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IN VOL.6, NO.1



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Making the most of midlife

Highlights of the program Saturday, March 4, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. “The Joy of Reinvention,” which was the focus of a national PBS-TV program, is reviewed under the guidance of Walton, Kerry Hannon and Mark Miller. Topics include a new mindset and personal game plan for leveraging your unique abilities and reinventing your life’s work. Today’s landscape for reinventing and repurposing your work — where are the




By Jorie Parr What am I going to do now? Almost every person Mark S. Walton has ever befriended or mentored hits a wall in midlife — you’re irritable by day, anxious by night, in a state of dissatisfaction. The newscaster turned educator has devised a dynamic process to turn malaise into action. Walton, chairman and president of the national nonprofit Second Half Institute (SHI), is launching a three-part program at UCR Palm Desert in March to deal with what he terms “the brand-new challenge of longevity.” People are living longer, into their 80s, 90s and beyond, and the middle years have stretched. You’re not young, you’re not old. Maybe it’s time to reinvent your life. It’s not the first big launch for the charismatic Walton, a journalist who helped launch the first all-news network, CNN, serving as chief White House correspondent. He later segued into a career in education, teaching at the prestigious Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina. And in his new endeavor, he leads a remarkable SHI faculty of entrepreneurs and distinguished journalists. (See sidebar.) He met them while researching his 2012 book, Boundless Potential. Tamara Hedges, executive director of UCR Palm Desert, issued a supportive statement. “The people of the Coachella Valley are like no other community, and UCR Palm Desert has a commitment here. Our goal is to educate and empower everyone who calls this place home. A program like the Second Half Institute serves the Coachella Valley by showcasing the excellence of the people who live here and by providing the tools to help everyone thrive, regardless of age.”



Kauai: A landscape that time has forgotten; plus, good times in Louisiana’s Cajun country page 15

Mark Walton will lead a team of national experts in a series of seminars at UCR Palm Desert that address how to make the best of changes in midlife.

jobs? And strategies for transitioning. Tuesday, March 7, 6 to 8 p.m. “An Encore Career Evening — Finding Work that Matters in the Coachella Valley.” Highlights include insider information, personal exploration and valuable networking. Moderator Walton characterizes the headliner, Marci Alboher VP of, as “the nation’s number one expert on encore careers.” Tuesday, March 21, 6 to 7:30 p.m. “Midlife Reimagined — The New Science, Art and Possibility of our 40s, 50s and 60s.” Addresses how to take advantage of the new reality of a longer, healthier midlife. How to keep our brains sharp, our relationships fresh. Handling the almost inevitable midlife career slump, coping with a sense of loss upon retirement. Starring Barbara Bradley Hagerty, author of the bestseller

Life Reimagined: The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife. “We offer the first university-based comprehensive curriculum for mastering/managing the unprecedented new challenges of today’s midlife and beyond,” Walton said. He mentions that Stanford and Harvard do have “elite, highly expensive, year-long programs designed strictly for high-level professionals…undertaking societal/global challenges.” But the Second Half Institute appears to zero in on an individual level.


Palm Springs festival kicks off film season; plus, when Donovan’s “Mellow Yellow” colored the airwaves page 18

Midlife triumphs

FITNESS & HEALTH 4 k Lower cholesterol without drugs k Five-minute cures

In “Boundless Potential” Walton presents many interesting case studies. For instance, ex-Los Angeles D.A. Gil Garcetti, who saw the beginning of the end of his

LAW & MONEY k Securities fraud hotline k Budgeting apps

See MARK WALTON page 7




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2016 feature stories brought out the best I took a nostalgic look back over our 2016 another. Rosie Casals is a Tennis Hall of publications, and I’m reminded of the ter- Fame member and multiple Wimbledon rific job we did covering senchampion. When her profesior issues for our readers. sional playing days were over, We are one in a family of four she reinvented herself. Now free monthly Beacon publicashe promotes local charity tions. (The siblings are in Washtennis events, holds clinics to ington, D.C.; Baltimore; and help players improve their Howard County, Maryland.) We game, organizes exhibitions are dedicated, as explained on with professional players and our website, www.thebeaconcorporate outings and travels, “to well-writaround the U.S. on the ten useful information of interest FROM THE speaker circuit. to people 50 and over and their PUBLISHER Some people hit their stride families.” Our primary coverage By Michael Brachman early and just keep going. One areas are health, finance, career, of these is Keith McCormick housing, travel, art, local events and features. on our March cover. He dropped out of More than that, I think the Coachella Val- school before age 15, and has been in busiley Beacon celebrates the wealth of talent, ness in England and the U.S. buying and sellstrength, diversity and sharing and caring of ing cars since he was 20. Now he’s the our 50-plus residents. I don’t know if it’s just owner of the popular annual Palm Springs in the Coachella Valley, but so many of our Collector Car Auction, which draws buyers older residents don’t know the meaning of from around the world. “retirement.” A review of our cover feature Many of our stories show people with stories in our twelve 2016 issues shows that. big, caring hearts. Our April cover told the Start with Maureen Forman on our Jan- story of Kathy and Kelly Gilbert, who own uary cover. She’s the executive director of the Landing Zone, a sanctuary for pet birds Jewish Family Services, which offers help whose owners can no longer care for them. to all residents regardless of faith. Raised in Their interest started with a dozen or so. a family with strong associations to commu- Now the couple cares for more than 100 nity service, Forman emphasizes compas- large and small birds. sion and personal assistance in the agency’s A man who traded a busy Hollywood casocial welfare programs. reer for a busy community service schedFebruary’s cover subject shows how one ule is Sidney Craig on our May cover. A can successfully glide from one career to former movie agent, he “retired” to the

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The Coachella Valley Beacon is a monthly newspaper dedicated to informing, serving and entertaining the citizens of the Coachella Valley area, and is independently owned and operated by On-Target Media, Inc. under authority of the Beacon Newspapers, Inc. Other Beacon editions serve Howard County, Md. and Baltimore, Md., as well as Greater Washington, D.C. Subscriptions are available via third-class mail ($16), prepaid with order. Send subscription order to the office listed below. Publication of advertising contained herein does not necessarily constitute endorsement. Signed columns represent the opinions of the writers, and not necessarily the opinion of the publisher. • Publisher ........................................................................Michael Brachman • Local Valley Contributing Writers ............ Jamie Lee Pricer, Jorie, Parr, ............................................................................................................Lydia Kremer

Coachella Valley Beacon 31855 Date Palm Dr., Ste. 3-181 Cathedral City, Ca 92234 Phone: 760-668-2226 • Email: Other content and design provided by The Beacon Newspapers, Inc., Kensington, Md. • Publisher ........................................................................Stuart P. Rosenthal • Managing Editor ..................................................................Barbara Ruben • Graphic Designers ............................................Kyle Gregory, Roger King • Editorial Assistant ............................................................Rebekah Alcalde Submissions: The Coachella Valley Beacon welcomes reader contributions. Deadline for editorial is the 20th of the month preceding the month of publication. Deadline for ads is the 15th of the month preceding the month of publication. Please mail or email all submissions.

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desert but keeps a full-time schedule as a member of nine boards and councils. In June, we had the good fortune to talk to Margaret Kilgore, one of the few woman journalists in Vietnam during the war years. A role model for woman journalists, she also covered politics in Washington, D.C. and wrote about business for the Los Angeles Times. One of our most surprising cover stories talked about skateboarding, of all things. Who knew that one of the sport’s pioneers lives in the Coachella Valley? Eddie Elguera, on our July cover, is a skateboarding legend and amateur and professional champion. He created many moves considered basics by skaters today, and others that remain a challenge to all but the top skaters. Although he can still pop out skate stunts that amaze, he’s been a pastor since the late 1980s. A couple who left busy careers for a calmer, settled life in the desert graced the August cover. David and Leigh Kirk operate

Forever Meow. They work with local animal shelters to help ease the problems of feral cat over-population and to decrease the number of animals, especially cats, to be euthanized. Don’t know how to swim? Always been afraid of the water? Would you like to overcome that fear and learn how to swim? Mark Harmon, a former city administrator and swimmer for 50 years, is your man. A master swimmer who knocks off a mile or two a day in a lap pool, in our September cover story he talks about teaching adults to swim, often on a one-to-one basis. The story of two women who simply knock off your socks filled our October cover. Gloria Franz and Nila Tatum are successful financial advisors. In addition to work that involves participation in conferences around the U.S., the two hardly let a See FROM THE PUBLISHER, page 14

Letters to the editor Readers are encouraged to share their opinion on any matter addressed in the Coachella Valley Beacon as well as on political and social issues of the day. Mail your Letter to the Editor to Coachella Valley Beacon 31855 Date Palm Dr., Ste. 3-181, Cathedral City, Ca 92234 or e-mail to Please include your name, address and telephone number for verification.

C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7

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Health Fitness &

CELEBREX EXONERATED A study found Celebrex is no riskier for the heart than Motrin or Tylenol for arthritis sufferers FIVE-MINUTE CURES Easy, inexpensive fixes for foot cramps, headaches, hangovers, chapped lips, stuffy noses and more

New statin shrinks artery-clogging plaque By Marilynn Marchione For the first time, a new drug given along with a cholesterol-lowering statin medicine has proved able to shrink plaque that is clogging arteries, potentially giving a way to undo some of the damage of heart disease. The difference was very small, but doctors hope it will grow with longer treatment. And any reversal or stabilization of disease would be a win for patients and a

long-sought goal. The drug, Amgen Inc.’s Repatha, also drove LDL, or bad cholesterol, down to levels rarely if ever seen in people before. Heart patients are told to aim for below 70, but some study participants got theirs as low as 15. “There doesn’t appear to be any level at which there is harm” from too little LDL, and the lower patients went, the more their plaque shrank, said one study leader, Dr.

Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic. Too much cholesterol, along with other substances, can build up and form plaque in arteries. Statins such as Lipitor and Crestor curb cholesterol production. Repatha and a similar drug, Praluent, block PCSK9 — a substance that interferes with the liver’s ability to remove cholesterol from the blood.

Expensive, injectable drugs




Mizell Senior Center will hold a series of classes on Medicare on the third Tuesday of the month. The first class is scheduled for 12:30 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17. Presenters are from HICAP, part of the national network of State Health Insurance and Assistance Programs that utilizes stateregistered HICAP health insurance counselors who receive extensive training on Medicare rules and regulations. Mizell is at 480 S. Sunrise Way, Palm Springs., (760) 323-5689.



Yoga for Health and Flex is offered from 8:15 to 9 a.m. Thursdays at Joslyn Center. The class is for beginners or for those who want to retune their skills. Cost for members is $30 for 4 sessions and $45 for nonmembers. Drop ins are $15 per class. Joslyn is at 73-750 Catalina Way, Palm Desert., (760) 340-3220.



Social Bingo is scheduled for noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Joslyn Center, 73-750 Catalina Way, Palm Desert. Buy in is $1 and cards are 25 cents., (760) 340-3220

The new drugs have drawbacks, though. Statins are pills sold as generics for as little as a dime a day. The new ones are biotech drugs that are expensive to make — Repatha costs $14,000 a year and insurers often won’t pay. They must be given as shots every two weeks or once a month. People can do it themselves with a penlike device. In the study, about 900 heart disease patients were given a strong statin and monthly shots of either Repatha or a dummy solution. Ultrasound images were taken of an artery with plaque at the start of the trial and 18 months later. The average for bad cholesterol stayed around 93 for people given only the statin, but dropped to 37 for those on both drugs. The amount of artery plaque stayed about the same for the statin-only group but shrank 1 percent in those also given Repatha. Some people with more dramatic LDL declines saw plaque shrink 2 percent. “It’s small, but it probably took patients 60 years to accumulate that plaque,” so to see any change after just 18 months of treatment is good, said a cholesterol expert, Dr. Raul Santos of the University of Sao Paolo. Dr. Vincent Bufalino, president of Advocate Medical Group, a large cardiology

group in suburban Chicago, agreed. “It sounds small, but it’s a beginning” and still a win, he said. Amgen sponsored the study, and Santos has consulted for the company. Nissen said his fees for doing the study were donated to charity. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and discussed at a recent American Heart Association conference. The best test of the new drugs’ value will be large studies underway now to see whether drops in cholesterol will lead to fewer heart attacks and deaths. Results are expected later this year.

Another new drug also helps Also at the conference, doctors gave results of a safety study of an experimental treatment aimed at rapidly removing cholesterol after a heart attack to help prevent a second one. “When you have a heart attack, your ability to get cholesterol out of plaque is actually worsened. Your plaques grow more plump....the pipes are getting even more clogged,” said Dr. C. Michael Gibson, professor of medicine at Harvard University. He led a study in 1,250 people testing infusions of ApoA-1, the main component of HDL, or good cholesterol, which helps remove the bad kind. The substance is taken directly from human blood, not synthesized in a lab. An earlier version showed side effects on the liver; this one was modified to try to avoid that, and no safety roadblocks were seen, said Gibson, who consults for the treatment’s maker, CSL Behring. — AP

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C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7


Ways to improve your cholesterol levels By Joyce Hendley If one-third of Americans have unhealthy cholesterol levels, why did the U.S. recently change its advice to limit the cholesterol we eat daily? Well, for most of us, dietary cholesterol has almost no effect on the cholesterol that ends up in our arteries. But keeping your blood cholesterol numbers down is still key to preventing heart disease. Two types of cholesterol are found in the blood, LDL and HDL — and LDL is traditionally targeted as the bad stuff that you want to lower. But it’s now known that not all LDL particles are equally dangerous. Small, dense LDL seems to be able to sneak through artery walls more easily and oxidize more readily into a damaging form, compared to the larger, lighter particles. Fortunately, eating the right foods can help keep this cholesterol out of your arteries. Here’s what you should know. Cut saturated fats and refined carbs. Saturated fats do make LDL cholesterol in the blood, and many experts still urge limiting these fats — especially from meat — to less than 10 percent of your daily calories. But new research suggests that cutting carbs may be more important for heart health.

“Highly processed carbohydrates — particularly sugary and refined carbs like white bread and cookies — are the main dietary influence on small dense LDL particles,” said Ron Krauss, M.D., director of atherosclerosis research at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute. When people replace saturated fats with sugary, refined carbs, “good” HDL drops, while LDL and triglycerides rise — as does heart disease risk. The USDA says to keep added sugars to 10 percent of daily calories, but Krauss would go further and recommends limiting refined carbs as well. Yes, you can eat eggs. Dietary cholesterol is officially a nonissue for most healthy folks, so eggs’ cholesterol content — around 185 mg. apiece — shouldn’t pose a problem. (Same goes for shrimp.) That said, people with diabetes might want to keep to an egg a day. Research has shown that eating eggs raises the risk for heart disease in diabetics, so American Diabetes Association guidelines still recommend keeping daily cholesterol intake under 300 mg. For better cholesterol levels, exercise. Regular exercise helps boost levels of heart-healthy HDL cholesterol that serves to clean up your arteries. While any exercise is good, moderate

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cardio — like jogging — raises HDL levels. And more-intense aerobic exercise, like spinning, tends to up the ante further by lowering LDL and triglycerides. Eat an avocado. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, which boost “good” HDL cholesterol while lowering triglycerides and LDL. Also, avocado’s fiber and phytosterols may give its cholesterol-lowering power a boost. When overweight people ate an avocado daily, their LDL levels dropped significantly more than in those who didn’t eat an avocado. Sow your oats (and barley). These grains are rich in beta glucan, a soluble fiber and a great way to slash small, dense

LDL. Benefits kick in when you get at least 3 grams of beta glucan daily. That’s the amount in 1 1/2 cups cooked oatmeal or 1 1/4 cups cooked pearl barley. Nibble some nuts. Eating between 1 and 3 ounces of nuts — including walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios — each day can help nudge small dense LDLs down. When people with high cholesterol added about 24 walnut halves a day to their usual diets for six weeks, their small dense LDLs dropped 12.7 points. EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at © 2016 Eating Well, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


Feb. 3


Traveling Safely, a free class, will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Feb. 3 at the Braille Institute, 70-251 Ramon Road, Rancho Mirage. It will cover all forms of travel, including bus, train and plane, and will give tips on parking and checking into hotels. Sign up at, (760) 321-1111.

Feb. 7


More than 35 health and community organizations are expected at the Tuesday, Feb. 7 annual free health fair hosted by the Indio Senior Center. Visitors can expect free snacks and refreshments and a chance to win prizes. Free hearing and blood tests will be available. Time is 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The senior center is at 45-700 Aladdin Way., (760) 668-0395.


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Three pain drugs equally safe for arthritis By Marilynn Marchione A new study gives some reassurance to arthritis sufferers who want pain relief but are worried about side effects. It finds that Celebrex — a drug similar to other Cox-2 inhibitors withdrawn 12 years ago for safety reasons — is no riskier for the heart than some other prescription pain pills that are much tougher on the stomach. “We do not want patients to suffer with pain, and we need to know what is safe to give them,” said Dr. Steven Nissen, the Cleveland Clinic’s heart chief, who led the study. Fear that Celebrex would be worse than alternatives proved unfounded, and “on almost every endpoint it actually comes out the best.” Some other doctors were less confi-

dent, partly because follow-up information was missing on one-fourth of the participants, and many others stopped taking their assigned drug. Still, several independent experts said the main results are believable. “I find this reassuring,” said Dr. Brian Strom, a drug safety expert and chancellor at Rutgers University in Newark. No new side effects emerged and Celebrex “seemed safer that way.” Results were discussed at an American Heart Association conference and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Here are some things to know about the study and options for soothing throbbing joints.

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Why the concern? Many of the 52 million Americans with arthritis need long-term pain medicines, and higher doses than over-the-counter ones. But some can cause serious stomach trouble. The drugs Vioxx and Bextra became blockbusters because they avoided this problem, but heart concerns emerged and the drugs were withdrawn from the market. Some research suggested that Celebrex, the lone drug left among Cox-2 inhibitors, might pose risks at high doses. So the government required its maker, Pfizer, to do this new study to prove it was safe enough to keep on the market.

All of these drugs are available as generics, but Celebrex is not sold over the counter. After more than two years in the study, about 2 percent of participants had suffered a heart attack, stroke, heart-related death or other heart problem, regardless of what drug they were taking. This was a surprise: Earlier studies suggested naproxen would be safest. Serious stomach problems were more common with ibuprofen and naproxen. Kidney problems were more common with ibuprofen. The study was not designed to compare the drugs for pain relief, but naproxen showed a small advantage on one measure of that over Celebrex.

Study results

Still some unknowns

The study tested daily use of Celebrex versus prescription-strength ibuprofen or naproxen in 24,000 arthritis patients with heart disease or a risk factor for it such as diabetes. The results only apply to these drugs and amounts — not to occasional use of lower, over-the-counter doses (ibuprofen is sold as Motrin, Advil and other brands; naproxen is sold as Naprosyn and Aleve), or to other painkillers such as Tylenol. The findings are not relevant to “somebody who takes an occasional ibuprofen or naproxen for a headache,” Nissen said.

The study doesn’t tell us whether any of these drugs is safer than no drug — there was no placebo group. All we can say is that if they raise heart risks, they do so equally. No information was available on how many participants also were taking aspirin, which can interfere with ibuprofen and naproxen. Two-thirds of participants stopped taking their assigned drug — a dropout rate typical of pain studies but still a problem for interpreting results. Discontinuation rates were See PAIN DRUGS, page 9

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C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7

Mark Walton From page 1 tenure after a humiliating defeat with the infamous O.J. Simpson trial. But a funny thing happened as he strolled by the Disney Concert Hall, then under construction. He saw a worker poised on a high beam. Garcetti grabbed his camera, snapped the photo. A brilliant shot, it pivoted a hobby to a profession and now the once discredited district attorney has gone on to fame and fortune as a photographer. The middle-age brain is not to be discounted. One of Walton’s favorite stories involves the miraculous airplane landing on the Hudson River. “When Chesley Sullenberger took over from his younger co-pilot he went into a sort of trance and his experience took over,” he said. It was a matter of “mental autopilot,” wherein the deposits the 58-yearold had made in the bank of experience paid off. Walton lists pages of late achievers. At 78, Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals. At 84, Susan B. Anthony founded the International Suffrage Alliance. At 66, Boris Pasternak wrote his first novel, Dr. Zhivago. Walton makes the point that “retirement is a dirty word for baby boomers. We’re the first generation to have worked by knowledge.” Not brawn. As for millennials, “They never thought they’d only have one career.” (He smiles.) “They all know they’re going to work forever.” There are many ways to reshape a path that has sagged in the middle. Walton urges that you follow what fascinates you. Maybe you resume an unfulfilled destiny from youth. Or just negotiate a different job within the company. Or start your own company. After a sojourn in Monterey “when we came down here to get warm,” Walton now makes his home year around in Palm Springs. He’s hoping to proceed with his program after its debut at UCR Palm Desert. Meanwhile, “all net tuition proceeds will go to the UCR foundation as a gift from SHI.” It’s his way of “paying it forward.” The SHI program is open to the public. The price is $199. Early-bird pricing is $179 until Feb. 1. More information at

The instructors The Second Half Institute, which starts at UCR Palm Desert March 4, boasts a top-flight faculty. Like the SHI founder and chairman, Mark S. Walton, they are all models for midlife reinvention. They have written the book on it, literally. Marci Alboher, an attorney who made the leap to “Shifting Careers” columnist for the New York Times. She’s vice president, the trailblazing nonprofit that created the annual Purpose Prize for social entrepreneurs over age 60. She authored the Encore Career Handbook and One Person/Multiple Careers. Kerr y Hanson: A leading expert on career reinvention in midlife and beyond, Hanson has been a regular contributor to the New York Times, Forbes, Money mag-

azine, etc. She has written 10 books on the subject, including Getting the Job You Want After 50 in 2015. She has frequently appeared on TV channels, from ABC to PBS. Mark Miller, formerly an editor at the Chicago Sun Times, is a financial columnist for the New York Times, Reuters, AARP magazine and others. Publisher of, he focuses on how baby boomers reinvent careers, money and lifestyles after 50. His next book, Jolt: From Trauma to Transformation, (2017) explores resilience during challenging times. Barbara Bradley Hagerty has had a 20-year career as Washington-based correspondent for National Public Radio. Before that she was a reporter for the

Christian Science Monitor. Author of the best seller, Fingerprints of God, she lectures on the challenges and opportunities of life’s second half. Her new (2016) book, Life Reimagined: The Science, Art and Opportunity of Midlife, has been called “arguably the best book on middle life ever written.” Mark S. Walton, Chairman of Second Half Institute, has been a Fortune 100 management educator and a leadership professor for the U.S. Navy and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Early on he was the CNN chief White House correspondent. His latest book, Boundless Potential: Transform Your Brain, Unleash Your Talents, Reinvent Your Work in Midlife and Beyond, led to a national PBS television special.

What Should I Do With the Rest of My Life? Through the gifts of modern medicine, we’re living decades longer today than any time in human history.




Widows and Widowers, a social club, meets at 10 a.m. every Monday at Mizell Senior Center. The group also often meets for lunch, potlucks and outings to remain active and social. Two happy hour mixers are held on the second and fourth Wednesday at different locations. Nonalcoholic drinks are always available at the mixers. Mizell is at 480 S. Sunrise Way, Palm Springs., (760) 323-5689

Programs start March 4. Seating is limited. Register now at (951) 827-4105

The Second Half Institute at UCR Palm Desert Education for Mastering Midlife and Beyond

But what should we do with all those extra years? How can we afford them? Can we make a difference and find our bliss along the way? Einstein said: “To raise new questions marks real advance.” We have new answers.



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Five-minute cures for common problems Pimple: Put a dab of essential oil of tea tree on it. Or make a clay paste from a dab of bentonite clay mixed with water and put that on it. You can do both back to back (tea tree then clay mask), and leave the paste on it overnight. Foot cramp or Charlie horse: If these occur only occasionally from over-stretching or dehydration, long travel, wearing high heels too long and so forth, just drink some coconut water (available at grocery stores and pharmacies). The electrolytes in it work to stop the cramp and spasms. If you get them frequently at night, drink some right before bedtime. Any electrolyte drink will work, but many of them unfortunately contain artificial colors. Kitchen cuts and wounds: Cayenne

powder, the spice, is a well-known hemostat, meaning it stops bleeding within seconds. Outdoor survivalists know this and often carry it in their backpack. It’s amazing that you can pour this onto a cut and within 10 seconds, the bleeding will pretty much stop. I found this out when I cut some crusty bread one day and the knife slipped, slicing into my finger! The water from the faucet wasn’t helping, nor any of the shameful words I mumbled while hopping from one foot to another…. So I poured some cayenne pepper on there and took a deep breath waiting for a burn. Surprisingly, no pain! But it did control the bleeding. Super cool for a hot pepper extract. Headache: Sometimes a cup of coffee or black tea will help because of the caf-


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feine it contains. You can also take two (keep it in the fridge), and apply honey to ibuprofen. If that doesn’t help, put a cool your lips instead of lip gloss. You’re more pack on both your temples, kissable that way, too. and take 250 to 350 mg. of Stuffy nose: Take a hot chelated magnesium. shower so it gets really steamy Hangover: Truthfully, I have in there, and breathe in the no experience with this one, as moist air through your nose. my drinking habits amount to Also drop a few drops of essenprobably one drink (or a few tial oil of Eucalyptus (a known sips of one drink), about 3 times decongestant) on your shower a year. I just don’t like feeling floor, which helps the steam ‘messed up’ in my head, and work even better. Also, Basil esdrinking causes insomnia for sential oil is a good expectorant. DEAR me. I have a much longer verPHARMACIST But lots of my friends drink, sion of this article with more By Suzy Cohen and some get hangovers. I five-minute health solutions. suggest you take two N-acetylIt’s available free at my webcysteine supplements (approximately 1200 site: mg. of NAC) and also a B1 (thiamine) This information is opinion only. It is not tablet together with your drinks or in the intended to treat, cure or diagnose your conmorning. There’s a biochemical reason dition. Consult with your doctor before using why this works better than drinking raw any new drug or supplement. eggs or sweating in a sauna. Just take my Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist and word for it. the author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist and Dry, chapped lips: Drink more, always Real Solutions from Head to Toe. To contact infuse your water with marshmallow root her, visit

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0+3+'D$)=2"$+'$3'+'3:2;!<1"!!')2::4%$=-E'' :2;$%&'$3' @"2*$7$=!/'$%'=*!'4%$='+%/'$%'+..'$%/22"'+%/'24=/22"')2::2%' +"!+3C'=*$3'$%).4/!3'=*!'@+";$%&'.2=,'7+.)2%$!3,'3$/!?+.;3,' *+..?+-3,'+%/'!.!#+=2"3,'!=)E" 42201 Beacon Hill, Suite A ~ Palm Desert, CA



Say you saw it in the Beacon | Fitness & Health

C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7

Pain drugs From page 6 similar for all three drugs, though. Still, researchers did what they could to account for these flaws, and the results are believable, said Dr. Bruce Psaty, a drug safety expert at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Big caveats The study was aimed at people at high heart risk. Yet only 20 percent of participants already had heart disease; the rest

just had risk factors. Also, people on ibuprofen or naproxen had more room to escalate their doses than those on Celebrex did because that drug’s label limits it to what is considered safe now. “It’s a low risk group getting a low dose” of Celebrex, said Dr. Elliott Antman, a past president of the Heart Association and a cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “I remain worried about the patient with known heart disease,” and do not feel comfortable about any of these pain drugs for them, he said. Dr. Carl “Chip” Lavie of Ochsner Medical

Center in New Orleans, said the results confirm what he has been telling patients: Celebrex seems safer than many alternatives, and can be combined more safely with blood thinners and other medicines many people need. Any vindication of Celebrex may be coming too late to benefit Pfizer. In 2013, the drug had U.S. sales of $2.2 billion, but that


fell to around $185 million in 2015, the first full year there was a generic version, which sold $636 million that year, according to QuintilesIMS, a health research company. In 2015, about 8.3 million prescriptions were filled for Celebrex or its generic version in the U.S., versus 43 million for ibuprofen and nearly 20 million for naproxen. — AP


Feb. 7

CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR HEALTH The Connection, a documentary about research that shows the di-

rect connection between your mind and your health, will be screened starting at


Jan. 25

5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7 at Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisen-


Indio Senior Center’s popular Hustle with Russell hiking program will take hikers to Ladder Canyon on Wednesday, Jan. 25. After meeting at the center at 7:30 a.m. participants will carpool to the start of the five-mile, four-hour hike over steep, rocky terrain. Hikers should bring a backpack with water, snacks and gloves and wear layered clothing and hiking boots or shoes. Those interested should sign up at the center’s front desk, 45-700 Aladdin Way., (760) 391-4170.

Jan. 25


At the 11th annual Leonore Annenberg lecture, Dr. Tieraona Low Dog will talk about how “Life is Your Best Medicine” from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower, 39-000 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage. Low Dog is an educator, physician, midwife, researcher and National Geographic author. A reception with light refreshments and an opportunity to meet Low Dog will follow. (760) 773-4500.

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hower, 39-000 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage. Following the movie, yoga teacher Jayne Robertson will lead the audience through a mind-body practice. Tickets are $15. Call (760) 610-7360


J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 6 — C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N

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Money Law &

Track your income and expenses with an array of apps and websites that make it easier to stay on budget. See story on page 13.

Securities hotline protects you from fraud It’s no secret that many people reach re- touch every aspect of the securities busitirement with a nest egg inadequate to last ness, and it administers the largest dispute the rest of their expected life. resolution forum for investors Many will be looking for inand firms. vestments with above-average Impartial portfolio review rates of return. FINRA operates the SecuriBut higher returns requires ties Helpline for Seniors at 1assuming higher risk. This 844-574-3577. The helpline can make retirees especially informs investors how to revulnerable to fraud. view their investment portfolio Studies have shown that and account statements, and it people start losing mental caaddresses concerns about the pacity after age 70. After 85, it handling of a brokerage accan be much worse. THE SAVINGS count. Accordingly, it may be dan- GAME The group’s website (www. gerous for older investors to By Elliot Raphaelson provides several ininitiate new types of investments, and they may be especially suscep- vestor tools and resources, such as Brotible to promises of high returns from kerCheck — a research tool that provides investors valuable information about brokerquestionable financial salespersons. For all of these reasons, investors should age firms and individual brokers, such as retake advantage of the support of independ- cent work history, qualifications, state ent parties to help them make intelligent in- licenses, regulatory actions, and violations and complaints. vestment decisions. Since the helpline was initiated in 2015, FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority — the largest independent FINRA has received more than 7,000 quesregulator for all securities firms doing busi- tions and complaints from people in all age ness in the U.S. — can help. Its activities groups. These calls have resulted in more

than $2.6 million in voluntary reimbursements from firms to callers. Callers were concerned about products associated with variable annuities, mutual funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and energy-sector investments. Thanks to these calls, FINRA has been able to identify frauds associated with taxes, bogus lottery wins, fake check scams, and binary options. FINRA reports examples of these frauds on its website as “investor alerts.” Here are two examples: If you receive a call from the IRS, it is fraudulent — the IRS will never contact you by phone. Neither will they ask you to wire transfer funds. FINRA points out that binary options (a type of option, but considered by some regulators to be a form of gambling) are high risk. Often the product offered is fraudulent. When you initiate a complaint to FINRA on its helpline, it can result in an investigation. If FINRA discovers fraudulent activity that is not under its jurisdiction, it will report that information to the appropriate regulator or Adult Protective Services (APS) organization. FINRA has made 110 referrals to 16 APS

agencies and to additional state agencies; 483 other issues have been referred to state, federal and foreign regulators.

Better investment information Many of the callers to the helpline are looking for additional information about products they are being solicited to buy. FINRA provides additional sources to callers so they can do better research before committing to buy. Other agencies can also provide important information about possible fraud in financial and other products, for example: AARP, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Investor Education, NASAA’s Serving our Seniors, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Unfortunately, most scams are reported after they have already ensnared many victims. If you are uncertain about the value of a product being offered to you — or the reliability of the organization or individual selling it to you — take advantage of the resources of FINRA and other independent agencies before you buy. See SECURITIES HOTLINE, page 11

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Say you saw it in the Beacon | Law & Money


When your kid is a financial train wreck By Liz Weston Financial planners and credit counselors see plenty of examples: The grown son who lost a job, moved home and stopped looking for work. The daughter who constantly mismanaged her checking account — and turned to payday lenders when parents stopped covering her overdrafts. The father working into his 70s to support spendthrift children in their 40s and 50s. Kristi Sullivan, a certified financial planner in Denver, once worked with an older couple whose offspring constantly turned to them for help. “The clients couldn’t understand why their grandchildren had all the latest iPads and phones, but when a car or home repair came up, their adult children always had to ask them for money,” Sullivan said. Giving adult children money is the norm in the U.S. Six out of 10 parents with adult children said they had given those children financial help in the previous 12 months, according to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey.

Damaging results Parents usually give because it feels good. Eight out of 10 parents who help adult children — with money, child care, housework or home repairs — said doing so is rewarding, Pew found. But the toll can be steep, advisers say. Supporting able-bodied children, or repeatedly bailing them out of debt, creates dependency when parents should help them become self-sufficient. The unwise spending also can: • Delay or derail the parents’ retirement. • Fuel sibling resentment and family discord. • Enable dangerous behavior, including addiction or untreated mental illness. The advice to “just say no” doesn’t get far

with parents stuck in these patterns, advisers say. Many parents don’t understand the harm they’re doing, and the children certainly have no incentive to change, said Bruce McClary, a former credit counselor and spokesman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling in Washington, D.C. Change is possible, though, when parents set limits and communicate those limits to their kids.

What planners advise Figure out what you can afford, Delia Fernandez, a certified financial planner, uses retirement planning software to show what happens if clients continue spending on their kids at their current level. Often, the results are eye-opening. “They’ll say, ‘Why is the chart turning red?’” Fernandez said. “They thought they’d be retiring at 62, but now they’re

looking at 66 or later.” If parents can’t agree on a figure, a third party — such as a planner, accountant or even a therapist — may be able to help. Set expectations. Many parents who support adult kids have never talked about money with those children, planners say. Parents should be clear about when they will and won’t help. If the children aren’t trying to be self-sufficient, any help should have an expiration date. If the offspring needs basic budgeting help, credit counselors can offer advice, classes or debt-management plans. Plan for ‘emergencies.’ Those who are financially irresponsible often limp from crisis to crisis, so parents who set boundaries should expect to get pleas for emergency help. If possible, avoid knee-jerk responses, planners say. Parents who decide to step in should set

and communicate limits, Fernandez said. For example, they can offer to pay one or two months’ rent to stave off an eviction, but tell the offspring to find affordable shelter after that. Target your help. Very wealthy parents may hand over annual checks as a way to reduce their estates and avoid future estate taxes. But giving cash to irresponsible adult children is a bad idea. Instead, parents should direct the money toward something specific, such as paying the mechanic for a car repair or taking over certain bills, planners say. Consider your other kids. Money shouldn’t equal love, but it often does in the siblings’ minds when financial help is doled out unequally, said Laura Scharr-Bykowsky, a certified financial planner. — NerdWallet via AP

I understand that Southern California Edison is going to change their net metering program? What does that mean for me?


Securities hotline From page 10 If you have family members who you suspect may lose, or are losing, mental capacity, do what you can to make sure that they do not make any new financial transactions without input from you or an independent organization such as FINRA. Elliot Raphaelson welcomes your questions and comments at © 2016 Elliot Raphaelson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




Palm Desert has released the city’s free, 28-page calendar themed “Palm Desert —The Art of Living.” It has photos of the city’s sights and events. You can pick one up at City Hall, Palm Desert Library, Joslyn Center, the Chamber of Commerce and Desert Willow Golf Course. (760) 776-6380.

If you already have solar it won’t mean anything as you are grandfathered in for 20 years under the current program. That means any extra power you produce is credited at the same retail rate as the power you pull off when you need it, so no money changes hands. However, if you don’t already have solar and are considering it, it would make sense to explore it now. If you do move forward, you can get in under the deadline for the change, which will take place by July 1, 2017

at the latest, and possibly before if enough solar is added to the grid to achieve SCE’s 5% cap.

system will still be “grandfathered” under the more favorable program.

Once the program changes, those with solar will be credited slightly less than the retail value of their excess energy, so while solar will still make fiscal sense, it will save you a little less.

Solar is available through purchase, financing through a bank or with the HERO program (payments through your property taxes), or you may choose to lease with no money down and free installation.

And if you purchase now, then decide later you need a bit more solar because you get an electric car, or start living in your home more, as long as you don’t add more than 10% more, your entire

This information is provided by Renova Solar, an award-wining local solar company. Find more information at or by calling 760/568-3413.


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Say you saw it in the Beacon | Law & Money

C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7


Websites and apps help with budgeting By Lisa Gerstner We admit it: Budgeting is drudgery, a pain, the pits among personal finance tasks. But at the start of a new year, when people are brimming with resolutions to get organized, accelerate saving and all that, it’s a good time to talk about the B word. Maybe you already track income and expenses. But if not, it’s a good idea to put yourself through the budgeting paces periodically. Developing a blueprint for how you intend to spend and save money is an important step to reach your goals, both in the short term and in the distant future. Plus, budgeting doesn’t have to be painful if you take advantage of websites and mobile apps that help you get organized. No matter how you prefer to budget, you can probably find one to match your style and perhaps automate the task. Some sites cater to detail-oriented types who want to know “how much they spent on Coke versus Pepsi over the past six months,” said Steve Shaw, vice president of strategic marketing for the digital banking group at Fiserv, a financial-technology company. Others take a broader approach, providing simple expense and income tracking. Here we describe options that fit a variety of users. Some require you to share user names and passwords for your bank, credit card and other online accounts for

quick, automatic updates of where your finances stand. A few let you enter transaction data manually — a plus if you’d rather not share your log-in credentials with a third party. But all of them use security measures, such as encryption and password protection, to safeguard your information. These websites and apps are free except where otherwise noted.

Mint Website: Best if: You want to budget the easy way Introduced a decade ago, Mint continues to be a go-to application because it offers attractive, easy-to-use tools for tracking financial accounts and creating budgets. Mint can link to your checking, savings, credit card, loan and investment accounts to let you see how your finances stack up, including a snapshot of your net worth. You can see estimates of your home’s value from Zillow, and your car’s value from Kelley Blue Book. You can also set spending limits in various categories (such as shopping and entertainment), view how much you’ve spent in each area throughout the month, and receive alerts if you go over budget. Plus, you can monitor your progress toward savings goals, such as building a fund for emergencies or a vacation.


There’s a reason we’re the leader We’re Forest Lawn. Since 1906, more families have chosen to come to us for their funeral and cremation needs than any other provider in Southern California. The reason is simple. We provide a more personal type of attention, a more professional level of service, and a wider range of price options. Drop by at any time and we’d be happy to show you how a little bit of planning can make a big difference.

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Mint will slice and dice your finances into graphs over periods you select, displaying how your net worth has changed over the past year, for example, or in which categories you’ve spent the most during the past month. You can also sign up to get a free credit score from Equifax, and alerts of significant changes to your credit report. Mint recommends credit cards, brokerage accounts and other financial products, but keep in mind that many of the suggestions are from “partner companies,” so you may be able to get a better deal elsewhere.

Mvelopes Website: Best if: You budget the old-fashioned way With the classic budget-by-envelope

method, you label envelopes by expense category and stash cash in each. Once an envelope is empty, you’re done spending in that category until the next refill. Mvelopes updates that system for the digital era, allowing you to link your bank and credit card accounts. As income and expenses flow through your Mvelopes in-box, you assign transactions to customizable on-screen envelopes and set up rules to have recurring transactions directed automatically. If you like, you can attach photos of receipts to your transactions, as well as create a savings envelope. You can earmark cash to an envelope up to a year in advance, applying the same See BUDGETING APPS, page 14


Feb. 17+

FAIR HAS FUN FOR ALL AGES With so much on the schedule, you might need more than one day

to take it all in at the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival Friday, Feb. 17 through Sunday, Feb. 26. Take your pick from nightly headliner entertainment, live performances, magic acts, cooking shows, interactive exhibits, carnival rides, parades, food, camel and ostrich races. Tickets are $7-$9. Admission is free on Friday, Feb. 17. The fairgrounds are at 82-503 Highway 111, Indio., (800) 811-3247


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Budgeting apps From page 13 monthly limit to the ones that hold regular expenses, and individually marking the rest. If you find that one envelope is too low on funds to cover expenses, or if you have extra money left at the end of the month in another, you can transfer money among envelopes. You’ll have to stick with somewhat broad budgeting categories if you use the free version of Mvelopes, which comes with 25 envelopes and lets you link four accounts. For $95 a year, you get unlimited envelopes and can connect as many accounts as you wish, plus you get access to debtmanagement tools and other features.

Personal Capital Website: Best if: You’re an investor who wants

the big picture Personal Capital’s strong suit is monitoring your whole financial picture. Link bank, credit card, loan and investment accounts to Personal Capital (or enter data manually) to see a dashboard with charts and graphs that show your net worth, cash flow, portfolio balance and allocation, and best- and worst-performing stocks. You can drill down into each section for more analysis. Within cash flow, for example, you can view how much of your income came from cash deposits, interest, investment income and other sources over a period of 30 days to a year, as well as a breakdown of expenses by category. The displays in each section are colorful, detailed and easy to navigate. And it’s broadening its budgeting capabilities. It will soon allow users of its web application (not just Apple users of the mobile app) to set a

J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 — C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N

spending limit and track how they’re faring against it. Personal Capital’s tools for tracking investments are especially robust. Along with digging into your portfolio to view it from different angles, you can use the Investment Checkup tool to get a suggested target portfolio allocation based on your goals, and the Retirement Fee Analyzer to see an estimate of how much of your earnings in retirement accounts may be lost to fees over time.

Prosper Daily Website: Best if: You have a fear of fraud Detailed budgeting is best left to other apps, although Prosper Daily’s moneytracking component is useful for keeping an eye on overall spending. This tool’s strong suit is its ability to identify fraud.

From the publisher From page 2

Landscape Rebates & Discounts

day pass without a stint of volunteering, including membership on several fund-raising boards. Trouble with red tape? Can’t get in touch with local, county, state or federal offices to gain the benefits you think you deserve? Chris O’Hanlan of Senior Advocates visits our senior centers regularly to help people with those problems. Once a lawyer, he tells us in the November issue how he found his niche in social work and why he opened his small firm.

Designed to help homeowners, HOAs & businesses reduce their outdoor water use. Lawn Conversion - Remove your grass and convert to desert-friendly landscaping. For residential customers, CVWD rebates are available at $1 per square foot up to a maximum of 2,000 square feet. Spray Nozzles - Convert less efficient spray nozzles to new generation rotary nozzles. For residential customers, rebates are $4 per nozzle conversion up to a maximum of $2,000.

Smart Irrigation Controller - Install this water saving device that automatically adjusts your irrigation system’s run time, based on daily weather data. It also turns itself off when it rains. Homeowners may be eligible to receive a free smart controller, including installation.

Coachella Valley Water District

Regularly checking your bank and credit card accounts for unauthorized charges is a task that can easily fall through the cracks. After you link it to your accounts, Prosper Daily (accessible only through a mobile app) pulls in your transactions and prompts you to verify whether you made them. The app highlights duplicate charges as well as those that occur in unusual locations. You’ll also get an alert when a merchant with which you’ve done business suffers a data breach. You can choose to be notified when your credit or debit card is used out of proximity of your cell phone (under the assumption that you carry your phone with you most of the time). Free monthly credit score updates are available from TransUnion. © 2016 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by TCA, LLC Here’s proof that volunteering can lead to a job. Becky Kurtz, a woman of many talents, rounds out our 2016 publishing year. She’s been a magazine editor and worked in real estate sales. She started as a volunteer at the Indian Wells Town Hall more than 20 years ago. Now she’s the executive director of the sold-out series that draws national and international speakers. If you haven’t read any of these great stories about our local residents, or would like to read them again, go to I hope you find them as memorable and interesting as we did.

C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y B E A C O N — J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7

Say you saw it in the Beacon



Leisure &

Mardi Gras takes place in Southern Louisiana’s Cajun country, as well as New Orleans. See story on page 16.

Kauai: A landscape that time has forgotten tastings; Captain Cook made landfall there on Waimea Beach in 1778; and something that is a source of great pride for Kauai’s residents — no building may be taller than a coconut tree.


By Lydia Kremer If you are in the mood to get away from it all (literally), you can’t do better than Kauai. Hawaii is an archipelago that is the world’s most remote inhabited islands from any land mass — and northernmost Kauai is both the oldest and the farthest away. Kauai is also the wettest spot on the planet, hence, it is known as the Garden Isle; Kauai truly is a veritable horticultural paradise. My husband, having grown up in the Netherlands working in his family’s plant business, was especially keen on visiting the Garden Isle, so an early Christmas celebration found us exploring Kauai’s glorious and diverse flora. The combination of Kauai’s lush tropical flora and its stunning rainforest landscape has a prehistoric timelessness that is sublime and awe-inspiring. Its affect is a visual beauty that penetrates you on a visceral level, kind of like Palm Springs. Naturally, the lushness is the result of the rainfall. Located in the heart of Kauai’s uninhabited interior is Mount Waialeale (elevation 5,148 ft.) which gets over 400 inches of rain, making it the world’s wettest place. Only 20 percent of Kauai is accessible by car, and the renowned Napali Coast can be accessed only by boat, helicopter or hiking, but don’t pass up the opportunity to see it any way you can. Due to these factors the majority of the island remains pristine. Kauai is also distinguished for several notable facts: It has the world’s largest coffee plantation, which you can visit and have

Partnership in beauty and conservation Over 90 percent of Kauai is used for conservation and agriculture. Hawaii is part of a network of five National Tropical Botanical Gardens (NTBG) — Kauai has three of the five — Limahuli Garden, McBryde Garden and Allerton Garden. While most people go to Kauai for the incredible beaches, the national gardens are also wonderful attractions not to be missed. And they’re not just a pretty face. The NTBG’s Breadfruit Institute, which was founded in 2003, is promoting the conservation and use of breadfruit for food and reforestation. Because breadfruit is rich in dietary nutrients, the Institute is engaged in an initiative to respond to critical global food security issues by expanding plantings of breadfruit varieties in tropical regions. Breadfruit is high in carbohydrates and a good source of dietary fiber and other nutrients. Breadfruit can be prepared numerous ways and can be eaten at all stages of development. I remember reading about Darwin’s adventures on the HMS Beagle when he first encountered breadfruit in the South Pacific islands. Kauai’s Breadfruit Institute may have well found a viable solution for food


Fruit stands dot the island. Many operate on the honor system.

You need to hike or a take a river cruise to reach Wailua Falls and its azure pool.

scarcity in some of the world’s impoverished regions — a huge contribution to the world from this tiny island.

Kauai’s highlights Besides visiting one or all of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens, be sure to put these other highlights on your Kauai itinerary. There are many more noteworthy sights and attractions in Kauai but these will give you a good overview of the beauty and magic of the Garden Isle. Waimea Canyon. Considered the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea Canyon is a magnificent site of deep red canyon fissures and waterfalls set against lush greenery. There are several lookout points but the elevation is about 3,500 feet so weather permitting, you can get drop dead gorgeous views from the Waimea Canyon Lookout. Unfortunately, we weren’t so lucky, we encountered rain and clouds obscuring the visibility. Maybe you’ll have better luck. Wailua Falls and Wailua River are spectacular attractions that afford visitors a range of recreational ways to experience. Wailua Falls offers visitors a great lookout point from a parking area of the island’s most accessible waterfalls, Opaeka’a Falls. But you might opt for the more adventuresome option and navigate the river on a kayak or a raft. At the south end of the Wailua River you will be rewarded with the staggering sight of the two streams of Wailua Falls with its 80-foot drop into an azure pool.

Bali Hai was immortalized in the classic film South Pacific on the north shore of Kauai. The pyramid-shaped mountain peak was originally called Mount Makana, but since the film featured this site it has been called Bali Hai. Kilauea Lighthouse and National Refuge, located on the northernmost point of the Hawaiian Islands, the 1913 historic lighthouse is no longer in operation as a lighthouse but is open for tours. Located on a dramatic bluff, the site is also on the flight path of the largest colony of seabirds in Hawaii. Kauai Museum is a highly-recommended stop to learn the history of Kauai and of Hawaii’s royalty. Built in 1924, the Kauai Museum is a splendid piece of architecture. The exhibits, artifacts, and the collections will give you a valuable education and sense of place about Kauai. Napali Coast on Kauai’s northwest shore is a majestically dramatic coastline that defies description. Unless you are an avid and fit hiker, your only other option to see the Napali Coast’s rugged beauty is by sea or by helicopter, I happily opted for the latter. Not only are you given an awesome bird’s eye view of the coast, a helicopter tour gives you the best vantage point of Kauai’s phenomenal beauty. To plan your sojourn to the Garden Isle, visit Lydia Kremer is a Palm Springs-based writer, publicist, and author of “100 Things to Do in Palm Springs Before You Die.”


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Good times in Louisiana Cajun country By Glenda C. Booth Let the good times roll, they say. In French, “Laissez les bons temps rouler.” And roll they do in southern Louisiana’s Cajun Country. Locals love to sing, dance, cook, eat and party hard in year-round festivals that celebrate cracklin’s, catfish, crawfish, shrimp, boudin, gumbo, okra, frogs, ducks, alligators, zydeco, petroleum and sugarcane, for starters. And that’s all in addition to the big February blowout — Mardi Gras — with its orgy of beads, masks, parades, king cakes and extravagant balls. New Orleans’ revelry is renowned, but Mardi Gras also explodes in Cajun Country towns like Lafayette, Eunice, Jeanerette

and New Iberia. Cajun Country is a part of southern Louisiana consisting of 22 parishes (or counties) in the 150-mile Atchafalaya Basin — the nation’s largest river wetland. Also called Acadiana, the region is named for L’Acadie, the Nova Scotia homeland of French-speaking settlers who were kicked out by the British when they refused to pledge allegiance to Britain and forsake Catholicism in the 1700s. The refugees were attracted to Louisiana’s French heritage (Louisiana is named for France’s king Louis XIV), and they adapted over time to the region’s watery landscape. This is also Creole country — home to people descended from settlers of French or Spanish origin. Some have African or Na-

tive American ancestry, too. Acadiana is truly an ethnic potpourri known for its unique culture and history.

Bayous and zydeco The region is a mushy, marshy maze of sluggish channels called bayous that connect sprawling floodplain forests, cypresstupelo swamps, backwater lakes and wetlands. These hot and humid wilderness “saunas” exude mystery and enticement, qualities that inspire a savory cuisine, like famous slowcooking gumbos, shrimp étoufeé and crawfish stew. Many Cajun dishes merge multiple ingredients that gurgle and simmer like a smarmy swamp on a hot day. And there’s something about these wetlands that brings out the musical talents of the people, both professionals and amateurs. Remember the song that goes “Shrimp boats are acomin’. There’s dancing tonight”? Or that Hank Williams line, “Jambalaya, crawfish pie, filé gumbo”? It doesn’t take much to get most locals onto the dance floor twirling to fast-paced, zydeco tunes like “Lache Pas Pa La Pate” (Don’t Let Go of the Potato) or “Les Haricot Sont Pas Salés” (The Snap Beans Aren’t Salty). Zydeco bands, featuring guitars, accordions and apron washboards called frottoirs, are as common as coffee pots.

Happy Lafayette Lafayette is the unofficial “capital” of Acadiana, and the center of Cajun lore, the region’s rich mix of French, Spanish, African and Caribbean traditions. “If you want to know Cajun culture, this is the place to come,” said Dianne Monteleone, a retired history teacher and volunteer at the visitor’s center. The Wall Street Journal’s labeled Lafayette “the Happiest City in America.” The Acadian Cultural Center tells the Cajuns’ story through exhibits, ranger programs, films, wetland walks and boat tours. It recounts how, after decades of suppressing their heritage (speaking French in school was stigmatized as a sign of ignorance), Cajuns restored pride in their culture. This National Park Service site shows a film, The Cajun Way: Echoes of Acadia, documenting the Cajuns’ exile. It includes clips from a 1929 silent film, Evangeline — the story related in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1847 poem about an Acadian girl searching for her lost love, Gabriel, during the deportation. Vermilionville, a 23-acre living history folk life park, honors Acadian, Native American and Creole 18th and 19th century cultures. In 19 Acadian-style structures, See LOUISIANA, page 17

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Louisiana From page 16 including traditional homes, artisans spin cotton, carve wooden decoys, make cornhusk dolls and weave palmetto leaves. Front and center is the dance hall, where jam sessions heat up every Saturday and dancers of all skill levels take to the floor in lively jigs, waltzes and two-steps. Union soldiers once camped on the church’s grounds, under the now-500-yearold, 126-foot-high St. John oak, and among the churchyard’s aboveground tombs dating back to 1820.

Small towns and swamps Straying from America’s happiest city may be tough, but many gems await the curious in nearby small towns, eateries, historic churches, oyster bars, antique shops and dance halls. St. Martinville spotlights Evangeline with a statue in the graveyard next to the Mother Church of the Acadians, St. Martin de Tours. At the Acadian Memorial, a bronze wall of names honors 3,000 Acadians who fled to Louisiana, and an eternal flame symbolizes human resilience. Next door, the African American Museum traces the diaspora from West Africa. Alligators are part of life here, central to the local culture. Confederate soldiers wore alligator shoes, and today, farmed alligators end up on dinner plates.

Chances are you’ll see some on a boat tour in the Atchafalaya Basin’s 860,000 acres of swamps, bayous and backwater lakes. You’ll also likely see slithering snakes, great white egrets taking flight and basking turtles.

Passionate cooking, eating Whether it’s sauce piquant, gumbo, jambalaya, turtle soup, oyster pie, shrimp remoulade, catfish Orleans, oysters Rockefeller, crawfish étoufée or grilled gator tail, people in southern Louisiana live to eat, they say. In her Cajun cookbook, titled Who’s Your Mama, Are You Catholic and Can You Make a Roux?, Marcelle Bienvenu, the “Queen of Cajun Cooking,” says that cooking is a passion, and preparing and serving it are “an intimate form of communication.” The cuisine, like the people, is a rich mélange: tomatoes from the Creoles; the spicy herb filé from Native Americans; okra from Africans; rice from the Chinese; the roux from the French. Gourmands might say that Cajun cooking combines multiple ingredients in a single dish that Cajuns created originally to feed large families. Creole dishes, with French and Spanish origins, often feature sauces. Today, these distinctions are blurred. Louisiana chefs maintain that Cajun and Creole dishes start with the “holy trinity”: sautéed celery, bell pepper and onion. And good food is a good reason to party. For example, Scott, Louisiana, the “Boudin


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Capital of the World,” just west of Lafayette, stages the annual Boudin Festival. Boudin? “Boudin is a unique Cajun specialty, a familiar recipe that has been passed down from one generation to the next,” explains the festival’s website. “It’s basically a combination of rice, a special blend of seasonings, and traditionally pork, but you may also find Boudin made with shrimp, crawfish or even some alligator, and rolled up in sausage casing.” This popping-eating-dancing fest made the top 20 events compiled by the Southeast Tourism Society in 2016. Speaking of zingy cuisine, tabasco sauce was invented on Avery Island, 28 miles south of Lafayette. The 70,000-square-foot Tabasco Pepper Sauce Factory, run by the founder’s great-grandson, spews out 700,000 bottles of the signature sauce daily — a tangy elixir that “excites the appetite, promotes digestion, and is pronounced by connoisseurs to be the finest condiment in the


world.” It’s made from capsicum peppers using the founder’s patented 1868 recipe. Visitors can watch a conveyor belt of bottles jiggle along being filled and capped before heading off to 160 countries. The tasting bar tempts with flavors like garlic, chipotle and habanero. The tabasco name? A Native American word, it means “land of the hot and humid.” Friendly small towns, azaleas blooming year-round, crawfish boils, praline-flavored bacon, shrimp freshly plucked from the water, mysterious swamps, live oaks draped in dangly Spanish moss, zydeco spilling out of dance halls — it’s all in Cajun country, where the natural, cultural, culinary and musical combine into a really good time. Let the good times roll! Visit for a trip planner, lodging, events, food and swamp tours and more. Lafayette is 153 miles west of New Orleans, a 2.5- to 3-hour drive.


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Donovan’s “Mellow Yellow” was a hit 50 years ago. See story on the facing page.

Palm Springs festival kicks off film season By Bill Marchese Now that the curtain has closed on this year’s glitzy Palm Springs International Film Festival and the A-list movie stars have gone home, there are still more festivals to attend, great movies to see and stars to spot around town. If you want to binge on big screen movies, you came to (or live in) the right town. Palm Springs will host film festivals focusing on women, Native Americans, the gay and lesbian community and other topics in forms ranging from documentaries, features to short films. Palm Springs’ long love affair with films and movie stars heated up in 1989 when then Mayor Sonny Bono launched the first

Palm Springs film festival. Restoring the town’s Hollywood vibe, the film festival blossomed into one of the city’s major attractions. Already the second home for many movie stars, Palm Springs was the natural home for their movies and a festival to showcase them. It didn’t hurt that the festivals brought tourists to town, filling hotel rooms and restaurants and giving an economic boost to the city. Now there are film festivals in Palm Springs nearly the year round. Here are 2017 dates for the most widely attended. (Note: all screenings are at the Camelot Theatre, 2300 Baristo Road in Palm Springs, unless noted.)

Ongoing Desert Film Society

Jan. 28 LunaFest

The Desert Film Society offers an opportunity to view the latest in art, international and cutting-edge independent cinema in the Coachella Valley. Since 2002, the Society has presented one-time screenings of award-winning films from film festivals around the world. Usually two films per month are screened at the Camelot Theater. The Society also keeps updated information about local film festivals on its website,

LunaFest is a national fundraising film festival promoting awareness about women’s issues, highlighting women filmmakers and bringing women together in their communities. Sponsored by Soroptimist International, nine short films will be shown in the morning at Camelot Theater following a coffee and pastry reception at 9 a.m. Admission is $20. See FILM FESTIVALS, page 21

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The film Free to Laugh at LunaFest at the Camelot Theatre explores the power of comedy after prison. Director Lara Everly will be the guest speaker following the Jan. 28 showing.

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When ‘Mellow Yellow’ colored the airwaves By Randal Hill Like Bob Dylan, Donovan Philips Leitch rose to fame as a Woody Guthrie clone. Decked out in a denim jacket and cap and blowing on a harmonica that hung around his neck, Donovan’s career began with the hauntingly beautiful “Catch the Wind,” a 1965 worldwide sensation. Within a year, though, the Scottish-born singer underwent a major transition. Now the world beheld the “new’ Donovan, with long, curly tresses, flowing white robes and performing while sitting yoga-style onstage, banks of flowers adorning the stage. Donovan’s lyric messages became part of the “far out” psychedelic music era. His Epic Records release of “Sunshine Superman” (supposedly about orange sunshine LSD) brought him a new audience and set the stage for his next million-seller.

Shades of yellow Like his rival Dylan, Donovan often created lyrics that left his followers scratching their heads in wonder, especially when it came to “Mellow Yellow.” First he said he was “mad about saffron,” saffron being a yellow spice. Then he claimed to be “mad about fontine,” a pale yellow cheese. Some problems arose when some listeners thought he was saying he was “mad about 14,” as in lusting after a 14-year-old girl.

To complete his “yellow theme,” Donovan declared that “electrical banana is gonna be a sudden craze.” This led certain people to believe he was encouraging folks to get high by smoking “bananadine,” a fictional psychoactive substance. Supposedly bananadine was extracted from toasted flakes scraped from the inside of a banana peel, which were then dried, toasted, rolled into a cigarette and smoked. Of course, no hallucinogenic effects were ever reported. Shortly before “Mellow Yellow” appeared in late 1966, Donovan had written the line “sky of blue and sea of green” for the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine.” Paul McCartney returned the favor by adding to the background party noise in “Mellow Yellow.” Contrary to popular belief, it is Donovan, not Paul, who whispers “quite rightly” throughout the song. Trumpets became part of the song’s musical bridge. This had been suggested by arranger John Cameron, who, like Donovan, was a mere 20 years old. Cameron wanted a loping beat and blaring horns, much akin to David Rose’s instrumental 1962 hit “The Stripper.” Donovan felt the horns were too blaring, though.

Making it mellow As he said in the 1997 book I Want to Take

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You Higher: The Psychedelic Era: 1965-1969, “It wasn’t mellow. So all the musicians…put the little hats on the end of their horns, and it went ‘wah wah wah.’ And there it was. Once they put the mutes on, it worked perfectly.” So what was the song really about? In Songwriters on Songwriting, Donovan explained, “It was interpreted by many people as many different things. But essentially, over it all, was the sense of being mellow and laid back, which had something to do with smoking pot or being cool.”

Donovan’s long run of “trippy” hits would wind down by the end of the 1960s. As his star dimmed, though, John Cameron’s brightened considerably when he created the stage name John Paul Jones and became the bassist/keyboardist for heavymetal heroes Led Zeppelin. Retired DJ and English teacher Randal C. Hill introduces readers to the hits of half a century ago in a feature he calls “It was 50 years ago today,” borrowing from the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”


Jan 18+


Baby by Davide Shires and Richard Maltby will go on stage at the Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre at the Atrium Wednesday, Jan. 18 through Sunday, Feb. 12. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $48. The theatre is at 69-930 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage., (760) 296-2966

Jan. 26+


The Palm Springs area’s longest-running arts festival, the 31st Southwest Arts Festival, will be held Thursday, Jan. 26 through Sunday, Jan. 29 at Empire Polo Club. More than 250 artists will show works in traditional, contemporary and abstract styles. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Food and beverage options are available. The club is at 81800 Ave. 51, Indio. Senior tickets $10; four-day pass $15. Parking free., (760) 347-0676


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Film festivals From page 18 Established in 2000 by LUNA, the makers of the “Whole Nutrition Bar for Women,” 100 percent of all LunaFest net proceeds are donated to charity, with 15 percent going to the Breast Cancer Fund and 85 percent retuning to the local community organizations that sponsor the films. The program also supports the Soroptimist House of Hope recovery program for chemically dependent women and the Ophelia Project mentoring program for at-risk girls. Since its inception, LunaFest has grown from a single annual event to a coast-tocoast force with more than 180 North American screenings each season. To date, 136 filmmakers have been featured, raising $965,000 for breast cancer and more than $2.6 million for local women’s non-profit organizations Information:, (760) 2027810

spokesman for the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, which sponsors the festival. Engaging, entertaining and enlightening feature films, documentaries and short films from some of today’s premier Native American and indigenous filmmakers will be followed by informative Q&A sessions. Information:

March 3 to April 2 American Documentary Film Festival One of the largest doc festivals in the United States, AmDocs presents international films in short and feature categories as well as animation. The films compete for cash and trophy prizes with winnings up to $50,000 from the Film Fund. AmDocs is a progressive in education outreach, market sharing and “doing all we can to help our filmmakers realize their goals.” Film passes in 2016 ranged from $55 for six movies to $175 for access to all movies. Go to for a list of films and updated information.

March 2 to 4 Native Film Fest

May 11 to 14 Arthur Lyons Film Noir

Approaching its 16th season, the Native Film Festival is one of the nation’s most regarded events of its kind, featuring the best in films by, about, and starring Native Americans and other indigenous peoples from around the world. New this year, “One night will feature films by and about youths,” said Matthew Rivera,

Founded in 2000 by the late Arthur Lyons, the Palm Springs Film Noir festival features a mix of classic movies produced from the early 1940s to the late 1950s, usually mystery and crime drama shot in stunning black and white. You can find them occasionally on Turner Classic Movies on TV, but it’s best to see them on the big sil-

ver screen in a darkened theater. The plots usually involved tough detectives, femmes fatales and doomed villains and crooks. The actors, directors and others involved in making the film are invited to speak to the audience after the screening. For example, at the 2017 festival Academy Award-winning actor Claude Jarman Jr. is scheduled to make a special guest appearance after the screening of Intruder in the Dust (1949) on May 13 at the Camelot Theater. Information: www.Arthurlyonsfilmnoir.

Sept. 10 Cinema Diverse The Palm Springs LGBT film festival brings lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender cinema from around the world to Palm Springs. Along with the theater experience, film artists, film lovers and industry professionals celebrate motion pictures that “reflect, inform, enrich and often transform lives,” according to the non-profit sponsor, Palm Springs Cultural Center. For information about the 2017 schedule of films, ticket prices and all-access passes, go to www.


Jan. 27+

SO CLOSE, YET SO FAR Neil Simon’s comedy about performers hungering for a shot at the

Great White Way, 45 Seconds from Broadway, will be presented by Desert Theatreworks on Friday, Jan. 27 through Sunday, Feb. 5 at the Arthur Newman Theater at Joslyn Center, 73-750 Catalina Way, Palm Desert. Show times are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Senior tickets are $26., (760) 980-1455.

Feb. 16+

MODERNISM WEEK EXPANDS More than 250 events — tours, exhibitions and parties — will celebrate midcentury architecture and design, preservation and mod-

ern living from Thursday, Feb. 16 through Sunday, Feb. 26 during Modernism Week. Events are centered in Palm Springs but have expanded this year to other locations in the valley. For schedule, tickets:, (760) 799-9477.

e h t t a s r e s i t r e v d See these a o p x E + 0 5 n o c a e B i! h y a s d n a le b a t ir e h Stop by t • A&A Home Care • Affordable Cabinets & Closets, Inc. • Bean Counter • Caleo Bay Alzheimer's Special Care Center • Cutting Edge Orthopedics • Coachella Valley Water District • Eisenhower Medical Center


• Forest Lawn • Legal Shield Independent Associate • McDonald Chiropractic • Palm Springs Volvo/Palm Springs Subaru • Sunlife Dental • The Vein Dr. • Yamaha Golf Carts


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Home Healthcare

Bean Counter Bookkeeping . . . .10

Palm Springs Subaru Volvo . . . . .3

A&A Home Care . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Caleo Bay Alzheimer’s Special Care Center . . . . . . . . . .6 Mission Hills at Rancho Mirage . .5


Legal Services/Attorneys

Final Transition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Second Half Institute . . . . . . . . . .7

Nordstrom, Steele, Nicolette & Blythe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Legal Shield . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12


Funeral Planning Forest Lawn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13


Indio Senior Center Health Fair .19 Palm Desert Senior Games . . . . .17

Personal Services Tom the Barber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

Retail The Dori Collection . . . . . . . . . .17 Unique Coins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Yamaha Golf Carts . . . . . . . . . . .22

Restaurant Talay Thai……18

Affordable Cabinets & Closets Inc .14 All Desert . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Reliable Roofing . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

Cutting Edge Orthopedics . . . . . .2 Eisenhower Memory Care Center .6 McDonald Chiropractic . . .5 and 8 Sunlife Dental . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Takeda Oncology . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Vein Doctor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

Cardiff Limousine & Transportation . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16


Non Profit Agencies

Coachella Valley Water District .14 Renova Solar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

Casa Victoria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

Alzheimer’s Walk . . . . . . . . . . . .19

Home Repair / Improvement Services

Tour & Travel


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January 2017 | Coachella Valley Beacon