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JANUARY 2018 â€¢ FREE
JANUARY 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
Reasonable risks When I was growing up, I remember look- products, all with similar “danger” and “flaming in my parents’ medicine cabinet, or on mable” labels: Don’t use indoors; Don’t high garage shelves, and seebreathe fumes. (They never ing cans and bottles with variwarned it could make you high; ous warnings printed all over just dead.) them. In short, probably like all of Indoors there was rubbing you, I grew up being aware that alcohol, something called there were plenty of things in “witch hazel” (which always the world (and around the piqued my interest), peroxide house) that one had to use very and other intriguing subcarefully, and that reading lastances. bels was the most important Some said DANGER/POIthing to do first. SON (usually with a skull and I think that lesson was a good crossbones), or Toxic: Do Not FROM THE one to learn as a kid. It set me in Ingest. And almost all added in PUBLISHER good stead to be a modern conlarge letters: Keep Away from By Stuart P. Rosenthal sumer — attentive to the warnChildren. ing inserts that come with drugs Outdoors there were cans of paint, turpen- and other products and the “fine print” on contine, gasoline cans, and other items marked: tracts. WARNING: HIGHLY FLAMMABLE, Do Not So I was surprised to hear a report on the Use Near Flames. Or, USE ONLY WITH AD- radio the other day about efforts to take off EQUATE VENTILATION. the market a product used to strip wallpaper I liked to build models and do various arts that had caused the death of several poorly and crafts projects as a kid. So I frequently trained workers due to inhalation in a closed made use of glues, liquid plastics and other room.
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Editorial Mission: Fifty Plus is dedicated to providing readers with accurate information, professional guidance, and useful resources. Our publication is intended to both reflect and enhance fifty-plus lifestyles, and to encourage reader dialogue and input. Fifty Plus is published monthly and distributed free of charge. The advertising deadline is the 20th of each month for the upcoming issue. The entire contents of Fifty Plus are © 2017, The Beacon Newspapers, Inc. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means without the express written consent of the publisher. The views and opinions expressed by writers and columnists do not necessarily represent those of Fifty Plus or its staff.
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A reporter was asking a representative from the manufacturer why they continue to sell such a dangerous product. Their conversation went something like this: The rep replied, “Our labeling is clear. The product should only be used with adequate ventilation; it’s important to open a window if using it indoors.” The reporter pushed back: “A person can die in 30 minutes from inhaling this product in a closed room. How many people have to die from this product before you take it off the market?” The rep replied: “It’s the only product on the market that works as quickly and as well, so it should continue to be sold. All a person has to do is read the label and follow the instructions.” The reporter retorted: “But people don’t read labels! How are you going to make people read the label?” The rep weakly answered: “I guess we can’t make people read the label. That’s just something people are supposed to do.” Now I usually find myself on the side of reporters, even (or especially) when they are being aggressive. I don’t mind seeing interviewees squirm when they are trying to wiggle out of a situation for which they deserve to be nailed. But I felt very differently about this interview. Shouldn’t the reporter be blaming either the remodeling company that apparently failed to train its staff, or the employees who ignored what they were told? Removing the product from the market would seem in this case to penalize the wrong party and disappoint many users who rely on it. The reporter’s logic — that “people don’t read labels,” hence dangerous products should not be sold — could be applied to many, maybe even most, of the products we all use daily. What would our lives be like if every product that required a warning of
some type were simply to become unavailable? In our country’s past, there were many years when manufacturers put assembly line employees, and many consumers, at great risk without a thought to the consequences. But over the last 50 years or so, America’s regulators on the federal and state levels have made our lives progressively safer by ending manufacturing practices harmful to workers, forbidding the importation of dangerous toys, changing the way playground equipment is made and installed, adding safety features to all cars — and requiring safety warnings on products that can be misused. These efforts will continue to be important, as no doubt new risks will come to light that may need to be addressed through regulation. But that doesn’t mean consumers and workers bear no responsibility for the proper use of a product. People should be expected to read and follow instructions, and not blithely ignore clearly stated warnings. On the other hand, in a society where many different languages are spoken and where workers are often immigrants with a poor knowledge of English, we do need to be sure warning signs use universal symbols or are written in multiple languages. And companies need to be sure the people they hire understand these warnings. The truth is, we will never be able to regulate all risk out of our lives. (And if we were to try, I think most of us would rebel at the resulting infantilization.) There is a lot of room, however, between no risk and reasonable risk.
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Save the date for a three-part workshop to develop your leadership skills and abilities, sponsored by Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Dept. of Gerontology on select Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sessions include “Developing your Authentic Leadership Identity” on Feb. 20; “Using Emotional Intelligence to Lead Others Ethically and Authentically” on March 6; and “Strategic Planning and Continuous Quality Improvement” on April 17. For more information or to register, call (804) 828-1565 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FIFTYPLUS — JANUARY 2018
Feature Story Picture book takes a romp through Richmond
Writing since childhood Fun, upbeat, and thoughtful also effectively describe Miles, a broadcast journalist who has devoted her life to fostering a love of reading and writing. Miles was born and raised in Powhatan, number eight in a family of 10 children where reading played a vital role. “When I was little,” Miles said, “I often listened to my older siblings reciting poetry.” To this day, Miles remains grateful to the caring teachers who fostered her love of writing. Her second-grade teacher, for instance, provided her with her own little writing corner — “a glorified cubicle,” Miles explains, complete with cardboard partition, bulletin board, and special paper. “I was on cloud nine,” she said. “When I finished my work, I could go to my writing
corner, write poetry or short stories, and post them to the bulletin board. When the other kids finished their work, they could go over and read what I’d written.” When she was in fourth grade, Miles wrote a couple of plays, one of which — a Halloween variety show inspired by her love of Carol Burnett — the class staged and performed for the whole school. Miles played the Mistress of Ceremonies and wore an orange dress with pumpkins on each puffy sleeve. Her writing continued, through middle and high school, and of course when she studied rhetoric and communication at UVA. She then launched a career as a broadcast journalist, working as a daily anchor for five years. As the CBS6 For Kids’ Sake reporter, Miles delivered documentaries and nightly stories for the award-winning child advocacy franchise. She continues to anchor for CBS6 on Saturdays.
Passing on a love of reading In addition to working as a broadcast journalist and writer, Miles is a reading specialist who helps local schools foster a love of reading and improve test scores. She earned a graduate degree from UVA in reading, with an emphasis on gifted education and adolescent literacy. But she says her informal training happened in her “home laboratory,” where she taught her four sons to read before they started kindergarten. Her sons, who now range in age from 15 to 22, all continue to read often. “Reading is a part of who they are,” Miles said. “They know where to go to learn and to enjoy quiet moments.” For the past five years, Miles has also run the Happy Reading Camp to help instill a love of reading in children, going so far as to provide financial aid to those who need it. She also offers literacy resources to educators through her website, www.happyreading.org. When she is not teaching or on the air,
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The website Eldercare Locator offers both online and telephone solutions for finding help for older adults, caregivers and aging/health professionals. Their National Call Center operates five days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and can be reached at 1-800-677-1116. For more information, visit www.eldercare.gov.
CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUP
log, which she uses as a source of inspiration. She also describes herself as an avid photographer, and in her free time — although it’s hard to imagine there is any — Miles also spends time learning about genealogy and researching her family tree. Through all her endeavors, Miles embraces life and spreads joy. “I really believe in the light of humanity,” Miles said. “All good things are possible.”
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Caregiver Connection, a monthly support group for those caring for an adult with physical or cognitive deterioration, will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 6 from 4 to 5:15 p.m. at in the Friendship Room at Lucy Corr Village Assisted Living, 6800 Lucy Corr Blvd., Chesterfield. For more information, call (804) 768-7878 or email SeniorAdvocate@chesterfield.gov.
Miles makes time to write whenever inspiration strikes. She scribbles on napkins and the backs of paper scraps whenever she has an idea. Over time, these paper scraps have enabled Miles to compile what she describes as “a vast storehouse of unpublished work.” From that body of work, Miles developed Short Pump Bump!, a project that began three years ago after early discussions with Robert Pruett, the founder of Richmond-based Brandylane Publishing. Miles also created a teachers’ manual for Short Pump Bump!, with suggested activities that relate to the poems. She has written a sequel to Short Pump Bump!, entitled Spring Zing! Another Rhyming Romp Through Richmond, that Brandylane will publish in 2019. Miles has several other writing projects in the works, including other children’s books, a book of affirmations for a healthy marriage, and One Bright Day — a collection of positive stories related to her website, walkbrightly.com, where Miles curates inspiring articles from around the web. For about 30 years, she has kept a dream
By Catherine Brown Fun. Upbeat. Thoughtful. These three words perfectly describe Short Pump Bump! A Lyrical Spherical Rhyming Romp Through Richmond, a children’s book just published by lifelong Virginian Angie Miles. Short Pump Bump! pays homage to our fair city with a collection of poems illustrated by Scott DuBar, a VCU graduate with whom Miles has worked for the past eight years. Short Pump Bump! celebrates all things Richmond, including a playful tongue twister about Kidkadoo (the educational toy store in Short Pump that closed after 18 years in business); a rhythmic ditty about the East End; and an ode to the Annabel Lee, the riverboat that once cruised the James River. With its entertaining romps through Belle Isle, Pony Pasture and, of course, Short Pump, the book appeals to Richmond natives and transplants alike. “I hope the book helps readers appreciate where they live, and reminds them to take the time to have fun,” said Miles, who is 53 and lives in Hanover.
JANUARY 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
ARE YOUR EARS RINGING? Tinnitus causes an incessant ringing or buzzing, but there are treatment options NEW SHINGLES VACCINE A new vaccine provides over 90% protection, much more than the older shot CAREGIVER SUPPORT A group for people caring for those with frontotemporal dementia meets monthly EXPAND YOUR MIND Foods like berries and salmon — and video games — can help grow new neurons
New test profiles patients’ cancer genes By Marilynn Marchione U.S. regulators have approved a first-of-akind test that looks for mutations in hundreds of cancer genes at once, giving a more complete picture of what’s driving a patient’s tumor and aiding efforts to match treatments to those flaws. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Foundation Medicine’s test for patients with advanced or widely spread cancers, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed covering it. The dual decisions will make tumor-gene profiling available to far more cancer patients than the few who get it now, and lead more insurers to cover it. “It’s essentially individualized, precision medicine,” said Dr. Kate Goodrich, chief medical officer for the Medicare oversight agency.
“On balance, I think this is good,” he said, but added that there is a risk that spotting a mutation will lead doctors and patients to try treatments that haven’t been proven to work in that situation, and to promote more off-label use of expensive drugs. A better outcome in those situations is to guide people into studies testing drugs that target those genes, Schilsky said. Foundation Medicine, based in Cambridge, Mass., and others have sold tumor profiling tests for several years under more lax rules governing lab-developed tests. But insurers have balked at paying for the tests, which cost around $6,000. Now, the FDA’s approval gives assurance of quality, Shuren said, and the government’s proposed coverage for Medicare and other public insurance programs means private insurers will more likely follow. A final decision is expected early this year, followed by setting a price for re-
For advanced cancers Coverage is proposed for patients with recurrent, widely spread or advanced cancers, who have decided with their doctors to seek further treatment and have not previously had a gene sequencing test. “A lot of these folks have run out of treatment options,” but the tests may point to something new that might help, Goodrich said. The impact is expected to be greatest on lung cancer, since so many of those tumors are found at an advanced stage, and multiple gene-targeting drugs are available to treat it. Evidence isn’t strong enough to warrant using these gene profiling tests for earlier stages of cancer. Patients get standard, guideline-based care in those cases. In mid-November, the FDA also approved
a gene-profiling test developed by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. But it’s used almost exclusively on patients at that cancer center, and is not envisioned to be a widely available commercial test. The federal decisions will make gene sequencing a more routine component of cancer care, “just like we normally look with a microscope” to classify the stage of a patient’s disease, said Dr. David Klimstra, pathology chief at the cancer center. Another leader in this field, Caris Life Sciences, said it also intends to pursue FDA approval for its widely used tumor profiling test, sold now through lab certifications. It’s also working on a newer tool to profile tumor genes from a blood sample. Many companies already sell these so-called liquid biopsy tests, though none are FDA-approved yet. — AP
One sample, many tests Currently, patients may get tested for individual genes if a drug is available to target those mutations. It’s a hit-and-miss approach that sometimes means multiple biopsies and wasted time. In lung cancer alone, for example, about half a dozen genes can be checked with individual tests to see if a particular drug is a good match. The new FoundationOne CDx test can be used for any solid tumor — such as prostate, breast or colon cancer — and surveys 324 genes plus other features that can help predict success with treatments that enlist the immune system. “Instead of one or two, you have many” tests at once from a single tissue sample, said the FDA’s Dr. Jeffrey Shuren. The tests give better and more information to guide treatment, and can help more patients find and enroll in studies of novel therapies, he said. “This will be a sea change” for patients, said Dr. Richard Schilsky, chief medical officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the association of doctors who treat the disease.
A new twist on DNA By Lauran Neergaard It’s one of the first lessons in high school biology: All life is made up of four DNA building blocks known by the letters A, T, C and G. Paired together, they form DNA’s ladder-like rungs. Now there’s a new rung on that ladder. Scientists are expanding the genetic code of life, using man-made DNA to create a semi-synthetic strain of bacteria. And new research shows those altered microbes actually worked to produce proteins unlike those found in nature. It’s a step toward designer drug development.
The experiment A team at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., expanded the genetic alphabet, creating two artificial DNA “letters” called X and Y. A few years ago, the researchers
brewed up a type of E. coli bacteria commonly used for lab research that contained both natural DNA and this new artificial base pair — which can store extra genetic information inside cells. Normal DNA contains the coding for cells to form proteins that do the work of life. Could cells carrying this weird genomic hybrid work the same way, the researchers wondered? The researchers traced the biological steps as the altered E. coli read the artificial genetic code and assembled the pieces for a new protein, with the same efficiency as if using normal DNA. The altered cells glowed green as they produced a fluorescent protein containing unnatural amino acids, the researchers recently reported in the journal Nature. The result is a platform that offers a way to increase the diversity of proteins made inside living cells, said Jef Boeke, a syn-
thetic biology researcher at New York University who wasn’t involved in Scripps’ work. “We can make proteins that are built of more things than they normally are,” explained Scripps chemist Floyd Romesberg, who leads the project. While programming the green germs offered evidence that the approach can work, eventually “we would like to get proteins that do new things,” he said. That’s an ultimate goal in the field of synthetic biology — designing organisms that work differently from the way nature intended, so scientists can harness them to create designer drugs, biofuels or a range of other products. Scripps’ technology has been licensed by a biotech company Romesberg co-founded, Synthorx Inc., that aims to make novel protein-based drugs. — AP
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FIFTYPLUS — JANUARY 2018
New injectable drugs reduce migraines By Marilynn Marchione New, long-acting drugs may hold hope for millions of people who often suffer migraines. Studies of two of these medicines, given as shots every month or so, found they cut the frequency of the notoriously painful and disabling headaches. The drugs are the first preventive medicines developed specifically for migraines. They work by interfering with a substance involved in modifying nerve signaling and progression of pain and symptoms. Migraines plague more than a billion people worldwide, more than 38 million in the U.S. alone. They’re more severe than an ordinary headache — throbbing, squeezing pain and pressure, often accompanied by vision problems, sensitivity to light, noise or smells, and nausea. They can leave people unable to work or do simple things like cooking or even hold a conversation. “It’s a whole new direction” for treatment, and an important advance for people who don’t want to take, or aren’t helped by, the daily pills sometimes used now to prevent recurrences, said Dr. Andrew Hershey, neurology chief at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He had no role in the research, but has tested other migraine drugs and wrote a commentary published with the studies in the
New England Journal of Medicine.
Headache days cut in half One study tested erenumab (er-EN-yoomab), from Amgen and Novartis, in about 900 people who averaged eight migraines a month. Nearly half had already tried other preventive medicines. For six months, they were given monthly shots into the abdomen of a high dose of the drug, a low dose, or a dummy medicine. The number of days they suffered migraines each month dropped by three to four in the drug groups and nearly two in the placebo group. Half of the patients on the higher dose saw their migraine days cut at least in half. “I very definitely benefited,” said Anne Vickers, who got the lower dose through one of the study leaders at Mercy Hospital St. Louis in Missouri. “I can have anywhere from 15 to 18 headaches per month, and probably five of those days are migraines,” she said. But that dropped 40 percent on the drug. “I have three kids, so for me it meant having more days when I was able to live my everyday life, cook a meal at home, go to events at school.” The second study tested fremanezumab (frem-uh-NEZZ-yoo-mab), from Teva Pharmaceutical, for chronic migraine — defined
as headaches on 15 or more days per month, at least eight of them migraines. About 1,000 patients were given monthly shots for three months: One third got the drug each time, another third got the drug the first time and then dummy shots the next two times, and the rest got dummy shots each time. Monthly headache days dropped by four to five in the groups given the drug, and by two to three for those given dummy treatments.
Some caveats — Average reductions of one or two days a month are modest, but “there are some patients who have had a complete response. They become headache-free,” Hershey said. — No worrisome side effects emerged, but the studies were very short, so long-term safety and effectiveness are unknown.
— The new drugs were not tested against existing ones, only against placebo treatments. — Many study leaders work for, or have other financial ties to, the drugmakers, and the companies helped analyze the results. — Biotech drugs like these tend to be very expensive, and if they’re approved, insurers may set big copays or require patients to try older medicines first, Hershey said. On the other hand, when the drugs did work, the benefit was seen right away, so there’s less financial risk in trying one or two doses. “The patient will know quickly if this is a drug for them, and if not, move on to something else,” Hershey said. Both drugs have been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval. Eli Lilly and Co. and Alder Biopharmaceuticals also are testing similar drugs. — AP
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RAISING GRADCHILDREN? ATTEND THIS GATHERING Meet with other grandparents and older kin raising children on
Thursday, Jan. 18 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at Chesterfield Community Development Building, 9800 Government Center Pkwy., Chesterfield. Network, share stories and give advice to each other. Child care is provided. Open to anyone, not just Chesterfield residents. For more information or to register, call (804) 768-7878.
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JANUARY 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
How to cope with ringing in your ears Dear Savvy Senior: Are there any new treatments you know of that can help with constant ear ringing syndrome known as tinnitus? I’ve had it for years, but it’s gotten worse the older I get. — Ringing Louder at 62 Dear Ringing: Tinnitus is a common condition that affects around 45 million Americans, but is usually more prevalent in the 60-and-older age group. Here’s what you should know, along with some tips and treatments that may help.
What is tinnitus? Tinnitus (pronounced tin-NIGHT-us or TIN-a-tus) is the sensation of hearing a ringing, buzzing, roaring, hissing or whistling sound in one or both ears when no external sound is present. The sounds, which can vary in pitch and loudness, are usually worse when background noise is low, so you may be more
aware of it at night when you’re trying to fall asleep in a quiet room. For most people, tinnitus is merely annoying. But for many others, it can be extremely disturbing. Tinnitus itself is not a disease, but rather a symptom of some other underlying health condition. The best way to find out what’s causing your tinnitus is to see an audiologist, or an otolaryngologist — a doctor who specializes in ear, nose and throat diseases (commonly called an ENT). The various things that can cause tinnitus are: • Age-related and noise-induced hearing loss — this is the most common cause. • Middle ear obstructions, which are usually caused by a build-up of earwax deep in the ear canal. • The side effects of many different prescription and nonprescription medicines, including aspirin, ibuprofen, certain blood pressure medicines and diuretics, some antidepressants, cancer medicines and antibiotics.
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• Various medical conditions — such as high blood pressure, vascular disease, diabetes, allergies, thyroid problems, ear or sinus infections, Meniere’s disease, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, otosclerosis, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, a tumor, an injury to the head or neck, traumatic brain injury, depression, stress and more.
Treating the causes While there’s currently no cure for tinnitus, there are some ways to treat it, depending on the cause. For example, if your tinnitus is caused by a wax build-up in your ears or a medical condition (high blood pressure, thyroid problem, etc.), treating the problem may reduce or eliminate the noise. Or, if you think a medication you’re taking may be causing the problem, switching to a different drug, or lowering the dosage, may provide some relief. Another treatment option for tinnitus, that can help suppress or mask the sound so it’s less bothersome, is “sound therapy.” This can be as simple as a fan or a white noise machine, or something more sophisticated, like a modifiedsound or notched-music device like Neuromonics (neuromonics.com) or the Levo System (otoharmonics.com) that actually trains your brain not to hear the tinnitus.
Or if you have hearing loss, hearing aids can help mask your tinnitus by improving your ability to hear actual sounds. There are even hearing aids today that come with integrated sound generation technology that delivers white noise or customized sounds to the wearer on an ongoing basis. Your audiologist or ENT can help you with these options. There are also certain medications that may help. While currently there’s no FDA approved drugs specifically designed to treat tinnitus, some antianxiety drugs and antidepressants have been effective in reliving symptoms. Behavioral therapies, counseling and support groups can also be helpful. Other things you can do to help quiet the noise is to avoid consuming things that can aggravate the problem, including salt, artificial sweeteners, sugar, alcohol, tonic water, tobacco and caffeine. And protect yourself from loud noises by wearing earplugs. For more information on tinnitus treatment options, visit the American Tinnitus Association at www.ata.org. Send your questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.
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FIFTYPLUS — JANUARY 2018
New shingles vaccine boosts protection Q: At a recent visit, my local pharma- ically present on only one side of your body. Pain cist asked if I was up to date with my vac- is typically the first symptom of an infection. cinations. He told me there is Other symptoms include a a new shingles vaccine that blistering rash, numbness or was recently approved. Do I burning, and possibly fever and need this vaccine? What do I headache. If you notice any of need to know about it? these symptoms, it is important A: In October, the FDA and to contact your doctor. Early the CDC (Centers for Disease treatment can help shorten how Control) approved a new adult long you have the infection and vaccine called Shingrix. The lessen the chance of complicaShingrix vaccine is given to help tions. prevent shingles and related While shingles isn’t a lifecomplications. The CDC’s Advi- DR. RX threatening condition, its rash sory Committee on Immuniza- By Amanda Johnson can be very painful. Long-term tion Practices recently approved complications can include viand recommended the vaccine for healthy sion loss, if the rash is near an eye, or pain adults 50 and older. that continues long after the blisters have cleared. What is shingles? This condition of chronic pain is known as Shingles is an infection caused by the vari- post-herpetic neuralgia, and it occurs when cella-zoster virus. This is the same virus that damaged nerve fibers send exaggerated mescauses chickenpox. sages of pain from your skin to your brain. After you’ve had chickenpox (most likely in childhood), the virus remains in your body, Why should I get the new vaccine? but is inactive. Years later, the virus may be Getting a shingles vaccine is important bereactivated, resulting in a shingles infection. cause it can help prevent the shingles infection and reduce complications if you What are the symptoms of shingles? nonetheless get shingles. The signs and symptoms of shingles are typPreviously, the only shingles vaccine avail-
able was Zostavax, and it was recommended for adults 60 and older. This was a live, single dose vaccine administered under the skin in the upper arm. Since this was a live vaccine, made from a weaker strain of the virus that causes shingles, there was a potential for patients to experience side effects. The new vaccine, Shingrix, is a non-live vaccine, so the possibility of having an adverse reaction is less. In addition, Shingrix has demonstrated over 90 percent efficacy. This is a considerable improvement compared to Zostavax, which is just over 50 percent effective. Shingrix is now the preferred shingles vaccine. The vaccine is given in two doses into the muscle in the upper arm. After receiving your first dose, you will wait two to six months to receive the second dose. Even if you have already been vaccinated with Zostavax, it is recommended that you also receive Shingrix to best protect yourself from shingles.
Who should get the vaccine? People 50 or older should get the Shingrix shingles vaccine. You should get the vaccine whether or not you recall having had chickenpox. Even if you have had shingles before, you can still receive the shingles vaccine to help prevent the disease’s recurrence. There is no maximum age for getting shingles vaccine.
Where can I get the vaccine? Talk with your healthcare provider if you have questions about the new shingles vaccine. Shingrix will be available in doctor’s offices and pharmacies in the near future. It is expected that insurance companies will start covering the cost once the CDC formally accepts the Advisory Committee recommendations. Amanda Johnson is a fourth-year Pharm.D. student at VCU school of Pharmacy. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology at Virginia Tech.
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Beth Sholom Woods is an equal housing opportunity facility designed to provide housing to extremely low, very low and low-income elderly age 62 and over. Ten percent of its 111 apartments have been altered for accessibility. Applicants age 18 or more who have mobility/physical disability and need the features of our barrier-free/handicapped units may apply for one of these eleven accessible units. Beth Sholom Woods is a Section 202/8-Section 223 (f) U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) project. Qualified applicants pay 30% of his or her monthly income towards rent and utilities. An Outpatient Rehabilitation Clinic with a therapeutic pool is located on site. Beth Sholom Woods is part of the Beth Sholom Lifecare Community in the Far West End of Richmond. For more information or an application, please call (804) 741-4691, Monday-Friday, 9am-4:30pm.
Telephone: (804) 741-4691 TTY Users Dial 711• Fax: (804) 741-9813 Email: email@example.com • Website: www.bslcc.org Beth Sholom Woods Beth Sholom Lifecare Community 2027 Lauderdale Drive Richmond, VA 23233
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JANUARY 2018 â€” FIFTYPLUS
Help for caregivers of dementia patients Senior Connections, the Area Agency on Aging for the Richmond metro area, works with the Association of Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) to provide a support group for those providing care for loved ones suffering from FTD. The caregiver support group meets the third Thursday of every month at Covenant Woods Retirement Community at 3 p.m. FTD â€” also commonly referred to as fron-
totemporal dementia, frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), or Picks disease â€” is a disease process that causes changes in behavior and personality, language and/or motor skills, and a deterioration in a personâ€™s ability to function. FTC is characterized by the progressive atrophy of several different areas of the brain, particularly the frontal and/or temporal lobes
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The Alzheimerâ€™s Association offers Memory CafĂŠs for a fun and relaxed way for people living with early-stage memory loss to connect with one another. They take place the third Thursday of every month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Great Hope Baptist Church, 2101 Venable St., Richmond. Care partners can also receive information while connecting and sharing with other people in similar situations. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/MemoryCafesRichmond.
HIGHWAY SYSTEM TALK The Valentine presents â€œCoordination Transportation: The Interstate Highway System,â€? a free talk as part of their Controversy/History series, on Tuesday, Feb. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. The talk will focus on the construction of the interstate highway system using historic figures from Richmondâ€™s past. An expert speaker will then provide on-the-ground data concerning transportation issues in the Richmond region today. Attendees will engage in in-depth conversations and will receive concrete action steps. The Valentine is located at 1015 East Clay St. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/RichmondHwySystemTalk or call (804) 649-0711.
â€” the parts of the brain that control â€œexecutive functions,â€? including decision-making, personality, social behavior and language.
Different from other dementias FTD is distinct from other forms of dementia in two important ways: â€˘ Onset of FTD often occurs in a personâ€™s 50s or 60s; the average age of diagnosis is about 57, which is a full 13 years before the average Alzheimer patient is diagnosed. Thus, FTD can affect work and family in a way dementia in older patients does not. â€˘ The hallmark of FTD is a gradual, progressive decline in behavior and/or language (with memory usually relatively preserved). As the disease progresses, these deficits cause significant impairment in social and/or occupational functioning, and result in an in-
creasing dependency on caregivers. FTD affects an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 Americans, representing an estimated 10 to 20 percent of all dementia cases. Currently, there are no treatments to slow or stop the progression of FTD. FTD can be a very isolating disease â€” for both the patient and their caregiver â€” unless you take active steps to develop a network of social, emotional and practical supports. No one â€” not even the most capable, loving and determined person â€” can manage everything alone. Connecting with others who understand FTD can be a lifeline. Please contact Angie Phelon at (804) 3433045 if you have questions about the caregiver support group. To learn more about FTD and available resources, contact AFTD toll-free at 1-866-507-7222, or visit www.theaftd.org.
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SENIOR GAMES REGISTRATION
Registration is now open for the annual Virginia Senior Games, which take place Wednesday through Sunday, May 16 to 19 in Henrico. Athletes who register before Wednesday, Feb. 28, will save $10 ($6 for Virginia residents and $20 for non-residents), and the final day to register is Sunday, April 15. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/VirginiaSeniorGames2018 or the official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Virginia.Senior.Games.
Are You A Veteran? +
Housing designed and built to meet the needs of the elderly, handicapped and disabled.* â€˘ All-Paid Utilities â€˘ Social Activities â€˘ 24-Hour Maintenance â€˘ Convenient Location
Now Accepting Rental Applications 1025 W. Grace Street (in the Fan) For more information call
355-9114 *Based on Income Managed by Beacon Residential Management
Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center is a Long-Term Care & Short-Term Rehab Facility that opened in -DQXDU\7KLVIDFLOLW\ZDVEXLOWVSHFLĆ“FDOO\IRURXU9LUJLQLD9HWHUDQV Located conveniently on the campus of the McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia, this state-of-the-art facility is owned and operated by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and is a recent recipient of a 5 Star Rating from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
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FIFTYPLUS — JANUARY 2018
Hearty winter salad with apples, pumpkin By Melissa D’Arabian Summer may officially be the season of green salads, but wintertime versions have advantages that make them worth exploring. Greens seasonable in cooler weather are hearty and darker green, which makes them nutrient-rich. And these thicker-leaved greens — such as kale or spinach — can hold up to the addition of warm ingredients, opening up the possibilities for topping your salad with roasted goodies in a way that delicate butter lettuce never could. Have some hearty root veggies in the fridge? Toss them (and some whole garlic cloves — yum!) in some olive oil and roast them, then add while warm to raw kale leaves together with lemon juice, Parmesan and black pepper and you’ve got a winter salad rivaling anything you’d make in July. In this recipe, however, apples are the salad’s star, while pumpkin vinaigrette plays an important supporting role. I cut the apples into small cubes and quickly roast them in a little salt and rosemary at high heat, and the little cubes turn into sweet, herbaceous nuggets of flavor — like raisins, but better — and make other ingredients almost unnecessary. I add leftover turkey for protein, almonds for crunch, and tomatoes for a tiny bit of acid.
You could even add blue cheese or feta if you happen to have some floating around the house, leftover from a cheese party platter. Feel free to swap out ingredients to match your pantry: As long as you are topping winter greens with something warm, whether roasted Brussels sprouts or pan-seared salmon, you’ll be on your way to a tasty winter green salad.
Green Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette and Roasted Apples Servings: 4 Start to finish: 30 minutes Salad: 2 large tart apples (such as Granny Smith), cut into 1-inch cubes (unpeeled), about 3 cups 2 teaspoons fresh minced rosemary 5 cups baby spinach or kale, or other hearty greens 1/2 cup baby tomatoes, halved or quartered 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked white meat chicken or turkey 1/4 cup marcona almonds 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Olive oil in a mister Pumpkin Vinaigrette: 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon water 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon maple syrup 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary 1 teaspoon minced shallot a few turns of freshly ground black pepper Preheat the oven to 425 F. Place the cubed apple on a parchment-line baking tray and spray with an olive oil mister to coat the cubes. Sprinkle on the minced rosemary and salt, and gently toss the cubes to coat. Bake just until tender and edges are starting to turn golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool just a few minutes.
While the apples are roasting, make the vinaigrette. Place the pumpkin puree, water, vinegar and maple syrup in a small bowl. Whisk the olive oil into the mixture until wellblended. Add the rosemary, shallot and black pepper and stir. To assemble the salad: place the spinach in a bowl or platter and top with the tomatoes, chicken, almonds and warm, roasted apples. Drizzle with pumpkin vinaigrette, toss and serve. Nutrition information per serving: 239 calories; 75 calories from fat; 8 g. fat (1 g. saturated; 0 g. trans fats); 45 mg. cholesterol; 336 mg. sodium; 21 g. carbohydrate; 6 g. fiber; 12 g. sugar; 20 g. protein. — AP
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HISTORIC SEWING CLASS
Henricus Historical Park is offering “Pins & Needles,” a unique sewing class for adults on Saturday, Feb. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. During this introduction to 17th century hand-sewing, participants will make a simple utility bag with a drawstring, or a handkerchief. Children ages 10 and older may sign up with a registered adult. The park is located at 251 Henricus Park Rd., Chester. The class costs $10. Registration is required by Jan. 31. Limited space available. Materials will be provided, but bring sewing needles, pins, white quilting weight cotton or linen thread, small scissors, and your own lunch. For more information, call (804) 748-1611.
804-355-3013 1620 N. Hamilton Street Richmond, VA 23230
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JANUARY 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
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team without an expensive shaft-way. Its small “footprint” and self-contained lift mechanism adds convenience and value to your home and quality to your life. It’s called the Easy Climber® Elevator. Call us now and we can tell you just how simple it is to own. For many people, particularly seniors, climbing stairs can be a struggle and a health threat. Some have installed motorized stair lifts, but they block access to the stairs
and are hardly an enhancement to your home’s décor. By contrast, the Easy Climber® Elevator can be installed almost anywhere in your home. That way you can move easily and safely from floor to floor without struggling or worse yet… falling. Why spend another day without this remarkable convenience? Knowledgeable product experts are standing by to answer any questions you may have. Call Now!
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Elevators have been around since the mid 19th century, and you can find them in almost every multi-story structure around… except homes. That’s because installing an elevator in a home has always been a complicated and expensive home renovation project… until now. Innovative designers have created a home elevator that can be easily installed almost anywhere in your home by our professional
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FIFTYPLUS — JANUARY 2018
Foods and games to improve your brain If you want to know how to grow a bunch It’s hard to believe, but it’s true, that what of new brain cells, termed “neurons,” and we choose to eat impacts our mind to some keep them as healthy as possidegree. The most potent neuble, let me tell you one quick ron-loving foods include: thing about neurogenesis. • Green tea, berries, citrus, Neurogenesis is the science of apples, and dark chocolate spurring the growth of neurons (due to the flavonoids) in your brain. Without neuroge• Blueberries (due to the nesis, you’d be dead. In fact, we flavonoids and anthocyanin) can grow as many as 700 new • Red grapes (because the neurons a day. skin has resveratrol) Scientists have found that sev• Wild-caught salmon and eral things actually help spur on other fatty fish (due to the DHA neurogenesis. The bigger chal- DEAR fish oils) lenge, however, is keeping your PHARMACIST Oddly, researchers have found By Suzy Cohen new neurons. that eating chewier foods — as Neurogenesis is a dynamic opposed to soft, mushy foods — process that reduces risk of Alzheimer’s, in- are helpful to neuronal growth. As you eat a somnia, anxiety, dementia and other cognitive baked potato (instead of mashed potato), think problems. Avoiding foods high in glutamate about that! and MSG will help you, and so will eating a On the topic of food, we also have well-declean, fresh diet of foods filled with a lot of signed trials to show that intermittent fasting, what I call “light foods” — meaning plant- caloric restriction and exercise promote the based salads and veggies that utilize light for growth of new brain cells. So keep that up, too. the photosynthesis process. Everyone talks about enhancing BDNF Additionally, there are foods that are par- (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) as a ticularly adept at growing brand new neurons method of growing new brain cells. While in our brains, while also activating protective that is important, there is some new research pathways to nurture them and keep them that suggests that the hormone that makes thriving. you feel hungry, called ghrelin, may be the
thing that triggers the whole birth of new neurons in the first place. On the topic of exercise: I definitely want you to go to Body Pump and Zumba, but you should also be exercising your brain. By that, I mean engage in puzzles, math problems and spatial video games. This brings me to my next idea for you. How about playing Super Mario 3D? This particular video game (and also Super Mario 64) have been used in two important research studies on the brain, where it was proven that spatial video games increase brain activity in the hippocampal region and help you create new neurons.
This gives us a whole new perspective when it comes to healing the brain and growing new healthy brain cells. So, enjoy a big bowl of blueberries, have a long work out, and then crash on the couch for some fun video gaming, and just feel your mind ignite with newfound brainiac-ness. This information is opinion only. It is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose your condition. Consult with your doctor before using any new drug or supplement. Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist and the author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist and Real Solutions from Head to Toe. To contact her, visit www.SuzyCohen.com.
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CIVIL WAR CLUB MEETING
The Central Virginia Civil War Collector’s Association was organized to promote the study and preservation of American history and to identify and preserve historical artifacts and sites. Currently, the club meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 7:15 p.m. at American Legion Post 244, 2522 Indale Rd., Glen Allen. The next meeting will take place on Jan. 23 with Dr. Bruce Venter, author of Kill Jeff Davis: The Union Raid on Richmond, 1864. Activities usually include presentations related to Civil War artifacts and history, guest speakers, light refreshments, a “Best Dug Relic of the Month” competition, and more. For more information, visit www.cvcwca.com.
JANUARY 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
Money Law &
FOOTING THE BILL Try these tips to keep your credit score intact when you dispute a bill or can’t afford to pay it TOYS THAT SPY Internet-connected toys with microphones, cameras and location-tracking can put privacy and safety at risk. How to protect your grandchildren
Banks inch up depositor interest rates By Ken Sweet Slowly, but surely, being a saver is paying off again. For years after the recession, banks paid next to nothing on deposits — much to the detriment of savers everywhere. Now, banks have increased lending and need more deposits, so they’re willing to pay higher interest rates. The big publicly traded banks are paying roughly 0.40 percent on their deposits right now, which is up from 0.24 percent two years ago, according to a report from Autonomous Research after the major banks reported their 2017 third quarter results. A one-year CD is now paying an average of 0.63 percent, which is up from 0.45 percent two years ago. That’s according to depositaccounts.com, a website that tracks interest rates on savings accounts and CDs. An interest rate of 0.40 percent or 0.63 percent may not sound like much, but analysts expect that banks will continue to increase payouts on deposits as competition ramps up. “We have been waiting for this to happen for a while now,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economy analyst at BankRate.com.
During the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark interest rate to near zero, and kept it that way until December 2015. While the Fed’s move made the cost of borrowing substantially cheaper nationwide, it had a secondary effect of cutting the interest rate banks were paying on deposits. In particular, seniors got hit hard since they tend to keep their money in low risk products like money markets, CDs and cash.
Fed raises rate again The Fed’s main interest rate rose a quarter point to 1.5 percent in mid-December. As the Fed raised rates, banks initially were happy to charge borrowers higher rates while keeping the amount of interest they were paying on savings accounts and CDs low. Banks take on deposits in order to turn around and lend that money out. The goal for a bank is to make more money on the interest on its loans than the interest rate they are paying to fund those loans. The more demand there is for loans, which typically happens in a steadily growing economy, the more deposits a bank needs.
For years after the financial crisis, loan growth was tepid as banks throttled back on lending, the U.S. consumer deleveraged, and businesses pulled back on borrowing as well. Bank executives said they had little need for deposits. In an interview with the Associated Press in early 2016, then-US Bank CEO Richard Davis said there was no reason to incentivize people to deposit money at the bank since there was nothing the bank could do with the money in the first place. But nearly a decade after the crisis, loans of all types — with the exception of residential mortgages — are now at record-high levels. And the growing demand for loans requires banks to gather up deposits to fuel their lending business.
Online banks offer higher rates The online-only banks, which typically pay the most for deposits, are paying even more these days. Goldman Sachs’ online savings account GS Bank pays an interest rate of 1.29 percent on its savings account, with no minimum deposit.
For those able to lock up their savings for a longer period of time, GS Bank is paying 2.37 percent for a five-year CD, with a minimum $500 deposit. Goldman is partially using its new deposits to fund a new consumer lending product known as Marcus, which is causing Goldman to be more aggressive with its interest rates in order to fund those loans. Ally Bank is paying 1.25 percent for deposits to its online savings account. So is American Express, through its Personal Savings account. The largest of the banks are still being stingy, however, since their size means they don’t need to compete as aggressively for deposits. JPMorgan Chase is paying only 0.04 percent on a standard savings account, Bank of America is paying 0.03 percent, and Wells Fargo, apparently with zero need for deposits, is paying 0.01 percent on a basic savings account. All three banks have CDs with slightly higher rates, but savers looking to maximize the interest they’ll earn on parking their money should shop around. — AP
Restaurants use tech to increase spending By Candice Choi Restaurant chains are making it easier to order food with a few taps of the screen — so much so that you may lose sight of how much you’re spending. The convenience that technology offers may make us less vigilant about how much we’re buying. Digital ordering also lets companies better track our spending habits, and may lead to increasingly personalized offers that are more likely to catch our attention. Digital ordering helps you find more of the things you want, but it’s worth understanding the other side of the equation: Sometimes, technology is an opportunity to get you to spend more.
Domino’s About 60 percent of Domino’s orders now
come through the chain’s website, app and other digital channels. And people tend to order more online than over the phone, according to Domino’s spokesman Tim McIntyre — likely because they can browse the menu and take their time deciding. That can result in people getting another pizza topping, or adding sides. “They tend to upsell themselves,” McIntyre said of online customers. Domino’s also has prompts during the ordering process. Once a pizza is ordered, for instance, people might be asked before checkout if they want to “cheese it up” or add drinks. Employees taking orders by phone are also encouraged to suggest extras — a tactic known as “upselling” or “suggestive selling.” But McIntyre said the human attempts aren’t as consistent.
“The computer never feels rushed, the computer never feels rejection personally,” he said, noting that some employees might be shyer than others.
Chili’s, Olive Garden Tabletop tablets being used at some sitdown restaurants, which let people order food and pay for their meals, can have a similar effect. Ziosk, the company that makes the devices available at chains including Chili’s and Olive Garden, said restaurants see more orders of dessert and appetizers with Ziosk devices. Dessert orders also tend to have more coffees attached to them, said Ziosk CEO Austen Mulinder. “The Ziosk will always remember to ask, ‘Do you want to add coffee to that?’” he said. Most restaurants that use Ziosk devices
use them to let people order appetizers, desserts and drinks. With entrees, Mulinder said it makes more sense for a server to take the order, rather than having people passing around a device. Chili’s has cited other benefits of Ziosk, including the collection of customer spending data. The devices also generate money from games that people can play while waiting. That revenue more than offsets the cost of the devices in most cases, Mulinder said.
Starbucks, Panera Starbucks is pushing into more personalized offers for loyalty members and mobile app users, which include the recent rollout of “real-time” suggestive selling based on past See RESTAURANTS, page 14
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FIFTYPLUS — JANUARY 2018
An alternative to Medicaid spend-down By Eleanor Laise Picture this: Your spouse has made a permanent move to a nursing home. You don’t have long-term care insurance, Medicare won’t cover the cost, and you have too much money to qualify for Medicaid — but not nearly enough to afford the nursing-home bills. The monthly tab — easily $8,000 or more for a semi-private room — is rapidly depleting your nest egg. Now what? This is where a Medicaid-compliant annuity might rescue your retirement. You buy an immediate annuity — owned by and payable to you — that meets a number of special requirements, transforming cash that would otherwise prevent your ill spouse from qualifying for Medicaid into an income stream that helps you preserve your quality of life. Medicaid starts covering the nursing-home stay, and your monthly bills become manageable. For an average family, “it takes 50 years to save a couple hundred thousand dollars,” said Dale Krause, president and chief executive officer of Krause Financial Services, in De Pere, Wis. When nursing-home bills start eating into that nest egg, “they all do the math and say, ‘we’re going to be broke.’” For those who have the luxury of time, there are better ways to plan for long-term care costs. If you’re relatively young and healthy, you may
be able to get long-term care insurance — or simply turbocharge your savings with the aim of self-insuring any long-term care costs. But for couples in a crisis situation, who are watching their life savings evaporate as they pay nursing-home bills, a Medicaid-compliant annuity may be the only way to preserve a livable income for the spouse who remains at home.
Medicaid-compliant annuities Medicaid recipients generally cannot retain more than $2,000 in cash. But when one spouse enters a nursing home and the other remains in the larger community, a number of special rules apply. The healthy spouse can keep a certain amount of assets, which varies by state. (In Maryland, the amount is $123,600 in 2018). Note: Bank accounts and investments — including IRAs, in most states — count toward that threshold. Your primary residence, household items, personal effects, car, a limited amount of life insurance and a prepaid burial plan typically don’t count, though the uncounted amount of your home equity may be limited.) The healthy spouse’s income isn’t counted when determining Medicaid eligibility. And while the Medicaid recipient generally must use his available income to pay for his care
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costs, the healthy spouse can keep some or all of that income — as much as $3,090 a month in 2018 — if she otherwise would not have enough to live on. Couples trying to squeeze under Medicaid’s asset limits are confronted with difficult choices: They can spend down their life savings, leaving little for the healthy spouse to live on, or the couple can give away money, which will trigger a period of Medicaid ineligibility if the gift is made less than five years before applying for Medicaid. A properly structured Medicaid-compliant annuity can reduce the need for such drastic measures. These annuities aren’t without controversy. Some states in recent years have sought to limit their use — backing down only after losing a series of lawsuits brought by annuity purchasers who were improperly denied Medicaid benefits. And a bill introduced in Congress early last year would count half the income from a healthy spouse’s annuity when determining the Medicaid eligibility of the institutionalized spouse — but that measure has gained little momentum.
gle-premium immediate annuities and irrevocable — meaning the payment amount, duration of payments, and parties to the contract can’t be changed. Payments must be made in equal amounts, and are typically guaranteed for a certain number of years, rather than for the rest of the annuitant’s life. Generally, the state must be named as a beneficiary. So if you die before collecting all the guaranteed payments, the state can recover from the remaining payments some or all of the value of the Medicaid assistance provided. Who should consider a Medicaid-compliant annuity? People with moderate savings — perhaps $500,000 or less — who find themselves paying nursing home bills out of pocket. Jake Lowrey, president of Lowrey Financial Group, in Beverly, Mass., said most of his clients purchasing Medicaid annuities have $200,000 to $300,000 in savings. For people who are not in a crisis situation, these aren’t good investments. Because they’re designed for people in desperate straits, they generally offer minimal returns — perhaps 1 percent or so. People with millions of dollars are much
Many rules to follow Medicaid-compliant annuities must be sin-
See MEDICAID, page 14
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Medicaid From page 13 better off earning a market rate of return on their money and paying the nursing-home bills themselves, according to William Browning, an elder-law attorney at Browning & Meyer, in Worthington, Ohio. Medicaid annuities don’t allow for much advance planning. Because you don’t want to tie up money that could be needed for other expenses, you should only buy a Medicaidcompliant annuity when you know your spouse has moved to a facility permanently, Krause said. And the amount that you should invest in
the annuity will be determined in part by how your finances look on the “snapshot date” — the date your spouse has spent 30 consecutive days in the facility.
An example of the savings Krause Financial offers this example of how a Medicaid annuity might help a couple burdened with unmanageable nursing-home bills: George, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, enters a nursing home where the monthly bill is $7,250. He and his wife, Betty, have $200,000 in bank accounts and other countable assets. If they pay the nursing home bills out of pocket, they’ll have spent down enough for
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The University of Richmond presents a free meditation workshop on Sunday, Jan. 28 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Harnett Museum of Art, 28 Westhampton Way. Kevin Heffernan, Buddhist campus minister, will lead, and a tea reception and viewing of the art exhibit “Unexpected Smiles: Seven Types of Humor in Japanese Painting” will follow from 3 to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.museums.richmond.edu or call (804) 289-8276.
AFRICAN DANCE, MUSIC, POETRY
The Elegba Folklore Society promotes African dance, music, and oral tradition and will perform on Friday, Feb 9 at 7 p.m. at Henrico Theatre, 305 E. Nine Mile Rd. In this free performance, dancers, drummers, singers, spoken word artists and masquerades will focus primarily on West Africa. For more information, visit http://efsinc.org or call (804) 652-1460.
JANUARY 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
George to qualify for Medicaid within 16 months. Most of their nest egg will be gone, and Betty will be left with her $1,000 monthly Social Security check. If instead Betty invests $103,000 in a Medicaid-compliant annuity with a term of 83 months — her remaining life expectancy — she gets an additional $1,267 of guaranteed monthly income. And George immediately qualifies for Medicaid. He has monthly Social Security and pension income of $1,500, and $823 of that is shifted to Betty to bring her up to the Medicaid spouse’s $3,090 monthly income allowance. George can also keep $45 of his monthly income for personal needs, so his
Medicaid co-pay is just $632 — saving the couple $6,618 a month. These annuities are sold by insurers such as Nationwide and ELCO Mutual Life & Annuity. But your first stop if you’re considering a Medicaid annuity should be an elder-law attorney. (Find one at naela.org.) “When you put your spouse in a facility, there’s a whole gamut of legal issues you have to get through,” Browning said. A good elder-law attorney will update your estate plan and powers of attorney — then help you determine whether a Medicaid annuity might be right for you. © 2017, Kiplinger, All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Panera’s loyalty program also incorporates members’ past purchases. Unlike in most programs, Panera loyalty members do not know when they’ll get their next reward, or what it will be. Blaine Hurst, Panera’s president, said customers can be placed into one of “thousands” of rewards tracks, based on their spending habits. If their spending habits change, they can shift into different tracks. And the methodology is expected to get more sophisticated. Hurst says companies have been collecting massive amounts of data on customer spending habits, and thinks they will find new ways to use that information. — AP
From page 12 purchases for people ordering ahead on their smartphones. The company says the efforts are yielding positive results, with spending by loyalty members up by 8 percent in the latest quarter. “We think that the steps we’ve taken regarding personalization are a driver of that,” said spokeswoman Maggie Jantzen. The company has also been turning the acquisition of reward points into games. That includes ones like “Starbucks Bingo” that reward members for making particular purchases.
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FIFTYPLUS — JANUARY 2018
Refusing to pay hurts you more than them By Liz Weston Oh, the injustice of it all. Who among us hasn’t felt abused as a consumer? We get billed for stuff we didn’t receive, or that doesn’t work, or that didn’t live up to its hype. Companies charge us unexpected fees and insist the costs were revealed in the fine print. Health insurers take customer disservice to a whole new, awful level, inexplicably refusing to pay for services they promised to cover, and deluging us with impossible-to-decrypt paperwork. It’s understandable if you feel that enough is enough. But taking a righteous stand against paying an unfair bill can boomerang on you — hard. Here are some situations where you might be tempted to refuse to pay, and what you might want to consider doing instead.
Billing disputes Several years ago a friend refused to pay a bill for Internet service that didn’t work. The collection account that later appeared on his credit reports nearly cost him a job offer. (He paid off the collection and wound up taking a job with a different employer.) The balance of power is tilted heavily in favor of companies and collection agencies
What if you couldn’t read stories to your grandchildren? You can make a difference! Become an Adult Literacy Tutor. For more information, visit www.readcenter.org or call 804-288-9930. Everyone deserves a literate life.
that can report an unpaid bill to the credit bureaus. You can include a 100-word dispute in your credit files, but good luck getting anyone to read it. The credit scores most lenders and insurers use don’t factor in those statements. Employers, who typically use credit reports rather than scores to evaluate applicants, may see your statement, but it may not affect hiring, firing or promotion decisions. What to do instead: Settle disputes before a bill goes to collections. Consider asking a government regulator for help (search online for “Who regulates (company name)?” to find the agency), or turning to a lawmaker whose staff can help with constituent disputes. As a last resort, consider paying the bill, then suing the company in small claims court. If you used a credit card to pay the bill, you’re in luck. Credit card users have a powerful, builtin weapon to deal with shoddy services or goods — the chargeback. A chargeback, which reverses a payment to a merchant, prevents damage to your credit report for nonpayment while a dispute is resolved.
Medical bills For about 43 million people, or 1 out of 5 credit reports, there’s overdue medical debt, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. For 15 million people, medical bills are
the only overdue debt on their credit reports. Clearly, many of us are having trouble paying our medical bills — or thinking they have been paid when they haven’t, since many ricochet between healthcare providers and insurers, sometimes for months. The latest versions of the FICO and VantageScore credit scoring models treat medical debt less harshly than other collections, but most lenders use older versions of the scores. The toll can be significant: A single collection account can drop a 680 FICO score by 40 points, and a 780 score by 100 points. (The most widely used credit scoring formulas, such as the FICO 8, use a 300-to-850 range.) What to do instead: If you have health insurance, follow up on every medical bill you receive to make sure it gets paid. If you don’t have insurance or can’t pay your bill, ask healthcare providers if they have charity programs or payment plans that could make the costs more manageable.
Federal student loans Only half of recent graduates strongly agreed that college was worth the cost, a 2015 Gallup-Purdue Index poll found. That may explain why about 1 in 10 borrowers who were scheduled to start paying their federal student loans in 2013-14 have defaulted instead, ac-
cording to the U.S. Department of Education. Refusing to pay your loans is shortsighted. The default hurts your credit scores, which will make other borrowing difficult and can increase the cost of items like car insurance and cell phone plans. But that’s just the start. Government collectors can seize your tax refund, take a portion of your wages without going to court, and literally pursue you to the grave. The U.S. Supreme Court decided a portion of Social Security benefits, which are typically off-limits to creditors, could be seized to repay delinquent federal student loans. What to do instead: The education department offers several affordable repayment options, including an income-based plan that can reduce required payments to zero. Struggling borrowers can find plenty of information at the education department’s Federal Student Aid site. For private student loans, consider calling the loan servicer directly to ask about options, such as interest-only payments. This column was provided to the Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Liz Weston is a columnist at NerdWallet, a certified financial planner and author of “Your Credit Score.” Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Law & Money | www.FiftyPlusRichmond.com
JANUARY 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
Toys today can spy on kids. What to do the risks. Here are some tips:
so read them again if you’re notified of a change.
Research and read reviews
Use secure wi-fi
Make sure the Wi-Fi the toy will be connected to is secure and has a hard-to-guess password. Weak passwords make it easier for hackers to access devices that use a wi-fi network. Never connect the toy to free wi-fi that’s open to the public. And if the toy itself allows you to create a password, do it.
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Not using it? Turn it off When the toy is not being used, shut it off or unplug it so it stops collecting data. When off, toys “become less of an attractive target,” said Alan Brill, who is a cybersecurity and investigations consultant. And if the item has a camera, face it toward a wall or cover it with a piece of tape when it’s not being used. Toys with microphones can be thrown in a chest or drawer, where it’s harder to hear conversations, Brill said.
Be vigilent If the toy or device allows kids to chat with other people playing with the same toy or game, explain to children that they can’t give out personal information, said Liz Brown, a business law professor at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, who focuses on technology and privacy law. But such explanations may not be enough: Check the chat section to make sure children aren’t sending things they shouldn’t be, Brown said. Unsavory adults could be pretending to be kids to get personal information. “It can get creepy pretty fast,” said Brown. Reputable companies that make toys with microphones will offer ways for parents to review and delete stored information. Take advantage of that.
Register, but limit your info It’s important to register a new item, because a manufacturer software update may fix security holes, and you don’t want to miss that fix, Brill said. But when registering, be stingy with the in-
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Report breaches If a toy was compromised by a hacker, the FBI recommends reporting it online through its Internet crime complaint center at IC3.gov. — AP
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By Joseph Pisani The toys your grandkids received over the holidays could invite hackers into your home. That Grinch-like warning comes from the FBI, which said earlier this year that toys connected to the Internet could be a target for crooks who may listen in on conversations or use them to steal a child’s personal information. The bureau did not name any specific toys or brands, but it said any Internet-connected toys with microphones, cameras or location tracking may put a child’s privacy or safety at risk. That could be a talking doll or a tablet designed for kids. And because some of these toys were being rushed to be made and sold late last year, the FBI said security safeguards might have been overlooked. Security experts said the only way to prevent a hack is to not keep the toy. But if you decide to let a kid play with it, there are ways to reduce
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FIFTYPLUS — JANUARY 2018
Loud and lively Palermo, Italy is worth the trip to Sicily. See story on page 20.
What’s new in Newport News: a spirited tour (from 7,600 to 12,512 employees), and the city’s population nearly doubling, it makes sense that the first ever federal housing project would be the planned community of Hilton Village. Though its 500 modest homes were built in less than a year, the quality of life they represented — all with indoor plumbing and electricity — showed the value placed on attracting and retaining good workers. It became a benchmark for other cities across the U.S. In 2018, the Hilton Village Centennial is sponsoring a calendar of events, ranging from a winter speaker series at Mariners’ Museum & Park, to an April architectural walking tour, to art shows, theater productions, museum exhibitions and festivals. The biggest event will be the all-day July 7th Grand Celebration, recreating the Hilton Village Opening Day in 1918. I can say from having visited the historic village that it’s something to add to your 2018 calendar.
PHOTO COURTESY OF NEWPORT NEWS PUBLIC LIBRARY
Century-old Hilton Village’s 500 homes were constructed in Newport News as housing for the rush of new workers who came to build ships for WWI. Today, some of the homes have been transformed into shops.
Craft beer and whiskey history All that sightseeing generates a hearty thirst and appetite. With so much news on craft beers and a new distillery to open any day now in Newport News, my husband and I decided to check out the ”after 4 p.m.” scene. Craft 60 Ale House, 13361 Warwick Blvd. (Rt. 60), offers an outstanding number of craft-beer taps and bottles, with changes in the tap list every three nights. Food and service are as good as the beer, with a house-made hard-cider coleslaw and a house-made Caesar salad dressing that make great complements to any menu
PHOTO COURTESY OF IRONCLAD DISTILLERY
By Martha Steger The combination of a new craft brewery, a soon-to-open distillery, and the centennial celebration of the city’s World War I significance makes 2018 a big year for Newport News. The city has always been rich in American heritage, dating to 1607 when Capt. Christopher Newport was commander of the Susan Constant, the flagship of the English fleet that landed at Jamestown. Capt. Newport visited the area now named for him many times to bring wide-ranging supplies, including letters and news from England — hence, the “News” (according to one historian) added after his name. Fast-forward 310 years to April 1917, when Newport News, like every part of Hampton Roads, saw very dramatic change due to WWI. The new Port of Embarkation there drew hundreds of thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and construction workers from across the U.S. for the war in Europe. With a huge increase at the shipbuilders
Charred cedar barrels are used to age Ironclad Distillery’s small batch bourbon. A new tasting room is slated to open this winter in a 1913 former dry goods store and paper-supply warehouse. Ironclad’s bourbon is available at several ABC stores.
choice. (Ours were the large, breaded, fried shrimp and crab cakes.) The alehouse is, in typically British style, family-friendly: parents with elementary-age children were dining next to us. The staff is well informed for guiding a customer’s choice of ales. Our waitress said the trend now is for higher alcohol content in the popular IPAs (India pale ales) and lower alcohol content for lighter stouts, which the public usually perceives as heavy. Happy hour specials run until 9 p.m. weekdays, 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Wednesdays offer live music for open-mike nights. Check Craft60.com for weekend music lineups.
Onsite brewing Tradition Brewing, which opened in 2016 at 700 Thimble Shoals Blvd., is the only Newport News brewery presently brewing onsite. Their beers on tap include the Hull 488 India Pale Ale, Red Willie Irish Red, and the lightest and most popular choice: Mothership Cream Ale (“mothership” being the nickname of the nearby Hampton Coliseum). Seasonal brews are constantly revolving
(“to keep your taste buds hoppy,” their website says). Coming up in February: cherrychocolate stout, and dry Irish stout for March. Speaking of hops: A lot of the hops used come from Virginia, “though if we’re brewing a German beer, we get German hops,” said Andy Beale, general manager and one of the brewery’s founders. Hops, dried flowers from the hop plant, were originally added to East Indian beer to preserve it for its journey across the ocean, according to Beale. India Pale Ales, which were made in England but modeled after the Indians ones, kept the hops, since it turned out to influence taste as well as to stabilize the beer. As a brewery (rather than a brew pub), Tradition doesn’t sell food on the premises. But there’s a regular rotation of food trucks at the site. Beale said they can always suggest beer-food pairings. The brewery, which accommodates 375 patrons at once, has seating downstairs, upstairs and outdoors when the weather is good. Its beers can be purchased on site and See NEWPORT NEWS, page 18
Leisure & Travel | www.FiftyPlusRichmond.com
Newport News From page 17 bought in six-packs at select outlets in Hampton Roads. (They’re hoping to extend to Richmond later this year.) Hilton Tavern Brewing, which opened in October at 10184 Warwick Blvd., was the latest news in Newport News’ beer spots at press time. It’s not brewing onsite, but makes up for that with its 22 beers on tap. They serve primarily local and Virginia beers, but also serve
JANUARY 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
mainstays such as Bud Light and Yuengling. We weren’t able to stop in, but the owners said they’re promoting a family-friendly brewpub restaurant concept, and hope to be brewing on-site in the near future.
Virginia bourbon Ironclad Distillery, whose name pays tribute to Hampton Roads’ 1862 Battle of the Ironclads (the Monitor and the Merrimac), was our last stop. Their website is fun: “Mighty ships inspired our name. That’s why
Virginia’s liquor laws slowly loosen Since Prohibition ended, any change related to Virginia’s becoming a “wet” state has been slow to come. For example, until 1968, restaurants could not serve liquor by the drink (one glass at a time), which meant the only hard liquor consumers could legally purchase in Virginia was from state-owned ABC stores. Virginia’s craft beer industry experienced explosive growth after legislation in 2012 allowed craft breweries to offer beer tastings on the premises. In the next five years, the commonwealth went from 44 licensed breweries
to more than 200, putting Virginia ahead of neighboring North Carolina in the number of breweries, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture. Unforeseen demand by consumers seeking out local brands as they travel across the state has also brought rapid expansion to older brewpubs (breweries selling food), as well as many new startup breweries with only tasting rooms. Last year, a number of new bills passed the legislature loosening longtime regulations on the sale of alcoholic beverages.
we’re sticking to our guns. We make authentic bourbon. Nothing else. It’s our ironclad rule.” The King family has owned and operated the business for two years, with its smallbatch bourbon available at select ABC stores, including one at N. Thompson and Hermitage Road in Richmond. The Newport News distillery is located in a former dry-goods store and paper-supply warehouse dating from 1913 (and worth a visit for its own sake). It’s located directly across the street from the Newport News City Hall. Ironclad Bourbon is made from Virginia corn, wheat and rye, along with malted barley. It’s aged in new, American oak, charred barrels, which qualifies it as real bourbon. Later this month or early in February, the distillery plans to open a new tasting room and retail store. We tried the smooth bourbon in the uncompleted tasting room. We’ll be tempted to buy a 375 ml. bottle of bourbon on our next visit ($38.69), not only for the sweet taste on the front and slight spice at the end, but also because each bottle carries a barrel tag showing the barrel from which it came. While there, we purchased New Hampshire maple syrup that had aged in the distillery’s bourbon barrels. (Hint: it’s much too good to just slather on pancakes. Try it when making grilled salmon.)
Parking is limited out front on weekdays, but free for visitors to the distillery on weekends in the lot past the building on 23rd Street and West Avenue. Many destinations offer a taste of history, but this city of 182,000 offers many literal tastes in ale, beer and bourbon. For a wider Hampton Roads sampling of adult beverages, check out the “Toast the Coast Beer, Wine and Shine Trail” at toastthecoastva.com. Download the pocket guide to breweries, distilleries, wineries, pubs and tastings. For complete information on Newport News attractions, accommodations, restaurants, events and activities, visit www.newport-news.org, call 1-888-493-7386, or email email@example.com.
Hot Toddy recipe 1.5 oz. Ironclad Bourbon 2 oz. warm apple cider ½ oz. lemon juice ½ oz. local buckwheat or wildflower honey In a mug, add honey, lemon and bourbon. Pour in warm cider and stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge, or a cinnamon stick and star anise pod.
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FIFTYPLUS — JANUARY 2018
DATE Jan 21-23 Feb 4-7 Feb 10-16 Feb 16-19 Feb 17-25 Feb 18-20 Mar 2-4 Mar 2-11 Mar 4-7 Mar 8-10 Mar 10 Mar 10 Mar 13-20 Mar 17 Mar 31 Apr 8-10 Apr 13-15 Apr 18-May 6 Apr 20-21 Apr 21-29 Apr 23-May 4 Apr 28 May 1-4 May 2-5 May 4-6 May 7-28 May 8-11 May 9-12 May 10-11 May 12 May 19-27 May 21-23 May 22-26 May 25-29 June 1-13 June 2-9 June 3-9 June 5-10 June 6-9 June 9-16 June 13-17 June 13-22 June 15-17 June 15-30 June 17-20 June 19-23 June 21-23 June 21-23 June 23-Jul 1 July 1-10 July 2-17 July 3-6 July 7-23 July 7-Aug 5 July 14-21 July 18-29 July 20-21 July 21-Aug 6 July 22-25 July 26-28
www.FiftyPlusRichmond.com | Leisure & Travel
2018 Tour Schedule
PER PERSON PRICE TOUR Sands Casino & Resorts / Bethlehem, PA ..........................................295 Atlantic City, NJ / Resorts Casino & Hotel ..........................................370 Mardi Gras / Mobile............................................................................1025 **Daytona 300 XFINITY / Daytona 500................................................795 Florida / Winter Escape......................................................................1750 Sands Casino & Resort / Bethlehem, PA ............................................295 Winter Wildlife Cruise / VA Beach ........................................................375 Southern Comforts ............................................................................1595 Atlantic City, NJ / Resorts Casino & Hotel ..........................................370 Philadelphia Flower Show ..................................................................475 “Million Dollar Quartet” / Altria Theater ................................................150 Highland Maple Festival ........................................................................60 Baseball Spring Training / Phoenix Fly ............................................2495 Highland Maple Festival ........................................................................60 “Dirty Dancing” / Altria Theater ............................................................150 Sands Casino & Resort / Bethlehem, PA ............................................295 **Washington DC / Cherry Blossom Festival ......................................450 Southwest & California Motorcoach ..................................................2975 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ......................................................................350 Charleston / Savannah / Jekyll Island ..............................................1375 Texas “The Lone Star State” ............................................................1995 “The Wiz” Ford’s Theater / Washington ..............................................190 Cape May New Jersey ........................................................................795 All About Atlanta ..................................................................................695 New York City / Springtime ................................................................995 San Francisco, CA & Pacific Northwest ............................................3195 Tulip Festival / Holland, Michigan ......................................................750 Creation Museum / Ark Encounter ......................................................595 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ........................................................................350 Tangier Island .................................................................................... 100 Branson / America’s Music Show Capital ..........................................1475 Sands Casino / Bethlehem, PA ..........................................................295 Baseball / Three Stadiums ................................................................1050 Nashville / “Music City USA” ..............................................................725 America’s Northwest / Fly / Land ......................................................3095 Niagara Falls / Montreal & Quebec ..................................................1325 Florida’s NE Shore / Amelia Island ....................................................995 Kentucky / Bluegrass State ..............................................................1075 Creation Museum / Ark Encounter ......................................................595 Michigan & The Grand Hotel ............................................................1795 Hall of Fame / Sports & Music ............................................................775 Nova Scotia & The Atlantic Provinces ..............................................1725 Mystery Tour SSHHH! It’s A Secret ......................................................395 Alaska & Canada Fly / Land / Northbound ........................................4750 Atlantic City, NJ / Resorts Casino & Hotel ..........................................370 Baseball / Four Stadiums ..................................................................1095 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ......................................................................525 Chincoteaque Island ..........................................................................450 Branson / America’s Music Show Capital ..........................................1475 Hawaii / Honolulu /Waikiki ................................................................3495 Alaska & Canada Fly / Land / Southbound ......................................4750 Baseball / Fourth of July / Washington DC ........................................775 Canyonlands / Our Most Scenic Tour ..............................................2895 Alaska & Canada’s Yukon by Motorcoach ........................................5595 Summer New England / Martha’s Vineyard ......................................1525 Pacific Coast Fly / Land ....................................................................3750 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ......................................................................350 Newfoundland / Labrador / Nova Scotia ..........................................2775 Sands Casino & Resort / New York City ..............................................475 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ......................................................................525
DATE July 26-30 July 30-Aug 10 July 30-Aug 20 July 31-Aug 4 Aug 3-6 Aug 11 Aug 12-18 Aug 13-24 Aug 13-17 Aug 14-18 Aug 16-18 Aug 18-25 Aug 20-23 Aug 24-26 Aug 25 Sept 1-7 Sept 2-4 Sept 5-8 Sept 5-8 Sept 6-7 Sept 7-9 Sept 8-16 Sept 14-15 Sept 15-16 Sept 15-22 Sept 16-22 Sept 20-23 Sept 21-24 Sept 24-30 Sept 28-30 Sept 29-Oct 10 Sept 30-Oct 3 Oct 2-17 Oct 4 Oct 4-10 Oct 5-23 Oct 6 *** Oct 7-28 Oct 13-17 Oct 18-20 Oct 18-22 Oct 18-20 Oct 20-21 Oct 20-28 Oct 22-25 Nov 2-4 Nov 12-19 Nov 15-18 Nov 21-24 Nov 25-28 Nov 26-29 Nov 28-Dec 2 Nov 29-Dec 3 Nov 30-Dec 2 Dec 1-9 Dec 6-8 Dec 7-9 Dec 7-9 Dec 14-15 Dec 26-31
TOUR PER PERSON PRICE Nashville / “Music City USA” ..............................................................725 America’s Southwest Fly / Land ........................................................2995 San Francisco, CA / Pacific Northwest ............................................3195 Amish Acres Festival / Napanee, Indiana ............................................685 “The Crooked Road” / Virginia Music Trail ..........................................625 Tangier Island ......................................................................................100 Elvia / Tupelo / Memphis ....................................................................950 The Great Lakes ..............................................................................2395 Baseball Three Stadiums ....................................................................975 Wisconsin / Racine / Milwaukee ........................................................825 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ......................................................................525 Niagara Falls / Montreal & Quebec ..................................................1325 Dover Downs / Foxwoods ..................................................................495 Smokey Mountain Railroad / Cherokee ..............................................550 D-Day Memorial / Smith Mountain Lake ............................................110 New England / Vermont / New Hampshire ........................................1350 Sands Casino & Resort / Bethlehem, PA ............................................295 Creation Museum / Ark Encounter ......................................................595 Mystery Tour – “We are still not telling!” ..............................................675 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ......................................................................350 Ohio Amish Country ............................................................................525 Branson / America’s Music Show Capital ..........................................1475 Tygart Flyer / Gandy Dancer Theater ................................................350 **Baseball / Atlanta Braves ................................................................275 Niagara Falls / Montreal & Quebec ..................................................1325 Agawa Canyon Railroad ..................................................................1225 Loretta Lynn’s Homeplace / Pikeville, KY ..........................................550 Long Island New York ........................................................................675 New England In The Fall ..................................................................1195 Neptune Festival / VA Beach ..............................................................525 Nova Scotia & New England / Fall ....................................................1950 Atlantic City, NJ / Resorts Casino ......................................................370 Hawaiian Islands / Four Island Tour ..................................................5575 Cass Railroad / National Observatory ................................................100 New England / Fall ............................................................................1195 Southwest & California / Motorcoach ................................................2975 Graves Mountain Harvest Festival ........................................................80 Australia / New Zealand ....................................................................9995 *Niagara Falls / Toronto ......................................................................825 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ......................................................................525 Nashville / “Music City USA” ..............................................................725 ***Biltmore Estates / Lake Lure, NC ..................................................550 New River Amtrak Fall Excursion ........................................................450 Branson / America’s Music Show Capital ..........................................1475 Dover Downs / Foxwoods ..................................................................495 Sunshine Tours Family Reunion ........................................................550 Olde English Christmas / Omaha, NE ..............................................1195 Biltmore / Smoky Mountain Christmas ................................................775 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade ....................................................1325 Sands Casino & Resort / New York City ..............................................475 Christmas Mystery ..............................................................................650 Charleston / Savannah Christmastime ..............................................975 Nashville / Country Christmas / Opryland ........................................1275 New York / Radio City Christmas Show ............................................1175 Branson, MO / Ozark Christmas ........................................................1450 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ......................................................................525 Myrtle Beach / Christmas ....................................................................450 New York / Radio City Christmas Show ............................................1175 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ......................................................................350 Florida / Christmas at Disneyworld ..................................................1295
Prices shown are for Double (2 to a Room) Occupancy. Quad (4 to a Room) and Triple (3 to a Room) Occupancy is Available at a Slightly Lower Per Person Price. Single (1 to a Room) is also available at a Slightly Higher Per Person Price. All Tours Include Roundtrip Transportation by Modern, Air-Conditioned, DVD and Restroom Equipped Deluxe Motorcoach, Hotel Accommodations and Admission to the Listed Attractions. Baggage Handling is provided at each night’s lodging as indicated in the catalog. Cancellation Insurance is NOT REQUIRED on any Sunshine tour, as we will REFUND ALL PAYMENTS (FLY TRIPS 45-DAYS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE) FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER if you find it necessary to cancel your reservation AT ANY TIME before the tour leaves.
4430 Cleburne Boulevard * P. O. Box 2149, Dublin, VA 24084 VA DMV Permit No. 180
PICK-UP POINTS FOR TOURS LISTED:
Staunton, Charlottesville, Richmond
NOTE: * Richmond ONLY | ** Staunton ONLY | *** Richmond & Charlottesville ONLY
FOR A FREE CATALOG OF TOURS, PLEASE CALL TOLL FREE:
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JANUARY 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
Palermo, Italy offers a lively slice of Sicily By Cain Burdeau For many travelers, Italy is seen as romantic, mysterious and a bit chaotic, with torpid heat, gorgeously rich colors and irresistible food. In reality, of course, every region has a distinct culture and identity. But Palermo — the ancient capital of Sicily and jewel of the Mediterranean — lives up to the Italy of popular imagination. It’s joyful and colorful, rich in art and cuisine, but also disorganized, unable even to reliably collect the garbage. Life is busily lived on the streets here. Clothes hang haphazardly from balconies. Motor scooters zip down narrow alleyways (often driven by children going the wrong way). People shout in Sicilian — a dialect incomprehensible to many Italian speakers — back and forth across streets and from windows. They gesture, sing and openly observe others. All this plays out in a city steeped in religious rituals, intricate history, stunning art and stunning decay. It’s a place living amid the past — a past lost in so much of today’s modernizing Italy. It’s also a culture that can seem oddly familiar to outsiders, likely due to the waves of Sicilians who emigrated to the U.S. and made their mark on everyday American life in everything from food to pop culture. Part of The Godfather was filmed here, and the
Mafia remains a force despite government crackdowns and the public’s outrage and resistance in the wake of bombings that killed two antiMafia magistrates and others with them in 1992.
A mosaic of cultures Before being bombed by Americans in World War II and ransacked by the Mafia after the war, Palermo was for centuries one of Europe’s most splendid cities — rich with churches, palaces, theaters, villas. Much of that illustrious past remains, albeit faded, but so does deep poverty. There are medieval Arab-Norman palaces (La Zisa, La Cuba, the Norman Palace), fantastic churches (the main cathedral with tombs of Norman royalty, and the Cathedral of Monreale with extraordinary mosaics), art-filled Spanish palaces, the grand Teatro Massimo opera house, and much more. What makes the city unique is the mixture of cultures across centuries: a tapestry of Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Arab, Norman, Jewish, French, English, Spanish and Italian influences. “You need an encyclopedia to describe the Palermitan,” said Pietro Tramonte, a retired accountant who runs an eccentric outdoor bookstore. “Here you find a laboratory, just like when life began. It’s an impossible mosaic. But we’re forced to live together.”
Just then, a man in a car hails Tramonte from the end of the alleyway. He’s dropping off a strange donation: hardbound books about fascism by the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. “Palermo is the fountain of serendipity,” Tramonte continued. “When a foreigner comes to Palermo, he should let himself go. Let yourself be a feather in the wind, and you can find that that wind can take you to beautiful places.”
Lively outdoor markets Outdoor markets are some of the best places to revel in Palermo. Vendors shout out prices. Butchers slice, pound and weigh meat. Fishmongers’ stands display decapitated swordfish. Things sizzle in pots and pans at kiosks: chickpea fritters (panelle), potato and egg rolls (crocche), stuffed rice balls (arancine). Your head spins at the movement, the flashes of life: A fellow brushes by with a pushcart full of sardines for sale; another tries to catch your attention to buy a bouquet of flowers. You admire displays of oranges, lemons, apples, strawberries, lettuce heads, broccoli and tomatoes as mouth-watering works of art. You’re in a stream of people, moving, buying, looking, talking, bumping into each other with bags full of food. A scooter blows its horn and plows through. Your senses are assaulted by mounds of
olives and dried tomatoes, bunches of rosemary and bay leaves, cheeses. “We were born here, and we will die here,” said Francesco Andolina, a fruit and vegetable vendor whose family has been getting up before dawn and working until dusk in the Ballaro market for generations. But Palermo’s most famous market, the Vucciria, is a shadow of its former self. Merchants now offer antiques and souvenirs to tourists. The streets are no longer slick with vegetable and fruit remains. “All the people want to go to the supermarkets with their carts,” Andolina said, as he mockingly pretended to push a cart. Palermo recently restricted most cars from the city center. “Now you can hear your own footsteps, you can hear your voice. That was taken away when there were cars,” said Sara Cappello, a folk singer and storyteller. And in 2018, Palermo is being celebrated as Italy’s Capital of Culture. “We deserve to be the cultural capital because we are a wonderful city,” she added. The lowest roundtrip airfare to Palermo in late January is $1,024 on Air France from Byrd International Airport. To learn more about Palermo, see www.officeoftourism.org/europe/italy/Sicily/palermo.asp — AP
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Susan Schaar has worked in the Virginia senate for more than 40 years.
She keeps the senate of Virginia humming By Glenda C. Booth Plaques, awards and memorabilia crowd nearly every square inch of Susan Schaar’s third floor office walls at the Virginia State Capitol. The long-time clerk of the Virginia Senate has a plaque from the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries, where she was the first Virginian elected president. There’s a trophy from the National Conference of State Legislatures Foundation, “my Oscar,” she quips. Here, she was the first Virginian to be the organization’s staff chair. There’s even a sledge hammer with which she took a “ceremonial swing” at the groundbreaking for the new General Assembly
Building last year. There are books, hard hats, bobble heads, and countless mementoes from her 43 years of public service. Like her crowded walls, Schaar’s days are jam-packed. As clerk, she is the Senate’s chief operating officer, responsible for records, technology, human resources, facilities and the teenage pages. During the legislative session, in January and February every year, she sits on the dais in front of the presiding officer — the Lieutenant Governor. Since the Senate has no parliamentarian, she is expected to know parliamentary procedure and the Senate’s rules, drawing on authoritative tomes like Jefferson’s and Mason’s (Paul, not George)
Manuals, the arcana of legislating. When the Senate is not in session, Schaar compiles a record of motions and votes, and manages study commissions created by the legislature. She is the chamber’s institutional memory.
Secrets to success Schaar started working in the Virginia Senate in 1974, and in 1990 the body’s 40 senators elected her as its clerk. Since then, she’s been re-elected every four years, under both Democratic and Republican leaderships. When first approached about the job, Schaar hesitated, she said. But she decided that the opportunity might not recur, and ac-
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cepted it on the condition that it would be a nonpartisan position. That condition has held. There are no academic curricula or college courses to educate people about the myriad responsibilities of most legislative staff jobs like hers. “I had to learn on the job,” she said. Schaar says there are three secrets to her survival all these years: “One: Be flexible; everything changes in five minutes. Two: Like people from all walks and all backgrounds. Three: Have a sense of humor, including be able to laugh at yourself.” Restoring the Capitol building from 2004 See VIRGINIA SENATE, page 22
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Virginia Senate From page 21 to 2007 was a career highlight, she said. It involved renovations to improve visitors’ experiences, upgrade wiring, and stabilize a shifting dome. The historic, neoclassical building was designed in 1785 by none other than Thomas Jefferson. The legislature first occupied the building in 1788. Legislators’ offices are located in the General Assembly Building. Schaar is now overseeing the design and remodeling of those offices. The design will retain the building’s historic façade.
All about the senators When asked to recall a funny moment in the Senate, she said that a senator once asked her, “Do you write in your personal journal every day?” She replied, “I don’t keep a jour-
JANUARY 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
nal.” His response: “Thank goodness!” She sees legislators “in the round,” as she puts it — at their wit’s end, in their leisure modes, and in their stellar, stentorian moments. As for memorable experiences, she fondly recalls the visit of the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II, and her address to the joint session four days after the renovated Capitol re-opened in 2007. To prepare, Schaar did a walk-through of the planned events with the queen’s security staff and U.S. Secret Service personnel. When a Secret Service agent spotted a painting in the old Senate chamber of Continental Revolutionary War forces overwhelming Lord Cornwallis’s British troops at Yorktown, he questioned the etiquette and political wisdom of strolling with the Queen past the painting. “Is that polite?” he gently queried. The queen’s staff drily retorted, “She probably
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ISRAELI FILM FESTIVAL The Eighth Annual Israeli Film Festival will take place Thursday through Sunday, Jan. 18 to 27 at the Weinstein JCC. The first film, a
comedy-drama, will be shown on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $7 per film or $25 for all four. The Weinstein JCC is located at 5403 Monument Ave. For more information about other films to be shown, visit https://weinsteinjcc.org.
knows. She’s very astute about those things.” Even though Schaar is not eager to be in the spotlight, she made headlines in early 2017 when the General Assembly raised her salary by $20,000 to bring it in line with her male counterpart at the House of Delegates. He had worked in the House of Delegates only six years, compared with her 27 in the Senate. Proponents argued they should correct an unequal pay for equal work situation. Nearly a year later, she is still tight-lipped about the situation, only willing to say, “It was resolved to my satisfaction.”
Rewarding elements Though her job is “never dull,” an especially rewarding part of it is managing the page program, under which youngsters age 13 to 14 get to learn the ropes as interns during the General Assembly’s annual session. “It is life-changing for them,” Schaar said. “When they go home, they want to talk politics and issues.” And, she adds, they learn much more: time management, how to handle money, how to be on their own, and good manners. “They go home changed.” Two Capitol Square projects now underway are also important to Schaar. “The Mantle” will be a monument to Native Americans. It is named after the deerskin cape owned by Powhatan, father of Pocahontas, and was designed by Alan Michelson, a Mohawk member of Six Nations of the Grand River.
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The Virginia Women’s Monument will feature bronze statues of 12 women influential through Virginia’s history. “This has become a passion,” Schaar said of the project. When not working, Schaar kayaks on the Rappahannock River, and tends to three rescue cats and one rescue dog. A graduate of Westhampton College, she lives in Henrico County with her husband, Bill. She has one stepson and two grandsons. Schaar professes no interest in ever running for office herself, but she claims some credit in grooming others for office. Senator Jennifer L. McClelland, D.-Richmond, who was elected to the Virginia Senate in January 2017, worked in Schaar’s office during McClelland’s senior year at the University of Richmond. It was an experience that created a special bond between them. “[Schaar] is very dedicated to the Senate as an institution and to individual senators,” said McClelland, “making sure everyone does what they need to do, follows protocol, and upholds the importance of the Senate as an institution. “She likes to brag that [my experience in her office] trained me [for the Senate]. For her, it’s like one of her children has come home,” McClelland said of Schaar. “She swore me in after my special election, and I think for her, it felt like the prodigal daughter had returned. It was a special moment.”
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How can you feed the birds? First, do not cut spent flowers from summer-blooming plants; the seed heads from rudbeckia, for example, provide natural nourishment for birds. Include native plants in your landscape that produce seeds, nuts and berries, such as Northern hackberry, hawthorn, Eastern red cedar, viburnum, and native ornamental grasses. Leaving some leaf litter will provide homes for protein-packed insect larvae. Second, realize that different birds eat different things. Just like humans, some are carnivores, some herbivores, and many are omnivores. Choose a food and feeding method for the birds in your neighborhood (or for birds you’d like to attract). The Cornell Lab of Ornithology (https://www.allaboutbirds.org/) is a wonderful resource for bird identification, including bird songs. Next, select a bird feeder that is appropriate for the type of bird you want to attract. You can purchase these, but even better, you can construct them — perhaps working together with your grandchildren or neighborhood kids. Below are several simple options that can be assembled by children, depending on their ages, or with an adult’s help. Use twine or yarn, a carabiner, an “S” hook, or the clasp of a dog leash to hang your feeder. Sturdier branches are better for heavier feeders; however, hanging lightweight feeders on small branches will discourage squirrels from marauding. Preferably place your feeder in the cover of evergreens. A discarded Christmas tree makes great cover. Refrain from giving table scraps or bread crumbs to birds. These often attract undesir-
able species, such as house sparrows, starlings, grackles and pigeons, as well as raccoons and other mammals. (If you have problems with undesirables, use black sunflower seeds to feed the birds only.) Remember to clean feeders every week to prevent the spread of disease among the birds. Finally, include a water source and grit. Place baths or shallow trays of water in open areas. Grit is important for digestion in seedeating birds. Use coarse sand, oyster shell grit or canary grit, and place in a saucer near the water source. Do not mix the grit with food. Once the birds have found your oasis, bird watching may become your family’s favorite hobby.
Simple, homemade bird feeders Pinecone Treat Materials: Peanut butter or shortening (beef suet, lard or vegetable shortening) Birdseed Small screw eye and/or yarn Directions: If pine cones are closed, put them on a cookie sheet in a low oven (300°) for 20-30 minutes until the heat opens them. For hanging, insert screw eye into the flat end of a pinecone or simply wrap a loop of yarn around the cone. Cover the cone with peanut butter or shortening. Use a plastic knife to spread peanut butter deep within the scales. Roll the cone in birdseed; spoon birdseed to get it within the pinecone.
Peanut Butter and Millet Roll Materials: Peanut butter Millet seed or assorted birdseed Yarn Toilet paper tube Directions: Thread yarn through cardboard tube. Tie the ends of the yarn together to make a hanging loop. Spread peanut butter over the tube and roll in millet seed. This is attractive to finches, many sparrow species, and chickadees.
Orange Bowl Materials: Orange with a thick rind Knife and spoon Skewer or awl 3 pieces of twine, cut into 24 lengths Birdseed Directions: With a sharp knife, cut the orange in half; scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Using a skewer, pierce three holes around the See FEEDING BIRDS, page 25
o ct N t ra e n Fe Co No ly th on
By Lela Martin Although many of our feathered friends fly south during colder weather, other birds remain in the Richmond metropolitan area over the winter. Observing birds is one of the most popular wildlife-related activities. By feeding the birds, you will increase your opportunities to observe permanent residents, such as the cardinal, goldfinch, blue jay and tufted titmouse, as well as winter-only residents, such as the dark-eyed junco, hermit thrush, white-throated sparrow and winter creeper. Research has shown that feeding birds does not reduce a bird’s ability to find other sources of nutrition. Typically, feeders serve as supplements to natural food sources. Indeed, providing high-calorie sustenance during periods of extreme cold as well as during ice or snow storms is important for birds’ survival.
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JANUARY 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
Start 2018 on a positive note with these The beginning of a new year is a time for knowledge, he proceeds to delineate how to assessment and action. Look ahead with best make use of the latest research with specific, practical applications we hope. Read and reflect on the can incorporate in our own daily choices before you. Draw inspiactivities. The book includes ration on how to make improvemany stories that bring the topments, break old habits, and ics to life. Each chapter conforge new positive pathways. cludes with a summary of Start each day of 2018 with a salient points. smile and a purpose. Brain Rules for Aging While he apparently has a Well: 10 Principles for business interest in selling Staying Vital, Happy, and video games to seniors, Medina Sharp by John Medina, 288 soft pedals that endorsement. pages, Pear Press hard- THE He offers a wide range of sugBIBILOPHILE cover, 2017. gestions on how to mitigate the Enjoying good health well By Dinah Rokach undesirable aspects of aging. He into old age has been the focus encourages us to defer retireof much recent scientific research. Brain ment, keep a busy social schedule, go online Rules for Aging Well is a concise sum- to communicate with others, learn new skills, mary of what experts have determined is the exercise and read. best approach for people to achieve longevity, “Voracious reading,” he writes, “… turns sound mental health, and physical vigor. out to be good for aging brains and, surprisDr. John Medina, a molecular biologist, lu- ingly, even better for longevity.” Amen to that! cidly explains the jargon of neuroscience, Learn how to age well by utilizing nostalgia as physiology and other esoteric fields of study. a tool to enhance life. Read about the imporHe helps us understand the process of aging tance of cultivating a frame of mind that em— physically, mentally and psychologically. braces optimism, mindfulness and gratitude. Revivement: Having A Life After He imparts this information in a conversaMaking a Living by Gloria Dunn-Violin, tional manner. After explaining the basis of current 270 pages, Having A Life Now Publish-
ing softcover, 2017. Whether you’ve been laid off and are looking for a new job or want to stay productive as you age, you will find Revivement to be an excellent resource. Research shows that people who broaden their horizons, learn new skills and stay active live longer. Ms. Dunn-Violin directs her advice to those over 50. She coins the term revivement as an alternative to the word retirement. The book inspires us to broaden, rather than narrow, our life’s purpose, add to our skill sets, and not lose the ones we have through disuse. We are encouraged to look back to find and reignite our former passions that may have been latent during middle age. Read stories of those who have followed this concept, then complete the worksheets to formulate your personal goals. The author provides practical advice: Use technology to make life simpler. Don’t let new ideas and methods pass you by due to lack of curiosity or resistance to change. Nurture excitement in what you do. Venture down a challenging new course, and stop treading the comfortable, safe, old worn-out path. Finding purpose in our activities is essential for vitality. Making meaningful use of our time and energy brings fulfillment and satis-
faction as we age. That’s a goal to which we should all aspire in the New Year. Everything You Need to Know About Social Media (Without Having to Call a Kid) by Greta Van Susteren, 305 pages, Simon & Schuster paperback, 2017. For those who have yet to join the social media world, Greta Van Susteren’s detailed step-by-step book is an indispensable guide. Chapters cover Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat. Also included is information on loading your own videos online, what she calls personal broadcasting. Her book painstakingly takes you through the process of using each platform — including their advantages and downsides, how to sign up, the exact privacy settings you may want to consider, and how to load videos and photos. The book effectively employs screenshot illustrations. Explanations are easy to understand. In Van Susteren, technophobes have found a warm and engaging coach to help broaden their horizons. Cartoons from The New Yorker 2018 Day-to-Day Calendar, 640 pages, Andrews McMeel Publishing boxed edition, 2017. See BOOK REVIEWS, page 25
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FIFTYPLUS — JANUARY 2018
Book reviews From page 24 Humor is an important tool in overcoming life’s vicissitudes. Enjoying a good joke is a great way to start each day. What could be more useful in setting the proper tone in 2018 than a desk calendar with a daily dose of humor? The droll wit of The New Yorker magazine’s famous cartoons will surely help put you in an upbeat mood as you face the day. Your coping skills will be enhanced when you put this calendar on your desk. The New Yorker magazine has included cartoons since the periodical’s inception in 1925. They are not just for New Yorkers. They’re for anyone who enjoys a touch of sophistication along with a humorous take on contemporary life.
Feeding birds From page 23 cup of the rind, approximately ½” from the cut edge. The holes should be evenly spaced around the rind’s circumference. Thread a string through each hole, tying a knot inside the orange to hold the string in place. Knot the strings together at the top to create a hanging loop, keeping all three strings the same length to support the orange and keep it level. If you want to tie the feeder directly to a tree branch, keep the strings un-
Most cartoons include a sketch with a caption that gives a pithy, wry or humorous comment on the illustration. The cartoons are in black-and-white, and drawn in a multitude of styles by a wide variety of talented and witty cartoonists who also supply the captions. The calendar pages are bound together at the top in a black plastic holder and can be ripped off each day. There are only six per week; Saturdays and Sundays share one page. Official holidays in the English-speaking world are noted at the bottom left, including the country where they are observed. At the bottom right is the day and date. While the cartoons and captions take up most of the page, the back is blank for notetaking. It’s not an appointment calendar, just a daily appointment with a funny cartoon. Smile, chuckle, relax, and the rest of the day may be more easily endured. tied until you hang the feeder. Repeat with the other orange half. Fill with birdseed. This feeder is especially attractive to orioles. Lela Martin is a Master Gardener with the Chesterfield County office of the Virginia Cooperative Extension.
FROM PAGE 26 ANSWERS TO CROSSWORD
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
The University of Richmond Museums presents “Birds & Poppies: LargeScale Woodcuts” by Richard Ryan, on view Tuesday, Jan. 16 through Monday, July 2 in the Harnett Museum of Art, 28 Westhampton Way. For more information, visit museums.richmond.edu or call (804) 289-8276.
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AFRICAN CHILDREN’S CHOIR
The African Children’s Choir will perform at Calvary’s Love Ministries, 118 S 11th Ave., Hopewell on Friday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. The program features well-loved children’s songs, traditional spirituals and gospel favorites. Concerts are free, but a free-will offering is taken at the performance to support their programs, as well as education, care and relief and development programs. Tickets are not required. For more information, visit https://africanchildrenschoir.com or call 1-877-532-8651.
Agile Writers, a writer’s club dedicated to helping beginning writers create a first-draft within six months, is holding an open meeting on Thursday, Jan. 25 from 7 to 9 p.m. The meeting will take place at Agile Writers’ new offices at Great Space, 10825 Midlothian Turnpike. For more information, visit http://AgileWriters.us
JANUARY 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
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GETTING TO KNOW POCAHONTAS
Through Jan. 28, visitors to Jamestown Settlement can experience the special exhibition, "Pocahontas Imagined," featuring portraits, sculptures, memorabilia, advertisements and the opportunity to step into an oversized cut-out of a 1907 postage stamp featuring Pocahontas's image. Jamestown Village is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. It is located at 2110 Jamestown Rd., Williamsburg. Admission is $17 for adults and $8 for ages 6-12. Children under 6 are free. To learn more, see www.historyisfun.org, or call 1-888- 593-4682.
Across 1. Lancelot and Mix-a-Lot 5. Summit 9. Fabled home builder 12. Water balloon toss failure 13. Evade responsibility 15. Egg cells 16. Biff Loman’s dad 17. Tube-shaped pasta 18. PC linkup 19. With 31, 42, and 57 Across, a Customer Serve-Us line that starts “We” and ends “to us” 22. Start to -scope or -meter 23. Boyhood nickname of Darth Vader 24. A matter of Life (cereal) 25. Brit. timezone baseline 27. Commonality in “sack”, “sick”, and “sock” 30. Last third of an SSN 32. Our options have changed; the line now continues at 32 Across 38. Gold, panned in a Mexican river 39. Mexican river used to pan for gold 40. “___ Miserables” 41. Abbrev. for Regiment 42. To give up on this puzzle, press 1; or to continue the line, press 2 46. ___.edu (website for the National Defense University) 47. One plus two plus three plus four 48. Letter sequence found in only two English words: “already”, and “milreis” 49. Toilet paper thickness measure 51. Visit the dining hall 53. Directors Spike and Ang 57. Before turning the page, please take our brief survey about the conclusion of the line 62. Letters on an Apollo rocket 63. Orange juice solids 64. Writing assignment 65. Sale item at the Mets’ team store 66. Cut off your nose, proverbially 67. Caroline Kennedy, to Bobby 68. One of the Kongs - Donkey or King
Stephen Sherr 6
M ARK YOUR CALE NDAR
Daily crosswords can be found on our website: www.TheBeaconNewspapers.com Click on Puzzles Plus
69. What Simon does 70. “Channel 2 news comes ___ 11:00” Down 1. Index fingernails, when performing “Here’s the church; here’s the steeple...” 2. Ahead, in the ER triage line 3. Research Triangle’s biggest point 4. River to the underworld 5. Colorado home to the Winter X Games 6. Dote on 7. Knee-baring skirt 8. Marine eagle 9. Communist leadership committee 10. ___ the Terrible 11. West Side Story group 12. Parent Trap ruse 14. Numbers game 20. Member of the Superbowl LI champs 21. Coke machine contents 26. Game-show founder Griffin, who proposed one called “Let’s Do Crosswords” 28. Storm preceder 29. Greet the king 31. Prego taste test foe 32. Ad ___ committee 33. Its official language is Persian 34. Make the ordinary appear special 35. “I ___ ya’ so” 36. Winner of 80 Olympic golds in ‘80 37. It’s inside an env. (or one of its words) 43. Conversational gap 44. Containing some material 45. Boris ___, predecessor of Putin 50. Puppy sounds 52. Domed cathedral areas 54. Use aloe to ___ sunburn 55. Convert a bill to a law 56. Eye sore 57. Finalist in the first World Baseball Classic, in 2006 58. “Don’t wait for me to say all the words!” 59. Dines at dusk 60. Hip bones 61. Nevada gambling town
Answers on page 25.
FIFTYPLUS — JANUARY 2018
Utility Buddy is Richmond’s friendly life-sized gas meter.
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Before you do. Making You Aware. Keeping You Safe. Richmond’s Natural Gas Safety Awareness Program
JANUARY 2018 â€” FIFTYPLUS
Published on Jan 9, 2018