Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, January 18, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page 12

Mountain Views News Saturday, January 18, 2014 
12 THE GOOD LIFEMountain Views News Saturday, January 18, 2014 

Dear Savvy Senior:
Can you offer some good stretching tips and resources 
for seniors? I’ve gotten so inflexible in recent years I can hardly bend over to tie my shoes anymore. 
Stiff Senior 

Dear Stiff: 
Of all possible exercises, stretching tends to be the most overlooked and neglected among seniors, yet 
nothing is more vital to keeping an aging body limber and injury free. Here’s what you should know 
along with some tip and resources to help you regain some flexibility. 

As we age, our muscles naturally lose their elasticity if you’re not active, which can make common 
day-to-day activities like reaching down to tie your shoes, or looking over your shoulder to back your 
car out of the driveway difficult. 

But the good news is, by incorporating some simple stretching exercises into your routine (at least 
three times a week) you can greatly improve your flexibility, as well as enhance your balance, posture 
and circulation, relieve pain and stress, and prevent injuries. In addition, stretching is also important 
as a warm-up and cool-down for more vigorous activities, and leg stretching is an excellent way to 
prevent nighttime leg cramps too. 

Stretching Basics
Stretching exercises should focus on the muscles in your calves, front and back thighs, hips, lower 
and upper back, chest, shoulders and neck. If you’ve had hip or back surgery, you should talk to your 
doctor before doing lower-back flexibility exercises. 

If you don’t have any experience with stretching, there are books like “Stretching for Dummies” and 
“Stretching for 50+” that you can purchase at your local bookstore or that provides 
instructions and illustrations of proper techniques. 

There are also a number of DVDs and videos you can buy to guide you through a series of stretching 
exercises you can do at home. Collage Video (, 800-819-7111) sells several at prices 
ranging between $10 and $20, as does and 

Also see, a resource created by the National Institute on Aging that offers a free 
exercise DVD and booklet that provide illustrated examples of stretching exercises. You can order 
your free copies online or by calling 800-222-2225. 

While stretching, it’s very important to listen to your body. You want to stretch each muscle group to 
the point where the muscle feels tight. If it hurts, you’ve gone too far. Back off to the point where you 
don’t feel any pain, then hold the stretch for 10 to 20 seconds. Relax, then repeat it three to five times, 
trying to stretch a little farther, but don’t bounce. Bouncing greatly increases your chance of injury. 

It’s also a good idea to warm up a little before you start stretching by walking in place and pumping 
your arms. And remember to breathe when you stretch. Also keep in mind that muscles that have not 
been stretched in a while take time to regain their flexibility. So be patient and go slow. 

Eastern Options
Another popular way to improve your flexibility is through gentle yoga or chair yoga. In chair yoga 
you replace the yoga mat with a chair where most poses can be duplicated. This is much easier on 
tight, inflexible muscles. 

To get started, there are DVDs and videos that offer yoga instructions and routines for seniors that 
you can do at home. Some good resources for finding them are and, 
or check with your local public library. 

Tai chi is another good exercise option for improving flexibility and balance. To learn it, it’s best to 
work with an instructor who can teach you the correct movements and breathing techniques. To 
locate a class in your area, call your local senior center, health club or wellness center or check your 
yellow pages. If nothing’s available, tai chi DVDs for seniors (see, and is a good alternative. 

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. 

RICH Johnson 

 ONE WEEK FROM TODAY (Saturday, January 25) Make plans to come

to Corfu Restaurant at 48 W. Sierra Madre Blvd in Sierra Madre on Saturday,

January 25 at 6:30. Buy dinner and become a judge in the great tiramisu

throwdown. Tiramisu is a wonderful Italian dessert and Corfu proprietress 

Amy is convinced she makes the best tiramisu. Another baker has throwndown the challenge claiming a better tiramisu. You will decide. Call for more information (626)

 Well, let’s get back to January 18th. If you are looking at this column on the day of its first exposure,
it must be January 18th. That means, of course, there are a scant 347 days left in 2014 (you probably 
knew that). My, 2014 has already gone by fast. Interesting events, births and even a few deaths tookplace on this heralded day. Let’s take a look at some of these memorable bits of trivia.

 Leo II took over the Byzantine Empire as Emperor on this day in 474 A.D. Unfortunately his reign 
was only 10 months long. It may have had something to do with the fact he was 7 years old. Somethink he was poisoned by his mother (what mother hasn’t entertained that thought once or twice?)

 On this date in 1778 James Cook became the first known European to discover the HawaiianIslands and its friendly natives. He named Hawaii the “Sandwich Islands” after the Earl of Sandwich.
He was later killed by the friendly natives who held Mr. Cook in such high regard they buried himwith the same pomp and ceremony meant for chiefs. They did de-bone the body (that’s right) topreserve the bones as religious icons. They might be available on Ebay.

 Sailing straight past the good ole USA, in 1788 the British fleet made its way to Botany Bay inAustralia to drop off 736 convicts. The Brits used to drop convicts off here. Well, not here meaningSierra Madre, but rather here in the U.S. You probably knew what I meant. For some reason theystopped unloading the boats after the Revolutionary War.

 My son will love this bit of trivia: January 18, 1886 saw the genesis of Modern hockey as the HockeyAssociation was formed in England.

 This date in 1944 witnessed the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City host its first jazzconcert. Performing were Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw andothers.

 Jim Thorpe’s Olympic medals were restored to his family on this date in 1983 by the InternationalOlympic Committee. Mr. Thorpe, a native American athlete, won Olympic gold in the 1912 Olympicsfor the pentathlon and decathlon events. 

Famous people born on this date: Daniel Webster (1782); Thomas Watson (Alexander Graham 
Bell’s assistant, 1854); Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne (1882); Cary Grant (born Archie Leach 
1904); Danny Kaye born David Daniel Kaminsky 1913); Kevin Costner (born Kevin Costner 1955).

 Famous people who breathed their last on January 18th include: Emperor Go-Nanazono of Japanin 1471 (seems like just yesterday); 10th President of the USA, John Tyler in 1862; Rudyard Kipling,
English author and poet gasped last in 1936. And finally, two giants in the cinema: Sydney Greenstreetdied in 1954 (You may remember Sydney as the corpulent bad guy, Kasper Gutman, in “The MalteseFalcon” and the other nightclub owner, Signor Ferrari, in “Casablanca”. ) And Curly Howard left thislife in 1952. You may remember Curly as one of the three stooges. I often use one of his most famousquotes: “I’m trying to think but nothing happens.” I also have been known to say, “nyuk-nyuk-nyuk”.
By the way, Curly died right near here in San Gabriel, California. 

Have a good week. 


By Pat Birdsall 


 Last week we touched on how a natural disaster can bring out two types of people; the well-
intentioned who want to donate and the scammers who want to intercept those donations. Here 
are a few more tips on how to thwart the scammers. * Don’t be enticed by photos in emails or on 
sketchy websites that promise you links to photos or videos of disaster areas. Never click on them…a 
Malware virus could be the result. If you do entertain requests for money, do so smartly. * Don’t 
ever give your credit card information to a caller even if your caller ID indicates it’s a legitimate 
organization. (Scammers have ways to make whatever number they want to appear on the screen.) 
*Say no to an offer of a courier coming to your home to pick up your donation. (They can be so 
obliging.) *Mailed material is no guarantee of legitimate organizations. Again, do your due diligence. 

* Just say no to door-to-door solicitations. They should leave printed material with you which will 
allow you to properly vet them. Never give them cash! *Be wary of any group who claims that 100% 
of the donations assist victims. All legitimate organizations typically spend up to 35% of donations 
on fundraising and administrative costs. (Ideally, it should be 25 %.) Don’t let all of this frightening 
information prevent you from giving to those in dire straits, just be careful. In this high-technology 
world it gets harder and harder to do, doesn’t it? 

HELPFUL HINT: Glue a magnet to a hammer so you don’t have to hold nails in your 

mouth while hanging pictures. 


FOR YOUR FUNNY BONE -Residents of a local retirement home loved our karate 
school’s demonstration. We could tell because they gave us a big hand at the end. After the applause 
died down, everyone remained in their seats, so we showed off a few more moves. When our encore 
ended and again no one budged, we launched into our second encore. “I didn’t expect karate to be so 
popular here,” I whispered to a resident. “It’s not,” she said with a kindly smile. “We’re waiting for you 
to leave so we can get on with our Bingo game.” (In memory of Loyal America Camacho) 

~ ~ ~ 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … January Birthdays 

Mary Tassop, JudyWebb-Martin, John Johnson, Mary Bickel, Marlene Enmark, Gladys 
Moser, Ross Kellock, Ruth Wolter, Sue Watanabe, 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 required. 

Quote of the Week: The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.

 ~Mark Twain~ 


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: Monday, January 27th 11:00 to 11:45 with Shannon Vandevelde. A variety of 
balance exercises are practiced; all ability levels are encouraged and welcomed. 

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: 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 Lem Makupson 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 

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. 

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. 

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. 

Lunch & Learn: Wednesday, January 22nd 12:00 – 1:00pmA representative from the Center for Health Care Rights will be discussing Medicare benefits, co-
payments and deductibles as well as the recent changes in Medicare. Please join us for this informative 
presentation to learn more about Medicare. If you would like to have lunch during the talk, please 
make a reservation with the Senior Lunch Café at 626.355.0256 or bring your own. 


Feline Conservation Center (Rosamond, Ca.) Date: Thursday, February 27, 2014 

Time: 9:00 am- 4:00 pm Meeting Location: Hart Park House Senior Center

 Cost: $15.00 (does not include lunch)
Home to over 70 of the world’s most endangered felines; the Feline Conservation Center is a breeding 
zoo and research facility. Cat lovers of all ages are fascinated by the cats (and the peacocks) and unlike 
a zoo, the Conservation Center has no moats so visitors can get as close as 5 feet away from these 
beautiful (but dangerous) cats. Following the one-hour tour is a visit to the gift shop and lunch at a 
nearby restaurant. It is recommended to bring $10-15 for lunch. Last day to register is Wednesday, 
February 19th. Level of Walking: Light to Moderate 

Whale Watching (Long Beach, Ca.) Date: Saturday, March 22, 2014 
Time: 10:00 am-3:30 pm Meeting Location: Community Recreation CenterCost: $31.00 (does not include lunch)
Don’t miss the Community Services Department’s annual whale watching excursion. The 2014 
excursion will visit the same whale watching Charter Company as 2013, which features a narrated 
cruise by Aquarium of the Pacific staff and with indoor and outdoor seating. Participants can bring 
their own lunch to enjoy on the boat, or purchase snack items on board. Children 2 and under are 
free. Last day to register is Tuesday, March 11th. 
Level of Walking: Minimal 

*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. 


Senior Cinema: FREE movies are shown this month, on the 3rd and 5th Wednesdays. ~Shown in 
Sierra Madre’s City Hall Council Chambers 

January 29: The Producers (1967)
After putting together another Broadway flop, down-on-his-luck producer Max Bialystock teams up 
with timid accountant Leo Bloom in a get-rich-quick scheme to put on the world’s worst show. Rated 
PG Start time: 1:00 (run time 88 minutes