Looking Ahead

Jack's back! Looking Ahead for February

... everyone pitched in to help ...

from Jack Beckley, executive director, Council on Aging

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

Note from the Director

Recently I returned to work after total knee replacement surgery. Fortunately, the surgery and rehabilitation went well and my knee is feeling better than it has for years.

While out, everyone pitched in to help. Thank you so much. Special thanks to Georgie Lewis at the Center and Gloria Carroll and Ellie Forrest at the COA office for doing far more than their share. Thanks too to COA Chairperson Eileen Olsen and the COA Board for rising to the occasion. What a great group of volunteers! I’m also indebted to Chuck Person for doing a great job with the COA administrative work. He tells me that he loved the experience and the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people at the Center.

My apologies to those inconvenienced by my absence. Priorities now that I am back are seeing that the Center and COA are running smoothly and starting construction the basement renovation.

Thanks to everyone for the many cards and well wishes. It is great to be back at work and I look forward to seeing you at the Center.

...........................................Jack Beckley


A beautiful pastel painting displayed in the Milano Center lobby is being raffled off. It was generously donated by Bill Kadlec, our Art Class instructor and very talented artist is his own right. Buy a ticket and it could be yours! $1 for one or 6 for $5. The raffle will be drawn at the Valentine’s Day Tea.

Congratulations to Alma Parkhurst for winning the November fall arrangement raffle.

Valentine’s Day Tea

Please join us for Tea on Valentines Day at the Milano Senior Center. It will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Mon., February 14, 2005.

Everyone is welcome to attend. Please let us know if you plan to attend by calling the Center at 781-662-6886. There is a $1.00 suggested donation.

Free Tax Assistance

Free tax assistance is available again this year at the Milano Senior Center.

The Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program, administered by the AARP Foundation in cooperation with the IRS, assists disabled persons and those over age 60 with low-moderate incomes in filing their taxes. Tax Aides will be available Mondays, 12 noon - 3:00 PM, from February 7 (except Feb. 21), through April 11.

To receive assistance, you must bring your last year's tax return. Please do not come without it. You will also need this year's tax package and your current information. You may call 781-662-6886 for an appointment or just drop in the Milano Center on a first-come, first-serve basis - after the appointments.

Movies -- Movies -- Movies

This month's movie is the gripping spy adventure the "Bourne Identity". It stars Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a barely alive amnesiac with a pair of bullet wounds in his back, pulled from the Mediterranean by an Italian fisherman.

The movie will be shown on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 at 1:30 p.m. Assistive listening devices are available for the hearing impaired.

February is American Heart Month

In recognition that February is American Heart Month, how about starting a heart-healthy activity? Take an exercise class at the senior center. They are fun as well as beneficial. Check the calendar on page 6 for times when yoga, line dancing, tai chi, strong bones, and aerobic exercises are offered.

Senior Dining Program

Tasty noontime meals are served each weekday at 12 noon at the Milano 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. Rides are available by calling 781-665-4304.

Meal Weather Cancellation Procedure

In the event of a weather emergency during the winter months, Mystic Valley Elder Services' nutrition department may cancel meal service. This will be determined by 6:30 am on a bad weather day.

If meal service is canceled, announcements will be broadcast on Channel 7 WRKO and Channel 5 WCVB and on the radio at 680 AM WRKO. You may also call MVES at 781-324-7442 extension 300 for a recorded message.

Are You Eligible for a Tax Credit?

Some senior citizens (65+) may be eligible for the Personal Income Tax Credit (Circuit Breaker). This credit is not a refund on your real estate taxes so, even if you do not pay any income taxes, you may still qualify for the credit. Elders whose annual property tax is more than 10 percent of their annual income can file for a refund of up to $820.

The taxpayer's "total income" cannot exceed $44,000 for a single filer, $64,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly; and the assessed valuation of a homeowner's personal residence cannot exceed $441,000.

For renters, the law assumes that 25% of rent goes toward property tax. Accordingly, renters may claim as a credit the amount by which 25% if their annual rental payment exceeds 10% of their total income.

Additional information is available at on-line at www.mass.gov/dor by clicking on Guide to Taxes. You may also call the Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue at 1-617-887-6367 or schedule an appointment with the AARP Tax Aides by calling 781-662-6886.

Minibus Transportation

The Council offers residents, age 60 and over, transportation within Melrose. The van runs weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Medical appointments can be booked up to three months in advance. Non- medical related rides, such as for shopping, to visit a friend, bank, etc., can be booked after Thursday, 12 noon, for the following week.  However, if you wake up and decide you want to go shopping, call us and we'll try to fit you in. To schedule a ride, call 781-665-4304 before 12 noon. A $1.00 donation is suggested.  


Free Wellness Checks Friday, February 11, 2005 at 11:15a.m. Melrose/Boston VNA Nurse Cynthia Giansiracuso provides free health checks inclduing pressures, weights and more. Please drop in. Appointments are not necessary.

PODIATRY: Friday, Febrauary 18, 2005, Dr. Connolly provides foot care & consultations at moderate cost ($25). Please note an important change in procedure for booking foot care appointments. Contact  Dr. Connolly at 781-438-2525 for an appointment to be seen at the Milano Senior Center. Be sure to indicate you wish to be seen at the Melrose Senior Center because he travels to different centers.

FREE WELLNESS CHECKS – Friday, February 11, 2005 at 11:15 a.m. Melrose/Boston VNA Nurse Cynthia Giansiracuso provides free health checks including pressures, weights and more. Please drop in; appointments are not necessary.

Minibus Transportation

The Council offers residents, age 60 and over, transportation within Melrose. The van runs weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Medical appointments can be booked up to three months in advance. Non- medical related rides, such as for shopping, to visit a friend, bank, etc., can be booked after Thursday, 12 noon, for the following week. However, if you wake up and decide you want to go shopping, call us and well try to fit you in. To schedule a ride, call 781-665-4304 before 12 noon. A $1.00 donation is suggested.  

Bridge Club – Meets Wednesday mornings. New members are always welcome. Recent winners include: Bill Ciampa 1st, Lou Froio, 2nd & Millie Wadland 3rd; George Hughes Jr. 1st, Lorraine O’Neill 2nd, Ethol Whitaker 3rd; Neska Berthol 1st, Alan Faller 2nd, & Lorraine O’Neill 3rd; Al Mandrachia 1st, Betty Crane 2nd & Mary Mihajan 3rd; Arthur Hughes, 1st, Lou Froio 2nd, & Joe Fallica 3rd; Paul Frazier 1st, Al Mandracchia 2nd & Bill Healey 3rd.

Duplicate Bridge – Recent winners include Al Mandrachia & William Ciampa N & S and Mary Mihaljan & Roald Amundsen E & W and Norma Bellemare & Mary Mihaljan N & S and Henry Porter and David Marshall E & W.


Feb. 11 - AARP Chapter 1124 – 1:30 p.m. meeting at the Melrose Highlands Congregational Church. Joey Conzano – "The Man of Many Voices".

Feb. 19 - Ham & Bean Supper – 6:00 p.m. Green Street Baptist Church, 179 Green St., Melrose. Cost: $7 (children under 12 with parents, free). Public invited. No reservations needed! For more info call 781-665-7331.

Melrose Veterans' Club – Meets every Friday at 9:00 a.m., GAR Room, Memorial Hall. All are welcome!


Minibus to Meadow Glen Mall – Call 781-665-4304 to reserve seats on the bus.
Feb.  7 - Leaves Cefalo Memorial Complex to Meadow Glen Mall at 10 a.m.- returns at 1:15 p.m.
Feb.  14 - Leaves Julian Steele & McCarthy Houses to Meadow Glen Mall at 10 a.m.- returns at 1:15 p.m.
Feb.  28 - Leaves City Hall to Meadow Glen Mall at 10 a.m. - returns at 1:15 p.m.

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

Feb. 9 – Fox Woods Casino, Ledyard, CT. Pick up: 7:00 a.m. Cochrane House, 7:15 a.m. Levi Gould. $18

Mar. 15 – St. Patrick's Irish Cabaret, Luciano's Lake Pearl, Wrentham, MA. "A Show Stopper" & Luncheon. Luncheon choices: Corned Beef & Cabbage or Baked Schrod. Pick up: Cochrane House 10:00 a.m., Levi Gould 10:15 a.m. $52.

April 20 – Warren's Lobster House Warren's has great soup, salad and homemade bread that are included with a fantastic lobster dinner. Other options are steak and chicken. After lunch, shopping at the Kittery Outlets. Pick up times in next issue.  $49.

May 8-12 Ottawa & The Thousand Islands Stay at the 4-Star Hilton Casino Hotel. Includes transportation on a comfortable motorcoach, 4 nights accommodations, 8 meals, guided tour of Ottawa, including Parliament Hill, visit to the 1,000 Islands, including a beautiful cruise. $489.

Beware Hypothermia

The National Institute of Aging estimates that thousands of older people die of hypothermia each year in their own homes. The risk of dying from hypothermia is actually five times greater for people over age 75 than for the general population. Most elderly victims become ill at temperatures between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit! Therefore, make sure your home is warm enough. If you feel cold indoors-- regardless of the indoor temperature--wear more clothing.

If you rent, state regulations require temperatures of 68 F from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and 64 F from 11:01 p.m. to 6:59 a.m. If your apartment is too cold, notify your landlord. If you are having trouble paying for fuel, call Tri-City Community Action Program at 781-322-6284 and Citizen’s Energy at 1-877 JOE 4 Oil.

Milano Senior Center Renovation Campaign

Thanks to our Milano Senior Center Renovation Fund contributors, the Melrose Friends of the Aging is closing in on its $175,000 goal. Recent donors include Mary Cail, Myrton Haroth, Mary Manning, Marie Ryan, Marguerite Small, John & Alberta Turner, the Melrose High School Class of 1934, and the Wednesday Bridge Club. Donations were also made by David & Laurel Choate in honor of Ruth Christensen; and Charles Gill, Jr. in honor of his parents Kay & Charlie Gill.

The Melrose Friends of the Aging gratefully acknowledges contributions made by Jack & Amy Beckley, Bowstreet, James & Marcia Browne, James & Patricia Browne, John & Marianna Cerretani, Linda & William Dalton, David & Shirley DeRosey, Rita Quinn Dietrich, Florence Dorsey, David & Kathleen Driscoll, Nancy Doherty, Mary Edwards, employees of Harmon Law offices, Harmon Law Offices, Bob & Peggy Kenny, Hilde Kneissl, Sharon Kohler, Jim Milano, Eileen Olsen, Denise Pelle, Russ Priestly, June Raymond, Rhonda Schneider, Karen Smolens & Bob McCarthy, Andrew & Jill Sykes, Natalie Thomson, Ed & Peg Tremblay, Stanley & Beverly Weiner, and Ruthe & Edwin Wlodyka in memory of Barbara Shea Driscoll; Mary Calt in memory of Sister Isabel Goineau; Antoinette Helmund in memory of Ethel Cuff, and Rose Leone and family in memory of Duke Leone.


For your convenience, an application for a 20% water discount is available at the COA offices at the Beebe Estate. To be eligible for a discount on next year's bill, you should apply now. Simply fill out the form and send it to the Public Works Dept., 562 Main St., Melrose, MA 02176.

In order to receive a discount, you must apply each and every year. Please do not deduct 20% from your water bill because you anticipate using less that 6,000 cubic feet for the entire year. At the end of the annual billing cycle, this will be done automatically by computer (after July 1st).

Applications will be taken from Jan. 1st to May 31st only.
To qualify:

1. Applicant or spouse must have passed the age of 65 in the calendar year prior to that in which he/she is making application for the discount.
2. Applicant must be the owner of record and his/her name must appear on the water bill for that property.
3. Yearly consumption of water by the applicant shall not exceed 6,000 cubic feet for the entire year.
4. Discount applies only to owners of one and two family homes.

Storm Cancellation Policy

When storms force the cancellation of Melrose Public Schools:
  • The Milano Senior Center will close for the day.

  • No congregate meals will be served at the Milano Senior Center. To find out about Home Delivered Meals, MVES broadcasts announcements on Channels 7 (WRKO) and 5 (WCVB), and on AM radio at 680 WRKO. You may also call MVES at 324-7442, ext. 300 after 7:00 a.m. for a recorded message.

  • The Minibus will not run the entire day.

  • The CoA office will be open unless City Hall closes.

Tai Chi & Yoga fight the Winter Blues

Tai chi, yoga and other exercise activities can work wonders in alleviating the winter blues. Tai chi, taught by physical therapist Rick Wong, improves balance and increases strength and flexibility. Yoga taught, by Trudy MacDonald, increases flexibility, strength and creates a feeling of calm relaxation. Other classes to consider are line dancing with Anne MacGillivray or Steve White, aerobics with Kay Danieli, and Prime Time Fitness, an informal group that exercises to a video tape.

Check the calendar at the Milano Center for days offered and start times. A nominal fee is charged for classes. Call 781-662-6886 for additional information.

Strong Women Stay Young

Dr. Miriam Nelson, author of the best seller Strong Women Stay Young has developed The StrongWomen Program - a strength training specifically for older women. The StrongWomen Program will help you increase your strength, balance, energy and to look and feel better about yourself. Melroses own StrongWomen Program Strong Bones Osteoporosis and Fall Prevention Program meets 3-4 pm Thursdays at the Milano Center, 201 W. Foster Street. Contact Susan DeColaines, StrongWomen Program Leader at 781 665-2106 or Couminole@aol.com for further info.

Fuel Assistance

Tri-City Community Action Program (TRI-CAP) is accepting applications for fuel assistance now. Income eligibility levels are $18,620 for individuals, $24,980 couples, and $31,340 for three-person households.

Tri-Cap's Fuel Assistance, Weatherization, and Heartwap Programs help homeowners and tenants pay their home heating costs, conserve energy, and, in emergencies, repair, retrofit, new burners, and even replace heating systems

Eligible households also receive a 25-35% discount on their monthly utility bills and a discount on their phone bill.

For additional information, call Tri-Cap at 781-322-6284 for fuel assistance and 781-322-4190 for energy conservation. You can also visit the web site at http://www.tri-cap.org

Newsletter announcements

Newsletter notices/announcements may be sent to the Council on Aging, 235 West Foster Street, Melrose, Mass. 02176. They must be received by the 5th day of the month before you want the notice to appear. Questions? Call us at 781-665-4304.

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