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February 2009

The Best Of Times

February 2009

Many of you were kind enough last month to comment to us on our redesign, as we requested. You tell us it’s “a keeper,” even though some wondered why the headers are tilted so. We asked the art director about that. He says he found it amusing and visually arresting. He’s going to be the death of me, as I tell him frequently. But, considering we keep winning awards, I guess we’ll just sit back and watch, as long as you continue to like it. Thanks again. While we’re into our 16th year, we’ve only been called “The Best of Times” for six. In association with that anniversary, we’re having a contest! See page 6 (appropriately) for more info on how YOU could win up to a hundred and fifty bucks. No kidding! Speaking of Page 6, we will be using that space to better communicate with you about the magazine and upcoming topics and ideas. We’ve needed something like that for a long time. Now we have it.

Please enjoy this colorful issue. It was a joy to put together for you, especially the new GOLD PAGES section, pages 50 & 51. Suggestions on how we can make The Best of Times better are welcomed! 

February 2009

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February 2009

February 2009

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February 2009

Online Auto and Homeowners Insurance Rate Comparison Guides now available


This just in:

free tax preparation and e-filing for low to moderate-income workers

The Northwest Louisiana Asset Building Coalition in collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Social Services, and the Internal Revenue Service will provide FREE Tax Preparation and Filing, for low-to-moderate income workers with incomes between $12,880 and $41,646 (filing status applies). Individuals can dial 2-1-1 statewide or visit www. to find free income tax assistance sites. The free tax preparation and e-filing is available with no filing fees, no loans, and no interests. The coalition also strives to offer additional services to those who have need, i.e.; financial literacy, money management, and credit repair.


social security announces launch of compassionate allowances

Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, recently announced the national rollout of the agency’s Compassionate Allowances initiative, a way to expedite the processing of disability claims for applicants whose medical conditions are so severe that their conditions obviously meet Social Security’s standards. Social Security is launching this expedited decision process with a total of 50 conditions. A list of the first 25 rare diseases and 25 cancers can be found at www.socialsecurity. gov/compassionateallowances. When combined with the agency’s Quick Disability Determination process, this twotrack system could result in a quarter of a million disability claims being decided in an average of six to eight days.


House Stimulus Recovery Package includes provisions for Seniors

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, released the outline for the House’s $825 billion economic recovery package. The package includes an additional Supplemental Security Income payment for lowincome older and disabled recipients, as well as health care assistance through COBRA and Medicaid for older workers who have become temporarily unemployed.

February 2009

Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon recently announced that newly revised online auto and homeowners rate comparison guides are now available for viewing on the Department of Insurance website. The automobile quotes reflect various rating situations such as driver and vehicle age, location and driving record. The homeowners quotes reflect rating situations such as location and the age and price of the home. To access the guides, visit, near the

no increase in Social Security projected next year

The 37 million Americans aged 65 and over who receive a Social Security check each month are forecast to receive no increase in their Social Security checks next year, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) 2009 Budget Report.

top of the screen click on “Publications, Guides and Forms,” then click on “Consumer Publications.” Once you have accessed the guides and compared the various companies, you can continue your search by clicking on each individual company listed to access the company Web site. For further guidance, contact the Department of Insurance at 1-800-259-5300. The Department can provide information on the national rating of each company and the number of complaints, if any, that have been filed against them.

Health provisions among public’s top priorities for economic stimulus

The public ranks action on health care highly as part of efforts to stem the impact of the economic recession and also views reforming health care as one of the top priorities for President-elect Obama and Congress, according to a new national survey conducted by researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

RETIRE ONLINE. IT’S SO EASY! By Dora Miller, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Shreveport, LA Social Security has a new online retirement application. You can apply for retirement benefits from the comfort of your home or office at www. socialsecurity. gov. There’s no need to drive to your local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a Social Security representative. You can complete the new online retirement application in as little as 15 minutes. It’s so easy! In most cases, after you click the “Sign Now” button and submit the application electronically, that’s it. There are no forms to sign, and usu-

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ally no additional documents are required. Social Security will contact you directly if more information is needed. If you are uncertain about when to retire, you can check out the online fact sheet, “When To Start Receiving Retirement Benefits.” And if you are not ready to retire, you can plan for retirement using Social Security’s online Retirement Estimator. It is a great financial planning tool that will give you an immediate and personalized estimate of how much your retirement benefits would be if you stopped working at age 62, age 70 or any point in between. To learn more, go to www.

February 2009

Sleep Disorder May Be Early Sign of Dementia or Parkinson’s Disease

This Just In:

drugs may raise the risk of fracture in women  Diabetes

Women who take two widely prescribed drugs to treat diabetes may face an elevated risk of hip, arm and other bone fractures, new research performed at Wake Forest University School of Medicine reveals. Long-term use of Avandia and Actos, seem to accelerate bone density loss and create a heightened threat of fracture among women - especially seniors - who have taken them over a long period of time. The same risk was not seen in men, or among women who took other drugs to manage diabetes.

use of antidepressants Linked to Improvement  in Fibromyalgia Symptoms The use of antidepressant medications by patients with fibromyalgia syndrome is associated with a reduction in pain, sleep disturbances and depressed mood and improvement of health-related quality of life, according to an analysis of previous studies, which is published in JAMA.

New Hope for Cancer Comes Straight from the Heart

Digitalis-based drugs like digoxin have been used for centuries to treat patients with irregular heart rhythms and heart failure and are still in use today. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine now report that this same class of drugs may hold new promise as a treatment for cancer.

your sleep. You’ll need it to fight off colds this time of year  Get Individuals who get less than seven hours of sleep per night appear about three times as likely to develop respiratory illness following exposure to a cold virus as those who sleep eight hours or more, according to a report in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

10 February 2009

People with REM sleep behavior disorder may be at greater risk of developing dementia or Parkinson’s disease, according to a study in Neurology. People with the disorder do not have the normal lack of muscle tone that occurs during REM sleep, often known as the dream stage of sleep. Instead, they have excessive muscle activity such as punching, kicking, or crying out, essentially acting out their dreams. The study involved people with this type of sleep disorder who had no signs of a neurodegenerative disease, such as dementia or Parkinson’s disease. Based on results, the estimated five-year risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease was 18%, the 10-year risk at 41% and the 12-year risk at 52%. Results suggest that there may be an opportunity for protecting against the progression to disease, perhaps even preventing it before symptoms can appear. The study involved only people with no known cause for the REM sleep behavior disorder.

Older people who volunteer have lower rates of heart disease and live longer than peers who don’t volunteer. (Mayo Clinic Women’s HealthSource)

Heart Valves Implanted Without Open-Heart Surgery

An innovative approach for implanting a new aortic heart valve without open-heart surgery is being offered to patients at NewYorkPresbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. Known as the PARTNER (Placement of AoRTic traNscathetER valves) trial, this study is focused on the treatment of patients who are at high risk or not suitable for open-heart valve replacement surgery due to age or other concurrent health factors. The Edwards SAPIEN transcatheter heart valve is either navigated to the heart from the femoral artery in the patient’s leg, or through a small incision between the ribs, and into the left ventricle. It is then positioned inside the patient’s existing valve, using a balloon to deploy the frame. Both procedures are performed on a beating heart, without cardiopulmonary bypass and its associated risks. The procedures take about 90 minutes, compared with four to six hours for open-heart surgery. Open-heart surgery can require a two- to three-month recovery period, compared to only a few days for this approach.

Bad decisions kill

According to Duke University business professor Ralph Keeney, â&#x20AC;&#x153;bad decisionsâ&#x20AC;? kill 42% of the 2.4 million Americans who die each year. Keeny came to that conclusion based on the fact that in 2000, the decision to smoke caused 453,377 cancer and heartattack deaths, overeating caused 434,395 deaths (from heart attacks, diabetes, and cancer), drinking too much killed 67,779 people, and reckless driving claimed another 38,246 lives. Focusing on the long-term consequences of everyday actions reminds us that we really do control our fates on a daily basis.

new Drug may trick body to lose weight

French scientists say they may have found a drug that tricks the body into burning off fat even when on a high-fat diet. The University of Louis Pasteur team found the drug protected mice against weight gain and insulin resistance. No side effects were observed. The drug SRT1720 - a chemical cousin of red wine extract resveratrol - targets the protein SIRT1, which is thought to combat aging, Cell Metabolism reports. Tests show that it would take gallons of wine to achieve the same benefits. With the removal of the anti-obesity pill rimonabant, also known as Acomplia, from the market amid safety concerns, fewer drug options exist. Researchers say that new treatments are necessary to help prevent deaths associated with obesity. Experts agree that any new drug treatments should be used alongside lifestyle changes which include a change in diet and an increase in physical exercise.

The Best Of Times

February 2009


l Binge drinking makes

Here’s to good nutrition:

moderate alcohol consumption may keep disabilities at bay

It is well known that moderate drinking (less than 15 drinks per week) can have positive health benefits - for instance, a couple of glasses of red wine a day can be good for the heart. But for seniors in good health, light to moderate consumption of alcohol may also help prevent the development of physical disability that would prevent them from performing common tasks such as walking, dressing and grooming, as compared with heavy drinkers and abstainers. That’s the conclusion of a new UCLA study. The benefits seem to apply only to those seniors already in relatively good health.

Attention diabetics. eat more beans

Persons with type 2 diabetes who had a diet high in low-glycemic foods such as nuts, beans, peas, lentils low– glycemic index breads (including pumpernickel, rye pita, and quinoa and flaxseed) and breakfast cereals (including large flake oatmeal and oat bran) had greater improvement in glycemic control and risk factors for coronary heart disease than persons on a diet with an emphasis on high-cereal fiber, according to a study in JAMA.

Make your blood sugar happy

Chamomile tea has already been credited with a plethora of remedy powers - easing anxiety, menstrual cramps, insomnia, and skin problems. The newest potential benefit was uncovered using animal research. Extracts of chamomile helped steady blood sugar and also guarded against enzymes involved in diabetes complications. More studies are needed to see if the tea does the same for blood sugar in humans. But drinking tea is already known as one of the best health habits around.

The Dangers of D-ficiency Up to 40% of people in the U.S. may not be getting enough Vitamin D. Vitamin D may not turn you into an Olympic gymnast, but as you age, it may help. A recent study recently revealed that people 65 and older who are low on D do poorly on tests of handgrip strength, walking speed, balance, and the ability to stand up from a seated position. More research is needed, but

scientists feel there is already enough evidence of vitamin D’s positive effect on muscle strength to warrant being on D alert. You can get your D from the sun and from food (including fortified foods), but most people need a supplement to get enough, especially as winter sun rays get weaker. Check with your doctor if you’re wondering whether a D supplement is a good move for you.

12 February 2009

chemical responsible for heat in hot peppers eases shingles pain

The chronic pain left behind by shingles causes intense misery. But a clinical trial of a patch containing high-dose capsaicin (the chemical responsible for the heat in hot peppers), done at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, shows that it is surprisingly effective on the vexing problem known as post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). In recent tests, about 40% of the people experienced a decrease in pain of about 30% lasting as long as 12 weeks.

immune cells more likely to stick to blood vessel walls and cause inflammation that may clog arteries. Binge drinking means having five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women in two hours. Studies suggest that an irregular pattern of heavy drinking increases the risk of heart attack two-fold.

l A new study shows that

when dieters eliminate carbohydrates from their meals, they performed more poorly on memory-based tasks than when they reduce calories, but maintain carbohydrates. When carbohydrates were reintroduced, cognition skills returned to normal.

l Beware of canned soups

which may have high levels of trans fats, sodium and preservatives like MSG.

Grape extract kills cancer cells

An extract from grape seeds can destroy cancer cells, according to researchers from the University of Kentucky. In experiments, scientists found that within 24 hours, 76% of leukemia cells exposed to the extract were killed off, while healthy cells were unharmed, Clinical Cancer Research reports. The study raises the possibility of new cancer treatments, but scientists said it was too early to recommend that people eat grapes or their seeds to ward off cancer. Grape seeds contain a number of antioxidants, including resveratrol, which is known to have anti-cancer properties, as well as positive effect on the heart.

Acai berry leads the way in antioxidants

The acai berry may be the clear frontrunner when it comes to antioxidants. The freeze-dried berry has 30 times the diseasearresting anthocyanins of red grapes. And according to Dr. John Puma, author of ChefMD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine, the berries are so nutritious they may help lower bad cholesterol, inhibit inflammation, fight off arthritis, and may even have cancer-fighting powers. The acai berries are also full of B vitamins, magnesium, copper, zinc and sulfur.







February is American Heart Month

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of disability. The most common heart disease in the United States is coronary heart disease, which often appears as a heart attack. About every 26 seconds, an American will have a coronary event, and about one every minute will die from one. The chance of developing coronary heart disease can be reduced by taking steps to prevent and control factors that put people at greater risk. Additionally, knowing the signs and symptoms of heart attack are crucial to the most positive outcomes after having a heart attack. Other conditions that affect your heart or increase your risk of death or disability include arrhythmia, heart failure, and peripheral

artery disease (PAD). High cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, tobacco, and secondhand smoke are also risk factors associated with heart disease. Some heart attacks are sudden and intense - the “movie heart attack,” where no one doubts what’s happening; however, most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. These are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:  Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.  Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.  Shortness of breath. May occur with or without chest discomfort.

14 February 2009

 Other signs: These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. Heart attacks are life-and-death emergencies - every second counts. If you see or have any of the listed symptoms, immediately call 9-1-1. Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive - up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too. Not all these signs occur in every heart attack. Sometimes they go away and return. If some occur, get help fast! Today heart attack victims can benefit from new medications and treatments unavailable to patients in years past. For example, clot-busting drugs can stop some heart attacks in progress, reducing disability and saving lives. But to be effective, these drugs must be given relatively quickly after heart attack or stroke symptoms first appear. A healthy diet and lifestyle are the best weapons you have to fight heart disease. Maintain low cholesterol levels. Exercise. Quit smoking. If you have diabetes, keep it under control. Monitor your blood pressure, and keep it in check. Know your family medical history. If there’s a history of heart disease, start earlier and be even more diligent about prevention. Many people make it harder than it is. It is important to remember that it is the overall pattern of the choices you make that counts. Food options recommended by the American Heart Association include:

 C h o o s e l e a n m e a t s and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat.  Select fat-free, 1% fat, and low-fat dairy products.  Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet.  Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol. Aim to eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol each day.  Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.  Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt. Aim to eat less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day (or less than 1,500 mg if you are in a higher risk group for high blood pressure).  If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That means no more than one drink per day if you’re a woman and two drinks per day if you’re a man.

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 Keep an eye on your portion sizes. Physical activity in your daily life is an important step to preventing heart disease. You can take a few simple steps at home, at work, and at play to increase the amount of physical activity in your life. Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a “man’s disease,” it is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States, and women account for 52.8% of the total heart disease deaths. Heart disease is often perceived as an “older woman’s disease,” and it is the leading cause of death among women aged 65 years and older. However, heart disease is the third leading cause of death among women aged 25-44 years and the 2nd leading cause of death among women aged 45-64 years. (www.americanheart. org;

February 2009


By The Medicare Rights Center


Respite Care for Caregivers, Lost Medicare Card, and Supervised Cardiac Exercise Program

Dear Marci, My husband and I are caregivers for my mother. We are exhausted, and would like to go out of town for a few days for a break. Will Medicare pay for someone to take care of her while we’re away? --Toni Dear Toni, Medicare will only pay for respite care (a rest from caregiving) if your loved one has a life-threatening illness and qualifies for Medicare’s hospice benefit. Under the hospice benefit, your loved one can get respite care in a Medicareapproved hospital or skilled nursing facility for up to five days. Medicare will pay 95 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for respite care. ~Marci Dear Marci, I lost my Original Medicare card. How can I replace

it? --Alice Dear Alice, If your “redwhite-and-blue” Original Medicare card has been lost or stolen, or you can no longer use it because it is too faded or damaged, you can replace it by calling the National Social Security Hotline at 800-772-1213. You can also apply for a new card online at htm or go to your local Social Security office. To get a new card, you will need to provide your name as it appears on your most recent Social Security card, Social Security number, and date of birth. You should get your new card in the mail within 30 days. ~ Marci Dear Marci, I had a heart attack a month ago. My doctor suggested I enroll in a supervised exercise program. Will Medicare pay for this program? --David Dear David, Yes. Medicare will cover a cardiac exercise program

16 February 2009

if you have: had a heart attack in the last 12 months; had coronary bypass surgery; stable angina pectoris (chest pain or discomfort due to heart disease); had a heart valve repair or replacement; had a percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) or coronary stenting; and/or had a heart or combined heart-lung transplant. In addition, you must: get a referral from a doctor; get the services at the outpatient department of a hospital or in a doctor-directed clinic; and take part in a comprehensive program that includes: a medical evaluation, a program to modify cardiac risk factors (such as nutritional counseling and education), and supervised exercise sessions done with continuous monitoring of the electrical activity of the heartbeat (electrocardiograph - EKG). Medicare will pay 80 per-

cent of the Medicare-approved amount (after you have paid the Part B deductible) for two to three sessions a week for 12 to 18 weeks (up to 36 sessions). If medically necessary, Medicare will cover up to a total of 72 sessions within 36 weeks. ~Marci Marci’s Medic a re Answers is a service of the Medicare Rights Center, the nation’s largest independent source of information and assistance for people with Medicare. To speak with a counselor, call (800) 333-4114. To subscribe to “Dear Marci,” MRC’s free educational e-newsletter, simply e-mail dearmarci@ To learn more about the services that Medicare will cover and how to change plans, log on to Medicare Interactive Counselor at the Medicare Rights Center’s website at www.

The Best Of Times

February 2009


By betsy Williams, Psy.D.,

Executive Director of The Center of Families

Cherish someone’s real story When I was a child, I remember there was an older woman living in my neighborhood who all of us children were scared of. She lived alone, and no one ever came to visit her. She never came out much, and when she did, she walked with a cane all bent over. As children with active imaginations, we thought she was a witch and if we got close, she would turn us into toads. It was only years later that I found out that she was, simply, a

lonely widowed lady who really would have liked for some of us to knock on her door and talk to her. It is true that neighborhoods have changed since I was a child.

“However, there

are still those older adults who are lonely and just need someone to talk with or a kind word each day.”

They could be next door, across the street, down the street, or across town. Despite

the fact that we have more telephones, computers with internet, and other modern communication technology, there are still those adults who are confined due to disabilities and have no one to assist them. Yes, they may walk with a cane, bent over, however, they long for the company of someone who just wants to be with them, care for them, and affirm that they are still vital human beings. Since February is heart month, I thought it would be good to provide some tips for showing someone you care, particularly, if they are confined to their homes. • Take that first step and knock on their door. Being present is the best way to alleviate some of the loneliness they may

feel each day. There are some who have no one to talk with. They have “out-lived” family and most of their friends, and have lost touch with others. It is always refreshing to have a new-found friend. • When you visit, ask if there is anything they might

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18 February 2009

need. If they say no, look around to see if there is something that they do not have that could, possibly, make their life easier and brighter. It could be something as simply as a soft comfortable pair of slippers, maybe a handy storage bag for storing handy/quick items, or just some type of handy apparatus, etc. Make it a surprise gift for a rainy day. • Find out the date of their birthday or other special days. Do something special for that day, even if it is simply a phone call or a book of crossword puzzles to pass the time. • Tune into memories. Many times, all a person has are their memories. Pay attention to the tears and laughter, for those are the really important memories. • Check in as frequently as you can. Ask about any health needs. Encourage them to drink an adequate amount of water, and follow doctor’s orders. Pay attention to anything unusual or different about your friend, such as a change in physical appearance, a change in behavior, or any change that you feel is remarkably different. Discuss this with them and offer to look into resources to assist them. • If you find that your friend can toler-

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ate a fun “outing” or recreational ventures, offer to take them, whether it is a favorite spot, a park with beautiful trees, birds, and children playing. There is nothing like a breath of nature! If your friend does not like the outdoors, respect that and do fun inside activities with them depending on how well they are able to tolerate them. The most important thing to remember is don’t be afraid to venture into someone else’s world to get to know them better. You never know how much someone benefits from knowing they are cared for, or what a difference your life can be, just by knowing you have a new friend in

your life. Just remember: • Take the first step and knock. • Check to see if they need anything. • Find out their special dates. • Tune into memories. • Check in as frequently as you can. • Make an occasional adventure. Lastly, cherishing someone’s real story can turn you into a “loving” breeze in their lives. The Center for Families is a non-profit agency providing individual and family counseling on a sliding fee scale.

February 2009


By Judge Jeff Cox, 26th Judicial District

Court Judge for Bossier/Webster Parishes, Div. C will call you and tell you that they are from Protect your your credit card company. They will have financial name, address, information your billing address, telephone number, and usually all informaWith every new year, tion that you think the credit there is a new start. For most card company should have. The people, this new start usually person on the line will tell you means a time to lose weight, that a fake charge appears to stop smoking, improve rela- have been made to your credit tionships with others, or just card and they need to confirm have a new outlook on life. whether or not you made this charge. The person on the other end will say a charge of $400.00 has been made to your account. They then ask you to confirm or deny if this amount has been charged. Now, when you say that you did not charge this amount, the person on the other end of the line will state they didn’t think so. They will tell you in order to start the credit card fraud process you must turn the card over and give them the seven numbers on the back of the card. Once you do this, then the person on the other end I usually like to write a of the line thanks you and tells column on scams at the be- you the charge will be removed ginning of the year to remind from the card. However, when my readers to be careful. you give those seven numbers The first scam comes by on the back of the card to the the way of the credit card. person, that person then can Someone sounding official charge items on your card. In


For the criminal element in our communities, a new year means a new way to scam people out of money.


20 February 2009

most cases, a $400 charge is made to the card. Once you call your credit card company to complain and tell them about what happened, the credit card company will advise you that you have been scammed. The credit card company or anyone from it will never ask you for the seven numbers on the back of the card. You, the credit card holder, will have to possibly close your credit card account in order to protect your identity and have a new credit card issued. The second scam also involves your credit cards. Make sure that you watch the person running your credit card, if you can. A company has developed a scanner that will allow all of your information to be stored on a chip and that chip can be used to make another credit card with your information. If you can, it is best to use cash or checks to pay for purchases, especially in places where you are not familiar with the staff. The third scam is always around it seems. A person has a cashiers check drawn on a bank from our country but they are from another country and need help getting the check cashed. The check looks very official and its usually for a large sum of money. They need a person to cash the check and send them the money. They usually tell the person receiving the check that if they send them half the face amount of the check they can keep the other half for their trouble. The person cashing the check deposits it in their account and sends the money to the person in the other country. By the time the person sending the money finds out the check is bogus, the money has already arrived to the other person and they are long gone. If you get any type of check from someone you don’t know, remember you never get anything for nothing. These are usually scams. Thoroughly investigate the matter before sending any money. Call the bank listed on the check and see if any monies are in the account listed or even if the bank exists. Almost 100% of the time, no money will be in the account. The moral of the story, as always, is be careful who gets access to your financial information.

The Best Of Times

February 2009


By Lee ARonson, an attorney with

Legal Services of North Louisiana suggested retail price. Kay’s Kloset refused Why some arguing something like brands “This is America. We’re a capitalist society and never go monopolies are illegal on sale here. If we want to sell stuff at a discount in our little store, that’s Leggin Creative Leather our right.” Products, a company that The leather company redesigns, manufactures and sponded by saying something distributes leather goods and like, “Fine, if you won’t sell accessories, sells its belts and for our suggested prices then women’s fashion accessories we won’t sell you our goods. to over 5,000 retail boutiques Hey, this is America. And if we and specialty stores. don’t want to do business with One of those stores was you, then we won’t.” a shop called Kay’s KlosKay’s Kloset responded by et. And for 5 years, Kay’s suing the leather company. Kloset sold lots and lots of The jury found that the leather these leather products. But company had no business one of the reasons why Kay’s telling Kay’s Kloset what Kloset sold so many of these prices to charge and awarded leather products was that three million nine hundred it was selling the belts and and seventy five thousand dolfashion accessories at 20% lars and 80 cents in damages. below the suggested retail (Why $3,975,000.80 and not price. just $3,975,000 is beyond me. The leather company When you’re dealing with that didn’t like this one bit. The much money, is 80 cents really company was trying to main- going to make a difference?) tain a high end image and Apparently the jury felt that the therefore asked Kay’s Kloset leather company had violated to stop the discounting and antitrust laws by “entering into not to sell its goods below the agreements with retailers to

22 February 2009

charge only those prices fixed” by the leather company. The leather company appealed and eventually the case made its way up to the United States Supreme Court. The question the court had to decide was whether agreements between a manufacturer and its distributor to set minimum resale prices were legal. Ever since 1911, the answer to that question had been an absolute NO. In a 1911 case, a manufacturer of medicines sold its products only to distributors who agreed to resell them at set prices and the United States Supreme Court held that the manufacturer’s control of resale prices was per se unlawful. Kind of like speeding is unlawful. If the speed limit is 60 and you’re going 61 mph, then that’s illegal. Per se illegal. There are no excuses and no exceptions. But after 96 years, the Supreme Court changed its mind. The Court held that minimum resale price agreements are no longer per se illegal. Maybe such agreements are OK; maybe they’re not; it depends. What does it depend on? Well according to the Supreme Court, a judge needs to use a rule of reason. In other words, the judge needs to examine and “weigh all of the circumstances of a case in determining whether a restrictive practice [such as a minimum resale price agreement] should be prohibited.” (If we used a rule of reason in speed limit cases, which we don’t, then it would sometimes be OK to drive over the speed limit. If it was a clear day and everyone else was

going over 60 MPH then maybe it would be reasonable for you too to drive over the speed limit.) And were the leather company’s actions against Kay’s Kloset reasonable? The Supreme Court didn’t decide that. It sent the case back to the lower to court to make such a determination. But based on this Supreme Court decision, more and more manufacturers are requiring retailers to agree to minimum pricing pacts. For example, women’s shoe maker Nine West made a deal with the Federal Trade Commission back in 2000 when minimum price agreements were per se illegal: Nine West promised that it would not make minimum price agreements with its retailers. But after the Supreme Court held that minimum price agreements are OK as long as they are reasonable, Nine West asked the FTC to allow it to back out of the deal and make these agreements with their retailers. The FTC granted the request. And that’s why some brands never go on sale. Lee Aronson’s practice areas include consumer protection law, housing law and health care law.

The Best Of Times

February 2009


By Jason Alderman, director of

Visa’s financial education programs Tight credit environment calls for careful oversight As anyone who’s applied for a new loan lately knows, if you don’t have a goldplated credit history, you may have a tough time borrowing. And even many 24-karat consumers are being turned down. Lenders have responded to their own difficulty accessing credit – as well as increasing customer defaults – by tightening lending standards. Now more than ever you need to closely monitor your credit scores and avoid be-

haviors that m i g h t t r i gger higher interest rates, cancelled accounts or reduced credit limits, any of which can

lower scores. A few precautions: Check credit reports and scores. The three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) track your credit history and compile credit reports showing a snapshot of your credit behavior. They also use the information to create three-digit credit scores that help lenders (and potential landlords and employers) determine if you’re a good credit risk. It’s vital to know what in-

24 February 2009

formation appears in your credit reports since errors, omissions and fraudulent activities could seriously impact your score. In a recent Visa Inc. cardholder survey, nearly half said they check their score once a year or more and 18 percent every few years. But alarmingly, 30 percent have never checked their credit score. That’s the financial equivalent of driving with your eyes shut. You can order one free credit report per year from each bureau at You can also purchase copies of your credit scores for about $15 each at You can also estimate your score using the free FICO Score Estimator at What’s My Score, a financial literacy program run by Visa ( The site also features tips on repairing damaged or unestablished credit scores.

Know what credit scores measure. The Visa survey also uncovered some misconceptions about factors impacting your credit score: Although the vast majority correctly identified bill payment history, current level of debt and interest rates on current debt as measurable factors, around a quarter incorrectly believed that race, gender and national origin also play a role. Basically, five factors determine your credit score: payment history, amount owed, length of credit history, newly opened credit accounts, and types of credit used. Scores take into consideration both positive and negative information in each category, but may weigh the factors differently depending on your individual circumstances. Read your mail. Account terms, including interest rates, credit limits and payment deadlines, are subject to change, pending notification. So always read any correspondence from lenders or retailers where you have accounts, even if it looks like junk mail. To be safe, you can check your monthly statements or call each lender to verify terms. A few additional tips: • Pay bills on time. • Pay at least the minimum amount due on credit cards and other loans. • If you can’t make a payment, contact the lender before you’re past due to work out a compromise. • Don’t use more than 30 percent of any one card’s available credit, or 30 percent of your overall available credit from all cards. • Be cautious about opening or closing accounts. Some experts recommend occasionally charging small amounts to older, unused accounts so they’ll remain open, thereby not reducing your total available credit. • Unpaid medical bills can get lost in the shuffle, so track all bills and check your insurance statements carefully for errors or underpayments. It’s essential to know where your credit stands today so you can correct any mishaps before they impact your ability to borrow at favorable terms tomorrow. Jason Alderman directs Visa’s financial education programs. Sign up for his free monthly e-Newsletter at The Best Of Times

February 2009


26 February 2009

So you want to be in pictures? Well guess what - you live in the Hollywood of the South and your chances of appearing on the silver screen are pretty good. Keep in mind that you probably won’t end up with a starring role. You can, however, appear on screen as an extra without having to take acting lessons, move to Los Angeles, or hire a publicist. The job of an extra is to fill the background of a TV show or film. It would look very odd if the star of a movie was the only person shopping in the grocery store. It would also be pretty odd for the loving couple in a movie to stroll through a completely empty city park or shopping mall. (Unless the movie was “Castaway” or “I Am Legend” - but those are definite exceptions.) Extras walk around, shop, eat, talk and laugh in the background so the setting looks as realistic as possible. Extras don’t usually have speaking roles, although there are times when they might have a line or two to say. Ten years ago, people in Shreveport-Bossier City would not have often had the opportunity to appear in movies. Today, due to tax incentives offered by the state to the film industry, Hollywood has come calling. In addition to appreciating all the positive publicity the film industry as brought to the area, many want to try their hand at being a part of this new industry. The first step, if you are interested in being a movie extra, is to register with a casting agency. There are several in the area and they maintain a database of extras. When a film crew is getting ready to shoot a movie, they contact a The Best Of Times

February 2009



casting agency and tell the agency what they are looking for. The agency then contacts people who are registered with them who they think would be appropriate for the movie. A list of casting agencies can be found at, a website that is a joint effort between the two cities. It has information for both amateurs and professionals. Pam Glorioso handles the Bossier

2008 MOVIES, TV PROJECTS “Skateland” (Oct. 20 - Dec. 3) “Leaves of Grass” (Edward Norton, Tim Blake Nelson, through Nov. 13) Hallmark’s “Front of the Class” (Treat Williams, through Oct. 8) “Billy, the Exterminator” (A&E reality series) “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell” (wrapped August 29, 2008) “W.” (Josh Brolin, Jeffrey Wright, Elizabeth Banks, directed by Oliver Stone) “Disaster Movie” (Carmen Electra, Kim Kardashian) “Streets of Blood” / “Microwave Park” (50 Cent, Val Kilmer, Sharon Stone) “I Love You, Phillip Morris” (two-day shoot at La. Wave Studio) “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” (Michael Douglas) “Righteous Kill” (second unit reshoots) “True Blood” (HBO series, one-week shoot) “Pinks All Out” (Speed TV two-day shoot) “Year One” (Jack Black, Michael Cera) “The Longshots” aka “Comeback” (Ice Cube, Keke Palmer) “Soul Men” (Samuel L. Jackson, Bernie Mac) “Tekken” (videogame adaptation) “Big Medicine” (TLC reality TV series)

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

City side of the site and said the site is getting a lot of usage. The average daily page load count for the final two months of 2008 was 150, so there is clearly a lot of interest in the local movie scene. “I think that the ‘amateurs’ are looking at it when something appears in the media about the local film industry,” Glorioso said. “Then the counts really do go up. It does have a lot of useful information on it and (a) database for vendors, housing and crew base, and other information.” Arlena Acree, director of film, media

Alaska; Amsterdam; Arizona; and the North Pole. In January of 2008, “Movie Maker Magazine” ranked Shreveport-Bossier #3 city in the U.S. for best places to live, work and make movies. In 2007, the cities were ranked at #6. Louisiana was selected as the best destination in the U.S. to shoot movies for 2 years in a row, 2006 and 2007, by P3 Production. Since the film industry has taken off in the area, Acree said she is often approached by people who want to be in the movies and she does offer them one piece of advice. “I tell them to visit our website at and there are links for casting agencies and talent

and entertainment for the City of Shreveport said some productions require more extras than others. The need for extras will continue, said Acree, who has already been contacted about several projects for next year. “Things seem to be going great and we want to keep it that way,” Acree said. Shreveport/Bossier City have doubled for cities across the nation and throughout the world. A few of the locales: New York; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Kodiak,

agencies and they can pick and choose or call all of them. There are a whole bunch of them.” Don’t think you have to look a certain way or be a certain age to be an extra. Each movie needs a variety of different people to fill the background. Short, tall, fat, thin, balding or handicapped, there are needs for a variety of people. Just think about the mix of people you see when you go to the Louisiana Boardwalk. Variety is the spice of life and it is also what is needed

• “Cheerleader Camp”(MTV series) • “Speed Freaks”(Comedy Central series, one week) • “The Midnight Man”(Dimension Films) 2007 MOVIES, TV PROJECTS • “Sordid Lives: The Series”(Logo channel series) • “Feast 3: The Happy Finish”(Dimension Films) • “Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds”(Dimension Films) • “Wonderful World”(Matthew Broderick) • “The Killing Room”aka“Untitled Manbreak Project”(Timothy Hutton, Nick Cannon, Chlöe Sevigny) • “Queen Sized”(Lifetime movie) • “True Blood”(HBO series, one-week shoot) • “Pulse 3”/“Pulse: Invasion”(Dimension Films) • “Pulse 2”/“Pulse: Afterlife”(Dimension Films) • “Major Movie Star”(Jessica Simpson) • “The Pardon”(Jason Lewis, Jaime King) • “The Great Debaters”(Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker) • “Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins”(Martin Lawrence, James Earl Jones) • “Mad Money”(Katie Holmes, Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah) • “For Sale by Owner”(Scott Cooper, Skeet Ulrich) • “Secrets of the Heart”(music series TV pilot) • “The Mist”(Thomas Jane, Andre Braugher, directed by Frank


28 February 2009

• “Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay”(Kal Penn, John Cho, Neil Patrick Harris) • “Cleaner”(Samuel L. Jackson, Ed Harris) • “The Last Lullaby”(Tom Sizemore, Sasha Alexander, directed by

Jeffrey Goodman) 2006 MOVIE, TV PROJECTS “Blonde Ambition” (Jessica Simpson, Luke Wilson) “My Mom’s New Boyfriend” aka “Homeland Security” (Meg Ryan, Antonio Banderas) “The Year Without a Santa Claus” (John Goodman, NBC TV movie) “The Initiation of Sarah” (TV movie) “Mr. Brooks” (Kevin Costner, Demi Moore) “Not Like Everyone Else” (TV movie) “Ruffian” (Sam Shepard) “Premonition” (Sandra Bullock) 2005 MOVIE, TV PROJECTS “Factory Girl” (Sienna Miller, Guy Pearce) “The Guardian” (Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher) “The American Standards” (James Brolin) “Scarlett” (Rebecca Gayheart, TV movie) “Thief” (Andre Braugher, FX series) “Road House 2: Last Call” (Johnathon Schaech)

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

when it comes time to hire an extra. Jeannie Perrin, a If you are wondering if “hire” means you get paid, the answer local pet sitter, has is yes. “The pay scale here is typically $58 for eight,” said Ryan worked as an extra Glorioso of Glorioso Casting in Shreveport. “So what that on 23 productions. means is you are guaranteed eight hours of pay, so you are She fits it in when guaranteed $58. But the day is usually 12 hours or more, so after eight hours you get overtime. It is usually about $100 a day for it doesn’t interfere a regular extra. Stand-ins and photo doubles are usually a little with her pet-sitting more, like a guarantee of $120 a day or so. That is pretty much work. The casting the basic rate, and then sometimes there will be bumps in pay companies she is for doing specialty things.” Those specialty things are little skills or talents you have registered with that might be needed for a film, like the ability to juggle, ride a know that she is horse, or ride a skateboard. Can you shoot hoops like nobodies comfortable business? Then let the casting company know. You never know when that particular skill might be just what is needed. working on set Jeannie Perrin, a local pet sitter, has worked as an extra on around animals. 23 productions. She fits it in when it doesn’t interfere with her pet-sitting work. The casting companies she is registered with know that she is comfortable working on set around animals. Ryan Glorioso said his database of extras is currently around 20,000 people, but they can always use more. If you have a computer, you can easily go on line and register. He has also recently rolled out a new site: This new site is like a social network for movie talent, where people can network with each other on the internet. Local residents who have appeared in movies can talk about their experiences with others. One of those locals with movie experience is Andy Sibley. He recently worked as an extra in “Acceptance,” a Lifetime Movie of the Week starring Mae Whitman and Joan Cusack. He also worked this year on “Leaves of Grass,” starring Edward Norton and Tim Blake Nelson, as well as Hallmark’s “Front of the Class,” starring Treat Williams. His daughter, who is 11, also worked as in extra in the Hallmark movie. “They cut my scene but she was in it, so she got to see herself and that was cool,” Sibley said. Sibley said he thinks working as an extra is a lot of fun. He has a background in music, both as a musician on stage and also a stagehand and he likes seeing the production process while on set. “I enjoy seeing how they Don’t judge all set up the camera angles, how they make things look Shreveport film bigger or smaller, how they productions by set-up the scenes. That kind the stinker that of stuff is pretty fascinating to me so it is a nice break was “Disaster my regular job to do Movie,” ranked from that kind of stuff.” by the New York His advice for those who are thinking about working Times as “The as extras is to “just try it” Worst Movie of but realize it is not a quick 2008.” process and you won’t (Imagine that, become famous. “Those who think they you could are going to be a star from have been it may get disappointed, so part of movie just take it for what it is: the enjoyment of getting to history!) be around movie stars and The Best Of Times

seeing how they put (movies) together,” he said. “Getting to see your face on screen occasionally is just kind of a fun thing.” Perrin worked as a core extra for five weeks on “The Mist.” She, along with about 50 other extras, portrayed people trapped in a grocery store. She said it was one of the best experiences she has ever had. She got to interact with Diane Keaton during the filming of “Mad Money.” Her scene didn’t make it into the movie but she had a lot of fun. Perrin worked as an extra in the lynching scene depicted in “The Great Debaters.” There were only about 12 or 13 extras in the scene and Perrin was one of only three women. For three long nights in a row they shot the scene. The long nights were worth it to Perrin, though. “We were directed by Denzel Washington,” she said. “It was so worth it because we were being directed by him. Normally as an extra you don’t get directed by the director, unless it is really important and you are going to be on camera. That was just a thrill. He was walking all around me and my heart was just beating real fast. I just love him and he is one of my favorite actors.” Angela Thomas said she had a lot of fun when she worked as an extra, but did put in some long hours. Thomas worked on the TV movie “Not Like Everyone Else,” about a girl who is accused of being involved in witchcraft. Thomas said her day as an extra was “really, really long.” They arrived at the filming location before sun-up and worked to almost dark. Besides February 2009



the day being long, Thomas said it is important to remember that you might be out in the elements the entire time and that can be a challenging experience. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was very chilly that day and a lot of times, the season in the movie isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the season here,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was chilly in the morning and they were filming a springtime scene. Then later on in the day, they were filming a more fall/winter scene, but it was warmer here. We were bundled up when it was warm and not bundled up when it was cold. You have to be prepared for that and you have to act like you are not at all cold, which is hard to do.â&#x20AC;? In between scenes, Thomas said all the extras huddled up together, bundled in coats and shivering. It was worth it to Thomas. She was in two scenes, though only one of them

made it into the movie, so she did get to see herself on screen. She does caution, though, that regardless of the long hours, that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t translate into a lot of screen time. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Keep this in mind,â&#x20AC;? she added, â&#x20AC;&#x153;we spent roughly 12 hours out there and I saw myself in the movie for about three seconds right at the beginning.â&#x20AC;? If given the opportunity, she would do it again. She has had the opportunity to be in two more productions, but her schedule hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t allowed her to take those jobs. She hopes more are offered on the weekend so she can get another chance to work as an extra. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is kind of hard to get in, but I kind of hope to get to do it again. I did enjoy that.â&#x20AC;? Long hours and time in the elements aside, there are perks to working as an extra. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is long hours and sometimes you can spend hours waiting,â&#x20AC;? Perrin said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You might wait seven or eight hours in the holding area, but then you might get called to be in a scene with a famous actor and get to do something really cool. To me, the long hours and the wait are worth it.â&#x20AC;?

Perrin advises people to bring needlework, a book, or something to help them pass the time. She also says to bring a few of your own snacks because, while snacks are sometimes supplied, they might not always be what you like. Perrin also reminds people considering working as extras that all the time you spend waiting

you are being paid for, and you are fed lunch, too. Sibley enjoyed learning about the behind the scenes aspects of putting a scene together, and Ryan Glorioso confirmed that the biggest perk is the learning experience an extra gets to be a part of.

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“If you are somebody who wants to be involved in the film industry it is an excellent way to get on set to see how things are done,” he said. “If you want to be an actor, it is a great way to get to watch how the pros do their scenes and what they are doing. It is not like you are sitting on set the whole time, but when you are on set

you definitely can soak it in.” Glorioso, whose company just completed work on the TV movie “Acceptance” and the film “Skateland,” had some advice for those who want to start working as extras: “If you commit to it, then do it.” He added that you need to show up

The Best Of Times

on time and be reliable. That will result in a person being used more often as an extra. “Reliability is a big factor,” he said. “When you are starting out, previous work as an extra doesn’t really matter. But we have folks who have been working with us for a couple of years now that are really reliable and they enjoy doing it and we know they enjoy doing it. So we try to get them as much work as we can.” The film industry in Louisiana, and especially in the local area, is very exciting for all the people involved. The local government is pretty excited about it, too. In an editorial that ran Dec. 14 of last year in “The Times,” Cedric Glover, mayor of Shreveport, stated why he thought the Louisiana tax incentives and the film industry they have brought to the area are good things. “Because of this movement into the film industry, northwest Louisiana has experienced an influx of members of the “creative class” such as crew members and executives, as well as several small businesses that form the infrastructure

necessary to support a significant presence of movie and video production,” Glover wrote. “With over 60 film and television productions since 2005, this year alone has seen over 24 projects with total budgets of $258 million and over 32,000 local hotel nights booked. We would not have the tax-paying small businesses that have grown and developed through providing goods and services to this industry. We would not enjoy the national and international publicity that has resulted from movies made here and stars and producers who have visited (or bought homes) here.” Glover went on to write, “These tax credits represent sound economic development tax policy by developing a new industry that has enhanced and diversified our local economy and community. We will continue to nurture our film industry and the jobs and opportunities it represents. Other states may have no need for such opportunities, but we appreciate them.”  To contact a casting agency visit:;;;;

February 2009


If the total base investment is greater than $300,000, each investor shall be allowed a tax credit of 25% of the actual investment made by that taxpayer.

Louisiana Motion Picture Incentive Act of 2002 INVESTOR TAX CREDIT Louisiana state law grants a tax credit against state income tax for taxpayers domiciled and headquartered in Louisiana. The objective of this tax credit is to attract private investment for the production of nationally distributed feature length films, videos, television programs, or commercials made in Louisiana, in whole or in part for theatrical or television viewing or as a television pilot. The investor shall earn the tax credit at the time of such investment.

32 February 2009

EMPLOYMENT / LABOR TAX CREDIT The new law provides that a motion picture production company is entitled to a tax credit for the employment of Louisiana residents in connection with production of a nationally distributed motion picture, video, television series, or commercial made in Louisiana, as certified by the state of Louisiana. • The credit is equal to 10% of the total aggregate payroll for residents employed in connection with such production. However, if the payroll to any one person exceeds $1,000,000, this additional credit shall exclude any salary for that person that exceeds $1,000,000. INFRASTRUCTURE TAX CREDIT Until January 1, 2008, if the total base investment is greater than $300,000, each tax payer shall be allowed a tax credit of 40% of the base investment made by that taxpayer that is expended in this state on a state-certified infrastructure project as certified by the Governor’s Office of Film and Television Development, the Department of Economic Development, and approved by the division of administration.

The Best Of Times

February 2009


BY mirabai holland, M.f.a.,

a leading authority in health and fitness Target heart rate: Aerobics in the zone February is heart month and I want to talk a little about taking care of your heart. By now we all know I’m talking about daily aerobic exercise; and the U.S. Government, The American College of Sports Medicine and The American Heart Association all have similar guidelines. They say at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a day in your Target Heart Rate Zone; walking, running, biking, swimming, cardio dance. But what does aerobic really mean? - And how do I tell moderate from too much or not enough? - And where IS my Target Heart Rate Zone anyhow? Aerobic exercise is any exercise that increases your body’s need for oxygen over a sustained period of at least 20 minutes. In practice, this means ease your heart rate up, over a 5 to 10 minute warm-up,

(into your Target Heart Rate Zone) and keep it up for 20 minutes or more and then ease it back down again over a 5 to 10 minute cool-down period. But how do I know I’m in my Target Heart Rate Zone? Well, there’s the quick way, and the real way. The quick way is to exercise just hard enough to be barely able to carry on a conversation while you work out. It’s easy and it works okay. But, wouldn’t you like to know once and for all how to find YOUR actual Target Heart Rate Zone? Good, because I’m going to show you how right now. It’s not rocket science, but it is science, and it’s a simple formula. It works according to age. Start with the number 220. • 220 BPM (Beats per Minute) is approximately your heart rate at birth • Then you subtract your age from 220. Let’s say you’re 50. • 220, minus 50, equals170.


34 February 2009

• 170 BPM - That’s the MAX heart rate for a healthy person age 50. But you should NOT be exercising at your MAX. That could be dangerous. Instead, you should exercise between 50% and 85% of MAX for your age – That’s YOUR Target Heart Rate Zone So if you’re a healthy 50-year old and your MAX heart rate is 170, your target heart rate zone looks like this: 170 X 50% = 85 BPM 170 X 85% = 144 BPM The Target Heart Rate Zone of a healthy 50 year old should range between 85 and 144 Beats per Minute. You should exercise comfortably within your Target Heart Rate Zone. Once you work out your Target Heart Rate Zone, it’s easy to know if you’re exercising within it. One quick way is to take your pulse for 6 seconds and multiply that number by 10. That’s how many Beats per Minute your heart is beating. Compare that to the range of your Target Heart Rate Zone and you’ll know if you’re over, under or in the right place. The 21st century approach is to exercise with a heart rate monitor. A good basic one costs about $50. You’ll have the high tech assurance you’re in exercising in YOUR Target Heart Rate Zone. It will help make your workouts safer, more effective and efficient You’ll learn what it feels like when you’re in and when you’re out; and its fun to know you’re in control. Mirabai Holland M.F.A. is public health activist who specializes in preventive and rehabilitative exercise for people. Her Moving Free® approach to exercise is designed to provide a movement experience so pleasant it doesn’t feel like work. Mirabai Holland © 2008

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February 2009


In four decades of reviewing restaurants for publications from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale, San Francisco to Atlanta, and now Dallas and Shreveport, I have yet to meet a chef de cuisine with more verve and intensity than Henry Rodriguez. His enthusiasm and literal joy are palpable, and it shows in the beauty of his food and the gleam in his eye as he greets diners. The Boomtown Hotel and Casino has a winner! We’re going to mention upfront that for the first time we were recognized by the staff, apparently many of whom read The Best of Times. We’re admitting this with the caveat that we carefully observed how others in the comfortably full dining room were served and the quality and amounts of the food on the plates of those who don’t print restaurant reviews. We could discern no differences at all in comparison to the great food and service we received. Speaking of service, we were delighted to be taken under the wing of the knowledgeable and humorous Stacie, who was ably assisted by a charming young man named Fredrick, whose quiet patter was accompanied by blindingly friendly smiles. Now that you know you’ll be taken care of properly, let us tell you about the delicious food you’ll also receive. This place is such a bargain. Really! An initial flurry of cocktails (need I mention that there is much comfort on a Saturday night in a well-made vodka martini before dinner?) and very warm dinner rolls were hurried to our table, accompanied by fresh whipped butters, one of which was cinnamon-maple. Our table of four ordered two appetiz-

ers to share, including “Louisiana-style Fried Green Tomatoes” ($9) and Louisiana Crab Cakes ($10). These tomatoes weren’t those greasy disks found elsewhere; no sir, these were sublime and informed, topped with a choice of crawfish or a mushroom medley in a light cream sauce. The crab cakes, which also came with a single fried green tomato, contained so much lump crab that we wondered what was holding them together. The remoulade was lightly spicy and perfectly delicious. A star of the show was an unbelievably tasty Maytag-Bibb salad with glazed pecans and apple slivers ($5). Its vinaigrette dressing was perfect, perfect, perfect. Our eyes were full of colors. However, not all was to die for. The Corn Chowder was a thin, creamy, bland broth of mostly poached chicken and far too little corn. Perhaps the young chef needs to visit New England...? My 12-oz. Prime Rib eye ($24) came with sautéed vegetables and baked sweet potato generously daubed with more of that cinnamon maple butter. Yum, indeed. A tablemate ordered the 12-oz. Prime NY Strip ($26), which also came with those winter veggies and a regular baked tater. The steaks were grilled to perfection in the restaurant’s namesake 1800º device that cooks both sides at the same time almost instantly. Very impressive, I must say. But here’s an odd observation: the seafood dishes were even better than the great steaks! The “1800° Red Rice

36 February 2009

Salmon” ($22) is a fusion of Greek, Indian and Thai cuisines. It’s a generous piece of fish on Thai rice paper with a curried cucumber yogurt sauce. Served with a side of asparagus and rice, it was so very good we thought it was underpriced. The Chef recommended the “Scallops à la Española” ($22). A mound of garlic mashed potatoes surrounded by large (perfectly cooked) scallops and asparagus spears in a saffron shitake mushroom champagne sauce. The delicate sauce worked at not overpowering the tender scallops. (“Absolutely the best scallop dish I have ever eaten,” said the editor.) A whole list of “sides” is available for the astonishingly low price of only $3 each. Seriously, a vegetarian could eat very well here for very little. Stuffed as we were, only one shared dessert was all that was required to note that this kitchen has an imaginative hand here, too. The Crème Brûlée was airy and creamy at the same time, with a delicate shell instead of those too-thick ones so common at other places. The witty choice of rich and thick whipped cream and kiwi was a delightful change up from the usual scattering of berries. We do wish the minimalist menu was more descriptive, as no sauces were even mentioned. And we learned too late that we could have advance-special-ordered a wonderful sounding mussel dish or even a rack of lamb not on the menu. That said, we can’t wait to return for the Clay Baked Ruby Red Trout and the 1800° Prime Tomahawk steak. Oh, my! 

N rev Sout EW h No epor east wO tO PE ffice N!


Reaping What You Sow Some see an empty field of dirt. Robbie Brown sees bushels of homegrown tomatoes, foot-long zucchinis and some of the sweetest peas your teeth have ever had the pleasure of meeting. When he’s not driving his tractor or guiding his tiller through the garden, you’ll find him living life to the fullest in some other way. “I do anything I want to do with the legs I get from Snell’s,” Brown says confidently. “I don’t back up for nothing.” It is that same type of commitment that Snell’s licensed practitioners and technicians make to our patients every day. Our staff members take the time to attentively listen to the patient to determine what his or her needs truly are. Then, after careful consultation with the patient’s physician, we begin the design and fabrication process. Once the prosthesis or orthosis has been fitted, we work tirelessly with the patient to make sure that it functions correctly. Our investment in new technology and in specialized training for our staff allows us to deliver prosthetic and orthotic devices of the highest quality. Because, as Mr. Brown will attest to…what you invest in today will yield abundant returns tomorrow.

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The Best Of Times

February 2009


Interview conducted and article written by the award-winning

amanda newton

Jerry Harris took quite an interesting route to get to Shreveport. Harris, 74, was raised in Dallas and, after leaving the military, wasn’t sure what to do with his life. An uncle in the upholstery business wanted Harris to come to work for him. The same uncle soon realized Harris had artistic talent. He decided to get the opinion of others, as well. “He got some of his beer drinking buddies that were supposed to be artists - they did signs for beer - to look at (my work),” Harris recalled. “They said I had talent. It seemed like there would be more profit in doing art work than in upholstering furniture. That’s the way I made the decision.” After six months of art school, Harris was good

enough to start freelancing for the instructor and got practical experience. A year and half short of graduating, a fellow art student said he had worked for Paramount studios in California and he could get Harris a job out there. So, off to California he went. “Me and another fellow went out there and were supposed to meet him and I haven’t seen hide nor hair of him since school,” Harris said with a laugh. “I don’t know what happened to him. Here I am stuck in California and looking for a job.” Harris went to an employment agency but wasn’t having a lot of luck. A woman at the agency had a book on her desk, “The Power of Positive Thinking,” by Norman Vincent Peale. She told Harris she was going to send him to another place and she wanted him to go in there like he could do it. No matter what the job, to be positive and

38 February 2009

act like he could do it. “She drummed that into my head,” he said. The job, drawing ads for one of the largest independent furniture stores in the nation, had gone to someone else. However, a few days later the man in charge of hiring contacted Harris and said he wanted him to work for him. After two and a half years of doing furniture ad work, Harris decided to go home to Dallas. Harris decided to make himself valuable to people by learning all aspects of artwork and production. He took a job for a company that produced ads, but soon saw an ad for a position doing fashion art, something new to Harris. “I had never done that but it was still in my mind that this lady out in California said I could do anything,” Harris said. He applied and learned the position was for the Shreveport office of Goldring’s, a large regional clothing store. They flew him to Shreveport and offered him the job, but they wanted him to write copy, too. Harris said he didn’t write copy and turned

down their offer of $98 a week, even though they were begging him to take it. He got to thinking that if they had begged him to take the job, then artists must be in short supply in the area. After a local person in the business saw Harris’ portfolio and said he wouldn’t have a problem finding work, Harris moved to Shreveport in the early 1960s. He worked for a few ad agencies and also did freelance work. For awhile, he was art director for Gym Dandy, a Bossier company that made playground equipment. “I got to where I could draw these kids on gym sets blindfolded; I did so many of them,” he said. Before long he started his own agency and it was one of the fastest growing in the area, he said. One year, the company won 23 awards for creativity, and they also won several national awards over the years. The ad business bored Harris after awhile and he diversified and started doing promotional products. He still has two or

three ad accounts that have been with him a long time. Several years ago Harris got involved with the Municipal Auditorium and he has really enjoyed that. Harris, who has been drawing portraits for many years, has drawn over 300 portraits of country music legends. “You can’t name a legend that I haven’t drawn,” he said. “I have one poster in there that has 175 portraits on it of people that go all the way back to Jimmy Rogers.” Harris had donated some of his country legend portraits to the auditorium and they wanted to involve him even more in the operations there. He was approached about running the gift shop at the Municipal Auditorium and he decided to buy it and run it. “I like country music and I like the history of it,” Harris said. “I got involved.” That might be an understatement. There are currently 103 portraits of country legends in the museum that Harris drew: those that appeared on the Louisiana Hayride and those who were under contract with the Hayride. Just recently, Harris created 42 portraits of military heroes for a new exhibit at the auditorium, The Hall of Heroes. He researched

The Best Of Times

the history of each subject. “I developed a real appreciation for those guys and girls that did some very brave acts. I came away with a real appreciation for them.” Harris plans to continue doing two to three portraits a year to donate to the Municipal Auditorium. Harris is not paid for the portraits, he donates all of them. He feels like too few people know what a gem the Municipal Auditorium is and works to spread the word about it. In fact, his work with the auditorium is what he is most proud of.

“I love that building and what it stands for. It is sad to me that a lot of people don’t appreciate that building. People from out of town will come in and say it is the highlight of their trip and people who live in Shreveport say it is the best kept secret. I am most proud of (my work there) and, according to what people tell me, it will live on after I pass away. The portraits will live on.” The framed portrait of Elvis Presley in the photo was drawn by Harris. Copies of the print will be auctioned to raise money for a statue of Hank Williams and to refurbish other statues at Municipal Auditorium.

February 2009


“You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers” Ophthalmology

Nursing Home Care

I have heard of a new lens implant for cataract surgery that will eliminate glasses. Does Medicare pay for it? This is an exciting time to have cataracts. There is a new Multifocal Lens Implant called Restor that allows a wide range of vision without glasses. 80% of patients who have received the lens never have to use glasses, ever! Medicare and/or insurance covers part of the lens and surgery, the rest will have to be paid out of pocket. If you think you have cataracts and would like to learn more about the Restor Lens, call us at 212-3937.

Will Medicare cover my father’s care in a nursing home? While Medicare does not pay room & board fees for one actually “living” in a nursing home, there are portions of nursing home care that are covered. Medicare covers 100 days of skilled nursing care when the doctor feels that either nursing or rehabilitation services for Medicare Part A insured persons are needed following a recent hospitalization of 3 or more days. Additionally, Medicare Parts B & D may pay for your father’s medications and physical, speech or occupational therapies ordered by a physician while he is in a nursing home. Depending upon the financial situation, nursing home room & board is generally paid by the individual, Medicaid, or Long Term Care Insurance.

Chris Shelby, MD

Pierremont Eye Institute 7843 Youree Dr. Shreveport, LA 1105 318-212-3937; See our ad on page 23.

Vicki Ott

NurseCare Nursing and Rehab Center 1736 Irving Place Shreveport, LA 71101 (318) 221-1983 See our ad on page 26.



What are the symptoms and treatment of torn cartilage? Meniscus tears are the most common surgical condition involving the knee. Medial meniscus (inside) tears are 3 - 4 times more common than lateral tears (outside). The meniscus support 50% of the body weight with the knee extended and 90% with the knee flexed 90°. Because the meniscus supports body weight every attempt should be made to repair or maintain as much meniscus tissue as possible. Popping, giving way, locking, tenderness at the joint line, stiffness, and swelling are some of the signs/symptoms of cartilage tears. Arthroscopic surgery is generally done on an outpatient basis and recovery is from a few days to a weeks.

Who are candidates for balloon kyphoplasty to relieve back problems? The best candidates for balloon kyphoplasty are those who have new (within a few days or a couple of weeks) fracture. Fractures are most common in older patients with osteoporosis and the typical symptom is severe, immediate onset back pain. Kyphoplasty has to be one of the most satisfying procedures - there is practically immediate relief in most cases, and people go home with only 2 tiny needle incisions. We treat other back-related problems which affect pain down the legs of ‘fatiguing” down the legs, and not every patient needs surgery - just an honest assessment.

John J. Ferrell, M.D. Mid South Orthopaedics 7925 Youree Drive; Suite 210 Shreveport, LA 71105 (318) 424-3400

40 February 2009

Dr. Ravish Patwardhan The Comprehensive Neurosurgery Network 8001 Youree Dr., Ste 970 Shreveport, LA 71115 (318) 797-5543 See our ad on page 18.

Weather facts for thought First, a brief look back at our weather during 2008. The hottest temperature was 105° on August 2nd. The coldest temperature was 21° on January 3rd. The wettest month was the month of May. Rainfall measured 11.56 inches. The driest month was July. Rainfall measured only 1.08 inches. Any thoughts about what February has in store? It’s a month that’s had some interesting numbers. Our hottest February temperature of record was 89° on the 25th in 1977 and again on the 20th in 1986. Coldest of record was -5° on the 12th in 1899. That was our all time low temperature since Shreveport’s official weather records were begun in September, 1871. Wettest of record was 8.96 inches in 1939. Last February the warmest temperature was 80° on the 25th. The coldest was 26° on the first. Total rainfall was 4.96 inches. Normal February rainfall is 4.2 inches. Since we’re on the subject of sweater weather, the coldest temperature of record in the United State, excluding Alaska, was -70° at Rogers Pass, Montana on January 20, 1954. Alaska’s coldest temperature of record was -80° at Prospect Creek in northern Alaska on January 23, 1971. Closer to home, Louisiana’s coldest February temperature of record was -16° at Minden on February 13, 1899. In our neighboring states, the coldest February temperature in Texas was -23° at Seminole on February 2, 1933. On Arkansas, -29° at Pond on February 13, 1905. In Mississippi, -16° at Batesville on February 2, 1951. Al Bolton, a member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association, began reporting with KSLA-TV in February, 1954 and for The Best of Times in February, 2002. The Best Of Times

February 2009


42 February 2009

Senior Care at Brentwood Hospital Levels of Care • Inpatient • Partial Hospitalization (Day Treatment) • Outpatient

Call us, we can help!

Brentwood Senior Care Unit (318) 678-7500

The Best Of Times

Warning Signs That May Indicate the Need for Treatment

• • • • • • • •

Depression, extreme sadness Confused thinking, difficulty concentrating Hallucinations; hearing voices Misuse of alcohol or medications Disorientation Numerous unexplained physical ailments Difficulties coping with daily living Excessive fears, anxieties or suspiciousness

February 2009


Action Actor Cameo Camera Cast Character Cinema Director

Extras Film Location Movie Plot Producer Props Rehearsal

Scene Screenplay Script Sets Setting Studio Wardrobe Writer

SUDOKU - Fill in the blank

squares in the grid, making sure that every row, column, and 3 x 3 box includes all digits 1 through 9.

(Solutions on page 48)

44 February 2009

ACROSS 1 Accompanies 8 Character on “The A-Team” 11 UFO crew 14 Brother of Rebecca 19 Do little or nothing 20 Driveway stain, perhaps 22 Beatles song from “The White Album” 23 Junk carrying fruit? 25 Paroxysm 26 “Lohengrin” heroine 27 Joyce Kilmer classic 28 Lena of “Chocolat” 29 Kind of duck 30 Well in France 31 Fam. member 32 Damaged mdse. tag 33 Fatality faker 37 Freeing a pungent plant? 45 __ State Building 46 Very wide shoe width 47 Meager 48 Light starter? 49 Force exerted by a fruit? 52 French possessive 53 SRO indication 54 That’s nasty! 55 Quit it! 56 Barry Levinson movie 58 Pockmark 59 Cure-all 63 Places to stay the night 64 AEC word 66 Herb’s organic processes? 71 Cocktail crustacean 74 Squirmy catches 75 Under the most negative circumstances 79 Paint layer The Best Of Times

80 Winged 82 Honey 85 Coloration 86 Operate 87 Few: pref. 88 Mushroom stem? 93 Put into action 94 Erect, temporarily 96 Inca land 97 Brain box 98 Veggies’ contemporaries? 101 Incursions 102 Boat mover 103 __ and outs 104 Tear or rain unit 106 Musician Isaac 109 Change abode 111 Rutger of “Blade Runner” 113 “Maggie” creator Bombeck 117 Man from Baghdad 118 Herb from the distant past? 121 Contagious computer ailment 122 Set sail 123 Cyst 124 Shoelace tip 125 Paul Anka’s “__ Beso” 126 Light gray 127 School DOWN 1 Different 2 Window ledge 3 Corp. bigwigs 4 Old music halls 5 Stick up 6 Traitor 7 Trapping gadget 8 Wee thing 9 Rivers in Mexico 10 RN’s forte 11 Literary afterwords: var. 12 Novelist Morrison 13 “South Park” kid 14 Well-read elite


By Robert H. Wolfe, North Woodmere, New York; Edited by Wayne Robert Williams

(Solution on page 48) 15 Spinning 16 Shuttlecock 17 Soothing plant 18 Dodger, in MLB jargon 21 Clipped 24 Most nervous 30 Baby-feeding follow-up 31 Coffin holder 32 Put that out of your mind 33 Enliven 34 Last of Socrates? 35 Pitcher Warren 36 Letter starter 38 Miguel’s money 39 Sign on for another hitch 40 Playground retort 41 Title

42 Early anesthetic 43 “Dallas” name 44 Poker pot 50 Actor Morales 51 Writer Buchanan 57 Incoming, as a train (abbr.) 58 Display model 60 Somewhat 61 Machinery part 62 Trellis 63 __ now or never! 65 Part of Austral. 67 Baseball grouping 68 Got together 69 Early sch. 70 “I Remember Mama” character 71 Rub hard

72 Family dwelling 73 Indian royalty 76 Valerie Harper sitcom 77 Sullenly ill- humored 78 Heads of France 81 Wood: pref. 82 Three from Berlin 83 Architect Saarinen 84 Corundum relative 87 Church player 89 Chooses 90 Lacking in development 91 Inside info 92 Panama preposition 95 In on 99 Twisting force

100 Wind: pref. 105 “Still Me” writer 106 Hindu deity 107 Math subj. 108 James __ Jones 109 Loan letters 110 Cries of discovery 111 Hastens 112 Asian nursemaid 113 Writer Ambler 114 Costa __ 115 Brewer’s grain 116 Out of the wind 119 NASA partner 120 Buckeyes’ sch.

February 2009


places to go, people to see, things to do Theatre


mardi gras

American Shakespeare Center on Tour - performing three of Shakespeare’s most enduring plays at the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse (MLP) on the Centenary College campus. The Comedy of Errors - Feb. 10 and 13 at 7 p.m. Hamlet - Feb. 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern - Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. Tickets - $15 for adults and $10 for students, and can be purchased at MLP. For more info, contact the box office at 318.869.5242.

Victorian Valentine Magic-Lantern Show- The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of North Louisiana will host the boisterously fun Victorian Valentine Magic-Lantern Show with a special limited seating performance on February 27 at 8:00 pm at the St. Marks Cathedral Parish Hall Theatre, 908 Rutherford Street, Shreveport. This Magic-Lantern Show is the great grandpa of the movies. It came before the silent films, yet it was in color, and had sound and spectacular special effects. The American Magic-Lantern Theater has re-created this popular Victorian-era entertainment. General Admission Seating. Advance tickets are $15 adults/$7 for children under 14 or at the door tickets for $20 adults and $10 for children under 14. Call for tickets at 1-800-957-8667 or visit the website at (www.

The Krewe of Elders Grand Bal XI - Saturday, February 7. 6:00 until 11:00 p.m. American Legion Hall located at 5315 South Lakeshore Drive, Shreveport. Featuring a special tableau show, “Stepping Out With The Elders.” Music provided by Crossroads, buffet and cash bar. Raffle. Black tie optional, $40 advance, $45 at door. Info: 635-4901 or 752-9175.

health fair Health Fair - presented by Trinity Heights Baptist Church, 3020 Old Mooringsport Road, Shreveport. Sat.March 7th, 8 am-12 noon. All ages welcome. Blood pressure checks, diabetes education, information, giveaways, and door prizes. (318) 218-7203

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46 February 2009

Krewe of Arepo Grand Mardi Gras Bal - Thursday, February 19. 6:30 p.m. Horseshoe Casino Hotel, Bossier City. Presented by Shreveport Opera. Tickets: $100. Call 318-227-9503 to order Krewe of Barkus & Meoux Pet Parade - Sunday, February 15. 3:00 p.m. Riverview Park located on Clyde Fant near Sci-Port. Pre-register your pets online at for $10; register the day of at 2:00 pm for $15. Prizes.

BINGO Black Tie BINGO - 2nd annual fundraiser for Goodwill Industries of N. Louisiana. Friday, February 27. 7:30 p.m. Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino. Dinner, auction, cash bar. Music by Jazziana. Call (318) 869-2575 for tickets and info.

Bass fishing tournament 2009 Bassmaster Classic - February 20 - 22. “The Super Bowl of Bass Fishing.” The Bassmaster Classic is the ultimate competition in professional bass fishing. This spectacular three-day event - complete with a theatrical presentation of the weigh-ins and hours of television coverage - delights fans of all ages. The CenturyTel Center will be the host venue for the weigh-ins (doors open daily at 3:30 p.m.) and the Red River South Marina is the official launch site (boats launch at 7:15 a.m.). The ESPN Consumer Outdoor Show featuring 150 vendors will be held at the Shreveport Convention Center. Expo Hours: Fri., 12 p.m. - 9 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sun., 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

driver education AARP Driver Safety Program - An 8 hour classroom refresher course for drivers age 50+ which may qualify participants for an automobile insurance premium reduction or discount. Where 2 days are listed, participants must attend both days. Call to preregister. Fee: $14; None for AARP members. • February 7th. - 8:30 a.m. First United Methodist Church, 903 Broadway, Minden. Contact Number: 318-377-1483; Instructor: Ray Branton • February 16th & 17th - 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Northpoint United Methodist Church, 6675 LA Hwy 1 North, Shreveport. Contact Number: 318-237-4200; Instructor: Ray Branton. • February 26th & 27th - 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cypress Baptist Church, 4701 Palmetto Road, Benton. Contact: Sherry Bell 318-965-2296; Instructor: James Smith.

movies Silver Screenings - The Robinson Film Center, 617 Texas in downtown Shreveport, proudly hosts this senior citizen monthly matinee and luncheon. Tuesday, February 17 at 10:30 am with the classic film “Casablanca.” This classic film is set in unoccupied Africa during the early days of World War II: An American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications. The $14 price per person includes the feature film and lunch at Abbey Singer’s Bistro. To reserve tickets, call (318) 459-4115. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Silent Movies - with accompanying theater organist. Sunday, February 22nd at 6 pm at Broadmoor United Methodist Church, 3715 Youree Drive, Shreveport. Presented by The North Louisiana Chapter of American Guild of Organists Nationally known organist/theater organist, Mr. Robert McDonald will be accompanying several silent movies on the “Big Screen” playing the 136-Stop 4 manual Renaissance Allen Organ with 27 ranks of pipes. Admission is FREE and open to the public. This concert is played in memory of Jackie Peebles, mother of E. Ray Peebles. For more information, contact Brian Bierhaum at 318-525-2694 or E. Ray Peebles at 318-865-9997. The Best Of Times

February 2009


Have you made prearrangements for your family, or do you still have that to do? Leaving these decisions to your children on the worst day of their lives is a terrible emotional burden.

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Centuries Memorial 8801 Mansfield Shreveport, LA 71108 (318) 686-4334

Hill Crest Memorial 601 Hwy. 80 East Haughton, LA 71037 (318) 949-9415

48 February 2009

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006 Here’s a fine poem by Chris Forhan of Indiana, about surviving the loss of a parent, and which celebrates the lives that survive it, that go on. I especially like the parachute floating up and away, just as the lost father has gone up and away.

What My Father Left Behind Jam jar of cigarette ends and ashes on his workbench, hammer he nailed our address to a stump with, balsa wood steamship, half-finished-is that him, waving from the stern? Well, good luck to him. Slur of sunlight filling the backyard, August’s high wattage, white blossoming, it’s a curve, it comes back. My mother in a patio chair, leaning forward, squinting, threading her needle again, her eye lifts to the roof, to my brother, who stands and jerks his arm upward -- he might be insulting the sky, but he’s only letting go a bit of green, a molded plastic soldier tied to a parachute, thin as a bread bag, it rises, it arcs against the blue -- good luck to it -my sister and I below, heads tilted back as we stand in the grass, good luck to all of us, still here, still in love with it. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of NebraskaLincoln. Poem copyright (c) 2008 by Chris Forhan from his most recent book of poetry “Black Leapt In,” Barrow Street Press, 2009, and reprinted by permission of Chris Forhan and the publisher. Poem first appeared in “Pleiades,”Vol. 28, no. 1, 2008. Introduction copyright (c) 2009 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. The Best Of Times

February 2009


Educational Courses Bible Correspondence Course (318) 797-6333 More info on page 41.

Ambulance Services Balentine Ambulance (318) 222-5358 More info on page 11.

Artificial Limbs & Braces Certified Limb and Brace (318) 636-9145 More info on page 43. Snellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Orthotics and Prosthetics (318) 424-4167

More info on page 37.

Associations and Organizations 2009 Health, Beauty, & Fitness Expo (318) 773-3935 More info on page 7. Aging and Disability Resource Center (318) 632-5900 More info on page 26. Animal Welfare, Inc. (318) 221-0053 More info on page 52. BluePrint Louisiana (866) 483-3920 More info on page 35. Bossier Council on Aging (318) 741-8302 Caddo Council on Aging (318) 632-2090 Goodwill Industries (318) 869-2575 More info on page 49. Shreveport Little Theater (318) 424-4439 More info on page 51. Shreveport Opera (318) 227-9503 More info on page 34.


The Robinson Film Center (318) 424-9090 More info on page 49.

Care Providers All About Care Home Services (318) 797-2100 More info on page 20. Comfort Keepers (318) 934-0090 More info on page 46. Family Care Services (800) 868-1182 More info on page 31. Home Assistance Services (318) 682-8182 More info on page 44. Northwest INCS, Inc. (318) 636-0390 More info on page 32. ResCare Home Care (318) 678-1890 More info on page 52. Seniors Club Personal Care Services (318) 635-0010 More info on page 39

Cemeteries/Funeral Homes Centuries Memorial (318) 686-4334 More info on page 48. Hill Crest Memorial (318) 949-9415 More info on page 48.

Counseling Services The Center for Families (318) 222-0759 More info on page 14.

Credit Unions and Banks TES Regional Healthcare Federal Credit Union (318) 681-4335 More info on page 9.

February 2009

Emergency Response Systems Acadian OnCall 1-800-259-1234 More info on page 23.

Financial & Estate Planning Services/Legal Services Daniel Scarborough, Attorney at Law (318) 673-9807 More info on page 41. Genworth Financial T. Wayne DesLattes (318) 560-0299 More info on page 40. Serio Investments Phillip Serio (318) 221-0889 More info on page 15. The Law Practice of Joseph Gilsoul (318) 222-2100 More info on page 33.

Hearing Care Services Sears Hearing Aid Center (318) 402-0433 More info on page 25. Shreve Hearing Aid Service (318) 797-7733 More info on page 10.

Home Maintenance Services Gutter Helmet of N. LA (800) 284-9777 More info on page 47.

Home Health Agencies (Medicare Certified) Ark-La-Tex Home Health (318) 747-6180 More info on page 18.

Synergy Home Care (318) 550-0285 More info on page 37.

Hospice Care Providers Agape Hospice Group (318) 861-2150 More info on page 19. Community Hospices of America (318) 524-1046 More info on page 3. Harmony Hospice (318) 798-5775 More info on page 16. Odyssey Healthcare (318) 868-8788 More info on page 35. St. Joseph Hospice (318) 222-8723 More info on page 46.

Home Infusion Services IV Plus (318) 683-5139 More info on page 41.

Hospitals Brentwood Hospital (318) 678-7500 More info on page 43.

Insurance Humana , Inc. (800) 219-7540 More info on page 56. Sterling Health Plans (866) 217-3666 More info on page 54.

Medical and Beauty Spas Fixx Medical Spa (318) 798-0635 More info on page 11. Jeany Mitchellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Skin Technology (318) 347-3567 More info on page 40.

Gentiva Health Services (318) 865-8865 More info on page 15.

Medical Supplies and Equipment Home Medical Supply (318) 226-4663 More info on page 32. Home Health Medical Supply (318) 631-1466 More info on page 11.

Physician Services Ark-La-Tex Urology (318) 841-4004 More info on page 2. Cardiovascular Consultants Dr. Phillip Rozeman (318) 631-6400 More info on page 17. Dr. Bryan Vekovius (318) 675-3733 More info on page 37. Dr. David Persson (318) 798-4455 More info on page 44. Dr. Gary Booker (318) 227-9600 More info on page 38. Mid South Orthopaedics Dr. John Ferrell (318) 424-3400 More info on page 40.

WK/University Urology Affiliates (318) 212-5063 (318) 212-3977 More info on page 2.

Real Estate Agents Century 21 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; July Holland (318) 349-6983 More info on page 48.

Restaurants Imperial Wok (318) 687-6668 More info on page 48. ShoeBootyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Restaurant (318) 550-0444 More info on page 35.

Senior Living Options Azalea Estates (318) 797-2408 More info on page 22. Colonial Oaks Guest Care Center (318) 742-5420 More info on page 5. Kingsley Place of Shreveport (318) 524-2100 More info on page 8.

Leslie Lakes Retirement Center (318) 263-9581 More info on page 24.

The Guest House Guest Care Center (318) 686-0515 More info on page 5.

Live Oak Retirement Center (318) 212-2000 More info on page 13.

The Waterford at Shreveport (318) 524-3300 More info on page 30.

NurseCare of Shreveport (318) 221-1983 More info on page 21. Pilgrim Manor Guest Care Center (318) 742-1623 More info on page 5. Shreveport Manor Guest Care Center (318) 222-9482 More info on page 5. Spring Lake Guest Care Center (318) 868-4126 More info on page 5. Spring Lake Assisted Living and Retirement Center (318) 861-2366 More info on page 39. The Bradford Guest Care Center (318) 688-1010 More info on page 5.

Travel Services Cruises, Inc (318) 746-3745 More info on page 19. Dixie Tours (318) 470-9757 More info on page 41. Red River Coaches (318) 221-5797 More info on page 47.

Telephone Book User-Friendly Phone Book (318) 865-1280 More info on page 43.

Weight Loss Centers Jenny Craig Center (318) 798-2608 More info on page 52.

Dr. Laura Anissian (318) 798-4618 More info on page 9. Pierremont Eye Institute Dr. Chris Shelby (318) 212-3937 More info on page 23. Signature Urology (318) 212-8899 More info on page 2. The Comprehensive Neurosurgery Network Dr. Ravish Patwardhan (318) 797-5543 More info on page 18. Total Care Medical Clinic Dr. Howard Lippton (318) 424-6363 More info on page 55. The Best Of Times

February 2009


A member of the ResCare family of companies

Call us today at: 318.678.1890 Shreveport, Louisiana Branch

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820 Jordan Street, Suite 390 | Shreveport, LA 71101

52 February 2009


1 - Opal and Candy Marshall showing off a door prize at the Mardi Gras Dinner which was held Saturday January 17 in the North Shreveport home of Virginia Thomas. 2 - (L to R) Linda Rigsby, Dinah Landry, Mary Anne Rankin, and Alice Barrios attended the regional statewide meeting of the Councils on Aging. 3 - Mary Anne Rankin (left), Executive Director of Bossier Council on Aging and Mary Alice Rountree, Executive Director of Caddo Council on Aging hosted the regional statewide meeting of the Councils of Aging at the Holiday Inn in Downtown Shreveport on January 15 and 16. 4 - (L to R) Charlyn Cleere, Candy Rain and Ladonna Thoma celebrate Women Auxiliary Inauguration Celebration Day at the west Shreveport Branch Library on January 20. 5 - (L to R) Ray Ramsey and Steven Jiles of Humana present a $2,000 donation to Dathene Brown for the Meals on Wheels Program of the Webster Council on Aging at their office in Minden on January 9th. 6 - Celebrating the recent marriage of Tiffany and Dillon Wright are (a) Marianne Mosteller, Abby Averett, Debbie Grand, Maggie McElroy; (b) Chloe Thornton, Diann Saffell, Jan Glasgow, and Eneile Mears. 7 - The formal dedication ceremony of The Chapel at the Oaks at Live Oak Retirement Community was held on January 22nd. In attendance were (a) Dr. John Goddard and Anne Wilson; (b) Mr. and Mrs. James Elrod; (c) Marilyn Joiner, Dr. Gary Joiner, and Sharla Inman. 8 - Gal pals (L to R) Kathy Felicetty, Marilyn Mouser, Rita Buckley, and Judy Talley having a grand time at their 19th annual girlsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; weekend.

The Best Of Times

February 2009


“I like Sterling because I get to talk to people. Not machines.” Sterling Customer, Calvin Douglas

We’ve been here since the beginning. In 2000, Sterling became the first insurance company to offer a national Medicare Private Fee For Service Plan(and today we’ve got more options than ever before. Sterling has the knowledge and experience you want in your insurance company.

Real People.

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Call toll-free 1-866-217-3666 from 5 am to 5 pm Pacific Time. TTY line toll-free 1-888-858-8567.

Underwritten by Sterling Life Insurance Company (

Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services Press Release, Aug. 17, 2000

Sterling Life Insurance Company is a Medicare Advantage organization contracting with the federal government. Anyone entitled to Medicare Part A and enrolled in Medicare Part B may apply. You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. A Medicare Advantage Private Fee For Service plan works differently than a Medicare supplement plan. Your doctor or hospital is not required to agree to accept the plan’s terms and conditions, and thus may choose not to treat you, with the exception of emergencies. If your doctor or hospital does not agree to accept our payment terms and conditions, they may choose not to provide health care services to you, except in emergencies. Providers can find the plan’s terms and conditions on our website at: All plans may not be available in all areas.

Available from your Sterling Agent: Health, Life, Prescription Drug, Long Term Care and Critical Condition or Cancer Plans. M0010_S4802_13009(8/08) 54 February 2009

See a REAL doctor right now 7 A.M. to Midnight ~ 7 Days a Week VACCINES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Flu Shot TB Skin Test Pneumovax Adacel (Tdap) Tetanus Hepatitis B MMR Menactra (Meningitis) Gardasil (HPV) Zostavix (Shingles)

$ 20 15 40 40 50 60 90 105 175 190

LABORATORY TESTS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

$ 5 TSH (Low Thyroid) 8 CBC 8 Chemistry (Liver & Kidney) 8 Lipic Cholesterol 15 Urinalysis 15 HIV Screen 15 HgbA1c (Diabetes) 15 PSA (Prostate) 20 Rubella Titer 20 2 hr. GTT (Diabetes) 20 Ferritin/Iron/TIBC 25 Varicella Titer H. Pylori (Stomach Ulcer Test) 30 (Hep. A, B, C) 50

$ 40 per visit

during regular hours 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

$ 70 per visit after regular hours 7:00 p.m. to Midnight

Total Care Medical clinic 2328 Line Avenue, Shreveport, Louisiana 71104 SPORTS PHYSICALS only $25

(318) 424-MDMD (6363)

The Best Of Times

I-20 Kings Hwy.

Line Ave.

No visit charge for patients for only Labs/Vaccines

February 2009


Attention PeoPle with MedicAre:

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2009 Humana Gold PlusÂŽ plan premium is still $0


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All from a company that has been serving people with Medicare for over 20 years. #ALLUSTODAYFORMOREINFORMATIONONA(UMANA'OLD0LUSPLAN

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Humana â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the #1 Medicare Advantage plan provider in Louisiana*!

An HMO with a Medicare contract available to anyone enrolled in both Part A and Part B of Medicare through age or disability. Enrollment period restrictions apply, call Humana for details. Plans may be renewed annually. Copayment, service area, and benefit limitations may apply. You must continue to pay your Medicare applicable premiums if not otherwise paid for under Medicaid or by another third-party. Benefits described apply to Humana Gold Plus plans: H1951-005, H1951-001 and H1951-013. *According to CMS website enrollment data by state. H1951_GHA02VVRR_LA

LA 01/09

The Best of Times February 2009  

The February 2009 issue of The Best of Times features "Shreveport: Hollywood of the South".

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