Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, January 5, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 13



 Mountain Views News Saturday, January 5, 2013 



Dear Savvy Senior: I just turned 50 and would like to know what resources you recommend for locating senior 
discounts. Love To Save

Dear Love: 

One of the great perks of growing older in the U.S. is 
the many discounts that are available to boomers and 
seniors. If you don’t mind admitting your age, here are 
some tips and tools to help you find them. 

Always Ask

The first thing to know is that not all businesses advertise 
them, but many give senior discounts just for asking, 
so don’t ever be shy to ask. You also need to know 
that while some discounts are available as soon as you turn 50, many others may not kick in until you turn 55, 
60, 62 or 65. 

Search Online 

Because senior discounts are constantly changing and can vary greatly depending on where you live and the time 
of the year, the Internet is one of your best resources for locating them. 

To get started go to, a massive website that lists more than 250,000 discounts on a wide 
variety of products and services like airlines, car rentals, travel, recreation, local transportation, shopping, restaurants, 
hotels, state and national parks, medical services, pharmacies, museums and more. You can search 
for discounts by city and state or ZIP code, or by the category you’re interested in, for free. Or, for $13 you can 
become a premium member and get additional, select discounts. 

Another great website for locating 50-and-older discounts is Launched in 2011, this site also lets you 
search for free by city, state or ZIP code, as well as by business or category. 

Join a Club

Another good avenue to senior discounts is through membership organizations like AARP, which offers its 50 
and older members a wide variety of discounts through affiliate businesses (see Annual 
AARP membership fees are $16, or less if you join for multiple years.

If, however, you’re not a fan of AARP, there are other alternative organizations you can join that also provide 
discounts such as The Seniors Coalition or the American Seniors Association. Or, for federal workers, there’s the 
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. 

Types of Discounts

Here’s a brief rundown of some of the different types of discounts you can expect to find. 

Supermarkets: Many locally owned grocery stores offer senior discount programs, as do some chains like Kroger, 
Publix and Fry’s which offer some discounts on certain days of the week but they vary by location. You’ll need 
to ask! 

Retailers: Many thrift stores and certain retailers like Kohl’s, Bealls, Dressbarn and Ross Stores offer a break to 
seniors on a certain day each week. 

Travel: Southwest Airlines provide by far the best senior fares in the U.S. to passengers 65 and older, while Amtrak 
offers a 15 percent discount and Greyhound offers 5 percent off to travelers over 62. And, most hotels in the 
U.S. offer senior discounts, usually ranging from 10 to 30. 

Car Services: If you’re renting a car, most car rental companies provide discounts to customers who belong to 
organizations like AARP. And some Jiffy Lube and Midas service centers offer discounts to seniors for auto repair 
and maintenance.

Restaurants: Senior savings are common at restaurants and fast food establishments, ranging from free coffee, to 
drinks, to discounts off your total order. Chains known for their senior discounts include McDonald’s, Wendy’s, 
Burger King, Applebee’s, Arby’s, Chili’s and Friendly’s.

Entertainment: Most movie theaters, plays, ballets, symphonies, museums, zoos and aquariums provide reduced 
admission to seniors over 60 or 65. And seniors over 62 are eligible to get the “America the Beautiful – Senior 
Pass” for $10, which provides a lifetime of free access into all national parks and federal recreational lands. 

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

 By Pat Birdsall



 According to Wikipedia, a New Year’s resolution is a commitment that a person makes to one or 
more personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit. A key element to a New Year’s resolution 
that sets it apart from other resolutions is that it is made in anticipation of the New Year and new 
beginnings. People committing themselves to a New Year’s resolution generally plan to do so for the 
upcoming year. 

 The idea of resolutions has religious origins…The concept, regardless of creed, is to reflect on self-
improvement annually. Popular goals include resolutions to: lose weight, exercise more, eat better, 
drink less alcohol, quit smoking, get out of debt, etc., etc. Though confident in the beginning, the 
failure rate is 88%.

 This year I made just one resolution and then thought I’d better make it two. One I know I can keep 
and one I know I can’t. I’ll just cut to the chase here…I resolved to get proficient at grammar and 
punctuation…Next! Channel 7 had a terrific segment before, and during, the holiday season that 
focused on this simple concept…We should all strive to find and buy products that are “MADE IN 


HELPFUL HINT: To remove tough stains from the bottom of a glass vase, just fill 
with water and add two Alka-Seltzer tablets! Plop-plop fizz fizz…



A man feared his wife was not hearing as well as she used to and thought perhaps she might need a 
hearing aid. Not quite sure how to approach her, he called the family doctor to discuss the problem. 
The doctor told him about a simple test the husband could perform thus giving him a better idea 
about her hearing loss. “Here’s what to do,” said the doctor. “Stand about 40 feet away from her and 
in a normal conversational tone see if she hears you. If not, go to 30 feet, 20 feet, and so on until you 
get a response.” That evening, the wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner and he was in the den. “I’m 
about 40 feet away, let’s see what happens.” In a normal tone he asks, “Honey, what’s for dinner?” 
No response. The husband moves closer to the kitchen, about 30 feet from his wife, and he repeats, 
“Honey, what’s for dinner?” No response. Next he moves about 20 feet away, no response, so he walks 
up to the kitchen door, again, no response. Finally, he walks right up behind her. “Honey, what’s for 
dinner?” “Earl, for the fifth time… CHICKEN!”

 ~ ~ ~ 

 Did you hear about the scientists who crossed a sheep with a porcupine? They got an animal that 
knits its own sweaters. (Groaning is recommended) 



HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … January Birthdays…

Mary Tassop, Judy Webb-Martin, Mary Bickel, Marlene Enmark, Ross Kellock, Ruth Wolter, 
Sue Watanbe, Sandy Thistlewaite, Bobbi Rahmanian, Fran Syverson, Shirley Wolff, Judy 
Zaretzka and Becky Evans. 

*To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not 


Quote of the Week: Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits.

 ~Author Unknown


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 11:00 am-12:00 pm: A nurse from 
Methodist Hospital, Arcadia volunteers to do the readings. No appointment 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: 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. Outside, on the patio, a beautiful, one-of-a-kind 
chess table is anxious for players.


Free 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 included)

Senior Citizens Club: Every Saturday at the Hart Park House (Senior Center). Brown bag lunch at 
11:30am; Club meeting at Noon; Bingo 12:30- 3:30 pm. Only .25c per card… For more information 
call Pat at 626.355.7290.


Autry National Center-Guided Tour (Griffith Park, Los Angeles) 
Date: Thursday, January 31, 2013

 Time: 9:30 am- 3:00 pm

 Meeting Location: Hart Park House Senior Center

 Cost: $20.00 (does not include lunch)

Don’t miss a visit to this historic museum which explores and shares the stories, experiences and 
perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West. A one hour guided tour will be given upon 
arrival followed by lunch on your own at the Autry Café and/or independent exploring of the vast 
collections of art and artifacts. For more information please visit 

* And, “save the date” for the following excursions…more information on each is forthcoming…

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise Date: Friday, February 22, 2013

Description: View actual costumes from movies released in 2012, including 2012 Academy Award 
Winner for Best Costume, The Artist.

Jeopardy Taping at the Sony Lot Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Description: Attend a taping of America’s favorite quiz show. Test your knowledge while host Alex 
Trebek challenges the contestants.


Senior Movie Program: FREE movies are shown on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month. The 
films, one contemporary and one vintage, are chosen by the seniors themselves. January’s selections 

January 9-The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) To make the most of their meager retirement 
savings, a group of British seniors moves to India to live out their golden years at the Marigold Hotel. 
But upon arrival, they discover the once-lavish resort has wilted considerably. Less luxurious than 
its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways. Judi 
Dench, Bill Nighy,Tom Wilkinson and Maggie Smith star. (Run time is 124 minutes)

January 23- The Sound of Music (1965) In Rogers and Hammerstein’s greatest collaboration, a feisty 
postulant named Maria (Julie Andrews) is sent to care for the unruly, motherless Von Trapp children. 
She soon tames them…and finds herself falling for their stern father (Christopher Plummer). The 
Oscar-winning director Robert Wise used stunning Austrian locations to transform the popular stage 
musical into a cinema classic in which the hills truly seemed to come alive.

(Run time is 174 minutes) Start time: 1:00 PM 

All movies are shown in Sierra Madre’s City Council Chambers, 232 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. 


There’s so much to 
be thankful for! I’m 
not being sarcastic; 
I’ve been abundantly 
blessed and have no 
complaints! There 
are, however, the occasional things that, 
while they don’t drive me to cussing out 
anyone, stretch my patience. Consider the 
subject of sharps. If you don’t know what 
sharps are, be thankful. Sharps are mostly 
used to check your blood for insulin 
levels, and to inject yourself with insulin 
-- not fun activities. After you’ve jabbed yourself, you 
can’t just toss your needle in the trash (even if you’ve 
covered it with a safety cap). You’ve got to seal them in 
impregnable containers.

 There are two main challenges with sharps containers: 
getting them and getting rid of them. Now, you’d think 
you could do both these things at the same place, but 
OH NO! It’s not that simple -- not by a long shot!

 I needed to acquire and dispose of two sharps containers 
for a relative. First I called a nearby community center. 
After wading through a long recorded message telling 
me which numbers to press for which department, I 
selected several different extensions that only got me 
back to the same initial recording. Apparently it was 
furlough Friday for the entire community. Hmm... 
The cops must still be working. I gave them a call. 
Wonders! I reached a live human after passing through 
several extensions. The officer I talked to replied that 
my question could probably be better handled by the 
fire department. No problem! Except that when he 
transferred me I ended up at the original recording. 

 A direct call to the fire department didn’t help much 
either. As it turns out it’s furlough Friday for them, too. 
Better not have a fire on a Friday! Alright, I couldn’t 
count on my beloved community to help me out this 
time. (In all fairness they have given me containers 
before, but it must not have been on a Friday.) Okay, on 
to another community. 

 The next health office was also experiencing furlough 
Friday, so I called a local hospital. If you’ve been in a 
hospital, you’ve seen those heavy duty metal containers 
awaiting pickup by guys in hazmat suits. You can’t walk 
through the lobby without passing by containers of 
blood, urine, and who knows what other bodily fluids. 
A department head of community health was out of the 
office that day. I declined leaving a voice message. The 
main clerk said, “No, we don’t accept sharps containers. 
We don’t have the facilities for that.” Give me a break! 
You have dead bodies downstairs, and infected poop in 
boxes outside every door, don’t TELL me you can’t deal 
with a couple tiny boxes of 2 mm. needles! (This was all 
inside my head.) 

 “Okay,” I said with as much poise as I could muster, 
“Can I pick up a couple of boxes?” 

 “Uh, no,” he replied. I waited for him to direct me to 
a place where I COULD pick them up. 

 “Um, could you please tell me where I could pick 
them up?” 

 “Probably Rite Aid,” he replied airily. 

 “No, these aren’t the needles themselves I want,” I said 
somewhat calmly, “I need the boxes. They’re bio-hazard 
plastic boxes.” 

 “There’s a medical supply place in Monrovia,” he said. 
“You might try them.”

 A couple Valiums later, I rang up the Monrovia 
medical supply store. A human answered --twice in one 
day, amazing! “Yeah, let me check,” he said. “I’ve got a 
big box and a few small ones.” 

 “Great!” I practically squealed, “Can I drop mine 
off, too?” 

 “No. Only places that distribute them can collect 
them.” That was the straw that broke the camel’s bio-
hazardous back. 

 “But you DO distribute them!” I 
laughed so he’d know I wasn’t totally 

 “No, I only distribute the boxes, 
you have to go to the people who 
distribute the needles. Where have 
you gotten them before?” I sighed.

 “It’s for my relatives. They usually 
deal with it.” I asked him when his 
shop closed, and said I’d be right 

 This place was on Huntington. 
I was able to park on the street despite heavy traffic. 
Inside, the proprietor knew who I was the moment I 
mentioned sharps. He smiled and I thanked him for 
letting me vent to him earlier. “I don’t get it,” I said. 
“There are SO many people with diabetes in this state. 
You can’t TELL me they’re all going to all this much 
trouble to get rid of these darn things! You can’t even 
tell me they bother to get these boxes to begin with.” 

 “I know,” he nodded, “But you’re responsible. You’ve 
got to think of the kid who might poke himself, or the 
other kid he might poke.” 

 “Yes,” I replied, “I’m trying very hard to keep a mental 
image of them.” He handed me over two tiny containers. 
I thanked him and headed for the door. “Um,” he said, 
making a writing sign with his hands. 

 “Yes?” I asked. 

 “You have to pay for them.” 

 “What?” I think I maintained a smile, but I’m not 
sure. “Everywhere else I’ve gotten them they’ve been 

 He nodded, truly a man of great patience, “But I’ve 
got a private business. I have to have a license to give 
these out.” 

 “Okay,” I sighed, “But just letting you know, I’m not 
going to take these if they’re expensive.” After a bit of 
prodding through his computer database he remarked 
that they were $10 per. “I’m sorry,” I said, handing them 
back. Not unkindly, he asked why. “Well,” I replied, 
“$20 versus free.” At least he didn’t have to go far to put 
them away. I would’ve felt bad if he had to go into the 
back storeroom or something.

 At the end of the day, I had two boxes full of dirty 
needles and bloody test strips --not any further than 
I’d gotten since that morning. Thomas Edison said 
something to the effect of “Value your failures, because 
they teach you what doesn’t work.” With all the stores 
and public offices closed for the day, I resorted to the 
Internet in search of answers.

 I found some official-looking PDF file stating that 
sharps could be disposed of in any non-recyclable sealed 
container and dumped in any trash that was not going 
to be recycled. I practically leaped for joy! Yay! Let’s put 
them in bleach bottles and dump them in the dumpster! 
My husband, however, gently pointed out to me that the 
file I found was dated 1999. He then showed me a more 
recent site from the health department saying that, 
while sharps can be deposited in any sealed container, 
they need to be marked as “MEDICAL SHARPS” and 
dropped off at a SAFE center or a “participating” fire or 
police department, or a hospital or pharmacy. Oh well, 
so much for easy disposal. After all this, we did manage 
to learn that we can put the needles and test strips into 
sealed containers (bleach, coffee, etc.), but they must be 
turned into one of the elusive SAFE centers or of one 
the few participating agencies.

 It’s the New Year, and I’m choosing to be optimistic. 
While it’s harder to get rid of these containers, at least 
we no longer need to worry about acquiring them! I 
hope your New Year has begun well for you, and if you 
don’t need sharps, be even more thankful!