Watch Your Step

by Jim Breen
staff writer

Janice Laine of Mutual 2 alerted us to a new scam by thieves posting as representatives of regional electricity providers that has been gaining national attention.
The scheme targets utility customers and business owners across the country, according to a post seen by Ms. Laine on Southern California Edison’s website.
A caller claiming to represent an electricity provider contacts consumers and business owners with a stern warning: Make an overdue payment within 30 minutes or face disconnection.
The scammers use “spoofing” technology so that the utility company’s phone number appears on the caller ID and the call appears legitimate.
The scams target small commercial establishments as well as seniors and people who may not fully understand English.
“I regularly check my Southern California Electric bill throughout the month to see how much electricity I’m using,” said Ms. Laine. “And that’s when I found this message posted on the SCE web site
(www.sce.com)
•••
Last week Susan Byrne, the compliance officer at Los Alamitos Medical Center, reported an incident to Terry Furlow Health Care Center Administrator.
Ms. Byrne received an automated call from a Leisure World shareholder allegedly from LAMC. The LWer was told to press the 1 button on her phone to confirm her phone number and the 2 button to give her Social Security number.
The shareholder has used the hospital’s services in the past, but had no reason to be called. Even more disturbing was the request for her SS number.
The alert resident hung up because she was concerned it was a scam, and she was right.
“LAMC never asks for SS numbers on an automated call,” Ms. Byrne said.

Have you been the victim of a scam attempt? Send the details to jimbreen@lwsbnews.com or call 431-6586, ext. 387, Wednesday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to give her Social Security number.
The shareholder has used the hospital’s services in the past, but had no reason to be called. Even more disturbing was the request for her SS number.
The alert resident hung up because she was concerned it was a scam, and she was right.
“LAMC never asks for SS numbers on an automated call,” Ms. Byrne said.

Have you been the victim of a scam attempt? Send the details to jimbreen@lwsbnews.com or call 431-6586, ext. 387, Wednesday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Historical Society

The Leisure World Historical Society will hold a quarterly meeting Feb. 26, in Clubhouse 1. Refreshments will be served at 9 a.m., followed by the program.
In keeping with the growing ethnic diversity in LW, it is important to learn about the history and various cultures of friends and neighbors.
Club President Carole Damoci invited T.V. Tran, president of the Vietnamese-American Club, and members to attend and share their customs, traditions and history.
The Leisure World Historical Society strives to preserve its own history through donations from residents and clubs.
The museum in Clubhouse 1 displays many items that are part of the LW community. The hours are listed on the clubhouse door.
– Joan Shramek
GAF Tax Assistance Program

The Golden Age Foundation income tax program is under way and will continue until April 10.
Appointments are required and can be made by calling 596-1987. Residents should leave their names and telephone numbers on the GAF answering machine. A volunteer will return calls to schedule appointments. Shut-ins should also call that number.
Residents must bring their Social Security cards and Leisure World IDs to their appointments. Volunteers will be working Monday through Friday in the morning only.
Only Leisure World residents can qualify for the program, and must have income under $75,000, file either as a single person or married, filing jointly, have no income from a business or partnership, and have six or less sales of stocks or bonds.
The following records should be brought to appointments:
• Copies of 2012 income tax returns
• All year-end income statements
• Year-end brokers’ statements
• Verification of the cost of any stocks or bonds sold by the shareholder or his/her broker
• Building contract for any 2013 installation of energy-efficient items
If residents plan to itemize deductions, they should prepare a list of all medical expenses, charitable contributions, taxes, interest, etc. Bring the list and accompanying receipts to their appointments.
More than $4,500 in such expenses are needed before residents can itemize.
To have refunds directly deposited, bring checkbooks.
Tax returns will be prepared upstairs in Clubhouse 6. Take the elevator or stairs to Room A, second floor, the tax preparation room.
For those with the necessary records, tax returns will be prepared while they wait.
It will take about one hour for the review of records and preparation.
An alternate free tax preparation service is also provided by AARP on Mondays through April 15 in the community room adjacent to Fire Station 48 at 3131 North Gate Road.
Call 431-2527, ext. 1307, for an appointment.
Woman’s Club
The Leisure World Woman’s Club will hold a card party and luncheon on Friday, Feb. 21, in Clubhouse 2. Lunch, priced at $9 per person, will be served at noon.
Lunch tickets will be sold by table number. One person can pick up tickets for a table of four for $36. Everyone should be seated by 11:45 a.m.
Table reservations or cancellations should be made by calling Judy Belladella at 598-1784 before 6 p.m., Feb. 18. Table reservations not cancelled must be paid for.
Members having a party of four who want to set up a new table should also call Judy.
Those tables needing a substitute player for either bridge or canasta are asked to call Vivian Neiger at 594-6550 for the names of substitute players who can be contacted.
Standing club rules require regularly attending card players to be current members of the Woman’s Club. Membership cards should be taken to all these events.
Guests invited to attend the card party luncheon may do so twice a year, must have a luncheon reservation and be accompanied by her sponsor.
– Janet Carpenter
Senior Patriots

Senior Patriots for Peace will present “Gasland,” a 2010 documentary, at its next meeting, tomorrow, Friday at 1 p.m., in Clubhouse 4.
Part mystery, part travelogue and part banjo showdown, “Gasland” documents writer/director Josh Fox’s cross-country odyssey to find out if the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is actually safe.
Traveling across 24 states to interview families, EPA whistleblowers, congressmen and scientists, Mr. Fox learns of things gone horribly wrong, from illness to hair loss to flammable water.
His inquiries lead him ever deeper into a web of secrets, lies, conspiracy and contamination.
The engrossing film will be followed by a discussion period.
– Nancy Goldstein

Senior Patriots 2
Residents are invited to sign up now for Dr. Donald Schwartz’s four-week lecture series in April on “The History Of U.S. Policy In The Middle East.”
The lecture series by Dr. Schwartz, professor emeritus, California State University, Long Beach, the will trace American relations with countries in the Middle East from World War I to the present day.
A lecture will be presented each Monday in April from 10:30 a.m.-noon in Clubhouse 3, Room 1. The dates are April 7, 14, 21 and 28.
To reserve a seat, send a check for the $30 registration fee, payable to Dr. Don Schwartz, to Nancy Goldstein, 13391 Danbury Lane, No. 131-J, Seal Beach, CA, 90740.
Everyone is invited to attend.
Senior Patriots for Peace is an organization dedicated to the promotion of peace at home and throughout the world.
Its goal is the elimination of the threat of violence and war. To this end, the club focuses on issues of world peace, social justice and the environment to nurture a world where people can live healthy and peaceful lives for generations to come.
For further information, call Nancy Goldstein at 896-8604 or Mary Larson, 296-8521.
NA’AMAT USA

NA’AMAT USA will meet at 12:30 p.m, Feb. 17, in Clubhouse 3, Room 2, followed by a screening of the film, “The Invisible War.” The investigative documentary presents overwhelming evidence of the rape of women in the U.S. military.
Focusing on the emotional interviews of rape victims, the film exposes the cover-up of the crimes (only 8 percent of cases are prosecuted) and paints a startling picture of the epidemic of rape within the military.
The two-hour film will be shown at 1 p.m., following the meeting.
Refreshments will be served and all residents are invited. There is no cost to attend, but donations will be gratefully accepted.
The first annual dinner and silent auction musical will be held at 5 p.m., March 30.
Dinner will include lasagna (including vegetarian), salad, garlic bread, coffee, tea and dessert.
Tickets, $10 in advance and $15 at the door, will be available at the Feb. 17 meeting. Wine will be available by the glass or bottle for an additional cost.
A silent auction will feature jewelry and baskets.
For more information, to purchase tickets, or to provide names of outside guests for entry at the main gate for either event, call Henrietta Zarovsky, 596-3767.
– Darlene Rose
Y Service Club

Dr. Nora Oakley, a chiropractor, will address the Leisure World Y Service Club Feb. 19, in Clubhouse 3, Room 2, The meeting will begin at 7:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast, followed by her talk.
She will discuss how youth in the community can assist service clubs in their projects. Her son Andrew and other teens are on the lookout for service hour opportunities.Visitors are welcome.
The club meets on the third Wednesday of the month.
American Legion

American Legion Post 327 will sponsor a pancake breakfast Saturday, Feb.15, in Clubhouse 4. Pancakes, sausage, orange juice, coffee, butter and syrup will be served from 8-10 a.m.
Tickets are available for a $4 donation at the door or from any Post member. Proceeds will fund veterans assistance programs. Everyone is invited.
The post is grateful to those who supports the American Legion.

Legion Auxiliary

Tickets are now on sale for the annual fashion show to be held at noon, Saturday, March 22, in Clubhouse 2.
The annual event is presented by the American Legion Auxiliary 327.
Contact Juanita Townsend, 431-4026 or one of the Auxiliary members, to reserve tables or tickets, which are $25 each.
Board meetings are held the second Friday of the month in Clubhouse 3, Room 1, at 1 p.m., and the general meetings are on the third Monday at 1:30 p.m. in Clubhouse 4.
– Mary Wiens

Open Forum

Members of the Open Forum have embarked on a voyage of discovery to ancient China through a series of lectures and discussions presenting the country’s early history to the 20th century.
The series, which continues through 2014, resumes at 10 a.m., Feb. 18, in Clubhouse 3, Room 2.
Mark Barnett, Forum president, will also examine China’s cultural, religious and philosophical ways and belief.
The Forum meets at 10 a.m., on the first and third Tuesdays of the month in Clubhouse 3, Room 2.
All are welcome; there is no membership or dues. The Open Forum is a public service.
For more information, call Mark Barnett at 430-2435.

Theosophical Society

Dr. James Santucci, professor of Religious Studies at California State University, Fullerton, will discuss spiritualism in the Victorian Period, at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 21, at Farmers and Merchants Bank Community Room, 12535 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach.
The lecture is given by the Long Beach Theosophical Society without charge or obligation.
All are welcome.
For further information, call 430-3957.

Clutter Busters

Clutter Busters, formerly Clutterers Anonymous, takes a broader approach to the baffling problem of reducing clutter when the group meets at 10:30 a.m.,Thursdays in Clubhouse 3, Room 6.
Source material from books on the topic will be available at meetings, speakers will be featured and there will be a free exchange of ideas.
The group will continue to provide a warm, caring atmosphere where people are free to discuss their clutter problems.
For more information, call Anne Shattuck at 799-7756.
– Anne Shattuck