Volunteer Recruitment Event: October 15 at GSC

By Marguerite Langlois

A friendly phone call to see how you’re doing. A reliable driver happy to take you to the doctor, or for groceries, or to a movie. A smiling helper arriving at your door to work with you on a few tasks where you need an extra hand. Someone specifically trained to provide support for you at doctor visits. And many more volunteers doing all kinds of things –our Village volunteers are, as we often say, the heart of our Village program.

Can you help us recruit more volunteers as our Village continues to grow? On Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Greenwood Senior Center, we are having a volunteer recruitment event from 3:30– 4:45 for people who are interested in volunteering and want to know more. People who may be interested in volunteering will get a chance to hear our volunteers and our volunteer program coordinators talk about what it’s like to provide support that helps people age in their own homes and communities, and the many types of volunteering available. There will be time for questions and discussion. If people want to, they can fill out preliminary paperwork and sign up for training. Those who attend are also invited, as our guests, to our Village fall potluck at 5:00.

So “tell all your friends and relations” – anyone you think might be interested in volunteering with the Village. (You too, if you’re interested!) Invite them to the information session to hear all about it, and to the potluck as our guests, to meet more members and volunteers. Give them the Village email address: village@phinneycenter.org and our phone number, 206-789-1217, to find out more and to register for the event. Tell them this is their chance to help change the face of aging in our community, one member, one volunteer, one connection at a time.

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Saturday October 15
3:30-4:45 pm: PNA Village volunteer recruitment event
5-7 pm: fall potluck
Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N. 85th Street

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Better Together


Better Together: Power of Community Breakfast

Thursday, October 6
7:30-8:30 am (doors open at 7:15)
Greenwood Senior Center

Highlighting programs and services that support resilience and social connections for older adults in the community

Featuring keynote by Nancy Hooyman, Professor and Dean Emeritus, University of Washington, School of Social Work
There is no cost to attend, however a minimum donation of $50 is suggested.

Please RSVP by Wednesday, September 28.


(You may also call 206.783.2244 to RSVP)

Can’t attend? You can still donate to the event and support our senior programs!


 Thank you to our sponsors:


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Patient No More

Please join us for a wonderful, free, health advocacy information session on Tuesday, September 27:

Patient No More! How Being a Participant in your own Care and Having a Health Advocate Can Save your Life

Greenwood Senior Center, East Room
Tuesday, September 27
10 AM—noon

WASHAAJoin Robin Shapiro, of WASHAA (the Washington State Health Advocacy Association), for a free session to learn more about how to improve your health care experience with skills and insights into becoming more active in your own health. Everyone has the ability to seek better choice and control in health care decision-making. This session will review some of the most important ways people can become full Participants by applying common health advocacy skills. Be ready for an interactive, hands-on session, with must-know tips for anyone who has ever assisted family, friends or themselves in navigating the health care system.

Please RSVP to village@phinneycenter.org or 206-789-1217.

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About Those Ads

See an Ad you don't like? Find out what to do about it.

We apologize. At least one of our members got an unwanted political advertisement at the end of our Monday 9/12 blog post “A Chapter a Day.”

Ads sometimes appear at the bottom of our blog posts because of our free plan plan agreement with WordPress.com; in exchange for ads, we get the blog space free of charge. We did not expect that political ads would be used in this space, but we do not control the ads placed on WordPress.com. (To read more about WordPress.com’s ad policy, please see: https://wordpress.com/about-these-ads/).

Please email Rianan@phinneycenter.org if you have questions or concerns.

The good news is that the PNA Village Blog will soon move to a brand-new PNA Village website, which will be ad-free. Stay tuned for details!

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A Chapter a Day for Life

Recently published research suggests that the benefits of reading books might go beyond exposing readers to new ideas, new people, and new places: it may just include a longer life in which to read them.

In A chapter a day: Association of book reading with longevity, (Social Science & Medicine, Volume 164, September 2016, Pages 44–48 by Avni Bavishi, Martin D. Slade, Becca R. Levy) researchers examined “whether those who read books have a survival advantage over those who do not read books and over those who read other types of materials, and if so, whether cognition mediates this book reading effect.”

The research suggests a number of fascinating findings:

  • Book reading provides a survival advantage among the elderly
  • Books are more advantageous for survival than newspapers/magazines
  • The survival advantage of reading books works through a cognitive mediator
  • Books are protective regardless of gender, wealth, education, or health


To view an abstract of the paper and the research methodologies used, see: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953616303689

To read an interesting review of this paper online in The Guardian, see:

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Meat and Potatoes at Olsen Farms

Olsen Farms potato field

By Dick Gillett

Checking out the Olsen Farms stall at Friday’s Phinney Farmers Market, you see two things: a large and varied row of potatoes on one table, and an array of deep-freeze foot lockers on two other tables. Not very picturesque compared to the displays of other stalls—but the proof is in the eating!

Brent and Kira Olsen’s family farm, located near Colville in northeast Washington, comprises about 300 acres plus additional leased land nearby. According to Kira, Brent started farming in the mid-1990s with a vegetable crop, then switched to growing potatoes, then tried hay. Sticking with the potatoes and the hay fields, he then got interested in raising livestock.

Olsen Farms standToday their cattle are raised on green grass pastures and are fed hay and potatoes in the winter. “We feed the cows only what we grow on the farm, no outside food sources or animal by-products,” affirms the farm’s website.  “Our pigs are fed barley grown just across the road from where they live and our lambs are moved throughout the region to remain on pasture for as much of the year as possible.” The farm’s animals are naturally raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics.

olsen potatoesKira Olsen is one of those multitaskers: farmer’s wife, mother, and office worker (including at the farm’s USDA-certified meat processing facility nearby). For Kira, there’s a personal connection to our farmer’s market: she managed it in 2009, then met her husband through that connection. The couple have two daughters, 15 months and 2 ½ years.

Oh yes, about those potatoes…the farm’s huge selection of flavorful and colorful varieties inspire tasty recipes—like “Lena’s Big, Fluffy Viking Purple Potato” and “Ruth’s Breakfast Binjte Potatoes”—which can be found on their helpful website: www.olsenfarms.com.

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Heads up: there are only four more Fridays left for the Market this season! Hope to see you this Friday at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 3:30-7:30 pm.

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Peppers or chiles, we eat them like apples…

Alvarez Organic stall

By Dick Gillett

Are you hankering for some organically grown chiles or peppers to light up your taste buds? How about being able to check out dozens of varieties —from sweet to spicy—in one place?

Then the Alvarez Organic Farms stall at the Friday Phinney Farmer’s Market is the place to go. I chatted briefly with Erin, who was hovering over a huge assortment. “The peppers are so good,” she enthused. “We eat them like apples at my house.”

courtesy Alvarez Organic FarmsThe 90-acre organically sustainable farm at Mabton in the Yakima Valley also grows a huge variety of vegetables. Squash, beans, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant and corn were on display along with several varieties of potatoes at the crowded August 5 Friday market. “We have three or four harvests in just one year”, said Steve Alvarez, the farm’s wholesale manager as he waited on customers.

Steve and his brother Eddie are the two farmer sons of owner Helario Alvarez, who farmed in the state of Michoacán, Mexico before coming to the Yakima Valley in 1980. “My dad farms the way my ancestors farmed in Mexico a hundred years ago, before the chemicals,” said Steve proudly. “And you know what? Now people are realizing that’s the best way.”

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Editor’s note: Alvarez Organic Farms was featured in “Good Food”, a northwest film production by Bullfrog Films, focused on sustainable northwest farming. You may watch that clip here:

Please support your local Farmers Market! This Friday at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 3:30-7:30 pm.

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Casual Uncluttering at GSC

Professional Organizer Lauren Williams will do a traveling demonstration of a typical organizing session, while humorously discussing what to do with those confusing items everyone has laying around.

Learn organizing techniques and tips on preparing for disasters, choosing contractors and where to donate!

Casual Uncluttering
Tuesday, August 9
10:30 – 12:00 pm
Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N. 85th Street

Free event. Please register by calling: 206-297-0875.

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PNA Village Summer Potluck and BBQ

This summer’s event will be held Sunday, August 7 from 1 – 3 pm at Ida Culver House Ravenna, 2315 NE 65th Street, Seattle.

This will be a fun and casual event for members and volunteers with lots of socializing and games. Please bring your family, kids, and grand kids. Would you like to introduce a friend to the Village? Bring them! The more the merrier!

In the spirit of community, the meal will be a potluck. Please bring dishes to share* according to the first letter of your last name:

A – F: Salad or side dish
G – O: Meat or veggie meat + buns for grill
P – Z: Dessert

*Please bring serving utensils for your dishes.

If you would prefer, you may donate money that will be used to purchase food. $10 is suggested. ERA Living will provide coffee, lemonade, and juice.

If you are a Full Village member and would like to request a ride, please contact the PNA Village by today, Friday July 29.

Please let us know if you are planning to attend by Tuesday, August 2, so we are sure to have enough food and drinks for everyone! Contact the PNA Village office: 206-789-1217 or village@phinneycenter.org

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PNA Village Now Serves NW Seattle

PNA Village Expanded Boundaries

The new PNA Village has expanded, and invites residents of the Ballard, Bitter Lake and Broadview neighborhoods to join! Check out our service map, encompassing NW Seattle.

Please help us spread the word both to potential members and volunteers!

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