2015-Q2 - Retired Fire & Police Association

President’s Message
Drop Off
Retired Fireman’s Clubs
Police Beat
News You Can Use
Members News & Info
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.
Retired Fire & Police
4926 La Cuenta Dr.
(760) 753-7462
Tony Hancock
Jim Caster
[email protected]
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,
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.
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.
Open Enrollment
“Help Day”
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Balboa Park Club Ballroom
2144 Pan American Rd. W
San Diego, CA 92101
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.
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]
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.
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?
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.
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.
Total Membership - 1,735
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.
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.
Jim Caster at [email protected]
Go to the RFPA Website (click: Contact Us)
or contact Tom Rouse, Secretary,
at [email protected]
- or - 760-753-7462
Please contact Tony Hancock at
[email protected]
- or - 760-943-7351.
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
• 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!
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!
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
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.
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)
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 @
April 13, 2015
11:00 AM @ San Diego Police Pistol Range
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
Chuck Ellison
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.
No report
No Report
No Report
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.
Rouse: Vacation Draw will be held on May 13th at the
Offshore Bar and Grill.
A raffle was conducted by Rouse, May, and Robert.
July 13, 2015
11:46 AM
Winston Salem, NC
Monday, July 13 @ 11:00 am
Home Avenue & Hwy. 94
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.