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VOL.24, NO.3

Wise women reflect on aging

20/20 hindsight Bailey also asked each of the women to complete the sentence, “If I knew then what I know now, I would…” It turned out to be a deceptively simple question. “A lot of women wouldn’t tell me what their initial thought was. But when I pressed them, they would share it. However, a lot of times they would tell me not to print it, it was such a revealing thing.” Some said they would have left their husbands or not married in the first place. Others said they might not have had as many children. In fact, Bailey refused to divulge her


By Barbara Ruben During a spring drive through the countryside a couple of years ago, Dorothy Bailey’s 4-year-old grandson asked her if she was 100 years old. “I thought I would die!” she recalled, laughing. But the question did prompt her to realize that she was nearing 70. “I started thinking, ‘Where did the years go? What happened? And what does it mean to be 70?’” Exploring that last question led her to research and write In a Different Light: Reflections and Beauty of Wise Women of Color. The recently self-published book includes interviews with — and photos of — more than 100 Maryland women over the age of 70. “I really went in search of myself through the lives of other women who were 70. I thought about my college roommate who died at age 55, and I thought, ‘What a blessing it is to be 70,’” said Bailey, a resident of Temple Hills, Md. Bailey, the former chair of the Prince George’s County Council, is now vice chair of the Prince George’s County Planning Board. Her book includes luminous color portraits of each woman interviewed, together with snippets of Bailey’s conversations with them. They talk about their children, parents, faith, love, aging and many other subjects. “What I was trying to discover was what makes them tick,” Bailey said. She would ask, “‘What causes you to get up in the morning?’ ‘What makes you smile?’ ‘Where’s your soul?’ Not, ‘what did you study and become proficient in?’” she said.

5 0 MARCH 2012

I N S I D E …


Live like a Greek on the island of Rhodes; plus, lessons from a family cruise with adult children, and when to consider buying travel insurance page 40


Sex, lies and humor abound in Husbands and Lovers; plus, a sparkling production of The King and I, and Bob Levey on feuding at family weddings Dorothy Bailey, former chair of the Prince George’s County Council, interviewed more than 100 Maryland women over the age of 70 and condensed their wisdom about life and aging into a book she titled, In a Different Light: Reflections and Beau-

ty of Wise Women of Color.

own answer to the Beacon. But many in the book responded eloquently: “Things I felt so passionately about in my young life matter so little now,” said Mary Godfrey, 75, of Silver Spring, Md. “Promotions, new cars, a bigger house, a thinner body, being well liked…These were important then. “Now my list of passions include faith, love, friendship and caring for others. As we age, our list of passions grows shorter.” Similarly, Beatrice Tignor, who is 72 and lives in Upper Marlboro, Md., said, “If I knew then what I know now, I would have given more time to cultivating sincere relationships. I would have spent more quality

time building a stronger family.” In the book, another Upper Marlboro resident, Lila Brighthaupt, 97, recalls her grandfather telling her about the day slaves were freed. He had lost a cap given to him by his owner and was out looking for it. He ran into a woman who had been sold to another slave owner and told her what he was doing. “She shouted to him, ‘Don’t worry about that cap. We’s free! We’s free!’ Overjoyed, he ran into the arms of the woman. That woman [turned out to be] his mother,” Brighthaupt recounted. See BAILEY, page 38

page 53 FITNESS & HEALTH 4 k How to lower your medical bills k Get a good night’s sleep SPOTLIGHT ON AGING k Newsletter for D.C. seniors


LAW & MONEY k Investment pitfalls to avoid k Tax tips for 2011 and 2012




LIFETIMES k News from the Charles E. Smith Life Communities




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How ill are we really? Having good mental health is probably even if such short-term depression was as important as having good physical brought on due to a medical illness or behealth, if not more so. But reavement. when our mental health is According to a report in “not so good,” would most of the Washington Post, other dius call ourselves ill, as in agnosable mental disorders “mentally ill?” that qualified as mental illSuppose you find it diffiness “could include spidercult to sleep or lose your apphobia and staying upset for a petite for a couple of weeks long time after arguing with because you’ve been diagone’s spouse.” nosed with a serious physical One psychiatrist the Post illness or suffered the loss of FROM THE interviewed about the survey a loved one. Would you say PUBLISHER characterized it as “kind of By Stuart P. Rosenthal alarmist.” Another said he you had a mental illness? Apparently, our governwas “skeptical that rates this ment would, and does. high make sense.” I was rather taken aback to see the reTo be fair, the survey also estimated that cently-released “mental health findings” of only 5 percent of U.S. adults suffered from the National Survey on Drug Use and a “serious mental illness,” defined as a Health. mental illness that results in “serious funcBased on interviews and self-adminis- tional impairment, which substantially intered questionnaires from more than terferes with or limits one or more major 68,000 Americans, the annual survey esti- life activities.” mates that 46 million people in 2010 — 20 Certainly when symptoms interfere percent of adults in the United States — with daily life to a significant extent, a perhad a “diagnosable mental, behavioral or son should take it seriously and seek imemotional disorder” sufficient to consider mediate help. them to suffer from a “mental illness.” But what does that say about the 35 milThis included people with “depressed lion Americans whose “mental illness” was mood or loss of interest or pleasure in not considered “serious?” Presumably, daily activities” lasting two weeks or more, their conditions do not interfere in any

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The Beacon is a monthly newspaper dedicated to inform, serve, and entertain residents of the Greater Washington D.C., Howard County and Greater Baltimore areas, and is privately owned. Readership exceeds 350,000. Subscriptions are available via first-class mail ($36) or third-class mail ($12), prepaid with order. D.C. and Maryland residents: add 6 percent for sales tax. Send subscription order to the office listed below. Publication of advertising contained herein does not necessarily constitute endorsement. Signed columns represent the opinions of the writers, and not necessarily the opinion of the publisher. • Publisher/Editor ....................Stuart P. Rosenthal • Associate Publisher..............Judith K. Rosenthal • Vice President of Operations ....Gordon Hasenei • Director of Sales ................................Alan Spiegel • Managing Editor............................Barbara Ruben • Graphic Designer ..............................Kyle Gregory • Assistant Operations Manager ..........Roger King • Advertising Representatives ........Doug Hallock, ................................................Dan Kelly, Cheryl Watts

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substantial way with even one major life activity. And if that’s the case, are we doing ourselves a favor by labeling them, even as a group, with a diagnosis of “mental illness”? I’ve gotten to know enough people over the years to recognize that almost everyone has quirks, tics, skeletons and phobias, many of which have labels in the psychiatric profession’s DSM-IV manual of mental disorders. And I understand why psychiatrists would want to catalogue every possible symptom and disorder. That enables more accurate and comprehensive diagnoses, and presumably helps them develop better treatment plans. I also appreciate that, when even relatively minor or temporary conditions cause a person distress, it is valuable and important to seek help. Therapy, behavioral modification and medications can make a world of difference and vastly improve a person’s quality of life. Still, I’m disturbed when our government utilizes the vast expansion of catalogued disorders to declare that one in five Americans has a mental illness. Just because a condition is “diagnosable” doesn’t mean we as a society necessarily want to stigmatize it. Perhaps the intent of those behind this effort is actually to remove the stigma of the term. If most of us could be classified as suffering from mental illness at one

time or another, then being (or having been) mentally ill would actually become “normal.” If anyone asked me, however, I’d say let’s do what we can to help everyone overcome their psychological and emotional limitations and issues — but hold back on the labels, please. By the way, I was intrigued to see tables in the government’s report that indicated the older one gets, the less likely one is to exhibit symptoms of mental illness. That applies not only to “any mental illness,” but also to serious mental illness, suicidal thoughts, and major depressive episodes. The highest incidence of all such conditions was found among 18 to 25 year olds, while the lowest incidence was among those 50 and older. At the same time, those 50 and older were the most likely to seek treatment when they experience any such symptoms. The two probably go together. With age comes perspective, experience and a certain wisdom about life that, one hopes, helps keep anxiety, fear and panic at bay. At the same time, older adults have lived long enough to know that taking action to address a problem is the first step in solving it.

Letters to the editor Readers are encouraged to share their opinion on any matter addressed in the Beacon as well as on political and social issues of the day. Mail your Letter to the Editor to The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915, or e-mail to Please include your name, address and telephone number for verification. Dear Editor: At our weekly circle of drop in members at the Holiday Park Senior Center, one of the recurring topics is loss of memory. People continue to worry no matter how many times our facilitator, Edi, brings in articles which purport to show that forgetfulness need not be an indication of the start of the dreaded Alzheimer’s disease. So imagine my annoyance when, we will call her Sylvia, came over to my table while Betty and I were enjoying a luncheon after a Saturday service at our synagogue. Sylvia asked me about a meeting we may have attended 12 years ago. It was for lonely people hoping to make friends after being sidelined because of the death of, or separation from, a spouse. She said, “Do you remember the ‘50 plus‘ group we attended?” I remembered the group, but I said that I did not think that I had participated to any extent, if at all, in that group. Sylvia’s face took on a look of astonishment and she said, “Oh Murray, you are losing it. Your memory is going. What is wrong with you?” I was laughing inside at the antics of this

woman who seemed to delight in pulling me down. I replied, “Sylvia, thanks for trying to help me. I appreciate so much your attempt to make me feel worried.” I don’t think she recognized the sarcasm in my retort. She even tried to give me the “coup de grace” by stating, as she tapped her head, that she had not lost her marbles at all. When I stepped away for a moment, I was told that Sylvia spoke to Betty and told her to be concerned about me, saying, “He is losing it.” I may be forgetful, like almost everyone in my group, but I am not worried. I believe I am still lucid and have no present fear in that department. Other parts of me may be showing signs of aging, but my intellect is still somewhat intact, or so I believe. And if it isn’t, I do not need the likes of the unhelpful Sylvia to gloat over me. This made me think that there are some people out there who delight in trying to pull others down. They enjoy juicy gossip, and the more they can laugh at others, the better. See LETTERS TO EDITOR, page 60

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Health Fitness &

COLONOSCOPY SAVES LIVES Removing polyps during the test cuts colon cancer deaths by half DREAMING OF SLEEP Sleep patterns change with age; try these tips for a better night’s rest BIONIC BLOOD Lab-grown red blood cells are shown for the first time to be safe SAFE SEX Sex poses low risk for most heart patients, according to a new study

Not taking meds is costly in many ways By Linda A Johnson Nearly three in four Americans don’t take their prescription medicine as directed. Even among those with serious chronic health conditions such as diabetes, about one in three don’t. In fact, one out of three people never even fill their prescriptions. Many skip doses to save money. But not taking your medicines as prescribed can hurt your wallet as well as your health and far outweigh any savings on your pharmacy bill. Not filling prescriptions and even skipping doses can result in serious complications and lead to ER visits and hospital stays, even premature death. Patients not taking medicine as prescribed cost the U.S. healthcare system roughly $290 billion a year in extra treatment and related costs, research shows. One study estimated those patients pay about $2,000 a year in extra out-of-pocket

medical costs. To improve patients’ health and rein in medical spending, the National Consumers League is running “Script Your Future” — a three-year campaign with medical and other groups, to educate patients and get doctors and other health workers to discuss it with patients. Since it launched last spring, more than 100,000 people have signed the league’s online pledge to stick to their medication schedule.

What can go wrong For patients with chronic health conditions — nearly half the U.S. population — not taking medications as prescribed can bring serious consequences: • Doctors may believe a drug they prescribed for the patient didn’t work and switch to another one that has worse side effects or costs more. • Deadly viruses such as hepatitis C

and bacterial diseases such as tuberculosis, which require daily medicine for many months, can become resistant to the medicine. That can extend treatment for months, force the addition of more-toxic medicines, or make curing the illness impossible. • Patients who don’t always take medicines for high blood pressure and cholesterol problems can suffer a heart attack or stroke, causing disability or death. Despite the consequences, patient surveys show a variety of reasons for not taking medicines as prescribed, according to Script Your Future spokeswoman Rebecca Burkholder. The most common reasons are: • Financial problems/lack of health insurance, • Complicated or confusing medication schedule, • Forgetfulness, • Problems with or fears of side effects,

and • Belief the medicine isn’t really needed. This is common with symptomless conditions such as high blood pressure. Here are some strategies for addressing these problems: • If you don’t really understand why you were prescribed a drug and the consequences of not taking it, list your questions and talk to your doctor or pharmacist. If you do research on the Internet, stick to reliable websites run by government health agencies, patient advocacy groups, hospitals or universities. • If you’ve been suffering side effects or worry a new medicine may cause them, talk to your doctor about whether there’s an alternative drug or steps to lessen side effects, such as taking the drug with food or right before bed. Sometimes an additional drug may lessen side effects. See TAKE YOUR MEDS, page 6

Tips to help you lower your medical bills By Christina Rexrode Few things make me feel as clueless as a bill from my doctor’s office. I don’t recognize the abbreviations or understand the jargon. I can’t tell when I’m being charged too much. And there’s no screen on the wall, at least not at my doctor’s office, tallying the cost of each extra test I agree to or question I ask. But, even if you have health insurance as I do, medical bills can spiral quickly, eating up savings or in extreme cases leading to bankruptcy. Here are ways to protect yourself throughout the process.

Shop around; compare prices Even people who studiously comparison-shop for their digital camera or winter coat don’t always realize they should do the same for medical services. Prices can vary significantly. “You can get an MRI on one side of the street that will cost you $2,000, and the exact same MRI on the other side of the street will cost $4,000,” said Dr. Neel Shah, executive director of Costs of Care, a nonprofit that aims to help patients deflate

their medical bills. He isn’t speaking metaphorically. Dr. Jeffrey Rice, CEO of the Healthcare Blue Book, estimates that there’s an average difference of 300 percent to 600 percent between the lowest price and the highest price for any single medical procedure in any U.S. city. If you’re thinking you needn’t comparison shop because you have insurance, think again. Many insurance plans will still hold you responsible for a portion of the bill in addition to the deductible. And don’t assume that choosing a doctor who’s in your insurance company’s network will solve the problem: Their prices can vary, too. “The biggest problem we see is patients don’t ask about costs before they get their care,” Rice said. “It’s like going to buy a car and deciding afterward that the price was too high.” You need to call each doctor’s office or hospital you might visit to learn what they charge. The Healthcare Blue Book website (, which is free to consumers, can help you figure out what prices might be reason-

able. It collects information about the fees doctors accept from insurance companies. If you’re uninsured, ask about a “selfpay” discount. Doctors often charge less to patients who have to pay out of pocket, but they generally don’t advertise this.

Your doctor can help Tell your doctor you need to watch what you spend. She might not know the exact cost of each procedure or whether your insurance covers it, but she’ll know the relative value of each test she orders. Maybe she can hold off on some tests for a couple of months until she’s certain you need them. Or, if you need surgery, maybe your doctor can do it at an outpatient facility instead of a hospital. It’s also important to make sure you’ve followed your insurance company’s paperwork procedures, no matter how ridiculous you think they are. For example, if your doctor sends you to a specialist, ask your insurance company whether you’ll need pre-authorization for the visit. The pre-authorization is just another layer of paperwork — maybe your doctor’s office has to fill out an extra form

or make an extra phone call — but you want to be sure it gets done. “There are times when a test is ordered and performed and no one really realized it [needed pre-authorization], and the patient gets stuck with a bill for a test that would have been covered,” said Dr. Stephen Meyers, a physician in Oak Ridge, N.C., who runs Or say you have two health insurance plans — a primary and a secondary — and you need a procedure that your primary plan won’t cover but your secondary will. It’s likely that you’ll still need to file a valid claim with the primary insurer, just to get it denied, to guarantee that the secondary insurer will pay up.

Check your bills In most cases, you won’t see any tally of prices until your insurance company sends you a document listing what the doctor or hospital charged, how much the insurance company paid, and what’s left for you to cover. It’s a good idea to ask for a line-item bill See MEDICAL BILLS, page 5


Mar. 28


The Jung Society of Washington, the Library of Congress and AARP Foundation host a daylong symposium to discuss C.G. Jung’s point of view about growth and development throughout the second half of life. The free symposium will take place Wednesday, March 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Montpelier Room (6th floor) of the Library of Congress, James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. To register for the symposium, send an email to, and include your name, contact information and the number of seats you wish to reserve. For more information, contact the Jung Society’s Leslie Sawin at (202) 441-1400,

Is it time to take the next step?

If you have been considering a retirement community, find out why Asbury Methodist Village is the smart choice. At Asbury, all this can be yours—beautiful living arrangements, renowned services and a reputation for quality.

To find out more or to schedule a personal tour, call 301-637-0344.


Learn more about the area’s housing options Check the boxes of communities from whom you would like to receive information with no obligation and mail or fax this form to the Beacon. Washington D.C. ❏Friendship Terrace (See ad on page 37)

Maryland ❏Asbury Methodist Village (See ad on page 5) ❏Brightview (See ad on page 39) ❏Brooke Grove (See ad on page 11) ❏Charter House (See ad on page 9) ❏Churchill Senior Living (See ad on page 15) ❏Covenant Village (See ad on page 59) ❏Emerson House (See ad on page 59) ❏Gardens of Traville (See ad on page 6) ❏Homecrest House (See ad on page 30) ❏Mrs. Philippines Home (See ad on page 59) ❏Park View at Bladensburg (See ad on page 38) ❏Park View at Columbia (See ad on page 38) ❏Park View at Ellicott City (See ad on page 38) ❏Park View at Laurel (See ad on page 38) ❏Renaissance Gardens Riderwood (See ad on page 22) ❏Riderwood Village (See ad on page 12) ❏Shriner Court (See ad on page 59) ❏Springvale Terrace (See ad on page 14)

Virginia ❏Ashby Ponds (See ad on page 12) ❏Chesterbrook Residences (See ad on page 19) ❏Culpepper Garden (See ad on page 54) ❏Forest Glen (See ad on page 35) ❏The Glebe (See ad on page 35) ❏Goodwin House (See ad on page 9) ❏Greenspring Village (See ad on page 12) ❏Milly’s Home (See ad on page 23) ❏Park Place Apts. (See ad on page 29) ❏Quantum Affordable Apts. (See ad on page 59) ❏Renaissance Gardens Greenspring (See ad on page 22) ❏Sommerset (See ad on page 10) ❏The Sylvestery (See ad on page 14) ❏The Virginian (See ad on page back page) Name________________________________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________________________ City______________________________________State______Zip________________ Phone (day)__________________________(evening)_________________________ E-mail_________________________________________________________________

Check the boxes you’re interested in and return this form (together with the reader survey on p.3 if you like) to: The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915-2227 Or fax to (301) 949-8966.



from your doctor’s office or the hospital so you know exactly what you’re being charged for. Check for glaring errors: Are the medicines listed on the bill the ones you actually received? Is there lab work listed on a day when you didn’t have blood drawn? It’s easy for a billing office to accidentally key in “11” instead of “1” and charge you for 10 extra pills, or to transpose a few digits in a code and charge you for an injection when you really just got counseling. “You don’t want to assume that everything somebody is charging you for is correct,” said Louis Saccoccio, CEO of the National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association. If you believe you’ve been charged for something your insurance company should


F R E E H O U S I N G I N F O R M AT I O N ★ F R E E H O U S I N G I N F O R M AT I O N ★

From page 4

cover, contact the company first. If it still denies your claim, you have the right — under the new healthcare reform laws — to ask for an independent organization to review your claim. If your health insurer tries to deny you this external review, contact your state insurance commissioner’s office. Other state agencies also can help you. Check the “Consumer Assistance Program Locator” on the nonprofit Families USA’s home page ( or, a website managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Some for-profit companies also will scour your medical bills for errors and try to get the charges lowered. But these companies will keep a portion of any savings they recover for you, sometimes as much as 35 percent. — AP


Medical bills


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


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Take your meds From page 4

If cost is a problem If you can’t afford your medicine, ask whether your doctor has free samples or there’s a cheaper generic version. Also, try contacting patient assistance programs run by brand-name drug manufacturers, the industry-backed Partnership for Prescription Assistance at, or by nonprofit groups including www., www.r, and Ask your pharmacy if it participates in any discount prescription card pro-

grams. Price shop for the best deal. Some state health departments have websites for comparison of prices at different drugstores. There are also Internet drugstores with discounted prices, such as Make sure the site has the blue Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites symbol.

When you can’t remember If forgetfulness or confusion is the issue, try pill organizers or reminder devices. If you just need something to jog your memory, post a reminder card on the kitchen counter, refrigerator door or bath-




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room mirror, or set an alarm on your watch or smartphone. You can also buy special vibrating watches with multiple reminders for around $100. (See, for example, Try an inexpensive weekly pill box divided by time of day from a drug or discount store, or invest in an organizer pill bottle or divided box with an alarm timer that can fit in your pocket or bag. There are even countertop dispensers with individual medication cups that a caregiver can fill for weeks in advance. These devices run from about $30 to several hundred dollars, depending on how sophisticated they are. Some even notify caregivers when the patient misses medicine doses. There are smartphone applications, some free, that can send text reminders every time you need to take a medicine or refill a prescription. Or you could sign up

for a reminder service that sends e-mail or text messages for $5 to $10 per month. More expensive services make automated reminder calls to the patient and, if there’s no response, notify emergency contacts. Ask your health provider, pharmacist, nurse or insurer for advice. Or check out sites selling items like those described above:,,,, or Many items are also available at Make sure to read the fine print before submitting your credit card information. Information, wallet prescription lists and other tools to improve medication adherence are available at Get more patient advice from — AP

Why you should take your meds • Medication non-adherence is at least a factor in more than one in three medication-related hospital admissions. • Roughly 125,000 premature deaths a year are blamed on medication nonadherence. • Every dollar spent on medication decreases total health costs to patients, insurers and government health programs by about $10.10 for people with high blood pressure, by $8.40 for congestive heart failure patients, by $6.70 for diabetics and by about $3.10 for patients with cholesterol disorders. • For patients aged 65 and up with serious chronic health problems, not

keeping to their prescription regimen can sharply increase total annual healthcare spending (by the patient plus Medicare or other insurer). A 2011 study of such patients insured through CVS Caremark Corp. found these higher annual costs per patient: $7,893 for congestive heart failure, $5,824 for high blood pressure, $5,170 for diabetes, and $1,847 for cholesterol problems. Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Script Your Future” campaign, Health Affairs journal, other research studies. — AP

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Colonoscopy halves risk of fatal colon cancer Millions of people have endured a colonoscopy, believing the dreaded exam may help keep them from dying of colon cancer. For the first time, a major study offers clear evidence that it does. Removing precancerous growths (called polyps) spotted during the test can cut the risk of dying from colon cancer in half, the study suggests. Doctors have long assumed a benefit, but research hasn’t shown before that removing polyps would improve survival — the key measure of any cancer screening’s worth. A second study in Europe found that colonoscopies did a better job of finding polyps than another common screening tool — tests that look for blood in stool. Both studies were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in late February. The National Cancer Institute and several cancer organizations paid for the study. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States and the fourth worldwide. More than 143,000 new cases of cancers of the colon or rectum are expected in the U.S. this year and nearly 52,000 people will die from it, according to the American Cancer Society. People of average risk of colon cancer ages 50 to 75 should get screened, but only about half in the U.S. do. Colon cancer screening guidelines are available at — AP

Watch out for medical identity theft A survey of doctors, insurers and pharmacies found that a third of them had caught someone using another person’s identity to get health services. But in many cases, the thieves are after billing information so they can make fraudulent claims. In one scam, older people were called up and told that they needed to provide their current Medicare number because the federal healthcare reform law required that they get a new one, which isn’t true. The scammers could then use the Medicare numbers to bill the government for services that were never delivered. The Federal Trade Commission has some suggestions for preventing medical identity theft. They’re pretty basic but, at the very least, serve as useful reminders: • Never give out personal or medical information on the phone or through the mail unless you initiated the contact and are certain you know with whom you’re dealing.

• Be skeptical of offers of free or sharply discounted services from providers you don’t know who ask for your Medicare or health insurance information. Medical identity thieves, posing as insurance company employees, doctors and other healthcare providers, lure people in with these offers, collect their billing and other information, and then use it to make Medicare and other claims. • If you’re asked to provide insurance or medical information on a website, look for indicators that the site is secure, such as a lock icon on the browser’s status bar or a Web address that begins “https” (the “s” stands for “secure”). — Harvard Health Letter

Avoiding kidney stones There are a lot worse things than kidney stones. But, oh my, they can cause a lot of

pain as they pass through the ureters, the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder. And the number of Americans getting kidney stones is increasing, perhaps because of the increasing prevalence of obesity. Once you get kidney stones, the chance of getting them again is high, and much of the prevention advice is aimed at fending

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off a recurrence, but it may also help some with avoiding kidney stones in the first place. Here are a few pointers: • Keep your fluid intake up. Kidney stones form when certain minerals concentrate in the urine and form into crysSee HEALTH SHORTS, page 9

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Colon Cancer Awareness – Still Not Hitting the Mark Despite the publicity and areas of the body at the time initial awareness campaign of diagnosis, which means that occurred following the that many patients are aldeath of Katie Couric’s husready beyond the hope of band (who died at the age of cure by the time their cancer 42 from colorectal cancer) is found. This is an unfortuand her personal televised nate statistic given the effecexperience undergoing tiveness of current screening colonoscopy, there is only methods and improved surgimodest knowledge and advocal techniques, radiotherapy cacy for colorectal cancer and combination chemotherBy Mark T. Birns screening now, 13 years later. MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF apy or immunotherapy. In total, colorectal cancer acThere is little doubt that counts for about 15% of all cancers and is the screening colonoscopy (a 6 foot lighted second most common malignancy in men, flexible fiberoptic tube attached to a video third in women, behind lung and breast camera passed into the rectum to visualcancer. It will boast almost 150,000 new ize the colon lining) is effective in identicases and claim 55,000 lives in 2011. Al- fying silent polyps and colon cancers. though substantial progress has been made Use of other tests such as fecal occult in its treatment over the last 25 years, the 5 blood tests, sigmoidoscopy, and barium year survival rates have improved only enema, are helpful in leading to further modestly for advanced disease (about 65%). evaluation. Tests for identification of abEarly diagnosis of colorectal cancer, normal DNA mutations in stool is investibefore any symptoms occur, could dou- gational at this point. Colonoscopy ble the 5 year survival rate by finding it remains the gold standard and has the at an early stage when treatment is most added advantage of being both diagnostic effective. Presently, more than half of all and therapeutic in being able to remove colorectal cancers have spread to other polyps at the time of the procedure or

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

biopsy an abnormal area in question. What is the greatest risk factor for colorectal cancer? Age is the single most determinant force. The risk increases above the age of 40 and continues to rise sharply between 50-55, peaking around 75. Colorectal cancers below the age of 40 can occur in those with strong family risk factors. How does colon cancer present? What are the symptoms? The most common sign is rectal bleeding, and the most common symptoms include a change in bowel habits, straining at stool, a change in stool caliber, or increasing gaseousness. Unfortunately, many of these are seen in the later stages of the disease. Cancer of the right colon is usually asymptomatic until large. Other presentations may include unexplained anemia, fatigue or weight loss. If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to see your physician. What is the best way to screen for colorectal cancer and colon polyps? Be sure you undergo a digital rectal examination and fecal occult blood test on a routine physical exam over the age of 40, earlier if you know of colorectal cancer or colon polyps in close relatives. Colonoscopy is an integral part of the evaluation, beginning at age 50 (45 for African Americans) with no symptoms, earlier beginning at age 40 for those with family histories, but performed anytime if any “flag symptoms,” described above, are present. How is colonoscopy performed? The prep to clear out the colon for optimal visualization is taken the day before

and while considered unpleasant, it is relatively simple. The procedure itself is carried out in an outpatient endoscopic facility under sedation. The entire experience accounts for several hours, although the procedure time itself is usually less than a half hour. Successful primary prevention of colorectal cancer depends on public education and counseling, more aggressive screening in individuals at risk, but more importantly (given the majority of colorectal cancers occur in patients without family history), general screening by colonoscopy beginning at 50 years of age. For more information about colon cancer and prevention, visit our website at or request a free information kit at or (240) 485-5207. Capital Digestive Care has 16 offices conveniently located throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area, including, Montgomery, Howard, Prince George’s and Frederick counties. Mark T. Birns, MD FACP FACG AGAF is a board certified physician specializing in Gastroenterology for over 30 years in the Washington area. For more information about colon cancer and prevention, visit or request a free information kit at or (240) 485-5207. Capital Digestive Care has 16 offices conveniently located throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area, including, Montgomery, Howard, Prince George’s and Frederick counties.

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Health shorts From page 7 tals. Drink plenty of fluids (water is the safest bet) and you’ll increase the amount of water in the urine, so those mineral concentrations don’t get too high. • Eat calcium-rich foods. Calcium is a major component of about 85 percent of kidney stones, so it seems like you should avoid calcium in the diet, not seek it out. But most calcium stones are composed of calcium combined with a substance called oxalate. If there is plenty of calcium in your diet, the calcium binds to oxalate in the intestine

before the oxalate has a chance to get into your urine. Less oxalate in the urine means fewer opportunities for calcium oxalate to form there — and fewer kidney stones. Calcium-rich foods include nonfat dairy products, leafy green vegetables, and some varieties of fish (salmon is a good choice). • Reconsider calcium supplements. Results from the Harvard-based Nurses’ Health Study showed that postmenopausal women who took calcium supplements were 20 percent more likely to develop kidney stones than women who didn’t. Findings published in 2011 from the Women’s Health Initiative, a large randomized trial, echoed those of the nurses’ study.

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Join the Macular Degeneration Network for a program with a social worker to discuss the “Emotional Impact of Fading Sight” on Sunday, March 18 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. The program will take place at Sibley Memorial Hospital, New Medical Building, 5215 Loughboro Rd. NW, Washington, D.C. For more information call (301) 538-9358.

Mar. 29

um and oxalate. • Moderate your protein intake. Protein can increase calcium and oxalate excretion. High-protein diets may also reduce the levels of stone-inhibiting substances in the urine. — Harvard Health Letter

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One explanation for calcium in food and calcium pills having different effects is that when calcium is consumed in food, it’s more likely to be present in the intestine at the same time as oxalate. • Moderate your sodium intake. Lowsodium diets decrease excretion of calci-


Dr. Frederick P. Smith will present information on diagnosis and screening, current colorectal cancer treatments, symptom/side effect management strategies and survivorship issues at a seminar sponsored by Hope Connections for Cancer Support. It will be held on Thursday, March 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. at 5430 Grosvenor Lane, Suite 100, Bethesda, Md. To attend, make a reservation by calling (301) 493-5002 or emailing

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Why you may not get a good night’s sleep By Dr. Jarrett Richardson Dear Mayo Clinic: Does getting older mean that you won’t sleep as well? Why does it seem like older people like me can’t sleep like we used to? Answer: Although sleep patterns change somewhat as you age, that doesn’t mean you have to live with restless nights and the persistent feeling of insufficient sleep. The underlying causes are usually treatable. Many brain activities contribute to sleep and wakefulness. Chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters help control whether you’re awake or asleep. Some of these chemicals help keep parts of your brain active while others encourage sleep.

Other forces, such as the amount of light you’re exposed to and the medications you take, also influence your sleep patterns. Diet also can be a factor — for instance, caffeine and alcohol can have a significant effect. Generally, sleeping seven to eight hours a night is considered optimal. Some adults need less. But if you’re getting too little sleep, you’re amassing a sleep debt. Regularly sleeping less than five hours a night is associated with poor physical health, although there’s debate whether poor health causes lost sleep or lost sleep results in poor health.

More falls, poorer concentration In older adults, sleeping less than five

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Some sleep habits that everyone can adopt that may make a difference include going to bed at the same time each day; exercising before the evening hours; avoiding caffeine, nicotine and alcohol; and relaxing before bed with a warm bath or by reading something enjoyable. Try to keep your bedroom quiet, dark and at a comfortable sleeping temperature, and use your bedroom only for sleep or intimacy. As a general rule, if you can’t sleep, don’t lie in bed. Leave your bedroom and do a quiet activity — such as reading, watching TV or listening to music — until you feel tired. If you’re having sleep difficulties, consider whether a particular stress may be the cause. Once the stress is relieved, the sleep issue may resolve. But if you can’t identify a reason for ongoing sleep loss, talk with your doctor. DeSee SLEEP, page 12


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sleep difficulties. Medications. Drugs that disrupt sleep range from nonprescription decongestants to commonly prescribed drugs such as bronchodilators, some antidepressants and corticosteroids. Other medications such as beta blockers, varenicline (Chantix), some antidepressants and narcotics can cause vivid dreams or nightmares, contributing to sleep difficulty. Some pain relievers contain caffeine. Menopause. Up to half of women in menopause report sleep difficulties. Hormone changes may be a factor and result in hot flashes, night sweats and disrupted sleep. Providing care to family members is another factor that can reduce sleep.


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hours a night is associated with a more than 50 percent increased risk of falls. Getting less than seven hours of sleep on a regular basis may cut into your ability to concentrate, make decisions and remember things. Adding to that, ongoing sleep deprivation may actually interfere with your ability to recognize how tired you are. But simply focusing your attention on getting a certain amount of sleep may not be helpful. Sleep difficulties can often be traced to treatable health issues. Talk to your care provider if you think your sleep problems are related to other medical conditions. For example, chronic health problems such as arthritis, kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease and depression can cause difficulty sleeping. Some of the other factors that could cause sleep difficulties include: Sleep disorders. Sleep-related leg cramps, obstructive sleep apnea, periodic leg and arm movements, and restless legs syndrome can jeopardize sleep. A Mayo Clinic study of aging adults found that more than half of the 892 participants had signs of at least one sleep disorder other than insomnia. Pain. Conditions that cause chronic pain, including heartburn, arthritis, back pain, cancer pain and headaches, can take a toll on sleep. In turn, poor sleep can increase the perception of pain intensity. Difficulties such as falling asleep or frequent nighttime wakening often are related to poor pain control. Nighttime urination (nocturia). Trips to the bathroom are a common reason older adults wake at night. This also increases the risk of nighttime falls. Illness. Coughing, shortness of breath, chronic pain and even itching can disrupt your sleep. Mental health conditions, such as depression, often are associated with

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2012 Community Seminar Series Offers Insight on Living Well Brooke Grove Retirement Village (BGRV) is pleased to offer its fourth year of Living Well Community Seminars. Designed to help participants navigate a variety of healthcare and personal challenges, this year’s series offers an exciting array of experts ready to offer insights on topics that range from brain health to the benefits of humor in everyday life. Each free, monthly presentation will be held from 7 to 8:15 p.m. in the terrace level conference room of Brooke Grove Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and will be preceded by a complimentary light supper beginning at 6:30 p.m. They are open to the public as well as to members of the BGRV family. “Laugh for the Health of It!” on Thursday, March 15, with Humor Therapist Elaine Lundberg. She believes “If They’re Laughing, They’re Not Killing Each Other” and “No More Bummers.” This is her philosophy of life and the titles of her books. Her popular presentations educate, motivate and help anyone concerned with wellness and stress management in their lives. Participants should come prepared to laugh and will learn why and how to use positive humor in their life. According to Ms. Lundberg, “It’s never too late to learn how to lighten up!” On Wednesday, April 18, Geri atric Care Manager Cathy Lonas will take the podium to

discuss “Tough Decisions, Tough Love: Can You Wait Until They are Ready?” The founder of Advocate 360, LLC, and a registered nurse, Ms. Lonas holds a master’s degree in marketing and gerontology and has been working with older adults and their families for 25 years. “When you see the decline and increasing frailty of your loved one, your head knows you ha ve to make the tough decision, but your heart won’t follow,” she explained. “Join us for a conversation on facing the challenges aging presents and how to know when it’s time to make a transition to long-term care.” Chef Bonita Woods of the Bonita Woods Wellness Foundation will demonstrate some of her favorite healthy, fiber-rich recipes and share samples with participants attending her “Dining for Energy and Vitality” seminar on Wednesday, May 23. According to Chef Woods, “diet and lifestyle have a huge impact on our health, energy and well-being. Many of the same ingredients that are good for a heart-healthy diet also help to maintain stable blood sugar and digestive comfort, keeping energy up and helping with weight management.” To attend, please RSVP to Director of Marketing Toni Davis at 301-924-2811, option 3, or by the Monday prior to each seminar.

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

Lab-grown blood tested for the first time By Linda Geddes Red blood cells generated in a lab have been successfully injected into a human volunteer for the first time. This is a vital step toward a future in which all the blood we need for transfusions can be made in the lab, so that blood donors are no longer essential. Luc Douay, at Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris, and his colleagues extracted what are called hematopoietic stem cells from a volunteer’s bone marrow.

These cells were encouraged to grow into cultured red blood cells using a cocktail of growth factors. After labeling the cells so they could be traced, Douay’s team injected 10 billion — the equivalent of 2 milliliters of blood — back into the original donor to see how they survived. After five days, 94 to 100 percent of the cells remained in circulation, while after 26 days, 41 to 63 percent remained — a survival rate comparable to normal red blood


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cells. The cultured blood cells also gave every indication of being safe to use: They didn’t transform into a malignant cell type, for example. Instead, they behaved like normal red blood cells, binding to oxygen and releasing it, according to the study published in the journal Blood. “This is a huge step forward,” said Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer at Advanced Cell Technology, Worcester, Mass. In 2008, Lanza was a part of the team that grew red blood cells on a large scale in the lab for the first time. Anna Rita Migliaccio of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City is equally impressed by Douay’s work: “He showed that these cells do not have two tails or three horns, and [that they] survive normally in the body.” “The results show promise that an unlimited blood reserve is within reach,” said Douay. That blood reserve is needed urgently. Although blood donations are increasing in many developed countries, blood banks struggle to keep up with the demands of aging populations who need more operations — often involving blood transfusions. And a source of HIV-free blood is essential in countries with high rates of HIV infection.

Sleep From page 10 termining and addressing its cause can make your nighttime sleep more restful. Jarrett Richardson, M.D., is a psychiatrist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Medical Edge from Mayo Clinic is an educational resource and doesn’t replace regular

Problems with artificial blood Earlier attempts to create blood substitutes have been disappointing. Several products have been rejected as a result of safety concerns or simply because they didn’t work well. Besides blood derived from stem cells, alternatives include chemical blood — based on the high-oxygen solubility of perfluorocarbons — and oxygen carriers based on hemoglobin, which involve modifications to the red blood cell protein that transports oxygen. “All aim to mimic, or in some cases enhance, the oxygen-carrying ability of the red blood cells normally given as a blood transfusion,” said Chris Cooper of the University of Essex in Colchester, UK, who is developing a hemoglobin-based blood substitute that will be genetically modified to reduce its toxicity. (Hemoglobin is toxic in its unbound state.) “The advantage of stem cell technology is that the product will much more closely resemble a red cell transfusion, alleviating some of the safety concerns that continue around the use of the current generation of artificial products,” he said. Thomas Chang at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, said that the success of See BLOOD, page 13

medical care. To submit a question, write to:, or Medical Edge from Mayo Clinic, c/o TMS, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY 14207. For health information, visit © 2012 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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Blood From page 12 Douay’s stem-cell approach doesn’t mean research into alternatives is any less worthwhile. Blood grown from stem cells must be chilled, like fresh blood. But “hemoglobin-based artificial blood does not need refrigeration,” he said. This stability makes it more useful in remote areas or in the aftermath of natural disasters.

Practical challenges remain Douay’s next challenge is to scale up production to a point where the cultured blood cells can be made quickly and cheaply in sufficient quantities for blood transfusions. The 10 billion cells his team made wouldn’t go very far; a transfusion typically requires 200 times that number. With his

existing technology, Douay estimates that a single transfusion would require 400 liters of culture fluid, which is clearly impractical. “We are still a long way from the vision of dropping a couple of stem cells into the broth and making endless units of blood,” said John Hess of the University of Maryland-Baltimore. Douay believes that it may take several years to scale up the technology. Another possibility is to use embryonic stem cells instead, as Lanza did in 2008. “We can generate up to 100 billion red blood cells from a single six-well plate of [embryonic] stem cells,” Lanza said. He also claims to have made red blood cells through yet another technique: generating “induced pluripotent” stem cells from skin samples and coaxing those stem cells into becoming blood cells.

Lanza said he did this using skin from a person with type O blood. People with O negative blood are called “universal donors” because their blood doesn’t trigger an immune reaction in recipients. “This is important for patients with massive blood loss where there isn’t time for


blood typing,” said Lanza, who hopes to test both types of lab-made blood in people within the next two years. © 2011 New Scientist Magazine. Reed Business Information, Ltd. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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Attend the fifth annual Positive Aging Fair: Tools for Creative Aging on Thursday, March 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The keynote speaker is Judith Martin (Miss Manners). The fair includes small group workshops in such areas as chair yoga, hearing loss and assistive technology, keeping up with technology and social media, and aging in place. The event will be held at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, Va. All faiths welcome. The fee of $18 includes admission, workshops and kosher lunch if registration is made by March 15. After that time, register at the door, but lunch is not included. For more details, call (703) 3230880 or visit



Have questions about Medicare? Fairfax County has launched a new podcast series, Medicare Moments. Each of these brief radio-style interviews focuses on a bite-sized issue related to Medicare lasting from five to seven minutes. Nationally recognized Medicare expert Howard Houghton explains the various Medicare programs in a simple, friendly manner. He also offers advice on getting the most out of your benefits. To hear the podcasts, go to

Free Hearing Tests set for

Greater Washington Area Age 65+ Free electronic hearing tests will be given from Monday, March 19 - Friday, March 23 at select locations in Maryland and Northern Virginia. Tests have been arranged for anyone who suspects they are losing their hearing. Such persons generally say they can hear but cannot understand words. Testing with the latest computerized equipment will indicate if you can be helped. Everyone, especially adults over 65, should have an electronic hearing test at least once a year. If there is a hearing problem, hearing tests may reveal that newly developed methods of correction will help, even for those who have been told in the past that a hearing aid would not help them. If you suspect you have hearing loss, call for a free hearing test appointment. Our licensed specialists are trained in the latest auditory testing methods and will be the first ones to tell you if you don’t need a hearing aid. If you do have a hearing loss, we will explain your results and provide you with a list of options.

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Sex poses low risk for most heart patients By Lindsey Tanner Good news: Sex is safe for most heart patients. If you’re healthy enough to walk up two flights of stairs without chest pain or gasping for breath, you can have a love life. That advice from a leading doctors’ group addresses one of the most pressing, least discussed issues facing survivors of heart attacks and other heart patients. In its first science-based recommendations on the subject, the American Heart

Association says having sex only slightly raises the chance for a heart attack. And that’s true for people with and without heart disease. Surprisingly, despite the higher risk for a heart patient to have a second attack, there’s no evidence that they have more sex-related heart attacks than people without cardiac disease. Many heart patients don’t think twice about climbing stairs, yet many worry that sexual activity will cause another heart at-

tack, or even sudden death, said Dr. Glenn Levine, lead author of a report detailing the recommendations and a professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. The report says sex is something doctors should bring up with all heart patients. Yet few do because they’re uncomfortable talking about it or they lack information, Levine said. The new guidance is designed to fill that gap.

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Heart patients should get a doctor’s OK before engaging in sexual activity. Many may be advised first to do cardiac rehab — exercise while being monitored for heart symptoms, to improve heart strength and increase physical fitness. But the heart association said most eventually will be cleared to resume sexual activity. The doctors’ group offers advice for heart patients based on scientific research involving sometimes provocative sex-related topics: • Who’s most at risk for sudden death related to sex? Married men having affairs, often with younger women in unfamiliar settings. Those circumstances can add to stress that may increase the risks, evidence from a handful of studies suggests. • Sex may be OK as soon as one week after a relatively mild heart attack, if patients can walk up a few flights of stairs without discomfort. • Viagra and other drugs for erectile dysfunction are generally safe for men with stable heart disease. Among heart attack survivors, average risks for another heart attack or sudden death are about 10 in 1 million per hour. Having sex increases that to about 20 to 30

in 1 million per hour of sexual activity, the new report said. People without heart disease face lower overall risks for a heart attack, but similar risks for a sex-related attack. “Sexual activity is the cause of less than 1 percent of all heart attacks,” Levine said. The updated advice was released in the heart association journal, Circulation, in January. Dr. Keith Churchwell, chief medical officer of Vanderbilt University’s Heart and Vascular Institute, said the guidance is important for patients, and that questions about sex are the most common ones he hears from heart patients.

Partners need to understand, too Ohio State University heart specialist Martha Gulati praised the recommendations for emphasizing that sexual counseling is important not just for patients but also their partners, who she said are often just as nervous about resuming sexual activity. Day-care operator Tammy Collins of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, one of Gulati’s patients, said the advice is reassuring. She had a heart attack last year on Sept. 11, during a trip to Cincinnati to celebrate her wedding anniversary. Collins’ mother died of a heart attack at the same age, on her 51st birthday. With high blood pressure and high cholesterol, Collins knew she was at risk. She developed symptoms a few hours after having sex. She dismissed it at first, until she felt a sharp pain in her upper back and had trouble breathing. She was rushed to the hospital and doctors used stents to open blocked arteries. See SAFE SEX, page 17

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

BPA risks unclear; try to limit exposure By Dr. Russ Hauser Q. Is the concern about the chemical BPA just another health scare, or is BPA really something we should be worried about? A. BPA, which stands for bisphenol A, is estrogenic. That means that in some respects it behaves like the hormone estrogen. Although BPA was first developed as a synthetic estrogen, it was never used as a pharmaceutical because diethylstilbestrol (DES), another synthetic estrogen, was more potent. DES was pulled from the market in the 1970s after it was discovered that the daughters of the women who took it (extra estrogen was thought to reduce the risk of

miscarriages and premature births) were more likely to have a rare type of vaginal cancer, and later studies found they also had a variety of fertility and other health problems. But BPA turned out to have a second career, so to speak, as a compound that would be polymerized — made into long chains — to make a plastic known as polycarbonate. While not as clear as some plastics, polycarbonate is sturdy and resists shattering, so it’s a great material for water bottles and baby bottles. It’s used in some dental sealants and composite white fillings. BPA has proved useful as an ingredient in an epoxy resin applied to the insides of cans so the metal of the can is not in direct

lege students drink cold beverages from polycarbonate drinking bottles for a week. The level of BPA in their urine increased by two-thirds. But the main BPA exposure for adults in this country and elsewhere is believed to be from canned food, because BPA leaches out of the lining of cans. Infants can be exposed from the linings of cans infant formula comes in and from polycarbonate baby bottles, which are largely no longer sold in this country.

How harmful is BPA? The hard question to answer, though, is See BPA, page 17

Exceeding Your Expectations


Mar. 22+

contact with the food or beverage. BPA is also used as an ingredient in the powdery coating found on the thermal paper that many receipts are printed on these days. There’s no question that we’re exposed to BPA and that it can get inside our bodies. Over 90 percent of Americans were shown to have measurable amounts of the chemical in their urine. With wear and washing, polycarbonate plastic breaks down, so some of those long chains break down to the simpler compounds — called monomers — that have estrogenic properties. In 2008, colleagues of mine at the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study that involved having Harvard Col-

ALZHEIMER’S SERIES The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Washington presents a

free four-part series on Alzheimer’s disease. The first seminar, “Know the 10 Signs: Early Detection Matters,” will be held on Thursday, March 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center, 1000 Forest Glen Rd., Silver

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Mar. 13+

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The Sylvestery, the memory support assisted living residence at Vinson Hall Retirement Community, is forming an Alzheimer’s sup-

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Fitness & Health | More at

Health Studies Page

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


Free exercise class for stroke patients By Barbara Ruben When Cynthia Toney suffered a stroke a day after Christmas in 2006, she lost the use of her right arm and leg. Physical therapy helped get her on her feet, but her insurance paid for only three months of help. Toney still has a limp and wears a brace on her wrist. So when she saw a listing last fall for a free exercise class for those who have had a stroke, she signed up immediately. The class is offered at National Rehabilitation Hospital, 102 Irving St., NW, in Washington, D.C. It is also being held at four Howard County senior centers, including the N. Laurel 50+ Center, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Rd., Laurel, Md.

Two types of exercise studied The class is part of a study sponsored by the Veterans Administration. Researchers want to know if a program of adapted physical activity (APA) will help stroke patients recover more function than a less vigorous group exercise program called Sittercize. The APA program, which was developed in Italy, is designed specifically for people with walking problems due to a stroke. Exercises are progressive, beginning with a five-minute walk at the beginning and end of each class and gradually progressing to two 15-minute walks. The program also includes work to improve balance and seated exercise. Participants are also expected to exercise at

home on their own two to three days a week in addition to the class. The Sittercize class was not developed specifically for stroke patients. It consists of seated exercise, focusing on stretching to improve general range of motion, and weight exercises to strengthen the trunk, arms and legs. There is no assigned exercise homework with this group. Both classes meet three days per week for one hour at a time for a six-month period. Participants are randomly assigned to one of the two types of classes. Toney was placed in the Sittercize group, and she said she has seen improvement in her arm function since the class began in October. “The first day, I thought, ‘this isn’t for

A Study to Evaluate the Effects of Standardized Aerobic Exercise-Training on Memory Are you: • Age 60 years or older? • Concerned about your MEMORY? • Interested in free exercise training?

Who Can Participate? • Men or postmenopausal women • Sedentary (no regular physical activity) • Fully supervised and individualized aerobic exercise-training • General physical and cardiovascular exam • Blood pressure monitoring

me,’ that it wouldn’t help me,” said Toney, 54. “But now I really love it and I’m able to lift my arm a little higher, and can lift 2 ½ pounds when I could only lift a pound before. We laugh a lot. We talk. I really like the people.” Progress in balance, walking and other ambulatory activities will be measured periodically during the study.

Who can take part? To qualify for the study and the class, participants must have had an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke at least six months before the class begins. They must have already completed all conventional inpatient and outpatient physical therapy, and be able to rise from a chair without an assistive device. Patients are disqualified from the study if they have unstable angina, certain types of congestive heart failure, or have had a heart attack within the last three months. They also cannot have orthopedic, circulatory or chronic pain conditions that restrict exercise, nor can they have active cancer or poorly controlled hypertension. Those with dementia, non-stroke neurological disorders that impair mobility, such as MS or Parkinson’s, and untreated clinical depression also are not eligible to participate. Enrollment for the next session of classes continues until April 1. The class is free, but no compensation is offered for participation. To learn more about the class at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, or to see if you qualify, call Margot Giannetti at (202) 877-1071. For information on Howard County classes, call Jessica Hammers at (410) 637-3279.


Mar. 20

• Free cholesterol and diabetes blood tests • Free memory assessment • Free brain imaging • Nutrition education & more


The Mount Vernon Genealogy Society will host Marie Varrelman Melchiori, a professional genealogist specializing in military records at the National Archives Records Administration, on

For more information

Call: 202-865-3776 This study is funded by a grant from the NIH/National Institutes on Aging



Tuesday, March 20 at 1 p.m. She will talk about how to find records. The meeting will take place at the Hollin Hall Senior Center, just off Fort Hunt Road at 1500 Shenandoah Rd. in Alexandria, Va. For more information, see or call Phyllis Kelley at (703) 660-6969.

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

From page 14 Collins said she wasn’t embarrassed to ask Gulati about sex, who told her it was unlikely that her night of romance had caused the heart attack. After several weeks of cardiac rehab, she was cleared to resume sexual activity — advice that surprised her friends. But Collins said the exercise sessions have made her feel fitter than ever. “A heart attack does not have to be the end of living,” Collins said.

The Seneca Valley Sugarloafers Volksmarch Club is sponsoring a seasonal, self-guided Kenwood Cherry Blossoms and Spring Flowers Walk in Bethesda, Md. between March 16 and May 14. Choose between a 10 km (six mile) or 5 km (three mile) route along the Capital Crescent Trail. Pick up your map at Starbucks Coffee, 4611-E Sangamore Rd. in the Shops at Sumner Place in Bethesda. For more information, contact Jim Hathaway at (301) 229-1356 or e-mail:

How to limit exposure At the same time, given what we know from the studies on experimental animals and the limited studies in humans, I think it makes sense to be appropriately cautious about BPA exposure and limit it where we can. The canning industry is looking for substitutes for the lining of food and beverage cans. As individuals, we can lower our exposure by eating less canned food and more fresh fruits and vegetables, which is always a good thing. Parents can buy products that aren’t made of polycarbonate (that means avoiding products with a 7 recycling label). You can also switch from polycarbonate water bottles to stainless steel ones, which (unlike the aluminum ones) tend to be unlined. Although making these individual decisions can lower your personal exposure, it’s my hope that government regulatory agencies will use the best available science to make decisions about the commercial use of BPA that will protect public health. Russ Hauser, M.D., Sc.D., M.P.H., is a professor in the Dept. of Environmental Health with the Harvard School of Public Health. © 2012 President and fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Chicago cardiologist Dan Fintel, a professor of medicine at Northwestern University, said he routinely gives heart patients a sex talk on their last day in the hospital, knowing that it’s likely on their minds. “Resuming sexual activity is safe and emotionally part of the healing process, with a few caveats,” he tells patients. Those caveats elicit nervous chuckles when he explains they include no philandering, given evidence about that causing extra stress. — AP

COPD OR EMPHYSEMA? If you are at least 40 years of age, current or ex-smoker, with COPD, you may be eligible to participate in a 26 week research study of an investigational medication for COPD. s#OMPENSATIONFORTIMEANDTRAVELMAYBEPROVIDED s-ETRO!CCESSIBLE s0ARKINGATNOCHARGE Please contact Kim at (301) 962-1610 or if interested.



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Clip and return to: The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915 or fax to (301) 949-8966

Colorectal Cancer Screening Clinical Research Study Do you qualify for the study? Be a part of an important cancer research study! • Are you between the ages of 50 and 84 (inclusive)? • Are you scheduled for or do you need to schedule for a colonoscopy? • Are you at average risk for colorectal cancer? • Are you willing to provide a stool sample and undergo a screening colonoscopy within 90 days of enrollment? • Has it been at least nine years since your last colonoscopy? Or have you never had a colonoscopy? The primary goal of the Colorectal Cancer (CRC) Screening Test for the Detection of Colorectal Advanced Adenomatous Polyps and Cancer (DeeP-C) study is to determine the ability of the Exact Sciences CRC screening test to detect colorectal cancer and pre-cancer. Qualified participants may be eligible for compensation. A take-home collection kit will be provided if you qualify for the study. Once you provide the stool sample, you call a toll-free number. You will be asked a series of questions related to the stool collection process, and a courier will be scheduled to pick up your sample. Once your stool collection process is complete, you will need to schedule a screening colonoscopy, as instructed by your physician, within 90 days of enrollment. To learn more about this colorectal cancer screening study, call:

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Mar. 16+

whether any of this exposure causes harm. I was a member of the World Health Organization expert meeting on toxicological and health aspects of BPA. The report summarized epidemiologic studies that have shown links with several health outcomes, from poor semen quality, to diabetes, to behavioral problems in young children. But most of the studies have been crosssectional snapshots that depend on one measurement of urinary BPA. That kind of research can suggest the need for more research of a possible connection. It can’t determine cause and effect. Usually toxicological research, which tests the effect a chemical has on cells and animals, is a major factor in determining whether a substance is harmful or not. And BPA hasn’t been ignored by toxicologists: At least 500 toxicological studies have been published. But toxicologists disagree about what is the best design for studies on BPA, how to deliver the BPA dose, what doses to test, and which outcomes to measure. So rather than sending a clear message, the BPA toxicology research has added to the uncertainty about how dangerous this chemical really is. I have mixed feelings about all the focus on BPA. I study other chemicals in consumer products, like phthalates and parabens in cosmetic products.



From page 15

It probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to be hypervigilant about just one chemical, BPA, when there are hundreds of others we should also be concerned about and studying in a more systematic way.




(301) 652-5520

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

Expo & Conference May 3-5, 2012 Gaylord National Hotel and Conference Center National Harbor, Maryland

Expo - A Showcase of 100+ Exhibitors Conference - Professional & Consumer Training Opportunities Job Fair Ronald D. Paul Kidney Walk Entertainment Live Cooking & Fitness Demonstrations Raffles Educational Sessions on Medicare Issues How to Avoid Being a Victim How to Access Program Information, and much more! n n

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


Nominations sought for volunteer awards Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett recently announced that the inaugural Montgomery Serves Awards Ceremony will take place on April 30 at Imagination Stage in Bethesda, Md. The event, intended to become an annual one, will honor some of Montgomery County’s most outstanding community leaders and dedicated volunteers. “Montgomery County is the very special place it is today in large part because many extraordinary public citizens work every day to make it special,” Leggett said in encouraging residents to submit nominations of individuals, businesses and community groups for the awards. At the event, the following awards will be presented. • The Neal Potter Path of Achievement Awards. Two residents 60 and above, whose accomplishments, enthusiasm and lifelong commitment to volunteer service make them outstanding role models, will be selected based on contributions made over a lifetime of volunteer service. The award is named in memory of former county councilmember, county executive, and longtime civic activist Neal Potter. • 2011 Montgomery Serves Awards. These awards recognize special volunteer

accomplishments during the past calendar year in three categories: Youth Service Awards (individual youth 18 years and under and/or youth groups); Corporate Service Awards (businesses or corporations that engage their employees as community volunteers); and Community Service Awards (exemplary volunteer service by individuals or community organizations). Nominations will be accepted for both awards until 5 p.m. on Monday, March 19. Additional information, along with nomination forms, may be found at In addition to these awards, selected on the basis of nominations from the public, Leggett will present the first Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Awards at the April 30 awards ceremony. This prestigious honor was established to honor Roscoe Nix, who died on January 4, 2012 after a half century of service to Montgomery County, including serving as president of the county’s NAACP chapter and member of the county’s board of education. The Montgomery Serves Awards are organized by the Fund for Montgomery, Montgomery County Volunteer Center,

and the Corporate Volunteer Council of Montgomery County. The Path of Achievement awards are presented in partnership with the county’s Commission on Aging

and the Beacon newspaper. For more information, email or call (240) 777-2600.

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Apr. 24


Celebrate Virginia Garden week with a trip to historic Fredericksburg. Tour the estate and grounds of the late artist Geri Melcher and enjoy lunch in the pavilion. In the afternoon, stroll through the official garden club selection of nine homes and gardens, including George Washington’s Ferry Farm and Historic Kenmore Plantation. The trip leaves at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 24 from Green Spring Gardens, 4601 Green Spring Rd., Alexandria, Va. For more information, call (703) 222-4664 or go to



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

Lifting weights won’t make women bulky Q: I want to be healthy, but as a woman, I’m afraid to follow recommendations to lift weights because I work hard to be trim and do not want to be big and bulky. Are weights that important? A: Count this among the fears that you can cross off your list. If men use heavy enough weights, they visibly increase muscle bulk because of their high levels of testosterone. Without that, women won’t bulk up without major weight-lifting. However, with strength-training, women can increase strength to do the life activities they want to do, like climbing stairs and hills and carrying packages and suitcases. You mention that you work hard to stay trim: Strength-training is your ally in that goal, because it helps maintain calorie-

burning lean body tissue that otherwise decreases each year after age 30. Furthermore, even without “bulking up,” strength-training improves bone health and strengthens muscles associated with balance to reduce risk of falls. Federal guidelines recommend physical activity specifically focused on musclestrengthening two or more days a week for adults. Strength-training can be accomplished with free weights, stationary weight machines, elastic bands or using your own body weight (for example, in push-ups and squats). Q: I want to eat more whole grains, but besides changing my bread and cereal, what else can I do? A: Brown rice, as well as whole-wheat

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pasta and whole-grain tortillas, are just the Many people think of whole grains prinbeginning of ways to add whole grains to cipally as a source of fiber, which is imporyour meals. There’s also tant now that evidence is even wheat bulgur, whole-wheat stronger about the role foods couscous, quinoa (high in high in fiber can play in reducprotein and gluten-free) and ing risk of colon and breast teff, an Ethiopian grain used cancers. in their “enjera” flatbread. But whole grains’ role in proCorn kernels are classified tecting our health is much more as a vegetable, but wholeextensive. Compared with regrain cornmeal and polenta fined grains, they contain more are whole grains. Amaranth is protective antioxidant comanother high-protein, glutenpounds. Whole grains also have free whole grain. higher levels of magnesium and NUTRITION WISE These whole grains can be vitamin B-6, nutrients that are cooked in just 10 to 20 minutes, By Karen Collins, low in many Americans’ diets. but some whole grains take MS, RD, CDM The American Institute for longer to cook, such as barley, Cancer Research offers a Nutriwheat berries and wild rice. tion Hotline, 1-800- 843-8114, Freekeh (“free-kuh”) is an ancient from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friwhole grain (usually wheat) that’s new on day. This free service allows you to ask questhe scene for most of us. It is harvested tions about diet, nutrition and cancer. A regwhen still green, then roasted and rubbed, istered dietitian will return your call, usualwhich reportedly delivers a uniquely ly within three business days. smoky-nutty flavor that works well as a Courtesy of the American Institute for side dish and in soups and stews. Cancer Research. Questions for this column You won’t find freekeh everywhere yet, may be sent to “Nutrition Wise,” 1759 R St., but availability is growing. It cooks in NW, Washington, DC 20009. Collins cannot about 25 to 30 minutes. respond to questions personally.


Apr. 3+

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Mar. 12+

The Montgomery County Chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America is sponsoring a 10-week beginning level course in

You can qualify if you…

speechreading and communication strategies. The cost of $45 per person includes materials. Couples are encouraged to sign up. The first class is Monday,

✔ Are a DC resident ■

March 12 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at 7910 Woodmont Ave., #1200, Bethesda, Md. To register, call (301) 493-8343.

✔ Are eligible for Medicare ■ ✔ Have monthly income below ■ $2,743 (single) or $3,698 (couple)

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


A hearty Irish stew makes a meal in a bowl March is a seasonal transition month, when thoughts turn to spring and a greener landscape. It’s also when many celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the wearing of the green and enjoying foods that have their roots in the Emerald Isle. One popular dish is Irish stew. Stobhach gaelach, as it’s called in Gaelic, is traditionally made with lamb or mutton, the less tender meat from sheep over two years of age. To some purists, true Irish stew only consists of lamb, onions and potatoes and no other root vegetables. Our version, though, uses beef, reflecting the hearty and flavorful dish’s evolution and assimilation into American cuisine. We’ve also added more color and nutritional value with carrots and parsnips. Parsnips are a member of the carrot family and they provide a slightly nutty and sweet quality to the mixture. And the pungency of fresh, chopped rosemary enhances the aroma as the stew simmers. This satisfying stew is easy to prepare, and it makes great leftovers. March weather can still be nippy, but you can chase away the chill with this nutritious meal in a bowl. Or enjoy it with a crusty piece of whole-wheat or

multigrain bread and a green salad.

American-Irish Stew 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 1/4 lbs. beef, top round, cut into 3/4inch pieces (stew beef with the fat trimmed may be substituted) 3 cloves garlic, minced Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4inch pieces 2 medium parsnips, cut into large chunks (optional) 3 cups low-fat, reduced-sodium beef broth, or as needed 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary 1 leek, coarsely chopped 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and garlic. Cook, gently stirring until meat is evenly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Add onion, carrots and parsnips. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 75 minutes or until meat is tender.

Stir in potatoes and simmer another 30 minutes. Add rosemary and leeks. Continue to simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender. Do not overcook to avoid potatoes falling apart.

Serve hot and garnish with parsley. Makes 6 servings, 1 1/4 cups per serving Per serving: 370 calories, 8 g. total fat (2 g. saturated fat), 43 g. carbohydrate, 32 g. protein, 6 g. dietary fiber, 427 mg. sodium.


Mar. 28

LEARN HOW TO TAP THE SENIOR MARKET Both budding entrepreneurs and experienced business people are

invited to attend this year’s “What’s Next: Boomer Business Summit,” taking place Wednesday, March 28 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. At the one-day seminar, experts from AARP, Best Buy, Weight Watchers, Microsoft, Google and more will talk about great market opportunities and how to design, build and succeed in a business. For a discount on registration, use code wndcbeacon when signing up at Volunteers are also needed for the day before and day of the event. To volunteer, email

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Four concert artists of the Piano Society of Greater Washington will offer a recital of great piano works by Mozart, Chopin and Schumann on Sunday, March 11 at 3 p.m. A reception follows. The concert will take place at Calvary Lutheran Church, 9545 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Md. No charge, but a freewill offering is appreciated. For more information, see, or call (301) 793-1863.

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Don’t restrict drugs for abuse by the few Dear Pharmacist: Have you noticed the trend of celebrities dying from medications? I can think of Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, and most recently Whitney Houston. Do you think they should restrict the use of painkillers to prevent this? — T.W. Dear T.W.: No. People in pain should not have to suffer because others abuse their medicine. At the time of my writing, Houston’s death has not been officially ruled as drugrelated, although her history would make it seem likely. Regardless of the coroner’s ruling, I think it’s important we not lay 100 percent

of the blame on medicine for celebrity deaths. The intention of these medications is not to cause death, it’s to offer temporary relief to millions of users who take as directed. Tranquilizers can ease grief and anxiety. Analgesics relieve pain and offer quality of life. It is the misuse and abuse of analgesics and tranquilizers — often combined with alcohol — that has a deadly impact, not the medicine itself. If someone cuts their wrists, do you blame the knife? Many people are outraged at the medication, or their makers, but you can’t possibly understand the other side of this story unless you’ve been there yourself. Imagine this: You have a medical condi-

tion that affects your nervous system, prescribed enough to hold you over for such as multiple sclerosis, or perhaps you three months (this practice is not uncomhave low back pain from a car mon). Or maybe you live out of accident. town, so he prescribes a lot to In other words, it’s a pain save you the trip. that is difficult or impossible Regardless, the pharmacist for others to see, unlike a broperceives 180 tablets as “exken leg in a cast. cessive” and tells you she’s You can tolerate the pain if out of stock. In pain, and you take hydrocodone every shame, you or your wife (or day. You’ve lost your job becaretaker) must drive to sevcause of your disabilities, so eral other pharmacies until a perhaps you don’t dress as compassionate pharmacist DEAR nicely as other customers at fills your prescription. Fair? PHARMACIST the pharmacy. Pharmacists are naturally By Suzy Cohen Pharmacist Jones is skepticautious about what they discal of you. She thinks you pense, but when celebrities die might be an addict, and she doesn’t like from drugs, it occurs because of a series of you showing up in her pharmacy every 30 very bad decisions, not the medicine itself. days like clockwork for your 60 pills. She Restricting medicine at the pharmacy fears you will bring your similarly addicted level will never stop the problem. And befriends and word will get out that she dis- sides, chronic pain patients should never penses narcotics to pretty much anyone. have to pay the price for substances abusers. You forgive her judgment. You just need This information is opinion only. It is not your medicine so you can get out of bed intended to treat, cure or diagnose your conevery morning and get through your day. dition. Consult with your doctor before using But one day you are turned away because any new drug or supplement. your doctor prescribed 180 tablets instead Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist of 60. The physician only wrote for that large and the author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist an amount because he knows that you can and Real Solutions from Head to Toe. To no longer afford to see him monthly, so he contact her, visit


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Plan to attend a wellness retreat for adults 55+ from Tuesday through Thursday, May 15-17 at the Pearlstone Conference and Retreat Center, Reisterstown, Md. The retreat focuses on health and wellness with workshops on yoga, relationships, downsizing and more. Sponsored by the JCC of Northern Virginia, all faiths are welcome. The cost is $361 per person for double occupancy and $431 per person single occupancy. For more information, call (703) 323-0880 or visit

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Keep your own money in second marriage Dear Solutions: money allows you to be a volunteer in this Since I was a little girl I was told marriage, not a hostage. that a woman should have Suggest a joint account for her own money. Now, after household bills only and work being widowed for many out how much each of you will years, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been married contribute to that. And, yes, again for over a year. I women should have their own work and I have my own money. Men, too. bank account. Dear Solutions: My husband wants me to Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a woman, and have put my money together with become good friends with a his. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel comfortable man in my volunteer doing this even though we group. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re strictly plaSOLUTIONS have a good marriage. tonic friends and enjoy havBy Helen Oxenberg, My husband says Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m ing lunch together. MSW, ACSW like this because my parHeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s married and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m ents were divorced and my single, so the group gossips mother had a hard time. How should I are talking about us. Should I continconvince him thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not it? ue to have lunch with him? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Irene â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Donna Dear Irene: Dear Donna: Gently give him a history lesson called Make it an open lunch every other time. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Women and Money 101.â&#x20AC;? Explain that for That means invite other people from the decades women had no control over group to join you. If you hear of rumors, money and had to ask permission from nip them in the bud. their husbands or fathers before they Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what to say to someone you could spend any. Your mother wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the know is saying these things: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve heard of only one who didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to live like this. rumors about Steve and me. I know it The inability of women to control their could be exciting to talk about, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s too own money translated into the inability to bad itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not true. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re friends â&#x20AC;&#x201D; period.â&#x20AC;? control their own lives. Explain to your Leave it at that. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s too bad, but I guess husband that, to you, having your own there really is no free lunch.

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Dear Solutions: My boyfriend wants to break off our relationship. I want to try to get him to sit down with me and analyze whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong, but he just wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. He says he just doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel that way anymore and keeps saying we dance to a different tune. How can I get him to examine whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong to see if we can fix it? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Norma

Dear Norma: You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. It takes two to tango. Look for another dance partner! Š Helen Oxenberg, 2012. Questions to be considered for this column may be sent to: The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915. You may also email the author at To inquire about reprint rights, call (609) 6553684.

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

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


Spotlight On Aging VOLUME XXVIII, ISSUE 3

A newsletter for D.C. Seniors


March 2012

One City Summit

By Dr. John M. Thompson In this issue of “Spotlight on Aging,” we will focus on “civic engagement.” According to the American Psychological Association’s website, civic engagement is “individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern.” Examples of civic engagement in our senior community include a college student serving as a companion to a senior or one completing small home improvement repair jobs in the senior’s home; a senior mentoring a young student; and a group of entrepreneurs, lawyers or other professionals assembling to serve lunch to seniors at the District of Columbia’s Senior Summer Picnic or Senior Holiday Party. The commonality of all of these activities is that they are in response to specific needs in the community, and volunteers play a key role in meeting those needs. The D.C. Office on Aging’s (DCOA) Ambassador Program was launched last month to create a safety net in the District to respond to the unmet needs of seniors, persons with disabilities, and family caregivers in the community. In our first workshop, our agency trained 59 participants on the programs and services offered by the agency. These participants are now considered DCOA’s ambassadors and are encouraged to refer seniors, persons with disabilities, and family caregivers who need assistance with long-term services and supports and respite to our agency. I applaud these newly selected ambassadors, who are promoting civic engagement in the District of Columbia. We look forward to your participation in our next training workshop! If you are interested, please contact our office for more information. While we are still on the topic of civic engagement, I am excited to announce

Former D.C. Office on Aging Commissioner Harriet Brockington speaks with Chloe Jai, daughter of the Office on Aging’s Executive Director Dr. John M. Thompson.

that we are looking to partner with Toastmasters to provide courses to District seniors on public speaking and to initiate a project to capture the oral history of our District seniors. What an awesome way for those who would like to develop or hone their public speaking skills to be a part of this opportunity that is just for our seniors! The oral history project will ensure that we preserve the rich history of our seniors so that current generations and those to follow will always have an accurate account of a very special group of citizens in our nation’s capital. I see this as a sustainable intergenerational program involving our seniors and youth in the community. Intergenerational programs can have a direct link with civic engagement in the senior community. Such programs foster a greater connection and more positive interaction between generations. They truly enrich the lives of all who participate in them. Speaking of intergenerational involvement, last month Adrian R. Reed, the agency’s photographer, captured a photograph of former D.C. Office on Aging Commissioner Harriet Brockington

Nearly 2,000 residents attended the recent One City Summit to help build One City. Forty-one percent of those present were age 55 or older, and about half of those residents were over 65. Building one city means natives and longtime residents share benefits of a vibrant city, along with new residents.

Medicare Savings Program


We are looking for Ms. Senior D.C. 2012. If you know a District woman who is age 60 or older, active in her community, elegant, poised and talented, please make sure she is entered as a contestant in the next Ms. Senior D.C. Pageant. Call 202-724-5626 for an application or go to our website at

The D.C. Medicare Savings Program can save you more than $5,000 each year to cover Medicare expenses and prescription drug costs. You can qualify if you: • Are a D.C. resident, • Are eligible for Medicare, and • Have monthly income below $2,813 ($3,803 if a couple). If you work, your income may be higher Helpful facts: • There is no cost to you. • Any money you have in savings is not counted for this program. • You may keep seeing your Medicare doctors. • You will not have to pay monthly Medicare premiums. • You will automatically get help paying for your prescriptions. • You will have more money in your pocket for other expenses. Call the Health Insurance Counseling Project (HICP) at 202-994-6272 if you would like an application or have questions.


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




Celebrating Black History Month and Valentine’s Day

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Youth Advisory Council celebrated Black History Month and Valentine’s Day along with seniors at NCBA Estates. Seniors and members of MPD offered words of encouragement and inspiration at this intergenerational event. Dr. Thompson encouraged the youth to value education and its attainment as key to opening doors of success and achievement.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray greets seniors at the Hattie Holmes Senior Wellness Center Black History Program.

Black History Month Celebration

Herman and Thelma Lewis celebrate Valentine’s Day after 59 years of marriage!

The Office on Aging and the Hattie Holmes Senior Wellness Center presented their second Black History Month Celebration on February 16. More than 150 seniors and guests attended the morning event under the theme Black Women in American History and Culture. Mayor Vincent C. Gray was the keynote speaker and discussed local women past and present who have made a difference in the District of Columbia. He talked about community activist and advisory neighborhood commissioner Hattie Holmes, former councilmember and educator Charlene Drew Jarvis, missionary and community worker Nannie Helen Burroughs, civil

rights activist and National Council of Negro Woman president and co-founder Dorothy Height, educator and superintendant of schools Floretta McKenzie, musician and educator Roberta Flack, media mogul Cathy Hughes, and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Ms. Senior D.C. Emma P. Ward performed a dramatic recitation of Harriet Tubman, and the Inspiration Voices choir of the Hattie Holmes Senior Wellness Center sang several Negro spirituals. Joy Holland, chief of staff for Councilmember Muriel Bowser, also brought greetings from the councilmember.

Director’s message

please share them with us. Civic engagement is a positive movement across the country. We have an opportunity to capitalize on the momentum in the District of Columbia. However, it takes sacrifice, passion, and a commitment to want to serve others, especially those who simply need a helping hand. I view civic engagement as a win-win situation for the giver and the receiver. For the receiver, there is an unmet need that is being addressed. For the giver, it is the sense of accomplishment and a chance to simply do something good for someone.

From page 25

WHUR and FedEx partnered to present nearly 100 nursing home residents with floral bouquets and treat them to a nice event for Valentine’s Day. Led by Jeff “Coach” Wims, a radio personality from WHUR, the seniors were treated to music, refreshments and dancing. Some residents shared memories as well. Dr. Thompson is pictured greeting the crowd. We thank WHUR and FedEx for thinking of Washington Center for Aging Services Nursing Home residents and providing this opportunity.

speaking with my daughter, Chloe Jai, at a North Michigan Park Civic Association meeting. The picture shows a senior engaging with a child who is absolutely captivated by a President Obama button on the senior’s clothing. The interaction certainly left both individuals with smiles on their faces and validates the importance of bringing these two generations together for more interaction. If you have ideas for establishing intergenerational programs,


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




Community Calendar March events

8th • 11 a.m.

12th • noon

Have your blood pressure checked at Fort Lincoln 1 Senior Nutrition Center, 2855 Bladensburg Rd. NE. For more information, call Vivian Grayton at 202-529-8701.

9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th 11 a.m. to noon In partnership with the Parkinson’s Foundation of the National Capital Area, Iona Senior Services offers a support group for people with Parkinson’s each Friday. A screening interview with the facilitator is required before joining. Iona is located at 4125 Albemarle St. NW. For more information, call 202895-9448.

Ward 5 Senior Nutrition sites will discuss kidney disease as part of the lunch and learn series. For more information, call Vivian Grayton at 202-5298701.

Early April event

9th+ • noon to 1 p.m. A new eight-week session of beginning Tai Chi classes starts at Iona Senior Services. Classes run from March 9 through April 27. Other Iona fitness classes, including yoga and Senior Fit, also begin the week of March 5. Classes are $10 per session. Iona is located at 4125 Albemarle St. NW. For more information, call 202-895-9448.

10th • 11 a.m. Learn about elder abuse at a seminar at Fort Lincoln 1 Senior Nutrition Center, 2855 Bladensburg Rd. NE. For more information, call Vivian Grayton at 202-529-8701.

Caregivers Respite Escort Service for Transportation (CREST) Need help getting your loved one to a medical appointment? The Caregivers Respite Escort Service for Transportation (CREST) is an enhanced transportation program tailored for seniors who are unable to travel to medical appointments alone. The program provides an aide who may help the senior prepare for the trip, help the senior to and from the vehicle, accompany the senior in the vehicle, and provide assistance during the appointment. The aide may also briefly help the senior upon returning home, and may carry reports to community service providers, family caregivers and others as appropriate. Who is eligible for this service? • Age 60 or older • Resident of the District of Columbia, • Must have cognitive or mobility impairment

Trips are limited to medical or other health care appointments within the Washington Beltway. Aide service: There is no cost for the aide’s service, but contributions are encouraged. The aide will leave an envelope with the senior. Aides do not collect money Transportation fees: If your transportation is provided by Washington Elderly Handicapped Transportation Service (WEHTS), contributions are encouraged. If transportation is by taxi or Metro, the senior pays the required fare for themselves and the aide. Availability of aides is limited. Trips are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Escorts are available for appointments between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. For more information on the program, call Home Care Partners at 202-638-3169.

SPOTLIGHT ON AGING Spotlight On Aging is published by the Information Office of the D.C. Office on Aging for D.C. senior residents. Advertising contained in the Beacon is not endorsed by the D.C. Office on Aging or by the publisher. 500 K St., N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 202-724-5622 • Dr. John M. Thompson, Executive Director Darlene Nowlin, Editor Adrian R. Reed, Photographer The D.C. Office on Aging does not discriminate against anyone based on actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, per-

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

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

In honor of Olders American Month Barney Neighborhood House in conjuction with Brookland Senior Center will be sponsoring a

Fashion/Talent Show and Luncheon Friday May 18, 2012 19th Street Baptist Church 4606 16th Street NW 10am til 2pm

If you are interested in participating in this event please contact James Thompson Activity Coordinator at 202-939-9031


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

Money Law &

2012 TAXES: WHAT’S CHANGED? Few changes, but some deductions and credits will be phased out LOOK NORTH FOR INVESTING Canadian stocks and bonds offer an opportunity to diversify your portfolio CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS 101 Know the rules of the game to support your favored political candidates THREE STAGES OF RETIREMENT Introducing a new column from CBSMoneyWatch’s Jill Schlesinger

Mistakes that even smart investors make Everybody knows somebody who pur- mistake. To illustrate how prevalent it is, ports to be an investment maven. You might Morningstar tracked the performance of even like to consider yourself the least popular fund cateone. gories from 1987 through 2000 However, while we always (“popularity” was gauged by hear about the winning picks the amount of cash flowing into these favored few make, we and out of funds). don’t commonly hear about The study showed that the their mistakes. And, to hear three least popular categories Larry Swedroe tell it, “smart” of funds beat the average fund investors make mistakes all 75 percent of the time, and the time. beat the most popular funds Swedroe, a money manag90 percent of the time. THE SAVINGS er and columnist for CBS GAME Failing to consider the, has writ- By Elliot Raphaelson costs of an investment strateten a book with R.C. Balaban, gy. Active investors often like to Investment Mistakes Even Smart Investors scan the business press for investment ideas. Make (McGraw Hill, $28), which discusses Swedroe discusses a typical article from 77 common pitfalls. Business Week that profiled a successful anaThe book has been praised by John lyst and his stock-picking results, which sigBogle, Burton Malkiel and William Bern- nificantly outperformed the Dow Jones Instein, financial experts I respect. Whatever dustrial Average and S&P 500 index. kind of investor you are, you would do well What pitfalls awaited the individual into understand and avoid these errors. vestor who wanted to borrow some ideas from this analyst? To begin with, the day Four biggest mistakes after the analyst’s selections were made Here are four that stand out in my expe- public, the prices of those stocks increased rience. an average of 8.8 percent. Not many small Projecting recent trends into the in- investors likely got in ahead of that increase. definite future. Many investors make this Also, most of the analyst’s recommend-

ed stocks were small-cap stocks with much higher trading costs. For some of the recommended stocks, there was a significant difference between the bid and ask price (amounting to 4.3 percent). Then there would also be commission costs. After considering all these factors (which did not include tax consequences), a reasonable estimate of all the trading costs to replicate the analyst’s portfolio would have resulted in a total return less than that of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 index. Blindly believing in hedge fund managers. Hedge fund managers try to outperform indexes such as the S&P 500 by buying and selling based on their perception of market mispricing. AQR Capital Management studied five years of hedge fund data ending January 31, 2001. During that period, the average hedge fund returned 14.7 percent per year; meanwhile, the S&P 500 index outperformed the hedge fund average by almost 4 percent yearly. Data from 2003 through 2010 show that the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index had an annualized return of 2.8 percent, which underperformed every major equity asset class. Many hedge fund managers are compe-

tent. However, the high fees that hedge funds charge, which range from 1 to 2 percent per year, plus 20 percent of profits, make it very difficult for them to outperform equity indexes. Not understanding the arithmetic of active management. In 1991, finance professor William Sharpe wrote an article in a professional journal titled “The Arithmetic of Active Management,” in which he proved that active management, in aggregate, is a loser’s game. Sharpe showed that this is true not only for the broad market, but also for subsectors. Active investors, on average, may expect exactly the same returns on a pre-expense basis as passive investors. To be sure, some investors will earn more than others, but some will earn less. The average expectation, again, will be the same as passive index investors — before expenses. However, because expenses will be much higher for an active investor than for a “buy and hold” investor in an index fund, the active investor will have worse results on average. It may be more exciting to be an active trader, but it will not likely pay off with higher returns. See MISTAKES, page 29

Stock up on stocks that invest in staples By Anne Kates Smith How bad would things have to get before you stopped putting ketchup on your fries? What kind of Armageddon would keep you from buying toilet paper, diapers or detergent? If you can’t imagine life without the products in your pantry, linen closet or laundry room, then you know why shares of companies that make consumer necessities have performed well, even in a dicey economy. In 2011, Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index returned a mere 2.1 percent, but consumer-staples stocks in the index gained 7.5 percent. Will staples deliver again this year? In light of some recent positive data, some advisers are casting an eye toward stocks that do better in an improving economy. But staples provide the defensive ballast

that portfolios still need in uncertain times like these. Sam Stovall, a strategist at Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ, recommends an outsize position in both economy-sensitive stocks and staples. Moreover, S&P sees staples firms delivering better earnings growth this year than the typical U.S. firm, and the sector yields 3.1 percent, compared with 2.3 percent for the S&P 500. Many staples producers operate globally and are well-positioned to benefit from rapidly growing wealth in emerging nations. Plus, rising materials costs should moderate this year, easing pressure on profit margins.

Look at ETFs Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are a low-cost way to invest in staples, delivering exposure to a number of companies on the

cheap. Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (symbol XLP) charges only 0.20 percent of assets per year for expenses. Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) charges a hair less, just 0.19 percent. Both funds hold roughly 20 percent of assets in retailers that derive significant revenues from groceries or from essential drugstore items. The Vanguard and SPDR ETFs each returned 11 percent in 2011. If you prefer active management, consider Yacktman Fund (YACKX), which holds a fair share of staples. Jensen Quality Growth I (JENIX) is also a good choice.

General Mills and Heinz If you favor individual stocks, look for companies with a strong product mix and a record of innovation. General Mills (GIS) is a good example. The stock, about one-third as volatile as the

market overall, recently traded at $41, or 15 times year-ahead estimated earnings. Procter & Gamble (PG) is the quintessential staples company, with more than 20 billion-dollar brands. Since 2001, P&G has doubled its sales from emerging nations. At $65 a share, the stock sells at 14 times estimated year-ahead earnings. H.J. Heinz (HNZ) makes not only ketchup but also the Ore-Ida French fries and Tater Tots to squirt it on, and Weight Watchers dinners to help take off the pounds afterward. At $52 a share, the stock yields a tasty 3.7 percent. Anne Kates Smith is a senior editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to And for more on this and similar money topics, visit © 2012 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

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


Don’t overpay when filing 2011 tax return By Elliot Raphaelson As in most years, there are several changes in the tax code that may have an impact on your 2011 tax return. Whether you prepare your own return or hire someone to do it for you, you should know what changes have been made. Even if someone else prepares your return, you are responsible for its accuracy. Certain changes, such as the increase in the standard deduction, will be apparent when you fill out your tax forms. The maximum 2011 liability for your Social Security is $4,485.60. Make sure your employers have not withheld more than that. If you have worked for more than one employer, it is possible that more has been withheld than your maximum liability. Attach all copies of form W-2 to your return

to ensure you are credited with any overpayment.

Confusing changes Other changes may be confusing. In the middle of last year, the IRS mileage allowance changed. For the first six months of 2011, the deductible business mileage rate was 51 cents a mile; for the last six months, the rate was 55.5 cents. For medical and moving expenses, the deduction was 19 cents a mile for the first six months, and 23.5 cents for the last six months. The credit for energy-efficient improvements to the home has been reduced to 10 percent, with an overall limit of $500 that is reduced by prior credits. If you converted from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA in 2010, and you selected the special two-year deferral rule, you must report half of the 2010 conversion income as

a taxable IRA distribution for 2011. Depending on your income, you may qualify for a tax credit on contributions to a qualified retirement plan. The credit may be equal to 10, 20 or 50 percent of the retirement contribution, depending on your adjusted gross income. The income brackets have gone up this year, and those whose adjusted gross incomes are $28,250 ($42,375 if head of household; $56,500 if married filing jointly) or less qualify. (Note that this credit, and any other credit you are entitled to, reduces your tax liability on a dollar-for-dollar basis, making it more valuable than a deduction.)

Don’t forget these deductions When you prepare your return, it is also important to make sure you take all the deductions you are entitled to. I recommend

that you review for a comprehensive list of commonly overlooked deductions. What follow are three important ones, to which I’ve added some elaboration. • Reinvested dividends. If you own mutual funds, and have interest and dividends reinvested into the funds, the mutual fund informs you and the IRS annually of the amount of earnings that are taxable for the prior year. If you eventually sell some or all of your shares, make sure that you do not report gains on which you have already paid taxes. For example, say you invested $5,000 in a common stock fund. For five years (prior to 2011) you received a total of $1,250 in dividends, and you paid taxes on that amount. You sold all your shares at the end

Mistakes From page 28

Best advice: Diversify After discussing the many mistakes investors make, Swedroe and Balaban conclude with 12 recommendations. In my opinion, this is the best one: “Build a globally diversified portfolio of passive investment vehicles such as passive asset class funds, index funds, and exchange-traded funds consisting of multiple asset classes.” It has been my observation that investors who try to select individual securities, to time the market, and to manage their portfolios actively are less successful than passive investors with well-considered investment objectives and diversified portfolios. Elliot Raphaelson welcomes your questions and comments at © 2012 Elliot Raphaelson. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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Few changes in 2012 for income tax rates By Carole Feldman Individual tax rates will be the same for 2012 as they were in 2011, as will the 15 percent maximum tax rate on capital gains. People at higher incomes won’t see their personal exemptions or deductions phased out. And credits for adopting a child and for college expenses continue. But several deductions, credits and other provisions that existed for 2011 will no longer be in place. The alternative minimum tax exemptions will drop to pre-2001 levels if Congress doesn’t pass a patch and make it retroactive to cover the entire year. If history is any guide, however, Congress will do that. Similarly, without congressional action people over 70 1/2 will no longer be able to

make tax-free withdrawals from their IRAs for a charitable contribution, and teachers won’t be able to take a $250 deduction for classroom supplies bought with their own money. “During the course of 2012, the IRS will be keeping a close eye on developments in Congress,” agency spokesman Terry Lemons said. “There are a lot of open question marks.” The 2012 presidential elections, the partisan discord in Congress and the outcry over the size of the federal deficit all add to the uncertainty.

Tax returns

the dividends). On your 2011 tax return, you should be reporting a long-term “loss” of $250 ($6,000 minus $6,250). You would also be reporting dividend income for 2011 of $250. Your mutual fund should be able to provide you with the back-up information you need.

From page 29 of 2011 and received $6,000. You also received $250 in dividends in 2011 that was reinvested into the fund. Your “basis” in this fund is $6,250 (your initial purchase of $5,000 plus the $1,250 you paid in taxes for

Review withholding The IRS recommends reviewing your withholding sometime during the year to make sure it is in line with what your tax li-

ability is likely to be. There’s a withholding calculator on its website, By having less withheld, people can get their money upfront, rather than waiting for a refund. For most of us, checking our withholding and preparing tax returns are among the biggest financial tasks we face, Lemons said. Some of the tax law provisions still in effect for 2012: • The Bush tax cuts, which set marginal income tax rates of 10 percent, 15 percent, 25 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent and 35 percent. These rates will increase beginning in 2013 unless they are renewed by Congress. • Capital gains tax rates of 0 percent and 15 percent. Capital gains generally are

the increase in the value of an asset, such as stock or a home, from time of purchase until sale. Net long-term capital gains — those on assets held more than a year — are taxed at the 0 percent or 15 percent rate. Net gains on assets held less than a year — short-term gains — are taxed at the regular income tax rates. • The American Opportunity Credit, which allows a maximum credit of $2,500 for tuition and other expenses for each of the first four years of higher education. The credit, which phases out at higher incomes, is partially refundable.

• Real estate points. If you refinanced your mortgage in 2011, you may prorate any points you paid over the length of the new mortgage. For example, assume you paid your financial institution $3,000 in points for a 15-year refinanced mortgage at the beginning of 2011. You are allowed to deduct $200 a year for 15 years. • Health insurance for business owners. If you own your own business, or have self-employment income, and file Schedule C, and you are eligible for Medicare, you can deduct premiums on your return for you and your spouse. You do not have to itemize in order to take this deduction. You are allowed this deduction only if you do not have a subsidized health plan from your employer or your spouse’s employer. If you previously filed a return without deducting Medicare premiums, you can file an amended return to refigure the deduction.

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Another tip: Taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes under $57,000 can file their returns electronically for free through the IRS website The agency has agreements with tax preparation companies to provide the service, and you can choose which one you would like to use. If your income is higher than that threshold, you can always use the Fillable Forms that the IRS provides at The forms do basic math calculations and allow you to file electronically at no charge. No support is provided with the Fillable Forms, nor are state returns included. The IRS calls it “the simple electronic equivalent of paper forms.” © 2012 Elliot Raphaelson. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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Diversifying? Don’t forget Canadian stocks By Mark Jewell Building a truly diversified portfolio means going global. Many advisers suggest investors supplement their U.S. investments with stocks and bonds from fast-growing nations like China and Brazil. Growth prospects are grim in Europe, but there may be bargains to be found in the continent’s depressed markets. But it can be easy to overlook opportunities much closer to home. Think Canada. Many foreign stock mutual funds focus on developed markets in other areas of the world, but overlook our northern neighbor. Instead, foreign diversified funds may include investments from heavily indebted nations. That’s too bad, because the Canadian stock market has long been one of the world’s top performers. The lone U.S. mutual fund specializing in Canadian stocks,

Fidelity Canada (FICDX), has earned its investors an average annualized return of 12.2 percent over the last 10 years. By comparison, funds tracking the Standard & Poor’s 500 index averaged about 3 percent a year. Fidelity Canada’s five-year record ranks first among more than 100 of its foreign large-growth fund peers, according to Morningstar.

2012 taxes

son or the head of a household, and $22,500 for married people filing separately. •The deduction for state and local sales taxes, in lieu of state and local income taxes. • The deduction for qualified tuition and fees.

From page 30 • A patch for the alternative minimum tax. Absent congressional action, the exemption will drop to $45,000 for married couples filing jointly, $33,750 for single per-

Strong bond market, too Bond investors may also be missing out on an opportunity to the north. Although 10-year government bonds in Canada and 10-year Treasury notes in the U.S. both offer yields of around 1.9 percent, the risks to achieve that return are arguably much smaller with Canada’s bonds. Canadian leaders have proved more fiscally adept than their counterparts in Washington, where partisan dysfunction has left the U.S. government owing roughly as

much as the nation’s economy produces in a year. In contrast, Canada owes less than half the value of its economic output. Canada’s fiscal strength and political stability are key reasons why one top U.S. multisector bond fund holds about 9 percent of its portfolio in Canadian government bonds, while avoiding U.S. Treasurys. “Canada is very much in a sweet spot now,” said Elaine Stokes, a co-manager of Loomis Sayles Bond (LSBRX), which Morningstar currently gives a gold-medal rating.

Stokes views the U.S. Treasury market as “scarier” than Canada’s government debt market. She cites Treasury market volatility, in part because of steps the Federal Reserve has taken to prop up the economy, and uncertainty over the Fed’s next moves. Then there was last summer’s downgrade by Standard & Poor’s, which cut the U.S. government’s credit rating to AA+ from the top rating, AAA. Canada remains AAA. See CANADIAN STOCKS, page 32


Mar. 13


Jack Keery, Jr., a retired Montgomery County Police officer, will discuss his new book Police Work is Hilarious, based on his many experiences serving as an officer of the law. This book will allow you to see the humorous side of police work from first-hand experience. The talk is part of the Village at Rockville’s “meet the author” program and will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 13 at 9701 Veirs Dr., Rockville, Md. For more information, call (301) 354-8447.


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Canadian stocks From page 31

Other reasons to invest Stokes sees plenty of other reasons to like Canada: • The economic recovery from the recession has been more rapid in Canada than in the U.S. Canada’s unemployment rate is 7.5 percent, a percentage point below ours. • Canada’s outlook is improving because the U.S. recovery is gaining momentum, with unemployment at its lowest level in nearly three years. The nations’ fortunes are strongly linked because Canada is the largest trade partner of the U.S. It sends more than 70 percent of its exports across its southern border. Says Stokes: “As the U.S. goes, so goes Canada.” • She likes the long-term outlook for en-

ergy and materials producers, which make up about half the market value of Canada’s major stock index, the S&P/TSX Composite. Canada has a wealth of oil, natural gas, minerals and agricultural staples, and boasts companies such as oil and gas producer Suncor Energy and gold miner Barrick Gold. Global demand for those commodities has been rising because of strong economic growth in emerging markets like China. It’s a trend that’s expected to continue, making Canada an attractive investing option. (However, slower short-term growth prospects in emerging markets hurt commodities demand last year. That’s a key reason why the Canadian stock market fell 11 percent last year.) Surprisingly, mutual fund investors have relatively few options to invest in Canada. Besides the Fidelity Canada mutual fund,

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

five exchange-traded funds (ETFs) track segments of Canada’s stock market. A sixth ETF, recently launched by PIMCO, invests in Canadian bonds. The biggest is iShares MSCI Canada Index (EWC), with $4.6 billion in assets. There’s plenty of emerging competition, however. Five of the Canada ETFs have been launched within the past two years.

Some cautions Here are some tips for U.S. investors considering Canada: • Think small: Canada’s stock market represents about 4 percent of the value of stocks globally. Investors seeking broad diversification probably shouldn’t allocate more than that amount to their portfolio. It’s important to remember that investors may already hold some Canadian investments within diversified international funds. Certain index funds, such as those tied to the MSCI World index, include Canada among the developed markets they invest in. But funds tracking another popular index, the MSCI EAFE, invest in countries such as Greece and Portugal, but not Canada. If you’re concerned about your mix of investments, check the list of countries in the index the fund tracks. • Avoid overdoing it on commodities: Canada’s economy is very dependent on commodities, so its stocks closely track those of commodities producers globally,

Morningstar analyst Samuel Lee said. An investor who already has substantial investments in companies that produce energy and raw materials should probably avoid a Canada-focused fund. • Buckle up: Expect volatility north of the border. That’s because Canada’s many commodities stocks typically rise faster and fall harder than other stocks. • Don’t get overexposed to North America: Because economic links between Canada and the U.S. are strong, stock markets in the two countries often work in sync. The bigger role that commodities play north of the border differentiates Canada, but correlation between the two markets can still be tight. So the diversification benefit of investing in Canada can be limited. Loomis Sayles’ Stokes also cautioned that Canada is vulnerable to risks from the European debt crisis. One of her fears is that the crisis worsens, sending Europe into a deep recession. That could jeopardize the U.S. recovery, and in turn Canada’s. But she still likes Canada’s solid fiscal health and strong prospects for its energy and materials producers to profit from long-term global economic growth. “We understand there will be volatility,” she said. “But if you take a long-term view, it’s hard to not make a case for a country like Canada.” — AP


Mar. 8


Jennifer Abel, Virginia Cooperative Extension agent, will present a free informative discussion on how to decide what to do with treasures meant to be kept in the family on Thursday, March 8 at 10:30 a.m. at the Langston-Brown Senior Center, 2121 N. Culpeper St., Arlington, Va. Call (703) 228-6300 to register.

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How to contribute to political candidates By Michael Stratford Knowing the rules of the game will help you decide how best to support your candidate. 1. The sky is not (always) the limit. Individuals may donate up to $2,500 per candidate per election (the primary and general elections are counted separately), up to $30,800 to a national political party annually, and up to $10,000 to state, district and local parties combined each year. Individual donations to issues-oriented political action committees (PACs) are capped at $5,000 per year. However, anyone may contribute unlimited sums to nonprofit advocacy groups — often dubbed 501(c)(4)s — and to independent-expenditure-only committees, called “Super PACs.” 2. Make a connection. A direct donation to a candidate’s campaign often offers the most bang for your buck, said Michael Beckel, spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics. A contribution of, say, $1,000 might yield, depending on the district, special access to current or future elected officials, Beckel said. Campaigns prefer direct donations (even if they’re small), especially early in the race. 3. Donate to a cause. If you are more

concerned about a particular issue than electing a candidate, you might want to donate to an advocacy group — such as Planned Parenthood — which can then decide where your money is needed most. PACs may use contributions to promote their viewpoint, but they are prohibited from expressly promoting or attacking a candidate. Super PACs may promote or critique a specific candidate, as long as they don’t coordinate with another candidate or a political party. 4. Follow the money. Candidates are prohibited from spending campaign money on personal expenses, such as a new car or baseball tickets, but PACs and Super PACs aren’t bound by those rules. Still, PACs and Super PACs must disclose their spending in regular reports, which are available on the Federal Election Commission’s website, 5. Let the sunshine in. At the federal level, if you donate more than $200 to a candidate, political party, PAC or Super PAC, your name, address, occupation and the amount of your contribution will become publicly available through FEC filings. Large contributors, however, frequently donate privately to a 501(c)(4), which may turn the money over to a Super


Mar. 27

ARE YOU PREPARED FOR AN EMERGENCY? Deb Powers, with the Arlington Office of Emergency Management,

will discuss how to get information in an emergency, how to respond to specific situations, and how to get started in making an emergency plan on Tuesday. March 27 at 11 a.m. at the Langton-Brown Senior Center, 2121 N. Culpeper St., Arlington, Va. Call (703) 228-6300 to register for this free program.

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

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

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PAC, effectively skirting the disclosure requirements. 6. Give to a nonprofit twin. Nearly every advocacy group, from the National Rifle Association to the Sierra Club, has a related 501(c)(3) charity. So, if you want to support an organization in a general sense, a contribution to its charitable operations

could be a good bet. Such contributions may not be used directly for political purposes, but if you itemize deductions, you will be able to write off the contribution on your federal tax return — something you can’t do with political contributions. © 2012 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance



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


Plan ahead for three stages of retirement Everyone loves to read about “The their earlier decision wasn’t panning out as Best/Worst Places to Retire,” but the planned, and now Barbara thought that choice of where to live in your Florida didn’t sound so bad non-working years is about after all. more than just financial analysis and weather, isn’t it? Stages and ages Like most aspects of your fiWhat seems attractive at 65 nancial life, the earlier you might not make sense at 80, start thinking about it, the betwhich is why retirement isn’t ter. I remember asking former one event. It’s more like three clients Bill and Barbara about phases: Phase 1 from ages 65 this topic when they were in to 72, Phase 2 from 72 to 85, their late 50s and still working and Phase 3 after 85. RETIRE SMART full time. You’re not going to move By Jill Schlesinger Bill was an engineer and three times, but as you think Barbara was a school teacher. They had about where you want to spend retireplanned to work seven to10 more years, but ment, considering the three potential Bill came armed with a spreadsheet that phases might help you home in on a plan. compiled tax and cost-of-living data, with a • Phase 1: family, friends and familiarity. dash of climate stats sprinkled on top. Sometimes during early retirement, peoHe had the perfect place: Celebration, ple are content to either stay in their Fla. Barbara chortled and said, “I hope you homes or downsize within their current have a nice time there. I’ll see you for a communities, where family and friends are couple of weeks in March!” nearby and they know where everything Barbara said that there was no way she is. This is also the phase where most travel was leaving her grandchildren behind in Rhode Island. And she added, “Don’t tell occurs because you still have enough me that they’ll come down and visit! That’s strength to enjoy and endure the wonders a lot different than us being able to attend and challenges of travel, while also enjoyband concerts and ball games whenever ing the peace of returning to the place you know and love. we want.” • Phase 2: engagement, activity and acBill argued that they would have more money in Florida, to which Barbara said, cessibility. This is the phase when you “Then we’ll cut something out of our budg- might not want to put up with one more winter, and when your kids and grandkids et here!” The case was closed ... but then some- are just a bit too busy to allow you the thing changed. Five years later the grand- same depth of involvement in their lives. Lots of people in this phase head to rekids got older and busier. All of a sudden,

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tirement communities or locations where there are activities geared towards retirees. It’s a vital time to find ways in which to engage socially and intellectually. This is when some of those “best of” lists can come in handy because they might open your eyes to an area that you may not have previously considered. Some resources include AARP’s “10 Affordable Cities for Retirement,”’s “Worst States to Retire 2012,” Money Magazine’s “25 Best Places to Retire” and U.S. News & World Report’s “The 10 Best Places to Retire in 2012.”

Plan for access to care • Phase 3: companionship, care and convenience. If you are lucky enough to have your health at age 85, you are also wise enough to understand that your needs are changing. You may not have quite as much energy, but you still want companionship and ac-

cess to some social activities in order to fight the isolation that can sometimes seep into your life, with convenient access to healthcare and caregivers. Bill and Barbara probably ended up in the right location down in sunny Florida, but with some forethought, the decision could have been a little less contentious, and they could have gotten there with a little more money in their pockets. While there’s no doubt that your financial circumstances will influence where to live the later part of your life, the three phases of retirement might help you think about how you want to live it. Jill Schlesinger, CFP, is the editor-at-large for She covers the economy, markets, investing or anything else with a dollar sign on her podcast and blog, Jill on Money, as well as on television and radio. She welcomes comments and questions at © 2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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

Retirees return to campus as volunteers By Barbara Ruben With its red brick buildings and rolling lawns, the University of Maryland in College Park feels like a quintessential college campus. But unlike many colleges, the university has a robust volunteer program for older adults. Called Senior Volunteer Service Corps, the group places volunteers in departments throughout campus. Have a flair for words? Try tutoring at the Writing Center. Do you have a background in accounting? The Departments of Communication, Family Studies and Engineering could use help. Theater and arts buffs can volunteer as ushers with the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. A Confucius scholar helps with a special library collection. “People go where their passions are,” said Linda Mendelsohn, the volunteer corps’ coordinator and a former volunteer herself. Mendelsohn spent much her career working in the University of Maryland’s Dept. of Facilities Management. She later became a volunteer for the Writing Center, and now works part time to coordinate the more than 100 older volunteers on campus. Mendelsohn’s takeaway from her earlier volunteer stint tutoring undergraduates in writing their papers? “It was very eye opening how badly the King’s English has deteriorated since I learned it years ago,” she lamented. Still — or perhaps because of things like

that — she and other volunteers have found their work on campus to be fulfilling.

Helping international students Retired teacher Brenda Cooley has spent the last 10 years volunteering with international students at the university. For a while she taught a weekly class for spouses of graduate students from countries as far flung as China and Argentina. She also helped them acclimate to America, tutoring them on the finer points of English idioms and helping them make friends on campus. Cooley continues to keep in touch with a number of members of the group, but now works with international students themselves to improve their spoken English. “I think of it as building friendships through language,” she said. Most recently, she’s been working with students from Panama and Taiwan. Cooley helped the Panamanian student find information about lupus for his mother, who suffers from the disease. “When we found out his mother couldn’t come from Panama for graduation, [Cooley and her husband] said, ‘We’ll be your [honorary] grandparents and come see you graduate.’”

“There are so many things that need to be done and so few hands to do them,” she said. Cooley and her husband are also finding they spend more time on campus, going to football or basketball games or performances together. “I feel more connected to the university,” she said. Volunteers receive some benefits reserved for faculty, including discounts for admission to events, a parking permit, university library card and email address. College Park resident Sharon von Bergener also works with students from other countries in a program called English Editing for International Graduate Students, or EEGIS for short. This work is primarily done via email. Students email writing assignments, from a few paragraphs to entire theses, for vol-

unteers to help whip into shape. Von Bergener now coordinates the EEGIS program. The former English major retired early from a patent law firm. “I just love the written word, and I like to help polish papers,” she said. “We make the paper sound better without interfering with the research. It’s quite challenging.” Von Bergener said she’s learned a lot by editing the papers, which have covered everything from Turkish ancient ruins to computer programming. “It’s rewarding. They’re very appreciative,” she said. To learn more about opportunities through the Senior Service Volunteer Corps, go to, call (301) 226-4750, or email

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A start in civil rights

From page 1 Seventy-one-year-old Sarah Johnson, of District Heights, Md., spoke of the enduring power of love. “Love is not the diamond ring or the fur coat or the trip to Hawaii. Love is the boy from your neighborhood coming over to help chop your row of cotton in the blazing hot sun,” she said. “Love is your dad raising pigs to take to the market to pay your college tuition. Love is your husband driving to you during a snowstorm so you can follow his car tracks home.” In the foreword to the book, Julianne Malveaux, president of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C., writes, “There is a regal wisdom etched on the faces of so many of the women in this volume…The women who share their musings are a reminder of the importance of oral histories, especially those of women of color, which are often uncollected.”

Bailey grew up in North Carolina when schools were still segregated. When her grandfather died in Lancaster, Pa., her family moved north just before her senior year in high school. “All of a sudden I’m sitting in a class of basically all white students [and I’m] scared to death. I told them at the reunion 50 years later that when I came I was scared of the snow. I was afraid of people up north, and I was definitely scared of white people,” she said. After high school, Bailey headed back to her home state to major in sociology at North Carolina Central University. She immediately became immersed in the civil rights movement. “It was an exciting time. It was a frightening time,” Bailey recalled. “We were practicing Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence. So no matter what happened to you in that picket line, you were not to react, not respond. You were to keep moving.

“If you got an egg thrown at you, so what? If a brick was thrown at you, you tried to dodge it,” she said. The differences between North Carolina and Pennsylvania were stark. When she took the bus back to college after visiting home, it didn’t matter where she sat — until she got to Washington, D.C. South of that, blacks were supposed to sit at the back. Her father suggested she sit in the middle of the bus the whole way to avoid confrontations. After college, Bailey returned to Pennsylvania, married and had two children. She taught school for a while. Over the years, Bailey did graduate work in gerontology and education at Penn State and the University of Maryland. She also received an honorary doctorate in divinity from Riverside Baptist College in California. After her mother died in the mid-1970s, Bailey decided she needed a break and moved to the Washington area to be near her sister.

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“I was only going to be here a year, but I fell in love with Prince George’s County. I loved being close to Washington and the historic sites,” she said. Bailey began working for the Prince George’s County government as a seniorlevel official at many agencies, including tenures as executive director of the Consumer Protection Commission and the Commission for Families, and as community partnerships director at the Department of Family Services.

The pull of politics While Bailey was serving on the board of the National Council of Negro Women, a candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates asked Bailey to manage her campaign. “I’d never been a campaign manger. Didn’t know anything about it. So I said, ‘yes.’ I got the bug and decided I was going to be a high-powered campaign manager,” she recalled. Bailey ended up managing the campaigns of five women, working to get them elected to local and state offices. “I loved figuring out how people can win, and working with people, just being in the community and convincing people that this person wants to serve. “But I never thought about running [for office] myself,” she said. That changed when a friend on the Prince George’s County Council left and another friend urged Bailey to run for the open seat. Although reluctant at first to move from behind the scenes, Bailey threw her hat in the ring and won the election in 1994. She served on the council for eight years, twice as the council’s chair and three times as vice chair. “I served in the leadership probably longer than anyone else,” she recalled. She counts among her most important council achievements shepherding legislation to build FedEx Field in Landover, which was in her council district, and the National Harbor project on the Potomac River. While on the council, Bailey founded and continues to chair the Harlem Remembrance Foundation of Prince George’s County, which puts on an annual arts festival. She chairs the LEARN Foundation, which provides scholarships and supports education programs for Prince George’s County youth residing in communities most affected by FedEx Field. Bailey is also the president of the Prince George’s County chapter of the Association for the Study of African American History and Life. In addition to her nonprofit and political work, Bailey also finds time to pursue acting and play writing. She wrote and performed a spiritual play, A Trilogy of Faith: the Victorious Stories of Leah, Rahab and Virginia. She also played a councilwoman in the Washington, D.C.-based movie Three Blind Mice, which screened at several film festivals around the country in 2010. See BAILEY, page 39

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

Bailey From page 38 Despite her full plate, Bailey said she was honored to be appointed vice chair of the Prince George’s County Planning Board and a member of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission last July. The latter position is “far more time consuming” than she anticipated, and remunerated by only a small stipend. But Bailey said she is fascinated by the opportunity to oversee the area’s zoning and its development projects during initial stages, rather than when they are further along in the process, as she did on the county council. “Dorothy Bailey’s civic and professional contributions have influenced and advanced our community for decades,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, who appointed her to the planning board. He said Bailey is a “compassionate, creative-thinking and collaborative leader.” “She has been and continues to be a strong advocate for children, youth and families as evidenced by her vision for increased educational opportunities and economic growth to enhance our quality of life,” Baker said.

Spreading the light Bailey also travels the country talking about In a Different Light, in addition to

making numerous local appearances to promote the book. She recently attended a women’s conference in Las Vegas where she knew very few people. Yet many attendees stood an hour in line for Bailey to sign their copy of the book. “I was thrilled. I could see that happening in Maryland. But I could not believe it [was happening there] because these people didn’t know anybody in the book,” she said. Bailey said she thinks the book resonates with older and younger women alike. One young woman in a recent audience asked Bailey how she maintained friendships over the course of 50 years. (Several of the women in the book are sorority sisters from college.) She said she loves answering those sorts of thought-provoking questions, and that they confirm the accuracy of her term “wisdom carriers” — the name she gave to women in the book. “We call the women wisdom carriers because we believe that, by the time you are 70, you should have gained some wisdom to share with someone else,” she reflected. “That you’ve had some experiences that you carry within you, within your body, within your presence. Wisdom to share with other people. And that is what the book is doing.” In a Different Light can be purchased online from as

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well as from a growing number of local stores, including Onsite News, 58 National Plaza, National Harbor, Md., and Gallery Serengeti, 7919 Central Ave., Capitol Heights, Md. Bailey will be appearing in an event recognizing local female authors in honor of Women’s History Month on Tuesday, March


13 from 10 to noon, followed by a reception on the first floor of the Prince George’s County Administrative Building, 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Dr., Upper Marlboro, Md. A display on the book will be featured there throughout the month. For more information on the event, call (301) 952-3094.

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Live like a Greek on the island of Rhodes freshly prepared simply and deliciously. Seas that range in a spectrum of color from light turquoise to dark blue. Virtually countless archeological sites that trace the roots of much Western civilization. And people whose love for life casts an infectious spell even upon those who are there for an all-too-brief visit.

Not a trip; a way of life


When planning where to go in Greece, Fyllis and I followed our own rule: The more travelers try to see, the less they often do. By focusing on a single island, we were able to discover its allure and attractions at our own pace. Through our stay on Rhodes, Greece became a temporary way of life, interspersed with visits to ancient ruins, tiny towns, magnificent handiworks of nature, and other attractions that combine into a microcosm of the entire country. For anyone who is not a dedicated museum-goer, Rhodes provides the perfect setting. The entire island is a veritable outdoor museum, with reminders everywhere of cultures and customs of peoples who have influenced it. The seafaring Phoenicians, Persians, Roman Empire and Ottoman Turks are on the long list of powers that once held sway over the island. A logical starting point for exploration is the city of Rhodes, perched at the northernmost tip of the island of Rhodes, on the site where an ancient settlement rose more than 2,400 years ago. Monuments from every period since then stand in silent testimony to its long history. Surprisingly, the old walled section is the largest inhabited medieval town in Europe, and one of the best preserved and most beautiful. Separated by its massive walls from The city of Rhodes contains the largest inhabited methe tourist-oriented new dieval town in Europe. This castle, built by the Knights area that has sprouted of St. John of Jerusalem, consists of 205 rooms and today houses the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes. around it, the ancient forti-


By Victor Block “You’ll lose your mind spending two weeks on Rhodes,” we were warned. “Sure, some of the beaches are lovely, and the water is Aegean blue. But that’s about it. Two or three days there is enough.” Spoken by a friend of Greek background, those words made me and my wife Fyllis wonder if we had made a mistake. But it was too late. Airline tickets had been bought; hotels had been booked. Fast forward two months. On our flight back home, we recalled that warning and agreed that we had made a mistake. We should have stayed on Rhodes even longer. It’s not easy for a country like Greece to live up to its reputation. That’s even more true for an island like Rhodes — only 50 miles long and 24 miles across at its widest point. Yet we found that many of the delightful images the word “Greece” brings to mind were fulfilled there, in an area compact enough to explore at leisure. Whitewashed villages gleaming in the sun. Fishermen returning to port with an aquarium-like variety of ocean life, to be

Whitewashed houses dot the picturesque coastal village of Lindos on the Greek island of Rhodes. Lindos has its own acropolis and Temple of Athena, along with other archaeological ruins and a popular beach.

fications and structures manifest an atmosphere of the Middle Ages as authentic as that found anywhere. Fyllis and I returned several times to follow the narrow cobbled lanes wherever they led. A number of the most impressive structures date back to the period between 1307 and 1522 C.E., when the Order of Knights of St. John of Jerusalem ruled in Rhodes and left imposing evidence of their presence. (The Order had been established in Jerusalem as part of the First Crusade. When Jerusalem fell to the Muslims, the Order moved to Rhodes, where it built a navy to continue its battles.) The Street of the Knights, lined by former residences, leads to the fortress-like Grand Master’s Palace. Three delicate apses are the only reminders of the Church of the Virgin Mary. The Archaeological Museum is housed in what served as the main hospital of the Knights. Hippocrates Square, the Old Town’s main shopping area, today is lined with restaurants and bars housed in imposing stone buildings.

Archaeological treasures Further south on the island, the town of Lindos vies with Rhodes as a magnet for visitors, despite its population of only about 1,100 people. It’s the quintessential Greek

village portrayed on travel posters. A smattering of white houses, dazzling in the sunlight, perches on the side of a steep hill. Looming above is the acropolis, a cliff topped by graceful columns — remnants of the Temple of Athena, the protectress of Lindos and goddess of arts and crafts. The archaeological treasures of Lindos extend around the acropolis. I found especially intriguing an outdoor auditorium carved into a rocky cliff that could seat 1,800 spectators. Standing at the base of the amphitheater in the silence of an afternoon, I could visualize the scene when an audience gathered to be entertained by a play or other presentation. Because of its location hugging the eastern shore of Rhodes, about halfway between its northern and southern tips, Lindos is well located for day trips to other beaches, towns and nearby attractions. Like many destinations in Europe, Rhodes is lined by beaches that range from soft sand to rounded pebbles. The best are strung along the east coast, and they can be crowded during the high season. That’s certainly true of the sand beach at Lindos, which balances what can be a crush of bodies during summer with magnificent views of the town and its acropolis. See RHODES, page 41

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

Rhodes From page 40 The beach at Kalithea, a short drive south of the city of Rhodes, is adjacent to several coves that offer good swimming and snorkeling. Tsambika, a bit further on, has golden sand lapped by turquoise water. Despite the allure of soft sand and searing sun, Fyllis and I managed to tear ourselves away from such pleasures to delve further into the historic sights of Rhodes. Driving through the countryside, over roads that snake over rolling hills and low mountains, we passed through landscapes changing from arid, rocky terrain near the coastline to verdant forests of the interior. Goats seemed to be everywhere, grazing on grass at the foot of fruit trees and in olive groves, and tethered anywhere there’s a tiny plot of grass. Pausing for a stroll through the extensive ruins of ancient Kamiros immersed us in the lifestyle of the original inhabitants during the 6th and 5th centuries B.C.E., when it was a thriving city. The site spills dramatically down a hill overlooking the sea. On the top level stood a temple complex of Athena, from which the revered goddess could gaze out over the setting. A covered reservoir, large enough to supply several hundred families, furnished water through a system of underground terra cotta pipes. The main settlement, on a lower terrace, consisted of a grid of streets and houses

adorned with mosaic floors and painted wall decorations. The remains of public baths include hot and cold chambers, and an underground system for heating the rooms.

Mountain village life Tiny, unspoiled mountain villages are scattered throughout Rhodes. In many ways they have changed little over the generations. Things move at a slow pace (except when people are driving a car or motorbike). Many town folk cling stubbornly and proudly to their traditional ways, while a few take advantage of the influence of tourism by opening a small shop or restaurant with a few outside tables. Archangelos, the largest village on the island, covers a low plateau rimmed by mountains. Its residents are known as master artisans who make pottery and weave carpets and tapestries using the same timehonored methods as their forebears. Anyone driving into the village of Appolonia need only follow the wonderful aroma to find the little bakery of the same name. The nine women who own the enterprise bake breads and cakes that were mentioned in The Iliad, Homer’s epic poem about the Trojan War, using recipes handed down by generations of local families. They also make and sell olive oil and liqueurs. If you’re ever there, be sure to sample the melekouni, a sweet pastry revered in Homer’s texts, and “spoon sweet,” a popular Greek dessert flavored

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with a variety of fruits. Kritinia is one of the prettiest villages on Rhodes. Perched upon a hillside, the town of about 550 inhabitants offers panoramic views of the sea in one direction and, in the other, of Mount Attavyros, at 3,985 feet the tallest spot on the island. Those who hike or drive up the mountain find ruins of a temple to Zeus.

Tavernas and churches For an excellent meal, and an opportunity for pleasant encounters with friendly locals, stop at one of the small tavernas that you pass when driving between and through the villages. In many cases, the owners are the cooks and wait staff. Even if they speak no English, they will go out of their way to help you order. Several times we were invited into the kitchen to see what was available


and point to what we wanted. Almost as ubiquitous throughout Rhodes as tavernas are churches, and they come in all ages and sizes. While guidebooks describe the major religious edifices that attract most visitors, including ruins from centuries past, Fyllis and I found especially inviting the tiny white chapels that are scattered around the island. Many of these little structures, some of which can accommodate only a handful of worshippers, are located along isolated side roads in rural areas. Such miniscule places of worship stand in contrast to massive cathedral-like buildings that date back to times when Rhodes was a power in the ancient world. The atmosphere in the cities of Rhodes See RHODES, page 43

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A family cruise when ‘the kids’ are adults By Alice Shapin During the years our two children were growing up, my husband Paul and I enjoyed vacationing with them — renting beach houses together, taking cruises and going on golf vacations. Now in their late 20s, they’ve been on their own for some time. But recently, we invited Amanda and Scott to join us again, this time on a family reunion cruise. It was made a bit more complex by the fact that there were “significant others” (SOs) in the mix this time. When we started planning, Scott, who lives in Tucson, had a long-term girlfriend, and Amanda, in New York City, had a new boyfriend she was crazy about. What were the rules about inviting SOs?

With no Dr. Spock or Dr. Bazelton for this type of thing, I wasn’t sure whether to consult friends or just go on gut feelings.

Bringing nonfamily along Our criterion for inviting the SO was just how “S” the “O” was. Scott was living with his girlfriend, and they had been together three years, so that seemed pretty significant. Since Scott was bringing his girlfriend, we entertained Amanda bringing Matt. Before we knew it, she had told him about the trip and Matt was onboard. Then Scott and his girlfriend broke up before we booked the trip! One couple told us they had let their son bring his “girlfriend” on a family trip, only to find out that

they had been dating for just two weeks. So we created a “six months” rule (which Amanda and Matt passed) to let our son know that he should not start scrambling to find a new travel companion. So we decided to go as a family of four plus one. Wanting a vacation that allowed everyone to do their own thing while we’d still have some together time, we chose a 10-day cruise on Holland America’s Noordam, with stops at various European cities. We booked three cabins, one for us, a single for Scott, and one for Amanda and Matt (they were practically cohabiting, so sharing a room wasn’t breaking new ground). Even before we left, bonding took place. Scott and Matt connected online (they had never met face-to-face), Amanda and Scott texted frequently, and we had lots of input about the excursions from Scott. Since there were five of us, we found it would be less expensive to book private tours at many of the ports of call rather than go with the cruise’s excursions. Also, that way we could customize them. We checked and and found highly recommended guides. Good guides will engage you in an email dialogue before your visit, often responding to you within 12 hours. Be sure that you book a licensed guide. In most cities, only licensed guides can take you inside the sites. Others are drivers who can take you around and provide narrative, but not go inside. We booked both a driver and a licensed guide.

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With our coming from three different cities — New York, Washington and Tucson — we needed to make sure flight interruptions didn’t endanger the cruise. So we made plans to arrive in Rome a day early. Best laid plans…As it turned out, Matt’s luggage decided to take a different itinerary to places unknown, so he needed to buy some clothes quickly. Luckily, since we had arranged a private tour of Rome for the day, we managed to get a nice overview of the city, find some cheap clothes, and get to the port of departure at 3 p.m. in plenty of time for the 5 p.m. sailing. Hint: The times for boarding were 1 to 4 p.m. By arriving in the middle, there were no lines. Hint number two: If you are traveling as a couple, instead of each having your own suit-

case, divide your clothes between both suitcases so if one gets lost you will each have something to wear. And do bring a carry-on. We welcomed our first day at sea. Time to explore the ship, sit by the pool (sun for Amanda, Matt and Scott; shade for us) and hit the gym. The kids gave us a gift certificate for a couple’s massage, and knowing that spa appointments book quickly, we made ours immediately. For dinner we chose “open seating” (more flexibility) and were pleasantly surprised that we didn’t have too much trouble getting seats together. If you come at least 15 minutes before one of the set times, there should be no problem. I am happy to report the food was delicious with plenty of choices. We usually sat at a table for six. The three kids soon created an imaginary sixth, “Fred.” Fred was inclined to order a full meal that Matt and Scott gladly split, in addition to their regular orders. (A big plus: On a cruise you never have to think about where to eat.) After dinner we all went our separate ways. Paul and I went to the piano bar, Scott to the casino, and Amanda and Matt strolled the deck. The kids were set on going kayaking once we arrived in Dubrovnik. While everyone had said that you could easily make arrangements once there, I had a moment of panic as the Noordam docked. Where should we go to do that? I needn’t have worried. When we arrived by the walled city, we couldn’t have avoided finding information on kayaking (and many other options) since the tour operators know exactly where the cruise buses let people off. At dinner we shared our day’s adventures. Kayaking was great fun, but plenty of work even for these buff kids. Glad we did the cable car instead.

Excursions with surprises In Athens and Ephesus (Turkey) we had excellent private tours. Our guides maneuvered us through the huge crowds, gave us insight into the history, and told us where to stand for the best photo ops. They even gave us some unsolicited thoughts, like “You’ll return to Turkey for your honeymoon,” or “Matt, are you joining the family?” Matt answered with a polite, “maybe.” At least these gems didn’t come See FAMILY CRUISE, page 43


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From page 42 from my lips. In Corfu, Greece we rented a car. Quite an experience. Scott was behind the wheel for our four-hour excursion. Imagine steep winding roads, one-lane streets with traffic lights to indicate when to proceed, and crazy Greek drivers. Normally, I’d be a nervous wreck and a back-seat driver. But being on vacation, I left the mother in me behind and thought of it as an adventure. Santorini, Greece is the place of brochure covers and picture postcards. Bright white homes, small hotels and outdoor cafes hang on the edge of the steep cliff side that runs down to the blue Aegean. We took the cable car up to the top. Once again, on the advice of friends, we didn’t arrange a tour in advance. The kids had done some research and thought we should take a boat excursion that went to the volcano and let you swim in a hot springs. Fair warning, I’ve learned that the Greeks aren’t as worried about public safety as we are in America. There was no men-

Rhodes From page 41 and Lindos is very different from that experienced in villages elsewhere on the island. That diversity accounts for much of the appeal of the island, and introduces those who go there to much that Greece has to offer.

If you go While any time is a good time to visit Rhodes, mid-summer has the highest daytime temperatures and largest crowds, and the most rain falls between October and March. Early spring and late fall are perhaps the best times to go. Unrest in Greece has been in the news recently, but it has primarily been confined to Athens. We encountered none on Rhodes, where life went on as always, and have heard about none there since our return home. We stayed for a week in the city of Rhodes and for another week in Lindos. The Hotel Atlantis in Rhodes is well located in the old section of the city, a short walk from

tion that the trek up the volcano was strenuous. And there are no guardrails. Thank goodness we were all in good shape.

Don’t be a mother hen The ship was scheduled to sail at 4 p.m. At 3:30 Paul said, “Okay, go knock on their door.” No answer. At 3:45 when the names of two passengers who hadn’t returned to ship were boomed over the loud speaker, I was relieved they weren’t Matt’s and Amanda’s. They had made it back on time. Yes, my kids aren’t children anymore, but I’m still a mother (advice: keep the mothering under wraps). I was saved even more worry when they didn’t tell us beforehand that they were riding an all terrain vehicle on the narrow winding roads of Santorini. But then again, over the years we’ve learned that Amanda loves adventure. We once watched her jump from a plane in New Zealand. So I was especially thrilled when she said, “We loved doing some adventurous activities in addition to sightseeing.” Though I was sad to see the cruise end, it had been the perfect vacation. Best of all, the kids asked, “Where is our next trip?” In case you were wondering: Matt’s lugthe beach and near a number of tavernas. Rooms are not large but are clean and modern. Double room prices, including a lavish breakfast, begin at about $175 (depending on the exchange rate). For more information, log onto At a rate of about $85 for two people, including both breakfast and dinner, the Lindos Sun hotel is a real bargain. It is perched on a hill with a beautiful view of the sea, and has good-sized rooms, a swim-


Family cruise


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

Alice and Paul Shapin (right) took a European cruise with their son, daughter and her boyfriend, honing the finer points of traveling with adult children during the trip. They are pictured at the Acropolis in Athens.

gage was waiting at Kennedy Airport. And yes, Matt and Amanda are still together, and Scott is busy looking for an SO to take on our next family trip. ming pool, and a pleasant terrace and outside bar. The hotel is open from May through October. For more information, log onto Lufthansa has the lowest roundtrip fare from the Washington area to Rhodes in mid-March, $976 from Dulles International Airport. For more information, call the Greek National Tourism Organization at (212) 421-5777 or log onto

Alice Shapin is a freelance writer in Rockville, Md.

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

Insure your trip to ensure peace of mind By Ed Perkins Don’t forget to consider travel insurance when you plan your upcoming travels. Decide if you need it and figure the cost into your budgeting. Chances are it won’t be a budget-buster, but failure to buy the right coverage could, in fact, bust your budget beyond any expectations. When do you need travel insurance? I suggest that you consider two important coverages: • You need trip cancellation insurance (TCI) any time you have to make large nonrefundable prepayments or face cancellation penalties that are more than you can afford should you unexpectedly have to cancel a trip.

• You probably need medical insurance if your regular health insurance doesn’t cover you adequately when you’re out of the United States. That includes everybody on Medicare and many others. John Cook, President of Quotewright, a leading online travel insurance agency (, recently distributed his checklist of travel insurance tips, which I find generally appropriate. In sum, Cook says (with a few of my personal tweaks): • Make sure that you buy your insurance early enough to get a “waiver for preexisting medical conditions.” That waiver generally avoids hassles about whether or not an ongoing medical problem qualifies for coverage. Typically, you have to buy

the insurance within 10 days or so of the time you make your first payments. • Shop around for the best deal — you can find 300 percent differences among policies with essentially the same coverage. • Make sure you understand the fine print. Most TCI policies cover only “perils” that are specifically named in the fine print. Often, events like civil unrest are not covered. Furthermore, most policies do not cover cancellation unless and until a named peril actually occurs. You can’t cancel just because you anticipate a problem or feel uneasy about a destination. • Avoid “opt out” insurance that a tour operator, cruise line or airline may offer, don’t automatically accept the first policy that a travel agent offers, and don’t accept “waivers” instead of real insurance.

When not to buy insurance To those sound recommendations, I add four of my own: • If you don’t have expensive prepayments that are nonrefundable or carry a big cancellation penalty, you don’t need TCI, so buying it is probably a waste of money. • Unless the price is prohibitive, buy TCI that includes a “cancel for any reason” provision. “Any reason” coverage means that you

— not an insurance company bean counter — get to make the go/no go decision. • If you need medical insurance, get a policy that provides primary coverage. That means the insurance company will pay all the costs up front — not just what you can’t first recover from your other medical insurance. Even travelers with regular health insurance might want to purchase primary travel medical to avoid the problem of having to pay a big bill on the spot, then go through a drawn-out claims process after they return. • Consider minor coverages — personal property, lost baggage, delayed baggage, delay expenses and such — as a plus when they’re included in a good bundled TCI or medical program. But they often duplicate coverages you have from other sources, so don’t pay extra for them. Quotewright is one of several online insurance comparison sites and sales agencies that I recommend. Other good comparison sites include 1Travelinsurance (, G1G (, (, Squaremouth ( and Total Travel Insurance ( © 2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

You’re invited to attend this year’s Wingspread conference Open to the public, and designed for members of faith-based communities. Workshops will help you learn practical ways to serve and interact with persons with dementia and their caregivers. Keynote speakers are the Rev. John and Dr. Susan McFadden, authors of the recently published, Aging Together: Dementia, Friendship and Flourishing Communities


Wednesday, March 28, 2012


9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Location: Washington Hebrew Congregation 3935 Macomb Street, NW • Washington, DC 20016


$25 or less (group discounts and scholarships available)

For more information and to register, go online to: or call Dr. Eugene Smiley at 513-324-3999 Sponsored by Forum on Religion and Spirituality in Aging, American Society on Aging and the Beacon Newspapers



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l a i c o S art e h t e e w S s r o i Sen Page 7

March 2012/No. 24

Defying the odds by Emily Tipermas

Rehab “success stories” can inspire anyone confronting staggering recovery challenges. Among the evolving success stories we witness daily at the Hebrew Home’s Rakusin Rehabilitation Center, the experience of Dr. George K. Chacko, professor emeritus at the University of Southern California, stands out as one that exemplifies the power of conviction and hard work to achieve the fullest recovery possible. “What I am able to do today is the triumph of therapy as much as the triumph of faith!” states Dr. Chacko. Dr. Chacko, 81, arrived at the Rehabilitation Center by stretcher following an unexpectedly calamitous Photo by Dav outcome from two spinal surgeries id Khoo Heng Leong in two weeks in July. “He will never walk again,” was the medical consensus. Dr. George Chacko defied pessimistic predictions and regained his ability to Fortunately, the Home’s physical therapist walk, thanks to intensive therapy at Sweta Diwan and occupational therapist the Hebrew Home.

Sanjita Bhandari were convinced that Dr. Chacko’s determination and progress during his first week made him an excellent candidate for recovery. They advocated for advanced rehab, and their resolute efforts fueled his hopes. Through a therapy regime designed to strengthen his limbs and restore mobility functions, Dr. Chacko was gradually able to lift his body to a sitting position, transfer on his own to a wheelchair, rise to a stand, and graduate from walker to quad-cane. “You were like a piece of dead wood. You could do nothing without help. But look at you now! You’re walking all by yourself,” proclaimed Dr. Chacko’s jubilant wife. “Many people say it’s a miracle.” Concluding his 100-day rehab stay, Dr. Chacko now continues to recover in his home. To read more about Dr. Chacko’s remarkable recovery, told in his words, go to and click on Rakusin Center. To learn about plans for the therapy center’s expansion, turn to page 4. ■


More Senior Discounts

Transitions in Care Symposium

“Auntiques” Dinner

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

Pointing the way to Senior Discounts has been our goal since April 2009. Our complete discounts list, as noted below, is posted at While you’re there, dip into our Generation archives by clicking on “Newsroom” in the top menu bar. We’ve covered more than 100 compelling topics relevant to seniors and their families.

Generation to Generation On the Trail for Senior Discounts Here it is, our fourth annual issue devoted to the ever-popular topic of Senior Discounts! The reason for this yearly effort is simple: what self-respecting senior would not be interested in finding value and savings in everything from merchandise to services, from restaurants to entertainment? Our goal is to help our readers connect with local bargains. You just need to know how to sniff them out. We can only fit a small assortment of discounts on this page, but check out our growing list of discounts posted at And, if you can suggest more discounts to add, please email them to us at or call 301.770.8371. FOOD (Locations throughout metropolitan area) • Boston Market: “Home Style Meals” — Seniors 65+ can enjoy 10% off purchases. • Chili’s Grill & Bar: “Bring your friends and Pepper in Some Fun™” — Chili’s extends a 10% discount to seniors 55+. • Einstein Bros Bagels: Seniors 60+ receive a 10% discount on a baker’s dozen of bagels. • Krispy Kreme: Patrons 50+ take 10% off orders. ENTERTAINMENT • AMC Theatres: Seniors 55+ receive up to 30% off.

• Got Electric LLC: Servicing MD/VA; free estimates; 5% senior discount. On Angie’s List since 2007. • Great Clips: “Haircuts at a very comfortable price.” — Seniors 60+ receive $2 off cuts. In Germantown, Rockville, & Falls Church. • John C. Flood of DC, Inc.: “Reliable plumbing, bathroom & kitchen remodeling, and HVAC services since 1904.” Seniors 60+ take 10% off the top of the bill. Call 301.277.7300. • Modell’s Sporting Goods: Seniors 65+ take 10% off purchase. Locations throughout the area.

SERVICES/MERCHANTS • Ackerman Security Systems: Seniors 55+ receive 3 months of basic free monitoring on new installations. Call Sidney Sclar, 301.556.8083.

• Rockville Interiors: Decorators, skilled artisans and certified technicians, with showrooms and workrooms in Rockville & Silver Spring, assist clients throughout metropolitan area. Seniors 55+ receive 20% off all services.

• Nichols Contracting, Inc.: “Regardless of the project size, quality is the highest priority on each project.” Free estimates. Seniors 65+ receive 10% discount. Contact Fred Nichols at 301.924.5258.

• Westwood Cleaners: Dry cleaning, laundry, alterations, shoe repair. Seniors 60+ get 10% discount on dry cleaning, 20% for 5 or more items. Located in Rockville, opposite Ring House. Call 301.770.6766. ■

Page 2 | March 2012

Initiatives We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: seniors considering a move will find great value in the options available at Charles E. Smith Life Communities. Retirees may be surprised at how affordable it is to live at Revitz House or Ring House. Residents of Revitz House enjoy nightly kosher dinners and benefit from having utilities, a personal emergency response system, group bus transportation, social services, recreational activities and a wellness program factored into their rent. And – small pets are welcome! At Ring House, a range of apartment sizes and rental rates are available. Kosher breakfast and dinner, bi-weekly housekeeping, a personal emergency call system and our award-winning activities program are included in the monthly rent as is free campus bus service to shopping, banking and cultural events. The Hirsh Health Center, our outpatient medical clinic exclusively devoted to senior medical care, accepts Medicare assignment and most major insurance plans. Please call 301.816.5052 for more information about senior living or a tour, or call Hirsh Health Center at 301.816.5004 to schedule an appointment.

Perspectives He who does not economize will have to agonize. — Confucius




Bring spring to a Hebrew Home resident with colorful flowers!


Flowers also lend a note of specialness to Shabbat and other celebrations. For information & to order an arrangement, contact the Hebrew Home’s Volunteer Department at 301.770.8333.

Consider donating your used vehicle to the Hebrew Home. Proceeds benefit our elderly residents.

For more information, please contact us at


Transitions in Care symposium This educational symposium tackles a hot topic in today’s medical world. Professionals and community caregivers will learn about models for best practices in safe transitions in and out of hospitals, nursing homes and the family home; tactics to reduce re-admissions and the importance of engaging patients and their families. Continuing education credits are available for physicians, nurses, social workers and administrators. Learn more at ■ CMEs are available for physicians through Suburban Hospital; CEU’s for nurses are available through Sibley Memorial Hospital; CEU’s for social workers, Nursing Home Administrators and Assisted Living Administrators are available through the Beacon Institute.

Have you seen us in the news? The Gazette covered our Ring House community with a two-page photo story in January Seniors. Pet-friendly Revitz House was the cover story in Guide to Retirement Living Sourcebook. Visit to view these stories and learn more about our residents and our programs. Be the first to take advantage of our new look. For Revitz House, call 301.770.8450; for Ring House, call 301.816.5012. ■


March 2012 | Page 3


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

Apartments Beautiful! At Ring House and Revitz House, our independent-living residences, and Landow House, our assisted–living residence, you can design your apartment to reflect your creativity, style, and the pleasures and memories of a lifetime. That’s why retired seniors love living at Charles E. Smith Life Communities. >>>

FirstPerson Bringing our plans to life In 2010, we celebrated our Centennial year with a plethora of events, news and an educational symposium. In 2011, we announced a “Blueprint for our Second Century,” outlining sweeping plans for a new memory care residence, a major rehabilitation center expansion and a raft of CEO Warren Slavin and his wife Adrienne with renovations throughout our granddaughter Jordan, who came with her campus. After all, at 100+, Temple Beth Ami pre-school class to entertain we want to look our best. residents at Ring House. Now, in 2012, we are pleased to share the progress we are making as we bring our blueprint to life. The changes affect every corner of our campus. At this point in time, progress ranges from a large hole in the ground as 600 truckloads of dirt are removed at the site of the future Cohen-Rosen House, to the beginning of construction on a redesigned lobby, café, beauty parlor and therapy center in the Wasserman Residence; from a fresh new look inside our independent living apartments to the delivery of mammothcapacity new generators for the nursing home. Every day, it seems there’s something new and exciting happening here. In some areas, progress means there may be temporary inconvenience during construction – following new traffic patterns in our hallways, finding certain services and programs in new locations, or using another entrance to a building. As always, the safety and comfort of our residents, visitors and staff come first, while we work toward a better environment in which to provide care, rehabilitation therapy services and living spaces. As is so often the case in our community, this progress is only possible because of the extraordinary support of the community we serve, from generous gifts by individual donors and foundations to supportive grants from the State of Maryland. More than $32 million has been raised in the past four years toward these projects and others. Join me on these pages for a quick tour of our progress.

Warren R. Slavin, President/CEO Charles E. Smith Life Communities

Page 4 | March 2012




Call 301.816.5052 for information.

Photo by Brian Katz

New heavy-duty emergency generators, purchased with a $760,000 grant from the State of Maryland, will greatly expand the Home’s emergency capabilities in case of catastrophic weather emergency or power outage.

Construction at the Cohen-Rosen House, our new memory care residence, is underway adjacent to Landow House. Cohen-Rosen House received the silver medal for the category “Best Assisted Living/Special Needs — On the Boards” at the National Association of Home Builders’ Conference. A waiting list is already forming; for information call 301.816.5052. Check construction progress at Construction began in the Wasserman Residence that will transform the lobby, café, rehabilitation therapy center and beauty parlor/barber shop. Take a virtual tour at, For Families page.

Revitz House will soon have a new entry and greater functionality. Phase one of renovations includes a new porte-cochere able to accommodate buses and other large vehicles, shown here, a reconfigured lobby and new fitness center. In neighboring Ring House, apartments are being refreshed as new tenants move in, with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops in the kitchen and walk-in showers in the baths.


March 2012 | Page 5


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

Planning Your Legacy: A Guide to Planning Your Estate offers a four-step plan to help you provide for your heirs and protect your intentions. It includes worksheets to record assets and to designate the key people you’ve selected to serve on your behalf. Click on “Wills Guide” at to download this valuable resource. Volunteer Programs 301.770.8333


An impact that will last a lifetime By Michael Flax, Volunteer Senior at St. John’s College High School

In Our Mailbox

In this issue, we share excerpts from our overflowing mailbox: “We were thoroughly impressed, and sincerely grateful for how warm and supportive everyone was, and for how they genuinely cared for the patients in their charge. Having seen other facilities that claim to provide similar services, we have no doubt that yours was the best facility and staff that we have yet encountered.” Dena and Kevin O’Sullivan

“Since I cannot be with her every day, I rest easy knowing that you all are here for her! From the bottom of my heart, thank you!” Susan Weinstein “You brighten my mother’s days with your patience and kindness and smiles.” Myrna Taylor

“Regardless of how difficult she may sometimes be, you all unfailingly treat her with courtesy, respect, and – best of all – affection. I cannot overstate the peace of mind that you all give me and my family. I know that even if I am unable to come in for a week or so, my mother will be well looked after.” Essie Schloss “Our family needed that extra special touch that only people who really care can give. You have cared for mom over the last three months at Hebrew Home and as a result, our load has been lightened. We never could have done what you did by ourselves and for that we thank you.” Nadine Folkes and Family “…I wish to express our deep appreciation for the skilled treatment and loving care she received from all members of your staff. She is now receiving home care rehab with every prospect for a full recovery over time. That outcome in large measure is due to the excellent therapy, encouragement and treatment she received at Hebrew Home…” Bob Wallace “I was pleasantly surprised by the attention to detail everybody exhibited. The nursing and rehabilitation professionals were always prompt, patient, skilled, and reassuring. Everybody connected to my care: the aids, custodians, dieticians, etc., always took the time to attend to my comfort and needs. The room was immaculately maintained and the food well prepared.” Rose Rhode “Our parents are treated with great kindness, respect, love and patience! We appreciate the quality care our parents receive at the Hebrew Home.” Shirley and Marshall Keys

“…my family and I will never forget how the staff on the 2nd floor, in the West Wing were so very kind and attentive to my father during his last days, and how they gave my family and myself so much support at this very difficult time. They allowed my father to spend his final days in a Jewish environment full of comfort and warmth.” Joseph Korn ■ LifeTimes is published quarterly by the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, Inc. The Hebrew Home is registered in Maryland as a charitable organization. Documents and information filed under the Maryland Charitable Solicitation Act may be obtained from the Maryland Secretary of State, 410.974.5534. We are an equal opportunity employer and we provide access to community programs without regard to race, age, national origin, familial status, religion, sex or disability. Our services and programs are open to all in the community. Andrew S. Friedlander, Chair Warren R. Slavin, President/CEO Marilyn Feldman, Editor

Let me tell you about an amazing experience I had through Community Service. Four years ago, when I first started volunteering at the Hebrew Home, I had trouble relating to the elderly people with whom I was working because many of them were confined to wheelchairs and were unable to speak. That’s why Sarah R., a resident on the fifth floor, instantly became my favorite person to work with. She could walk, talk, crack jokes, and even sing a few Hebrew songs if you asked politely. My first impression was that she looked and acted like my late great-grandmother whom I had known for only eight years. I remember calling my grandmother on my first day and saying, “You’ll never believe it but I am working with a woman who reminds me exactly of Grandma Sara.” Yes, you heard it correctly, my greatgrandmother’s name was Sarah too. When I noticed this similarity, I just knew that Sarah R. was someone special. She mostly bragged about her family and how much she loved them, which made me realize how important my own family is to me. I felt as if I was getting a second chance to spend time with my great-grandmother. It is because of her that I fell in love with community service and helping those who are in need. Thinking back, I realize how blessed I am to have had her as a part of my life. I know that I will continue serving others because she has inspired me to. She made a significant impact on me that will last a lifetime. ■

Read about it on-line! • Party guests bring gifts for Hebrew Home residents. • Announcing the recent publication of Flourishing In The Later Years, co-edited by Rabbi James Michaels.

Nicholas Simmonds, Vice President, Development and Public Affairs

Go to

© 2012 by The Hebrew Home of Greater Washington 6121 Montrose Road, Rockville, MD 20852-4856, 301.881.0300

Page 6 | March 2012





Your name Daytime phone


To order your tile, include your check for $250 or more, and mail to: Hebrew Home Development Office, 6121 Montrose Road, Rockville MD 20852.

EventMakers Remember or honor someone special

Photo by Nick Simmonds

Inscribe a tile in your name or in honor or memory of a loved one. With each gift of at least $250, you can dedicate a tile that will be placed adjacent to the newly renovated Elsie & Marvin Dekelboum Therapy Center in the Wasserman Residence. Each 3” x 6” ceramic tile can contain up to three lines, 34 characters per line, including punctuation and spaces. While you may purchase multiple tiles, we cannot guarantee that they will be situated next to one another. To purchase a tile go to, call 301.770.8409 or use coupon above. ■

Chair Andy Friedlander and Past Chair Hanita Schreiber at the presentation of Hanita’s portrait to the Hebrew Home.

Is it timeless, priceless... or worthless? Find out at Aunt Minnie Dinner

Above: Ring House resident Lillian Karys dances with Director of Recreation Therapy Patty Hagen. Right: Malka Finkele won one of the fabulous door prizes.

Sweetheart Social The Fillmore Silver Spring, a dynamic new entertainment venue, invited seniors on our campus to be their guests at a Sweetheart Social on Sunday, February 12. Over 70 residents received corsages, danced to a five-piece jazz band, and enjoyed tempting desserts. “They are still talking about how wonderful it was last night. They love feeling part of the community and having those wonderful young people helping made it even more special for our residents,” noted Susan Brall, one of the two dozen staff who assisted residents at the event. The Fillmore even put our name in lights, on the Colesville Road marquis, and the event was covered by Channel 4 news and on the Washington Post website, Silver Spring Patch, and ■


That’s right, this year our Aunt Minnie Luncheon will change to an “Auntiques” dinner. And while you’re marking your calendar for May 16, start searching through your most treasured items… is it indeed priceless? Now you can find out. Alisa Rulnick and Remy Freeman chair the event. We’ll have a panel of eight experts on hand, professional appraisers with special expertise in jewelry, art, coins, porcelain, cut crystal, sports memorabilia and more, who will offer a verbal appraisal on your chosen item. Join us on Wednesday evening, May 16, 6:30 pm at the Bolger Center, 9600 Newbridge Drive in Potomac, as our expert appraisers examine your piece and give you their professional advice. Following dinner, our panel will share with you what to look for in antiques and family heirlooms, what pitfalls to avoid, what’s hot and what’s not! Tickets begin at $100, and each ticket includes one verbal appraisal. Go to for more information. ■

March 2012 | Page 7


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

Save the dates Lunch or dinner out is always a treat.

ril 20 Friday, nAs p in Care,

Transitio r nal semina an educatio s and for clinician caregivers pm 7:30 am- 2 b Country Clu Woodmont

On Charity Mondays at this new Rockville restaurant, you can also help our seniors when you eat out.

RSVP at 240.221.2691.

2012 ting y a M ee ual M Ann

ns ovatio n e r f rs o e at tou onore h H d , r n a a H rm . Silve Ivan B


Wednesday, May 16 Aunt Minnie “Auntiques” Dinner

✓ check 8111 or for CFC ■ ✓ check 49705. Support the Hebrew Home through your gift to United Way ■

6:30 – 9 pm, Bolger Center

Our Other Special Events Home Run 10k/5k/Fun Run Sunday, September 30 Live Smart, Plan Smart Seminars Topics include downsizing, Veterans’ Benefits, selling your home in today’s market. Call 301.816.5052 for more information about these free seminars First Sunday of each month Jewish War Veterans, 10:30 am, Ring House Veterans and interested persons welcome

For more information about community events, resident programs and family support groups, visit and It was a “Game On” moment for Hebrew Home resident Robert Mindel who just scored a strike at our intergenerational bowling outing. Elizabeth Miller, left, and Emily Hagen were among the 11 residents and 9 kids at this annual event, made possible by the Guardian Fund for Excellence.

How to reach us... ■

Hebrew Home 301.770.8476, Rehab 301.816.7705, Long Term

Page 8 | March 2012

Cohen-Rosen House 301.816.5052

Hirsh Health Center 301.816.5004

Landow House 301.816.5050

Revitz House 301.770.8450

Ring House 301.816.5012


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

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Arts &

Getting to know The King and I at Toby’s Dinner Theatre. See review on page 56.

Sex, lies and humor in Husbands and Lovers By Robert Friedman Lies, deceit and duplicity — all those emotional contortions that create a faux fidelity between men and women in and out of love — get a wry and witty workout in a dozen vignettes by the Hungarian writer Ferenc Molnar. His Husbands & Lovers is being presented by the Washington Stage Guild through March 18. Judging by the playwright’s perception, the Central European man in the first decades of the last century believed just

A misleading mistress

about anything a woman told him — except the truth, especially about himself. Thankfully, things have changed for guys since then. The 12 playlets touch on ways women woo and wound the most important men in their lives (as well as their husbands), how the key that locks a door is much more important than the key that opens it, and how telling nothing but the truth is often the best ploy to convince a lover you are fibbing. PHOTO BY C. STANLEY PHOTOGRAPHY

At the Undercroft Theater in downtown D.C., where the production is being staged, the opening piece sets the pace for the wise, witty, perfidious things to come. A wife offers her lover a faked photo of her supposed husband, looking like the Brad Pitt of his day. The lover, abashed and madly in love, goes all-out to shape up into an elegant and sophisticated looker of his own. But the wife, who keeps her lover far from any view of her husband, soon tires of the guy. By “mistake” she drops a note in her lover’s apartment saying that she will be attending the opera that night with her husband. The lover takes off for the opera, only to find that the real hubby is

“ugly, crooked, hairy.” The woman confesses that she dropped the note on purpose because she wanted out of the affair and she knew her lover would be so miffed that the affair would slowly but surely end. In fact, she has already found a new guy and given him another false husband photo. “Any man’s heart can be managed like that — with a photograph and a note,” says the wily woman. In another dramatized snippet, the character known as Him says of Her: “She committed against me the greatest sin of which a woman is capable. . . She would tell me See LOVERS, page 54

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I WANT YOU! Conrad Feininger (left) and Peter J. Mendez play men who are toyed with by women in the Washington Stage Guild’s production of Husbands and Lovers, a dozen vignettes about love and lies.


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Actors carry the show

From page 53 the truth, knowing full well I would never believe her. It was mean to take advantage of me like that.” These epiphanies of the affairs of the heart — and the guys and gals who fall into, out of and take control of them — stir heady, if not full belly, laughs.

Director Bill Largess has done a fine job of adapting for the stage 12 of the 19 stories that originally appeared in a book by Molnar published in 1924. Production props are minimal. There are a few changes of period costume, by Sigrid Johannesdottir. Just a single set of benches, chairs and trestles by Carl F. Gudenius and Jie Yu stand in for parks, draw-


Apr. 22


Save the date for the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County’s annual film festival fundraiser on Sunday, April 22 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the American Dance Institute, 1570 E. Jefferson St., Rockville, Md. The film Taking Root tells the story of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai, whose simple act of planting trees grew into a nationwide movement to safeguard the environment, protect human rights and defend democracy. A panel discussion will follow. Tickets to event are $35. The funds raised support the League’s Voters’ Guide, which is free to the public in print and online (and produced in partnership with the Beacon newspaper). For tickets and more information, call (301) 984-9585.

ing rooms, gardens and a bedroom. So the play becomes the thing for the stellar cast of four: Lynn Steinmetz, Laura Giannarelli, Conrad Feininger and Peter J. Mendez. All veterans of the local stage, the performers use their considerable acting skills to deliver the audience to time and place as they morph into teenagers, middle-aged lovers, and elders with world-wise and world-weary memories of affairs past. There are no intermissions in the 90minute production, which relies mostly on clever telling, rather than on any magical staging. But there are two moments of choreographed enchantment. The play opens and closes with the four actors silhouetted by back lighting in a slow dance, changing partners as they gracefully move from one to another. So do their characters — He, She, Him and Her — waltz in and out of each other’s romantic lives. This is the Washington Stage Guild’s 25

Bring Your Group to the Kennedy Center for Entertainment on a Grand Scale! NEW YORK CITY BALLET’S WEST SIDE STORY SUITE PHOTO: ©PAUL KOLNIK

Contact the Group Sales Office (202) 416-840sToll free (800) 444-1s449   GROU P SAVE S UP TO 25%!


NYCB performs two mixed repertory programs. The first showcases works by American artists. The second program focuses on works created in the 21st Century.

All American (Apr. 3, 5, 6 eves. & 7 mat.): Who Cares? (Balanchine/Gershwin, arr. Kay) Fearful Symmetries (Martins/Adams) West Side Story Suite (Robbins/Bernstein)


21st Century (Apr. 4 & 7 eves. & 8 mat.): Hallelujah Junction (Martins/Adams) Russian Seasons (Ratmansky/Desyatnikov) Les Carillons (Wheeldon/Bizet)


Witness the epic struggle of a royal family at odds with their nation and each other, battling for power among the ancient wonders of the world in this rarely performed work. A company premiere, director Thaddeus Strassberger’s stunning new production of Verdi’s opera chronicles the defeat, enslavement, and exile of the Babylonian Jews by King Nabucco (Nebuchadnezzar) and is filled with grand and gorgeous music, including one of opera’s most famous choruses, “Va pensiero.”


Mar. 25


Photographers and art enthusiasts of all skill levels are invited to engage in a friendly dialogue and share their work, ideas and questions at a free workshop held on the last Sunday of each month at the Multiple Exposures Gallery on the third floor of the Torpedo Factory, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, Va. The next meeting will be on Sunday, March 25 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. No reservations are needed. Questions? Call the gallery at (703) 683-2205.

April 28–May 21 ✽ Opera House David and Alice Rubenstein are the Presenting Underwriters of WNO. Generous support for WNO Italian opera is provided by Daniel and Gayle D’Aniello.

Apr. 3–8 ✽ Opera House

Additional support for Nabucco is provided by The Dallas Morse Coors Foundation for the Performing Arts.

The Kennedy Center Ballet Season is sponsored by Altria Group.

Additional support is provided by Elizabeth and Michael Kojaian.

First You Dream: The Music of Kander and Ebb


New York City Ballet’s engagements are presented with the support of the State Plaza Hotel.

Sweet Honey In The Rock Affirmations: A Musical Journey of Hope and Aspiration


anniversary season. Husbands & Lovers continues its admirable tradition of presenting intelligent and witty plays with that Shavian touch, whether by Shaw himself (the master), or Wilde, Jonson, Pirandello, Schnitzler or Ferenc Molnar. The current production runs through March 18. Thursday evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings begin at 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 and $50. Patrons 65 and over receive a $10 discount off any performance. The theater is located at the Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, 900 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. There is limited street parking, but a surface parking lot is located a block and a half away at 9th and I Streets NW. The theater is located within walking distance of the Metro Center, Mt. Vernon and Gallery Place Metro stops. For more information and tickets, see or call (240) 582-0050.


Directed by Eric Schaeffer, First You Dream premiered at Signature Theatre in 2009 and features a 22-piece orchestra and a cast of 6. The musical revue celebrates the songwriting team who brought us Cabaret, Chicago, The Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Zorba. Each musical in John Kander and Fred Ebb’s legendary five-decade partnership is included. (Casting will be announced at a later date.)


June 8–July 1 ✽ Eisenhower Theater Musical Theater at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the Adrienne Arsht Musical Theater Fund.



D.C.’s own Grammy®-winning Sweet Honey In The Rock, the Morgan State University Choir, and the NSO Pops join forces for the world premiere of Bill Banfield’s Affirmations, an important NSO co-commission. The concert conducted by Thomas Wilkins also includes works by Bernstein, Ellington, Tchaikovsky, and others. Affirmations will call upon every sweet drop of talent from this world-renowned group of African American female vocalists, producing an unrivaled performance that will be as historical as it is musical.

April 13 & 14 ✽ Concert Hall

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




PERFORMANCES IN THE MUSIC CENTER Red Star Red Army Chorus and Dance Ensemble WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 8PM Tickets $25–$65 (Stars Price $22.50–$58.50)

STRATHMORE EDUCATION Arts and the Brain Lecture Series

Dan Ozminkowski

THURSDAYS, 7-8:30PM This fascinating series brings artists, scientists and other experts together to explore the intersection of arts and neuroscience. MANSION Tickets $21 (Stars Price $18.90)

Inspiring Song and Dance

The Theater of the Brain

Spirit of Uganda


A Project of Empower African Children

Your Brain on Music: Music Cognition, Perception and Improvisation

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 8PM Tickets $28–$48 (Stars Price $25.20–$43.20)


Reel Around the Shamrock With Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul

Your Brain on Laughter

Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance with Brendan Mulvihill & Billy McComiskey

Your Brain on Jazz: The Neuroscience of Improvisation

THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 8PM Tickets $25–$55 (Stars Price $22.50–$49.50)



Jazz Singing Classes Patti LaBelle

Intro to Jazz Singing

FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 8PM SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 8PM Tickets $35–$120 (Stars Price $31.50–$108)

MONDAYS, MARCH 5–APRIL 9, 7:30–9:30PM Jessica Boykin-Settles from Howard University introduces students to working as a soloist with elements of jazz rhythm, harmony and improvisation. MANSION Tuition $275 (Stars Price $247.50) for 6 sessions


Wishin’ and Hopin’ An Evening with Dionne Warwick Amazing 11-Year-Old Piano Prodigy!

Ethan Bortnick and His Musical Time Machine

After Party with Big Ray and the Kool Kats SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 9PM Tickets $35–$85 (Stars Price $31.50–$76.50)

Jazz Singing 201 MONDAYS, MAY 7–JUNE 11, 7:30–9:30PM Howard University Professor Connaitre Miller builds on basic skills and helps students take their vocal performance to the next level. MANSION Tuition $330 (Stars Price $297) for 6 sessions

Margot I. Schulman

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 8PM Tickets $18–$38 (Stars Price $16.20–$34.20)

Complete class descriptions and more information at

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King and I at Toby’s is like an old friend

Well-known, well-worn story The King and I first roared onto Broadway in 1951, and won the Tony for Best Musical. The story is as well-known as anything that has ever played on Broadway. The material comes from Margaret Langdon’s 1944 novel, Anna and the King of Siam, which she loosely based on the

experience of a somewhat mysterious figure named Anna Leonowens, who served as governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam (Thailand) in the 1860s. The king is credited with modernizing his kingdom and adapting enough Western ways to successfully fend off European colonial powers as they pushed their way through Asia. Langdon gives Anna much of the credit for that, overstating her actual contribution. The musical was put on film in a landmark vehicle for Yul Brynner and nonsinging Deborah Kerr (who lip-synced the songs) in 1956. There have been several non-musical films under the novel’s title Anna and the King of Siam. Since then, The King and I has had numerous revivals on Broadway, spawned countless international tours, and, of course, thousands of local productions such as this one.

Celebrated songs The score is even more famous, with at least five major hits that have become standards across the entertainment spectrum: the Disney-like “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” the jaunty “Hello Young Lovers,” the archetypical show tune “Getting to Know You,” the anthem “I Have Dreamed,” and the energizing “Shall We Dance.” One thing these songs have in common is


By Michael Toscano When attending the production of an oldtime classic — especially an enduring show such as The King and I, which has longsince blossomed beyond Broadway into popular culture — a reviewer can be forgiven for hoping to see the director tweak familiar material to bring out some new facet or to make the show speak with a new voice. But what director Shawn Kettering and his fully engaged cast at Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia have done instead is to demonstrate that there’s still plenty of life in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s material in its standard form. There’s good reason The King and I is one of the most frequently performed and best-loved musicals ever. It’s a swirl of lilting melody, colorful costumes and soaring voices. There are laughs, crackling drama and moments of suspense, all held together by uncomplicated, old-time emotion. And a clutch of cute kids, too.

that they could have been written for any musical, and seem to have just been dropped into place. There are no specific Asian themes or lyrics organic to the story line. Rodgers colored in a few exotic, but not strongly Asian, tones, but mostly in the secondary songs such as “A Puzzlement,” sung by the King. There is a haunting flute in the love ballad “We Kiss in a Shadow,” and some unusual chords in “My Lord and Master.” Also unusual is that the story line precludes any kind of overt love story between the prim Christian widow and the polygamous king. Their relationship focuses on their disparate expectations of each other and a gradual acceptance of their differences. This results in the odd placement of the very contemporary sounding ballad “Hello Young Lovers,” which Anna sings the first time around to a David Bosley-Reynolds stars as the King of Siam in a room of children and enslaved rousing production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein wives. The show’s sole love musical The King and I at Toby’s Dinner Theatre. Also story is relegated to a secret, shown: Rachel Sabenorio as Princess Ying Yaowalak. doomed affair between a new member of the king’s harem tended ballet sequence in Act Two that inand a young man in the palace. explicably focuses on the American book Rodgers and Hammerstein seemed to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. have run out of ideas after penning such There’s also enough breathing room left memorable songs as mentioned above, as the over to showcase the adorable children, second act is full of reprises. A lot of “etcetera, especially in their delightful introduction etcetera, etcetera,” to quote the king. to Anna in Act One. Despite the various themes that might Considering all this, The King and I is be explored more fully, the story doesn’t go much into depth, leaving time for an exSee KING AND I, page 59

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



The Kennedy Center under the guidance of Music Director Christoph Eschenbach hosts The Music of Budapest, Prague, and Vienna, a festival featuring free and ticketed performances from the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington National Season Opera, Prague Philharmonia, Christoph Eschenbach with Matthias Goerne, Takács Quartet, and many others. Visit for complete festival information.

Christoph Eschenbach, conductor Matthias Goerne, bass-baritone Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-soprano BARTÓK: The Miraculous Mandarin—Suite BARTÓK: Bluebeard’s Castle

Thu., Mar. 8 at 7 | Sat., Mar. 10 at 8 AfterWords: Thu., Mar. 8 performance followed by a free discussion with Christoph Eschenbach, Michelle DeYoung, and NSO Director of Artistic Planning Nigel Boon. The Blue Series is sponsored by United Technologies Corporation.

Christoph Eschenbach, conductor Music by the Strauss Family Die Fledermaus—Overture Auf der Jagd—Polka Frühlingsstimmen—Waltz Pizzicato Polka Sphärenklänge—Waltz Waldmeister—Overture Annen Polka A Night in Venice—Overture On the Beautiful Blue Danube—Waltz

Fri., Mar. 16 at 1:30

Christoph Eschenbach, conductor Hungarian Dances BARTÓK: Dance Suite KODÁLY: Dances of Galánta BARTÓK: Romanian Folk Dances LISZT: Mephisto Waltz No. 1 BARTÓK: The Miraculous Mandarin—Suite

Fri., Mar. 9 at 8 The Blue Series is sponsored by United Technologies Corporation

Christoph Eschenbach, conductor Anne Schwanewilms, soprano Nathalie Stutzmann, contralto Steve Davislim, tenor Robert Holl, bass The Washington Chorus Julian Wachner, music director DVORÁK: Stabat Mater

Thu., Mar. 22 at 7 | Sat., Mar. 24 at 8

Christoph Eschenbach, conductor Melanie Diener, Leonore Simon O’Neill, Florestan Eric Halfvarson, Rocco Tomasz Konieczny, Don Pizarro Members of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program The Choral Arts Society of Washington Norman Scribner, artistic director

AfterWords: Thu., Mar. 22 performance followed by a free discussion with Christoph Eschenbach, special guests, and NSO Director of Artistic Planning Nigel Boon.


Fri., Mar. 23 at 8

Thu., Mar. 15 at 7 | Sat., Mar. 17 at 8 AfterWords: Thu., Mar. 15 performance followed by a free discussion with Christoph Eschenbach, special guests, and NSO Director of Artistic Planning Nigel Boon. The Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program is made possible through the generous support of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.

Christoph Eschenbach, conductor Lukáš Vondrácek, piano DVORÁK: Serenade in D minor JANÁCEK: Concertino JANÁCEK: Capriccio DVORÁK: Serenade in E major

David and Alice Rubenstein are the Presenting Underwriters of the NSO and WNO. The NSO Music Director Chair is generously endowed by Roger and Vicki Sant.

General Dynamics is the proud sponsor of the National Symphony Orchestra Classical Season. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

International festivals at the Kennedy Center are generously supported by the HRH Foundation. Additional support for The Music of Budapest, Prague, and Vienna is provided by Noémi and Michael Neidorff and the Centene Charitable Foundation, and The Honorable Nancy G. Brinker. International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts. The Beacon Newspaper is the proud media partner of the NSO.

Tickets from $20 at the Box Office or charge by phone (202) 467-4600 Order online at | Groups (202) 416-8400 | TTY (202) 416-8524 The Kennedy Center welcomes patrons with disabilities.


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Family spats can spoil family weddings “So how was the wedding?,” I asked my 24-year-old friend Katherine. Very nice, she replied. The bride, her sister, had been radiant. The groom is a lawyer and a looker. The food was great, the drinks were lavish, the setting couldn’t have been better. I smelled a but. “But?,” I asked, in my usual brilliant way. “But I spent the whole wedding playing mediator,” she said. The reason: Her parents are divorced, and her father insisted on bringing his girlfriend to the wedding as his date. The girlfriend is no girl. She’s 55. She’s also no mere friend. If all goes according to plan, she will soon become Wife Two of the bride’s father.

Still, she had never met Wife One or most of the relatives on either side. She barely knew the bride. And she had never met the groom. “Do you think she should have stayed home?,” I asked, in my usual brilliant way. Katherine flashed me a look I’ve seen a thousand times. It screams: “Got any more easy questions for me?” We are at least 50 years into American Blended Familyhood, and as you can tell from the Katherine story, the news isn’t all good. Step-parents, and About-To-Be Step-Parents, and Maybe-Some-Day-Step-Parents are insisting on rights that they don’t possess. In the process, they are scattering hard feelings far and wide.

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It isn’t just weddings where blended But as soon as Papa Bear let it be known push comes to blended shove. Gradua- that his lady friend should be on the guest tions, confirmations, baplist, Mama Bear turned it into tisms, even Christmas morna non-nuclear arms race. She ing celebrations around the threatened to invite Sort-Oftree have become collections Boyfriend as retaliation. of misfitting people — and Papa Bear said, hey, wait a wellsprings of tension. minute, I’m paying for the In Katherine’s case, the dinner and he isn’t welcome. biggest problem was trying to Mama Bear said, hey, wait produce civility between her a minute, how can your girlfather and her mother. Their friend be welcome if my divorce may have taken place boyfriend isn’t? eight years ago, but open HOW I SEE IT Because I’m footing the By Bob Levey wounds remain. tab, Papa Bear said. The parents of the bride did And so it went, across sevfine with many wedding details — who eral acrimonious phone calls. would pay for what, who would make Finally, Katherine had to organize a conwhich decisions about which details. ference call to tell her parents to a) stop But Papa Bear did not mention until bickering and b) grow up. very late in the process that he intended to What was happening here, I’m afraid, invite his girlfriend. Mama Bear was nei- was a replay of what led to the divorce in ther pleased nor amused. the first place. On a day that should have It quickly became a referendum on been about the bride and groom, the parwhich parent was more virtuous — and ents turned it into a day about which of which was more sanctimonious. them should win a battle. You see, Mama Bear has a Sort-OfMediators like Katherine can’t really Boyfriend herself. But she didn’t invite rescue situations like this — and shouldn’t him to the wedding and would never have have to try. The key to a solution rests with dreamed of doing so, she told her daugh- the boyfriends and girlfriends. ters. This event should be about their See BOB LEVEY, page 60 once-nuclear family, she decided.

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By Barbara Ruben During a spring drive through the countryside a couple of years ago, Dorothy Bailey’s 4-year-old grandson asked her if she was 100 years old. “I thought I would die!” she recalled, laughing. But the question did prompt her to realize that she was nearing 70. “I started thinking, ‘Where did the years go? What happened? And what does it mean to be 70?’” Exploring that last question led her to research and write In a Different Light: Reflections and Beauty of Wise Women of Color. The recently self-published book includes interviews with — and photos of — more than 100 Maryland women over the age of 70. “I really went in search of myself through the lives of other women who were 70. I thought about my college roommate who died at age 55, and I thought, ‘What a blessing it is to be 70,’” said Bailey, a resident of Temple Hills, Md. Bailey, the former chair of the Prince George’s County Council, is now vice chair of the Prince George’s County Planning Board. Her book includes luminous color portraits of each woman interviewed, together with snippets of Bailey’s conversations with them. They talk about their children, parents, faith, love, aging and many other subjects. “What I was trying to discover was what makes them tick,” Bailey said. She would ask, “‘What causes you to get up in the Dorothy Bailey, former chair of the Prince George’s morning?’ ‘What makes County Council, interviewed you smile?’ more than 100 Maryland women over the age of 70 ‘Where’s your soul?’ Not, and condensed their ‘what did you about life and aging into a book she titled, In a Different Light: Reflectionswisdom study and become proficient ty of Wise Women of Color. and Beauin?’” she said.

For demographic information and advertising rates, call Alan at

(301) 949-9766.

20/20 hindsight Bailey also asked each of the women to complete the sentence, “If I knew then what I know now, I would…” It turned out to be a deceptively simple question. “A lot of women wouldn’t tell me what their initial thought was. But when I pressed them, they would share it. However, a lot of times they would tell me not to print it, it was such a revealing thing.” Some said they would have left their husbands or not married in the first place. Others said they might not have had as many children. In fact, Bailey refused to divulge her

own answer to the Beacon. But many in the book responded eloquently: “Things I felt so passionately about in my young life matter so little now,” said Mary Godfrey, 75, of Silver Spring, Md. “Promotions, new cars, a bigger house, a thinner body, being well liked…These were important then. “Now my list of passions include faith, love, friendship and caring for others. As we age, our list of passions grows shorter.” Similarly, Beatrice Tignor, who is 72 and lives in Upper Marlboro, Md., said, “If I knew then what I know now, I would have given more time to cultivating sincere relationships. I would have spent more quality

time building a stronger family.” In the book, another Upper Marlboro resident, Lila Brighthaupt, 97, recalls her grandfather telling her about the day slaves were freed. He had lost a cap given to him by his owner and was out looking for it. He ran into a woman who had been sold to another slave owner and told her what he was doing. “She shouted to him, ‘Don’t worry about that cap. We’s free! We’s free!’ Overjoyed, he ran into the arms of the woman. That woman [turned out to be] his mother,” Brighthaupt recounted. See BAILEY, page 38

5 0 MARCH 2012

I N S I D E …


Live like a Greek on the island of Rhodes; plus, lessons from a family cruise with adult children, and when to consider buying travel insurance page 40


Sex, lies and humor abound in Husbands and Lovers; plus, a sparkling production of The King and I, and Bob Levey on feuding at family weddings page 53 FITNESS & HEALTH 4 k How to lower your medical bills k Get a good night’s sleep SPOTLIGHT ON AGING k Newsletter for D.C. seniors


LAW & MONEY k Investment pitfalls to avoid k Tax tips for 2011 and 2012


VOLUNTEERS & CAREERS LIFETIMES k News from the Charles E. Smith Life Communities

37 45


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

King and I From page 56 like a helicopter or a bumblebee: it shouldn’t fly, but does.

Stellar cast Director Kettering generally keeps the energy level high, slowing down occasionally to let us take our time with the children. He’s aided by a first-rate cast. David Bosley-Reynolds is a magnificent bear of a king, able to menace and charm almost simultaneously. He rumbles through “A Puzzlement” with a powerful bass, if not much grace, fitting for this rough-hewn monarch. Willowy understudy Elizabeth Rayca filled in as Anna the night the show was reviewed, and it’s hard to imagine anyone anywhere doing a better job. Her voice is crystalline, and she expertly fulfills our expectations of this original British Iron Lady. Bosley-Reynolds and Rayca allowed us glimpses at gradual tenderness developing between this unlikely pairing, piquing our interest just enough to hold the unwieldy plot together. As the young lovers who sing “We Kiss in the Shadow,” Julia Lancione and understudy Chris Rudy took the audience through layers of emotion — particularly Lancione, whose soprano soared to operatic highlights. Crystal Freeman added a welcome dose of earthiness as top wife, Lady Thiang. Freeman, with a strong voice and a low-key but commanding presence, displays another facet of female power as she helps Anna understand how to deal with a headstrong king.

Minor weaknesses Tina DeSimone’s choreography is basic and occasionally clunky. The large ensemble doesn’t seem to have been rigorously drilled for precision, but their energy makes up for some of the clumsiness. As usual, there is a small orchestra augmented by terrible-sounding synthesized

strings. Musical Director Ross Scott Rawlings might want to put a little swing, a bit of life, into a rather sluggish “Hello Young Lovers,” but the music overall is serviceable. Florence Arnold’s colorful and intricately detailed costumes add a welcome dash of color to a production mostly played in a barren space with a few props, under a drab lighting design. But production weaknesses will not diminish your enjoyment of this wonderful old show, expertly performed. Act Two, especially, allows emotion to inexorably build until the final scenes, and it’s a satisfying visit with an old friend. By the way, Toby’s chefs have gotten into the Asian mood for this production, too. They’ve added some popularized Asian fare to the standard buffet menu, including sesame noodles, vegetable-fried rice, orange ginger carrots, broccoli in garlic sauce, and stir-fried vegetables. Of course, the menu also includes Toby’s signature carved-to-order entrees, steamship round, baked Virginia ham and roast turkey, along with salad and dessert bars. The King & I continues through March 25 at Toby’s Dinner Theatre, 5900 Symphony Woods Road, Columbia, running seven days a week with evening and matinee performances. The doors open for dinner at 6 p.m. for the 8 p.m. evening shows Monday through Saturday, and at 5 p.m. for the Sunday evening 7 p.m. performance. Doors open for brunch at 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays and Sundays for matinee performances that start at 12:30 p.m. Reservations are required. Ticket prices range from $32.50 to $53, depending on which performance is selected. Ticket prices include the all-you-can-eat buffet. There is ample free parking on the premises. For reservations and information, call (410) 730-8311 or 1-800-88TOBYS (8886297). You may also visit and purchase tickets via Ticketmaster.


Mar. 28


Both budding entrepreneurs and experienced business people are invited to attend this year’s “What’s Next: Boomer Business Summit,” taking place Wednesday, March 28 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. At the one-day seminar, experts from AARP, Best Buy, Weight Watchers, Microsoft, Google and more will talk about great market opportunities and how to design, build and succeed in a business. For a discount on registration, use code wndcbeacon when signing up at Volunteers are also needed for the day before and day of the event. To volunteer, email

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

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

Bob Levey

ONE BIG HAPPY By Rick Detorie

From page 58 They should decline to show up. They should simply say, “Look, the future belongs to us. But your daughter’s wedding day belongs to her and to her biological parents. I don’t need to be there. I especially don’t need to be there if it causes war. I’ll stay home and make curtains or watch football. Have a nice time.” Of course, just as Katherine’s parents saw the guest list as a battle to be won, many step-parents and about-to-be stepparents see it as a referendum on their legitimacy. They think that if they don’t insist on being part of the Big Day, they don’t belong — and might never belong. Nor are they altogether honest about their intentions or motivations. They say, “I just want to be part of the bride’s big day.” But what they really want is to be accepted by all the relatives. Or to dance with the father of the bride right under the nose of the mother of the bride. One-upmanship, competitiveness, aggressiveness. It’s all right there. But not if “steps” take the right step. Bow out. Be grownups. Get the Katherines of the world out of the middle of such messes. Don’t insist. Bend. Bob Levey is a national award-winning columnist.

s a ft! e ak gi M eat gr

Letters to editor

Beacon The






From page 2

5 0

NEWS & FEATURES • LAW & MONEY • FITNESS & HEALTH LEISURE & TRAVEL • ARTS & STYLE • VOLUNTEERS & CAREERS We are pleased to offer both First-Class and Third-Class subscriptions:

$36/year via First Class Mail* $12/year via Third Class Mail* Please send my subscription to:

It is my belief that such people are insecure, and they try to seemingly elevate themselves by pulling others down. They are not necessarily bad people, but are worried about themselves and feel that if others have problems, then their problem is not so bad. On the whole, Sylvia seems to be a nice person, and so I forgive her. We sometimes have to suffer such peo-

ple and try to understand their motivation and feel sorry for them. That is the charitable way. Murray Katz Silver Spring, Md. Dear Editor: I just read Stuart Rosenthal’s article about the Coachella Valley Beacon. I was very interested because my parents had lived in Palm Desert, Calif., for many years, and I inherited their home when they passed away. I have since sold the home but still love the area. I would love to be able to read the Beacon for that area if you could provide me with the website, if it is online. Sue Townsend White Hall, Md. Editor’s response: You can view current and past issues of the Coachella Valley Beacon at


Name:____________________________________________ Address:___________________________________________ City: _____________________State:_____Zip: ___________ WB 3/12

Mar. 27+

ADULT LITERACY PROGRAM SEEKS VOLUNTEERS The Literacy Council of Montgomery County will hold an informa-

tion session for volunteers interested in helping adults learn to read, write or

❐ ONE YEAR First-Class rate ($36 in VA and out of the area; $38.16 in D.C.; $38.16 in MD)

speak English on Tuesday, March 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Rockville Library, 21

❐ ONE YEAR Third-Class rate ($12 in VA and out of the area; $12.72 in D.C.; $12.72 in MD) ❐ Check here if this is a gift subscription. A gift card will be sent in your name: _________________ Return form with check made payable to The Beacon, to: The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915-2227

they can select a two-part training session that fits their schedules. No foreign

*D.C. residents: add 6% for sales tax; Maryland residents: add 6% for sales tax.

Maryland Ave., Rockville, Md. Once volunteers have completed the orientation, language skills are necessary. Tutors work one-on-one or with small groups, and typically meet with students in libraries or community centers at mutually convenient times. For details, call (301) 610-0030, email, or visit

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

CLASSIFIEDS The Beacon prints classified advertising under the following headings: Business & Employment Opportunities; Caregivers; Computer Services; Entertainment; For Sale; For Sale/Rent: Real Estate; Free; Health; Home/Handyman Services; Miscellaneous; Personals; Personal Services; Vacation Opportunities; and Wanted. For submission guidelines and deadlines, see the box below. CAVEAT EMPTOR! The Beacon does not knowingly accept obscene, offensive, harmful, or fraudulent advertising. However, we do not investigate any advertisers or their products and cannot accept responsibility for the integrity of either. Respondents to classified advertising should always use caution and their best judgment.

Business & Employment Opportunities CHARMING, SMART AND PERSUASIVE TELE-FUNDRAISING TALENT NEEDED. Are you well-spoken, charismatic and polite? Do you have strong conversation, problem solving and basic computer skills? Then this opportunity to join our fundraising team and support great causes might be just for you. We offer flexible schedules, paid training and good pay. Pleasant office. Convenient location. Free parking. Easy access to Metro. Sales, telemarketing or customer service experience preferred but not required. Please send resume and letter telling why you would be a good fit for our tele-fundraising team, to: LMG, 7700 Leesburg Pike, Suite 239, Falls Church, VA 22043, email: SENIORS! SELL YOUR UNWANTED LIFE INSURANCE! State licensed. Call Toll Free: 877-282-4360 or visit for a FREE evaluation.

Caregivers CHEVY CHASE HOME CARE – reliable certified caregivers at time of illness, infirmity, loneliness. Personal assistance, ALL AGES, 4- to 24-hour shifts, homes, hospitals, nursing homes. MD, DC, No. VA. Tel.: 202-374-1240. UCARE AGENCY - A LICENSED HOME HEALTH CARE AGENCY Providing certified and qualified caregivers: home health aide, homemakers, companions, escorts, personal care attendant (PCA). 4 to 24 hours shifts. For your loved ones. Please call today and get 10% discount. Tel: 240-632-9420 or 240-476-1180. GHA/HH AIDE AVAILABLE NOW Live-in or out day or night. with excellent references. Very reliable and punctual. Own transportation. Please call 240-550-2584. SITUATION WANTED Certified nursing assistance, 20 years experience. Good references. I am available to work Monday thru Friday PT, 8 am to 12 noon or 1 pm. Caring for sick or elderly 301-442-9324. CNA AVAILABLE. Experienced Certified Nurse Assistant available to work at night. Please Call (301) 646-6360. References available upon request.

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For Sale/Rent: Real Estate

For Sale/Rent: Real Estate

CAREGIVER - Virginia Certified Nursing Assistant will care for your loved ones with compassion and respect. Bathing, dressing, meals, light housekeeping, etc. Fluent in English/French/Arabic. Experienced & references. Falls Church/McLean/Vienna/Oakton/GreatFalls/Arlington/Annandale/ Fairfax/Merrifield. 703-827-7024.

LOOKING TO TAKE THE LEAP? I’ll take you on a tour of the community, show you floor plans, discuss campus amenities, & offer how to best coordinate your move. I will preview units & contact you with a match. I also offer exceptional service selling your home. I’m a Seniors Specialist, Buyer Broker, Top 1% of Agents Nationwide, and a Leisure World resident! You can see my current listings on page 53. Contact me: 301-580-5556,,, Weichert, Realtors.

CAMERON GROVE, Upper Marlboro, MD $269,900. Lovely 2BR 2FB, Den, Sunroom in 55+ active adult senior community, 1 car garage, W/D, AC, carpet, delightful kitchen, large contemporary style with lot of open space and light. Close to 495, Route 50 and Washington, DC. Call 301-430-0661.

ELDERLY CARE - Female provider English speaking with car. I’m experienced in caring for people with Parkinson’s, MS, Alzheimer’s, and other health problems. I cook, clean and take to appointments. Excellent references. 301-275-7283.

Computer Services

LEISURE WORLD® - $119,000. 2BR 2FB “F” in Fairways. Great view from 10th Floor, enclosed balcony, new paint and carpet. 1115 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-9283463.

COMPUTER PROBLEMS? - We come directly to your home or business. Fast-teks offers affordable rates, certified and insured technicians, data recovery and so much more! New clients receive $15 off. Same day appointments available. Call us today: 703-957-3674 and visit us online at

LEISURE WORLD® - $139,000. 2BR 2FB “H” in “Greens” with 3 exposures. Table space kitchen with granite counters, large pantry closet, separate dining room, and view of trees. 1225 sq ft, Stan Moffson, Weichert, Realtors, 301-9283463.

FREE COMPUTER CLASSES for older adults age 60+: Classes are offered continuously at the Hyattsville & New Carrollton Libraries in PG County. Call 301-405-0366 TODAY.

LEISURE WORLD® - $119,000. 2BR 2FB 1 HB Berkeley townhouse. Main level laundry, updated kitchen. 1600 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert, Realtors 301-928-3463.

PROBLEM WITH YOUR PC/MAC OR NETWORK? Computer Systems Engineer will come to you with help. Call: D. Guisset at 301-642-4526.

LEISURE WORLD® - $299,000. 3BR 2-1/2BA “M” in “Fairways”. Upgraded kitchen with Corian counters and extra pantry, separate dining room. Enclosed balcony, garage parking. 1530 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert, Realtors 301-9283463.

COMPUTER LESSONS – Personal Computer training at your home. Email, Internet, general computer use, and more. Learn at your own pace with gentle and patient tutor. We also fix computers, set up your new computer and troubleshoot. Working with Seniors since 1996. Ask about your Senior discount. Call David, 301762-2570, COMPUTERTUTOR.

Entertainment PUT THE MUSIC YOU LOVE BACK IN YOUR LIFE! Enjoy live jazz and swing on the first Friday of the month at Hollywood East Café, Westfield Wheaton Shopping Mall, 7 to 10 p.m. Listen to the Night & Day Combo perform the classic standard songs of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, from Cole Porter, Gershwin, et al. Great music, great food, no cover charge! TENNIS - NORTHERN VIRGINIA SENIORS 50 and over come join us for indoor and outdoor tennis. Visit or call Joan at 703-327-1576.

Financial Services IS A REVERSE MORTGAGE THE ANSWER? Homeowners aged 62 and over, call for information, in-home consultation. NO obligation...just the facts. Rosemary Wright 1-800818-2175 (NMLS#6598002) Licensed in MD and DC. Reverse Mortgage Network, a Maverick Funding Company, NMLS#7706.

For Sale/Rent: Real Estate LEISURE WORLD® - $159,000. 3BR 2FB “Capri” villa. Updated kitchen, open balcony, huge space. 1415 sq. ft. Stan Moffson, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $299,000. 3BR 2FB “L” in “Vantage Point”. Corner unit with 3 exposures, table space kitchen with window, enclosed balcony. One of the largest models in LW. 1720 sq ft. Stan Moffson 301-928-3463.





From page 62.











LEISURE WORLD® - $61,900. 2BR 1FB “Hampton” model, Rarely available, new paint and carpet, ceramic tile baths, enclosed balcony. 1200 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert, Realtors, 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $139,500. 3BR 2FB “Ellicott” with updated table space kitchen, separate dining room, ground level with enclosed patio backing to green space. 1340 sq ft. Stan Moffson 301-928-3463. LEISURE WORLD® - $259,000. 2BR+ Den 2FB “G” in Turnberry Courts. Table space kitchen and separate dining room, enclosed balcony and golf course view. 1446 Sq ft. Stan Moffson 301-928-3463. COMING SOON. 2BR 2FB+ Den, “K” with garage space and storage room in the Greens. Stan Moffson 301-928-3463 COMING SOON. Expanded, Unique, Patio Home with 3BR, 2FB, enclosed sunroom and garage parking. Stan Moffson 301-928-3463. I BUY HOUSES CASH, any area or condition. Walk away today even if you owe more than the house is worth. 703-688-2891 or LEISURE WORLD® $259,900. Fairways South, Gorgeous 2BR 2FB Model R with den. Garage parking & storage. Renovated kitchen with granite. Wendy Wilmowski, RE/MAX Metropolitan, 301-515-5204,

LEISURE WORLD RENTAL. Newly decorated, two bedroom; two bath Condo for rent in Fairways North. Enclosed Sunroom, in suite with beautiful view. Available immediately. $1,450 per month, plus utilities. Call Loy at (301) 933-8781.

For Sale BOSE WAVE MUSIC SYSTEM with optional multi-CD changer. Original box never opened. Color- Graphite Grey. Paid $801.15, will accept $700.00 Cash only - no checks. Call Eugene 301490-6353. FORT LINCOLN 3 sites double depth, Mt. Calvary section. $800 each or OBO. 301-994-9744.

Health LIFE INSURANCE FOR DIABETICS and people with other health conditions. MD/DC/VA. For more information call Rick at 301-502-0248.

Home/Handyman Services MICHAELS HAULING Clean-outs, scrap & debris removal yard waste, etc. Mulch, dirt & stone delivery, lite dump truck, 20’ trailer & bobcat. Fully insured. 240-388-1898. NEED CLEANING SERVICES? Weekly, biweekly, once a month, or one time. Call for a free estimate: Fulvia 240-644-4289.

Personal Services APPRAISALS: Mark C Grove. I NEVER buy anything. Certified by AAA, Accredited by ASA, Chartered by British RICS. Written formal appraisal reports for planning, equitable distribution, donations, insurance, etc. Also, brass tack consultations for all antiques, art, silver, glass, rugs, etc. 540-435-7357. Fairfax. FOR ALL OF YOUR MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS. Dialysis Center, Non-Emergency Hospital Trips, Hospital Discharge, Doctor Appointments, Rehabilitation & More. We have 4x4 SUVs for Winter Trips. Med Choice Transportation. 703-839-9999.

Classifieds cont. on p. 63.

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING RATES Deadlines and Payments: Ad text and payment is due by the 20th of each month. Note: Only ads received and prepaid by the deadline will be included in the next month’s issue. Please type or print your ad carefully. Include a number where you can be reached in the event of a question. Payment is due with ad. We do not accept ads by phone or fax, nor do we accept credit cards.


LEISURE WORLD® - $269,000. 3BR 2FB modified “Cabot” with 1 car garage. All New Kitchen conversion, expanded dining and living room, 1530 sq. ft, Stan Moffson, Weichert, Realtors 301-928-3463.

KINGSTOWNE- Free rent and utilities for live-in aide with own bed & bath. Must be avail 11-5 pm. 703-347-7884











Private Party Text Ads: For individuals seeking to buy or sell particular items, or place a personal ad. Each ad is $15 for 25 words, 25 cents for each additional word. Business Text Ads: For parties engaged in an ongoing business enterprise. Each ad is $35 for 25 words, 50 cents for each additional word. Note: Each real estate listing counts as one business text ad. Send your classified ad with check or money order, payable to the Beacon, to:

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

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Puzzle Page

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

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
























41 43 48
























42 44








Scrabble answers on p. 61.




Answer: Despite the latest training equipment, the boxer's punches were -- "HAND" MADE Jumbles: DELVE MAGIC TANDEM INHALE


1. Baby doll’s request 5. Stenographer’s tools 9. Forest growth 13. Word on an airport shuttle bus 14. Space ___ (daydreamer) 15. Leave out a lettr 16. Mediocre 17. Unlike anything in 19 Across 18. Chevy from the 70’s 19. Cheer start 22. Frank girl 23. Judge Judy evidence, sometimes 24. In other words 27. The end, in English anatomy 29. Key time in U.S. history 35. Heading to the islands 36. ... mi faa so ___ 37. Seeping 39. “Wages, salary, tips, etc.” 42. It was made possible by the 16th Amendment 43. Throw toward 44. Result of a bad match 48. Pre-conquistador empire 49. Avenging 56. Gazillions 57. Gateway island 58. Word shouted into a canyon 59. ___ the way for 60. Bumpkins 61. Anonymous litigants 62. One standing guard over his treasure 63. Out of batteries 64. Snick-or-___

Down 1. Perch for shouting “Land ho!” 2. Openly declare





3. Japanese soup 4. “I would rather lie on ___ sweep beneath it” (Shirley Conran) 5. Southern Californian athlete 6. Gets to 20 in 19 Across 7. Good place to get a little tongue 8. Achilles’ heel never touched it 9. Flick 10. The end, in Greek dictionaries 11. Exhales, sadly 12. South Dakota, for example 14. Therapist 20. “Don’t bet ___!” 21. Ultimate word in an ultimatum 24. ___ Party 25. School subj. 26. Pulitzer-winning writer James 27. Perry Mason char. 28. Speed 30. Eyeglass holders 31. One who makes a pitch in DC 32. Snorers 33. The V in RSVP 34. Book between Chronicles and Nehemiah 38. Until now 40. The End, in French films 41. See 53 down 44. Visibly astonished 45. It may require a baton 46. Kitchen appliance 47. Aquatic mammal 48. Like an academic wall 50. Techie or Trekkie 51. School supply list item 52. Napoleon’s isle 53. Incorrectly minted COIN 54. Ring ceremony pronoun 55. Fire station purchase

Answers on page 61.

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

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Personal Services, cont.

Vacation Opportunities



FREE PRE-PLANNING FUNERAL PROTECTION MEMBERSHIP Limited time offer (Reg. $249): Memorial guide, 24 hour emergency line for funeral guidance, huge discounts on caskets, urns, and memorial markers. Save 40-70% off funeral home prices. Call Stan Kupferman: 301-493-5245 for free enrollment.

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

ESTATE BUY-OUTS, ESTATE CLEANOUTS – one item, or whole estate. Jewelry, sterling silver items, watches, coins, furniture, rugs, tribal, ancient, orientalia, etc. Any collection. Licensed, Bonded, Insured. CASH 301520-0755.

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

WILL TYPE YOUR MEMOIRS, manuscripts, etc. For info and rates, call 703-671-1854. WOW! GREAT HAIRCUT at a great price! Professional family hair salon conveniently located in Bethesda, MD. State board certified. Call 240-432-7211. VAN MAN – For your driving needs. Shopping, appointments, pick-up and deliver – airport van. Call Mike 301-565-4051. MOTHER WILL DRIVE YOU to your appointments, do your shopping, clean your house, cooking, personal assistant. Do you need to plan an event? Also does Elder Care. Honest, reasonable rates, and references provided. 240-5957467.

Personals OLD FASHIONED WHITE MALE 64 years old, 5’10”, 250 lbs. Looking for old fashioned female 65 to 100 for fun times, movies, walks, TV, cuddling. 703-751-1037. MWF – ISO BILL N., Second ad. Miss you and wish to talk about message you left regarding moving, etc. Hope you remember my cell number? Sorry – I lost yours again. THANKS GUYS FOR A GREAT BIRTHDAY but now I’m single again and I’m looking for a life partner. I’m a very early retired professional and widow and I’m extremely attractive, well groomed, likes to do all the typical dating things. You need to be well groomed, keep your promises, be honest, down to earth, not wealthy but reasonably generous. I prefer someone ages 60 to 75. Retired and a widower - but I’m not rigid about that - but do like older men. Bobbie 301-439-0833 EX-USAF OFFICER seeks “co-pilot” to share expenses on world voyages. Send recent photo and travel plans to Aviator, P.O. Box 16, Vienna, VA 22183. LOOKING TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS, both men and women, who are between the ages of 60 and 75 and who reside in Maryland. I enjoy eating out, movies, concerts, and art shows. What do you enjoy? Call Carol at (301) 7541289.

Wanted STAMP COLLECTIONS, AUTOGRAPHS purchased/appraised – U.S., worldwide, covers, paper memorabilia. Stamps are my specialty – highest price paid! Appraisals. Phone Alex, 301309-6637. VINYL RECORDS WANTED from the 20s through 1985. Jazz, Rock-n-Roll, Soul, Rhythm & Blues, Reggae and Disco. 33 1/3 LPs, 45s or 78s, Larger collections preferred. Please call John, 301-596-6201. HIGHEST CASH PAID FOR ANTIQUES, ESTATES. FREE evaluations and house calls. We pay the most for your valuable treasures because we get the most money on eBay – the worldwide Internet. Serving entire metro area – Maryland, Washington, DC, Northern Virginia. Buying the following items – furniture, art, paintings, silver, gold, old coins, jewelry, vintage wristwatches, military items, including guns, rifles, swords, daggers, knives, musical instruments, guitars, violins, banjos, old toys, dolls, trains, old golf clubs, baseball, football, tennis equipment and memorabilia, old fishing, tools, books, photographs, comic books. I am a resident of Silver Spring. 20 years experience. Please call Tom 240-476-3441. Thank you. WANTED: OLDER VIOLINS, GUITARS, BANJOS, MANDOLINS, ETC. Musician/collector will pay cash for older string instruments. Jack (301) 279-2158. WANTED: ELECTRONICS, radio tubes, ham radios, huge old loud speakers, tube HiFi, stereo amps, earliest computers ever made, vinyl records, professional musical instruments, scientific curiosities, early electronic books, magazines, engineers, physicists, scientist, accumulations. 202-527-9501,


May 21


Mark your calendar for the 50+ Employment Expo on Monday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The free expo will include more than 50 recruiters; seminars on interviewing, changing careers and writing resumes; and an Internet café staffed with volunteer job coaches. The expo is a service of the Jewish Council for the Aging, and the Beacon is one of the sponsors. It will be held at the Marriott North Bethesda Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Rd., N. Bethesda, Md., across from the White Flint Red Line Metro station. There is free parking on site. For additional information, or to volunteer to help, contact Micki Gordon at (301) 255-4231 or

Mar. 26+


Help residents of nursing and assisted living facilities advocate for their rights, resolve conflicts and improve their quality of life. The Northern Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program needs volunteers to commit four hours a week for one year. Volunteers set their own schedules and receive training and support. Visits usually occur between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays. Apply now for the spring training, which will be held March 26 and 28 and April 5. Call (703) 324-5861 or e-mail



Fairfax County needs an arts and craft assistant at Mount Vernon Adult Day Health Care twice a month for approximately 45 minutes between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The facility is located at 8350 Richmond Hwy., Alexandria, Va. Contact Volunteer Solutions at (703) 324-5406 or

HIGHEST CASH PAID FOR ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES. Compare my price before you sell! Serving entire metro area. Call for a free consultation, and professional service. I will purchase one piece or your entire estate. Including Furniture, Artwork, Glassware, Jewelry, Rugs, Costume, Gold and Silver, Watches, Sterling Items, Flatware, Lladro & Hummel Figurines, All Military Items, Guns, Swords, Helmets, Bayonets, Medals, Scout Items, Clocks, Music Boxes, Toys, Baseball Memorabilia, Trains, All String Instruments, Including Guitars, Banjos, Mandolins, Fishing Rods and Reels, Lures, Historical Items, American tools, Posters, Outside Iron Furniture. I am a very reputable dealer with two locations in Silver Spring and Bowie, MD. Please call Christopher Keller 301-408-4751 or 301-262-1299. Thank you. WE PAY CASH for antique furniture, quality used furniture, early American art, pottery, silver, glassware, paintings, etc. Single items to entire estates. Call Reggie or Phyllis at DC 202726-4427, MD 301-332-4697. STERLING SILVER, Will pay top dollar for your silver marked “Sterling”, “925”, “800”. Please no silver plate. Want flatware, bowls, plates, candlesticks, etc. Richard, 301-646-0101. MILITARY ITEMS WANTED: Collector seeks to purchase military uniforms; flight jackets, patches, insignia, medals, etc. from the Civil War through Vietnam. Especially seeking U.S. Army Air Corps, USMC, Airborne, and German/Japanese/Italian items from WWII. ALSO BUYING old Boy Scout, Airline Items, Toys, Lighters. Call Dan (202) 841-3062.

COLLECTOR BUYING MODERN FURNITURE, lighting, art & accessories from the 1940’s - 1970’s. Danish/Scan, Knoll, Herman Miller, Dunbar, Paul Evans, Thayer Coggin, Harvey Probber, Vladimir Kagan, Nakashima etc. Also buying abstract modern art, ceramics, glass and records. Please call 202-213-9768. BUYING: OLD BASEBALL CARDS AND NON-SPORT CARDS. Anything and everything before 1973. Any quantity and quality. We don’t cherry pick the best and leave the rest. We buy it all!! BASEBALL CARDS: Topps, Bowman, Fleer, Goudeys, Tobacco Cards, Odd Ball items, ETC. NON-SPORTS CARDS: 3 Stooges, Casper, Zorro, Hogan’s Heroes, Gilligan’s Island, Batman, Superman, Green Hornet, Brady Bunch, Kung Fu, ETC. You get the idea. Check the Garage, Basement & Attic. Check the closet and under the bed for that old shoe box. Then please call me with confidence. Jim, 240-400-1572. CASH FOR RECORDS & CDs. BEST PRICE GUARANTEED. Free appraisals. All types of music, 33, 45, 78 & CDs. Call Steve 301-6465403. Will make House Calls.

Thanks for reading!

Phrase of the month The curious origins of our words and rituals

Gilding the Lily To “gild the lily” means to attempt to improve upon something that is already beautiful or perfect — to take an unnecessary or superfluous action. The original quote from which the term derived comes from Shakespeare’s The Life & Death of King John (Act IV, Scene 2): “To gild refined gold, to paint the lily… is wasteful and ridiculous excess.” The context in the play is King John’s second coronation, which the speaker, the Earl of Salisbury, considered unnecessary and even unwise. Over time, the quotation was condensed so that today it directly conveys the sense of something counterproductive, since coating a lily with melted gold would destroy it. The misquote creates an internal rhyme of sorts — thus the catchier sound overcame the better sense. Prepared for The Beacon Newspapers by Wizard Communications©. All rights reserved. Want to have a word/phrase or ritual/custom researched? Contact


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March 2012 DC Beacon Edition  

March 2012 DC Beacon Edition

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