Looking Ahead

Emphasis turns to expanded minivan service

... "Looking Ahead" notes St. Pat's luncheon

by Jack Beckley, executive director, Council on Aging

Looking Ahead, March 2007

Melrose Council on Aging     

Eileen M. Olsen, Chairperson
Jim Driscoll, Vice-Chairperson
Kay McCarte, Secretary
Rosemary Behrle
George Nelson Torrey
Rick Mockler
Ted Bond


Minibus News

Mayor Robert J. Dolan has announced that the COA minivan will improve its service to Melrose seniors beginning in April, allowing them to book rides all day and increasing service during the summer months.

"I am pleased that we are able to expand this service to better serve our senior citizens,” said Dolan. "The minivan allows our older residents, who may no longer wish to drive, to stay active and involved in our community.”

"The minivan provides Melrose residents age 60 and over with transportation to help them live independently at home,” said Jack Beckley, director of the Council on Aging. "Doctors appointments are given priority, but they can use it for any reason: to go to the hairdresser, to visit a friend.” Beckley hopes residents will make greater use of the van, which will provide an estimated 8,000 rides per year.

During the summer months, the van will increase its hours to run all day Monday through Thursday, and until 1 p.m. Friday. There is a $1 per ride suggested donation.

"The city works together with Mystic Valley Elder Services to help our senior citizens stay independent and in their own homes for as long as possible,” said Dolan. "We have identified transportation as a critical need. Seniors need to be able to get out to the doctor, to do their shopping, and to socialize with friends, and this is one area in which the city can supplement the good work that Mystic Valley does. I am very pleased that we are able to improve this service to our senior citizens.”

Details of the new service, including the name of the afternoon dispatcher and the new afternoon telephone number, will be included in the April newsletter. In the meantime, for information or to arrange for a ride, call the COA office mornings at 781-665-4304.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
March 15, 12:00 PM


Please come to our St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. For lunch, there is corned beef stew, boiled potatoes, biscuit, and Shamrock CheeseCake for dessert. Following lunch, there will be musical entertainment by the very talented Patty Carpenter who just recently returned from a trip to Cork, Ireland.

Tickets are limited and go on sale March 1. Tickets are $3.00 ($1.50 suggested donation for the meal and $1.50 for the entertainment).
    
Vitamin & Mineral Supplements

With all the advertising promises and hype, it is hard to know what vitamin and mineral supplements to take. Find out the real scoop from Jennifer Goldman Levine, Clinical Pharmacist at Malden Family Health Care and professor at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy.

The public is cordially invited to the Milano Senior Center on Wed, March 28, at 1:00 p.m., for this rare opportunity to hear from an unbiased expert on the subject.

World War II Veterans Needed

Veterans are sought for an oral history project by Lisa Lord’s World History class at Melrose High School. The hope is to have veterans share their World War II experiences with students in one-on-one or small group meetings. The project, slated to begin in mid April, will provide students with unique opportunities to learn about the war from folks who experienced it first-hand, as well as with invaluable experience in interviewing and oral history techniques.

Veterans with photographs, medal and awards, uniform and equipment items, and other artifacts, are encouraged to bring them so that the students can get a truly multi-sensory experience. Information gathered during interviews will be used by students to write biographies of the veterans, which will be bound - complete with photographs - into booklets. All participating veterans and students would be given a copy of the booklet upon its completion.

To participate or for additional information, please contact Jack Beckley at 781-665-4304.

Jump Start Your Day with Breakfast

March is National Nutrition Month. Do you need to include more nutrition in your day? Join Candace Quigley, RD, from Mystic Valley Elder Services, for a presentation on how to make breakfast foods more interesting and nutritious. Handouts will be provided.

The presentation takes place at the Weight Management Group meeting led by Mary Joyce, RN, on Fri., March 16, from 10:15-10:45 a.m. The pubic is invited to this free presentation.

Senior Dining Program

Delicious noontime meals are served each weekday at 12 noon in the Milano Center. The lunch program is run in cooperation with Mystic Valley Elder Services. Entrees are listed in Looking Ahead’s calendar and the complete weekly menus in the Melrose Free Press.

To reserve a meal, call 781-662-6886 from 10:00-11:45 AM at least a day before you plan to attend. A $1.50 donation is requested for each meal. Rides are available by calling 781-665-4304 ($1 suggested donation).

Interested in a game of Scrabble? Call the Center and leave your name & telephone number.

Telephone Excise Tax Refund

The Telephone Excise Tax Refund is a one-time tax credit that you can claim on your 2006 tax return. If you paid long-distance excise taxes for service between February 28, 2003, and August 1, 2006, you are eligible for the excise tax refund. The refund, which varies from $30 to$60 depending on exemptions, can be claimed directly on your 2006 tax return

Even if you are not required to file a federal tax return, you can still get the refund by filing Form 1040EZ-T. AARP Tax-Aide counselors will help you fill out this form during the free AARP Tax Assistance at the Milano Center on Monday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. through April 9, 2007. If you want your refund direct deposited into your checking account, please bring a blank check.

Ride in COA Van

The Council provides transportation within Melrose for residents age 60 plus. The van runs Mon.- Thurs. from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

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. $1 suggested donation.

SHINE Program

Get help with your health insurance-related questions. Remember, until March 31st you have one chance to change the plan that administers your Medicare benefits. SHINE counselor Lillian Martin is at the Milano Senior Center every Wednesday from 11 AM – 2 PM. SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders) is an Executive Office of Elder Affairs program providing support and ongoing training. No appointments necessary. If you prefer, call Lillian at 781-662-6886 to schedule an appointment, or just stop in.


Bridge Club – Meets Wednesday mornings. New members are always welcome. Recent winners were: Bill Ciampa 1st, Mary Hix 2nd, Paul Frazier 3rd; Joe Fallica 1st, Vinnie Markelionis 2nd, & Bill Ciampa 3rd; 1st, John Lawry, 2nd, Frank Cain & 3rd Joe Fallica.

Duplicate Bridge Jeanne Lightbown & Alicia Roman N & S, and Mary Mihaljan & Vinnie Markelionis E & W.

Movies -- Movies --  Movies

Good Night, And Good Luck, George Clooney's Oscar-nominated docudrama pits TV newsman Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) against Sen. Joseph McCarthy and his single-minded crusade to quell the red threat at home. Despite corporate pressure to back off, Murrow and his CBS staff are determined to examine the lies and fear tactics perpetrated by McCarthy during his Communist witch-hunts. The impressive cast includes Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson and Jeff Daniels.

All are welcome to this free showing on Tues., March 13, at 1:30 p.m. Rated PG.

CLUB MEETINGS

AARP Chapter 1124 March 9 –– 1:30 PM at the Milano Senior Center. Business meeting followed by a presentation by Bill Patton entitled  A Visit to the Ballrooms of the Past.”

Melrose Veterans’ Club Meets Fridays at 9:00 a.m., GAR Room, Memorial Hall.
Womans’ Club of Melrose March 21, 11:00 a.m., Most Blessed Sacrament Church. Featured Speaker: John Henning, the WBZ TV Personality.

Ham & Bean Supper March 24 – 6 p.m., Green Street Baptist Church, $7.00 Adults (children 12 & under Free). No reservations needed. Call 781-665-7331 for more information. Everyone welcome!

Melrose Arts & Crafts Society March 26, First Baptist Church. Classes at 9:30 a.m. Victorian Goose Egg Hat, Calligraphy, Painting on Silk. Program, 1:00 p.m. - Pen and Ink Work.

TRIP INFORMATION

Minibus to Meadow Glen Malll Call 781-665-4304 to reserve seats on the bus.
March 5 - Leaves Cefalo Memorial Complex at 10 a.m.- returns at 1 p.m.
March. 12 - Leaves Julian Steele & McCarthy Houses at 10 a.m.- returns at 1 p.m.
March. 19 - 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. Checks payable to: The 200 Club.

March 14 Mohegan Sun Casino, CT Casino time: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Includes $10 Food Coupon & $5 Free Bets. Pickup: Cochrane House 7:15 a.m./Levi Gould 7:30 a.m. $21

April 10-12 Mystery Inn-Trigue Trip, Middlebury Inn, VT Trip includes two nights at the Middlebury Inn; five complete meals, sightseeing with majestic scenery at every turn. And, "we’re going to  solve a mystery and see some great sights!” $395 twin, $375 triple, and $495 single.

May 14 Beantown Trolley & Union Oyster House Two-hour bus City bus tour then lunch at the famous Union Oyster House with choice of broiled scrod or broiled chicken. Your trolley will depart: Cochrane House 8:45 a.m./Levi Gould 9:00 a.m. $49

June 27 Cheesecake Factory Luncheon & Cruise Starts with a memorable one-hour Charles River Cruise then lunch at the Cheesecake Factory offering over 70 items. Motorcoach departs: Cochrane House 8:45 a.m./Levi Gould 9:00 a.m. $68

MELROSE FRIENDS OF THE AGING

The Melrose Friends of the Aging gratefully acknowledges generous contributions from Doris DeAmicis, Rita Quinn Dietrich, Delma Harrington and Theresa MacDonald. A donation was also received from Jack Beckley in memory of Theodore Demitre.

Tutor Needed

The middle school, currently located in the Franklin School, is looking for a volunteer to help a 13-year-old seventh grader in a variety of subjects. Help is needed on an every-other-day basis from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. For additional information, please call Emily Rubinstein at 781-979-2299.

Second Floor Classroom to Get New Drapes!

The next time you come to the Milano Senior Center, take a look at the beautiful new drapes in the second floor classroom. We all owe a big THANK YOU to Barbara Bernardi, Angie Leavy, and Elena Sullivan who made the drapes with material donated by Crast Interiors of Malden. Thank you!

Living History Day is a Hit

In January, twenty-three senior citizens returned to Melrose High School to participate in  Living History Day.” One of the participants, Marie Ryan, reports on the day in the March issue of the Melrose Mirror at http://melrosemirror.media.mit.edu. There is also a link to a slide show on the Melrose Free Press site (www.melrosefreepress.com) with several pictures of the participants and students.

Problems Accessing the MBTA?

  • Have you had trouble using the new Automated Fare Gates?

  • Have you had difficulty using MBTA elevators?

  • Have you missed stops due to mumbled stop announcements?

  • Have you tried to access buses with broken lifts?

  • Have you had any other MBTA access problems?

  • If so, Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) Wants to Hear Your Story!

    GBLS recently settled a class action lawsuit requiring the MBTA to provide accessible and readily usable transportation to people with disabilities. We need to continue hearing about access problems so that we can ensure that the T is addressing those issues.

    For More Information or to Share Your Story, Please Contact:
    Alexa Rosenbloom at GBLS, (617)603-1564 (tel.), (617)371-1228 (TTY), ARosenbloom@gbls.org

    *GBLS is the primary provider of free, civil legal services to low-income residents of greater Boston.

    Middlesex Concert Band Presents  
    The Golden Age of Radio”

    A unique scripted concert recreating a radio variety show of the 1940s

    On Saturday, March 24, 2007, at 8pm the Middlesex Concert band will present "The Golden Age of Radio” at the Americal Civic Center in Wakefield, MA. The concert will recreate a radio variety show of the 1940s and will feature music from the Middlesex Concert Band as well as skits and singing by Boston
    Conservatory’s Musical Theatre students. Featured songs include  Blue Moon,”  As Time Goes By” and the famous theme from  The Lone Ranger.”

    Doors will open at 7pm for a themed raffle and refreshments. Tickets are $18 for reserved table seating, $15 for seniors/children, and $12 for unreserved seating. For reservations, call Chris at 781-279-0108, email tickets@mcbconcertband.org or visit our web site at www.MCBconcertband.org/Radio. Tickets may be purchased at the door based on availability. The Americal Center is located at 467 Main Street, Wakefield, MA and is handicapped accessible.


    Photo by Richard Legault


    Line Dancing is Fun!

    Pictured above is line dance instructor Anne MacGillivray, seated with her dog Joy, and class participants taking a break. The line dance class is held on Monday afternoons at 1:30 p.m. and new dancers (beginners too) are welcome. For other exercise classes, such as yoga, tai chi and aerobics, see the calendar in this newsletter.

                
    Volunteer Update Meeting

    This month’s Volunteer Update meeting, chaired by coordinator of Volunteers, Mary Beth Calnan, will be held on March 6 at 11:00 a.m. The meetings are meant to be informative with current or prospective volunteers encouraged to attend to express ideas, clarify procedures and ask questions.

    For additional information, call Mary Beth at 781-665-4304.

    Melrose Mirror Online

    The Melrose Mirror is an ever-changing online publication with lots of pictures and interesting stories. It is written and produced by Melrose residents, SilverStringers, at the Milano Center. Take a look at it at http://melrosemirror.media.mit.edu.

    The SilverStringers welcome new members to their Wednesday afternoon meetings at 1:30 PM.

    Free AARP Tax Assistance

    IRS-trained Tax-Aide counselors assist disabled persons and those age 60 and over with low to moderate incomes in filing their taxes again this year at the Milano Senior Center (no Schedule C, complicated D, or E forms will be prepared). Appointments with Tax-Aides will be available on Mondays, from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon, through April 9, 2007.

    Please bring: 1. A copy of your 2005 return; 2. All taxes paid for 2006 (withholding and estimated); 3. All 2006 income report forms 1099s, W-2, etc. If interested in the annual state income tax credit ( Circuit Breaker”) of up to $870, bring your property tax valuation, annual income and property taxes paid and paid water & sewer services. You do not have to pay state taxes to qualify for the tax credit.

    Call 781-665-4304 mornings for an appointment. Time permitting, walk-ins are seen on a first-come, first-serve basis - after the appointments. Occasionally, time may not permit accommodating all walk-ins.

    Educational Support Group

    The Grandparents & Grandchildren Growing Together educational support group now meets on the 1st & 3rd Fridays of the month (March. 2 & 16), 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., at the Stoneham Senior Center. Custodial, guardian and caregiver grandparents are welcome to attend this free support group that also provides free childcare while attending the group. The group is sponsored by North Suburban Family Network and the Melrose and Stoneham Councils on Aging with support from Mystic Valley Elder Services.

    Registration is required and may be made by calling 781-662-2722.

    Computer Room is Open
    for General Use, Training, or for Surfing the Web


    Senior citizens are invited to drop in whenever classes are not in session to use the computers for personal projects or to surf the web. Richard Legault and Bob Nelson also offer one-to-one assistance and classes. For further details and registration information, call Bob or Richard afternoons at the Milano Center at 781-662-6886.

    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 781- 665-4304.



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