You’ve probably seen the ads urging you to call “Company Rip-off” at some 800-number promising to reduce your home mortgage payments. If you’re like me, you just ignore them because you know there is no such thing as a “free lunch.”

But here is an exception — if you qualify. On Thursday, March 14, at 11 a.m. at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center, Dave Peters from the Housing Resource Center in The Dalles will explain the Principal Reduction and Lien Extinguishment (PR/LE) program. It is designed for homeowners who are on a fixed income and struggling to make their mortgage payment.

There are requirements: Your house payment must be at least 25 percent of your income before enrolling in the program and less than 36 percent after the loan is recast. But the program will pay up to $50,000 to reduce the unpaid principal balance of the mortgage so that the loan may be re-amortized, resulting in a sustainable lower monthly payment. The benefit is provided in the form of a no-interest, five-year forgivable loan for which a lien will be recorded against the property. The amount due goes down 20 percent each year until after 5 years when the amount due is zero.

Now that may sound confusing. But Dave can answer your questions and determine if you qualify. If you can’t attend Dave’s presentation, you can call him at 541-296-5462.

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If you ever wanted to learn how to decorate cakes, cupcakes, cookies, or pies this is your chance. Pie Pizazz is a cake decorating class offered by Texas Pastry Artist Stasha Garcia. It will be held at the Center from 1 to 4 p.m. on the third Saturday for the next six months starting Saturday, March 16. Cost is $25 for each session, with a $5 initial registration fee. Space is limited. Call Stasha at 830-456-7424 to register or drop by the Center to pick up the necessary information. And when you finish the class, make sure you leave a decorated cupcake at the Center’s front desk with a note, “For Scott!”

“Free Caption Telephone Devices for the Hearing Impaired” is the next “Lecture for the Curious” at the Center on Wednesday, March 20, 1 p.m. Susan Kirk, CapTel Training Specialist, will explain Oregon CapTel, a free service that gives people who are hard of hearing the ability to communicate using captioned telephones.

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Who would have thought last Wednesday we would again have to postpone Lucille Torgerson’s “As I Was Saying” presentation because of snow! It is March, right? But we’re not waiting another month. Her presentation with Widge Johnson, where she’ll share her experiences writing her life story, will be this Friday, March 15, at 11 a.m.

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Now that the snow is receding, my “lower back” wants to thank several folks for helping clear the Center’s parking lot of snow: Nick Nelson and his Snow Clearing Service for his quick response — twice; Al Wynn for stopping by on his Kubota tractor and Gene and Nichole from Wasco County.

The name of the 15,000-pound computer that was introduced on TV in the 1950’s and tallied presidential election results before our eyes was UNIVAC. This week’s winners of a quilt raffle ticket each are Sandy Haechrel, who once worked for UNIVAC in St. Paul, Minn., as a technical editor; and Jerry Phillips, who remembers that the UNIVAC seen on CBS in 1952 was a dummy console built in the TV studio complete with blinking Christmas lights because the actual UNIVAC-5 was too large to move.

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Back in the prehistoric days of black and white television programs, if you stayed up way past your bed time you could catch the television station’s sign off, when they played the national anthem followed by a picture of a specific design used to adjust the picture quality. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what were these designs commonly called? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or return your answer with a picture of the Indian head found on the most popular design.

Well, it’s been another week, waiting for more sunny skies. Until we meet again, there is always an answer. The challenge is finding it in your own life time.

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

—Roald Dahl, writer

Menu

Thursday (14) Ham with Sweet Potato Soufflé (Music by Tom Graff)

Friday (15) Polish Dog with Sauerkraut with Homemade Soup and Salad Bar

Monday (18) Stroganoff (Music - Bruce and Sher Schwartz)

Tuesday (19) Turkey BIRTHDAY DINNER

Wednesday (20) Meatloaf and Gravy with Homemade Soup and Salad Bar

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