a year since Anthem Opinions began publishing, and it all started with an
article written on Thanksgiving Day, 2012.
that time, we now reach 400+ subscribers, and hope we're accomplishing our
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...
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
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
wonderful group of individuals who, without any motive other
"making others happy", to be associated with day in and day
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.
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
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
honor of our 1st anniversary, and to a special
I'm reprinting our first article, an article that many subsequent subscribers may not have read.
of my pal and co-owner of Anthem Opinions, Allen
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.
WHY TURKEY on THANKSGIVING
This Thursday, our nation will be
sitting down with family to celebrate the American tradition of
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
And so (with the help of some
imagination), that is why we eat turkey on Thanksgiving
Prescription drugs are critical to health
and a significant expense for many people. This makes decisions about Medicare
drug coverage especially
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
How You Get Your Drug
You have two ways to
get Medicare prescription drug
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan
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
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
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
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
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 a “formulary.” Drug formularies may vary between the plans
offered where you live and from plans offered elsewhere in your state or in
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
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
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,
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
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
For each plan, you will also want to
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.
Spending...It Divides a Community and it's Publications
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
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
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
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.
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
NOTHING COULD BE FARTHER FROM
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
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
...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 association, while 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
Where individuals that have made comments on
David's Anthem Journal look at Vic's Restaurant in these
"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
"OK, let's compare the cost to
the $5 she spends on a slot machine when she visits her local
"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
"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
"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
"The fact is, I don't know any Anthem Today poster who doesn't love
this community and our neighbors, the people living in
"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
"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
"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
"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
"Thus SCA members are already subsidizing the operations of the
restaurant via the taxes. SCA pays the property taxes, Vic’s does
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
But this 'OTHER"
group is quite different than the former....as
evidenced by the
that "Meals on Wheels" make increasing stops to Sun City
that some residents have budgets that do not allow them to enjoy lifestyles of
"the rich and
that achieving fiscal responsibility "for the whole" is more important than
providing "wants" for the
consider those individuals not as fortunate as others, every bit as "classy" as some who look at "class" by examining material
That..is the difference that separates
community blogs...and YOU, as residents must determine what is, and what is