Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, July 4, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page A:11


Mountain View News Saturday, July 4, 2020 



Dear Savvy Senior:

Can you recommend some simple devices that can help tech-challenged seniors 
with video calls? My 80-year-old mother has been isolating herself for months 
now in fear of the coronavirus and I haven’t been able to see her face-to-face in 
quite a while. Concerned Daughter

Dear Concerned:

Video chatting is a great way to stay connected and keep tabs on an elder parent when you can’t 
be there, but it’s even more important now during this pandemic as many isolated seniors are also 
suffering from chronic loneliness.

To help connect you and your mom virtually, there are various products on the market that offer 
simple video calling for seniors who have limited ability or experience with technology. Here are 
four devices to consider.

GrandPad: This is a top option for simple video calling, and much more. The GrandPad is an 8-inch 
tablet specifically designed for seniors, ages 75 and older. It comes with a stylus, a charging cradle 
and 4G LTE built-in so it works anywhere within the Consumer Cellular network – home Wi-Fi is 
not required.

Ready to go right out of the box, GrandPad provides a simplified menu of big icons and large text 
for only essential features, providing clutter-free, one-touch access to make and receive video calls, 
send voice emails, view photos and videos, listen to personalized music, check the weather, play 
games, browse the Internet and more.

A GrandPad tablet costs $250 plus $40 monthly service fee and is sold through Consumer Cellular 
at or call 888-545-1425.

Amazon’s Echo Show: With its built-in camera and screen, the voice-command Echo Show also provides 
a simple way to have face-to-face chats with your mom, but she’ll need home Wi-Fi installed.

Echo Shows, which come in three screen sizes – 5-inch ($90), 8-inch ($130) and 10-inch ($230) – 
will let your mom make and receive video calls to those who have their own device, or who have the 
Alexa app installed on their smartphone or tablet.

Once you set up her contacts, to make a call your mom could simply say, “Alexa, call my daughter” 
And when you call her, she would ask Alexa to answer the call (or ignore it). There’s also a feature 
called “drop-in” that would let you video call your mom’s device anytime without her having to 
answer it.

Available at, the Echo Show also offers thousands of other features your mom would 
enjoy like voice-activated access to news, weather, her favorite music and much more.

If you decide to order an Echo Show device for mom, be sure your ask Amazon to mark it as a gift 
so it doesn’t get tied to your Amazon account. For instructions to help your mom set it up, or if she 
doesn’t have a smartphone, go to, and type in “Help 
Loved Ones Set Up Their Echo Show Remotely” in the “find more solutions” bar.

ViewClix: This is a smart picture frame specifically designed for elderly seniors that lets family 
members make video calls, send photos and post virtual sticky notes with messages to their loved 
ones ViewClix from their smartphone, tablet or computer. Seniors, however, cannot initiate video 
calls from their ViewClix. Home Wi-Fi is also required.

Available in two sizes – 10-inch for $199, and 15-inch for $299 – you can learn more about this 
product at

Facebook Portal: If your mom is a Facebook user, a voice-command Facebook portal (see portal. is another simple way to stay connected – home Wi-Fi is needed.

Portals, which come in three sizes – the original 10-inch Portal ($179), the 8-inch Mini ($129) 
and the massive 15-and-a-half-inch Portal Plus ($279) – are like Echo Shows, except they connect 
through Facebook. With a Portal, your mom can video call your smartphone or tablet (and vice 
versa) using Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.

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.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …June Birthdays*

Joanne Thrane, Nellie Haynes, Dorothy McKay, Donna Doss, Mary Carney, Carol 
Handley, Marilyn McKernan, Pat Fujiwara, John Shier, Beth Smith-Kellock, Ann 
Disbrow, Joan Ellison, Anne Montgomery, Trini Ornelas, Martha Spriggs, Pat 
Starkey, Kathleen Coyne, Suzanne Decker, Jacque Persing, 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 


The City of Sierra Madre is following these procedures to provide current communication in light of 
COVID-19 and keep the Senior Community and families informed of essential information and resources. 
City staff are monitoring email communication daily, and although employees are minimizing 
direct engagement and practicing social distancing in the community, please note that voice messages, 
emails, and social media responses are being addressed in the most efficient and timely manner.

If at any moment additional information is needed, please contact City Hall Administrative Services at 
(626) 355-7135, Monday-Thursday from 7:30a – 5:30p, as they are taking messages and e-mailing the 
appropriate person.

For messages that may trickle in otherwise, please note our team is remotely checking voicemail daily at 
the Community Services Department, (626) 355-5278 x702.

Community Services Department will continue email communication with Senior residents and aging 
community members.

If you know of family members or neighbors who may benefit from accessing information electronically, 
and to receive the department’s Seniors Newsletter via email but may not otherwise have been included 
on an email group list, please send your request with email address to the following team members:

Lawren Heinz and Clarissa Lowe

Community Services Department will continue Electronic Seniors Newsletter on a weekly-basis 

Community Services Department will continue with mail drop-off of newsletters at the Sierra Madre 
U.S. Post Office Box (unless otherwise advised).

City Social Media will continue via Facebook as well as Instagram, and information sharing will include 
updates as details becomes available.

Mater Dolorosa - Sierra Madre Meal Pick-Up Program provides seal-packaged frozen meals, 5-per 
person every Thursday, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. at Hart Park House Senior Center 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. 
Donations are accepted. Call (626) 355-5278; x702 or 704.

YWCA Intervale Meal Program - Effective Wednesday, April 1, 2020

YWCA has transitioned their distribution of take home meals at the Sierra Madre Hart Park House Senior 
Center to a home-delivery meal program. Participants previously reserved for meal pick-up as of 
Wednesday, 3/25/20 were informed that they would begin to have their meals delivered to their homes, 
beginning Wednesday, April 1, 2020 until further notice.

For any additional participants calling in that are at a high risk and need meals delivered to, please 
provide us their name, date of birth (they must be 60+), address and phone number and Community 
Services Department will for-ward this information to our County Contact.

Food Banks Support: Seniors & Families:

If someone is outside of our local area and in need of a food bank, they can find one nearest them by 
going to and typing in their zip code; or call from the list here:

First Church of the Nazarene-Pasadena 3700 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. 626-351-9631

Wednesday 10:30 am-12 pm 

Pasadena Senior Center 85 E. Holly St. Pasadena 626-685-6732

Foothill Unity Center 415 W. Chestnut Ave. Monrovia 626-358-3486 Monday 1 pm-3:30 pm, 
Wednesday & Friday 9 am-11:30 am

Lifeline Community Services & Economic Development 2556 N. Lake Ave Altadena

626-797-3585 2nd and 4th Wednesday 12 pm-2 pm & 8:15 pm-9 pm

Morning Star Outreach Ministry 1416 N. Mentor Ave Pasadena 626-794-4875

2nd & 4th Saturday 11 am-1


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder



During the last several months, the Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage and I have spent 
some quality time together. I’m assuming this is quality time, but I will 
have to get second opinion evidence about that.

Overall, we have been enjoying our time together without any interruptions, 
as usually is the case. My idea is to take advantage of the situation 
at hand, and taking advantage of this, we have been joyfully doing.

In the beginning of our marital relationship, I 
thought I was the master at taking advantage of 
situations. I was happy about that because that’s 
what a husband is supposed to do. I was soon to 
find out that this was not necessarily the case. I 
don’t know how long this has been going on, but 
I discovered something in our relationship that I 
didn’t know.

We had just settled down to watch a movie together, 
and at the commercial, I got up to go to 
the bathroom. As I was getting up, my wife said, 
“While you’re up, could you get me a cup of 

Without thinking, which is my modus operandi, I 
said, “Sure. I’ll be right back.”

I went to the bathroom, then to the kitchen, got 
her a cup of coffee, and took it in to her.

“Thank you,” she said with her beautiful smile, 
“this will just hit the spot.”

I then made my coffee, settled down, and got back 
to the movie. I’m not sure what the movie was, all 
the Hallmark movies are the same as far as I’m 
concerned. As long as my wife enjoys them, I enjoy 
them too. I try to follow the plot, but I sometimes 
get it confused and have to ask questions.

“Aren’t you watching?” she said after one of my 
questions. “It’s the lady in the blue dress that did 
it. Pay attention.”

Then another commercial came. As I was getting 
up do something my wife said, “While you’re up, 
could you get me a refill on my coffee, please?”

Following my MO, I picked up her coffee cup, went 
into the kitchen, refilled it, did what I planned to 
do, and then brought it back to her.

With the most infectious smile, she said, “Thank 
You, I really appreciate this.”

At this point, I did not really know what was behind 
that smile.

The commercial was over, the movie resumed, 
and we were watching it together. I tried to follow 
the plot as best I could, but after all, it’s one of 
those woman movies, and a man has a hard time 
following along. At least this man does.

The next commercial came, and my wife said, 
“While you’re up, could you bring me some cookies 
from the kitchen?”

I got up, went to the kitchen, found the cookies, 
brought them back to her, and she said, “Thank 
you, I appreciate this so much.”

As I was walking to my chair, I tried to remember 
what I got up to do. For the life of me, I could not 
figure out what I went into the kitchen to do or 
get. I sat down and thought about it for a moment.

The movie came on, and I got engaged in it.

At the next commercial, my wife said, “While 
you’re up, could you bring me some more cookies 
from the kitchen? They were delicious.”

Again, I got up, went to the kitchen, got some 
more cookies, and brought them back to her. 
Again she said, “Thank you, I appreciate this so 

When I sat down in my chair, I tried to figure out 
once more why I got up and went to the kitchen. I 
know I got her some cookies, but why did I want 
to go there in the first place?

I don’t often have brilliant ideas that strike me. 
But suddenly, I had such an euphoric experience. 
My wife was playing me, and I did not know it. 
She was trying to see how much she could get me 
to do for her without knowing what I was doing.

I kept my thoughts to myself and thought about 
how I could catch her. Obviously she’s been about 
this for a long time.

When the next commercial came, she got up to go 
to the bathroom, and I said to her, “While you’re 
up, could you get me some more coffee?”

She stopped in her tracks, turned around and 
stared at me as I’ve never been stared at before.

“What did you say?”

At moments like this, it is very difficult for me not 
to break out in hilarious laughter. I held my cool 
and said, “While you’re up…”

She interrupted my conversation and said, “You 
figured me out, didn’t you?”

We had a little staring contest for a moment, and 
then simultaneously, we broke out into laughter.

She went to the bathroom and then to the kitchen 
and brought me back a fresh cup of coffee. Then 
she said, “Let’s call a truce and just enjoy the rest 
of the evening together.”

It’s rare that I catch on to her schemes, but I try to 
enjoy it when I do.

I thought of what Solomon wrote, “Whoso 
diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth 
a stone, it will return upon him” (Proverbs 26:27)

Whatever you do to others has a way of coming 
back on you.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of 
God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with 
the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in Silver 
Springs Shores. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-
mail The church web site 


If you have a blended family and do not plan for what happens to your assets in the event of your incapacity or death, you are almost certainly guaranteeing 
hurt feelings, conflict, and maybe even a long, drawn out court battle. 

So let’s start with clarity around what a blended family is and whether you have one. If you have stepchildren, or children from a prior marriage, or other people 
you consider “kin” who are not considered legal relatives in the eyes of the law, you’ve got a blended family.

Bottom line: if you have a blended family, you need an estate plan, and not just a will you created for yourself 
online, or a trust that isn’t specifically and intentionally designed 
to keep your family out of court and out of conflict. Period. End 
of story. Unless you are okay with setting your loved ones up for 
unnecessary heartache, confusion, and pain when something happens to you. 

What Will the Law Do? 

“Blended Families, once considered “non-traditional” families are swiftly becoming the norm. 
Currently 52% of married couples (or unmarried couples who live together) have a stepkin 
relationship of some kind, and 4 in 10 new marriages involve remarriage. So, clearly, this is no 
longer “non-traditional” but quite traditional, though our laws about what happens if you become 
incapacitated or die are still very much based on tradition.

Every state has different provisions for what happens when you become incapacitated or die, and the 
laws of California may not necessarily match your wishes.

For example, in California, all community property assets would go to your surviving spouse, 
and separate property assets would be distributed partially to a surviving spouse and partially to 
children, if living, in amounts depending on the number of surviving children.

This may not result in the outcome you want for your loved ones, especially if you have a blended 
family situation. If you have something different in mind as to how you would want things to go, 
there is good news. The state of California allows you to circumvent those laws, but only if you have 
an alternate plan in place BEFORE your incapacity or death.

Even within “traditional” families, I want to emphasize that having a full plan is the best way to 
provide for your loved ones. However, with “blended” families, carefully considered estate plans are 
often even more vital to avoid massive misunderstanding and conflict, and having your assets tied 
up in court instead of going to the people you want to receive them. 

Disputes Between Spouse and Children from Previous Marriage

One of the most common problems that arises in a blended family is that the deceased’s children 
from a prior marriage and the surviving spouse end up in conflict. The courts are filled with these 
kinds of cases. But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

When you’re considering all of this for the people you love, it’s important to have a trusted advisor 
who can help you look at the reality of what will happen if you become incapacitated or when you 
die. With the complexities of modern families, it’s far better to know and plan than to leave it up to 
the law or a court to decide. That way, not only do the people you love get the assets that you want 
them to receive, but you will also be saving them from years of potential legal conflict. 

Dedicated to empowering your family, building your wealth and 
defining your legacy,

A local attorney and father, Marc Garlett is on a mission to help parents 
protect what they love most. His office is located at 55 Auburn Avenue, 
Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Schedule an appointment to sit down and talk 
about ensuring a legacy of love and financial security for your family by 
calling 626.355.4000 or visit for more information.

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