Senior Times -- February 2017

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February 2017

Volume 5 • Issue 1

New Walla Walla veterans home to open this month BY KRISTINA LORD

Virtual doctor’s visits are a call away

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Tri-Cities Food Bank opens in West Richland

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AARP Tax-Aide offers free help

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save the date

Feb. 24 - 26 Home and Garden Show TRAC 6600 Burden Blvd., Pasco


Senior Times 8919 W. Grandridge Blvd., Ste. A1 Kennewick, WA 99336

A new Walla Walla veterans nursing home will welcome its first residents this month. The $34 million center features 80 beds and will be on the campus of the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center in Walla Walla. The center will draw residents from the nearest 10 counties, including Benton and Franklin counties, where about 50,000 veterans live. Of these, 20,000 are age 65 or older. The state Department of Veterans Affairs has been fielding a lot of questions from those interested in moving into the home, said Lonna Leno, the VA’s admissions coordinator. “It’s been overwhelming – literally. We’ve had a very positive response,” she said, indicating there’s been a lot of interest from the Tri-Cities as well as surrounding counties. The new facility will feature a logo designed by a Kennewick firm. Michael Page of Esprit Graphic Communications, owned by retired Army Lt. Col. Skip Novakovich and his wife Shannon, designed the logo. Fourteen logos were submitted as part of a design contest, which was judged by members of the state Department of Veterans Affairs’ Walla Walla Planning Committee. Page’s logo features a red, white and blue hot air balloon over a vineyard. “We are grateful for the time that Michael took to help us capture the spirit of Walla Walla in his design that is now the symbol for the Walla Walla Veterans Home,” said Lourdes “Alfie” AlvardoRamos, director of the state Department of Veterans Affairs, in a statement. uVETERANS, Page 2

Pat Johnstone Jones, left, views the clay original bust of her late husband, George Jones, as artist Tom McClelland looks on. The Trios Foundation will unveil the bronze on Thursday, Feb. 16 — Jones’ 100th birthday — to honor the longtime philanthropist. (Courtesy Trios Foundation)

Trios Foundation commissions bronze bust to honor Tri-City philanthropist BY KRISTINA LORD

A bronze bust of a Tri-Citian known for a lifetime of community service will be installed in the lobby of the Trios Care Center at Southridge on what would have been his 100th birthday. George Jones’ legacy will be remembered and his likeness unveiled during a ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 16. The Kennewick man’s long list of accomplishments include being named Tri-Citian of the Year in 1997,

Kennewick Man of the Year in 1978 and El Katif’s Shriner of the Year in 1998. Jones died May 4, 2016. “He’s second to none as far as his drive to make the Tri-Cities a better place, the community a better place. His service and his time and his money — well, he put his money where his mouth was. He gave to causes he asked others to give to. He led a life of service,” said Darren Szendre, president of the Trios Foundation, uJONES, Page 10

Pasco comedian gets laughs from seniors on retirement home circuit BY KRISTINA LORD

When Adam Kessler’s kids want to wish him well before a performance, they tell him to “break a hip.” That’s what the 40-year-old Pasco comedian told his senior citizen audience during a recent show. The joke got laughs around the room. Kessler specializes in clean standup comedy routines with lots of age-appropriate material for the senior center and retirement community crowds. He also performs at church events and corporate and private parties, as well as trade

shows, wineries and auctions. The father of three children, ages 7, 3, and 1, has been telling jokes since he was 5 years old and hit the comedy club circuit in 2003. He quit his banking job of 12 years last year to pursue comedy full time. And he said he loves the retirement home gigs the best. “I feel like since my grandparents have passed on, this is my only interaction with this age group,” he said. A lot of his jokes and material come from his previous shows and travels around the Northwest. uCOMEDIAN, Page 14



Senior Times • February 2017

509-737-8778 509-737-8448 fax 8919 W. Grandridge Blvd., Ste. A1 Kennewick, WA 99336

Staff Shawna Dinh

Design, Subscriptions 509-737-8778 ext. 4

Mike Haugen

Advertising Director 509-737-8778 ext. 2

Melanie Hoefer

General Manager 509-737-8778 ext. 5

Kristina Lord

Editor 509-737-8778 ext. 3

Chad Utecht

Advertising Account Manager 509-737-8778 ext. 1

CONTRIBUTORS Eric Olsen....................................... 8 Beau Ruff.......................................... 15

Senior Times accepts original columns from local professionals, educators and business leaders. The goal of these pieces is to share useful tips and knowledge helpful to seniors. It is best to contact the Senior Times office for a copy of contributor guidelines before submitting anything. Although we cannot publish every submission we receive, we will keep columns that best fit the mission and focus of Senior Times for possible future use. If there is news you’d like Senior Times staff to report on, or there are any topics you’d like to read about, please contact the news staff via email at or 509-737-8778. Senior Times, a publication of TriComp Inc., is published monthly. Subscriptions are $21.67 per year, prepayment required, no refunds. Contents of this publication are the sole property of TriComp Inc. and can not be reproduced in any form without expressed written consent. Opinions expressed by contributors and advertisers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Senior Times staff, other contributors or other advertisers, nor do they imply endorsement by Senior Times staff, other contributors or advertisers. Every effort will be made to assure information published is correct; however, we are not liable for any errors or omissions made despite these efforts.

VETERANS, From page 1 The VA’s goal is to move in the first residents on Wednesday, Feb. 15, Leno said, explaining that the facility will open in phases since there will be eight individual homes. It will celebrate the grand opening at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18. To RSVP for the event, call 1-800-562-0132, then press option 1. The facility will provide 24-hour nursing care, specifically for shortterm Medicare A rehabilitative care, long-term nursing care and end-of-life care, including hospice. The new home will serve veterans and in some cases their spouses or widows and create 100 permanent jobs in Walla Walla, the VA has said. Ongoing operating costs are projected at $6.8 million for this fiscal year. However, the facility will operate without ongoing state appropriations, instead relying on Medicaid, VA per diem, Medicare and local contributions. To be eligible for admission, applicants must meet the following criteria: • Served at any time, in any branch of the Armed Forces • Received an honorable discharge • Live in Washington state • Be the spouse or widow of an eligible veteran • Be a Gold Star parent, or a parent of a service member killed in action. Veterans with a disability rating between 70 percent and 100 percent receive nursing home care at no cost. The center will dedicate one 10-bed house to care for veterans with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The state and federal governments are jointly paying for the project with 65 percent of the cost paid by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs, or about $22 million, and 35 percent paid by the state, or about $12 million. Washington’s other state veterans’ homes are located in Orting, Retsil and Spokane. For more information about admissions, contact Lonna Leno at 509-5400312 or at

The new $34 million Walla Walla Veterans Home is an 80-bed nursing care facility providing care for veterans and their families on the campus of the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center. Applications are being accepted for the facility, which is scheduled to open this month. (Courtesy state Department of Veterans Affairs)

The new Walla Walla Veterans Home logo was designed by Michael Page of Esprit Graphic Communications in Kennewick, which is owned by retired Army Lt. Col. Skip Novakovich and his wife Shannon. (Courtesy Esprit Graphic Communications)

Save the date

2017 Spring Senior Times Expo Tuesday, April 18 • 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Red Lion Hotel • 2525 N. 20th Ave., Pasco

free to attend!

Senior Times • February 2017


Trios Health launches virtual doctor house calls BY KRISTINA LORD

Lois Evanson knew she needed to see a doctor when she couldn’t stop coughing. So she drove to an urgent care clinic only to find out she would have to wait about four hours before she could see a provider. She returned home and asked for a house call instead. Trios Health recently launched a new service called Urgent eCare which allows patients to consult with providers by phone or via Skype or FaceTime for $39. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to treat common minor illnesses. Trios Health employees took the system for a trial run a month prior to the program’s January launch, and Evanson, a Trios Health food service coordinator, was among the first to try it. After her initial call to Urgent eCare, a nurse practitioner called her back within 10 minutes via FaceTime and spoke with her for about 15 to 20 minutes. “She was just a realm of questions. After we were all through, she called in a prescription and was able to help me right there. It was so easy,” said

Trios Health has begun offering a new telemedicine service allowing patients to consult with a board-certified provider via telephone or web chat technology, such as Skype or FaceTime. Trios Urgent eCare is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A virtual office visit costs $39.

Evanson, who has worked for Trios Health for 12 years. Evanson’s husband then picked up her prescriptions for cough medicine and antibiotics at their pharmacy. “If you’re not feeling well, the last thing you want to do is go sit in an office, for an hour and a half sometimes. … I was lying in bed talking to her. She was really thorough. I would definitely use it again,” she said. Evanson, 59, said she sees this new service as “the wave of the future.”

“It was better than going somewhere…I’ve been with kids where you sometimes have a 45-minute wait and it’s hard, especially if you’re not feeling good,” she said, adding that another benefit is not spreading or picking up germs from doctors’ office waiting rooms. Trios Urgent eCare offers wait times of up to 30 minutes with a board-certified provider and a $39 flat fee per visit—regardless of insurance coverage.

Patients with additional coverage for telemedicine services can submit claims for reimbursement to their insurance carrier. If a person is referred for in-person care within the first three minutes of their Urgent eCare visit, the fee is waived. The eCare service is provided by Seattle-based Carena. Founded in 2000, Carena has partnered with more than 120 hospitals, offering virtual care to more than 15 million people, according to its website. Virginia Mason, University of Washington School of Medicine, CHI Franciscan Health and Swedish Medical Center are among other providers using Carena’s telemedicine services. Providence Health & Services, which is affiliated with the Kadlec Health System, also offers $39 doctor virtual visits throughout the state via Providence Express Care Virtual at Its providers are employees of Providence. As part of Trios’ service, Urgent eCare providers can make additional care referrals, as well as sending prescription orders—with the exception of narcotics, anti-anxiety medications, stimulants and refills—to a patient’s local pharmacy of choice. ueCARE, Page 9

Mardi Gras Masquerade Party Tuesday, February 28 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. Join us at Parkview for an afternoon of fun including a complimentary lunch, costume contest and entertainment!

RSVP by calling 509-734-9773 7820 W. 6th Ave., Kennewick Your home away from home


Senior Times • February 2017

CALENDAR OF EVENTS Tuesday, Feb. 7 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Alzheimer’s Series: The Basics Kadlec Healthplex 1268 Lee Blvd., Richland RSVP 509-943-8455 Free event. Friday, Feb. 10 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Presentation: Donald Trump & Immigration Sponsored by Prosser School District Keene-Riverview Elementary 832 Park Ave., Prosser 509-786-2811 ext. 2600 Free event. Saturday, Feb. 11 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Winter Birds Event McNary National Wildlife Refuge 311 Lake Road, Burbank 509-546-8300 Free event. Thursday, Feb. 16 Noon – 1p.m. Thrivorship: Recovery After Cancer presentation Tri-Cities Cancer Center 7350 W. Deschutes Ave., Kennewick RSVP 509-737-3427 Free event.

7 p.m. Tri-Cities Community Lecture Series Presentation: The Ancient Fruitcake: What Really, Really Old Food Tells Us about History, Culture, Love, and Memory Richland Public Library 955 Northgate Drive, Richland 509-942-7454 Free event. Friday, Feb. 17 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Presentation: The GeoPolitics of Energy Columbia Basin Badger Club Shilo Inn 50 Comstock St., Richland Saturday, Feb. 18 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. The Great Backyard Bird Count The Reach museum 1943 Columbia Park Trail, Richland 509-943-4100 Thursday, Feb. 23 Dine Out for United Way Various Restaurants

Feb. 24 – 25 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Home & Garden Show TRAC 6600 Burden Blvd., Pasco Saturday, Feb. 25 10 a.m. – noon Museum Advocacy Day The Reach museum 1943 Columbia Park Trail, Richland 509-943-4100 Sunday, Feb. 26 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Home & Garden Show TRAC 6600 Burden Blvd., Pasco Tuesday, Feb. 28 Noon – 2 p.m. Mardi Gras Masquerade Party Parkview Estates 7820 W. Sixth Ave., Kennewick RSVP 509-734-9773 Free event. Friday, March 3 5 – 8 p.m. A Night at Hogwarts Mid-Columbia Libraries 1620 S. Union St., Kennewick 509-783-7878 Free event.

Saturday, March 11 7:30 p.m. Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony Mid-Columbia Symphony Richland High School Auditorium 930 Long Ave., Richland Tickets 509-943-6602 Thursday, March 16 7 p.m. Tri-Cities Community Lecture Series Presentation: Hollywood and the Homefront: Tinsel Town’s Contribution to WWII Mid-Columbia Libraries 1620 S. Union St., Kennewick Free event. Friday, March 17 1 – 2:30 p.m. Pain and the Brain presentation Kadlec Heathplex 1268 Lee Blvd., Richland RSVP 509-943-8455 Free event. Saturday, March 18 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Colorectal Cancer Pre-Screening Tri-Cities Cancer Center 7350 W. Deschutes Ave., Kennewick RSVP 509-737-3420 Free event.

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Senior Times • February 2017 uBRIEFS Customer electric usage up by 60 percent or more

Benton PUD reported seeing a dramatic increase in the average residential electricity used during December and January, with increases of 60 percent to 100 percent when compared to November usage. The average residential Benton PUD customer used 1,722 kilowatt hours in December, compared to 1,072 kilowatt hours in November. It should be noted that November was the warmest November on record. To reduce electricity consumption, Benton PUD encourages customers to turn off lights and electronics when not in use, wash full loads in the dishwasher, let dishes air dry, take shorter showers and to use cold water and run full loads when washing clothes. Energy tips are available at or by calling 509-582-1234.

World War I re-enactor to talk at genealogical meeting

The Tri-City Genealogical Society is offering a beginning genealogy class about birth records followed by a World War I re-enactor speaker on Friday, Feb. 17. The birth records talk is from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m. Glen Allison of Pasco, a longtime educator and living history performer who has given first-person performances for time periods 1776 to 1945, begins his presentation at 7 p.m. WWI artifacts also will be on display. The free event will be at Benton PUD, 2721 W. 10th Ave., Kennewick. In case of inclement weather and possible cancellation, visit

Senior Life Resources adds board members

Dave Sanford, Kathy Patton, Bill Stahl and Nick Castorina recently joined Senior Life Resources’ board of directors. Sanford is a retired human resources executive with Lamb Weston and

volunteer driver with Meals on Wheels. Patton is executive director of a local memory care facility. Stahl is a retired salesperson and business owner, and Meals on Wheels volunteer driver. Castorina is a local business owner, semi-retired project analyst and consultant, and volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels. Senior Life Resources also recently honored two long-serving board of director members, Tom Seim and Betty Sherman, whose terms of service were completed.

Tri-City Home Instead earns quality award

Paula and Roy Wu, owners of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving the Tri-Cities and Walla Walla, have received a “Pursuing Excellence by Advancing Quality” award from Home Instead Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network. In consultation with J.D. Power and Associates, Home Instead Senior Care network caregivers and clients are routinely surveyed to ensure consistent delivery of high quality service. Home Instead Senior Care of TriCities and Walla Walla has served more than 320 residents since May 2014. Services include personal care, specialized Alzheimer’s care, assistance with daily activities, medication reminders, light housekeeping, errands and meal preparation.

care in the U.S. or Canada, have maintained an average overall rating of at least 4.5 stars and have received three or more new reviews in 2016. Ninety-one Holiday Retirement communities were recognized by the site.

Crosby to sing Feb. 10 at Christ the King Church

Howard Crosby, nephew of the late Bing Crosby, will perform a variety of hits with pianist Randy Kaping at a public benefit concert 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at Christ the King Church in Richland. The show will highlight songs from 20 of the greatest popular artists spanning the last 75 years, including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, the Beatles and Josh Groban. There will be an intermission with light refreshments. Admission is on a donation basis with proceeds benefitting Christ the King School. Call 509-946-6158 or email for more information.

Cancer center offers free pre-screening event

The Tri-Cities Cancer Center is offer a free, by-appointment-only colorectal cancer pre-screening from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 18. The screening includes a health

Caregivers Needed! • Work flexible hours • Bring happiness to local seniors • Excellent training & compensation • Become friends with local seniors Call for more information 509-378-3865

assessment to determine the appropriateness for colonoscopy. Qualifying participants will be scheduled for their colonoscopy before leaving the event, and appointments will take place two to four weeks later. The cancer center recommends men and women age 50 to 75 be screened; those 75 and older or those with higher risk of developing colorectal cancer should consult their doctors. The program is offered in partnership with Kadlec, Lourdes Health and Trios Health. Visit or call 509-737-3420 to sign up.

Quilters’ show set for March 24-25 in Kennewick

“Quilting Economics,” the 34th annual quilt show and merchant mall produced by the Tri-City Quilters’ Guild, is March 24-25 at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick. More than 35 sellers will offer quilting and fiber arts and seminars will teach about topics including market-savvy fabric design and manufacture. Admission is $8, good for both days; parking is free and food and beverages are available for purchase. For more information or to enter a quilt in the show, visit

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Charbonneau honored by

Charbonneau, a Holiday Retirement Community, was recently recognized by, a ratings and reviews site for senior care and services, as part of its Best of 2017 awards program. The senior living community was honored for receiving consistently high ratings from residents and their families in 2016. To qualify for a Best of 2017 award, winning communities must offer assisted living, Alzheimer’s care, independent living, low-income senior housing, skilled nursing or in-home


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Senior Times • February 2017

Inductees honored for their contributions to agriculture, agribusiness BY KRISTINA LORD

This year’s inductees to the MidColumbia Agriculture Hall of Fame are being recognized for their outstanding contributions to agriculture and agribusiness in five categories. In its 17th year, the Hall of Fame honors Mid-Columbia farmers, families and agribusiness leaders in Franklin County and neighboring MidColumbia counties.

Pioneer Award

The 2017 inductee is William W.T. Bennett of BB Cattle Co. in Connell. This award honors those who have had a significant influence on the development of agriculture and unselfishly served their communities. Bennett was William W.T. Bennett born in 1926 and grew up on a cattle ranch in Colfax. He attended Washington State University and managed the WSU beef-cattle herd for six years before becoming a manager and partner in TT Herefords of Connell. He bought

the company land in 1969 and founded BB Cattle Co.. Bennett has received numerous honors as a cattleman and seed-stock producer and has been active in serving the Connell community.

Rising Star

Rob Mercer, owner of Mercer Estates Winery, is this year’s Rising Star, an award that acknowledges a young person committed to agriculture and community service. Four generRob Mercer ations of the Mercer family have farmed in the Horse Heaven Hills, and they were among the first to plant wine grapes in the region in 1972. Rob graduated from WSU, served as a Marine Corps officer and returned to manage the family business in 1995. He has served on the boards of the Columbia and Snake River Irrigators and Washington Wine Commission, and has been a tireless promoter of the Washington wine industry. He serves on the WSU Tri-Cities Advisory Council, which was instru-

mental in the development of the WSU Wine Science Center in Richland. The Mercer family is known for their patriotism and community service, and in 2010 the winery was honored with an Environmental Excellence Award from the Association of Washington Business for its exemplary environmental practices.

organizations, earned numerous awards for his service and testified on vocational training before legislative committees. He is also co-owner of farming operations in Finley, Quincy and Sprague.

Stewardship Award

Merle Booker, owner of Booker Auction Co. of Eltopia, received the Agriculture Advisor Award Stewardship Award for serving the Gerry Ringwood, director and prin- c o m m u n i t y cipal of Tri-Tech Skills Center in Ken- and displaying newick, a school leadership in that serves agriculture seven school over a long districts and period. teaches vocaHe earned a tional skills to degree in aniMerle Booker more than 900 mal science at students a WSU in the year, was honmid-1970s, and his first jobs after Gerry Ringwood ored for makgraduation were on area farms and in ing a signifisales of pivot irrigation systems and cant impact through mentoring of area real estate. young people in ag-related industries. When the farm economy slumped Ringwood studied ag education at in the 1980s, he began helping farmers WSU and graduated in 1977. He liquidate their property and equiptaught agriculture courses and advised ment, and formed the Booker Auction FFA students in Finley for 18 years, Co. taking a year off to get a master’s The company grew to regional and degree in adult education. He has national prominence, and today has a directed Tri-Tech since 1997. He has modern marketing facility in Eltopia. served and chaired many education Booker has served on the boards of many industry organizations and “worked unselfishly for the betterment of the community,” according to a release. The entire Booker family is involved in the auction business and in actively supporting youth programs such as the Junior Livestock Show.

Visionary Award

This year, three people share the Visionary Award for their key roles in the creation of the Pasco Processing Center: retired Pasco City Manager Gary Crutchfield, retired Port of Gary Crutchfield Pasco Executive Director Jim Toomey, and retired Franklin PUD General Manager Ken Sugden. Faced with declining employment at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in the 1980s, their vision was to develop an industrial park for food-proJim Toomey cessing operations. uAGRICULTURE, Page 7

Senior Times • February 2017


Tri-Cities Food Bank finds home in West Richland strip mall BY KRISTINA LORD

The Tri-Cities Food Bank recently opened its fourth branch in West Richland, where it expects to fill a growing need. The 2,400-square-foot facility opened last month and is located in the Plaza II strip mall at 4096 W. Van Giesen St. in the former Golden Paradise tanning salon, just a few doors down from Thai City Restaurant. It will provide food to those in need twice a week: 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

Tri-Cities Food Bank 4096 W. Van Giesen, West Richland Hours: 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays. The new branch is near a Ben Franklin Transit bus stop and the building features enough storage to accommodate four chest freezers and two refrigerators. Those who come to receive food must prove they live in West Richland by providing photo identification and their latest utility bill showing their home address, said Bill Kitchen, executive director of the Tri-Cities Food Bank. They can visit every two weeks and receive a week’s worth of food. The food bank was left scrambling to find a new home days before it was scheduled to open in the West Richland Senior Center in mid-October. Space to accommodate two freezers and a refrigerator, as well as enough electrical outlets, proved to

be a challenge there. Food bank officials will be closely monitoring how many families visit the West Richland branch in the coming months. The food bank signed a six-month, $300-a-month lease with building owner Chuck Sheeley. Sheeley said the food bank officials did their homework and he’s willing to give them a trial run. “I gave him a smoking deal of a space to see if it’s going to work. I don’t do business in a normal way,” he said. The longtime owner believes there is a need for such a branch. “West Richland is an odd little town. We have one of highest incomes in the area with the all fancy homes on top of the hill, but there’s the old part of town with old people who aren’t financially well off and poorer people. It’s kind of a diverse economy,” Sheeley said. The lease goes through July, giving the food bank enough time to determine the need and then possibly negotiate a longer lease or consider building a facility, Kitchen said. Kitchen expects to serve between 75 to 500 families at the new branch. The Tri-Cities Food Bank conducted test runs in West Richland in 2015 and 2016 and found the need is evident, and officials already know a significant number of West Richland residents visit the Richland branch. The agency also has seen a seven percent increase in the number of families served each year since 2006. “We also looked at the number of students who qualify for low income breakfasts at Tapteal (Elementary in West Richland). That evidence was kind of shocking. I had no idea it was that high. That indicated we are not meeting the needs of everybody we should be,” Kitchen said. Nearly 48 percent of Tapteal’s students qualify for free or reduced price meals. This means their families’ households have income levels below

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The Tri-Cities Food Bank opened last month in the Plaza II strip mall at 4096 W. Van Giesen St. in West Richland. It is open twice a week, from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

certain thresholds. At West Richland’s other two schools, nearly 19 percent of students at Wiley Elementary and 20 percent at Enterprise Middle School qualify for subsidized meals. Volunteers and food donations are always needed, Kitchen said. The AGRICULTURE, From page 6 Under their leadership, the plan became a key econ o m i c development strategy of each of their organizaKen Sugden tions. The Port of Pasco purchased land north of Pasco, the city leased surrounding farmland to receive treated waste-

new branch also is in need of a couple more refrigerators. Call 509-582-0411 for more information. Food donations should be made at the central office, 420 W. Deschutes Ave., Kennewick. water, and Franklin PUD installed the needed electrical infrastructure. They worked together to secure the first tenant, J.R. Simplot, in 1995. Today, companies in the Pasco Processing Center employ about 1,200 full-time family-wage workers and provide nearly $1.7 million in property-tax revenue. “By all measures, due to the vision of these three men, the Pasco Processing Center has been a resounding success,” the release said.


Senior Times • February 2017

Pasco senior programs move into new facility BY SENIOR TIMES

Many of Pasco’s senior programs, including the foot care program and Meals on Wheels, have a new home at the First Avenue Center at 505 N. First Ave., next to the Greyhound bus and Amtrak station behind City Hall. The city moved into the remodeled triple-wide modular building in early January after selling the senior center to the Pasco School District for $1.26 million, citing dwindling senior citizen attendance over the past 15 years. The city’s First Avenue Center won’t be specifically for senior programs but will be used as a multi-

purpose building, according to city officials. The modular building was renovated for about $160,000 after previously being used for city storage and offices. The Pasco City Council approved the sale of the senior center, built in 1981, in June 2015. The school district plans to turn the old senior center into an early learning center for preschoolers ages 3 to 5. It’s projected to open in January 2018 and will accommodate about 280 children. For a listing of Pasco senior citizen programs, see page 11.

The city of Pasco spent about $160,000 to renovate a triple-wide modular building at 505 N. First Ave. to house its senior center programs as well as other activities. (Courtesy city of Pasco)

Solutions for state’s economically vulnerable seniors BY ERIC OLSEN for Senior Times

Not long ago a senior couple explained to me that the wife secretly had been cutting her medicines in half until she became ill. They needed that extra money to pay old debt they owed. They described in detail their struggle to buy enough food and how they had learned where to buy the cheapest cans of beans. Another widow explained that when her husband died, she was left with a Social Security income of about $1,000 per month. She was paying $300 a month to a debt consolidation company to pay off her old credit cards. Nearly one out of seven seniors 65 years and older in Washington have incomes under the poverty line. Forty-five percent of Washington seniors, or close to half a million, have incomes within 200 percent of supplemental poverty measures, according to a recent report from the Kaiser Foundation. They are classified as economically

vulnerable. The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, recently reported that debt collection was the top complaint for older Americans. “It is increasingly common for older Americans to carry debts into their retirement years, and consumers living on fixed incomes often struggle to pay off these debts,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray Washington seniors with low incomes and old debt who have difficulty paying are not alone. I am the executive director of HELPS, a nationwide 501c3 nonprofit law firm that helps seniors and disabled persons with old debt they can’t afford to pay. They need to know this very important fact: Their Social Security, retirement, disability and VA benefits are protected from collection under federal laws. It can’t be taken from them. This income does not need to be used to pay old debt. Their money is protected by law and available to pay for their needs. So what happens when a senior doesn’t pay old debt? Collectors will

call and send demand letters. They will never tell a senior that their income is protected, instead they engage in sometimes frightening and abusive Eric Olsen collection Help Eliminate efforts. Legal Problems Seniors need for Seniors to know they do have options. It is difficult to simply try to ignore the persistent collection attempts. A bankruptcy can be an intimidating, expensive and unnecessary option for a senior whose income is protected anyway. So if a bankruptcy is not necessary, how can an unwanted collector contact be stopped? Under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a consumer has the right to request, in writing — that’s key — that a third party collection agency stop contacting them

regarding an alleged debt. This is called a “cease and desist” letter. This includes stopping contact both by phone and mail from a collector. This regulation does not apply to an original creditor. However, it is the collection agencies that are the more aggressive. A copy of a “cease and desist letter” can easily be found on the internet. The nonprofit HELPS has a copy available for download on its website at The internet has spawned the wild west of companies advertising their services as debt consolidators. I have yet to talk to a single senior involved with a debt consolidation company who was told: “Do you realize all your income is protected by law and doesn’t need to be used to pay this old debt?” Instead, seniors are sometimes driven into poverty paying debt consolidation companies for old debt they don’t have to pay. Seniors certainly want to pay their old debt. However, sometimes that is simply not possible. When this couple and widow I spoke with learned their income was protected, they chose to stop paying their old debt. They decided to use their protected income for the purpose for which it was intended — their food, medicine and basic needs. Washington seniors armed with the knowledge that their income is safe and the means to stop collector harassment can make the same choice. Attorney Eric Olsen is the president of the nonprofit law firm HELPS, which stands for Help Eliminate Legal Problems for Seniors and Disabled. For more information, visit or call 1-855-4357787.

Senior Times • February 2017

Charter launches high-speed broadband for seniors BY KRISTINA LORD

Charter Communications has launched a new standalone highspeed broadband service for senior citizens and low-income families. Called Spectrum Internet Assist, the program includes standard features like email boxes, internet security software and a modem at no additional charge. The cost to eligible seniors and families is $14.99 per month. Contracts aren’t required. The program offers eligible customers low-cost broadband speeds up to 30 Mbps downstream/4 Mbps upstream, which meets and exceeds the Federal Communications Commission’s definition of “highspeed,” according to Charter. “Spectrum Internet Assist is an internet offering completely distinct from our internet packages available to the general public, aimed at bridging the digital divide and providing a low-cost broadband option for eligible families and seniors,” said Bret Picciolo, Charter spokesman. Spectrum Internet Assist is available to eligible seniors and families throughout Charter’s Tri-Cities area footprint, Piccolo said. It will continue to be rolled out market by market with a goal of covering the remaining Charter footprint by mid2017. “Charter is excited to bring a whole new world of digital access

and opportunity to low-income families and seniors. Spectrum Internet Assist is an important next step in providing true high-speed connections to those who would otherwise continue to face a digital inequality in this country,” said Tom Rutledge, chairman and CEO, Charter Communications, in a release. “It’s crucial for cable and broadband providers like us to play a role in bridging the digital divide so that everyone has access to the information and tools they need to succeed in today’s economy.” To qualify, seniors must be 65 and older and receive Supplemental Security Income program benefits and families must have students who participate in the National School Lunch Program. Customers cannot have had a Charter/Time Warner Cable/Bright House Networks broadband subscription within 30 days of signing up. Eligible participants will not need to undergo a credit check, but they must clear any outstanding debt with Charter, Time Warner Cable or Bright House Networks from the previous 12 months. To assist consumers with the eligibility process and enrollment, visit w w w. S p e c t r u m I n t e r n e t A s s i s t . com. Prospective enrollees also may call toll-free 1-844-525-1574 for more information.

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eCARE, From page 3 The eCare users do not need to be an existing patient of any other Trios Health provider or service to use the service. “This is an important service that many communities across the nation are starting to adopt,” said Dr. Wassim Khawandi, medical director of Trios Medical Group, in a release.

“Trios Urgent eCare is intended to fill the gap when your primary care provider is unavailable on short notice...” - Dr. Wassim Khawandi, Trios Medical Group “We understand that our patients want as many primary care options as possible, including the ability to see a provider without an appointment in cases of common, nonemergency medical conditions that require same-day attention. Trios Urgent eCare is intended to fill the gap when your primary care provider is unavailable on short notice


or urgent care facilities are closed or otherwise inconvenient to access.” Urgent eCare visit records for those who are current Trios patients automatically will be sent to their primary provider for follow-up. More information about how Urgent eCare works, including frequently asked questions and an instructional video, is available online at UrgentEcare. Community members may request a virtual appointment through the website, or call 1-888TRIOS-03 (1-888-874-6703) to initiate a visit by phone. Trios Health is the Kennewick Public Hospital District’s system of care serving the greater TriCities. The district operates two hospitals, Trios Women’s and Children’s Hospital in downtown Kennewick and Trios Southridge Hospital. Trios Medical Group, comprised of nearly 100 employed physicians and providers, serves as the core of a growing medical staff network of more than 325 providers throughout the Tri-Cities and includes practices and services at eight Care Centers and three Urgent Care Centers.


Senior Times • February 2017

JONES, From page 1 The foundation board unanimously agreed to commission the sculpture to honor Jones, a longtime Trios Foundation board member. “He’s just been such an integral part of our group and the Trios Foundation for so many years and has been instrumental in raising money for the foundation, which then directly supports the community, the hospital, the employees and doctors and nurses who work at the hospital. “He’s a phenomenal person; he’s been like a mentor to me as I joined Trios Foundation. He taught me and so many others there on the board.

He’s just got a great reputation for his philanthropy and his service in the community,” Szendre said. The foundation raised money for the bronze by selling raffle tickets for a guided fishing trip, Szendre said. The money did not come out of the foundation’s budget, which Jones’ wife insisted upon. Pat Johnstone Jones of Kennewick provided several photographs of her late husband to artist Tom McClelland of Benton County for the sculpture. “I wanted to capture some sense of his humor and kindness because those were two things I heard over and over about him,” McClelland

said. Johnstone Jones was overcome with emotion when she saw the clay original. “I knew when she saw it and she got teary eyed, I knew it succeeded in what I wanted it to do… She was so moved. That to me is gratifying because it means I’ve succeeded as an artist,” McClelland said. Johnstone Jones closely followed the progress of the bust, traveling to the T. Hunter Bronze foundry in Walla Walla and knocking off the ceramic material with a sledgehammer to reveal the bronze casting that immortalizes the life of the man who cared deeply about the Tri-Cities.

“He was a very special man and I loved him so much. I’m so proud of George and all that he did and the fact that the hospital foundation wanted to do this made me feel good,” Johnstone Jones said. Jones’ philanthropic efforts were well known in the community. His philosophy was always to be direct and ask, whether it was for donations, to join a service club, or to volunteer time. Jones was a longtime Shriner, Kiwanian, Kennewick planning commissioner and Port of Kennewick commissioner. He helped raise money for the Tri-Cities Cancer Center, Kennewick General Hospital, Kennewick Family Medicine Clinic and new Trios Southridge Hospital. He served as a board member for the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tri-City Development Council, cancer center foundation and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Tri-Cities. He and Gene Spaulding Sr. played a key role in getting the East Benton County Historical Museum built in Kennewick. He and Bright Bowe convinced Columbia Center mall officials to donate coins thrown into the mall fountains to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Spokane. Each month Jones picked up the coins to wash and sort them. Jones moved to the Tri-Cities in 1947 and built a frozen-food locker rental business in downtown Kennewick with his first wife Maxine, who died in 2001. He married Johnstone Jones in 2004. The Kennewick woman credits her late husband with changing not only the community but her life for the better. “I became a better person because of George. He taught me that you get out of the community what you put into it,” she said.

Unveiling ceremony

The bronze bust of the late George Jones will be unveiled during a ceremony from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16 at the Trios Care Center at Southridge, 3730 Plaza Way, in Kennewick. Jones would have turned 100 on this day. Special recognition and memories will be shared. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP by calling 509-221-5776 or emailing mandy.wallner@trios

Senior Times • February 2017


Kennewick Senior Center

500 S. Auburn St., Kennewick • 509-585-4303 All activities are at the Kennewick Senior Center unless otherwise listed. For more information, call 509-5854303. • Bunco: 1 to 3 p.m. Fridays. Cost: $1 per day. • Casual Woodcarving: Bring your supplies or borrow from the class. 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays. Cost: 75 cents. 9 a.m. to noon Fridays. Cost: $1. • Woodcarving Techniques: 9 a.m. to noon Fridays. Cost: $1 per day. • Dominoes: 12:30 to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays. Cost: 50 cents

per day. • Party Bridge: 12:30 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Cost 50 cents per day. • Bridge Tournament: Second Sunday of each month, 2 to 6 p.m. Cost: $1. RSVP 509-586-3349. • Pinochle: 7 to 9:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Cost: 50 cents per day. 6 to 9 p.m. Sundays. Cost: $1 per day. • Chinese Mahjong: 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays. Cost: $1 per day. • Sculpting: Bring your own sup-

plies and projects. 1 to 2 p.m. Mondays. Cost: $1 per day. • Sewing: 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays. Cost: $1 per day. • Needle Art: 1 to 3 p.m. Thursdays. Cost: $2 per day. • Indoor Walking: 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Cost: $1 per day. Location: Southridge Sports Complex, 2901 Southridge Blvd., Kennewick. • Hair Cuts & Clips: Hair cuts provided by Pam Eggers. Second and fourth Wednesday of each month, 9 to

11 a.m. by appointment only. Cost $1. Call 509-585-4303. • Blood Pressure Checks: No appointment needed. Third Wednesday of each month, 9:30 to 11 a.m. Cost: Free. • Line Dancing: February 6 - 27, 6 to 7 p.m. Mondays. Cost: $24 for residents, $36 for others .Location: Highland Grange Building, 1500 S. Union St., Kennewick. Call 509-5854293 to register.

First Avenue Center 505 N. First Ave., Pasco • 509-545-3459

Most of Pasco’s senior services programs are now housed at the new First Avenue Center at 505 N. First Ave., near the Amtrak station behind City Hall, unless otherwise listed. The city sold its senior center on Seventh Avenue to the Pasco School District because of dwindling senior attendance. It closed in December. • Basin Wood Carvers: 1 to 4 p.m. Thursdays. Cost: Free. • Bridge: 9 a.m. to noon Thursday. Cost: 50 cents per day. • China Painting: 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays. Cost: 50 cents per day. Location: Pasco City Hall Activity Center, 525 N. Third Ave., Pasco. • Cribbage: 1 to 3 p.m.

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Wednesdays and Fridays. Cost: 50 cents per day. • Billiards: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Cost: $1 per day. • Mexican Train Dominoes: 1 to 4 p.m. Thursdays. Cost: Free. • Pinochle: 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays. Cost: $1 per day. • Sewing: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays from Feb. 27 to May 22. Cost: $35 for residents, $44 for others. Must be 18 years or older. Location: Pasco City Hall Activity Center, 525 N. Third Ave., Pasco. • Wavemakers Aqua Fit: Class for those with arthritis, fibromyalgia, lower back pain, muscle weakness,

those who use a cane or a walker and anyone who loves the pool. 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays/ Wednesdays or Tuesdays/ Thursdays or 5:15 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays/ Thursdays. Cost: $90 for residents, $113 for others. Location: Oasis Physical Therapy, 6825 Burden Blvd., Suite D, Pasco. Call 509-5453456 to register. • Enhance Fitness (40+): Class focuses on stretching, balance, low impact aerobics and strength training. 10 to 11 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Cost: $30 for residents, $38 for others. Call 509-545-3456 to register. Location: Pasco City Hall Activity Center, 525

N. Third Ave., Pasco. • Happy Feet program (60+): Get your feet cared for by a licensed, registered nurse. By appointment 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays. Cost: Free with suggested donation of $12 to $15 per person. Call 509-545-3459. • Foot Care for Adults (18+): Get your feet cared for by a licensed, registered nurse. By appointment only, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost: $30. Call 509-545-3459.


Senior Times • February 2017

Richland Community Center 500 Amon Drive, Richland • 509-942-7529 All activities are at the Richland Community Center unless otherwise listed. For more information, call 509942-7529. • American Mahjong: 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursdays. Cost: free. Location: lounge. • Birthday Club Social: Second Tuesday of each month, Noon to 12:30 p.m. Cost: free. Location: lounge. • Cribbage: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays. Cost: free. Location: lounge. • Billiards: 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Cost: $2 per day. Location: pool room. • Pie Socials: Third Tuesday of each month, noon to 12:30 p.m. Cost: free. Location: lounge. • Gold Age Pinochle: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays. Cost: $1 per day. Location: game room. • Duplicate Bridge: Noon to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Cost: $1 per day. Location: game room.

• Party Bridge: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. Cost: $1 per day. Location: game room. • Dominoes: 12:30 to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Cost: free. Location: lounge. • Bridge Buddies: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays. Cost: $1. Location: game room. • ACBL Bridge: 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and 5:30 to 10 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Cost: $1. Location: game room. • Greeting Card Recycling: 9 to 11 a.m. Mondays. Cost: free. Location: meeting room. • New Attitude Line Dancing Beginner: 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesdays. Cost: $22.75 for residents, $28.50 for others. Location: Riverview room. Call 509942-7529 to register. • New Attitude Line Dancing Improver: 1 to 2 p.m. Thursdays. Cost: $22.75 for residents, $28.50 for others. Location: Riverview room. Call 509-942-7529 to register.

Experience • Solutions • Results

• RSA Dance: Third Friday of the month, 1 to 3:45 p.m. Cost: $6 per person. Location: Riverview room. • Steppin’ Out with Jo: 9 to 10 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Cost: $20.75 for residents, $26 for others. No class Feb. 20. Location: Riverview room. Call 509942-7529 to register. • Patti’s Workout: 4 to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Cost: $32.75 for residents (drop-in rate $5), $41 for others (drop-in rate $6). No class Feb. 20 and 23. Location: Riverview room. Call 509942-7529 to register. • Slim & Sassy Body Shape: 5:05 to 6:20 p.m. Wednesdays. Cost: $26.50 for residents, $33.25 for others. Location: Riverview room. Call 509-

West Richland Senior Center 616 N. 60th, West Richland • 509-967-2847 All activities are at the West Richland Senior Center. For more information, call 509-967-2847. • Bunco: Friday, Feb. 17. Potluck lunch starts at noon, bunco at 1 p.m. • Potluck luncheon: 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14. Valentine’s Day luncheon sponsored by Riverton Retirement & Assisted Living.

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942-7529 to register. • Tai Chi: 7:35 to 8:35 p.m. Tuesdays and 6 to 7 p.m. Thursdays. Cost: $23.50 for residents (drop-in rate $4), $29.50 for others (drop-in rate $5). No class Feb. 26. Location: Riverview room. Call 509-942-7529 to register. • Fitness Room: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Cost: $2 per day or $8 per month. Location: Fitness room. • Tax Aide Program: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursday. Cost: free. Location: Richland Community Center. For more information call 509942-7390.

• TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Fitness: 11 a.m. Thursdays. • Exercise: 9 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. A donation of $0.50 is appreciated. • Painting: 1 p.m. Saturdays. • Bingo: Monday, Feb. 20. Hot dog lunch starts at noon with a suggested $3 donation, Bingo at 1 p.m.

Through seasons of change you have kept your promise of love, honor and respect. Dementia has brought change, but your commitment remains strong. Let us help you to continue to love, honor and respect during this challenging season.

509-737-8778 |

509-783-5433 5505 W. Skagit Ct. Kennewick, WA

Senior Times • February 2017


Tax-Aide volunteers offering free tax prep help in Tri-Cities

Richland Public Library

955 Northgate Drive 509-942-7454 • 5 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays • 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays

Richland Community Center 500 Amon Park Drive Dial 211 for appointments • 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays • 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursdays

1320 W. Hopkins St. • 4 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays Spanish language assistance available

1620 S. Union St. 509-783-7878 • 5 to 8 p.m. Mondays • 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays • Noon to 3 p.m. Thursdays

Pasco City Hall Activity Center

Mid-Columbia Libraries, Keewaydin Park branch

405 S. Dayton St., Kennewick • 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays • 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturdays

525 N. Third Ave. 509-545-3459 • 9 a.m. to noon Mondays Appointments required; walk-in appointments available on spaceavailable basis.


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Mid-Columbia Libraries, Pasco branch

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© 2017 Syndicated Puzzles


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Free fax preparation assistance is available to senior citizens throughout the Tri-Cities from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide.



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Volunteers for AARP Foundation Tax-Aide are ready to help make sure those 50 and older get all the tax deductions and credits they deserve. The free service is for low- to moderate-income taxpayers — especially those 50 and older — and is individualized. AARP membership is not required. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide will provide free tax preparation and electronic filing at sites throughout the state through April 18. Whether you are a first time taxpayer, just starting retirement, or someone who simply needs a bit of help to get through your tax returns this year due to life changes that make your taxes a little more complicated, AARP’s team of IRS-certified volunteers stands ready to help. Among the items and forms to bring to an appointment are last year’s tax return, Social Security cards or other official documentation for yourself and every person on your return, photo identification and a checkbook, if you want to direct deposit a refund, W-2 forms, unemployment compensation statements, SSA-1099 Form showing total Social Security benefits paid, 1099 Forms showing interest and 1098

Form showing home mortgage interest. Electronic filing will be available at all sites so taxpayers can receive their refunds quickly. Since 1968, AARP Foundation TaxAide, the nation’s largest free tax assistance and preparation service, has helped more than 50 million taxpayers in every state. The program has more than 35,000 volunteers and 6,000 locations in neighborhood libraries, malls, banks, community centers and senior centers across the country. Last year, the program helped 2.6 million people file their tax returns. For more information and to find an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide site near you, visit or call 1-888-227-7669. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is offered in conjunction with the IRS.

© 2017 Syndicated Puzzles


How to beat Str8ts – Str8ts – How to beat To complete Sudoku, fillSudoku, the board by entering fill the board by entering Like Sudoku, no single number to 9 can1repeat in any rowin any on Solutions 15 1Totocomplete Like Sudoku, no single1number to 9 can repeat row page numbers 9 such that each row, column and 3x3 and 3x3 numbers 1 to 9 such that each row, column or column. But... rows and columns are or column. But... rows and columns are box contains every number uniquely. box contains every number uniquely. divided by black squares into compartments. 2 1 divided by black squares into compartments. 24 15 4 5 Each compartment must form a straight many strategies, hints and tips, Each compartment must form a straight -6 4 5 63 42 5 For For many strategies, hints and tips, 3 2 a set of numbers with no gaps but it can be visit for Sudoku a set of numbers with no gaps but it can be 4 5 2 51 visit for Sudoku in any order, eg [7,6,9,8]. Clues in black cells 4 2 1 and for Str8ts. in any order, eg [7,6,9,8]. Clues in black and Basketball for Str8ts. Association is formed. 5 The American 4 cells 3 6 2Feb. 1 2: remove that number as an option in that row 4 3 6 2 1 5 remove that number as an option in that row and column, and are not part of any straight. If you like Str8ts and other puzzles, check out our 3 5 2 1 4 and column, and are not part of any straight. If you like Str8ts and Hour” other puzzles, check our 3Feb. 5 2 1 books, 4 5: “Smothers Brothers Comedy premiers onout CBS. Glance at the solution to see how ‘straights’ iPhone/iPad Apps and much more on our store. 2 1 3 Glance at the solution to see how ‘straights’ books, iPhone/iPad Apps and much more on our store. are formed. 2 1 3 are formed. Feb. 10: The 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution,

How to beat Str8ts - No single number, 1 to 9, can repeat in any row or column. But rows and columns are divided by black squares into compartments. Each compartment must form a straight - a set of numbers with no gaps but it can be in any order, eg: 7, 6, 8, 9. Clues in black cells remove that number as an option in that row and column, and are not part of any straight. Rules of Sudoku - To complete Sudoku, fill the board by entering numbers 1 to 9 such that each row, column and 3x3 box contains ever number uniquely. For more strategies, hints and tips, visit www. and www.str8ts. com.


Turn Back the Clock...

president succession, was ratified. It was adopted on Feb. 23. Feb. 14: Aretha Franklin records the song “Respect.”

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Senior Times • February 2017

AARP report shows increases for widely used brand name drugs BY SENIOR TIMES

Retail prices for brand name prescription drugs widely used by older Americans rose by an average of 15.5 percent in 2015, almost 130 times faster than the 0.1 percent general inflation rate, according to a recent AARP Public Policy Institute report. The report shows that the average annual cost for one brand name drug used on a chronic basis now exceeds $5,800, compared to nearly $1,800 in 2006. “This new report once again highlights the high and unrelenting price increases that are shockingly common in the pharmaceutical market,” said Debra Whitman, AARP chief public policy officer, in a statement. “What’s particularly remarkable is that these incredibly high price increases are still occurring in the face of the intense public and congressional criticism of prescription drug pricing practices.” For the average older American taking 4.5 prescription drugs per month, this translates into an average annual cost of therapy of $26,000, which exceeds the median income of $24,150 for Medicare beneficiaries. This amount is the total prescription cost and may not reflect the actual out-of-

pocket costs, such as a co-pay. Retail prices increased for 97 percent of the 268 brand name prescription drugs widely used by Medicare beneficiaries. Seven widely used brand name drugs had average annual retail price increases of more than 50 percent in 2015. Five of the six drugs with the highest cumulative price increases over the study period were marketed by Valeant Pharmaceuticals. The retail price of Valeant’s anti-anxiety drug, Ativan 1 mg tablets, increased by 2,873 percent between 2006-15. “Prescription drug therapy is not affordable when its cost exceeds the patient’s entire income,” said Leigh Purvis, director of Health Services Research, AARP Public Policy Institute, and co-author of the report, in a release. “Even if patients are fortunate enough to have good health care coverage, high prescription drug costs translate into higher out-ofpocket costs—especially for those who pay a percentage of drug costs rather than a fixed copayment—as well as higher premiums, deductibles, and other forms of cost-sharing.” The full report can be found online at

COMEDIAN, From page 1 “I talk with them about other retirement communities I’ve been in. They seem to like it,” he said. A recent show at Hawthorne Court in Kennewick featured an audience of about 25 people, many of whom were sipping wine, beer and sparkling juices and nibbling on sandwiches. Kessler knew his audience and got a lot of mileage out of jokes about seniors and topics of interest to them. He told a joke about Americans being so obese they were too big to fit inside crematoriums. He said the solution would be installing bigger burners called “crispy crematoriums.” He talked about a “Do not move this piano” sign he saw at another assisted living facility which had a grand piano in the lobby. He looked at the crowd of seniors and said moving it might be a funny prank, never mind that it probably weighed 2,000 pounds. He shared an idea for a new reality show: gathering up all the politicians and putting them on an island. “Sounds good to me,” piped one man in the audience. When a joke fell flat, he teased the audience about maybe not hearing it. Bobbe Burnside, 75, who has lived at Hawthorne Court for about three years, and her friend Loren Taylor, said

they appreciate all the facility’s events. She said she loved Kessler’s shtick. “I really love the many people who come in here and entertain us,” she said. “We go to everything they have here.” It’s the first time Hawthorne Court has hired a comedian, said Heather Davie, activities director for the senior living community that offers independent and assisted living services. “He did great. If you get laughs out

“If you get laughs out of people, you’ve done one heck of a job.” - Heather Davie, Hawthorne Court activities director of people, you’ve done one heck of a job,” she said. Davie said it’s hard to book quality entertainment at affordable prices, but tries “to provide something for everyone.” For more information about Kessler’s shows, visit kesslercomedy. com or call 509-205-1516.

Comedian Adam Kessler performs at the Hawthorne Court retirement community in Kennewick. He bills himself as a clean standup comedian who enjoys performing at retirement homes.



Senior Times • February 2017

Washington’s new Power of Attorney Act deserves special attention BY BEAU RUFF for Senior Times

Estate planning attorneys often remind their clients that laws change frequently and estate plans should be updated periodically to take into account not just changed family circumstances, but also new laws. And, sometimes a new law has such broad implication for estate planning that it deserves special attention. Such is the case with Washington’s new Power of Attorney Act. The power of attorney is a powerful and ubiquitous piece to your estate plan. The new Power of Attorney Act took effect Jan. 1. As a reminder, a power of attorney, or POA, is a document that allows a person, or principal, to give an agent power to transact the principal’s affairs as if the agent were the principal. Arguably, the POA is the most important piece of your estate plan as it directly affects what happens to you while you are still alive. The POA Act was introduced in Washington state in the 1970s and had little updating until the robust revisions took effect at the first of the year. It is important to note that although the new act applies to all POAs (including those executed before Jan. 1, 2017), POAs executed before the first of the year are exempt from both: (1) the new formal execution require-

uBRIEF AARP Smart Driver courses scheduled for February

AARP will offer multiple Smart Driver courses throughout the region during the next month. Here’s the schedule: • 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7: Pasco City Hall Activity Center, 525 N. Third Ave., Pasco. Call 509-545-3459 to register. • 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8: Pasco City Hall Activity Center, 525 N.

ments (discussed below); and (2) the interpretation of the authority granted (discussed below). It is for those reasons that most POAs will not need to be updated. But, some practitioners believe the new POA Act provides a more streamlined process for acceptance of a POA drafted under the new law and for that reason many people may want to consider updating the POA, especially if it has been a while since the plan has been dusted off. The new POA Act deviates from the previous act in several important areas. In this column, I explain those area and discuss how they might affect you. Please understand this is a summary review. Every case is unique and you should consult your attorney for specific information. 1. New formalities for execution. Previously, a POA did not need to be witnessed or notarized. The new law will require either the POA be witnessed or notarized. Most law offices in the area have the internal practice of notarizing POAs anyway, so this is not likely to affect the documents received from attorney’s offices. Plus, as mentioned before, the new law does apply to your old POA, but not with regard to how it was executed (so your old POA need not have been executed with the formalities required by the new law). 2. New termination provisions. The law was updated to provide that a

POA will terminate upon: (1) the filing of dissolution of marriage or a domestic partnership; or (2) the court appointment of Beau Ruff a guardian, conCornerstone servator or fiduWealth Strategies ciary. This is slightly different from the old law. With regard to divorce, the old law terminated the POA only upon a final decree of dissolution. Practically speaking, anyone going through a divorce should have a new POA drafted. 3. New co-agent default provisions. Co-agents (two agents who are appointed at the same time to exercise the same power) must exercise their authority jointly unless the document specifies that each agent has independent authority. 4. New broad powers when generally granted. The new law allows the principal to give a general grant of power (e.g. over real property) with a simple and short sentence because specific key words grant lengthy statutory powers. Here again, the old POA will be subject to the old POA laws. Because of this change, new POAs might be much shorter than those pre-

Third Ave., Pasco. Call 509-545-3459 to register. • 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14: Richland Community Center, 500 Amon Park Drive, Richland. Call 509-942-7378 to register. • 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15: Richland Community Center, 500 Amon Park Drive, Richland. Call 509942-7378 to register. • 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20: Walla Walla General Hospital, 1025 S. Second Ave., Walla Walla. Call 509522-2424 to register.

• 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21: Walla Walla General Hospital, 1025 S. Second Ave., Walla Walla. Call 509522-2424 to register. • 8:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 27: SonBridge Community Center, 1200 S.E. 12th St., College Place. Call 509529-3100 to register. Participants are encouraged to check with their auto insurance agent for details about potential discounts. For more information or to find additional courses, visit or call 888-227-7669.

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viously drafted. 5. Agents may be exonerated from liability. The new law allows the principal to exonerate an agent from liability for his or her actions — with limitations. This is not likely to require a change to the old POA unless the principal wants to add language to exonerate the agent —perhaps when parents fear the risk that a child appointed risks undue and unfounded legal action from another heir, like a sibling. If you plan to appoint a family member as the agent, it is worthwhile to consider the exoneration to prevent later litigation. If you are going to appoint a professional, you’d likely want to skip the exoneration. 6. Agents’ liability for delegation to third parties lessened. An agent who engages a third party (like an attorney or CPA) is not liable for the acts of the professional. Overall, the new act streamlines the drafting, use and acceptance of the power of attorney. But, it also presents a substantial change to the laws that can affect your estate plan. Talk to your estate planning professional to see how it might affect you. Attorney Beau Ruff works for Cornerstone Wealth Strategies, a full-service independent investment management and financial planning firm in Kennewick, where he focuses on assisting clients with comprehensive planning.

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For more strategies, hints and tips, visit and

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Senior Times • February 2017

Meals on Wheels February menu Meals on Wheels is a program of Senior Life Resources Northwest and is supported by donations. For those 60 and over the suggested donation is $2.75 per meal. Meals may be purchased by those under 60 for $7.30. Menu substitutions may occur. For reservations, call between 9 a.m. and noon the day before your selected meal. For reservations in Richland, call 509-943-0779; Kennewick 509-5854241; Pasco 509-543-5706; Parkside 509-545-2169; Benton City 509-5883094; Prosser 509-786-1148; and Connell 509-234-0766.

• Monday, Feb. 6: Pork cutlet, mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, sourdough bread and pears. • Tuesday, Feb. 7: Chicken and white bean chili, spinach salad, pineapple, crackers and a cinnamon roll. ª Wednesday, Feb. 8: Macaroni & cheese, sausage patty, vegetables, tossed salad and cranberry fruit salad. • Thursday, Feb. 9: Baked cod with dill sauce, herb potatoes, dilled baby carrots, multi-grain bread and apple crisp. • Friday, Feb. 10: Chicken a la king, green peas, salad, biscuit and oatmeal cookie. • Monday: Feb. 13: Harvest apple pork chop, brown rice, seasoned vegetables, rye bread and citrus salad. • Tuesday, Feb. 14: Turkey tetrazzi-

ni, broccoli Normandy, spinach salad, roll and butterscotch square. • Wednesday, Feb. 15: Salisbury steak with gravy, mashed potatoes, seasoned peas, multi-grain bread and peanut butter cookie. • Thursday, Feb. 16: Breaded fish sandwich, lettuce and tomato, corn chowder, carrot raisin salad and peach crisp. • Friday, Feb. 17: Birthday day! Roast beef with gravy, mashed potatoes, Italian vegetables, wheat roll and ice cream. • Monday, Feb. 20: Closed for Presidents Day. • Tuesday, Feb. 21: Green chili chicken, Spanish rice, fiesta blend vegetables, cornbread and mandarin oranges.

• Wednesday, Feb. 22: Pork roast, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, wheat bread and frosted carrot cake. • Thursday, Feb. 23: Lasagna, green beans, tossed salad, breadstick and apple slices. • Friday, Feb. 24: Chicken and dressing casserole, roasted sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts with bacon, wheat roll and cranberry oat bar. • Monday, Feb. 27: Herb chicken, mushroom sauce, oven roasted red potatoes, green beans, coleslaw and sliced peaches. • Tuesday, Feb. 28: Beef stir fry, brown rice, tossed salad, wheat roll and hot spiced apples. For more information about Senior Life Resources Northwest visit


Call to Vendors Tuesday, April 18 • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pasco Red Lion Hotel 2525 N. 20th Ave. • Pasco, WA

Here’s an opportunity to meet and talk with hundreds of seniors from around the Mid-Columbia. As an exhibitor, this one-day event is designed to showcase your products or services to active and retired seniors, their families and caregivers. bout a k s A rship o s n spo ies! t i n u t r oppo

509-737-8778 •

Space is limited — sign up early. Call 509-737-8778 for information. SPONSORED BY

Becker Retirement Group

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