Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, August 17, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, August 17, 2013 



Dear Savvy Senior:

Are there any programs that you know of that help seniors with their Medicare expenses? I’m 67 and 
live primarily on my Social Security, and am having a hard time paying my Medicare premiums, 
deductibles, co-pays and prescription drug costs. Need Some Help

Dear Need:

There are several financial assistance programs that can help Medicare beneficiaries who are having a 
tough time paying their out-of-pocket health care 
costs. Here’s what’s offered, along with the eligibility 
requirements and how to apply. 

Medicare Savings

Let’s start with a program that helps lower-income 
Medicare beneficiaries pay premiums and out-of-
pocket costs for Medicare Parts A and B. It’s called 
the Medicare Savings Program (MSP), and it has 
several different benefit levels for people with different 
financial resources. At its most generous the program will pay your Part B premium and pretty 
much all your Medicare deductibles and coinsurance. At its least generous the program will pay just 
your Part B premium. 

To qualify for a MSP, the minimum standard set by Medicare, is an income under 135 percent of 
the federal poverty level, which at the moment works out to around $1,313 a month for individuals. 
Everything counts towards income, including payouts from 401(k) plans, pensions, Social Security, 
and help from family members. Medicare also allows states to impose an asset test, which can be as 
little as $7,080 per individual, not counting your house or car but counting retirement savings and 
bank accounts.

But some states have made their MSP programs a lot more generous, with much higher income limits 
and in some cases no asset tests at all. And the program may be called something else in your state. To 
find out if you qualify or to apply, contact your local Medicaid office – call 800-633-4227 for contact 

Medication Assistance

For help with your Medicare prescription drug plan costs, there is another completely separate program 
called Extra Help. To get it, you’ll need to apply through your local Social Security office.

Depending on exactly how low your income is, the program will pay all or part of your Part D prescription 
drug plan premium and deductible, a hefty chunk of your copay, and totally eliminate the 
doughnut hole coverage gap. In 2013, individuals with an income below $1,436 a month, and assets 
under $13,300 can qualify for Extra Help. 

If you’re eligible to be in a Medicare Savings Program, you will automatically qualify for Extra Help. 
But because the requirements are slightly different, even if you don’t qualify for a Medicare Savings 
Program for Part B you might be able to get Extra Help for Part D. For more information or to apply, 
call Social Security at 800-772-1213 or visit

Get Help

To help you find out if you’re eligible for these programs, use the National Council on Aging web-
based tool at You’ll need to fill out an online questionnaire that asks things like 
your date of birth, zip code, expenses, income, assets and a few other things. Once completed you’ll 
get a report detailing which programs you may qualify for, along with downloadable application 
forms and, in the case of Extra Help, allow you to complete your entire application online. The program 
even knows the specific MSP eligibility rules in your state.

Or, if you don’t have Internet access, contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), 
who provides free one-on-one Medicare counseling in person or over the phone. To locate your local 
SHIP, call the eldercare locator at 800-677-1116.

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

FYI - Six Myths about Fitness After 50

Myth #1: Stretching becomes more important as you age. Fact: Research shows that stretching does 
little to prevent injuries and may even do harm. They found that stretching a muscle for 60 seconds or 
more causes a decline in performance; a stretched muscle, when released, contracts and tightens the 
opposite of what you want it to do. Myth #2: The best way to burn fat is to work out longer. Fact: A new 
study finds that it’s the intensity of the exercise that has the most impact--running five miles burns 
more calories than walking five miles does because high-intensity exercise boosts your metabolism. 
Myth #3: Cardio matters more than weight training after 50. Fact: Weight training is just as important 
as cardio, if not more so as you age. You lose muscle mass with age, which causes a loss of strength. 
While a loss of strength might not be noticeable at 50, by 60 it will start to affect your ability to exercise 
at all. Myth #4: Do crunches will get rid of belly fat. Fact: Targeting a specific area of the body for fat 
reduction just doesn’t work.The best way to get rid of belly fat? Eat smart and exercise consistently. 
Myth # 5: You shouldn’t exercise if you’re sick. Fact: When it comes to exercise and illness, your neck 
is the dividing line. If your symptoms are at or above the neck-sore throat, nasal congestion, watery 
eyes—a workout is fine. (Unless you have a fever; then take a few days off).If your symptoms are below 
the neck—chest congestion, hacking cough or stomach flu—it’s better to rest for a few days. Myth #6: 
You burn the most fat when working out hungry. Fact: Exercise on an empty tank and your body will 
tap its stores of fat for energy, right? Nope. A 2011 study found that the body burns the same amount 
of fat whether the stomach is full or empty. Exercising without eating is not good. Even a small snack 
can help fuel muscles.

 “Healthy You” in AARP The Magazine June/July 2013


HELPFUL HINT: Chalk will remove grease stains from clothes. Simply rub the stain with 
chalk, then toss in the washer as usual. 


FOR YOUR FUNNY BONE - The husband had just finished reading the book, “Man 
of the House.” He stormed into the kitchen and walked directly up to his wife pointing a finger in her 
face, he said, “From now on, I want you to know that I am the man of this house and my word is law! 
I want you to prepare me a gourmet meal tonight and when I’m finished eating my meal I expect a 
scrumptious dessert afterward. Then after dinner, you are going to draw my bath so I can relax. When 
I’m finished with my bath, guess who’s going to dress me and comb my hair? His wife replied, “The 
funeral director would be my guess.”

 ~ ~ ~

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … August Birthdays

Karlene Englert, Juanita Fernandez, Jeanette Francis, Joseph Kiss, John Luke, Jacquie 
Pergola, Maury Whitaker, Pat Miranda, Phyllis Chapman, Jerry Burnett, Margaret Aroyan, 
Phyllis Burg, Beverly Clifton, Rosemary Marabito, Susan Poulsen, Dorothy Quentmeyer, 
Genevieve Stubbs, Miep Tulleners, Joy Barry, Ellie Baudino, Marcia Bent, Daryls Brechwald, 
Joan Spears, Ruth Torres, Jane Zamanzadeh, Harry Enmark and Estelle Sykes.

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


Quote of the Week: “People who don’t cherish their elderly have forgotten whence they 
came and wither they go.” ~ Ramsay Clark


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. 


Get fit, Have Fun with Zumba Gold

Zumba Gold is a low impact fitness class based on Latin and World Music. The upbeat music creates 
a fun atmosphere with easy to follow dance moves that will have you toning your body and improving 
your stamina and balance from your very first class. No dance experience is necessary and all fitness 
levels are welcome. Class is held Mondays from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm.Next session begins in September. 
$30.00 class fee. For more information or to sign up call the Community Services Department at 
(626) 355-5278.

Free Blood Pressure Testing: This month only! Thursday, August 15th 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: New Hours: 11:00 to 11:45 Every Wednesday morning. 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, August 28th- 12:15 to 1:00 PM

“You Are What You Eat”- Hart Park House-Senior Center- Listen to Victoria Pacheco, a licensed 
Registered Dietician from Methodist Hospital, as she shares information on senior nutrition and brain 
health. For adults over 50, the benefits of healthy eating include increased mental acuteness, resistance 
to illness and disease, higher energy levels, faster recuperation times and better management of 
chronic health problems. As we age, eating well can also be the key to a positive outlook and staying 
emotionally balanced. But healthy eating doesn’t have to be about dieting and sacrifice. Whatever 
your age, eating well should be about fresh, colorful food, creativity in the kitchen and eating with 
friends. If you would like to have lunch during the talk, please make a lunch reservation with the 
Senior Lunch Cafe at 626.355.0256 or bring your own.

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.


USS Iowa (San Pedro) Date: Friday, August 16, 2013 Time: 9:30 am to 3:00 pm

Meeting Location: Hart Park House Cost: $32.00 (Does not include lunch)

 Don’t miss the trip to the USS Iowa, designated as the “World’s Greatest Naval Ship” 
due to her big guns, heavy armor, fast speed, longevity and modernization. Visitors will 
enjoy a comprehensive tour of the ship lead by an educated docent. In addition, several short films 
on the history of USS Iowa will be shown providing an abundance of information on this historical 
ship. Lunch will not be provided, but please bring $15-$29 for lunch at the Whale and Ale. Last day 
to register is Thursday, August 1st, but those interested can be added to the wait list. (Should someone 
cancel, the waitlist participants can fill the spot).

Save the Dates!

Friday, September 13, 2013- Riley’s Farm (Oak Glen, Ca.)

Saturday, October 12, 2013- Oktoberfest (Big Bear, Ca.)

*Registering for Excursions can be done in person at the Hart Park House Senior Center and the 
Community Recreation Center or online at Cash, checks, and credit 
cards are accepted. Make checks payable “City of Sierra Madre”. Payment must be made at the time of 
reservation. CALL (626) 355-7394


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 ~

August 21st: An Affair to Remember (1957)

Starring, Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr High profile types both engaged to be 
married to other people meet and fall in love during an ocean voyage.To test 
the depth of their commitment to each other, Grant and Kerr promise that, if 
they’re still in love at the end of six months, they will meet again at the top of the 
Empire State Building. (Not rated)… Bring Kleenex

Start time: 1:00 pm (run time is 119 minutes)


 Sometimes people ask me if I’m a vegetarian. Though I generally try to stick 
to plant-based foods, I sometimes indulge in the occasional fish/chicken, and the 
biannual cut of beef. So it might seem a surprise that I would now be willing to 
travel halfway across the country to try some “famous” fish & chips. 

 All my life my aunt and 
mom have been talking 
up the unmatchable 
excellence of “Highland’s Fish & Chips,” 
a mom-and-pop restaurant in the Detroit 
suburb where they grew up. It was owned by 
the Sutherland clan, and had unpretentious 
furnishings and a staff primarily made up 
of family members. The most popular dish 
was, of course, fish and chips. According 
to my mom and aunt, the recipe came from 
the proprietor’s Scottish mother, who did 
something magical to the cod. It was always 
light and flavorful. My mom and aunt 
salivate -- unable to find the right adjectives 
to describe Highland’s bill of fare.

 On one of my aunt’s trips back to Michigan she planned to visit Highland’s as a highlight of her 
visit. But when she arrived she found a desolate lot. The neighboring business owners said the 
restaurant had closed the week before. Talk about disappointment! Ever since then, my aunt’s been 
on the quest to find a worthy equal to Highland’s fish & chips. 

 The legend of the restaurant has morphed over the years. For a while they believed the Sutherlands 
just crossed the river to reestablish their restaurant in Winsor, Canada. I even got sucked into their 
search, and found myself calling a Canadian fish & chip place whose menu sounded somewhat like 
Highland’s. In the end, I got a big long distance fee and no leads in our quest for the perfect fish & 

 More recently, my aunt and mom found Scotty Simpson’s Fish & Chips on 5 Mile in Detroit. It 
dates back to 1950 (like Highland’s) and seems to have a similar menu. (But then again, how different 
are most fish & chip menus?) The problem comes when you consider whether Scotty’s and Highland’s 
were around at the same time. My theory is that Scotty’s claim of starting in 1950 might mean that the 
family has been frying up fish for a hungry public since then, although not in that location. I know, 
it’s a long shot.

 Despite the fact that I have little interest in visiting Michigan*, I would be willing to go there just 
to try the famed fish & chips. I suppose it would be like meeting some celebrity from your childhood, 
only battered and fried.

 *For all you nostalgic Michigan-ers, check out the show, “Under the Radar Michigan.” You can 
view all three seasons of episodes online. It’s fun to revisit Great Lake State classics like Mackinac 
Island, Saginaw, and the beautiful Redford Theater, and many more!...

 And remember --use your left hand to show your friends where each place is located. God gave