Doin’ Dunmore: Wishes for the New Year

nyBy Steve Svetovich

The annual New Year’s wish list began with the January 1991 issue of The Dunmorean.

It’s time for the 28th New Year’s wish list…

Here goes: an elephant back at Nay Aug Park…Maroni’s pepperoni pizza in West Side…good health to Carmen, proprietor of Maroni’s Pizza…a chili burger from Carbondale’s Carawana Diner…breakfast at Katrina’s in Dickson City…a German brownie from Minooka Bakery…crumb cake from Cwikla’s in Avoca…Mickey Gannon’s wings…a Hank’s hoagie in Green Ridge made by Tommy Owens…

Tommy Owens flinging a whiffle ball like old times…the return of the peanut stick at Krispy Kreme…Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton slugging over 100 homers for the New York Yankees…Yankees shortstop Sir Didi Gregorius as an all-star starter…Dunmore’s Joe Tomko back in politics…health and happiness for Dunmore outgoing mayor Patrick “Nibs” Loughney and his wife Donna…good health to Dunmorean publisher John Hart and his wife Maureen…a Dunkin Donuts in Forest City…

Nicholas Pizza in Green Ridge…Nardozzi’s Pizza in Dunmore…New York Giant season tickets for former Dunmore councilman Paul Nardozzi…good health to my friend Stella Nardozzi of Dunmore…Former Scranton mayor Jimmy Connors singing Johnny B. Goode…a special place in Rock N’ Roll Heaven for Tom Petty, David Bowie and Chuck Berry…Sam the Greek back in business…Sam the Greek’s rice pudding…a Friday night at Legends in Dickson City…Eva Longoria…Eynon’s Gary Ruby back in baseball…Mick Jagger singing “Satisfaction” at 76…Keith Richards alive at. 76…

Pete Rose eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame…breakfast served by Shelly at Fortissimo’s in Taylor…Jim Thome, Chipper Jones, Omar Vizquel, Edgar Martinez, Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Jeff Kent, Larry Walker, Billy Wagner, Gary Sheffield, Johnny Damon and Fred “Crime Dog” McGriff in the National Baseball Hall of Fame…Kenny Anderson in the Pro Football Hall of Fame…a Bob Dylan concert…Shania Twain anywhere…continued work reforming prisoners from Pastor Tom Duggan….lower real estate taxes…less pot holes…a lower Scranton wage tax…a lower Scranton garbage fee…more community minded people like Dunmore councilwoman Carol Scrimalli…no domestic violence…Carly Simon at the Kirby Center…

Nina’s boneless wings in Dunmore…breakfast at Marie’s Diner in Old Forge…a Keystone Lunch Texas wiener from Green Bay Packers fan Franco in West Side…a trip to MACE in West Side…a Coney Island hot dog…the return of cassettes…a walk at McDade Park…a hoagie from West Side Flava’s…a fresh Blue Moon draft beer…good health for my great friend and mentor Bill Hoppel who always taught me to look at the bottle as half full and nothing ventured, nothing gained…

Peckville’s Chuck Morris back on the saxophone…more band jobs for my dad and his band, The Fabulous Fortunes…my dad on drums…Jack Meade on sax…Billy Vargas on bass…Ed Kosmahl, Vince Parise, Tom Gavern and Roger Finnerty on guitar…Jimmy Tigue on the keyboard…a reunion of the original Fabulous Fortunes with my dad, Art Stanton, Billy Woelkers and Johnny Cognetti…more band jobs for my son Ryan’s band, The Feels…a CD with original recordings from The Feels…my son Dylan in the outfield for the Marywood University baseball team…

An omelet from Marty at the Brunch House in West Pittston…West Scranton’s Nick Ivanoff healthy and playing college baseball…Mike Brunetti’s chilli…my dad’s chilli…my dad’s pizza…a gyro from Ganghi Pizza in Throop…chicken and gyro with rice from Crown Chicken in South Side…soup and salad from Olive Garden…Dunkin Donuts coffee…Cat Stevens in concert…Cher…Barbara Eden in a Jeannie bottle…

A summer Friday night at the Waldorf Tiki Bar…a trip to Asbury Park, New Jersey…a night at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park… Robert Plant in concert…another season for Bartolo Colon…Alyssa Milano anywhere…a trip to Greece…Brian Wilson back at the Kirby Center…my dad ‘s Greek stuffed grape leaves…at least five more years at the helm for Dunmore football coach Jack Henzes…

Cooper’s Maryland crab bisque soup…a walk in the Plot in Green Ridge…a special place in Heaven for late Dunmore community activists Addie Michalek, Carmel Arnone, Blanche Shaw, Fritz Voytek, Al Frioni, Sr.; James McHale, Sr. and Leonard Verrastro…Late Dunmore DJ Billy Weller spinning discs in Heaven…a Pappas Pizza grinder…Starbucks coffee…a trip to The Creamery in Old Forge…The Hawley Winterfest…Happy Days reruns…Lori Loughlin…a visit with Tim Wagner at his sporting goods store in Green Ridge…The Wannabes live…Jennifer Lopez…The Sperazza Band live…Twilight Zone marathons…

Green Ridge pizza…Laverne and Shirley…Betty White back on TV at 97…Mary Tyler Moore reruns…a bounce back season for local Mets fan Steve Gall…a return to health from back ailments for former U of S tennis star Paul “Saki” Wysocki…good health to my Aunt Stella and my late mom’s best friend Annette…Paul McCartney back at Hershey Park…a Springsteen concert anywhere…Thunder Road…Bob Seger live…another Rolling Stones tour…

Breakfast at Neen’s Diner in North Scranton…a trip with my boys to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY…another season for Ichiro…Brett Gardner being named Yankees captain…more of Vince Carter and Manu Ginobli…a Sirius-XM Radio in every vehicle…MLB talk radio…Dan Patrick back with Rob “The Nasty Boy” Dibble on sports talk radio…Larry King doing interviews again…Carol Burnett hosting Saturday Night Live…Stuttering John and Jackie the Jokeman back with Howard Stern…

Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes back at the Scranton Cultural Center…playing time, points and assists for my niece Livvy at Scranton High…a beautiful high school graduation for my niece and Godchild Mia…success for my nephew George as president of his sixth grade class and a special place in Heaven for his late friend Zach…health and happiness for my brother George and his wife Maria…a special place in Heaven for Maria’s late brother, Nick…less road rage…less hate…no racism…little baby ducks, old pickup trucks and tomatoes on the vine…lots of clean, cold spring water to cleanse the system…

A message of love to my late grandmothers, former in-laws and uncles Art, Gus and Wally in Heaven…health, happiness and contentment for my sister Denise…great health and happiness to my dad, the leader of The Fabulous Fortunes…a most special place in Heaven for my late mom who always told me to take a chance…many nights out creating memories with my special female friend, Brenda Cavalier…a special place in Heaven for Brenda’s late son, Daniel…my son Ryan on guitar, drums and piano…my son Dylan stealing bases and chasing fly balls in center field…great success, happiness and love to both of my sons and to their mom…peace, love and hope.

Life is short. Happy New Year, everyone.


Money Matters: 2017 brings Medicare Price Changes

cardBy Nathaniel Sillin

If you’re eligible for Medicare, or will be in the coming year, there are a few changes you should know about for 2017.

An increase in the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) means there’ll be an increase in Social Security benefits and Medicare Part B premiums. For most recipients the increases almost offset each other, but those who aren’t covered by the “hold harmless” provision (about 30 percent of recipients) face a larger Part B premium increase.

These changes, along with several others, will go into effect soon and you should consider how they could affect your budget.

A slight increase in your Social Security benefits. Since 1975, Social Security benefits have an automatic cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). The adjustment depends on the CPI and helps keep your benefits in line with the rising cost of goods.

There wasn’t a COLA for 2016 benefits, but there is a .3 percent adjustment for next year. Meaning, you’ll get an additional $3 per $1,000 you receive in benefits. The estimated average monthly benefit for all retired workers is expected to increase $5, from $1,355 to $1,360.

Medicare Part B premiums will also rise. The COLA also affects Medicare Part B premiums, the part of Medicare that covers some types of procedures and medical equipment. However, for about 70 percent of Medicare recipients, the Social Security Act’s “hold harmless” provision prohibits an increase to Medicare B premiums of more than the previous year’s COLA adjustment.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, held harmless recipients will pay $109 per month, an increase of $4.10.

If you aren’t held harmless, Part B premiums could increase by about 10 percent. The remaining 30 percent of Social Security beneficiaries will have their Part B premium increase by about 10 percent. You could fall into the non-held-harmless group if you:

  • Are a new enrollee
  • Enrolled in Medicare but don’t receive Social Security benefits
  • Get billed directly for Medicare Part B
  • Receive Medicare and Medicaid benefits and your state Medicaid programs pay your Part B premium
  • Are a high-income earner subject to an income-adjusted premium

For the non-held-harmless group, the premium depends on the recipient’s (or couple’s when filing a joint tax return) adjusted gross income (AGI).

  • The lowest monthly premium, for individuals who have an AGI of $85,000 or less ($170,000 for couples), will increase from $121.80 to $134 a month per person.
  • On the high end, for recipients with an AGI over $214,000 ($428,000 for couples), the monthly premium will increase from $389.80 to $428.60 per person.

Medicare Part A and B deductibles will also increase. Most people don’t have to pay Medicare Part A premiums, but you could still have to pay a deductible or coinsurance for some Part A benefits.

  • The deductible for inpatient hospital coverage, which helps cover the first 60 days of care, will increase from $1,288 to $1,316 per benefit period.
  • Daily coinsurance for the 61st through 90th day of treatment will increase from $322 to $329.
  • Daily coinsurance for day 91 on will rise from $644 to $658.
  • Each day past day 90 counts towards your lifetime reserve. You have a maximum of 60 lifetime reserve days; after which you could be responsible for all costs.
  • Skilled nursing facility care is completely covered for your first 20 days.
  • Daily coinsurance for day 21 to 100 of skilled nursing care will increase to $164.50.
  • You could be responsible for all costs beyond day 100.

The Part B annual deductible will also increase, from $166 to $183. Generally, after you’ve met your deductible, you’ll pay 20 percent of Medicare-approved costs for services covered by Part B.

Bottom line: Social Security benefits, Medicare Part B premiums and Part A and B deductibles and coinsurance will increase in 2017. Whether you’re held harmless or not, take steps to understand which changes could affect you and alter your budget accordingly.

Dunmore seniors gearing up for New Year at the Hub

By Steve Svetovich

It was a successful year in 2015 for the Dunmore Activity Hub and Cafe and now members are gearing up for the New Year.

Jeanne Hugenbruch, is executive director of the Dunmore Activity Hub and Cafe for Seniors, 1414 Monroe Ave., Dunmore.

“We hope everyone stays warm this January and joins us at the Hub for our many programs,” said Hugenbruch.

Members of the Dunmore Activity Hub and Cafe celebrated Older Driver Awareness Week with a special Yellow Dot Program provided by PennDot on Wednesday, Dec. 2. Those who came to the program were able to obtain needed information to keep safe and in the driver’s seat, said Hugenbruch.

The Dunmore Activity Hub and Cafe’s annual Christmas party was held Friday, Dec. 11. There was great food and musical entertainment. Everyone in attendance joined in for some singing and good old fashioned fun. It was once again a success.

The Dunmore Activity Hub and Cafe was closed Christmas Eve and Christmas, so that all members could celebrate Christmas with their families.

Hugenbruch last month started offering classes about Facebook at the Dunmore Activity Hub. The classes were held for anyone interested in learning more about Facebook. “We learn how to safely use this social media phenomena and how to follow us there for more updates about the Hub,” said Hugenbruch.

Hugenbruch said there is an activity sign up sheet in the Dunmore Activity Hub monthly newsletter. “Check out the sign-up sheet,” she said. “With enough interest there will be new classes held. It will be a lot of fun.”

A free non-fasting Glucose Screening was held Tuesday, Dec. 29, at the Dunmore Activity Hub.

Tracy Borgna is the new cook at the Dunmore Activity Hub and Cafe.

“Tracy is here cooking every day from scratch and serving up wonderful homemade meals,” said Hugenbruch. “Come on in and say hello.”

The Celebration of Life Series continues to be held the last Wednesday of each month at 12:30 p.m. in the Dunmore Activity Hub and Cafe.

Other activities and programs at the Dunmore Activity Hub and Cafe include reminisce group, chair exercises, beginner’s ukulele, bible study group, speakers, tai chi, Mahjongg, craft group, sketching, ballroom dancing, oil painting, pinochle, chorus and comedy troupe, Stretchin’ with Gretchen, bingo and yoga.

New classes members can sign up for include Brain Games Thursdays at 10 a.m.; Learn to Write Poetry Tuesdays at 10 a.m.; Laughter is the Best Medicine Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m.; and Book of the Month Club on Mondays when the Bookmobile comes to the Hub. Call 570-207-2662 for more details.

A 2016 membership is $12 for an individual renewal or $15 for a new individual. The cost for a couple renewal is $18 or a new couple membership is $25.

Beginning this month, all classes will offer discounts for members. Anyone not renewing their membership by March 1, will be removed from the mailing list.

Membership discounts are $8 classes for non members, $5 for members, or $5 for non members, $3 for members. Discounts on special events will also apply as well as contests in the newsletter throughout the year, said Hugenbruch.

All proceeds from this and other fundraisers held by the Dunmore Activity Hub for Seniors help benefit programs held on site, said Hugenbruch.

“We thank everyone for their support throughout the year.”

Shirley Martinelli is reservationist at the Dunmore Activity Hub and Cafe. Carol Angerson is lead volunteer. Lottie Collins is site council president. Tracy Borgna is kitchen coordinator.