Make A Difference Day

Volunteer20GraphicUSA WEEKEND Magazine’s Make A Difference Day is a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors. Now in its 19th year, USA WEEKEND, HandsOn Network and Newman’s Own, in concert with AARP and other groups, expect to rally millions of volunteers on Saturday, October 24, 2009. If you don’t currently volunteer, Make A Difference Day offers a great way to start.

Everyone – young and old, individuals and groups – can carry out a volunteer project. Ideas for volunteering can be found at AARP’s Create The Good or the Make A Difference Day Idea Generator.

And this year, AARP Create The Good will provide two $5,000 charitable awards for volunteer projects that help older people stay in their homes. Ten Make A Difference Day efforts will also receive Newman’s Own charitable awards of $10,000 for a range of volunteer efforts. The awards go to individuals or organizations, but the money itself will go to a charity suggested by the award winner – another way to help spread good work.

You can enter to win an award by submitting your entry describing your project on by November 16th, 2009.

Help an older person, organize your block to clean a local park, donate toys to a shelter, or help in another way. Be sure to read USA WEEKEND over the next few weeks for the latest information on Make A Difference Day and AARP’s award.



Public Art: Link Light Rail

lightrail_ArtIt’s possible for a distracted traveler to ride the spiffy new Link light rail line from Seattle’s downtown to the airport without noticing much in the way of art. The vast majority of the works are best seen by people off, rather than on the trains, and perhaps that’s inevitable, given how quickly the rail cars move and the multiple directions passengers might look. Blink, and you certainly might miss the giant phantom playing cards, created by vivid electronic bursts of light intermittently visible in the tunnel just south of Beacon Hill. If you do notice them, and you happen to be like the kids sitting across from me, you let out the sort of whoop that certifies something as truly cool, not to mention unexpected and mysterious.

The bulk of the public art that Sound Transit commissioned for its route isn’t about being elusive and dreamlike. Many of the works are designed to appeal to the ethnic and cultural sensibilities of the communities they are sited in, particularly in the diverse stretch of the Rainier Valley where street level tracks (rather than buried or elevated) proved especially controversial. The three stops in the Valley have not only platform art, but also art installed in newly-created plazas nearby. The plaza sculptures include some of the most striking pieces in the system, civic landmarks for emerging neighborhoods with little strong physical identity of their own.

To continue reading CLICK HERE

Source: Seattle PI

Apple and Fennel Roasted Pork Tenderloin

apple_fennel_tenderloin Ingredients
2 large sweet-tart apples, such as Fuji or Braeburn, sliced
1 large bulb fennel, trimmed, cored and thinly sliced, plus 1 tablespoon chopped fronds for garnish
1 large red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons cider vinegar

Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 475°F.
Toss apples, sliced fennel and onion with 1 tablespoon oil in a large bowl. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast on the lower oven rack, stirring twice, until tender and golden, 30 to 35 minutes.
About 10 minutes after the apple mixture goes into the oven, sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the pork on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn the pork over and transfer the pan to the top oven rack. Roast until just barely pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer registers 145°F, 12 to 14 minutes.
Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Immediately stir vinegar into the pan (be careful, the handle will be hot), scraping up any browned bits, then add to the apple mixture. Thinly slice the pork; serve with the apple mixture and sprinkle with fennel fronds.

Source: Eating Well

New Bike Styles for Comfort and Ease

cyclistThe large hills looming between Lucy Rigg McAdams’ home and Lake Washington inside Seattle gave her the willies. The greeting card illustrator, 66, couldn’t pedal her trusty 20-year-old bike up a series of 500-footers that would deliver her downtown to run errands. She used to ride that bike up and down the hills of Switzerland in her 40s, but these days her legs, back and hips don’t have the strength they once did.

Help came this spring from a friend’s son, Wakefield Gregg, the owner of the recently opened eBike Store in Portland, Ore. He loaded eight pedal-assisted electric bikes in a van, drove 200 miles to her in-town address and let her test each one for sturdiness, comfort and speed.

His customer was astonished at what she saw and promptly surged up hills she once thought insurmountable…

Rigg McAdams quickly found out what many other 50-plus Americans have been discovering—the U.S. bike market is now catering to their wants and needs. Many older bicyclists aren’t looking for sturdy mountain bikes designed for daredevils or racing styles for Lycra-clad hard bodies. Instead, they’re interests are piqued by the newer, more comfortable models broadly referred to as “lifestyle” bikes.

Lifestyle bikes boast features like padded seats for a soft ride; lower, U-shaped crossbars for trouble-free mounting; low gears for easy pedaling; and a sturdy, upright frame for balance. And some, like Rigg McAdams’ new $1,800 wheels, are power-assisted.

This interest has made such bikes the hottest category of two-wheeled transportation today. From an almost nonexistent market a decade ago, these lifestyle bikes now command a third of the 3.1 million bike sales anticipated in 2009.

But the most noteworthy shift in the market is who’s now riding bikes. “We’ve seen riders in the demographics between ages 9 and 29 plummet,” says Loren Snyder, spokesman for Cannondale USA in Bethel, Conn., citing figures from the Bicycle Products Suppliers Association. “But the number of baby boomers and older riders is skyrocketing. Since 1998, riders over 50 as a category has moved from 7 percent to 21 percent as of 2008.”

Click here to continue reading

Source: AARP

Understanding Your Feet

walkingThe average person walks the equivalent of three times around the Earth in a lifetime. That is enormous wear and tear on the 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 tendons, ligaments and muscles that make up the foot.

In a recent survey for the American Podiatric Medical Association, 53 percent of respondents reported foot pain so severe that it hampered their daily function. On average, people develop pain in their 60s, but it can start as early as the 20s and 30s. Yet, except for women who get regular pedicures, most people don’t take much care of their feet.

“A lot of people think foot pain is part of the aging process and accept it, and function and walk with pain,” said Dr. Andrew Shapiro, a podiatrist in Valley Stream, N.Y. Though some foot problems are inevitable, their progress can be slowed.

The most common foot conditions that occur with age are arthritic joints, thinning of the fat pads cushioning the soles, plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the fibrous tissue along the sole), bunions (enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe), poor circulation and fungal nails. The following questions will help you assess whether you should take more preventive action as you age.

Click here to continue reading.

Source: The New York Times

Green Choices: Produce Buyer’s Guide

organic-vegetablesThe greenest choice for produce? Grow your own or buy organic produce from local farmers. But if you can’t do that, consider choosing foods with the following labels:


Locally sourced food can mean just about anything—your backyard, your county, your state, 50 miles, 100 miles, 200 miles and so on. Many state labels (e.g., Colorado Proud) mandate only that food is grown and processed within the state.

Health benefits: Locally grown foods are often picked when they are riper (since they take less time to travel to market) and can be richer in nutrients because of this.

Eco-benefits: Buying locally can conserve fuel (that would be used to transport food long distances). According to the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State, if Iowans purchased only 10 percent more of their food from within their home states, it would result in as much as a 7.9 million pound reduction in carbon emissions annually. However, research out of the UK and New Zealand suggests that, in some cases, imported foods may be kinder to the environment because they originate in countries that use simpler farming methods (think: ox cart versus a tractor) or more fuel-efficient transportation systems.

Is it regulated? No.

Keep in mind: “Local” doesn’t necessarily mean a farm is small, organic, or sustainable.

Certified Organic

Certified organic fruits and vegetables are grown without the use of pesticides and herbicides, genetically modified seeds or sewage sludge fertilizers. Farmers must conserve soil quality and often use non-toxic Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques, such as using ladybugs to control aphids or mint oils and cloves to deter pests.

Click here to continue reading.


Oven-Fried Chicken Parmesan

chicken-parmesanServe a classic family-favorite for an easy weeknight meal in minutes. Pair with an easy starch and a small green salad.

4 servings (serving size: 1 breast half)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Cooking spray
1/2 cup jarred tomato-basil pasta sauce
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Combine first 3 ingredients in a shallow dish; place egg whites in a bowl. Place panko in a shallow dish. Dredge 1 breast half in flour mixture. Dip in egg whites; dredge in panko. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken, flour mixture, egg whites, and panko.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Turn chicken over; cook 2 minutes. Coat chicken with cooking spray; place pan in oven. Bake at 450° for 5 minutes. Turn chicken over; top each breast half with 2 tablespoons sauce, 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano, and 3 tablespoons mozzarella. Bake 6 minutes or until chicken is done.

Nutritional Information
Fat:16.9g (sat 6.4g,mono 7.6g,poly 1.3g)