Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, April 8, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:10



Mountain Views-News Saturday, April 8, 2017 



HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …April Birthdays*

Howard Rubin, Hattie Harris, Mary Harley, Bette White, Dorothy White, Doris 
Behrens, Freda Bernard, Beth Copti, Terri Cummings, Marilyn Diaz, Virginia 
Elliott, Elma Flores, Betty Jo Gregg, Barbara Lampman, Betty Mackie, Elizabeth 
Rassmusen, Maria Reyes, Marian DeMars, Anne Schryver, Chrisine Bachwansky, 
Colleen McKernan, Sandy Swanson, Hank Landsberg, Ken Anhalt, Shannon Vandevelde 

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


ACTIVITIES: Unless listed differently, all activities are at the Hart 
Park House (Senior Center) 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre



Hawaiian & Polynesian Dance Class: Every Tuesday morning from 10a.m. to 
11a.m. Join instructor Barbara Dempsey as she leads you in the art of Hula. 

Bingo: Every Tuesday beginning at 1:00p.m. Cards are only $0.25 each! Everyone is welcome to join. 
May be canceled if less than five people. 

Free Blood Pressure Testing: 2nd Tuesday of the month from 11a.m. to 12p.m. No appt. is necessary. 

Brain Games: Thursdays, 10:30a.m. to 11:30a.m., improve your memory and strengthen your 
brain. Activities facilitated by Senior Volunteers.

Free Legal Consultation: Wednesdays from 10:30a.m. to Noon. Attorney Lem Makupson is 
available for legal consultation. He specializes in Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Estates, and Injury. 
Appointments are required by calling 626-355-7394. 

Senior Club: Meets every Saturday at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Brown Bag Lunch at 

Tax Assistance: Every Wednesday beginning on February 1st through April 12th from 1:00p.m. 
to 2:00p.m. - Don Brunner is available for income tax consultation. Appointments are required by 
calling 626-355-7394.

Chair Yoga: Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00 to 11:45a.m. with Paul Hagen. 3rd Monday of each 
month, a variety of balance exercises are practiced. All ability levels are encouraged and welcomed! 

*A suggested donation of $5 at one of the classes is requested, but is not required.

Case Management: Case Management services are provided by the YWCA and provide assistance in 
a variety of areas. Appointments are required and can be scheduled by calling the Hart Park House 
Office at 626-355-7394.

Birthday Celebrations: Every 2nd Thursday of the month at the Hart Park House, share some free 
birthday cake provided by the Sierra Madre Civic Club.

Game Day: Every Thursday starting at 12:00p.m. Come join this group of Seniors in a poker game. 
Other games are offered to all. Please note time change. 

Free Strength Training Class: Every Friday from 12:45p.m. to 1:30p.m. with Lisa Brandley. This 
energetic class utilizes light weights for low impact resistance training. All class materials are provided.

Stress, Resilience, Positivity: Finding Balance - by The Kensington Sierra Madre Four Tuesdays, 
March 7 - 28th from 2:00 - 4:00p.m. Register by calling 213-821-6919 or 213-821-6908. 




 Tanaka Farms Strawberry Tour (Irvine)

 Date: Thursday, April 27th

 Time: 9:30a.m. to 2:30p.m.

 Meeting Location: Hart Park House

 Cost: $20.00 (Not including Lunch)


Come experience a real working farm in the heart of Orange County. Tour includes a guided wagon 
ride around the 30-acre Farm. Learn about and sample different fruits and vegetables in season. Pick 
and eat fresh, juicy strawberries. You will be given a one-pound container to fill with berries. Things to 

- Wear comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty.

- The farm is not handicapped accessible; and wagon rides on dirt

roads will be bumpy.... and lots of bending to pick berries.

- Bring your sack lunch to eat at the picnic tables.

- Spending money is optional for market shopping.

Level of walking: Medium – High.

Please call the Hart Park House for reservations at 626-355-7394. 

Dear Savvy Senior,

I’m considering retiring later this year and starting my 
Social Security benefits, but would also like to work part 
time. Will this affect my benefits, and if so, how much? 

Ready to Retire

Dear Ready,

You can collect Social Security retirement benefits and 
work at the same time, but depending on how old you 
are and how much you earn, some or all of your benefits 
could be temporarily withheld. Here’s what you should 

Working Rules

Social Security says that if you’re under your full 
retirement age – which is 66 if you were born between 
1943 and 1954, or 66 and 2 months if you were born in 
1955 – and are collecting benefits, then you can earn 
up to $16,920 in 2017 without jeopardizing any of your 
Social Security if you don’t reach your full retirement age 
this year. But if you earn more than the $16,920 limit, 
you’ll lose $1 in benefits for every $2 over that amount. 

 In the year you reach your full retirement age, a less 
stringent rule applies. If that happens in 2017, you can 
earn up to $44,880 from January to the month of your 
birthday with no penalty. But if you earn more than 
$44,880 during that time, you’ll lose $1 in benefits for 
every $3 over that limit. And once your birthday passes, 
you can earn any amount by working without your 
benefits being reduced at all. 

 Wages, bonuses, commissions, and vacation pay 
all count toward the income limits, but pensions, 
annuities, investment earnings, interest, capital gains 
and government or military retirement benefits do not. 
To figure out how much your specific earnings will 
affect your benefits, see the Social Security Retirement 
Earnings Test Calculator at

 It’s also important to know that if you do lose some 
or all of your Social Security benefits because of the 
earning limits, they aren’t lost forever. When you reach 
full retirement age, your benefits will be recalculated to 
a higher amount to make up for what was withheld. For 
details and examples of how this is calculated, see SSA.

 For more information on how working can affect your 
Social Security benefits see
whileworking.html, or call the Social Security at 410-
965-2039 and ask to receive a free copy of publication 
number 05-10069, “How Work Affects Your Benefits.” 

Tax Factor 

In addition to the Social Security rules, you need to 
factor in Uncle Sam too. Because working increases 
your income, it might make your Social Security benefits 

 Here’s how it works. If the sum of your adjusted gross 
income, nontaxable interest, and half of your Social 
Security benefits is between $25,000 and $34,000 for 
individuals ($32,000 and $44,000 for couples), you have 
to pay tax on up to 50 percent of your benefits. Above 
$34,000 ($44,000 for couples), you could pay on up to 85 
percent, which is the highest portion of Social Security 
that is taxable. About a third of all people who get Social 
Security have to pay income taxes on their benefits.

 For information, call the IRS at 800-829-3676 and ask 
them to mail you a free copy of publication 915 “Social 
Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits,” 
or you can see it online at 

 In addition to the federal government, 13 states – 
Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, 
Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode 
Island, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia – tax Social 
Security benefits to some extent too. If you live in one 
of these states, you’ll need to check with your state tax 
agency for details.


 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.


As promised last week, I have a great 
offering from my dad’s seemingly 
endless collection of cheesy movies 
from the 70’s. This time it’s “Empire 
of the Ants,” a sci-fi gem from 1977 
starring Joan Collins vs. giant, mutant 
ants. The film starts off with anonymous “government 
agents” dumping barrels of radioactive waste, conveniently 
labeled “Radioactive Waste: Danger! Hazardous! Skull & 
Crossbones!” into the ocean. They wash ashore and ooze 
mercury-colored liquid which the resident ants start to eat.

 Cut to Joan Collins, who plays a crooked realtor trying 
to sell worthless property in the Florida everglades under 
the premise that the adjacent land 
will soon be developed into a resort 
town. The majority of her potential 
buyer-victims are equally shady. 
We get little snapshots of them as 
they leave on a boat ride and bus 
tour around the properties. One 
philandering man abandons his wife 
to hit on another female passenger. 
Another man on board admits that 
he’s just out of a bad divorce and is 
having trouble with his child from 
the marriage. One of the women 
describes how she broke up with the 
man who was cheating on his wife 
with her, and that now she’s going to use the money he gave 
her to buy real estate. An older couple frankly admits that 
they have no intention whatsoever of buying anything, and 
are just here for the free food and boat ride. How lovely.

 What struck me the most during all of this was the 
gratuitous references to sex and overly raunchy language. 
“This is 1977!” I thought. My parents were married that 
year! People back then weren’t the crude animals they are 
today, at least their movies weren’t as crass as they are now, 
or so I thought. Interestingly, after the first 15 minutes, the 
language improved and the innuendo stopped. 

 So while the humans are busy trying to rip each other 
off and commit other nefarious acts, the ants, now grown 
to gargantuan size after their radioactive cocktail, have 
been industriously working away at the everglades, creating 
barriers among the forests, and dams in the river. Eventually 
the humans happen upon the ants, and start getting picked 
off, one or two at a time. Like all great cheesy sci-fi horror 
pics, the victim either trips and unexplainably can’t get up, 
or gets “cornered” somewhere while their oversized, slow-
moving predator overtakes them at a snail’s pace, amid much 
screaming. Predictably, their group gets split up, making self 
defense all the more difficult. While they’re separated, the 
creep who tried to pick up the girl lets his wife get eaten by 
the ants. When he rejoins the group he launches into a guilty 
rant about how the others are blaming him for the death of 
his wife, whom he claims he tried to save. Next time their 
boat is attacked by ants, they go for him --the ants know 
which ones are jerks!

 Meanwhile, the old couple hide in an abandoned shack, 
thinking they’ve waited out the danger, only to discover 
when they open the door that they’re surrounded. Of all the 
bad acting in this movie I think this scene takes the cake! 
The couple stand next to each other 
(“clutch” is too strong a word) and 
lethargically scan from side to side 
at the oversized ants with unfocused 
stares. Their expressions are 
something between dazed confusion 
and heart burn. Needless to say, they 
don’t make it out alive.

 The little band of survivors manage 
to reach civilization, only to realize 
that something about the locals’ 
behavior isn’t quite right... They get 
captured and taken to the infamous 
sugar processing plant. There, 
they’re forced into a queue with other 
zombie-like individuals, helplessly making their way toward 
an air tight chamber housing the queen ant, who emits 
a cloud of pheromones to each victim individually. The 
pheromones alter the person’s state of mind, causing them 
to bend their will to serve the ants, namely, supplying them 
with an endless amount of sugar from the factory. Joan 
Collins is the first to get it, but even her fellow prisoners don’t 
care, since no one liked her anyway.

 Meanwhile, one of their group members broke free 
and started dousing the facility with gasoline and then set 
it ablaze. He rescues the others and they sail away on a 
little dingy through the winding rivers of the everglades. 
Dampening the success of their escape is the nagging 
suspicion that the next town, and perhaps the whole 
country is now under the sway of the... “Empire of the 

 Great stuff. You must watch it, if only to laugh at some 
bad acting, bad special effects, and bad fashion from the 70’s. 
And while you’re at it, be sure to dispose of your radioactive 
waste properly!

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: