Watch Your Step

by Jim Breen

staff writer


Just when you think you’ve probably heard of every scam imaginable, something unique comes along.

It happened last week when a Mutual 5 resident reported receiving a phone call from a pharmacy with a recorded message that her prescription was ready to be refilled.

“If this is Mrs. Jones (the resident chose not to have her name used) then push the 1 button on your telephone,” came the pleasant female voice.

At that point, the LWer grew suspicious because she has read in this column that pushing that button will give the caller free access to the intended victim’s phone number. It’s an old scheme first devised by prison inmates for the purpose of making calls around the world at the victim’s expense.

What makes the incident so shocking is that the caller used the name and location of the neighborhood pharmacy the resident uses to re-fill her prescription each month.

But, how did they know it was time for her to re-fill it?

The likely answer is that the pharmacy, a major chain, makes its customer list available to other sources, and those names eventually fall into the wrong hands of scammers.

If that’s not the answer, then the call must have come from an employee at the pharmacy.

When contacted by Watch Your Step, a representative of the pharmacy in question was appalled when notified of the call and re-stated the obvious: A recorded message is sent to customers only when the medicine is ready or has been delayed.

In no case do they ever call customers to remind them that its’s time to refill and ask the customer to push the “1” button.

A quick check of the Internet provided no less that 10 pharmacy scams listed, but most of them dealt with empty promises of drugs sold at below-market costs.


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

CalRTA (Retired Teachers)

Dorothy Geisler

LW contributor


The California Retired Teachers Association (CalRTA) will meet at noon, Feb. 7, in Clubhouse 2. The program will begin at noon.

Lunch will include lasagna, salad, garlic bread and a light dessert.

To make reservations, call Sue Grimsley at 431-3083, by Feb.5.

The $12 fee can be made at the door the day of the meeting.

Cancellations must be made by Feb. 5, or those who do not attend must pay for the lunch.

Arrangements can be made to have someone else pick up the lunch.

The program will include story-telling and songs from the Penny Royal Players about pioneer women traveling west.ormed in 2005, the group has donated more than $50,000 to charities that support special programs for children.

Quilts will be used to help tell the stories.

All shareholders are invited to attend.

Retired teachers are active in volunteer work in LW.

Dorothy Geisler will ask members to report their hours so they can be reported to CalRTA in Sacramento.

Last year, 34 members volunteered 14,500 hours of non-paid work.

LWers are invited to join the group by calling Ms. Geisler at 598-1477, for membership information.



by Joan Shramek

LW contributor


Two men based at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos will be guests at the Feb. 6 meeting of the Children -A-Priority (CAP) Club in Clubhouse 4.

They are Patrick Kuykendall, executive director of the employee support group of the Guard and Reserve, and Reginald Fields, career consultant for Veterans for the One Stop Center, a partner of America’s Job Center of California. They will take questions from the audience after their talk.

Catered lunch will be served at noon. Reservations for the $9 lunch can be made by calling President Dona Nickles by Feb. 3.

A board meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m., and the program will follow lunch.

For several years, CAP has supported the veterans at the Joint Forces Training Baser by donating gifts and food at Christmas.

Shareholders are encouraged to attend and learn more about the program. It’s one of the many ways CAP reaches out to children and adults in Southern California.

New members and visitors are welcome to become members of CAP.


Senior Patriots

by Lucille Martin

LW contributor


Senior Patriots for Peace will hold a peace vigil in front of the large globe outside the Leisure World main gate on Jan. 29 from 4-5:30 p.m. That is an hour earlier than the previous time.

The change was made for January and February to allow more visibility due to the early darkness.

It is appropriate to dedicate this month’s vigil to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The third Monday of January is a national holiday observing the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed across the country, including in the city of Seal Beach (but not in Leisure World).

Dr. King would have turned 85 years old this year. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

Dr. King left a legacy of non-violence, tolerance, compassion and justice. In 1964, at 35 years of age, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his persistence in using a peaceful means of motivating others to unite together stand up for equality and human rights for all.

Senior Patriots for Peace holds monthly vigils to call attention to the need for a return to peace in our cities and our world with a renewed tolerance of others.

All who believe in taking a strong stand for peace in our communities and our nation, who believe it is time to recommit to the values that Dr. King stood for, are invited to make a statement for peace by joining the peace vigil for any block of time between 4-5:30 p.m. Signs will be provided.

For further information, call Lucille Martin at 430-1047.


Safe Driver Class

The next AARP Safe Driver program will be held from 1-5 p.m., Feb. 17, in Clubhouse 3 Room 9.

To qualify for the four-hour classes, residents must have completed an eight-hour class within the past three years, and their insurance company must agree to their eligibility.

The fee is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members.

Members must provide their AARP membership cards when they pay the fee.

Residents who lost their AARP membership numbers can call 1-800-Our-AARP.

Other four-hour, single-day class dates are March 18, June 17, Sept. 16, and Oct. 20.

Fees must be paid by personal check or money order only.

For reservations, call Betty Adams at 936-1333.

– Betty Adams