Looking Ahead

Tax assistance at Milano Center

... plus a seminar: Protecting your nest-egg

from Jack Beckley, director, Melrose Council on Aging

Looking Ahead
Melrose Council on Aging  
January 2008

Wishing You a
Happy and Healthy New Year!

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 are available Mondays, 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon, starting February 4 (except Feb. 18), and continuing until April 7, 2007.

Please bring: 1. A copy of your 2006 return; 2. All taxes paid for 2007 (withholding and estimated); 3. All 2007 income report forms 1099s, W-2, etc. If interested in the annual state income tax credit (“Circuit Breaker”) of up to $900, 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.

For appointments, call 781-665-4304 mornings. Time permitting, walk-ins are seen on a first-come, first-serve basis - after appointments.

Volunteers Needed

The Milano Center and COA office are looking for a few more volunteers.  Friendly people are needed to staff the lobby desk Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons and the COA office is looking for a fairly meticulous person with good typing skills to help with correspondence.

Please contact Mary Beth Calnan at 781-665-4304 for additional information.

Decisions & Financial Disasters:
Protecting Your Nest Egg

If you are concerned about your future, or if you are caring for a loved one and have questions about how to plan effectively for them, then please join us for an informative presentation to help you protect your nest egg and provide for your future. A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

Presentation topics include:

How to avoid going to a nursing home.
What the bank teller is not telling you.
How your current planning documents may fail you.
How to plan now for your future.

The presentation will take place on Wed., Jan. 23 at 1:30 p.m. Presenting will be Stephen Spano, Certified Elder Law Attorney and President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

Please RSVP by Fri., Jan. 18 to 781-662-6886.

New Storm Cancellation Policy

Starting this month, the Milano Senior Center will follow Melrose Public Schools’ lead with respect to closings and delayed openings due to inclement weather. Simply, the Center will close when schools are closed and will open late when there is a delayed opening.

Storm Cancellation Policy:

When storms force the cancellation or delay openings of Melrose Public Schools:

The Milano Senior Center will be closed. When a delayed opening occurs, the Center will open at 10:00 a.m.

When Schools are closed, no congregate meals will be served at the Milano Senior Center. To find out if Home Delivered Meals will be delivered, call MVES at 781-324-7705 after 7:30 a.m. Cancellations are also listed on Channels 5 & 7 and on WRKO 680 AM radio.

The Minibus will not run when schools are closed. On delayed openings, road conditions will determine if the minibus will run. Call 781-665-4304 to find out.
The COA office will be open unless City Hall closed.

Circuit Breaker” for Senior
Homeowners & Renters

You may qualify for $900 from the state if your property taxes (or 25% of rent) exceeds 10% of your annual income.

To qualify for the 2007 Circuit Breaker, you must be age 65 or over in 2007; have income of no more than $48,000 single, $60,000 head of household, and $72,000 married, filing jointly, own or rent residential property (primary residence); have the assessed value of your home not exceed $772,000; and meet the 10% Rule.

10% Rule for owners:  The amount by which property tax plus 50% of water and sewer fees exceeds 10% of income, up to $900. 10% Rule for renters:  Amount by which 25% of annual rental payments exceeds 10% of total income, up to $900.    

For help filing, make an appointment with the AARP Tax-Aide Program (call 781-662-6886) or call the Mass Dept of revenue at 1-617-887-6367.  

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 and 781-662-2030 afternoons. $1 per ride suggested donation.

Straight Talk on Health Insurance

Understanding the intricacies of the many health insurance plans is challenging, but help is available. SHINE counselor, Lillian Martin, provides unbiased information at the Milano Senior Center Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders) is an Executive Office of Elder Affairs program. No appointments necessary, just stop in.

Senior Dining Program

Delicious noon-time 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 a.m. 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).


Meets Wednesday mornings. New members are always welcome. Recent winners were:
Jean Pulsifer 1st, Martha Edgeworth 2nd, & Ruth Tracy 3rd, Bill Haley 1st, Vinnie Markelionis 2nd, & Elizabeth Cserhalmi 3rd.  Fran Venocchi 1st, Ann Donoghue 2nd, & Lorraine O’Neal 3rd.

Duplicate Bridge: Played the first Wednesday of the month. Last month’s winners were Esther Snow & Jeanne Lightbown, N & S and Gloria Frazier & Paul Frazier, E & W.

Movies -- Movies -- Movies

Hairspray: Set in 1962, this colorful adaptation of the Tony-winning musical (spawned by director John Waters' cult classic of the same name) follows ambitious teen Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky), who tries to integrate a racially divided Baltimore one watusi at a time. The film's star-studded cast includes John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Allison Janney, James Marsden and Amanda Bynes.

All are welcome to this free showing on Weds., Jan. 16, at 1:30 p.m. Rated PG.


AARP Chapter 1124 Jan. 11  ––  1:30 p.m. at the Milano Senior Center.  Business meeting followed by a presentation by Barbara Maffeo, RN entitled Yoga for all Ages.
Melrose Veterans’ Club Meets Fridays at 9:00 a.m., GAR Room, Memorial Hall.  All are welcome!
Woman’s Club of Melrose Jan. 16, 12:00, Most Blessed Sacrament Church. Program: Trivia contest. All women are welcome to join the Woman’s Club.


Minibus to Meadow Glen Mall Call 781-665-4304 to reserve seats on the bus.  There is now a two person minimum for the van to make the trip.
Jan. 7   - Leaves Cefalo Memorial Complex at 10 a.m.- returns at 1 p.m.
Jan. 14 - Leaves Julian Steele & McCarthy Houses at 10 a.m.- returns at 1 p.m.
Jan. 29 - Leaves City Hall at 10 a.m. - returns at 1 p.m.

200 CLUB

Jan 16 Casino & Lobsterbake, Chester House Restaurant, RI.  Trips Includes: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Mohegan Sun Casino ($10 Food and $10 Free Bet) Lobsterbake: Choice of Lobster or Chicken.  Pick Up: Pleasant St. 7:15 a.m., Levi Gould 7:30 a.m., Cochrane House 7:45 a.m. $55

Feb 1 Surprise Bag Bingo and Luncheon, Wright’s Chicken Farm, RI  Bingo follows an all you can eat Rhode Island Style Chicken Dinner. Includes Bingo Card & Bingo with “Grab Bag Prizes.” Wright’s Gift Shop open for shopping. Pick Up:  Pleasant St. 10:00 a.m., Levi Gould 10:15 a.m., Cochrane House 10:30 a.m. $39

Feb 14 Venus De Milo, Swansea, MA  Don “Who”, Family & Friend Valentine’s Party. Dan, Don and his family have produced a brand new show plus special guest Dan Ryan, “One of the most powerful singers on the East Coast.” Luncheon Choice: Boston Schrod or Chicken Francese. Pick Up: Pleasant St. 9:30 a.m., Levi Gould 9:45 a.m., Cochrane House 10:00 a.m. $49

For Information, Contact Rosemary Behrle (781) 665-3258. Checks payable to: The 200 Club.

Writing Challenge

You are cordially invited back to a second writing course offered by Dr. Ed Boyd called “Writing Bits and Pieces: Recollections.” Newcomers as well are encouraged to come to the first meeting on Tues., Jan. 8, at 10:00 a.m. Please bring something you have written, between one and five pages, to the first meeting. Writings will be copied and shared with others in the group.  

Dr. Boyd is a Counseling Psychologist and has studied writing at the Cambridge Adult Education Center and is an editor of the Melrose Mirror. A $10.00 suggested donation for the eight-session series is donated to the Center.


Please support your senior center by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Melrose Friends of the Aging.  

New Year - New You!

Last month, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that for people over age 60, “Being fit provides protection against mortality… whether they’re normal weight, overweight, or obese.”  

Please start exercising more frequently. Join the YMCA or come to the Milano Center for line dancing, aerobics, primetime fitness, tai chi, and yoga.  

The Center’s Thursday afternoon Strong Bones Osteoporosis and Fall Prevention Program will help you feel and look better too! Its first class is always free.  They follow the world-famous Strong Women Live Well Program which includes balance exercises, warm up, strength training, stretching and relaxation at the end of class. Classes are $4 for seniors, $5 under age 60. Scholarships available. You need not be a senior or woman to come, three men attend the class. Questions?  Call the instructor, Susan DeColaines at 781 665-2106 or email Couminole@aol.com.  


For your convenience, an application for a 20% water discount is included in the paper issue of Looking Ahead. To be eligible for a discount on next year’s bill, you should apply now.  Simply fill out the form below and send it to:

Public Works Dept
562 Main Street
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 than 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:

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.

Applicant must be the owner of record and his/her name must appear on the water bill for that property.

Yearly consumption of water by the applicant shall not exceed 6,000 cubic feet for the entire year.

Discount applies only to owners of one and two family homes.

Veteran Benefits Presentation

Veterans and widows of veterans are urged to come to a Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services presentation on financial and medical benefits. The presenter, Tom Tullie, speaking about the presentation says, “Many veterans, especially widows of veterans, are unaware of veteran benefits to which they are entitled that could save them lots of money.” The presentation will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 12:30 p.m.

Be a Friend – Help a Neighbor

Food pantries are overwhelmed with requests for help, not surprising with the cost of everything going through the roof. Let’s help our local food pantries, the Pantry of Hope at the First Baptist Church and the Servant’s Heart at the Faith Evangelical Church.

A bucket has been placed in the Milano Center’s lobby to make donating non-perishable food items easy. If everyone coming to the Center brings one item, it will make a huge difference. So, when you come, please plan to bring a can of soup or tuna fish, a jar of peanut butter, or some other item. Thank you!

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 -- the  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. During meetings members receive training and discuss story ideas.

Educational Support Group

The Grandparents & Grandchildren Growing Together educational support group now meets on the 1st & 3rd Fridays of the month, 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.

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

Donate Books at Three Melrose Locations

Got Books has three drop-off book donation and reuse containers for those looking to donate books. Donating books is a great way to keep them out of the trash stream and gives them a new life. The bins also accept CDs, DVDs, videos and audio books. They are located in the city yard and at the First Baptist and First Congregational Churches.

Proceeds from Got Books donation containers benefit Melrose’s general city funds and the sponsoring churches.

Can’t make it to the donation container? Got Books offers a complimentary pick-up service throughout MA and Southern NH. For more information visit www.gotbooks.com or call 978-664-6555.

CPR/ED Class In the event of an health emergency, you can feel a little safer at the Milano Center now that another CPR/ED (external defibrillator) training was held last month. Pictured at the training (L-R) are Mark Miller from Action Ambulance, Linda O’Brien, Elena Sullivan, Helen Buckley, Sarah Zahar, Anna Marie DeFilippo and Cindy Lake. The Center’s defibrillator is located just outside of the elevator on the first floor. The next time you’re at the Center, make note of its location so you can grab it in an emergency.  

Computer Help

Senior citizens are invited to drop-in for one-to-one computers help. Marion Ewell is available on Thursday mornings from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and Maureen Cotter on Friday, January 11 & 25 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. Learn to use email, send pictures, or use the internet to look up your ancestors, medical conditions, vacation spots, news, anything. There is no charge to use the computers, however a $3 suggested donation for is requested for one-to-one assistance.  

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.

January 4, 2008

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