Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 28, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 14



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 28, 2013 


Dear Savvy Senior:

What is the safest way to dispose of unwanted medications? My husband and I have drawers full of 
unused and expired drugs that we’d like to get rid of, and get them out of sight of our curious grandkids. 
What can you tell me? Concerned Grandmother 

Dear Concerned:

The safest and most responsible way to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired, medications is to 
take it to a medicine take-back event. And the next prime opportunity to do this is on National 
Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which is slated 
for Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

National Take-Back Day is a free, anonymous 
program that will have around 6,000 designated 
sites nationwide – including many fire and police 
stations, and community centers – where you can 
drop off your unwanted medications. 

Developed by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the take-back program was created to help 
address the ongoing problem of prescription drug abuse, as well as improper use of medications and 
accidental poisonings.

In the three years of semiannual collections, more than 1,400 tons of prescription meds have been 
collected and incinerated. 

To find a collection site near you, visit or call 800-882-9539. 

The reasons take-back sites are a better option than tossing the medications yourself are because 
throwing drugs in the trash gives kids, grandkids and pets the opportunity to get at them, and a 
wastebasket is a likely place for family drug abusers to check after they’ve looked in the medicine 
cabinet. And flushing them down the toilet – unless instructed – is generally a bad idea because the 
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to minimize drug residues in the public water supply.


If you happen to miss take-back day or there’s no site available near you, talk to your pharmacist to 
see if he or she knows of another medicine disposal program in your area, or call your city or county 
government’s household trash and recycling service. Or, if you want to dispose of your pills on your 
own, here are some tips recommended by the FDA. 

First, remove all personal information and drug names from the label by scratching it off, or marking 
over it with a permanent marker. 

Then take the medications out of their original bottles and mix them in another container (like a 
sealable bag or empty margarine tub) with an undesirable substance, such as cooking oil, coffee 
grounds or cat litter. Then seal the container and throw it in the trash. This will make the medication 
less appealing to children, pets and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through your 

There are, however, a few medicines that may be especially harmful or even fatal if used by someone 
other than the person for whom the medicine was prescribed. These medicines have specific disposal 
instructions indicating they should be flushed down the sink or toilet as soon as they’re no longer 
needed, and when they cannot be disposed of through a medicine take-back program. To see an FDA 
list of medications that should be flushed once expired, go to, and type “flush drugs” into 
the search box.

If you have other questions about proper drug disposal, talk to your pharmacist. 

And to keep the medications that you and your husband currently use secured and out of reach 
of your grandchildren and others, lock them up in a drawer, medicine or file cabinet, or consider 
purchasing a medicine lock box at your local pharmacy or big-box retail store.

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


 It seems that burglars have replaced doctors when it comes to making house calls. The uptick in 
local residential burglaries has been steadily increasing as all of you know…Just a quick refresher 
course on how to keep your house as safe as possible: 

1) Keep a light on in the house. 

2) Put up a “Beware of Dog” sign whether you have a dog or not. 

3) Keep your yard tidy. Bushes shouldn’t be higher than 3’ and trees no lower than 6’; that way 
burglars’ can’t hide in your yard. 

4) Take your name off the mailbox. Criminals can locate your landline phone number if they 
have your name and then call to see if you’re home! 

5) Never leave a spare key outside. 

6) Watch what you throw in the recycling bin (a box from a flat screen T.V., for example. 

7) Always lock doors and close windows when leaving the house. 

If you see anything or anyone who seems suspicious, call 911. Stay safe. (Instant Checkmate)


HELPFUL HINT: Who doesn’t love microwave popcorn? The problem is the oily, salty goo 
(and extra calories and chemicals). To eliminate them, put two tablespoons of popcorn kernels in a 
paper lunch bag, fold the open end over three times to seal, cook on high in the microwave for three 
minutes (time will vary depending upon your microwave, so adjust accordingly).It’s air popped so it’s 
only 80 calories…not to mention a great price, about ten cents a serving!


FOR YOUR FUNNY BONE - A woman awakes during the night to find that her 
husband not in their bed. She puts on her robe and goes downstairs to look for him. She finds him 
sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee in front of him. He appears to be in deep thought, just 
staring at the wall. She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye and takes a sip of coffee. “What’s the 
matter, dear?” she whispers as she steps into the room. “Why are you down here at this time of night?” 
The husband looks up, “Do you remember 20 years ago when we were dating and you were only 17?” 
he asks solemnly. The wife is touched thinking her husband is so caring and sensitive. “Yes, I do,” she 
replies. The husband pauses. The words are not coming easily. “Do you remember when your father 
caught us in the back seat of my car?” “Yes, I remember,” says the wife, lowering herself into a chair 
beside him. The husband continues… “Do you remember when he shoved a shotgun in my face and 
said, “Either you marry my daughter or I will send you to jail for 20 years.” “I remember that too,” she 
replies softly. He wipes another tear from his cheek and says, “I would have gotten out today!” 

 ~ ~ ~

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … September Birthdays

Clem Bartolai, Ed Clare, Donna Anderson, Teresa Chaure, Cathy Gunther, Esther Macias, 
Sheila Pierce, Nancy Sue Shollenberger, Yvonne Osti, Patti O’Meara, Judie Cimino, Mary 
Steinberg, Geri Wright, Parvin Dabiri, Denise Reistetter, Nehama Warner, Verdella Johnson 
and Edwina Garcia.

* 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: “A teacher affects eternity; He can never tell where his influence stops.”

 ~ Henry Adams


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: Held Second Tuesday of the month from 11:00 am-12:00 pm: 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: Emergency Preparedness

Wednesday, September 28- 12:00 to 1:00 pm Hart Park House Senior Center

Prepare yourself for fires, earthquakes and winter storms with this informative presentation. Learn 
how to make a family emergency plan and take home an emergency kit from our friends at the 
American Red Cross. Preparing for disasters before they strike enables people to respond more 
effectively when they do occur. If you would like to have lunch during the talk, please make a lunch 
reservation with the Senior Lunch Café 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.


Save the Date! Oktoberfest (Big Bear, Ca.) Saturday, October 12, 2013

Time: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Meeting Location: Hart Park House Senior Center

Cost: $89.00 (Lunch included)

Join us for the biennial trip to Big Bear for Oktoberfest. Upon arrival the group will enjoy a narrated 
bus tour of Big Bear Lake, current issues facing their eco-environment and various stories and antics 
occurring at the Lake. A German style lunch including a variety of wursts, potato salad, sauerkraut, 
pretzesl and apple strudel will be served. During and after lunch enjoy German entertainment, learn 
traditional dances and peruse vendor booths. 

*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 ~ 

KATIE Tse.....................This and That


And Other Strong Motivators

 Organization has never come 
naturally to me. As a child, I 
remember somewhat helplessly 
stuffing school papers into my 
desk or backpack. My parents 
would question my “filing system” as I retrieved 
months-old crumpled papers. “Hey,” I’d say, “I didn’t 
loose them!” I grew up with the adage, “A place for 
everything and everything in its place.” The only 
problem was that I kept changing the places for 
things, and then forget where those places where.

 You’d think that surviving through higher 
education would instill great organizational skills in 
me. Nope! I don’t think my problem is that I can’t 
categorize things, it is more that some things can fit 
into several categories. This puts me at a loss of where 
to categorize them. Every so often I feel compelled 
to devote serious time to organizing my things. 
However, after half an hour of shuffling through 
papers, I’m no farther along than I was when I started. 
It’s at this point that I sigh and stuff everything back 
where I had it (hoping that I’d remember its location 
if I ever needed to!). Often “where I had it” is either 
an overflowing filing cabinet, or in the case of my 
work, a burgeoning supply closet.

 I refer to this storage space as “the closet of doom.” On my own behalf, I wasn’t totally at fault 
because it was already stuffed beyond capacity when I inherited my job from my predecessor. My 
company isn’t the sort of place where people pack all their office belongings into a tidy little box 
when they leave. Oh no --they leave all their materials for the next guy. Of course I was extremely 
grateful for the surplus of supplies available to me when I first started out. However, even then it 
was hard walking into another person’s organization system and trying to make sense of it. There 
were many things I never used, but felt unable to toss, since they were “the company’s.” And since 
the lady before me found them useful, who was I to get rid of them? These were inevitably stuffed 
into the closet of doom.

 The door-less closet of doom stayed dormant for years. Occasionally its contents would pile up 
around the entrance, creating a potential avalanche. I shuddered every time I put anyhing in there. 
This year, I actually asked my mom to sew me a curtain to hide the mess, which she did (thanks, 
Mom!). Who knows how long this closet could have kept growing if not for a recent request from 
my new boss!

 My old boss retired recently, and we now have a new commander in chief. He’s been very sweet, 
and so far, we’ve all had nothing but good experiences with him. However, it’s always prudent to 
please your boss --especially during the “first impressions” phase.

 Last week, my new boss casually informed me that another new employee would need to store 
some boxes in my office, and asked if I could please make room for say --forty banker boxes. Whoa! 
I can barely hide my own junk! (But that’s not a great admission to make.) “Sure.” I replied via email, 
“Send the boxes over!”

 Let me tell you, I’ve never embodied the phrase, “bust and move” until now! Not only did I 
clear away my own junk, but I excavated specimens from the 90’s, 80’s, and (yes) 70’s! It was like an 
archaeological dig, without the sexiness of Indiana Jones. At last I saw something I’d never before 
laid eyes upon --the back wall of my supply closet. I doubt it’s seen the light of day in thirty years. 
Unfortunately, there were some things I actually wanted to save. So I heaped them in the middle of 
my office until the closet had been filled with whatever my co-worker needed to store. So, to anyone 
walking by, it looked like I had a pile of rubble in my office.

 Nevertheless, I wanted to “share the moment” with someone, but admitting my poor organizational 
skills to my coworkers would’ve killed the joy I felt. (I’m sure they’ve suspected it all this time, but 
admission only confirms their suspicions.)

 Finally ready, I called the custodian (who doubles as the ultimate tech-support for the company, 
but that’s another story) to start loading up my closet with my new co-worker’s things. He stopped 
in his tracks at the sight of my empty closet and breathed, “Whoa....” I was proud.

 “You know, though,” he said, “The board is visiting this week, so we won’t be able to load the boxes 
until next week, or maybe the week after.” I was still smiling at him like an idiot when he clarified 
the situation for me, “You’ll need to move all this stuff back (the stuff in the middle of my office). 
Maybe we can load the new things next week.” Even though most of my co-workers have now seen 
the junk heap in my office, I don’t mind. Even though the custodian/tech genius probably thinks 
I’m too quick to jump the gun, I still don’t mind. I’ve seen the back wall of my closet, which I know 
I would’ve never seen if all this hadn’t taken place. If for no other reason, I’m glad it gave me the 
impetus to actually CLEAN my closet. Who knows how many decades it would’ve sat untouched 



The Sierra Madre Farmer’s Market hours have changed to 3:00pm through 8:00pm 
every Wednesday. 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.