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More than 200,000 readers throughout Greater Washington

VOL.26, NO.1

A change of pace in healthcare PHOTO COURTESY OF INOVACARES FOR SENIORS.

By Barbara Ruben Although Frank Gold suffered from polio as a child, it didn’t stop him from becoming a paratrooper in the Pacific during World War II. A stroke a couple years ago slowed his gait and slurred his speech. But like the determined, independent young man he was in the 1940s, Gold, now 89, can’t imagine moving into a nursing home. Instead, he lives with his daughter in Burke, Va., and joined InovaCares for Seniors’ PACE program. PACE, which stands for Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, is designed to offer a home-based alternative to nursing homes for older adults who need skilled nursing care. The comprehensive program, affiliated with the Inova Health System, offers an adult day program every weekday in Fairfax, Va., with one-stop shopping for healthcare services. The center is staffed with a doctor, nurse, and physical and occupational therapists, and transportation is provided to the offices of specialists affiliated with Inova. Two meals a day are provided, along with social and recreational activities. When participants go home at day’s end, additional homecare, if needed, is also available. PACE manages the participants’ prescriptions, provides transportation to and from the center, and offers respite care services for family caregivers. “All the staff collaborate to keep people living at home as long as possible,” said Rose Mario, manager of marketing and business development for the program. “Do they need help bathing? Are they going to need food on the weekend? Do their caregivers need a break? These are all things we look at,” Mario said. “There is no other model of care in Northern Virginia like this.” In fact, while there are 90 similar PACE programs across the country, there are no others in the entire Washington metro area, and none are planned in the near future, according to the National PACE Association. The closest one is located in Baltimore, affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. The Northern Virginia program opened in 2012 and has 51 participants, with room for about 25 more.

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I N S I D E …


Warm(er) winter destinations beckon; plus, a safari to Botswana’s Okavango Delta, and tips for getting a wheelchair at the airport page 41


Oscar Fritz reaches to catch a ball during a session with a physical therapist at the InovaCares for Seniors’ PACE program. Based in Fairfax, the program is one of 90 PACE programs nationwide that enable older adults with significant health needs to continue living in their own home rather than move to a nursing home.

To qualify for PACE, individuals must be 55 or older, need a nursing facility level of care, and live in the program’s “service area,” which includes 45 Fairfax County Zip codes, including those in Centerville, Herndon, Reston, Falls Church, McLean, Springfield, Vienna and Alexandria. The typical PACE participant is on average 80 years old, has eight medical conditions, and is limited in approximately three activities of daily living. Nearly half of PACE participants have been diagnosed with dementia, as well.

No place like home While Gold needs help with several activities of daily living, including such things

as bathing and dressing, he balked at living in a nursing home after moving from California to be closer to his daughter. What sold Gold on PACE? “I liked the idea that I can go home at night to my own bed,” he said. “It makes you feel like you’re not in jail.” Gold, who enjoys piecing together intricate jigsaw puzzles at PACE, serves as a kind of unofficial welcome wagon for new members. “I’m very happy with the program. I think it’s great, and I tell people that,” he said. Wayman Gooden has a similar view. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis nearly 20 See PACE, page 18

The musical Gypsy offers up a blast of old Broadway; plus, singer Graham Nash’s new memoir recalls his ‘60s roots, and Bob Levey warns against gold diggers page 47 FITNESS & HEALTH 4 k Gene therapy kicks cancer k Winter raises heart attack risk SPOTLIGHT ON AGING k Newsletter for D.C. seniors


LAW & MONEY k 2014 stock outlook k A better return on savings




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At your fingertips Most people I speak with — regardless text better when it’s read on paper rather of their age — tell me they prefer reading a than a screen. Compared with paper, peoreal newspaper (on paper) ple find reading on a computer, rather than a virtual one on a smartphone or tablet screen to computer screen. be more taxing — both menThey like the “old-fashtally and physically. Prolonged ioned” tactile experience, reading on screens also causes where they can turn the more eyestrain, headaches pages, skim the headlines, choose which ads to read, clip and blurred vision than readarticles of interest, and genering printed paper. ally feel like they have accomI think this is all true. And plished something when they we like to point out these facts are through. (You’re some- FROM THE when speaking with those ad how never “through” with on- PUBLISHER agencies and potential adverline media.) By Stuart P. Rosenthal tisers who believe that the Being the publisher of a only place to advertise today printed newspaper, it’s possible that I, per- is online. haps unconsciously, choose to speak with (Obviously, advertisers you see in the people who are likely to agree with me on Beacon do not share that bias, for which this. we are grateful, as there would be no BeaBut there is evidence that a preference con without them.) But even I have to admit that there are for reading on paper rather than screens is widely shared. Scientific evidence. Scientif- times and places where having access to a broad range of reading material in one’s ic American evidence, even. In its November issue, that premier mag- pocket can come in handy: waiting for a azine of scientific research published an ar- train, sitting in a doctor’s office, standing ticle titled, “Why the Brain Prefers Paper.” It in line and, as the British say, “on the loo.” I own a smartphone and admit to using reports that, in many studies conducted over the past 20 years, researchers have it to read various news sources in those sitfound that people comprehend and recall uations. I also just obtained my first tablet

Beacon The






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The Beacon is a monthly newspaper dedicated to inform, serve, and entertain the citizens of the Greater Washington DC area, and is privately owned. Other editions serve Greater Baltimore, Howard County, Md. and Greater Palm Springs, Calif. Readership exceeds 400,000. Subscriptions are available via first-class mail ($36) or third-class mail ($12), prepaid with order. D.C. and Maryland residents: add 6 percent for sales tax. Send subscription order to the office listed below. Publication of advertising contained herein does not necessarily constitute endorsement. Signed columns represent the opinions of the writers, and not necessarily the opinion of the publisher. • Publisher/Editor ....................Stuart P. Rosenthal • Associate Publisher..............Judith K. Rosenthal • Vice President of Operations ....Gordon Hasenei • Director of Sales ................................Alan Spiegel • Managing Editor............................Barbara Ruben • Graphic Designer ..............................Kyle Gregory • Assistant Operations Manager ..........Roger King • Advertising Representatives ........Doug Hallock, ................................................Dan Kelly, Cheryl Watts • Publishing Assistant ....................Rebekah Sewell

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(an iPad). While I marvel at its beauty, I am still figuring out how and when I will use it. So why did I buy it? Drum roll, please. Because the Beacon has recently unveiled our first “mobile app” for both tablet and smartphone users and, believe it or not, not a single member of our 13-person staff owned a tablet on which to check it out! Let me pause for a moment to define “app” for the more technologically challenged folks who may be reading this. An app (short for “application”) is a software program that enables your smartphone or tablet to do something particularly useful for you. For example, there’s an app to convert your phone or tablet camera into a document scanner, or its flash into a powerful flashlight, or to make your device function as an alarm clock or stopwatch or radio or sound machine or GPS or...well, you get the idea. So what does the Beacon app enable you to do? Well, basically it provides versions of our website, newspapers and Resource Guides that are designed to be easier to read on a smartphone or tablet. If you’re familiar with our website, you know that it features many options, including feature articles from our four editions, blog posts from me and our managing editor, an events calendar, comics, puzzles, videos and more. Using a smartphone, you can open and view our website, but you’d better be holding a magnifying glass if you want to read anything on it! But now, if you access our website through a smartphone or tablet, you should get a message inviting you to download our free “mobile app,” which makes it much easier to scroll through a list of stories and topics and to pick one article at a time to read. You can also view our archives and select any of our editions (Greater Washington, Greater Baltimore, Howard County, or Palm Springs, Calif.) to view them exactly as they appear in print. You “flip” through the pages by swiping the image with your finger.

Even though you can significantly expand the size of the text (and ads) to make viewing easier, I don’t think you’ll prefer reading the Beacon in this manner to picking up a paper. But the app can certainly give you an overview, help you find something from a past issue, or call up an ad to remind you of a special offer or phone number while you’re out and about. And you may find reading our print editions on a large tablet can be helpful, especially if you’re out of town or otherwise unable to pick up a printed copy now and then. Our mobile app will also let you access other sections of our website in a simple format, such as videos, information about upcoming Expos, and the like. We will be adding more functions to the app as time goes on. Please don’t be alarmed. Our app will not be taking the place of our printed product! You will continue to be able to pick up our paper from thousands of free local distribution sites. We do expect, however, that younger people, travelers and out-of-towners will discover the Beacon more readily thanks to this app. In fact, we are already seeing some evidence of this. Our new app went “live” just a few weeks ago, and we have not even announced it publicly. This is my first reference to it in print. But as I write this column, 127 people have already downloaded it and another 862 have visited our website using a tablet or a smartphone. To download our app, visit, or search for The Beacon Newspapers at the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. I will keep you informed as we make progress. And if you choose to read the Beacon on a mobile device, please return the favor: Let us know what you like (or don’t like) about it, and what else you’d like to see our new app do for you.

Letters to the editor Readers are encouraged to share their opinion on any matter addressed in the Beacon as well as on political and social issues of the day. Mail your Letter to the Editor to The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915, or email to Please include your name, address and telephone number for verification. Dear Editor: In response to Bob Levey’s column in the November Beacon (“Tackling the car key issue with an elder,”) the issue of elders giving up their cars in favor of using taxis is not solely a matter of cost. There’s also the matter of convenience and practicality. When a person goes to an appointment by taxi, they can place a request in advance for a pickup at a specific time. The cab will arrive plus or minus about 15 minutes. But an “as needed” call is likely to take a half hour for a response.

Then one has to get a taxi to return home. That requires carrying a cell phone because there are no longer pay phones available. How about grocery shopping? Pay a taxi to wait while you do it? Have family take you or do it for you? Giant’s Peapod and Safeway’s similar service have a hefty minimum order, plus a delivery charge. And not doing your own shopping is further erosion of independence. See LETTERS TO EDITOR, page 36

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Think Again. Think Holy Cross Hospital for some of the brightest minds in Neuroscience Care.

Long-time epilepsy sufferer is back in business and seizure-free. For 20 years, Michael Maletta lived in fear. Because of the constant threat of seizures, there were days he was afraid to drive or go to work for his home improvement business.

to know what you’re dealing with.” Much of this detective work is done in Holy Cross Hospital’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, with technologically advanced tests to pinpoint where seizures originate in a patient’s brain.

Michael, 49, had averaged one to three seizures a year since his late 20s. Last year, after suffering four seizures in a single day, the Adelphi resident sought treatment at Holy Cross Hospital. “That’s what changed my life forever,” he says.

A Permanent Improvement In just one admission to the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, Dr. Mathews and his team were able to diagnose the source of Michael’s seizures, prescribe the right medication and ultimately give Michael his life back.

Holy Cross Hospital has one of the region’s most sophisticated epilepsy programs, led by neurologists specially trained in epilepsy. One of these epileptologists, Gregory Mathews, MD, started Michael down the path to a new life. “I met Michael when he came into the hospital after having seizures,” says Dr. Mathews. “Many times people come to us because their treatments aren’t controlling their seizures. With epilepsy, you need the correct diagnosis

The Right Diagnosis During Michael’s stay in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, the epilepsy team safely withdrew him from all medication and monitored and assessed his seizures when they occurred. “We learned that Michael’s epilepsy involved his entire brain throughout the seizure, so it was not treatable by surgery,” says Dr. Mathews. “But we could see he wasn’t taking the right type of medicine.”

View a video about Michael’s treatment at With that data, Holy Cross Hospital’s epileptologists can respond with the proper treatment, which may involve medications, diet, implanted devices to control seizures or brain surgery.

Gregory Mathews, MD Epileptologist Medical Director, EEG

Michael has been completely seizure-free since March, when he started his new medication. “I have such a clear head. I feel incredible. And I live completely without fear, thanks to Dr. Mathews and Holy Cross Hospital.” To learn more about the Epilepsy Center at Holy Cross Hospital call 301-754-8266 or visit

FREE PHYSICIAN LECTURES All lectures are held at Holy Cross Hospital, 1500 Forest Glen Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910. To register or for more information, call 301-754-8800 or visit

Wednesday, March 26, 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 30, 6 p.m. Neuro Interventional Kyphoplasty for Management of Treatments for Stroke Acute Spinal Compression Fractures James Jaffe, MD, Interventional Neuroradiology

Anil Narang, DO, Neuroradiology

Wednesday, May 28, 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 25, 6 p.m. Stroke Prevention What is Epilepsy? How Does It Affect You? Shahid Rafiq, MD, Neurology Gregory Mathews, MD, Epileptology



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Health Fitness &

IN A NUTSHELL Regular nut eaters live longer (and are thinner), plus have fewer diseases ARE FEARS INHERITED? Genes may pass information to offspring about traumatic experiences WINTER HEART ATTACKS Cold temps, snow shoveling and overeating raise winter heart attack risk BUBBLING WITH BENEFITS Fermented foods, from pickles to cheese, have many health benefits

First successful gene therapy for cancer By Marilynn Marchione In one of the biggest advances against leukemia and other blood cancers in many years, doctors are reporting unprecedented success by using gene therapy to transform patients’ blood cells into soldiers that seek and destroy cancer. A few patients with one type of leukemia were given this one-time, experimental therapy several years ago, and some remain cancer-free today. Now, at least six research groups have treated more than 120 patients with many types of blood and bone marrow cancers, with stunning results. “It’s really exciting,” said Dr. Janis Abkowitz, blood diseases chief at the University of Washington in Seattle and president of the American Society of Hematology. “You can take a cell that belongs to a patient and engineer it to be an attack cell.” In one study, all five adults and 19 of 22 children with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) had a complete remission, meaning no cancer could be found after treatment, although a few have relapsed since then. These were gravely ill patients who were out of options. Some had tried multi-

ple bone marrow transplants and up to 10 types of chemotherapy or other treatments. Cancer was so advanced in 8-year-old Emily Whitehead of Philipsburg, Pa., that doctors said her major organs would fail within days. She was the first child given the gene therapy, and shows no sign of cancer today, nearly two years later. To watch a video about her treatment, see Doctors say this has the potential to become the first gene therapy approved in the United States, and the first for cancer worldwide. Only one gene therapy is approved in Europe, for a rare metabolic disease.

What’s involved The treatment involves filtering patients’ blood to remove millions of white blood cells, called T-cells, altering them in the lab to contain a gene that targets cancer, and returning them to the patient in infusions over three days. “What we are giving essentially is a living drug” — permanently altered cells that multiply in the body into an army to fight

the cancer, said Dr. David Porter, a University of Pennsylvania scientist who led one study. Several drug and biotech companies are developing these therapies. Penn has patented its method and licensed it to Switzerland-based Novartis AG. The company is building a research center on the Penn campus in Philadelphia and plans a clinical trial next year that could lead to federal approval of the treatment as soon as 2016. Talking with the researchers, “there is a sense of making history ... a sense of doing something very unique,” said Hervé Hoppenot, president of Novartis Oncology, the division leading the work. Lee Greenberger, chief scientific officer of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, agreed. “From our vantage point, this looks like a major advance,” he said. “We are seeing powerful responses... and time will tell how enduring these remissions turn out to be.” The group has given $15 million to various researchers testing this approach. Nearly 49,000 new cases of leukemia, 70,000 cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

and 22,000 cases of myeloma are expected to be diagnosed in the United States in 2014. Many patients are successfully treated with chemotherapy or bone marrow or stem cell transplants, but transplants are risky, and donors can’t always be found. So far, gene therapy has been tried on people who were in danger of dying because other treatments failed. The gene therapy must be made individually for each patient, and lab costs now are about $25,000, without a profit margin. That’s still less than many drugs to treat these diseases and far less than a transplant. The treatment can cause severe flu-like symptoms and other side effects, but these have been reversible and temporary, doctors say.

Many success stories Penn doctors have treated the most cases so far — 59. Of the first 14 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), four had complete remissions, four had See GENE THERAPY, page 5

A robotic arm that makes you stronger By Kathy Matheson Need a hand lifting something? A robotic device invented by University of Pennsylvania engineering students can help its wearer carry an additional 40 pounds. Titan Arm looks and sounds like part of a superhero’s costume. But its creators say it’s designed for ordinary people — those who need either physical rehabilitation or a little extra muscle for their job. In technical terms, the apparatus is an untethered, upper-body exoskeleton. To the layman, it’s essentially a battery-powered arm brace attached to a backpack. Either way, Titan Arm’s cost-efficient design has won the student team accolades and at least $75,000 in prize money.

No longer science fiction “They built something that people can relate to,” said Robert Carpick, chairman of Penn’s mechanical engineering department. “And, of course, it appeals clearly to what we’ve all seen in so many science-fic-

tion movies of superhuman strength being endowed by an exoskeleton.” The project builds on existing studies of such body equipment, sometimes called “wearable robots.” Research companies have built lowerbody exoskeletons that help paralyzed people walk, though current models aren’t approved for retail and can cost $50,000 to $100,000. [See “Exoskeletons enable paralyzed to walk,” July 2013 Beacon, p. 8.] The Penn students were moved by the power of that concept — restoring mobility to those who have suffered traumas — as well as the idea of preventing injuries in those who perform repetitive heavy-lifting tasks, team member Nick Parrotta said. “When we started talking to physical therapists and prospective users, or people who have gone through these types of injuries, we just kept on getting more and more motivated,” said Parrotta, now in graduate school at the university. So for their senior capstone project last

year, Parrotta and classmates Elizabeth Beattie, Nick McGill and Niko Vladimirov set out to develop an affordable, lightweight suit for the right arm. They modeled pieces using 3-D printers and computer design programs, eventually making most components out of aluminum, Beattie said. The final product cost less than $2,000 and weighs 18 pounds — less than the backpack that Beattie usually carries. A handheld joystick controls motorized cables that raise and lower the arm; sensors measure the wearer’s range of motion to help track rehab progress.

Help for grandparents Since its unveiling, Titan Arm has won the $10,000 Intel Cornell Cup USA and the $65,000 James Dyson Award, an international award for engineering design. The resulting publicity generated a slew of interest from potential users, including grandparents who find it hard to lift their

grandchildren. “We found out that some people can’t even lift a cast-iron pan to cook dinner,” McGill said. Experts say the aging population represents a potentially big customer base for exoskeletons, which originally were researched for military applications. “There is certainly a market, but it’s slowly emerging because the systems are not perfect as yet,” said Paolo Bonato, director of the Motion Analysis Lab at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. Titan Arm’s design impressed Yong-Lae Park, an assistant professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, who watched a video demonstration. He noted, though, that its low cost represents parts only, not the salaries or marketing built into the price of other products. Park’s research is focused on making exoskeletons less noticeable — “more like See ROBOTIC ARM, page 6



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partial ones, and the rest did not respond. However, some partial responders continue to see their cancer shrink a year after treatment. “That’s very unique to this kind of therapy” and gives hope the treatment may still purge the cancer, said Porter. Another 18 CLL patients were treated, and half have responded so far. Penn doctors also treated 27 ALL patients. All five adults and 19 of the 22 children had complete remissions — an “extraordinarily high” success rate, said Dr. Stephan Grupp at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Six have since relapsed, though, and doctors are pondering a second gene therapy attempt. At the National Cancer Institute, Dr. James Kochenderfer and others have treated 11 patients with lymphoma and four with CLL, starting roughly two years ago. Six had complete remissions, six had partial ones, one has stable disease, and it’s too soon to tell for the rest. Ten other patients were given gene therapy to try to kill leukemia or lymphoma remaining after bone marrow


From page 4

transplants. These patients got infusions of gene-treated blood cells from their transplant donors instead of using their own blood cells. One had a complete remission and three others had significant reduction of their disease. “They’ve had every treatment known to man. To get any responses is really encouraging,” Kochenderfer said. The cancer institute is working with a Los Angeles biotech firm, Kite Pharma Inc., on its gene therapy approach. Patients are encouraged that relatively few have relapsed. “We’re still nervous every day because they can’t tell us what’s going to happen tomorrow,” said Tom Whitehead, father of 8year-old Emily. Doug Olson, 67, a scientist for a medical device maker, shows no sign of cancer since gene therapy in September 2010 for CLL he had had since 1996. “Within one month he was in complete remission. That was just completely unexpected,” said Porter, his doctor at Penn. Olson ran his first half-marathon last January and no longer worries about how long his remission will last. “I decided I’m cured. I’m not going to let that hang over my head anymore,” he said. — AP


Gene therapy


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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4


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J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

To live longer and be slimmer, eat nuts By Marilynn Marchione Sometimes you feel like a nut, and that’s a good thing. Regular nut eaters were less likely to die of cancer or heart disease — in fact, were less likely to die of any cause — during a 30-year Harvard study. Nuts have long been called hearthealthy, and the study is the largest ever done on whether eating them affects mortality. Researchers tracked 119,000 men and women and found that those who ate nuts roughly every day were 20 percent less likely to die during the study period than those who never ate nuts. Eating nuts less often lowered the death risk, too, in direct proportion to consumption. The risk of dying of heart disease dropped 29 percent and the risk of dying of cancer fell 11 percent among those who

had nuts seven or more times a week compared with people who never ate them. The benefits were seen from peanuts as well as from pistachios, almonds, walnuts and other tree nuts. The researchers did not look at how the nuts were prepared — oiled or salted, raw or roasted.

Weight control benefits, too A bonus: Nut eaters stayed slimmer. “There’s a general perception that if you eat more nuts, you’re going to get fat. Our results show the opposite,” said Dr. Ying Bao of Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She led the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The National Institutes of Health and the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation sponsored the study, but the nut group had no role in de-

signing it or reporting the results. Researchers don’t know why nuts may boost health. It could be that their unsaturated fatty acids, minerals and other nutrients lower cholesterol and inflammation and reduce other problems, as earlier studies seemed to show. Observational studies like this one can’t prove cause and effect, only suggest a connection. Research on diets is especially tough, because it can be difficult to single out the effects of any one food. People who eat more nuts may eat them on salads, for example, and some of the benefit may come from the leafy greens, said Dr. Robert Eckel, a University of Colorado cardiologist and former president of the American Heart Association. Dr. Ralph Sacco, a University of Miami neurologist who also is a former heart association president, agreed. “Sometimes

when you eat nuts you eat less of something else like potato chips,” so the benefit may come from avoiding an unhealthy food, Sacco said. The Harvard group has long been known for solid science on diets. Its findings build on a major study earlier this year — a rigorous experiment that found a Mediterranean-style diet supplemented with nuts cuts the chance of heart-related problems, especially strokes, in older people at high risk of them.

Many studies agree Many previous studies tie nut consumption to lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and other maladies. In 2003, the Food and Drug Administration said a fistful of nuts a day as part of a low-fat diet may reduce the risk of heart disease. The heart association recommends four servings of unsalted, unoiled nuts a week, and warns against eating too many, since they are dense in calories. See NUTS, page 7

Robotic arm From page 4 a Spider-Man suit than an Iron Man suit,” he said. The Titan team hopes to refine its prototype, although three members are now busy with graduate studies at Penn and one is working on the West Coast. Among the considerations, Parrotta said, are different control strategies and more innovative materials and manufacturing. And, of course, a second arm. For more information, see — AP

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4

Nuts From page 6 The new research combines two studies that started in the 1980s on 76,464 female nurses and 42,498 male health professionals. They filled out surveys on food and lifestyle habits every two to four years, in-

cluding how often they ate a serving (1 ounce) of nuts. Study participants who often ate nuts were healthier — they weighed less, exercised more and were less likely to smoke, among other things. After taking these and other things into account, researchers still saw a strong benefit from nuts.


Jan. 27


Dupont Circle Village presents a Live and Learn session featuring Maura Barillaro, RN, who will address home healthcare issues. The program will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 27 at Scion Restaurant, 2100 P St. NW, Washington, D.C., which is wheelchair-accessible. The talk is free for Village members; $10 for others. For reservations, call (202) 234-2567.

Jan. 22+


The Langston-Brown Senior Center, 2121 Culpepper St., Arlington, Va., is hosting a basketball clinic for women over 50. Beginners sessions focus on learning and refining the basic skills of the game and will start on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. Intermediate classes focus on playing 3-on-3 half court games and will begin Wednesday, Jan 22 at 8 p.m. The cost is $24 for four sessions. The center is located at 2121 N. Culpeper St., Arlington, Va. To register, call (703) 28-4771 or email

Jan. 16+


Fairfax County is offering Independent Living Project, a free eightweek program led by professional social workers, that includes gentle exercise to improve strength and balance, presentations on county services, a healthy cooking demonstration, and advice on how to manage your healthcare and prescriptions. The program meets on Thursdays from Jan. 16 to March 6 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Kingstowne Center for Active Adults, 6488 Landsdowne Center, Alexandria, Va. Register online at or call (703) 324-7210, TTY 711.

Jan. 23


As part of Glaucoma Awareness Month, Friendship Heights Village Center, located at 4433 South Park Ave., Chevy Chase, Md., is hosting free glaucoma screenings. Appointments are suggested; walk-ins will be seen if time allows. To schedule, call (301) 656-2797.

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Compared with people who never ate nuts, those who had them less than once a week reduced their risk of death 7 percent; once a week, 11 percent; two to four times a week, 13 percent; and seven or more times a week, 20 percent. “I’m very confident” the observations reflect a true benefit, Bao said. “We did so many analyses, very sophisticated ones,” to eliminate other possible explanations. For example, they did separate analyses on smokers and non-smokers, heavy and light exercisers, and people with and without diabetes, and saw a consistent benefit from nuts.


At a heart association conference in November, Penny Kris-Etheron, a Pennsylvania State University nutrition scientist, reviewed previous studies on this topic. “We’re seeing benefits of nut consumption on cardiovascular disease as well as body weight and diabetes,” said KrisEtherton, who has consulted for nut makers and also served on many scientific panels on dietary guidelines. “We don’t know exactly what it is” about nuts that boosts health or which ones are best, she said. “I tell people to eat mixed nuts.” — AP


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Can our genes transmit our traumas? By Quinn Eastman Trauma can scar people so indelibly that their children are affected. History provides examples of generations who were traumatized by war and starvation bearing children with altered physiology. Now researchers at Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University have found an instance of animals passing on more specific information about a traumatic experience to their offspring. That information comes not through social communication, but through inheritance. Researchers have found that when a mouse learns to become afraid of a certain odor, his or her pups will be more sensitive to that odor, even though the pups have never encountered it. The results were

published in last month’s Nature Neuroscience. “Knowing how the experiences of parents influence their descendants helps us to understand psychiatric disorders that may have a trans-generational basis, and possibly to design therapeutic strategies,” said senior author Dr. Kerry Ressler, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory School of Medicine. Ressler is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute-supported investigator at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University, and worked with doctoral fellow Brian Dias on the mouse study.

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come afraid of an odor by pairing exposure to the scent with a mild electric shock. They then measured how much the animal startled in response to a loud noise at baseline, and in conjunction with presentation of the odor. Surprisingly, they found that the adult offspring of the sensitized mice also startled more in response to the particular odor that one parent had learned to fear, even when the offspring had never experienced the odor before. In addition, they were more able to detect small amounts of that particular odor. Smell-sensitized offspring were not more anxious in general. In separate experiments not involving odors, the mice were not more afraid to explore the bright, elevated areas of a maze. Researchers took advantage of previous study on the biology of odor detection. Scientists knew that the chemical acetophenone, which smells somewhat like cherry blossoms, activates a particular set of cells in the nose and a particular “odorant receptor” gene in those cells.

Brain cells affected Both the parent mouse who had been sensitized to a smell and his or her pups had more space in the smell-processing part of their brains, called the olfactory bulb, devot-

ed to the odor to which they are sensitive. Both mothers and fathers were found to pass on a learned sensitivity to an odor, although mothers can’t do it with fostered pups, showing that the sensitivity is not transmitted by social interaction. Future mothers receive their odor-shock training before (and not during) conception and pregnancy. The inheritance takes place even if the mice are conceived by in vitro fertilization, and the sensitivity continues to appear in the second generation, i.e., “grandchildren.” This indicates that, somehow, information about the experience connected with the odor is being transmitted via the sperm or eggs. The DNA from the sperm of smell-sensitized father mice is altered. This is an example of an “epigenetic” alteration, found not in the letter-by-letter sequence of the DNA, but in its packaging or chemical modifications. In mice taught to fear acetophenone, the odorant receptor gene that responds to acetophenone has a changed pattern of methylation: a chemical modification of DNA that tunes the activity of genes. However, it’s not clear whether the changes in that gene are enough to make See EPIGENETICS, page 10

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Explore Medicare choices before age 65

At the same time, you can also enroll in Medicare Part B, which covers doctors’ visits and outpatient care. This coverage exacts a monthly premium ($104.90 for most people in 2013, more for those with high incomes), plus a deductible and coinsurance. If you’re collecting Social Security when you turn 65, you will automatically be enrolled in Part A and Part B, and the Part B premium will be deducted from your benefits. If you still have health coverage through work or are covered by your spouse’s employer, you may be better off keeping that coverage and delaying Part B. Ask your employer for help deciding, or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. Once you lose employer coverage, you have eight months in which to sign up for Part B. (You should do so because both retiree health benefits and coverage through COBRA are secondary to Medicare as soon as you’re eligible, whether you sign up or not.)

How to fill in the gaps Also consider Medicare supplement coverage, also known as medigap. These plans cover part or all of the costs you would otherwise still owe under parts A and B, including deductibles and co-pays. The 10 plans available are labeled by letter. Benefits for each are standardized, but insurers may and do charge different premiums, so shop around. The six-month initial enrollment period starts on the first day of the month in which you are 65 or older and are enrolled in Medicare Part B. During that window, you can’t be turned away by medigap insurers because of a preexisting condition. Miss the deadline, and you could end up paying more or be denied coverage altogether. The Obamacare ban on denying coverage based on preexisting conditions does not apply to Medicare. Medicare Part D, offered through private insurers, covers prescription drugs. You pay a monthly premium plus co-pays or coinsurance, and some plans also have a deductible. The plans cover you up to a certain amount each year, after which you pay a much higher share of the cost — a gap in coverage known as the doughnut hole. Once you’ve hit the maximum out-of-pocket cost for the year, your share goes way down until year-end.

You can join a Medicare drug plan during your medigap initial enrollment period. If you don’t, and you go 63 days or more without “creditable” coverage (such as through an employer), you’ll pay a penalty based on the national base premium and on how long you delayed before you enrolled. Another option: a Medicare Advantage plan, which combines medical and prescription-drug coverage and other benefits, such as coverage for vision and hearing care. These plans, offered through pri-


vate insurers, generally limit your choice of providers and require more cost sharing than Part D and medigap, but premiums tend to be lower. You can enroll in a plan during your initial enrollment period or during open enrollment (Oct. 15-Dec. 7). To find medigap, Part D or Medicare Advantage plans in your area and compare premiums, go to © 2013, Kiplinger. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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If you don’t sign up for Part B within that window, you’ll have to wait until the next open-enrollment period (Jan. 1 to March 31), and your monthly premium will permanently increase by 10 percent for each 12-month period you delay. To sign up for Medicare parts A and B, call 1-800-772-1213 or visit


By Jane Bennett Clark These days, turning 65 doesn’t have to mean hanging up your career, but it does represent one big milestone: Medicare eligibility. In most cases, signing up for Medicare Part A is a no-brainer. This coverage pays for in-patient care in the hospital. There’s generally no premium, although you do pay a deductible and share other costs. You can sign up as early as three months before the month in which you turn 65, and as late as three months after your 65thbirthday month. To avoid any delay in coverage, enroll before you turn 65, said Joe Baker, of the Medicare Rights Center.

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Is surgery or rehab best for bum knee? By Dr. Diane Dahm Dear Mayo Clinic: I am 60 years old and tore my ACL. Should I have surgery to fix it, or is it OK to just let it heal on its own? Answer: No matter what your age, the decision about how best to treat an injured anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, should be based on the type of activity you’d like to be able to do after treatment, as well as the stability of your knee overall. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect one bone to another. Your ACL is one of two ligaments that cross in the mid-

dle of the knee that connect your thighbone, or femur, to your shinbone, or tibia. The ACL also helps keep your knee joint stable. When the ACL is torn, it often results in knee pain and swelling. After an ACL injury, some people also have instability in the knee, or a feeling that the knee is “giving way” when they attempt to turn quickly or pivot on it. The purpose of treatment for an ACL injury is to reduce the pain and swelling, restore normal knee movement, strengthen the muscles around the joint, and allow return to full activity. For some people, that

can be achieved with physical rehabilitation alone.

Rehab vs. surgery Rehabilitation usually involves doing exercises to regain full knee motion, as well as muscle-strengthening and stability exercises. You may need to use a knee brace for certain activities. Rehabilitation without surgery usually works best for people who have a less active lifestyle and whose knee stability steadily improves with rehabilitation. If you want to participate in activities such as skiing, singles tennis, hiking on uneven terrain — or other sports that require pivoting, cutting, jumping or twisting — then surgery followed by rehabilitation is more likely to be necessary to fix the ACL and ensure stability in your knee. Also, if your knee continues to give way even after you have gone through rehabilitation, then you may require surgery to improve long-term knee stability. A torn ACL can’t be sewn back together. Instead, during surgery the ligament is replaced with a piece of tissue called a graft. That graft may be a tendon or ligament from another part of your knee or leg. Or a graft from a deceased donor may be an option. If you decide to have surgery, talk to your surgeon about which choice is best for you.

Epigenetics From page 8 the difference in an animal’s odor sensitivity. “While the sequence of the gene encoding the receptor that responds to the odor is unchanged, the way that gene is regulated may be affected,” Ressler said.

Many questions remain “There is some evidence that some of the generalized effects of diet and hormone changes, as well as trauma, can be transmitted epigenetically. The difference here is that the odor-sensitivity-learning process is affecting the nervous system — and apparently, reproductive cells, too — in such a specific way.” What the researchers don’t know yet:

Surgery OK at any age If you’re in good health, age typically is not a factor in whether or not to have ACL surgery. Research has shown that with this surgery, older patients can achieve results similar to those in younger patients, without a significant increase in the risk of complications. A final item to note is that, while ACL surgery typically provides improved knee stability, it does not always provide significant pain relief. If chronic knee pain is your only symptom, it may not be coming from the ACL tear. Rather, it’s more likely to be related to another knee condition, such as a meniscus tear or arthritis. As you consider the best course of action, talk to your doctor about what you hope to achieve with ACL treatment. Your level of activity and knee stability should guide you as you make your decision. — Diane Dahm, M.D., Orthopedic Surgery, 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 For health information, visit © 2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. All Rights Reserved. Distributed By Tribune Content Agency, LLC. • Are these effects reversible – if sensitized parents later learn not to be afraid of an odor, will effects still be seen in their pups? • Does it only happen with odors? Could mice trained to be afraid of a particular sound, for example, pass on a sensitivity to that sound? • Do all the sperm or egg cells bear epigenetic marks conveying odor sensitivity? • How does information about odor exposure reach the sperm or eggs? “We are really just scratching the surface at this point,” Dias said. “Our next goal must be to buffer descendant generations from these effects. Such interventions could form the core of a treatment to prevent the development of neuropsychiatric disorders with roots in ancestral trauma.” — Emory University

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Guard against wintertime heart attacks By Jim Miller Dear Savvy Senior: I had a mild heart attack about six months ago. My doctor told me I need to be extra careful during the winter, when recurring heart attacks are more common. Is this true? How can the seasons affect your heart? — Leery Senior Dear Leery: Everyone knows winter is cold and flu season, but most people don’t know that it’s also the prime season for heart attacks, as well, especially if you already have heart disease or have suffered a previous heart attack. In the U.S., the risk of having a heart attack during the winter months is twice as high as it is during the summertime. Why? There are a number of factors, and they’re not all linked to cold weather. Even people who live in warm climates have an increased risk. Here are the areas you need to pay extra attention to this winter: Cold temperatures: When a person gets cold, the body responds by constricting the blood vessels to help the body maintain heat. This causes blood pressure to go up and makes the heart work harder. Cold temperatures can also increase levels of certain proteins that can thicken the blood and increase the risk for blood clots.

So stay warm this winter. And when you do have to go outside, make sure you bundle up in layers, with gloves and a hat. Place a scarf over your mouth and nose to warm up the air before you breathe it in. Snow shoveling: Studies have shown that heart attack rates jump dramatically in the first few days after a major snowstorm, usually a result of snow shoveling. Shoveling snow is a very strenuous activity that raises blood pressure and stresses the heart. Combine those factors with the cold temperatures, and the risks of heart attack surge. If your sidewalk or driveway needs shoveling this winter, hire a kid from the neighborhood to do it for you or use a snow blower. If you must shovel, push rather than lift the snow as much as possible. Stay warm and take frequent breaks. New Year’s resolutions: Every January, millions of people join gyms or start exercise programs as part of their New Year’s resolution to get in shape. Many overexert themselves too quickly. If you’re starting a new exercise program this winter, take the time to talk to your doctor about what types of exercise may be appropriate for you, and how much. Winter weight gain: People tend to eat and drink more, and therefore to gain more weight, during the holiday season

and winter months. This is hard on the heart and risky for someone with heart disease. So keep a watchful eye on your diet this winter and avoid binging on fatty foods and alcohol. Shorter days: Less daylight in the winter months can cause many people to develop “seasonal affective disorder” or SAD, a wintertime depression that can stress the heart. Studies have also looked at heart attack patients and found they usually have lower levels of vitamin D (which your body produces when exposed to sunlight) than people with healthy hearts. To boost your vitamin D this winter, consider taking a supplement that contains between 1,000 and 2,000 international units

(IU) per day. And to find treatments for SAD, visit the Center for Environmental Therapeutics website at Flu season: Studies show that people who get flu shots have a lower heart attack risk. It’s known that the inflammatory reaction set off by a flu infection can increase blood clotting, which can lead to heart attacks in vulnerable people. So, if you haven’t already done so, get a flu shot for protection. See to find a vaccination site nearby. Send your questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of The Savvy Senior book.


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is led by professional counselors from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 14, at Faith United Methodist Church, 6810 Montrose Rd., Rockville, Md. Registration required. For more information or to register, call (301) 921-4400.

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J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Simple test helps predict heart attack risk By Carol Sorgen While it’s certainly beneficial to your health if those all-important “numbers” — cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar — are in the normal range, that doesn’t mean you’re not at risk for developing heart disease. According to Baltimore internist Boris Kerzner, research has shown that for more than 50 percent of people, the first symptom of asymptomatic coronary artery disease is sudden death or a heart attack. But now, a simple noninvasive finger sensor test has been shown to be “highly predictive” in identifying the risk of a major cardiac event, such as a heart attack or stroke, even in people otherwise considered at low or moderate risk.

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The finger test device, known as EndoPAT, was developed by Itamar Medical, an Israeli company. It evaluates the health of your arteries by measuring what the company calls a PAT (Peripheral Arterial Tone) signal. The lining of your arteries, known as the endothelium, regulates blood flow and acts much the way a layer of Teflon does in a nonstick pan. When the endothelium is functioning normally, it protects the blood vessels from atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and plaque buildup. However, if the endothelium is damaged from such lifestyle choices as smoking, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and too much stress, what develops is known as endothelial dysfunction, which is the earliest indicator of cardiovascular disease. The presence of endothelial dysfunction

strongly predicts cardiovascular events in people in the early stages of heart disease, even if they don’t have other recognizable risk factors, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Its effects also go beyond coronary disease, and have been implicated in other serious illnesses, such as sleep apnea, erectile dysfunction, renal disease and dementia. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic and Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston used EndoPAT to test 270 patients between the ages of 42 and 66, and followed their progress from August 1999 to August 2007. Forty-nine percent of patients whose EndoPAT test indicated poor endothelial function had a cardiac event during the seven-year study. The study was presented at the 2009 American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session. Prior to the EndoPAT, there was no simple test for endothelium function, according to Dr. Amir Lerman, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist who was the senior author of the study.

Available locally The test uses a standard blood pressure cuff and finger probes, takes 15 minutes, and can be conducted in a doctor’s office. It is available from certain doctors around the country. Kerzner believes the EndoPAT is a significant tool in the fight against cardiovascular and other systemic diseases. “By predicting the risk of a heart attack — up to 7 years before it could happen — many more lives could be saved,” he said. Because it is an elective test, its cost See NEW TEST, page 13

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4


Testosterone raises risks for older men By Lindsey Tanner Testosterone treatments may increase risks for heart attacks, strokes and death in older men with low hormone levels and other health problems, according to a large Veterans Affairs study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The results raise concerns about the widely used testosterone gels, patches and injections that are heavily marketed for low sex drive, fatigue and purported antiaging benefits, the authors and other doctors said. Men who used testosterone were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, or to die, during a three-year period than men with low hormone levels who didn’t take the supplements. Hormone users and nonusers studied were in their early 60s on average, and most had other health problems, including high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol and diabetes.

with the VA’s Eastern Colorado Health System in Denver. The nationwide study involved an analysis of health data on 8,700 veterans with low levels of testosterone, the main male sex hormone. All had undergone a heart imaging test, and many had risk factors for heart problems, including blocked heart arteries. Risks linked with testosterone were similar in men with and without existing heart problems. Nearly 26 percent of men using testosterone had one of the bad outcomes within three years of the heart test, compared with 20 percent of nonusers. It’s unclear how the hormone might increase heart risks, but possibilities include evidence that testosterone might make blood platelets stick together, which could lead to blood clots, the study authors said. Previous studies on the supplements’ health effects have had mixed results — with some research suggesting potential heart benefits — but none of the studies has been conclusive.

testosterone is safe for these men,” said editorial author Dr. Anne Cappola, a hormone expert at University of Pennsylvania and an associate journal editor. “In light of the high volume of prescriptions and aggressive marketing by testosterone manufacturers, prescribers and patients should be wary” and more research is needed, she wrote. Annual prescriptions for testosterone supplements have increased more than five-fold in recent years, climbing to more than 5 million and $1.6 billion in U.S. sales in 2011, the study noted. Dr. Nathaniel Polnaszek, a urologist with Scott & White Healthcare in Round Rock, Texas, said he prescribes testosterone for many men, mostly in their 40s

and 50s, who have low levels and erectile dysfunction or other symptoms. He called the study “concerning.” “This is something I’m going to be discussing with my patients,” he said. Testosterone levels gradually decline as men age, and guidelines from doctors who specialize in hormone-related problems say hormone supplements should be considered only in men with symptoms of low levels, including sexual dysfunction. They’re not advised for men with prostate cancer because of concerns they could make the disease spread, said Dr. Robert Carey, a former Endocrine Society president and a professor of medicine at the University of Virginia Health System. — AP

Not a definite link The research doesn’t prove that testosterone caused the heart attacks, strokes or death, but echoes a previous study in older men and should prompt doctors and patients to discuss potential risks and benefits of using the products, said the study’s lead author, Dr. Michael Ho, a cardiologist

A concern for all ages

New test

doPAT test in the Washington area: Advanced Cardiology Center, Rockville, Md., (301) 816-9000; Dr. Parmjit Singh Aujla, Bladensburg, Md., (301) 699-8333; and Dr. Suresh K. Muttath, Riverdale, Md., (301) 277-8100. For more information on EndoPAT, see

From page 12 may not be covered by health insurance plans. Be sure to check with your own insurance carrier. It is covered by Medicare for patients with vascular disease. The following doctors offer the En-

An editorial in the journal said it is uncertain if the study results apply to other groups of men, including younger men using the hormone for supposed antiaging benefits. “There is only anecdotal evidence that


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Helping paralyzed wheelchair users move By Lauran Neergaard An experimental device is letting paralyzed people drive wheelchairs simply by flicking their tongue in the direction they choose. Key to this wireless system: Users get their tongue pierced with a magnetic stud that resembles jewelry and acts like a joystick, in hopes of offering them more mobility and independence. Researchers reported that 11 people paralyzed from the neck down rapidly learned to use the tongue device to pilot their wheelchairs through an obstacle course full of twists and turns, and to operate a computer, too. “It’s really powerful because it’s so intu-

itive,” said Jason DiSanto, 39, who was among the first spinal cord-injured patients to get his tongue pierced for science and try out the system. “The first time I did it, people thought I was driving for, like, years.” The team of researchers in Atlanta and Chicago put the Tongue Drive System to the test against one of the most widely used assistive technologies, called sip-and-puff, that users operate by breathing into a straw. Using the tongue, patients operated their wheelchairs a bit faster, but just as accurately — and on average, they performed about three times better on video game-like computer tests, said lead researcher Maysam Ghovanloo, director of Georgia Tech University’s bionics lab.

The research, reported recently in the journal Science Translational Medicine, is an early step. It allowed use of the device only inside laboratories. Larger studies in real-world conditions are required before the device could be sold. And the tongue piercing may put off some potential users, the researchers acknowledge. But the work is attracting attention from specialists who say there’s a big need for more assistive technologies so they can customize care for those with severe disabilities. “For people who have very limited ability to control a power wheelchair, there aren’t that many options,” said Dr. Brad Dicianno, a rehabilitation specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center who wasn’t involved with the new research. “There is some interesting promise for this tongue control.”

Inventive technology Here’s how the system works: A headset worn by a user detects her tongue’s position when she flicks that magnetic stud. Touch a spot on the right bottom tooth to go right, for example. The headset wirelessly beams that information to a smartphone the user carries. An app then sends the command to move the wheelchair or the computer cursor. Why the tongue? “It’s unobtrusive, easy

to use and flexible,” said Ghovanloo, a biomedical engineer who created the system and has started a company that is working with Georgia Tech to commercialize it. Most people with spinal cord injuries — or neurologic diseases that also can paralyze — still can move their tongues. It doesn’t require special concentration. The tongue is pretty tireless. And the amount of real estate the brain’s motor cortex dedicates to the tongue and mouth rivals that of the fingers and hand, offering multiple complex movements, Ghovanloo said. He led the team of researchers from Atlanta’s Shepherd Center for spinal injuries, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University. DiSanto, an electrical engineer who became paralyzed from the neck down in a 2009 diving accident, said the headset is less intrusive than the sip-and-puff device that he normally uses, which requires a straw-like tube to be worn in front of his face. More important, he said, the tongue drive gave him more control, allowing him to move diagonally, for example.

Not for everyone As for the piercing, “there is some getting used to it,” said DiSanto, who got his See TECHNOLOGY, page 17




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Fermented foods bubble with benefits By Lori Zanteson Most of us aren’t likely to recognize the long list of fermented foods in our lives, though we’d never want to be without them. Pickles, sauerkraut, cheese, coffee, soy sauce, bread and, of course, beer and wine, are but a few of the foods transformed by microorganisms and elevated in flavor, preservation or health benefits as a result. Fermented foods have a history that reaches every corner of the globe and goes back many thousands of years. Out of necessity, people used fermentation to preserve food during lean times when vegetables weren’t available, or to prepare for times when cows weren’t giving milk. Today, fermented foods have become staples in every culture — from soy sauce in Japan to kefir in Eastern Europe.

What is fermentation? Fermented foods are those produced or preserved by microorganisms, such as yeast or bacteria, which occur naturally in the environment or may be introduced to foods to hasten fermentation. Fermentation generally describes the conversion of natural sugars found in foods into acids, gases or alcohol, using yeast. But it’s also widely used to make sour foods, such as pickles and yogurt,

through the use of lactobacillus bacteria. Through fermentation, juice turns to wine, grains become beer, and vegetable sugars become acids that naturally preserve cabbage as kimchi and cucumbers as pickles. Eating fermented foods introduces beneficial bacteria called probiotics into the gut, which help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria. A healthy gut is more receptive to the absorption of food nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Research shows that probiotics may lead to improved digestive health, immune function and, according to preliminary research, may even help reduce allergies and aid in weight loss. [See “The right bacteria may help fight obesity,” November 2013 Beacon.] Fermentation begins the process of breaking down food. When milk is fermented — as in the case of yogurt — the lactose (natural milk sugar) is broken down, making it more digestible for people who have difficulty tolerating lactose. During the fermentation of vegetables, such as with Korean kimchi, enzymes help to break down the food, easing the absorption of nutrients.

fermented — olives, pickles and sauerkraut — chances are they’re not fermented. Courtesy of today’s large-scale and fast manufacturing practices, fermented foods are no longer the norm. Pickles, for example, are most likely processed in vinegar and calcium chloride before they’re cooked at high heat and pasteurized, killing off naturally-occurring bacteria. Most foods in supermarkets are pasteurized for health and safety purposes. Though there is concern over contamination of fermented foods, the process creates an environment that’s unfriendly to food-borne pathogens. There has never been a documented case of food poisoning from eating them, with the exception of

home-brewed kombucha tea, which has been involved in some cases of serious illness related to unsanitary conditions. While fermented dairy products are readily found in supermarkets, a variety of more exotic fermented products are showing up in health food stores. Check labels for the words, “contains live cultures” to be sure you’re getting authentic fermented foods. Beware that these items may carry a higher price. Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 800-8295384. © 2014 Belvoir Media Group Distributed. By Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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A guide to deciphering nutrition labels By Rachael Moeller Gorman Food labels can guide you toward healthier choices. Or they can lead you astray. Consider this: “Organic” doesn’t always mean low-calorie, but consumers tend to link the two, according to some research. And even a true label claim may influence you in the wrong direction. Such is the case with a “reduced calorie” label that actually leads you to eat more. Don’t get swept up in the “health halos” of common claims. Here are some ways labels might mislead you: 1. Be wary of nutrient callouts. That tabbed banner of nutrition informa-

tion emblazoned on the front of various products (cereals, granola bars, pasta) is called Facts Up Front. It was created by the food industry. You’ll see numbers for saturated fat, sodium, sugar and calories, as well as two “nutrients to encourage.” For example: Lucky Charms cereal can tout its calcium and vitamin D levels, even though a 3/4-cup serving has 10 grams of sugar, and marshmallows is the second ingredient. In addition, nutrient-content callouts, such as “low-fat” or “cholesterolfree,” sometimes appear on unhealthy foods. Sure, Jujubes are fat-free, but they also have 18 g. of sugar per serving. 2. Read the fine print. In a 2010 report, “Food Labeling Chaos,”


the Center for Science in the Public Interest said that many ingredient lists are intentionally unclear. First, “they are often printed in small, condensed type, and many manufacturers use all capital letters that studies show are more difficult to read than (a combination of) upper and lower case letters.” Also, “some companies print the list in various colors of ink against poorly-contrasting backgrounds, or insert the ingredient list in a fold or other area where it will not be visible unless the consumer makes an extra effort to reveal the list.” 3. Beware of health claims. If you’re not well-versed in FDA food-labeling regulations (and, really, who is?), it’s hard to distinguish among the various types of “health claims” that appear on food products. a) Don’t believe high-fiber fibs. Sixty-six percent of consumers look for the phrase “high fiber,” according to Technomic, a food-industry consulting firm. Yet the product might be “high fiber” because it contains isolated fibers in the form of purified powders, such as maltodextrin. These fibers don’t have the same beneficial health effects as intact fibers from whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Other faux names: oat fiber, wheat fiber and oat hull fiber. b) Look for whole grains. The phrase “Made with Whole Grains” doesn’t guarantee the product is made predominantly of whole grains. In fact, only a miniscule amount may be there. Look for the word “whole” (whole wheat, whole grain, whole plus the name of grain) listed first in the ingredient list. Similarly, the Whole Grain Stamp — which appears on products that contain at least 8 g. whole grains per serving — does-

n’t guarantee the healthiest choice. A recent study in Public Health Nutrition found some grain products marked with the stamp were higher in sugar and calories than grain products without the stamp. The best way to identify the healthiest grain product? Look for at least 1 g. fiber for every 10 g. total carbohydrates. 4. Don’t judge a product by its name. To get around FDA labeling regulations (which don’t cover product names), companies create wholesome monikers for their unhealthy foods and beverages. Vitamin Water, for example, is basically sugar water (31-32 g. sugar per bottle) with some vitamins thrown in. Other health-evoking product names include thinkThin nutrition bars, SmartFood popcorn and Snackwell’s snacks. 5. Small serving sizes. Tiny serving sizes make unhealthy substances (fat, sugar) look less bad. Example: a 15-ounce can of organic soup labeled “healthy” contains “about two” servings. The FDA says that a food can’t be called “healthy” if it contains more than 480 mg per serving. So guess what? Each serving has 480 mg. of sodium. But most people eat everything in the can at once (960 mg). A better way: A February 2013 study found that for products containing two servings that are customarily consumed at a single eating occasion, displaying two columns on the label (one for the entire package and one for a split of the package) helps consumers make healthier choices.

Manufacturer claims to consider The claim: Health What it is: Links a nutrient to a health condition or disease. Example: “Calcium See NUTRITION LABELS, page 17

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Technology From page 14 in 2011. It took about a week to heal, and speaking and eating felt funny initially, but he got used to the sensation. It’s not for everyone. The current study tested the device in 23 able-bodied participants and 11 paralyzed volunteers. By study’s end, all of the disabled volunteers preferred the tongue system to their regular assistive device, said co-author Joy Bruce, who heads the Shepherd Center’s spinal cord injury lab.

Nutrition labels From page 16 may reduce risk of osteoporosis.” What to know: Must be preapproved by the FDA. Only 24 of such claims are authorized for foods — and all are supported by strong scientific evidence. The food also can’t be too high in unhealthy substances. These claims are reliable. The claim: Nutrient Content What it is: Tells how much of a particular nutrient a food contains — low, high, reduced, free, etc. Example: “A good source of calcium” or “high in calcium.” What to know: Less regulated. May be used without FDA review, but FDA defines the level of each nutrient that constitutes

But patients who were older or worried that a tongue stud wasn’t acceptable in their profession decided against participating. Ten other patients signed up but dropped out. One had the piercing fall out, researchers reported, while others had problems finding transportation to the study site, unrelated medical issues or lost interest. Ghovanloo plans to add functions to the smartphone app to let users turn on the TV or the lights with a flick of the tongue, too. He’s also made the device less visible — putting the headset’s sensors on a den“high,” “low,” etc. These claims are reliable. The claim: Structure/Function What it is: Describes the effect of a nutrient on the normal function of the body (with no reference to disease). Example: “Helps support your immunity.” Or “calcium builds strong bones.” What to know: Least regulated. Manufacturers self-police to ensure claims aren’t misleading. They also must have research to support the claim in the (unlikely) event that the FDA asks for evidence. These claims are unreliable. EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at © 2013 Eating Well, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC


Jan. 16

tal retainer instead. Studies begin soon to tell if that approach works without compromising users’ speech. DiSanto has signed up for that next round of testing. “Somebody that’s in a wheelchair already has a stigma,” he said. “If there was

POST-TREATMENT HEALING PLAN The Smith Center for Healing and the Arts presents a class that

helps develop a personal healing plan after cancer treatment, as part of their program “Navigating Cancer.” This class takes place on Thursday, Jan. 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Smith Center, 1632 U St. NW, Washington, D.C. The class costs $10; $8 if you register before Monday, Jan. 13. For more information or to register, visit or call (202) 438-8601.

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PACE From page 1 years ago, he had no intention of leaving his apartment in Alexandria, Va., where the 59-year-old lives alone. â&#x20AC;&#x153;MS hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t defeated me. I was staying

home. Period,â&#x20AC;? Gooden said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I can still clean. I can wash my dishes. Cooking is a gray area because I can only stand but so long.â&#x20AC;? Gooden said he relishes coming to the PACE program and appreciates the home health aides that come to his apartment.


Jan. 18+

ARTFUL PRIMARY COLORS Del Ray Artisans presents a movie night and art exhibit on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. The exhibit in many media will explore the

use of the colors red, yellow and blue, and will be open until Sunday, Feb. 2. The film Primary Colors will be shown for free, but $3 donations are suggested. The gallery is located at the Nicholas A. Colasanto Center, 2704 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va. The gallery is free and handicap accessible. For more information, visit or call (202) 276-0695.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;My life is most definitely easier. I am so glad for all of it: food, information, fellowship with people. You get out of the house. Keeps me out of trouble, too. PACE is wonderful. I recommend it to anybody.â&#x20AC;? Unlike most PACE participants, Oscar Fritz lives in an assisted living community just down the street from the InovaCares center. But after suffering a stroke, he needs a little more help than it offers. He said, however, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even think about having to live in a nursing home.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;I really like that this is so close to me, and the people are so friendly,â&#x20AC;? Fritz said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a doctor on hand if I need one, and they send aides to my apartment to clean and do the laundry.â&#x20AC;?

Paying for it The entire cost of the PACE program is covered for Medicaid beneficiaries. Those whose incomes and assets are too high to

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Jan. 21


Jane Franklin Dance presents FORTY+, a performance by the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dancers over 40 on Tuesday, Jan 21 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. This event takes place at Theatre on the Run, located at 3700 S. Four Mile Run Dr., Arlington, Va. Tickets cost $5. To order tickets, visit or buy at the door.

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qualify for Medicaid must shoulder the cost themselves. If they spend down all their savings, however, PACE helps them apply for Medicaid. The cost for those without Medicaid is $5,041 a month, considerably less than the average nursing home cost in Northern Virginia. (In 2012, the average cost of a semi-private nursing home room here was $279 a day, or $8,370 a month, according to the MetLife Survey of Long-term Care Costs.) For Audrey Mirsky-Ashby, who pays full fare for her mother, the wrap-around care offered by PACE is priceless. Her mother, Edith Mirsky, who has memory impairments, lived in New York City on her own, but one day she went to the bank and couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find her way home. She forgot how to use her cell phone.

Jan. 19


â&#x20AC;&#x153;True Storiesâ&#x20AC;? is an afternoon of true, humorous stories for adults and teens, told by Emmy Award-winning actress Melissa Leebaert and others. It will take place on Sunday Jan. 19 at 4.30 p.m. at the Tikvat Israel Synagogue, 2200 Baltimore Rd., Rockville, Md. Tickets cost $13 at the door; $11 in advance. Healthy snacks are included. For more information, call (301) 762-7338.



Virginia golfers 55 and older are invited to join the Burke Lake Seniors Golf Club. Benefits include reserved tee times on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the Par 3 Burke Lake Golf Course on Ox Rd. Annual dues for the season (from Apr. 1 through Oct. 31) are $20, plus green fees at a reduced rate. For more information, call Charlie Ryan at (703) 690-4227.

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PACE From page 18 So Mirsky-Ashby moved her mother to Fairfax to live with her and her family. Even after employing home health aides for 10 hours a day and adding the services of an adult day center for her mom, she still found caregiving stressful. But PACE “has made a tremendous, tremendous difference. It’s been a godsend,” she said. “When I realized that I was paying $15 an hour for the home health aides and their Social Security, and going through the horrors of scheduling them and all the doctor appointments, and the nightmare of keeping track of all her prescriptions, I feel like I get a lot for my $5,000,” MirskyAshby said. She is also happy that PACE offers respite care. When Mirsky-Ashby went on a camping trip with her son and husband last summer, PACE placed her mother in a Sunrise assisted living community for the weekend.

A liberating service Similarly, Naja Brown has found the PACE program invaluable in augmenting her caregiving for her parents. “I do not have a medical background, and being the liaison between my parents and all of their various physicians was a very stressful position to be in,” said Brown, who lives in Burke, Va. “The fact that I could hand that component of their care to an organization that could definitely do it better was liberating.” Bobbi Longworth, of Centreville, has also found more peace of mind with PACE. Longworth had been helping care for her

mother, who lives in an independent living community for seniors but needed more help than was provided there. Her mother was one of the first participants to sign up for InovaCare’s PACE. “I would have appreciated any help at all, so the comprehensive coordination of care appealed to me and almost seemed too good to be true. Fortunately, it wasn’t,” Longworth said. “The benefits have been great in that our mother-daughter relationship has improved. I’m no longer as overwhelmed by the numerous, seemingly endless caregiver duties that precluded us from actually enjoying some of our time together. “It’s not always easy, but life is much more balanced for myself and my mother thanks to our partners at PACE.” For more information on the InovaCares for Seniors PACE program, call (703) 2395888 or see Information on the program nationally is available at


Jan. 12


The African Children’s Choir will perform at the Northeastern Presbyterian Church, 2112 Varnum St. NE, Washington, D.C., on Sunday, Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. They will be singing children’s songs, traditional spirituals and gospel favorites. Though the concert is free, an offering is taken at the performance. For more information, visit or call (202) 526-1730.

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Jan. 22


The National Active and Retired Federal Employees will have as its speaker Alan Ferraro, commissioner of the Washington District Football Officials Association, whose talk will be “The Mysteries of Football Officiating.” Ferraro will discuss football at all levels: high school, college and professional, as well as the challenges that are faced by officials in making the right call. The meeting will be held at the Holiday Park Senior Center, 3950 Ferrara Dr., Wheaton, Md. from 1:30 to 3 p.m. For more information, call (301) 871-6734.



The Lewinsville Adult Day Health Care Center of McLean needs a volunteer musician to perform once or twice a month. For more information, visit and link to Volunteer Solutions or call (703) 324-5406, TTY 711.


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Can a vegan diet help diabetic nerve pain? By Barbara Ruben Sixty to 70 percent of those with diabetes develop nerve damage throughout their body called neuropathy. The condition can cause pain, tingling and numbness, most commonly in the arms, feet and legs. Those who have had diabetes for 25 years or more are the most likely to have neuropathy. Because diabetic neuropathy is more common in people who have trouble controlling their blood glucose and those who are overweight, a study is now looking at how diet might bring glucose levels down and at the same time help stop the tingling and pain of neuropathy. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is now enrolling people ages 18 to 65 with type 2 diabetes in a research study examining whether a low-

fat vegan diet that contains no animal products might be able to reduce neuropathy. “We’ve spoken to a number of people who say their neuropathy is worse after they eat, or when they eat certain foods, which suggests that they can feel a direct correlation between their blood sugar levels and their neuropathy on a day-to-day and hour-tohour basis,” said Anne Bunner, Ph.D., associate director of clinical research for PCRM. Though “That may not be true for everybody, we think in general there is a connection between glucose levels and neuropathic pain,” she continued. “And if we can get the glucose levels down, then not only will the nerves not be aggravated, they may have the opportunity to recover and to regenerate. “[Diabetics] may be able to gain sensation where they have lost it, and have a re-

duction in pain where there was daily pain.”

Vegan and non-vegan groups Those who participate in the study will be randomly divided into two groups. One will take a weekly nutrition class and support group at PCRM’s Friendship Heights’ office for 20 weeks while following a lowfat vegan diet, which eliminates all meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and eggs. The class includes cooking demonstrations. The other group will continue to eat their normal diet and not participate in the classes during the study. However, those in that group will be able to attend an information session about the diet after the study is completed. Study participants in both groups will take a vitamin B12 supplement. B12 helps maintain healthy nerve tissue and blood cells. “We’ve done this diet with thousands of participants, and people always find it to be easier than they thought it would be, especially in the context of the classes we do,” Bunner said. “They meet every week and discuss how the diet is going and how the illness is going. “We answer questions on how can I fit this diet into my life? What am I going to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner? What am I going to have for snacks? We provide lots of advice: How do you deal with holidays? Going out with friends? Travel?”

Four study assessments All those in the study will fill out questionnaires related to diabetic neuropathy, diet and exercise. During the first visit, they will also have blood tests to assess

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general health. During the study, there will be four health assessments — at the beginning, after 10 weeks, after 20 weeks and one year after the study ends. Each assessment includes a blood draw at a Quest Lab location of the participant’s choice. Participants will also complete a Sudoscan test, which measures how well skin produces sweat. The test scans palms of the hands and soles of the feet, and while it is painless, some participants may experience a tingling sensation because it uses a very low electrical current to stimulate sweat glands. During the study, participants will be called or visited at two random times by a dietician and interviewed about what they ate during the past 24 hours. During the study, alcohol consumption is limited to two drinks per day for men and one drink for women. All of those in the study will remain on their current medications. Those who are not in the diet group will receive $25 Whole Foods gift cards after each assessment. Those in the diet intervention group are not paid, but do receive two free books on cooking and diabetes, as well as the classes and support group without charge. The cost of all lab tests and B12 supplements are covered by PCRM. Those interested in participating in the study must contact PCRM by Thursday, Jan. 16. For more information or to volunteer, call toll-free 1-855-788-3977. PCRM’s office is located at 5100 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

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Enjoy more good fats; cut out bad ones By Nicci Micco Long gone are the days when all fats were “bad.” Now we know that what’s important are the types of fat we eat and how much. For instance, oils — full of unsaturated fatty acids — generally fall into the “healthy” camp. When you choose oil over a solid fat like shortening or butter, you’re helping to cut back your consumption of saturated fats — one of the nutritional bad guys. Similarly, when you choose nuts over crackers, you may be limiting your intake of trans fats, another type of unhealthy fats. All food sources that we think of as “fats” — we’re talking butter, shortening, oils — are made up of a combination of fatty acids: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated. All fats contain all three types, but are classified by the type of fatty acid that makes up most of the fat. For example, olive oil is about 78 percent monounsaturated fat, so it’s considered a monounsaturated fat. Trans fats are man-made fats used in processed foods to increase their shelf life. [The FDA announced in November it intends to ban the use of trans fats in the near future. For now, FDA estimates 12 percent of packaged foods still contain them.]

Choose these good fats 1. Monounsaturated fats Common sources: Olives, avocado, nuts and seeds, cooking oils, including olive oil and peanut oil How to spot them: They’re liquid at room temperature, but become semi-solid (or cloudy) in the refrigerator. Health effects: When substituted for saturated fats, research suggests that mo-

nounsaturated fats may help keep “bad” LDL cholesterol low and boost levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and, in that way, reduce risk for heart disease. 2. Polyunsaturated Fats (includes omega-6 fats and omega-3 fats) Common sources: Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel; nuts and seeds; cooking oils including sunflower oil, canola and walnut oil How to spot them: They’re always liquid, even if you put them in the fridge. Health notes: Like monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats may help improve blood cholesterol levels, thereby reducing risk for heart disease. Although both omega6 and omega-3 fats (two specific types of polyunsaturated fats) are essential for good health, omega-3s may have additional hearthealth and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Limit (or avoid) these bad fats 1. Saturated fat Common sources: Butter, lard, fatty meats and full-fat dairy products, including whole-milk cheese and yogurts How to spot them: They’re solid at room temperature. Health notes: A diet high in saturated fat has been linked with elevated cholesterol levels and increased risk for heart disease, so it’s best to limit your intake. The American Heart Association suggests limiting your intake of saturated fat to 7 percent of total calories — that’s 16 grams for a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. 2. Trans fats/partially hydrogenated fats Common sources: Many packaged snacks, commercially prepared baked goods,

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salad dressings, deep-fried fast food and some margarines. How to spot them: Check ingredient lists for the terms “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” fats. Food manufacturers don’t have to report the trans-fat content if it’s less than 0.5 gram per serving, so a product may include trans fats even if the label reports 0 grams. Health notes: Trans fats are the unhealthiest of all: they increase (“bad”) LDL and decrease (“good”) HDL cholesterol. Aim to limit trans fats to less than 1 percent of total calories per day. Some experts recommend trying to avoid them altogether.

from nutrition bonuses — with these easy swaps: Salmon for steak: You’ll not only cut back on saturated fat, but also gain hearthealthy omega-3s. 1.1 g. sat. fat (3 oz.) vs. 9.1 g. (3 oz.) Avocado for brie: Replacing high-in-saturated-fat brie with avocado gets you “good” monounsaturated fats and a good amount of dietary fiber, vitamin C and potassium. 1.1 g. sat. fat (1/4 avocado) vs. 4.9 g. (1 oz.) Extra-virgin olive oil for butter: You’ll save 5 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon and gain antioxidants found in extravirgin olive oil. 1.9 g. sat. fat (1 Tbsp.) vs. 7.3 g. (1 Tbsp.) © 2013 Eating Well, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Fast fat swaps Cut back on saturated fat — and benefit

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How to learn when (and how much) to eat Q: I want to lose weight, but when I get too hungry, I overeat. How can I tell when to ignore the urge, versus when it’s time to eat before I’m too hungry? A: It’s not always easy to know the best time to eat, especially if you’ve spent years dieting with a mindset of trying to ignore your body’s hunger signals. The good news is that the skill of knowing when you are truly hungry becomes easier the more you practice it, and this will not only help you lose weight, but can play a key role in helping you maintain a healthy weight. Begin by training yourself to recognize degrees of hunger by rating it on a one-toten scale before and after you eat. (Ten

equals stuffed, one equals feeling so hungry you’d gulp down anything, and five equals “neutral.”) With practice, you’ll learn to recognize signals of hunger and know when to eat something before you get to the point of out-of-control overeating. For some people, it’s stomach rumbling; for others, it’s decreased ability to focus attention. You can also practice recognizing nonhunger urges to eat. For example, you might notice that you’re sensitive to cues like seeing others eat or smelling pleasant aromas from a bakery. You may also learn that you use eating as an “excuse” when you need a break or as a way to cope when upset or tired. Behavioral therapists often note that this

desire to eat when not hungry tends to come tive compounds in spinach are similar in a wave. If you aren’t hungry, the urge will whether you use fresh or frozen. Freezing usually pass if you can distract spinach does not seem to mean yourself with something else for any loss in beta-carotene cona little while. The problem is tent. that most of us don’t realize that, Compared to the frozen and give in to the urge too soon. for m, fr eshly har vested The bottom line is learning spinach provides more folate to tune in and trust your body — a B vitamin that some studsignals. Keeping some form of ies have found may prevent journal can be very helpful to heart disease according to the this process. American Heart Association. If you find losing weight However, a study at Pennsylchallenging, a few sessions NUTRITION vania State University shows with a registered dietitian (RD WISE that when fresh spinach sits in or RDN) trained in behavior By Karen Collins, a truck for transportation over modification can help you learn MS, RD, CDM long distances, or sits in your refrigerator for a week, folate to read your body signals and understand how eating choices can set you content drops so much that frozen spinach up for more long-lasting hunger satisfaction. becomes the better source. Frozen spinach is terrific to keep on If you don’t know how to find one in your area, go to the website of the Academy of hand for an easy nutrient boost in soups Nutrition and Dietetics ( and sauces. For other uses, cook spinach and enter your location information under (fresh or frozen) by steaming, microwaving, stir-frying or sautéing to retain folate “Find a Registered Dietitian.” Q: How much nutrition do I lose by and vitamin C. Boiling spinach in a pot of using frozen spinach instead of fresh? water, then draining it, can cut these vitaA: Spinach is a powerhouse food con- mins’ content in half. taining vitamins and minerals, and is a rich When using frozen spinach, you can resource of phytochemicals, such as duce vitamin C losses by cooking it directly carotenoids and flavonoids. See NUTRITION WISE, page 23 In general, the nutrients and other protec-

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Fitness & Health


Southwestern bean soup is a meal in itself Most recipes call for canned beans, as though they were the only option. Using them is exquisitely convenient, but making dried beans is almost as easy and much less expensive. Hear me out, please, before you turn the page. I sometimes use canned beans when cooking for myself, so I’m not an uncompromising purist. But no canned brand matches the flavor and texture of homecooked beans — certainly not after you rinse canned beans to reduce their sodium content and remove the remains of canned “bean juice.” Some dried beans do not require long soaking or hours to cook. For example, the black-eyed peas for this recipe need just a four-hour soak. They cook in 30 to 40 minutes, about what it takes to make a nice pot of soup. Or use the quick-soak method and black-eyed peas will be ready in only two hours. Of that time, only 10 minutes involves you; the rest, while the beans soak and then simmer, is untended. For this method, bring the dried peas to a boil in a large pot, like cooking pasta, then remove from heat, cover and set aside for 1 hour.

Drain, replace the water, and cook until the beans are tender, about 40 minutes. This soup — almost a stew thanks to all the good stuff in it — includes what southwestern Native Americans called the three sisters – beans, corn and squash. Warming and aromatic with smoked paprika, it makes a complete winter meal.

Southwestern Bean Soup 3/4 cup dried black-eyed peas, or 1 3/4 cup frozen, or a 15 oz. can, no salt added, rinsed and drained 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 medium red onion, chopped 2 cups chopped butternut squash, in 3/4-inch pieces 4 cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth 1 cup frozen yellow corn 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika 1 cup steamed beet greens or chard (4 cups raw, chopped) Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, optional, for garnish

Soak dried black-eyed peas in 3 cups water for 4 to 6 hours. (If using frozen or canned black-eyed peas, skip these first steps.) Drain in colander, then transfer soaked peas to medium saucepan. Add 3 cups water and set pot over medium-high heat. Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar. When water boils, reduce heat to simmer and cook peas for 30 minutes, or until tender. Drain in colander, and set cooked beans aside. Or refrigerate, tightly covered, for up to 3 days. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add squash, stir to combine and coat with oil, and cook 1 minute. Cover pot tightly, reduce heat to medium-

low, and cook for 5 minutes. Add broth, corn, oregano and paprika. Cover and simmer soup until squash is tender, 10 minutes. Add greens and black-eyed peas and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, divide soup among 6 wide, shallow soup bowls. Sprinkle cilantro over each serving, dividing it evenly among bowls. Makes 6 servings. Unused portion can be refrigerated for use the next day. Per 1½ cup serving: 158 calories, 3 g. total fat (<1 g. saturated fat), 27 g. carbohydrate, 9 g. protein, 4 g. dietary fiber, 428 mg. sodium. — The American Institute for Cancer Research

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Nutrition wise From page 22 from the freezer without thawing it first. However, to add frozen spinach to a casserole or pasta dish such as lasagna, your dish may turn out best if you do first thaw it (using the microwave makes it quick and easy), then place in a sieve or colander and use a large spoon to squeeze out the excess water. By squeezing this water into a bowl, you can refrigerate it and save to add to soup or pasta sauce, thus avoiding loss of vita-

min C or other water-soluble nutrients. The American Institute for Cancer Research 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.

301-441-8632 If no answer, please leave a message.


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Trouble sleeping? An overview of options Dear Pharmacist: What are the best medications to help me sleep? I’ve tried all the natu-

ral remedies, I need something stronger! — V.E.

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Dear V.E.: have morning grogginess. The disadvanWhy, as a nation, do we have trouble tage is you may be staring at the alarm sleeping? It should be such a clock by 3 a.m. natural act. Rozerem (Ramelteon) — I urge you to find the unThis is my favorite sleep medderlying cause of your chronication because it affects your ic insomnia and to change melatonin receptors, increasyour sleep habits, because ing the length of time you you can’t rely on medication sleep. You can start and stop forever. as often as you wish, since Chronic insomnia may be there is no physical dependcaused by sleep apnea and, in ence. The drug may affect prothis situation, sleeping pills lactin and testosterone levels, are dangerous. For others, a DEAR so if you use it long-term PHARMACIST deficiency of your sleep hor(greater than 3 or 4 months), By Suzy Cohen mone, melatonin, causes you have these levels evaluated. to wake up very early. Silenor (Doxepine) — IntroThe point is that sleep disorders aren’t duced in 2010, this medication blocks histaalways related to neurotransmitter imbal- mine receptors. It contains the same active ances, so sleeping pills (which affect neu- ingredient as a popular antidepressant, but rotransmitters) often just mask the under- in a much lower dose. I like that it does not lying problem. have addictive potential. Here are the most popular medications: Benzodiazepine drugs (temazepam, alAmbien (zolpidem) — Introduced in prazolam, clonazepam, lorazepam and oth1992, this helps put you to sleep and keep ers) — Very affordable, and used for you asleep. Many people reported having decades, these drugs have strong addictive morning grogginess, so the makers came potential and may cause daytime drowsiout with a controlled-release version in ness. This category helps with some 2005 that works longer. seizures. Ambien usually puts you to sleep within Insurance companies may have restric15 to 30 minutes. There are other brand tions on which sleeping pills are covered, names containing the same chemical in- and will obviously expect you to buy gredients, such as a sublingual low-dose generic. They often require you to try tablet called “Intermezzo” that you can other approaches to your insomnia first. take in the middle of the night. There’s If you are interested in natural herbs or vialso “Zolpimist,” an oral spray. tamins to help you sleep, I’ll send you an exEvery now and then you hear a report of panded version of this article. Just sign up someone sleep-driving, having sex, mak- for my free newsletter at www.DearPharmaing phone calls, sleep-walking and cooking meals while on Ambien. This information is opinion only. It is not Lunesta (eszopiclone) — Everything I intended to treat, cure or diagnose your consaid about Ambien applies to this drug as dition. Consult with your doctor before using well. It is similar in mechanism of action, any new drug or supplement. as well of duration of action. Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist Sonata (Zaleplon) — Again, similar to and the author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist Ambien, however, it has a very short dura- and Real Solutions from Head to Toe. To tion of action. The advantage is you won’t contact her, visit

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Does grandma get a say in baby naming? Dear Solutions: husband in talking about family history. My son and daughter-in-law recently Give priority to being a part of your grandhad an adorable baby boy. son’s life and experiencing the Before he was born, they pleasure this will bring by said they would name him whatever name. after my husband, who died Dear Solutions: two years ago. But when he My daughter is getting was born, my daughter-inmarried soon. Good friends law said she loved a different and relatives threw her a name and gave that name to tasteful, lovely bridal shower. the baby instead. Now, though, her colThey don’t plan to have leagues at work are planning any other children, so this to surprise her by taking her is my only grandchild. I SOLUTIONS to a “bachelorette” party at a feel that this was a prom- By Helen Oxenberg, club with male strippers. ise, and I’m upset. I would MSW, ACSW I took a message for my like them to at least add a daughter when she wasn’t middle name for my husband. home, and that person told me about it Our religion has a special naming cer- in secret. I’m sure my daughter will not emony, and I would like to do this there. appreciate this tacky kind of entertainBut my daughter-in-law is of a different ment, but I don’t know if I should warn religion, so how do I handle this? her about it because it’s supposed to be — Emma a surprise. Dear Emma: — Not Sure With great care. Talk to your son first, Dear Not Sure: and make it clear to him that you love the Tacky to you, titillating to others — baby and your daughter-in-law, and you maybe. Say nothing. Your daughter will surdon’t want to upset anyone, but this is im- vive it, even if she finds it offensive. What she portant to you. If you son doesn’t wish to won’t survive as well is the embarrassment go further, then drop it. of having her mother interfere. One day, you can tell your grandson These are people she works with, and about his grandfather and include your she won’t want to insult them or have to

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put on an act if she knows about it. It’s one evening. They care about her, and it’s their version of fun. Stay mum, mom! Dear Solutions: My cousin’s husband died over a year ago. From that time on, she has absolutely refused to go anywhere where other women are there with their husbands. Many of these people were good friends of hers and her husband in the past, and they keep telling her they want her company. Two of the women are also widows, and they are happy to join the group. It’s true she was the quiet one and counted on her husband to be the social being, but I’m afraid she’s making herself more and more isolated and

depressed. Any suggestions? — Molly Dear Molly: Sounds like she believes that since she’s “unmanned” she’s uninteresting and is better off being unavailable. Perhaps, if you know the other women, you might suggest to them that they invite her to join them for lunch or other activities without any men present. At those gatherings, they could reassure her about joining the couples events along with them. In addition, it sounds like she should get some counseling to help with her bereavement and her ability to go on with her life. © Helen Oxenberg, 2014. Questions can be sent to


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Spotlight On Aging VOLUME XXV, ISSUE 1

A newsletter for D.C. Seniors

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE By John M. Thompson, Ph.D., FAAMA As this issue of “Spotlight on Aging” is the first edition for 2014, I would like to talk about health and wellness. These topics are always relevant, regardless if you are an individual who will be turning 60 years of age this year or a seasoned senior. By focusing on these measures now, we can help ourselves to remain physically active for many years. According to 2010 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were approximately 2.3 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults treated in emergency departments, and more than 662,000 of these patients were hospitalized due to hip fractures, lacerations and head traumas — or even admitted to nursing homes. The total direct medical costs associated with these falls were $30.4 billion. As you can imagine, seniors who have suffered these kinds of injuries find it difficult to remain independent, and may suffer from an increased risk of early death. In extreme cases, 21,700 seniors died from unintentional fall injuries in 2010. Beyond the fact that seniors are prone to fall injuries, some seniors live with different types of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and arthritis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 out of 10 deaths annually among Americans are linked to chronic diseases. About 25 percent of people with chronic conditions have limitations with one or more activities of daily living (ADL). Arthritis is the most common cause of disability, impacting nearly 19 million Americans who report that they have issues with performing some ADLs. Diabetes can also adversely impact ADLs when individuals go blind or require non-traumatic lower-extremity amputations due to the condition. Although I have shared some staggering data with you, seniors and future seniors can take control of their lives to prevent falls and prevent or alleviate ailments associated with a number of chronic diseases. Seniors can access free wellness programs at any of the District of Columbia Office on Aging’s Senior Wellness Centers, which are located in Wards 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. At these senior wellness centers, you can engage in tai chi classes to improve balance, and take part in strength training classes to build leg strength to prevent falls. You can exercise on the treadmill and the elliptical machine, and take aerobics classes to prevent or alleviate the ailments associated with cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis and stroke. Moreover, aerobic exercises strengthen your immune system, which means that you will be healthy, active and productive rather than being sick at home. Lastly, aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and your body’s ability to supply oxygen throughout your body, which helps it to function properly, while burning calories and reducing body fat. For those who frequently come to our senior wellness centers, we welcome you back in 2014! If you are a District senior age 60 and older and have not been to one of our senior wellness centers, we welcome you to get started this week by visiting any of our six locations. See the list at right, or contact the District of Columbia Office on Aging at 202-724-5626 for more information.

January 2014

Centenarian Receives Mayoral Award for Service Mayor Gray recently presented 104-year-old Virginia McLaurin with the National Service Award during the Mayor’s Community Service Awards. The awards are presented annually to District residents making a notable impact through volunteerism and service. Grandma McLaurin, as she is known, is a long-time resident of the District, and was aware of the challenges the city faced when meeting D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray presented 104-year-old Virginia McLauthe academic needs of students with rin with the National Service Award during the Mayor’s Community severe special educational needs Service Awards. and disabilities. Foster Grandparent Program, she was disIn 1994, because she lives near C. Melvin cussing upcoming calendar events. When ChristSharpe Health School, she decided to volunteer mas was trying to recall one of them, Grandma to make a difference in the lives of the mentally McLaurin quickly chimed in to correct her. and physically disabled children attending the The centenarian takes part in many activities, school by working alongside the teaching staff but is definitely committed to the children she and administration as a United Planning Organi- serves. At age 104, Grandma McLaurin continzation (UPO) Foster Grandparent. ues to walk the two blocks from her home to the She has volunteered an average of 40 hours school without assistance. per week for the past 19 years. Grandma helps Her presence as a volunteer inspires everythese special children acquire and develop social one to work beyond the aches and pains of age, skills, basic skills in speech, reading, writing and to dance in the face of setbacks and loss, and to math. Grandma believes that love conquers all, give love freely to all. Foster Grandparent saying, “I love everybody.” McLaurin is a shining example of the commitAfter the ceremony, while waiting for her ride ment to service and humanity that is the with Cheryl Christmas, program manager for the essence of volunteerism.

Happy New Year! Start off the year by adopting a healthier lifestyle! Attend one of six wellness centers citywide designed for persons age 60 and older. Participation is free for District residents age 60 and older

Bernice Fonteneau Senior Wellness Center Ward 3531 Georgia Ave. NW • 202-727-0338

Hattie Holmes Senior Wellness Center 324 Kennedy St. NW • 202-291-6170

Model Cities Senior Wellness Center 1901 Evarts St. NE • 202-635-1900

Hayes Senior Wellness Center 500 K St. NE • 202-727-0357

Washington Seniors Wellness Center 3001 Alabama Ave. SE• 202-581-9355

Congress Heights Senior Wellness Center 3500 Martin Luther King Jr., Ave. SE 202-563-7225

The BODYWISE program promotes health, wellness and fitness for persons 60 years of age or older in the District of Columbia. Some of the benefits that may be achieved include: an increase in participant’s cardiovascular efficiency, muscular strength, flexibility and overall life satisfaction. A key component of the program is to promote health, wellness and disease prevention knowledge. Call 202-274-6651 for more information.


J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N




Mystery Shopper Scams Grow Bigger and More Sophisticated: Don’t Get Sucked in by Con Artists Message from the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking

The articles in places like Forbes magazine and the website Gizmodo describe it as one of “Seven Fun Ways for Retirees to Make Money” and an easy way to “Make Money on Your Lunch Break.” Mystery shopping can be fun and reasonably profitable. It can also be a scam designed to separate you from your money before you realize it’s even gone. Real mystery-shopping companies pay people to shop at the companies’ clients and report their experiences. Big retailers, for instance, will contract with mystery-shopping companies to find out how their sales people treat customers. Started in the 1940s, mystery shopping has since grown into a $1.5 billion business, says the trade association Mystery Shopper Providers Association, which estimates 1.5 million Americans are at least occasionally mystery shoppers. “Mystery shopping is the only reliable way to quantify and benchmark the customer experience,” says the trade association in its pitch to clients. “Mystery shopping provides data that lets the business owner make quick adjustments so that the customer’s expectations are met

and the customer is satisfied. That brings the customer back, builds loyalty and allegiance, and protects the bottom line.”

How the scams work But as the industry has grown, so have the once penny-ante scams involving the industry now grown to cost victims several thousand dollars. Here’s how it works, according to the National Association of Mystery Shoppers, which represents the shopper side of the industry: Someone, often a woman, will call offering to pay you to mystery shop. Or you may get the cashier’s check or money order unsolicited in the mail, typically from $1,000 to $4,500, for you to deposit in your bank, deducting a couple of hundred for your fee. You’re then supposed to wire the balance to them, usually to an address in another country, often Canada, supposedly in order to evaluate a money transmitter like Western Union. By the time your bank discovers the check you deposited is a fake, you’re out the entire amount, plus you’re potentially liable for multiple bank charges, and there’s no way to recover your money. What’s more, the scam artist may also steal personal information to tap into your credit cards or ac-

counts. “Scams involving counterfeit checks have become one of the most prevalent type of frauds in North America,” said Andrea Rosen, Canada’s deputy commissioner of competition. “These scams are a particular concern since they target unemployed people anxious to earn money in the current economic climate.” The Toronto Strategic Partnership, formed in 2000 to fight cross-border fraud, focuses on fighting scams like this (Toronto is the Canadian capital of whitecollar crime.) The partnership consists of Canadian consumer protection and law enforcement officials and representatives from British law enforcement and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Postal Inspection Service. Just two con artists arrested by Canadian police scammed people for $150,000. These new scams are a big step up from the old penny-ante con where scam artists would buy classified ads and get potential shoppers to send $100 to start getting assignments. There are two major warning signs of the new scam: Legitimate mystery shopping companies don’t directly contact potential shoppers, says the Mystery Shopper Provider Association. And they rarely

send a check before you’ve even completed your assignment. The District’s Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking hasn’t received any formal complaints about mystery shopping scams so far, but two elderly men at a fraud-prevention event recently complained to the department’s consumer advocate that they had received checks in the mail in the last year. Neither man deposited them. Last year, New York State’s attorney general shut down two websites that conned people into accepting $2,000 bogus checks in return for a $300 “fee.” Uncertain economic times like these create rich hunting grounds for these scam artists, said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “These scams,” he said, “are particularly insidious because they target individuals looking for ways to bolster their income in today’s challenging job environment.” Mystery shoppers find assignments through ads online and in newspapers from legitimate companies. These companies usually only pay shoppers after they’ve finished their assignments and filed reports. If someone wants to send See SCAMS, page 30

Be Prepared for Winter Emergencies Now is the time to prepare for possible winter emergencies. Once you learn of a cold or winter weather alert, such as a winter storm warning, listen to the broadcast media about the weather conditions. Seniors are urged to follow certain protective measures, including: staying in warm places, wearing several layers of dry clothing, wearing a windproof outer layer, rescheduling appointments if possible, and storing canned goods and prescription medicines in case you cannot get out to a store. See or www. for additional important information. Here are important phone numbers that also may be helpful in cold weather emergencies.

IMMEDIATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE • Emergency Assistance 911 In a life-threatening situation, call 911 for Police, Fire and ambulance services. There is a charge for DC ambulance transportation to healthcare facilities. Medicare Part A recipients can be reimbursed.

• Hypothermia/Shelter Hotline 202-399-7093 or (800) 535-7252 The hotline offers assistance to persons in need of overnight shelter, and support for those living on the streets. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE •DC Consumer and Regulatory Affairs 202-442-9557 If the heating system is not working in your rental apartment building, notify the property management. If you do not receive a response, you can call the Housing Inspections Office for assistance during business hours. On weekends and after hours, call the Office of Emergency Management at 202-727-6161. • DC Call Center 202-311 3-1-1 is the number to report public streets that need snow and ice clearing and removal. It’s also the main number for DC residents to report a problem or violation, offer feedback to the Mayor, or obtain government information. • Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency 202-727-6161 This office can give you information

about shelters, where to get blankets, heaters and oil, and whom to contact for other assistance. Also for non-medical emergency assistance and service information on holidays, weekends and after hours. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. • D.C. Office on Aging 202-7245626 The Information and Assistance Office can link seniors with needed services and provide general information on keeping warm. The Office is open

Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. • D.C. Energy Office 3-1-1 Emergency energy assistance is available to low-income District residents who have received a disconnection notice for electric or gas service, or are currently disconnected. Assistance is also available to residents without home heating oil. The amount of assistance is based on household size, total household income, heating source, and type of dwelling.

Citizen Snow Team Volunteers Needed Serve DC, the Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism, is seeking volunteers from across the District to join the 2013-2014 Citizen Snow Team that will clear the sidewalks of elderly and disabled residents after it snows. The District requires property owners (residential and commercial) to clear the sidewalks sur-

rounding their property within 24hours after a snowfall. Even a dusting of snow can be too much for elderly or disabled residents to shovel. Volunteers are needed to make winter a little easier on everyone. Persons interested in volunteering their time to help those in need can register by calling 202-727-8421 or visit


WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4




Seniors Celebrate Holiday at Annual Event More than 3,200 seniors enjoyed the Mayor’s Annual Senior Holiday Celebration held at the DC Armory last month. D.C. Office on Aging Executive Director John M. Thompson introduced Mayor Vincent C. Gray, who greeted the seniors and spoke of the great things the District is doing to improve transportation for seniors, including increasing the budget to serve more seniors, increasing the number of life support and medical transportation trips, and providing more recreational trips for senior citizens. The event was held under the theme,

Live, Work and Play: An AgeFriendly Holiday Celebration. The exhibit area included many government and community-based resources providing information, immunizations and health screenings, free facials, manicures, massages, giveaways and much more. A festive holiday meal was served by volunteers from the Armed Forces, PEPCO and the JR ROTC. The MC for the event was Robert “Captain Fly” Frye, host on WPFW 89.3 FM and WYCB’s Senior Zone. The featured performer for the event was local R&B group HALO. Other

reds of seniors for the Mayor's Mayor Vincent C. Gray joined hund held at the D.C. Armory Annual Senior Holiday Celebration,

The MC Steppers performed “Rhythm Nation .”

etings Romaine Thomas brings gre Commission on Aging Chair during the event.

performers included Captain Fly and friends for the holiday including The Philly Sound. Senior performers for the event included the MC Steppers performing “Rhythm Nation,” and the TR/Crest Soulinesters performing a dance to “Jazzy Lady.” Senior participants from the Vida Senior Center sang “Feliz Navidad,” and the API Senior Center Silver Singers sang a holiday medley of songs in Chinese, Mandarin and English. Seniors received a workout from Hayes Senior Wellness Center fitness coordinator William Yates, which in-

cluded dance movement and yoga. Many of the attendees stayed on the dance floor hand dancing, performing line dances like the “Wobble,” and just enjoying the music that was provided. Known as the District’s largest holiday event held for seniors, the event is hosted annually by the D.C. Office on Aging and its Senior Service Network. In its 16th year, the free event brings seniors from across the city to celebrate the season. This year, the event was rescheduled because of inclement weather forecast for the area in early December.

Those at the event received information on DCOA services.

Vincent C. DCOA Executive Director Dr. John Thompson, Mayor n atistratio Admin ity Secur Social Gray and Lester Austin of the ation. celebr y tended the holida

Local R&B group HALO perform ed at the celebration.


J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N




Community Calendar January events

available to assist them. For more information, contact or call 202-727-8364.

7th and 21st • noon Join in the D.C. Caregivers Chat Online at Noon, designed to provide resources, tips and other information to assist persons caring informally for older adults. If you miss the noon chat, go back to the site (, and hit replay to view the conversation. For more information, contact or 202-535-1442.

11th and 12th • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. DCOA will have a booth a the NBC4 2014 Health & Fitness Expo at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Halls B & C, Booth 1541, 801 Mt. Vernon Pl. NW. Join us for this great annual event health and fitness demonstrations, resources, free giveaways and more. For details about the event, call 202-249-3600.

9th • 10 a.m. to noon DCOA and the Office of Unified Communications will present Smart911 to residents of Fort Lincoln. The presentation will be held at 2855 Fort Lincoln Dr. NE. Residents will have an opportunity to sign up for a safety profile designed to give first responders important information on homes and their occupants when contacted for emergency assistance. Residents will also learn more about programs and services

16th • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

as a District of Columbia Centenarian. All centenarians will be invited to attend a special luncheon in their honor. You may call Darlene Nowlin at 202-7278364 or email for more information.

nity Survey 2011 estimates, there were nearly 70,000 seniors age 65 years and older who headed households in the Washington Metropolitan Region with incomes under $30,000 annually. To read the column and find out more, visit

SPOTLIGHT ON AGING Spotlight On Aging is published by the Information Office of the D.C. Office on Aging for D.C. senior residents. Advertising contained in the Beacon is not endorsed by the D.C. Office on Aging or by the publisher. 500 K St., N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 202-724-5622 • John M. Thompson, Ph.D., FAAMA Executive Director Darlene Nowlin Editor Selma Dillard, Vadym Guliuk, Darrell Jackson, Jr. Photographers The D.C. Office on Aging does not discriminate against anyone based on actual

DCOA Executive Director John M. Thompson, Ph.D., FAAMA will discuss the Affordable Care Act and host a Community Health and Informational Fair at Bethesda Baptist Church, 1808 Capitol Ave. NE. Contact Shirley Mitchell at 301-318-2990 for more information.

23rd and 28th • 11:30 a.m. Learn about Medicare savings programs on Jan. 23 at the Kibar Nutrition Site, 1519 Islamic Way NW, and on Jan. 28 at the Edgewood Terrace Nutrition site, 1519 4th St. NW.

DCOA will present a Community Health and Infor-

Seniors and Food in the District DCOA Executive Director John M. Thompson, Ph.D. was a recent guest columnist for the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger. The column focused on the District’s efforts to combat hunger among older residents. According to the American Commu-

20th • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

14th • 11:30 a.m. Learn how to prevent bedbugs at a program at the Kibar Nutrition Site, 1519 Islamic Way NW. For reservations, call Vivian Grayton at 202-529-8701.

Seeking Centenarians The D.C. Office on Aging is preparing for the Annual Salute to District of Columbia Centenarians. If you or someone you know will be 100 years of age or older by April 30, please let us know so that they may be registered

mational Fair at Holy Temple of Christ Church, 439 12th St. NE. Come out and receive valuable information on DCOA programs and services, and receive health screenings and resources to keep you safe. For more information, call Alice Thompson at 202-535-1321.

or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, disability, source of income, and place of residence or business. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which is prohibited by the Act. In addition, harassment based on any of the above protected categories is prohibited by the Act. Discrimination in violation of the Act will not be tolerated. Violators will be subjected to disciplinary action.

The Office on Aging is in partnership with the District of Columbia Recycling Program.

Mayor’s Commission on HIV/AIDS Mayor Vincent C. Gray recently swore in members of the Commission on HIV/AIDS, which included government and community representatives who will work to continue progress and save lives. New members include DCOA Executive Director John M. Thompson. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 15 percent of new HIV/AIDS cases in the District

Scams From page 28

you a check before you have done anything, especially to test a wire service’s fund transfers, beware. So you’re not accepting checks, you’re not accepting solicitations for work by phone: Now, how do you tell whether the companies that are advertising are legitimate? Most will send you an email or require you to log in to get an assignment. You can check them with the Better Business Bureau or with the trade association; you could even Google them. Don’t hesitate to call and ask questions. If there’s no phone number on the company’s website, that could be a bad sign. If they ask for money upfront on a website for certification, a directory of mystery shopping companies, or a guaranty of a job, they are probably shady, says the Federal Trade Commission, since all this information is available on the Web for free. They may try to sell visions of you checking into fancy hotels or dining in fashionable restaurants, but mystery

of Columbia are among older adults. While this is a slow increase over several years, 75 percent of older adults are late testers, meaning that they test within 12 months of HIV contraction and are typically diagnosed with AIDS at the same time. For more information on older adults and HIV/AIDS, see

shoppers tell the FTC it’s at best a parttime job for most people. If you try to get your money back, says the FTC, “usually you are out of luck. Either the business doesn’t return the phone calls, or if it does, it’s to try another pitch.” If you have been the victim of a scam, or even merely been contacted by one of these con artists, contact the District’s Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking at or 202-4427832. You can also find more information on the scam and report problems to the Federal Trade Commission at and “Con artists are constantly upping their game by coming up with new scams and figuring out ways to use new media to defraud people, so we want to make sure people are aware of the many pitfalls out there,” said Gregory Marsillo, director of enforcement at the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking. “If you think you may be the victim of a financial scam like this in the District, we want to hear from you.”

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4

Say you saw it in the Beacon

Money Law &


GO PAPERLESS How to use digital devices to organize and store statements and bills SAVINGS SUGGESTIONS Where to stash your cash for the future, with at least some growth DEADLY SINS OF INVESTING Don’t follow the herd when buying stocks, or give in to fear when selling DOLLAR STORE DUDS Why you shouldn’t buy batteries, electronics or tools at a dollar store

Don’t bet on a great stock market in 2014 By Steve Rothwell Don’t bet your shirt on a repeat performance. That’s the message from some of the biggest U.S. investment firms as the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 16,000 for the first time at the end of 2013 and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index is on track as of the last days of December for its best year in a decade, with a gain of 28.65 percent. Although investment professionals remain optimistic, investors shouldn’t expect such outsized gains will be repeated in 2014. The S&P 500, the Dow and other stock indexes have risen steadily as the Federal Reserve has maintained its economic stimulus to keep long-term interest rates low, and the economy has continued to strengthen. Although economic growth hasn’t been spectacular, it has been strong enough enable companies to keep increasing their earnings. We asked professionals at three big

money managers — T. Rowe Price, Franklin Templeton and BlackRock — for their thoughts on how the stock market will shape up this year.

The outlook for stocks Another double-digit gain is not out of the question. Many of the tail winds for the stock market are still in place, but they may start to weaken. Corporate earnings are strong, but profit margins could be peaking. Interest rates are still low compared tto historical levels, but will likely rise gradually, particularly when the Fed starts to pull back on its bond-buying stimulus program, as it recently indicated. However, the biggest challenge to the stock market is that valuations have risen so much this year, said Larry Puglia, portfolio manager of T. Rowe Price’s Blue Chip Growth fund.

That is to say, investors have been willing to pay more for a company’s future earnings, pushing up prices. The priceearnings ratio for S&P 500 companies has risen to 15 from 12.5 at the start of last year, according to FactSet. “We still find selected stocks attractive and think that the market’s OK, but I would be surprised if the market....was able to duplicate the type of gains we’ve had [in 2013],” said Puglia. He still thinks stocks could rise as much as 10 percent in 2014. Conrad Hermann, a portfolio manager at Franklin Templeton said that statistics show that when the market logs an annual gain of 20 percent or more, it has been followed by another year of gains on two out of three occasions — for an average gain of 11.5 percent the next year.

The tech industry should benefit from rising spending in an improving global economy, said BlackRock’s chief investment strategist Russ Koesterich. He also said that technology stocks are typically less sensitive to rising interest rates than other industry groups. Many tech stocks don’t pay a dividend, making them less sensitive to higher bond yields, and with strong new products they should grow profits. That suggests if interest rates climb, tech stocks should perform better than the overall market. Tech companies are also less richly priced than some other parts of the market, while still offering good growth prospects. Those in the S&P 500 are trading at 14.4 times their projected earnings over the next 12 months. That makes them less expensive than

The best industry to invest in Technology companies are the big favorite.

See STOCK MARKET, page 32

Helping pay for college? Learn the rules As families scramble to meet deadlines for college applications, the cost of education is hitting home in a big way. Although the College Board recently reported that the rate of tuition increases at U.S. colleges and universities has slowed down in recent years, it’s still a huge burden for American families. Many grandparents are helping out. The average annual tab for public colleges is $8,893, though after subtracting grants and financial aid, the net average cost is $3,120. Private universities total $30,094, with a net cost of $12,460. Tack on room and board, and the price tag increases by another $10,000 or so. A big commitment, for sure, but as anyone searching for a job knows, a college degree helps. As of September, the national unemployment rate stood at 7.2 percent, but here is how the rate breaks down based on educational attainment: Less than HS Degree: 10.3 percent HS Degree, no college: 7.6 percent Some College/Assoc. Degree: 6 percent BA and higher: 3.7 percent Additionally, college grads earn more over their lifetimes. According to Priceonomics blog, a college degree offers a 30year wage premium of over $200,000, or

$6,667 a year, in extra income compared to a high school graduate’s salary.

How grandparents can help Because the value of a college diploma is so great, families are increasingly seeking the help of older generations to foot the bill. But how the extended family helps can have a big impact on a student’s financial aid chances. That’s why it’s important to understand some of the rules surrounding college savings and financial aid. On the positive side, a grandparent’s assets are not included when colleges determine eligibility for financial aid. My favorite education-funding vehicle is the 529 plan, which allows for tax-advantaged investing for college. Contributions within the account grow tax-free and are not taxed upon withdrawal, provided they’re used for qualified higher education costs. Another benefit of 529 plans is that they can be a terrific estate planning tool, because wealthy grandparents can remove assets from their estates either using the annual gift tax exclusion of $14,000 or by making a lump sum that’s far larger. The nice part is that the donor can maintain control over the invest-

disbursements do not appear on the income statement of either the parent or the student. Fair warning on this idea: Some states, like New York, do not allow changes in account ownership unless there’s a court order or the owner dies. 3. If the 529 plan ownership seems too complicated, grandparents might consider gifting the money to the parents, who RETIRE SMART can then deposit the gift into Some work-arounds their own 529 accounts that By Jill Schlesinger So, if you fund a 529 plan for have been established for the a grandchild, consider one of these work- kids. It makes sense to wait until after the aid arounds: has been determined before making the gift. 1. Wait to use money in the 529 until the 4. Alternatively, extended family memstudent’s senior year: Tapping the account bers may choose to wait until the student for the last year of school shouldn’t affect has graduated, and then help with college eligibility, because the year in which the loan repayment. income will be reported (as income for the It takes a family, a village and just about previous year) will also be the year in everyone else to fund an education. If you which the student graduates. are willing to help, make sure you are not 2. Transfer ownership of account: A few doing any harm. years before the first aid application is due, Jill Schlesinger, CFP, is the Editor-atgrandparents could transfer ownership of Large for She the account to a parent of the beneficiary. welcomes comments and questions at Assets in a parent-controlled account get assessed for financial aid purposes, but © 2013 Tribune Content Agency, LLC ments and the ultimate use of the money. However, there is a big downside to using a 529 plan that’s in the grandparent’s name. When money is withdrawn to make a payment on behalf of the beneficiary of the plan, students must disclose those amounts as income. For every dollar of income, a student’s financial aid eligibility may be reduced by as much as 50 cents.


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J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Digital devices can help you go paperless By Lisa Gerstner Digital files are your best weapon in the battle to conquer clutter. 1. Stop paper buildup in its tracks. Sign up to receive online statements and bills from utilities, banks, credit card issuers and other service providers. To help stay on top of payments, sign up for your bank’s bill-paying service. Or link your accounts to, which organizes and stores documents online and sends alerts when bills are coming due. 2. Scan, scan, scan. A good scanner can eliminate a mountain of paper. The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 desktop scanner ($405 on connects wirelessly to your PC, creates searchable PDFs, and can handle two-sided scanning.

Once you’ve digitized those documents, take them, along with all the other unwanted items sitting on your desk, straight to the shredder. A good shredder for home use is the Fellowes Powershred W-11C ($66 at 3. Prepare a backup plan. Save important documents in multiple places in case your computer fails, said Julie Bestry, president of Best Results Organizing, in Chattanooga, Tenn. In addition to keeping copies on an external hard drive or a flash drive, store documents using secure “cloud” services. File items in folders and add tags for easy searching. 4. File it on the fly. A scanner that fits into a bag or suitcase can be useful for, say,

digitizing handouts while you’re at a conference, said Erin Rooney Doland, editor in chief of For example, the 12-ounce Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 ($180 on can process letter-size documents as well as receipts, postcards and business cards. With the free version of the CamScanner app (for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone), you can snap photos of documents with your phone’s camera and convert them to PDFs. The CamCard Free app lets you photograph business cards and store and file the contact information. With the free Bump app (for Android and iPhone), you can share your contact information by tapping your phone with phones of other app users. 5. Get a handle on receipts. To organize all of your receipts and track spending, try OneReceipt for iPhone, which lets

you snap pictures of receipts and save them by using the free app or e-mailing them to your account. The tool can also automatically pull electronic receipts from your e-mail account. Not sure the store will accept an image of a receipt? Hang on to the original. 6. Paper still has a place. In addition to Social Security cards, and certificates of birth, death and marriage, you’ll want to keep hard copies of estate documents, medical records, insurance policies, proof of mortgage and other loan payoffs, and titles and deeds for cars and homes. Lisa Gerstner is an associate editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to And for more on this and similar money topics, visit © 2013 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Stock market

stimulus, and investors got more accustomed to the idea that the Fed’s efforts must end at some point. Then the announcement came late last month that the Fed would indeed gradually pull back its buying of bonds, and the market reacted positively, setting new highs. That suggests investors have come to see the end of stimulus as a sign that the economy is continuing to improve. Fed policymakers also stressed that the end of stimulus will not necessarily be immediately followed by higher interest rates. Puglia of T. Rowe Price called it “a positive signal to the market that the economy can stand on its own two feet and doesn’t need this super aggressive Federal Reserve action.”

From page 31 healthcare stocks, which are priced at 16.7 times expected earnings, and industrial companies, which are valued at 16.1 times earnings.

Reduction of Fed stimulus Investors were obsessed with the Fed all last year, and the stock market’s biggest setbacks have come when they thought that policymakers were poised to cut back on economic stimulus. The S&P 500 dropped in only two months last year, June and August. In both months, investors sold stocks on concern that the Fed was about to stop its stimulus. Instead, the central bank surprised investors in September by continuing its

See STOCK MARKET, page 33


Jan. 18


The Washington Metro Investment Club (WMIC) is having an open house meeting on Saturday, Jan. 18 the McCourt Building, 1 County Complex Ct., Woodbridge, Va. The meeting begins at 4 p.m. WMIC meets once a month to discuss investments in the stock market. For more information, contact Ken Wright, (703) 801-1465.


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Say you saw it in the Beacon | Law & Money

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4

Where to get a decent return on savings By Jeffrey R. Kosnett If you took out a certificate of deposit a few years ago, when banks were still paying respectable interest rates, you might have thought of it as an investment. But now, with rates as low as they are, think of the money as savings. And the way to manage savings is to earmark the money for when you’re going to need it: immediately, in a few years, or perhaps not for 10 years or more. That will point you toward the best place to put the money now.

Cash reserve Your current bank is almost certain to offer so little in interest that it makes sense to open, or add to, a deposit account at an online bank. Although a yield of about 1 percent may not seem like much, you’ll have instant access to the money — without fees, and with Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. protection. If six-month or one-year CD rates begin to outpace what the online savings account pays, you can put some money into short-

Stock market From page 32

The biggest risks Unsurprisingly, the dysfunction in Washington is still at the forefront of investors’ minds. The 16-day partial government shutdown in October hurt consumer confidence and crimped economic growth. A repeat of that political wrangling this year, when the debt limit comes up, would likely hurt the economy again. Stocks are also vulnerable to a sharp rise in interest rates. The market’s rally from its lows in March 2009 has been underpinned by low interest rates, which

term CDs every three or six months.

Three to five years Many people take out CDs to make sure they’ll have cash at a specified time — say, when it’s time to pay tuition. Although we don’t know what interest rates will be in 2017 and beyond, we see no profit in locking in a CD yield today. As long as the Federal Reserve restrains the cost of credit, you can comfortably house the money in a short-term, low-risk, low-cost bond fund. We like Vanguard Short-Term Investment-Grade (symbol VFSTX, current yield 1.6 percent) and Baird Aggregate Bond (BAGSX, 2.9 percent). You maintain overnight access to the money (so it still counts as savings), and you should be able to realize a total return of 3 to 5 percent.

anced funds that pay 2 to 4 percent in interest or dividends. You can reinvest the investment income as you receive it, a plan that lets you buy some fund shares when they are cheap and others when they are not so cheap. All the while, watch those bank rates. If you get a chance to buy a CD that yields

more than, say, a fund that follows Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index (currently about 2 percent), you may want to go back to the bank, especially if you have other money, such as an IRA, in the stock market. Jeffrey R. Kosnett is a senior editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. © 2013 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

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If you already have cash in the bank or some other super safe place, we suggest you move part or most of the CD proceeds into exchange-traded funds or stock or balhave made stock market returns more attractive. If bond yields were to rise suddenly, the economy would suffer. The Fed’s policy is predicated on buying bonds to hold down interest rates. If investors get nervous as the central bank cuts its bond purchases, removing a support for the market, bond yields could jump as investors dump bonds. “If interest rates were to (go) back up dramatically, that would probably be a bad thing,” said Franklin Templeton’s Hermann, who manages the Franklin Flex Cap Growth fund. “We’re still in a very fragile economy and we don’t want to suddenly tilt into another recession.” — AP


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J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

How to appeal a Medicare claim denial By Kimberly Lankford There are steps you can take before going through the task of appealing the denial of a Medicare claim. First, talk with the doctor, hospital and Medicare itself to see if you can spot the problem and get the

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There are five levels of claims appeals for traditional Medicare. At the first level, you are given 120 days after receiving the summary notice to request a “redetermination” by a Medicare contractor — that is, the person who reviews the claim. Circle the item you’re disputing on the summary notice; then send any supporting information, such as an explanation of

the problem and a letter from the doctor explaining why the charge should be covered. The claims reviewer assigned to your case will usually decide within 60 days of receiving your request. If the redetermination is denied, you can request reconsideration from another claims reviewer and submit additional evidence. Reconsideration is usually decided within 60 days. Still no luck? Disputes involving amounts less than $140 go no further. For charges of $140 or more, you can request a hearing with an administrative law judge. If you have to go to the next level, you can submit the claim for the appeals council to review. For amounts of at least $1,400, the final level of appeal is judicial review in U.S. district court.

Medicare Advantage and Part D You have 60 days to initiate an appeal involving a Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription-drug plan. In both cases, you start by appealing to the plan, rather than to Medicare. Follow the plan’s instructions on its explanation of benefits. Part D has fast-track appeals of 72 hours if you haven’t received the medication and your health would be jeopardized by waiting. Otherwise, the plan must notify you of its decision within seven days. See “How Do I File an Appeal?” in the “Claims & Appeals” section of for more information about each type of appeal. Jessica Anderson is an associate editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. © 2013 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

At Revitz House, Bernice and Howard have rediscovered a close-knit, friendly community, one that money can’t buy. A sense of cultural community and belonging is a powerful tool for living. To feel secure and at home in new surroundings, to be among people who remember what it was like to walk to school and wait for their mothers’ freshly baked strudel to cool, to share memories with those who seem already familiar with them. That’s what it’s like to live at Revitz House. Bun and Howard have formed abiding friendships with their neighbors (and even some small pets), and they take advantage of an unparalleled program of social activities,

with choices from creative art, to trips to the Strathmore Music Center and shopping, to Zumba. All at an amazingly affordable price. The medical and therapeutic services on our campus are among the best in the nation, in an atmosphere of positive attitudes and friendly faces. Our kitchen prepares a delicious kosher dinner every evening. Find out why so many have made our Rockville community a part of their lives.


Jan. 25


On Jan. 25, the Corcoran Gallery of Art presents a free after-hours evening of art activities, projects and a performance by Bright Star Children’s Theater from 6 to 9 p.m. “Snow Much Fun!” is a seasonal event for children or grandchildren 3 to 13, where they can create arts, participate in storytelling, tours and


drink complimentary hot chocolate. A

301.770.8450 •

donation of warm clothing to benefit

It Takes a Community.

Covenant House Washington is encouraged. For more information, visit

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Law & Money


Beware of the deadly sins of investing By Kathy Kristof You’ve probably heard of the seven deadly sins. Well, the investing world has its own set of deadly sins. To be a better investor, you’d do well to recognize the following missteps and learn how to overcome them.

Following the herd Following the herd works when you shop for a product. A car or washing machine that’s performed well in the past is likely to excel in the future. The opposite is often true in finance. What’s hot today is likely to be cold tomorrow, and vice versa. “If you expect investment performance to repeat, you are likely to be disappointed,” said Fran Kinniry, a strategist at the Vanguard funds. In fact, the herd tends to gather the most strength right before the investment it is chasing goes off a cliff. Ill-timed moves in and out of funds, sectors and markets go a long way toward explaining why the performance of fund investors is decidedly poorer than the reported results of their funds. Redemption: Follow rules, not herds, suggested Bill Allen, vice-president of the private client advisory group at Charles Schwab. These rules can be as simple as refusing to buy or sell in response to news reports, or making sure you invest the same amount every month no matter what the market is doing. Resisting the urge to follow the crowd can prevent you from committing the sin of buying high and selling low.

Giving in to fear Avoiding losses is Warren Buffett’s first rule of investing. Since the 2008-’09


Jan. 7+


Learn how to determine the value of diamond jewelry, gold, silver and coins, and what to look for in a potential buyer from NOVAGold, LLC, on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 1:30 p.m. at the Lee Senior Center, 5722 Lee Hwy., Arlington, Va. The second half of this free presentation includes a private consultation. Appraisers will provide a verbal evaluation and assessment. This program will be repeated on Friday, Jan. 10 at the Arlington Mills Senior Center, 909 S. Dinwiddie St., Arlington, Va. at 1 p.m. Register for both events early; space is limited. For more information, call Lee Senior Center at (703) 228-0555 or Arlington Mill Senior Center at (703) 228-7369.

stock market meltdown, however, many investors have taken the Oracle’s advice to an extreme and abandoned stocks for the seeming safety of such things as bonds, bank accounts and money market funds. But what the typical investor sees as risk is merely volatility — normal day-today swings in the market. Although volatility can be frightening, the real danger lies in being too afraid of risk: You lose buying power — permanently. For example, suppose you invest in a Treasury security or bank account that pays 0.5 percent annually. With inflation at 2 percent today, you’ll actually lose 1.5 percent per year in buying power. The loss will be greater if inflation reverts to its long-term average of 3 percent per year. Redemption: Put the stock market’s day-to-day volatility out of your mind and

focus on the long term. Since 1926, U.S. stocks, as measured by Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, have returned nearly 10 percent a year. Even if you had invested in the market at the March 2000 peak and held on

through two horrific bear markets, you would have earned 3.4 percent annualized — not great, but not disastrous, either. Kathy Kristof is a contributing editor to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. © 2013 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance


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Items you shouldn’t buy at dollar stores By Cameron Huddleston If you want to save money on everyday items, dollar stores can be a great place to shop. And, contrary to popular belief, the quality of most items at national dollarstore chains is good, said Jeff Yeager, author of four popular books on frugal living, including his latest, How to Retire the Cheapskate Way. However, Yeager and other money-saving experts say that there are some items that you should avoid buying, either because you can find them for less elsewhere, or the quality is inferior to competitors’ merchandise. Here are eight common purchases to skip at dollar stores: • Batteries. Cheap batteries may be

prone to leakage, said money-saving expert Andrea Woroch, and they may not run your gadgets as long as pricier brands. Many dollar stores sell carbon-zinc batteries, which are less efficient and have a shorter shelf life than the alkaline variety. • Electronics. Consumer Reports found in 2012 that some dollar-store electronics and extension cords may lack labels from the UL that vouch for their safety. Others may have fake labels, and those can be difficult to detect. • Foil and plastic wrap. There’s a reason these items are so inexpensive at dollar stores: The quality is inferior, said Yeager, who shops frequently at dollar stores but avoids foil and plastic wrap products. • Knives. Knives sold at dollar stores

tend to be of poor quality, Woroch said. And these aren’t items you want to have fall apart while you’re using them. • Paper goods. Napkins, paper towels and toilet paper at dollar stores don’t do the job as well as the products sold at grocery stores and big-box retailers. If you buy napkins or paper towels that are so flimsy you have to use five to do the job of one, Yeager said, that’s not a good value. • Tools. Yeager said that hammers, screwdrivers and other tools he has bought at dollar stores have broken easily. As an avid do-it-yourselfer, he recommends buying the best tools you can afford because they’ll last longer and make the job you’re tackling easier.

• Toys. Most toys from the dollar store break easily, said Andrew Schrage, coowner of the personal finance blog Money Crashers. Even if you’re spending only a dollar, it’s just not money well spent, he said. • Vitamins. Consumer Reports research in 2012 found that off-brand multivitamins at dollar stores didn’t always have the amount of nutrients claimed on the label. You may be better off buying storebrand vitamins at Rite Aid, Walgreens or CVS. Cameron Huddleston is an online editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine and the author of Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, $18.95). © 2013 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Letters to editor

ber multiplied as girlfriends, boyfriends and marriage partners were invited. As one-by-one many at our table aged and eventually died, it has become apparent that our children, and not we older folks, are now the dominant group. They have taken over. They are preparing the meals and we are guests in their homes. So far they have not told us to sit at the card table, but that is because we have dwindled in number so much that it would not matter. What this means, and it is difficult to contemplate, is that our generation is on the way out. That is the way it has always been, but seeing it so graphically makes it real. Time marches on and we must hold on for dear life. Murray Katz Silver Spring, Md. Dear Editor: I was appalled when I read the letter in the December issue stating that the Holocaust was not that important an historical event, and in any case, there should be no vengeance exacted on those who participated in the murder of six million Jews. Perhaps the author would not have been so cavalier about the tragedy if it had befallen his coreligionists. Would he choose to let the perpetrators of these 6 million murders walk free, as unfortunately many did? Nelson Marans Silver Spring, Md.

From page 2 I’ve been in the position that your friend is in, wanting a parent to stop driving. In a few years, I’ll be on the other side of that equation. There are seemingly endless surveys and studies as to the public transportation needs of seniors. They have produced nothing. Why don’t you try getting around in Arlington and/or Fairfax County by cab for a couple of weeks, and then write a followup? It would also be of interest for readers to know whether Karen persuaded her mother to give up her car, and each of their opinions on how that has worked out. Happy R. Cohen Vienna, Va. Dear Editor: During the last Thanksgiving holiday, I noticed a traumatic change that has slowly, but steadily, taken place over the last few years. When we were young, and our children were small, we, the big people, sat around the dining room table, while the children were relegated to a card table. As time went on and the children became older, they would invite a few friends to the dinner. They could still all sit around the card table. However, as time progressed further, the kids became adults, and their num-

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Law & Money

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4

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ermin t e d o way t y s a e an Here is ally wear! tu you ac rs in e g n a your h n l l a 1. Turn rectio i d e m the sa hing t e m o ther wear s o u e o h t y ger 2. As n a h e h turn t n. io direct ks (or y e e w few arl e a l c r e l t l 3. Af u wi o y ) s h r and a e w mont you t a h w see on’t! d u o what y ay! w a m ive the g o t 4. Time





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Careers Volunteers &

Did you (or someone you know) change careers, start a business or go back to school after retirement? Please share your story. Email or call Barbara at (301) 949-9766.

Volunteers help inspire young scientists

Taking science on the road The center doesn’t have a permanent location yet, but takes mobile labs to family sci-

ence nights at 40 schools across the region, inspiring students to explore and be inspired by STEM through hands-on learning. Brown said the excitement is palpable as children discover the science around them. “I’ve seen the awe and the wonder that the parents are catching from watching their kids collectively,” Brown said. “You have kids at one project and then other kids at other projects and they’re all going, ‘Awesome! Wow! That’s great!’ “And the parents get caught up in that, and it becomes a lifetime activity with the kids and their parents. That won’t go away.” Brown said the most rewarding part is the family engagement. “The parents, from then on, will be involved in their kids’ scientific curiosity, and that’s what it’s all about.” The Children’s Science Center’s goal is to create a world-class hands-on STEM museum for children in the next five years in the Dulles Technology Corridor. “This museum we’re looking to build is not stagnant, and that’s what’s exciting to

me. It’s really dynamic, with kids being able to touch and feel and use exhibits that would be of the highest quality and caliber.” Brown is energized as he talks of the packed school buses he envisions rolling into this amazing new museum. But he knows it will take lots of hard work, primarily from volunteers and donors in this region, to make it a reality.


By Lee Ann N. Brownlee If you ask Richard “Nick” Brown when he first discovered his love of science and math, he quickly replies, “I grew up on a farm. Nature was everywhere, and it’s natural to be a scientist. Scientists — they want to know everything about everything. It’s all about the frontier of knowledge.” Brown has been a pioneer in the frontier of science. The author of 200 scientific and government publications and three books, Brown earned a Ph.D. in environmental science at the University of Delaware in 1969. That year, he invented what is known as the “Brown funnel” —a device he designed with oil cloth to separate insects from leaf litter. It is used to help investigate the breakdown of molecular matter in an ecosystem Now retired, Brown, 75, continues to spread his passion for science, technology, engineering and math (commonly referred to as STEM subjects) to young students and their parents as a volunteer for the Children’s Science Center in Northern Virginia.

Many volunteers; more needed The Children’s Science Center runs on volunteer power. More than 250 active volunteers Nick Brown visits Northern Virginia elementary touch every facet of the organi- schools in the Children’s Science Center mobile lab to help instill an interest in science. The center zation. They serve on working places several hundred volunteers in its preschool committees, and engage and in- and elementary school programs, but continues to spire children at Mobile Labs need additional volunteers. Family Science Nights, new preschool programs, and various 2013, the popularity of this program and STEM events throughout the year. high demand from schools led to a lottery While the organization has expanded See SCIENCE CENTER, page 40 its mobile labs offerings by 150 percent in

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Volunteers & Careers

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4


Older workers feel discriminated against By Matt Sedensky When Charlie Worboys lost his job, he feared searching for a new one at his age might be tough. Six years later, at 65, he’s still looking. Luanne Lynch, 57, was laid off three times in the past decade, and previous layoffs brought jobs with a lower salary. This time, she can’t even get that. They’re not alone. A new poll by the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds many people over 50 reporting great difficulty finding work, and feeling that their age is a factor. After Worboys was laid off, and his hunt for another teaching job was fruitless, he sought counseling positions. When those leads dried up, he applied for jobs in juvenile detention centers, in sales and elsewhere. He finally settled for part-time work, all the while still scouring online listings and sending out applications each week. “They’re looking for the younger person,” he said. “They look at the number 65, and they don’t bother to look behind it.” The AP-NORC Center poll found 55 percent of those 50 and older who have sought a job in the past five years characterized their search as difficult, and 43 percent thought employers were concerned about their age. Further, most in the poll reported finding few available jobs (69 percent), few

that paid well (63 percent) or that offered adequate benefits (53 percent). About a third were told they were overqualified.

Some good news, too Still, some companies are welcoming older workers: 43 percent of job seekers surveyed found a high demand for their skills, and 31 percent said there was a high demand for their experience. And once on the job, older workers were far more likely to report benefits related to their age — 60 percent said colleagues had come to them for advice more often, and 42 percent said they felt as if they were receiving more respect in the company. Of course, people of all ages have been frustrated by the job market in recent years. In fact, the unemployment rate for those 55 and older was 4.9 percent in November — lower than the 7.0 percent rate among all ages. By comparison, unemployment among those age 20-24 was 11.6 percent, and among those 25-54, 6.2 percent. But long-term unemployment has been rampant among the oldest job seekers. Unemployed people aged 45 to 54 were out of work 45 weeks on average, those 55 to 64 were jobless for 57 weeks, and those 65 and older average 51 weeks. Younger workers were unemployed for shorter periods of time.

Sixty-three percent of those who searched for a job cited financial need and 19 percent said it was because they were laid off. Far smaller numbers searched because they wanted to change careers, find a better salary or benefits, escape unhappiness at a prior job, or simply get out of the house. Lynch, of San Gabriel, Calif., hated taking a step down after the earlier layoffs, but this time only one interview has come from 70-some applications. “It’s starting at the bottom,” she said. “And frankly, I’m getting too old to be starting at the bottom.” Bob Gershberg, a corporate recruiter in St. Petersburg, Fla., said unemployed people, regardless of age, have had trouble getting rehired. But he said older workers

have faced an added layer of skepticism from employers. “They’ll say, ‘Give me the young guy. Give me the up-and-comer. Someone with fire in the belly,’” he said. “But there’s always been a bias against the unemployed. They say, ‘If she was so good, why’d she get cut?’”

Employer concerns Sharon Hulce, who runs a recruitment firm in Appleton, Wis., said she’s found some employers are concerned that applicants in their late 50s or 60s may not stick around for the long haul. And Kerry Hannon, who authored Great Jobs for Everyone 50-plus, said managers See OLDER WORKERS, page 40

Knowledge is Power Whether Buying or Selling, let Sue guide you in her 55+ community! Let her ENERGY, 25 years of experience, floor plans, contractors, staging, color brochures, websites & statistics ELECTRIFY your Real Estate Experience!

Top 1% of Agents Nationwide • Seniors and Relocation Specialist Community Resident • Former Montgomery County Teacher Riderwood Specialist • Website:

Sue Heyman ★ 301-580-5556 Office: 301-681-0550 x115 • Email: BIGGEST CO-OP APARTMENT, SMALLEST PRICE!- 1st Floor Elizabeth Cooperative – Value priced & move-in ready! 2BR, 1.5 FB, totally renovated, new carpets, hardwoods, separate dining room, patio w/ delightful view, most repairs & utilities included in monthly fee, 635 sf, $85,000

NEW LISTING - Calling All Golfers Turnberry Courts "L" Hi Rise – 2BR, 2FB, + Family Rm, new flooring, fresh paint, C T w/TS T R Abath kitchen w new granite, owner's N O C R E D & tub, garage parking, separate U Nshower 1601 sf, $400,000

NEWLY PRICED - Cambridge Patio Home – It’s a 10! designer colors, new carpets, paint, kitchen, bath, & lighting updates. 3BR, 2FB, slate patio, private setting, condo fee inclu all utilities except telephone, internet, & cable TV upgrades, 1225 sf, $179,995

Hampton Gardens Coop, Short Sale – 2BR, 1FB, upper floor, full-size W/D in apt, C T most large LR w/ slider to enclosed balcony, TRA C O Ngood utility +Urepairs included, carpets plus N DE R “wood look” laminate floors, 1200 sf, $55,000

COMING SOON - Berkley Co-op Townhome – 2BR, 2FB, totally renovated w/ new carpets too, superb location, reserved parking, plus lots of guest parking. Most utilities & repairs included in monthly fee, 1600 sf, low $100’s

Regency NV Single Family – 4BR, 2.5FB, gourmet kitchen, hardwood floors, bright with CT R Afireplace, 2-story foyer & great O room, N Tgas C R E D deck, U unfinished basement, no mowing, N raking, or shoveling! No condo dues, only HOA, 5080 sf, $700,000

Call for a free market analysis - Call for a free community booklet Call to learn about NEW CONSTRUCTION in this 55+ community!

The Career Gateway! features small classes, 30 hours of intensive training over two weeks, a long-term mentor, and valuable take-home materials This intensive five-day course will help you: • turbo-charge your resume • hone your interviewing skills • learn how to network


• discover the hidden job market • develop personal job search plans...and more

Courses offered monthly for computer-savvy seniors Coming up: January 13, and February 10, 2014

WHERE: 12320 Parklawn Dr., Rockville, MD 20852 FEE: $75 FOR MORE INFORMATION

Call (301) 255-4215 or e-mail Funded By Montgomery County Aging & Disability Services; e Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; and the Jewish Council for the Aging®

Meet her by appointment at either the Leisure World Plaza Weichert Office or the 2nd office inside the community.


Office: 301-681-0550 x 115 Visit and

Get a JOLT out of her VIRTUAL TOURS!

New! As about o k u Job Clu r b

® (JCA) Agingfor the for the Council Jewish Council (JCA) Aging for Jewish the® Aging (JCA)® Council Jewish



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Science Center From page 38 to select the 40 schools to visit. That meant

J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

30 schools had to be turned away. ”Our region’s families, educators and children are hungry for fun, hands-on STEM learning,” said Nene Spivy, execu-

tive director. “While we are fortunate to have many volunteers, having regular, highly-dedicated volunteers like Nick, makes all the difference in our efforts to grow our programs and build the future museum. Volunteers are essential to ensure we can make these experiences accessible to all of the children in our region.” Currently, the Children’s Science Center has a working partnership with RSVPNorthern Virginia, a regional volunteer program that is sponsored by Volunteer Fairfax, Volunteer Arlington, and Volunteer Alexandria. RSVP is part of Senior Corps — a national program that matches individuals age 55+ in meaningful volunteer opportunities at local nonprofits and agencies that meet critical community needs. Brown, who has also volunteered for Reston Interfaith (now Cornerstones) and was named Reston Citizens Association’s Citizen of the Year, has a natural tendency

to help and volunteer. But he emphasizes that you don’t need a scientific degree or an abundance of time or money to help with this project; you just need a passion for helping kids. “I like to help people. That’s what I live for,” he said.

Upcoming information sessions If you are interested in learning more about volunteering with the Children’s Science Center, attend one of these upcoming information sessions (called “virtual tours”): Tuesday, Jan. 14, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. The tours take place in Herndon, Virginia. For location details and to register, email or call (703) 648-3130. To learn more about the organization, visit Lee Ann N. Brownlee is a board member of the Children’s Science Center.

Older workers From page 39

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• Furnace Branch 410-761-4150

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*Newly Renovated! • Colonial Landing 410-796-4399

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• Laurel II 301-490-9730 Call the community nearest you to inquire about eligibility requirements and to arrange a personal tour or email Professionally managed by The Shelter Group.

may be leery of a lengthy resume from someone they can’t afford, salary-wise. “They’ll look at your background and just figure you’ll be insulted,” she said. About 4 in 10 who have been on the job market said they felt they lacked the right skills or felt too old for the available jobs. Many reported trying to improve their skill set (20 percent) or present themselves with a fresher resume or interview approach (15 percent) to make themselves more marketable. Bret Lane, 53, of San Diego, was out of work for 22 months until finding a job last summer through Platform to Employment, a training program. He lost count of how many jobs he had applied for — it was easily in the hundreds. Once, after seeing applications would be taken for a janitorial job paying $14 hourly, he got up at 3 a.m. to get an early start. There were already 400 others in line. “I wasn’t getting any interviews. I wasn’t getting in front of any decision makers,” he said. “People in our age group are very discriminated against.” One in five respondents in the AP-NORC Center poll said they personally experienced prejudice or discrimination in the job market or at work because of their age. That doubles to 40 percent among those who have sought a job in the last five years. Faye Smith, 69, of Dallas, Ga., said she needed to find work after losing much of her savings in the downturn, but felt the hesitance of employers when they saw the dates on her resume. “You could tell when they found out the age,” she said. “There’s a change in their face and demeanor.” The AP-NORC Center survey involved landline and cell phone interviews in English and Spanish with 1,024 people aged 50 and older nationwide. Results from the full survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points. — AP

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4

Say you saw it in the Beacon



Leisure &

Elephants, giraffes, hippos, lions and other wildlife are seen on a safari in Botswana. See story on page 44.

Warm(er) winter destinations beckon

Great gardens of Charleston Many people were surprised when a leading European guidebook listed Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon and Charleston’s Magnolia Gardens as the three most outstanding attractions in North America. Anyone who appreciates floral beauty might agree. Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, S.C., is a fairyland of century-old camellias (in late winter) and azaleas (in spring) in a setting of unsurpassed beauty. Visitors to nearby Cypress Gardens

quickly come to understand why it often is described as mysterious and enchanting, as they float along eerie dark lagoons surrounded by brooding ancient cypress trees. The blaze of color provided by plantings along the banks is intensified by reflections in the dark water. A more formal, yet no less magnificent, floral extravaganza greets visitors to the gardens at Middleton Place, America’s oldest landscaped floral display. Carefully manicured exotic shrubs and flora are set among terraced lawns, reflecting pools and a historic rice mill. Color seems to explode around visitors like a fireworks display from masses of camellias and magnolias in January and February, as well as azalea bushes, wisteria vines and flowering peach and dogwood trees come March. For more information, call 1-800-774-0006 or log onto

Sun and shore in Sarasota SAVANNAH AREA CVB

The choice of where to warm up in Florida can be daunting because there are so many inviting alternatives. One destination that combines much of what the Sunshine State has to offer is Sarasota. Those seeking little more than a sun, sand and sea vacation find a selection of beaches to fit almost any preference. The stretch of beaches along the western shoreline of Siesta Key has been recognized by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute for having the finest, whitest sand in the world. Lido Key is smaller in size but not variety, with three outstanding seashores that are open to the public. Longboat Key is a more private A horse-drawn carriage tours Savannah, Ga.’s historic disbeachfront community trict, which boasts more than 1,000 restored mansions and row houses. geared primarily to peo-


By Victor Block The new year has begun with an outlook for weather that’s cold and peppered with that dreaded wintry mix. Basking in the sun on a Caribbean island is alluring. But in case your time for a getaway and your travel budget are limited, here are some alternatives that combine a welcome respite from frigid temperatures with the warmth of both the sun’s rays and traditional Southern hospitality.

South Padre Island, off the Gulf coast of Texas, is a 34-mile long barrier reef, drawing not just tourists for walks through the surf, but more than 300 species of birds.

ple staying at its resort hotels. But these only scratch the surface of attractions in the area, whose residents take pride in its self-proclaimed role as “Florida’s Cultural Coast.” Just one example of the reason for that claim is the elegant mansion built in 1926 for John Ringling, which demonstrates that his cultural legacy matched his fame as a circus magnate. The four-story, 32-room Italian-style residence awes visitors with its lavish architectural touches, elaborate decorations and rich furnishings. The adjacent John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art houses a world-class art collection with works by the likes of Rubens and Rembrandt — a legacy left to the people of Florida by the avid collectors. Oppor tunities for encounters with Mother Nature also are close at hand. Myakka State Park offers narrated tours in what’s billed as the world’s largest airboat, along with miles of gentle hiking trails. Historic Spanish Point is home to more than 300 species of native plants, as well as resident birds and other wildlife. The veritable symphony of bird songs, calls and whistles that greets visitors to Sarasota Jungle Gardens gives new meaning to the term “surround sound.” Colorful cockatoos and multi-hued macaws vie with peacocks and pink flamin-

goes for preening honors. Venomous snakes and menacing-looking alligators add an ominous touch, while curious critters like hissing cockroaches and spiny hedgehogs provide a bit of humor. For more information, call 1-800-3487250 or log onto

Georgia on your mind Granted, most winter visitors to Savannah don’t want to try a swim in the ocean and aren’t likely to return home with a deep tan. But the Georgia sun warms the temperature this time of year into the pleasant 50s on most days. That’s perfect weather for strolling through one of the loveliest cities in the world. Among a number of accolades it received during 2013 alone were being named “America’s most charming accent” (Travel & Leisure) and “A top 25 destination in the world” (Trip Advisor). The 2-1/2 square mile historic district includes more than 1,000 restored mansions and row houses, many of them adorned with elaborate ironwork. Cobblestone streets, canopied by giant oak trees draped in Spanish moss, provide a lush backdrop for sightseeing, shopping or sitting in the warming sun. Should your feet give out before your interest does, you can continue the outing by See WARM PLACES, page 43


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J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4

Warm places From page 41 horse-drawn carriage. For more information, call 1-877-7282662 or log onto A different but equally inviting setting beckons from the Golden Isles that are strung out along Georgia’s coastline. Miles of soft sand beaches are just the beginning of their attractions. Outstanding golf, tennis, biking and fishing are among the many other diversions. Jekyll Island and the exclusive Jekyll Island Club served as a winter retreat and playground for some of the richest Americans from the late 19th century until the outbreak of World War II. Most of the buildings from the Jekyll Island Club era still stand, serving as a reminder of the gracious lifestyle led by people who could afford it. The original sprawling Queen Annestyle club house is now the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. It offers affordable accommodations to the traveling public. The hotel is surrounded by 33 mansionsize “cottages” that were built by families with names such as Rockefeller, Gould and Morgan in an eclectic mix of styles, including French chateaux and Italian palazzo. Today, some of them offer additional lodgings, while others house museums, art galleries and shops. More down-to-earth appeal may be found by meandering along oyster-shell pathways through low-lying woods and marshes. Deer, wild turkeys, armadillos and alligators are among residents that reluctantly share the island with human intruders. For more information, call 1-877-4535955 or log onto

A Cajun vacation Despite its many attributes, including

midwinter high temperatures that usually hover in the 60s, New Orleans isn’t for everyone. A more laid-back warming experience awaits in Cajun Louisiana, centered in 22 of the state’s 64 “parishes.” The Cajuns trace their roots back to French-speaking Canadians who, after being ousted from their homeland in the mid-18th century, eventually settled in Louisiana. Since then they have clung proudly to their traditions and ways of life. They continue to speak French, savor spicy, palatenumbing cuisine, and translate a zest for life into a seemingly never-ending series of weekend festivals. Various attractions offer glimpses of local life and culture. The Acadian Village at Lafayette is a realistic re-creation of a 19th century settlement. The town of Martinsville is home to a museum that displays artifacts of early settlers, as well as the tomb of Emmilene Labiche — the subject of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s well-known poem “Evangeline,” which describes the uprooting and resettlement of the Acadians. Also on the must-see list for visitors are any of the hundreds of bayous that crisscross the area. They served as water highways for early pioneers and settlers, and their sluggish waters still provide some of the fish, crayfish and rice that form the basis of much Cajun cooking. For more information, call 1-800-3461958 or log onto

South Padre Island For those willing to travel a bit further, South Padre Island, perched on the Gulf Coast of Texas, is a favorite wintering destination for visitors from both northern areas of the Lone Star State and sun-seekers from elsewhere. There are a number of reasons why the 34-mile-long barrier reef, which has

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only about 5,000 permanent inhabitants, attracts as many as 1 million visitors annually. Many of them are retirees, called “winter Texans,” who seek a warm place to escape the cooler temperatures at their home further north. With its sub-tropical climate and an average winter temperature of 65 degrees, South Padre provides an appealing getaway destination. For people seeking a bit of R and R, the casual, laid-back atmosphere that pervades the island provides an enticing setting. One example of the fun-loving environment is a “proclamation” that banishes the wearing of neck ties. It calls for firsttime offenders to receive a written warning and a T-shirt, and for any scofflaws caught a second time to pay a fine equal to the price of a silk tie. Active vacationers find a long list of choices. Boat trips range from eco-tours and close-up encounters with dolphin, to wildlife tours and sunset cruises. Fishermen may try to catch their dinner in bay and gulf waters. The island also is a birders’ paradise, with more than 300 species that add sound and color to the setting. For more information, call 1-800-6572373 or log onto Perhaps exploring the streets of Savannah or strolling through the magnificent gardens in and around Charleston is your idea of a dream winter escape. Maybe you’d prefer to immerse yourself in the


culture of Cajun Louisiana, or find out why so many sun-seekers head for South Padre Island. Whatever your choice, you’re sure to return home sufficiently refreshed to bear up under the onslaught of the Washington winter.


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J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Botswana’s Okavango Delta’s got game By Charmaine Noronha I’m jolted from sleep by a deep and rolling roar and what sounds like the slithering paws of a large cat trawling through my cabin. “Oh my God, I think something’s in our room,” I whisper, waking up my friend and roommate, Patricia Lawton. “I know,” she whispers back, adding a few expletives. It might sound like the start of a Maurice Sendak story, but as we lay in our dreamy cabin in the great wilderness of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, we were truly snoozing where the wild things are. Days before, when our safari began, we were told never to leave our tent at night to avoid encounters with wild animals. But

what if they came to us? For several hours, Patricia and I lay still, so afraid to move that we dared not even call for help. If this creature was in our room, the only thing that separated us from the potential intruder was a flimsy mosquito net billowing around our fourposter bed. At one point it sounded like an animal was dragging our backpacks around. I cursed Patricia under my breath, thinking she had once again left the patio door to our cabin open — a massive no-no while lodging deep in the savannah. Finally I picked up the phone beside the bed, punching in random numbers since I had no directory. “Something is in our room. We need

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help,” I stuttered to the woman who answered. She alerted the safari staff on patrol. They discovered an elephant had been roaming around all night on the deck that lined the lodge perimeter, feasting on foliage shading our cabin. Drenched in sweat — not from Botswana’s sweltering heat but from our anxiety — Patricia and I hugged each other and laughed, slightly embarrassed that we genuinely thought we were about to be a large cat’s meow.

A trip of wonder and drama That drama-filled last night of our safari was a fitting end to what had been a week of pure magic and wonder. We landed in Botswana, zombie-like but excited, after 48 hours with no sleep, traversing time zones on two back-to-back overnight flights plus another four flights. The safari began as soon as we got to PomPom airport in Muan, Botswana. We jumped in a 4x4 after being greeted by two guides from our safari company: andBeyond Safaris. Guide Kgosikebatho Marota asked that we call him Chief, and guide Kutlwano Mobe said he goes by Kuks. Minutes into driving deep into the savannah, we were shaken out of our bleariness by the sight of vervet monkeys swinging through tree tops, herds of impalas prancing by, and graceful woodland kingfishers with fringed, bright blue wings sweeping through the cloudless sky. As if this wasn’t enough to tickle my African-born but North American-bred fancy (I was born in Nairobi but raised in Canada), Chief beckoned us to look to the right of our jeep. “Lions came through here this morning, probably tracking the buffalo we saw yes-

terday. Those are their footprints,” he said, instructing the driver to follow them. We drove through the vast expanse of sun-drenched land, sprinkled with acacia trees, bulbous baobab trees and towering termite mounds, steering over and through bushes.

Hundreds of species We turned a corner and spotted a pride of six lions sprawled in the grass, lounging in the blistering afternoon sun in post-kill splendor. Their lolling yawns revealed formidable fangs and hinted at the hard work that goes into ruling such a fine kingdom. The moment was pure magic, a National Geographic episode come to life. The big cats are among more than 100 species of mammals and 400 species of birds that call the delta home. This diversity —found amid the lily-speckled marshes, blue lagoons and picturesque woodlands — make this place set along the banks of the Okavango River one of Africa’s richest game-viewing destinations, albeit one of the continent’s pricier ones for tourists, as well. Conde Nast Traveler magazine recognized the Botswana government’s efforts to conserve the Okavango’s environment, while balancing the needs of local people, with a 2013 World Savers Award for a sustainable destination in a developing country. Our tour company has also been working with the government to reintroduce rhinos into the delta. After hours exploring the bush, we headed back to our campsite, bathed in a tepid outdoor rain shower under a sliver of a crescent moon. Then we prepared for a Botswanian feast of seswaa — beef stew See SAFARI, page 45

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Safari From page 44 served over thick pap, a type of maize porridge. We stuffed ourselves silly and traded stories under the stars with fellow safarigoers. Tuckered out, we retreated to our luxury tents — with indoor plumbing to boot — which we slept in every night except the last, when we were in the cabins.

National Park teems with life A 5:30 a.m. wake-up call began another day of exploring, where zebras, hyenas, water buffalo, elephants and giraffe coexist and roam free. We left the wilderness of the delta to head to Chobe National Park — the third-largest game park in


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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4

Botswana and one that boasts one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa, including the largest herds of elephants. It lived up to its reputation: Just after entering the gates into the lush terrain, we were greeted by a journey of giraffes munching on acacia trees that dot the plains. Our guides imparted this interesting fact: As a defense mechanism, once the acacia foliage is torn by a foraging giraffe, the plant emits an airborne gas, ethylene, alerting nearby plants to increase tannin production, which the giraffes don’t like. The animals then move upwind to dine on plants that failed to catch the drift. Our exploration and biology lessons were not limited to land. We jumped into a boat and cruised down the Okavango

River, where we saw elephants frolicking in the water alongside their adorable offspring, glimpsed a hippo bobbing in and out of still water, and staked out a crocodile hoping to see its jaw snap. Back in the 4x4, a torrential downpour suddenly lashed us without a moment’s notice. Chief hit the gas and it was like we were in our own version of Noah’s Ark meets Life of Pi, as animals whizzed past, the windswept rain making it difficult for us to even open our eyes in the open-sided car. “You’re not in Canada, anymore, are you?” he shouted from his water-soaked seat.

Definitely not, I thought, as water buffalo bolted by us. Drenched and slightly startled, though, there was no place I’d rather have been than this self-contained sanctuary where nearly every creature I’d read about since childhood came out to play. “Let the wild rumpus start!” I hollered back. For more information on Botswana tourism, see Okavango Delta information is available at We used andBeyond Safaries, Rates vary by length of tour, time of year and other details. — AP


Elephants take a drink from the Chobe River in Botswana’s Chobe National Park. The park hosts the largest herds of pachyderms in Africa, along with giraffes, lions, water buffalo and hundreds of other mammal and bird species.


Mar. 28+

TRAVEL TO BRANDYWINE The Northwest Neighbors Village is sponsoring a two-night, three-

day tour from Friday, March 28 to Sunday, March 30, to the Brandywine Valley in Pennsylvania and Delaware. The trip includes Longwood Gardens, Brandywine River Museum (Wyeth Collection), the Hegley Museum, Auburn Heights, Marshall Steam Museum, Winterthur, Brandywine Arts Museum, High Tea, theater performances and overnights at the Du Pont Hotel. For more information, contact or call (202) 362-6100 for full program details.

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What if you need an airport wheelchair? A reader had a six-hour cancer surgery chair service to travelers who just need asat the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. sistance coping with the often extensive walks between gates or beAfter discharge, he was still tween counters and gates is quite weak, so he asked his contractually and legally in airline to provide wheelchair something of a twilight zone. service at Rochester, his connecting airport, and his final destination. Service can be spotty The trip started out reasonI found only one airline that ably well, but at his home airspecifically commits to wheelport, he had to stand in the chair service in its contract of cold at the open airplane door carriage: Alaska promises it at for 15 minutes before someevery airport it serves. one came to help with the TRAVEL TIPS Delta makes a similar promBy Ed Perkins wheelchair. ise in its Customer Service And during the trip, one of Plan, and JetBlue’s plan states the wheelchair attendants told him that that wheelchair service is available from a they were paid at less than minimum wage “business partner.” The other airlines are in an employment category, along with either vague or mention nothing at all. restaurant waiters, of workers dependent As far as I can tell, the folks who actually on tips for a majority of their income. provide airport wheelchair assistance are If you are routinely required to use a usually employees of third-party passenwheelchair, the Americans with Disabili- ger service companies. Big airports have ties Act requires airlines to accept wheel- typically outsourced this and similar work chairs either as cabin baggage or checked to subcontractors, in many cases at very baggage without charge, along with lots of low wages. other requirements for suitable seating I see plenty of evidence that these emand access to lavatories. Their contracts of ployees work at very low pay. Some large carriage spell out these requirements in airport operators, led by San Francisco detail. and Seattle, have enacted minimum wage Airports are similarly required to accom- requirements. Workers at the three main modate wheelchair travelers. But wheel- Port Authority airports at New York City

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are currently organizing for a minimum wage drive. But those are isolated instances. Most attendants you encounter are likely to be at or below minimum wage.

You’ll want to tip One of the (few) bright spots of air travel these days is its relative freedom from the excessive tipping that plagues other facets of travel. The last time I had to tip anyone for an air trip was way back when the only way to reclaim a checked bag was to hand your baggage check to a skycap who took your bag off a cart and handed it to you — a procedure many of you are too young to remember. Given the low wages paid to wheelchair attendants, however, I suspect most of you would want to tip. Published tipping “guides” range from $2 to $20, depending on the extent of the service. My take would probably be around $5.

Because services are provided by thirdparty outfits not directly managed by airlines or airports, coordination can be less than ideal, so you might want to pad your connecting time at any big hub airport, if you can. On a different subject, my reader encountered another not-well-understood problem. Because he was unsure about how long he would have to stay at the Mayo Clinic, he chose to fly to Rochester on American Airlines and paid the extra $68 for a ticket that allowed a “no-fee ticket exchange.” Paying no change fee, however, doesn’t mean you don’t pay more. When you change, you have to pay the lowest currently available fare for your replacement ticket, which can be a lot more than your original fare. Be warned. Send e-mail to Ed Perkins at © 2013 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


Sept. 23


Fun & Fitness Travel Club presents Legend of the Seas, a cruise along New England and Canada, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014 for 11 days. Early booking means lower rates, beginning at $789. The trip includes all meals, entertainment and daily exercise classes, including water aerobics, yoga and ballroom dancing. For full details, visit or call (703) 827-0414.

Jan. 25


Visit Harper’s Ferry, the town that made abolitionist John Brown famous, on Saturday, Jan. 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dress warmly, bring binoculars to look for bald eagles, and have lunch in town or bring your own. Participants will meet at the Black Hill Visitor Center, 20926 Lake Ridge Dr., Boyds, Md. at 9 a.m. and will return at 4 p.m. To register, visit ParkPASS.ORG (257199). Trip costs $30.

Did you know?

You may qualify for assistance in paying your home phone bill. Discounts for basic telephone service are available to eligible District of Columbia low-income residents.

Verizon Washington, D.C. Lifeline Plans: Verizon Washington, D.C.’s Lifeline service, known as “Economy II,” offers reduced rates on Verizon’s monthly telephone bill and one-time discounts on the cost of installing phone service. Additionally, toll blocking is available to Economy II customers at no charge. Economy II Service*: $3.00 per month for unlimited local calling. Value-added services are not included (e.g., Call Waiting, Caller ID). No connection charges apply. Also, customers will not be charged for the federal subscriber line charge. Economy II customers who are 65 years of age or older can have this service at a further reduced rate of $1.00 per month. • Full terms and rates for these services, including terms of eligibility, are as set forth in federal and in Verizon’s tariffs on file with the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia. Rates as stated here are effective as of September 1, 2011. But, the rates and other terms are subject to change in the future.

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To learn more about the Lifeline program, visit

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4

Say you saw it in the Beacon

Style Arts &

Graham Nash talks about making music in his memoir Wild Tales. See story on page 50.

Gypsy offers up a blast of old Broadway

Songs from Sondheim Or perhaps you’re checking off shows to see on your Sondheim list. Gypsy fits that bill, too. (Number 23 Sondheim show for Signature.) Yes, that’s right. This straightforward show with pop-sounding hits from the early Mad Men era may be most closely

identified with the legendary Arthur Laurents, who wrote the book, and the great Jule Styne, who delivered the music. But Signature’s artistic icon Stephen Sondheim, then still a relative newcomer, wrote the lyrics to such up-tempo numbers as “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” “May We Entertain You?” and “Together Wherever We Go.” There’s also the tune Sinatra sort of made his own, “All I Need is the Girl,” and the poignant “Small World.” And those are just the tunes that became stand-alone hits. There are other songs in the show that electrify audiences when performed to their full potential. Is that potential reached here? Absolutely, yes. Perhaps you’re a fan of local stage presence Sherri L. Edelen (and who isn’t?). This is your opportunity to see her have all the room she needs to fully embrace a lusty, meaty role, with tunes allowing her to belt out the big numbers. Edelen always shines in whatever role she takes on, but there aren’t many parts like Momma Rose — where she can bulldoze her way onstage, command the place, and fill the venue with lung-bursting vibrancy. It’s nice to see her let loose here.

Much of my personal pleasure in this show comes from the captivating performance of somebody who may just be coming into her own. Maria Rizzo’s work as the withdrawn young lady named Louise, who blossomed into the woman known the world over as Gypsy Rose Lee, is nuanced, fascinating and affecting. She and Edelen should be top contenders when Helen Hayes Awards time next rolls around.


By Michael Toscano There is more than one way to enjoy Signature Theatre’s energy-packed production of the Broadway classic Gypsy. If you wish, you can head out to the theater in Shirlington hoping to bathe in the warm glow of nostalgia. After all, Gypsy is an old-fashioned stage warhorse, featuring sturdy songs, some unsophisticated but pleasing dance, a rapidly unfolding story, and instantly recognizable characters. First staged in 1959, there’s even a lengthy (if slightly enervating) overture. And scenic designer James Kronzer has touched up the interior of Signature’s Max Theatre to make it look like the audience is in a comfortably musty vaudeville house or old-timey Broadway theater. Think of it as comfort theater for a cold winter’s night.

See GYPSY, page 48

Momma Rose (Sherri L. Edelen) gives a pre-performance pep talk to daughter Baby June (Erin Cearlock) in Gypsy, sometimes called the “greatest American musical.” It is playing at Signature Theatre through Jan. 26.



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Gypsy From page 47

All about Gypsy Rose Lee Gypsy is based on the true story of Gypsy Rose Lee, who some may remember from her guest appearances on television in decades past. Long before her presence on the tube, however, she was a vaudeville trooper in the fading days of the genre, just as it was descending into burlesque. Little Louise traveled the circuits with her Momma Rose, the original Apache Helicopter Mom, and her vastly more charismatic and talented younger sister June, played here by Nicole Mangi. (June eventually abandoned the stage for Hollywood, and became known as the successful actress June Havoc, appearing in such films as Gentleman’s Agreement.) Louise ended up as star strip-tease artist Gypsy Rose Lee, with the accent on artist. This show is based on her memoir of living in her sister’s shadow and under her mother’s tyrannical will to succeed in show

business. “Everybody needs something impossible to dream for,” Momma Rose states firmly. And in guiding her daughters to seemingly impossible stardom, Rose sacrifices a normal life for them, for herself, and for those who were drawn into her orbit. That includes the saintly, long-suffering Herbie, the loving agent she never married. Mitchell Hébert delicately makes his way through the story, his portrayal of Herbie providing warmth in counterpoint to Edelen’s unrelenting (and entertaining) brassiness.

A rising young star Keep an eye out for young Erin Cearlock, who plays Little June in horrifyingly sharp detail. While she’s only a fifth-grader at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School in Alexandria, she already boasts an impressive resume of roles. Actually, you won’t have to look all that hard. Erin pretty much grabs you by the eyeballs and the ears. She perfectly nails those poor kids who have been drilled into

J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

performing automatons by overbearing stage parents, their faces a show-biz rictus of wide eyes and fake smiles broadcasting nothing more than desperation. And our little Erin does all that and makes us enjoy it! Let her entertain you, she begs us in song and dance. And she really, really does. Gypsy is directed here by Joe Calarco, admirably honoring the original, indelible work of Jerome Robbins while allowing a bit of modern nuance, especially in the portrayal of Louise in the years before her metamorphosis into Gypsy Rose Lee. Oddly, that evolution seems to get glossed over here, leaving us unsure exactly how Louise, so inhibited and introverted, manages it. As a result, we barely recognize her when she becomes the big star her mother pushed her into becoming. Calarco and Edelin have the ghosts of legends past to contend with, beginning with the director/choreographer Robbins and various Momma Roses, including Ethel Merman and Angela Lansbury on stage and Rosalind Russell on film. (The show premiered on Broadway in 1959 and was revived in 1974, 1989, 2003 and 2008.) But they don’t seem intimidated, and Edelen’s portrait may actually differ a bit at the margins from what you might be used to. This Rose has all the requisite thorns, but she is not always larger-thanlife. Edelen pulls her into a recognizably human scale, and the show benefits. Rose may be loud and pushy, but Edelen lets us see that at least some part of it is an act — armor she dons to ward off her disappointments and to keep her girls’ spirits high. The 11-piece band, capably conducted by Jon Kalbfleisch, does an adequate job of reducing the full Broadway score to fill the Max. Karma Kamp’s meat-and-potatoes choreography won’t send you home thinking about it, but this is vaudeville and burlesque, not the ballet, so it meets the show’s artistic ambiance.

I would have preferred more color in James Kronzer’s scenic design, a series of proscenium-like frames setting off brick walls. Kronzer makes it look like all of show biz is conducted in drab alleys, and while there is innovative scene-changing with smaller pieces moving on and off stage, the eye soon starts longing for something to relieve the visual drudgery on stage. With intermission, the show’s running time edges toward the three-hour mark. But you won’t wear out, because Edelin and company never do. Gypsy is a high-energy blast of old Broadway.

Tickets and performances Gypsy continues through Jan. 26 at Signature Theatre’s Max Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, Va. Performance schedule: Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online at, by calling Ticketmaster at 703-573-SEAT, or by visiting the box office during business hours, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from noon to 6 p.m. Prices range from $40 to $104. Senior groups of 10 or more can save 30 percent. Rush tickets (if seats are available) can be purchased at the theater box office for $30 one hour before the show. The theater is accessible for people with disabilities, and it is recommended that special seating needs be mentioned when tickets are purchased. Free listening devices are available. Free parking is available in nearby public garages. For general information, contact Signature at (703) 820-9771 or visit If you’re thinking of bringing the grandchildren, Signature Theatre says Gypsy is “best suited for ages 12 and up; no one younger than 6 years old will be admitted

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4


Stephen Hough plays Liszt Sir Mark Elder, conductor Stephen Hough, piano ELGAR: In the South LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 1 R. STRAUSS: Don Quixote

David Hardy, cello Daniel Foster, viola

THU., JAN. 16 AT 7 | FRI., JAN. 17 AT 8 | SAT., JAN. 18 AT 8 AfterWords: Thu., Jan. 16 performance followed by a free discussion. Part of the Blue Series.

Dvorˇˇák’s 9th: “From the New World” Christoph Eschenbach, conductor Martin Grubinger, percussion MOZART: Symphony No. 35 “Haffner” DORMAN: Frozen in Time DVORˇÁK: Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”

THU., JAN. 23 AT 7 | SAT., JAN. 25 AT 8 AfterWords: Thu., Jan. 23 performance followed by a free discussion. Part of the Green Series. ®

Beyond the Score r —Whose World? re


Ankush Kumar Bahl, conductor John Lescault, actor (Beyond the Score) Clark Young, actor Christoph Eschenbach, conductor Vanessa Williams, gospel singer (full symphony) Nigel Boon, narrator Take your musical appreciation to the next level with this half-concert, halfmultimedia educational experience. DVORˇÁK: Symphony No. 9—Whose World?

FRI., JAN. 24 AT 8 Part of the Green Series.

Joshua Bell plays Mendelssohn Christoph Eschenbach, conductor Matthias Goerne, baritone Joshua Bell, violin Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-soprano The Choral Arts Society of Washington, Scott Tucker, artistic director MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto HINDEMITH: When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d: A Requiem “For Those We Love”

THU., JAN. 30 AT 7 | FRI., JAN. 31 AT 8 | SAT., FEB. 1 AT 8 Organ Postlude:: Thu., Jan. 30 performance followed by a mini-recital on the new Rubenstein Family Organ, free with purchase of concert ticket.

Steven Isserlis plays Schumann Christoph Eschenbach, conductor Steven Isserlis, cello HAYDN: Symphony No. 72 SCHUMANN: Cello Concerto BRAHMS: Piano Quartet, orch. Schoenberg

THU., FEB. 6 AT 7 | FRI., FEB. 7 AT 8 | SAT., FEB. 8 AT 8 JOSHUA BELL



AfterWords: Thu., Feb. 6 performance followed by a free discussion. Part of the Blue Series.

Anne-Sophie Mutter plays Dvorˇák ˇ

(202) 467-4600 Tickets also available at the Box Office Groups (202) 416-8400 | TTY (202) 416-8524 David and Alice Rubenstein are the Presenting Underwriters of the NSO. The NSO Music Director Chair is generously endowed by Roger and Vicki Sant. The Blue Series is sponsored by United Technologies Corporation.

The Green Series is sponsored by

Cristian Macelaru, conductor Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin ˇ EK: The Cunning Little Vixen—Suite JANÁC ˚ : Symphony No. 1 MARTINU CURRIER: Time Machines (Thu. ONLY) DVORˇÁK: Violin Concerto (Fri. & Sat. ONLY)

THU., FEB. 13 AT 7 | FRI., FEB. 14 AT 8 | SAT., FEB. 15 AT 8 AfterWords: Thu., Feb. 13 performance followed by a free discussion. Part of the Green Series.

Beethoven’s Symphonies 1 & 2 Christoph Eschenbach, conductor Christian Tetzlaff, violin BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 1 WIDMANN: Violin Concerto (U.S. PREMIERE) BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 2

THU., FEB. 27 AT 7 | FRI., FEB. 28 AT 8 | SAT., MAR. 1 AT 8 AfterWords: Thu., Feb. 27 performance followed by a free discussion.

Beyond the Score® is produced by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Gerard McBurney, Creative Director; Martha Gilmer, Executive Producer.

The Kennedy Center welcomes patrons with disabilities.


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J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

Remembering and continuing rock ‘n’ roll By Hillel Italie Graham Nash is in the recording studio, having a hard time saying the words. “It was such a tumultuous smoke-ridden cocaine-driven moment that it’s hard to remember everything as it went down,” he reads, stumbling over the word “tumultuous” and later saying “1977” instead of “1967,” an epic slip for Nash’s generation. The “moment” was Woodstock and the studio was in midtown Manhattan, where Nash recently taped the audio book of his memoir Wild Tales. Digital technology enabled him to quickly correct his errors, but the memories will not be erased as he relives a time he still helps embody. Few were so profoundly changed by rock ‘n’ roll and the 1960s as Nash — a

A magical time

child of working class, World War II-era Britain, who first became a star as a grinning harmony singer for the Hollies and, just as he feared he was locked into a life of screaming teenagers and two-minute love songs, let his hair down as part of Crosby, Stills and Nash. His hair a full and flawless white, he looks improbably fit and trim at 71, especially for someone who by his own account smoked and snorted through much of his 20s and 30s. But he is mindful that his luck won’t last forever, and decided it was time to tell his story, if only for his baby granddaughter, Stella Joy. “I wanted to make a record of what my life was about and who I was as a person,” he said.

The man he became, the life he came to lead, began during a Hollies tour of the U.S. in the mid-1960s. He was befriended by Mama Cass of the Mamas and Papas, a born mixer who sensed that the gentlemanly Nash would click with the Byrds’ trouble-making David Crosby. He was soon living the American dream, late ‘60s style, recording a million-selling debut album with Crosby and Stephen Stills, and sharing a house in Laurel Canyon with Joni Mitchell. In his memoir, he gives his take on how Crosby, Stills and Nash first joined in song. It was 1968 and they were at Mitchell’s house, and Crosby and Stills were working on the ballad “You Don’t Have to Cry.” Nash listened, asked them to run through it again, and added his high tenor to Still’s husky low and Crosby’s mellow middle. “Something magical had happened, and we all knew it,” Nash writes. “When you sing with two or three people and you get it right — when the whole thing becomes greater than the parts — everything kind of lifts a couple of feet off the ground.... It was there, complete, a minute into our relationship.” They were instant royalty, crowned by their performance at Woodstock, but soon torn apart. Neil Young joined the band

after the first record and began feuding with Stills, as they had done while in the band Buffalo Springfield. Crosby’s girlfriend at the time, Christine Hinton, was killed in a car crash. Mitchell broke up with Nash, a loss clearly fresh decades later. “How could you live with Joni Mitchell for two years and not still feel something,” said Nash, married since 1977 to actress Susan Sennett. “She was this incredible combination of beauty and balls, and she’ll always be a very special part of my life. Everybody knows that. My wife knows that, and that’s just the way it is.”

Tough love Young is the book’s enigma and fatal attraction — a hard-headed genius with a well-documented reluctance to commit himself to a band, whether Buffalo Springfield or Crosby, Stills and Nash. In Wild Tales, Nash sees his time with Young as a “long, strange trip” with a man whom he regards as having a heart with two faucets: hot and cold. One tale from the cold side: Young’s memoir, Waging Heavy Peace, which came out in 2012. “My ego got in the way,” Nash said durSee NASH, page 51


Graham Nash recalls his relationships with Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Neil Young and Stephen Stills in his recent memoir, Wild Tales. He is shown, on right, with David Crosby at the Occupy Wall Street protest.

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4

Nash From page 50 ing the interview when asked about the book. “When he talked about his wife’s dog more than he did about me and Stephen and David, it pissed me off. I’ve made music with Neil Young for 40 years, and I don’t deserve a better mention than as an appendage to his dog?” Working with him is inspiring, Nash said, at least when he actually gets to work with him. “I love him to death. I’ll make music with him for the rest of my life, but he’s a very selfish man. Part of me admires the fact that he has the strength to follow his muse, but he doesn’t realize that there are other people involved in this world,” Nash said. “For instance, when you tell 40 people you’re going to Europe and do a massive tour at the end of June, and then you decide you don’t want to do it because the muse doesn’t wave to you right? These 40 people don’t know what to do because you don’t feel like it? That pisses me off.” A spokesman for Young did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Nash is tough on Crosby, too, although in a far more loving way. They are the closest of friends, and have shared girlfriends (both dated Mitchell), political causes, songwriting credits and thousands of stages.

But Nash also adds to Crosby’s past confessions about his descent into drug addiction in the 1980s, when one of rock’s great wise guys transformed into a scarred and dead-eyed monster, “filthy, always sickly, irrational, covered in sores,” Nash writes. “The only time legal ever called me was about the story I put in there about Crosby selling his Mercedes to a crack dealer, and the guy OD’s, and Crosby breaks into the house while the body is still warm and stole back the sales slip [for the car],” Nash said during the interview. “Legal wanted me to check with Crosby one more time to make sure that happened. He said, ‘Not only was it true, but I re-sold the car.’”

Still on stage Crosby cleaned up years ago, and various combinations of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young continue to sing around the world — whether a CSN show last fall at London’s Royal Albert Hall or a 2011 concert at Strathmore Music Center in N. Bethesda, Md. Nash sang solo at the Birchmere in Alexandria, Va., in September. In an impromptu visit in 2011 to the Occupy Wall Street protests, Nash and Crosby turned up and performed at Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, the crowd joining in for Nash’s signature song, “Teach Your Children.” “I think I wrote music that made people

think, and broke their hearts, and depressed them, and made them laugh,” Nash said, adding that completing the book only added to his amazement at his own life.


“I think I did a decent job with what I was given as a child. I’m from an incredibly poor family from the north of England. And look at me! I mean, c’mon.” — AP


Feb. 8

REVISITNG THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey melds music, dance,

poetry and prose in a multimedia production that weaves the words of writers such as Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston with images of the era. The show stars Jasmine Guy, best known as the star of the TV sitcom “A Different World,” and the Avery Sharpe Trio. It will be at the Publick Playhouse, 5445 Landover Rd., Cheverly, Md., on Saturday, Feb 8 at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $55 for VIP seating (includes early admission and pre-show reception); $40 general seating. For tickets, call (301) 277-1710 or visit the box office.

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Morals from a story of second marriages They say that love is lovelier the second time around. If it works that way, hats off. If it doesn’t, it can snare families in a whirlpool of hurt feelings — and lighter bank accounts. So it has gone for my pal, Susan. We reconnected a few weeks ago. Over coffee, I asked about her family. Kids good. Grandkids good. Husband good. And her father? Well, not so good. He became a widower at 80. A divorcee who had long been in his social circle

a s ft! e i ak t g M ea gr

made a beeline for him. The family thought this was excellent, because the beeliner was excellent. Smart. Sassy. Accomplished. Generous. Who wouldn’t want such a companion for one’s aging Dad? The nightmare began shortly after they married. Susan’s father began to slip mentally. Nothing big at first. But as time went on, he began to fumble basic details. His secretary called Susan and asked if maybe the old guy should retire.

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She broached it to him. He scoffed and priority over adult children in situations like this, the lawyers said. refused. An exclusive power of atMeanwhile, the new wife torney means exactly that. It started piloting a snazzy gold doesn’t matter what a previMercedes-Benz (she had preous power of attorney may viously been a Ford Focus have said. It doesn’t matter kind of girl). whether New Wife went beShe began wearing “clothes hind Dad’s back. She was that weren’t bought at Tarwithin her rights. get,” Susan said. The couple Seeing her father out half a took a six-week trip around million dollars without his the world, staying only in knowledge was bad enough. suites. Gifts got delivered to HOW I SEE IT Worse: He began to decline all sorts of friends and family By Bob Levey rapidly. — expensive gifts. Dementia was diagnosed. He was dead “I was very reluctant to smell rats,” Susan says. “I thought it was just nice. Two within a year. Susan and her brother appealed to New older people enjoying life, you know?” About six months later, Dad’s secretary Wife directly. “We asked her please not to called Susan again. She said Susan had to hoard all the rest of his money,” Susan come over to Dad’s office right away. She said. “He had always said he wanted to help with college tuition for the grandchilhad something to show her. The secretary produced two pieces of dren. But he had never said so in a will.” Sorry, New Wife said. His estate is paper. One was a power of attorney, executed mine. Please don’t call me again. Susan says she was “as furious as I’ve the day after Dad and New Wife had married. It designated New Wife as the only ever been in my life.” She recognized that she was legally powerless. And she doesn’t person with control over Dad’s finances. Previously, Susan says, she and her think that “money is the be-all and end-all.” Still, “this was my father, and he had been brother had shared power of attorney. They had not been asked or told about the steamrollered.” Her instinct was to “do something — not something that would lash change. The second piece of paper was Dad’s out at this woman, because that wouldn’t personal checking account statement. It have accomplished anything. But someshowed that New Wife had systematically thing that might protect other families.” I said that spreading the word to other withdrawn between $12,000 and $15,000 a families was my department. You’ve just month across three years. Where had that money gone? Obviously read the results. Moral of this story: If you are an older to the Mercedes, to the gifts, and to the gentleman of some means, and you sudclothes that weren’t bought at Target. Did Dad know about any of this? The denly become a widower, don’t give full control over your dough to your new secretary said she doubted it. When Susan sat down with her father, spouse. It will cause problems now and he was as shocked as anyone. But he re- bigger problems later. Second moral: Trust your adult chilfused to confront New Wife. Susan huddled with her brother to dren. They don’t want to interfere with make a plan. They decided to ask New your late-in-life happiness. But they don’t Wife to explain. “No confrontations,” want to see you hoodwinked, either. By the way, Susan reports, her father’s Susan said. “Just three adults who cared second wife now has a new male friend. about my father’s welfare.” He’s a recent widower. A man of some New Wife refused to meet. “My busimeans. ness,” she told Susan. They have just announced plans to take It was a stunning rebuff — and to Susan, a clear admission that New Wife was aware a six-week trip around the world together. History is reloading for a repeat. of and ashamed of what she had done. Bob Levey is a national award-winning Lawyers were brought in. They said no crime had been committed. A spouse has columnist.

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WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4



ONE BIG HAPPY By Rick Detorie

























Classifieds cont. from page 55. Volunteer Opportunities COLUMBIA LIGHTHOUSE FOR THE BLIND, a nonprofit organization serving people of all ages in the Washington metropolitan area who are blind and visually impaired, is recruiting adult volunteers to serve as Readers and Friendly Visitors. Participants in the Readers & Friendly Visitors program are adult volunteers who are matched one-on-one with blind or visually impaired adults. Volunteers arrange weekly meetings with clients at their homes to assist with activities, such as reading mail, grocery shopping or running errands. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please contact Jocelyn Hunter at 202-454-6422 or to attend an upcoming orientation.

Wanted WE BUY OLD AND NEW JEWELRY, Coins, Silver and Gold, Paper Money Too. Watches, Clocks and Parts, Military Badges and Patches Old and New. Call Greg, 717658-7954. HIGHEST CASH PAID FOR ANTIQUES, JEWELRY, ESTATES. I have been advertising in the Senior Beacon for 20 years. Montgomery County resident – will travel to D.C., MD, VA. Buying the following items: Furniture, art, jewelry, gold, sterling silver, old coins, vintage pocket and wrist watches, old tools, books, camera, military items – guns, rifles, knives, pocket knives, swords etc. Also buying: old toys, dolls, trains, comic books, photographs, autographs, musical instruments, guitars, violins, etc. Also old sports memorabilia and equipment – baseball, golf, football, fishing etc. Please call Tom at 240-476-3441. OLD AND NEW WE BUY Sterling Silver Flatware, Tea Sets, Single Pieces, Fountain Pens, Lighters, Tools, Cameras, Glassware, Art Work. Toys From Trains to Hotwheels to Star Wars. Call Greg, 717-658-7954.



CASH FOR JEWELRY: Buying jewelry, diamonds, gold, platinum, silver, watches, coins, flatware, etc. We make house calls. Ask for Tom. Call anytime 301-654-8678 or 301654-0838.

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, 301279-8834. Thank you.

WE PAY CASH for antique furniture, quality used furniture, early American art, pottery, silver, glassware, paintings, etc. Single items to entire estates. Call Reggie or Phyllis at DC 202-726-4427, MD 301-332-4697. MILITARY ITEMS WANTED: Collector seeks to purchase military uniforms; flight jackets, patches, insignia, medals, etc. from the Civil War through Vietnam. Especially seeking U.S. Army Air Corps, USMC, Airborne, and German/Japanese/Italian items from WWII. ALSO BUYING old Boy Scout, Airline Items, Toys, Lighters. Call Dan, 202841-3062. VINYL RECORDS WANTED from 1950 through 1985. Jazz, Rock-n-Roll, Soul, Rhythm & Blues, Reggae and Disco. 33 1/3 LPs, 45s or 78s, Larger collections of at least 100 items wanted. Please call John, 301-5966201.

WANTED: ANTIQUE ELECTRONICS, engineers’ estates, Hi-Fi Stereo, huge old loudspeakers, ham radios, records, professional quality musical instruments, antique computers, scientific curiosities. 202-527-9501, STAMP COLLECTIONS, AUTOGRAPHS purchased/appraised – U.S., worldwide, covers, paper memorabilia. Stamps are my specialty – highest price paid! Appraisals. Phone Alex, 301-309-6637.

BUYING MILITARY MEMORABILIA WW2, WW1, Civil War uniforms, weapons, photos and items associated with US, German, Japanese or items of other Military History. DAVE, 240-464-0958.

STERLING SILVER – I WILL PAY TOP DOLLAR for your silver marked “sterling,” “925,” “800.” Please, no silver plate. Want flatware, bowls, plates, candlesticks, etc. Call Richard, 301-646-0101.

CASH FOR ESTATE BUYOUTS, estate clean-outs, jewelry to furniture, one item or whole state. Free Estimate, Will Travel. 301520-0755.

CASH FOR RECORDS & CDs. BEST PRICE GUARANTEED. Free appraisals. All types of music, 33, 45, 78 & CDs. Call Steve 301-646-5403. Will make house calls.




Encore Chorale in Northern Virginia is looking for singers 55+ for the spring season. There are no auditions, and singers may sit to rehearse and perform. The choirs include a group that rehearses at the Langston Brown Senior Center, 2121 N Culpeper St, Arlington, Va. (which begins on Tuesday, Jan. 14) from 2 to 3:30 p.m.; a group that meets at the GW Masonic National Memorial, 101 Callahan Dr., Alexandria, Va. (which begins on Monday, Jan. 13), and rehearses from 10:30 a.m. to noon; and a group that meets at the Potomac Arts Academy of George Mason University, 4260 Chain Bridge Rd., Fairfax, Va. (which begins on Tuesday, Jan. 14), which rehearses from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. To register, and for information on costs, visit or call (301) 261-5747.

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J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4 — WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N

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














23 30 34












36 40

46 49




38 42















Scrabble answers on p. 53.




Answer: What she did when she told a joke to the sewing circle -- LOST THE "THREAD" OF IT Jumbles: FORAY SYNOD BANTER CHALET





48 54













ACROSS 1. Nimble 5. Hubble component 9. Set one back 13. Toll booth unit 14. “Right away!” (not written all the way) 15. Hosted a party 16. Pampering locales 17. Confusing grid of streets 18. One 32,000th of a ton 19. Baby proofing instructions 22. General dir. down Peru’s coastline 23. Space enough for light to pass 24. Clock setting for TV’s Breaking Bad scenes 25. Product of the 111th Congress, but commonly called Obamacare 28. Coat, generally white 30. Noted Brazilian footballer 32. Add insult to injury 38. Post pre-school; pre post-school 39. Name that is also a retirement plan 40. End in ___ (satisfy no one) 41. Do a plumber’s job 46. Country singer McEntire 47. Name that is also a legal plan 48. Turned on a candle 49. 3-time NHL MVP 51. Nile snakes 54. Arafat’s org. 56. Say hi to Montezuma 62. Girl orphaned in a comic, play, and 3 movies 63. Tony Danza sitcom 64. Type of thermometer 65. 63 Across extras 66. Shoe shape preserver 67. Its first logo was approved by Ike in 1959 68. Downwind 69. Hankerings 70. Studied from afar

DOWN 1. The middle of a date range 2. International fair 3. Fly in the ointment 4. Personality identifiers 5. Green Bay Packers’ field 6. Jacob’s biblical twin 7. Those fanatically obsessed with rules 8. Write eight instead of 8 9. Guzzle drinks 10. Just for show 11. The Joy of ___ (religious guide) 12. Send a 139-character message 15. Exactly 20. European city with best quality of life, according to fDi Magazine 21. Baba ghanoush, and the like 25. Son of Zeus and Hera 26. Group of worshippers 27. Complete loathing 29. French dairy-producing region 31. User of statistics, according to Mark Twain 33. “Holy Toledo!” 34. Pistol stay-men (abbr.) 35. Acorn droppers 36. 4, on a Rolex 37. Boy scout’s construction 42. Moves down on a pain scale 43. Punishment unit in 12 Years a Slave 44. Newsweek declared 1984 to be their year 45. The middle of two cremes 49. Largest Cornhusker city 50. Of the kidneys 52. Inconsequential 53. Violate guidance regarding the sun 55. .6 parts per million of Earth’s atmosphere 57. Kidlet 58. Plow pullers 59. Fast food loaner 60. Sugarcoat 61. Like Adam, after expulsion

Answers on page 53.

WA S H I N G T O N B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 4

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

Caregivers EXPERIENCED NURSE FROM SLOVAKIA is looking for a live-in position to care for the elderly or the sick. Excellent references. Call 301-384-9663. CNA/MEDTECH – Very mature with references and own transportation for eldercare. Call 571-575-3354 for services. “A” HOME HEALTH CARE – Experienced nurses, CNA, GNA are available 24/7. Companionship, personal care, housekeeping, shopping, driving. Full/Part-time or live-in. Flat rate for live-in. 15 years experienced. 240-533-6599. ABSOLUTE HOMECARE SERVICES, INC. – Licensed, Bonded and Insured. Reliable and qualified health aides and nursing staff available. Trusted personal assistance for your loved ones. Serving all Washington Metro Area. 4-24 hour services. Our rates are 10% lower than the average in the DC Metro Area! Tel: 703-3476755. Email: Visit us: CNA/COMPANION FOR SICK OR ELDERCARE. I am experienced, compassionate and reliable. Available days, nights, Mondays through Fridays and weekends full time or part time with 23 years experience. Own transportation. Call 301-442-9324. CNA/MED TECH ELDERLY CARE for livein/live-out, taking care of the elderly. 15+ years experience. Own transportation. Excellent references upon request. 240-482-9027, 202-710-3127. COMPASSIONATE CAREGIVER – LADY COMPANION available for elderly or adult with disabilities. Very reliable, experienced, own car with excellent references. CPR/First Aid/Hospice/Mental Health Aide Certified. I can provide respite care, concierge, plus more services for your loved one. Please call 240-426-3548 and kindly leave me a message. HERE AND NOW HOME CARE – Very reliable and certified caregivers who provide care with quality, dignity and respect. Personal care, companionship and light housekeeping at competitive prices. 24 hours around the clock. Homes, hospitals, nursing homes. 240-507-7120. ALLOW YOUR LOVED ONES to live where they are most comfortable... in their own home! Quality and reliability at an affordable price. Errands, shopping, meal preparation, hygiene assistance, light housekeeping. Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Temporary or long-term, up to 24-hour care. Bonded and insured. 301-4909050, LOOKING FOR A LOVING, caring, compassionate, dependable and reliable caregiver with years of experience and references for your elderly loved ones? Have experience with MS, Alzheimer’s, Diabetes and other health problems. Please call, 301-908-9134.

Say you saw it in the Beacon

Computer Services PROBLEM WITH YOUR PC/MAC OR NETWORK? Computer Systems Engineer will come to you with help. Call: D. Guisset at 301-6424526. COMPUTER LESSONS – Personal Computer training at your home. Email, Internet, general computer use. Windows 8, Smartphone/tablet, digital camera. Learn at your own pace with gentle & patient tutor. We also troubleshoot problems & setup new computers. Teaching Seniors since 1996. Senior Discount. Call David, 301-762-2570, COMPUTERTUTOR.

Entertainment THE SHALOM SIGNATURE CLUB offers dynamic social programs and classes geared to people 50+. Many have a Jewish theme; most are free of charge and take place in the Friendship Heights neighborhood of Chevy Chase. Regular events take place twice a month on Tuesday afternoons at 1 p.m. For further information or to RSVP for upcoming programs, visit or call (240) 200-4515.

Financial Services AFFORDABLE ACCTG/TAX SOLUTIONS @ BAI-TECH. Automation, Bookeeping, Payroll Tax Planning, Preparation & Representation. CPA on Demand 24/7. 26+ years experience. Email or call 301-6082248. MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT INSURANCE – Good news! Medicare Supplement plans – with the same benefits as your current plan – may now be available at rates that are significantly lower than your current plan. To find out if you qualify for these new, lower rates, call today. Find out how much you might save! Call 1-888270-4203.

For Sale/Rent: Real Estate LEISURE WORLD® - $247,500. 3BR 2FB 1HB “M” in Greens. Table space kitchen, separate dining room. Large enclosed balcony. New paint and carpet. 1530 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $118,500. 2BR 2FB 1HB “Berkeley” Condo. Updated kitchen, new paint, new carpet and flooring. 1600 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $279,000. 2 BR 2 FB FF in Overlook with Garage + Golf cart space. Table space kitchen open to enclosed balcony with custom shades. Close to elevator. 1320 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $185,000. 2 BR 2FB “O” with Garage + Golf Cart space in Fairways. Table space kitchen with window, separate dining room, enclosed balcony. 2nd bedroom with built-in. 1138 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $145,000. 3 BR 2 FB “Ellicott” model with table space kitchen, separate dining room, separate laundry room, new paint and carpet, enclosed balcony. 1400 sq. ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $275,000. 2BR 2FB “E” in “Villa Cortese.” Table space kitchen, large enclosed balcony, and garage parking. 1340 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $249,900. 3BR 2-1/2B “M” in the “GREENS.” Great space with enclosed balcony, new paint and carpet and separate storage room in basement. 1530 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463.

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING RATES Deadlines and Payments: Ad text and payment is due by the 20th of each month. Note: Only ads received and prepaid by the deadline will be included in the next month’s issue. Please type or print your ad carefully. Include a number where you can be reached in the event of a question. Payment is due with ad. We do not accept ads by phone or fax, nor do we accept credit cards. Private Party Text Ads: For individuals seeking to buy or sell particular items, or place a personal ad. Each ad is $15 for 25 words, 25 cents for each additional word. Business Text Ads: For parties engaged in an ongoing business enterprise. Each ad is $35 for 25 words, 50 cents for each additional word. Note: Each real estate listing counts as one business text ad. Send your classified ad with check or money order, payable to the Beacon, to:

The Beacon, D.C. Classified Dept. P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915-2227 For information about display advertising, or to request a media kit, call (301) 949-9766.

For Sale/Rent: Real Estate


LEISURE WORLD® - $85,000. 2BR 1FB 1HB “Elizabeth” Co-op. Renovated with wood floors and new carpet, gated patio, washer and dryer in unit. 1308 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463.

QUIT SMOKING - ONLY IF YOU ARE SERIOUS about quitting. Send $20 to E. Harris, Box 3113, Gaithersburg, MD 20885. No pills/drugs. Results are guaranteed or money back!

SPIRITUAL, PROGRESSIVE HOUSEHOLD OF WOMEN (39-69) in Takoma Park, MD (at DC edge) seeks two-three separate compassionate women – with these kindred underlying values – for friendships & mutual supportiveness. Nonsmokers. No pets. $950 for lower level small suite (small efficiency) with unfurnished private carpeted bedroom, private tiled full bathroom, private full kitchen, partly private/partly shared storage area, and access to back porch (mostly private use) and yard – And $750 for top level unfurnished carpeted private Master Bedroom, private tiled full bathroom with two sinks and skylight, walk-in closet, and double floor-length windows/glass-door opening to small private deck overlooking lower deck/forest…includes all the shared outdoor front porch/deck with hot tub, and open spaces in the 3 story charming Gingerbread house. Smaller carpeted room with closet/window and hall bathroom: $650. Shared utilities (1/3) + deposit. One reducible for bartering & help. Begin March 1 or later. Email:

Home/Handyman Services

WE’LL BUY YOUR HOME Without the Hassles. Local Company in business since 2003. BBB Accredited. Call 877-948-3232 today for details. No Obligation or Fees. LOOKING TO TAKE THE LEAP? I’ll take you on a tour of the community, show you floor plans, discuss campus amenities, & offer how to best coordinate your move. I will preview units & contact you with a match. I also offer exceptional service selling your home. I’m a Seniors Specialist, Buyer Broker, Top 1% of Agents Nationwide, and a Leisure World resident! You can see my current listings on page 39. Contact me: 301-580-5556,,, Weichert Realtors. I BUY HOUSES ANY CONDITION – Fairfax County, VA. Save time, money and worry. Not an agent, no commissions. Female owned. 703-9695847, BEAUTIFUL HOME ON RIVER in quiet neighborhood. 1 bdrm, office, bath. Finished attic. Washer/Dryer. Screen porch. New kitchen. Garage. Large yard. $1265. Call 703-430-7988.

For Sale

LEISURE WORLD® - RENTAL - $1400. 2 BR 2 FB “F” in the “Greens.” Updated kitchen, enclosed balcony, treetop view. 1115 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. 55+ Senior Living Community.

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.

LEISURE WORLD® - $268,000. 2BR 2FB “D” in Villa Cortese. Table space kitchen, separate kitchen, enclosed balcony, new paint and carpet. Garage space. 1300 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463.


LEISURE WORLD® - RENTAL - $1600. 2BR 2FB “GG” with Garage space. Move-in ready, new paint, treetop views. 1195 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. 55+ Senior Living Community.


WHERE IS YOUR PAIN? Back, neck, nerve, arthritis, joint & muscle pain, etc. Give us your opinion on our homeopathic, topical pain relief lotion. Free sample & follow up on request. 202726-2602. MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING with home-bound seniors in lower Montgomery County by state licensed counseling provider. For an appointment, please call 301-340-1510.

EXPERT ROOF REPAIRS and new installations. 40 years experience. 5 year warranties. Rated A on Angie’s List. See our photo gallery at MHIC# 8342. Call, 301-220-4222.

Legal Services PARALEGAL EXPERIENCED IN WILLS, trust and estate administration as well as other accounting and administrative paperwork. Will make house calls. 301-565-2917.

Miscellaneous GO LIVE! MARYLAND LIVE! Casino every Saturday from Lakeforest Transit Center, 9:15am &11:45am; Shady Grove Metro (East Side), 9:30am & 12pm; Leisure World Plaza (front of Giant Food), 9:45am & 12:15pm. Sundays, Lakeforest Transit center, 10:45am; Shady Grove Metro, 11am; Leisure World, 11:15am. Cost $20. Get $30 in slot play from Casino. Reserve your seat at 301-337-0517 or visit THE GOLDEN NETWORK offers Jewish seniors and retirees a variety of engaging programs, including lectures, classes, one-on-one learning in person and by phone, concerts, sing-alongs and more! For more information and details about upcoming events, call 301-338-4810, email, or see

Personal Services NEED HOUSE CLEANING? PROFESSIONAL SERVICE at an affordable rate! Weekly, BiWeekly, Monthly or One Time. Call Fulvia for a free estimate, 240-644-4289. READY TO DE-CLUTTER? I CAN HELP. Sort, DONATE, DISCARD. Reasonable rates. Call Jan, 301-933-7570. CHERYL’S ORGANIZING CONCEPTS LLC – Professional Organizing Services. Help with all aspects of home organizing. Experienced – References – Member NAPO. All work confidential. Licensed – Bonded. $25 discount on initial appointment. 301-916-9022. VAN MAN – For your driving needs. Shopping, appointments, pick-up and deliver – airport van. Call Mike, 301-565-4051. WILL TYPE YOUR MEMOIRS, manuscripts, etc. For info and rates, call 703-671-1854. WILL DO PERSONAL CARE, meals and laundry, for elderly person. Part-time, M-F, 4 or 5 hours a day. Good references furnished, 301759-5159. PG and DC area only.

Classifieds cont. on p. 53


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January 2014 | Washington, DC Beacon  

The January 2014 Edition of the Washington, DC Beacon.