Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead: Fall opens with health fair

... Frannie retires, Georgie comes on board

by Jack Beckley, executive director, Melrose COA

Eileen M. Olsen, Chairperson
Jim Driscoll, Vice-Chairperson
Kay McCarte, Secretary
William Ahern
Gene Baldi
Peggy Kenny
Rosemary Behrle

Sept. 14, 10 AM:- 1:00 PM
Mark your calendars for a huge Health Fair at the Milano Senior Center. Over 35 health care professionals and associated agencies will be providing a wealth of information. To mention a few, there will be free audiology and podiatry screenings, a technician testing body oxygen levels with an oxymetry machine, a message therapist, and a physical therapist to check canes and walkers to see that they are properly sized and are being used correctly. Look for more information on the enclosed flyers.

The fair is sponsored in cooperation with Hallmark Health Home Care. There will be free raffles and snacks. Hope to see you there!
Prescription Advantage Open Enrollment

Join Now! The state's Prescription Advantage program is open for enrollment September 1 - 30, 2004. It provides comprehensive prescription drug coverage, caps annual out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs, is available to everyone age 65 or older, and low-income people with disabilities. Low-income plan members ($17,503 or less for individuals and $23,481 or less for couples) pay no monthly premium!

Application forms are available at the Milano Senior Center, or by calling 1- 800-243-4636 or TTY 1-877-610-0241 or by visiting www.800ageinfo.com.

Retirement Reception for Frances

Please join us at the Milano Center on Fri., Sept. 17, at 2:00 p.m., for a reception recognizing Frances Bertulli's 11 years at the Council on Aging. As you know, Frances retired as the Milano Senior Center Coordinator in June and has since been volunteering at the Center. Come wish her and husband Al well.

Renovation Campaign Update

The Milano Senior Center Renovation Campaign recently received a big lift with a $10,000 anonymous donation. That brings the total raised to $140,000 toward our $175,000 goal.

This month, the design committee is meeting to assess the feasibility of moving the project forward despite not yet having reached our goal. It will be assessing the feasibility of reducing costs eliminating nice but not absolutely necessary design features or by phasing the construction.

Needless to say, the Melrose Friends of the Aging still welcomes donations. Names of recent donors, and a donation form are included.

Center Gets New Coordinator

Stop by the Milano Senior Center to meet our new part-time Coordinator, Georgie Lewis. Georgie started in August and will staff the Center mornings with the help of volunteers.

Afternoons, the Center will be staffed entirely by volunteers. Therefore, while you are saying hello, let Georgie know if you are able to volunteer on occasion. Thank you!   

Trash Fee Discount

The solid waste/trash fee is now on quarterly billing for fiscal year 2005. It is $37.50 per unit, per quarter. Applications for a senior or low-income discount are now being taken. Deadline for applications is Friday, Oct. 29. No applications will be taken after that date.
Senior Citizens [65 years or older] with incomes of $30,069 or less for a single person and $38,399 for married couples may be eligible for a 50% trash fee discount. Low-Income property owners who occupy their properties and earn $18,259 or less for single persons and $20,419 or less for married couples, may be eligible for a 100 % discount.

Qualification will be evidenced by submission of the first page of the owner's IRS Form 1040 for the year 2002 or 2003. If the amount as shown on the Adjusted Gross Income [AGI] line of the IRS Form meets the income guidelines, the discount will be granted.

Applications are available at the Milano Senior Center and Public Works Dept. in City Hall.

Looking Ahead

The COA monthly newsletter, Looking Ahead, is distributed in bulk to the elderly housing buildings. It is free and may also be picked up at the Milano Center, COA office, Library, City Hall, Johnnie's Foodmaster and Shaw's supermarkets.

If you prefer to receive Looking Ahead by mail, please send a $4 check payable to the Melrose COA, 235 West Foster Street, Melrose, MA 02176. Those who are homebound and unable to afford the $4 can receive the newsletter without charge.

Ride in COA Van

The Council provides transportation within Melrose for residents age 60 plus. The van runs Mon.-Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Medical appointments may be booked up to three months in advance. Non-medical related rides, such as for shopping, to visit a friend, bank, etc., may be booked after Thurs., 12 noon, for the following week.

Shoppers are reminded that for safety and courtesy and convenience of other passengers, there is a 4-bag limit on groceries.

To reserve a ride, call the COA office (781-665-4304) mornings. In the afternoon, you may check on a ride or make a last minute cancellation by calling the Milano Center at 781-662-6886.

There is a $1.00 suggested donation for rides.  

Senior Dining Program

Tasty noontime meals are served each weekday, at 12 noon, at the Milano Senior Center. Daily entrees are listed in the Calendar on page 6. The lunch program is run in cooperation with Mystic Valley Elder Services. To reserve a meal call 781-662-6886 from 10-11:45 a.m. at least a day before you plan to attend. A $1.50 donation is requested for the meal. Rides are available by calling 781-665-4304. There is a $1.00 suggested donation for rides.

SHINE Consultation

SHINE volunteers are ready to help with health and prescription drug insurance related questions.

For SHINE help, call the MVES SHINE program at 781-324-7705, the M-W Hospital Medicare Help Desk at 781-979-3000 or 1-800-AGE-INFO.

SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders) is a program of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs. Volunteers are trained to provide unbiased information about health and prescription medication insurance.

Bridge Club -- Meets Wednesday mornings. New members are always welcome. Recent weekly winners were: Ellen Durant 1st , Jean Pulsifer 2nd , Frank Cain 3rd: Nancy Mouradian 1st, Mary Mihaljan 2nd, Lou Froio 3rd; Lou Tedesco 1st, John Lawry 2nd, Jean Pulsifer 3rd ; Fran Vennochi 1st, Paul Frazier 2nd, Mary Hicks 3rd; Gloria Frazier 1st, Bill Ciampa 2nd, Henry Porter 3rd; Lou Froio 1st, Millie Wadland 2nd, Bill Ciampa 3rd; Mary Hicks 1st, Roxie Ananian 2nd, and Esther Parson 3rd.

Duplicate Bridge -- Meets the first Wednesday of the month. Recent winners include George Hughes Jr. and George Sr. N & S; Roxie Ananian and Esther Snow E & W. for July; Mary Mihaljan and David Marshall N & S ; Mary Hicks and Nancy Mooradian E & W for August.

Movies - Movies - Movies

Calendar Girls -- Comedy/Drama: A touching and funny movie about a British women's club, trying to raise money for charity, that hits on the idea of having its members pose nude for a pin-up calendar. Shown at the Milano Senior Center on Fri., Sept. 10, at 1:30 p.m. PG-13

Melrose Mirror

Be sure to read this month's COA Internet publication, the Melrose Mirror. This month, you will find out where to eat and go for a great scoop of ice cream.

The web site address is:


Community Associates of Melrose: Meetings resume in Oct. at the Highlands Congregational Church.

Sept. 10 -- AARP Chapter 1124 -- 1:30 p.m. Highlands Congregational Church, 355 Franklin St., Melrose. New members cordially invited.

Melrose Veterans' Club resumes Sept. 10th at 9:00 a.m., GAR Room, Memorial Hall. All are welcome!

If you want your club meeting listed here, please submit information to the COA office by the first week of the month before you want the notice to appear.


Minibus to Square One Mall -- Call 781-665-4304 to reserve seats on the bus.
Sept. 13 -- Leaves Cefalo Memorial Complex at 10 a.m.- returns at 1 p.m.
Sept. 20 -- Leaves Julian Steele & McCarthy Houses at 10 a.m.- returns at 1 p.m.   
Sept. 27 -- Leaves City Hall at 10 a.m. - returns at 1 p.m.

200 Club - Call Rosemary Behrle at 781-665-3258 to register for trips

Sept. 22 -- Green Mt. Railroad VT. Lunch at Inn at East Hill Farm. Board the Green Mt. Flyer Travel in Bellows Falls, Vermont for a scenic ride viewing the Gorge, covered bridges, and active farms & wildlife. $52

Oct. 15 -- Winnipesauke Turkey Train - Meredith, NH. $52

Nov. 19 -- Bright Nights at Forest Park, Springfield, MA - More than 2 miles and over 300,000 Christmas Lights, lunch at Salem Cross Inn. Meal Choices: Yankee Pot Roast or Chicken Pot Pie. Stop at Oakwood Farm Christmas Barn  $47

Dec. 1 -- A Hollywood Christmas Plus Hartford's Holiday Light Fantasia - Lunch included at LaRenaissance followed by a Christmas show like no other. Music & Comedy. $62

GO-GO SENIORS -- After bringing fun and activities to senior citizens for many years, Anthony and Mary Pagano have stopped organizing Go Go Seniors meetings and trips. Hats off to them for their community spirit and many years of dedicated service!  

AARP -- Call Janet Metzler at 781-662-1309 to register for trips

Sep. 24 -- Bourne Scallop Festival & Cape Cod Canal Cruise. Lunch - Scallops or BBQ Chicken $49.00

Oct. 1st -- Mystery Day Trip - Lunch -- Chicken Cordon Bleu or Baked Haddock $54.00  RESERVE EARLY

Milano Senior Center Renovation Campaign

Thanks to our Milano Senior Center Renovation Fund contributors, the Melrose Friends of the Aging has raised $140,000 toward its $175,000 goal. Donations are still welcome.

Some recent donors are Bertha Brickley, Linda Buckley-Fennell, David Choate, Coates Florist, Jim & Barbara Driscoll, Delma Harrington, Robert Harvey, Marylen Leving, Theresa MacDonald, Bernadette Mahoney, Mary Mahoney, Margaret McCarte, George Packard Jr., Geraldine Williams, Jean Zajac, and Laurice Zwicker.

The Melrose Friends of the Aging gratefully acknowledges contributions by John Johnson in memory of Dorothy Pinkney Johnson; Theodore Calianos, ll, M.D., Barbara Glover, Joshua Marston and Elena Sullivan in memory of Mary MacDougall; Anne Egan in memory of George Egan; Jennifer Malone in memory of her grandmother Mary Shenkus; and Jack Beckley in memory of Mary Mayo and Millie Walsh.  Donations were also made by Elaine Torres and the Choate Family in honor of Ruth Christensen's Birthday.

Afghan Raffle

Another summer is behind us with cold weather sure to follow in just a few short months. With that thought in mind, we are raffling off a large, beautiful bluish-purple and white Afghan made by Nina Gibelli. Proceeds from the raffle will go to the Milano Center Renovation Campaign.

Tickets are $1.00 each or six for $5.00. The winner will be drawn at Frances Bertulli's Retirement Reception on September 17, at 2:00 p.m.   

24th Annual Victorian Fair

This Street Fair is a joyous celebration of community pride. Main Street Melrose becomes a pedestrian mall on Sunday, September 12, from 11:30 a.m. -- 5:00 p.m. This one of a kind fair offers an array of displays by local craftspeople, businesses, and civic/service organizations.

Students from our Tai Chi class, taught by Rick Wong, will be performing at this year's Fair.

Reduce Junk Mail

To get a free Junk Mail Reduction Kit, call the Melrose Recycling Committee at 781-665-7876 or email melroserecycles@att.net and leave a name and address to receive a kit in the mail.
Save a Stamp: Use eBill

The City of Melrose's Collection Department recently launched eBill, a new online service that offers residents an easy and convenient method to pay their real estate, utility, personal property and excise taxes from any computer without the hassle of check-writing and mailing.

The new service is the initiative of Mayor Rob Dolan's Office, and Melrose officials feel confident that the service will be a benefit to all citizens. "This offers residents another method to pay their bills that is secure and accurate. The city government will benefit from the ease of posting payments electronically," said Dolan.

To make payments online taxpayers must register on the eBill Web site, accessed at www.cityofmelrose.org/eBill. After the online registration page is completed and the account is activated, residents can authorize electronic transfers from their bank account or by credit card. American Express, Master Card, Visa and Discover cards are accepted.

For information or to make a payment, visit the eBill Web site at www.cityofmelrose.org/eBill.

Class Costs

The Milano Center offers a wide variety of activities and classes, some free and others at reasonable cost. The days and times are listed in the Calendar on page six. Class fees pay the instructor and, assuming sufficient enrollment, help support the Center. The cost for Tai Chi instruction will be $30 for 8 weeks, still a bargain?

Strong Bones $25 for 6 weeks? Art Workshop $5.00 per class? Aerobics $3 per class? Line dancing $3 per class? Yoga $32 for 8 weeks or $5 per class? Wednesday Bridge $2. Given the high cost of maintenance and repairs at the Center, there is a $1.00 suggested donation for free classes.

While we do not like charging fees or asking for donations, we want the Center to be maintained for the comfort of our participants and to ensure that it is here for future generations. Examples of recent expenditures include $2,100 to replace rotting gutters, $350 for roof repairs and $750 to fix the air conditioners on the second floor.

Property Tax Work-Off Program

The COA is accepting applications for the City's Property Tax Work-Off Program. Applications received at the COA office by Sept. 17, 2004 will be drawn by lottery on Mon., Sept. 20, and numbers assigned for the 25 work-off slots available. Thereafter, if work-off slots remain, applications will continue to be accepted until all slots are filled. Applications, available at the Milano Center, COA office, and City Hall, should be returned to the COA Office, 235 W. Foster St., Melrose, MA 02176.

The program is open to income-eligible senior citizens (age 60 and over) and disabled individuals. Participants may "volunteer" in city departments in exchange for a reduction in their property taxes of up to $500, at a rate of $6.75 per hour of service provided. For senior citizens, the tax reduction is not considered income for purposes of taxation. Disabled individuals under age 60 are paid as part-time workers. Maximum income levels are $27,930 for an individual and $31,225 for a two-person household.

Newsletter notices/announcements may be sent to the Council on Aging, 235 W. Foster St., Melrose, MA 02176. They must be received by the 5th day of the month proceeding the month in which your event will be held. Questions? Call us at 665-4304.

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