Looking Ahead

Driscolls earn top billing in January 'Looking Ahead'

... JackD writes "Stringer" book, JimD boosts Milano funding

from Jack Beckley, director, Melrose Council on Aging

Looking Ahead
Melrose Council on Aging, January, 2009

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


Happy and a Healthy New Year! from the Council on Aging and its staff.



Last month Eastern Bank presented the Melrose Friends of the Aging with a $2,500 check (see story below). Pictured (L-R) Robert Rivers, President, Eastern Bank, Jim Driscoll, Rick Mockler and Elizabeth O’Hara, Regional Manager, Eastern Bank.

Melrose Friends of the Aging Create
the Jim Driscoll Endowment Fund


Following the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation’s recent $2,500 donation, the Melrose Friends of the Aging, Inc. announced the creation of the Jim Driscoll Endowment Fund to maintain and enhance the Milano Senior Center for future generations.
 
Friends of the Aging President, Rita Quinn Dietrich, remarked, “Creating an endowment fund for the Center has long been a goal. I am especially pleased that its name recognizes the tremendous, longtime efforts of our principal fund-raiser and Council on Aging board member Jim Driscoll. Through his remarkable efforts and abilities, we raised over $350,000 to create the Center in 1994 and over $200,000 in 2005 to finish the job by converting its basement into the beautiful carriage house lounge.”

Four unsolicited major contributions in the past year – two of $5,000, one of $10,000, and a $2,000 bequest from a former Milano Senior Center participant – provided the opportunity to create the endowment fund. One of the donors included the following comments with the gift:

“Melrose is very fortunate to have this beautiful Center established on behalf of its senior citizens. I recognize that at least some of the upkeep expenses must come from the community and I would like to make this donation towards future needs.”

The fund’s principal fund-raiser, COA Board member Rick Mockler, reports, “The total amount raised to date with the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation’s gift and a just-received anonymous donation of $1,000 is $26,000. Our hope is that the endowment fund will reach $100,000 or perhaps more.  Once the fund reaches $50,000, interest earned can be available for expenses and improvements that are beyond the scope or ability of the city to afford.”

It is not the intention of the Friends of the Aging to have an ambitious formal fund-raising effort for this endowment. However, quiet fund-raising efforts will continue, an informative brochure will be created, and announcements about progress will be made from time to time.

The Melrose Friends of the Aging will appreciate any comments or suggestions that you may have as loyal users or supporters of this wonderful facility. Please direct your comments to Rick Mockler c/o Milano Senior Center, 201 West Foster Street, Melrose, MA 02176.

Book Signing by Jack Driscoll

History was made in 1996 in the Milano Senior Center. That's when the SilverStringers began what arguably is the longest-surviving community group website in existence. Why is it significant to those who have *not* been a part of the Melrose Mirror?

Jack Driscoll is coming to the Milano Center at 10 a.m. on Mon., Jan. 5 to tell you what the SilverStringer experience means to you. Born and brought up in Melrose and the former Editor of the Boston Globe, Jack recently published a book entitled, "Couch Potatoes Sprout: The rise of Online Community Journalism". The SilverStringers are a centerpiece of this how-to book based on Jack's 18 years working in the field of community publishing with the MIT Media Lab. Following his talk, a Q&A period, and a tour of the website, Jack will sign books for those interested (cost: $15). Bring your questions and bring a friend and find out what this all means to you.

Are you Ready for Digital Television?

Effective February 17, 2009, all over-the-air television will be broadcast in a digital format. At 12:30 p.m. on Wed., Jan. 14, a Comcast representative is coming to the Milano Center to explain why this is happening, who will be affected and what the options are in preparing for the so-called Broadcast Digital Transition.  Please join us and be prepared!

Ride in COA Van

The COA provides rides for residents age 60 plus within Melrose. The minibus 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 or check on a ride, call 781-665-4304 mornings and 781-662-2030  afternoons until 3:30 p.m. A $1 per ride suggested donation is requested.

Storm Cancellation Policy

When storms force delayed openings at the Melrose Public schools, the Milano Center will open at 10:00 a.m.

    When school is cancelled:  
  • The Milano Senior Center will be closed
    and no congregate meals will be served.

  • The Minibus will not run the entire day.

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


To find out if Home Delivered Meals will be delivered, please check local television channels 5 or 25. You will also find cancellations on the following web sites: www.whdh.com, www.thebostonchannel.com, www.wrko.com, and www.myfoxboston.com.

SHINE Program

Get help with your health insurance related questions. SHINE counselor Lillian Martin is at the Milano Senior Center to help on Wednesdays from 11 AM – 2 p.m. and Heather Gomez on Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders) is an Executive Office of Elder Affairs program.

No need for an appointment, just stop in.

U.S. Post Office
For your convenience, representatives of the U.S. Postal Service are at the Milano Senior Center on Tues., Jan. 13 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. No lines, buy your stamps at the Milano Center.  

BRIDGE CLUB

Meets Wednesday mornings. New members are always welcome.

Recent winners were: Bill Haley 1st, Doris Sullivan 2nd, and Katie Brown 3rd; Rose Leone 1st, Ann Donoghue 2nd, and Katie Brown 3rd; Vinnie Markelionis 1st, Millie Wadland 2nd, and Ralph Leavy 3rd.

DUPLICATE BRIDGE December’s winners were Alan Faller and Joe Fallica, N-S and Arthur Hughes and George Hughes, Jr., E-W.

Movies -- Movies -- Movies

"bella" -- Two lost souls, Nina (Tammy Blanchard), a pregnant, unmarried waitress, and Jose (Eduardo Verástegui), an introspective yet troubled cook with a mysterious past, find solace in each other as their lives become unpredictably linked throughout the course of one incredible day. An uplifting story of love, hope and forgiveness, this remarkable tale is co-written and directed by Alejandro Gomez Monteverde.

All are welcome to this free showing on Tues., Jan. 20, at 1:30 p.m. Rated PG-13.

Community Dinner

Mayor Dolan invites you to Community Dinners on Tuesday evenings from 5-6 p.m. at the Milano Senior Center. Reservations are requested and can be made by calling 781-662-6886 by the Friday before the Tuesday meal. The dinner will not be held on days when the Melrose Public Schools are closed due to inclement weather.

CLUB MEETINGS

AARP Chapter 1124 Jan. 9 ––  1:30 PM at the Milano Senior Center.  
Melrose Veterans’ Club: Meets Fridays at 9:00 a.m., GAR Room, Memorial Hall. All are welcome!
Womans’ Club of Melrose Jan. 21, 12:00, Most Blessed Sacrament Church Hall.     

TRIP INFORMATION

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. 5 - Leaves Cefalo Memorial Complex at 10 a.m. - returns at 1 p.m.
Jan. 12 - Leaves Julian Steele & McCarthy Houses at 10 a.m. - returns at 1 p.m.
Jan. 26 - Leaves City Hall at 10 a.m. - returns at 1 p.m.

200 CLUB

Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve DAY Party, Holiday Inn, Mansfield, MA  starring Meryl Galaid. “The Best of Broadway and More” with “A Little Garland & A Little Minnelli.”  Lunch featuring escarole soup, roasted turkey dinner, oven roasted potatoes, glazed carrots, cheesecake with berry sauce, coffee or tea. The New Year’s Eve Countdown!
Pick-ups: 9:30 a.m. Stone Place; 9:45 a.m. Levi Gould; 10:00 a.m. Cochrane House.$59 pp

Jan. 30: Surprise Bag Bingo, Wright’s Chicken Farm, RI, includes motorcoach to Harrisville, Rhode Island; your bingo card is included in your trip price; all prizes will be “grab bags”; Chicken Dinner Family Style; all you can eat chicken, salad, shells with sauce, french fries, dessert, beverage. Wright’s Gift Shop!
Pick-ups:  Stone Place, 10:00 a.m.; Levi Gould, 10:15 a.m.    $44 pp.

Feb. 11  “It’s SHOWTIME at Spinelli’s” Route 1, Lynnfield, MA. Complete lunch at noon; your choice of Yankee pot roast or Boston baked schrod. “SHOWTIME” with Mel Simons – live music, line dancing, ballroom dancing. NO BUS! $44 pp. For Information Contact Rosemary Behrle, (781) 665-3258. Please make checks payable to: “THE 200 CLUB”

Head West and Help MVES!

Take a trip to see beautiful California and help Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES) at the same time! In collaboration with Collette Vacations, MVES is organizing a group trip to San Francisco. The dates of the trip are October 12-16, 2009. Proceeds from the trip will benefit the MVES Gap Fund. Please call MVES at 781-324-7705 to learn more.

MELROSE FRIENDS OF THE AGING
    
The Melrose Friends of the Aging gratefully acknowledges an anonymous donation of $1,000 and a $2,500 donation from Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation. Generous donations were also received from Walter Coffin, Marie Lea Shea, and Marguerite Small.

Writing Class

Ed Boyd’s popular writing class “Writing Bits and Pieces” resumes on Monday, January 12, at 1:00 p.m. Past members are welcome back as well as new participants. Please write something to bring to the first class, between one to five pages. Writings are shared with others in the group. Ed is also a member of the Silver Stringers group and can, if appropriate, help you get your piece published.

There is a nominal $10 charge for the eight-session series that Ed donates to the Milano Center.

CITY OF MELROSE SENIOR CITIZENS’
WATER DISCOUNT FOR LOW CONSUMPTION USERS


For your convenience, an application for a 20% water discount is included below. 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 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 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:

  • 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.


Custodial Help Wanted

Two substitute custodians are sought to fill in occasionally from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday evenings. In addition to custodial services, individuals should be able to move tables and chairs and do light snow shoveling if needed. Please contact Jack Beckley at 781-665-4304 for additional information.

DIRECT EXPRESS

A safe, convenient alternative to paper Social Security checks

The Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card is now available in Massachusetts. It’s a prepaid debit card that is available to anyone who receives Social Security or SSI payments, even if you don’t have a bank account. Sign-up is free and no credit check is required.

The Direct Express card is simple and easy to use. Your federal benefits will be automatically posted to your account on payment day each month. The card can be used to make purchases, pay bills and get cash at retail locations and ATMs nationwide. It is possible to use the Direct Express card for free – there are no monthly fees and most services are offered free of charge.

The Direct Express card is a safe way to receive your money, eliminating the need to carry large amounts of cash. The money on the Direct Express card is FDIC-insured (up to the maximum allowed by law) and the card account is protected by a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for ATM withdrawals and at retail locations. If your card is ever lost or stolen, it will be replaced.

The Direct Express card is being issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s financial agent, Comerica Bank. The Treasury encourages anyone who is eligible for Social Security or SSI benefits to consider using the Direct Express card.

Signing up is quick and easy – call toll free 1-887-212-9991 or visit www.USDirectExpress.com.

RMV Initiatives to Reduce Impact of Budget Cuts

The Registry of Motor Vehicles has instituted new hours at all branches delaying the opening from 8:30 am to 9 am. Hours of operation also changed at the 18 branches that close late at 7 pm on Thursdays. These branches will now be open 10 am to 6 pm.

The RMV will eliminate courtesy notices that are sent to customers for the following services:

  • License renewals

  • Mass ID renewals

  • License reinstatement notices

  • Vehicle Re-inspection notices

  • Change of address labels


Registrar Kaprielian noted that the RMV spends over $600,000 a year on the notices. Many of these service transactions are already available online at www.mass.gov/rmv.

Keep in mind that licenses can be renewed up to one year prior to the expiration date. For more information visit www.mass.gov/rmv or call (617) 973-8995.

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, starting February 9 (except Feb. 16), and continuing until April 6, 2009.

Please bring: 1. A copy of your 2008 return; 2. All taxes paid for 2008 (withholding and estimated); 3. All 2008 income report forms 1099s, W-2, etc. If interested in the annual state income tax credit (“Circuit Breaker”) of up to $930, 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.

H & R Block Tax Presentation

It’s tax time again. Please join us for an informative H & R Block presentation entitled, "What's new on your income tax return for this year," on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 1:30 p.m. Information presented will include ten common return mistakes and commonly overlooked deductions. Bring your tax-related questions

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 - George Nelson Torrey, Editor.


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