Friday nights in August bring the return of the State Capital Museum’s annual film series Movies at the Mansion.  A series that showcases films of the 1930s-1960s, the ones you may remember or have always wanted to see.

In a time of economic recession we revisit films that brightened America’s depression years with either zany comedy or witty repartee, and others that address important social issues against the backdrop of the 1930s.  And we can’t forget fan favorite Humphrey Bogart, who returns this year with Lauren Bacall in the simmering resort drama Key Largo with Edward G.  Robinson in his well known role as the villainous mobster.

By far the film that has been most requested is To Kill a Mockingbird starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, the noble and heroic southern lawyer, and Peck’s favorite screen roll.  Peck won an academy award for this portrayal which is currently pictured on a commemorative postage stamp.    The film is based on the novel of the same name, written by Harper Lee and published in 1960 to great acclaim.  The story is set in a small southern town, against the backdrop of the Great Depression, and this provides the perfect location to explore the issues of race and justice that the mid-1960s would address in the civil rights movement.  This film ends our series of four Friday night presentations in August.

Between the second and third film is the Hepburn and Grant comedy Bringing up Baby.  A pet leopard on a leash, Cary Grant in Mr. Magoo glasses as a paleontologist(!?), and a “feather brained vixen”(!?)- as the film promotion stated-describing Katharine Hepburn’s character.  The clash of characters results in a series of love triangles, time in jail,  and nightclub misadventures.  Directed by Howard Hawkes, this is a classic screwball comedy produced in 1938.

Kicking off the series is the zany Mark’s Brother’s film A Night at the Opera made in 1935.  Set initially aboard ship, the stateroom scene has been characterized as the funniest five minutes in movie history and been copied in many films.  In this film the comedy characters developed by brothers Harpo, Chico and Groucho Marx become solidified; the child-like harpist (Harpo), the Italian-accented piano man (Chico), and the fast talking, cigar chomping heart-of-gold con-artist (Groucho).

There are four famous comedy sequences to watch for: Chico and Harpo contract signing with a “sanity Klaus;”  the previously mentioned  Stateroom scene; the hotel scene featuring all the brothers racing back and forth between rooms, switching furniture and personas; and of course Harpo swinging on the set backdrops during a performance at the Metropolitan Opera.  Here is a classic comic routine with Groucho as Otis P. Driftwood.

“Detective: You live here all alone? Driftwood: Yes. Just me and my memories. I’m practically a hermit. Detective: Oh. A hermit. I notice the table’s set for four. Driftwood: That’s nothing, my alarm clock is set for eight. That doesn’t prove a thing.”

As one film writer states “Young people should be treated to comedy as it once was when laughter depended upon uproarious wit and a brand of physical comedy perfected by comedians through years of refining their craft in vaudeville.”


AUGUST 5.        A Night at the Opera

AUGUST 13.      Key Largo

AUGUST 20.      Bringing up Baby

AUGUST 27.      To Kill a Mockingbird

Classic Movies at the Mansion.  Doors open at 8:30 PM.  Film history at 8:45 PM.

Museum front lawn with seating in Coach House in case of rain.

Bring a blanket and chair.  Snacks and drinks will be sold before and during the show.  Coffee provided.

$2 suggested donation.

Community Connections ADRC Team Member (left to right) Eunice Forest, Paul Calta, Matt Santelli, David Bradt, Barbara Bauml and Randy Ip.

The Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) team at Pierce County Community Connections has something to celebrate. All six ADRC case managers received recognition as Certified Information and Referral Specialists in Aging (CIRS-A).

Barbara Bauml, David Bradt, Eunice Forest, Randy Ip, Matt Santelli and supervisor Paul Calta successfully passed the CIRS-A exam. The test measures abilities in the field of Information, Referral and Assistance (I&R/A). It covers a variety of competencies to gauge the knowledge, skills, attitudes and work-related behaviors needed by those working in I&R/A.

“Congratulations to our case managers for receiving the CIRS-A certification,” said Helen Howell, Director of Pierce County Community Connections. “Their commitment to providing high quality services to our clients is very clear to those of us here at Community Connections. This certification acknowledges the competence of each team member and provides a wonderful stamp of approval to the ADRC.”

A service of Pierce County Community Connections, the ADRC provides free assistance to older adults, individuals with disabilities, family members, caregivers, friends, neighbors and professionals. The center offers information, referral and assistance to people seeking to access public and private pay programs and services to help residents remain independent and safe in their own homes for as long as they are able.

CIRS-A certification signifies expertise on issues relating to older adults.  The certification is administered by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems, a professional association for community Information and Referral (I&R) and I&R/A providers in the United States and Canada.


The ADRC is available by phone at (253) 798-4600 or (800) 562-0332; on the web at; and at the Community Connections office at 1305 Tacoma Avenue, Suite 104.

Many people wonder how to plan for their estate if they have concerns about the ability of a beneficiary to handle a bequest.  They want to know what options they have and how a charity might be involved in the solution, if at all.

Usually the best option for a beneficiary who might not be capable of handling a lump sum gift is to create a trust for the beneficiary.  In a trust, you can name a trustee to handle the financial management and make distributions to or for the benefit of the beneficiary.  Trusts can be very flexible, so you can structure the distribution provisions to fit the needs of your beneficiary.

The trustee can be a family member, a friend or a professional.  Often, however, family members are not the best choice because distribution decisions may place stress on family relationships.  Under the best of circumstances it can be awkward to manage funds for another family member.  If you are dealing with a beneficiary who is financially irresponsible, the situation can be much worse because the beneficiary may put pressure on the trustee to increase distributions.  For similar reasons it may be difficult for a friend to serve as trustee.  Banks and trust companies are a good option because they are experienced in working with difficult, inexperienced or irresponsible beneficiaries.

If you like the idea of providing a beneficiary with a regular income stream for the beneficiary’s lifetime and you would also like to support a charitable organization, then there are two options that allow you to meet both of these goals.  These options are charitable remainder trusts and charitable gift annuities.  Both of these options provide a stream of income to an individual beneficiary.  Upon the death of the beneficiary, the funds remaining in the trust or annuity belong to the charity.

Many charitable organizations offer charitable gift annuities administered by the charitable organization.  These are simple to set up and can be funded with relatively small dollar amounts.  Although it is a good idea to consult your attorney, accountant or other financial advisor, you do not need the services of an attorney to create a charitable gift annuity.  Charitable remainder trusts do require an attorney to draft the trust document.  A charitable organization can often serve as the trustee if the organization is designated to receive all or a significant portion of the remainder following the death of the beneficiary.

Trusts offer an effective solution if you have concerns regarding a beneficiary’s ability to handle a gift or inheritance.  If you want to combine planning for your beneficiary with a charitable gift, then a charitable gift annuity or a charitable remainder trust might be the best option for you.


Amy Lewis is an attorney with Eisenhower, Carlson, PLLC, in Tacoma. She specializes in charitable gift planning, estate and tax planning.  Please consult a qualified attorney or estate planner before making a gift in your estate.

Diabetes: a growing health concern

By Hugh Straley, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Soundpath Health

In the United States, 10.9 million people age 65 and older have diabetes. It is one of the most common and potentially serious chronic diseases among seniors. When diabetes is not controlled, glucose and fats remain in the blood and, over time, will damage vital organs. Diabetes can lead to many complications, including heart disease, vascular disease and kidney failure. The good news is that complications can be avoided through careful management of diet and exercise, with or without appropriate medications.

The growing epidemic of obesity is a primary cause of diabetes among seniors in the U.S. Other risk factors are a family history of diabetes and a history of diabetes during pregnancy. Diabetes is also seen more frequently in African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans.

Often there may be no symptoms because late onset diabetes in older people develops very slowly. But common warning signs of diabetes are increased thirst and hunger, dry mouth, frequent urination, vision changes, frequent infections and hard-to-heal skin ulcers.

Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, kidney disease, foot infections and amputation. It may lead to premature death, primarily from heart-related events. If uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to complications of the skin, bone and joints, nerve damage, non-healing ulcers and diabetic coma.

Once discovered, diabetes can be effectively managed through diet, exercise, weight loss and often with medications. The key to good self-management is a thorough understanding of the disease and following the care recommendations of physicians and caregivers.

There are many benefits of early detection and early treatment of diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone 45 years or older who has risk factors or is obese consider being screened for diabetes. Diabetes is detected if a fasting plasma glucose level is 126 mg/dL or greater. For people with diabetes and high blood pressure, it is known that reducing and controlling blood pressure and reducing cholesterol early decreases the incidence of heart disease and death.

1. Don’t smoke. Your best health means being tobacco-free.

2. Maintain blood sugar. Your blood sugar (A1C) should be less than 7 percent.

3. Lower bad cholesterol. Your LDL should be less than 100mg/dL.

4. Control blood pressure. Your BP should be less than 130/80.

5. Take daily aspirin. If you are 40 or older, take one baby aspirin per day.

6. Make healthy eating choices. Work with your doctor and team to create the right meal plan for you. Confer with a dietician as needed to help you make the right choices.

7. Get physically active. Start or maintain a regular physical exercise routine. Consult your doctor about starting a safe exercise plan. Do an activity every day.

8. Lose Weight. Losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can have dramatic improvements in blood sugar, blood pressure, and over all well-being.

9. Take your medicine. If you take pills or insulin to control diabetes, it is important for you to have a thorough understanding of how they work and when and how to take the medicine. If you take other medicines or supplements, ask your doctor how these could affect your diabetes control.