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By Barbara Ruben After working a 9 to 5 job for decades, whether for a big company, the federal government or both, taking the leap to become an independent contractor can feel liberating. No more mind-numbing commute or bosses parsing the minutia of every project. Perhaps there might even be room for a Friday morning round of golf. At least, that’s what Ward Mannering was hoping when he decided to take his years of experience in human resources for the CIA and large contracting firms and parlay them into his own consulting business. “You’re a hierarchy of one,” he said of one of the main advantages of becoming an independent consultant. “So you can sort of ask the question and answer it in 30 seconds, whereas in a large company, there’s a lot of socialization of ideas. They’re a lot less spontaneous than you can be.”

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LEISURE & TRAVEL

New Hampshire’s lakes, looms and loons; plus, best deals for fall travel, and is Europe a bargain now? page 35

Administrative headaches But Mannering, who is 61 and lives in Vienna, Va., soon discovered that being on your own has pitfalls as well. From 1099s to W2s to 401(k)s, the tsunami of paperwork to become an independent contractor can be crushing. So can such crucial tasks as billing clients to ensure a steady paycheck and finding health insurance on your own. The administrative and financial headaches independent contractors face is what led Gene Zaino, of Reston, Virginia, to create MBO Partners (initially called My Biz Office) almost 20 years ago. MBO serves as a “back office” for independent contractors — doing the billing, dealing with tax matters, writing contracts and setting up retirement plans. Independent contractors who work with MBO — about 20,000 of them across the country — are officially employees of MBO, which in turn handles all their invoicing and charges them 5 percent of their billings. MBO itself has about 90 employees, not counting the contractors. When Mannering branched out on his own two years ago, he signed up with MBO. “It gives me a lot of peace of mind that the administrative side of things is handled competently and in a timely manner,” he said.

ARTS & STYLE Gene Zaino founded MBO Partners to take care of “back office” financial and administrative tasks for people starting up their own businesses or becoming independent contractors. In this region, it has found a special niche helping government and corporate retirees transition to self-employment with low start-up costs.

Mannering, who works 24 to 28 hours a week, takes Mondays and Fridays off as he transitions into full-time retirement. He is currently developing internal policies on personnel management for the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Ideal for boomers and seniors Boomers like Mannering make up a “large segment” of MBO’s customer base, said Zaino, who at 55 is a boomer himself. “Boomers are actually ideal for consulting, and the reason is they’re at a point in their career where they’ve accumulated a lot of knowledge, they’ve accumulated a network of relationships. “They’re generally at a point in their life

where they want to do something different, something they have more control over,” said Zaino. And for many, retirement simply isn’t an option. “Retirement in my view just doesn’t exist anymore,” he said. “I think people will have to continue working, not only from a financial point of view (because financial needs are greater than what traditional retirement plans are able to provide), but just purely from a work style or lifestyle perspective. “They’re not ready to just stop and not do anything. They want to continue to keep their mind active and contribute to See START-UPS, page 33

Original plays pay homage to Chekhov; plus, Bob Levey on ad slogans, and the creativity of dementia patients page 40

FITNESS & HEALTH 4 k Eight medical breakthroughs k New weight-loss drug approved SPOTLIGHT ON AGING k Newsletter for D.C. seniors

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LAW & MONEY 25 k Get ready for next year’s taxes k Why you need more than IRAs VOLUNTEERS & CAREERS

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Something for nothing? Recently, I had to share the news with adults. Second, we’ve been blessed with our staff that our company health insur- loyal, dedicated employees, several of whom have passed the 10ance policy was up for renewyear mark with our company. al. The good news was that They have, you might say, our coverage would not “aged in place.” change. The bad news was But it’s only been a year that our monthly premiums since our last increase (which would be rising 33 percent! was much less, but an inWe were all in shock. Though our company covers crease nonetheless). How well over half the insurance much difference could anothcost for participating employer year make? ees, this would affect all of us My broker asked if we significantly, costing each of FROM THE could talk “off the record.” I us between $115 and $465 PUBLISHER promised I would not reveal more per month. By Stuart P. Rosenthal his name or company in the So I called my insurance interest of getting the scoop. broker to ask what our options were. He He then said that we could have expectsent us alternatives from several compa- ed roughly a 10 percent increase solely nies and plans, but they were only less ex- due to rising healthcare costs. About anpensive because they either doubled our other 10 percent could be attributed to deductible, reduced coverage, or failed to moving into an older “age band.” But the balance was due to enhanced include many of the doctors our staff wanted to keep. In other words, we really didn’t coverage mandated by the Affordable Care Act. (Some of these benefits haven’t have any good alternatives. I asked my broker what had happened. yet been phased in nationally, but MaryAt first, he simply said the price hike was land has mandated many of them earlier due to our employees’ having aged into a than required.) Now, I actually found this somewhat higher cost category. I’ll admit that we do have a somewhat comforting. Because when you think older group of employees. First, we’re a about it, the changes our new healthcare 50+ publication, so we like (and hire) older law have brought about are, for the most

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The Beacon is a monthly newspaper dedicated to inform, serve, and entertain the citizens of the Greater Washington area, and is privately owned. Other editions serve Greater Baltimore, Howard County and Palm Springs, CA. 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 • Intern ..........................................Jacob Schaperow

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part, new benefits that consumers have long been clamoring for. First, there’s the elimination of lifetime caps on benefits. Individuals used to have a $1 million or $2 million cap on lifetime insurance coverage, which once sounded generous. But with the cost of today’s cutting-edge cancer treatments and genetically engineered drugs sometimes running up to $100,000 per month, that number looks to some more like a death sentence. Now, there’s no cap. Second, pre-existing conditions will soon no longer be grounds for denial of coverage. In Maryland, that’s already true for all people 19 and under. That’s clearly significant for anyone with a chronic or life-threatening disease, and allows them to change jobs or insurance plans without fear of losing coverage. Third, insurance companies must now allow children of employees up to age 26 to remain on their parent’s plan if they are not covered on the job. My broker noted that this includes many young people who are having babies, which tends to be an expensive healthcare benefit. While this benefit doesn’t affect any Beacon staffers at the moment, group plans spread risk among thousands of businesses, so this, too, affects our rate. A number of other benefits help Medicare recipients (and we have some of those on our staff, too). For example, there are no-cost, no-deductible preventive care services (screenings, wellness visits and the like), and additional savings on drug costs for those who hit the “donut hole.” The government website www.HealthCare.gov trumpets all these changes and even details how much each state has benefitted so far. It says that Maryland alone has added 46,000 young adults to insurance plans, saved seniors more than $7 million on prescription drugs, given more than 900,000 seniors free preventive care, and lifted lifetime coverage caps on 2.25 million residents. As my broker said to me, who could ex-

pect all these additional benefits would come without an increase in premiums? But haven’t we been told many times that the new law will reduce healthcare and insurance costs? Just a couple of weeks ago, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post “setting the record straight about some false claims” and telling us “the facts.” First, she denied that the Affordable Care Act is driving up Americans’ healthcare costs. Instead, she said the increase in national health expenditures had dropped from about 7 percent a year to less than 4 percent a year. Second, she said it was a “falsehood” to claim that the law is putting a greater burden on small businesses. Her evidence was that “the share of small businesses offering employee coverage has held steady” and that “experts predict” more employers will offer it in 2014, in part due to new tax credits that some (not the Beacon) are eligible for. She concluded that “since the Affordable Care Act was passed, national health spending is rising at a slower rate, health insurance premiums are rising at a slower rate, small-business coverage is holding steady and Medicare is on a stronger financial footing.” This is not what our experience at the Beacon suggests. And my broker told me that more than 90 percent of the thousands of local small businesses he works with have had significant increases in their insurance costs this year. I’m willing to say the new benefits of the healthcare law are impressive. But I also think it was — and continues to be — wrong to try to tell the public the changes are cost-neutral or result in cost savings. Something for nothing? That’s not the way life works, in my experience.

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 barbara@thebeaconnewspapers.com. Please include your name, address and telephone number for verification. Dear Editor: Hattie Washington (“Her homes change boys’ lives,” July cover story) is doing the kind of work that many more citizens should be doing. I salute her. Still, liberals should be reminded that it is the culture of the Welfare State and of loose standards for sex and marriage that has created the situation of child neglect and troubled boys in the first place. Anyone who really wanted to address this problem would work on bringing high-quality, morally sound psychotherapy and fami-

ly-life services to troubled communities. Fixing a problem is good. Preventing it is better. Sharon Kass Silver Spring, Md. Dear Editor: Stuart Rosenthal takes too long a leap in his July column. He goes from “Frey reported that surveys indicate many older adults and baby boomers see the growing immigrant popuSee LETTERS TO EDITOR, page 45


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Health Fitness &

BACTERIA BONANZA 10,000 germ species live in healthy people — and that’s a good thing PRESCRIPTION FOR QUIET Noisy hospitals hurt sleep and recovery. Now some are piping down FOR THE FAINT OF HEART Fainting can be caused by heart abnormalities and low blood pressure LESS HEAT FOR MEAT Better ways to cook meat without generating unhealthy toxins

8 medical breakthroughs on the horizon By Martha Craver Sometimes, modern medicine pushes past science and into the realm of science fiction. The artificial heart and hip replacements were certainly in that category, giving rise to the idea of a bionic man or woman. Other breakthroughs have less of a “wow” factor, but offer relief and comfort where once there was pain and suffering. Here are eight medical breakthroughs just over the horizon that could have a profound impact on your life. (Alas, a cure for the common cold is not on the list.) 1. Halting high blood pressure Here’s a breakthrough with a sci-fi feel: lowering high blood pressure with radio waves. About half of the 1.2 billion people worldwide with high blood pressure aren’t controlling it, and 20 percent of them don’t respond to conventional treatment. Researchers have found that some radio frequencies will disable certain nerves in kidneys to significantly lower blood pres-

sure. The treatment involves threading a catheter through an artery in the groin, but doesn’t require major surgery. The treatment, already approved in Europe, should be widely available in the United States in about two years. Medtronic is conducting the first U.S. trial. 2. Better stents, heart valves There have been great strides in the use of metal stents to open clogged arteries, and in repairing or replacing defective heart valves. Soon such procedures will become less invasive. Instead of using a metal stent to open a blocked artery and restore blood flow, Abbott Laboratories is testing a temporary stent that dissolves after two years, leaving behind a healed blood vessel. Abbott is also working on a clip to close a dysfunctional mitral valve. It’s delivered by catheter rather than through open heart surgery. Both items are already on the market in Europe.

A replacement heart valve is also coming, from Edwards Life Sciences. Most valve swaps involve open heart surgery with the heart temporarily stopped. This valve would be placed intravenously, with the heart still beating. 3. Hope for diabetics Look for an external artificial pancreas to hit the U.S. market within five years. That will be a boon for diabetics who have trouble keeping blood sugar levels in check. The device monitors blood sugar and then administers and adjusts insulin automatically using a computerized insulin pump. One early version, which stops the flow of insulin when glucose levels are too low, is already available overseas and will begin U.S. trials this year. 4. Restoring sight to the blind An artificial retina is being developed by Second Sight Medical Products Inc. The technology, called Argus II, converts images from a tiny camera in a person’s glass-

es into electrical pulses that are transmitted to electrodes implanted on the retina. Vision is limited, but testing has enabled sightless people to find doors, sidestep obstacles and sort laundry. Some users can even read large print with the device’s help. It is available in Europe now, but is likely a year or two away from approval for use in the United States. A new artificial cornea is also a couple of years away from the U.S. market. KeraMed Inc. is developing an implant that doesn’t rely on donor tissue. (There’s enough donor tissue to treat only 1 percent of the 10 million cases of corneal blindness reported worldwide each year.) The artificial version, made of a proprietary material, is designed to replace the section of the cornea that focuses light, which is necessary for vision. It is flexible, so it will require a smaller incision than See BREAKTHROUGHS, page 5

Long-awaited weight-loss pill approved By Matthew Perrone A new weight-loss pill that many doctors consider the most effective of a new generation of anti-obesity drugs got the approval of the Food and Drug Administration in July. The pill, called Qsymia, was approved for patients who are overweight or obese and also have at least one weight-related condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol. The drug offers hope for those who have failed to lose weight in other ways, but its path to approval also underscores how difficult it has been for drugmakers to find obesity treatments that are safe and effective. The drug’s maker, Vivus Inc., said it plans to bring the drug to market in the fourth quarter of this year. It hasn’t yet decided what the pills will cost. In testing, the drug led patients to lose more weight than two other weight-loss pills recently reviewed by the FDA. Patients taking Qsymia for a year lost 6.7 percent of their body weight in one study and 8.9 percent in another study, the FDA said. The company said patients on the strongest formulation tested lost nearly 11 percent of their weight.

Combines two approved drugs Despite its impressive performance in

clinical trials, Qsymia is not exactly a scientific breakthrough. The drug is actually a combination of two older drugs long known to help with weight loss: phentermine and topiramate. Phentermine is a stimulant that suppresses the appetite, and has long been used for short-term weight loss. Topiramate is an anticonvulsant, sold by Johnson & Johnson as Topamax, which makes people feel more satisfied after eating. Researchers say the innovation of Qsymia lies in targeting more than one of the brain signals that drive people to overeat. “We now know there are multiple pathways that determine how much energy we take in every day,” said Dr. Tim Garvey of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “If you intervene on one pathway, it’s hard to make much of a difference. You really need to attack multiple mechanisms to get a pronounced effect.” Garvey helped conduct several pivotal trials of the drug. Qsymia is the second weight-loss drug approved by the FDA in less than a month, following Arena Pharmaceutical’s pill Belviq in late June. Previously the agency had not approved a new drug for long-term weight loss since 1999. With U.S. obesity rates nearing 35 per-

cent of the adult population, many doctors have called on the FDA to approve new weight-loss treatments. But a number of prescription diet pills have been associated with dangerous side effects — particularly heart problems. In 1997, the popular diet drug combination fen-phen was linked to heart valve damage. The cocktail of phentermine and fenfluramine was a popular weight-loss combination prescribed by doctors, though it was never approved as such by the FDA. Fenfluramine was eventually withdrawn from the market. Other safety failures for diet pills have continued to pile up in recent years. In 2010, Abbott Laboratories withdrew its drug Meridia after a study showed it increased risks for heart attack and stroke.

Some safety concerns The FDA’s approvals of Qsymia and Belviq suggest a new willingness to make weight-loss medications available, even in the face of lingering safety issues. The FDA initially rejected Vivus’ drug in 2010 over concerns that it can cause birth defects if taken by pregnant women. The agency laid out a risk-management plan specifically designed to minimize the

chance of the women becoming pregnant while using the drug. It recommends that women of childbearing age test negative for pregnancy before starting the drug, and take a monthly pregnancy test while taking it. The agency also said patients with recent or unstable heart disease or stroke aren’t good candidates for the drug because its effect on heart rates in those patients is not known. Vivus has to do studies of the heart effects of Qsymia, the FDA said. Analysts estimate the new pill could garner more than $1 billion in sales by 2016, though Mountain View, Calif.-based Vivus plans a slow rollout. Company executives say their initial marketing efforts will focus on obesity specialists, not general doctors. Vivus had originally planned to market the drug under the brand name Qnexa. However, FDA regulators ordered the company to change the name to avoid potential confusion with similar-sounding drugs. Rival Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. of San Diego plans to start selling Belviq early next year. A third California drugmaker, Orexigen Therapeutics Inc., is still running clinical trials of its product, Contrave, and is working toward an FDA approval date in 2014. — AP


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Get help in understanding and managing the difficult behaviors that often accompany memory loss in a seminar sponsored by the Charles E. Smith Life Centers. Jennifer Lubaczewski FitzPatrick, founder of Jenerations Health Education and an educational consultant for the Alzheimer’s Association, will lead the program on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 5 p.m. in the Landow House Theater, 1799 E. Jefferson St., Rockville, Md. A complementary supper will be served. To register for this free program, contact Jill Berkman at (301) 816-5052 or visit www.cohen-rosen.org.

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other implants. That will mean a shorter recovery period and fewer complications. Further down the road (five years or so) is a drug treatment from Lpath Inc. for macular degeneration — the leading cause of blindness in people over 65. The drug contains antibodies to neutralize molecules that contribute to abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina. The out-ofcontrol vessels distort central vision. 5. Taming the tremors of Parkinson’s Preladenant, from Merck, is seen as an alternative to the existing therapy, L-dopa. But Parkinson’s drugs often become less effective over time, so development of new drugs is vital. Enter Fipamezole, from Santhera Pharmaceuticals, which is seen as a promising treatment for the pronounced tremors associated with advanced cases of the disease. It’s probably several years away from approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, however. 6. Progress against cancer There’s no cure for cancer, but new approaches are being developed to aggressively fight some forms of the disease and to limit debilitating side effects. Vaccines to treat pancreatic and ovarian cancers, melanoma, multiple myeloma and

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a form of lung cancer are in development but have not yet moved into the FDA approval pipeline. Also coming: ridaforolimus, from Merck, to treat soft tissue and bone sarcomas; CPI613, from Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals, to treat pancreatic cancer; cabozantinib, from Exelixis Inc., for prostate, ovarian and liver cancers; and Multikine, from CEL-SCI, for treating advanced head and neck cancers. 7. Easing conditions of aging Up to 40 percent of adults with rheumatoid arthritis don’t respond adequately to approved treatments. Help for them may come in the form of tofacitinib, a drug in development by Pfizer that inhibits enzymes that contribute to inflammation. Meanwhile, Merck is a year away from seeking FDA approval for odanacatib, a once-a-week treatment for osteoporosis. One-quarter of those with bone density weakness can’t tolerate the most common drugs to treat it, so the alternative will be welcome news for the 10 million people in the U.S., mostly women, with the disease. 8. Your medical history on a microchip Within five years, you’ll be able to carry all your medical records, including lab work and X-rays, on a flash drive. The device, downloadable by any doctor or medical official, will be encrypted to prevent hacking. © 2012, Kiplinger. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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Preventing and treating golfers’ wrist injuries By Dr. Sanjeev Kakar Dear Mayo Clinic: I golf three to four times each week, but lately the pain in my wrists makes golfing extremely uncomfortable. A friend of mine had similar symptoms and ended up having surgery to treat tendinitis. Is there a way to get some relief that won’t require surgery? Answer: Wrist injuries are common in people who play golf regularly. These injuries often occur due to overuse, poor me-

chanics or trauma. The right treatment depends on the underlying cause. For most people with the type of wrist pain you describe, surgery is rarely needed. Many golfing-related wrist injuries are a result of overuse, particularly in recreational golfers who take a break during the winter, and then play a lot during warmer months. For example, some golfers may go to the driving range for the first time in the spring and hit 200 balls in one session, or

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they may start playing four rounds of golf a week after taking several months off. Both situations could lead to wrist injuries. Poor mechanics may also be to blame. For example, if a golfer is swinging the club inappropriately or “casting” the club, it could lead to pain at the back of the wrist due to injury to a tendon called the extensor carpi ulnaris. In time, that can result in chronic wrist pain. Wrist injuries also can come from some type of trauma. A golfer may be playing in the rough, for example, swing hard and catch the club in the long grass. That can twist the wrists and, depending on the power of the swing, cause serious wrist tendon damage or even break a bone. Similar injuries may happen if a golfer takes a large divot out of the turf or hits a rock or other solid object with a club.

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When wrist pain and swelling first appear, the best steps are to rest it and put ice on it to bring down the swelling. Using heat on the injured area can relieve soreness and stiffness. A compression wrap or a wrist brace also may be helpful. If symptoms continue for more than a week and the pain gets worse, medical attention is in order. Your doctor will likely ask about your symptoms, when and how they started, and examine your wrist. This can help shed light on how the injury occurred and determine if tests such as X-rays, computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are needed to diagnose the problem. If the condition is tendinitis, it may get better with just rest and physical therapy. You might need to wear a wrist brace, as well. If that’s not enough, an injection of a cor-

ticosteroid can help reduce inflammation in the injured area to allow for healing. Rarely, if nothing else has helped, surgery may be an option for chronic tendinitis.

Broken bones For a broken wrist bone, a cast may be needed to allow the injury to heal, and physical therapy eventually may be necessary. In most cases of a broken wrist bone, no additional treatment beyond those two measures is required. Depending on the type of broken bone, however, in rare circumstances surgery may be needed. To help prevent future golfing-related wrist injuries, take time to stretch your arms, elbows and wrists before you play. Also, warm up with some easy practice swings before you begin a round of golf or start hitting at the driving range. Work on improving your swing, too. Take a lesson occasionally to make sure your form is still good. Finally, invest in quality equipment. Clubs with graphite shafts and irons that are cavity-backed reduce the vibration of impact and can help prevent injuries. Something as simple as using fatter grips to keep you from squeezing the club too tightly and aggravating tendinitis also may be of benefit. — Sanjeev Kakar, 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, write to: medicaledge@mayo.edu, or Medical Edge from Mayo Clinic, c/o TMS, 2010 Westridge Dr., Irving, TX 75038. For health information, visit www.mayoclinic.com. © 2012 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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10,000 germ species live in healthy people

Why do bad bugs hurt only some? The next step is to explore what doctors really want to know: Why do the bad bugs harm some people and not others? What changes a person’s microbial zoo that puts them at risk for diseases ranging from in-

fections to irritable bowel syndrome to psoriasis? Already the findings are reshaping scientists’ views of how people stay healthy, or not. “This is a whole new way of looking at human biology and human disease, and it’s awe-inspiring,” said Dr. Phillip Tarr of Washington University at St. Louis, one of the lead researchers in the $173 million project, funded by the National Institutes of Health. “These bacteria are not passengers,” Tarr stressed. “They are metabolically active. As a community, we now have to reckon with them like we have to reckon with the ecosystem in a forest or a body of water.” And like environmental ecosystems, your microbial makeup varies widely by body part. Your skin could be like a rainforest, your intestines teeming with different species like an ocean. Scientists have long known that the human body coexists with trillions of individual germs, what they call the microbiome. Until now, they’ve mostly studied those that cause disease: You may recall health officials saying about a third of the population carries Staphylococcus aureus harmlessly in their noses or on their skin, but can infect others.

Parsing bacteria’s DNA But no one knew all the types of microbes that live in healthy people or where, and what they do. Some 200 scientists from nearly 80 research institutions worked together for five years on this first-ever census to begin answering those questions by unraveling the DNA of these microbes, utilizing some of the same methods used to decode human genetics. The results were published in June in a series of reports in the journals Nature and the Public Library of Science. First, the researchers had to collect tissue samples from more than a dozen body sites — the mouth, nose, different spots of skin, the vagina in women, and from feces.

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Then they teased apart the bacterial DNA from the human DNA, and started analyzing organisms with some daunting names: Lactobacillus crispatus, Streptococcus mitis, Corynebacterium accolens. Our bodies are thought to be home to about 10 bacterial cells for every human cell, but they’re so small that together microbes make up about 1 to 3 percent of someone’s body mass, explained Dr. Eric Green, director of NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute. That means a 200-pound person could harbor as much as 6 pounds of bacteria. There are about 22,000 human genes. See HEALTHY GERMS, page 8

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By Lauran Neergaard They live on your skin, up your nose, in your gut — enough bacteria, fungi and other microbes that collected together could weigh, amazingly, a few pounds. Now scientists have mapped just which critters normally live in or on us and where, calculating that healthy people can share their bodies with more than 10,000 species of microbes. Don’t say “eeew” just yet. Many of these organisms work to keep humans healthy, and results reported from the government’s Human Microbiome Project define what’s normal in this mysterious netherworld. One surprise: It turns out that nearly everybody harbors low levels of some harmful types of bacteria — pathogens that are known for causing specific infections. But when a person is healthy — like the 242 U.S. adults who volunteered to be tested for the project — those bugs simply quietly coexist with benign or helpful microbes, perhaps kept in check by them.

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Healthy germs From page 7 But the microbes add to our bodies the power of many, many more — about 8 million genes, the new project estimated. Those bacterial genes produce substances that perform specific jobs, some of which play critical roles in the health and development of their human hosts, said Dr. Bruce Birren of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, another of the project’s investigators. Genes from gut bacteria, for example, lead to digestion of certain proteins and fats. They also produce certain beneficial compounds, like inflammation-fighting chemicals.

Bacteria need backup, too Another surprise: There isn’t one core

set of bacteria that perform those functions. A wide variety can do the same jobs, the researchers found. That’s fortunate considering people carry a customized set of microbes, one that varies dramatically depending on where you live, your diet and a host of other factors. Your microbial zoos also can change, such as when taking antibiotics that kill infection-causing germs as well as good intestinal bacteria that may be replaced with different but equally effective bugs. “We don’t all have the same bacteria, although they all seem to have been organized to do the same things,” Birren said. It may be that our lifestyle and environment “induces each of us to have arrived at a solution that works for us.” With this first snapshot of what normal

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looks like, studies now are under way to see how the microbes differ in people with certain diseases, in hopes of learning how to prevent or treat the illnesses. Consider the intestinal superbug named C. difficile that people all too often catch while they’re in the hospital, and that sometimes kills. Washington University’s Tarr wants to know what mixture of gut bacteria can fend off the diarrhea-causing germ or make it more likely to infect — so that doctors might one day know who’s more vulnerable before they enter a hospital. Also, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine reported recently that the kind of bacteria living in the vagina changes during pregnancy, perhaps to give the fetus as healthy a passage as possible. Previous research has found differences in the first bacteria babies absorb depending on whether they’re born vaginally or by Csection — a possible explanation for why

cesareans raise the risk for certain infections. All new information in some ways is humbling, because it shows how much more work is needed to understand this world within us, noted infectious disease specialist Dr. David Relman of Stanford University, who wrote a review of the project’s findings for the journal Nature. For example, the project included mostly white volunteers who live around Houston and St. Louis. Relman said more work is needed to define a normal microbiome in people with different racial, ethnic and geographic backgrounds. And there are many remaining questions about how these microbes interact with human genetics. “We are essentially blind to many of the services that our microbial ecosystems provide — and on which our health depends,” Relman wrote. — AP

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Hospital noise affects sleep and recovery

Electronic beeps disturb sleep Sure, a toilet flushing, voices in the hallway or the ice machine woke people once they were loud enough. But electronic sounds were the most likely to arouse peo-

ple from sleep — even at decibel levels not much above a whisper, the researchers reported in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. What electronic sounds? Particularly troublesome was the beep-beep-beep from IV machines that signals someone needs more fluid or medicine, one of the most common machines in a hospital. They’re just one of a variety of alarms. Those alarms are meant to alert hospital workers, of course, so the finding raises a conundrum. But some hospitals are testing ways to make at least some monitors flash signals at the nurses’ stations rather than sound loudly at the bedside. The other surprises: The sleepers’ heart rates temporarily jumped as much as 10 beats a minute as they were aroused, the researchers reported. And they didn’t remember most of the disruptions even though brain recordings clearly showed their sleep was interrupted, which suggests that patients’ complaints are underestimating the problem. “My God, we delivered 100 sounds to this person and woke them up 40 times and they’re reporting to us just a couple [of awakenings],” Ellenbogen said with disbelief. If healthy young adults had a pronounced change in heart rate, imagine the stress of alarms sounding all night long in an ICU full of frail, older patients with weakened hearts, he said. “It clearly has a big impact,” agreed Dr. Ivor Berkowitz, a pediatric ICU specialist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He wasn’t involved with the research but calls it compelling and would like to see children studied in the same way. Regularly getting too little sleep plays a role in a number of health troubles, from

drowsy driving to high blood pressure, obesity, depression, memory problems and a weakened immune system. There’s been far less research on how

much sleep disruption interferes with recovery from illness. But some studies See NOISY HOSPITALS, page 10

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By Lauran Neergaard Anyone who’s had a hospital stay knows the beeping monitors, the pagers and phones, the hallway chatter, the roommate, even the squeaky laundry carts all make for a not-so-restful place to heal. Hospitals need a prescription for quiet, and new research suggests it may not be easy to tamp down all the noise for a good night’s sleep. In fact, the wards with the sickest patients — the intensive care units — can be the loudest. “It’s just maddening,” said Dr. Jeffrey Ellenbogen, sleep medicine chief at Massachusetts General Hospital. He pointed to one study that found the decibel level in ICUs reaches that of a shout about half the time. Patient satisfaction surveys are packed with complaints that the clamor makes it hard to sleep. Yet remarkably little is known about exactly how that affects patients’ bodies — and which types of noises are the most disruptive to shut-eye. So Ellenbogen and researchers from Harvard and the Cambridge Health Alliance recorded different kinds of hubbub in a community hospital in Boston’s suburbs to try to find out. Since it wouldn’t be appropriate to experiment on sick people by disrupting their sleep, 12 healthy volunteers were enlisted. They spent three nights in Mass General’s sleep lab, slumbering as recorded hospital sounds blared from nearby speakers at increasing volumes.

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Noisy hospitals From page 9 show patients in noisier wards require more medications and sedatives. Delirium — a dangerous state of confusion and agitation — is linked to sleep deprivation and the loss of normal sleep-wake cycles during certain hospitalizations, especially among older people, Ellenbogen noted. Noise isn’t the only challenge. He said sometimes patients are awakened for a blood test or blood pressure check simply because the overnight nurse assigned the task goes off duty at 7 a.m.

Taking steps to reduce noise Acoustical engineers from Johns Hopkins helped sound an alarm about hospital noise several years ago, reporting that the

average level at night has risen dramatically over the past few decades. Now a number of hospitals have begun taking steps to muffle the noise. Hopkins recently opened a new building constructed for quiet, and Berkowitz said the difference in the new pediatric ICU is stunning. Before, eight children’s beds were grouped together in two rooms linked by an opening — the sound of ventilators and machine alarms and conversation all bouncing around the area, he recalled. Now, every patient room is private. Sound-absorbing materials line ceilings. There’s a rubber floor in the neonatal unit. There’s no overhead paging — workers’ phones vibrate when they’re needed. “People have a sense, I think, of being See NOISY HOSPITALS, page 11

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Hospitals may harm dementia patients For people with Alzheimer’s disease, a hospital stay may prove catastrophic. People with dementia are far more likely to be hospitalized than other older adults, often for preventable reasons like an infection that wasn’t noticed early enough. Hospitals can be upsetting to anyone, but consider the added fear factor if you can’t remember where you are or why strangers keep poking you. Now a new study highlights the lingering ill effects: Being hospitalized seems to increase the chances of Alzheimer’s patients moving into a nursing home — or even dying — within the next year, Harvard researchers reported recently. The risk is higher if those patients experience what’s called delirium, a state of extra confusion and agitation, during their stay. It’s not clear exactly why, although specialists say delirium is especially bad for an already damaged brain. But the researchers, and independent Alzheimer’s experts, agree that caregivers need to know the risk so they can help a loved one with dementia avoid the hospital if at all possible. “It’s a very stressful time, being in the hospital,” said lead researcher Dr. Tamara Fong, of the Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital and Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston. Often families tell her, “Dad was never the same after he had that surgery and he was confused.” Earlier this year, University of Washington researchers reported people with dementia are more likely than other seniors to be hospitalized, especially for conditions such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections, worsening heart failure or dehydra-

tion that might have been treated in the doctor’s office if they’d been caught early. The new study took a closer look at potential health consequences of hospitalizations. Fong’s team examined medical records for 771 Alzheimer’s patients who were living at home and fairly high-functioning, to see what happened if they wound up in the hospital. About half did, mostly for things like fainting or falls, pneumonia and chest pain. A quarter suffered delirium during that hospitalization. Each year, about 4 percent of the patients who weren’t hospitalized entered a nursing home and 2 percent died. Yet 29 percent of the hospitalized Alzheimer’s patients wound up in a nursing home — as did a surprising 43 percent of those who suffered delirium, Fong found. Of those who survived the initial hospitalization, 9 percent died in the following year, as did 15 percent of those who’d suffered delirium, Fong reported in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. The study can’t explain the link. It’s possible that people who wound up in the hospital or delirious already had begun deteriorating more than their non-hospitalized counterparts. Fong would like to compare hospitalized Alzheimer’s patients with those who get athome care for the same conditions, such as advanced urinary tract infections, to see if avoiding the hospital makes a real difference. For advice on hospitalization from the Alzheimer’s Association, go to http:// tinyurl.com/7zq8c8v. — AP

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Noisy hospitals From page 10 calmer,” Berkowitz said. He doesn’t have any medical records to show it, but “my gut sense is that it’s better for patients.” Existing hospital buildings, especially those without private rooms, require different techniques. For example, Mass General has posted “quiet hours” in the afternoon and at night on certain wards. The lights are dimmed, patients’ room doors are closed wherever possible, overhead paging is minimized, and health workers lower their voices and try not to enter rooms unless it’s really necessary, said Rick Evans, the hospital’s senior di-

rector for service. In his office sits a gadget that looks like a traffic light, flashing yellow or red when the decibel level gets too high. Evans said the hospital is evaluating whether to start using some type of noise sensor for further help. Until hospitals dampen more noise, Ellenbogen advises families to advocate for quiet: • If an IV alarm repeatedly sounds, “tell the nurse this has got to stop,” he said. • Ask if it’s OK to close the room door. • Request a fan in the room to be “white noise” that muffles the electronics. • Speak up if hallway conversations are too loud. — AP

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CPR AND CHOKING PREVENTION CLASS Terry White, RN, will teach participants CPR and choking preven-

tion at a four-hour course at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring. Participants will receive a card from the American Heart Association. The class takes place at the Holy Cross Resource Center, 1500 Forest Glen Rd., Silver Spring, Md. on Monday, Aug. 27, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Fee is $50. Register online at http://holycross.drsreferralservice.com/p-317-heartsaver-adult-cpr-aed-training.aspx, or call (301) 754-8800.


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13

Doctors discuss fainting, cataract surgery Fainting, the temporary loss of consciousness that doctors call syncope (SINK-uh-pee), can be embarrassing, scary and dangerous. It’s also quite common — an estimated one in three people faints at least once in their lifetime. People pass out when the brain doesn’t get enough blood and becomes deprived of fuel and oxygen. This is usually caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure (hypotension).

heart and heart muscle malfunctions can also temporarily disrupt the flow of blood to the brain and cause fainting. Interestingly, people don’t usually faint when they’re having a heart attack. If you feel faint from prolonged standing, cross your legs and tense the muscles in your lower body. The resulting blood pressure boost may stave off the faint or at least give you time to get to a safe place.

cardiologist to investigate the possibility of some other heart malfunction. According to the updated guidelines,

The most common type of fainting — what doctors call “uncomplicated” syncope — is often preceded by breaking out in a sweat or feeling dizzy. Standing up for a long time can cause blood to languish in the legs, making less of it available to the brain. Sitting up or standing quickly after lying down can also cause a faint. Extreme emotion or pain can cause the heart to slow down at the same time blood vessels open wide. This combination makes blood pressure plummet — and down you may go. This is what happens when some people see a hypodermic needle or blood. When a heart abnormality is involved in fainting, things get a bit more complicated. About 15 percent of fainting episodes are related to heart rhythm problems, including the abnormally slow heartbeat known as bradycardia. Blockages in arteries supplying the

Fainting often involves falling, which can lead to injury, so it’s a good idea to get checked out by a doctor if you’ve fainted. If you have heart disease, a faint definitely warrants a prompt medical visit. Updated diagnostic guidelines in the Annals of Internal Medicine say that anyone who has fainted should see a doctor for a physical examination and medical history. It helps if someone who witnessed the faint reports what he or she saw. A medication review could uncover additional clues — many drugs can lead to hypotension and fainting. Even if all signs point to uncomplicated fainting, the guidelines recommend an electrocardiogram (ECG) to rule out the possibility of irregular heartbeats. If anything about the exam leads the doctor to suspect a cardiac cause, he or she may refer you to an electrophysiologist to get more information about your heart’s electrical activity, or to a general

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See FAINTING, page 14

Exceeding Your Expectations

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CANCER SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT NIH Nurse Consultant Kate Castro will teach those affected by

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Fainting

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

BRIDGE THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP

From page 13

Higher Achievement is in need of volunteer mentors and study hall

a wearable Holter monitor, which takes continuous ECG readings, for 24 to 48 hours. For those who faint less often, an external event recorder or implanted recorder is most likely to spot a heart rhythm problem. If you are an uncomplicated fainter, try to avoid the situations that trigger your faints. If medical procedures are triggers, let your provider know so precautions can be taken. If you feel faint, try to lie down somewhere safe and elevate your feet. If a heart-specific cause of fainting is found, treatment options might include medications to control abnormal heart rhythms, a pacemaker if your fainting is caused by an abnormally slow heart beat, or an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator if a more serious rhythm problem exists. — Harvard Heart Letter Q. I’ve been diagnosed with macular degeneration and cataracts in both eyes. Could cataract surgery worsen my macular degeneration? A. Retina specialists like myself used to be concerned that cataract surgery might worsen macular degeneration. Results from some small studies indicated that there might be a problem. Cataracts act like a filter, blocking light.

aides for the 2012-2013 school year in the D.C. metro area. Volunteers work with middle school students in grades 5 to 8 to enrich their academics and ensure they are on the track to attend college. Opportunities are Monday, Tuesday or Thursday for one hour between 3:30 to 6 p.m. for study hall aides, and from 6 to 8:15 p.m. for mentors. Prospective volunteers or those with questions should contact Laura Selvey at lselvey@higherachievement.org or (202) 544-3633.

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So when the cloudy lenses are removed and replaced with clear, artificial lenses, more light reaches the retina. It was thought that the additional light might harm the macula, which is the most light- sensitive part of the retina. Or maybe the trauma of the surgery was harmful. But these were just theories based on limited data. In 2009, results of an analysis of a large, NIH-funded study called the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) were reported. The researchers found no association between cataract surgery and worsening of macular degeneration. Often, one study isn’t enough to settle a medical issue. But the AREDS results pretty much did, trumping the results of those earlier studies because it was large (about 4,500 volunteers) and followed people over a fairly long period (five years or longer). So I don’t think cataract surgery will worsen your macular degeneration. In fact, provided you don’t have an advanced case of macular degeneration, there’s a very good chance that cataract surgery will improve your vision. —Jeff Heier, M.D., Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston, Harvard Health Letter Editorial Board © 2012 President and fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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September 15-26 Over 40 events including Track & Field, Swimming, Tennis, Pickleball, Racquetball, Bocce, Men’s Basketball, Golf, Bowling, Wii Bowling, Miniature Golf, Cycling, Badminton, Volleyball Table Tennis, Card Games, Board Games & more. Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals Awarded REGISTER BY SEPT. 1 $12 Registration covers multiple events Registration forms available at senior centers, senior residences or online at www.nvso.us

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Goodbye to all-metal hip replacements Government health experts say there are few reasons to continue using metalon-metal hip implants, amid growing evidence that the devices can break down early and expose patients to dangerous metallic particles. The Food and Drug Administration asked its 18-member panel to recommend guidelines for monitoring more than a halfmillion U.S. patients with metal hip replacements. The devices were originally marketed as a longer-lasting alternative to older ceramic and plastic models. But recent data from

the U.K. and other foreign countries suggests they are more likely to deteriorate, exposing patients to higher levels of cobalt, chromium and other metals. While the FDA has not raised the possibility of removing the devices from the market, most panelists said there were few, if any, cases where they would recommend implanting the devices. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I do not use metal-on-metal hips, and I can see no reason to do so,â&#x20AC;? said Dr. William Rohr of Mendocino Coast District Hospital, who chaired the meeting. For decades nearly all orthopedic im-

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plants were coated with plastic or ceramic. But in the last 10 years some surgeons began to favor all-metal implants, after laboratory tests suggested the devices would be more resistant to wear and reduce the chances of dislocation. But recent data gathered from foreign registries shows the devices fail at a higher rate than older implants. That information comes on top of nearly 17,000 reports to the FDA of problems with the implants, which sometimes require invasive surgery to replace them. The pain and inflammation reported by patients is usually caused by tiny metal particles that seep into the joint, damaging the surrounding tissue and bone. The

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long-term effects of elevated metal levels in the bloodstream are not clear, though some studies have suggested links to neurological and heart problems. FDAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experts say that patients complaining of pain and other symptoms should get regular X-rays and blood testing for metal levels. However, panelists pointed out the problems with the accuracy of blood tests and the difficulties of interpreting the results. There are no standard diagnostic kits for sale that test for chromium and other metals For patients who are not experiencing pain, panelists said annual X-rays would be sufficient to monitor their implants. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; AP

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

Cook meats at lower temp to avoid toxins A meal made with high quality, nutrientrich lean meats is sure to stir up a healthy appetite, but add the smoke and sizzle of an outdoor grill, the pop of oil deep-frying on the stovetop, or the savory smell of browning in the broiler and it becomes outright irresistible. But is it still healthy? Maybe not, says the latest research, which suggests that how we prepare our food is at least as important as the foods we choose. And turning down the heat may save your meat dishes from accumulating toxins that pose health risks.

High-heat toxins Toxic compounds form when foods are cooked at high temperatures. The chemicals heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) form when muscle meat from beef, pork,

poultry and fish is prepared using high temperature cooking methods such as pan-frying or direct-flame grilling. Laboratory experiments have shown these two substances to be mutagenic, causing changes in the DNA that may increase cancer risk. While these compounds cause cancer in animals, studies continue to investigate the risk of exposure to high levels in humans. HCAs and PAHs are listed as “reasonably expected to cause cancer in humans” by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Another class of toxins known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are formed when animal proteins are cooked with sugars in the absence of water, such as in pan-frying or grilling. The chemical reaction gives certain foods the desirable “cooked” flavors and aromas that you’ve

grown to love. Absorbed into the body, AGEs have been linked to a variety of ills, including inflammation, diabetes, kidney disease and Alzheimer’s disease. A study published in the October/November 2009 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that daily AGE consumption in a standard Western diet is at least three times higher than the safe limit.

Benefits of slow cooking AGEs can be reduced by cooking methods for meats that use lower heat and moisture, such as slow-cooking or stewing, as well as avoiding processed, deepfried, or pan-fried animal proteins. Slow, moist cooking offers protection against toxic compounds, as well as other tasty and practical benefits. A long, slow

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simmer in a crock pot or on top of the stove breaks down tough fibers in meats, creates a tender texture, and concentrates flavors by marinating the meat in its own juices. Even the leanest and least expensive cuts will emerge tasty. And slow cooking is easy; just place meat in a pot or slow-cooker, cover with liquid and seasonings and simmer. Lower your exposure to potentially hazardous toxins such as HCAs, PAHs and AGEs with these tips: 1. Trim meat fat to reduce drips and the resulting PAH-containing flare-ups during cooking or grilling. 2. Opt for smaller, thinner meat cuts, which take less time to cook. 3. Flip meat frequently, which accelerates cooking and helps prevent HCAs from forming. 4. Marinate meats, which some research suggests can help reduce the formation of HCAs by well over 90 percent. 5. Avoid overcooking or charring meats. 6. Steam, boil and stew meats, to maintain water content and reduce AGEs. 7. Keep heat low and cook meat slowly. Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 1-800-8295384, www.EnvironmentalNutrition.com.

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

Health Studies Page

17

THE PLACE TO LOOK FOR INFORMATION ON AREA CLINICAL TRIALS

Have diabetes or fear that you might? By Barbara Ruben Many people who develop type 2 diabetes don’t know it because they don’t have any symptoms. But diabetes can stealthily damage the kidneys, heart and eyes before a patient is even diagnosed. Others who have already been diagnosed may be trying to control the disease with diet and exercise, but find their blood sugar levels continue to be too high. Burke Internal Medicine and Research is now recruiting for a study of a new diabetes drug. They are looking for both patients who are at risk for diabetes and those who have type 2 diabetes but aren’t currently being treated with medication. “All the drug companies are struggling to find the optimal treatment. There is no perfect treatment for diabetes so far,” said Dr. Nabil Andrawis, who is directing the study at Burke Internal Medicine.

A new type of diabetes drug Called TAK-875, the new drug works both to lower blood sugar and help the patient lose weight. Most patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight. TAK-875 works differently than other drugs because rather than working in just one organ, it affects the intestines, liver and pancreas, Andrawis said. While only patients with diabetes may take part in the study, doctors at Burke Internal Medicine will use a blood test to determine if patients may have the disease

though they have not been formally diagnosed by their doctor. “We consider diabetes a silent killer. By the time we diagnose it, it’s when the complications start to develop,” he said. In addition to having type 2 diabetes, participants must be at least 18 years old and have been treated with only diet and exercise for at least 12 weeks prior to the screening. To be eligible to participate in the study, volunteers must have a body mass index no higher than 45, which is considered obese. They cannot have donated or received any blood products in the last 12 weeks. Their blood pressure cannot be higher than 160/95. If the patient has a history of cancer, the disease must have been in remission for at least five years prior to beginning the study. They also cannot have a history of infection with the HIV virus or hepatitis B or C. Many heart conditions also exclude participants from the study.

active ingredient. Neither the patients nor the doctors will know who is in which arm of the study. If patients’ diabetes worsens while enrolled in the study, doctors will prescribe FDA-approved diabetes medications. Patients will visit offices in either Burke or Manassas, Va., monthly at first and then

every two to three months. They will be paid $40 to $50 for each visit. They will also receive study-related medical care free of charge. To learn more about the study, or to see if you qualify, call Burke Internal Medicine and Research at 1-877-607-3877 or visit www.ProgramForDiabetes.com.

Taking part in the study The study will last 24 weeks. Patients will initially be screened with blood tests and an electrocardiogram to make sure they qualify. They will then be assigned to one of three arms of the study. The first group will take a 25 mg. tablet of TAK-875 each day by mouth. The second group will take a 50 mg. dose. The last group will be assigned to take a placebo — a pill with an in-

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ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT ALZHEIMER’S? What is the Resveratrol study? The purpose of the Resveratrol research study is to evaluate the safety, tolerability and effectiveness of Resveratrol when given to people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

We are looking for people who: • Have a diagnosis of probable mild-to-moderate AD • Are willing and able to undergo clinic assessments, two lumbar punctures, three MRIs, and blood and urine tests • Have a study partner to accompany the participant to ten study visits and have more than two days a week of contact with the participant • Are able to abstain from ingesting large quantities of Resveratrolcontaining foods (including red wine). One to two glasses of red wine or red grape juice daily is acceptable; one serving of red grapes daily is also acceptable • Are able to abstain from ingesting herbal/natural preparations or dietary supplements containing Resveratrol. Resveratrol supplements are exclusionary

For more information, please contact:

Daniel Santos (202) 687-8800 ds1238@georgetown.edu

Type II Diabetes Research Study Do you have Type II Diabetes? A research study is currently underway in your area to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of an investigational medication for Type II Diabetes. In order to qualify, you must: rBe 18 years or older rBe diagnosed with Type II Diabetes rBe experiencing difficulty managing blood sugar levels with diet and regular exercise alone Qualified participants will receive: rStudy-related medical care rStudy medication Health insurance is not needed to participate. Burke Internal Medicine & Research

Call 1-877-607-3877 now or log onto www.ProgramForDiabetes.com for more information and to see if you qualify.


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

It’s calories, not food type, that boost fat Q: Eating more calories than I should won’t cause a weight problem as long as they’re largely from protein, right? A: No, if you eat too many calories, you will add body fat, even if the calories include lots of protein. It’s true that protein is important for weight management and healthy body composition. Studies now show that protein helps keep hunger satisfied longer than either the carbohydrate or fat that we eat. What’s more, getting enough protein is important to build and maintain lean body tissue like muscle and to maintain metabolic rate, which is probably important to

long-term weight control. Still, in one controlled trial where 25 participants were required to eat similarly excessive calories, body fat increased equally in all groups, regardless of whether people were consuming low, normal or high levels of protein. Bottom line: whether your goal is to lose, maintain or gain weight, do make sure each meal totals up adequate protein from beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains and vegetables, as well as dairy and seafood, poultry and meat if you choose them. But don’t think of protein as some magic food that goes only to muscle. Excess calories from any source still promote excess body fat. This is important, since the real

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link to increased risk of cancer and type 2 cess alcohol consumption. More research is needed to understand diabetes is not weight itself, but excess how eating habits might help body fat. avoid or resolve leaky gut Q: What is leaky gut synsyndrome. However, there is drome? Do eating habits afpotential for help from the fect it? same eating habits recomA: Normal intestinal walls mended to fight inflammafunction like a border patrol, tion, promote growth of allowing passage of healthy healthy gut bacteria and renutrients and denying entry to duce cancer risk. foreign substances. A healthy That is: reaching and mainintestinal lining is composed taining a healthy weight, getof cells adhering tightly to ting regular physical activity each other, absorbing only NUTRITION and focusing eating habits small, digested food mole- WISE By Karen Collins, around whole plant foods cules. such as vegetables, fruits, In leaky gut syndrome, MS, RD, CDM whole grains and beans. damage to the intestinal wall Foods like yogurt and kefir that contain causes these cells to separate slightly, allowing incompletely digested food parti- probiotics — health-promoting bacteria such cles and bacteria to “leak” through the gut as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria — are also into the bloodstream. This seems to trig- under study as potentially beneficial. The American Institute for Cancer Reger the immune system to release substances causing an allergic reaction and search offers a Nutrition Hotline, 1-800843-8114, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday widespread inflammation. Research suggests leaky gut syndrome through Friday. This free service allows you might lead to food allergies, celiac disease, to ask questions about diet, nutrition and inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel cancer. A registered dietitian will return your call, usually within three business days. syndrome, and even diabetes and obesity. Courtesy of the American Institute for Factors identified so far that may weaken the normal gut barrier and lead to leaky Cancer Research. Questions for this column gut syndrome include major intestinal sur- may be sent to “Nutrition Wise,” 1759 R St., gery or radiation, side effects of certain NW, Washington, DC 20009. Collins cannot medications, chronic inflammation and ex- respond to questions personally.

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Seasonal vegetables make tasty side dish This recipe shows off the goodness of an easy-to-prepare vegetable medley, whose flavors blend through a unique juice mixture. It’s an opportunity to enjoy the bounty of the summer season in a tasty and nutritionally sound dish. Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse — one cup has more vitamin C than an equal amount of fresh orange. It’s a member of the cabbage family; indeed, broccolo, its Italian name, means “cabbage sprout.” When purchasing broccoli, look for solid green crowns or those with a hint of blue or purple. Avoid heads with open buds or any yellowing. Eggplant’s peak growing season is August and September. Eggplant is thought to have originated in India, but there may have been related varieties in China as well. It wasn’t until the early 1800s that Thomas Jefferson introduced them to the United States. Known as aubergine in Europe, eggplant is undeservedly one of the least appreciated foods of the Western World — low in calories and high in dietary fiber. The juice mixture melds the vegetables together with the robust flavor of oregano and produces a wonderful sauce. The result is a lively, healthy taste of summer — easy to prepare and sure to please.

Veggies Extraordinaire 1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 cup small broccoli florets 1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced thin 1 cup eggplant, peeled and diced (Hint: select smaller, younger eggplant and blot cubes with paper towels to remove moisture. Don’t rinse the pieces because they absorb too much water.) 2 green onions, cut into ½ inch pieces, including the green stems 1 medium potato, cooked and sliced 2 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup white grape juice (dry white wine may be substituted) 1/4 cup tomato juice 1 tsp. dried or 1 Tbsp. chopped, fresh oregano Heat oil over medium-high heat in large skillet. Add all vegetables, except potatoes and tomatoes. Cook, stirring gently and frequently, until tender-crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add potatoes and tomatoes. Continue to stir gently and frequently for an additional 3 minutes. Combine lemon, grape and tomato juices, and oregano in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Add sauce to skillet and simmer until liquid begins to thicken,

about 5 minutes. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 130 calories, 4 g. total fat (<1 g. saturated fat), 21 g. carbohydrate, 3

g. protein, 4 g. dietary fiber, 35 mg. sodium. — The American Institute for Cancer Research

BEACON BITS

Aug. 22

MOORE’S CANDIES TOURS

Tour Moore’s Candies in Baltimore, Md. to see how different types of chocolate treats, including cashew crunch, caramel pretzels and chocolate nonpareils are made. The trip is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 22, departing from the Langley Park Senior Center at 9 a.m. and returning at 3 p.m. Fee is $15 for Prince George’s or Montgomery County residents and $18 for non-residents. To sign up, go online to http://smartlink.pgparks.com/ smartlink/Activities/ActivitiesCourseDetails.asp?cid=213660.

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

Don’t go overboard fighting cholesterol Dear Pharmacist: Would you elaborate on cholesterol, and what LDL and HDL numbers mean? — C.J. Dear C.J.: There’s mass confusion; ever yone seems to think cholesterol is bad. Medical authorities and television commercials have convinced some people that the lower your LDL number, the healthier you are. You should sit down for this: There is no such thing as “good” or “bad” cholesterol. Why would your body make something bad for you anyway? Cholesterol is a strong and wonderful anti-inflammatory and a potent antioxidant.

Shocked? Because I bet you thought it was bad and that you should get rid of this awful cholesterol ASAP! Obviously, you don’t want levels to run amok, but there is a point where you could lower it excessively, and that’s unhealthy. Well-designed studies have repeatedly demonstrated that cholesterol can block two different pathways responsible for inflammation and pain, 5-LOX and 5-COX. For the record, prescribed anti-inflammatories often work on those two pathways, but if you have enough natural cholesterol, it is doing the work for you... without cramping your legs and making you weak! Yet, we commonly refer to our “bad” LDL cholesterol and our “good” HDL cho-

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lesterol. I’ve even used those terms myself ties. LDL helps you make steroid horbecause people automatically understand. mones such as pregnenolone, cortisol, But they’re silly. DHEA, estrogen and testosLDL and HDL are not even terone so you can feel youthmade of cholesterol! They are ful, happy, strong and fertile just fatty proteins, hence the and much more. name “lipoprotein” where I’m in your head right now, “lipo” means fatty and “proso let me tell you: Do not sudtein” means just that. (Stick denly stop taking your choleswith me, we are getting to the terol medications! Good gracious, that is not at all what fun part.) I’m trying to say. Just underLDL stands for low density stand that your body has a setlipoprotein, and HDL stands DEAR point where you feel healthy for high density lipoprotein. PHARMACIST and strong. Control your choLDL is nothing more than a By Suzy Cohen lesterol, but don’t chase the carrier molecule, a pick-up numbers down too low. truck that shuttles cholesterol Natural products that can help include (fat) to the tissues. You don’t want too many deliveries of fat to your arteries and niacin, guggul fish oils, astaxanthin and organs, so doctors are correct in trying to soluble fiber. Discuss changes to your medication/supplement regimen with tame LDL levels. HDL removes the fat from your tissues your pharmacist and physician(s). and returns it to the liver. Excellent! That’s This information is opinion only. It is not why you are trying to raise HDL all the intended to treat, cure or diagnose your contime, while lowering LDL. dition. Consult with your doctor before using Balance is key. Total annihilation of LDL any new drug or supplement. Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist (and cholesterol) makes your life miserable. This LDL, the “pick-up truck,” also and the author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist shuttles nutrients and antioxidants such as and Real Solutions from Head to Toe. To vitamin E, which has anti-cancer proper- contact her, visit www.dearpharmacist.com.

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Aug. 17

GREEN FAIR IN GEORGETOWN

Capital Bikeshare, Biofuels, Chemsearch and other organizations will showcase their green initiatives at the Fairmont Washington’s third annual Green Fair. Guests will be treated to honey tastings from the hotel’s rooftop hives along with vegetable dips from its garden. Many of the participants bring complimentary samples for attendees, such as energy-saving light bulbs. The fair is free and takes place on Friday, Aug. 17, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Colonnade Room at the Fairmont Washington Hotel, 2401 M St., N.W., Washington, D.C.

Aug. 12

A CELEBRATION OF CO-OPS

The Greenbelt Cooperative Alliance is sponsoring a free event celebrating the International Year of Co-ops and 75 Years of Co-ops in Greenbelt. The event will feature “co-opsicles,” a sing-a-long and a co-op bingo game, and will take place on Sunday, Aug. 12, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Roosevelt Shopping Center, Centerway, Greenbelt, Md. For more information about Greenbelt co-ops and the event, see www.alliance.greenbelt.coop.

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

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Deal with déjà vu mother-in-law problems me, telling me that I shouldn’t sit Dear Solutions: My daughter, recently married, is where I was going to. He told me that I was in his way (which I having a hard time with her wasn’t) and that I was mother-in-law. Every time blocking space (which I she has a problem with wasn’t). her, she calls me and tells He started to call me me about it, and I end up names in language that sent feeling very angry at her me into shock. He was mother-in-law. using ever y four letter Recently, we were both at curse word I have ever my daughter’s for a holiheard and some I can’t reday. Her mother-in-law was member ever hearing! I told very friendly and nice to SOLUTIONS him “Don’t speak to me in me, but I was feeling cold By Helen Oxenberg, that language!” but instead and hostile to her. MSW, ACSW he doubled every curse and Every time my daughter yelled “f—- “and “I’ll speak tells me about these conflicts it brings up old feelings I had to you in any language I want.” He kept yelling in a hateful rage. I about my mother-in-law when I was first married, but which changed over ignored him and sat where I wanted because I didn’t want him to think he the years. I don’t know what to do. I want to be could scare me away (there was no supportive to my daughter, but I feel one else around at the time). But my whole body was shaking, and people caught in the middle. — Mom told me afterward that I should have reported him to authorities. How do Dear Mom: Give your daughter back the title to her you think I should have handled this? — Still Shaking relationship with her mother-in-law. She has to own it and deal with it. You can’t Dear Still: It was not just his language that was solve these conflicts for her, and it will only make things worse if you and this woman foul. This whole situation was foul and actually dangerous. When someone is in a also start having conflicts. Your own early troubles with your moth- hateful rage, he can become violent. People were right. You should have left er-in-law may have influenced your daughter, letting her feel that she can turn to you immediately and reported him to authoriand you will understand. OK, now that I’ve ties. You cannot accomplish anything by given you a guilt trip, let go of it and assure confronting someone acting out this way. You were trying to be rational by telling her that things did get better between you him to stop talking to you that way, but that and your mother-in-law. Tell her that if you and her mother-in-law only adds fuel to the fire. Find the nearest can be friendly, then at least it adds to an exit and let the authorities show him that he can’t scare people away. atmosphere of support for this marriage. Dear Solutions: Dear Solutions: I have a friend who never seems to Recently, I was at the communal pool in our community. I went up- be able to make a decision. Ever y stairs to an enclosed gazebo that I time I try to make plans with her, inhave gone to for many years in order stead of saying yes or no, her favorite to be in shade and also do some work. word is “maybe.” It usually turns into a no, but meanA man was sitting in a corner. I nodded hello and started to move a while I can’t make plans while I wait lounge chair to where I have always to hear the answer — Eve sat. He immediately started yelling at

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Dear Eve: You’re allowing yourself to be strung along. But “maybes” are no pearls of wisdom, so break the string. Let this person know that you assume each maybe is really a no, so you’ll make other plans. A firm no at least brings closure and opens up new possibilities. This person

will soon get the message and will stop — maybe. © Helen Oxenberg, 2012. Questions to be considered for this column may be sent to: The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915. You may also email the author at helox72@comcast.net. To inquire about reprint rights, call (609) 655-3684.

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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICE ON AGING

Spotlight On Aging VOLUME XXVIII, ISSUE 8

A newsletter for D.C. Seniors

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE By Dr. John M. Thompson This issue of “Spotlight on Aging” is about bridging the gap between seniors and technology. It is a timely topic as many people are using technology, such as smartphones to text messages to family and friends, and computers to produce documents, surf the Internet and send e-mails. However, I have personally witnessed many seniors who are not connected with the technology age and display a lack interest in learning how to use technology to simplify their lives. For many years, my parents were included in the number of seniors who simply were not interested in using technology. As I reflect on my parents’ situation, it is apparent that change was difficult for them, as it is for many people. Moreover, the daunting task of having to learn a new process was overwhelming for my parents. However, my mother, a native of Thailand, became excited about a computer and the Internet after realizing the technology would enable her to view Thai television network programs and local news via the Internet. Since discovering that she could connect with her native country, my mother has become an avid Internet user! She has also inspired my father by purchasing an electronic tablet, a device a little smaller than a laptop computer, which allows him to read the Bible in its many translations or read the local newspaper while listening to his favorite gospel music. All it took was a little inspiration and someone to give them instruction and confidence that they too could benefit from a connection with the technology age. If you are reluctant about finding your connection to this technologically savvy world, I understand your feelings all too well. However, be encouraged and allow yourself the opportunity of being enlightened. The computer and Internet can provide seniors with many resources to challenge and exercise your minds, from games such as Sudoku, word puzzles and chess, to researching information about Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, the best doctors, and social programs that may be of interest. I encourage our District seniors to contact the D.C. Office on Aging at 202-724-5622 to learn about and enroll in computer classes held at our local Senior Wellness Centers. Our programs are tailored to your learning needs and provide individualized attention at your own pace. I encourage you to attend one of these courses to begin and/or continue your journey into the world of technology.

August 2012

Event Highlights City’s Involvement with HIV and Older Adults As part of the 19th International AIDS Conference held in Washington, D.C., a partnership of local and national organizations in the HIV & Aging movement held a networking reception at the PEW Conference Center. The event provided an opportunity to highlight the work being done in the District of Columbia to educate and offer preventive measures to stop the spread of HIV in the older community. Mayor Vincent C. Gray attended the event and spoke, applauding the efforts of the Health Department and the Office on Aging

in working together to prevent the spread of HIV. In addition, local and national advocates and partners were recognized for their efforts to prevent HIV. Seniors who appeared in the advertisement campaign served as hostesses for the event. The D.C. Health Department along with the Office on Aging are part of a workgroup on HIV and Aging that is developing educational materials targeting older adults. The campaign utilizes transit and other public spaces and targets older adults.

Public Notice of Funding Availability The Government of the District of Columbia, Office on Aging, is soliciting applications from qualified applicants to operate the Commodity Supplemental Food Program and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. The successful organization will be responsible for providing federal commodity foods and nutrition education services to pregnant and post-partum women, children under the age of six (exclusive of WIC recipients) and seniors age 60 and older. In DC, about 93 percent of participants are senior citizens. Non-profit organizations with places of

business within the physical boundaries of the District of Columbia are eligible to apply. The deadline for submission of applications is Friday, August 17, 2012 at 4 p.m. Applications can be obtained from the D.C. Office on Aging, 500 K St., NE, Washington, DC 20002. The RFA is also available on the Office on Aging’s website, www.dcoa.dc.gov and on the Office of Partnerships and Grants Development’s website, www.opgs.dc.gov. For additional information, contact Brenda Turner, Program and Grants Manager, at 202-724-5622 or brenda.turner@dc.gov.


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D.C. OFFICE

ON

Affordable Care Act Scams It’s enough to make you sick. No sooner had the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act than scam artists began working the phones. Claiming to be from the government, they’re saying that under the Affordable Care Act, they need to verify some information. For example, they might have the routing number of the person’s bank, and then use that information to get the person to reveal the entire account number. Other times, they have asked for credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, Medicare ID or other personal information. The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, cautions you not to give out personal or financial information in response to unsolicited phone calls, emails, or knocks on your door. Scam artists want your information to commit identity theft, charge your existing credit

cards, debit your checking account, open new credit card, checking, or savings accounts, write fraudulent checks or take out loans in your name. If you get a call from someone who claims to be from the government and who asks for your personal information, hang up. It’s a scam. The government and legitimate organizations with which you do business have the information they need and will not ask you for it. Then, file a complaint at ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP. Watch a new video, “How to File a Complaint,” at www.ftc.gov/video to learn more. If you think your identity’s been stolen, visit ftc.gov/idtheft or call 1877-ID-THEFT. You also can file a complaint with your state Attorney General. For more information about the federal health care law, visit www.HealthCare.gov.

Lightning Safety Awareness When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors! Summer is the peak season for one of the nation’s deadliest weather phenomena — lightning. But don’t be fooled, lightning strikes year round. In the U.S., an average of 54 people are reported killed each year by lightning. Hundreds of people are permanently injured each year. People struck by lightning suffer from a variety of longterm, debilitating symptoms, including memory loss, attention deficits, sleep disorders, chronic pain, numbness, dizziness, stiffness in joints, irritability, fatigue, weakness, muscle spasms, depression, and more. NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area! • If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you. • When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter. • Safe shelter is a substantial building or inside an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle. • Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder.

If, however, you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby, the following actions may reduce your risk: • Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks • NEVER lie flat on the ground • NEVER use a tree for shelter • NEVER use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter • Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.) When Indoors: • Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity. • Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets. • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches. • Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.

AGING NEWSLETTER

Don’t Fall for Charity Scams Everyone receives requests from charities seeking donations. Sometimes they arrive through the mail. Though most of these solicitations for charitable contributions are legitimate appeals for a good cause, some are phony and many target seniors. Don’t let swindlers take advantage of your good will. Before making a donation, follow these tips to avoid charity fraud: • Be suspicious of charities that accept only cash. • Always make out your check or money order to the organization to

which you want to donate money, not to an individual. • Before giving, ask for written information — including the charity’s name, address and phone number — especially if you are unfamiliar with the organization. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is committed to protecting citizens from all types of mail fraud. If you believe you’ve been victimized by a scam involving the U.S. Mail, you can get help by calling Postal Inspectors at 1-877-876-2455 or by reporting suspected fraud online at www.postalinspectors.uspis.gov.

Register Today for Smart911 Smart911 is a free national service provided to you by your local 9-1-1 agency, the Office of Unified Communications (OUC). Take 10-15 minutes to create a Safety Profile for your household, which includes the vital personal and medical information you would want response teams to have in the event of an emergency (including cell and work numbers). Then if you dial 9-1-1, your profile is immediately available, allowing call takers and first responders to assist you faster and more effectively. While Smart911 is for EVERYONE, we especially encourage fami-

lies with special needs to register. By including information about your family’s medical issues — like heart conditions, stroke history, allergies, children with special needs, seniors with mobility issues or dementia — we can help to ensure that Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will arrive with the appropriate equipment and information to help. If you or your family member cannot effectively communicate with 9-1-1, vital medical information is already available to first responders. Smart911 is 100% private and secure. To create your Safety Profile visit www.smart911.com.

Nearly 50 family caregivers and providers recently attended the D.C. Lifespan Respite Summit convened by the Office on Aging Lifespan Respite Program through a grant from the Administration on Aging. Participants shared personal caregiving stories from across the lifespan. Breakout sessions were convened to discuss resources, share challenges and barriers, and find out more about unmet needs. Participants were also asked to provide ideas for a working plan of sustainability. For more information on the Lifespan Respite Program, call 202-535-1422.


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AGING NEWSLETTER

Community Calendar August events 7th • 11:30 a.m. Learn about elder abuse at a seminar at the Israel Baptist Church Senior Nutrition site, 1251 Saratoga Ave. NE. For more information, call Vivian Grayton at 202-529-8701.

8th • 11:30 a.m. The Washington Seniors Wellness Center will host a panel discussion on financial fraud presented by the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB). The wellness center is located at 3001 Alabama Ave. SE. For more information, call 202-581-9355.

9th • 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The KEEN Seniors program will take part in the second annual Food Moves program, an intergenerational healthy eating and movement event. There will be a variety of activities to promote healthy nutrition and fitness practices, as well as games, food demonstrations and performances. The free event will take place at Benning Park Recreation Center, 5100 Southern Ave. SE. For more information, contact the KEEN Seniors Program at 202-534-4880.

9th and 16th • 11 a.m. Find out about alternative providers for gas and electric service at two programs. On Aug. 9, the seminar

will be held at the Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired, located at Israel Baptist Church, 1251 Saratoga Ave NE. On Aug. 16, the program will be at the Green Valley Senior Nutrition Site, 2412 Franklin St. NE. For more information, call Vivian Grayton at 202-529-8701.

11th • 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

13th Seabury Resources for Aging continues its healthy living series with a presentation on skin cancer at all of its nutrition sites. Call Vivian Grayton at 202-5298701 for times and locations.

14th • 2 to 3:30 p.m. Iona will hold an Aging in Community Advocacy Workshop entitled “Choices in Community: Access and Equity Housing Rights.” Speakers at this workshop about fair housing include Barbara Cline, an advocate for equitable and affordable housing, and Sadie

The D.C. Office on Aging is looking for persons to assist in spreading the word about programs and services that are available to assist D.C. residents age 18 and older living with disabilities, persons age 60 and older, and family caregivers of the elderly and the disabled. To find out how you can train for this very important role in the community, call 202-724-5622 for more information or email dcoa.communications@dc.gov.

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 • www.dcoa.dc.gov Dr. John M. Thompson, Executive Director Darlene Nowlin, Editor Adrian R. Reed, Photographer The D.C. Office on Aging does not discriminate against anyone based on actual or

15th 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The event titled “Health Fair: the State of Church and Health” is sponsored by the Ambassador Baptist Church Health Ministry in conjunction with Live Well D.C. to offer information and tools to help the church and community make healthier choices that would lead to a better quality of life. Get information about reducing stress, exercise, eating healthy, stopping smoking and more. The free fair will be held at 1412 Minnesota Ave. SE, Washington, D.C.

Ambassadors Wanted

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.

Healy, special projects coordinator with the Equal Rights Center. The workshop will be held at the Tenleytown Library, second floor large meeting room, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW. To reserve your spot, call Lylie Fisher at 202-895-9425 or email lfisher@iona.org.

Take a trip to Harrington Casino in Delaware with the East River Family Strengthening Collaborative and KEEN Seniors Program. The cost of the trip is $30 with a $15 rebate. Light refreshments will be served en route. Contact Robin Gantt or Chicquita Bryant at 202-534-4880 for tickets.

20th • 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A lunch and learn program about cataracts will be held at the Ft. Lincoln II Nutrition Center, 3001 Bladensburg Rd. NE. For more information, call Vivian Grayton at 202-529-8701.

27th to 31st The D.C. Dept. of Parks and Recreation 2012 Senior Fun Camp will be held August 27-31 at Camp Riverview in Scotland, Md. Get away and have fun, with spiritual meditation, exercise and fitness, jewelry making, arts and crafts, fiber art, hand/line dancing, bingo and much more. The fee for D.C. residents is $65 per person; non-residents are $75 per person. For more information, call Jennifer Hamilton at 202-664-7153.

Wellness Centers Extend Hours D.C. seniors can enjoy extended hours this summer and year round at several of the District’s senior wellness centers across the city. Extended hours allow more individuals the opportunity to use the state-ofthe-art facilities and participate in programs designed to keep them healthy in mind, body and spirit. Skip the costly gym memberships and become a member of a senior wellness center today!

Extended Summer Hours: Bernice Fonteneau Senior Wellness Center (Ward 1) 3531 Georgia Ave. NW Thursdays until 6:30 p.m. with open gym, computer lab and other activities available. Call 202-727-0338 for more information. Hattie Holmes Senior Wellness Center (Ward 4) 324 Kennedy St. NE Alternate Tuesdays until 6 p.m., with fitness class, computer lab, billiards and other activities available Call 202-291-6170 for more information.

Year-Round Extended Hours: Congress Heights Senior Wellness Center (Ward 8) 3500 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave, SE Tuesdays & Thursdays, 5-8 p.m., Open gym from 5-8 p.m. and Fitness class from 6-7 p.m. Call 202-562-7225 for more information. Model Cities Senior Wellness Center (Ward 5) 1901 Evarts Street, NE Mondays & Wednesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m. for fitness class Happy Hour every fourth Friday 5:30-8:30 p.m. Call 202-635-1900 for more information. Washington Seniors Wellness Center (Ward 7) 3001 Alabama Ave. SE Monday & Wednesdays, 5-7 p.m. for fitness class only. Saturday, 10 a.m.-noon., weekend nutrition program. Call 202-581-9355 for more information.


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

More at TheBeaconNewspapers.com

Money Law &

25

TAXABLE RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS? To avoid a big tax bite during retirement and boost your Social Security, consider saving some money in regular investment accounts BECOME A ROTH IRA CONVERT Converting an IRA to a Roth not only allows savings to grow tax free, but also doesn’t require withdrawals and allows easy transfer to heirs

Prepare now for next year’s tax changes By Dave Carpenter Ready or not, big changes lie ahead for virtually every U.S. taxpayer next year. Tax cuts put into place under the Bush administration that slashed rates on wages, dividends and capital gains are set to expire at the end of 2012. The Social Security payroll tax cut enacted this year also will end, as will the exemption of millions of middle-class families from the alternative minimum tax. It behooves you to spend a little time examining your own situation ahead of time. A midyear tax review always makes sense, but more so than ever this year. Even some basic housekeeping and preparations for the tax overhaul in Washington can save money and help you avoid end-of-the-year angst over the inevitable 11th-hour congressional tussle over what

to do next.

Do a financial checkup A simple do-it-yourself checkup can be performed in less than an hour. All you really need is your June 30 pay stub and your 2011 tax return. Start by multiplying your year-to-date earnings by two to get an estimate of 2012 income and compare it to last year’s final figure. The goal is to have a better idea of how your tax situation will look next year at tax time, said Mark Steber, chief tax officer for Jackson Hewitt Tax Services. Do the same with your withholding. The IRS recommends reviewing your withholding during the year to make sure it’s in line with what your tax liability is likely to be. There’s a withholding calculator on its website, www.irs.gov. You may wish to

tweak the amount you withhold if it looks like you might either owe money or appear headed for an unwisely large refund. Now review what might have changed this year. Do you have a new family member? Did one move out? Did you change jobs or move? Get married or divorced? Consulting with a tax professional would be the most reliable way to figure out the impact of such changes. But you should be able to get at least a sense on your own of where you stand at this point. While you’re at it, take a look at your savings and any 401(k), IRA or Roth IRA that you have. Will you be able to maximize your 2012 contributions? Make sure you’re at least contributing enough to get the company match in your 401(k). And keep an eye on your medical reimbursement account, if you have one, to

make sure you’re taking full advantage. “With several months remaining in the year, there are still opportunities to lower your 2012 tax liability via withholding changes, increase in charitable contributions, retirement savings and more,” said Kathy Pickering, executive director of the Tax Institute at H&R Block.

Changes to expect So many changes are being discussed for next year that the natural tendency is to wait until they’re all final before sorting it all out. But tax experts say you could leave tax savings on the table if you don’t do some planning ahead of time. Without trying to forecast outcomes, one good step to take now is to identify and start See TAXES, page 26

Look for earnings from spinoffs, retailers By Kathy M. Kristof There are few sure things in picking stocks. But if you want an investment that puts the odds in your favor, consider spinoffs. When big companies split into pieces, the parts often become more valuable than when they were combined. Spinoffs are rare, though. Roughly 30 companies a year announce plans to peel off a piece of their business and plunk it into the hands of shareholders in the form of newly minted shares.

Potentially lucrative spinoffs Genie Energy (symbol GNE) emerged from IDT Corp. (IDT), primarily a telecom company, last October. The small, Newark, N.J.-based company sells power to small businesses and develops shale-oil projects in Colorado and Israel. Last year, Genie earned $850,000, or 4 cents a share, on revenues of $206 million. At a share price around $7, the stock has lost 36 percent since early February. But as of the end of 2011, Genie had $102 million in cash, or $4.45 per share, and no debt. Joe Cornell, of Spin-Off Research, thinks investors are drastically undervaluing Genie’s potential. He said the shares are worth $15.75 — more than double today’s price. In some cases, the “stub” (the parent com-

pany minus the spinoff) is the more valuable piece, said John Keeley, Jr., chief investment officer at Keeley Asset Management. For example, ConocoPhillips (COP) split off Phillips 66 (PSX), its refining and chemical operations, on May 1. By doing so, Conoco rid itself of a low-profit business, and it can now concentrate on exploration and production, a segment that has historically accounted for about 80 percent of its profits. At $56 a share, ConocoPhillips sells for less than 9 times estimated 2012 profits of $6.45 per share. That’s too cheap, said Cornell, who expects the Houston-based firm to be leaner and more profitable in the future. He thinks Conoco is worth $73 a share today. If you think the sum of the parts is worth more than the whole, invest after a company has announced a spinoff but before the deal has taken place. One such opportunity lies with Kraft Foods (KFT). Later this year, it plans to jettison its grocery business. The spinoff will keep the Kraft name. The remaining company, which is expected to be called Mondelez International, will concentrate on snack foods. Mondelez will boast some $35 billion in annual sales. Breaking Kraft in two will allow the grocery company to focus on improving its

profit margins, while the snack-food company can devote its attention to growth, particularly in emerging markets. Kraft shares sell for $40, or 15 times estimated 2012 earnings, but S&P Capital IQ analyst Tom Graves believes the Northfield, Ill., company will be worth $44 a share when broken in two.

High potential in retailers Both upscale and downscale retailer stocks are also worth some attention. The head-scratcher is this: Coach, the purveyor of pricey purses, keeps banging out record profits at the same time that Dollar General, which appeals to price-conscious shoppers, rakes in cash hand over fist. But maybe the dynamic isn’t as contradictory as it seems. In tough times, middle-income consumers flock to discount chains. Those discounters that offer quality and good prices have seized the moment to convert normally higher-end shoppers into loyal customers. The rich, however, continue to frequent their favorite stores through upturns and downturns alike. With the economy once again looking tenuous, the resilience of retailers that cater to the outer edges of wealth has not been lost on Wall Street.

Shares of Coach (symbol COH) are usually almost as pricey as the firm’s handbags. But the market’s spring plunge, triggered by concerns about economic weakness in Europe (where Coach has only a modest presence) brought the shares into reasonably priced territory. Down $20 from its late-March high, Coach, at $58, sells for 14 times estimated year-ahead earnings. Widely admired for selling stylish, wellmade goods, Coach profit margins are the envy of the industry. The company reported that earnings for the quarter that ended March 31 were up 24 percent. Coach also hiked its dividend by 33 percent in April, and its stock yields 2.0 percent. Analysts expect Coach to deliver blistering annual earnings growth of 16 percent over the next three to five years. Jason Asaeda, an analyst with S&P Capital IQ, expects the stock to hit $85 within the next year.

Profiting from discounts Dollar General (DG), based in Goodlettsville, Tenn., operates 10,052 outlets in 40 states. The stores are usually 7,000 to 12,000 square feet — a fraction of the size of a Wal-Mart superstore. The smaller size allows the chain to set See STOCK PICKS, page 27


26

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Taxes From page 25 following a reliable resource or two for tax information — IRS.gov, a blog, a columnist, a favorite financial site. Then as the changes take shape, you can act quickly. Here are some of the biggest changes brewing and some planning considerations to take into account: • Payroll tax. A temporary payroll tax

cut that has been of benefit to nearly every wage earner in 2011 and 2012 is set to expire, costing the average family an additional $1,000 a year. “People should think about how they’re going to budget with a smaller paycheck next year,” said Elda Di Re, partner in Ernst & Young’s personal finance services group. • Capital gains. Without congressional action, the capital gains tax will rise to 20 percent from 15 percent.

BEACON BITS

Aug. 13

FINANCIAL PLANNING FOR CANCER If you are someone affected by cancer, learn how to deal with the

financial impact of the disease at this discussion with financial adviser Brant Watson at Hope Connections for Cancer Support on Monday, Aug. 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. Free, but RSVP required at (301) 493-5002. For more information, email info@hopeconnectionsforcancer or call (301) 493-5002. Hope Connections is located at 5430 Grosvenor Ln., Suite 100, Bethesda, Md.

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

Anyone considering an action that will trigger a major capital gain, such as selling stock or a vacation home, may want to consult with a professional about the potential difference between closing a transaction this year and next. • Dividends. The tax on dividends will go from the current 15 percent to your individual tax rate, meaning as high as 39.6 percent for upper-income taxpayers. Higher tax rates might make dividend stocks that you are considering adding to your portfolio less appealing, although it doesn’t necessarily mean selling ones you already own. • Medicare. Millions of wealthy taxpayers face tax increases related to Medicare. High-income individuals would pay a surtax of another 0.9 percentage points on earned income over $200,000, or $250,000 for married couples. High-income households also face a new 3.8 percent tax on investment income. Congress approved that tax to help finance

the healthcare overhaul. • Alternative minimum tax. The alternative minimum tax typically has affected taxpayers making more than $200,000, thanks to so-called “patches” that have annually exempted middle-income families. Unless extended retroactively, the AMT patch already has expired for 2012, reducing exemption amounts precipitously. It’s worth checking with a financial adviser to see how much you might be subject to under this complicated law, which targeted loopholes used by wealthy taxpayers when it was created in 1969 but has been changing in scope. • Estate tax. The estate tax rate would rise to 55 percent from the current 35 percent, and the exemption level would fall to $1 million from $5 million, subjecting many more estates to it. If you have a large estate and want to remove some taxable assets from it, this might be a good year to do any planned gifting, said Mark Luscombe, principal federal tax analyst for the CCH consulting firm. • Tax breaks. Dozens of other tax credits and deductions that are routinely renewed each year already expired at the end of 2011. If Congress fails to act, individuals would lose federal tax breaks for paying local sales taxes, buying energy efficient appliances and using mass transit, among others. The big picture is there are no clear answers at the moment. But if you believe tax increases are on the way for 2013, it may be prudent to accelerate income and postpone deductions this year, said Luscombe. While this is the reverse of the usual tax strategy, it makes sense when someone is headed for a higher tax bracket the following year. Besides selling assets that would result in a capital gain, ways to accelerate income include converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, and taking distributions from an IRA or retirement plan, so long as it won’t result in an early withdrawal penalty. Postponing deductions could mean waiting to make a charitable gift until next year, when the deduction could have more value, or deferring realization of a capital loss. — AP

BEACON BITS

Ongoing

FAIRFAX COOLING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Applications for the 2012 Cooling Assistance, a federally funded program administered by Fairfax County’s Department of Family Services (DFS), will be accepted through Wednesday, Aug. 15. The program helps eligible households with the cost of cooling their homes. For more information and to apply, go to www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dfs/ss/cooling_assistance.ht m, call (703) 787-3100, or pick up an application at any of the county’s four DFS offices.


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

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27

The case for taxable retirement accounts A reader named Dale wrote in about an in- RMDs from retirement accounts — Uncle teresting tax situation that can arise during Sam may come for a cut of your benefits. retirement. While he was workWhile no one pays federal ing, he dutifully saved as much income tax on more than 85 as he could in his 401(k), thinkpercent of his or her Social Seing that he would benefit from curity benefits, the tax rates being in a lower tax bracket can be pretty steep. The IRS when he retired. When he did levies the tax based on your in fact retire, most of his assets combined income, which is were held in some type of tax the total of your adjusted deferred account, with limited gross income plus nontaxable assets outside of retirement acinterest, plus half of your Socounts. RETIRE SMART cial Security benefits. What Dale didn’t realize was By Jill Schlesinger The rules say that if you file that when he turned 70 1/2 a federal tax return as an indiand was forced to take Required Minimum vidual and your combined income is Distributions (RMDs), his tax bracket in- $25,000 to $34,000, you may have to pay creased, and all of the sudden, it was no tax on up to 50 percent of your benefits. If longer the rock-bottom tax bracket that he your combined income is more than had anticipated. $34,000, up to 85 percent of your benefits Dale says the tax hit that occurred in his may be taxable. 70s “effectively offset the advantage of the If you file a joint return, and you and savings in the earning years. ... I would not, your spouse have a combined income that knowing what I know now, have put so much is $32,000 to $44,000, you may have to pay tax on up to 50 percent of your benefits. If of my savings in a tax-deferred account.” your combined income is more than Big Social Security tax bite $44,000, up to 85 percent of your benefits Taxation of Social Security and other re- may be taxable tirement benefits is commonly overlooked In Dale’s case, the tax on his Social Sewhen planning for retirement. curity was minimal when he first retired Many people must pay federal income because he had little income. But when he taxes on their Social Security benefits. For began taking his RMDs, his tax rate example, if you have other substantial in- jumped and he ended up paying a 27 percome in retirement — such as wages, self- cent tax rate on all of his incremental inemployment income, interest, dividends or come.

Stock picks From page 25 up shop in conveniently located suburban malls. Its stores specialize in food and housewares — particularly paper and cleaning products, which customers frequently replace. The company’s stock is not as cheap as the stuff on its shelves, however. At a recent $52, Dollar General sells for 19 times current-year estimated earnings. But there are plenty of suburban communities yet to be penetrated, and Joan Storms, of Wed-

bush Securities in Los Angeles, thinks the company’s superior growth prospects justify its above-average price-earnings ratio. Her one-year price target is close to the current share price, but with analysts projecting three- to five-year earnings growth of 18 percent a year, the stock could deliver a pleasant surprise. Kathy Kristof is a contributing editor to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to moneypower@kiplinger.com. For more on this and similar money topics, visit www.Kiplinger.com. © 2012 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Non-retirement accounts can help One way to manage this potential future tax is to do something that is rarely discussed: save money in a non-retirement account. I know this may seem antithetical to most retirement planning strategies, but there are many advantages to keeping a portion of savings outside of tax-deferred accounts.

First of all, it is important to have accessible savings, especially early in retirement. A good rule of thumb is to have money for at least one to two years of expenses available in a savings or checking account, a money market fund, or shortSee RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS, page 28

For Your Personalized Estate Planning Needs WILLS • TRUSTS • POWERS OF ATTORNEY LIVING WILLS • ADVANCE DIRECTIVES • PROBATE GUARDIANSHIPS • CONSERVATORSHIPS

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

Roth IRAs can benefit retirees and heirs There are serious reasons to consider saving money in a Roth IRA. Not only does this vehicle provide you with tax savings during your retirement years; it also offers significant advantages to your beneficiaries. Many people choose not to use a Roth because there is no up-front tax advantage. Unlike contributions made to a traditional IRA, Roth contributions cannot be deducted from your taxable income. However, the long-term tax benefits of a Roth IRA far out-

weigh this disadvantage for most savers. One major advantage is that all of your earnings within a Roth IRA are completely tax free once you reach age 59 1/2, if the funds that earned them have been invested for at least five years. This alone can save you thousands of dollars over similar investments held in a traditional IRA. The earlier in life you open a Roth IRA (or convert a traditional IRA to a Roth), the greater the tax advantage at retirement.

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Know the Roth rules

tributions are taxable, and if you are younger There are income limits for Roth eligibility. than 59 1/2 there is a 10 percent penalty. In a traditional IRA, by conIndividuals under age 50 who trast, all funds withdrawn prior file a joint return can contribute to age 59 1/2 are taxable and up to $5,000 of their earned inin most cases incur a 10 percome into a Roth as long as cent penalty, regardless of their adjusted gross income is how long the funds were inless than $173,000. For single filvested. Once you reach age 70 ers, the adjusted gross income 1/2, the IRS requires that you must be less than $110,000. (Inmake mandatory withdrawals dividuals 50 and older within from your traditional IRA. these parameters can conEach year, the amount that tribute up to $6,000.) you must withdraw increases If your adjusted gross in- THE SAVINGS GAME on a percentage basis. Many come exceeds those numbers, By Elliot Raphaelson retirees are forced to withdraw you may be able to make smallmore than they would like to. er contributions to a Roth IRA. There are two disadvantages to these But if it is more than $183,000 jointly (or $125,000 singly), you cannot make contri- requirements: 1) Once you withdraw the funds, you have to pay ordinary income butions. In a financial emergency, you can with- taxes on the amount of your withdrawal. 2) draw invested funds from your Roth at any You no longer have the advantage of tax time tax-free and without penalty. Funds See ROTH IRAs, page 29 withdrawn from a Roth exceeding your con-

Retirement accounts From page 27 term CDs. (To find the best rates on these types of accounts, go to www.depositaccounts.com.) Beyond addressing short-term cash flow needs, saving in non-retirement accounts may allow you to boost your retirement income. How? If you can use your non-retirement savings to cover your expenses early in retirement, you could potentially delay claiming Social Security benefits. While retirees can claim Social Security as early as 62, waiting can pay big dividends. If you can hold off until your full retirement age — or even better, until age 70 when So-

cial Security maxes out — you can boost benefits by an extra 8 percent for each full year that you delay receiving benefits. Of course, you should maximize any employer matching and still use retirement plans as a core component of your savings plan. But be sure to create a broader strategy that incorporates your potential future tax bill, as well as the best way to maximize your Social Security benefits. Jill Schlesinger, CFP, is the editor-at large for www.CBSMoneyWatch.com. She covers the economy, markets, investing or anything else with a dollar sign on her podcast and blog, Jill on Money, as well as on television and radio. She welcomes comments and questions at askjill@moneywatch.com. © 2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

You may be income eligible for discounts on your utility bills through the Utility Discount Program.

Apply for Discounted Rates on: Natural Gas

maximum potential savings are $276 annually

Water

potential discount is up to $372 annually

Electric

potential savings are between $336-$528 annually

Telephone

scan

discount on one wireline telephone service per household

For more info call 311 or visit ddoe.dc.gov/udp

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.

Link-Up America Link-Up America Link-Up America is for District residents who are eligible for social service assistance. New customers or customers who move to a new address may qualify for a 50 percent reduction in service connection charges.

Contact DDOE at 311 to apply Vincent C. Gray, Mayor

To learn more about the Lifeline program, visit www.lifelinesupport.org.


More at TheBeaconNewspapers.com | Law & Money

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

Roth IRAs From page 28 deferral. [See also “The case for taxable retirement accounts,” on page 27, which describes another disadvantage.]

Many Roth benefits By contrast, no withdrawals are required with a Roth IRA, even after age 70 1/2. That gives investors with some or all of their retirement funds in a Roth a significant advantage. You may convert funds in your regular IRA to a Roth, regardless of income, and there are no limits for amounts converted. Here’s the catch: The amount you convert is taxable at ordinary income tax rates in the year of your conversion. Thanks to a Roth conversion, I have avoided having to withdraw more funds from my regular IRA than I want to. Most major mutual funds, including Vanguard, have tools on their websites to help you determine whether it is worthwhile to convert your regular IRA to a Roth. (Another useful calculator can be found at www.calcxml.com/do/qua04.) Another advantage of a Roth IRA over a traditional one is that you can continue to

make contributions after age 70 1/2. I invest my income from part-time employment in my Roth account. The IRS requires that I make mandatory withdrawals from my regular IRA and rollover IRA accounts. I use these withdrawals for normal expenses. That is one reason why I can afford to save my current earned income in a Roth account. I know many individuals over 70 1/2 with earned income, and I encourage them to use a Roth for whatever amount of their earnings they don’t need for expenses. Finally, Roth IRAs are a great deal for your beneficiaries, as there are no penalties for distributions to heirs. Your surviving spouse has complete flexibility regarding withdrawals. Other beneficiaries can stretch tax-free distributions over their lifetime, continuing to benefit from years of tax deferral. Just make sure your accounts are titled properly. For a great guide, read Ed Slott’s book, Your Complete Retirement Road Map. Elliot Raphaelson welcomes your questions and comments at elliotraph@gmail.com. © 2012 Elliot Raphaelson. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

BEACON BITS

Sept. 13

FORUM ON THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT Marc Steinberg from Families USA will give an overview of the

Affordable Care Act as it now stands. The forum will be held on Thursday, Sept. 13, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Arlington Central Library Auditorium, 1015 N. Quincy St. Arlington, Va. No reservations are required. For more information, call (703) 228-1733.

PAUL F. RIEKHOF ATTORNEY AT LAW

Estate Planning & Administration

BEACON BITS

Sept. 5+

JOSEPH, GREENWALD & LAAKE, P.A.

SAFETY INFORMATION AND FREE MOVIE

111 Rockville Pike Suite 975 Rockville, MD 20850

Join the Montgomery County Police Department for a morning of safety information, door prizes and a free movie with its ongoing Senior Forum program, at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 5. The movie will be Joyful Noise. Additional programs will be held the first Wednesday of the month at the Movies at Westfield Montgomery, 7101 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda, Md. For questions about the program, call Officer Stroman at (240) 876-1277.

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POSTAL ROUTES AND GENEALOGY CONNECTIONS

Learn about the history of mail from before the Revolution through the 19th century and what we can learn about our ancestors by looking at the records at a presentation with the Mount Vernon Genealogical Society on Tuesday, Aug. 21, in room 112 of the Hollin Hall Senior Center, 1500 Shenandoah Rd., Alexandria, Va. The presentation begins at 1:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Any questions about the meeting should be directed to Phyllis Kelley at (703) 660-6969 or publicity@mvgenealogy.org.

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Did you (or someone you know) change careers, start a business or go back to school after retirement?

Careers Volunteers &

Please share your story. Email info@theBeaconNewspapers.com or call Barbara at (301) 949-9766.

Programs bring kids and seniors together By Jacob Schaperow Ask 3-year-old Megan Hough if she likes the program Grandreaders, in which older adults read to children, and she answers “yes” without hesitation. Ask her if she’d participate again, and she says “no.” Why not? “Because I’m hungry,” she reasons. With their disarming honesty and enthusiasm, children can bring valuable insight and new perspectives to almost any activity. The same can often hold true for older adults. That both groups have much to offer each other is a truth recognized by intergenerational programs, whose mission it is to bring together people from opposite ends of the age spectrum. The following programs are a sampling of those throughout the Washington area

that engage — and have benefits for — both children and seniors.

Grandreaders The Heyman Interages Center, affiliated with the Jewish Council for the Aging since a merger last year, sponsored an intergenerational reading day at various Maryland libraries during the last two weeks of June. At Chevy Chase Library, the event drew a half dozen children and their parents, which made for an intimate intergenerational reading experience, with kids and volunteers at an almost one-to-one ratio. During the school year, Grandreaders is a tutoring program for young elementary school students who are struggling to learn to read. Students are paired with older adult volunteers, who meet together PHOTO BY BETSY ROUSH

in the classroom for an hour once a week. It’s a unique experience for the kids and the Grandreaders because they otherwise wouldn’t spend much time with people of different age groups. While members of both groups benefit, perhaps the chief benefit is “what society gets out of it, which is a greater feeling of community, a breakdown of stereotypes,” said Betsy Roush, Interages program coordinator. Roush is in charge of working with local schools to allot time for Grandreaders. “The stereotypes might be, you know, some person sitting in a nursing home saying ‘Ugh, kids these days,’ and that’s not the truth.” During the past school year, Grandreader Andrea Pfeffer tutored a third-grader at Brown Station Elementary School in Gaithersburg, Md.

“I think I was older than his teacher, probably the age of his grandmother, and I think I had a little more patience because I was doing just one child, as opposed to 25 in a classroom,” Pfeffer said. Grandreaders has several goals, Roush said. “It’s really good to have these elders knowing what’s actually going on in school and understanding what the schools need. For the kids, they come to see the elders as a friendly population that is helpful to them. “And maybe kind of a side goal, is they might want to go into some kind of eldercare when they are old enough to work, because we’re going to need a lot of workers that are willing to work with our parents and grandparents,” Roush said. “I mean, those are all very high goals for See STUDENTS, page 32

Faces of Friendship !"#$%&"'(&")*'$+$'$&,")-."'(&"#/*)'$/-0'()'1," +&23"$45/2')-'6"7&12&",/"*#/,&"'/"&+&23'($-89: !"#$%#$#!"#$&'()*+,-) !"#$%&#'(!$%')#!*++,

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Children listen as Grandreaders volunteers read books to them at the Chevy Chase Library. Grandreaders is one of numerous intergenerational programs in the area that bring older adults and children together, often in schools.

How 1 Need: Got Potholes

2 Call: 311 or

4201 Butterworth Place, NW • Washington, DC www.friendshipterrace.com

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32

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Affordable Senior Communities Discover how great senior living is at one of our affordable apartment communities. Many of our communities feature 24-hour emergency maintenance, full activities programs, spacious floor plans, affordable rents, caring and dedicated staff, and much more. We are conveniently located near shopping, including grocery stores and pharmacies. Let us help you live life to the fullest. Call or visit our web site to view these communities:

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

Students From page 31 what’s really a small, beautiful thing.” More information about Interages and its programs is available online at www.interagesmd.org. Individuals interested in volunteering with Interages may contact Tricia Wilson, assistant director of the JCA Heyman Interages Center, at (301) 2554234 or twilson@accessjca.org.

Experience Corps The AARP Experience Corps brings older adult volunteers to D.C. public schools to tutor struggling readers as well as students in kindergarten to third grade. The program also operates in 18 other cities across the country. Experience Corps volunteers commit to at least 20 hours of training, and they serve between five and 15 hours a week in the classroom, working under direction of the teacher to help students with reading and writing, either one-on-one or in small groups. Experience Corps has been involved in research showing the extent of the benefits of volunteering in schools — both to the students and to the tutors. “We have been probably one of the most studied volunteer programs in the country,” said Deborah Stiller, the D.C. branch director. “We have research that’s been conducted by Washington University in St. Louis and Johns Hopkins University showing that the intergenerational exchange leads to increased academic achievement for the children, older adults who are thriving, and communities that are made stronger.” To learn more about Experience Corps or to volunteer, call (202) 434-6495 or go online to http://www.experiencecorps.org.

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The national lifelong learning and service organization OASIS provides tutoring in reading to struggling elementary school students. In the Washington area, its 182 tutors spend one hour a week tutoring a student in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C. OASIS, located in Westfield Montgomery mall in Bethesda, Md., offers volunteers initial training and classes that update tutors on subjects such as autism and new curriculum standards, as well as social events and discounts on OASIS classes. Tutors work one-on-one with a student throughout the school year, and many see the same student for several years, building rapport and trust on issues that reach beyond reading books. “A child feels special because they’re getting called out of class not by school personnel but by someone they view as a grandparent. What’s always great is when

a child sees the tutor at the doorway and comes running,” said Patricia Myers, the intergenerational tutor coordinator. “The volunteers are just as much mentors as they are tutors. Some of the students are shy, afraid to participate in school. Some are ESL [learning English as a Second Language].” Learn more about the tutoring program at a one-hour information session at OASIS on Aug. 15 at 11 a.m. or at 2 p.m. Training for tutors begins in October. Tutors must attend two four-hour sessions. Part one is offered on Oct. 1 or Oct. 10 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Part two is scheduled for Oct. 4 or Oct. 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Informational and training sessions are held at the OASIS office, located inside the Macy’s Home Store at Westfield Montgomery. For more information or to register, call (301) 469-6800. Press 1, then 211.

Merritt Academy In a different environment and on a different scale, the Merritt Academy in Northern Virginia runs an intergenerational program of its own, taking advantage of its shared campus with Sunrise Senior Living, and its next-door-neighbor, the Virginian, a retirement community. Students at the Merritt Academy, from pre-K to eighth grade, drop in on residents most school days and do activities together. The younger students practice reading with residents, and the older students have done letter writing, poetry circles and other educational activities, in addition to programming such as a Halloween party and Christmas caroling. The program runs into the summer as well. “The biggest successes are clearly the relationships that are built between the children and the seniors. They begin to really care about one another and get to know each other, in terms of what they love to do, who their family is, what talents they have, and really become like a little family,” Merritt Academy executive director Carol Edelstein said. “It’s also, unfortunately, a way that they learn about the life cycle, because our seniors periodically pass away, and the children who were very close to that person learn a little bit about what happens at the end of life.” Though the Merritt Academy’s intergenerational program does not rely on volunteers, there are employment openings, including information about substitute teaching, listed on the Merritt Academy’s website, at www.merrittacademy.org/careers/index.html. The academy’s phone number is (703) 273-8000. — Additional reporting by Barbara Ruben

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

Start-ups

businesses, including invoicing, benefits, retirement plans.” The number one stumbling block for neophyte independent contractors, according to Zaino? Taxes. “They’re not prepared to deal with all the tax implications. Oftentimes they do estimated taxes incorrectly. At the end of the year, they get hit with a large tax bill that they’re not prepared to pay,” he said. As employees of MBO, consultants get W2 forms that summarize their earnings and deductions rather than 1099 forms that are more commonly sent to freelancers and independent workers. This helps contractors in several ways, Zaino said. The IRS is cracking down on companies that seem to be outsourcing work to avoid paying benefits, detecting

From page 1 society, but at the same time take time off, take their project to another part of the country or world if they want.” Technology — from email to Skype — has helped facilitate that kind of mobility. Zaino is a certified public accountant who began his career working for consulting businesses before starting his own consulting firm. Once he sold that company, he launched MBO Partners. “Having been in the consulting world, I knew there are a lot of areas that are just minefields for independent contractors,” he said. “I decided there has got to be a way to create a pool of services to fulfill their needs. They need support for their

this through the 1099s that companies send to their contractors. But since those contractors working through MBO are technically employees (and therefore have the required tax de-

33

ductions withheld by MBO), companies feel more comfortable about using their services. See STARTS-UPS, page 34

BEACON BITS

Ongoing

BECOME A MARYLAND LEADER Be a legislative leader in the 2012-2013 Maryland General Assem-

bly. The University of Maryland’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Legacy Leadership Institute on Public Policy, in partnership with the State of Maryland, is looking for volunteers 50 and older to serve as volunteer legislative leaders. Tenweek classroom training begins in September at the College Park campus, with site visits to the State Complex in Annapolis. The volunteer assignment will be for a minimum of two days per week beginning in January 2013. Call Wesley Queen at (301) 405-2529 or email wqueen@umd.edu for additional information or an application.

BEACON BITS

Ongoing

VETERANS INTERVIEWS The veterans history project at College Park Aviation Museum en-

courages veterans and civilians involved with American war efforts to share their experiences and document their service. The museum tapes interviews and sends them to the Library of Congress. Each participant will receive a copy of his or her interview and free admission to the museum. For more information and to schedule an interview, call (301) 864-6029 or go online to www.collegeparkaviationmuseum.com/Get_Involved/Veterans_History_Project.htm. The museum is located at 1985 Corporal Frank Scott Dr., College Park, Md.

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Start-ups

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

edge of a shore waiting for the wave, and the wave has hit,” he said.

From page 33 And getting W2s at year end, rather than 1099s, helps MBO’s contractors obtain mortgages and other loans and can simplify doing tax returns as well. MBO also uses its large size to negotiate deals for health insurance, as well as corporate discounts for hotels and rental cars. Zaino said that with the prolonged recession, companies that have grown leaner want to hire people to work on a perproject basis rather than full-time employees. That’s helped fuel a 35 percent increase in MBO’s business each year for the last few years. “I think this is a permanent, structural change,” he said. “I feel we’ve been on the

A declaration of independence For Carolyn Frey, who does information technology work for government contractors, having MBO take care of administrative work frees her up for more substantive tasks. “I think the most important thing they provide for me is that they are the face for my customers’ back offices, so when a customer sees me, their first thought isn’t about the invoices or the payments. There’s somebody else who handles that for me,” said Frey, who is 46 and lives in Herndon, Va. Frey’s career took her from working for the Postal Service to a financial company

BEACON BITS

Aug. 29

LITERACY TUTORING INFORMATION SESSION Interested in helping adults learn to read, write or speak English?

An information session for prospective volunteers with the Literacy Council of Montgomery County will be held at the Rockville Library, 21 Maryland Ave., Rockville, Md., on Wednesday, Aug. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Tutors work one-on-one or with small groups, typically meeting with students in libraries or community centers at mutually convenient times. For complete details, call (301) 610-0030, email info@literacycouncilmcmd.org or visit www.literacycouncilmcmd.org.

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to government contracting with a firm. Discovering MBO two years ago helped her decide to branch out on her own, she said. “It’s a nice stepping stone or a nice medium between being totally independent and working for a company,” Frey said.

Minimal start-up costs And start-up costs for consulting are relatively low, unlike opening a store, both Frey and Zaino said. “To do consulting, your capital is your own intellectual capital that you’ve been able to build over the years. Oftentimes, that gets overlooked,” Zaino said. “So people that are at a point in their life where they’ve accumulated a tremendous amount of experience and a tremendous amount of relationships in terms of their network, they need to look at that and say, ‘How can I capitalize on that without digging into any of my funds or wealth I’ve accumulated over my career and take advantage of that while being in business?’” Zaino said many independent consultants can launch their businesses for under $5,000. A home office, a computer and marketing materials are the main requirements, he said. “It’s a different concept,” he said. “People think they need cash to go into business, but for those who have been working in their fields for a number of years, they really have what they need, something

money really can’t buy — a wealth of experience.” Mannering has no regrets about leveraging his years of experience to become his own boss. He golfs on Mondays and Wednesdays and takes care of errands during the week when the roads and stores are less crowded. But he says he does sometimes wish he had the camaraderie of having coworkers. “I kind of miss the colleagues in a consulting firm,” Mannering said. “Working in that setting, you’re really working with a lot of very bright, energetic people. I kind of miss that and that you’re not always able to reach for the highest, most intellectually challenging work.” To compensate, Mannering says he takes advantage of MBO Partners’ networking events to meet other consultants, as well as its new online social media and networking site. He has also attended MBO seminars, such as one on how to improve your LinkedIn profile. “A lot of guys who retired [from the CIA like I did] and then go to work for a company are driven by their inbox,” he said. “I didn’t want to make the effort to have a second career. “I’m glad to be sort of lighter on my feet about things and not bound up in the internal stuff. This was definitely the right decision for me.” For more information, visit www. MBOPartners.com or call (703) 793-6011.

BEACON BITS

Ongoing

DONATE UNWANTED ARTWORK

Do you have extra artwork? Take this opportunity to declutter your house and support the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington’s Better Treasures Art Show & Sale. Artwork is accepted at the front desk any time the JCCGW is open. For more information, call Phyllis Altman at (301) 348-3770 or email her at paltman@jccgw.org. The JCCGW is located at 6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville, Md.


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

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Travel

35

Leisure &

How to find fall travel bargains. See story on page 37.

New Hampshire’s lakes, looms and loons quite laid back and you needn’t do your own digging. In fact, southern New Hampshire offers enough pleasant diversions to fill a relaxing week or two.

Manchester, mills and more

PHOTO BY NHDTTD/DAVE SHAFER

Strategically perched on the banks of the mighty Merrimack River, Manchester, the largest city (106,000 people), promotes both its industrial past and its re-invention. The Amoskeag Manufacturing Company dominated the city from 1831 to 1935, when it closed. At its height, 64 mill buildings stretched along both sides of the river for a mile and a half. It was the world’s largest single millyard, bustling with 700,000 spindles and 23,000 looms that rolled out four million yards of cloth weekly. Amoskeag was famous for denims, used in the first patented riveted jeans made by Levi Strauss in 1873. Many of the vintage red brick mill structures from that era still stand, though today they house museums, apartments and businesses. Known as “the city that would not die,” Manchester has reinvented with new entrepreneurs, such as Velcro Brand fasteners, which is headquartered in Manchester. Pick up the walking tour booklet at the Chamber of Commerce and explore the millyard area, including an example of 19th century worker housing, the Mill Girl sculpture, and the Millyard Museum recalling Amoskeag’s glory days (www.manchesterhistoric.org). A video at the museum recounts the millworkers’ grueling, 12hour day in a deafening room with looms throbbing and shuttles bouncing. The See Science A boy and his grandfather visit the beach on the shore of Center is a must-see Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in New Hampshire. for the massive, one-

PHOTO BY NHDTTD/DAVE SHAFER

By Glenda C. Booth Flying out of Manchester, New Hampshire, after our recent visit, my middle-aged seatmate urged me to return to her native state soon, bragging that people from New Hampshire are hardy and resourceful. “We’re not from Massachusetts,” she boasted. “I could dig my own latrine if I needed to.” Hardy is right. New Hampshirites often cite the state’s motto, “Live free or die,” coined by General John Stark, the victor at the Battle of Bennington. Motorcyclists are “free” of helmet laws. Residents are “free” of sales and state income taxes. A Massachusetts neighbor likes New Hampshire because you can buy “serious fireworks” in the state. New Hampshirites’ rugged individualism is symbolized by the state’s 48 jagged peaks over 4,000 feet in height, and the highest peak in the northeastern U.S. — Mount Washington at 6,288 feet. It’s not just the geology that gave it the name, the Granite State; it’s also gritty stoicism, say natives. For visitors, however, the pace here is

The city of Portsmouth hugs part of New Hampshire’s short ocean shoreline. Portsmouth has preserved its colonial architecture and maritime heritage.

of-a-kind, three-million-piece Lego replica of the millworks. It gives an excellent bird’s-eye view of the mill town at its height in 1900. The display is the largest permanent Lego installation at a mini-figure scale in the world. Building it took 200 meticulous volunteers 10,000 hours and the involvement of two master Lego builders. The Currier Museum of Art is the state’s largest fine art museum, well worth a few hours to appreciate its 12,000 American and European works of art including works by Picasso, Winslow Homer, Monet, O’Keefe, and an extensive glass collection. The Currier runs tours to the Zimmerman House, the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in New England open to the public. Low-slung and 1,700-square-feet in size, the early 1950s house resembles a park restroom building, some say. It is one of Wright’s very functional, Usonian-style houses, striking for its square motif throughout and repeated geometry. Wright also designed the garden, furniture and the mailbox. Locals jealously protect the state’s role as host of the earliest U.S. presidential primary every four years. “It’s insanity around here,” said Charlene Courte-

manche of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. “People are wall to wall,” and we “can easily bump into national television commentators like Diane Sawyer walking down the street.” So you won’t want to leave Manchester without a counter encounter at the Red Arrow Diner, 61 Lowell St. — a favorite of presidential aspirants. “Every politician has been here,” said Courtemanche. Pictures of most of them cover the walls. Accustomed to close, person-to-person politics, locals are likely to chat with you as you chomp down on the diner’s succulent pork pie with gravy, a French-Canadian dish. Top off your meal with a homemade Twinkie. If it’s your first time there, they’ll make it known to all and you can leave wearing a sticker proclaiming, “I’ve been de-virginized at the Red Arrow Diner.” Lala’s, a family run restaurant at 836 Elm St., has a homey Old World feel, with cuisine like beet salad, tripe soup, goulash and stuffed cabbage, all from family recipes. Laslislau Lala fled communism in Hungary in 1990 and chose Manchester because he loves England’s Manchester United soccer team. “I had never heard of New Hampshire,” he confessed. See NEW HAMPSHIRE, page 36


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New Hampshire From page 35

Stately Concord, loony lakes Twenty minutes north of Manchester is the tidy town of Concord, the state capital, worth a day or two of exploring. The golddomed state house made of local granite has both guided and self-guided tours. The Christa McAuliffe Planetarium, named for the Concord teacher who perished in the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster, is a popular Concord stop for studying celestial bodies. At the New Hampshire Historical Society museum, you can climb a fire tower and learn about the state’s heroes, like Robert Frost and President Franklin Pierce. Longing for the haunting call of the loon? The state has 273 lakes and ponds,

covering one-sixteenth of its area. The lakes region is within an hour of the north side of Manchester. Popular spots include the 72-squaremile Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest in the state; Squam Lake, near Holderness or Center Harbor, where On Golden Pond was filmed; and Newfound Lake, near Bristol, fed by eight springs and featuring 22 miles of shoreline. Visit www.lakesregion.org for lodging, travel packages and events. New Hampshire has 92 state parks, offering a range of natural, recreational and historical resources. Visit www.nhstateparks.org. Loons are lionized in the Granite State. There’s a loon appreciation day, and volunteers conduct a loon census every July, followed by the Loon Festival in Moultonborough. Keep your ears peeled for their yodel.

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

By the sea The crown of the state’s 18-mile coastline is the hilly but walkable city of Portsmouth (population 21,000). It’s anchored by colonial buildings, waterside restaurants and shops, and imagery of the city’s 300-year maritime heritage. Long a working port town, Portsmouth has an active waterfront and has preserved its historic architecture. Stop by the Chamber of Commerce at 500 Market St. for maps and materials. Costumed guides lead visitors through the 10-acre Strawberry Banke Museum, consisting of 43 carefully-restored buildings dating from 1600 to the present, including homes of wealthy shipbuilders. You may see barrel-making by coopers and cooking with herbs. Escape your landlubber mode and go to sea. Try a harbor cruise on various kinds of boats (including a tugboat) and check out the lighthouses, forts and mansions. Explore the Navy’s U.S.S. Albacore, a research submarine with a teardrop hull, retired in 1972. You can pig out seaside on New England specialties like crispy fried clams and lobster rolls at the River House, watching as ships and tugboats pass. And if you really want to “go native,” drive over the bridge to Maine for Bob’s Clamhut in Kittery, featured on the Food Network and famous for a visit by Jimmy Buffet. New Hampshire has the shortest coastline of any ocean-bordering state in the country, but it makes the most of it. Hampton Beach is the state’s beach destination, crammed with clam shacks, honkytonk dives, arcades, sunbathers and revelers. Want to splurge? Don’t miss the restored Wentworth-by-the-Sea (www.wentworth.com), a historic, ocean-front resort offering a classic, grand, old New England hotel experience, modernized by a pool,

spa and much recreation.

Fall festivals and more New Hampshire enthusiasts tout fall as the best time to visit the state, when the daytime temperatures are in the 60s, the foliage is radiant, fruits ripen, and farmers’ markets bulge with summer’s bounty. There are craft festivals, chicken pie suppers, sidewalk sales, scarecrow contests, and NASCAR races in Loudon, 14 miles northeast of Concord. Manchester has a chili festival. Portsmouth has arts walks, a Brew Fest and a chili cookoff. For fall agricultural fairs, visit www.visitnh.gov/4-seasons/fallharvest/agricultural-fairs.aspx. Check out the “foliage tracker” www.visitnh.gov/foliage which has a color key from green to peak to faded red. For suggestions of scenic rides, including train rides, visit www.visitnh.gov/what-todo/scenic-drives.

If you go The simplest, quickest way to visit southern New Hampshire is to fly to Manchester (www.flymanchester.com) and rent a car. U.S. Airways is offering a direct, round trip flight from Reagan National Airport in mid-September for $218. Southwest flies to Manchester from BWI Marshall for as little as $166 round trip. Information on New Hampshire and various cities can be found at the following websites: • New Hampshire, www.visitnh.gov; events, www.visitnh.gov/what-to-do/eventcalendar.aspx • Manchester, www.manchester-chamber.org; www.intownmanchester.com • Portsmouth, www.portsmouthchamber.org; www.goportsmouth.com • Concord, www.concordnhchamber.com Glenda C. Booth is a freelance writer in Alexandria, Va.


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Best U.S. and foreign deals on fall travel In spring and fall fewer tourists venture out, and airfares and hotel rates drop with decreased demand. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy popular attractions with more room to roam. • London calls in April or October, when the weather is mild and sites are less crowded. And this year’s Anglo autumn, suffering from post-Jubilee and postOlympics withdrawal, may offer even bigger bargains than usual. • Hit the Colorado slopes in April or November for huge savings. At the Village at Breckenridge Resort in early November, you’ll pay less than half the cost to stay during the fringe of ski season than for a Christmas visit. And even if the powder isn’t prime, you can enjoy other area activities, such as golfing, mountain biking, horseback riding and hot-air-balloon rides. • Head to Aruba in April or September to get away from it all for less. The threat of hurricanes blows visiting crowds far from the Caribbean in late summer and early fall. But Aruba and the southernmost islands are a safe distance from most storms. • Cruise from Alaska to Hawaii in September, when ships need to relocate for the season. You can hop aboard such “repositioning” cruises at deeply discounted rates. You’ll have to pay for the one-way flights to your departure port and from the arrival port.

and Punta Cana (which is rarely hit hard by hurricanes) and a six-night stay at the three-star Barceló Dominican Beach hotel. Airfare and hotel cost $2,560 when booked separately. But in a package the price drops $653, to $1,907. • Bonjour, bargains. Expedia.com offers a discounted autumn stay in Paris, with five nights in the four-star Courtyard by Marriott Paris Defense West-Colombes. The package includes two round-trip tickets from Chicago by way of Dublin. If booked separately, the visit would cost $2,919; booking flight and hotel together costs $2,190, for a savings of $729. • Say aloha to savings. A Hawaiian vacation booked on Travelocity.com includes two round-trip flights between the Washington, D.C., area and Honolulu and eight nights at the four-star Aqua Waikiki Wave in Waikiki. Booked separately, the trip

would cost about $3,440. Bundled, it goes for $2,258 — saving you $1,182. • Domo arigato for discounted deals. On Orbitz.com, you get two round-trip tickets from San Francisco to Tokyo and six nights at the four-star Hotel Niwa

Tokyo in October. The package costs $2,769, or $222 less than booking airfare and hotel separately. Send your questions and comments to moneypower@kiplinger.com. © 2012 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Package deals A package that combines airfare and hotel can also trim your costs. • Save mucho dinero. Extend summer into fall by flying south to the Dominican Republic in October. On CheapCaribbean.com, we found a deal for two round-trip tickets between Austin, Tex.,

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

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Does weak euro make Europe a bargain? Over the past few weeks, readers have a resurrected drachma dramatically. But that asked me whether Europe’s economic wouldn’t have as much of an effect as might woes have made — or will initially appear: Much of what Greek hotels and restaurants make — Europe a real bargain have to buy and much of what for North American travelers. they have to pay in debt servThe short answer is, “Not a ice is in euros, and those bills huge bargain, at least not yet.” would not decrease. Currently, the euro, at 1.21 to Still, you may find some the dollar, is down about 8 perweakness is Greek destinacent from a high a few months tion prices this fall. Although ago, and from 1.44 to the dollar I don’t have any good historilast June, down about 15 percal data, a quick scan of cent for the year. That’s certainprices in Athens and some of ly welcome, but it hardly makes TRAVEL TIPS the islands leads me to think Europe a bargain paradise, es- By Ed Perkins prices are, in fact, a bit weakpecially because many local hoer than in previous summers. tels and restaurants have raised prices. Still, prices at many Greek hotels are You see a similar pattern in some other currencies on countries that are important locked into contracts with tour operators, and I haven’t seen any major recent pricvisitor destinations: • The Swiss franc, now at 1 to the dollar, ing changes in those high-volume tourist is down about the same 15 percent from markets. Similarly, I see no “fire sale” last summer. And the Mexican peso, at al- prices from such Greek tour specialists as most 14 to the dollar, is down about 16 per- Homeric Tours or Greektourdiscounts. Any possible large-scale discounting or cent since last year. • But that’s not a universal trend: The price reduction hasn’t happened yet. Airfares, too, are not likely to decrease British pound, currently at 1.57 to the dollar, is down only 4 percent from last June. much even if Greece does drop the euro. And the Canadian dollar is virtually un- Fuel and debt services or leases for airplanes are two of the airlines’ main expenschanged. es, and these obligations will remain in dollars and euros. Forward-looking fares What about Greece? Callers also raised the question of what for this fall seem to be ignoring the counmight happen if Greece has to leave the try’s economic weakness. If demand for euro zone. For now, Greece seems to have flights to Greece drops, rather than cut avoided that problem, but it could easily prices below cost, airlines will just cut back arise again. And here the outlook is ex- on the number of flights. tremely cloudy. Just about everybody agrees that if Greece Switzerland still pricey Although somewhat offset by price inhas to drop the euro, it would have to devalue

BEACON BITS

Aug. 9

BOAT TRIP TO TANGIER ISLAND

Board the cruise ship, the Steven Thomas, on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay and head southwest for an hour and 15 minute ride to Tangier Island, a fishing village and the “soft shell crab capital” of the United States. A seafood lunch at the Chesapeake House is included. Afterward, explore the island town. The Montgomery Count SOAR trip starts at 8:45 a.m. and ends at 8:15 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 9. Fee is $79. To register, call (240) 777-6870 or visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rec.

creases, the 15 percent euro and Swiss franc reduction from last year is welcome, and it will help your dollars go further this fall than last. Even with the franc down, however, Switzerland is still very expensive. That’s the short-term outlook. But what if Greece does pull out, or Ireland, Portugal or Spain defaults on debt, or if, as some say, the euro will “collapse”? If I knew the answer to those questions for sure, I’d make a fortune in currency trading. To my

non-speculative eye, however, the euro does still look overvalued. But I’m not about to predict any significant change. As before, your decision as to whether to visit Europe — or any other area — should be based mainly on your interests, not on currency fluctuations. Figure a drop in the currency is an unexpected benefit, not a primary reason to travel. Send e-mail to Ed Perkins at eperkins@mind.net. — © 2012 TMS

Blackwater Falls, WV Tuesday-Thursday, October 9-11, 2012

Splendid autumn vistas await you, starting with the view from the Blackwater Lodge. You will visit the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, where the world’s largest fully steerable single-aperture antenna operates. You will ride the rails on the Cheat Mountain Salamander through some of the most beautiful landscape in the East. In addition, you’ll see a show at the American Mountain Theater and (weather permitting) experience the starlit splendor of the some of the darkest nighttime skies in the U.S. This is a trip that you’ll never forget. $499 per person, double occupancy

Other Upcoming Trips (Go to our website or call us for details) “Fiddler on the Roof” at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre on August 12 “American Icons” at the American Music Theatre on September 22 “The Color Purple” at Toby’s in Cloumbia on October 21 “The 39 Steps” at Allenberry Playhouse on November 10 Free parking convenient to Beltway (I-495) and ICC (MD 200). Call us for details about these and our other fun-filled trips.

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Style Arts &

Bob Levey reminisces about the great advertising slogans of yesteryear. See his column on page 44.

Original plays pay homage to Chekhov Chekov characters in his cleverly titled Afterplay. Actually it’s “after” two plays, not one: Uncle Vanya and Three Sisters. To be more precise, Friel updates us on the life of Sonya, Uncle Vanya’s unattractive niece who was obsessed with ill-fated ardor for Astrov. And he does the same with Andrey, the weak and ineffective brother of the three sisters with the failed marriage and the gambling addiction. The play’s conceit is that the characters encounter each other in a Moscow restaurant a couple of decades after we first met them in Chekhov’s works. Together, the pair of short plays, both featuring two actors, certainly provide Chekhovian atmosphere. And those familiar with Uncle Vanya and Three Sisters will probably enjoy the concept of what amounts to a literary reunion show in Afterplay.

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From page to stage

PHOTO BY AUDREY CEFALY

By Michael Toscano Bethesda’s understated but engaging Quotidian Theatre Company offers a summer treat of Anton Chehkov, one of two playwrights the group considers its “cornerstones.” (The other being the late Horton Foote, who had a working relationship with the group.) It’s a presentation of two one-act plays, but while this is an evening more or less devoted to Chekhov, he did not write either of them. Well, he sorta wrote one of them, A Little Trick. It’s actually a new stage adaptation of his short story of the same name. You may not be familiar with it; I had not come across it before this production. The other play is from vibrant Irish playwright Brian Friel, who is so often compared to Chekhov that he apparently decided to extend the onstage life of two

A Little Trick opens the production, and it is, in fact, little — clocking in at a quite economical 30 minutes. Afterplay follows intermission and runs for an hour. Yet, it is A Little Trick — more or less the appetizer for the longer, main course — that provides the most pleasure. Direct literary lineage wins out, and Chekhov’s elegantly nostalgic musing about a great love that might have been survives the jump from page to stage. Quotidian’s own Jack Sbarbori handled the translation from the original Russian and also crafted this stage adaptation, turning in carefully calibrated work. Chekhov’s fascinating imprint is in- Sara Dabney Tisdale and Jonathan Feuer star as two young Russians in the Quotidian Theatre’s adaptation of delible. As a result, A Little the Anton Chehkov short story, A Little Trick. This oneTrick is a slight but en- act play is paired with another short work, Afterplay, by chanting piece, a sparkling Irish playwright Brian Friel, who pays tribute to jewel, or perhaps a bit of Chehkov and his characters in an original play. ice glittering prettily in the is Ivan’s memory of being besotted with Russian frost. In A Little Trick, Jonathan Feuer and Nadya, a fresh-faced beauty who combines Sara Dabney Tisdale are Ivan and Nadya, innocence with a wildly romanticized contwo young Russians spending time togethSee CHEHKOV, page 43 er on “an icehill” in a Russian village. This


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Storytelling program lets imagination soar By Jacob Schaperow At the Iona Wellness and Arts Center in Northwest Washington, participants in a storytelling session studied a photo of the “Ladybug Building” in Milwaukee. First, the group’s facilitators asked about the large red, black-dotted sculptures that appear to be crawling down the building’s facade. Responses varied, but the eventual consensus was that they were indeed ladybugs. The second question was about the building, an otherwise nondescript office building near Milwaukee’s Riverwalk. “It’s Detroit Stadium,” one man declared during the weekly TimeSlips program for people with dementia. TimeSlips is a method to help those with dementia open up communication channels through improvisation and creative storytelling techniques. According to its website, the method replaces “the pressure to remember with the freedom to imagine.” And so the participants at Iona named one ladybug Theresa, as they gradually developed a story together. The story, which they titled “Theresa’s Travels,” focused on Theresa, who goes to a football game and then for ice cream, but first, “Theresa is having a drink,” chimed in a woman. While the creators of the story may not

always be able to communicate clearly or remember names or events — in some cases, they have even lost the ability to read — they are nonetheless able to participate in a meaningful, creative activity through the method. According Anne Basting, who created the TimeSlips program in 1996, it “enables them to communicate, to learn to trust communication again.” Rather than looking at the loss that comes from Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disabilities, TimeSlips’ goal is to help families and caregivers use creative engagement to focus on the strengths of those with dementia. “There’s definitely been a lot of positivity around the storytelling,” Iona Program Manager Sarah Walker said. “There’s a feeling of success that they’ve been able to create something as a team.”

Do try this at home The way TimeSlips is set up makes it adaptable to any situation involving individuals with dementia. Family members can use it as a way to spend quality time with their loved one, and institutions such as Iona can practice it on a larger scale with group sessions, offering an opportunity for socialization. In addition, interesting photos that can be used to prompt stories may come from anywhere, though TimeSlips does provide ideas on its website, www.timeslips.org. Any two or more people can enjoy TimeSlips storytelling. At Iona, the participants include people at various stages of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Lewy body dementia. In some of them, the dementia is quite noticeable, while others are much more aware. “Almost anyone can just sit there and

tell you something,” Walker said. And even conflicting suggestions from participants are incorporated into the stories — sometimes in funny or nonsensical ways. So what if the stories don’t always make sense? “There are a lot of different ideas, and that’s what creates the fun around telling the story. Someone that’s maybe a little more high functioning, and maybe a lot younger, would look at the picture and say, ‘Oh, they’re fencing.’ Well, the seniors might get a totally different perspective, and the great thing is, there’s no right or wrong answer because they’re creating their own story,” Walker said. If there’s a picture of two people fencing, as in Walker’s example, one participant might think they’re fencing while anSee TIMESLIPS, page 42

Your New Lifestyle Begins Here

BEACON BITS

Aug. 9

CANADIAN YOUTH ORCHESTRA

A free performance, featuring musicians age 16 to 28 with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, at The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Ln., N. Bethesda, Md. For more information about the concert or the orchestra, call (301) 5815100 or visit www.strathmore.org.

Aug. 11+

SATURDAY ART PROGRAMS AT THE CORCORAN

Create a work of art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art at one of several workshops held on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. At “Painting Inside, Outside, and All Around the Box” on Aug. 11, participants explore a nontraditional art form, decorating a cigar box using mixed media. At “One of a Kind: Monotype Workshop,” on Aug. 25, participants draw on Plexiglas with colored inks and print their own monotype. Cost is $10 for non-members, $8 for members. To register and see more events at the Corcoran, go to https://getinvolved.corcoran.org/programsandevents. The Corcoran is located at 500 17th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

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Aug. 8+

HOMEGROWN MUSIC

Traditional music and dance drawn from communities across the U.S. will be showcased at the Library of Congress throughout the summer. Upcoming performances include French-Canadian Fiddle Music & Songs from New Hampshire on Wednesday, Aug. 8, and Flatpick Guitar and Fiddle Music from Kanawha County, West Virginia on Thursday, Aug. 16. All concerts are at noon in the Coolidge Auditorium on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St., S.E., Washington, D.C. Concerts are free and open to the public. No tickets are required. For more information and concert dates, go to http://www.loc.gov/rr/perform/concert.

Ongoing

PHOTO COURTESY OF IONA

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

U.S. ARMY BAND PERFORMANCES

Enjoy free concerts this summer from the U.S. Army band, Pershing’s Own, at various locations around the Washington, D.C. area. All Pershing’s Own concerts are free and open to the public. No tickets required, unless noted. For specific dates and times and for more information, call (703) 696-3399 or visit www.usarmyband.com.

Elizabeth shares her story about a photo with other participants in the TimeSlips program at Iona Wellness and Arts Center in Washington, D.C. The program helps facilitate communication among those with dementia by encouraging them to develop their own stories using photographs as prompts.

TimeSlips From page 41 other might think they’re playing with toothpicks, and the facilitator has a responsibility not to shoot either idea down, and even find a way to work both of those ideas into the story. As for the evocative name, TimeSlips originator Basting said, “I wanted something that would capture the nonlinearity of the storytelling, because we tend to think of storytelling as [having a] beginning, middle and end, and TimeSlips makes it nonlinear. [The name TimeSlips is] non-chronological, and it’s poetic, which is what the stories are,” Basting said. While anyone can utilize the TimeSlips method, the program has recently begun to train and certify individuals and facilities. To become certified in TimeSlips’

methodology, you may take an online course or arrange to take part in an in-person training. Complete information on how to become certified is available online at http://www.timeslips.org/pages/train. A story creator and an archive of posted stories can be found on TimeSlips’ website, together with more information on TimeSlips and its goals, how to get involved and how to donate. “There’s a real impulse to protect people with memory loss and dementia, and to help them get the facts right or the language right,” Basting said. “That’s not what this is about. This is about opening communication and inviting imagination from people, no matter what they say or do, and echoing it so that you’re learning their language.” The Iona TimeSlips program meets weekly. For information on how to participate, call (202) 895-9448.

BEACON BITS

Sept. 4+

ENCORE CHORALE OPEN HOUSES Join Encore Choral, a choral program for singers age 55 and up, at its free open houses at the Woodlands Retirement Community,

4320 Forest Hill Drive, Fairfax, Va., on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Asbury Methodist Village, 201 Russell Ave., Gaithersburg, Md., on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 1:30 to 3 p.m.; Messiah United Methodist Church, 6215 Rolling Rd., Springfield, Va., on Sept. 5, 1:30 to 3 p.m.; Washington Conservatory of Music, South Arcade, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Bethesda, Md., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 1:30 to 3 p.m. and Schweinhaut Senior Center, South Arcade, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Bethesda, Md., on Monday, Sept. 10, 10:30 a.m. to noon. For questions and tuition information, call Jeanne Kelly at (301) 261-5747 or email jeanne.kelly@encorecreativity.org. To register, call (301) 320-2770 or go online to http://encorecreativity.org.

Aug.

PLAY REVISITS 1933 DANCE MARATHON The Depression-era dance marathon, a desperate competition of endurance among jobless young couples looking to earn some

cash, is brought to light in Marathon ’33, a play first directed and written by June Havoc in 1964. Show times are Thursday through Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. The show runs until Aug. 25, at Gunston Theatre II, 2700 S. Lang St., Arlington, Va. Tickets, which are $35 for general admission and $32 for those 65 and over, can be purchased online at www.americancentury.org/show_marathon.php, or by calling (703) 998-4555.


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Chekhov From page 40 cept of love. But Ivan is too shy to overtly act on his feelings, and ends up creating his own competition for her idealistic heart: the wind. Director Stephanie Mumford allows the pair a light touch, and the couple’s dance of affections moves gently from poignancy to broadly comic moments without missing a beat. The tone combines lyrical charm with Chekhov’s psychologically penetrating wit. “When one is very thirsty, the shape of the glass one drinks from hardly matters,” Ivan says with mordant Russian irony. Sbarbori has given that Russian wind an onstage presence in the form of live violin music provided by Christine Kharazian, who strolls around the couple as they enjoy the pleasures of the lovely, snow-covered landscape and the thrills of racing downhill on a careening sled. Her presence, non-verbal and always watching, adds an elegiac touch to the story.

A quotidian performance As for Afterplay, Friel, who has also won international plaudits for his translations of Chekhov’s work, is one of my favorite contemporary playwrights. But his work here has merely provided an extension of what Chekhov has already given us.

There are few surprises. Despite earnest, at times affecting, performances, Afterplay is tribute, not new territory. Afterplay is much more, well, quotidian than the dreamy A Little Trick. “What stupid dreams are you wanting to be realized,” Andrey asks Sonya in a rundown tea room when they meet by chance. Yes, more than 20 years may have passed since the time of the plays from which these two sprang, but the emotional distress of that past weighs heavily upon them. Andrey fantasizes a genteel existence for himself as an orchestral violinist. In actuality, he has been reduced to playing for spare change on the streets of Moscow. Sonya, meanwhile, is still clutching at spare moments she can wheedle out of Astrov. The past is not mere prologue here; it is palpably present, too. For those who are not familiar with the source material, much of the emotional resonance will be lost. Sbarbori has directed this piece, and he allows his two actors, Michele Osherow and David Dubov an unhurried, low-key pace. That allows them, especially with Dubov’s Andrey, to create a benign sense of acceptance of the lives their characters have created for themselves. Dubov’s performance succeeds with an amiably self-mocking sense of the absurdity of his predicament as his lies wither and

fail in Sonya’s gentle presence. Osherow’s Sonya is more wedded to the past, fending off bitterness with furtive sips of vodka and resisting the chance to replace unrequited love with the possibility of a new relationship. As Friel would have it, the lives these two live through their imaginations are more real, or at least more tolerable, than the lives Chekhov gave them. Their lives may intersect here, but even as Osherow and Dubov create enough empathy with the audience for us to hope they can conquer the past, we know its pull will be inexorable and final. Afterplay remains an exercise in vodkabolstered tea and sympathy as Friel fails to strike out on his own and merely follows along the path Chekhov brilliantly set long ago. A sign of respect, perhaps, but one which renders the effort mildly diverting

but hardly necessary. Afterplay and A Little Trick continue through Aug. 19 at Quotidian Theatre Company, which performs at the Writer’s Center Theater, 4508 Walsh St., in Bethesda, Md. Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. There is also a matinee scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 18, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 ($20 for students and seniors). To order them, call the reservation line at (301) 816-1023, or email quotidiantheatre@comcast.net with the following information: Your name, date of performance, number of tickets desired (note senior/student status if applicable); phone number and email address. There is metered parking right across the street from the Writer’s Center, and the theater is wheelchair accessible.

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Ongoing

FREE SUMMER FILM PROGRAM

The National Gallery of Art-sponsored film program celebrates world film culture from the early 20th century by showing free, original, 35 mm films from that era at the East Building Auditorium, located at 4th St. and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. Seating is on a first-come, firstseated basis. Doors open 30 minutes before each show. For more information and complete film listings, visit http://www.nga.gov/press/2012/films_summer_2012.shtm or call (202) 842-6799.

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Catchy advertising slogans still resonate It was a casual social gathering — little hopelessly trapped in the slogans of the past. old me and four people young enough to Thanks to the four young people for not be my grandchildren. pitying or patronizing me. In One youngster made a great fact, one allowed as how feelingpoint about something or other. your-Cheerios is a pretty clever I raised a glass in his honor. slogan, and maybe today’s cere“Hey, you’re really feeling als would soon come up with your Cheerios today,” I desomething as catchy. clared. I doubt it very much. In Blank looks all around. fact, I doubt that we will ever “You know, the famous ad do as well as we did Way Back slogan for the famous cereal,” When, when Cheerios were I offered. felt, when Wheaties was the HOW I SEE IT More blank looks. breakfast of champions, when By Bob Levey “You mean you don’t know you could (and did) see the the slogan?” I sputtered. U.S.A. in your Chevrolet. Obviously, they didn’t. Obviously, I was Say what you will about modern com-

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merce — that there’s much more of it, that it makes much more money, that its brands are just as famous as the top brands of the 1950s. I say that the Microsofts and Facebooks and Googles have done zero in the slogan department. More’s the pity. Ah, the lessons that the 21st Century could learn from the slogans of the mid-20th. “The Pause that Refreshes” — Coca-Cola made zillions from this one in the 1950s. It’s brilliant. Not only does everyone want to be refreshed, but how welcome it would be to take a pause in the process. Nowadays, refreshment means grabbing a carry-out latte at Starbucks and never taking a pause at all. “A Little Dab’ll Do Ya” — Rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it? And how very subtle it was. If you could attract one young lady with a little dab of Brylcreem hair tonic, think of what lay in store if you applied two dabs. Sales soared, even if social lives may not have. “Good to the Last Drop” — Maxwell House knew that coffee is meant to be savored. Anyone can do a good first drop. But if you want to win the race, stay in it until the cup is empty. MH did. “99 And 44/100ths Percent Pure” — Ivory Snow had many times the sales of other detergents half a century ago because it told the truth. Today, detergents scream that they are perfect. Ivory Snow knew better — and they knew that we knew better. By the way, the company never revealed what was wrong with the “other” 56/100ths of a percent. There’s a lesson here — keep ‘em talking, keep ‘em guessing, keep your product in the fronts of brains. “Leave the Driving to Us” — Greyhound dominated the bus market for decades by appealing to our frustrations about traffic. Today, interstate buses emphasize low prices. No quarrel with that. But if I can settle back with my book and not have to worry about that fool who’s tailgating me at 70 miles an hour — well, that’s persuasive. “You’ll Wonder Where the Yellow Went When You Brush Your Teeth With Pepsodent” — Cigarette smoking was much more prevalent half a century ago, so yellow teeth were, too. Pepsodent didn’t mince words. Its sales reflected the success of that strategy. By the way, for you poets out there, note the lilt of this slogan. It balances nicely. It walks ahead smartly. And these words were set to a catchy jingle. We oldsters are still apt to hum it on request. “You Can Trust Your Car to the Men Who Wear the Star” — When’s the

last time you saw “car repair” and “trust” in the same sentence? Texaco knew how to take consumer anxieties and turn them into assets. “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires” — Not clear if this slogan worked because of the words or because of the Smokey Bear who uttered them. But I’m voting words. They appealed to our better nature. Always the best approach. “We Try Harder” — Avis, the famous Number Two car rental company, got within spitting distance of Big Bad Hertz with this gem. Simple, pithy, sincere. “I’d Walk a Mile for a Camel” — When a cigarette is named for an obscure animal, any ad campaign is going to be a bit desperate. Camel found a way to make its mascot an asset. Camels wander for miles in the desert. So why shouldn’t Camel smokers wander miles to acquire Camels? The campaign was just wacky enough to help make Camel America’s best-selling brand for more than 30 years. “Purity, Body and Flavor” — This one seemed a little clunky 50 years ago, and it seems even clunkier now. But Ballantine Beer rose from one of many regional brands in New York City to the dominant label. Here’s one way to describe that success: Clunkiness Clicks. And my favorite….. “Better Living Through Chemistry” — Dupont also made a much better living thanks to this slogan. Positive, direct, it showed that the nerdiness of chemistry can bring good things to your kitchen, your home and your life. A classic, even though pot-smokers snickeringly hijacked it in the 1960s. My young friends pointed out that many great slogans have been born in recent years. We made a list: “A Diamond is Forever.” “Don’t Leave Home Without It.” “We’ll Leave the Light on for You.” “I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up.” “Where’s the Beef?” “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas.” And the always smile-producing “Virginia is for Lovers,” and Maryland’s retort, “Maryland is for Crabs.” But my money — and my memories — still gravitate toward a little circular piece of cereal. Thank you, Cheerios, for all these years of full tummies and well-nourished bodies. And for the chance to teach a great slogan to the hand-held generation. Bob Levey is a national award-winning columnist.

BEACON BITS

Ongoing

GOOD READING AT GREAT PRICES

Browse over 15,000 mystery, thriller, children’s titles and other fiction plus biography, history, travel, military, gardening, cooking, self help and much more at weekly used book sales at the Claude Moore Colonial Farm, each Wednesday from 3 to 8 p.m. through Nov. 28. Hardcovers cost $1 to $3 and paperbacks are 20 cents apiece. All books are donated. In addition, CDs, DVDs, videos, LPs and tapes will be for sale. The farm is located at 6310 Georgetown Pk., McLean, Va. Visit www.1771.org for more information and directions.


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

Letters to editor From page 2

ONE BIG HAPPY By Rick Detorie

lation as a threat. They also look less favorably on government programs ... than they did when younger” to “The studies Frey references seem to characterize older adults and baby boomers as so focused on their selfish needs that they can’t understand how the younger and older generations are interdependent.” Frey described “many” people with that narrow and self-centered thinking — not “all” or even “most,” as Stuart’s language implies. Don’t tar everyone with that brush by omitting the key qualifier “some” or “many.” Of course, even that’s too vague a word for such reporting. Did Frey provide statistics? If not, the study isn’t so compelling. If so, they were needed in the column. Gabriel Goldberg Falls Church, Va. Dear Editor: It’s with great interest I read the article in the July issue saying that acupuncture can help cure chronic back pain. I can testify and have personal knowledge on this subject. Back in 1993-94, my wife was being treated and cured by acupuncture at the pain clinic at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC. for a damaged slipped disk in her spine. Yes, this ancient technique that originated in China hundreds of years ago is indeed a cure. This was then pioneered at Walter Reed by a Dr. Foster, who was the expert on acupuncture and later left for Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Tex., to teach acupuncture technique to other medical Army officers and doctors. Great and very informative and interesting article that I truly enjoyed reading. Al Eisner Silver Spring, Md.

BEACON BITS

Ongoing

COMEDY GROUP LEADS SCANDAL TOURS

Gross National Product, a Washington-based comedy group, will be conducting walking tours of local corruption originating from the Ben Franklin Statue at the Old Post Office Pavilion, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. The tours are on Saturdays, through Labor Day, from 1 to 3 p.m. For more information, visit http://gnpcomedy.com/ScandalTours.html or call (202) 783-7212. Cost is $30 adults, $25 for seniors, $15 for students. Group rates available.

ANSWERS TO SCRABBLE

ANSWERS TO CROSSWORD H U M P H P R O M

C B S

From page 47.

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CLASSIFIEDS The Beacon prints classified advertising under the following headings: Business & Employment Opportunities; Caregivers; Computer Services; Entertainment; For Sale; For Sale/Rent: Real Estate; Free; Health; Home/ Handyman Services; Miscellaneous; Personals; Personal Services; Vacation Opportunities; and Wanted. For submission guidelines and deadlines, see the box on this page. CAVEAT EMPTOR! The Beacon does not knowingly accept obscene, offensive, harmful, or fraudulent advertising. However, we do not investigate any advertisers or their products and cannot accept responsibility for the integrity of either. Respondents to classified advertising should always use caution and their best judgment. A national trade association we belong to has placed some of the classifieds below. Determining the value of an advertised service or product is advised by this publication. Some advertisers do not offer employment but rather supply manuals, directories and other materials designed to help their clients establish mail order selling and other businesses at home. Under NO circumstance should you send any money in advance or provide your checking, license ID, or credit card numbers. EMPLOYMENT & REAL ESTATE ADS: We will not knowingly or intentionally accept advertising in violation of federal, state, and local laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, familial status or handicap in connection with employment or the sale or rental of real estate.

Business & Employment Opportunities SENIORS! SELL YOUR UNWANTED LIFE INSURANCE! State licensed. Call Toll Free: 877-282-4360 or visit www.AtAge60.com for a FREE evaluation.

Caregivers COMPANION GHA/HH AIDE AVAILABLE NOW Live-in or out day or night. With excellent references. Very reliable and punctual. Own transportation. Please call 240-550-2584. CHEVY CHASE HOME CARE – reliable certified caregivers at time of illness, infirmity, loneliness. Personal assistance, ALL AGES, 4- to 24-hour shifts, homes, hospitals, nursing homes. MD, DC, No. VA. Tel.: 202-374-1240. www.ChChHomecare.com. SITUATION WANTED Certified nursing assistance, 20 years experience. good references. I am available to work Monday thru Friday PT, 8am to 12 or 1pm. Caring for sick or elderly 301442-9324. CAREGIVER NEEDED Part-time help with my 92 year old husband. He is easy to care for but forgetful. Rockville area. Carol 301-4243433. HIGHLY SKILLED CAREGIVER available at night to meet any needs. I have many years of experience and top references. Stroke, Parkinson’s, Dementia, or any need I’m willing to assist. If interested call anytime at 301-502-2258. Thank you. LICENSED, BONDED CNA with decade of geriatric care experience seeks long-term, fulltime overnight position. Currently a grad student pursuing nursing degree, I come with an extensive resume, sterling references & solid pet-care skills. If interested, kindly call Jacqueline at 301-787-3555.

Computer Services PROBLEM WITH YOUR PC/MAC OR NETWORK? Computer Systems Engineer will come to you with help. Call: D. Guisset at 301-6424526.

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

Entertainment PUT THE MUSIC YOU LOVE BACK IN YOUR LIFE! Enjoy live jazz and swing on the first Friday of the month at Hollywood East Café, Westfield Wheaton Shopping Mall, 7 to 10 p.m. Listen to the Night & Day Combo perform the classic standard songs of the 30s, 40s and 50s, from Cole Porter, Gershwin, et al. Great music, great food, no cover charge! http://nightanddaymusic.com/clubpage.html.

For Sale/Rent: Real Estate LEISURE WORLD® - $194,500. 2BR, 2BA “B” in “Villa Cortese”. Enclosed balcony, white, table space kitchen, new paint and carpet, Garage space. 1460 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $114,500. 2BR 2FB 1HB BERKELEY townhouse. Updated kitchen, main level laundry. 1600 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert, Realtors 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $195,000. Spacious 1 BR 1-1/2 BA “A:” in “The Overlook”. Rarely available, table space kitchen, enclosed balcony separate dining room. Golf Course View. 930 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert, Realtors 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $254,900. 2BR + DEN, 2FB “S” model in the “Fairways” on top floor with skyline views, built-ins in den, closet stretchers, Garage Parking. 1480 sq ft.. Stan Moffson, Weichert, Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - RENTAL - $1600. 3BR 2FB ground level “Capri” villa with updated kitchen, and carport. 1415 Sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $129,000. 2BR 2FB “Bristol” model patio home, new paint, close to parking. 1059 sq ft., Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. LARGE ROOM TO RENT, seniors, male or female. Non-smoking, non-drinking only need apply. Near public transportation. Call 202-629-4096. COMING SOON - 2BR 1FB “Carlyle” garden apt with new paint and carpet, 1035 sq ft. 3 BR 2FB “L” model in the “Greens”, 1610 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463. 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 20. Contact me: 301-580-5556, SueHeyman@aol.com, www.SueHeyman.com, Weichert, Realtors. LEISURE WORLD - $249,500. 3BR, 2FB. Rare Sheridan model with converted family room. Approximately 1600 living area with patio walk to shopping, quiet area. 301-598-0116. RENT OR OPTION: Home in the Kettering area of Upper Marlboro, MD. Call 301-209-0457.

For Sale 2 GRAVE SITES AND VAULTS for sale at Fort Lincoln Cemetery. 301-371-6579. $6,500.00 Garden of the Good Shepherd. 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.

Health BREAKING NEWS FOR DIABETICS, prediabetics and weight challenged people! Revolutionary plant-based product can change your life by reducing medication and insulin requirements. Recommended by physicians and pharmacists. Request a free sample! 240-461-0519. www.prevention.myunicity.net.

Home/Handyman Services MICHAELS HAULING Clean-outs, scrap & debris removal yard waste, etc. Mulch, dirt & stone delivery, lite dump truck, 20’ trailer & bobcat. Fully insured. 240-388-1898.

Personal Services WILL TYPE YOUR MEMOIRS, manuscripts, etc. For info and rates, call 703-671-1854.

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. Personal Services

Wanted

VAN MAN – For your driving needs. Shopping, appointments, pick-up and deliver – airport van. Call Mike 301-565-4051.

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

VETS AT WORK TELECOM technicians provide high quality Telephone, Data, and video wiring services. Flat Screen TV Installation, Cellular and Wi-Fi reception enhancements. All available at reasonable prices. Licensed, bonded and Insured. Email vetsatwork@gmail.com or call for free estimates. 703-232-5233. PARALEGAL – experienced in wills, trust, and estate preparation and administration as well as other paperwork, research and writing assignments. FREE consultation call 301-565-2917. MISSION:TRANSITION.NET, Seniors and Estates, 301-332-5585. Plan Your Work Then Work Your Plan! Call Laurie Zook Today! Personalized & Effective, Time & Money Saving! Downsizing, Stay in Place Organization & Complete Transitions Management, Property Clean Out & Personal Property “Tag” Sales, XLNT References, Woman Owned/Operated. NO-Cost Consultation, 10% OFF, SINCE 1999.

Personals SWM 5’6” 170lbs. 66 years old would like to meet a woman 63-72 for day trips, dining, movies and more. 301-390-4879. Please leave your phone number.

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 jhunter@clb.org to attend an upcoming orientation.

Wanted 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 202726-4427, MD 301-332-4697. CASH FOR ESTATES, Gold, Silver, Coins, Costume Jewelry, Antiques/Collectibles, Etc. Will travel 301-520-0755. 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 (202) 841-3062. 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 301-654-0838.

STAMP COLLECTIONS, AUTOGRAPHS purchased/appraised – U.S., worldwide, covers, paper memorabilia. Stamps are my specialty – highest price paid! Appraisals. Phone Alex, 301309-6637. Stampex1@gmail.com. HIGHEST CASH PAID FOR ANTIQUES, ESTATES. FREE evaluations and house calls. We pay the most for your valuable treasures because we get the most money on eBay – the worldwide Internet. Serving entire metro area – Maryland, Washington, DC, Northern Virginia. Buying the following items – furniture, art, paintings, silver, gold, old coins, jewelry, vintage wristwatches, military items, including guns, rifles, swords, daggers, knives, musical instruments, guitars, violins, banjos, old toys, dolls, trains, old golf clubs, baseball, football, tennis equipment and memorabilia, old fishing, tools, books, photographs, comic books. I am a resident of Silver Spring. 20 years experience. Please call Tom 240-476-3441. Thank you. ALWAYS BUYING STERLING SILVERWARE, flatware, holloware (any condition), all jewelry – any condition (including old costume), coins, stamps, old magazines. Call Richard today: 571-426-5363. DC/Balt. Area. WANTED: OLDER VIOLINS, GUITARS, BANJOS, MANDOLINS, ETC. Musician/collector will pay cash for older string instruments. Jack (301) 279-2158. VINYL RECORDS WANTED from the 20s through 1985. Jazz, Rock-n-Roll, Soul, Rhythm & Blues, Reggae and Disco. 33 1/3 LPs, 45s or 78s, Larger collections preferred. Please call John, 301-596-6201. HIGHEST PRICE PAID FOR ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES! Compare my estimate before you sell... Antique and quality modern furniture, paintings, pottery, rugs, clocks, gold, silver, costume jewelry, silver flatware, watches, military items, guns, swords, daggers, helmets, fishing, toys, sports memorabilia, American tools. One piece or an entire collection. I AM an established dealer with 25 years experience, with 2 locations, Silver Spring [Hillandale] & Bowie. Please call Chris KELLER for prompt professional service. 301-343-2705 & 301-262-1299. Thank You. STERLING SILVER. Will pay top dollar for your silver marked “Sterling”, “925”, “800”. Please no silver plate. Want flatware, bowls, plates, candlesticks, etc. Richard, 301-646-0101. WANTED: ELECTRONICS, radio tubes, ham radios, huge old loud speakers, tube HiFi, stereo amps, earliest computers ever made, vinyl records, professional musical instruments, scientific curiosities, early electronic books, magazines, engineers, physicists, scientist, accumulations. 202-527-9501, vcvdc@msn.com.


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

Puzzle Page

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Crossword Puzzle Daily crosswords can be found on our website: www.TheBeaconNewspapers.com Click on Puzzles Plus All The Way Home by Stephen Sherr 1

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3. “___ of prevention is worth a kilo of cure” 4. Albanian coin 5. Defer 6. Fancy tie 7. Length of freedom 8. Technique to solve crosswords without using clues 9. Spot to really rock out 10. City on the Erie Canal 11. “___ alive!” 12. Electric slider 13. Uno + due 18. One with wide I’s 22. Embarrassing party 24. History book chapters 25. Enlighten 26. Summer babe 27. Agricultural vowels 31. “Yeah, sure” 32. Where a queen is elected 33. Hawkeye 34. Phonetic alphabet letter 35. Times New Roman feature 36. Fraternity purchase 39. N.E. team 40. Recently 41. Libyan, likely 46. “Everyone, pay attention to me now” 47. Park with a monster 49. Wanderer 50. MS politician who held a Lott of positions 51. ___ warning (obey) 52. “That’s amazing” 53. “___ - as in wreck”: a baseball autobiography 54. Dueling swords 58. Airer of three CSI series 59. Subject of most Grisham thrillers 60. Maximum binary digit 61. Is, later 62. Zsa Zsa’s sis sis

Answers on page 45.

Answer: Why their boat floated away -- KNOTS NOTS Jumbles: OAKEN NEWSY STODGY GROTTO


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

August 2012 DC Beacon Edition  

August 2012 DC Beacon Edition

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