Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 29, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 13



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 29, 2012


Dear Savvy Senior:

In the news last month there was a public health alert urging all baby boomers to get tested for hepatitis 
C. Is this really necessary, and if so, what are the testing and treatment procedures?

Weary Wanda

Dear Wanda:

If you’re a baby boomer, getting tested for hepatitis 
C would be a wise decision because boomers 
are five times more likely to have this virus than 
other generations, and most people that have it 
don’t realize it. Those that are infected are at very 
high risk of eventually developing liver cancer, 
cirrhosis or other fatal liver diseases. Here’s what 
else you should know.

CDC Recommendations

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that all Americans born 
from 1945 through 1965 get a hepatitis C test. The reason is because baby boomers account for 75 
percent of the 3 million or so hepatitis C cases in the U.S., even though they make up only 27 percent 
of the total population.

Most hepatitis C infections occurred in the 1970s and 1980s, before there were tests to detect them 
and before the nation’s blood supply was routinely screened for the virus. 

Hepatitis C is transmitted only through blood, so anyone who received either a blood transfusion or 
an organ transplant prior to 1992 is at increased risk. So are health-care workers exposed to blood, 
and people who injected drugs through shared needles. The virus can also be spread through microscopic 
amounts of infected blood that could occur during sex, from sharing a razor or toothbrush, or 
getting a tattoo or body piercing at an unsterile shop. 

But the biggest part of the problem is the symptomless nature of this disease. Most people that have 
hepatitis C don’t have any symptoms until their liver becomes severely damaged. It can actually take 
30 years for people to show any signs of the virus, but by then, it may be too late to treat. But if it’s 
detected in time, new treatments are now available that can cure it. 

Testing and Treatment

If you’re between ages 47 to 67, or fall into one of the previously listed high risk categories, you 
should see your primary care doctor for a basic blood test to determine whether you have ever been 
infected with hepatitis C. This is a relatively inexpensive test and typically covered by health insurance 
under routine medical care. If you’re not covered, the test will run $30 to $35.

If the test is negative, no further tests are needed. But, if the test is positive, you’ll need another test 
called HCV RNA which will show whether the virus is still active. This test runs between $100 and 
$250 if you’re not covered by insurance.

If you test positive, you have chronic hepatitis C and will need to talk to your doctor about treatment 
options. If you’re infected, but have no liver damage, your doctor should monitor your liver at your 
annual physical.

The main treatments for chronic hepatitis C today are new antiviral medications that have a 75 percent 
cure rate. Your doctor may recommend a combination of these medications which are typically 
taken over a 24-to-48 week time period. But, be aware that the side effects can be grueling and may 
cause extreme fatigue, fever, headaches and muscle aches. 

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine currently available to prevent hepatitis C, although studies are 
under way to develop one.

Savvy tips: For more information about testing and treatment for hepatitis C, along with a quick, online 
quiz you can take to determine your risks, see the CDC’s website at 
You can also get information over the phone by calling the national toll-free HELP-4-HEP helpline 
at 877-435-7443. 

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.
org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.


September Birthdays

Judie Cimino, Donna Anderson, Linda Knowles, 
Gwen Robertson, Nancy Shollenberger, Meegan 
Tosh, Geri Wright, Theresa Chaure, Esther Macias, 
Sheila Pierce, Denise Reistetter, Edwina Garcia, 
Yvonne Osti


Senior Programs have returned to the Hart 
Park House enior Center, 222 W. Sierra 
Madre Blvd. in Memorial Park - Come by and 
see the changes!!

Mondays: Lunch Café 

12 noon: Intervale Lunch Café: Come enjoy 
a hot meal with others. Donation for 
seniors (60+) of $2.00; visitors $3.75. Call 
355-0256 to make your daily reservation.


 FREE blood pressure checks by Methodist 
Hospital Nurse; 11 am to 12 noon.

1:30 pm to 3:30 pm 

BINGO; NEW TIME 1-3PM cards are 
only 25 cents each so stop by & play

5:15 pm to 6:45 pm: Yoga; $6.00 - 50 
& over. Please call 355-5278 for more 


11 –11:45 am: Balance Class with Teryl. 
FREE class designed to improve balance 
& refresh the joints

12 noon: Intervale Lunch Café; daily reservations 
needed 355-0256

2nd Wednesday of the month: FREE Legal 
Consultations: 10-11:30 am. Appointments 
call 355-7394

Wii Wednesday - 1:00 pm or call the senior 
desk at 355-7394 to arrange another 
time & day to learn how to play. No previous 
experience or skills required and it is 
great exercise.


1:00 to 3:30 pm: Game Day. Join us for 
Poker and more. Wii - 1:00 pm or call the 
senior desk at 355-7394 to arrange another 
time & day to learn how to play. No 
previous experience or skills required and 
it is great exercise. Please call for more 

Fridays: Intervale Lunch Café; daily reservations 
needed 355-0256

1:00 pm to 1:45 pm: Strength Training 
with Lisa Brandley. FREE class of stretching 
with light hand weights while you sit.

Saturdays: 11:30 am: Senior Club brown 
bag lunch and BINGO at 12:30 pm. 


Meals are delivered to home-
bound seniors by volunteer drivers 
through the YWCA Intervale 
Lunch Program M-F (with frozen meals for the 

 Call the YWCA at (626) 214-9460 for more 



All seniors 60 years of age and up can take part in the 
YWCA Intervale daily lunch program held

at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Meals are 
served Monday through Friday at 12:00pm

(participants are encouraged to arrive no later than 
11:45am). Meals are a suggested donation of

$2.00 for seniors 60 and over or $3.75 for non-senior 
guests. Daily reservations are necessary, as

space is limited. Please reserve your lunch by calling 
626-355-0256 at least 24 hours in advance.


Free Tickets for Two!

On Saturday, September 29,2012 you and a 
friend can visit participating museums for free! 

To register for your free ticket for two go to 

Participating L.A. area museums include: Autry

National Center, California Science Center, 
Skirball Cultural Center, L.A. Museum of the 
Holocaust and more! 

You can stop by the Hart Park House for assistance 
signing up for free tickets. 

Call 626-355-7394 for more info.



Join the Senior Community Commission

at the HART PARK HOUSE for a FREE presentation. 
Lunch is available for a $2 donation. 
Call (626) 355-0256 by noon the day before. 

Fall Prevention Seminar • Sept. 5 @ 12:30pm 

September is Fall Prevention Month, and we are 
helping seniors “watch their steps” with a great fall 
prevention seminar by ComForcare Senior 

Services. We will look at personal risk factors for

falling and home safety issues that cause falls.

We will also discuss easy ways to correct these

problems so that our seniors can continue to live

actively and independently. This seminar will be

fun and interactive!

Kensington Q&A Session • Sept. 19 @ 12:15pm

Developer Billy Shields, a representative of the

Kensington Assisted Living Project, will be at the

Hart Park House to host a Q&A session. This is the

perfect opportunity to find out more about the

Kensington project that will be on the November

ballot which may impact Measure V. Kensington

proposes an assisted living facility at 33 N.

Hermosa Ave. and 245 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. in

Sierra Madre.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Departure: Charter bus leaves at 
9:30am from the Hart Park House

Lunch & Activities: 11:00am-2:00pm

Return: Bus will arrive back in Sierra 
Madre at approximately 3:30pm

Cost: $34 includes transportation, 
lunch and tip

For more information on Riley’s Farm 
please visit their website at http:// The deadline

for registration is Wednesday, 

September 5, 2012.



Friday, October 26, 2012

Departure: 9:30am from the Hart Park 

Lunch& Activities: 10:30am-2:00pm

Return: Sierra Madre approximately 

Cost: $10 (does not include lunch)

More Info: Call the Hart Park House at 

Graber Olive House tour highlights

the tradition of grading, curing and

canning of Graber Olives! For more

information on the Graber Olive 
House please visit www.graberolives.
com. After the tour lunch will be 
eaten as a group at Molly’s Souper, a

fantastic brunch restaurant in Upland. 
All participants are required to eat at 
the same restaurant. 

The registration deadline is Monday, 
October 22, 2012.


 You may recall stories 
I’ve chronicled from my 
dad’s cousin, Phil. He’s 
one of my last resorts 
when I’m in need of a 
good article idea. If you 
don’t remember him 
from my articles, you’re sure to have seen 
the “Dos Equis” commercials about him. 
You see, besides being my dad’s cousin, 
Phil is “the most interesting man in the 
world!” But Phil’s touring Spain right 
now. (What else would the world’s most 
interesting man be doing?) So, calling 
him for another fascinating anecdote 
would be a bit expensive. I’ll just wait 
until he returns --he’ll have even more 
stories then. It’s times like these when I 
fall back upon my mom’s friend, Jane, “the most interesting woman in the world!”

 Jane’s grandparents were missionaries in the Andes and some of their adventures in the 
back country were mentioned in a book about the Church in South America. Jane grew up 
spending a lot of time at her family’s ranch. Among other things, they had a couple ravens, 
named Mr. Poe and Nevermore, who hung out with their dogs, believing that they were part 
of the pack. Related to mina birds, ravens are superb imitators. One of the ravens got Jane’s 
family in trouble when the neighbors called the police because they heard someone (the 
raven) yelling “Help! Help!” in a human-sounding voice. The police were not amused. Mr. 
Poe also played mind tricks on her relatives by stealing shiny tools and knick knacks.

 At one time, Jane’s family owned much of what is now Montebello. She’s got thousands 
of colorful stories. Her dad was a bit eccentric; he collected things like tires and ax heads. 
Not antique, Sioux ax heads --just your regular hardware store variety. Maybe this mild 
hoarding was a result of the ravens stealing things from him for so long.

 Jane has entertained my mom and her friends for years when they were working together 
teaching at public schools. My mom’s now graduated into the blissful state of retirement, 
but Jane trudges on in the trenches. Every so often they get together with all their chums 
from work (about half are still slogging away at the grindstone). It was at one of these recent 
festivities that Jane told her story of “Reeeeek,” the guinea pig.

 I never had guinea pigs growing up. They seem to be a common child’s pet, but, like dogs, 
I never had any. Hamsters just aren’t the same. They don’t take up as much room and only 
require a couple years’ commitment. (I suppose guinea pigs make it longer, judging by their 
size, as if that’s any indication).

 Coming from a ranching background, Jane probably thought that guinea pigs were lower 
maintenance than the rest of us would. Over a period of time, Reeeeek joined their two 
German shepherds and two cats who roamed freely in the backyard. Reeeeek, the dogs, and 
cats came when called for meals. A rodent responding to its own name --surely this must be 
some breakthrough in domestic animal husbandry!

 Having a free-range guinea pig, in and of itself, wouldn’t have been notable enough to 
make it into Jane’s stories. Reeeeek’s little “moment of fame” came one day when Jane’s 
construction crew was working in the backyard. Although the Reeeeek was smart enough to 
recognize his own name, he hadn’t learned to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar 
humans. Apparently he saw the gardeners and, associating humans with food as many 
animals do, he approached them expecting a treat.

 Jane later learned of this when one of the gardeners replied, “Lady, you’ve got the biggest 
rat I’ve ever seen back there!” All I can say is that Reeeeek was lucky he didn’t get acquainted 
with the wrong end of a hedge clipper!


Based on eight beautiful verses that comprise one of Buddhism’s best-loved teachings, Eight 
Verses for Training the Mind. This short poem shows how we can transform all life's difficulties 
into valuable spiritual insights. Oct 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov 1. Thursdays 7-8pm at Center 
for Wellbeing, 31 W. Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre. Please visit or call 
(323) 223-0610 for more information. Cost $10 / class.