Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, June 8, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 11



 Mountain Views News Saturday, June 8, 2013 




By Pat Birdsall


 Last week I told you how good it felt having my letter carrier check on me after recent health 
issues. It made me think back a few years to when I was on the Sierra Madre Senior Community 
Commission. At that time, out of curiosity, I asked my letter carrier how many days my mail would 
have to accumulate before he reported it, (I thought, naïvely to the police). He said after four days he 
would take my mail to the post office to be held for me. I said perhaps the mail was piling up because 
I had passed away, how would anyone know? His answer was disturbing and inappropriate. Soon 
after, the Commission brought the question to the Police Chief at the time, Marilyn Diaz and the 
Postmaster. The Carrier Alert Program was then implemented for the City of Sierra Madre.

 The program is designed for older residents and disabled or special need persons in Sierra Madre 
who have no family or friends to routinely check on their welfare. Get the participation form from 
the Police Department, fill it in and return it to the Sierra Madre Police Department. (They work in 
conjunction with the Post Office). Once participating seniors or disabled persons are identified, the 
Postmaster will notify the postal carriers to pay closer attention to those who are located in their 
service area. Carriers who detect anything unusual will call the Sierra Madre Police to contact the 
resident. In most cases, the officers will call the emergency contacts listed on the participation form 
to notify them of the police response. If you have questions or want a form, call the Sierra Madre 
Police Department, Carrier Alert Program at (626) 355-1414.

 You can help too…Keep your eyes open and check on your neighbors. Their lives may depend on it!

HELPFUL HINT: Place tension curtain rods vertically between cupboard shelves and 
use to organize baking sheets and cutting boards.



 Jennifer’s wedding was fast approaching. Nothing could dampen her excitement—not even her 
parents’ nasty divorce. Her mother had found the PERFECT dress to wear and would be the best-
dressed-mother-of-the-bride ever! A week later Jennifer was horrified to learn that her father’s new 
young wife had bought the same dress! Jennifer asked her to change it, but she refused. “Absolutely 
not, I look like a million bucks in this dress and I’m wearing it,” she replied. Jennifer told her mother 
who graciously said, “Never mind sweetheart, I’ll get another dress. After all, it’s your special day.” 
A few days later, they went shopping and did find another gorgeous dress. When they stopped for 
lunch, Jennifer asked her mother, “Aren’t you going to return the other dress? You really don’t have 
another occasion where you could wear it.” “Of course I do dear; I’m wearing it to the rehearsal 
dinner the night before the wedding!”

 ~ ~ ~

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … June Birthdays

Nellie Haynes, Dorothy McKay, George Enyedi, Theresa Daley, Ann Dugerian, Marilyn 
McKernan, Pat Fujiwara, John Shier, Beth Smith-Kellock, Mary Carney, Ann Disbrow, 
Joan Ellison, Ruth Kirby, Irene Kudirka, Anne Montgomery, Trini Ornelas, Martha 
Spriggs, Pat Starkey, Kathleen Coyne, Suzanne Decker, Halcyon Koerber, Jacque Persing and Jeanne 
Peterson and Grace Sanders.

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


Quote of the Week: 

 Freedom is the oxygen of the soul. ~Moshe Dayan


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 Balance Class: Every 3rd Monday for 11:00 am to 11:45 am with Shannon Vandevelde. A 
variety of balance exercises are practiced; all ability levels are encouraged and welcomed. 

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 110:30 am to 11:15 am. Join Paul Hagen for this 
free class that focuses on senior yoga techniques. No reservation is 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.

Lunch and Learn: Wednesday, June 26th, 12:15 to 1:00 pm

Come listen to the great services offered by Humana, a widely known company throughout 
our community and the country. Their motto entails: “Healthy People, Healthy Planet, Healthy 
Performance.” They promote seniors and their well-being.

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. 

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 Birdsall at 626.355.7290.


Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles)

Date: Friday, June 28, 2013

 Time: 10:00am -2:30 pm

 Meeting Location: Hart Park House Senior Center

 Cost: $25.00 (does not include lunch)

Founded in 1979, MOCA is the only museum in Los Angeles devoted to exclusively to contemporary 
art and is committed to the collection, presentation and interpretation of work produced since 1940 
in all media. The educator-led guided tour highlights the various exhibits in a fun and exciting way 
as well as provides the most information about MOCAA’s collection and current exhibitions. It is 
recommended to bring $10-$15 for lunch.

Save the Dates!

Friday, July 12, 2013- Pageant of the Masters (evening excursion)

Friday, August 16, 2013- USS Iowa (San Pedro)

Registration can be done in person at the Hart Park House Senior Center & Community Recreation 
Center or online at Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted. Make 
checks payable to “City of Sierra Madre.” Payment must be made at the time of registration.


Senior Movie Program: FREE movies are chosen by the seniors themselves and shown on the 
1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month in Sierra Madre’s City Council Chambers, 232 W. Sierra Madre 
Blvd., Sierra Madre. ~ Start time is 1:00pm ~

June 19th: Age of Champions (2011)

Sponsored by Humana: This is the award-winning documentary follows five competitors who sprint, 
leap and swim for gold at the National Senior Olympics. You’ll meet a 100 year-old tennis champion, 
86 year-old pole vaulter and rough-and-tumble basketball grandmothers as they discover the power 
of the human spirit and triumph over the limitations of age. Not Rated Start time: 1:00 pm (run time 
is 75 minutes)

Dear Savvy Senior:

Can you offer some tips on protecting seniors from 
financial scams? My neighbor’s elderly mother was 
recently swindled out of $10,000 and I want to 
make sure my own mother is protected. Troubled 

Dear Troubled:

Financial scams that target the elderly continue 
to be a big problem in the U.S. In fact, it’s estimated 
that some 5 million Americans over age 60 
are scammed out of roughly 3 billion every year. 
Here are some tips that can help you spot a scam, 
and what you can do to protect your mom. 

Scam Watching

Spotting a scam or a con artist is not always easy 
to do. They range from shady financial advisers 
to slick-talking telemarketers to professional 
caregivers and relatives who steal from the very 
people they’re supposed to be looking after. 

The most common scams targeting seniors today 
come in the form of free-lunch seminars selling 
dubious financial products, tricky/high-pressure 
telemarketing calls, and endless junk mail peddling 
free vacation packages, sweepstakes, phony 
charity fundraisers and more. And, of course, 
there’s the ongoing problem of identity theft, 
Medicare fraud, door-to-door scams, credit card 
theft, and Internet and email scams. 

The best way to spot a scam is to help your mom 
manage her finances, or at least monitor her accounts. 
Reviewing her financial statements each 
month can alert you to questionable checks, 
credit card charges or large withdrawals. 

If, however, she doesn’t want you looking at her 
financial records, there are other clues. For example: 
Is she getting a lot of junk mail for contests, 
free trips, and sweepstakes? Is she receiving calls 
from strangers offering awards or moneymaking 
deals? Also notice if her spending habits have 
changed, if she has complained about being short 
of money lately, or has suddenly become secretive 
or defensive about her finances. All these 
may be signs of trouble.

Protect Your Parent

The most effective way to help protect your mom 
is to alert her to the different kind of scams out 
there. The easiest way to do this is by visiting the 
Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force website 
( – click on “Protect Yourself”), 
where you can get a rundown on the different 
types of scams making the rounds these days. 
The Better Business Bureau Scam Stopper site at is another good resource. 

If your mom doesn’t have access to a computer, 
print out the materials yourself and use them to 
start a conversation. 

It’s also a good idea to keep close tabs on your 
mom’s social circle. Has she acquired any questionable 
new friends lately, or is she seeing anyone 
who’s giving her advice, financial or otherwise? 

Some other tips to protect her include reminding 
her to never give out her Social Security number 
or financial information unless she initiated the 
contact and knows the institution. 

Also, see if your mom would be willing to let you 
sort her mail before she opens it so you can weed 
out the junk. To reduce the junk mail and/or 
email she gets, use the Direct Marketing Association 
consumer opt-out service at 
And to stop credit card and insurance offers, use 
the Consumer Credit Reporting Industry opt-out 
service at or call 888-567-
8688 – they will ask for your mom’s Social Security 
number and date of birth. 

Also, register your mom’s home and cell phone 
numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry 
(, 888-382-1222) to reduce telemarketers. 
And help her get a free copy of her credit 
report at to make sure 
she isn’t a victim of identity theft.

Report It

If you suspect your mom has gotten scammed 
report it to your state securities regulator’s office 
(see for contact information), or your 
state’s Adult Protective Services agency (call 800-
677-1116 for contact information) that investigates 
reports of elderly financial abuse. 

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.


 There are two 
kinds of people: 
those who cry at sad/touching 
movies, and the stoic ones who don’t. 
Usually most of the former group are 
women, while the latter group are 
predominantly men. There are a few 
exceptions. I wouldn’t say that my 
husband goes for sappy things, like 
favorite sentimental songs or fluffy 
greeting cards. Being a woman, I tend 
to tear up more easily at poignant 
moments than my husband. But all that ends when it comes to movies.

 It’s become a joke with us that I have a heart of stone when watching tear-jerker films. I can watch 
Tom Hanks leave Helen Hunt in “Cast Away,” Leonardo DiCaprio slip into the Atlantic in “Titanic,” 
and Mel Gibson getting hacked up in “Braveheart,” all with a dry eye. About two minutes into the 
big cry scene I’ll feel a nudge on my shoulder and hear my teary-eyed husband saying, “You have no 
heart!” which always makes me laugh.

 But it’s not true. There are plenty of movies that make me cry, no matter how many times I 
watch them. Since I’m a closet old person, you might not recognize some of these iconic scenes: 
Ronald Coleman embracing Jane Wyatt after making the harrowing return trek to Shangri La in “Lost 
Horizon.” Carry Grant reconnects with his lost love, Deborah Kerr, and realizes she has become 
wheelchair-bound in “An Affair to Remember.” In “Random Harvest,” Ronald Coleman returns 
home, recovered from amnesia and recognizes his beloved wife. (You might notice a Ronald Coleman 
theme in this list.) Yes, these scenes never fail to move me to tears.

 However, I’ve found a recent short film that, after talking with others who’ve seen it, I’ve found that 
I’m the only person who cries when watching it. You might not have seen the advertisement for the 
BBC featuring flying penguins. If not, you must find it on You Tube! Watch it and tell me if it doesn’t 
stir something within you. It starts with a reporter approaching a colony of dumpy penguins which 
he says are unusual in their ability to fly! Then, sure enough, the blubbery birds start “running,” thrust 
themselves onto the icy runway in a “launch” position, and then flap like crazy. More and more of 
their colony join them and eventually lift off the ground! Suddenly the sky is filled with perfectly 
streamlined penguin torpedoes flying through the air above the astonished reporter.

 The camera pans back to show the colony soaring high above and around glaciers. The narrator 
explains that these special penguins migrate from the icy wastes of the Arctic to the lush, tropical 
rainforests of South America. The final few shots are of pudgy penguins lighting down in fruit trees 
to the surprise of toucans and other rainforest fauna.

 Of course, the commercial’s intent is for you to order this new BBC series, but I see it as a spiritual 
analogy. This earth, with its many pains and sorrows can seem like a dead wasteland with no sign 
of improvement or escape. Yet God takes the most undeserving people (myself being chief among 
them) and has promised to transform our lowly bodies into glorified ones, and has given us the hope 
of coming home to a place of such beauty and perfect happiness that we cannot now imagine. BBC 
probably didn’t have this in mind when they produced this ad, but I tear up with joy every time I see 


 The Sierra Madre Farmer’s Market hours have changed to 3:00pm through 8:00pm 
every Wednesday in fall and winter. Vendors include Dry Dock which has fresh 
and wild caught fish, Rustic Loaf with artisan breads, Cutie Pie with fresh pies and 
much more!

 For those interested in being a vendor contact Melissa Farwell with Raw Inspirations 
at 818-591-8161 ext. 806.