Is anyone else getting tired of the grey, cold skies lying over The Dalles like a wet dirty blanket? It makes you want to visit your snow bird friends in Arizona. But wouldn't that be cheating - admitting you aren’t tough enough to cope with weeks of inversions and stagnations. And don’t you have to endure the tough times to enjoy the good? But on the other hand - one more week, and you just might see me screaming down Hwy 197 for the Arizona border!
But as we look forward to the warmer days of spring, there are several opportunities coming our way. The fact that heart disease can largely be prevented is the theme for this year’s “Go Red” – which kicks off with a panel of experts discussing “Small Steps for Big Changes” to prevent heart disease at 6:00 pm on Thursday, January 31st at Water’s Edge. There is limited seating, so call 541-296-8444 to register.
The “Go Red” events continue on Friday at the Civic Auditorium with the Health Expo and Noon Heart Walk from 11:00 – 2:00; followed on Saturday by the Heart Truth Walk Run at the Kiwanis Pocket Park on Klindt Drive starting at 10:00 am.
The Center is already receiving calls about the AARP Tax Aide Program which provides free tax assistance to low- and moderate-income taxpayers, with special attention to folks sixty and older. Locally, it is administered by the Mid-Columbia Community Action Program - offering tax assistance at the following locations: Canyon Rim Manor in Maupin - 1st & 3rd Mondays from 10 am to 1:00 pm; Tygh Valley Community Center - Thursdays from 8 am to 12 pm; and the Mid-Columbia Senior Center - Fridays from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. You can also make an appointment for tax assistance at the Rufus Community Center by calling 541-993-1054.
A dedicated cadre of volunteers will assist you preparing basic federal and Oregon personal tax returns and can electronically file them for you. They have gone through hours of training but are not professional tax preparers (although several have accounting backgrounds), so they cannot prepare more complicated schedules and forms.
Photo ID is required and you must bring acceptable proof of social security number or ITIN for every person on your tax return. Bring all income report forms such as W-2’s, interest, dividend and miscellaneous income statements, social security and pension statements, and other tax-related information such as documentation for itemized deductions. And if you can, bring your previous year’s tax return.
I have received many positive comments about the “Passport to Happiness” Calendar, but as I had expected, several mistakes have been pointed out. The local phone number for the Wasco County Veteran’s Services Office is correct (541-506-2502) but the toll free 888 number will send you to the Veteran’s Services office in Hood River. And there are two Father’s Days listed: the third Sunday in June and the third Sunday in July- which the fathers in the audience might want to use to their advantage.
I also would like to thank the Calendar sponsors including: OSU/Wasco County Extension, Hearts of Gold Caregivers, PacificSource, Flagstone Senior Living, Rebecca Street Physical Therapy, Casa El Mirador, Columbia State Bank, and the Mid-Columbia Senior Center. And the monthly sponsors including Columbia Basin Care Facility, Kramer’s Market in Dufur, Canyon Rim Manor in Maupin, Edward Jones, Mid-Columbia Community Action, NWC Parks and Recreation, and the Area Agency on Aging.
And before time runs out - playing tonight at the Center is Truman and next week Annie Lane will perform. Music starts at 7:00, everyone is welcome and donations are always appreciated
Last week’s “Remember When” question was a challenge with only Joanne Scott emailing the correct answer - “Twentieth Century”. But I was surprised when everyone else remembered “You Were There” also hosted by Walter Cronkite, but five years earlier between 1952- 1957. (You can watch twenty episodes of “You Were There” on the Museum of Broadcast Communications website at www.museum.tv.)
But this week you shouldn't have a problem. TV commercials of the 1950's featured mostly cars, cigarettes, kitchen appliances and beers. In this popular beer commercial, whenever anyone wanted a beer, they would call out to Mabel holding a tray of what brand of beer? E-mail your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with an autographed picture of Jeanne Goodspeed who played Mabel for fifteen years.
Well, it’s been another week waiting for the clouds to lift and the sun to shine. Until we meet again, make the best of the wonders yet to come.