Sun City Anthem

Thursday, November 28, 2013

May the Lamp Burn Brightly

Happy Hannukah !

To all our readers of the Jewish faith, we wish you 8 days of...


Dick & Allen & Forrest & Carol & Norm

Anthem Opinions

There's Fun Out There if You Know Where to Find It

It's cold outside, but this town heats up in December.

Vegas...the Place to Be...During the Holiday Season

CLICK HERE for Full Information

or


See our Information Page, "Entertainment Bargains for Sun City Anthem Residents

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Remembering The Beginning

It Started on Thanksgiving

It's been a year since Anthem Opinions began publishing, and it all started with an article written on Thanksgiving Day, 2012.

Since that time, we now reach 400+ subscribers, and hope we're accomplishing our mission...ENTERTAINING you.

What began as a casual conversation between two fraternity brothers who hadn't seen each other in 40 years, asking ourselves if it were possible to enhance the enjoyment of a senior community...

...over the last 12 months we have made every effort to be a positive force in our Sun City Anthem community by expanding the dimensions of a senior lifestyle...

...and in making every attempt to fulfill that commitment, we've had the pleasure of adding valued individuals like Carol Van Camp, Forrest Fetherolf, and Norm Johnson, authoring our Information Pages, "The Garden Wizard", "Mr. Fix-It's World of Home Improvement", and "What's Up in Weekend Entertainment".

What a wonderful group of individuals who, without any motive other than
"making others happy", to be associated with day in and day out !

I can't forget others; namely Rana Goodman of Anthem Today, and the man in her life, Dan Roberts, publisher of The Vegas Voice, who have expanded our horizons even further in allowing me to write a monthly column in that newspaper entitled "What's Up !?!", introducing Anthem Opinions to their readers across the Las Vegas valley, in addition to naming me their  Vegas Voice Radio Talk Show Host, each Saturday morning on KLAV radio; and to that, also allowing Rana and I to be a part of the new "An Afternoon Affair" shows at Red Rock and Sunset Station.

There's my friend, Dennis Bono and his right-hand man, Mike McHugh, who have been so gracious in introducing me to many local entertainers in the past year, who now I call "friend".

So we're tried...and continue to try each and every day, to make this publication better and better !

And if we have, tell your friends...in order that they too can subscribe to Anthem Opinions...and become our friends as well.

So...in honor of our 1st anniversary, and to a special holiday...

I'm reprinting our first article, an article that many subsequent subscribers may not have read.

On behalf of my pal and co-owner of Anthem Opinions, Allen "Techie" Weintraub...

We wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving...and...a sincere thanks for making Anthem Opinions a publication that we believe, has been an asset to Sun City Anthem and to the Las Vegas valley.

Dick Arendt
---------------------------------------------


WHY TURKEY on THANKSGIVING ???


This Thursday, our nation will be sitting down with family to celebrate the American tradition of Thanksgiving.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vuj_TTOlnHA/UKe67ZF89pI/AAAAAAAAAEY/SICwgwSqr9M/s1600/Turkey---Cartoon+(2).jpg
We've all seen the portraits of the Pilgrims and the Indians coming together one day to celebrate a joint feast, but there is one question that few can answer.

Why do we eat turkey on Thanksgiving?

Actually, it's rather "basic, Watson," as Sherlock Holmes would often say.

It was cheap !

It goes back to the late 19th century.  You see, going to a butcher to get a beef brisket wasn't readily available and people looked at cows as being more valuable alive than dead.  Bessie could graze and provide milk for the family every day, but be steak only once.

So, how about chicken?  Way back when, they felt the same about the chicken as they did the cow.  A live chicken can lay an egg, but a dead one, well, can't !  Besides roosters weren't too tasty,  and their purpose was to strut the barnyard, looking for objects of their affection...to make more chickens.

Geese were considered, but they were more expensive than chicken to raise, and if you looked closely, not much available for "leftovers."

Venison was considered as a option, but not many people were into hunting for their dinners in Manhattan or in downtown Chicago.

Then here is pork or ham, "the other white meat."  Years ago pork wasn't considered fit for human consumption; and besides, the Jewish population wasn't too cool on choosing that option either.

So...one fine day, this big fat bird that can't fly came "a walkin" past one of those farmer's homes. There he was; no one had to feed it, and it was easy to kill because it made a big target for those rifles.

These creatures would spend about seven months eating insects and worms on the farm to keep themselves alive, and yet would grow upwards of 10 pounds or more.

So...by simple deduction, this became the choice of the American dinner table for the Thanksgiving holiday.

In 1863, while pondering the fate of the Union, President Lincoln, needing something to raise the spirit of the country during the Civil War, looked out the window of the White House one afternoon, and saw this bird walk by his door, strutting its feathers for all to see. 
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xTxnVVOnaKI/UKe8AEWIvLI/AAAAAAAAAEo/KYeNMOXd2R4/s1600/Abe+Lincoln---Cartoon.jpghttp://4.bp.blogspot.com/-md3AnqkTeLA/UKe7foZs2dI/AAAAAAAAAEg/K6kdqQ3PCbM/s1600/Turkey---Cartoon+(1).jpg

He recalled the early history of the Republic when Benjamin Franklin first suggested that the TURKEY be the national bird, was joyful that another bird was chosen for the honor, and so, because he could never remember having a crave for an eagle sandwich, he came to the conclusion that Benjamin Franklin's original suggestion would better serve the nation in it's stomach, rather than on the back of a coin. 


http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gBAp1hrV49E/UKe8UtBoWdI/AAAAAAAAAEw/vAWju7aGeCc/s1600/Turkey+Sandwich.jpg

And so (with the help of some imagination), that is why we eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day

.Happiest of holidays to all of you.

Nevada Says NO to Renewals during 2014

The state of Nevada will NOT renew individual medical insurance policies not conforming to The Affordable Care Act as of January 1, 2014
 

Nevada Says NO...to Individual Medical Insurance Policy 2014 Renewals
 
 

CLICK HERE for Full Information

or
 
See our Information Page, "Henderson...Las Vegas...Nevada...News Happenings

Madame Tussands...Something New for the Grandkids

Got guests coming in for Thanksgiving and looking for something to do with the grandkids ?

Madame Toussands has a new exhibit opening up that's sure to excite any kid after a Thanksgiving feast.



Marvel Super Heroes 4D at Madame Tussaunds


CLICK HERE for Full Information

or
Click on our Information Page, "What's Up in Weekend Entertainment".

Monday, November 25, 2013

Use the Garage for a Car....Are You a Disorganized Pack Rat !

Keeping it clean can be a chore..especially was we age.

We have a great idea to make it a lot easier to know what's in those old crates...and keep the garage clean.


Organizing that Garage Can Be Easier Than You Think....if you Think About it  !



or

Click on our Information Page, 

"Mr. Fix-It's World of Home Improvement".

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Winter in Vegas...Means Caring for Pine Trees

Winter doesn't mean you ignore the shrubbery or trees. Both are expensive and though many of us look closely at our shrubs, don't forget...

...trees need some Tender Loving Care too !


Holidays are the Time to Think About Pine Trees

CLICK HERE for Full Information

or

...see our Information Page, "The Garden Wizard" for full information.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Are your medications covered ?

Medicare: Review Your Prescription Drug Coverage
(part 6 of a series of 8 articles)




Prescription drugs are critical to health and a significant expense for many people. This makes decisions about Medicare drug coverage especially important.

The most recent article in this series discussed the need to understand your current Medicare coverage and any changes Medicare or your plan may have made for 2014.

 This article goes a little deeper into understanding your current prescription drug coverage and what you need from it.

How You Get Your Drug Coverage

You have two ways to get Medicare prescription drug coverage.

  • If you have a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C), your plan most likely includes drug coverage as part of the plan benefits. Medicare Advantage plans also provide all the benefits of Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and often additional coverage such as vision and dental care.
 
  • If you receive your Medicare benefits through Original Medicare (Parts A and B), you may have purchased a standalone Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D) that provides your drug coverage. Original Medicare does not cover prescription drugs.
Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans are offered by private insurance companies where you live. You may have many plans of either type to choose from, depending on your needs and where you live. It’s important to note that with most Medicare Advantage plans, you are unlikely to have or need a standalone Medicare prescription drug plan.

Some Medicare Advantage plans and most standalone prescription drug plans charge a monthly premium (in addition to the Part B premium you pay to Medicare). Plans may also charge a deductible, and you will likely pay a copay each time you fill a prescription.

Check Plan Formularies 

Each plan, whether a standalone drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage, decides which drugs it will cover. The list of covered drugs is called aformulary.” Drug formularies may vary between the plans offered where you live and from plans offered elsewhere in your state or in other states.

Drug formularies are often “tiered.” A tiered formulary divides drugs into groups based primarily on cost. A plan’s formulary might have three, four or even five tiers.

Each plan decides which drugs on its formulary go into which tiers. The decision is based on what the plan pays for the drug. In general, the lowest-tier drugs are the lowest cost. Lower-priced drugs are often listed as “preferred” drugs. Generic drugs are often lower-cost drugs.

Review the plan details of your current drug coverage and any other drug plan you may be considering. With a list of your current medications on hand, ask:

  • Are my current medications on the plan formulary?
  • If my drug is not on the formulary, is there a substitute that would work for me ?  (Ask your doctor to help with this.)
  • What tiers are my medications in?
  • What will I pay out-of-pocket (copay) for drug refills ?
You may want to write this information next to each drug on your list of medications. Keep the list in your Medicare file for reference as you narrow down your plan choices.

For each plan, you will also want to know:

  • What pharmacies you can use. Some plans require you to use a pharmacy within their contracted network.
  • Whether the plan has a mail-order pharmacy benefit that may save you money. You may be able to mail-order a 90-day supply of certain drugs for a single copay.
Gavin Walker
PH: 702-325-9585

Located inside Vons in Anthem Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9:30am-2:00pm





Thursday, November 21, 2013

Family or Individuals...Which is it ?

Spending...It Divides a Community and it's Publications


OR


If there was ever a manner in which to dramatize the difference between financial responsibility and lack there of, one only has to compare the commentary between David's Anthem Journal, Anthem Today, Anthem Opinions, and Today's Anthem View.

This community has a number of blogs/forums in which people have the opportunity to express their views, but the difference between them is glaring in terms of exercising financial responsibility.

One merely has to read the commentary of Anthem Today, Anthem Opinions, and Today's Anthem View and see that most arguments having to do with spending association funds make a case for RESPONSIBLE SPENDING, while those on David's Anthem Journal, is quite a different matter.

Rather than looking at expenditures through the eyes of an individual who actually incurs them, that publication and those few who comment there most often look at spending as a matter of insignificance...that other factors are more important, that when looking at the "whole", it matters little as to the amount being spent...because it will be spread amongst a large number of individuals.

Whereas one blog's supporters have an attitude of "your dues have not increased" or "the annual assessments are reasonable" , the others look at the issue quite differently. 

Those others...often referred to as "malcontents" amongst other derogatory terms, look at spending in a manner that more closely reflects "need" and "value" with the objective of REDUCING expenses to obtain an acceptable retirement standard.

In addition, those others...are portrayed as "wanting Vic's to fail", when in fact...

NOTHING COULD BE FARTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

Those others wish him success...but with HIS MONEY not YOURS.

And most importantly, those others look at unnecessary spending as draining a large pot that some day has to be replenished, rather than "drain it now, and we'll let those who follow us replenish it".

That "others" attitude speaks more for the "little guy", the one who may want a particular amenity, but may not be in a position to afford it.  Those are the people Anthem Today, Anthem Opinions, and Today's Anthem View look at first....

...believing that those who do have the means for "the finer things" should not impose their financial wants on others,  but instead accept a reasonable spending standard in a homeowners associationwhile financing their "extra amenities" themselves.

Whereas one line of thought says "spend", the other line of thought prefers "think before you spend."

What prompted this article was an email that I received from a resident who looked closely at "spending" and placed our latest restaurant's need for public assistance in a prospective, some of you might never have considered.

Where individuals that have made comments on David's Anthem Journal look at Vic's Restaurant in these terms....


"I appreciate having a fine dining place such as this to add to our upscale amenities list and maintain the reputation of our wonderful community"

"The majority of us seniors need to give them pats on the back and try to support them once or twice a month"

"OK, let's compare the cost to the $5 she spends on a slot machine when she visits her local casino"

"Like Carol said, where are the classy people in this classy community"

"We should all say how lucky we are to have, not only this fantastic view, not have to drive miles for a fabulous meal, and have people who are WILLING TO MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO KEEP US HAPPY, here in Anthem. We should all be willing to support Vics, at least once a month"

"Communities like ours, whether they are country clubs or Sun Cities, invariably find it necessary to subsidize on site restaurants, and this is something we should more actively consider,  This is especially true given our location and the competition Vic's has to contend with. One of our directors, Jerry Gardberg, made a motion to dispense with rent altogether. I think he had it right,  Such a move would proactively send the message to Vic's that we value having his restaurant here and will do whatever is necessary to help him succeed."

"Eliminating the rent altogether would help them, cost us very little, and in the long run, we would simply be acting in our own best interests."

...those comments made on Anthem Today or Anthem Opinions address the subject in an entirely different manner....


"The fact is, I don't know any Anthem Today poster who doesn't love this community and our neighbors, the people living in it."


"The sharply declining gross sales figures paints a dim picture of continued operation unless a gross monthly income of $60,000 will be profitable enough to stay in business"



"Don't forget...“we the people” of SCA must pay for all repairs and maintenance of restaurant equipment"



"A privately owned restaurant is not an amenity, no matter who says it is. If I choose to make an investment, that is my choice not the choice of a bunch of people who want something for their own self satisfaction."



"Whether it's a pack of cigarettes, a bottle of beer, or a coffee at Starbucks---those are the things I choose not to spend on myself. But I am forced by 7 people, who do not know me in addition to any other concessions extended to keep Vic's in operation."

"The $24,000 reduction of rent is only a small portion of our yearly expense for restaurant capital improvements and reserves.or my situation from Adam, to spend it to maintain a business I choose under my own free will not to patronize."


"My choices of what I spend my remaining retirement funds on are decided by my medical needs, my mortgage requirements, my utility use, and food and fuel - and should not be decided by 7 people who want a place close by to get lunch at a discount for themselves"

"The restaurant is owned and serviced by Vic's. We own the property that we rent out. NO landlord supports a tenant with payments for equipment and its' maintenance. No landlord rewrites the lease in midstream."

"Thus SCA members are already subsidizing the operations of the restaurant via the taxes. SCA pays the property taxes, Vic’s does not."

I know a number of the individuals in this later group...and in just about every case....these individuals are in a financial position where dollars spent one way or another, would not affect their lives to any major extent...

But this 'OTHER" group is quite different than the former....as evidenced by the commentaries.

...they know that "Meals on Wheels" make increasing stops to Sun City Residents...

..they know that some residents have budgets that do not allow them to enjoy lifestyles of "the rich and famous"....

...they know that achieving fiscal responsibility "for the whole" is more important than providing "wants" for the rich....

...and consider those individuals not as fortunate as others,  every bit as "classy" as some who look at "class" by examining material possessions.

That..is the difference that separates community blogs...and YOU, as residents must determine what is, and what is not...CLASS !

...those who only look at THEMSELVES...
...or...

...those who look at ALL TOGETHER as a FAMILY.

Dick Arendt