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“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”
– Henry David Thoreau  
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  Volume No. 14 Issue No. 10 October 2017  

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  AARP Black Forest
  Utilities conservation
  Submitted by Stanley Beckner

   Erica Meyer, community outreach coordinator for Mountain View Electric Association Inc., assisted by Kevin Holbrook and Sarah Schaefer, communications supervisor for MVEA, discussed alternatives that ordinary citizens can pursue to conserve power. Erica presented a video overview describing where electrical power is obtained and how it gets to a residence.
   
   She also outlined how energy conservation activities can significantly reduce utility costs, and directed people to http://MVEA.coop for energy savings tips. Those tips include an “energy calculator” that determines the energy used in electrical heating systems, appliances, hot tubs and outdoor lights; and how to reduce their impact on a monthly electric bill. Erica Meyer can be reached at 719-494-2654.
   
   Patricia Dix, chapter vice president, welcomed Charles Karlstrum, chapter president, and his wife, Shirley, after their extended stay out of town. Pat reminded members of the June 10 shredding event, a volunteer event in late June, the annual chapter picnic in July and the chapter’s 45th anniversary in September. The anniversary event will include a visit by Jeremiah Mora from AARP Colorado in Denver. Longevity badges will also be awarded at that time.
   
   Everyone enjoyed a delicious potluck meal followed by drawings for door prizes and an AARP T-shirt give-away.  
   
   The June 14 chapter meeting program will be presented by Claire Anderson, executive director for Innovations in Aging Collaborative in Colorado Springs. She will speak on what it means to be part of Colorado Springs as an “Age Friendly Community.”
   
   The invitation to visit a Chapter 1100 meeting is always extended to individuals who would like to be involved in community service activities and share in the chapter fellowship. For meeting details, contact Chuck at 303-807-6933 or Pat at 719-481-5347. Check out the chapter website at http://aarpchapter1100blackforest.weebly.com/index.html.
  
AARP Black Forest mothers: Ray Rozak presented a long-stemmed rose to each of the mothers present at the May AARP chapter meeting. Photo submitted
 
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  FREE shredding opportunity

   Don’t forget the FREE shredding opportunity on June 10, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Black Forest Lutheran Church, 12455 Black Forest Road. This will be your annual opportunity to shred your old tax information and personal paper documents safely. All of the professionally shredded material will be recycled in your presence. Please, no plastic bags or 3-ring binders, as they will not shred.
   
   AARP ElderWatch, the Black Forest AARP Chapter 1100 and the Black Forest Lutheran Church provide this shredding event as a community service primarily to help citizens avoid scams and ID theft.
   
   You can donate non-perishable food items or cash if you wish. All donations will go to Black Forest Cares, a local food pantry. Look for the bright color T-shirts and the sign at the shredding entrance on Black Forest Road.
  
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  No fee senior social

   A monthly informal occasion for seniors is the no fee event. They meet in the Black Forest Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall at 12455 Black Forest Road in Black Forest.
   
   Seniors are welcome at the Black Forest AARP and Black Forest Lutheran Church monthly informal gathering, held at the Black Forest Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall at 12455 Black Forest Road.
   
   The social is from 1 to 4 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month, and all are invited to socialize, play games, work on hobbies or to simply sit and talk about “whatever.” Light refreshments are available. For more information, contact Lavonne at 719-494-1276.
   
  
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  Beware of rabies

   The Colorado Department of Agriculture Animal Health Division has cited a problem with rabies in the state. At least two dogs have contracted rabies, and 30 plus rabid skunks have been confirmed in nine Colorado counties.
   
   In addition to ensuring that pets and livestock are vaccinated properly against rabies, here are additional prevention steps:
  • Be aware of skunks out during the day. This is abnormal behavior and the animals should be avoided.
  • Be aware of areas that can be suitable habitat for skunks such as under buildings or piles of wood and under stored equipment.
  • Don’t feed wild animals or allow your pets around them. Be sure to teach children to stay away from wild animals. Avoid leaving pet food outside as that may attract a wild animal.
  • Contact your veterinarian right away if any of your animals are bitten or scratched by any wild animal, particularly skunks, bats, foxes or raccoons.
  • If your animals exhibit any dramatic behavioral changes, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.  Isolate and avoid contact with these animals if possible.
  • Rabies vaccination should be considered for horses and other equines, breeding livestock, cattle or other livestock that are housed where skunks may live.
  • If you must remove a dead skunk on your property, wear rubber gloves or lift the carcass with a shovel or other tool, and double-bag it for the trash. Do not directly touch the skunk with bare hands.

   For additional information, visit https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/rabies-data.
  
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  On the Street in Black Forest
  By Breeanna Jent

   As it poured rain on a Tuesday afternoon, The New Falcon Herald spoke with Ellen Warren — a semi-new transplant to Black Forest — as she grabbed a quick bite at Subway. Warren, age 46, moved to Black Forest about two months ago. She actually lived in the area as a child before moving with her parents to the Midwest when she was about 2 years old. After spending most of her life in Michigan, the self-taught musician came back to her roots.
   
   NFH: What is your favorite thing about Black Forest?
   Warren: The peace and quiet! Being surrounded by the forest. It makes me feel at peace.
   
   NFH: What was the best vacation you ever took and why was it the best?
   Warren: Disney World with (my three) kids. They were younger. It was the best because it was a fun time, and we made a lot of good memories.
   
   NFH: Name three things you’d bring with you if you were stranded on a desert island.
   Warren: I’d bring some drinking water, my guitar and a rowboat (ha).
   
   NFH: If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with all the extra time?
   Warren: I’d learn more music, maybe read more. I’d also get all my chores done.
   
   NFH: How do you like to spend your time?
   Warren: I like to play music. Guitar has been my hobby since I was about 20 or 21. I taught myself. It’s so relaxing, and music has helped me get through a lot in my years.
   
   NFH: What animal best represents you and why?
   Warren: Oh, that’s hard! A wolf. Wolves are strong, independent and resourceful. I like to think I have all those qualities, too.
   
   NFH: How would you spend $1 million?
   Warren: This one I know because I’ve fantasized about it before! I would pay off my mortgage and the car. Or better yet, I’d take a trip around the world, or maybe just Europe. I’d give some to my kids and help them pay for some college.
   
   NFH: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
   Warren: Maybe enjoying some grandkids. I don’t have any yet! I’m looking forward to it. It’s always fun to be grandma.
   
   Editor’s note: Ellen preferred that we run the column without her photo!
  
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