Medicare 101

When you turn 65, you have hit an important milestone– eligibility for Medicare. During Medicare open enrollment, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the variety of choices you need to make, and making the wrong choices can lead to more expenses. The annual Medicare open-enrollment period is Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. When you…

Strengthening our schools in combating student suicide

Nothing is as agonizing as the death of a child. A life cut short by a child’s own hands, however, is nothing short of earthshattering. Youth suicide not only represents the loss of untapped and unbridled potential, it carries with it a profound sense of failure by the living. The aftermath begs the question: What…

Reading, writing and rules of the road

The Long Beach Police Department would like to remind everyone that with most schools in the Long Beach Unified School District beginning Aug. 31, and with the volume of pedestrian traffic around schools increasing dramatically, that all commuters are urged to follow the laws of the road, in an effort to prevent avoidable accidents. All…

Avoid a dormant butt when heading back to school

By Kathleen Hale Chair-Free Project Founder The school months mean sitting hour upon hour each day in classrooms and then at desks while studying. All of this sitting can be dangerous to students’ health. Here are 10 tips for them to avoid hours of sitting that can lead to a various health problems, including dormant…

Fall care for a healthier, better looking lawn

By Melinda Myers– Gardening expert As summer fades into fall, it is time to help lawns recover from summer stress and prepare for the winter ahead. Continue to mow your lawn as long as it continues to grow. Grow cool-season grasses like bluegrass, fescue and ryegrass 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches tall. Warm season grasses like…

Protecting yourself from IRS scams

By the Signal Hill Police Department The Signal Hill Police Department (SHPD) would like residents and business owners to be aware about possible IRS scams. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text message, or social media channels to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PINs, passwords or similar…

Know your Medicare rights

As a person with Medicare, you have important rights. One of them is the right to appeal. An appeal is the action you can take if you disagree with a coverage or payment decision by Medicare or your Medicare health plan. For example, you can appeal if Medicare or your plan denies: • A request…

Summer season: peak time for grilling fires

Being in the midst of summer, home chefs everywhere are reaching for their grills, eager to usher in the long awaited barbecue season. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that grillers pay particular attention to safety in the summer months, when home fires involving grilling incidents occur most often. Three out of five households…

Tips for talking to children with special needs about tragedy

With recent tragedies in the news, many children, including those challenged with special needs, are exposed to trauma through the media and in conversations. The Episcopal Center for Children (ECC), a nonprofit school serving children with special needs ages 5-14 in the Washington, DC area, offers some advice on how to talk with your child…

What is prematurity?

With the advancement of medicine and prenatal care, prematurity is declining in the U.S. In 2006, the pre-term birth rate was 12.8 percent, and in 2013 it dropped to 11.4. Even with these advancements, one in nine babies are born prematurely in the U.S. each year. Prematurity is when a baby is born at least…

Brexit and us

I awoke to cloudy skies in Edinburgh, Scotland on the morning the Remain or Leave vote result was announced. Under pressure from Parliament, Prime Minister David Cameron had confidently gambled on a simple “stay or go” question to determine whether or not the UK would continue its 24-year membership in the European Union, convinced (like…

Local mentors wanted

[The following is the third of a three-part commentary.] This is the third and final commentary about how a local mentoring program is enriching the lives of Long Beach youth. Darren Rockett inspired the men and women of the Long Beach Fire Department to become mentors, and now 23 seventh and eighth graders have benefited…

What mentoring means

[The following is the second of a three-part commentary.] Last week I wrote about Long Beach firefighter Darren Rockett and how he became a leader in the mentoring movement, getting other firefighters to join him as a mentor to Long Beach youth. Although Darren died tragically in 2011, his inspiration launched a unique mentoring program…