The Consumer Vision - November, 2007
Editor-in-Chief / Publisher: Bob Branco
Braille Production: Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library
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Print Production: AlphaGraphics
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Proof-Reading: Kathryn Arruda
Cassette Duplication: Gerry Arsenault
Treasurer: Maureen Bussey
Advisory Committee: Dan Germano, Marianne Martin, Lori Rego,
Lisa Saulnier, Charles Soforenko, Gail Teixeira and Clayton Wall.
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Table of Contents
Credit or Debit.Decisions, Decisions 2
Man and Woman of the Year 4
"Thank You!" 4
How Innocent People with Chronic Pain May Only Respond to Narcotic
How We Choose Our Words More Carefully 6
Catch a Vision 6
The Judicial System 8
Don't Get Taken by these Common Work at Home and Home-Based Business Scams:
Internet ScamBusters #61 9
The Red Sox Baby Their Pitchers Once Again 14
The Cats of Mirikitani 15
Dan's Kitchen 16
The Consumer Vision Trivia Contest 18
Soap Column 19
Too Much Debating on Sports Radio 21
Please Support our Sponsors. 22
Credit or Debit.Decisions, Decisions
by Christopher Locovare
It recently just occurred to me that along with vinyl records, black and
white televisions, and cars that you can fix yourself - cash may be the next
thing to slowly become extinct. During any given hour, of any given day,
more often than not, credit cards and debit cards are used for the purchase
of goods and services that easily total into the millions of dollars - and
that's only within a matter of a ten square miles in any town you care to
pick. So knowing how these cards work and the differences between them can
prove to be beneficial to all of us.
A credit card is most easily described as a pass to a pre-authorized loan.
As any "card holder" can tell you, they are very convenient, but there is a
lengthy form to complete before you can get one. The "card issuer" is a bank
of some sort, and they are the ones for whom you fill the form. By doing so,
and applying your signature at the bottom, you authorize the bank to do a
financial search into your past and make a judgment as to whether or not
they will give you a credit card and how much you will be allowed to
borrow - on credit. The biggest hurdle is usually when you are first trying
to get a credit card. It's kind of a catch-22. How can you get a credit card
if you don't have a credit history yet? The answer is that you need to get a
checking account first. Applications for credit cards will usually soon
follow your first "statement" in the mail. Filling out an application,
getting a credit card and later on, a credit card bill, is pretty much all
that most consumers really see and know about credit cards. But there is
much more. The other end of the transaction involves a merchant. How does a
credit card work with them?
The credit card is convenient for the merchant, also. When a customer
presents the card to the merchant, the transaction takes a matter of seconds
to perform. The customer gets the item and the merchant gets the money from
the bank. Right? Well, not really. The merchant has to have a "merchant
account" or "credit card processor." They are essentially the middle man
between the bank and the merchant. The machine through which the merchant
swipes is called a "card processing terminal." This terminal is wired to the
merchant account. When your card is swiped in the machine, your credit card
account number is read along with the amount being charged. This
information, along with the merchant's identification, is sent immediately
to the merchant account credit card processor. The merchant account credit
card processor is connected to a network that has access to an information
data base for all of the banks. The credit card processor ensures that your
account is legitimate and current, and that the amount being charged is
within the limit that has been preset. When these checks have been verified,
the amount of the purchase is added to your outstanding balance and the
merchant then has the amount added to their running balance of credits for
the day. At the end of the day, the grand total of receipts that the
merchant has accumulated is taken from all of the consumer's accounts and
deposited into the merchant's bank account.
A debit card works exactly the same way, except there is no application for
a loan, and the money is taken directly out of a checking account. That's
really the big difference here. With a credit card you are using the bank's
money. With a debit card you are using your money.
On the surface, that's the whole story. But let's dig down a little bit and
reveal some of the perks and pitfalls. When you use a credit card, you have
essentially written a loan for yourself. Pay off the loan on time and you've
improved your credit score. But while you're paying off the loan you are
also paying interest to the bank. You must be aware of what the interest
rate is on the card that you are using. There are very few regulations for
these rates and they can go as high as 25%. On many cards you can avoid
paying any interest for the first month if you pay the entire bill off when
it's received. So the good thing here is that you get to use the banks money
free of charge for a month.
Paying off your balance without being late has other benefits, also. You
will soon find your mailbox filled with offers from banks, not only offering
you additional credit cards, but very attractive rates that are as low as 0%
to transfer funds from your present accounts to theirs. These are called
"balance transfers." While these offers can be very beneficial, read the
offers carefully. The lowest rates, like the 0% offers, are usually for a
specific time period; usually 3 to 9 months - a year at the most. There is
also a fee for the transfer that is usually 3% of the amount transferred or
$75, whichever is less. And be aware of what the rate is going to be AFTER
the promotional rate expires. I've seen this rate jump up to 21%. And don't
think that you can have that really low rate for the entire term you've been
promised. Send in one late payment and you'll find your next bill at the new
Now, for some of the stuff that is mostly kept in the shadows. Almost all
credit card companies have some kind of benefits program. They usually take
the form of accumulating points for every dollar that you charge to your
card. Some flaunt their programs - like the sky miles programs. Others allow
you to cash in your accumulated points for clothing or furniture or even
boats, if you have enough points. The issue here is that you have to ask
about these programs. If you don't ask, they won't reveal them and the
points that you have accumulated will go down the drain. There is one
provision, though. You cannot accumulate points on balance transfers. Also,
I haven't seen any kind of program like this for debit cards.
Another benefit that you get by using your credit card is called buyer
protection - and it's free. Let's say you used your credit card to purchase
something, whether it's face to face, or over the phone or internet. You get
the item home and you find that the darn thing is broken, or scratched, or
maybe you just never received it. What you need to do is call up, or go back
to the merchant, and see about returning the item and getting the charge
reversed, if that's what you want. The merchant will usually try to satisfy
your complaint. The reason for this is because the merchant needs to stay in
good standing with the credit card processor. If the merchant doesn't want
to reverse the charges, send back the item or leave it at the merchant's
counter and contact your credit card company. Tell them what happened and
they will reverse the charges for you. This is known as a "charge-back." The
key here is that you had to have made the effort with the merchant to
resolve the issue. This feature is the BIG difference between credit cards
and debit cards. If you used your debit card for this transaction, you're
out of luck. The merchant has the money from your account and it doesn't
matter who you call - you're stuck.
Man and Woman of the Year
The Consumer Vision is currently accepting nominations for Man and Woman of
If you know of such a humanitarian, always giving to the fullest, please
submit a name and brief summary as to why you nominated this candidate to
Bob Branco, c/o The Consumer Vision, 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA,
02746 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for nominations is 12/20/07. Our committee will review all
nominations. The names of the winners will be published in January 2008.
The Consumer Vision thanks you for your thoughtful contributions. Our
readers enjoy and benefit from this information.
Please be sure to proof read your work before sending it to us.
Again, thank you for your very informative articles on issues we don't
discuss often enough.
How Innocent People with Chronic Pain May Only Respond to Narcotic
By Emily Wong
My pet peeve is when people don't understand about chronic pain and how a
narcotic may work better than other groups of drugs. I am a thirty-eight
year old woman who has been suffering with chronic migraine headaches. I
have been to several different doctors and had no success with the common
drugs prescribed to prevent the pain. It took years to convince my doctor to
let me try a narcotic medication, such as the well-known Imitrex. My primary
care doctor finally prescribed Oxycodone and this has been the most
effective drug. It has even kept me out of the emergency room. Before I was
on Oxycodone, I was in the ER at least once a month. It's greatly improved
my life. Now, I am able to socialize and enjoy life more. I have friends who
have several types of chronic problems, such as back pain, neck pain, knee
pain, arthritis, cancer, etc. This is the only drug that works for them, as
What really bothers me is that different drug stores have different policies
about picking up medicines. For example, one of my medications has to be
mailed. It takes about two days, depending on when the mail arrives to the
drug store. Therefore, I have to let them know a week in advance when I need
a refill. From what I understand, it has to be picked up in the doctor's
office. A different drug store may refill it in twenty-four hours. What if
you were someone who needed an insulin shot? My point is that individuals,
such as drug addicts who abuse medications to get high have spoiled things
for innocent people. Used correctly, these medicines are therapeutic and not
I would like to print a retraction of the classified advertisement for "Work
I heard it on the tape version of the newsletter and I was baffled. I
contacted Bob Branco immediately and informed him about what I found.
If you ever see this kind of thing, please write me at, email@example.com.
Thank you, Robert Pacheco
How We Choose Our Words More Carefully
by Bob Branco
Back thirty or forty years ago, when people talked about individuals with
disabilities, they used terms that we hardly ever use today. Some of it has
to do with the development of political correctness, and some of it has to
do with the fact that the issues facing persons with disabilities are at the
forefront so much nowadays that we consciously are more careful about what
we say. Allow me to cite some examples.
Today, when speaking about a person who has difficulty learning, we say that
he has a cognitive disability, or that he is "mentally challenged." In the
old days, this type of individual would have been referred to as "retarded."
Personally, I'm not too fond of that term, so I can understand why others
have gradually gotten away from using it as well.
Another item to take notice of is the use of the term "disabled person." It
is best to say, "person with a disability." It is not that this particular
individual is generally not able, but rather that he has a certain
limitation that hinders him.
For decades, one of our local universities has been referring to the place
where individuals with disabilities receive services as "Disabled Student
Services." Apparently, someone at this university found that to be a
negative term, probably because it implies that students are unable. Now, if
you have a disability and need services in this capacity at that university,
you would go to the "Center for Access and Success." I think that's a very
appropriate term. It's positive, and it means exactly what it says. You are
offered access, as well as assistance, in your efforts to be successful.
Catch a Vision
by Allison Vigna
Dear Catch A Vision:
I am an inmate at the Bristol County House of Correction. My name is not
relevant, but I uphold the name of JESUS CHRIST in high regard. I needed to
write this to help someone going through the same thing I am experiencing.
One night, I penned these words, so I want you to publish them because they
have been inspiring to me.
God's spirit doesn't make cowards out of us. The spirit gives us power, love
and self control. Don't be ashamed to speak for our Lord, use the power that
comes from God and join with me in the suffering for telling the Good News.
God saved us and chose us to be his holy people. We did nothing to deserve
this, but God planned it because he is so kind. Even before time began, God
planned for Christ Jesus to show kindness to us. Now, Christ Jesus has come
to show us that he defeated death on the cross and brought us the Good News.
He shines like a light in the darkness and offers life that never ends. This
is a true message. If we died with Christ, we will be raised with him, if we
don't give up. We will rule and reign with him some glorious day. If we deny
that we know him, he will deny that he knows us. If we are not faithful, he
will still be faithful to us.
Christ cannot deny who he is...God spirit clearly says that in the last days
many people will turn from their faith in Christ and they will be fooled by
evil spirits and by the teaching that come from demons.
He has said to run from your temptations today that capture you. Young
people - always do the right thing. BE FAITHFUL, LOVING, easy to get along
with, worship God in spirit and truth, and keep your hearts pure. Keep away
from senseless arguments which only lead to trouble. God's servants must not
be troublemakers. They must be kind to every one and must be good teachers
and very patient.
Thank you for this opportunity to share my faith in Jesus Christ our Savior.
* * *
Dear Sister in Christ,
Thank you for sharing on matters of the heart. To put these words into
practice is what God is asking every believer in Christ Jesus to do. What we
do with our faith depends on us and our relationship with Jesus Christ. I am
glad to hear from someone who is behind the wall of prison to be set free in
their mind and spirit and to live in high expectancy of Jesus impending
return to this earth to gather his believers. The fruits of the spirit are
gentleness, meekness, longsuffering, kindness, and most of all, love.
Don't give up, Jesus is on our side.
The Judicial System
by Bob Branco
Quite often, we hear that the courts are backlogged with cases, and that is
why people have to wait a very long time for their day in court. In the past
year or so, I have learned a little more about the judicial process, and
based on my new knowledge, I've come to agree with public thinking on this
On June 21, 2006, a man asked to use someone's bathroom and proceeded to
take a handful of DVDs from that person's home. During questioning by the
New Bedford, Massachusetts Police Department, the robber admitted to
stealing the DVDs so that he could trade them for cocaine. On June 26, the
suspect was asked to appear at a pre-trial conference, and did not attend.
Instead of apprehending him on the spot for contempt of court, the judge
scheduled another pre-trial conference for July 13, and again the suspect
did not show up, leading to a third one on August 17. After the third
pre-trial conference, the victim was awarded restitution for the theft. As
of this writing, 15 months later, no restitution has been granted because
the suspect broke his agreement with his probation officer by running away
from two half-way houses and not going to work. To begin with, there was no
need for three pre-trial conferences in this case. Not only should the
suspect have been apprehended after the first one, but to me, the case is
open-and-shut. All a judge has to do is look at the original police report
to find where the guy admitted to stealing the DVDs so he could snort
cocaine. How much more simple can this be? As for restitution, I wonder how
many victims actually get what the judge awards them, because, for whatever
reason, many defendants can't or won't comply with the guidelines for
payment. This particular suspect's probation officer explained that in order
to pay back the victim, the suspect had to get a job. Well, if he is in no
position to get a job because he is in a drug rehabilitation facility, then
how can the victim get his money back?
On September 5, 2007, a 34-year-old woman with special needs was mugged
while walking in a local park. A young punk took her cell phone and left in
a get-away car. After the thief took off, he called the victim and told her
that in order to get the cell phone back, she had to perform sexual favors
for him. The young woman had a witness - a 17-year-old girl who also has
special needs. The police detective who was assigned to the case brought a
photo of a possible suspect to the victim, who successfully identified him
as the mugger. The witness went to the police station and looked at the same
picture. She also successfully identified the guy as the mugger. What is my
point, you ask? Well, the mugger appeared in court for his hearing on
October 30. The end result was that he now has to go before another
magistrate. Prior to the original court date, the District Attorney's Office
informed me that they would not accept the testimony of either woman as
evidence, because the process by which they identified the mugger was
inappropriate. I don't want to believe that the District Attorney's Office
is not accepting these two reports because both women have a learning
disability. I'm not even accusing that office of this type of
discrimination. However, it wouldn't surprise me if some of my readers are
thinking it. As with the first case, this case is also simple. The guy took
a woman's cell phone in front of another witness. Both the victim and
witness identified him, but yet he has to have a second hearing in front of
a new magistrate.
If you are waiting for your day in court, I think you can see why it takes
so long. The court dockets are full of cases where most defendants default,
and then the judges have to reschedule these same cases. A mugger is
identified, goes to court, and yet needs to go back again, taking up another
spot on a court calendar.
I don't understand.
Don't Get Taken by these Common Work at Home and Home-Based Business Scams:
Internet ScamBusters #61
Internet ScamBustersT by Audri and Jim Lanford
Copyright (c) Audri and Jim Lanford. All rights reserved.
Today's issue is about a very important topic that we've never covered in
depth before: home-based business scams and work-at-home scams.
However, before we get going, an important point:
The FBI reports Web fraud claims rose sharply in 2002. In fact, they
*tripled* from a year earlier. Not a surprise to Internet ScamBusters
OK. Let's get started...
Top 10 Work At Home and Home Based Business Scams and How to Avoid Them -
Home-based business and work-at-home opportunity scams rank very high on the
list of the top types of Internet fraud.
In this issue, we'll focus on the Top 10 home-based business/work-at-home
scams. We'll give you the straight goods on envelope stuffing, mystery
shopping, and other common home-based business "opportunities" you may have
seen floating around the Net.
Then, in the next issue, we'll give you some important tips you can use to
kick the tires of any online job offers or business opportunities you find
so you can protect yourself from those that are scams.
Work-At-Home and Home-Based Business Scams
There are two basic types of scams involved here. Scammers using both types
are aiming at folks who want to make money from home, either by:
1. Having you work from home, doing envelope stuffing, craft assembly, or
other tasks where you are (supposedly) paid by a company as an employee.
There are certainly some legitimate telecommuting jobs, but work-from-home
jobs are often just big scams.
Before we go any further, a sobering quote: "There are very few legitimate
[work-at-home job] opportunities available," says Beverley Williams,
President and Founder of the American Association of Home-Based Businesses.
2. "Helping" you start your own home-based business as a mystery shopper,
network marketer or other businesses where the only money anyone sees is the
money the scammer pockets.
Certainly, there are LOTS of legitimate businesses that can help you start
your own home business. We'll help you figure out which are real -- and
which are just scams.
Our goal with Internet ScamBusters is to save you time, money and heartbreak
before you fall for the scams. Remember -- if it sounds too good to be
true... *it probably is.*
Why Are These Scams So Successful? It all comes down to psychology. Besides
the "make money fast" dream that many Internet newcomers fall prey to,
home-based "opportunities" scammers mooch off the following groups. Perhaps
you belong to one or more of them:
1. The Sick, Disabled, or Elderly: If you are elderly, ill, or have a
disability, you may have problems landing a traditional job.
2. The Stay-At-Home Mother: Whether you have a spouse or you're single, you
may be looking to supplement or create an income while raising children.
3. The Low-Income or No-Income Family: You or your spouse may have just lost
your job, and you feel desperate and anxious to find work as the bills pile
4. The Person Without Higher Education: You're not stupid or dumb -- you
just didn't go on to college or university.
To summarize, these scammers are often preying primarily on the sick, the
disabled, the elderly, the unemployed, parents, and people without a lot of
The Top 10 Home-Based Business / Work-At-Home Scams
Note: These scams are not ranked by dollars lost or people scammed. In fact,
there's nothing scientific about the list. It's just the ten home-based
business scams we find the most disturbing.
10. Craft Assembly
This scam encourages you to assemble toys, dolls, or other craft projects at
home with the promise of high per-piece rates. All you have to do is pay a
fee up-front for the starter kit... which includes instructions and parts.
Sounds good? Well, once you finish assembling your first batch of crafts,
you'll be told by the company that they "don't meet our specifications."
In fact, even if you were a robot and did it perfectly, it would be
impossible for you to meet their specifications.
The scammer company is making money selling the starter kits -- not selling
the assembled product. So, you're left with a set of assembled crafts... and
no one to sell them to.
9. Medical Billing
In this scam, you pay $300-$900 for everything (supposedly) you need to
start your own medical billing service at home. You're promised
state-of-the-art medical billing software, as well as a list of potential
clients in your area.
What you're not told is that most medical clinics process their own bills,
or outsource the processing to firms, not individuals. Your software may not
meet their specifications, and often the lists of "potential clients" are
outdated or just plain wrong.
As usual, trying to get a refund from the medical billing company is like
trying to get blood from a stone.
8. Email Processing
This is a twist on the classic "envelope stuffing scam" (see #1 below). For
a low price ($50?) you can become a "highly-paid" email processor working
"from the comfort of your own home."
Now... what do you suppose an email processor does? If you have visions of
forwarding or editing emails, forget it. What you get for your money is
instructions on spamming the same ad you responded to in newsgroups and Web
Think about it -- they offer to pay you $25 per email processed. Would any
legitimate company pay that?
7. "A List of Companies Looking for Homeworkers!"
In this one, you pay a small fee for a list of companies looking for
homeworkers just like you.
The only problem is that the list is usually a generic list of companies,
companies that don't take homeworkers, or companies that may have accepted
homeworkers long, long ago. Don't expect to get your money back with this
6. "Just Call This 1-900 Number For More Information..."
No need to spend too much time (or money) on this one. 1-900 numbers cost
money to call, and that's how the scammers make their profit.
Save your money -- don't call a 1-900 number for more information about a
supposed work-at-home job.
5. Typing At Home
If you use the Internet a lot, then odds are that you're probably a good
typist. How better to capitalize on it than making money by typing at home?
Here's how it works: After sending the fee to the scammer for "more
information," you receive a disk and printed information that tells you to
place home typist ads and sell copies of the disk to the suckers who reply
to you. Like #8, this scam tries to turn you into a scammer!
4. "Turn Your Computer Into a Money-Making Machine!"
Well, this one's at least half-true. To be completely true, it should read:
"Turn your computer into a money-making machine... for spammers!"
This is much the same spam as #5, above. Once you pay your money, you'll be
sent instructions on how to place ads and pull in suckers to "turn their
computers into money-making machines."
3. Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)
If you've heard of network marketing (like Amway), then you know that there
are legitimate MLM businesses based on agents selling products or services.
One big problem with MLMs, though, is when the pyramid and the
ladder-climbing become more important than selling the actual product or
If the MLM business opportunity is all about finding new recruits rather
than selling products or services, beware: The Federal Trade Commission may
consider it to be a pyramid scheme... and not only can you lose all your
money, but you can be charged with fraud, too!
We saw an interesting MLM scam recently. One MLM company advertised the
product they were selling as FREE. The fine print, however, states that it
is "free in the sense that you could be earning commissions and bonuses in
excess of the cost of your monthly purchase of" the product. Does that sound
like free to you?
2. Chain Letters/Emails ("Make Money Fast")
If you've been on the Internet for any length of time, you've probably
received or at least seen these chain emails. They promise that all you have
to do is send the email along plus some money by mail to the top names on
the list, then add your name to the bottom... and one day you'll be a
Actually, the only thing you might be one day is prosecuted for fraud. This
is a classic pyramid scheme, and most times the names in the chain emails
are manipulated to make sure only the people at the top of the list (the
true scammers) make any money.
This scam should be called "Lose Money Fast" -- and it's illegal.
1. Envelope Stuffing
This is THE classic work-at-home scam. It's been around since the U.S.
Depression of the 1920s and 1930s, and it's moved onto the Internet like a
cockroach you just can't eliminate.
There are several variations, but here's a sample: Much like #5 and #4
above, you are promised to be paid $1-2 for every envelope you stuff. All
you have to do is send money and you're guaranteed "up to 1,000 envelopes a
week that you can stuff... with postage and address already affixed!"
When you send your money, you get a short manual with flyer templates you're
supposed to put up around town, advertising yet another harebrained
And the pre-addressed, pre-paid envelopes? Well, when people see those
flyers, all they have to do is send you $2.00 in a pre-addressed, pre-paid
envelope. Then you stuff that envelope with another flyer and send it to
Ingenious perhaps... but certainly illegal and unethical.
In the next issue, we'll share ten tips on avoiding home-based
The Red Sox Baby Their Pitchers Once Again
by Bob Branco
Once again the Boston Red Sox are babying their pitchers. The latest is that
they wanted to limit the amount of innings that Clay Buckholtz pitched this
season. They were afraid that Buckholtz would be burned out or too tired if
he pitched more than 150 innings this season, no matter how good he is.
Let's face it. Buckholtz qualified for the third starter in the playoffs,
after Beckett and Shilling. Don't you agree that he's better right now than
Lester, Wakefield and Matsuzaka?
In 1967, the Red Sox had a pitcher on their staff named Jim Lonborg, who was
about the same age then as Clay Buckholtz is now. Lonborg won 22 games and
lost 9 that season, and was the best pitcher on the staff. Given the fact
that baseball teams had 4-man pitching rotations in 1967, and that more
complete games were pitched, I am positive that Jim Lonborg pitched more
innings in 1967 than any pitcher on the Red Sox staff this year, or perhaps
even in baseball. Not only did Lonborg win 22 games because he was the best
pitcher, but also because he was allowed to pitch. No team ever limited
innings pitched for anyone back then. I also don't believe there were more
pitchers on the disabled list 40 years ago than today, even though pitchers
pitched many more complete games with less rest. If Jim Lonborg was in the
Red Sox organization today, as good as he was in 1967, and at the same age,
he'd probably be in Double-A, under the watchful eye of Theo Epstein making
sure that his pitch counts and his innings were limited. We would never see
the real Jim Lonborg today.
I am positive that if Clay Buckholtz pitched in the playoffs, it wasn't
going to destroy his life or career. He wouldn't suffer any traumas or have
his arm dangling down like a piece of spaghetti. I think he would have
handled it just fine. He's not hurt, and he would have gotten a lot more
rest between games than any other pitcher ever did.
The Cats of Mirikitani
by Kathryn Arruda
First-time director Linda Hattendorf has crafted a poignant documentary
about Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani, an eighty-five year old, formerly homeless
artist who was living in the streets of New York City. It was in the SoHo
neighborhood that she found him sleeping in the entryway of a local
mini-mart. He bid his time painting richly expressive watercolors of cats
and flowers, bombs and internment camps, handing them out to people and
managing to scrape together a survival with meager earnings. Hattendorf
began documenting Mirikitani's work and developed a deep interest in
learning the story of the life of this artist.
Born in Sacramento, California, and raised in Hiroshima, Japan, Mirikitani
spent several years in an internment camp in the wake of post-Pearl Harbor
America. He emerged from the prolonged detention with memories of possessing
promise at the age of 25, but was now marred with the bitterness of hardship
and great loss. On September 11, 2001, in the acrid, choking dust of the
World Trade Center tragedy, Hattendorf found Mirikitani and invited him to
take refuge in her small apartment. In the many months of his stay,
Hattendorf took on the research of finding connections to his past and to
his qualifications of U.S. citizenship so he could receive benefits to
secure his independence. Slowly, the feelings of anger and hardened pride
gave way to a restorative sense for Mirikitani and his journey took on new,
This film is a winding road of vintage past mingled with destitute life in
New York City, yet it becomes a story of healing and closure, of salvation
and humanitarianism. The Cats of Mirikitani has been presented on PBS
channels and is available on DVD. This straightforward documentary is being
presented at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and receives recognition on
various web sites, as well. Information about Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani and
this first film by Linda Hattendorf can be found at the MFA home site,
www.pbs.org/independentlens/catsofmirikitani, and also at
If you are touched by human interest stories and of the lives of artists,
please consider seeing this worthwhile film.
This is a recipe for brownies from brownie mix.
Makes about 20 to 25 brownies.
one box of Pillsbury Classics Traditional Fudge Family Brownie Mix (19
1/2 cup of Wesson oil
1/4 cup of water
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup of shelled walnuts
a little Crisco or Pam
optional: a can of chocolate frosting
optional: a small package of candied cherries
9 by 13 glass or metal baking pan, 21/2 to 3 inches deep
one large can or bottle to use as a rolling pin to crush the walnuts to a
a square-shaped rubber spatula
a cookie sheet on which to grind the walnuts
one medium to large plastic Ziplock bag to hold the nuts while crushing
a whisk to beat the eggs
a mug to hold the eggs
a large mixing bowl to mix all of the ingredients
a can opener
a butter knife to spread the chocolate frosting
a kitchen timer
a cake tester or toothpick
Saran wrap or foil to cover the baked brownies
1. Check to see if you have all of your ingredients and utensils.
2. Measure one cup of walnuts.
3. Carefully pour the walnuts into the Ziplock bag and zip it closed.
4. Pass your hand over the bag of nuts and flatten it down.
5. With a rolling pin or manageable bottle or can, crush the nuts into small
pieces, but not too fine.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
7. Grease the bottom of the baking pan with Crisco, using your fingers, or
spray on the Pam.
8. Break and beat the two eggs.
9. Open the brownie mix and pour it into the large mixing bowl.
10. Pour 1/2-cup of Wesson oil and 1/4-cup of water into the large mixing
11. Pour in the two beaten eggs and crushed nuts.
12. Mix the ingredients very well with the square-shaped spatula. Do this by
turning the bowl around with one hand, and with the other, bring your
spatula across the bottom of the bowl.
13. Keep turning and stroking until you reach 50 or so strokes.
14. Carefully pour the mix from the bowl into the pan. Use the spatula to
make sure you have emptied all of the mix into the pan.
15. With the spatula and your fingers make sure that the mix evenly covers
the pan, especially the corners.
16. Put the pan in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.
17. When the timer rings, check your brownies with a wire cake tester or a
18. If the cake tester or toothpick comes out clean, your brownies are done.
Otherwise, cook for 2 or 3 more minutes.
19. Let your brownies cool. Then, cut the brownies with a knife into 2 or 3
20. With a spatula and your fingers, take the brownies from the pan and put
them into a container or plate.
21. Optional: Frost the brownies now with the chocolate frosting from the
can. Open the can of frosting and spread the chocolate frosting over the
brownies with a butter knife. You may need help in spreading the frosting
the first time.
22. Optional: Open a package of candied cherries and place one or two
cherries on each brownie.
23. Cover your brownies with Saran wrap or foil very well, so they will
24. If desired, put the brownies in the fridge or the freezer if you are not
going to eat them for some time. Be sure that they are very well wrapped.
The Consumer Vision Trivia Contest
Here is the answer to the Trivia Question submitted in The Consumer Vision,
According to Rick Dees, the youngest female singer to have a number-one hit
song on the top 40 is Jo-Jo, at age 15.
Congratulations to our winner: Sharon Costa of New Bedford, MA
* * * * * * *
And now, here is our November Trivia Question:
What are the names of the seven children on the television series "The
If you know the answer, please send your name, address and phone number to
The Consumer Vision at firstname.lastname@example.org or give our office a call
by Gert Moore
The week of November 5th...
Sneak Peeks: DAYS OF OUR LIVES
Lucas is desperate to call for an intervention for Sami.
Shawn proposes a wedding date to Belle.
Will admits he'd like to live with Carrie and Austin.
Hope tells Bo about Philip and Belle's torrid secret.
Max makes a stand when Ford shows up at the Cheatin' Heart.
Kate warns Philip not to interfere with Shawn and Belle's relationship.
All gather to watch Sami wed EJ
Someone is shot at Sami and EJ's wedding.
Stefano is determined to find his son's shooter.
Sami is desperate to save EJ.
Will has a run-in with the law.
Belle accuses Phillip of using Claire to get to her.
Sneak Peeks: ALL MY CHILDREN
Richie's condition is revealed.
Adam bares his soul to Krystal.
Erica holds Ian for the first time.
Lily makes a lunch date with Richie.
Joe finds out something about Erica.
JR falls off the wagon.
Kendall holds Zach responsible for the mess they are in.
Richie stays one step ahead of Ryan.
Greenlee struggles to do the right thing.
Sneak Peeks: AS THE WORLD TURNS
Sofie makes a decision.
Meg arranges for a paternity test.
Holden has a meeting with Bonnie.
Evan Walsh IV hits town.
Luke struggles to make progress.
Dusty plants a kiss on Emily.
Barbara sinks to a new low.
Emily and Dusty have a fiery encounter.
Sofie and Gwen almost uncover Barbara's scheme.
Sneak Peeks: GENERAL HOSPITAL
Jax, Jerry and Sam walk into an ambush.
Jason gets Elizabeth a gun.
Tracy, Luke, and Scott end up trapped together.
Lulu wants to use herself as bait.
Alexis has a medical crisis.
Lucky fights to save Maxi.
Zacchara lashes out at Nikolas and Emily.
Jerry has devastating news for Carly.
Sam and Lucky face off with Zacchara.
Nikolas' worst fear could be realized.
Jason puts his life on the line for Elizabeth.
Sneak Peeks: ONE LIFE TO LIVE
Dorian gets disturbing news.
Natalie works hard to make Jared jealous.
The Buchanans arrive at Asa's ranch.
Marcie goes into hiding.
Cole faces death.
John and Marty make love.
John and Ramsey become allies.
Two people close to John disappear.
Viki has a bad work day.
Natalie finds romance.
Sneak Peeks: THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
Victoria's condition declines.
Heather receives info that could put Paul behind bars.
With Clear Springs still on her mind, Lauren suffers panic attacks.
Victor is devastated to realize his part in the Clear Springs disaster.
Neil and Karen up the ante.
Victor and Nikki struggle to make an agonizing decision about Victoria and
Paul opens up to Heather, incriminating his friends.
Sneak Peeks: BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL
Nick surprises Taylor with a special present.
Jackie makes a splash.
Stephanie receives a disturbing gift.
Patrick Duffy returns as the Logan girls' Dad, Stephen.
Sneak Peeks: GUIDING LIGHT
Alan secretly trashes Olivia's room.
Frank sends the IRS after Cyrus.
Marina asks Cyrus to marry her.
Ashlee discovers more of Doris' treachery.
Will comes between Cassie and RJ.
Dinah moves in with Lizzie.
Josh grows concerned about Will's behavior.
Reva basks in her relationship with Jeffrey.
Lizzie loses at her own game.
Sneak Peeks: PASSIONS
Gwen attacks Eve.
Esme pushes Fancy to fight for her man.
Tabitha and Endora are reunited.
Spike is the target of an evil spell.
Eve faces the Hospital review board.
Theresa slaps Pilar.
Tabitha makes Theresa an offer.
Gwen is poisoned.
A menacing woman threatens Pilar.
Julian gets drunk with Esme.
Too Much Debating on Sports Radio
by Bob Branco
I enjoy listening to Craig Mustard and Larry Johnson on radio station WEEI,
an all sports talk radio station in Boston. At times, they even crack me up
the way they argue. However, there are times when they get a little carried
This morning, a caller attempted to speak to them, but as he tried to get
his point across, Mustard and Johnson chose to continue their argument with
each other. The caller never said what he wanted to say, and they moved on
to another caller. Why bother calling the program to say what's on your mind
if the two co-hosts are only going to have their own personal fight while on
your time? You know how it goes. Sometimes if you want to call a sports talk
show you have to wait nearly an hour before it's your turn. You worked out
everything you're going to say, and then you're met with two co-hosts who
want to argue back and forth. If Mustard and Johnson like to argue so much
and pick on each other, why can't WEEI simply devote a time for them where
no phone calls are taken. Just put Mustard and Johnson in a room and have
them go at it for two hours straight with no telephone.
Do you agree?
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92 Sanford Road
Westport, MA 02790
Phone: (508) 679-0100 / Fax: (508) 679-0900
Whaling City Transit, Inc. is family owned and operated.
We have been providing school bus, wheelchair transport and van services to
the Greater New Bedford and Greater Fall River areas since 1986.
You can count on Whaling City Transit for your transportation needs
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Authorized genuine Harley-Davidson dealership T-shirts
from around the country and around the world.
Visit our website: www.HarleyShirts.com
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Want to play The Consumer Vision Trivia Contest?
Give it your best shot!
Winners will be recognized
in the next issue.
Turn to page 17 to find last issue's winners and this issue's question!
Best of Luck!
* * * * * * *
Got a question?
Got something to say?
Get it to us!
The Consumer Vision
359 Coggeshall Street
New Bedford, MA 02746
Phone: (508) 994-4972
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