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The Coachella Valley



VOL.2, NO.5




More than 40,000 readers throughout the Coachella Valley

Born to be a lifelong showgirl

MAY 2013

I N S I D E …


Tiny, mountainous Nepal is a picture postcard come to life; plus, the artsy culture and coastal beauty of Laguna Beach

From bouncing to dancing Born in St. Louis, but raised in Chicago, Kloss was enrolled in dance school by her mother, who was widowed at the age of 39 and had three children to raise by herself. Her mother had no idea that young Dorothy had any talent for dance, Kloss said, but was seeking a way for her daughter to burn off excess energy. “You were always bouncing around,” she recalled her mother telling her. For 50 cents a lesson, her first dance teacher, Madame Ludwig, helped her find the source of her “bouncing” and turn it into a talent for performing. Kloss was fortunate, she said, that her natural affinity for dance coincided for many decades with the popularity of the theaters, supper clubs and other venues that featured live musical acts on a nightly basis. “You could work 52 weeks a year,” she said. “Theaters often had five shows a day, and there were also performances at movie palaces and big night clubs. Those were great years, and as a dancer there was such an opportunity to hone your craft and enjoy it.” In Chicago, Kloss performed on some of the most popular stages in the city. She appeared at the Chez Paree, the Empire Room, the Blackhawk and the Latin Quarter. She also taught dance to young up-andcomers, and was Bob Fosse’s first tap teacher before he became one of the world’s foremost choreographers. In those early years, she also worked

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By Connie George Calvin Coolidge was president of the United States when Dorothy Dale Kloss discovered her passion for dance in 1926 at the age of 3. Now 89 and still enjoying a career as a dancer, singer and all-round stage performer, Kloss is nowhere near ready to hang up her tap shoes. “If you have a love of show business, it gets in the blood, and you just can’t let it go,” said the woman who was named “the oldest living (and working) showgirl” in 2009’s Guinness World Records during her 15-year tenure with the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies. “I think God just sent me here to dance. From the time I could walk, music was just in me. It wouldn’t go away,” she said.


page 19

Ever glamorous at age 89, Dorothy Dale Kloss has been dancing steadily since 1926, enjoying a career that has taken her throughout the U.S. and abroad. Her 15year tenure with the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, which began when she was 71, resulted in her being named, at 86, as the “world’s oldest living (and working) showgirl” by the 2009 Guinness World Records. INSET: Kloss is shown at age 86 in her Fabulous Palm Springs Follies finery.

with such legendary performers as Jackie Coogan, Billy De Wolfe, Chico Marx and Mel Torme. Primarily a tap dancer, Kloss also was skilled at ballet, jazz and ballroom styles, and eventually her broad talents allowed her to spread her wings and begin working in other venues throughout the United States and abroad. By the time she joined the Follies at the age of 71 as a dancer, singer and sketch comic, Kloss had logged nearly seven decades of stage appearances. Work at the Follies introduced her to such fellow performers as Howard Keel, Gloria DeHaven, John Davidson, Kay

Starr, Peter Marshall, Kaye Ballard, Carol Lawrence, Bill Dana, Frankie Lane, Gogi Grant, Susan Anton, Anna Maria Alberghetti, John Byner, Dick Contino, Gloria Loring and Donald O’Connor. Kloss retired from the Follies in 2010, and was honored that year on Palm Springs’ Walk of Stars as “Tap Dancer Extraordinaire.” Her star sits right in front of the Follies’ Plaza Theatre.

The next chapter Still a Palm Springs resident, Kloss said the long hours at the Follies, which could


The Ill Divo quartet showcases its crossover hits at an upcoming show; plus, Temecula’s 30th Balloon & Wine Festival, and an exhibit on the mysterious Salton Sea page 23

LAW & MONEY 4 k Higher returns with moderate risk k Help for low-income seniors FITNESS & HEALTH 8 k Cancer radiation can harm hearts k When you forget, should you worry? PLUS BEACON BITS & MORE

See SHOWGIRL page 24


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M AY 2 0 1 3 — C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N

Summer’s coming, so let’s plan ahead By Michael Brachman formed, active and inspired. As the Beacon We may officially still be in springtime, staff prepares for its second summer in the but as Coachella Valley resiarea, we know our pace will redents are aware, this is the main at high-pitch, just as it time of year when wildly flucdid last summer when we tuating temperatures remind were as busy as we had been us that summer is on the way. during the rest of the year. For example, only a few Issues and interests imporweeks ago we jumped from tant to our 50+ population, daytime highs in the low 60s whether full-timers or seato mid-90s within just a week! sonal, do not change simply The occasional buzz of air because the weather does, so conditioners that we haven’t FROM THE you can look forward to conheard in months, the steady PUBLISHER tinuing local features in all of reduction in traffic as our win- By Michael Brachman the newspaper’s sections that ter visitors gradually return to will keep you in touch with life their warm weather homes, the slowing in the valley. pace of the valley’s high-season activity calFor example, we will soon bring you inendars — all of these are also indicators formation on the area’s Cool Zone facilities, that our 250,000 year-round 50+ residents where older adults can visit in comfort durneed to shift gears and start making their ing the day while reducing the costs of coolsummer survival plans. ing their homes. Senior centers and One resource you can count on through- libraries are usually on the Cool Zone list, out the region’s quieter mid-year months and most provide daily activities to keep will be the Coachella Valley Beacon, as we everyone engaged and entertained. continue to bring you news to keep you inWe’ll also be featuring ideas for easy day

Beacon The Coachella Valley






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The Coachella Valley Beacon is a monthly newspaper dedicated to informing, serving and entertaining the citizens of the Coachella Valley area, and is independently owned and operated by On-Target Media, Inc. under authority of the Beacon Newspapers, Inc. Other Beacon editions serve Howard County, Md. and Baltimore, Md., as well as Greater Washington, D.C. Subscriptions are available via third-class mail ($16), prepaid with order. 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 ............................................................Michael Brachman • Managing Editor ......................................................Connie George

Coachella Valley Beacon 1001 South Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 217 Palm Springs, CA 92263 Phone: 760-668-2226 • Email: Other content and design provided by The Beacon Newspapers, Inc., Kensington, Md. • Publisher............................................................Stuart P. Rosenthal • Graphic Designer ........................................................Kyle Gregory Submissions: The Coachella Valley Beacon welcomes reader contributions. Deadline for editorial is the 20th of the month preceding the month of publication. Deadline for ads is the 15th of the month preceding the month of publication. Please mail or email all submissions. © Copyright 2013 On-Target Media, Inc.

and weekend getaways in our neighboring mountain and coastal communities that are but a few hours away, if that. In fact, the article on Laguna Beach in this month’s Leisure & Travel section features a number of upcoming events in that beautiful Orange County town where the summer scenery and climate provide a wonderful respite from the Coachella Valley’s mid-year heat and humidity.

Keep in touch In preparation for our summer news coverage, I invite all our readers to share their ideas and opinions with us so we can bring you the news you can most use. Are you looking for new ways to stay cool while conserving utility costs? Opportunities to get out and about when the hot months can often lead to too much isolation? Resources for building or maintaining an active social life in spite of fewer activities throughout the valley? Whether you are a permanent or seasonal valley resident, we want to hear from you! Whatever your needs and interests may be, please share them with us so we can share them with the rest of our readership. We always appreciate letters to the editor, so feel free to submit your thoughts to me for that section. We exist to represent you and all others in our 50+ demographic, which still comprises more than half of the valley’s entire

population. You can contact me at any time in our Palm Springs office at (760) 668-2226 or Remember, too, that current and back issues of the CV Beacon are available free online at In addition, we offer mail order subscriptions for $16 a year, so wherever you are, you can continue to keep up with Beacon news! Even “armchair travelers” who may have an interest in life in the Coachella Valley, but cannot visit as often as they would like, may enjoy reading the Beacon regularly. Do you know someone out of the area who would like to join our readership? If so, please let them know about our online and mail order options. As always, though, the newspaper is still available for free pick-up at our more than 700 (and growing!) distribution locations throughout the valley. I am pleased to announce that beginning this month, all 15 Walgreens stores in the area are now carrying the CV Beacon inside on their news racks! We are delighted to have Walgreens among the many facilities that bring the newspaper to you. It’s never been easier to find us! Let’s all enjoy the coming weeks as we head into summer, while staying in touch and enjoying the valley’s year-round resort atmosphere. After all, the area’s friendliness and relaxed vibe are among the reasons we like it here!

Letters to the editor Readers are encouraged to share their opinion on any matter addressed in the Coachella Valley Beacon as well as on political and social issues of the day. Mail your Letter to the Editor to The Coachella Valley Beacon, 1001 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Ste 217, Palm Springs, CA 92263 or e-mail to Please include your name, address and telephone number for verification. Dear Editor: Being a new restaurant in town, I needed to advertise my business. The Beacon has successfully delivered my message to what I have realized to be a loyal group of readers. They show up with my advertised special cut out of the paper and have also come back to enjoy other items from my menu. Laron Robinson Central Park Dear Editor: I was worried during the first two or three months [I was advertising in the Beacon,] as I was not getting a response. Now I am receiving calls and have even

had customers showing up with my ad cut out directly from the paper. Noah Y. NYPC Repair Dear Editor: Thank you for providing a high quality and informative publication to all of us active retires in the desert. Great articles on today's issues, health and diet. A wonderful resource that we share with all our friends. Jerry Tausend Camille Hukari Sun City Palm Desert


May 25


The Guess Who, Canada’s first international rock superstars, perform a concert of their extensive chain of Top 40 hits at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 25, at Spotlight 29 Casino. Tickets are $25 to $45. The casino is at 46200 Harrison Pl., Coachella. For reservations and more information, call 1866-377-6829 or visit

C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N — M AY 2 0 1 3

Say you saw it in the Beacon


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Money Law &

Preferred stocks, which share characteristics with both stocks and bonds, can offer a higher yield without a high amount of risk. See story below.

A way to higher returns at moderate risk Readers continue to ask how they can in- acteristics of both bonds and equities. vest without a great deal of risk Preferred stocks pay a fixed and still obtain reasonable ininterest, generally at a higher come. rate than bonds issued by the I have often pointed out that same company. The current investors who need income yield of preferred stocks is cannot expect high income about 6 percent. Corporations from investing in Treasury issuing preferred stock cannot bills, money-market instrupay dividends on their common ments and short-term savings stock without paying the interaccounts. Such investments est due on the preferred stock. preserve capital but do not Preferred stock prices genkeep up with inflation. erally fluctuate based on their THE SAVINGS Alternatives that provide GAME dividend yield, credit rating more income include real-es- By Elliot Raphaelson and maturity date (where aptate investment trusts (REITs), plicable). Increased interest Treasury inflation-protected rates generally will depress securities (TIPS), intermediate-term bonds, the value of preferred stock, since investors master limited partnerships (MLPs) and could purchase new issues of preferred high dividend common stocks. These pro- stock and bonds at higher interest rates. vide more income than the most conserva- Also, if a corporation’s financial condition tive investments, but they are certainly are or prospects deteriorate, the value of its outnot risk-free. standing securities will fall. Corporations that issue preferred stock Consider preferred stock are those that require substantial capital. Another alternative is preferred stocks. Most issuers are financial institutions, utilThese are more like bonds than a common ities and communications companies. stock. They are hybrid securities with charNot all of these companies have stellar

credit ratings. As a result, there is not a large supply of high-quality preferred. For that reason, in order to minimize risks, investors should consider buying a diversified portfolio of preferred stocks through ETFs rather than purchasing individual company shares.

Advantages and disadvantages An advantage of preferred stocks is that they have a low correlation to other fixedprice securities such as TIPS, REITs and MLPs. A major disadvantage, according to Josh Peters, equity strategist of Morningstar, is the risk of recall. Most issues may be recalled within five years. If interest rates go down, the issuer will likely recall the stock. Another disadvantage is there is no guarantee you will receive the price you paid for the stock. With individual bond purchases, at maturity, you will receive the face value of the bond back. Corporate bonds have maturity dates; most preferred stocks do not. Another disadvantage is the lack of an active market. When you do decide to sell, there may be a large gap between the bid and ask price for an individual security.

That is another reason to buy preferred stocks in an ETF. The price of preferred stock will generally not increase when the income of the corporation increases. Income growth will benefit common stock holders. You do not purchase preferred stock in order to obtain capital growth.

Some recommendations Abby Woodham, an analyst at Morningstar, recommends ETF iShares S&P U.S. Preferred Stock Index (PFF), indicating it has the lowest expense ratio of the ETFs at 0.48 percent. Over the last five years, the fund returned an average of 5.5 percent. The return for the last year was 18.2 percent. The current yield is approximately 6 percent. If you hold your account outside of a retirement account, you should consider the tax implications. For example, some preferred stock dividends are qualified, which means that they are taxed at no more than 20 percent. If the dividends are not qualified, the marginal tax rate can be as high as See HIGHER RETURNS, page 5

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Law & Money

C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N — M AY 2 0 1 3


Small-cap foreign funds beat the market By Mark Jewell An annual scorecard of mutual fund performance is in, and it’s generating more of the negative headlines that fund managers have become accustomed to in recent years. The key finding: Two-thirds of managed U.S. stock funds failed to beat the market in 2012, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. For all their stock-picking skills, the vast majority of managers couldn’t claim an edge over low-cost index funds and exchangetraded funds that seek to match the market. It was the sixth time in the last 10 years that average annual returns of managed funds fell short of the market’s overall performance. Faced with such persistently disappointing results, it’s understandable that an investor might consider giving up and rely exclusively on index funds. But look deeper into the latest annual scorecard, and there’s a positive takeaway for investors. Funds specializing in stocks of small foreign companies have beaten

Higher returns From page 4 39.6 percent. Woodham points out that the PowerShares Financial Preferred (PGF) ETF produces 100 percent qualified income. Its

their market benchmark year after year. In 2012, 85 percent of this small group of funds posted larger returns than an S&P index of stocks from foreign developed countries. Returns for the five-dozen funds in the international small-cap category averaged 21.7 percent, compared with 15.4 percent for the index.

An ongoing trend It wasn’t a one-year fluke: Ninety percent outperformed over three years, and 79 percent over five years. Those results are far better than the long-term numbers for other stock fund categories, suggesting that international small-cap is the go-to category for marketbeating fund performance. “It’s kind of like an overlooked child,” said Aye Soe, an S&P Dow Jones Indices researcher who authored the company’s latest scorecard. “There are lots of opportunities there, and active managers can find them.”

expense ratio is 0.66 percent, higher than iShares EFT; however, if you hold the shares in a non-retirement account, the PowerShares ETF may provide a higher return due to tax savings. Too many investors still invest too much in money-market instruments and savings

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Stocks of small companies based overseas generate less attention from investment managers and stock analysts than the big U.S. names in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. That under-the-radar status creates greater opportunity to find stocks that are underpriced relative to their earnings potential. That’s reflected in the wide variations in returns among small-cap international stocks. The gap between the best and worst performers is typically larger than in other market segments. “That creates more opportunity for active managers to add value,” Soe said.

Some winning picks A couple examples of top-rated small-cap international funds, and stocks that have generated strong recent returns: Franklin International Small Cap Growth (FINAX) found a gem in Jumbo SA, which was recently the fund’s third-largest holding. Shares of the Greece-based retailer of chil-

accounts. You have to accept some risk to get high income. I do not recommend that a significant portion of your fixed income portfolio should be in preferred stocks. However, if a significant part of your portfolio is currently earning less than 1 percent, consider

dren’s products have surged 43 percent over the past 12 months. For Invesco International Small Company (IEGAX), a key contributor has been Total Energy Services Trust. The Canadian energy services company is a longtime holding and the stock has more than doubled over the past five years. One word of caution: Investors who don’t have the stomach for volatile returns might want to avoid international small-cap funds. Sharp ups and downs are more likely with foreign stocks than with the U.S. market, especially among small-caps. But for consistency in generating market-beating returns, international small-cap funds stand out. Last year, just two out of 13 categories of managed U.S. stock funds posted average returns better than their market benchmarks. The two: funds specializing in large-cap See BEAT THE MARKET, page 6

adding a preferred stock ETF to your fixedincome portfolio. You should earn close to 6 percent without a great deal of risk. Elliot Raphaelson welcomes your questions and comments at © 2013 Elliot Raphaelson. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.


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M AY 2 0 1 3 — C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N


Beat the market

May 23


From page 5

A free “Senior Fraud Squad” event, designed to educate older

growth stocks, and funds investing in property-owning real estate investment trusts. But going back over three and five years, the vast majority of funds in both categories failed to beat the market. Among managed U.S. stock funds last year, 66 percent failed to beat a broad measure of the market, the Standard & Poor’s Composite 1500. Although that may sound bad, it’s a marked improvement from the 84 percent that underperformed in 2011. The last year that a majority of managed funds beat the market was in 2009. Such poor numbers are a key reason why investors have been pulling their money out of managed funds in recent years. Among all U.S. stock funds — the majority of them managed funds, rather than index products — withdrawals have exceeded deposits for six years in a row. Last year, investors withdrew a net $95 billion from managed large-cap stock funds, according to Morningstar. In contrast, a net

adults about potential risks to their financial security, will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, Thursday, May 23, at the La Quinta Senior Center. The event is sponsored by the Health Insurance Counseling Advocacy Program and the Senior Medicare Patrol. Featured speakers will include representatives from both sponsoring agencies, along with the Contractors State License Board, California Department of Corporations, Department of Consumer Affairs and Bureau of Automotive Repair. The senior center is at 78450 Avenida La Fonda, La Quinta. For more information, call (760) 564-0096.

$61 billion was deposited into large-cap index mutual funds and ETFs.

Other standout funds Despite the overall performance numbers, there have been standout managed funds in recent years. Consider the top diversified U.S. stock funds of last year: Legg Mason Capital Management Opportunity (LMOPX) returned 39.6 percent and Fairholme Fund (FAIRX) gained 35.8 percent. Those results were more than double the 16 percent total return for the S&P 500. What’s more, a small minority of funds have delivered market-beating returns over periods of 10 years or longer. And Soe notes that several fund managers successfully executed defensive strategies in 2008, limiting their losses in a year when stocks plunged 38 percent amid the financial crisis. “Just because a majority of active managers underperform doesn’t mean active management is completely dead,” Soe said. “It really depends on market conditions, and how skilled those managers are at taking advantage of those conditions.” — AP




The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway has begun issuing its popular summer pass, which is good through Friday, August 9. At $50 for adults, the pass entitles holders to unlimited tram rides, a 10 percent discount at both tram restaurants, and other benefits. The Tramway is at 1 Tram Way, Palm Springs. Passes may be purchased in person at the station or online at For more information, call (760) 325-1391.



The Social Security Administration provides online tools and answers to some of the most common questions people have about their benefits. To find out how job earnings may affect Social Security income, visit and search the topic “earnings test,” or download the publication How Work Affects Your Benefits at To determine full retirement age, visit


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C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N — M AY 2 0 1 3

Say you saw it in the Beacon | Law & Money


Valley agency helps low-income seniors By Connie George Coachella Valley residents age 60 and older, who are struggling financially, may receive the assistance they need from the area’s only nonprofit organization exclusively serving seniors with social service programming. Founded 14 years ago, Desert Samaritans for Seniors (DSFS) helps more than 3,000 low-income seniors each year with a variety of programs. Over half of its clients live on less than $1,000 a month. Once a senior has applied for assistance from the agency, a case management team evaluates his or her needs and responds with appropriate aid or referrals to other available programs. “Desert Samaritans exists to meet the

needs of those who are often alone and without resources,” said DSFS Chief Executive Officer Doug Morin. “We serve the most inneed seniors. More than 33,000 seniors in the valley live on less than $25,000 a year.” To help seniors remain independent in their own homes in spite of their economic strains, DSFS is able to provide limited financial emergency funds for such necessities as utilities, rent, moving expenses, home maintenance and medical costs. The agency also serves as a primary source of referral information to other programs that can help its clients, such as for low-income housing, food programs, Medicare and Social Security, legal assistance, transportation, area shelters and other social service organizations. In addi-


May 16+

FILM NOIR FESTIVAL CELEBRATES 14TH YEAR The 14th Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival will return to Palm

Springs from Thursday, May 16, to Sunday, May 19, with a fresh line-up of classic black-and-white films laden with post-World War II cynicism, suspense, sexuality and crime. All showings will take place at the Camelot Theatres, 2300 E. Baristo Rd., Palm Springs, and many include post-screen discussions with individuals involved in the making of the films. For ticket prices, reservations and a complete festival schedule, visit

May 27

MEMORIAL FLOWER DROP AT AIR MUSEUM The Palm Springs Air Museum will pay tribute to fallen U.S. soldiers in its annual community Memorial Day Flower Drop at 1

p.m., Monday, May 27. Following a brief memorial service, a fly-over exhibition will be presented, highlighted by the drop of more than 3,000 red and white carnations from a B-25 Mitchell bomber. Visitors are welcome to pick up a flower to take home. The museum is at 745 N. Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs. For more information, call (760) 778-6262.

tion, DSFS can often provide aid through national and local grants and donations. For further information on DSFS serv-

ices, including its application process, call (760) 837-9066 or visit


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M AY 2 0 1 3 — C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N

Health Fitness &

FIX YOUR KNEE WITH PT Physical therapy can be just as good as surgery for many knee woes RELIEVING GERD FOR GOOD A bracelet of magnets implanted around the esophagus can stop GERD FEWER SIDE EFFECTS NATURALLY Supplements like CoQ10 can help minimize hypertension drug side effects HELPING STROKE PATIENTS Volunteers at the Stroke Recovery Center assist in many capacities

Breast cancer radiation may harm hearts By Marilynn Marchione Women treated with radiation for breast cancer are more likely to develop heart problems later, even with the lower doses used today, new research suggests. The risk comes from any amount of radiation, starts five years after treatment, and lasts for decades, doctors in the UK found. Patients shouldn’t panic — radiation has improved cancer survival, and that is the top priority, doctors say. The chance of suffering a radiation-induced heart problem is fairly small. For example, 4 to 5 of every 100 women who are 50 years old and free of heart risks will develop a major cardiac problem by age 80, and radiation treatment would add one more case, the research suggests. Women can do a lot to cut their risk by keeping their weight, cholesterol and blood

pressure under control. Still, the study reveals that the potential harm from radiation runs deeper than many medical experts may have realized, especially for women who already have cardiac risk factors such as diabetes. And it comes amid greater awareness of overtreatment — that many women are being treated for cancers that would never prove fatal, leading to trouble down the road such as heart disease.

Arteries and more affected Some chemotherapy drugs are known to harm the heart muscle, but the new study shows radiation can hurt arteries, making them prone to harden and clog and cause a heart attack. Women who receive both treatments have both types of risk. The study “will raise the antenna” about

the need to do more to prevent this, said Dr. David Slosky, a cardiologist at Vanderbilt University, one of the growing number of medical centers with special “cardio-oncology” programs for cancer survivors. With today’s lower radiation doses, “it is less of a problem, but it is not going away,” he said. The artery-related problems that the study tracked may be just the most visible of many risks because radiation also can cause valve, rhythm and other heart troubles, said Dr. Javid Moslehi. He is co-director of the cardio-oncology program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Like cancer, heart disease develops after “a number of strikes that go against you,” such as high cholesterol, he said. “The radiation is just another hit.” He wrote in an editorial that appears with

the study in the New England Journal of Medicine. British government agencies and private foundations paid for the research. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women — more than a million cases are diagnosed each year worldwide. When it’s confined to the breast, most women get surgery to remove the lump, followed by several weeks of radiation to kill any lingering cancer cells and sometimes hormone or chemotherapy. What heart disease risks come from what specific doses isn’t known. The new study, led by Dr. Sarah Darby of the University of Oxford in England, sought to measure that. It involved 2,168 breast cancer patients from Sweden and Denmark diagnosed between 1958 and 2001 and treated with radiaSee RADIATION, page 10

Forgetfulness can have multiple causes By Dr. Daniel Pendrick Worried that you’re getting more forgetful as you age? Ironically, worry itself can trigger memory slips. It might take a conversation with your doctor to pinpoint the cause of your memory lapses — especially if the change is sudden or uncharacteristic. “If it’s worse than it was a few months ago, or somebody is asking you about it, that would definitely be something to see a doctor about,” said Dr. Anne Fabiny, chief of geriatrics at Cambridge Health Alliance and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Some ordinary reasons If you consult a medical reference on possible causes of memory loss, you’ll find an assortment of possibilities — from brain tumors and infections to syphilis and migraine headaches. But hiding among them are a few ordinary causes worth serious consideration: 1. Alcohol Having more than the recommended number of daily drinks can contribute to memory loss. For men, the recommended limit is no more than two standard drinks per day, defined as 1.5 ounces (1 shot glass) of 80-proof spirits, a 5-ounce serving of table wine, or a 12-ounce serving of beer.

The limit for women is one drink per day. 2. Medications Tranquilizers, certain antidepressants and some blood pressure drugs can affect memory by causing sedation or confusion, which interfere with your ability to pay close attention to new things. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you suspect that a new medication is taking the edge off your memory. 3. Thyroid disorder Faltering thyroid hormone levels could affect memory, as well as cause sleep disturbance and depression, both of which contribute to memory slips. Although thyroid function is usually not the cause, your doctor may want to rule it out. 4. Stress and anxiety For older adults, disturbances in mood are among the most common causes of memory problems. The cause of the problem could be an illness in the family — or something with more positive overtones, like moving to a new home. In either case, the new life stressor can make it harder for you to keep on top of things. Stress and anxiety affect memory because they make it harder for you to concentrate and lock new information and skills into memory. You may end up forgetting something simply because you were not really paying attention or had too much on your mind.

5. Depression The symptoms of depression often include forgetfulness. Most people think of depression as a stifling sadness, lack of drive, and lessening of pleasure in things that you ordinarily enjoyed. But the signs can change with aging. “Depression in older people often presents with physical symptoms,” Fabiny explained. “People don’t come in and say they are really depressed. They say my shoulder hurts, I have a headache, I have stomach pains, I don’t sleep very well.” 6. Sleep deprivation Lack of restful, high-quality sleep is perhaps the greatest unappreciated cause of memory slips. Sleeplessness can become more of an issue with aging. “Older adults spend less time in the deep stages of sleep, which are the most restful,” Fabiny said. “As a result, they may not feel as rested upon awakening in the morning because they haven’t slept well.” Lack of restful sleep can also trigger mood changes. Anxiety is one possibility. “It’s not uncommon for people to become anxious because they can’t sleep, or to not sleep well because they are anxious,” Fabiny said. “Both can leave you in the same place.”

When to seek help If you think you are sleep deprived, see

a doctor about it. Don’t succumb to the myth that older people need fewer hours of slumber, Fabiny said. “If you were a 9-hour-a-night sleeper when you were 29, you will still be when you are 79. But sleep quality may change with aging,” he said. You may wake more often, for example, and find it more difficult to get back to sleep. It can also help your memory to give your brain a break. “As you get older, it may become more difficult to maintain a high level of attention for several things at once,” Fabiny said. “Dividing your attention can definitely cause you to think you are having memory problems.” Finally, remember that fatigue that interferes with memory — and life in general — is not normal. Inadequately treated pain, sleep disorders, or low thyroid hormone levels in your blood could be at the root of a pooped-out and forgetful demeanor. “If you are feeling fatigued or lacking in energy, it’s important to have a conversation with your doctor,” Fabiny said. “It’s possible that an existing medical problem needs more attention or that an evaluation for a new condition is warranted.” — Harvard Men’s Health Watch © 2013 President and fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N — M AY 2 0 1 3

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Meditation retreat to explore kindness By Connie George A daylong meditation retreat designed to reduce stress by exploring the interwoven nature of mindfulness and loving-kindness, called the Metta practice, is scheduled for Saturday, June 1, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in Rancho Mirage. Sponsored by Insight Community of the Desert, the retreat, called “One and the Same: Mind and Heart,” will be led by nationally recognized meditation teacher Larry Yang. According to Yang, both mindfulness and loving-kindness are spiritual practices that create a more expansive heart and more peaceful mind. They are doors into the experience of freedom and greater happiness, he said.

The event will include contemplative sitting and walking meditations, along with group exercises and sharing, to support a collective deepening into feeling the awareness within love, Yang explained, and the love that flows from awareness. Both new and more experienced meditation practitioners are invited to attend. Participants are asked to bring their own lunches, along with a cushion for sitting. Space is limited, so pre-registration is recommended. The retreat will be held at Unitarian Universalist Church of the Desert, 72425 Via Vail, Rancho Mirage. Admission is by donation, with no one turned away for lack of funds. Insight Community of the Desert also of-


May 17

SOCIAL DANCE CLUB TO MEET AT SHADOW HILLS The Shall We Dance Club plans an evening of social dancing for

couples and singles from 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, May 17, at Sun City Shadow Hills’ Montecito Ballroom. Dance hosts will be available, and “Palm Springs Dancers” Steve and Barb Hansmeyer will serve as DJs. Admission is free for club members, $5 for nonmembers. All participants are asked to bring their own beverages and snacks. Shadow Hills is at 81346 Corte Compras, Indio. For more information, call Pattie Martin at (626) 523-4352.

fers weekly meditation and lecture programs on Sundays, 4:30 to 6 p.m., at the Center for Spiritual Living, 2100 Racquet Club Rd., Palm Springs.

For more information, and to register for the June 1 retreat, call 1-888-280-6777, email, or visit


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Radiation From page 8 tion. They included 963 women who suffered a heart attack, needed an artery-opening procedure or died of heart artery-related causes in the years after their radiation treatment. The other 1,205 were similar patients who did not develop these heart problems. Researchers compared the women’s radiation exposures using gray units, a measure of how much is absorbed by the body. They used hospital records and treatment plans

to figure how many gray units actually reached each woman’s heart and one artery often involved in heart attacks. Most women treated today get doses that result in 1 to 5 gray units reaching the heart — more if the cancer is in the left breast. Patients in the study got an average of five gray units; the doses ranged from 1 to 28. The risk of a heart attack, need for an artery-opening procedure, or dying of heart disease rose about 7 percent per gray unit and no “safe” level was seen. The risk started to rise within five years of treatment and continued for at least 20 years.

M AY 2 0 1 3 — C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N

Minimizing your risk Don’t forgo radiation if it’s recommended because it is lifesaving, and doctors increasingly have ways to shield the heart from exposure, said Dr. Bruce Haffty, associate director of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and president-elect of ASTRO, the American Society for Radiation Oncology. “Whatever cardiac risks may be there, they are outweighed by the cancer benefit,” he said. Some centers have special tables that women lie on face-down with holes for the breast to hang through. That allows radiation to be delivered just to that tissue rather than the wider chest area that gets irradiated when a woman lies face-up on a table.

Women need to tell any doctor treating them about radiation they have received in the past. It may mean they should avoid diagnostic tests that use radiation and instead have ultrasounds and MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, whenever possible, Slosky said. Some places are starting to use electronic medical records to track radiation exposure over a patient’s lifetime, so the cumulative dose is known regardless of who ordered what test and when. “I’d like to have a personal record like a personal dosimeter” for each patient, Slosky said. “Then you’d know” what risks they face and what tests are safe for them in the future. — AP


May 31+

SEXY GOLF TOURNAMENT AT FANTASY SPRINGS The annual Links and Laces Golf Tour will come to Fantasy Springs

Resort Casino, Friday to Sunday, May 31 to June 2. The scramble-format tournament will be hosted by Brande Roderick, 2001 Playboy Playmate of the Year and star of “All-Celebrity Golf Apprentice.” Roderick will bring along 40 beautiful “Girls of Golf” to help host the event. Participants can have a little fun on select themeholes, with games and activities that include hula hooping, a chipping contest and chair massages. The entry fee is $600 per person or $2,400 per foursome and includes a hotel room for two nights, admission to tournament parties and other activities. Fantasy Springs is at 84245 Indio Springs Pkwy., Indio. For registration and more information, call (973) 287-6288 or visit

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Health Shorts Fix your knee with PT, not surgery You might not want to rush into knee surgery. Physical therapy can be just as good for a common injury and at far less cost and risk, the most rigorous study to compare these treatments concludes. Therapy didn’t always help, and some people wound up having surgery for the problem, called a torn meniscus. But those who stuck with therapy had improved as much at six months and one year later as those who were given arthroscopic surgery right away, researchers found.

“Both are very good choices. It would be quite reasonable to try physical therapy first because the chances are good that you’ll do quite well,” said one study leader, Dr. Jeffrey Katz, a joint specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Results were published online by the New England Journal of Medicine. A meniscus is one of the crescent-shaped cartilage discs that cushion the knee. About one-third of people over 50 have a tear in one, and arthritis makes this more likely. Usually the tear doesn’t cause symptoms, but it can be painful. When that happens, it’s tough to tell if the pain is from the tear or the arthritis — or whether surgery is needed or will help. Nearly half a million knee surgeries for a torn meniscus are done each year in the U.S. The new federally funded study com-

pared surgery with a less drastic option. Researchers at seven major universities and orthopedic surgery centers around the U.S. assigned 351 people with arthritis and meniscus tears to get either surgery or physical therapy. The therapy was nine sessions on average, plus exercises to do at home, which experts say is key to success. After six months, both groups had similar rates of functional improvement. Pain scores also were similar. Thirty percent of patients assigned to physical therapy wound up having surgery before the six months was up, often because they felt therapy wasn’t helping them. Yet they ended up the same as those who got surgery right away, as well as the rest of the physical therapy group who stuck with it and avoided having an operation. — AP

Time for another whooping cough vaccine You might have assumed that you no longer need to be vaccinated for diseases that normally strike in childhood, including pertussis, or whooping cough. Yet a study published in the December 2012 journal Clinical Infectious Diseases underscores the need for older adults to also get vaccinated, as rates of this disease have risen in all age groups. When researchers in Australia looked at a database of pertussis records, they found that the incidence of this disease was about 30 percent higher in women — and older adults who are infected are more likely to See HEALTH SHORTS, page 12


May 21+

WEEKLY HEALTHY LIVING PROGRAM BEGINS A multi-week Healthy Living Program for older adults will be held

at Mizell Senior Center on Tuesdays from May 21 to July 2. Presented by the Riverside County Department of Public Health, the class will include lectures on healthy lifestyles, nutritious cooking demonstrations, exercise and guidance in developing a personal action plan. The program is free to Mizell members, $5 for nonmembers. Mizell Senior Center is at 480 S. Sunrise Way, Palm Springs. For more information, call (760) 323-5689.

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Health shorts From page 11 need hospitalization.-The U.S. Centers for

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February 2012, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices began recommending the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine for all adults age 65 and older. — Harvard Women’s Health Watch

Heart-lung machines safe for older adults One of the scariest parts of bypass surgery — having your heart stopped and going on a heart-lung machine while doctors fix your clogged arteries — is safe even in those 75 and older and doesn’t cause mental decline as many people have feared, two landmark studies show. Bypass surgery is one of the most common operations in the world. There is great debate about the best way to do it, and patients often are given a choice. Usually doctors stop the heart to make it

easier to connect new blood vessels to make detours around blocked ones. But some patients later complain of “pumphead” — mental decline thought to be from the heart-lung machines used to pump their blood while their hearts could not. So surgeons started doing “off-pump” bypasses on beating hearts. Nearly one quarter of bypasses are done this way now. But that brought a new complaint: Results on the blood vessels seemed not as good. The new studies were aimed at testing all these factors in a rigorous way to see which method was best. Dr. Andre Lamy of Canada’s McMaster University led a study of 4,752 people in 19 countries. They were randomly assigned to have bypasses with or without the use of heart pumps. After one year, there were no big differences in the rates of death, heart attack, stroke or kidney failure in the two groups. Slightly more people who had bypasses without a heart-lung machine needed a follow-up procedure to open clogged arteries, but the difference was so small it could have occurred by chance alone. Mental sharpness and quality of life also was similar in the two groups. That suggests that whatever decline people experience is temporary or a result of anesthesia or something other than the way the operations were done, said Dr. Timothy Gardner, a surgeon and an American Heart Association spokesman. That was true even in people 75 or older, a group most worried about going on a heart-lung machine. The second study tested the two bypass methods in 2,539 of these patients in Germany. Again, the methods proved equally safe and effective a year later. — AP

ECG? There’s an app for that People with heart disease will soon be able to provide vital information about their heart rhythm to their healthcare provider without making a visit to the doctor’s office. Last December, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a mobile electrocardiogram (ECG) device that attaches to an iPhone 4 or 5. To record an ECG, the user simply presses the fingers of both hands onto the electrode pads. The information is analyzed by an app, then transmitted digitally for storage on the company’s website, where it can be accessed by a doctor. — Harvard Heart Letter

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C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N — M AY 2 0 1 3

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Implanted device relieves GERD for good By Dr. C. Daniel Smith Dear Mayo Clinic: I saw a story on the news about magnets being used to treat patients with GERD. Is this treatment safe? How does it work? I’ve taken prescription drugs for GERD for years and would love to not need it anymore. Answer: The treatment you heard about is a new therapy now available for people with persistent gastroesophageal reflux dis-

ease, or GERD. It involves placing around the lower end of the esophagus a device that looks like a bracelet and is made up of magnetic beads. The device allows food to pass into the stomach, but prevents acid and other digestive juices in the stomach from getting up into the esophagus. Normally a ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter, located at the bottom of the esophagus and the top of the


June 13


Representatives from the California Technology Assistance Project (CTAP) will be available at the Indio Senior Center from 10 a.m. to noon, Thursday, June 13, to explain the program’s free services for state residents who have difficulty using a standard telephone. These include people who have temporary or permanent loss of hearing, vision or speech, mobility problems or cognitive disabilities. The senior center is at 45700 Aladdin St., Indio. For more information, call (760) 391-4170.

June 13+


A free mammogram-screening clinic is planned for Thursday, June 13, in Coachella for uninsured and underinsured women by Desert Women for Equality. Eligible women must be 40 or older, not have implants, and not have had a mammogram for more than a year. There is no financial means test and a doctor referral is not required. For location, appointment times and more information, call (760) 325-4701. For additional monthly clinic dates and locations, visit

stomach, stays closed when you’re not eating. This keeps the acid that’s in your stomach out of your esophagus. If those muscles become weak or relax when they shouldn’t, acid can work its way into the esophagus. This acid reflux leads to the painful burning and regurgitation symptoms known as heartburn. The combination of acid reflux with heartburn, when they last over time, is GERD.

When drugs don’t help In the past, treatment for GERD has relied mainly on medicine to reduce stomach acid. But that’s not always effective in controlling the disorder. This new treatment is intended for people whose GERD symptoms continue to flare up even when they take a daily dose of medication. See GERD, page 14


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the esophagus.

From page 13

How it works

Effective control of GERD is important because, if left untreated, excessive acid can damage the esophagus and lead to a precancerous condition known as Barrett’s esophagus and, eventually, to esophageal cancer. The purpose of putting the bracelet device around the esophagus is to reinforce the lower esophageal sphincter. The device is placed in the same area as that ring of muscle. The magnetic force between each bead holds the bracelet snug around

When a person implanted with this device swallows food, pressure within the esophagus pushes the food down. When the food reaches the bracelet of magnetic beads, the pressure causes the magnetic force between each bead to lessen. The bracelet then pops open, food passes into the stomach, and the magnetic force pulls the bracelet closed again. Surger y to implant the device usually lasts one to two hours. The procedure is minimally invasive and typically requires

M AY 2 0 1 3 — C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N

only an overnight hospital stay. Recovery takes about a week. Some individuals report difficulty swallowing with the device in place. But for most people, that fades over time. The bracelet is designed to be a permanent solution for GERD. So unless there are problems, it is not removed. A recent study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, followed 100 people who had this treatment for three years. Ninety-two of the people in the study reported fewer GERD symptoms. Eighty-seven percent of the study participants were able to completely stop using acid-lowering medications, and 94 percent reported being satisfied with the treatment. In March 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug

Administration approved the device for treatment of GERD in the United States. If you have GERD and daily antacid is not enough to control your symptoms, this treatment may be a good fit for you. Talk to your doctor or contact a physician who specializes in GERD to learn more. — C. Daniel Smith, M.D., Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. Medical Edge from Mayo Clinic is an educational resource and doesn’t replace regular medical care. To submit a question, write to For health infor mation, visit © 2013 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.




Amvet Express Post 66 needs drivers to transport veterans from the Coachella Valley to the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Loma Linda. A clean DMV record must be submitted with the volunteer application, and a physical and tuberculosis test is provided. For more information, call (760) 323-9085.



Animal Samaritans needs pet foster volunteers to rescue and temporarily help raise homeless kittens, puppies and older animals. Volunteers are also sought for walking dogs and socializing cats. An orientation is provided. For more information, call (760) 343-3477.

C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N — M AY 2 0 1 3

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Reducing medicine side effects naturally Dear Pharmacist: Beta blockers. As implied by their I keep having to stop my blood pres- name, these drugs block “beta” receptors sure medications because of on cells of your heart, arteries side effects — mainly fatigue, and all over, causing sympdizziness and leg cramps. toms head to toe. Two of the Please help me solve this most popular beta blockers problem, or recommend difare atenolol and propranolol. ferent medicine. A common side effect of —A.P.: beta blockers is vivid dreamDear A.P.: ing or nightmares. That also This is a great question, espehappens to people who becially since high blood pressure come deficient in melatonin, a (a.k.a. hypertension) now afsleep-promoting compound DEAR fects one in every three Ameriyou make in your brain. Guess PHARMACIST can adults. That’s a staggering what? Beta blockers suppress By Suzy Cohen 78 million people, and the Amermelatonin levels, shown in ican Heart Association says this 1999 by a study published in number will continue escalating. the European Journal of Clinical PharmaPlease don’t stop your medicine “cold cology. turkey” because there can be backlash. CoQ10 is also depleted, which may cause Rather, ask your doctor if it’s better to wean chronic fatigue, depression, restless legs or slowly. cramps. Beta blockers are what I call “drug As a pharmacist for 23 years, I’ve muggers” of melatonin and CoQ10. watched my customers endure uncomfortHence, restoring levels may be your side able side effects while trying to control effect solution. Take CoQ10 in the morning blood pressure with various medications. (it’s energizing) and melatonin at bedtime. Fortunately, there are affordable solutions Diuretics. These include loop, thiazide that should bring relief and allow you to stay and sulfonamide diuretics. They cause you on your medication more comfortably. I’ve cat- to urinate more fluid, reducing pressure in egorized the information based on medication your ‘pipeline.’ Furosemide and HCTZ are category. Discuss everything with your physi- popular ones. cian. This drug category causes side effects of

fatigue, weakness and leg cramps, twitches or muscle spasms. It happens due to the loss of an important mineral or electrolyte from all that excessive urination; it’s often magnesium or potassium loss. CoQ10 is also reduced. The side effect solution includes potassium, CoQ10 and a magnesium supplement. Also coconut water, which restores electrolytes. ACE Inhibitors and Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. Medications in these two categories ultimately dilate blood vessels, thus reducing pressure. Enalapril and losartan are examples. A common side effect is dizziness. It can be caused by the sheer drop in blood pressure, so try taking your medicine at night

so you can sleep through the wooziness. Get up very slowly in them morning to avoid feeling faint, sometimes termed “orthostatic hypotension.” Body aches and pains are common side effects, too. That’s because these medication categories are drug muggers of magnesium. You become deficient. Try magnesium malate (or aspartate) about 300 mg. taken twice daily, or whatever your practitioner says. This information is opinion only. It is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose your condition. Consult with your doctor before using any new drug or supplement. Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist and the author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist and Real Solutions from Head to Toe. To contact her, visit

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M AY 2 0 1 3 — C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N

SRC volunteers in a win-win situation PHOTO BY CONNIE GEORGE

By Connie George The more than 100 volunteers serving the Stroke Recovery Center (SRC) in Palm Springs have learned that the experience is not only helping the organization avoid massive personnel expenses, but is brightening their personal lives as well. For example, Sue Hoff retired early, but then found that “I needed something to fill up my time and allow me to give back.” Becoming part of SRC’s volunteer team seven years ago, she said, “has been just a Volunteers at the Stroke Recovery Center in Palm Springs enjoy warm camaraderie and a stimulating work environment while helping the organization to save a half million dollars in annual staffing costs. Among the team of more than 100 volunteers are, left to right, Helen Spring, Larry Winters and Sue Hoff.

wonderful experience by meeting everyone and getting involved in their recovery.” Hoff, now 62, volunteers in the dining room and helps out in other areas as needed. SRC is the only stroke patient support agency in the country that provides rehabilitation services free of charge and for as long as clients need them. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the country, so recovery is essential for survivors to regain their lives. According to Chief Executive Officer Beverly Greer, SRC’s volunteer base puts in about 20,000 hours per year, equating to about $500,000 dollars saved annually on staff costs — money that can be put toward SRC’s services to its clients. “We couldn’t run our services without the huge volunteer cadre to help us,” said Director of Development and Volunteers James P. Martinez. “For a lot of clients, the cost would be prohibitive” if they had to pay for rehabilitation. “Unfortunately, there’s no age limit to stroke,” he said. Clients currently served by SRC range in age from 24 to 99, so having a strong group of volunteers from a broad range of backgrounds helps to meet so many individual needs. “We have a lot of retirees from different fields, ” he said, “and some are here at the drop of a phone call.” Volunteers at SRC serve in capacities that range from various types of therapy to meal preparation, clerical and thrift shop assistance, building and grounds maintenance, and fundraising, special event work and public relations. For Larry Winters, 82, becoming a volunteer at SRC rescued him from a life of boring repetition. “I’m so glad I came to work here,” he said, “because before, I’d get up and eat and then read a book and then fall asleep and then eat again and go back to reading and fall asleep again.” For two years now, Winters has been working two to four days a week at SRC, helping out in the kitchen, dining room and on premises at Jackie Lee’s Thrift Shop. Helen Spring, 82, agreed with Winters about what a risk there can be in developing a meaningless existence in later life without some kind of purpose to provide stimulation. “We’re old, and we could be sitting at home watching television and eating and falling asleep,” she said. “Or we could be here at the Stroke Recovery Center around people who are vital and stay active.” Spring has been an SRC volunteer for eight years, serving primarily as a front desk receptionist. Last year she logged 942 hours, receiving a certificate of appreciation for her dedication. As a volunteer, she enjoys the warm and appreciative atmosphere and the client recovery she witnesses. “That’s why I’m still here, because I see something good happening,” Spring said. “Otherwise, I might not have made it to 82.” SRC’s volunteers come from all over the Coachella Valley, and some have been workSee SRC VOLUNTEERS, page 18

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C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N — M AY 2 0 1 3


When Mom’s bequest comes with strings Dear Solutions: long as he stays away from gambling. My brother is an irresponsible gamThis is a tough call, but try to help him bler. He’s always in debt realize that his mother was and in and out of jobs, even trying to have him taken care though he’s very smart and of at the same time that she has good skills. refused to support his habit. When our mother died last You should do the same. month, she left both of us the Dear Solutions: same amount of money, but As soon as my friend put his share in my name. walks into my house, she She spelled out specifically heads for the kitchen and that I was to be in charge of the refrigerator. How do I his money, pay his reasonstop this without embarable bills, and give him an al- SOLUTIONS rassing her? By Helen Oxenberg, lowance just for food, etc. — Stella Now he’s furious at me MSW, ACSW Dear Stella: and wants me to just turn Put out some snacks that over the whole amount to him because she’ll run into on the way to the fridge. Tell it’s “his life and he’ll do what he wants her everything in the refrigerator is calcuwith it.” What should I do? lated as part of your diet because that’s the — Molly only way you can keep yourself from Dear Molly: overeating. But you’d better not gain any He’s right. It’s his life, and he can do weight, or the fridge will become commuwhat he wants with it. nity property again! But it’s his mother’s money, and she Dear Solutions: could do what she wanted with it, too. I’m caught in a strange situation. I Tell him you feel bound to honor her live in a housing complex with both wishes. However, see if you can make a singles and married couples. deal with him. If he will join Gamblers I was friendly with one married couAnonymous or go for some other help and ple, and the husband just died. I tried make a real effort to recover, then you can to reach out to his wife to tell her that portion out larger amounts of money as if she wants to go to a movie, have din-

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ner, or just feel she needs to talk, I’m there for her. I was shocked when she answered me with anger, saying she knows that

her husband was always attracted to me, and she doesn’t want to see me beSee SOLUTIONS, page 18


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SRC volunteers From page 16 ing with the organization for many years. One volunteer has been serving for 27 years, and the oldest is 94 years old. “They are absolutely amazing,” Martinez

said. “Without them it wouldn’t happen here.” More volunteers are always needed for SRC, and are matched with positions based on their interests, skills and availability. Volunteers with disabilities are also encouraged to join SRC’s team. SRC is open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.,

M AY 2 0 1 3 — C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N

Monday through Friday, and volunteer schedules are designed to ensure that the agency has assistance throughout the week. The facility is located at 2800 E. Alejo Rd., Palm Springs.

For more information about volunteering for SRC, contact Martinez at (760) 323-7676 or, or visit


Also, you’re single, and she hasn’t come to terms with that new status yet. And you’re also reminding her that she’s single now. Wow! Everything’s your fault — pack up and leave town! Actually, all you can do is tell her quietly that you and her husband never did anything, and you hope that she’ll feel better in the future. She’ll have to work through her own feelings, but it will take time. © Helen Oxenberg, 2013. Questions to be considered for this column may be sent to The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915. You may also email the author at To inquire about reprint rights, call (609) 655-3684.

From page 17

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cause it reminds her of this. I know he was attracted to me, but we never acknowledged it or did anything about it. We move in the same circles, and I don’t know how to handle this. —I Dear I: She obviously was insecure and angry at him while he was alive, but probably never confronted him. Now she’s angry at him for dying, but she can’t confront him anymore. The anger has to go somewhere, and there you are.


June 1


“An Evening at the Pueblo,” the seventh annual fundraising dinner for Cabot’s Pueblo Museum Foundation in Desert Hot Springs, will be held from 6 to 10 p.m., Saturday, June 1, at the museum. The event will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Cabot Yerxa’s arrival in the valley, where he subsequently discovered the area’s famed mineral springs and built the property that is now the museum. Proceeds from the evening will help support the facility’s art and artifacts and the preservation of Yerxa’s historic residence. The museum is at 67616 E. Desert View Ave., Desert Hot Springs. For ticket prices, reservations and more information, call (760) 329-7610 or visit

C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N — M AY 2 0 1 3

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Leisure &

Laguna Beach is home to hundreds of artists. For upcoming events there, see story on page 22.

Nepal offers visitors unique experiences


much a part of everyday life as eating and breathing. While about 90 percent of the people are Hindu, and most of the rest are Buddhist, over 2000 years the line dividing those faiths has virtually disappeared. Many believers hold the other religion’s shrines as sacred, and worship the gods of both. Around-the-clock prayer, reverence and ritual exceed expressions of faith I have encountered anywhere else. Spiritual beliefs and religious commitment provide solace for people who are among the poorest in the world, with a per capita annual income below $1,200. As one man observed, “America has financial riches. In Nepal, people have spiritual wealth.” The natural place to begin a visit is Kathmandu, the political, financial and cultural capital where about 10 percent of the approximately 29 million Nepalese live. It doesn’t take long to experience many of the contrasts that abound throughout the country, as well as sensory overload. The sing-song cry of street vendors selling vegetables, spices and multicolored fabric is echoed by the occasional mooing of a sacred cow wandering serenely along the streets. Animals vie with cars and motorcycles whose A spiritual nation constantly honking horns add to the din, along Nepal is also a nation where religion is as with Pedi cabs and pedestrians weaving through the traffic. The oldest neighborhood is a maze of cobblestone back streets lined by tiny shops and small shrines, some erected and maintained by individual families. They are miniscule imitations of elaborately carved and gaily painted ancient temples, pagodas and monuments said to be the largest collection of religious architecture in the world. The biggest concentration of shrines is in Durbar Square, a Magic Kingdom-like Religion plays a large role in daily life in Nepal, where Hindus jumble of more than and Buddhists live together peacefully. Durbar Square in 50 temples and other Kathmandu has more than 50 Hindu and Buddhist temples and shrines. structures built over


By Victor Block The setting resembled a stunning picture postcard come to life. Soaring, snow-capped mountains provided a backdrop for greenclad terraces carved out of steep hillsides. In fields below, men and women wearing a rainbow of colorful clothing bent low to pick golden shoots and tie them into huge bundles, which they carried to a rickety wooden wagon pulled by a pair of water buffalo. Scenes like this, and others equally stunning, combine to make Nepal a destination that surpasses its already intriguing image as a place of unsurpassed natural beauty and fascinating lifestyles. The small country, about the size and shape of Tennessee and tucked between India and Tibet, is home to eight of the 10 highest mountains in the world, including fabled Everest and the magnificent Annapurna range. Touches of western technology and culture stand in stark contrast to life in remote rural areas, which in many ways is reminiscent of medieval times. Women wearing multihued saris walk hand-in-hand with children dressed in jeans and T-shirts sporting “I love New York” and other incongruous messages.

The towering Himalayas, blanketed in snow year-round, provide a stunning backdrop near Nepal’s border with Tibet.

centuries in a variety of styles. They’re adorned by statues of humans, animals, gods and goddesses fashioned from stone, gold, silver and other materials. This other-worldly setting, both sacred and to me somewhat Disneyesque, is echoed not far away. Patan and Bhaktapur, two ancient sister cities to Kathmandu, each has its own Durbar Square, which rivals that of its nearby relative in splendor if not size.

Trekking through varied terrain Venturing outside the three vibrant communities that share the Kathmandu valley introduces you to a very different, if no less intriguing, world. Remote villages that dot the countryside resemble living museums little changed from centuries past. Their narrow streets are crowded with people going about their daily chores much as generations of their forebears did. Most eke out a living growing rice, wheat, maize and other staples of the diet. Depending upon where you are, the scenery also offers a constantly changing tableau. In the north, near the border with Tibet, the rugged Himalayan mountains loom overhead. Their jagged peaks, blanketed year-round by deep snow and ice fields, glint in the sun. Further south is the mid-mountain region, where peaks that elsewhere would

rate as giants are relegated to second-class status by the towering Himalayas. Southern Nepal comprises the Terai, a subtropical belt of low-lying plains, wetlands and fields, where much of the nation’s grains and vegetables are grown. Travel throughout the country also provides introductions to people who are as ethnically diverse as the terrain. Counts of the number of cultural groups that comprise the native population range from 35 major categories to more than 100 smaller subsets that speak over 90 languages and dialects. Many ethnic groupings are concentrated in specific locales and are identifiable by their dress and customs. My two-day trek led through tiny villages inhabited by some of those minorities. The hike did not come close in terms of time or challenge to the two most popular routes — around the Annapurna massif, or the longer journey to the Mount Everest base camp perched at 17,700 feet. Even so, walking at an altitude of nearly 9,000 feet, following long stretches of stone paths clinging to steep hillsides, was challenge enough. Two fellow trekkers elected to ride ponies that carefully picked their way along the rock-strewn route. See NEPAL, page 20


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Nepal From page 19 It didn’t help that winds blowing up to 40 miles per hour swept down the valley, tearing hats off heads and sunglasses from faces. Some gusts were so strong that narrow glacier-melt waterfalls plummeting down mountainsides were actually blown back up toward the peaks where they originated.

An elephant ride in the jungle In contrast to ice-clad mountain tops, the grasslands and forests of the fertile Terai

area are home to an abundance of wildlife. Elephants, tigers, leopard, rhinoceros and wild boar are among residents of the region that roam jungle-like stretches, while monkeys chatter in the trees overhead. Crocodiles and alligators lie hidden in stream waters. The habitat also attracts nearly 600 lowland species of birds, especially near rivers and ponds. A dozen national parks and reserves have been set aside in Nepal to provide protected areas for endangered and other animals. Chitwan National Park in the Terai lowlands, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is best known.

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As if the opportunity to view a Noah’s Ark of wildlife in its natural habitat weren’t enough, an unusual mode of transportation through the jungle renders animal sightings almost a bonus. Elephants line up like so many taxicabs, standing patiently as four passengers clamber up a ladder and take their place on a wooden platform strapped to each beast’s broad back. Then, guided by their handler, the massive pachyderms amble into the dense jungle, nimbly stepping over fallen logs and gently traversing muddy bogs. In that setting, the unlikely ringing of a cell phone sounded almost surreal. Notified of a rhino sighting nearby, our driver guided us to the spot, but by the time we arrived, the elusive creature had slipped — or, rather, crashed — back into the forest cover. Birds and the occasional crocodile were sighted during a gentle 45-minute river ride in a long canoe fashioned from the trunk of a kapok tree. We also spotted trails left by rhinos that came to the river to drink, elephant footprints along the shoreline, and a woman draped in a multi-color sari doing her laundry. More exciting to our guide were sightings of the yellow-headed whitetail, red-vented bulbul and other birds whose names I found as exotic as their appearance. Disappointment over our failure to encounter a rhino, preferably from a distance as far as I was concerned, was more than

outweighed by the kaleidoscope of sights and sounds that overwhelmed my senses during every waking hour in Nepal. The magnificence of Mother Nature at her very best vies for attention with women wearing a rainbow of graceful multi-hued garments. People toiling in fields from dawn to dusk display a serenity emanating from their strong sense of spirituality. Tiny shrines built by families as testament to their strong belief stand in the shadow of immense, ornately decorated temples and monuments that attract throngs of worshippers. Those pictures and others will linger long in my memory. So will the grace and gentle humor with which the people, despite facing many hardships, deal with life. Asking at a tiny airport how late the plane for which I was waiting, already an hour overdue, might take off, I was told, “Whenever it does, it will be on time.” Stopping during my trek to inquire about the distance to the next town, a fellow hiker who has visited Nepal many times told me that she once had asked an elderly peasant the same question. In response, he good naturedly replied, “If you don’t stop talking and start walking, you’ll never get there.” After visiting this fascinating destination, my advice is that if it’s at all possible, do what it takes to get there yourself. See NEPAL, page 21

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Nepal From page 20

When to go, and with whom Good times to visit Nepal are October and November, the beginning of the dry season, and February through May, when that period is ending. It can be chilly during December and January at higher altitudes, and the monsoon season is June through September. Given its remote location, challenging terrain and often basic tourism infrastructure outside the larger cities, Nepal is a destination that lends itself to group travel. A

set itinerary, organized transportation and luggage handling are among many conveniences that ease the way. Myths and Mountains, the tour company with which I went, demonstrated a degree of flexibility that also enhanced the experience. Just one example of that was arranging for box lunches to eat on the bus when a delayed flight could have caused us to miss inviting sightseeing opportunities. Another plus is that the company focuses its trips on providing deep insight into the culture and customs of countries it visits, and exposure to secluded villages and activ-

ities that many visitors miss. Myths and Mountains offers a choice of tours to countries throughout Asia and South America. The price for its trips to Nepal begin at $2,595 for groups as small as two people. An added bonus is that traveling with Myths and Mountains supports its READ Global charitable arm, which has helped to open 50 libraries throughout Nepal, plus others in India and Bhutan. In additional to regular library functions, these establishments serve as community resource centers offering a long list of activities ranging from pre-natal care, day


care and early childhood education to adult literacy programs, women’s empowerment and micro-financing. The centers are planned and built with major involvement by volunteers in each community, who also operate businesses — such as a small furniture factory, meal catering, goat raising and an ambulance service — that provide financial support to each enterprise. For more information, log onto or call 1-800-670-6984. For tourism information, go to, the site of the Nepal Tourism Board.


July 18+

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Museum to offer a July 18 to 22 trip to Denver, Colo. The city tour will include the Denver Museum of Art, the Petrie Institute of Western American Art and the American Museum of Western Art, along with exclusive private collections, galleries and studios. Luxury accommodations and most meals are included. The Exp. 6/12/13

cost of the tour, not including airfare, is $2,200 based on double occupancy, with a $345 surcharge for single occupancy. For more information, contact Alicia Gregory at the Palm Springs Art Museum at (760) 322-4888 or, or visit

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Coastal beauty, culture in Laguna Beach forming arts events. Upcoming events in the area include: Art-A-Fair, June 28 to Sept. 1 — Exhibit and sale of art in all mediums. Festival of the Arts, June 30 to Aug. 31 — 80th anniversary of the top juried fine art show, featuring original works by 140 of the area’s best artists. Sawdust Art Festival, June 28 to Sept. 1 — Featuring handmade work and demonstrations by more than 200 local artists. Pageant of the Masters, July 7 to Aug. 31 — World-renowned theatrical celebration of art in “living pictures,” with actors and brilliant stage effects portraying famous artworks. For more information on visiting Laguna Beach, including trip-planning suggestions, call the Laguna Beach Visitors Center at (949) 497-9229 or visit


By Connie George Located about halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego along the Pacific Coast Highway is a seven-mile stretch of glistening coastline called Laguna Beach. Of popular appeal to the community’s visitors are more than 20 coves and public beaches, deluxe resorts, intimate inns, bedand-breakfasts and seaside cottages. The tree-lined streets of the downtown village area are lined with quaint shops, elegant boutiques, sidewalk cafes, five-star restaurants, friendly pubs, espresso bars, and clubs featuring live music and dancing. Laguna Beach is also favored for its cultural presence, with hundreds of local working artists and more than 100 galleries, along with the Laguna Art Museum and the Laguna Playhouse. Nearby Laguna Canyon is home to numerous annual visual and per-

Dramatically beautiful coastline, lodging, dining and shopping options to suit every taste, and a wealth of cultural activities are among the reasons Laguna Beach is a popular year-round destination for visitors.


May 30


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Temecula Valley’s 30th Balloon & Wine Festival is coming up. See story on page 24.

Il Divo quartet to showcase all its hits aries to their romantic and timeless repertoire, Il Divo has become a global touring phenomenon. In 2012, its fourth world tour included 134 shows across 46 countries on six continents. It has performed for President Obama, Queen Elizabeth and Barbra Streisand, and in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Many of the songs included in this newest tour have been chosen by Il Divo’s fans and will include such favorites as “Somewhere,” “Unbreak My Heart,” “Unchained Melody” and “Adagio,” as well as several new additions such as “My Heart Will Go On” (in Italian), “I Will Always Love

You” (in Spanish) and “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” (in English). Tickets for the show are $59 to $99 and can be purchased in person at the Fantasy Springs box office, by phone at 1-800-827-

2946, or online at Fantasy Springs is at 84245 Indio Springs Pkwy., Indio. For more information on Il Divo, visit


By Connie George The world’s foremost classical crossover quartet, Il Divo, will bring its “Best of Il Divo” tour to Fantasy Springs Resort Casino with an 8 p.m. show on Saturday, May 18. Backed by a full orchestra, this new show will feature the group performing its signature classical interpretations of popular songs across its whole career catalogue. Group members Urs Buhler, Carlos Marin, David Miller and Sebastien Izambard have sold more than 26 million albums, charted more than 50 number-one hits, and chalked up 160 gold and platinum sales in 33 countries. Proving the lack of geographical bound-




The Palm Desert Community Gallery is featuring paintings by Ron Backer in an exhibition, “Brought to Life: Historical Coachella Valley,” that runs through Friday, June 21. Backer describes his work as depicting “yesterday’s happenings with today’s imagination.” The exhibition is free and open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The gallery is located in Palm Desert City Hall, 73510 Fred Waring Dr., Palm Desert. For more information, call (760) 346-0611, ext. 664, or visit

Il Divo, the world’s foremost classical crossover quartet, will bring its “Best of Il Divo” tour to Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Saturday, May 18. Many of the songs on the tour were selected by the group’s worldwide fan base.


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Celebrate the 30th Balloon & Wine Festival The event attracts 40,000 guests annually to its location at Lake Skinner Recreation Area, surrounded by the Shipley Preserve. The park setting provides natural vistas, whether flying aboard a hot air balloon or planted on festival grounds while sipping a glass of premium wine. Throughout the weekend, two stages will feature live musical entertainment and the FMX exhibition. A three-act country music concert — including Easton Corbin, “American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery and the Kanan Road Band — will be held Friday night. Saturday night features a rock concert

Please tell our advertisers, “I saw you in the Beacon!”

with the All-American Rejects and Berlin. The motocross demonstration is on Sunday. Opening day begins at 3 p.m., with gates opening on Saturday and Sunday at 6 a.m. Gates close at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 5 p.m. on Sunday. Adult tickets range from $17 to $25 and include admission to the stage shows. Lake Skinner Recreation Area is at 37701 Warren Rd., Winchester. For more information, call (951) 676-6713 or visit The Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival will celebrate its 30th season, Friday to Sunday, May 31 to June 2. The event will again feature such popular visitor attractions as dawn balloon launches.


By Connie George Tasty wines and foods, hot air balloon flights at dawn, evening picnicking beneath the towering illuminated orbs, top entertainment in concert, and an FMX freestyle motocross show will fill the 30th Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, Friday through Sunday, May 31 to June 2. More than 20 Temecula Valley wineries, over 40 hot air balloons, hundreds of booths featuring arts and crafts, exhibits, souvenirs and kids’ activities, an international food court and concerts on two stages will be part of the festival schedule.

Showgirl From page 1 run from about noon to nearly midnight and include two shows a day, were part of the reason she chose to retire from the show. But another factor was that a fan base she had acquired was encouraging her to write a book about her life, a project she had never before considered. Leaving the Follies provided the opportunity to explore her memories and relive in hindsight the trajectory of her career, while also making more time to see her family members. “Things came back to me, and I have a really good memory from seven or eight years old,” she said of beginning the book project. “Then it just got fun.” Even if it was never published or had no commercial success, she added, “I thought, if nothing else, the book would be a great memoir for my son and granddaughter.” Published in February 2013 and available on, I’m Not in Kansas Anymore! Love, Dorothy chronicles Kloss’s life in the fresh, energetic and down-toearth conversational style that she presents as easily in person. Among the moments she shares in the book is a chance meeting with her brother, who was recovering in a World War II military hospital where she was performing.

Still dancing and enjoying life Retirement from the Follies did not mean retirement from show business, however. Kloss is still active as both a dancer and teacher, in collaborative projects with her life partner of 14 years, Ken Prescott, 67. Prescott, a fellow hoofer, is a singer and also a theatrical director. He met Kloss when he performed with the Follies in the late 1990s. The two teach tap, ballet and jazz to children and adults at Beyond the Beat Dance Studio in Palm Desert. They also perform their own show as a duo at venues See SHOWGIRL, page 26

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Salton Sea history, mystery in La Quinta By Connie George The unusual origins of the Salton Sea, its mid-20th-century rebirth as a glamorous vacation destination, and its subsequent decline will all be explored in the “Mysteriously Enchanting Salton Sea” exhibit that opens Friday, May 17, at the La Quinta Museum. The sea appeared on the arid desert landscape by accident a little over 100 years ago, and by the mid-1960s was attracting more than a half million visitors per year. Often

referred to at that time as the Salton Riviera, its tourism numbers rivaled attendance at Yosemite National Park. The museum’s exhibit tells the story of the Salton Sea as a destination for camping, water skiing, fishing, hiking, bird watching and boating. It also explains its appeal to the movie industry as a premier location for filming. A focus on real estate developments in the area notes how entrepreneurs promoted the sea as “mysteriously enchantIMAGE COURTESY OF LA QUINTA MUSEUM

The “Mysteriously Enchanting Salton Sea,” including its mid-20th-century heyday as a recreational vacation getaway, will be explored in an exhibit that opens Friday, May 17, at the La Quinta Museum.

ing and teeming with adventure.” Another highlight of the exhibit will be a series of photographs by Christina Lange that are featured in her new book, Portraits and Voices of the Salton Sea. For the book, Lange interviewed residents and business owners in the Salton Sea area in 2011, and compiled their stories of how the sea influences their lives.

The “Mysteriously Enchanting Salton Sea” exhibit runs through September 21, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. The museum is at 77885 Avenida Montezuma, La Quinta. For more information, call (760) 7777170 or visit and enter “museum” in the search box.


May 16


Iconic crooner Tony Bennett will perform at Agua Caliente Casino in a concert at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 16. Tickets are $76 to $151. The casino is at 32250 Bob Hope Dr., Rancho Mirage. For reservations and more information, call 1-800-585-3737 or visit


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May 17+


From page 24

Stage and film actor David Pevsner will present his one-man auto-

throughout Southern California. For people of all ages, she said, “Tap is a really good workout. It’s great for your legs.” It’s also the medium responsible for Kloss earning another of her professional honors — the 2011 Golden Halo Dance Achievement Award from the Southern California Motion Picture Council for her many years of work. Kloss’s sparkling appearance and energy belie her 89 years, and she attributes her good health to lifelong exercise through dance. Acknowledging that many adults her age are on numerous prescriptions, she said she feels lucky to take nothing but a little high blood pressure medication. “And I find a little vodka doesn’t hurt,” she added with a smile. Another resource she believes allows for aging well is when one can let go of difficult memories from earlier times. “You have all these little ups and downs in life,” she said, “and you get rid of them and you let them go.”

biographical show, Musical Comedy Whore, at the Commissary from Friday, May 17 to Sunday, June 16. The show is produced by the Desert Rose Playhouse, which serves the LGBT community. Tickets are $25. The Commissary is at 69620 Hwy. 111, Rancho Mirage. For reservations and more information, call (760) 2023000 or visit

May 17+

BYE BYE BIRDIE AT PALM CANYON THEATRE Bye Bye Birdie, the musical that pays loose tribute to the early 1960s’ Elvis Presley craze, will play Friday, May 17 to Sunday, May

26, at Palm Canyon Theatre. The show tells the tale of the MacAfee family and other residents of Sweet Apple, Ohio, who go topsy-turvy when teen idol Conrad Birdie comes to town to serenade one lucky fan before he joins the army. Show times are 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $32. The theater is at 538 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs. For reservations and more information, call (760) 323-5123 or visit

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She also avoids thinking of herself as a “senior,” believing the label is often an invitation for older adults to needlessly slow down. When invited to be a guest speaker on the topic of aging, Kloss said she keeps her presentations light and humorous and urges her audiences to find something in their lives to get them out of the house. “They’re so focused on dying because there’s so much focus on that in the media — on television, in documentaries and in prescription commercials,” she said. Even senior centers and senior discounts can inadvertently contribute to categorizing older adults as, well, “old,” she said. Such resources deserve high praise for the wide range of benefits they provide, she added, “but they should take the word ‘senior’ out of their names.” “You don’t have to be old to be sick and on your last legs,” Kloss said. “As long as you can stand, get out there and enjoy life.” For more information on Kloss and her remarkable life and career, visit

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May 2013 Coachella Valley Beacon Edition