Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, October 6, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 11



 Mountain Views News Saturday, October 6, 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.

 By Pat Birdsall

FYI: I’m Baaack! Having started Senior Happenings in this publication several years ago, 
I took a substantial break. I’m ready now to get back in the saddle and resume keeping the 
seniors informed as to what is available for them in our community. I’m going to revert back to 
some of the format that I used to do, except for the Recipe of the Month. The editor has moved 
that to the Good Food & Drink page and is now calling it: “In the Kitchen, Our Favorite Recipe 
of the Week.” That’s just as well... as most of you know, Betty Crocker never spent much time 
at my house...Truth be told, she didn’t spend any time at my house. 

 I would also like to add more names to the monthly birthday list...That of course, depends on 
what age you think qualifies one to be called a “senior.” I’ll leave it up to the individual. If you 
would like to see your name in print for your special day please call the paper at 626.355.2737 
and leave your name (spell it please) and your birthday month only.

The two vacancies for the Senior Community Commission have been filled. Two more worthy 
candidates would be hard to find. Please welcome Fran Garbaccio and Marilyn McKernan! 
Our Senior Commission needs input from YOU; they can’t get it through osmosis. They meet 
in the Council Chambers on the first Thursday of each month at 3:00 P.M. It’s difficult to have 
enthusiasm for a meeting with nobody in the audience. Please make the effort to attend...after 
all, what they discuss and decide to do as policy, directly influences you.


 ~ Helpful Hint~


Sharper Scissors:

Take your dull scissors and cut through 3 layers of tin foil 10 times. Cut some paper to test. 
Repeat if necessary. OR cut a sheet of medium-grade sand paper into small pieces. Lastly, you 
can cut an SOS pad or a Brillo pad in half with the scissors, this sharpens the scissors and also 
gives you two pads instead of one. Being frugal is a good thing. Be careful not 

to cut yourself! 


For Your Funny Bone 


My neighbor’s son picked up a stray dog and named it Sam. Some time later I was at their 
house and inquired about Sam. “Oh, the dog is fine,” my neighbor said. “She had a litter of 
puppies, and so we fixed the problem. Now we call her Sam Spayed.” 





 Sole Krieg, Margit Johnson, Ann Tyler, Pat Birdsall, Dick Anderson,

Barbara Cline,Mary Jane Baker,Cathleen Cremins,Alma Mays, Eva Poet, Dixie 
Coutant, Angela Stella, Darlene Traxler, Darlene Crook, Gloria Giersbach, Susan 
Gallagher, Maggie Ellis, Elva Johnson, Ellen O’Leary, Jenny Piangenti, Gail-Ann Skiles, Anita 
Thompson, Adie Marshall, Lillias Eubanks.

AND, add to that stellar list: A very special birthday for a very special man! 

On October 5th, George Maurer turned 90! He is the gold standard when it comes to 
community service...our community. He so tirelessly lends a hand wherever it’s needed; 
whether it be family or the community at large, he’s always there to lend a helping hand. 
Happy Birthday my friend! 


 *Quote: Everyone is the age of their heart. ~ Guatemalan Proverb


ACTIVITIES: Unless listed differently, all activities are at the Hart Park 
House (Senior Center) 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre

YMCA San Gabriel Valley Intervale Senior Café:

 Monday-Friday at 12:00 Noon

(Participants are urged to arrive no later than 11:45 A.M.) All seniors 60 and up can take part 
in the lunch program. There is a suggested donation of $2.00 for those 60 and over and $3.75 
for non- senior guests. Daily reservations are necessary as space is limited. Please call 24 
hours in advance...626.355.0256


Free Blood Pressure Testing: On the 2nd Tuesday of the month, a nurse from Methodist 
Hospital, Arcadia volunteers to do the readings. No appointment is necessary.


Bingo: Every Tuesday afternoon from 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm. Cards are only .25c each! 

Free Chair Yoga: Every Wednesday morning from 11:00 am-11:45 am. Volunteer Teryl Willis 
offers this class that focuses on senior yoga techniques. It is geared toward gentle movements, 
breathing techniques and balance improvement. No reservations are necessary.


Free Legal Consultation: Pasadena attorney Geoffrey Chin volunteers on the 2nd Wednesday 
of the month. He focuses on estate planning, trusts, wills, probate, conservatorships and 
business law. *Appointments are a must. Please call Adam Matsumoto at 626.355.7394 to 
make yours. * Conflicting court schedules can occasionally cause cancellations.

Birthday Celebrations: The 2nd Thursday of the month the Senior Center celebrates 
the birthdays of our patrons at 12:30 pm. Please join us for free cake and ice cream and 
“celebration.” (The cakes are provided due to a generous donation from the Sierra Madre 
Civic Club.) 

Game Day: Every Thursday at 1:00pm. Poker is usually the game of choice, or should I say 
chance? Board games and other card games are also available.

ree Strength Training Class: Every Friday from 1:00 pm -1:45 pm Conducted by long-time 
volunteer Lisa Brandley. The class utilizes light weights for low-impact resistance training. 
Weights are provided by the Sierra Madre Senior Center. It’s a great way to stay in shape and 
to socialize with your peers. (Gossip, is also free of charge).




 Friday, October 26th: Departure at 9:30 am from the Hart Park House.

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

 Return: To the Park House at 3:30 pm 
Cost: $10.00 (does not include lunch) 

Graber Olive House tour highlights the tradition of grading, curing and canning of Graber 
Olives. After the tour, lunch will be at Molly’s Souper, a wonderful brunch restaurant in 
Upland. (All participants are required to eat at the same restaurant.) For more information 
on the Graber Olive House visit 

Registration deadline is Monday, October 22nd Call the Hart Park House at 626.355.7394 to 
make reservations or to get more information.

 “NEW”- Senior Movie Program: Movies are shown on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the 
month. The films are chosen by the seniors themselves and will be shown in Council Chambers 
(222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.) at 1:00 pm. The price of admission??? FREE!

 *The Senior Moments Newsletter has been updated thanks to Adam Matsumoto. To receive 
a copy by USPS or on your computer, please call Adam at the Senior Center...626.355.7394.


 Do you suffer from insomnia? Thank God I am not a chronic victim! 
But I empathize with those who are. It’s bad enough to have your eyeballs 
gaping at the ceiling at 3:00 a.m., knowing you have to get ready for work in 
less than three hours is shear torture. I’m convinced insomnia is more of 
a mental than physical problem. Try as I may, I can’t get my brain to stop 
churning over the events of the day or anticipating what tomorrow might bring. I have no 
one to blame but myself. But as for my dear friends, Gale and Harold in South Pasadena, 
they have the new neighbor’s dogs to thank for their restless nights.

 Gale and Harold have owned their home on a quite tree-lined street in a less traveled part 
of South Pas for over 20 years. It’s a stable little community of long-time residents who’ve 
lived by the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you’d have others do unto you,” which leads to 
the unspoken rule, “Keep the midnight parties, drum sessions, and crying colicky infants to 
a minimum!” All was sweetness and light 
until an elderly neighbor passed away, and 
her son in-law rented out the house.

 Don’t get me wrong; Gale and the 
other neighbors aren’t uptight about the 
occasional disruption of their beloved 
peace and tranquility. If a neighbor throws 
a grad party with loud music and a few 
beer-saturated friends swaying around 
the lawn, they’re not going to call the 
police. On the contrary, Gale and the rest 
are total sweethearts! They even brought 
cakes and casseroles to welcome the new 
couple. In retrospect, Gale noticed that 
the wife, who we’ll call Sandy, was quick 
to mention the fact that they had dogs, but 
that the dogs were indoor, quiet animals. 
Little did Gale and the other neighbors 

 It’s been about a month, a long time 
for someone to put up with prolonged sleep deprivation. But Gale has just now started to 
complain about the neighbors’ dog’s habit of barking incessantly through the night. “He 
looks scary,” Gale said, describing one of the three large dogs. “But when I walk up to the 
fence he runs away like a frightened puppy!”

 Thinking aloud to Gale, I proposed the idea of creating a photo cut-out of herself to flash 
by the dog any time it starts its shenanigans. This was my moment of epiphany! Phil, my 
dad’s cousin, a.k.a. “the most interesting man in the world,” recently returned from touring 
Spain. Phil’s a genius in many areas, but he truly excels in engineering. I envisioned a 
machine that would stand up a photo cut-out of Gale by the neighbor’s fence. It could be 
controlled by a button by Gale’s bed, so she could activate it the moment she heard barking. 
Phil would attack such a challenge with relish! He’d probably include moving parts (swaying 
arms, maybe popping eyeballs), dry ice, and a strobe light. In fact, Phil would find a way 
to program the whole outfit to switch on automatically, perhaps in response to sensors 
picking up the dog’s weight near the fence between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. And Phil’s 
conveniently located in South Pas! What better set up could Gale, Harold, and their sleep-
deprived neighbors wish for? 

 I have yet to pose the challenge to Phil, since he’ll probably require a day or two to adjust 
for jet lag and to recover from a month of foreign travel. If it were me, I’d need at least a week 
to recover from just a few days abroad. But then --I’m not the “most interesting woman in 
the world!” Phil’s in the house --loud dogs beware!


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.