Archive for March, 2009


Posted on March 30, 2009. Filed under: California senior citizens, California State University at Northridge, CSUN | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

The Los Angeles Department of Sanitation met at CSUN recently. It was to continue to get citizen’s ideas about which way to go while trying to do the right thing with Los Angeles trash.

Things are changing.

If you have new signage on your barrels, you may know that the blue bin now takes metal coat hangers, styrofoam and plastic bags. These bins offer a resource for recycling businesses.


Private haulers in the future may benefit by providing recycle dumpsters to apartments and businesses because of the profit in this trash. But can the city get apartment owners to separate trash? There are some programs testing this downtown.

Our green bins should have materials that can be composted, but no hoses or wood with nails. Fruits and vegetables can go into these now.

Black bins hold the most problems, needing material to be processed. Construction waste is separated.

People from the department traveled all over the world to see what other countries have done with their trash. There are many options to consider now.

If the department starts collecting materials from multifamily residences and businesses, costs will have to rise–more landfills are needed (one in the desert will be used).

Education to reduce waste is imperative.
As the department heads gave attendees facts and figures, our questions and ideas were recorded. I said if the Department of Water and Power gives free CF bulbs to home owners, maybe Sanitation could give some free string bags that are used in Europe and other countries. These should be used in the produce section of markets!

Given the deaths being caused to ocean life by the huge island of mostly plastic trash in the Pacific ocean, giving up plastic bags is an essential though inconvenient change to make. –Bette Simons

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Posted on March 24, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

I first heard of Twitter when I read the account of President Obama’s State of the Union address to Congress. The article read that during the President’s address, some members of Congress were twittering. I thought to myself that why were members of Congress making birdcalls and why were they so impolite. I found out later that twittering had nothing to do with birds, but I still believed that the twittering was impolite.
Imagine this scenario. We have discovered that life such as ours exists in another galaxy. We here on earth are eager to communicate with them. We twitter our message to them and we wait eagerly for their response. Time passes and no response. Finally a message comes through as follows: ” We here on the planet Dirt were not able to decipher your message until we learned from our Museum of Antiquity that your message was written in an ancient language used by our ancestors. We trust that over the centuries you would have advanced enough to be able to read and understand our message.”
–Al Ross

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Film Club Discusses Two Features

Posted on March 22, 2009. Filed under: SAGE Activities | Tags: |

We had about a dozen folks show up last Monday for a discussion of two films, The Reader and Slumdog Millionaire. We are so lucky to have two knowledgeable people in SAGE.

Tom Potter (a new member of SAGE) lived in Berlin some years ago, so he was able to share some points about German culture that helped us understand some of the events in the film as he led the discussion.

Joyce Tapper is an experienced traveler in Asia, so she led the discussion on Slumdog Millionaire and shared cultural information that was also very helpful in our understanding of the film.

Next month, we will meet on April 20th to again discuss two films. Everlasting Moments has been at the Laemmle, Encino (remember, it’s $4 on Wednesday afternoons). This film was nominated by both Judy Cohn and Mary Ann Shiner. Some of us went to see it last week and found it very nicely done.

The second film, Sunshine Cleaning, got a good review in the Times, but is not out in the Valley yet. We have a month ahead of us in which to plan our movie going, so I hope to see all of you at the next meeting.

Two people volunteered to bring refreshments. We need a volunteer to lead the discussion of Sunshine Cleaning. Please let me know if you are interested. Have a good Easter/Passover holiday.
–Joyce Linden

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Kudos to Forum Organizers

Posted on March 22, 2009. Filed under: SAGE Activities |

Kudos to those involved in the SAGE Forum, 3/20/09. It was well-run and a real delight. Please know that your work is appreciated.
–Darlene Wilson

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Posted on March 20, 2009. Filed under: Older People Education, Senior Citizens | Tags: , , , , |

Have, for the past two years, been getting the Wall Street Journal. How could a lifelong Democrat, believing that all the problems of the nation could be solved by our government, turn to this newspaper, especially a Rupert Murdoch newspaper, which espouses views contrary to mine ? I have to confess that I traded a subscription to the Journal for mileage I had accumulated over the years with United Airlines. Heh, who can resist a freebee?
What I discovered over the time that I was reading the Journal, was that I detected a subtle change in my political view. I didn’t turn into a werewolf or grow horns yet, but i found myself muttering about the doings of those damn Democrats in Congress, the greedy needs of the unions, fear that we would be overwhelmed by immigrants, both legal and illegal, etc, etc, etc. I have to resist the desire to listen to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter & others like that.

So watch out all you who reach for the Wall Street Journal. Beware, you may find yourself thinking what was so bad about Bush.

If I ever get that far afield, I’ll refuse to have this damn paper in my house.


–Al Ross

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Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Learning in Retirement, SAGE Activities, SAGE Classes, Senior Study Discussion Groups |

For how many years has a certain time honored tenet of SAGE been ignored?
It’s not “Please tell, don’t read, your research information.”
It’s not “The dog ate my outline.”

It’s the need to let the curriculum committee know a first, second and third choice of classes you would like to take. It’s coordinators sometimes accepting more than 15 people, the curriculum committee going soft because members have stubbornly ignored directions.
This means that those who submitted a subject for study and those who wanted it will see a class has failed class for lack of  enrollments.
Is it fair to hold SAGE hostage by saying classes other than a first choice are not worthwhile topics, as if members in a class have no  influence on how well a class can be  valuable to learning?

Once there was a solution for signups that tempt over enrollment: Offer that class to be available again for the next session.
Is there a solution for consideration of our learning in retirement society to be a more learning to be considerate group?

Submitted by “sour grapes.” A study of the United Nations needs a lot of wise people to know how much it is needed in today’s world.
Yes, I will take it to Hot topics–all alone. –Bette Simons

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Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Dear Susi & Reuben,

Much as I respect your work and attempts to keep up with technology, (and you have certainly helped me in the past) who has time to blog (gossip, opinions, etc.)  How can this help us?  I watch my kids and grandkids get so caught up in this web stuff and waste so much time.  I don’t want to be part of it.

We have our wonderful newsletter and we see one another week by week and we have our luncheons with our great speakers and our special projects and we can then visit with one another.   I know I am probably in a minority–but I have strong objections to our generation trying to keep up with this part of technology that, in my opinion, has very little benefit.   Look what it’s doing to our newspapers!!!

Thanks for taking the time to read this.   If there are others that feel this way, I hope you’ll consider us.   –Joan Goodstein

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Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: SAGE Activities | Tags: , |

Today we will start a new adventure with our new found friend the internet.

Any or all of us that wish to learn how to blog will have the opportunity to learn right here.

susi1Yes, I am learning right along with you and we have a great teacher, our dear friend Reuben.

Like always I am willing to assist you in finding answers to your Windows questions.

Thanks, Reuben, for stretching all of us with your wisdom and friendship. –Susi White

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Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Learning in Retirement, Older People Education, Retirement Learning, Senior Citizens, Senior Education, Senior Learning | Tags: , , , , , |

Like other SAGE members I know what a good diet is and often bring cookies with bran in them, but it is beginning to take some courage for me to join in discussions when a word, a name, or a number I want to use but has disappeared.

When I lament this to others some will say it’s normal aging and tell me to read Gary Small’s book, The Memory Bible.
I did. It made me feel dumb.
But now I bravely do colorful, interesting memory games on  and happily follow it with

“Lumosity”, yes that’s how it’s spelled, is created by Stanford scientists and it can drive me crazy, but my scores are getting higher with speed, cognition and recognition so I will  persist.

Free rice is wonderful, letting a player go back and try again in geography, great paintings, 4 languages, arithmetic, algebra and world capitols.

Now look and tell me if I got it all right? –Bette Simons

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Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Learning and Retirement, Learning in Retirement, Older People Education, Retirement Learning, SAGE Activities, SAGE Classes, Senior Citizens, Senior Education, Senior Learning, Senior Organizations, Senior Study Discussion Groups |

For over 20 years the SAGE Society has stressed the fact that people are never too old to learn. Members in their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s are quite mentally alert and have stretched their minds by participating in study groups exploring all facets of literature, science, history, politics, culture, music, art, religion, and current events.
With this SAGE Society Blog we are embarking on a new learning adventure involving a new form of communication. In other words, we oldsters want to keep up with what’s new.  We don’t want to be left behind. Almost all of our 150 members are on the internet and have email addresses.

When SAGE took its initial formative steps to become a learning-in-retirement organization in 1987, there were no blogs. That didn’t happen until the 1990’s. Now we want to be part of the action by sharing our wealth of experience and information with each other and the world.

One form of communication we currently possess is our organization’s website at that gives a comprehensive picture of SAGE and its activities.
The website features a pdf version of SAGE Observations, our quarterly publication printed and distributed to all the members and other learning-in-retirement  organizations.

In the coming weeks, months, and years we hope to fill our blog with
•    Comments by members about their experiences at SAGE
•    Reflections and views about any current issue
•    Reviews of books, movies, plays, and other events they would like to share with fellow members and the world
•    Pictures of SAGE members and their activities

We’re never too old to learn!

–Reuben Allen

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