Pop Culture Chronicles
A couple weeks back, I got a surprise when I heard about plans by two ’70s bands that swore they would never reunite.
ABBA flat-out refused to revive their act for many years and even declined an invitation to perform when it was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Turns out the band has just secretly recorded two new songs. Is this a big deal? Again, the respect thing. CSNY’s David Crosby described their music as “dog poop,” but their stuff has been covered by everyone from Culture Club to U2’s Bono.
When Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham died in 1980 after drinking 40 shots of vodka, the rest of the band said Zeppelin was done. The band did perform at the induction and later at a tribute show for Atlantic Records’ Ahmet Ertegun, but since then, zilch. Now there’s word that Zeppelin is talking about a possible reunion gig to mark the band’s 50th anniversary. The past is roaring back.
LPs and TV, Too
With so many people downloading music and stores dropping compact discs, long-playing vinyl records are showing increased sales, and it’s the same for live music. I was at the Streetsboro Family Days in July and the entertainment included Mr. Speed (a classic KISS tribute), Rubix Cubed (’80s music), Disco Inferno and Michael Weber, a guitar phenom who was born 25 years after some of the music he plays was written.
Look at your TV. Reboots of “Magnum P.I.,” “Hawaii Five-0,” ”Alf,” “Will & Grace” and “Dynasty” are all on the schedule, and Norman Lear is talking about re-imagining “All in the Family,” “Maude” and “The Jeffersons.” Nostalgia is big business, and not just on the entertainment front.
My wife, Janice, and I were walking through the Heinen’s in downtown Cleveland....
By Michael Freeman
The Salvation Army NEO
America is a generous country. Over 67 percent of American households give to charity.
While some people give for tax reasons, many — if not the majority — open their wallets because they are convinced that the work of their favorite charity is vital.
With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, the philanthropic community is standing back to see if this is true. Do Americans give for personal tax savings or from a place of true charity?
The new tax law has doubled the standard deduction — the preset amount all taxpayers are allowed to lop off their taxable income — from $6,500 to $12,000. This will reduce the number of taxpayers who itemize deductions on their tax return from 47 million to 19 million. Simply put, very few of us will now deduct our charitable contributions.
Options remain, however, that can make us tax-savvy stewards. Consider this: Rather than cash, donate appreciated stocks. With the fervor of the current market, your investment may have seen handsome growth.
Here’s the catch: When you sell that stock, you are responsible to pay a capital gain tax. If however, you have owned that stock for over a year, it can be donated to charity and the gift passes to the charity without any tax due. For itemizers, the full amount of the stock’s value on the day it was donated qualifies as a charitable deduction.
For future “planned giving” — which means giving after you have died — there is a plethora of ideas that enable you to make an impact from beyond the grave. My father had a friend who had been financially successful in the trucking business. At his death, I asked my dad how much the man had left behind....
By Dr. Steve Marsh
Many of our parents and their generation thought that over their lifetime it was “natural” to lose some teeth — even all of them. And when they did, they would either get a partial denture or a full denture, or go toothless.
The partial denture replaced the teeth that were missing, with artificial teeth held in by metal wires or clasps. The full denture was all teeth and plastic, with the upper one covering the palate and the lower sitting on the lower ridge, if there were any bone remaining. The upper denture fit fairly well due to suction, but the lower was nearly always a problem — often ending up in a Kleenex or on the nightstand. So where are we today?
We now know that it’s not natural to lose your teeth; they can and should last for a lifetime. With good home care and regular visits to the dentist and dental hygienist, our teeth should serve us into our 80s and beyond. Home care involves both flossing and brushing (we recommend a baking soda/peroxide toothpaste with fluoride), especially after meals. Dental visits should occur three to four times a year.
But what if we’ve already lost some teeth, due to periodontal or gum disease, tooth decay or cavities, or fracturing of old fillings or tooth structure? Today’s partial dentures can be made out of a flexible plastic without any metal. They are comfortable and function well, and they have no unsightly metal clasps.
Bridges, made up of all porcelain/Zirconium, also have no unsightly metal collars and are made up of a series of crowns that go on the teeth adjacent to the space caused by the missing teeth. In addition to filling in space, they may help strengthen the abutments.
The other solution is the dental implant or implants....