Should you get the new shingles vaccine?

By: Amanda Johnson

Q: At a recent visit, my local pharmacist asked if I was up to date with my vaccinations. He told me there is a new shingles vaccine that was recently approved. Do I need this vaccine? What do I need to know about it? A: In October, the FDA and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) approved a new adult vaccine called Shingrix. The Shingrix vaccine is given to help prevent shingles and... READ MORE

Lazy, weak men and clueless strangers

By: Helen Oxenberg, MSW, ACSW

Dear Solutions: My husband, who retired recently, is making me more and more angry. Every time I ask him to help with household chores, he refuses and thinks he’s funny when he says he can’t exert himself because he’s protecting me. He says he’s saving me from becoming a widow. I work part time, but because I’m home a lot, he thinks I can do everything myself. I’ve... READ MORE

Classes that will unleash your inner artist

By: Carol Sorgen and Barbara Ruben

Amateur artists 50 and above are encouraged to enter their works of art in an upcoming regional competition sponsored by the Beacon. Our Celebration of the Arts competition will open April 1. Read the Beacon in coming months for further details, or visit our website: For those who would like to take up a new art or craft — or perhaps return to an old... READ MORE

Palermo, Italy offers a lively slice of Sicily

By: Cain Burdeau

For many travelers, Italy is seen as romantic, mysterious and a bit chaotic, with torpid heat, gorgeously rich colors and irresistible food. In reality, of course, every region has a distinct culture and identity. But Palermo — the ancient capital of Sicily and jewel of the Mediterranean — lives up to the Italy of popular imagination. It’s joyful and colorful, rich in art and... READ MORE

Foods and games to improve your brain

By: Suzy Cohen

If you want to know how to grow a bunch of new brain cells, termed “neurons,” and keep them as healthy as possible, let me tell you one quick thing about neurogenesis. Neurogenesis is the science of spurring the growth of neurons in your brain. Without neurogenesis, you’d be dead. In fact, we can grow as many as 700 new neurons a day. Scientists have found that several things... READ MORE

From CPA to haute chocolatier

By: Carol Sorgen

As Valentine’s Day approaches, lovebirds will line up for chocolate-covered strawberries at Ruthie Carliner’s evocatively named Velvet Chocolatier shop in Stevenson Village. Her chocolates can also be found at Whole Foods, and Oprah included her creamy sea salt-topped caramel cups in her list of “favorite things” back in 2011. But Carliner’s calling in creating decadent... READ MORE