Thursday, May 31, 2007
The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened a formal investigation into Sunrise Senior Living after previously requesting information from the McLean (VA) company about insider stock sales, the timing of stock-option grants and its accounting practices. The company, which operates 444 senior communities in the United States, Canada and Europe, disclosed the investigation in a statement yesterday but did not elaborate. The company has been conducting an internal inquiry into its stock practices and said in February that it would change its accounting for certain joint ventures, resulting in a restatement of about $100 million in profit from 1999 through 2005.
More in the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/29/AR2007052901851.html
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter signed seven measures Wednesday aimed at increasing services for the elderly and improving mental health care, including one that will expand the conditions that health insurers must cover. The new law adds such conditions as post-traumatic stress disorder, drug and alcohol disorders and anorexia to the list of covered problems. Biologically based mental illnesses including schizophrenia and major depressive disorder were already covered under the previous law. Ritter signed four other bills later in the day expanding services mainly for the elderly. They encourage the use of tracking devices to locate handicapped people who become lost, rebate more tax money to seniors and disabled people, increase funding for such senior services as Meals on Wheels, legal assistance and shopping shuttles, and promote long-term services for the elderly in communities.
Source: Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_6020003
Source/more: USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-05-29-kevorkian-release_N.htm
The BMA in Northern Ireland has spoken out in favour of free personal and nursing care. Speaking, yesterday, following the debate in the NI Assembly on free personal care, BMA(NI) Chairman, Dr Brian Patterson, said: "The BMA has been calling for free personal care for several years now. "We believe that many elderly people are being heavily penalised by having to pay for their personal care and at a time when they are most vulnerable and can ill afford to do so." BMA(NI) says that long term care, personal and nursing care, should be defined as including all care received by people unable to live at home without support. It should embrace long term care in hospitals, nursing and residential homes, and the health and social services support people receive in their own homes. Dr Patterson continued: "Free personal care also needs to be offered to anyone who needs it, irrespective of their age. Often young people suffering from chronic conditions will need long-term support and their families are frequently left to provide the nursing and/or personal care required. This must be addressed and changed. "We firmly believe that Scotland has got it right and we want to see a similar model put in place for Northern Ireland."
Source: OnMedica.com, http://www.onmedica.net/content.asp?c=40295&t=1
There are are federal employment and training programs and policies specifically targeted to help veterans seeking employment in the civilian economy. Transition assistance programs are operated by the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Department of Labor (DOL) to assist servicemembers as they prepare to leave the military. DOL operates grant programs to states to provide outreach and assistance to veterans in finding civilian employment. In addition, the federal government has policies that assist veterans in obtaining jobs with the federal government and federal contractors. This report provides a brief overview of these federal programs and policies. This report will be updated as needed.
Get it here: http://opencrs.cdt.org/document/RS22666
he Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation has named 16 college students and
recent college graduates as the 2007 Barbara Jordan Health Policy
Scholars. The Scholars Program provides students of color and those who
have a strong interest in addressing health issues that
disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minority and other
disadvantaged populations an opportunity to spend a summer working on
health policy in Washington, D.C. congressional offices to gain
first-hand immersion in the policy-making process.
“The Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars Program jumpstarts the careers of the next generation of health policy leaders,” Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman said. “The program’s goal is to further the Scholars’ interest in how policy impacts the health of underserved groups. Barbara Jordan devoted her life to promoting health and opportunity for all Americans, and she would be pleased to see these students continuing that work today."
See the full listing at http://www.kff.org/minorityhealth/bjscholars/access052307nr.cfm
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
A Dutch TV station says it will go ahead with a programme in which a terminally ill woman selects one of three patients to receive her kidneys. Political parties have called for The Big Donor Show to be scrapped, but broadcaster BNN says it will highlight the country's shortage of organ donors. "It's a crazy idea," said Joop Atsma, of the ruling Christian Democrat Party. "It can't be possible that, in the Netherlands, people vote about who's getting a kidney," he told the BBC. The programme, from Big Brother creators Endemol, is due to be screened on Friday night.
More at BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6699847.stm
Ed: Those Dutch! Coming up next at 9 p.m: Running Man...
Billy Hargrove is the oldest league bowler in the world at 106 and he has the plaque from the United States Bowling Congress to back up the claim. The elder statesman of bowling started in 1924 and has reached a few milestones along the way. He was the first to throw a ball when automatic pinsetters were introduced in New Haven, Conn. Hargrove also served as the president of the Duckpin Bowling Association over its last six years of operation. Hargrove bowls year round in two leagues, one in Decatur and the Billy Hargrove Seniors League at Yonah Bowl. As an accomplished musician in his younger days, Hargrove played with the such notables as the Glenn Miller Orchestra back in the 1940s. When asked what he likes about bowling, Hargrove stated, “I enjoy the challenge. After awhile, you just appreciate doing anything.” Hargrove's sense of humor is fantastic and friends relate that his memory is as sharp now as it was 40 years ago. He recently traveled to Milwaukee to acccept from the president of the U.S. Bowling Congress a plaque that designates Hargrove, “as becoming the oldest league bowleer ever.” Several friends and former teammates joined in the celebration on Monday to honor the world's oldest bowler. Hargrove greeted everyone and gave the ladies a good hug, remembering all from over the years. Hargrove still rolls a good ball and picked up a spare in his first frame of practice on Monday. He was just getting started as he continued a life time at the lanes.
Source: White County (GA) News, http://www.whitecountynewstelegraph.com/articles/2007/05/28/sports/sports02.txt
Italian archeologists have found in Egypt what may be the world's oldest indoor bowling alley, Egyptian media said Monday.
A spacious room, with a shallow lane running through into a pit and two heavy stone balls lying nearby, was found at an ancient site in the province of Al-Fayyum, 90 kilometers (56 miles) south of Cairo, and appears to be man's first attempt to create an area for a game that was to become the prototype for modern-day bowling, archeologists taking part in the excavations were reported as saying. The site dates back to the Ptolemaic era, which began in 332 B.C with Ptolemy I Soter declaring himself Pharaoh of Egypt following Alexander the Great's conquest, and ended with the Roman conquest in 30 B.C. The period bowling room was apparently part of a residential building, with papyruses, pottery and copper utensils found at the site in abundance.
Source: Russian News and Information Agency, http://en.rian.ru/world/20070528/66210723.html
Friday, May 25, 2007
Operation Hero Miles was created by Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger in cooperation with close to a dozen United States Airlines in October, 2003. When started, the program allowed troops stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan to fly home on leave for free. It now gives family members of wounded servicemen and women free plane tickets to visit their loved ones recovering at military hospitals across the country. Operation Hero Miles gives ordinary citizens an opportunity to help our troops in a very direct way that makes a real difference in their lives.
The program is brilliant in its simplicity. Travelers donate their unused frequent flyer miles to the Fisher House Foundation.
Donations are currently being accepted from the following ten airlines: Airtran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Midwest Airlines, Northwest Airlines, United Air Lines and US Airways.
I cannot think of a better use of frequent flyer miles. Act now by going to Hero Miles.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Geez, and I have trouble walking around the lake...Ed.
In the almost 21 months since Katrina, south Mississippi has gone from being a retirement mecca to a community that's struggling to meet the needs of its seniors. The three coastal counties lost hundreds of affordable places for seniors to live. And more will close in the coming months. Those closings rattled a few nerves inside the Lyman Senior Center on County Farm Road. That's where a tired and sometimes overwhelmed Beverly Troth cut squares for a new quilt. "It's been an adjustment," the 65-year-old said, referring to the lifestyle change she's endured since Hurricane Katrina came ashore. "There's a lot of depression trying to start over when you have nothing to start over with." Just when Troth thought she could enjoy the golden years of her life, Hurricane Katrina cut apart her Orange Grove home. Since then, she's seriously thought about leaving the community. "Yes I have," she admitted. "And you know I thought I can't go through this anymore. Somebody should be looking after me instead of me trying to get my life started, because I'm at the age now where I should be kicked back in retirement really enjoying myself and life." Katrina dealt a terrible blow to so many people on fixed incomes. Ginny Bair is 61-years-old. "We just don't have anything anymore. We don't have us anymore," Bair thought. "I've lost my freedom. I've lost my independence. My ability to just be me. And so many of my friends have, too."
>BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS ARTICLE: "Occupational Composition of the
Elder Care Industries, May 2005," by Audrey Watson (_Occupational
Employment and Wages, May 2005_, Bulletin 2585, May 2007, .pdf format,
Monday, May 21, 2007
From the Wall Street Journal:
As people increasingly go "paperless" -- using the online features of banks and brokerages to manage their accounts -- it's complicating the process of helping your heirs sort out your finances once you're gone. The problem: If you don't keep careful records, your family might not even know where to start looking for accounts. In a worst-case scenario, some assets may never be found. But at the same time, you don't want to recklessly list all your private financial-account passwords somewhere for a bad guy to find. That would be an invitation to theft. There are several smart steps to take to build a roadmap to your assets. The five key components: information about your assets, names of advisers, details about safe-deposit boxes, your estate-planning documents, and a few other important documents.
Telemarketing fraud, once limited to small-time thieves, has become a global criminal enterprise preying upon millions of elderly and other people every year, the authorities say. Vast databases of names and personal information, sold to thieves by large publicly traded companies, have put almost anyone within reach of fraudulent telemarketers. And major banks have made it possible for criminals to dip into victims' accounts without their authorization, according to court records.
The banks and companies that sell such services often confront evidence that they are used for fraud, according to thousands of banking documents, court filings and e-mail messages reviewed by The New York Times.
Although some companies, including Wachovia, have made refunds to victims who have complained, neither that bank nor infoUSA stopped working with criminals, even after executives were warned that they were aiding continuing crimes, according to government investigators. Instead, those companies collected millions of dollars in fees from scam artists. (Neither company has been formally accused of wrongdoing by the authorities.)
Source/more: International Herald-Tribune, http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/05/20/africa/fraud.php
Saturday, May 19, 2007
The ashes of late Star Trek actor James Doohan have been found in mountains in the US state of New Mexico, where they landed after a brief flight in space. The capsule containing his remains - and those of 200 other people - had been missing for three weeks, after falling back to earth from sub-orbit. A rocket operated by a private company fired the remains to a height of 72.7 miles (117 km) - the edge of space. James Doohan played Engineer Scotty in the original Star Trek TV series. He came to be associated with the catchphrase, "Beam me up, Scotty". Before his death at the age of 85 two years ago, he had asked for his remains to be sent into space.
Source: BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6671887.stm
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry decided Wednesday to enhance medical services for the aged at additional health service facilities to be established as part of its reorganization of geriatric care, by, for example, increasing the number of nursing staff on duty at night to care for terminally ill patients, sources said. The ministry plans to map out by summer details of services to be provided at the new facilities to be opened to accommodate elderly people after hospitals stop providing chronic nursing care in fiscal 2011. As an initial step, the ministry will present its draft plan to its panel tasked with studying what kind of nursing facilities the nation needs at a meeting scheduled for Friday. In order to reduce nursing and medical costs for the elderly, the government has decided to stop providing nursing services at hospitals and reduce the number of elderly patients receiving chronic care at hospitals to 150,000 from 250,000 by the end of fiscal 2011.
Read more: Daily Yomuri Online, http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20070518TDY03006.htm
Forcible retirement at age 65 will soon be eliminated in most workplaces in Saskatchewan. An amendment to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code received royal assent on Thursday and goes into effect on Nov. 17. Currently, companies under provincial jurisdiction can require employees to retire at 65 without violating the code. With the change, mandatory retirement will be considered discriminatory. Saskatchewan Justice Minister Frank Quennell said the law recognizes that older workers have experience and expertise, and can make meaningful contributions to the economy. Saskatchewan joins Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, where mandatory retirement at 65 is discriminatory under local human rights legislation. Despite the amendment, the Saskatchewan law has exemptions so that mandatory retirement is allowed in jobs such as police work and firefighting in which physical ability is required.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
In the next few months,
a handful of past acts of legend, minus some hair and appetite for late
nights, will take to the stage for a globe-trotting, nostalgia-tinged
encore following a slew of band reunions. Go here for more--including a really scary picture of Iggy Pop.... http://news.sawf.org/Lifestyle/37106.aspx
The Police, The Who, Sly and the Family Stone, Iggy Pop and The Stooges and what remains of The Doors are all heading once more for the road. "The desire to play never goes away and neither does the desire of fans to see them perform," says Giles Green, senior vice president of Sanctuary Records, an independent record label specialised in "heritage" music acts. "Every heritage act can return, perform, and find a section of the market that is interested, wants to revisit their youth, and re-live a time gone by."
In the next few months,
a handful of past acts of legend, minus some hair and appetite for late
nights, will take to the stage for a globe-trotting, nostalgia-tinged
encore following a slew of band reunions.
Go here for more--including a really scary picture of Iggy Pop.... http://news.sawf.org/Lifestyle/37106.aspx
n front of a classroom of chatty 12th-graders, Rose Gilbert is passionately demonstrating how not to fade and wither with age. Sporting a red plastic firefighter's helmet, she tells her 30 students that "I'm on fire," and she wants them to be on fire, too. She sticks a gold star on the forehead of one good-natured young man who has said something clever. As she dashes about the room — looking like a kindergarten teacher in a blouse printed with bookshelves, a sweater vest adorned with crayons and globes, and sensible Mary Jane shoes — she exhorts her "bubbies" to elaborate on the themes of the Irish writer James Joyce's novella "The Dead": spiritual paralysis, people's inability to live fully, the necessity of love. "In Ireland," she tells them dreamily, "they call rain 'a softness.' " They believe her. Why wouldn't they? Rose Gilbert is 88. With the retirement last year of a 93-year-old health teacher in Sylmar, Gilbert became the oldest full-time teacher in Los Angeles Unified School District, apparently the oldest in California and one of the oldest in the nation. She has taught for more than 50 years — first at University High School in West Los Angeles and then at Palisades Charter High School in Pacific Palisades, from its opening day in 1961.
Source: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teacher13may13,1,4203541.story?ctrack=2&cset=true