September 2, 2014

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Monroe County Veterans Services Information 8/28/14
Written by Gary Lake, Veterans Service Officer   
Thursday, August 28, 2014 7:31 AM

This month’s article is designed to help you understand what pension benefits are now available to service connected veterans, disabled wartime veterans who are unemployable or over 65 years old, and widows of wartime veterans.  Our office has been able to assist numerous veterans and widows apply for benefits so far this year.  It concerns me that so many veterans are not aware or receiving benefits that they have earned.  If you are a veteran and have not visited our office and been briefed on your entitlements I encourage you stop in at your convenience.  Our office will advise each veteran or dependent of eligibility to benefits.  We can assist you in making an application to the VA for any entitlements.

Service-Connected Disability Compensation: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Compensation is a program that pays monthly benefits to veterans who are disabled as the result of injury or disease incurred in or aggravated during military service, in the line of duty.  Monetary benefits are authorized based upon the severity of the disability.

Veterans who are currently receiving service-connected disability compensation are entitled to make application for an increase if their current disability has worsened.  Also in many cases secondary disabilities are recognized as a direct result of a service connected disability.  It is possible that disability ratings can be reduced if it is found by medical evidence that your disability has gotten better.  Statutory protections exist if the disability has improved.  In order to apply for an increase, it is necessary that the veteran show medical proof of a worsened condition.

Those veterans who have service-connected disabilities evaluated at 30% or more are entitled to additional VA benefits and allowances for dependents.  Additional amounts are also payable for a spouse who is in need of the aid and attendance of another person.

NOTE:  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced effective September 23, 2008 that Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease as a service-connected condition.  Also as of November 1, 2010 the following three conditions have been added to the list of service-connected disabilities based on their presumed exposure to Agent Orange:  B Cell (hairy cell) Leukemia, Parkinson Disease, and Ischemic Heart Disease.  

OSU Extension: Safe Canning
Written by Kristen Corry   
Thursday, August 21, 2014 7:51 AM

Current USDA recommendations for safely canning foods at home have been determined by following approved methods and tested recipes. One of the most commonly-canned foods is tomatoes. Today these versatile and high-yielding vegetables come in many varieties with varying acidic levels. Therefore, it is recommended that you acidify tomato products when canning in a water bath. Citric acid, lemon juice, or vinegar helps obtain required pH (acid levels). Acid can be added directly to the jars before filling with the product. Add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid. Four tablespoons of 5% vinegar per quart can also be used instead of lemon juice or citric acid but may cause undesirable flavor changes. You may choose to add sugar to offset any acidic taste, if desired.

The USDA recommends only using tested recipes to ensure your family’s safety. However, some safe variations can be made. You may:

Change the amount of salt, except for pickles. Salt is used as a flavoring agent, so it can be added or reduced as preferred. However, when pickling, salt acts as a preservative and adds crispness. 

Everyday Leadership 8/14/14
Written by R. Glenn Ray, Ph.D   
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 4:33 PM

When the days grew long at the edge of summer, the boys of Malaga found time to play Kick the Can.  The game consumed hours on end with time outs for a Mountain Dew or the boys to return home for meals.  Kick the Can originated at 4-H club meetings or spontaneously in the church yard at the center of town extending into the early hours of darkness.  When the sun went down, the game became more exciting.

Usually six to a dozen boys were in the game.  One boy was selected to be “It” by any of a variety of means.  His job was to guard the can placed in an open area while capturing the other players.  Players were considered captured when the boy playing “It” touched them or called out their names and their hiding places while touching the can.  The game began with a designated player kicking the can as far as he could.    While the boy who was “It” retrieved the can and replaced it on the base, all the other players ran for safe hiding places on the perimeter of the open area.  Each boy’s objective was to run in and kick the can, which released all captured boys.  As you can imagine, the game could go on indefinitely.  Everyone knew the game was over when all the boys had been captured or a stalemate occurred and one boy called out “Olly Olly in Free.”

The skill required by all players was speed and creativity in their choices of hiding places.  The boy playing “It” had to search at the edge of the field yet be fast enough to intercept those trying to kick the can.  The rest of the boys had to be fast enough to beat the “It” to the can.  One strategy was for two boys to race for the can from different directions.  Another strategy was to lure the boy playing “It” farther and farther out to allow other boys to reach the can.  

Our Readers Write... Breast Feeding
Written by Donielle Flynn   
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 4:30 PM

To the Editor:

Imagine that someone had invented a new wonder product to feed and immunize everyone on earth.  Imagine also that it was readily available everywhere, needed no storage or delivery and even reduced the risk of cancer and obesity.  Next, imagine that the world refused to use it – crazy huh?    The wonder product is human breast milk, available to all of us at birth, and sadly many babies are not getting it.   

Five Generations of Kastrevecs
Written by Submitted   
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 4:26 PM

Front row; Edward Kastrevec, Mychael Louise Feasel, Dan Kastravec. Back row; John “Eddie” Kastrevec, Dalton (Kastrevec) Feasel.