IN THIS ISSUE President’s Message Drop Off Retired Fireman’s Clubs Police Beat News You Can Use Members News & Info PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Ron Moskowitz We have finally made it through another devastating San Diego winter, where we saw temperatures dip dangerously close to the mid 50s and got almost eight inches of rain. WELCOME SUMMER! Retired Fire & Police Association 4926 La Cuenta Dr. SAN DIEGO, CA 92124 PHONE MESSAGE (760) 753-7462 EDITOR Tony Hancock WEBSITE www.retiredfp.com WEBMASTER Jim Caster [email protected] PUBLISHER Lamp Post Inc. SDCERS updates. Me’Ya Alomar was recently hired as the Member Services Manager; she has a lot of great ideas and recommendations to make our lives better and much easier. As these changes occur, we’ll be putting the word out via quarterly newsletter, RFPA website or by email. In April, SDCERS hosted the first-ever Retiree Health Coverage Workshop. It was extremely well attended. There were resources from CERS, Kaiser, Health Net, Social Security, Medicare, and Covered California health insurance exchange. SDCERS videotaped the workshop; to view it, go to www.sdcers.org, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the “You Tube” logo. I strongly recommend you go to the website, as it has a great deal of retiree information available. You can then go to the Member Portal and register; you will then have access to your personal information. SDCERS has produced another outstanding Open Enrollment booklet, 1 which you should have in your possession by the time you receive this newsletter. RECOMMENDATION – KEEP IT HANDY. There is a lot of information and answers you can refer to throughout the year, especially if you will be turning 65 and are eligible for Medicare. Three to four months prior to your birthday, you will start receiving Medicare information and a trash can full of Part “D” prescription coverage sales pitches. If you are using one of the City-sponsored health providers, DO NOT sign up for a Part “D” plan – you would lose the City health plan because it is included in both Kaiser and Health Net. Quarterly luncheons. Cost to us (Jan, April and July) is approximately $9 per person, which we host for no cost to the member. Our NO-SHOWs have dropped dramatically, so here’s a big THANK YOU...keep it up, we can certainly use the money elsewhere (see below**). This brings me to our October luncheon, where your significant others are also invited. The Town and Country has been sold, and the lunch price has more than tripled. The former owners thought so highly of Police and Fire that they charged us a little over their cost. We are now in the process of finding another venue. **We will still try to supplement part of the cost to keep it affordable for you. If anyone out there has a large house that can accommodate 150 let us know. PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE (cont.) Email updates. If you have email access, you can receive updates regarding SDCERS/City issues, retirement party announcements and death and funeral notices, etc. For FD, contact me at [email protected], and for PD, contact Kathy Healy at [email protected] Membership. If you know of a San Diego City Safety retiree who hasn’t joined our organization, please direct him or her to our website (www.retiredfp.com) to fill out an application. For every member you bring in, you and the new member will each be eligible for a free lunch at the January, April and July luncheons. Quarterly Luncheon. Speaking of the July luncheon, see the invitation on the back page. Hope you can join us for a great meal, a beer or soda and the chance to connect with old friends. CITY OF SAN DIEGO RETIREE HEALTH BENEFITS Open Enrollment “Help Day” When: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 Time: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Where: Balboa Park Club Ballroom 2144 Pan American Rd. W San Diego, CA 92101 What: SDCERS staff and sponsored health providers will be onsite to answer your questions about the 2015-2016 health plan options. Paperwork can be submitted directly to SDCERS staff at the event. HELPFUL INFORMATION QUESTIONS FOR ANY BOARD MEMBER: A list of all board members appears on the website. Under the ASSOCIATION tab, click Board of Directors to see their email address and phone number. EMAIL UPDATES: If you have email access and you aren’t receiving email notification of SDCERS/ City issues, retirement and party announcements, death and funeral notices, etc., you can get on the email list by contacting: Ron Moskowitz for FD & Lifeguards at [email protected] or Kathy Healey for PD at [email protected] HAND-IN-HAND Family Support Services: A group of dedicated, compassionate volunteers that came together out of mutual respect and concern for Fire and Police families. Hand-in-Hand works directly with the spouses and families of retired Safety Officers after the loss of a loved one. We provide spouses and families in crisis with empathy, support and practical resources to ease the bereavement process and the transition to independence. Contact: Cherie Olaveson [email protected] • 619-561-5985 CARE-COUNSEL is a health care assistance program providing health care education, information, advocacy, and coaching in an independent and confidential manner. Services are available to all retirees at no cost. They can be reached at 888-2273334 or on the web at www.carecounsel.com. THE BADGE & THE BOTTLE: In need of help? The Public Safety Fellowship can help. San Diego County public safety agencies created a fellowship in the hope of assisting our professional community in the area of alcohol dependence. Our fellowship is free of charge and independent of any other agency. Hiding or ignoring the problem will not make it disappear. Our meetings are available to all sworn Fire, Police and Lifeguards - active, retired, or former. We meet on Tuesdays at 7:00 PM. For more information and confidential assistance, please contact Mike @ 858-672-2728. Open Enrollment period: June 1st - June 30th Remember: if you are “not” making any changes to your current health plan, you don’t have to do anything. Please refer to the 2015-2016 Retiree Health Benefits booklet provided to you by SDCERS. 2 DROP OFF Hope everyone had a great spring and is looking forward to summer. If you remember, summer started early last year with Santa Ana winds in May that fueled early brush fires that killed one person and left 30 plus homes destroyed. What a difference a year makes, as this May is breaking records for the most rainfall for the month of May since Hatfield “the rain maker” was thrown out of San Diego for causing the great flood of Mission Valley in 1916. But that’s another story. As you may or may not have noticed, the name “Drop Off” is now the new name for Fire News. The vote results were one to zero. The only response I got back was from Roy “Mac” McLachlan, who voted for Drop Off. Now for the news we need to report. Since our last article, we have had three Brothers pass away. Captain Richard “Bob” Watts answered his last alarm on January 21, 2015. Bob was a veteran who served in the Air Force before joining the Department in May 1959. Bob retired in 1974 and was an instructor at Miramar College. On March 7, 2015, Battalion Chief Robert “RC” White answered his last alarm. Chief White served the Department for 36 years and retired in 1987. The last Brother to answer his last alarm was Captain Jerome “Jerry” Drilling on April 15, 2015. Jerry served in the Army before joining the Department and retired in 1991 with more than 22 years of service. One other note of Tom Rouse condolence goes out to Chuck and Joyce Knight, who lost their son, Daniel Lee Knight, on March 28, 2015. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those members’ loved ones and families. Some of the activities that you may have missed were the Guacamole Bowl in February and the Vacation Draw in May. The Guacamole Bowl is a competition to see who can make the best Guacamole. All the proceeds go to support “Sports For Exceptional Athletes.” Your RF&PA Board of Directors finished in first place in the Law Enforcement Division and third in the judging round. Vacation Draw was held at the Offshore Bar and Grill in May, and all 26 retirees who attended had a great time and were assured of a great vacation slot for 2015. This is the seventh year that we have revived vacation draw from the past, and it’s a great time to see some “old” friends. Group 3 draws first next year, so please plan to attend. Here are some dates to mark down for the future: July 13, 2015, is the next general membership meeting at the Police Pistol Range. This includes a free lunch. As mentioned in the last newsletter, July 25, 2015, will be a special day. “Old Station Six” at Columbia and Cedar (Firehouse Museum) is going to have a plaque placed on the structure marking it as a historical place, as it turns 100 years old this year. There will be a short dedication ceremony, and then the plaque will be unveiled. This will take place at 11 AM. The last date to note is August 19, 2015. This will be the date of the first “SDFD Lake Tahoe BBQ.” It will be held on the west shore of Lake Tahoe in Rubicon Bay. It will start at 3PM and continue until ??? If you are in the Tahoe area, plan to attend. Contact Tom Rouse by email ([email protected]) for information. In closing, I would like to share a letter from Tony Polinsky on how he ended up on the San Diego Fire Department. As with most members of the Department from the 50s to the 70s, Tony had no idea he was going to be a “fireman.” He spent his childhood in Oregon and ended up in San Diego as a welder for Ryan Aeronautical Co. After five years, he wanted to find something with a better future. About this time, his wife wanted to learn how to drive, but Tony didn’t want her ruining his car learning. On the way to Fed-Co, he saw a car for sale in a yard. The car belonged to a San Diego Fireman by the name of Martin. He was known on the job as “Tennessee” Martin. Tony bought the car and then got talking to Tennessee about the Fire Department and decided that was for him. At that time, the test was given for Fire and Police, so he took the test with 72 others and was the only person to be hired by the Fire Department. How did you get on the Department? RETIRED FIREMAN’S CLUBS Tony Hancock This article will be expanding to cover other retired firefighter groups, not just the one that meets at NTC. We will now report on those groups as we learn of them. And ladies, please do not be put off by the term Fireman’s Clubs. No disrespect is intended here. You are always to be included, and you are encouraged to attend these events. They are for you, too. Fire departments around the country typically are steeped in tradition, especially where names are concerned. Locally, the Fireman’s Relief Association has been around since 1907, long before there were any female firefighters on any department. The NTC group began meeting many years ago, as well, also before female firefighters were around. They initially met at a restaurant in the Allied Gardens area. As this group ages, many of our newer retirees, including the ladies, have not been attending...probably due to the fact that they don’t even know many of the older members, other than by reputation. Many of these old timers retired long before the newer retirees even came on the job. It’s unfortunate that these retirees are missing out on some great stories told by these legendary characters. Story telling is an art and in the past was usually based on whoever could talk the loudest or who had the best imagination. Just to let you know, Rocky has healed up again, and he plans to cook lunches from time to time...if he can find enough help to do the heavy lifting. Others, namely Joe Campbell, have been doing most of the work, but it’s just not the same as having the “old burro” around to stir (up) the pot. The North County group that meets at the Potato Shack in Encinitas on the first Wednesday of each month seems to be growing with lots of newer retirees and those who may be in town for a visit. About 20-30 guests seems to be the norm. Even some who are in DROP will show up. The Potato Shack downsized it’s eating area, and it’s quite possible we’ll have to find another venue to meet. If you want regular updates on this group, you need to get on Bob Vignato’s email list. Call someone who has it or go on the RFPA website to access the roster. Another group meets in East County every Wednesday in El Cajon at Country Waffles at 1218 East Main Street. Most of these guys are San Diego retirees, but there are some others as well. Check with Bob Sawyer, Joe Asciutto or Dennis Russell for more info. 4 THE RETIRED FIRE & POLICE ASSOCIATION & FOUNDATION OF SAN DIEGO, CA INC A California Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation: Tax ID 33-0847533 Your tax deductible contributions help us to continue the charitable work we do within our community. Almost all of the donations we make go to support Police, Fire and Lifeguard causes and to help our brothers and sisters in their time of need. For a list of “Frequently Asked Questions,” go to the website and click on the FOUNDATION tab. MEMBERSHIP NEWS & INFO Total Membership - 1,735 RFPA WEBSITE: www.retiredfp.com is continually updated and is much easier to navigate. We have recently added an area to post announcements, business ads and items for sale. Regularly check for new postings on the homepage calendar. ONLINE ROSTER: www.roster.retiredfp.com. You will be asked to enter a “new” User Name and Password the first time you access this site. Or, access the roster from the website. WEBMASTER: Jim Caster at [email protected] TO CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS OR PHONE NUMBER: Go to the RFPA Website (click: Contact Us) or contact Tom Rouse, Secretary, at [email protected] - or - 760-753-7462 TO PUBLISH INFORMATION IN THIS NEWSLETTER: Please contact Tony Hancock at [email protected] - or - 760-943-7351. POLICE BEAT The budget for the City of San Diego was approved recently. The good news in this budget is that the Supplemental COLA for our elder retirees will remain intact. For those affected retirees, this was a BIG win, as loss of the benefit would have put many in hardship status. Many thanks go to members of our RFPA board, who worked hard to convince Councilmembers to retain the benefit. Those of you who peruse the Informant via our SDPOA hopefully read the feature on PORAC - RAM. PORAC has a RAM (Retired Association Membership) available to former law enforcement professionals. We encourage membership in PORAC in support of retiree issues impacting us in California and nationwide. PORAC has and continues to maintain many important political contacts locally and in Washington, DC. Its expertise and involvement in retirement issues is appreciated, and our support of those efforts can only help us. Please consider joining the ranks. I would also ask that you encourage fellow retirees and active members who have entered the DROP to join the RFPA. Retirees receive a lot of Kathy Healey benefits for only $2.00 per month! These include: •Advocacy on your behalf for issues affecting retirement and healthcare • Quarterly newsletter •Four Quarterly luncheons per year that allow you to socialize with other retirees •Access to our website, which includes a member roster of all retirees, our By-Laws, Survivors Benefit information, a calendar of upcoming events, and Association updates •The services of “Hand-inHand,” a subsidiary group that offers support for Fire, Police and Lifeguard families after the death of a loved one • Discounted burial services offered by El Camino Memorial Park in Sorrento Valley, where we have a Fire & Police Lawn and Columbarium I can only attest to the fact I have learned many things I never knew about retiree issues after joining the RFPA. It behooves everyone to remain current on retiree matters in this anti-public employee climate! 5 For those of you who might have missed the SDCERS Healthcare Workshop on April 20, 2015, the meeting was recorded and is now posted on the SDCERS website for you to view at your leisure. There was lots of good information presented, especially for those getting ready to convert over to Medicare. A worthwhile watch! During the past quarter, we lost several fellow retirees, including Officer John Walters, Commander Jim Kennedy and Agent John Dunbar. Please keep the families and friends of all those who have passed in your thoughts and prayers, as we continue to enjoy our own retirements. It seems they are gone way too soon. On that note, thanks to all who participated in our annual Remembrance Day held at El Camino Mortuary in the dedicated Police & Firefighter area. As always, it was a wonderful tribute to those who passed in 2014. Command staff from the Police and Fire Departments, plus loved ones and friends of the deceased all came to pay honor to those who gave our Departments many years of service. They will not be forgotten! NEWS YOU CAN USE Retiree Healthcare. Please see the flyer elsewhere in this newsletter for pertinent information regarding City of San Diego Retiree Health Benefits 2015-2016 Open Enrollment. By the time you read this, you should have received your Health Benefits booklet from SDCERS. Remember to save this booklet for future reference throughout the year. There are different rules governing retirees based on your retirement date. There is also important information regarding the procedures for reimbursement for your medical costs should you decide to purchase your own health insurance. Also, depending on when you retired, you may be eligible for reimbursement of your Medicare Part B expenses. If you are eligible at age 65 – and you don’t sign-up for Medicare – your premium could go up by as much as 10% per year. The City will not reimburse you for any penalties you might incur for failing to enroll in Medicare in a timely manner. For the most part, your monthly allotment from the City to cover your healthcare expenses will go up a bit this year. Unfortunately, unless you opt for Kaiser health coverage, your expenses will also go up. Those who choose Kaiser Senior Advantage (Medicare Plan) will see an almost 5% reduction in monthly cost for their health insurance. On a personal note, I have had Kaiser health coverage ever since the city began offering it more than 35 years ago. As with any HMO where you have to choose an in-house doctor, there are those who will balk at this kind of coverage. You have to be your own advocate as to the quality of care you will receive. In a PPO plan, this is also true. About a year and a half ago, I had open heart surgery at Scripps La Jolla to repair my the mitral valve. The surgery was performed by a Scripps thoracic surgeon, and I spent five days in the hospital. My post-op rehabilitation included attending three sessions a week at Scripps Cardiac Rehab Center for two months, where I was monitored by a nurse and an exercise technician at all times. This whole adventure, including a follow-up exam with the surgeon, cost me only $100 out of pocket. I’d say that is pretty good coverage. Retiree Issues Task Force. The RITF is comprised of three board members from the RFPA, three from the City of San Diego Retired Employees Association (REA), the Retirees’ Rep to SDCERS (Dick Wilken), Mark Hovey (SDCERS CEO), and Cynthia Queen (SDCERS Member Services Director). We meet three to four times a year to deal with retiree issues that affect us all. We have had a great deal of success maintaining the benefits we were all promised when we retired. A benefit that came after retirement was the establishment of the Supplemental COLA 6 Tony Hancock for pre-1982 retirees. Through our efforts, we were able to convince the City Council to include funding for this program when the City establishes its budget each year. In the future, we hope to be included in the preliminary planning stages of negotiations for retiree healthcare benefits. Active city employees have their unions to negotiate for their benefits; retirees are left with no one to do this. That is why it is so important for retirees to join an organization such as the RFPA. Quarterly newsletter. Our by-laws state that our members be notified 30 days prior to our scheduled meetings. This is required to facilitate the election of officers and anytime we must vote on a change to the by-laws. There are still about 390 members and surviving spouses who receive the printed version of the newsletter by snail mail. Probably, most of them don’t use computers. In order to get the printed newsletter out in time, it takes about 7-8 weeks to edit, publish, print, and mail. Kathy Healey (P) and Ron Moskowitz (F) email copies to everyone on their email list as soon as it is published and posted on our website....about a month before the printed version is delivered. Since we have more than 1,700 members and surviving spouses, our costs are substantially reduced if we don’t have to print and mail the newsletter. WELCOME NEW MEMBERS Thomas Broxtermann (P) Thomas Carlson (P) David Contreras (P) Paul Hubka (P) John Langford (F) Kevin Lares (P) Robert Redding (P) Steven Riddle (P) Richard Schaaf (P) David Leasure (F) Michael Nelson (F) Brian Pendleton (P) Steven Tiplitsky (P) Stephen Truss (P) Annette Anderson (P) Timothy Atkinson (F) Jon Campbell (F) Samuel T. Campbell (P) Daniel Goebel (F) Tom Rizzo (P) John Trent (P) Jene Calloway (P) William T. Davis, Jr. (P) John Gates (F) Staley Myers (F) IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING BENEFICIARIES It is extremely important that you keep your beneficiary information current with SDCERS to avoid delays in receiving benefits intended for spouses and family members. Updated information (as of November 2013) regarding “Death Benefits for Survivors and Beneficiaries” is now available on the SDCERS website @ www.sdcers.org. RETIRED FIRE & POLICE ASSOCIATION OF SAN DIEGO GENERAL MEETING & LUNCHEON April 13, 2015 11:00 AM @ San Diego Police Pistol Range CALL TO ORDER: 11:05 AM ROLL CALL OF OFFICERS: Ron Moskowitz, President Gary Hill, Director Garry Collins, Vice President Mike May, Director Tom Rouse, Secretary Kathy Healey, Director Mike Robert, Treasurer Larry Moratto, Director Bill Farrar, Director Tony Hancock, Director Dave Hall, President Ex-Officio PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: OPENING PRAYER: Chuck Ellison Chuck Ellison OFFICERS REPORTS: President: Moskowitz introduced Ed Montgomery, who wanted to thank the Board in person for their support of the San Diego Fire Department Emerald Society Pipes & Drums. Vice-President: No report Treasurer: No Report Secretary: No Report GUEST SPEAKER: Dr. Roberta Flynn gave a presentation on Honor Flight. Honor Flight is a group of volunteers that takes WWII Veterans to Washington, DC to honor them. She also talked about Alzheimer disease and how to deal with dementia. Tommy Giaquinto spoke about the Police Museum. ANNOUNCEMENTS: Rouse: Vacation Draw will be held on May 13th at the Offshore Bar and Grill. RAFFLE: A raffle was conducted by Rouse, May, and Robert. NEXT MEETING: ADJOURNMENT: 7 July 13, 2015 11:46 AM PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID Winston Salem, NC PERMIT #319 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED RETIRED FIRE AND POLICE ASSOCIATION QUARTERLY LUNCHEON FOR MEMBERS & GUESTS Monday, July 13 @ 11:00 am POLICE PISTOL RANGE Home Avenue & Hwy. 94 NO COST FOR THE MEAL & REFRESHMENTS Lunch: Burgers, beans, potato salad, etc. – Food provided by Guillermo’s Catering RSVP is mandatory - not later than July 8th to: Ron Moskowitz • [email protected] • (619-990-6596) Guest Speaker: TBA 50/50 Drawing Luncheon is for MEMBERS ONLY, please - no guests (unless the guest is eligible to join, and does so at the luncheon). *Food is ordered according to how many people RSVP...don’t miss out. If you RSVP and later change your mind, please contact Ron.
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