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The I N






More than 200,000 readers throughout Greater Washington

VOL.23, NO.10

Musicians put heart into songs


I N S I D E …


By Carol Sorgen A passion for music has defined Ted Zlatin’s life, from his days playing in a teenage band, to a career that has covered every aspect of the music business, from promoting records to selling pianos. Now retired, Zlatin is using that same passion to bring the joy of music to older adults throughout the Washington/Baltimore corridor through the Music and Art Traveling Heart Show. “Music and arts have shown the power to touch a heart and soul, bring back a memory, evoke an emotion, inspire feelings and stimulate the senses,” said the 62year-old Zlatin, who grew up in Baltimore and now lives in Howard County. The vision of the Traveling Heart Show, which Zlatin established two years ago, is to enhance quality of life for area seniors. Two of his inspirations are his own parents, ages 92 and 89. “They are why I’m doing what I’m doing,” Zlatin said. “We strive to bring out emotions with an interaction of musicians, artists, performers, video and audio to find a way to touch their hearts,” said Zlatin.

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Bargains beckon in postrevolution Tunisia; plus, healing for body and soul in nearby West Virginia, and convenient bus lines blossom page 44

Meet the performers Four professional musicians make up the band: Otis Stroup on keyboard, Jamie Hopkins on bass, and Tim Ghiz on drums, with Bruce Thomas as the vocalist. Zlatin himself doesn’t perform, but serves as the band’s executive director, setting up gigs and raising funds, as the Traveling Heart Show is a nonprofit group. Some members of the band have a lot of experience performing for older audiences. Stroup, for example, has long performed with his wife, a flutist and singer, at nursing homes. “It’s a crowd that I love,” Stroup said. There’s ordinarily a “barrier between musicians and the audience,” he said, but when playing for seniors at a community “there’s a lot more singing along. I don’t think we perform for [these audiences]; we’re sharing music with them.” Stroup has been a mainstay in the Baltimore/Washington metro area, playing for more than 20 years at restaurants such as the Rusty Scupper in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and the Café de Paris in Howard County.


The Music and Art Traveling Heart Show — brainchild of Ted Zlatin (left) — brings a lively, interactive performance of golden oldies to retirement communities and senior centers throughout the area. Members of the band (behind Zlatin) include Tim Ghiz, on drums, Jamie Hopkins, on electric bass, Otis Stroup, pianist, and Bruce Thomas, vocalist.

Ghiz has been playing drums professionally for 43 years, including traveling across the country with numerous shows on the road. He particularly enjoys performing for the Traveling Heart Show’s audiences because “I like playing the jazz standards that older generations appreciate a little more.” The great standards of the 30s and 40s that the band now performs were the top 40 back in the day for their audiences, Ghiz noted. “You can see their faces light up,” he said. “That’s a lot more rewarding than playing for people trying to pick each other up at a bar.” But Ghiz also has a more personal connection with some of his audiences. He

said he long served as a caregiver for his father, who had Alzheimer’s. “I saw when I put swing music on for him, that would cut right through the memory loss. He’d have a big smile on his face, unlike with television or even visitors,” he said. Ghiz sees that sense of recognition in some members of their audiences as well.

Passion runs both ways Hopkins is a full-time musician, teaching bass and guitar, performing on bass and singing. He has been performing since the age of 13, and also composes and See BAND, page 54

Murder gets set to music in vampy Chicago; plus, checking in with Weight Watchers founder Jean Nidetch, and Bob Levey on the battle of the bulge page 51

FITNESS & HEALTH 6 k A blood test for Alzheimer’s? k Foods that reduce arthritis pain LAW & MONEY 30 k Stock tips from a pro k Appeal insurance claim denials VOLUNTEERS & CAREERS k Turn kids on to science


SPOTLIGHT ON AGING k Newsletter for D.C. seniors




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We are proud to count among this year’s Community Partners and Exhibitors: AAA Atrium Classic Assisted Living AARP MD AARP VA Alexandria Agency on Aging Alfred House Eldercare All State American Radiology Ameriprise Financial Services American Lab Services Area Access Arlington Area Agency on Aging Arlington Commission on Aging Arlington Employment Center Arlington Learning in Retirement Institute Arlington Mill Community Center at Fairlington Arlington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Arlington Public Library Asbury Methodist Village Aspenwood Atrium Aurora Hills Senior Center Ballston Common Mall Bailey's Senior Center Bedford Court B'nai B'rith HomeCrest House Brooke Grove Retirement Village Capital Digestive Care CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Carol's Care Assisted Living Cherrydale Health and Rehabilitation Churchill Senior Living City of Alexandria City of Fairfax Senior Center Closet Factory Community Radiology Associates Cruise Planners Culpepper Garden Senior Center CVS/pharmacy Danzansky-Goldberg Memorial Chapels Darcars Dayspring Senior Home Downtown Baptist Church

Emeritus at Potomac Emeritus at Arlington Eric B Home Improvement Fairfax County Department of Aging Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services Forever Young TV Franklin Apartments Gaithersburg Upcounty Senior Center Garden of Remembrance Geriatric Care Management, Inc. Globe Bath & Kitchen Golden Living at Home, LLC Grace Presbyterian Church Groveton Senior Center Gutter Helmet Systems Heatherwood Retirement Community Hermitage In Nothern Virginia Hollin Hall Senior Center Holy Cross Hospital Hunters Park at Cherrydale Iliff Nursing and Rehabilitation Center James Lee Community Center Jewish Council for the Aging John Basmajian Insurance Kaiser Permanente Langston-Brown Senior Center Lee Senior Center Leewood Healthcare Lewinsville Senior Center Life Cycle Resource Provider Life Echoes Lincolnia Senior Center Little River Glen Senior Center Lorton Senior Center Madison Senior Center Margaret Scheweinhaut Senior Center Maryland Relay Methodist Home of the District of Columbia Metro Maryland Ostomy Assocation, Inc. Miles of Smiles Implant Dentistry Montgomery County Recreation Department

Montgomery County Volunteer Center/RSVP Montgomery General Hospital National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Nightingale House Nursing Referral Service of Northern Va. OASIS Pavilion on the Park PEPCO Presbyterian Meeting House Prevention of Blindness Society Randolph Village Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program Senior Leadership Montgomery Senior Smile by Namita Chaudhary Shenandoah Valley Westminster Shepherd's Center of Oakton-Vienna Sibley Senior Association Silver Spring Assisted Living Home SONUS Professional Hearing Centers Springvale Terrace Stop Colon Cancer Now Sully Senior Center The Creig Northrop Team of Long & Foster The Glebe The Jefferson The Kennedy Center The Virginian Thompson Creek Windows Town of Garrett Park United Phlebotomy Vamoose Bus Victory Tower Vinson Hall Virginia Hospital Center Wakefield Senior Center Walter Reed Senior Center Warm Care of Potomac Westat/Ideal Study White Flint Mall

We thank all our partners and exhibitors! If you would like to become a Community Partner and/or Exhibitor at this year’s events, please call (301) 949-9766 TODAY!

Featured entertainment: “The Music & Art Traveling Heart Show” – performing great jazz standards and hits of the 30s, 40s and 50s.

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SPECIAL PROGRAM: What will become of Social Security and Medicare? Featuring: Charles P. Blahous Public Trustee of Social Security and Medicare

Informative Exhibits • Expert Speakers Flu Shots • Health Screenings Entertainment • Giveaways AT TWO LOCATIONS Ballston Common Mall White Flint Mall N. Bethesda, MD Sunday, November 6 Noon – 4 p.m.

Arlington, VA Sunday, October 30 Noon – 4 p.m.

To exhibit, sponsor, volunteer, or for more information, call The Beacon at 301-949-9766. GOLD SPONSORS





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Moving the folks (Part II) A number of readers have commented to pass you on the street or in the aisles of me on my column last month, in which I the grocery store. While I was sitting on a shared some observations on chair in the hallway of their the occasion of my parents new assisted living facility, (ages 82 and 91) moving from waiting for a staff person to retheir condo into an assisted livturn with a key, I was ading facility in Austin, Texas. dressed by three different resiNo one has actually asked dents strolling by, each of me why my parents would dewhom made a welcoming or cide to stay in Texas when my complimentary comment or brother and I, their only chilstopped to chat. dren, live in the greater In contrast, when I took my Washington area. But I think FROM THE parents to visit an otherwise it’s worth an explanation. PUBLISHER For one thing, not only my By Stuart P. Rosenthal lovely assisted living facility here on a visit last winter, they parents, but their parents and grandparents lived in Texas. They have attempted to strike up conversations with dozens, possibly hundreds of dear friends the residents in an elevator, outside the dinand family there who go back not only ing room and in the lobby. The reaction, in all cases, was either silence, a bemused grin, decades, but generations. Even more important, however, are or a clipped response, as if to say, “you’re not their “new” friends and neighbors: people from around these parts, are ya’?” I hasten to add that my parents received whom they’ve grown close to in the last few years from their condo development, much warmer welcomes at other communities in this area than they did there. It synagogue and in the course of daily life. You see, Texas is a very warm place. may have been a fluke. But still, when my Dad later said to me, (And I don’t mean because it was 107 degrees the entire time I was helping them “it’s too cold in the East for us,” I think he move, and because the severe drought this meant more than the weather. entire past year recently led to raging wildAnd as for their newer friends in Texas, they have truly proven their genuine love fires just outside the Austin city limits.) I mean that the people are warm and for my folks through their actions. For sevfriendly. Strangers say “howdy” as they eral weeks prior to the actual move, neigh-

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See you at the Expo Are you concerned about what will become of Social Security and Medicare? Would you like to hear from, and speak with, one of the public trustees of Social Security and Medicare about the future of these programs? Maybe it’s time you got some free health screenings and a flu shot? How about an opportunity to gather information from and ask questions of government agencies, nonprofits and area businesses that address the needs of people 50 and over? For all of these reasons and more, mark your calendars for the Beacon’s upcoming 50+Expos, taking place from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30 at Ballston Common Mall in Arlington, Va., and Sunday, Nov. 6 at White Flint Mall in N. Bethesda, Md. These free events attract thousands every year. Please come join us. In addition to the above, you’ll enjoy live entertainment from the Traveling Heart Band, door prizes and giveaways. Companies interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at the Expos may call Alan at (301) 949-9766.

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.

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The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915 (301) 949-9766 • Email: Website: Submissions: The Beacon welcomes reader contributions. Deadline for editorial is the 10th of the month preceding the month of publication. Deadline for ads is the 10th of the month preceding the month of publication. See page 61 for classified advertising details. Please mail or email all submissions.

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(If you’ve had a negative — or positive — experience with estate sellers in this area, please contact me to share your story. I’m hoping this was an aberration.) There’s more to tell about how my parents are transitioning to their new community, about broken promises from the management, about my parents’ (somewhat unreasonable) expectations, and the like. But it’s probably time for me to move on to other topics. Still, don’t be too surprised if you read more from me about all this in a future column.

Letters to the editor

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, Ron Manno, Cheryl Watts

bors and friends — even a former home health aide — came by repeatedly to help my parents sort through their memorabilia and clean up the house for sale. They brought them food, drove them around for appointments, referred them to movers and real estate agents, you name it. Some even provided hands-on help for the actual move and many have continued to check in on them regularly at their new community. It takes a village to care for older people as much as it does for children, and I can certainly say my parents have a caring village in Austin. Of course, what’s a village without a village idiot? Here I refer to some of the estate sale people we encountered. One of the first articles I wrote for the Beacon over 20 years ago was about a local estate sale lady and the wonderful services she rendered. In writing the story, I visited a home where she had set up display cases to sell her client’s excess furniture and clothing, jewelry, knick-knacks, even buttons. Since then, I have always recommended a professional estate sale for downsizing households. So imagine my surprise when I learned that nowadays, in Austin at least, it’s very difficult to find people who do estate sales at all. And when we finally located one, her fee was 40% of the proceeds plus being allowed to keep everything that does not sell! Because time was short and she came highly recommended, my brother booked her for the sale during the days immediately after the move, when I was to be there. But when I dared to raise a question about the terms — “what is your incentive to sell my parents’ valuables when you get to keep whatever does not sell?” — she simply emailed me back a few days before the scheduled sale to say she would not be able to conduct my parents’ estate sale after all, leaving us in the lurch.

Dear Editor: I wanted to say thank you for including the announcement about intergenerational tutoring in the August issue of the Beacon. Just in case you ever wonder if the Beacon is being read, I am writing to let you know that OASIS has eight new tutors because they saw the information about the program in your paper. I love reading the Beacon, and I have taken advantage of the opportunities that are mentioned and appreciate it being so chock full of information. Patricia E. Myers Tutor Coordinator OASIS Dear Editor: Regarding your September column

“Moving the folks,” here is my story. Once the lease was signed authorizing me to move to a retirement community, I had one month to downsize from a two bedroom to a studio apartment. As I began mapping out my plans, I was reminded of something a friend said to me when I expressed concern over the size of my new living quarters. She said, “You know space is not our problem, we simply have too many things.” With this thought in mind I began to plan my strategy. The first step was to take inventory of my belongings and decide what my basic needs were. I also tried to refrain from placing sentimental value on See LETTERS TO EDITOR, page 60

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Health Fitness &

FLU SHOT FACTS Get your flu vaccine now, and consider a high-dose version if over 65 SHOULD YOU SUE? Only 1 in 5 medical malpractice cases lead to a settlement or payout SHOP EARLY FOR MEDICARE Sign up for Medicare Advantage and part D plans beginning Oct. 15 GRANDPARENTS STEP IN More grandparents help raise their grandkids in the down economy

Blood test for mental illness, Alzheimer’s? By Tarah Knaresboro Cancer has the biopsy, kidney disease has the urine test, and HIV has the cheek swab. Yet diagnosis for mental illness is often nothing more than a survey or a conversation with a psychiatrist. The lack of distinct biological markers of disease could be doing a huge disservice to patients, said Alexander Niculescu, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist at the Indiana School of Medicine. “If you can demonstrate you’re dealing with a biological abnormality just like all the other medical disorders,” he said, “you’ll not only destigmatize [mental] illness, but also pave the way for better treatment.” Analyzing brain chemistry is notoriously difficult because extracting a tissue sample could have disastrous consequences on cognitive function, and functional MRI scans provide limited information. Blood tests are an attractive option, not just because they’re cheap and commonplace, but also because blood can provide useful indications of brain state. While there is a demonstrable biological connection between brain and blood, ac-

cording to Stephen J. Glatt, a psychiatrist at the State University of New York-Upstate Medical College, “it’s too early to be directly marketing blood-based expression tests to consumers,” he said. “Be hopeful, but be skeptical and patient.”

Areas of progress In the meantime, the field is progressing rapidly. Here’s a snapshot of progress in the field: Anxiety: New animal research from the Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience in the Netherlands has linked anxious behavior to low levels of magnesium in the brain, suggesting that some day, a simple blood test of magnesium levels may help diagnose anxiety. Researcher Marijke Laarakker also suspects that manipulating magnesium levels may alleviate symptoms. Research is ongoing. Schizophrenia: Rather than finding a blood biomarker for this complex disease, Alexander Niculescu’s team sought markers for two key symptoms: hallucinations and delusions. They examined the array of

genes expressed in the blood of schizophrenics (vs. healthy controls) and ranked a list of genes that were unique to patients with symptoms. Scientists measure how closely a given subject’s gene expression matches the genes they’ve singled out for predictive potential. The test is 60 to 80 percent accurate at detecting the disease. Niculescu expects it to hit the market in three years, bolstered by a recent $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Depression: Depression is traditionally self-reported, leading to a fair amount of underdiagnosis or misdiagnosis, said Dutch researcher Sabine Spijker. Her team is developing a blood test that functions similarly to the schizophrenia test: They extracted blood samples and sifted through the expressed genes for depression predictors. The results, published in Biological Psychiatry, show about 70 percent accuracy — a solid first step toward an objective measure for depression, Spijker said. She thinks a depression blood test will be com-

mercially available within five to 10 years.

A promising Alzheimer’s test Today, the only surefire way to diagnose Alzheimer’s is by identifying the disease’s signature tangled brain fibers in postmortem tissue. A test for living patients would allow for proper planning and, perhaps, intervention. Tom Kodadek, a biologist at the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Fla., has developed just that: a blood test that uses synthetic antigens (proteins that spark an immune response) to track down Alzheimer’s-fighting antibodies. The resulting test is more than 90 percent accurate in blind studies of patients and controls. It pulls 8 percent false positives and no false negatives, according to results published in Cell. Kodadek suspects the false positives are in fact early indicators of dementia to come. He hopes the test might one day be predictive, not just diagnostic. — Psychology Today Magazine © 2011 Sussex Publishers. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Better nutrition may reduce arthritis pain By Victoria Shanta Retelny When your joints are inflamed with arthritis, the condition can be painful and debilitating. Although the first line of defense for arthritis is medication, research is unfolding about the effects of diet on joint health. “Some people may find that over time — three to six months — a plant-based, Mediterranean-type diet may help them feel better,” said Dr. Lona Sandon, a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer and national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “Managing arthritis is about lifestyle and overall diet pattern coupled with quality medical treatment by a rheumatologist,” she added. “Changes in arthritis symptoms that may relate to overall dietary pattern are not likely to happen overnight.” Here are some diet and lifestyle changes that may help soothe arthritis symptoms: 1. Fruits and veggies Certain plant foods have been deemed

“anti-inflammatory,” as they can ease the pain and swelling of osteoarthritis (OA). A 2010 study in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders found that a plant-based diet of fruits and cruciferous vegetables — like broccoli, cauliflower and kale, along with alliums, such as garlic, onions, and leeks — showed some improvement with OA of the hip. Eating fruits and vegetables not only keeps body weight in a healthy range, but a compound in alliums, called diallyl disulphide, appears to fend off degrading protein enzymes present with OA. 2. Healing ginger Ginger has been a topical remedy for alleviating arthritis symptoms for thousands of years in China. Including ginger in the diet has proven helpful in managing osteoarthritis symptoms in some, but not all, studies. Be aware, however, that the high doses necessary to soothe painful, swollen joints can cause gastrointestinal discomfort and interfere with medications such as blood

thinners. 3. Green tea Potent plant compounds in green tea leaves called catechins, specifically epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that appear to stave off oxidative damage in joints. A 2010 review in Arthritis Research and Therapy showed that EGCG protects cartilage from breaking down and maintains the integrity of collagen in the presence of joint disorders. Although more research is needed, green tea shows enough promise that it may be worth drinking three to four cups a day or more. 4. Mediterranean diet Dietary patterns that show promise in lowering inflammation, according to a 2010 review in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, are low in saturated fat from red and processed meat, and plentiful in fruits and vegetables, beans, legumes, fish and olive oil — like the

Mediterranean diet. “Arachadonic acid found mostly in red meats appears to be proinflammatory. [In contrast,] omega-3 fatty acids and phytonutrients found in fish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and teas can act in ways similar to anti-inflammatory drugs to block inflammatory pathways,” Sandon said. Eating a plant-based diet, which contains more beneficial unsaturated fats and antioxidants, appears to alleviate some joint pain — though not necessarily stiffness — according to the review. 5. Omega-3 fats Fish oil — specifically the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA — has an anti-inflammatory effect on joints, according to dozens of clinical trials. A 2010 study in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders found positive effects using krill, a zooplankton crustacean rich in omega-3s, on an animal model of arthritis. Krill oil’s omega-3 fats may be more easSee LESS JOINT PAIN, page 7

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Oct. 19


Celebrate the “Right to Sight” at Schweinhaut Senior Center with free eye screenings for glaucoma and visual acuity, as well as free literature on the four leading eye disorders that affect aging adults, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19. To make an appointment for the event at 1000 Forest Glen Rd., Silver Spring, Md., call (240) 777-8085.





Coupon must be presented when service order is written for DARCARS Oil Change Special. Coupon cannot be combined with any other offer or discounted service. Coupon not valid on previous charges. Cost does not include taxes, shop supplies, and hazardous waste fees if applicable. Please note: Some models or some types of oil may be slightly higher. Synthetic oil extra.




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Learn more about the area’s housing options Check the boxes of communities from whom you would like to receive information and mail or fax this form. Washington D.C. ❏Forest Side Assisted Living (See ad on page 15) ❏Friendship Terrace (See ad on page 59) ❏The Georgetown (See ad on page 11) ❏Methodist Home of D.C. (See ad on page 39) ❏St. Mary’s Court (See ad on page 56)

Maryland ❏Brooke Grove (See ad on page 35) ❏Charter House (See ad on page 34) ❏Churchill Senior Living (See ad on page 31) ❏Covenant Village (See ad on page 36) ❏Emerson House (See ad on page 36) ❏Homecrest House (See ad on page 12) ❏Mrs. Philippines Home (See ad on page 36) ❏Park View at Bladensburg (See ad on page 57) ❏Park View at Columbia (See ad on page 57) ❏Park View at Ellicott City (See ad on page 57) ❏Park View at Laurel (See ad on page 57) ❏Renaissance Gardens Riderwood (See ad on page 28) ❏Revitz House (See ad on page 18) ❏Riderwood Village (See ad on page 46) ❏Shriner Court (See ad on page 36) ❏Springvale Terrace (See ad on page 49) ❏Village at Rockville (See ad on page 17) ❏Willow Manor (See ad on page 40)

Virginia ❏Ashby Ponds (See ad on page 46) ❏Chancellor’s Village (See ad on page 10) ❏Chesterbrook Residences (See ad on page 49) ❏Culpepper Garden (See ad on page 9) ❏Forest Glen (See ad on page 58) ❏Goodwin House (See ad on page 12) ❏Greenspring Village (See ad on page 46) ❏Olley Glen Retirement Community (See ad on page 29) ❏Quantum Affordable Apts. (See ad on page 36) ❏Renaissance Gardens Greenspring (See ad on page 28) ❏Sommerset (See ad on page 29) ❏The Virginian (See ads on page 20 and back page) ❏The Woodlands (See ad on page 9) Name________________________________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________________________ City______________________________________State______Zip________________ Phone (day)__________________________(evening)_________________________ E-mail_________________________________________________________________

Check the boxes you’re interested in and return this form to: The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915-2227 Or fax to (301) 949-8966.



ily absorbed by the body than fish oil, plus it has the added bonus of astaxanthin, a compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. But Sandon warned, “Studies show that very high levels of six to 10 grams [600 to 1,000 mg.] of fish oil per day are needed to get a clinical effect of less joint stiffness, tenderness, pain or swelling.” 6. Food allergies One theory ties food allergies to rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A 2006 study in the journal Gut found that the intestines of people with RA contain more antibodies for proteins from cow’s milk, cereal, eggs, fish and pork than people without RA. The immune complexes that are formed to potential allergens circulating throughout the body are believed to get lodged in arthritic joints. However, this theory needs more research. Use caution when eliminating certain foods, as this may not be effective at treat-


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 6

ing arthritis and also pose a risk for nutritional deficiencies. “People with arthritis, particularly RA, are at greater risk of nutrient deficiencies due to the disease itself, to fatigue, to loss of functionality to prepare food, and to the medications used to control symptoms,” said Sandon. Instead of an elimination diet, experts encourage keeping a food and symptom journal for a month to identify patterns that can be shared with your healthcare practitioner. 7. Move more Physical activity is one of the cornerstones for keeping joints healthy and happy, as well as keeping weight in check. Get at least 150 minutes of physical activity — such as walking, running, biking, dancing and strength training — each week. Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 1-800-8295384, © 2011 Belvoir Media Group. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.


Less joint pain


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

Why is belly fat considered dangerous? By Dr. Virend Somers Dear Mayo Clinic: What is it about belly fat that makes it more dangerous than fat in other places? I’m considered to be at a healthy



weight. But I do have somewhat of a belly, which concerns my physician. Isn’t it just a normal part of getting older? Answer: Belly fat is more dangerous than other types of fat because it’s associ-

ated with an increased risk of developing a range of serious health problems. Although belly fat can be more of a problem as we get older, it doesn’t have to be part of the aging process. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help you shed belly fat and keep you healthier as you age.


A different type of fat





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Belly fat is not the fat that lies just under the skin (subcutaneous fat). Instead, it’s the fat that actually lies inside your abdomen and surrounds internal organs, such as your kidney and spleen. This is called visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat and visceral fat are biochemically and functionally different. Visceral fat is more dangerous because it’s more likely to produce substances that can damage your heart and blood vessels, and possibly interfere with your body’s ability to use insulin.


A large amount of belly fat can increase your risk for a number of diseases and medical conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, some types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and sleep apnea. Even though the belly fat that’s dangerous is located within your abdomen, there is a strong correlation between your waist size and visceral fat. For most men, the health risk factors associated with visceral fat increase with a waist size greater than 40 inches. For women, a waist measurement of 35 inches or more typically indicates an unhealthy concentration of belly fat. A formula called the body mass index (BMI) that compares your weight to your height may also be used to help assess body fat. The drawback to that method, though, is that your total weight includes both muscle and fat. BMI measures both, without distinguishing between the two. You could be very muscular and have a high BMI. But the more muscle you have, the lower your overall cardiovascular risk. So a high BMI alone doesn’t automatically mean your health risks are increased. To be meaningful when assessing body fat, BMI should be used along with a comparison of your waist and hip circumference (waist-to-hip ratio), as well as your overall waist size.

Aging can be a culprit


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Aging may play a role in development of belly fat. Muscle mass gradually diminishes with age, so fat comes to account for a greater percentage of your weight. See BELLY FAT, page 10


Oct. 12


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Wednesday, Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sharon Courtyard of Brooke Grove Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, 18131 Slade School Rd., Sandy Spring, Md. For more information, contact Toni Davis at (301) 924-2811, option 3 or

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


It’s time to get vaccinated against the flu

Get a flu shot annually

Flu Qs and As Here are some questions and answers about flu vaccinations: Q: How does the new skin-deep vaccine work? A: Sanofi Pasteur’s Fluzone Intradermal uses a needle less than a tenth of an inch long to inject vaccine just below the skin’s

surface. This layer, called the dermis, is so rich in a certain type of immune cell that the new shot uses a lower dose of the same vaccine that’s in regular flu shots. Studies found it triggered as much protection as full-strength muscle shots — al-

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The big question is whether people will bother to get one. Usually each year’s flu vaccine varies from the previous versions as different influenza strains emerge. This year, the vaccine’s a duplicate because the three flu strains that sickened people last winter are still circulating. Scientific studies aren’t clear about how much a person’s immunity wanes over a year, although it varies by age and overall health. But federal health officials and the American Academy of Pediatrics weighed the evidence and say don’t skip this year’s vaccination — it’s the only way to be sure your immune system remains revved enough for the best protection. “You’re not going to be able to count on [last year’s] vaccine protecting you throughout a second season,” said Dr. Lisa Grohskopf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A yearly vaccination now is recommended for virtually everyone, except babies younger than 6 months and people with severe allergies to the eggs used to make it.

Last year, 49 percent of children and 41 percent of adults were vaccinated. Say you never catch the flu? You could be a carrier, unknowingly spreading the misery when you feel little more than a sniffle, said Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University, president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. “You should be vaccinated each and every year to ensure that you’re protected and that you’re giving the maximum protection to people around you,” he said.

By Lauran Neergaard It’s flu vaccine time again — and some lucky shot-seekers will find that the needle has nearly disappeared. The first flu shot that works with a lessscary skin prick instead of an inch-long needle is hitting the market this fall. Sorry kids, this option so far is just for adults, and it’s so brand-new that it will take some searching to find a dose. But there are plenty of the other varieties — standard shots, a special highdose shot for seniors and the needle-free squirt-in-the-nose option — to go around. At least 166 million doses of flu vaccine are expected to be produced this year.

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The Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing will hold a free series on hearing loss at two locations: Langston Brown Community Center, 2121 N. Culpeper St., Arlington, on Mondays, Oct. 17, 24, 31 at 10:30 a.m. and at Arlington Mill Community Center, 3308 S. Stafford St., Arlington on Tuesdays Oct. 11, 18, 25 at 11 a.m. The sessions discuss hearing loss, hearing evaluations, hearing aids, assistive technology, and coping and living with hearing loss. For more information, call (703) 352- 9055, TTY (703) 352-9056.

Oct. 17

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


Join Senior Adult Specialist Nancy Connors for a discussion on Dr. Andrew Weil’s book 8 Weeks to Optimum Health. The free event runs from 2 to 3 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17 at Aurora Hills Senior center, 735 S. 18th St., Arlington, Va. Register by calling (703) 228-5722.

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From page 9 skin. Sanofi estimates it will sell less than 1 million doses this year while introducing the newly approved product to doctors, before a full market launch next flu season. Q: What about the original ouchless flu vaccine, the nasal-spray version? A: MedImmune’s FluMist is for a different age group, people ages 2 to 49 who are healthy — meaning no one with underlying health conditions or who is pregnant. Unlike flu shots that are made with killed flu virus, FluMist is made with live but weakened virus. Q: For older adults, does CDC recommend the high-dose shot? A: The immune system weakens with age, so it doesn’t respond as well to an ordinary flu shot. Sanofi’s Fluzone High-Dose is a standard into-the-muscle shot, but it contains four times the usual dose, to spur more immune response in people 65 and older. First sold last year, studies still are underway to track if that translates into fewer illnesses and hospitalizations. It can cause more of the typical flu-shot side effects. The CDC said it’s OK for seniors to choose either a high-dose shot or the reg-

Belly fat From page 8 Having less muscle mass also decreases the rate at which your body uses calories, making it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight or lose excess pounds. But belly fat isn’t inevitable. The same techniques that work for other kinds of fat can help you get rid of excess belly fat. Eat a healthy diet, decrease your portion sizes and exercise every day. Sit-ups and other exercises targeted at your abdomen help tone your abdominal muscles, but they won’t get rid of belly fat.

ular shots from a variety of manufacturers. Q: Who’s at highest risk from the flu? A: Young children, anyone 50 or older, anyone with chronic medical conditions such as asthma and certain heart or kidney problems, and pregnant women. A flu vaccination during pregnancy has the added benefit of passing some protection to the baby. Q: When should I get vaccinated? A: Anytime, but it takes about two weeks for protection to kick in. Flu typically starts circulating around November, and peaks around January. Some chain pharmacies started vaccinating in August. Don’t put it off too long, said Dr. Scott Gorenstein of Great Neck, N.Y., an emergency physician whose own son Nate, then 4, nearly died of flu during the 2009 pandemic. The boy already had been exposed by the time vaccine finally was available that fall. Now, Gorenstein said the whole family gets inoculated in early fall — even though Nate has developed a vaccine allergy and as a precaution checks into the hospital for his dose. “We got lucky,” said Gorenstein, who now advises a group called Families Fighting Flu. “You just don’t want to be a statistic that is preventable.” — AP

If you have questions or concerns about the specific diet and exercises that are right for you, talk to your doctor. Medical Edge from Mayo Clinic is an educational resource and doesn’t replace regular 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 © 2011 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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Only 1 in 5 medical malpractice cases pay By Mike Stobbe Only 1 in 5 malpractice claims against doctors leads to a settlement or other payout, according to the most comprehensive study of these claims in two decades. But while doctors and their insurers may be winning most of these challenges, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still a lot of fighting. Each year about 1 in 14 doctors is the target of a claim, and most physicians and virtually every surgeon will face at least one in their careers, the study found. Malpractice cases carry a significant emotional cost for doctors, said study coauthor Amitabh Chandra, an economist and professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government â&#x20AC;&#x153;They hate having their name dragged through the local newspaper and having to go to court,â&#x20AC;? he said. The study might seem to support a common opinion among doctors that most malpractice lawsuits are baseless, but the authors said the truth is more complicated than that. They noted influential earlier research in New York state concluding that just a tiny fraction of the patients harmed by medical mistakes actually file claims. Trial lawyers say cost is a barrier to bringing a claim to court. There are very high up-front costs for hiring expert witnesses and preparing a case. Doctors, hospitals and their insurers often have significant money and legal firepower. Some states also have caps on malpractice awards. So, usually, only very strong cases with high expected payouts are pursued. Given the expense and other difficulties involved in winning, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s doubtful most claims are filed on a greedy whim, the researchers said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lawyer would have to be

an idiot to take a frivolous case to court,â&#x20AC;? Chandra said.

Insurance records reviewed For the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the research team turned to one of the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest national malpractice insurers, analyzing data for about 41,000 physicians who bought coverage from 1991-2005. (The researchers could only get the data by signing an agreement not to identify the insurer, so they wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t disclose the name of the company.) The insurer represents only about 3 percent of the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s doctors, but it operates in all 50 states. The average payouts were about the same as seen in the governmentcreated National Practitioner Data Bank, which records payouts but doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t record all claims filed. The study found: â&#x20AC;˘ About 7.5 percent of doctors have a claim filed against them each year. That finding is a little higher than a recent American Medical Association survey, in which 5 percent of doctors said they had dealt with a malpractice claim in the previous year. â&#x20AC;˘ Fewer than 2 percent of doctors each year were the subject of a successful claim, in which the insurer had to pay a settlement or court judgment.

was much more than other doctors. The average pediatric claim was more than $520,000, while the average was about $275,000.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jurorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; hearts cry out for injured patients, especially when kids are involved,â&#x20AC;? See MALPRACTICE, page 13

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Who gets sued the most? â&#x20AC;˘ Some types of doctors were sued more than others. About 19 percent of neurosurgeons and heart surgeons were sued every year, making them the most targeted specialties. Pediatricians and psychiatrists were sued the least, with only about 3 percent of them facing a claim each year. â&#x20AC;˘ When pediatricians did pay a claim, it

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

Leading expert speaks on Social Security Dr. Charles P. Blahous, one of the two public trustees of Social Security and Medicare, will be the featured speaker at the Beacon’s upcoming 50+Expos. The events will take place on Sunday, October 30 at Ballston Common Mall in Arlington, Va., and on Sunday, November 6 at White Flint Mall in N. Bethesda, Md. Dr. Blahous is one of the nation’s leading experts on Social Security, and author of the recent book, Social Security: The Unfinished Work. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2010 to serve as a public trustee after being nominated to that position by President Obama. Together with the U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury, Labor, and Health & Human Services, and two Commissioners of Social

Security, the public trustees are responsible for preparing the annual reports on the current and projected financial status of Social Security and Medicare.

Myths and facts At the Expos, Blahous will explain Social Security’s financial condition, as well as what this means for beneficiaries, taxpaying workers and policy makers. He will also describe the trustees’ financial projection process and relate some of his personal experiences as a newly-confirmed trustee. Blahous has written extensively about various myths that undercut popular understanding of Social Security, and will speak about some of these at the Expos. He will also address the controversial topic of the

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relationship of Social Security’s own finances with Congress’s broader ongoing budget and deficit-reduction debate. Blahous’s remarks will place the current Social Security debate in its historical context, discussing how the currently projected shortfall compares with the program’s condition during previous Congressional rescues, most notably the landmark 1983 reforms. He will also discuss the consequences for program participants of further delay in repairing the current shortfall, as well as the various demographic and legislative changes that have led to the shortfall. For much of Social Security’s early history, the program grew more affordable over time with national economic growth. That changed with a number of legislated amendments to Social Security in the 1960s and 1970s, in combination with demographic changes, such as increasing life spans and a decline in fertility rates after the baby boom. These factors combined to place rising pressure on Social Security finances, a situation that was temporarily delayed but not fully repaired by the 1983 reforms. Blahous will explain the various factors that destabilize program finances by causing its costs to grow faster than its underlying revenue base.

Whom would changes affect? If legislative corrections were enacted today, Blahous believes, repairs to Social Security finances could be relatively manageable. They would indeed require substantial changes to the formulas that determine benefit levels for future retirees, but need not affect anyone in or near retirement, nor necessarily even worker payroll tax burdens, he said. After a few more years, however, this will no longer be the case. Blahous believes that

Dr. Charles P. Blahous, a Social Security and Medicare trustee, will speak at this year’s 50+Expos.

the costs of further delay are substantial and that Social Security participants of all ages have a common stake in legislative corrections being enacted sooner rather than later. As a trustee, Blahous is often called upon to explain the consequences of various reform proposals under discussion, including possible changes to eligibility ages, the benefit formula, the tax base, and the consumer price index, among others. He will offer insights into these various ideas, plus a few of his own, that he believes legislators would do well to consider as they approach the task of stabilizing Social Security’s finances. Both 50+Expos are free to the public, and open at noon with free health screenings, informative exhibits, live entertainment, flu shots (free with a Medicare card) and more. Seating for Blahous’ presentation, which will begin at 1:30 p.m. and be followed by a question-and-answer session, will be first-come, first served. For more details about the 50+Expos, see pages 2-3 of this issue or call the Beacon at (301) 949-9766.

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


Shop earlier for Medicare plans this year By Tom Murphy A new deadline for Medicare Advantage plans — privately run versions of the government’s Medicare program — may trip up seniors who typically wait until the holidays to settle on their health insurance coverage for the coming year. Medicare Advantage plans cover more than 11 million people. They offer basic Medicare coverage topped with extras, such as vision or dental coverage or premiums lower than standard Medicare rates. Most beneficiaries enroll after they turn 65. Then they have an open enrollment window every fall in which they can drop their coverage and switch to another plan.

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The study echoes earlier research on which specialists get sued most often, said Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, a Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy group. “The thing that’s disappointing about their study is they don’t focus on what can be done to prevent people from being injured,” said Wolfe, who has pushed for more aggressive policing of doctors by state medical licensing boards. — AP

From page 11 Chandra said. The amount attached to a pediatric case also rises because many more years of suffering are involved than if the victim is middle-aged or elderly, experts said. The study was funded by the RAND Institute for Civil Justice. Chandra also received funding from the National Institute on Aging, which has been interested in malpractice as a possible driver of healthcare costs.

Beneficiaries should have received their annual notice telling them about any changes in their coverage for next year by Sept. 30, which is a month earlier than last year. Insurers will start marketing their 2012 plans on Oct. 1. This fall’s open enrollment period for Medicare Advantage plans and Part D prescription drug coverage has been changed to Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. (Last year, it was from Nov. 15 through Dec. 31.) Closing the enrollment period in early December aims to provide more time for applications to be processed by the end of the year. This should help prevent the problems many late deciders had last year

in getting coverage started by January 1. But the change could also create other problems for many beneficiaries. Here are answers to some common questions. Will the deadline changes affect many beneficiaries? Medicare Advantage customers will have enough time to consider their options and enroll in another plan if they avoid waiting until the last minute, said Judith Stein, executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy. But last-minute stragglers are common. Plans can receive as much as a quarter of the applications for coverage they normally get during open enrollment in those last

three weeks of December, according to Matt Burns spokesman of UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest Medicare Advantage coverage provider with more than 2 million customers. Many people take time to make their coverage decisions. Beneficiaries start seeing Medicare Advantage ads in the fall. Then they might talk to their families, stew on the decision, and wait for the holidays to pass, said Dr. Jan Berger, chief medical officer at Silverlink Communications Inc., which works with Medicare Advantage providers. What happens if you miss the deadline and make no changes? See MEDICARE, page 15

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Medicare From page 13 This can get complicated. If the plan is still offered for 2012, then a customer who doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make any changes remains enrolled. But important aspects of that plan may change. If the plan is discontinued, customers may be switched to another Medicare Advantage plan offered by the same insurer. The cost and coverage could be different. They also could be dropped into regular

Medicare, which does not provide prescription drug coverage. Options do not completely dry up if a beneficiary misses the Dec. 7 deadline. From January 1 to February 14, Medicare Advantage customers can drop their plans and enroll in regular Medicare. During this time, they also can pick a Part D prescription drug plan to go along with that coverage, but they can no longer jump to another Medicare Advantage plan (as used to be the case prior to this year). Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s another wrinkle: Beneficiaries


Oct. 11

ALZHEIMERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S SUPPORT GROUP If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve recently been diagnosed with Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Disease, come

to a meeting of peers on Tuesday, Oct. 11 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Friendlyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, 12048 Cherry Hill Rd., Silver Spring, Md. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll learn about the disease, the latest research information, community resources and caregiving tips. The group meets the second Tuesday of every month. For more information or to RSVP, call (301) 847-3051, ext. 191.

Oct. 13+

CROHNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S DISEASE OVERVIEW Recent research about Crohnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Disease will be reviewed by public health nurse, Margie Cockrill on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 10:30 a.m. at

Langston-Brown Senior Center, 2121 N. Culpeper St., Arlington, Va., and Thursday, Oct. 20 at 10:15 a.m., Walter Reed Senior Center, 2909 S. 16th St., Arlington, Va. Crohnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s is a chronic disorder that causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The program is free, but you must call (703) 228-0955 to register

can enroll any time during the year in a Medicare Advantage plan that has prescription drug coverage if they receive a low-income subsidy or if they have access to a plan with a five-star quality rating. The catch: Only a few plans attained that rating for this year, said David Lipschutz, an attorney with the Center for Medicare Advocacy. The government will announce a new list of five-star rated plans sometime in October. Should Medicare Advantage customers review their coverage even if they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t plan to make changes? Absolutely. Plans can change what they cover from year to year, and what they charge. Customers may find that prescription drugs that were covered last year arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t covered in the new year, or they may suddenly face a big bill for a costly treatment like chemotherapy that used to be covered. Any changes will be laid out in the annual notices consumers receive from their insurers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People really, really need to look carefully and not assume that because something worked last year it will work this year,â&#x20AC;? Stein said. Local Senior Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP) provide one-onone assistance to help you understand the Medicare programs available to you and make a good choice. Their services are free. SHIP numbers in the metro area are:

Alexandria: (703) 746-5999 Arlington: (703) 228-1700 District of Columbia: (202) 739-0668 Fairfax: (703) 324-5411 Montgomery: (301) 590-2819 Prince Georgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s: (301) 265-8471 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; AP

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Health Shorts What if you’re in an accident? Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administra-

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

tion (MVA) has added an emergency contact option to Maryland driver’s licenses. Drivers can now add three emergency contacts to their driver’s license via the Internet so police will know whom to call if an accident occurs. The emergency contact information is stored electronically on an individual’s driver’s license and will be available only to

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New drugs can melt tumors away The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new Pfizer drug for a subset of lung cancer patients with a particular genetic mutation. The twice-a-day pill, called Xalkori, is part of a new wave of personalized medications that fight disease by targeting specific genes found in certain patients. Xalkori is approved to treat a small subset of non-small cell lung cancer patients, less than 7 percent, who have an abnormal gene that stimulates cancer cells and causes tumor growth. It works by blocking pro-

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teins produced by the gene. “It’s another example of how we’re using molecular medicine to subtype lung cancer into more specific and treatable diseases,” said Dr. Roy Herbst, a lung cancer expert who is chief of medical oncology at Yale University. Including previously approved targeted therapies, “we have specific therapies now that we can offer for about 18 percent of lung cancer patients that are far superior to chemotherapy and that in many cases can cause their tumors to melt away with few side effects,” Herbst said. The FDA said it also approved a genetic test to screen for the mutation, known as an abnormal anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene. The test is made by Abbott Laboratories. About 187,000, or 85 percent, of the 220,000 lung cancer cases diagnosed each year are non-small cell lung cancer. Roughly three-fourths of patients aren’t diagnosed until tumors have spread, and only 6 percent of those patients live five years. “It’s pretty exciting,” said Dr. David Carbone, a lung cancer specialist at Vanderbilt University, one of the sites that tested the drug. Only a small share of lung cancer patients have the gene mutation this drug targets, “but for those people it makes a huge difference,” he said. The most common side effects of the drug include vision disorders, nausea, diarrhea and inflammation. — AP

Get your 15 minutes of…exercise! An independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Don’t despair if you can’t fit in the recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise. Growing evidence suggests that even half that much can help. Regular exercise strengthens muscles, reduces the risk of some diseases, and promotes mental well-being. The more exercise, the better. But not everyone has the time or willpower. So researchers set out to find the minimum amount of physical activity needed to reap health benefits. The findings by a study in Taiwan suggest just 15 minutes of moderate exercise a day can lead to a longer life. Fitness guidelines by the World Health Organization, the U.S. and other countries recommend that adults get at least a halfhour of moderate workout most days of the week. This can include brisk walking, bike riding and water aerobics. Realizing that it might be difficult for some to break a sweat, health groups have suggested breaking it down into smaller, more manageable chunks of time, such as three 10-minute spurts a day on weekdays. The latest study, a large one led by researchers at the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan, sought to determine if exercising less than the recommended See HEALTH SHORTS, page 17

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Who benefits most from low-dose aspirin? By Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff Q. My doctor recently advised me to start taking an 81-mg aspirin once a day. I’m a physically active 62-yearold and have been a vegetarian — mostly vegan — for 35 years. My BMI is less than 24, my HDL is over 70, and my Framingham risk score is 8 percent. My only problems are systolic blood pressure in the 130s and an occasional episode of arrhythmia. I’d really rather not take aspirin. Am I being foolish in questioning my doctor’s advice? A. It’s not foolish to question your doctor’s advice. You need to understand the

Health shorts From page 16 half-hour was still helpful. About 416,000 Taiwanese adults were asked how much exercise they did the previous month. Based on their answers, they were put into five groups of varying activity levels from inactive to highly active. Researchers kept track of their progress for eight years on average and calculated projected life expectancy.

reasoning and the facts behind a doctor’s advice, particularly when you wonder if the advice really applies to you. In this case, you think it doesn’t — and judging by the information you’ve provided, I’m inclined to agree with you. Aspirin makes platelets in the blood less “sticky,” so they’re less likely to bunch up into the artery-clogging clots that form when an atherosclerotic plaque ruptures and its contents spill into the bloodstream.

Aspirin lowers some risks There’s very good evidence now from many studies that regular use of aspirin can lower the risk of having a heart attack in people who have known atherosclerosis

in the coronary arteries — the blood vessels that supply the heart. Regular aspirin use can also lower the risk of stroke in people with atherosclerosis in the arteries that supply the brain. The 81-mg dose your doctor recommended is the standard one for cardiovascular protection. You don’t say anything about any known atherosclerosis, and for several reasons, your risk for heart disease and stroke is probably low. You’re relatively young; you exercise regularly; your body mass index (BMI) is excellent (the healthy BMI range is 18.5 to 24.9). Your “good” HDL cholesterol is also where it should be and then some — any level of 60 mg/dL or above is

The study found those who exercised just 15 minutes a day — or 90 minutes a week — cut their risk of death by 14 percent and extended their life expectancy by three years compared with those who did no exercise. Both men and women benefited equally from the minimum activity. Each additional 15 minutes of exercise reduced the risk of death by another 4 percent compared with the inactive group. Researchers did not report how additional exercise affected life expectancy. — AP

considered protective against heart disease. Some readers may not be familiar with the Framingham risk score you mention. It’s a widely used formula that estimates the chances of having a heart attack in the next 10 years based on age, gender and risk factors like HDL levels. Your Framingham score would be even lower if your systolic blood pressure (the first of the two numbers in a blood pressure reading) were lower, but 8 percent is still comfortably in the low range. The icing on the cake of your low-risk profile is your mainly vegan diet, which is See ASPIRIN, page 18

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Buyer beware with ‘anti-aging’ products By David Crary Baby boomers heading into what used to be called retirement age are providing a 70 million-member strong market for legions of companies, entrepreneurs and cosmetic surgeons eager to capitalize on their “forever young” mindset — whether it’s through wrinkle creams, face-lifts or workout regimens. The market research firm Global Industry Analysts projects that a boomer-fueled con-

sumer base, “seeking to keep the dreaded signs of aging at bay,” will push the U.S. market for anti-aging products from about $80 billion now to more than $114 billion by 2015.


trans fat, and cholesterol.

From page 17

Some risks of aspirin use

almost certainly low in the substances that promote atherosclerosis: saturated fat,

Even in people like you, with stellar health habits and risk factor scores, regu-

No proof for most claims From mainstream organizations such as the National Institute on Aging, the general advice is to be a skeptical consumer on guard for possible scams involving pur-

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ported anti-aging products. “Our culture places great value on staying young, but aging is normal,” the institute said. “Despite claims about pills or treatments that lead to endless youth, no treatments have been proven to slow or reverse the aging process.” Its advice for aging well is basic: Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, don’t smoke. “If someone is promising you today that

you can slow, stop or reverse aging, they’re likely trying hard to separate you from your money,” said S. Jay Olshansky, a professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago’s School of Public Health who has written extensively about aging. “It’s always the same message: ‘Aging is your fault and we’ve got the cure,’” Olshansky said.

lar use of aspirin probably can further improve the already good odds against your having a heart attack or stroke. But lowdose aspirin increases the risk of bleeding, particularly in the gut, but also in the brain. Serious bleeding in the gut can be lifethreatening if it isn’t treated promptly, and bleeding in the brain can cause permanent brain damage and death. And if you have any condition that increases your risk of bleeding in the brain, gut, or elsewhere, the risk from taking aspirin — even at low, cardioprotective doses — would be even higher. So aspirin is like most treatments: You need to balance the potential risks against the potential benefits. If you had a moderate-to-high risk of heart disease — a Framingham risk score

of, say, greater than 10 percent — most authorities would advise you to take low-dose aspirin. At that level of risk, the benefit from reducing your chance of having a heart attack is, on average, greater than the risk from bleeding. However, because your risk is less than 10 percent, I think your instincts are probably right and you don’t need to take regular low-dose aspirin. Of course, my opinion is based on a very few select things you’ve told me about your health. You should consult with your doctor before making a decision. He or she knows a lot more about you than I do. — Anthony L. Komaroff, M.D., Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter © 2011 President and fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

See BOOMERS, page 20


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“Five days after my stroke, I was back in my garden. Thanks to the Stroke Response Team at Holy Cross Hospital.” If anyone appreciates the value of rapid and efficient teamwork, it’s Kelly Walker. In the midst of a stroke, she was brought to Holy Cross Hospital. A designated Primary Stroke Center. A gold award-winner from the American Stroke Association, with a team that treats more stroke patients than any other hospital in Montgomery County. A life-saving combination for patients like Kelly Walker. For more information or to find a physician call 301-754-8800 or visit




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Boomers From page 18 Instead, he said, “invest in yourself, in the simple things we know work. Get a good pair of running or walking shoes and a health club membership, and eat more fruits and vegetables.” But such advice hasn’t curtailed the demand for anti-aging products, including many with hefty price tags that aren’t covered by health insurance. These include cosmetic surgery procedures at $10,000 or more, human growth hormone treatment at $15,000 per year, and a skin-care product called Peau Magnifique that costs $1,500 for a 28-day supply. Another challenge for consumers is that many dietary supplements and cosmetics, unlike prescription drugs and over-thecounter medicines, aren’t required to un-

dergo government testing or review before they are marketed. Mary Engle, director of the FTC’s division of advertising practices, said her agency focuses on the cases that could cause serious harm, such as bogus cancer treatments that might prompt an ill person to forgo proper care. “Often it doesn’t rise to the level of fraud,” she said. “There are so many problematic ads out there and we really have to pick and choose what we focus on.” In contrast to the caution of mainstream organizations, there are many vocal promoters of anti-aging products and procedures, including the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. It hosts annual conferences in the U.S. and abroad, and claims 22,000 members, mostly physicians. Here is a look at some of the major sectors in the anti-aging industry:

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

Hormone replacement therapy Numerous companies and clinics promote hormone replacement drugs, including testosterone for men and custom-mixed “bioidentical” hormones for women, as a way to slow the aging process. Many consumers have seen ads featuring muscle-bound Dr. Jeffry Life, now 72. He used testosterone and human growth hormone in his own bodybuilding regimen and recommends hormonal therapy for some of the patients patronizing his agemanagement practice in Las Vegas. The FDA has approved hormone replacement drugs for some specific purposes related to diseases and deficiencies, but not to combat aging. “Finding a ‘fountain of youth’ is a captivating story,” said the National Institute on Aging. “The truth is that, to date, no research has shown that hormone replacement drugs add years to life or prevent agerelated frailty.” Dr. Evan Hadley, director of the institute’s Division of Geriatrics, said hormone replacement drugs can have harmful side effects. He said there is a need for more research, such as an institute study of testosterone therapy, to identify the potential risks and benefits.

Cosmetic surgery

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According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were 13.1 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures performed in the U.S. in 2010, a 77 percent increase over a decade. One notable trend is increased preference for less invasive procedures that enable patients to get back to work and social settings without a long leave of absence. The most popular of these is treatment with the wrinkle-smoothing drugs Botox or Dysport. They account for 5.4 million procedures, averaging about $400 per treatment. Other popular noninvasive pro-

cedures include soft-tissue facial fillers, chemical peels and microdermabrasion. More invasive procedures come at a higher price. Face-lifts can run from $6,000 to $15,000. The plastic surgeons’ academy reported performing 112,000 of them in 2010.

Skin care One of the industry’s booming sectors is anti-aging skin care, featuring wrinkle creams and facial serums. By some estimates, the U.S. market for “cosmeceutical” products — cosmetics with medicinebased ingredients — is approaching $20 billion a year. The FDA, which oversees cosmetic safety and labeling, doesn’t require manufacturers to prove the effectiveness of cosmetic products before they go on sale, and many ads make claims that critics say are exaggerated or unverifiable. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends consulting a dermatologist on what skin care products have been proved safe and effective in human studies. Consumer Reports has ventured into the realm of anti-aging cosmetics several times recently, using high-tech optical devices and other scientific methods to assess the products. Last year, the magazine tested nine face serums, available at drug stores for prices ranging from $20 to $65 and all claiming to reduce wrinkles. “After six weeks of use, the effectiveness of even the best products was limited and varied from subject to subject,” according to the review. “When we did see wrinkle reductions, they were at best slight, and they fell short of the miracles that manufacturers seemed to imply on product labels.” Its top-rated product, Olay Regenerist, cost about $19 at the time of the testing. La Prairie Cellular, the most expensive at $335, was rated among the least effective — AP


or families facing advanced illness or impending end-of-life of a loved one, peace of mind is in short supply. Fortunately there is hospice, where patients can live in pain-free comfort, and compassionate emotional support is extended to patients and family members. • Holistic team of physicians, nurses, social workers, spiritual advisors, care attendants and trained volunteers • Care available in your own home, in assisted living or wherever you call home • Non-profit organization serving elderly and those in need for 123+ years • Accepting Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance • Service throughout Washington DC and suburban Maryland Please call us anytime for peace of mind for your family. Our caring team is there to help.

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Helping Seniors Stay Prepared Emergency Medical Equipment Notification Program Customers who rely on electricity to power lifesupport equipment in their home can sign up for our Emergency Medical Equipment Notification Program. Once enrolled, we will notify you of scheduled outages and severe storms that could lead to extended outages on our electric system. We also will send you information to help you prepare for emergencies. To sign up, call 202-833-7500 or visit Because customers who depend on life-support equipment are located throughout our service area, Pepco cannot provide restoration priority in the event of extensive power outages.

Pepco is committed to improving the reliability of your electric service through a comprehensive plan to upgrade the system. Unfortunately, even with our focus on upgrading reliability, severe winter storms can cause power outages. While we would like to prioritize certain households in restoring power, the nature of widespread damage often prevents that. That’s why we encourage all customers – especially seniors and others who use life-support equipment – to have a contingency plan. Here are some other suggested steps you can take to help you weather winter outages.

make arrangements Be prepared for potentially long-lasting interruptions in service. Identify a relative, friend or neighbor whom you can stay with if you lose power or other essential services. Also identify a location with emergency power capabilities and make plans to go there during a prolonged outage.

have extra medication Check your supplies of prescription drugs and any special items for health needs.

assemble a “storm kit” Gather supplies you might need in an emergency. Include a battery-operated radio or television, flashlight, a first aid kit, battery-powered or windup clock, extra batteries, an insulated cooler and a list of important and emergency phone numbers.

keep a food supply Store five to seven days of nonperishable foods and bottled water and have a handoperated can opener available.

contact us Power Out: 1-877-737-2662 Customer Service: 202-833-7500 Visit


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Health Studies Page

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NIH testing natural painkiller for cancer By Barbara Ruben On top of nausea, fatigue and fear, many cancer patients also experience pain. The pain can be caused by the disease itself or may be an effect of cancer treatment. About 30 to 50 percent of people with cancer have pain while undergoing treatment, and 70 to 90 percent of people with advanced cancer experience pain, accord-

ing to Cancer Control, the journal of the Moffitt Cancer Center. The National Institutes of Health is now looking at a new way to treat severe pain in patients with advanced cancer. NIH is recruiting cancer patients for a study of Resinferatoxin (RTX), a drug that has only been used in animal research so far. RTX is obtained from a cactus-like plant


Oct. 6+

GROUP GRIEF COUNSELING Montgomery Hospice professional counselors will host two free

support groups, both starting Thursday, Oct. 6. An evening grief support group, for anyone grieving, is held every Thursday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, 608 North Horners Ln., Rockville, Md. For those who have recently lost a parent, a six-week group will be held Thursdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Woodside United Methodist Church, Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Md. Both require registration. Call (301) 921-4400 to learn more.

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This study looks to help predict and monitor the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease using: FDG-PET imaging scans MRI scans Amyloid PET imaging scans Biomarkers from the collection and testing of blood and cerebrospinal fluid NO STUDY DRUG IS USED IN THIS RESEARCH The study needs volunteers who: • Are between 55 and 90 years of age • Are fluent in English or Spanish • Either have a diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s disease, MCI, or are cognitively normal • Are in good general health • Are willing and able to undergo in-clinic assessments, memory testing and other test procedures • Have a study partner - a friend or relative who can accompany the volunteer to all clinic visits Participants cannot be involved in other clinical trials while in this study. Participant’s health will be closely monitored by a team of doctors and nurses. Participants will receive compensation for their time and costs incurred for travel, parking and meals.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Saba Wolday, M. Sc. Howard University Hospital Phone: (202)865-7895 • Fax: (202)865-4923

and is similar to a substance called capsaicin, a drug derived from pepper plants, which works to reduce the sensation of pain by blocking the body’s pain messenger to the brain. “RTX has been shown to relieve pain in animals with cancer for long periods of time without causing observable changes in behavior or function other than signs of pain relief,” said Lisa Farinelli, a NIH research nurse specialist involved in the study.

Blocking pain Pain is felt when nerves called C fiber neurons transmit pain signals from the body to the spinal cord. The center of these neurons is located in groups immediately adjacent to the spinal cord. RTX inactivates these neurons, preventing them from transmitting pain impulses, according to Farinelli. “When we inject the medication into the spinal fluid at the lumbar level [in the lower back], it should inactivate neurons responsible for sensing pain from just below the rib cage down to the feet,” she said.

Volunteers with cancer needed Thus, the study is seeking patients with advanced cancer who have a severe pain due to a malignancy that is at or below chest level and not adequately relieved by other pain control therapies. Participants must be age 18 or older and not receiving potentially curative therapies like chemotherapy. However, participants can seek cancer therapy 15 days after the trial treatment and can continue on palliative treatments throughout the trial.

Patients will not qualify for the study if their pain is not caused by cancer, they are unable to have an MRI scan, or they are allergic to chili peppers or capsaicin. The trial is not randomized, and all patients will receive RTX. They will get several increasing doses of the drug injected into the spinal fluid. The study, which includes up to eight visits to NIH’s Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., requires one inpatient stay for two to three days so doctors can observe the effects of the drug. Additional visits will be on an outpatient basis. Each visit will last four to six hours. The first of four follow-up visits will start a week after the treatment. Patients will also be followed by telephone for about six months after treatment. The trial is known as a Phase I study, meaning RTX has not yet been studied in humans. The purpose of the study is to learn if the drug is safe and effective in treating severe pain and to find the most effective and safest dose. “The drug could have serious side effects in humans,” Farinelli warned. “We carefully monitor our participants for six months after treatment for side effects, which could include the following: changes in one’s ability to sense very hot temperatures, muscle weakness, abnormal sensations, sedation, mood changes and/or infections.” No financial compensation is available for participating, but all care at the Clinical Center and follow-up care are included. For further information, call 1-800-4111222. Refer to study #09-D-0039.

Treating Severe Cancer Pain

The purpose of this research study is to investigate the safety and effectiveness of a new treatment for unmanageable pain in patients with advanced cancer.

Description of study:

• In this study, the research drug will be injected directly into the fluid surrounding the spinal cord. This is the first trial in humans where this drug is injected into the spinal fluid. • Studies in animals have shown pain relief after the spinal administration of this treatment.

• The study involves up to eight visits to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. There will be one inpatient visit that will last two to three days; the rest will be outpatient visits lasting four to six hours. There will be a screening visit, a treatment visit, and four follow-up visits, which occur beginning seven days after treatment. The participant will also be followed by telephone for approximately seven months after the treatment visit.

You may qualify if: • You have a diagnosis of advanced cancer. • You are age 18 or older. • You are unable to relieve your pain with medication. • The pain you are experiencing is at or below the level of your chest.

You may not qualify if: • Your pain is not caused by cancer. • You cannot have a MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan. • You have allergies to chili peppers or capsaicin (e.g., causing hives). • You are pregnant.

There is no charge for study-related tests. Travel costs may be reimbursed.

For more information, Call: 1-800-411-1222 (TTY: 1-866-411-1010) Se habla español Or go online, Refer to study # 09-D-0039 IRB-approved 08-22-2011

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More grandparents play child-rearing role Errands and financial help “We help out in terms of running errands, babysitting, taking the grandkids to doctors’ appointments, and for back-toschool shopping,” said Doug Flockhart of Exeter, N.H., listing some of the activities that he and his wife, Eileen, do for their five kids and seven grandchildren. But that’s just the start. They also pitch in with healthcare payments for family members due to insurance gaps, and their pace of activity has picked up substantially since their daughter, who lives three blocks away, gave birth to her first child this month. Flockhart, a retired architect, likes the family time even if he and his wife worry about their grandkids’ futures. Their oldest grandchild is 16. “It’s not so much the day in and day out, it’s the big picture as to how these young kids will grow up and pay for a college education and buy a house,” he said. “The middle class is so much less well-

off than it used to be. We’ve put aside some savings for them, but with seven grandchildren it can only go so far.” Flockhart’s situation is increasingly common, demographers say. “Grandparents have become the family safety net, and I don’t see that changing any time soon,” said Amy Goyer, a family expert at AARP. “While they will continue to enjoy their traditional roles, including spending on gifts for grandchildren, I see them increasingly paying for the extras that parents are struggling to keep up with — sports, camps, tutoring or other educational needs, such as music lessons.” The latest numbers are based partly on separate analyses by Goyer and Peter Francese, founder of American Demographics magazine who is now a population analyst for the MetLife Mature Market Institute. Their data were supplemented with the latest 2010 census figures as well as interviews with Census Bureau and other experts.

Currently about 5.8 million children, or nearly 8 percent of all children, are living with grandparents identified as the head of household, according to 50-state census data released recently. That’s up from 4.5 million, or 6.3 percent, who lived in such households in 2000. Much of the increase in grandparent caregivers occurred later in the decade after the recession eliminated jobs for many younger people, surveys indicate. The 8 percent share of children now living with grandparents is the largest in at least 40 years — and it is believed to be the largest share ever, population experts say. Nearly half the states had increases of 40 percent or more over the last decade in the number of grandchildren living with grandparents. They were led by states such as Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona and Kentucky, which had influxes See GRANDPARENTS, page 25

Celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italy’s Unification on Sunday, Oct. 9, with the Festa Italiana Organization with a street festival at Casa Italiana on 595 3rd St., N.W., Washington, D.C. near the Judiciary Square Metro. For additional information, email

Oct. 24+

PARANORMAL TOURS Explore the unexplained at Oatlands Historic House and Gardens with a tour of the mansion, detailing its ghostly legends and hap-

penings, held at 7 and 8 p.m. Monday Oct. 24 through the 28, and 6, 7 and 8 p.m. on Oct. 29 and 30. The tours, held at 20850 Oatlands Plantation Ln., Leesburg, Va., require a reservation and are $12 for adults. For more information or reservations, call (703) 777-3174.

Is your memory not as sharp as it used to be?

It could be just the beginning...

Check off the health studies you’d like to receive FREE information about. ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏

African Americans Concerned About Alzheimer’s (See ad, p. 23) Alzheimer’s Imaging Study (See ad, p. 22) Memory Loss Study(See ad, p. 23) Severe Cancer Pain Study (See ad and article, p. 22)

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


Oct. 9






Alzheimer’s Disease Affects Many African American Families

Please contact us about a medical research study of an investigational medication for those with symptoms suggestive of early Alzheimer’s disease. QUALIFIED PARTICIPANTS MUST • Be 50 to 80 years of age • Have a concern about a change in memory or cognition • Have a spouse, companion or friend who will be your “study partner” and who is willing to help during the study

QUALIFIED PARTICIPANTS RECEIVE • All study-related care, evaluations and investigational medication at no cost • Compensation for their time

Recurring memory problems and forgetfulness may mean more than just aging.

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By Hope Yen Today’s grandparents are shunning retirement communities and stepping in more than ever to raise their grandchildren while young adults struggle in the poor economy. The newer grandparents are mainly baby boomers who are still working, with greater disposable income. Now making up 1 in 4 adults, grandparents are growing at twice the rate of the overall population. In all, there are 62.8 million grandparents in the U.S. — the most ever. They are projected to make up roughly 1 in 3 adults by 2020. Grandparents in recent decades have often filled in for absent parents who were ill or battled addiction, or were sent to prison. The latest trend of grandparent involvement, reflected in new census figures, is now being driven also by the economy and the graying U.S. population, including the 78 million boomers born between 1946 and 1964, who began turning 65 this year.


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Grandparents From page 23 of young families or suffered higher rates of poverty. On the other end of the scale, New Jersey, New York, Michigan and Louisiana saw the smallest increases, less than 10 percent. Each of those states saw slower population growth overall since 2000, particularly among young people.

Large decrease in D.C. The District of Columbia posted a decline of more than 20 percent in grandchildren living with grandparents, a sign of growing gentrification in the nation’s capital. Smaller-sized white families are replacing black families with grandparent caregivers, who are moving to suburban areas. Francese said the stereotype of grandparents who are frail, receding and de-

pendent is changing. He noted that unemployment among workers ages 25 to 34 last year was double that of Americans aged 55 to 64. U.S. households headed by baby boomers also commanded almost half of the nation’s total household income, and are more likely to be college graduates than grandparents in previous generations. In 2009, households ages 55 or older spent billions of dollars on infant food, clothes, toys, games, tuition and supplies for grandchildren, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Estella Hyde, 65, who lives near Erie, Pa., said additional government aid — not spending cuts — would go a long way for grandparents. She and her husband have raised their granddaughter, now 18, off and on since she was a year old, when Hyde’s daughter-in-law at the time said she



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Join National Geographic for the lecture in their series Exploring the Past. The Wednesday, Oct. 19 event, Part Ape, Part Human: The Fossils of Malapa, will feature a talk by paleoanthropologist Lee Berger as he describes finding nearly 2 million-year-old fossils in South Africa. It will be held in Grosvenor Auditorium at 1600 M St., N.W., Washington, D.C. at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 for National Geographic members and $20 for the public. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call (202) 857-7700.

Oct. 23

her,” said Hyde, a nursing professor who is now retired. “But many grandparent caregivers need other sources of assistance.” In all, the states with the highest shares of children living in households headed by grandparents are in the South and West. They include Hawaii, Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, South Carolina and Texas, each with at least 1 in 10 children living in grandparent households. — AP



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Oct. 19

didn’t want the burden. Eventually the Hydes were able to adopt their granddaughter legally, which allowed her to have coverage under their health plan, but only after the couple fought through red tape and paid $10,000 in adoption fees. After a difficult childhood, her granddaughter is attending college this fall. “We were very lucky, we were able to financially take care of her and support


Nationally known humorist Jeanne Robertson will explain why laughter is the best medicine in a live performance at the Vienna Presbyterian Church. 124 Park St., N.E., at 3 p.m. on Oct. 23. This benefit is presented by the Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna. Tickets are $20 and are available by calling (703) 593-7935 or by email to


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Should most people try to avoid gluten? Q: I’ve seen magazine articles encouraging people to avoid wheat because the gluten can cause inflammation. Is that true? Isn’t gluten only bad for people with a certain disease? A: We do not all need to avoid gluten — a protein in wheat, rye and barley. People with celiac disease need to avoid gluten because for them any amount of gluten damages their gut. They often experience digestive discomfort from gluten and even small amounts of gluten can increase their risk of long-term health problems. Recent research shows that some genetically susceptible people who don’t have celiac disease may have an abnormal immune response to gluten and also experience di-

gestive problems. This “non-celiac gluten sensitivity” may be related to irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, certain skin conditions, migraines and more. However, for people who do not have this gluten sensitivity, avoiding gluten offers no benefit. In fact, greater consumption of whole grains — which in the United States often means gluten-containing choices — seems linked with reduced markers of inflammation. The antioxidant phytochemicals in whole grains seem likely to be part of this link between whole grains and lower risk of heart disease, and possibly some types of cancer and other inflammation-related diseases. Q: I’ve heard that eating after dinner

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leads to weight gain. What is the latest I This can lead people to feel comfortable should eat at night to avoid that? continuing to exercise a little longer or work A: What matters most for at a higher intensity than they weight control is how the total otherwise would, and thus calories you eat all day compare bur n more calories and to the total you burn up. The progress more in their physiproblem with evening and late cal training if this becomes night eating is how it influences their norm. Some also achieve total calorie consumption. this distraction by listening to Several studies show that audio books or rhythmic nonpeople who eat a greater promusical noise like the sounds portion of their calories at night of ocean waves. tend to rack up more total caloOther studies, however, ries for the day. For many, NUTRITION show a unique advantage to evening eating involves calorie- WISE music: the faster the beat of dense foods — foods high in By Karen Collins, the music, the faster or more calories in even a modest por- MS, RD, CDM intensely people exercise. tion, like chips and sweets. For most of us, this is helpful. On top of that, people may However, people in cardiac rehab or otheat in a mindless, distracted way, or they ers advised to hold back their pace for eat to relieve boredom or stress, so they medical reasons may respond to fast are not tuning in to the portion needed to music by pushing past their recommended satisfy hunger. Both of these situations — limits, so we need to use this tendency foods concentrated in calories and exces- wisely. sive portions — pose trouble for weight One other caution: if you are out walkcontrol at any time of day. ing or biking in an area where you need to Studies have shown that if their total be aware of traffic and people surrounding calories balance out, people who eat in the you for safety reasons, be careful about letevening do not gain weight. So while there ting music or other sounds distract you or is no ideal time to stop eating at night, if make it too difficult to hear sounds you you do eat after dinner, choose foods with need to hear. fewer calories per bite, like vegetables and The American Institute for Cancer Refruits, monitor portion size, and pay atten- search offers a Nutrition Hotline, 1-800tion while eating. 843-8114, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday Q: Is it true that exercising to music through Friday. This free service allows you helps you get a better workout? to ask questions about diet, nutrition and A: Music can be a big help and seems to cancer. A registered dietitian will return work in several ways. Some studies show your call, usually within three business days. that music —– any music — becomes a Courtesy of the American Institute for sort of distraction during exercise that re- Cancer Research. Questions for this column sults in people not perceiving themselves may be sent to “Nutrition Wise,” 1759 R St., to be working as hard as when they’re ex- N.W., Washington, DC 20009. Collins canercising in quiet. not respond to questions personally.

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Jack-o-lantern pancakes for the grandkids By Dana Jacobi As if Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In and email do not offer me enough distraction, now I am also following Amazon’s Cooking Forum. This began last fall, when I got hooked into the “What Else Can I Do W/Canned Pumpkin” thread. This discussion, with posts from serious and creative cooks, kept me tuning in for nearly a year. It also reminded me of a favorite book, Half a Can of Tomato Paste & Other Cooking Dilemmas. Forum ideas for using canned pumpkin were as clever as those from the cookbook authors, Jean Anderson and Ruth Becker — employing all leftover bits that otherwise linger in the fridge until they mold over. The shared recipes and suggestions for using canned pumpkin now number 100plus. They include meatless black bean chili, ravioli, gnocchi, pasta sauce, hummus, soup, smoothies, whoopie pies and nearly every other kind of baked good. Using canned pumpkin as an egg-replacer in baking, like applesauce, seems like another idea worth trying. Pumpkin pancakes, of course are mentioned in the forum, which inspired me to create pancakes for the season. With or without funny faces, they are just right for a fall breakfast when the grandkids visit. Maple cider syrup adds another treat, and a trick — guests think it is maple syrup until they taste its uniquely autumnal crisp and tangy sweetness.

Pumpkin jack-o-lantern pancakes disk. Repeat, leaving 1 1/2 inches between Maple Cider Syrup

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2 cups fresh apple cider 4-inch cinnamon stick 2 whole cloves 1/3 cup maple syrup In heavy, medium saucepan, combine cider, cinnamon and cloves. Boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes. Remove cinnamon and cloves; add maple syrup. Pour warm syrup into serving pitcher to pass with pancakes, waffles, French toast or bread pudding. Cooled, it is also good over oatmeal or Greek yogurt. Per serving (2 pancakes and syrup): 273 calories, 7 g. fat (2 g. sat fat), 48 g. carbohydrates, 7 g. protein, 3 g. fiber, 211 mg. sodium.



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pancakes. Cook until surface looks dull and peppered with tiny holes, about 2 minutes. Gently push dried fruit or pieces of apple into place to make eyes, nose and mouth. When pancakes are medium-dark on bottom, 2 to 3 minutes, carefully turn using wide pancake turner. Cook for 2 minutes. Flip pancakes back to first side to get firmer on the bottom. Transfer to warm platter. Repeat, making about 12 pancakes. Makes 6 servings. Note: If using chocolate chips, set them in place after turning the pancakes back face-side up.

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1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour (or whole-wheat pastry flour) 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 2 Tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp. ground ginger 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg 2 large eggs 1 1/3 cups light (1 1/2%) buttermilk 2 Tbsp. apple cider 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for the griddle 1 Tbsp. canola oil 3/4 cup canned pumpkin For garnish: Your choice of raisins, dried cranberries, dried currants, dried blueberries, dried cherries, red apple, mini chocolate chips, etc. In medium bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, whisking to blend. In another bowl, beat eggs. Add buttermilk, cider, melted butter and oil. Pour liquid ingredients into dry, mixing just to blend — better to leave some lumps than to over mix. Gently mix in pumpkin, leaving mixture slightly streaky to avoid over mixing. Heat heavy large skillet over mediumhigh heat until drops of water flicked onto surface ball and dance. Using paper towel, carefully rub surface with just enough butter to make it glisten. Pour 3 tablespoons batter into skillet, then lift pan and swirl to make a 3- to 4-inch

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Pack an emergency supply of your meds Dear Pharmacist: After dealing with the ramifications of the earthquake in Virginia, we then faced a hurricane barreling towards us. While I sur vived these ordeals without incident, it made me wonder how I might be better prepared — medicine-wise — for the next crisis. What tips can you offer? — T.R. Dear T.R.: Great question. Depending on where we live, we might face earthquakes, tornadoes, power outages, flash floods, fires or hurricanes. Climate-related disasters give us little or no time to think about our medications, because we are focused on protecting our

family, our property and staying safe. The following tips should help with your emergency preparedness. Have a written list of all your medications that includes dosage, directions, your local pharmacy and physician and their phone numbers. Include both the generic and brand names of your medicines. Pharmacies can print you a comprehensive list, but make sure it’s current. In an emergency, you want to be able to grab your medications and dietary supplements and go! I suggest you buy a toiletry or make-up bag today, and store a 10-day supply of medications in it. Make sure your name is in it, too. Only take important medicines, like those

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used for epilepsy, blood pressure, pain, heart- tions in a fire safe box. It’s not a bad idea beat rhythm, asthma, migraines, diabetes, for everyone to do this. I did a quick search on the Internet and and so forth. Keep the drugs in found two companies, Sentry their original pharmacy containand First Alert, which sell er. Rescuers and relief team boxes that are both fire safe members may need to dispense and waterproof. your medications to you, so Another consideration is to they must be correctly labeled. purchase a little plastic waterInclude a flashlight, a spare proof container. Look in the set of eyeglasses, and a water boating section of your sportbottle so you can take your ing goods store. medicine when needed. A If you are prone to floods, small first-aid kit would be DEAR or live in a hurricane zone, wise to have in there as well. PHARMACIST water purification tablets If you take refrigerated medBy Suzy Cohen aren’t a bad idea. They use ications like insulin, then you chlorine dioxide to destroy have two options. Option one is to buy a small ice pack and keep it frozen, microorganisms within 15 minutes, killing preferably in a sealed baggie. That way, Giardia, Cryptosporidium and other when the power goes out, grab the ice pack pathogens. Hikers and campers often carry these. from your freezer, drop it in that toiletry or One popular brand is Katadyn Micropur tote bag, and go. Option two is to purchase a ready-made tablets. These tablets are usually available cooling case, available in the diabetes sec- at places like REI sporting good stores and tion of your pharmacy or online. This online. This information is opinion only. It is not stores insulin, and some might fit antibiotic suspensions, suppositories, growth hor- intended to treat, cure or diagnose your conmone or epoetin (Procrit, Epogen). Two dition. Consult with your doctor before using popular cooling cases are made by Frio any new drug or supplement. Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist and Medicool. These are great for regular travel, too. and the author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist If you live in a region where fires are and Real Solutions from Head to Toe. To common, keep a 10-day supply of medica- contact her, visit


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The Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Childhood Obesity Action Network are sponsoring a workshop on building communities through gardening on Tuesday, Oct. 18 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Fairlington Community Building, 3308 S. Stafford St., Arlington, Va. There is no fee, but pre-registration is encouraged. For more information, call (703) 228-6414 or email

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To intervene or not to intervene with family Dear Solutions: After that, be polite but stay out of it. ReI just called my son, Jay, who lives member back to the little boy he was. If with his girlfriend, and she you kept tying his shoelaces, answered. She said he was he would never have learned not there but she was glad to tie them himself. I called because she’s very Well, even though there’s aggravated that Jay keeps now Velcro, he still has to tie criticizing her and arguing. his own shoelaces, Mom. She wants him to move Dear Solutions: out, but he says he can’t I am concerned about afford it. She wants me to my granddaughter, whose talk to him, that maybe mother (my daughter) has he’ll listen to me. I told basically abandoned her. her I would think about it. SOLUTIONS My daughter met a man He hasn’t said anything By Helen Oxenberg, last Christmas and was in to me about this, and if he MSW, ACSW bed with him in her house knew she was telling me by January 1. My 11-yearthis he would be angry. How should I old granddaughter was very upset by handle this without causing more this, and now this man has moved in. damage? He demands all my daughter’s at— His Mom tention, and the child is left alone in Dear His Mom: her room, is not fed properly, has beHave you considered becoming a politi- come withdrawn, seems depressed cian’s aid since you’re thinking of majoring and has been acting out in school. in damage control. STOP! It doesn’t work. When I talk to my daughter about It’s his life. It’s her life. It’s their problem. this, she tells me she’s a grown As soon as she starts to complain to woman, and she can do what she you, tell her clearly that you’re sorry pleases. I’ve been seeing that my they’re having trouble, but you cannot be granddaughter is fed daily, but now involved in their problems. Suggest that my daughter won’t let her visit me and they seek counseling if necessary. If you tells me to mind my own business. can afford it, offer to help pay. I’m worried about my granddaugh-

ter and also about the bad moral example my daughter is setting for her daughter. Please advise. — Grandma Dear Grandma: Your first concern must be for your granddaughter. You must contact your local office of Child Protective Services immediately. When you tell your daughter about this, she may make all sorts of promises, but do not let that stop you. Child services will make an initial assessment of the situation and probably will

set up continuing visits to check on the child’s well-being. Your daughter may be alienated from you, but it seems she already is. And if she changes her behavior, you may hopefully reconcile with her in the future. Please let me know how this turns out. © Helen Oxenberg, 2011. Questions to be considered for this column may be sent to The Beacon, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915. You may also email the author at To inquire about reprint rights, call (609) 655-3684.

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CUTTING THE CABLE Spend less to view TV and movies with growing Internet options INCOME FOR LIFE Longevity insurance helps you avoid outliving your money MAKING YOUR APPEAL When a health insurance claim is denied, file an appeal RETIREMENT GAP A report shows a widening racial gap in financial security

A good time to invest in discount stores By Mark Jewell The economic news is gloomy, and the stock market is a roller coaster. So where are mutual fund managers finding real values, aside from bargain-hunting among stocks with depressed prices? Top fund manager Chuck Akre sees lasting value in the stocks of three discount retailers, each with a gain of more than 20 percent this year. They’re among the top holdings in the Akre Focus Fund. The stocks of bargain retailers tend to hold up in good economic times and bad. One of Akre’s largest stakes is in Dollar Tree Stores Inc., a purveyor of everything from soap to packaged food to novelty toys, such as dancing plastic solar sunflowers, all for $1 or less. The other two are off-price apparel rivals: Ross Stores Inc., owner of Ross Dress for Less stores, and TJX Cos., which runs the T.J. Maxx and Marshalls chains.

Double-digit returns The impressive rise of these stocks in a down market — 27 percent for Dollar Tree, 24 percent for TJX and 22 percent for Ross — reflects the struggles that consumers face. Household budgets remain

stretched two years after the recession officially ended, unemployment is still above 9 percent, and the economic recovery is slowing. That financial squeeze is one of the key reasons why consumer confidence has plunged to a two-year low. The implications are huge, because consumer spending drives about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity. Periods of economic stress play to the strengths of discounters that cater to shoppers looking to curb spending. Consider Dollar Tree. The company last month reported a 22 percent jump in quarterly earnings, increased its earnings forecast, and announced plans to buy back $200 million worth of its stock. Akre’s three discount retail stocks make up nearly one-quarter of the fund’s portfolio. Their strong results have helped Akre Focus (AKREX) outperform its mid-cap growth fund peers this year, with a 1.4 percent return, compared with an average loss of 3.6 percent for the category. Akre, 68, struck off on his own to launch Akre Focus after averaging annual returns of nearly 13 percent when he managed FBR Focus (FBRVX) from 1997 through August

2009. The performance earned that fund a top-rung 5-star Morningstar rating. Below are excerpts from an interview with Akre on prospects for discount retail stocks: Q: When you launched Akre Focus two years ago, you quickly purchased these three discount retailers. Why? A: They’re well-suited for times when the consumer is constrained. A large part of our population has no discretionary income. They didn’t really have it before 2008, either. But they thought they did, because of the availability of credit, through credit cards and home equity loans. But that’s no longer the case, because credit isn’t as easy to get now. So businesses that can stretch consumers’ dollars are particularly well-positioned. Q: What is preventing a sustained economic recovery? A: Corporate balance sheets are probably as strong as they have been in my lifetime. There is an economic recovery, but it has come in fits and starts. It’s being held back by high unemployment — both the reported number [9.1 percent], and people who aren’t figured into the official unemployment rate. That’s

because they’ve given up looking for work, or are working, but not as many hours as they’d like. If you add those people in, the rate is closer to the teens. Since our economy is driven by the consumer, and you’ve got one out of eight people either not working, or not working enough hours to make ends meet, it’s not going to be a robust economy. Another problem is that businesses have no confidence in our political leadership to solve our fiscal problems. So companies are not using the cash they’ve got to expand and hire. Q: What do you like about Dollar Tree, Ross and TJX? A: Each is a financial powerhouse. They’re all net debt-free — they have more cash on their balance sheets than any outstanding debts, if they have any at all. They’re tremendously strong businesses, and their managements have made terrific judgments about how to use the free cash they generate. Over the past five years, each has consistently managed to increase free cash flow and earnings, while also boosting cusSee STOCK PICKS, page 31

Avoid scams by checking on businesses By Kimberly Lankford Q. It seems that every day I hear about someone being ripped off. Are there some good resources to help protect myself against scam artists? A. Although scam artists have been especially busy taking advantage of the economic downturn, there are resources to help you check out a company or an adviser before you become a victim — and help you file a complaint if you have a problem. Start with your state, county or city government’s consumer protection office. Look up their phone number or visit for links or call 1800-FED-INFO (333-4636). The websites of these agencies often have databases that allow you to look up complaints against all kinds of businesses. You can also file a complaint to warn others of your problems. The consumer protection agencies sur-

veyed by the Consumer Federation of America received more than 252,000 complaints last year and obtained more than $208 million in restitution and savings for consumers. These agencies can also let you know about other agencies that license or regulate specific types of business in your area, such as a state contractor’s licensing board.

Look at BBB rating The Better Business Bureau (www., 703-276-0100) is another good place to look up companies. The BBB assigns letter grades, from A+ to F, based on a business’s complaint history, whether the company has responded and worked to resolve complaints, and whether the business holds the appropriate licenses, among other criteria. You can also file complaints with the BBB, which will often work with the com-

pany to help resolve your problem. Check out investments and advisers with your state securities regulator. The Fraud Center of the North American Securities Administrators Association (, 202-737-0900) also has many great resources to help you avoid becoming a victim. You can look up a broker’s or a brokerage firm’s licensing, background information and disciplinary history through Finra’s BrokerCheck website,, or call 1-800-289-9999. Research investment advisers through the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investment Adviser Search website,, or call (240) 3864848.

Review disciplinary actions Contact your state insurance department to see whether there have been any

disciplinary actions against an insurance agent or company, or to file a complaint. You can find contact information for the state regulators at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website, or call (202) 471-3990. You can also check out an insurer’s complaint record at the NAIC’s Consumer Information Source (, which is a great resource to learn about the type of complaints an insurer has received and how it stacks up against other companies. For identity-theft resources and information, or to report ID theft, see the Federal Trade Commission’s ID Theft website, Kimberly Lankford is a contributing editor to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to © Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

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Act fast to reverse a Roth IRA conversion By Dave Carpenter The stock market’s summer nosedive was extra painful for those who recently converted their Individual Retirement Accounts to Roths. Not only did their retirement savings shrink when the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 16 percent in three weeks. Suddenly, they faced the prospect of paying thousands of dollars more in taxes than otherwise necessary. That’s because the tax cost of changing an account is fixed at the time it’s formally converted by your brokerage or investment firm. Roth IRAs provide tax-free growth and have surged in popularity because of both their long-term tax and savings advantages and the relaxing of rules in 2010 that barred those with incomes above $100,000 from converting. But the market drop left many of those who joined the rush to convert to them regretting their decisions because they still must pay taxes on the higher amounts that sat in their accounts last year. Investors flooded financial advisers with calls and emails about getting out of their Roths. Unlike with a bad stock purchase, a do-

over is possible with Roth conversions until deep into the following tax year.

Oct. 17 deadline This year, those who want to ditch the Roths they established in 2010 because of adverse tax consequences or any other reason have until Oct. 17 to undo or “recharacterize” them. Those who do so will avoid paying the tax bill for the conversion or, if they already paid, get their money refunded. “It’s a way to save a lot of money during a down market for those who have seen their account values depreciate significantly,” said Ryan Himmel, a CPA who heads BIDaWIZ Inc., an online marketplace for tax and financial advice. “You’re leaving money on the table if you’re not considering this.” Reversing a Roth also can push large tax obligations into the future, when you may have more cash to absorb them. That was the case for the Segal family. They converted a chunk of their retirement savings to a Roth in March on the advice of their financial planner. Then they reversed course weeks later when they realized just how hefty the tax bill would be and that it

would push them into a higher tax bracket. Barb, a retired medical educator, and Allen, a physician, both 60, said they needed the cash instead for current expenses such as paying down the mortgage. “We know there are benefits to paying taxes up front rather than later,” Barb Segal said. “But at a time when we are really trying to save and invest as much as possible for our retirement, the immediate tax consequences were too great for us.” With this year’s deadline just weeks away, here are some basics about Roths and how to undo them: Q: Why are Roths considered beneficial over the long run? A: After you pay taxes on the conversion from a traditional IRA, your retirement dol-

lars in a Roth grow and can be taken out tax-free. Anyone who expects to be in a higher tax bracket at retirement also would benefit by paying the taxes now. And with tax rates widely expected to rise in the future, many retirees may end up in higher brackets than they are currently. Roths offer greater flexibility in retirement, too. Unlike with traditional IRAs, you are not required to withdraw a required minimum amount every year once you turn 70 1/2. You can let the money keep accumulating tax-free. Q: What exactly is a Roth recharacterization? See ROTH IRA, page 33

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Stock picks From page 30 tomer traffic and spending. [Eds. note: Free cash flow is a way to measure a company’s capacity to grow, pay dividends to shareholders, or buy back shares.] Q: What do you think about other discount retailers, including Walmart, a stock your fund doesn’t invest in? A: There are tremendous opportunities, including Walmart, which has extraordinary cash generation.

Some of these companies have lots of cash, but may find they’ll run out of opportunities to grow in a meaningful way. So they’ll create opportunities for investors. They’ll do that either by raising dividends, or by repurchasing shares, which increases the value of remaining shares on the market. If discount retail weren’t a good place to be, I wouldn’t have 24 percent of my fund’s portfolio in three stocks in that category. Those three are, in effect, dirt cheap. — AP

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Cut cable connection to watch TV for less By Lisa Gerstner Thanks to new offerings via the Internet, viewers are increasingly catching their favorite shows free or for a fraction of what their cable company charges. And going online to view TV shows doesn’t mean you’re stuck watching programs on your computer or tablet screen. The Apple TV box ($99), for example, streams iTunes, Netflix, YouTube and some sports programming to your TV. Or you may be able to use a video-game console or a device designed to stream TV shows and movies from the Web to television, such as a Roku box ($60 to $100) or Boxee ($200). Plus, some Blu-ray players and HDTVs have built-in connections for receiving

shows online. Using either a cable or a wireless device, you can connect your PC to your TV and view anything that’s streaming to your laptop on your big screen. An HDMI cable, for HDTVs, offers the best-quality picture, and you can find one for $15 or less. For about $100 to $200, you can buy a wireless device, such as the Warpia StreamHD, to do the same job.

Watch TV online Check to see whether you can watch your favorite shows free. Hulu has partnerships with many network and cable channels. A lot of prime-time shows appear on Hulu the morning after they air, although you won’t find popular shows

The 7th Annual Big Event “Shaping Aging Services: The Future is Now!”

Monday, November 14 8:00 am Registration Opens 8:30 am to Noon: Program, Exhibits & Networking

The Kellogg Conference Center Gallaudet University 800 Florida Avenue, NE • Washington, DC 20002

Our two keynote presenters will address the significant changes occurring in caring for our elderly, what the future will look like, and the emerging technologies that can improve the aging experience, with a focus on aging in place. George Taler, MD

Larry Minnix

Director, Long-Term Care, Washington Hospital Center and Co-Director of the Medical House Call Program

President and CEO of Leading Age

Registration fee $15 per person in advance until November 1, $20 thereafter and on-site. A full, hot breakfast buffet is included in the registration fee. Complimentary Parking Register at:

from premium cable channels. With Hulu’s free service, you can typically watch only the five most recent episodes in the current season. The subscription service, Hulu Plus ($7.99 per month), provides access to full seasons and the ability to stream programs to your TV. Also explore the websites of networks and cable channels to see what’s available. Many have partnerships with Hulu to aggregate content. Fans of Fox TV shows, take note: If you don’t pay for participating cable or satellite services, you now must wait eight days after episodes air before you can watch them free with Hulu’s regular service or at Hulu Plus subscribers can watch them the next day. Some services offer TV shows to rent or buy. With iTunes, you can rent single episodes for 99 cents, and Amazon Instant Video sells discounted episodes if you sign up for a TV pass. Full seasons of shows are also available for purchase. These services may be most useful if you’ve missed most of a current season and want to catch up, if you’d like to buy previous seasons of shows, or if you prefer to own episodes so that you can watch them repeatedly. Otherwise, find out whether you can view new episodes free on Hulu or on the network’s website.

Stream new movies Some Internet services allow you to stream the newest movies to your living room. Vudu, for example, has a wide selection of high-definition movies available to stream the day they are released on Bluray. (You can also watch Vudu movies at Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, iTunes and Zune also stream

new movies that you can watch on your computer or TV. Most of the services also offer a selection of movies (and TV shows) in HD, usually for an additional price. You may not be able to watch HD programming on all your screens. Amazon Instant Video, for example, currently streams HD movies to your TV through compatible devices, but not to your computer. Many online services limit the amount of time you have to watch a rental to one to two days after you begin to play it. But Netflix — which has split off its DVD rental service to a new company called Qwikster — still lets you keep discs as long as you wish, and its streaming content is available to view anytime. Netflix/Qwikster is getting heat from customers for requiring them to pay separately (and more) for disc-rental and streaming subscriptions. But if you watch several movies in a month, a subscription service could still save you money. If you’re primarily interested in newer, popular movies, stick with disc rental. If you’d rather browse for less-current movies, documentaries and TV shows, Netflix’s streaming service has a broad selection. You can search elsewhere for lesserknown or older movies at a discount. Look for 99-cent movie specials from CinemaNow and iTunes. Vudu offers a different 99-cent special every day, and you can choose from thousands of movies to rent for $2 for two nights. Amazon Instant Video has special deals on movies and TV shows, and it compiles movies into price categories. Recently, for example, the first six movies in the Harry See CABLE COSTS, page 33

A Conversation with the Experts Would you recognize fraud if it happened to you? Wednesday, October 5 10 a.m. — 2 p.m. Riderwood Village Performance Hall 3150 Gracefield Rd., Silver Spring, MD 20904 Invited guests include:

Rep. Donna Edwards Deborah Zukerman (State’s Attorney’s office) Complimentary lunch served (vegetarian option available) Parking available.

RSVP by Monday, Oct. 3 to:

(240) 777-1262

Please advise of any special needs.

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Roth IRA From page 31 A: It’s the process of undoing all or part of the conversion from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Q: What’s an example of when you would want to do it? A: Let’s say you converted a $100,000 IRA to a Roth last year and the value has dropped to $80,000. If you retain the Roth, you will pay tax on the full $100,000. If you undo the conversion, while it won’t undo your loss on the IRA, at least you’ll avoid paying tax on the $20,000 you’ve already lost. And after waiting 30 days, you can reconvert the IRA to a Roth

this year, if you still want to. Q: How do you know if it’s the right move? A: If your holdings have already lost substantial value, the decision to recharacterize is a no-brainer, said Ed Slott, an accountant who specializes in retirement issues. “Why pay tax on value that no longer exists?” he said. Otherwise, focus on the net savings you’d achieve. The more the Roth’s value declines, the greater the tax benefit. Factor in the cost of getting professional help, such as paying an accountant to amend your tax return as needed, said Richard Jackson, principal at advisory firm Schlindwein Associates. “You would like to

not have to recharacterize,” he said. Q: How often do people undo their conversions? A: Fidelity Investments, the biggest provider of IRAs, said it typically reverses less than 15 percent of its Roth conversions. But there’s still the potential for many people to do so by the Oct. 17 deadline. Fidelity alone completed about 220,000 Roth conversions last year, more than a fourfold increase over 2009. Q: What are the downsides? A: Anyone who converted an IRA to a Roth in 2010 was given the one-time perk of being able to put off paying taxes for a year,


and to pay half each in 2011 and 2012. Losing that tax-deferral deal is probably the biggest negative to recharacterizing, said Tim Steffen, director of financial planning for Robert W. Baird & Co. By spreading out the tax obligation over time, it made absorbing a big expense more manageable. Q: So how do you go about making the change? A: Contact your Roth IRA custodian and ask to recharacterize your account back to a traditional IRA. If you have already paid the conversion taxes, file an amended return to get your money back. — AP


Cable costs From page 32 Potter series were available to rent for $2.99 each. Hulu has a collection of free movies and documentaries but no new releases.

High-speed Internet needed One caveat: You’ll need a fast Internet connection. (To test the speed of your current connection, use the tool at Some services list minimum requirements to stream video. Vudu, for example,

suggests a connection speed of at least 1 megabit per second for standard-definition movies (480p), 2.25 Mbps for HD (720p) and 4.5 Mbps for HDX movies (1080p). Netflix automatically chooses the level of video quality you’ll stream based on your connection speed. Willing to get up from the couch? Aside from visiting a standard movie-rental store, you can go to Redbox or Blockbuster Express kiosks to rent new movies on DVD or Blu-ray for $3 or less per night. And renting films from the local library is free. © Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Estate Planning & Administration JOSEPH, GREENWALD & LAAKE, P.A. 111 Rockville Pike Suite 975 Rockville, MD 20850


The Aspen Hill Chapter of National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association will meet on Wednesday, Oct. 26, to hear a talk from a U.S. Census Bureau speaker about the results of the last census. The lecture will deal with redistricting, demographic profiles and the impacts. The event, open to everyone, takes place at the Holiday Park Multiservice Senior Center, 3950 Ferrara Dr., Wheaton, Md. from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. For additional information, contact Nancy Leonard at (301) 871-2995.

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you’ll be amazed at the changes that have been made with today’s new home equity conversion mortgage. A HECM Reverse mortgage offers lower closing costs combined with interest rates at historical lows. Don’t miss out on the incredible chance to supplement your retirement plan with the equity in your home. Call for a personal presentation or join us for an informational session and learn about the new HECM products backed and regulated by the US goverment. HECM Mortgage products are only available to persons 62 years and older.

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Income for life with longevity insurance By Dave Carpenter Odds are growing that you’ll live past 85. But will your money last that long? And what if you make it to 95 or 100? With life spans lengthening, those nearing retirement may want to consider financial protection to guard against the possibility of outliving their money. It’s now increasingly available in the form of longevity insurance, which usually involves giving a sum of money to an insurer in your 60s in exchange for monthly payments that start at 80 or 85 and continue for the rest of your life. The little-known financial product is gaining new attention at a time when few have pensions and Congress is discussing changes to Social Security that could re-

duce future benefits. New York Life Insurance Co. began offering a policy in July, joining a handful of others including MetLife, Symetra Financial and The Hartford. But it’s not just about insurance companies looking to make money off aging baby boomers. Retirement experts and some financial advisers say it can make a lot of sense for those who have enough savings to be able to spare a small portion in exchange for future monthly income that they can’t outlive. “This is something that people ought to be thinking about as they approach retirement,” said Anthony Webb, research economist for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

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A type of annuity Longevity insurance is the relatively new term for an annuity designed to cover the latter years of retirement. An annuity is an investment product in which you typically pay an insurance company a lump sum and get back a stream of payments for life. Certain annuities have sullied the category name for being complex and loaded with fees — mostly variable annuities, where the value can sink with stock market declines. But more financial advisers are touting annuities as a way to receive the guaranteed lifetime income that pensions once provided. With the longevity annuity, income is fixed and starts at a specified future age, frequently 85. Under MetLife’s “maximum income” version, for example, a woman who buys longevity insurance with a $100,000 lump sum at age 65 could receive annual income of $59,010 starting at 85. That wouldn’t be enough to cover a year of nursing home care, but as supplementary income it would go a long way toward covering living expenses. Payouts are higher for men because of shorter average life spans. A 65-year-old man purchasing $100,000 of insurance would get $73,580 annually from MetLife

starting at 85. One drawback: If you die before payments start, the money you gave the insurance company is gone. The insurers do offer alternate versions that guarantee death benefits to heirs, allow clients to start collecting income whenever they need it, even let them out of the contract. But those conditions can double your cost. Buying this protection serves dual purposes. It ensures a predictable stream of income for your later years, removing worries about having to depend on family members for financial assistance. And defining the exact time period that your other savings have to cover — say, from age 65 to 85 — allows retirees to spend more confidently and invest more aggressively without fear of running out later. “If you have one of these [policies] that kicks in at 85, it becomes a much simpler problem of how to spend down one’s wealth,” said Webb. The big downside, of course, is giving a pile of money to an insurer and hoping you and the company both are around in 20 years or whenever the benefits start flowing. Your best bet is to find a company with See INCOME FOR LIFE, page 36


Oct. 7

LEARN ABOUT MEDICARE PART D Get the latest on the changes for the 2012 Medicare prescription

drug program from Jack Davidson, community liaison with Home Physicians, Friday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. at Springvale Terrace Retirement Community, 8505 Springvale Rd., Silver Spring, Md. For more information, call (301) 587-0190.

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Brooke Grove Retirement Village

Community Health Fair for Seniors Wednesday, October 12, 2011 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Stations include:

With a goal of promoting wellness, Brooke Grove Retirement Village is pleased to partner with Celtic Healthcare to host a FREE Community Health Fair for Seniors. The event will be held on campus in the

Sharon Courtyard of Brooke Grove Rehabilitation and Nursing Center 18131 Slade School Road Sandy Spring, MD 20860 For further information, contact Toni Davis at 301-924-2811, option 3 or

ÝÛ Blood pressure, pulse and oxygen level screening provided by Celtic Healthcare and Brooke Grove Retirement Village nurses ÝÛ Gait velocity testing provided by Celtic Healthcare physical therapists ÝÛ Balance evaluations provided by Celtic Healthcare physical therapists ÝÛ Seated massages provided by a licensed massage therapist ÝÛ Flu shots provided by EMUrgent Care of Olney/Sandy Spring ($25 if not covered by Medicare) ÝÛ Wii bowling (just for fun!) ÝÛ Healthful cooking demonstrations and tips by Chef Bonita Woods of the Bonita Woods Wellness Institute ÝÛ “Maintaining Your Independence as You Age” Seminar presented at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. by Geriatric Medicine Specialist Patricia Tomsko Nay, M.D.

Connecting Home and Health

ÝÛ Tours of Brooke Grove Retirement Village



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

Income for life From page 34 the best ratings by A.M. Best, Fitch, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.

Who should buy? Demand for this type of insurance is low so far. But rising life expectancy should help it grow. After all, for a reasonably healthy 65-year-old couple, chances are 63 percent that one of them will live until 90, 36 percent that one will make it to 95, and 14 percent that one will reach 100, according to the Society of Actuaries. The key is to remember it’s an insurance policy and not an investment. Jason Scott, managing director of the Financial Engines Retiree Research Center, calls longevity insurance an efficient way of handling the risk of living a long time. “It’s really expensive for an individual to plan for a life that might last to 100,” he said. Dallas Salisbury, 62, had no qualms about buying longevity insurance three years ago that won’t pay him a cent until his 85th birthday in 2034. His health and family history both suggest that Salisbury, who is president of the Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington, D.C., has an excellent chance of cashing in. Both parents lived past 93, and an aunt reached 104. He said he’ll recoup his original cost, not counting inflation, after a year of payments. And if he makes it to 90, he’ll have reaped a 10 percent annual return on his money. But even more important in his decision, he said, was the chance to lock in long-term

financial certainty at a modest cost. He and his wife bought longevity policies with different insurers, spending 10 percent of their investment portfolio at the time. That means they can decide what to do with 90 percent of their assets between now and age 85 without worrying about holding back money for an indefinite number of years beyond life expectancy. “Paying 10 percent for that type of certainty to me is worth it,” he said. “If you want to protect yourself against living a long time and running out of money, the only way of doing it is where someone else takes on that longevity risk.” Longevity insurance doesn’t make sense for the very rich, who can finance their own old age, or the poor, who have no wealth to spare. But it should interest those of somewhat above-average income — roughly the 60th through 95th percentiles of the population, according to Webb, who also suggests buying some form of inflation protection with the policy. Those from families with a history of longevity, like Salisbury, are particularly good candidates for it. Even those who find it a good fit for their finances, however, aren’t advised to spend any more than 15 to 20 percent of their assets. And while the price is lower if you buy it younger, most experts don’t recommend getting coverage until you’re in your 60s. “Wait till you’re ready to retire and assess your resources,” said Scott. “Then if you’re worried about running out of money and living a long time, it’s worth considering.” — AP


Oct. 11+


Legal Services of Northern Virginia provides confidential legal assistance on issues from Social Security and Medicare to insurance and housing law. On Tuesday, Oct. 11, LSNV will be at Langston-Brown, 2121 N. Culpepper St., Arlington, Va., from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The same day, they will also be at Lee, 5722 Lee Hwy., Arlington, Va., from 1 to 3 p.m. Services are also available Tuesday, Oct. 25 at Walter Reed, 2909 S. 16th St., Arlington, Va., from 10 a.m. to noon, and on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at Culpepper Garden, 4435 N. Pershing Dr., Arlington, Va., from noon to 2 p.m. For a free appointment call (703) 2286300 for Langston-Brown, (703) 228-0555 for Lee, (703) 228-0955 for Walter Reed, and (703) 228-4403 for Culpepper Garden.

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Health insurance claim denied? Appeal! When you call, don’t specify right away Every healthcare consumer dreads getting that notice in the mail stating that their that there has been a mistake (even if you think there has been). Ininsurance company has denied stead, ask for a comprehena recent medical procedure. sive reason as to why the Unfortunately, most people auclaim has been denied. tomatically accept the denial If the answer given is ambiguwithout submitting an appeal. ous, ask for a supervisor. Based This is a mistake. Accordon your reading of the policy, ing to the Government Acand on the explanation you’re countability Office, patients given, determine whether you who appeal denials directly to think the claim has been denied their healthcare provider win for a legitimate reason. 39 to 59 percent of the time. There are three possible Maryland is one of the few THE SAVINGS scenarios: states whose insurance regula- GAME 1) The denial was for a legittor tracks data on denials and By Elliot Raphaelson imate reason, in which case appeals of health insurance coverage, and it found that 15 percent of you may choose not to appeal. 2) The denial was based on a faulty subhealth claims submitted by state residents mission, such as the wrong code being enare denied. Only 14 percent of these denials are ap- tered on the claim paperwork. In this case, pealed. However, roughly half of those ap- ask your healthcare provider to resubmit peals are successful. This suggests that, if the claim. 3) The claim was legitimate, and it was one of your claims is rejected, it is worthproperly submitted. In this case, ask the while to submit an appeal. No one likes to participate in a bureau- healthcare carrier, by phone, to reverse cratic process. But sometimes you can suc- their decision. If they won’t, then file the ceed without going through a complicated necessary formal appeal. paperwork process. I have succeeded in more than one in- Read the fine print stance with a few phone calls, and generalIt is necessary for you to understand the ly I have found that when paperwork is appeals process, as outlined by your policy. necessary, it’s the healthcare provider who For example, you need to know what your takes care of it. For example, if your doc- rights are in the appeal process and how tor’s office has made a mistake in their sub- soon you have to file a written appeal. mission, they resubmit the claim, not you. (Within 30 days? 60 days?) You should make your letter as strong How to appeal as possible, with an emphasis on showing If you are notified of a denied claim, the how the healthcare procedures in question first step you should take is to call your in- are consistent with your written policy. Letsurance company. Before calling, make ters of support from your providers (physisure to review your written policy, so you cians, dentists, nurse practitioners, etc.) understand your coverage. will be very helpful.

Gifts That Pay You! A charitable gift annuity provides you with fixed payments as long as you live. Make a gift to Suburban Hospital and get a tax deduction plus other benefits. Call today.

pendent third-party reviewer working with your healthcare provider. Last year’s health reform law requires most plans to allow you to make such an external appeal. Another option may be review by your state’s insurance department. If all appeals fail, and there are significant financial consequences, you can solicit the advice of an attorney who specializes in health insurance issues. © 2011 Elliot Raphaelson. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

and a copy of our Free informative booklet –

How to Pick a Lawyer Booklet available as a Free download on our website

Top 1% of Agents Nationwide Top 10 Agents Weichert Montgomery County, Jan - June 2011 Community Resident • Former Mont. County Teacher


Sue Heyman



Rates as high as 9.8% depending on your age.

The physician should explain his or her diagnosis and treatments used, as well as the probable results had the treatment not been done. You should include copies of previous medical records if applicable. An excellent resource for appeals, “Your Guide to the Appeals Process,” is available at If your appeal is unsuccessful, determine your available options. This will depend partly on state law. One option may be an appeal to an inde-

Donor, B. Richardson

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You can also meet her by appointment at either the Leisure World Plaza Weichert Office or the 2nd Office inside the community.

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Racial gap for retirement security widens During last summer’s din about debt ceil- Americans, of course. But they will be nothings and deficits, you might have missed this ing short of a lifeline for households approaching retirement with litimportant headline: The gap in tle or no retirement savings. net worth between white and Traditional defined-benefit black Americans has grown to pensions have all but disap20 to 1, and the gap between peared in the private sector, and whites and Latinos isn’t much voluntary saving through Indibetter, standing at 18 to 1. vidual Retirement Accounts or The numbers surfaced in research by the Pew Research 401(k) plans are tied to several Center, which also found that important factors where minorthe net worth gap has roughly ity populations are at a disaddoubled during the Great Re- RETIRE SMART vantage: cession when compared with By Mark Miller Income. You can’t save the two decades before the rewhat you don’t earn. While cession started. there’s nothing new here, Pew reports the The Pew report is an analysis of the com- disparities in joblessness and income have prehensive U.S. Census Bureau Survey of continued during the Great Recession. Income and Program Participation for 2009. Jobless rates at the end of 2009 stood at And the main culprit here is the housing 12.6 percent for Hispanics, 15.6 percent for crash, which has hurt these households African-Americans, and 8.0 percent for disproportionately because they tended not whites. Income losses also were greater to have much in the way of other assets — for minority households. Access. Minority workers are less likely especially retirement savings. This will be worth keeping in mind as to work for employers who offer a workWashington’s deficit reduction circus con- place retirement plan. Just 33 percent of tinues this fall — and as the politicians and Hispanic workers — and 49 percent of policymakers continue to weigh cuts to pro- African-Americans — had access to a workgrams that will be absolutely critical to mi- place plan in 2009, according to the Emnority households in the years ahead, name- ployee Benefit Research Institute. That compares with 53 percent of white workers. ly Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Tax breaks. The tax breaks granted to These programs are very important to all

401(k) and IRA savers go disproportionately to high-income households. Taxpayers in the highest-earning quartile by income claim nearly 80 percent of the total benefits of entitlement programs for retirement accounts, and more than 40 percent goes to the top six percent of taxpayers alone, research shows. The gap in retirement savings is cumulative, reflecting not just the current recession but years of inequality in income and tax policy. Pew’s data shows that Hispanic households had 53 percent less saved than white households in taxable portfolios, 401(k) accounts and IRAs at the end of 2009, while African-American households had 62 percent less than whites. The disparities aren’t much different if you exclude taxable accounts and consider only

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Forest Sid e Alzheime r’s Living No Assisted w Call for m Open. ore 202-966-76 info: 23. We offer the full continuum of care, all under one roof, and without an entry fee. Come enjoy luxurious independent living, attentive assisted living, plus rehabilitation and nursing care should you ever need it. Three meals a day, housekeeping, transportation, wellness programs and more are included in your rent. Plus — our onsite physicians’ clinic brings an internist, dentist, podiatrist, and massage therapist to you.

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tax-advantaged retirement savings vehicles. For many of these households, retirement security will rest entirely on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the latter serving as a last resort funding source for nursing care. More than 25 percent of elderly African Americans and Hispanics depend on Social Security for more than 90 percent of family income, according to AARP, and it keeps 30 percent of these senior minority groups out of poverty. These households also are least able to afford the various out-of-pocket expenses required in Medicare, or to set aside savings for healthcare expenses outside Medicare. Contact Miller with questions and comments at © 2011 Tribune Media Services, Inc.


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Does your organization use senior volunteers or do you employ a number of seniors?

Careers Volunteers &

If so and you’d like to be considered for a story in our Volunteers & Careers section, please send an email to

Retirees inspire students to study science

Elementary, dear Watson Sharlin — who has a bachelor’s of science in electrical engineering, a master’s

degree, a doctorate in American history, and 25 years’ experience teaching history of science at university level — refused to sit back and do nothing when he retired in 1988, he said. Instead, he founded ReSET and began bringing volunteers into classrooms across the Washington area. The group works with elementary schools in the D.C. metro area, and for the first time last year, expanded into a day-care center. Its purpose is to create a hands-on learning environment and encourage students to take science electives in high school, said John Meagher, executive director of ReSET. But that doesn’t mean it’s always an easy sell to volunteers. “The trepidation of going into a classroom of elementary school kids…makes grown men quake,” said Sharlin. That’s why the classroom teacher and ReSET volunteer work as a team to find appropriate activities for the class, Sharlin said. Over the course of a semester, volunteers present six one-hour lessons in the classroom and organize a field trip related to the topics they discuss. Lessons vary depending on the volunteer’s background. During classroom sessions, the teacher is


By Emily Hatton Ask kids to picture a scientist, and odds are they’ll “imagine little, old, gray-haired, balding men in white lab coats [who are] extremely nerdy and geeky, have no social skills, and can’t interact with human beings,” said Jane Macedonia, teacher and Science Olympiad coach at North Bethesda Middle School. That’s why two volunteer programs — Retired Scientists Engineers and Technicians (ReSET) and Senior Scientists and Engineers (SSE) were formed to help change the image of scientists for children, Macedonia said. The two groups focus on placing working and retired professionals in school classrooms, where they can nurture an interest in science and expose students to science-related careers. “It’s really intergenerational,” said Harold Sharlin, Ph.D., founder of ReSET. “I have knowledge, and I have an attitude towards science which I’m transmitting. It’s a legacy,”

Alan Rubin shares his science skills with students at Farquar Middle School in Olney, Md. Rubin is a volunteer with the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Senior Scientists and Engineers program.

present, participating and maintaining order. The typical time commitment for ReSET volunteers is about 10 hours a week. “It gives you a chance to impact young people,” said Meagher. “And if you affect a young person, and draw them into the science in which you’re interested, it could

change things forever for that student.” Around 60 people volunteered with ReSET during the 2010-2011 school year, Meagher said, which represents a tripling of the number of volunteers since 2008. See SCIENTISTS, page 41

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

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

Contact DDOE at 311 to apply To learn more about the Lifeline program, visit

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Scientists From page 40 Twice as many schools participate now, too. “It’s not like many of the volunteer choices that people have at my age. It’s quite challenging trying to figure out how to get into these young people’s heads,” said Bob Blumberg, an 86-year-old volunteer. Blumberg, a retired mechanical engineer, began working with ReSET in 1995. He started out volunteering in schools in Southeast Washington D.C., and for the past three years has been in Silver Spring, Md. “It’s the most intellectually challenging and gratifying volunteer activity that I could think of, that I’ve ever come across,” said Blumberg.

On up through high school Like ReSET, SSE volunteers are matched with teachers, but volunteer for the duration of the school year instead of one semester. Time commitments vary from four to eight hours once a week, not including lesson planning. SSE is a program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The retired engineers and scientists with SSE volunteer in elementary, middle and high schools in Montgomery and Fairfax counties. They work with teachers to determine how their time is best spent in the classroom, whether it is leading discussions and labs or answering questions.

“It’s not a lack of faith on the ability of teachers to teach science. It’s just a highly specialized experience of professional and, in most cases, retired scientists in the classroom,” said volunteer coordinator Ronald McKnight, 72. Robert Thomas, a 62-year-old freelance writer and former analytical chemist added, “You can’t really say there is a typical volunteer, because it depends on the expertise.” Thomas is entering his third year with SSE and works with chemistry students at Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring, Md., as well as with a few students from the Science Olympiad team at North Bethesda Middle School. “This is probably one of my most fulfilling experiences,” he said. To make his sessions at Sherwood more engaging, Thomas switched from presenting theoretical concepts to talking about current events related to what students are learning at the time, he said. Over the past year, he discussed and explained the nuclear disaster in Japan, alternative energy, and technology used in CSI. “I’d say for several of them, it gave them an interest in chemistry that I might not have been able to spark,” said Mary Baker, a teacher who worked with Thomas at Sherwood last year. Baker works at Clarksburg High School this year and said she hopes to bring the SSE program there. “It’s really to relate

science to how it’s being used in the real world, trying to make it more interesting, trying to be a little more creative in the way science is taught,” said Thomas.

Getting involved Both organizations welcome those inter-


ested in learning more about training and volunteering. To learn more about SSE, email Ronald McKnight at For those interested in working with ReSET, call John Meagher at (703) 2500236 or email


Oct. 10


Montgomery County’s Long Term Care Ombudsman program is seeking individuals to work as long-term care advocates. Volunteers are assigned to make regular visits to residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities to promote quality of life for residents and help to resolve problems. Training and technical assistance are provided by experienced professionals. The training session is scheduled for the week of Oct. 10 at Holiday Park Senior Center, 3950 Ferrara Drive, Wheaton. The course meets from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Contact the program at (240)777-3369; or visit the website at to learn more and to register.


Oct. 16+


Community Service Week is Sunday, Oct. 16 through Saturday, Oct. 22. Montgomery County is challenging 25,000 people to get involved. The event’s 25th anniversary will be celebrated in downtown Silver Spring on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. Find dozens of volunteer opportunities at For more information, call (240) 777-2618 or email

Oct. 10+


Each Monday, beginning in October, Ford’s Theatre will present a free Lincoln Legacy Project discussion with a historian, government official, journalist or author. On Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. the discussion “Jews and Race Relations in the South” will be lead by playwright Alfred Uhry, author of Parade, currently playing at Ford’s. The discussion will also be led by Julian Bond, former chairman of the NAACP, as well as author Eli Evans. Tickets are available at Ford’s Theatre Box Office, 511 10th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. through Ticketmaster at 1-800-982-2787 or online at For a full schedule with times and details, visit

US Airways Funds Volunteer Program to Inspire Students ReSET is an educational nonprofit that brings enriching science and math learning opportunities to DC-area children. If you are a scientist or engineer, we invite you to join this innovative volunteer program, now serving PreK–6th grade. ReSET is grateful to US Airways for its financial support.

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Spotlight On Aging VOLUME XXVI, ISSUE 10

A newsletter for D.C. Seniors

October 2011

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE By Dr. John M. Thompson October 1st brings a new fiscal year in the District government, and as we welcome the new fiscal year, we also welcome new community-based organizations to the Office on Aging Senior Service Network. Our new agencies are Mary’s Center and Terrific, Inc. Mary’s Center will operate The Bernice Fonteneau Senior Wellness Center. Terrific, Inc. will provide services for seniors in Ward 1. In addition, long-time senior service network member, Family Matters of Greater Washington, will now lead services for the elderly in Wards 2, 6 and 8. We look forward to a great relationship with our new providers, and know that services to seniors will continue without disruption. We thank our former providers AHI Senior Services Ward 8 and Emmaus Services for the Elderly for leading services in Wards 2 and 8 through our network of providers. While we’re on the topic of service providers, I would like to inform you that the Office on Aging is working closely with the Office of Contracting and Procurement to release the Request for Proposal for the senior food contract within the next month. The District government looks forward to receiving proposals from vendors who care about our seniors and are able to deliver innovative practices without compromising quality.

Needs Assessment We are in the process of completing the citywide needs assessment with our contractor, which will identify our plan of action for aging services for the future. The results of this project will help us identify the areas of focus when planning programs and services for senior citizens in the District, persons with disabilities 18 and older, their families and caregivers. It is our hope that the study will also provide us the information that we need to maximize the dollars that have been allocated to carry out the mission of this office. We hope that many of you were able to participate in the focus groups, group assessments, the online surveys and phone surveys that have been conducted over the last couple of months.

I promised Mayor Gray that I would bring best practices from other states to the District of Columbia. One approach that our office will pursue is the implementation of the Silver Haired Legislature (SHL) for our District’s seniors. The purpose of the SHL is to create a formal mechanism for seniors to identify problems impacting them and to formulate policies to address those problems. Additionally, the SHL will present proposed legislation to elected officials. There are several dozen states including California, Florida, South Carolina and Texas that have been successful at educating seniors about the policy formulation process and advocacy. In those states, seniors are elected by their fellow peers to serve as their representatives. In another approach, we will actively engage our constituents by proposing regulations and allowing a formal comment period that will allow constituents to provide input to assist us in finalizing regulations. This process will serve as a conduit to formalize policies and procedures for the agency. Lastly, I’ve been in contact with stakeholders who are interested in initiating a think tank. This would be an excellent opportunity for forward thinkers who are passionate about advancing the interests of seniors and to strategize about how to move the long-term services and supports system in a positive direction. Please stay tuned for more information on all three programs! We look forward to your participation.

Keeping Our Seniors and Their Families Safe Oct. 9 to 15 is National Fire Prevention Awareness Week. We hope that our seniors have been equipped with the information and resources available to keep them safe during fire emergencies. A great tip: test and check the batteries on your smoke alarms when you adjust your clock twice a year for Daylight Saving Time. This year, Nov. 6 marks the date that the time reverts for us, so please take this opportunity as a reminder to change the batteries on your smoke alarms, and test them to ensure they

Advocacy: Your Voice Matters! In accepting the Executive Director position,


Executive Director John M. Thompson presented 100-year-old Kelso Stewart with a certificate during his birthday celebration. The Congress Heights Senior Wellness Center participant moved to the District about seven years ago to live with his daughter and is a regular participant of the wellness center, as well as the weekend program at the Washington Seniors Wellness Center.

Culturally sensitive meals received the OK at the Asian and Pacific Islander Senior Center nutrition program.

Lead Service Agencies The Office on Aging provides funding to the following agencies to lead services for seniors in their respective wards. Known as lead agencies, seniors may contact them to begin critical services including, but not limited to, case management, meals and transportation. Services are provided for District residents age 60 and older, their families and caregivers. Terrific, Inc., Ward 1 202-234-4128 Family Matters of Greater Washington, Ward 2 202-289-1510 IONA Senior Services, Ward 3 202-966-1055 Barney Neighborhood House Senior Program, Ward 4 202-939-9020 Seabury Ward 5 Aging Services, Ward 5 202-529-8701 Family Matters of Greater Washington, Ward 6 202-547-7502 East River Family Strengthening Collaborative, Ward 7 KEEN Senior Program 202-534-4880 Family Matters of Greater Washington, Ward 8 202-562-6860

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Community Calendar October events 4th • 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. On the first Tuesday of each month, graduates of the Senior Citizens Police Academy hold meetings, meet with representatives of the community and others to stay informed and serve their communities. Upcoming meetings are on Oct. 4 and Nov. 1. Meetings are held at the Office on Aging, 500 K St., N.E. For more information, call Courtney Williams at 202-727-8370.

7th • 11:30 a.m. Join in pink ribbon celebrations as Ward 5 senior nutrition centers hold Breast Cancer Awareness Day events. For locations, call Vivian Grayton at 202-529-8701.

12th •1 p.m. Watch the movie Miracle at St. Anne, directed by Spike Lee, with other seniors at Model Cities Senior Wellness, 1901 Evarts St., N.E. For more information, call 202-6351900.

14th • 5 to 8 p.m. Meet Iona Senior Services artists Mickey Klein and Sue Garten at a free reception at Iona, 4125 Albemarle St., N.W. For more information, call 202895-9448.

20th • 8 p.m. Attend a concert by the award-winning senior chorus Young at Heart at the Warner Theater, 513 13th St., N.W. The concert is a benefit for Iona Senior Services. For more information, call 202-895-9616.

28th • 5 to 8 p.m. Attend a Halloween happy hour and costume contest with Model Cities Senior Wellness, 1901 Evarts St., N.E. For more information, call 202-635-1900.

November events 10th • 11:30 a.m. Seaberry Resources for Aging salutes veterans at Ward 5 senior nutrition centers. For more information, call 202-529-8701.

16th • 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 13th • 11:30 a.m. Learn more about diabetic and therapeutic shoes at Edgewood Terrace Senior Nutrition Center, 635 Edgewood St., N.E. For more information, call 202-529-8701.

Director’s message From page 42 are in proper working condition. For more information or to get assistance with fire prevention, call the Fire Prevention Division at 202-727-1614.

We are Moving! Hopefully, by the time that you receive this issue of “Spotlight on Aging” we will have moved to our new location. As many of you are aware, the Office on Aging will move its headquarters to 500 K St., N.E. on Oct. 3. This is the site of the former Rutherford B. Hayes School, which has been vacant for many years. In addition to our office, the site will house the Ward 6 Senior Wellness Cen-

Travel to Harrington Casino in Delaware with the KEEN Seniors Program. The trip costs $30, but you will receive $15 in rebates. Light refreshments will be served in route. Call Robin Gantt at 202- 534-4880, ext 110 for more information.

ter, which is still under construction. If you plan to visit us for services, including assistance with employment or information and assistance on senior programs and/or resources for persons with disabilities ages 18 and older, please take a moment and call us at 202-724-5626. We plan to operate without interruption. Therefore, we will be happy to assist you with all of our regular services. We look forward to seeing you at our ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Office on Aging! Please stay tuned for the date of this ceremony. Thank for your patience. As always, if you need additional information on our programs or services, please feel free to call us at 202724-5622.

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

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


Celebrate Fire Prevention Week Fire Prevention Week will be celebrated this year Oct. 9 to 15, under the theme “Protect Your Family from Fire.” Urban fires consist of uncontrolled burning in developed areas. Such events can produce severe injuries, cause deaths, and inflict serious financial loss to the community. In general, you should take the following precautions: • Call 911 immediately if you smell smoke or fire. • DO NOT leave lit candles unattended. • Monitor the stove when cooking. • Keep matches and lighters away from children. • Install a smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and on each level of your home. • Check the smoke alarm once a month. • Replace all smoke alarm batteries at least once a year. • Replace your smoke alarms every ten years. • Have a fire extinguisher in your home and know where the extinguisher is located at your workplace. Make sure the fire extinguisher is up to date, and make sure you know how to properly operate the extinguisher. • Have several escape routes planned

from your home and your workplace. • If you see smoke or fire in your first escape route, use your second way out. If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke to your exit. • If smoke, heat or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed. Signal for help using a bright-colored cloth at the window. If there is a telephone in the room, call the fire department and tell them where you are. • If your clothes catch fire, STOP, DROP and ROLL. • If the door is cool leave quickly, close door behind you and crawl to an exit. Once you are out, stay out. • DO NOT enter a fire-damaged building until authorities say it’s okay. • Check for signs of smoke or heat in case the fire isn’t totally out. • Have an electrician check your household wiring before you turn the power back on and DO NOT tr y to reconnect any utilities yourself. For power outages, call Pepco’s 24-Hour Outage Report Line at 1-877-737-2662. For downed wires, call Pepco immediately at 202-872-3432. You may also call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 202-727-1614 for more information.

Actions to Take This Flu Season For older adults, the seasonal flu can be very serious, even deadly. Ninety percent of flu-related deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations occur in people age 65 and older. 1. Get Your Flu Shot The flu vaccine is safe and effective, and because the influenza viruses in the flu shot are inactive, you can’t get influenza from the vaccine. If you have Medicare Part B health insurance, there is no cost to you for the flu shot if the doctor accepts assignment for giving the shot. 2. Take Everyday Preventive Actions Stay healthy by practicing these healthy habits • Avoid people who are sick with the flu • Stay home when you are sick • Cover your coughs and sneezes. • Wash your hands often • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth • Get plenty of sleep, stay physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty

of fluids, and eat nutritious food 3. Seek Medical Advice Quickly if You Develop Flu Symptoms Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. It’s very important that antiviral drugs be used early to treat flu in people who are very sick with flu (for example, are in the hospital) or who have a greater chance of getting serious flu complications, like people 65 and older.


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Travel Leisure &

Taking the bus to New York or beyond is convenient and affordable. See story on page 48.

Good time to visit post-revolution Tunisia Roman ruins


But while resort getaways offer beachside relaxation, they can be isolating and don’t provide much of a taste of the country’s unique local color. For a stiff dose of it, try the capital, Tunis, a sprawling metropolis peppered with vestiges of its ancient past. The Tunis suburb of Carthage was founded by Phoenicians in the 8th century B.C. and was hometown of Hannibal, the general who crossed the Alps with elephants to launch his celebrated attack on Rome in 218 B.C.E. Sacked by Romans — who famously sowed the soil with salt — Carthage would become Rome’s first colony in Africa. You can still visit the vestiges of the city’s Roman past, including the remains of villas, the ruins of a 1st century C.E. amphitheater, and the Antonine Baths, a seaside thermal bath complex. Carthage is also home to another, more recent, historical site, Ben Ali’s sprawling presidential palace. Police guard the compound, which has been empty since the former president and his family fled into exile on Jan. 14. If Carthage doesn’t sate your appetite for Rome, a trip to Tunis’ stunning Bardo National Museum is in order. Housed in the former royal palace, the museum boasts one of the world’s premier collections of Roman mosaics, with room after room filled with mammoth, often impeccably preserved, tiny tile masterpieces. Tunis also has among the biggest and best conserved medinas (old city or historic center) in the country — indeed, in much of the Arab world. A warren of narrow streets with whitewashed buildings studded with wooden doors painted a rainbow of eye-popping hues, Tunis’ medina dates back to the 8th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Zitouna Mosque is both its geographic and spiritual heart. Built in the 9th century, it was remodeled and added on to by successive dynasties, each determined to An ornamental arch frames the tower of a outdo the last. Non-Muslims can mosque in Tunis. visit the complex, with its breathtak-


By Jenny Barchfield Long known for its sea, sand and sun, Tunisia has a new claim to fame — as the birthplace of the Arab Spring. Popular demonstrations toppled the tiny North African nation’s longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January, inspiring the wave of pro-democracy protests that has swept the Arab world, from Morocco to Bahrain. While the uprising that ended Ben Ali’s 23-year-long autocratic rule went relatively smoothly in Tunisia — especially compared with the bloody and protracted conflicts that have since erupted in Syria, Yemen and neighboring Libya — the hordes of European tourists that long thronged to the country have largely evaporated. Tunisia’s border with warring Libya remains dangerous, and poor inland towns still see sporadic protests. But Tunis and the resort towns have regained their prerevolt calm, and the country is on a path toward democracy. Still, the country’s Mediterranean beaches and millennial ruins are largely deserted, and bargains abound. Travel operators who offer all-inclusive package deals at seaside resort hotels have slashed their already reasonable rates in a bid to lure visitors.

Bargain prices are starting to lure tourists back to Tunisia, less than a year after its revolution. Here, women sell colorful bolts of cloth in the marketplace of Tunis, located in the capital city’s historic old city or medina.

ing arched courtyard, mornings every day but Friday. Tourbet el Bey is also worth a visit. Buried deep in the medina, it’s an 18th century mausoleum where Tunisia’s monarchs, or Beys, as well as their children, wives and concubines were buried in elaborate marble sarcophagi.

A shopping bonanza Vendors in the medina who shuttered their shops during the revolution are again open for business. Here are some of the best shops in the sprawling, 667-acre medina, where you can procure everything from cheap Chinese-made flip-flops to hand-cast gold jewels, as exquisite as their price tags are exorbitant: • Ed-Dar: Equal parts shopping extravaganza and cultural outing, a visit to this chock-a-block store is a must. Every surface in the 15th century Arab houseturned-emporium is hung with antique rugs, stacked with hand-glazed ceramics, and shines with intricate silver jewelry. Three brothers, Ali, Youssef and Taoufik Chammakhi, founded the store in their childhood home in 1980 after their collection of handicrafts culled from the breadth and width of the country burgeoned out of control. Most of the pieces

here are one-of-a-kind heirlooms that were bought directly from families that had kept them — sometimes for centuries. Prices range from a few dozen dinars for a tile hand-painted by Ali Chammakhi himself, to tens of thousands of dollars for a collection of gem-covered military decorations with pieces dating back to the 1750s. Don’t miss the rooftop terrace, a lush oasis of potted plants with a knockout view over the medina. • Youssef Gassem: Just downstairs from Ed-Dar, affable rug-seller Youssef Gassem hawks his wares in a tiny shop piled high with Berber and Persian carpets, kilims and rugged tent rugs made from camel hair. There’s something for every budget, from small synthetic models that run for fewer than $100 U.S., to mammoth, century-old kilims in vegetable-dyed wool that fetch upward of several thousand. Gassem’s assistant works up a sweat as he unstacks the carpets, and you might be asked to help unfurl them. If something strikes your fancy, be prepared for marathon negotiations, which take place over seemingly endless glasses of sweet mint tea. Next door, Gassem’s brother Ridha sells See TUNISIA, page 46

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


Nearby W. Va., healing for body and soul

Shepherdstown Shepherdstown, population 1,200, is the state’s oldest town (250 next year). It’s a very walkable, postcard village of well-preserved brick buildings, some from the 1700s. “You won’t see a chain store or fast food drive-through,” touts Surkamp. Take O’Hurley’s General Store, for example, which sells time-tested products like fruit presses, sleds, fire tools, dinner bells and crockery. On Thursday nights, O’Hurley’s features free Celtic or bluegrass music. Pick up a self-guided walking tour brochure at the Visitor Center (, 102 West German St., before your stroll to the one-of-a-kind shops and eateries in what are some of the state’s oldest buildings in the National Historic District. There’s a story behind most of the buildings. During the Civil War, many on German Street were used as hospitals, and amputated arms and legs were flung out the second story windows. During the Revolutionary War, 100 men from each town formed the Bee Line here and marched 600 miles to Boston in 24


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days to reinforce George Washington’s fledgling army. Behind the Visitor Center is the Rumsey Steamboat Museum showcasing an invention by the man Thomas Jefferson called the “most talented mechanical genius he’d ever seen,” James Rumsey, who was 20 years ahead of Robert Fulton and his steamboat. A novel must-see is the Little House, a 10-foot-tall, two-story “house” that youngsters built in 1929 as student teachers taught collaboration. Around town, keep your eye out for the 200-year-old “horse stones” in front of homes. They helped people get on and off their horses gracefully. For a meal, you might hobnob with luminaries at the Beaux Arts-style Yellow Brick Bank Restaurant. Nancy Reagan was eating pumpkin soup here with columnist George Will in 1986 when the Challenger spacecraft blew apart over the Atlantic Ocean. Or try the Blue Moon Café, where you can dine inside or outside. The Town Run stream, never dry and fed by over 20 natural springs, splices through town and gurgles right through the restaurant. Numerous events are on tap this fall, including: Oct. 23 to 29, Apple Butter Festival, sponsored by the Fire Department, http:// Nov. 12 to 13, Over the Mountain Studio Tour,, visit crafts studios Nov. 3 to 6, American Conservation Film Festival, Nov. 19, Fiddle Summit, concerts Nov. 25 Christmas Tree Lighting and Parade and 250th birthday party For more on Shepherdstown, see


By Glenda C. Booth A little chunk of West Virginia dangles like an overturned bowl on the northeastern tip of the state, dipping into Maryland and Virginia. It’s known as West Virginia’s eastern panhandle and is the most visited part of the state. If you’re traveling there from here, the area is a welcoming introduction to the Mountain State. You won’t see sharp peaks, mountain “hollers” or coal mines there. That’s further west and south. Jefferson County Commissioner Jim Surkamp calls the panhandle “a special little corner of the world.” It has a rich mix of history, culture, shopping, dining and nature, only 90 minutes from Washington and Baltimore. You can go back to the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, visit George Washington family sites, bathe in healing waters, fish, raft rivers, hike trails, and go to festivals, plays and concerts. In between towns, you can savor the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and rural vistas.

Harpers Ferry is a national historical park as well as a picturesque community located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. A variety of tours and living history presentations bring the past to life for tourists.

town perched on a hill at the mid-point of the Appalachian Trail. You’ll no doubt agree with Thomas Jefferson who wrote about this area in 1783, “The passage of the Patowmac through the Blue Ridge is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature.” Harpers Ferry is best known for white abolitionist John Brown, who seized the U.S. Armory and Arsenal here to start a slave revolt. He was found guilty of treason and hanged. The National Park Service information center and the John Brown Mu-

seum tell the story and more. The town is full of historic buildings and at times living history demonstrations. There’s very little parking in town, so the easiest way to visit is to park at the visitor center on U.S. 340 and take a shuttle in. Visit to learn more. Check for upcoming events, such as “Living History, In the Shadows of John Brown: The 1861 Battle of Bolivar Heights” See WEST VIRGINIA, page 47

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Harpers Ferry Wedged between Maryland and Virginia, where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers converge, Harpers Ferry, population 310, is a national historical park (, a picturesque

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Tunisia From page 44 an impressive array of antiques out of an equally tiny locale. A veritable Ali Baba’s cave, it’s piled high with petrol lamps, hammered copperware from the 1920s, and old-school hand-embroidered curtains, napkins and sheets as well as centuries-old tiles rescued from old Arab houses.

Hand-made traditional hats • A nearby covered lane houses the “Souk des Chechias,” where an ever-dwindling number of craftsmen hand-make the boiled wool hats, like stunted fezes, that were once an integral part of the national dress. Since Tunisian men adopted the univer-

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

sal uniform of jeans and T-shirts, the chechia — imported from Spain in the 14th century — has largely fallen out fashion, and the lion’s share of production is now shipped to Libya and Nigeria. Second-generation chechia-producer Outaiel Jaoui still has two stores in the souk, where he serves up traditional red and black hats to Tunisians for formal occasions and chechias in a rainbow of bright hues for visitors. Nine laborious steps go into these little hats, which start out as oversized knit rasta berets and are boiled, molded, ironed and dyed into something resembling a retro pillbox. Worn on women, they breathe a Jackie O-like retro elegance. • El Makhsen: This old stable-turnedwarehouse-turned-wood-working factory is among the medina’s hippest shops. The

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brainchild of designer Mohamed Messaoudi, El Makhsen sells contemporary home decorations inspired by traditional Tunisian designs. Arm chairs have the minimalist lines of Danish furniture but are upholstered in bright wool kilims. Vases are covered in glazed curlicues of Arabic script, while earthenware tajines are served up in sleek monochrome hues. Nearly all the products are made in Messaoudi’s own atelier outside Tunis. • Across the street, Le Foyer de l’Artiste, has similarly contemporary takes on traditional Tunisian jewelry. The chains of interlocking hammered loops worn as decorative fasteners on brides’ multilayered silk gowns are morphed into necklaces and dangle seductively from goldplated earrings. Old coins look surprisingly trendy on chunky silver bracelets or on artfully beaded earrings. If you shop up an appetite, the medina is full of little restaurants where you can grab grilled meats, egg and tuna-filled fried pastries, or tomato and bell pepper stews — all smeared with harissa, the piquant chili paste Tunisians use on virtually everything. But for something special, try Dar El Jeld, a sumptuous old mansion that was

transformed into one of the city’s finest restaurants. The food — think lamb couscous and a variety of fresh grilled fish — is mouthwatering, and the decoration is even more stunning than the dishes themselves.

If you go Before booking a trip, check for travel advisories from the U.S. State Department. In July, it issued an advisory urging that potential travelers to Tunisia be vigilant and warned against visiting the southern border region, where several thousand Libyans are living in refugee camps. The advisory is slated to be updated on Oct. 8. To read the full advisory, go to a/pa_5516.html. For more information, visit Tunisia’s official tourism site at To learn more about the medina, see The lowest roundtrip fare from the Washington area in late October is $1,036 and departs from Dulles International Airport on Air France. Most flights require one change of planes and a total travel time of 11 to 16 hours, depending on the connection. — AP

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West Virginia From page 45 on Oct. 15 and the Old Tyme Christmas celebration from Dec. 2 to 4 and 10 to 11.

Charles Town Charles Town ( has history, too; after all, the town is named for George Washington’s brother, Charles, its founder in 1786. There are more Washingtons buried in the Zion Episcopal Church Cemetery than anywhere in the world, with more than 70 known graves. Get a self-guided walking map at the Visitor Center, 108 N. George St. John Brown’s 1859 trial and hanging took place at the courthouse. You’ll find Brown artifacts in the museum of the Charles Town Library, and a letter written by George Washington in 1799. For gamblers, the Hollywood Casino and Charles Town Racetrack ( may hit the spot. Over 4 million people have tried their luck at its thoroughbred horse races, 112 table games and 4,000 slot machines. Just south is the Summit Point Raceway, scene of car and motorcycle races, and a favorite racing site of the late actor Paul Newman (

Berkeley Springs The panhandle’s “healing waters,” frequented by Native Americans, have long lured travelers. Berkeley Springs ( claims to be

the country’s “first spa,” a place where George and Martha Washington soaked. Berkeley Springs State Park is a sevenacre compound of warm mineral springs and an 1815 Roman Bath House with private chambers and water heated to 102 degrees. The town has a museum, restaurants, boutiques, B&Bs, motels and a brochure for a 70-mile self-guided driving tour of more than a dozen sites connected to George Washington, including “George Washington’s bathtub,” where our founding father “abated his fevers.” The Country Music Hall of Fame honors West Virginia country music legends and offers a tour of their recording studio. From Oct. 8 to 9, the town holds an Apple Butter Festival and parade, and from Nov. 13 to 14 there will be a Festival of Light, featuring practitioners of spiritual and physical healing.

the Hilltop House in Harper’s Ferry where strategies for the anti-slavery Niagara Movement were plotted. The C&O Canal towpath for walking, biking and hiking is in Maryland, but just across the Potomac, as is the 3,000-acre Antietam National Battlefield (, site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, where the warfare was “as loud as Niagara Falls.” Visit for travel tips, activities and events or for videos of important sites. Virginian Susan Koscis says about the panhandle, “I love the area because it is quiet, peaceful and a green corner of the world with friendly people.”

If you go You need a car to explore most of the

Jefferson County and beyond Jefferson Countians like to tout their connections to the father of our country who surveyed in the area in 1748 and bought land. Over time, the Washington family built at least 10 estates in Jefferson County. Four still stand, but are only open to the public at certain times. Ask at the visitor centers. The Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society’s ( African American Heritage Map can open your eyes to an often overlooked history — spots like the Charles Town Coloured Grave Yard, and


Oct. 16

panhandle. Amtrak’s Capitol Limited train stops in Harpers Ferry seven days a week. A commuter MARC train goes to Duffield, 10 minutes from Shepherdstown on week days, but there is no public transportation, not even a taxi. Hotels may arrange transportation from the train station. In Shepherdstown, you can easily explore downtown on foot from the Thomas Shepherd Inn B&B (,1-888-889-8952). Rooms start at $125 a night. You can feel transported to Germany and sample wild game at the Bavarian Inn (, 304-876-2551) perched on a bluff over the Potomac. Rooms start at $169 a night. Glenda C. Booth is a freelance writer in Alexandria, Va.

Upcoming Trips Fall Foliage and Shenandoah Caverns

Experience one of the best fall foliage displays in the East as we travel scenic Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. In addition, we’ll visit the Shenandoah Caverns, American Celebration on Parade, and other area attractions.

Wednesday, October 12

“Me and My Girl” at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Saturday, November 12


“Winter Wonderland” Christmas Show

Sunday, December 4 $129 per person Christmas in Nashville – Gaylord Opryland Resort The Gaylord Opryland Resort pulls out all the stops for Christmas to create their dazzling winter wonderland. This trip includes a Country Christmas Dinner and Show with Louise Mandrell; the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the famous Rockettes; the Gaslight Theatre ice sculptures, and so much more. Make this a Christmas season to remember. Price includes round-trip airfare from BWI to Nashville.

Go spelunking with a tour guide in Luray Caverns in Virginia and see the unique formations, clear pools and other features of the area. Afterward, visit the Shenandoah Vineyards, with lunch included, to tour the wintery and taste the product, all for $70. Pick either Wednesday, Oct. 19 or Thursday, Oct. 20, departing at 7:15 a.m. and returning at 5:30 p.m. For more information and to register for this Montgomery County Recreation Dept. trip, call (240) 777-6870.


$129 per person

Join us at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, PA, for this warm and wonderful show of favorite holiday carols and songs, breathtaking music and dance, and a visit from Santa. Before the show enjoy a delicious buffet lunch at Miller’s Smorgasbord Restaurant.



$109 per person

This truly charming musical is about a working-class man who inherits a large fortune and the title of Earl, then discovers a branch of blue-blood relatives. The hit songs include The Lambeth Waltz, Once You Lose Your Heart, Leaning on a Lamppost, and Love Makes the World Go Round. This show will have you dancing in the aisles. A delicious buffet lunch precedes the show.

Enjoy the 15th annual Shenandoah Valley Hot Air Balloon, Wine and Music Festival on Sunday, Oct. 16 in Clark County, Va. A bus leaves from Lee District RECenter, 8426 Old Mount Vernon Rd., Alexandria, Va. at 1:30 and returns at 9:30 p.m., from Mason Government Center, 6507 Columbia Pike Annandale, Va. at 2 and returns at 9 p.m., and from Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax, Va. at 2:30 and returns at 8:30 p.m. The cost is $104. For more information or to register, call (703) 222-4664.

Oct. 19+


December 11-13

$995 per person, dbl. occ.

Call us for more information on these and our other trips.

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City of Fairfax 35th Annual Fall Festival Saturday, October 8, 2011, 10am – 5pm Historic Downtown Fairfax (rain date October 9) Free Admission! 703-385-7858 Sponsored by

• Over 400 juried crafters and food vendors • Musical Entertainment (3 Stages) • Art Show in Old Town Hall • Carnival Rides • Pumpkin Patch • Business Expo and More! • Three Sheets to the Wind, America’s tribute band to Yacht Rock), 11am - 1:30pm • Gonzo’s Nose (premier party band playing 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s hits), 2:30 - 5pm


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

Bus lines offer affordability, convenience With air travel becoming such a hassle, and with so many annoying fees, and Amtrak barely holding its own, the only mode of public transit left to innovate is the bus system. And in case you hadn’t noticed, several bus operators are adding interesting new services.

Two operators run large regional networks of “express” buses operating relatively few daily trips, up to 400 miles, with only limited en route stops, and featuring onboard amenities such as free Wi-Fi and superior legroom. Megabus is the original and is still prob-

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ably the market leader. It operates in a re- cross-border service to Buffalo and Buffagion bounded by Portland, Me., in the lo airport — popular with air travelers who north, Charlotte and Memphis want to avoid Canada’s heavy in the South, and Kansas City fees on international air trips. and Minneapolis to the west. The latest entrant is GreyMost routes radiate out up hound: Its “express” sub-systo 400 miles from Chicago, tem appears to be pretty much Pittsburgh, New York and a clone of Megabus. It operWashington, D.C. Typically, ates in the same general areas Megabus runs a minimum of and in the same general pattwo round trips daily — one tern of operations. Greyhound daytime, one overnight — offers various discounts, inwith more frequent buses on cluding up to 50 percent for adTRAVEL TIPS many routes. vance purchase and half-price Fares are capacity-con- By Ed Perkins family companion tickets. trolled, starting out very low A few years ago, Megabus — as low as $5 each way — and increasing started a similar western service in Calias the trip fills. Seating is guaranteed. fornia, Arizona, and Nevada, but that apA Canadian affiliate operates similar parently was not a success. At this point, as services linking the main cities in the corSee TRAVEL TIPS, page 49 ridor from Montreal to Niagara Falls, with


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Oct. 13


Take a trip to Philadelphia and experience the mummy exhibition at the Franklin Institute. The trip includes an IMAX film, audio headsets and lunch at Maggiano’s. This chartered trip departs from Madison, 3829 N. Stafford St., Arlington, Va., at 6 a.m. and from Langston-Brown, 2121 N. Culpepper St., Arlington, Va., at 6:30 a.m. It returns at 6:30 p.m. and costs $109 for Arlington residents and $115 for non-residents. Call (703) 228-4748 to register.

Oct. 21

ARCHITECTURAL ADVENTURE Take a visit to one of

Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous works, Fallingwater. A guide will lead you through the home. Afterward, head to Kentuck Knob, designed in the last decade of Wright’s career. A bus leaves from Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax, Va., at 6 a.m. and returns at 10 p.m., from Mason Government Center, 6507 Columbia Pike

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Annandale, Va., at 6:30 a.m. and returns at 9:30 p.m., and from Lee District RECenter, 8426 Old Mount Vernon Rd., Alexandria, Va, at 7 a.m. and returns at 9 p.m. The cost is $104. For more information or to reg- Golden LivingCenters offer services and programs to residents without discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, !"#$!%!&'()"&#&*")#")#)+!,&-#.),/#)0,&,/#-()1*#%!2, )"3,4!#%) !"#$%, )0,&,/#-()/,4,-&%')",3#/#&, )0,&,/#-()5/)5&6,/)3/5&,4&, )0,&,/#-()5/)"5*/4,)57)3#'.,-&8)9:;<=>?@=<AA<B+

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

Travel tips From page 48 far as I know, nobody operates a similar system anywhere west of Omaha.

Along the I-95 corridor A handful of small bus lines operate high frequency short-haul services from New York to Boston and Washington, with a few intermediate stops along the I-95 corridor. They originated serving ethnic Asian markets, but they’ve gone “uptown” and now appeal to a broad range of travelers. Among them: • BoltBus (, Greyhound subsidiary: Boston-New YorkNewark-Philadelphia-Washington • DC2NY ( New YorkWashington area and Washington areaDelaware beaches • Hola Bus ( New York-Philadelphia-Baltimore-Washington • MVP Bus ( New York-Baltimore-Washington • TripperBus ( New York-Washington suburbs

• Vamoose Bus ( New York-Washington suburbs • Washington Deluxe Bus ( New York-Washington For the most part, these lines provide onboard Wi-Fi and most provide at-seat power outlets. Some offer limited onboard refreshments; most carry onboard restrooms. Pickup and drop-off points are generally curbside in busy city center areas. Fares top out at about $30 each way, and some lines sell a few capacity-controlled fares as low as $1. The lines do not oversell buses, so anyone with an advance ticket gets to board. However, if you just show up at a boarding spot, you may or may not get on any particular trip. Typical end-to-end runs from New York to either Boston or Washington take about four and a half hours. Although most describe their buses as “deluxe” or “luxury,” that’s only by comparison with conventional bus services.

A couple of deluxe services


Fairfax County’s Volunteer Solutions needs volunteers to deliver for Meals on Wheels in the Vienna, Oakton and Dunn Loring areas. A Korean-speaking volunteer is also need to help a resident with grocery shopping in Reston. To find out more, call (703) 324-5406, email or visit and click on volunteers.


Amtrak’s best service, the Acela Express, dashes between New York and Washington in just under three hours, but the lowest weekend fare is $139, and even the slower trains charge at least $149. Those fares provide enough of a price umbrella to give the bus lines a lot of business — which they apparently do get. Send e-mail to Ed Perkins at Perkins’ new book for small business and independent professionals, Business Travel When It’s Your Money, is now available through or © 2011 Tribune Media Services, Inc.


Oct. 8


Enjoy a trip to Eastern Market on Saturday, Oct. 8. A variety of vendors will be selling their goods, and lunch will be on your own. The bus leaves from Lee, 5722 Lee Hwy., Arlington, Va., at 9:15 a.m. and from Walter Reed, 2909 S. 16th St., Arlington, Va., at 9:30 a.m. It returns at 1:30 p.m. The trip is $10 for Arlington residents, $12 for non-residents. Call (703) 228-4748 to register.

Two lines operate truly “deluxe” buses with two-and-one seating and extra



legroom. Limoliner ( operates Boston-Framingham-New York, and Vamoose Bus runs one daily “VIP Gold Bus” New York-Washington area roundtrip. Fares are about double regular fares. Clearly, these lines challenge both flying and Amtrak. Given the hassles of airport access, check-in deadlines, and weather uncertainties, they come close to matching airlines in center-to-center time, with a lot less hassle. And although Amtrak beats them for center-to-center time — and is a lot more comfortable and roomy — even the lowest “regional service” rail fares are a lot higher.



The Audubon Naturalist Society is looking for people to become water quality monitors and help to protect this natural resource. Free workshops and classes are offered, and volunteers join a team to monitor a stream site up to four times per year. It takes between two to three hours per session. Hours are flexible and monitoring times are arranged by team. If interested, contact Liz Jones at (301) 652-9188, ext. 30, or email

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


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Weight Watchers founder Jean Nidetch still keeps the pounds off. See story on page 56.

Murder, blackmail and music in Chicago

Corruption in ‘20s Chicago The story — which deals with murder, corruption, blackmail, sex, adultery, cheating and exploitation, among other wicked human ways in 1920’s shoot-‘em-up Chicago — is told, as one would expect in a musical, mostly through song and dance. The overall production and performanc-

es are first-rate and enjoyable, despite the confined space of the dinner theater. Still, it takes some smart maneuvering by directors Toby Orenstein and Lawrence B. Munsey, and choreographer Ilona Kessell, to allow the chorus guys and girls to take the modified, but still hard-swinging steps originally conceived by the great Bob Fosse. By the way, while Chicago, the movie, won six Academy Awards, the way it was put together as a film seems less daring then its staged construction. The movie narration was more traditional than it is in the play, giving more gradual and conventional motivations for most of its characters. But for my money, the stage version — with its black-out scenes and swiftly drawn reasons for the action — carries more of a wallop. The characters are hit, and hit you, over the head much quicker on stage. Just like the tabloid world being satirized.

Stand-out stars The local cast, meanwhile, is more than worthy. While Fosse’s choreography undoubtedly has had to be harnessed, the vivid songs by John Kander (music) and Fred Ebb (lyrics) are properly belted out. Carole Graham Lehan, who plays Roxie Hart, the wannabe vaudeville star, is my kind of leading murderess. Poor Roxie, who knocks off her lover for his too-quick departure from her loving arms, legs and other parts, wants her whole life played


By Robert Friedman When Chicago: A Musical Vaudeville opened on Broadway in 1975, many in the audience were said to be shocked — shocked! — by the show’s subversive view of such seeming American verities as a fair and impartial justice system and the secular sainthood of celebrities. But that was then, 36 years ago. Now, yesterday’s biting cynicism has become today’s relished realism. The play is still a stinging satire. But it is doubtful, given the intervening real-life trials and tribulations of O.J., Robert Blake, Casey Anthony and assorted honest-as-the-nights-are-short politicians, that much ado will now be made about the message. The rechristened Chicago: The Musical, finally became a huge Broadway stage hit in 1996, not to mention an Oscar-winning film in 2003. The show is still going strong along the Great White Way. Audiences here also have a chance to see a version of the play with a resident cast at Toby’s Dinner Theater in Columbia. The show runs through Nov. 6.

Manipulative attorney Billy Flynn (lying on a bench), played by Jeffrey Shankle, tells the audience of Chicago that the murder trial at the center of the musical “is all a circus.”

out in headlines. But she only manages her 15-minute quota of fame. Lehan comes across as a sweet tough cookie who puts all that jazz into numbers

such as “Me and My Baby,” “We Both Reached for the Gun” and especially ”Roxie.” See CHICAGO, page 52


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Chicago From page 51 Jeffrey Shankle rankles wonderfully as Billy Flynn, your usual media-manipulating, double-dealing, jury-duping, evidence-

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

contorting shyster attorney. In “All I Care About is Love” Flynn-Shankle sings and dances and you know he is sweetest on himself. Debra Buonaccorsi displays the proper pizzazz as Velma Kelly, a hubby murderer


Oct. 17+

JOB SEARCH TRAINING The Jewish Council for the Aging’s job search training program,

the Career Gateway! will return for five more sessions from October through January. The programs helps seniors revamp their resumes, hone their interviewing skills, learn how to network, discover the hidden job market, and develop personal job search plans. The program features small classes, a long-term mentor, 30 hours of training over two weeks, and take-home materials for a fee of $75. The first session begins Monday, Oct. 17 at JCA, 12320 Parklawn Dr., Rockville, Md. For more information, call (301) 255-4200, visit or email

(she also knocked off her sister, in bed with hubby at the time), who longs for a return to the life of a trouper. She scores with Roxie in a couple of duets (“My Own Best Friend,” and “Nowadays”) and with the prison matron, when the two show off their “Class.” Others who deserve mention are Nancy Tarr Hart, who plays the matron in the women’s prison and will do anything for the girls, as long as the price is right; Munsey, the co-director, who’s also all over the place acting the master of ceremonies and what seems like a half dozen other parts; and Chris Rudy, as Mary Sunshine, the gabby reporter who looks happily at life from all sides and reveals that not much is as it may seem There’s also David James, playing Amos Hart, Roxie’s nebbishy husband whom no one notices, even when he sings “Mister Cellophane,” a song about no one noticing him. I think James should work harder in that song at not being noticed. Kudos to the real live band, maybe five or

“Public television‘s most ambitious series in years” — The Hollywood Reporter

six pieces that swung along with the singers and dancers. The band, hidden behind a curtain, was directed by Christopher Youstra. While this production of Chicago may not blow you away, it certainly will stir you up enough for an invigorating evening or matinee.

Going to the show Chicago continues at Toby’s Dinner Theatre, 5900 Symphony Woods Rd., Columbia, through Nov. 6. Prior to the show, the all-you-can-eat dinner buffet features steamship round, roast turkey breast, baked ham, chicken and tilapia, a salad bar, and a large variety of side dishes and desserts. In addition to many of the dinner items, the Sunday brunch buf fet also includes scrambled eggs, French toast, bacon and sausage. Tickets, including both meal and show (but not sodas or alcoholic beverages) are $50 for Sunday and Thursday evening shows and Wednesday matinees, $51.50 for Friday evening, $53 for Saturday evening, and $48 for Sunday matinee brunch. Tickets for children ages 12 and under are $34.50 for all performances. For tickets and more information, call (410) 730-8311 or go to Robert Friedman is a freelance writer in Silver Spring, Md.




A new program called “League of Extraordinary Seniors” is now featured on the Maryland Dept. of Aging website and Facebook pages. The project is looking for Maryland seniors with an interesting life story to tell. For more information, see ySeniors.html. To submit a story, contact Wesley Wood at or (410) 767-2075.

Oct. 6

Fridays 9:30pm Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore ....................10/14 Pearl Jam Twenty...................10/21 Miami City Ballet....................10/28 Give Me The Banjo..................11/4 Bill T. Jones: A Good Man ......11/11

Women Who Rock.................11/18 Il Postino from LA Opera .....11/25 Andrea Bocelli Live in Central Park .................12/2 The Little Mermaid................12/16

National funding for the PBS Arts Fall Festival is provided by a generous grant from the Anne Ray Charitable Trust


Join OWL (formerly the Older Women’s League) and the Montgomery County Coalition on Care at End-of-Life for a viewing and disucssion of the movie Consider the Conversation: Reclaiming the End of Life on Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 1:15 p.m. The event will take place at Holiday Park Senior Center, 3950 Ferrara Dr., Wheaton, Md. Lunch can be purchased at noon. Shawn Brennan, senior health promotion program manager with Montgomery County Aging and Disability Services, and Mary Blanken, Holy Cross Hospital nurse practictioner, will speak. Call Helen Horton at (240) 777-4961 for reservations.

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Michael Pollan


In Defense of Food: The Omnivore’s Solution WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 8PM

Listen and join the conversation with the acclaimed food writer whose thought-provoking books have reached the top of The New York Times bestseller list. Tickets $35–$60 (Stars Price $31.50–$54)


Building Bridges, Not Fences THROUGH NOVEMBER 5 Ann Hampton Callaway

Liz Callaway

Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway Boom! and Broadway SUNDAY NOVEMBER 13, 7PM

Alia Malley

These Tony-nominated singing sisters have wowed audiences on Broadway and cabaret. Hear them in great songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s along with their favorite Broadway melodies. Tickets $25–$55 (Stars Price $22.50–$49.50) Sponsored by Shugoll Research

Building Bridges, Not Fences follows photography from the darkroom to digital image-making with traditional black and white photographs by Bruce Barnbaum, digital photographs from Dean Kessman and innovative digital compositions by Bruce McKaig. The exhibition also illustrates how photojournalism creates links to international communities through the stirring artwork of Israeli photographers Shay Aloni and Ammar Younis, and Cuban photographers Maria Magdalena CamposPons, Enrique de la Uz and Pedro Abascal. MANSION Free


Ballet Hispanico FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 8PM

This vivid company blends Latin, ballet and modern dance with “elegance and ). Their lyricism” (The Washington Post). Strathmore debut features the D.C. premiere of Espiritu Vivo,, created especially for the troupe by Ronald K. Brown. Tickets $25–$55 (Stars Price $22.50–$49.50)

Portfolio Critique and Discussion with Bruce Barnbaum FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7, 9AM–3PM

Tuition $85 (Stars Price $76.50)

Bruce Barnbaum Lecture and Book Signing Clara Sipprell; MSS 14, The Charles Ives Papers in the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library of Yale University


Charles Ives c. 1947 in New York City

Masters of Illusion Live! SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 8PM SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2PM

Witness dazzling displays of magic featuring exotic animals, beautiful dancers, escapologists, comedy, quick-change artists, and more! Tickets $25–$65 (Stars Price $22.50–$58.50)

Tickets $9 (Stars Price $8.10)

Photojournalism Lecture: Significance of Visual Change with Johnny Bivera SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15, 1–3PM

Tickets $9 (Stars Price $8.10)

Celebrating American Composers

The Ives Project NOVEMBER 3–5

In this fascinating weekend, Strathmore brings back the creative forces behind our “Stravinsky Project” to explore the music of quintessential New Englander Charles Ives, regarded by many as one of America’s greatest composers. The story of Ives will be told through his music, readings, lecture/performances and recordings shining a light on this iconic composer’s work.

Carmera-Less Photography, by Nancy Breslin

Camera-Less Photography for Adults

The Ives Project is presented with support from: Strathmore Artistic Initiatives Fund Charles Ives Society


Tuition $75 (Stars Price $67.50)

Pinhole Camera Workshop SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29, 9:30AM–2:30PM

For a full guide to Ives Project performances and events, visit

Tuition $90 (Stars Price $81)


U (301) 581-5100

Strathmore Ticket Office, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD M/TU /TH/F 10AM–5PM, W 10AM–9PM, SA 10AM–2PM

Groups Save! (301) 581-5199



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Band From page 1 makes recordings. He notes that when musicians play in a restaurant, they are more in the background, whereas Zlatin has his band “put on a show” for their audiences. As a result, their performance “is possibly the highlight of [their listeners’] day or week. I’ve never been in something that makes that much connection,” Hopkins said. It generates a special enthusiasm in the band. “We really do care about the people. Other places, I’m like, ‘When is this over? Where’s my money?’ This is actually fun!” Hopkins, whose nickname is “White Lightnin,” plays a 21st century instrument called an electric upright bass, or EUB. It’s very compact, basically the neck of a bass

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

set on a tripod, so “it sounds like a bass but doesn’t look like one. I drive a Miata!” Thomas, the vocalist, first took to the stage at age 3. Over the years, he said, his vocal style has been influenced by such artists as Al Jarreau, Frank Sinatra, Al Green and Miles Davis, not to mention his own father, Ralph Thomas, a professional singer. Thomas once was a full-time singer himself, but he went back to the “real world” after the birth of his daughter. He started singing again two years ago, performing at restaurants and nightclubs, as well as with Traveling Heart. In his day job, he’s a branch manager with Options for Senior America, a personal home care organization. Thomas likes to look for people in the audience with whom to connect. “It could be the person who already has a sparkle in

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her eyes, or on the other hand, it could be the person who sits with his arms folded and needs a special touch.” Literally. Hopkins said Thomas “makes it personal. He goes out and shakes every single person’s hand, puts his arm around them, takes an extra mic around and they sing along.” Thomas agreed he’s a strong believer in both the power of music and the power of a simple touch on the shoulder. “I just want the audience to accept what I can give them,” he said. Before establishing the Traveling Heart Show, Zlatin consulted with physical therapists and psychiatrists who work with older adults to get ideas on how to make the show not only entertaining but as beneficial as possible. The advice he kept receiving was to make the performances interactive. “That’s what we try to do,” he said. “We not only want them to have fun, but to get involved.” That could mean anything from singing along to dancing, clapping, shaking marimbas, mingling with fellow seniors, or “whatever comes along,” said Zlatin. He plans, for example, to bring high school kids to performances at senior centers and nursing homes so the generations can interact. In the future, he wants to add videos and art work to the presentations. “It’s a gumbo of different activities,” Zlatin said, adding that he hopes to do a rock festival for seniors at some point, too. “As we get older, we’ll probably start adding the Beatles as well,” Zlatin laughed.

A nonprofit ensemble The Music and Art Traveling Heart Show is set up as a nonprofit corporation,

seeking donations, contributions and grants to help it reach as many older audiences as possible. The shows are offered on a regular basis at senior centers and retirement communities throughout the region, often as an open house for families to enjoy. “Family members love watching the interaction and involvement of their relatives,” said Zlatin. He receives enthusiastic feedback after performances from both audience members and program directors, many of whom comment on the sessions’ upbeat and enjoyable nature. Hopkins noted that when children or caregivers come with some audience members, “They say, ‘Wow! That person hasn’t reacted like this in a long time.’” According to Marian Oser, a program specialist at the Baltimore County Department of Aging, the Traveling Heart program “engages audiences. [They] can’t help but get involved in the fun,” she told Zlatin. That’s the kind of response Zlatin likes to hear. “The passion we bring to each performance with the engagement of the participants will help us to achieve our mission to enhance the quality of life for senior citizens through music and arts,” he said. The Music and Art Traveling Heart Show will perform at the Beacon’s 50+ Expos on October 30 at Ballston Common Mall in Arlington, Va., and on November 6 at White Flint in N. Bethesda. Admission is free. For more information, visit, or contact Zlatin at, (410) 499-9777. With additional reporting by Stuart Rosenthal


Oct. 14

DANCE TO A LIVE BAND Join the County-Wide Dancers as they host a dance from 1:15 to

3:15 p.m. in the Holiday Park Senior Center, 3950 Ferrara Dr., Wheaton, Md., as the John Brown Band and singer Dolly Bennof provide live music. There is a $5 entrance fee, $3 for HPSI members. Call (240) 777-4999 for more information.

Oct. 22

LEARN ABOUT NOCTURNAL NATURE Visit the Locust Grove Nature Center, 7777 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda, Md. on Saturday, Oct. 22 between 5 and 8 p.m. to

learn more about the nocturnal animals in the area. For a $5 fee, you can talk

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with experts, relax by the campfire, night hike and meet live animals. Register at or call (301) 765-8660.

Oct. 15

ROCK CREEK HARVEST FESTIVAL The reopening of Peirce Mill, a Rock Creek Park landmark, will be celebrated Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a

Harvest Festival on the site at Beach Dr. and Tilden St., N.W., Washington D.C. Activities include daylight tours, candlelight evening walks, demonstrations of 19th century trades, and live period music. Food, as well as souvenir flour ground by the mill, will be available for purchase. For more information, visit or call (202) 244-2379.

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2011–2012 SEASON


OLIVER KNUSSEN, CONDUCTOR PETER SERKIN, PIANO SEAN SHEPHERD: Wanderlust MESSIAEN: Le Réveil des oiseaux GEORGE BENJAMIN: Duet STRAVINSKY: The Firebird—Suite Thu., Nov. 3* at 7 p.m. | Fri., Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. | Sat., Nov. 5 at 8 p.m.

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 8 ORFF: Carmina Burana Thu., Sep. 29 at 7 p.m. | Fri., Sep. 30 at 8 p.m. | Sat., Oct. 1 at 8 p.m.

*AfterWords: Thu., Nov. 3 performance followed by a free discussion with Oliver Knussen and NSO Director of Artistic Planning Nigel Boon. The Blue Series is sponsored by United Technologies Corporation.


The Blue Series is sponsored by United Technologies Corporation.




M A T IN MUSSORGSKY: Night on Bald Mountain EE SIBELIUS: Violin Concerto LIADOV: The Enchanted Lake NIELSEN: Symphony No. 5 Thu., Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. | Sat., Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. | Sun., Oct. 9 at 3 p.m.

LORIN MAAZEL, CONDUCTOR SIMON TRPCˇESKI, PIANO BERLIOZ: Benvenuto Cellini—Overture GRIEG: Piano Concerto MUSSORGSKY/RAVEL: Pictures at an Exhibition Thu., Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. | Fri., Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. | Sat., Oct. 29 at 8 p.m.




ANNA CLYNE: << rewind << SAINT-SAËNS: Cello Concerto No. 1 RACHMANINOFF: Symphony No. 3 Thu., Nov. 10* at 7 p.m. | Fri., Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. | Sat., Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. *AfterWords: Thu., Nov. 10 performance followed by a free discussion with Leonard Slatkin and Gautier Capuçon.



BRAHMS: Violin Concerto BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral” Thu., Nov. 17* at 7 p.m. | Fri., Nov. 18 at 1:30 p.m. | Sat., Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. *AfterWords: Thu., Nov. 17 performance followed by a free discussion with Christoph Eschenbach, Leonidas Kavakos, and NSO Director of Artistic Planning Nigel Boon.




Kennedy Center Concert Hall

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 David and Alice Rubenstein are the Presenting Underwriters of the NSO. 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. The Beacon Newspaper is the proud media partner of the NSO.

The Kennedy Center welcomes patrons with disabilities.


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

Weight Watchers founder keeps trim at 87 earned some allowances. Besides, she said, she doesn’t touch most of the stuff anyway. Fifty years after Nidetch went on the diet that changed her life, she said she still lives by most of the ideals she espoused when she started the international weight loss group 50 years ago at her New York City home. And among the many thousands of Weight Watchers leaders who have followed in her footsteps, her name alone still prompts wide eyes, rapt atten-

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tion and unflinching reverence. David Kirchhoff, Weight Watchers’ current chief executive, said he’ll never forget when he finally met Nidetch, three years ago at a convention in Orlando. He introduced her to a crowd of Weight Watchers leaders that gasped, grabbed for cameras and rushed the stage. “I felt like I was at a Rolling Stones concert,” Kirchhoff said. “The whole place just completely erupted.” When Nidetch moved to Florida a few years ago, she found residents in her Broward County complex would whisper “That’s her,” as she passed. She’s grown to enjoy the attention. After all, people recognize her for doing something she’s proud of.


By Matt Sedensky PARKLAND, Florida — Jean Nidetch ambles down the hallway of the senior community where she lives, two cups of Coca-Cola teetering on her walker. In her one-bedroom apartment, there are Klondike bars in the freezer and, in the fridge, Baileys Irish Cream beside Chinese take-out. If these don’t seem the trappings of the woman who founded Weight Watchers, don’t be alarmed. At 87, Nidetch has

Weight Watchers founder Jean Nidetch displays a photo of herself from the earlier days of the international weight loss group, which she started in her living room nearly 50 years ago.

A better way to lose weight

202-223-5712 Fax 202-223-6191 725-24th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037

Nidetch struggled with her weight from an early age. As a child growing up in Brooklyn, she remembers struggling to squeeze out from her desk during a fire drill. By the time she was 38, in 1961, she was carrying 214 pounds on her 5-foot-7 frame. She had tried nearly everything, but decided to give a New York City Board of Health obesity clinic a shot. The tips she heard were simple: No skipping meals. Fish five times a week. Two pieces of bread and two glasses of skim milk a day. More fruits and vegetables. The first week, she lost two pounds, but she dreaded going to meetings because of the way the clinic’s leader delivered infor-

mation and how discussion seemed discouraged. “I hate it here,” she remembers a woman sitting next to her saying. “So do I,” she replied. So, in time, she began relaying the message to a group of friends that gathered in her living room. Friends brought friends and soon dozens were crowding in. A hallmark of Nidetch’s group was sharing the dark secrets of compulsive eating with others who understood. She never thought of it as a business, but two of her participants — Felice and Al Lippert — convinced her otherwise, and papers were drawn up in 1963 to make it official. See WEIGHT WATCHERS, page 57






The Make a Wish Foundation of Mid-Atlantic is looking for a parttime volunteer to greet visitors and answer the phones in its headquarters office. Those interested must have reliable transportation and be able to volunteer one day a week, Monday through Friday, for at least six months. The office is located at 5272 River Rd., Suite 700, Bethesda, Md. If interested, contact Janice Pliner at (240) 395-4346 or email

25% special discount for the Beacon readers

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New subscribers only! $41.34 With MD Sales Tax

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The Teen Tutoring program meets once per week in the evening from 6:30 to 8 p.m. throughout the school year (Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays) at six different sites in Arlington. Volunteers help students with homework, encourage youth to build their academic skills through a variety of activities, and get to know the teens through conversation and shared experience. Volunteers need to commit to helping one evening a week through the school year. For more information, call Jennifer Cavaliere at (703) 486-0626, x154.

Oct. 15


Create your own cheese at the Accokeek Foundation on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During the workshop, participants will learn different recipes for “famer’s cheese” and fresh mozzarella. The milk used comes from local, grass-fed cows, and you take home your creation. The class will be held in the Administrative Building at 3400 Bryan Point Rd., Accokeek, Md., and costs $30 for members and $35 for nonmembers. To register, call (301) 283-2113.

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

Weight Watchers From page 56 Weight Watchers was born. The company grew fast and before Nidetch knew it, she was a recognizable face, sitting beside Johnny Carson on television or staring out from boxes in the frozen food aisle. Franchises were opened, a cookbook sold millions, and by 1968, the company went public with adherents across the globe. By the time the company’s 10th birthday came, it was so popular the occasion was marked with a massive gathering at Madison Square Garden, some 16,000 people in attendance, Bob Hope on stage and a snaking line waiting for her autograph. By the time Nidetch and the Lipperts decided to sell the company to H.J. Heinz Co. in 1978, it fetched about $71 million. Today, though, Nidetch lives simply. In a 2009 autobiography, The Jean Nidetch Story, she said, “I’m not a millionaire anymore.” Asked by a reporter recently, she


Oct. 18


said, “Maybe I am, I don’t know.” Though she has slowed a bit from her younger years, Nidetch is still feisty as ever, and is blunt when she boils down her advice to dieters: “Drop the damn fork!” she said.

Same weight for 49 years Nidetch, who is twice divorced, still maintains a touch of glamour from her higher-profile days, dying her wavy hair blonde and wearing gold hoop earrings, a frilly red shirt and a white sweater on a recent visit. And she still keeps her weight steady, stepping on the scale regularly to make sure she’s on target. She most recently weighed in at 142 pounds, precisely the goal weight she reached in 1962. She does allow some exceptions at her age. She drinks regular soda, not diet, because her doctor warned her away from artificial sweeteners. Much of the Weight Watchers-unfriendly foods in her house, she said, were brought by her son David

and go untouched. “Sometimes I have trouble getting her to eat,” he said. Nidetch said she doesn’t crave the foods she once did, but that even if she did, she wouldn’t touch them. “When you’ve reach my age,” she said, “you’ve already decided how you want to live.” As for breakfast, that most important

meal of the day, which Nidetch always told her followers to make sure they ate? She skips it now, opting to rise late and start her day with lunch. Kirchhoff gasps when told, but admits she’s allowed some leniency. “At 87,” Nidetch said, “you have a right to sleep.” — AP

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Visit the National Building Museum on Tuesday, Oct. 18 to learn about Arlington County’s efforts to construct and operate eco-friendly buildings. The discussion will take place between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. It is free, but requires registration. For more information or to register, visit or call (202) 272-2448.


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

Three fellows fight the battle of the bulge Three gentlemen of a certain age are yakking — not about women or the stock market for a change, but about fitness. Gentleman One is 71, as thin and agile as he was 50 years ago. He eats whatever he likes, exercises only once in a while. He bores his doctors with how healthy he is. He smiles a lot. Gentleman Two is 68. His spare tire inflates by an inch or so every year. To him, a major workout is heading to the freezer for more ice cream. He knows he’s doing

everything wrong, but he likes dessert and he refuses to change. Gentleman Three is 66. He exercises regularly and eats carefully. He wows his pals by ordering spinach in restaurants — no butter, please. But his weight still creeps upward by about two pounds a year. He can’t understand why, or what more he can reasonably do. I am relieved to report that G-2 and G-3 have not yet assassinated G-1, although they often threaten to do so.

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I N S I D E …


Musicians put heart into songs

By Carol Sorgen A passion for music has defined Ted Zlatin’s life, from his days playing in a teenage band, to a career that has covered every aspect of the music business, from promoting records to selling pianos. Now retired, Zlatin is using that same passion to bring the joy of music to older adults throughout the Washington/Baltimore corridor through the Music and Art Traveling Heart Show. “Music and arts have shown the power to touch a heart and soul, bring back a memory, evoke an emotion, inspire feelings and stimulate the senses,” said the 62year-old Zlatin, who grew up in Baltimore and now lives in Howard County. The vision of the Traveling Heart Show, which Zlatin established two years ago, is to enhance quality of life for area seniors. Two of his inspirations are his own parents, ages 92 and 89. “They are why I’m doing what I’m doing,” Zlatin said. “We strive to bring out emotions with an interaction of musicians, artists, performers, video and audio to find a way to touch their hearts,” said Zlatin.

They hold him up as the oracle. They he says this, he is refusing to put dressing ask him all the time what his secret is. The on his salad. He is an investor — making small, smart bets across many, many saldialogue goes something like this: ads. G-2: “Were your parents G-2 knows that he is getskinny?” ting huge by getting even. “I G-1: “Not especially.” worked like a dog for so G-3: “Do you have an ulcer? many years that I never had Or tapeworm? Or some setime to eat, much less eat the cret, wasting-away disease wrong things,” he says. “So you haven’t told us about?” now that I’m retired, I figure I G-1: “Nope.” can do whatever I like. I’ve G-2 and G-3 (in unison): “So got it coming.” why are you so blankety-blank But what’s coming is diafit?” HOW I SEE IT betes and heart disease. G-2 G-1: “Beats me.” By Bob Levey has early glimmers of both. Actually, it doesn’t beat any of the three. G-1’s secret is no secret at all. He tries to joke about both ailments It isn’t what he does at 71 to remain skinny. (“You’ve got to die of something.”). But the jokes ring hollow. He knows the It’s what he has done since he was 11. G-1 was not a varsity athlete when he odds are against him. Still, that butter was young (G-2 and G-3 both were). But pecan is just so-o-o-o-o tasty… G-3 is closer to G-1 than to G-2. At least he worked at aerobically demanding chores, like chopping wood and hauling he’d like to think so. He hasn’t tasted buttrash. He still does (G-2 and G-3 have done ter pecan, or butter-anything, in 20 years. His problem is portion control. such work only sporadically). He always brings down the house with G-1 never overate because his parents were poor and food was sometimes scarce. this line: “I eat all the right things. And He learned to treat a baked potato as a then I eat them again.” The last time he went on a serious diet, meal. G-2 and G-3 have always eaten a baked potato — or two, or three — and he approached it as if he were a monk. Utter, single-minded fervor. He bought a then asked what was for dinner. G-1 never viewed food as a reward. He scale to weigh each slice of bread. He ate because food was fuel. His mother avoided cream in his coffee, skin on his baked him birthday cakes, but that was turkey, whatever might add 25 calories to the only day of the year when food was his daily total. Meanwhile, he logged 10,000 steps a viewed emotionally. G-2 and G-3 have often overeaten because they had a tough day at day, and he’d reach that figure by midnight work or because a pretty girl didn’t smile even if it meant walking in circles in his pajamas at 11:58 p.m. back. His weight went down by 20 pounds G-1 has never varied his routines. He didn’t gain 30 pounds, lose them, then re- within three months. He bought new gain them. He has never measured how pants. He got a substitute driver’s license many calories he eats in a day. G-2 and G-3 with his new weight on it. And then he put the monk out to pashave been up and down the diet-book escalator so many times that they’ve lost count. ture. Turkey skin came creeping back. Ten thousand steps a day became 6,000. But they haven’t lost weight permanently. G-1 is willing to leave food on his plate. Within six months, all the heft was back. At a restaurant recently, he ordered a plain So were the old pants he had kept, just in chicken breast as his entrée, ate about 40 case. G-1 is cheery about the struggles of his percent of it and asked to take the remainder home. Meanwhile, G-2 killed off the friends. “I’m rooting for you guys,” he althree rolls in the bread basket and G-3 had ways says. But getting and staying fit is about little two glasses of wine that he didn’t really choices made when the spectators have all need or want. G-1 has the right attitude. He isn’t smug. gone home and the arc lights have been He doesn’t lord his 32-inch waist over any- turned off. Monk-ing will do the trick body. And he doesn’t assume that he will when you are of a certain age. Mere rooting never will. outlive G-2, G-3 or anybody. Bob Levey is a national award-winning “I’m part of God’s plan,” he says. “I could die of anything at any time.” But as columnist.


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page 44

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Meet the performers Four professional musicians make up the band: Otis Stroup on keyboard, Jamie Hopkins on bass, and Tim Ghiz on drums, with Bruce Thomas as the vocalist. Zlatin himself doesn’t perform, but serves as the band’s executive director, set- The Music and Art Traveling Heart Show — brainchild of Ted Zlatin ting up gigs and raising (left) — brings a livefunds, as the Trav- ly, interactive performance of golden oldies to retirement communities ters throughout the area. eling Heart Show is a nonprofit and senior cenMembers of the band group. (behind Zlatin) include drums, Jamie Hopkins, Some members of the band Tim Ghiz, on on electric bass, Otis Stroup, pianist, and Bruce have a lot of Thomas, vocalist. experience performing for older audiGhiz has been playing drums ences. Stroup, for example, profession- said he long has long per- ally for served as a caregiver for 43 years, including traveling formed with his wife, a flutist his across father, who had and singer, at the country Alzheimer’s. nursing homes. “It’s a with numerous shows on crowd that I love,” the “I saw when road. I put swing music on for He particularly enjoys performing Stroup said. for him, that would cut the Traveling Heart Show’s right through the memThere’s ordinarily a “barrier audiences be- ory loss. between cause “I like He’d have a big smile on his face, musicians and the audience,” playing he said, but older generations the jazz standards that unlike with television or even visitors,” he when playing for seniors appreciate a little more.” at a community said. Ghiz sees that sense The great of “there’s a lot more singing standards of the 30s and recognition in 40s some members of along. I don’t that their audiences as well. the band now performs think we perform for were the top [these audiences]; 40 back in the day for we’re sharing music with their audiences, Passion them.” runs both ways Ghiz noted. “You can see Stroup has been a mainstay their faces light in the Balti- up,” he Hopkins is a full-time said. “That’s a lot more musician, teachmore/Washington metro rewarding ing bass and area, playing for than guitar, performing on playing for people trying more than 20 years at restaurants bass to pick each and singing. such as other up at He has been performing a bar.” the Rusty Scupper in Baltimore’s Inner Harsince the age of 13, and But Ghiz also has a more also composes and bor and the Café de Paris personal conin Howard County. nection with some of his audiences. He See BAND, page 54


Murder gets set to music in vampy Chicago; plus, checking in with Weight Watchers founder Jean Nidetch, and Bob Levey on the battle of the bulge

at noon on Saturday, Oct. 15. The free event includes a complimentary continen-

page 51 FITNESS & HEALTH 6 k A blood test for Alzheimer’s? k Foods that reduce arthritis pain LAW & MONEY k Stock tips from a pro k Appeal insurance claim

tal breakfast and will be held at the First Baptist Church, 2932 King St.,

30 denials

VOLUNTEERS & CAREERS k Turn kids on to science


SPOTLIGHT ON AGING k Newsletter for D.C. seniors



Alexandria, Va. For more information, call (703) 836-4414, ext.11.

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

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Turn autumn leaves into spring compost By Ruth Kling Soon it will be all about the leaves. Where to pile the leaves, how to gather them up and what to do with them. I personally like to simply pile them up and go over them with a lawn mower to shred them for storage as compost. They can be placed directly on top of beds to act as winter mulch, but they will clump, and shredding gets rid of most of the clumping problems. You can gather them with a leaf blower, and that is how my neighbor helps me gather mine. But I wish I had a manual leaf collector, sometimes called a leaf sweeper. It is quieter and doesn’t use energy, except your own. And, of course, you can rake them into piles as well. In many neighborhoods, the local government will collect leaves for composting. This is a great way to get rid of leaves that you don’t use yourself for compost or mulch. But there are caveats to composting your leaves. First, make sure there are not too many twigs and braches or larger objects among the leaves. Second, if you have any diseased plant debris, do not add this to the collection pile or add to your own compost. The diseases that injured or killed the plant may survive the compost process and invade your garden again. If you use chemicals on your lawn or garden, do not add grass or plant clippings from plants treated with chemicals. These chemicals can be harmful to the beneficial bacteria and fungus in the compost. Dispose of diseased and chemically treated yard waste through the trash.

Fall gardening Don’t let the fall leaf clean up take your attention away from your garden. This is the time when the mums are blooming and the spring bulbs can be planted. Eventually, the mums and pansies will need to be dead headed and cut back when frost arrives, but don’t dig them up. I have some glorious mums blooming now that I planted last year. They have doubled in size and just need to be cut back once in the summer to produce fall blooms. The same goes for the pansies. There are three that I planted in a flower box last spring that just won’t quit! Cleanup is important, particularly around roses. Take away any spent blooms and leaves; they can harbor disease. You will not have much else to do for the roses until late winter or early spring. Just make sure that the long stems of climbing roses are secure so that they do not blow around in the wind. Hurricane Irene completely untangled my carefully woven rose canes attached to an arbor. Now it looks like a fright wig with very little hair. This is a good time to start working on a winter cold frame or row covers to lengthen the growing season for vegetables, particularly greens. Planning now will keep you from panicking if an early frost hits your lettuce.

Time for transplanting While we are on the subject of planning, this is a good time to think about any perennials you wish to transplant. Hot weather is the worst time to transplant anything.


Oct. 29

PICKPOCKET PROTECTION Two Arlington County Police Department detectives from the bur-

glary and financial crimes units will lead a discussion on how pickpockets orchestrate attacks and how to prevent it from happening to you. This free event is Wednesday, Oct. 19 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Aurora Hills, 735 S. 18th St., Arlington, Va. Register by calling (703) 228-0955.

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Move them in the cool weather, and water the transplants well throughout the fall (particularly if it is dry). Don’t feed them until next spring, but do trim off any dead looking parts when transplanting. Start a garden journal or keep writing in one you’ve kept over the summer. Things will cross your mind that you may have forgotten to write down earlier. You never know what new ideas may spring to mind. Write it all down. You will thank me because by next spring you will have forgotten exactly which seed catalog those squash came from or where you bought those iris bulbs. Of course, if you misplace the notebook with all of your notes, that’s another story. Editor’s note: Free fall composting

workshops will be offered by the Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. Learn how to make good use of your fall leaves, grass clippings and kitchen and garden waste. The workshop will be held twice. The first is Saturday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Fairlington Community Center, 3308 S. Stafford St., Arlington. The second is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy St. To register for either program, call (703) 228-6414. Ruth Kling blogs about gardening at If you have gardening questions, write to Ruth at


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


ONE BIG HAPPY By Rick Detorie

Oct. 9+


Experience the Bolshoi Ballet, live from Moscow on the big screen, at the AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md. at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9. The ballet company will perform Esmerelda, a story of love, loyalty and corruption. An encore will play Thursday, Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call (301) 4966720 for more information.

Oct. 28


Come out to the McNeir Auditorium at Georgetown University on Friday, Oct. 28 at 1:15 p.m. to experience the sounds of Washington Saxophone Quartet. Their music has been featured in NPR’s All Things Considered theme song since 1997. The auditorium is at 37th and O St., N.W., Washington, D.C. For more information, call (202) 687-2787.

Oct. 26


The Library of Congress presents a lecture by author Mar Levinson, as he discusses his book The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26 in the Mary Pickford Theater, 101 Independence Ave S.E., Washington, D.C. Call (202) 707-1212 for more information.

s a ft! e ak gi M eat gr

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too many things. This made it easier for me to let go. There were a few things I wished to remain in the family, such as my piano, china, an old sewing table, photo albums, the family bible, significant documents, and mementos collected during my travels. Regrettably, neither of my daughters had space for my piano. Fortunately my oldest and dearest friend’s daughter offered to buy it, so I felt as though it was still in the family. I made the decision to downsize and move to a retirement community more than 10 years ago. It is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m often complimented on the way my space is arranged. I did not intend to spend my later years taking care of things. Taking care of myself and enjoying life are far more important. I now view the world as my living room and home is the place where I return to seek rest and tranquility. Caroline Boston Washington, D.C.

Dear Editior: I want to thank you for your extraordinar y article on Creative Age (“Theater workshops keep creativity flowing, September). I thought the article master fully brought together the wide range of elements and characters in the program. You por trayed the residents with great dignity, and of course, as the individuals they are! You handled everyone’s quotes so well that the true value, diversity and personality of the program came through clearly, concisely and entertainingly. Tom Mallan Educational Theatre Company Arlington, Va. Dear Editor: I am so happy to have such an interesting paper to read and enjoy and learn something. Thanks to everyone at the Beacon! P.S. I am 95+ and still going strong! DeLoris Zucker Silver Spring, Md.

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CLASSIFIEDS The Beacon prints classified advertising under the following headings: Business & Employment Opportunities; Caregivers; Computer Services; Entertainment; For Sale; For Sale/Rent: Real Estate; Free; Health; Home/Handyman Services; Miscellaneous; Personals; Personal Services; Vacation Opportunities; and Wanted. For submission guidelines and deadlines, see the box 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 SENIORS! SELL YOUR UNWANTED LIFE INSURANCE! State licensed. Call Toll Free: 877-282-4360 or visit for a FREE evaluation. *** FINANCIAL JOB. No experience needed. Visit for details.***. MYSTERY SHOPPERS! Earn up to $150 daily. Get paid to shop pt/ft. Call now 800-690-1272. PROCESS MAIL! Pay Weekly! FREE Supplies! Bonuses! Genuine! Helping Homeworkers for 2-decades! Call 1-888-302-1521 $2,000 MONTHLY POSSIBLE GROWING GOURMET MUSHROOMS FOR US. Year Round Income. Markets Established. Call /Write For Free Information. Midwest Associates, Box69 Fredericktown, OH-43019 1-740694-0565. EARN $1000’s WEEKLY Receive $12 every envelope Stuffed with sales materials. 24-hr. Information 1-866-297-7626 code 14. 2011 POSTAL POSITIONS $13.00-$36.50+/hr., Federal hire/full benefits. Call Today! 1-866-4774953 Ext. 150. ACTORS/MOVIE EXTRAS - $150-$300/Day depending on job. No experience. All looks needed. 1-800-281-5185-A103. PAY IT FORWARD! No Selling! Work from Home, WEEKLY INCOME and Tax Benefits, While Contributing to a GREAT CAUSE! Call 301- 703-2003 Now or visit AAA-$$$ UP TO $1,000 WEEKLY PAID IN ADVANCE! Mailing Brochures From Home. 100% Legit Income guaranteed! No Selling! Free Postage! Full guidance & AIRLINES ARE HIRING - Train for high paying Aviation Maintenance Career. FAA approved program. Financial aid if qualified Housing available CALL Aviation Institute of Maintenance (866)453-6204.

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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!

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From page 62.








LEISURE WORLD® - $334,900. 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.

ROOM FOR RENT in private home, shared facilities, only non-smoking female, fully furnished, no pets $495 per month plus utilities. 301-233-4722. 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 37. Contact me: 301-580-5556,,, Weichert, Realtors. $91,500 – BARGAIN-PRICED gorgeous 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo in the Greens of Leisure World. Golf course view, new carpet, new paint, ceramic tile in kitchen and both baths, updated appliances, glass-enclosed balcony, gated community with many amenities. Call Weichert Realtors, 301-681-0550, Roberta Campbell 301801-7906 or Chris Wells 301-404-7653.

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® - $375,000. 3BR 2FB “L” in “Vantage Point”. Corner unit with 3 exposures, new paint, enclosed balcony, 1720 sq ft. Stan Moffson 301-928-3463.

LEISURE WORLD® - $204,900. 2BR 2FB. RARE “Q” model in “Turnberry Courts. Golf course views from table space kitchen and enclosed balcony, close to elevator, garage parking + golf cart space. 1111 sq ft. Stan Moffson 301-928-3463.

LEISURE WORLD® - $54,500. 2BR 1FB “Carlyle” model coop. Renovated, new appliances, new windows. 1035 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert, Realtors 301-928-3463.


LEISURE WORLD® - $289,000. 3BR 2-1/2BA “M” in the “Greens” with Garage, Table space kitchen with window, extra storage. 1530 sq ft. Stan Moffson 301-928-3463.

LEISURE WORLD® - $269,000. 2BR+ Den. 2FB “G” in Turnberry Courts. Freshly painted, golf course view. Shows like a model. 1446sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert Realtors, 301-928-3463.

CAREGIVER/PRIVATE DUTY AIDE, honest, caring, dependable, experienced working with seniors. Available to work days Monday - Friday or nights Sunday - Thursday. Call 301-728-5748.


LEISURE WORLD® - $109,000. 2BR 2FB “Riviera” model. Separate dining room, new paint and carpet, ground level apt with walkout from living room to lawn area, covered carport. 1237 sq ft. Stan Moffson 301-928-3463.

For Sale/Rent: Real Estate

CARING HANDS OF MARYLAND – quality home care agency. $15.75 hourly or $135.00 a day (24-hour live-in) 240-314-0553. Website –

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, setup your new computer and troubleshoot. Working with Seniors since 1996. Ask about your Senior discount. Call David, 301-762-2570, COMPUTERTUTOR.

LEISURE WORLD® - $159,000. 3BR 2FB “Capri” villa. Updated kitchen, open balcony, huge space. 1415 sq. ft. Stan Moffson, 301-928-3463.

LEISURE WORLD® - $83,900. 2BR 2FB “Warfield” model. Table space kitchen with window, 1st floor, patio, separate laundry room, 1116 sq. ft. Reserved parking. 1116 sq. ft. Stan Moffson 301-928-3463.

LEISURE WORLD® - $79,500. 1BR 1-1/2FB “Elizabeth” model. Recently renovated. New appliances, custom window treatments, view of trees. 1308 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. HOME. BUSINESS. Call: D. Guisset at 301-642-4526.

LEISURE WORLD® - $99,000. 2BR 2FB “Riviera” model. 2nd floor apt with updated kitchen, enclosed balcony and covered carport. 1412 sq ft. Stan Moffson, Weichert, Realtors, 301-928-3463.








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


The Beacon, 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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Crossword Puzzle Daily crosswords can be found on our website: Click on Puzzles Plus A Pressing Matter by Stephen Sherr 1

















21 23


28 34




45 47




49 56











2. Inflexible severity 3. Wide open 1. Neck protector 4. “___ dripping well” (Keats simile) 6. Expansive 5. Sicilian volcano 10. Florida city near West Palm 6. He said “No; I am your father” 14. Noted figure in ice skating 7. Peddler’s goal 15. Cruising 8. Penultimate tournament game 16. Captain of the Pequod 9. Big mug 17. Let’s Twist ___ 10. Clean a dirty dog 18. “I curse those beavers” 11. State whose largest three cities all start 19. Cash box with the letter “C” 20. Magical words uttered in 1939 12. Storm preceder 23. Bill of Rights subj. 13. Competent 24. Mine find 21. The Real Thing 25. Mimic 22. Letter from Saint Paul 26. Himalayan beast 27. Guacamole base 28. Calendar column 28. German Madame 29. Chinese revolutionary leader 29. Soft mineral 32. It usually starts at midnight 30. “My dog ate my homework”, 37. You ___ Beautiful for example 38. Penne ___ vodka 31. The first National Leaguer with 39. Unstated 500 homers 40. Recycling tidbit 32. Increase in size 43. Start of a WW II battle island 33. Update the kitchen 44. Respond to Alex Trebek 34. A big jerk 45. “Y”, made plural 35. Tall mountain 46. ___ Nightingale (with 49 Across) 36. Fedora rest spots 47. Rep. foe 37. “___ was saying” 49. See 46 Across 52. Where to find the last words in 20, 32, 41. Preventing infection 42. An arm or a leg and 40 Across 46. Weasel cousin 58. Posthumous bio 47. Song samples 59. The fourth dimension 48. Observers 60. Popular joints 50. Nabisco cookies 61. Archaeologist’s location 51. Fred Astaire’s dance partner 62. Ripley’s little words! 52. Like buried treasure, perhaps 63. Movie stars 53. “___ Baby” (rhyming song title from 64. Fray Hair) 65. Sewage pit or pool 54. Gyro wrap 66. Useful Scrabble tiles 55. Pass bad checks 56. Tom Joad, for example Down 57. A sampling of 66 Across 1. Burrito ingredient






Scrabble answers on p. 61.





29 36













24 26


Answers on page 61.

Answer: What the cruise liner turned into when they were overcharged – A “CLIPPER” SHIP Jumbles: AGILE PAPER SCROLL CALIPH

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

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For Sale/Rent: Real Estate




APARTMENT TO SHARE in Leisure World. Spacious 2 bedroom, 2 bath in elevator building with washer & dryer. $600 utilities included. Call Bob 301-257-9376.

LONELY HUSBAND in unhappy loveless marriage looking for woman to share enjoyable fun filled moments. I live in the Colesville area of Silver Spring. My name is Bob. My phone number is 301-384-8255.

CASH FOR JEWELRY: Buying jewelry, diamonds, gold, platinum, silver, watches, coins, flatware, etc. We make house calls. Ask for Tom or Katherine. Call anytime 301-654-8678.

PLEASE DONATE TO EDUCATE Donate your vehicle to the Montgomery County Students Automotive Trades Foundation, a nonprofit, for use with the Montgomery County Public Schools Automotive Technology students. Provide automotive students with valuable educational experience; give yourself a tax deduction. 301-929-2190;

LEISURE WORLD $245,000 – Semi-attached rambler with 3BR, 2FB, 2 car garage, new siding and windows. Herbert Homes, (O) 301-8401417, (C) 301-452-1268. LEISURE WORLD FAIRWAYS 2BR, 2BA condo for rent. Upper floor, great view. $1400. Call 202-291-6229. ***FREE FORECLOSURE LISTINGS*** OVER 400,000 properties nationwide. Low down payment. Call now 800-250-2043. AVAILABLE NOW!!! 2-4 Bedroom homes Take Over Payments No Money Down/No Credit Check Call 1-888-269-9192. STOP RENTING Lease option to buy Rent to own No money down No credit check 1-877-395-0321.

For Sale FURNITURE IN STORAGE, must be sold. China closet, radio/stereo-record-player for 33/45/78 records, bureau dresser drawers, tables, dishes, marble top coffee table, bookcases, desk, many more items. Call 301-248-4939. DISH NETWORK PACKAGES start $24.99/mo FREE HD for life! FREE BLOCKBUSTER® movies (3 months.) Call1-800-915-9514.

Miscellaneous PREGNANT? CONSIDERING ADOPTION? You choose from families nationwide. LIVING EXPENSES PAID. Abby’s One True Gift Adoptions. 866-413-6292, 24/7 Void/Illinois. ATTEND COLLEGE ONLINE from home. Medical, Business, Paralegal, Accounting, Criminal Justice. Job placement assistance. Computer available. Financial aid if qualified. Call 800494-3586

Personal Services 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 rate, and references provided. 240-595-7467. BEST BUDDIES PET SERVICE Vacation plans? Sudden illness? We provide dog walking, cat care, boarding in our North Bethesda home. Pick up and drop off available. 240-654-0694. EASY BUSINESS RÉSUMÉS. Short résumés, cover letters, typed references. 16 years experience. Competitive pricing, convenient locations. Good quality. Marty –, 703768-5254, 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. WILL TYPE YOUR MEMOIRS, manuscripts, etc. For info and rates, call 703-671-1854. PERSONAL DRIVING SERVICES Transportation services for individuals seeking freedom, flexibility and independence. Dependable, consistent and courteous. Business Trips – (Airport, Train, Meetings). Personal Trips – (Doctor’s, Friends and Family Outings, Grocery Store, MD/DE Shore, Philadelphia, NY, Richmond, Museums, Religious Services, Social Events, Theatre, Etc.) Solid reputation within the community. Corporate and personal references. Member of GROWS and SeniorChecked. 301-332-1900. PERSIAN LADY in need of job. Really a good cook and a strong provider, caretaker, house cleaner. I also drive my own car for shopping, etc. If interested please call Sudie at 301-7606327 or 301-987-1277. Thank you. GARDEN ANGEL LAWN and fall cleanups, window washing, garage and attic cleaning, hauling. We do all we can for you. Seniors welcome. MD-DC. Call 240-477-2158.

SWF – 55, in search of S/DWM 50-65, 5’8” or taller. Non-smoker preferred. Retired OK. Let’s meet for coffee! Please leave a message on voicemail 571-451-2770. ATTRACTIVE WHITE FEMALE – Unhappy with present relationship. Wishes to meet attractive, warm, loving male who would like to share and enjoy all the good things that life has to offer. You – divorced, separated, married and perhaps in the same situation? Military active or retired a plus. Please be (65+). 703-597-9015. LOOKING FOR A KIND, caring, considerate and honest man between ages 60 and 75 for friendship and possible relationship, non-smoker, non-drinker with a nice sense of humor. I am 70 with the above qualities. I enjoy good music, art and dancing, and also the outdoors. Please call Carol at 301-754-1289.

Vacation Opportunities BEST AIRFARE TO ASIA. We are China Tour Specialists. Serving the Washington D.C. Metro Area; Phone 703-992-8990; email; Website SUNNY FALL SPECIALS At Florida’s Best Beach-New Smyrna Beach Stay a week or longer. Plan a beach wedding or family reunion. or 1-800-213-9527.

Wanted WANTED: OLDER VIOLINS, GUITARS, BANJOS, MANDOLINS, ETC. Musician/collector will pay cash for older string instruments. Jack (301) 279-2158. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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. HIGHEST CASH PAID FOR ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES– Old and good quality furniture, glass, pottery, china, paintings, art, toys, advertising, costume and high-grade jewelry, gold, silver, silver flatware, wind-up watches, clocks, dolls, musical instruments, music boxes, sports & paper memorabilia, sterling, fishing, hunting, rugs, lamps, Hummels, political, rock & roll memorabilia, posters, military items, helmets, guns, swords, bayonets, medals, weapons, guitars, banjos, prints, art, sculptures, Lladro, bronzes, trains, fishing rod reels & lures, cast iron outdoor furniture, hi-grade American made tools, presentation and other unusual items. Purchasing one piece or entire estates. I have over 30 years experience and I am a very ethical dealer located in Bowie, Md. Also a permanent vendor at Eastern Market in Southeast Washington, DC on Sundays. Please call Mike Keller, (301) 731-0982 or (301) dc742-5031.

COLLECTOR BUYING MODERN FURNITURE, lighting, art & accessories form 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. 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, SILVER, top dollar for your old sterling (925, 800) silver flatware, bowls, candlesticks, plates, etc. Condition unimportant. Please call Richard at 301-646-0101. 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. WANTED JAPANESE MOTORCYCLES KAWASAKI 1970-1980 Z1-900, KZ900, KZ 1000, H2-750, H1-500, S1-250, S2-250, S2-350, S3-400 CASH. 1-800-772-1142, 1-310-721-0726 TOP CASH FOR CARS, Any Car/Truck, Running or Not. Call for INSTANT offer: 1-800-4546951.


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Oct. 5+

AGENTS OF CHANGE The Corcoran’s Gallery 31 host the exhibit “Agents of Change: An

Exhibition of Artists’ Books and Prints with a Social Conscience” from Wednesday, Oct. 5 to Sunday, Oct. 30. An opening reception will take place Thursday, Oct. 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the College Atrium, and on Friday, Oct. 14, author, letterpress printer and publisher Robin Prince will speak in the Corcoran Auditorium from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Amanda Nelson, program director at the Rare Book School of the University of Virginia, will also give a lecture in the auditorium on Friday, Oct. 28 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The Corcoran is located at 500 17th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. For more information, call (202) 639-1700.

Oct. 1+

WHITE HOUSE DÉCOR Visit the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery between October 1, 2011 and May 6, 2012, to see “Something of Splendor: Decorative Arts

from the White House.” The exhibit features more than 120 objects, many of which have not been seen outside the presidential residence. A film featuring interviews with first ladies and other family members who lived in the house, At Home in the White House, will be played on a loop. The museum is located at 1661 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W, Washington, D.C. For more information on hours and location, call (202) 633-7970.

Oct. 13+

SIGN LANGUAGE ART TOUR Visit the Smithsonian American Art Museum on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 5:30 p.m. or Sunday, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. to join in a discussion of

art works in American Sign Language by a volunteer ASL guide. Meet in the lobby at 8th and F Sts., N.W., Washington, D.C. For more information, visit, email or call (202) 633-1000.


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October 2011 DC Beacon Edition  

October 2011 DC Beacon Edition

October 2011 DC Beacon Edition  

October 2011 DC Beacon Edition