President’s Message … Ken Schieck

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!  Even though our general meeting is on Tuesday, February 18, let’s wear red, pink, and lilac.

Scams against the elderly are common and nothing to laugh about; many seniors have been scammed out of money and even their life savings.  However, some scams are so poorly planned and thought out that they deserve ridicule.

One such is what I call the “IRS scam”; some of you are probably familiar with the female robot voice which says something to the effect that “the IRS has issued an outstanding warrant for your arrest.  If you do not report to the magistrate, you will be expired in four days.”  First of all, the scammer doesn’t seem to know that there are no magistrate courts in the U.S.; those exist in Great Britain.  Second of all, what does it mean to be expired?  Maybe the robot thinks we are all library cards or gift cards/coupons that are about to outlive their usefulness?  I wish I had a sports whistle to blow into the phone – but then there might be a real person behind the robot, and I don’t want to damage their eardrum.  Remember:  THE IRS WILL ONLY CONTACT YOU BY SNAIL MAIL.

Please consider attending Campbell Heritage Day on Monday, February 17 (day before our general meeting) at the Orchard City Banquet Hall (on the same grounds as our meeting room but right off Winchester); in years of continuous annual celebrations, this event is second only to the Rose Bowl.  Lunch catered by Mama Mia’s, and cost is $20.  For more info, go to Brown Paper Tickets at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4500884.

Program … Lynda Martinez & Paul Levine

The speaker for our February 18 meeting will be Ron Berube.  He has been a volunteer instructor-District Coordinator with the AARP Driver Safety Program for 8+ years and will talk to us about the benefits of being an AARP member in reference to what the AARP Smart Driver program has to offer not only to seniors but to everyone who is adventurous and brave enough to drive on California’s highways and byways.

Ron spent over 35 year in the banking industry, having last worked with the FDIC as a Mortgage Risk Analyst.  He is a graduate of St. Mary’s College (Moraga) and holds lifetime teaching credentials in the following areas of study:  Communications, Banking and Finance, and California Real Estate required classes for licensing. He is a California native and has been a San Jose resident since 1968.

Legislative News … Daniel Nnorth and Claudia Schott

We have been doing great using our voices and sharing our personal stories with elected officials to help AARP continue our important work serving older adults.  There are two calls to action at the Federal level awaiting our help:

HR 1230 POWADA (Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act) — Please call our Senators to ask them to vote “aye” on this bill.  This one passed the House and went to the senate on the 16th of January and is now in the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Don’t forget to urge Senators Feinstein and Harris to vote on HR 3 and encourage their Senate colleagues to also support HR 3 with an “aye” vote.  The Lower Drug Costs Now Act passed the House in December and now rests in the Senate’s hands.  Help make sure this passes!

On the State level, advocacy focus right now remains on the Master Plan for Aging.  If you haven’t done this so far, please access the MPS site and submit your ideas and feedback.  There is an upgraded website for the MPS:  engageCA.org.

Now that both Congress and the State Legislature are back from their recesses, we shall have lots more to talk about in the coming months.  That’s all for now.  Happy Valentine’s Day.

Community Service … Leona Fails

Thanks to all the AARP members, we had a total of almost 3,000 volunteer hours recorded for 2019.  Way to go!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

AARP FREE income-tax assistance at the Campbell Adult Center — Room E-46 — Tuesdays 1:00-4:00 and Fridays 9:00-12:00.  Appointments are not necessary but can be made in person in Room E-46 during the Tuesday/Friday operating hours.

AARP Movies for Grownups

Interested in “going to the movies” on AARP?

Option #1:  Members can monitor https://www.aarp.org/entertainment/movies-for-grownups/.  Use the link to locate the “Free Movie Screening Near You.”  Often there will be a couple of movies listed.  When the movie listing indicates that “registration is open,” often nationwide, click on it and register for the local screening.

Option #2:  If you want to receive notification of upcoming movies (instead of looking them up yourself, as described above), then keep reading: Grace-Sonia Melanio is the San Jose-based AARP Community Program Specialist and usually handles the local movie screenings.  She says the movie studios often want to influence the personal profile of who gets invited, so don’t expect to get invited to every movie.  Send Grace-Sonia an email, at gmelanio@aarp.org, if you want to be on the Movies for Grownups email link for AARP San Jose.