path” that guides visitors to important sites from the singer’s earliest years, including his first home. See http://visitduluth.com/email/pics/BobDylansDuluthTour2011.pdf. Then take Highway 61 (of Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” fame) north out of town toward the small towns along the shores of Lake Superior. Be sure to get on the scenic Old Highway 61 just north of Duluth to travel along the Lake Superior shoreline, rather than the quicker, but far more prosaic, regular Highway 61. At some points, the lake splashes up to rocky beaches; at others, it lies 50 feet or more down steep cliffs. We stopped at a stony beach, where children jumped into the water and right back out over and over, reveling in the contrast between the bone-chilling water that persists even in August and the 80-degree air temperature. The average surface temperature of Lake Superior is 55 degrees in the summer, and the record surface temperature was set in 2010 at 68.3 degrees. So swimming in the lake is only for the hardy. Even wading can be painful, between the cold water and often sharp stones at the bottom. But even though Lake Superior’s waters may be inhospitable for all but the bravest, it offers gorgeous views: vistas of pristine blue water surrounded by rocky outcroppings,

with massive ships chugging to the industrial harbors and lighthouses perched on cliffs far above the water. We stayed in the small town of Two Harbors, about 30 miles north of Duluth, and explored the nearby areas. Settled in the mid-1800s, Two Harbors began shipping iron ore from local mines on gigantic lakers (freight ships) in 1884. Thousand-foot-long ships still sail into Agate Bay to be loaded. The Two Harbors Lighthouse is the oldest operating light station in Minnesota — and part of it serves as a bed and breakfast operated by the Light County Historical Society. Visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse for a good view of the harbors.

On the way, you’ll pass picnic tables and outbuildings constructed by the Public Works Administration during the Depression. A paved bike trail will eventually cover the 88 miles from Two Harbors north to Grand Marais. About 25 miles of the GitchiGami Trail is already complete and another five miles will be finished this summer. The trail takes its name from the Ojibwa name for Lake Superior, meaning “big water.” In the Two Harbors area, the trail runs for several miles along the cliffs above Lake Superior and picks up again for 14 miles near the state parks. From big water to big mall, a visit to Minnesota’s two behemoths offers something for everyone.

Lighthouses and waterfalls Lighthouse buffs will also want to visit Split Rock Light House State Park in Beaver Bay, 18 miles north of Two Harbors. The century-old lighthouse sits on the top of a 130-foot cliff. Hike down the shore of Lake Superior for a very photogenic view of the lighthouse from below. Visitors can tour the lighthouse and keeper’s house and learn about the wreck of the freighter, the Edmund Fitzgerald, which faced a ferocious winter storm with hurricane-strength winds in 1975 after sailing out of Duluth on its way to Detroit. All 29 crew members perished. A Gordon Lightfoot song about the tragedy climbed to the top of the music charts in 1976. Four miles south of Split Rock Light House State Park, Gooseberry Falls State Park offers a mini Niagara with rushing falls that are easily accessible from a paved path. On our trip there last year, the falls were picturesque, but nothing like the mighty torrent after record rains fell in late June this year, with the Gooseberry River rushing over footbridges and rising above the steps we had walked down to visit the falls. Continue hiking for a mile beyond the falls to a secluded cove on Lake Superior.

Tuesday, July 31, 6:30-8:30 pm

A Panel Discussion for Children of

Aging Parents Reserve now for this free Q&A with distinguished specialists including a geriatric case manager, eldercare RN, elder law attorney, rehab therapists, senior move transition specialist. Light buffet served. RSVP by Fri, July 27. Call 866-618-3244

If you go To learn more, check the website of the Two Harbors Chamber of Commerce at www.twoharborschamber.com and click on the visitors bureau tab or call (218) 834-6200. We stayed at the Superior Shores Resort and Conference Center, a sprawling woodsided complex overlooking Lake Superior just north of Two Harbors. The resort has a variety of motel rooms, suites with kitchens and fireplaces, and fully equipped homes for rent. Summer rates range from $99 to $299 per

night, depending on the size of the accommodations. For more information, see www.superiorshores.com or call 1-800-242-1988. The Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast features four rooms in the Two Harbors Light Station, built in 1892. Rates of $109 to $179 per night include full breakfast and help fund the lighthouse’s preservation. For more information: www.lighthousebb.org or 1-888-832-5606. Get more information about the Mall of America and all its attractions, including the aquarium and Nickelodeon theme park and ticket prices, at www.mallofamerica.com or call (952) 883-8800. Numerous chain motels can be found within a mile of the mall. Most offer shuttle bus service, which comes in handy on the way back after walking around the mall all day. But be sure to check the schedule because some motel buses run infrequently. We stayed in the Comfort Inn for $99 a night, which includes breakfast. An Outback Steakhouse is attached to the hotel. For more information, see www.comfortinn.com or call (952) 854-3400. Currently, the lowest early August roundtrip airfare to Minneapolis from from BWI Marshall Airport is $342 on American Airlines.

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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 either, 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 writ-

© JOYCE RAVID

By Carol Sorgen When humorist Nora Ephron died in June, 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.

ing 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 See QUINDLEN, page 29


BALTIMORE BEACON — AUGUST 2012

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27

Saving a granddaughter from her parents She’s on the edge of turning 70. Her er. As she loves to say, “the eyes never lie.” Ashley had sprouted tattoos all over her health isn’t the greatest, and her bank balarms and shoulders. She was ance doesn’t exactly lead the smoking cigarettes and using league, either. foul language. She was hangIn the best of all possible ing around a young man who worlds, she’d be closing off looked as if he hadn’t had a distractions and commitments bath or a square meal in a and focusing on the woman month. she sees in the mirror. Mak“It didn’t take a genius to ing each day “me time.” She see what was coming next,” has earned the right. Pat told me. “Pregnancy. A But my friend Pat, a grandcar accident. An arrest. mother six times over, is HOW I SEE IT Maybe all of the above.” about to welcome her 16-yearBy Bob Levey So Pat decided to stage an inold granddaughter, Ashley, tervention. Not a kidnapping. An appeal — into her home. to Ashley’s better nature. Permanently. “I told her, ‘You’re heading for a bad Ashley will move all the way across the country — from rural Oregon to the suburbs place,’” Pat said. “I didn’t ask her parents for of New York City. She isn’t eager to make the permission to move her. I asked Ashley. “It took her a while, but she finally said jump, because she’ll leave behind her friends, yes.” her school and her favorite haunts. The parents tried to block it. They Ashley will also leave behind her parents. Which is exactly the way Grandma played the card that parents always play — we’re the people who created her, so we’re Pat wants it. Pat’s son is Ashley’s father. As Pat puts the people who should raise her. But Pat wasn’t having any. “I don’t know it, “the only question in this child’s life is whether my son is the worst influence on how much longer I have,” she said. “But I’m not going to bed every night thinking her, or whether her mother is.” We’re talking drugs here. And alcohol. that I could have done more to save AshAnd regular screaming matches. And mul- ley, and didn’t.” There was a titanic telephone argument tiple stretches in prison for each parent. Not to mention massive financial irrespon- one night between mother and son. Very sibility — loans never repaid, windfalls blown harsh judgments were laid on the table — on weekends in Las Vegas, an $800,000 home most of them by Pat. She had the displeasbought at the peak of the market that is now ure of telling her son that he was irresponsible and unfit to be a father. He hung up (no surprise) in foreclosure. Through it all, however, this dysfunc- on her. But the next morning, Ashley called to tional crew has somehow hung together. Ashley went to school regularly. She avoid- say that she was coming to grandmother’s house. Neither the son nor his wife tried to ed the bad crowd. Her grades her OK. But then Pat went out to visit over East- stop it.

BEACON BITS

July 21

I’ve recounted the Pat-Ashley story to several grandparents — all in the same age range, most with the same financial and health issues that Pat has. Every single one said they’d have done what Pat did. “You can’t let a kid drift into big trouble,” said one grandfather, who is 75 and whose grandchildren are “mercifully doing fine.” “This is your flesh and blood,” said a grandmother, about 70, who has helped raise an autistic grandchild from birth. “How could hobbies and cruises be more important?” I couldn’t agree more. We’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 isn’t as clear as it is in Ashley’s case. What if your adult children allow the grandkids to play with their smartphones at the dinner table? What if the grandchildren don’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, “Let me intervene with my

grandchildren because I know better than you, even though you’re my child?” Or worse, “I’m done with all of you?” 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 granddaughter’s parent. 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. “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.

SERVING

THOSE WHO

SERVED AND THEIR ELIGIBLE NON-VET SPOUSES

LITERARY MT. VERNON WALKING TOUR

The Maryland Humanities Council offers a free 90-minute educational tour that explores Mt. Vernon’s past, looking into the lives and works of Baltimore’s most famous literary figures. The tour leaves from Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral St., at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 21. Call (410) 685-4186 or visit www.mtvernonlitwalk/eventbrite.com for more information.

Cars, boats, furniture, antiques, tools, appliances Everything and anything is sold on

Radio Flea Market

800-522-VETS www.charhall.org

Heard every Sunday, 6:30-8 a.m. on 680 WCBM skilled nursing // assisted living // rehabilitation // alzheimer's care // respite care


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Quindlen From page 26 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.

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 lonelier 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 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.

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“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.”

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AUGUST 2012 — BALTIMORE BEACON

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

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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

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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


BALTIMORE BEACON — AUGUST 2012

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NEED REAL ESTATE HELP?...Buying or selling? Call an understanding expert – Long & Foster R.E. ‘Specially for Seniors group. Joan Hemingway-Mezoff 410-825-6400 or 410-4463658, EHO, Realtor.

ATTEND COLLEGE ONLINE from Home. *Medical, *Business, *Criminal Justice, *Hospitality. Job placement assistance. Computer available. Financial Aid if qualified. Call 800494-3586 www.CenturaOnline.com.

BUYING NUMISMATIC COINS and most gold or silver items including coins, sterling, jewelry, etc. Will come to you with best cash offer. Call Paul: 410-756-1906.

OWNER WILL FINANCE. Bank or Seller won’t finance? We Help! No qualifying. No credit! Low Down. Call Today! 1-800-563-2734. kanthony@cigrealty.com.

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2 SALVADOR DALI woodblock prints from Dante’s Divine Comedy. Signed and framed. Asking $900 for the pair. Can email pictures if desired. Call Steve 410-913-1653.

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NEED HELP? I will shop, cook, drive, read, walk dog, feed cat, tidy up. Excellent references and academic credentials. Call Nancy, 410-6255937.

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TOP AND BOTTOM BURIAL LOT (Abbey Gardens area – crypt #114) in Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, Timonium, MD - $2250. Contact J. Taliaferro 410-655-1439.

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IF YOU NEED AN ELDERLY CAREGIVER or someone to run a household, please call me! I am experienced and former CNA. I speak Polish, with references, and own my own transportation. Helena 410-837-1267.

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

55 YEAR OLD, SLIM, 5’4”, 140 lbs, professional, independent, Ashkenazi woman will meet single, professional, Ashkenazi man 55 – 65 year old for friendship, possible relationships. Phone 443-610-1006.

PROTECT YOUR HOME ADT Authorized Dealer Only $99 Customer Installation Charge + Monthly alarm monitoring services ($850 Value!)! Call- 888-389-2913.

AIRLINE CAREERS begin here - Become an Aviation Maintenance Tech. FAA approved training. Financial aid if qualified - Housing available. Job placement assistance. Call AIM (866)453-6204.

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MACULAR DEGENERATION READER for person with AMD, a 22-inch screen Merlin reader. Used 17 months. Original cost $3,000, now $950. Have all papers. 410-608-8225 / 410-821-1010.

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NEED NEW KITCHEN CABINETS? We offer attractive all wood cabinetry at discounted prices. Hot summer deals! Call In Stock Kitchen 1-866-943-2051.

Miscellaneous FINISH HIGH SCHOOL at home in a few weeks. First Coast Academy, 1-800-6581180x130. www.fcahighschool.org.

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

FINE ANTIQUES, PAINTINGS AND QUALITY VINTAGE FURNISHINGS wanted by a serious capable buyer. I am very well educated [law degree] knowledgeable [over 40 years in the antique business] and have the finances and wherewithal to handle virtually any situation. If you have a special item, collection or important estate I would like to hear from you. I pay great prices for great things in all categories from oriental rugs to Tiffany objects, from rare clocks to firearms, from silver and gold to classic cars. If it is wonderful I am interested. No phony promises or messy consignments. References gladly furnished. Please call Jake Lenihan 301-279-8834. Thank you.

VINYL RECORDS WANTED from the 20s through 1985. Jazz, Rock-n-Roll, Soul, Rhythm & Blues, Reggae and Disco. 33 1/3 LPs, 45s or 78s, Larger collections preferred. Please call John, 301-596-6201. STAMPS! Small collector buying singles, sets or collections. Fair price paid. Southwest Stamp Club meets Friday, August 17, 2012. 1-2:30PM. Arbutus. 410-247-4169. WE BUY, SELL, AND TRADE Miscellaneous Items i.e., Musical Instruments, Recreational Items, Motorcycles and Minibikes, Collections, Memorabilia, Vintage Items, Electronics, Toys, Cars, Jewelry, Tools. We can sell your items for you on Ebay and Craigslist. We can help you sell large items i.e., Cars, Campers, Equipment and more. Call Dave 443-514-8583. CASH FOR CARS, Any Make or Model! Free Towing. Sell it TODAY. Instant offer: 1-800-8645784. CA$H PAID- up to $26/Box for unexpired, sealed DIABETIC TEST STRIPS. Hablamos Espanol. 1-800-371-1136. TOP CASH FOR CARS, Any Car/Truck, Running or Not. Call for INSTANT offer: 1-800-4546951. WANTS TO PURCHASE MINERALS and other oil and gas interests. Send details to P.O. Box 13557 Denver, Co. 80201.

Thanks for reading!

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 make you wacky! Thanks for your comments. Hope you United We Rock! 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 jpozga@verizon.net.

www.originalrock.org DJs available for your senior centers


32

AUGUST 2012 — BALTIMORE BEACON

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August 2012 Baltimore Beacon Edition  

August 2012 Baltimore Beacon Edition

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