Senior Connections


December 17

Hands-on wine classes,
taught by Master Sommelier Will Costello, are now being offered at Mandarin Oriental. Held in the private dining room of Twist by Pierre Gagnaire. “Year End Bubbles – More than just Champagne” on Dec. 17. The cost is $50 and reservations can be made by calling 888-881-9367. Twist by Pierre Gagnaire, Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, CityCenter, 3752 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89158, 702-590-8888.

Dec. 8, Jan. 11 and Feb. 2

Giada at The Cromwell
is hosting monthly wine dinners featuring a different winery each month. On the schedule are Cheval de Andes Winery on Monday, Nov. 7; Stonestreet Winery on Thursday, Dec. 8; Rombauer Vineyards on Wednesday, Jan. 11; and Tour of Amarone with Winemaker Luciano Castiello of Banfi Estates on Thursday, Feb. 2. Tasting menus include Giada favorites and some unique additions to highlight the selection of wine. Each dinner experience is $200 per person and guests will take home a signed photo and a selection of Giada De Laurentiis’ favorite recipes, including her beloved lemon ricotta cookies. To make reservations, call 702-731-7778 or email Giada, The Cromwell, 3595 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-667-1799.

December 10

RX Boiler Room at
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino will host a whiskey pairing dinner crafted by chef Rick Moonenfeaturing the single malt whiskeys of the Seattle-based Westland Distillery. Guests will enjoy a welcome cocktail and passed appetizers and a four-course whiskey pairing menu, which will include dishes such as crispy duck confit and frisée salad served with the specially crafted bLVd cocktail made with Westland’s American Single Malt; and “Tongue-N-Cheeks” shepherd’s pie paired with Westland’s Sherry Wood Whiskey. Cost is $75 and the evening will begin with a reception at 6 p.m. Visit here to purchase tickets. RX Boiler Room, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Mandalay Place, 3930 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89119, 702-632-7200.

December 10

Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar
will celebrate truffle season with a wine pairing dinner featuring Italian white truffles and selections from La Spinetta’s Tuscany and Piedmont wineries. Each of the four courses will include shaved white truffles. Pairings are Barbera Ca Del Pian 2011 with pecorino e fiori (warm pecorino cheese pudding with a squash fritter and truffle sabayon); Langhe Nebbiolo 2013 with agnolotti del plin (small-pocket homemade veal ravioli and Fontina); Barbaresco Gallina 2012 with scamone (veal sirloin, cardoon and sunchokes); and Barolo Campe 2005 with formaggi (Piedmont cheese plate, jams and honey). The dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the cost is $250 per person. Seating is very limited. To reserve, call 702-364-5300. Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar, 4480 Paradise Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89169, 702-364-5300.

Monday through Thursday

Grape Street Café, Wine Bar & Cellar
in Downtown Summerlin has launched a new happy hour featuring seven wines for $7, seven appetizers for $7, $7 well cocktails and $5 selected shots. Guests may take advantage of the deals anywhere in the restaurant Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wine selections include Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Malbec, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Reisling. Appetizers being served are caprese salad, burrata, crab-stuffed shrimp, baked brie, meatballs with marinara and garlic bread, steamed clams and strawberry crostini. Grape Street Café, Wine Bar & Cellar, 2120 Festival Plaza Dr. #160, Las Vegas, NV 89135, 702-478-5030.

Tuesday through Thursday

Twin Creeks Steakhouse
at the Silverton Casino Hotel Lodge is offering half price on specialty cocktails and all items from its tapas menu from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. Twin Creeks Steakhouse, Silverton Casino Hotel Lodge, 3333 Blue Diamond Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89139, 702-914-8594, 866‑946‑4373.

Third Wednesdays

Wine Away Wednesdays
are held at various locations within Tivoli Village from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month. Admission to the event is $13.65, which includes two glasses of wine, passed appetizers and the opportunity to browse offerings from local businesses. Tickets must be booked in advance at


NOVE Italiano
is offering a new happy hour menu, featuring $7 small plates, as well as specially priced cocktails and wines in the bar and lounge from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. every Thursday. The menu highlights fan favorites such as prosciutto di parma sliders, Tuscan panzanella salad and margherita pizza. Several signature cocktails are offered for $7, including the “pomagranita,” a combination of Ketel One Oranje, POM, Pama liqueur and simple syrup. NOVE Italiano, Palms Casino Resort, Fantasy Tower, 4321 W. Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89103, 702‑942‑6800.


Marche Bacchus
hosts free wine tastings every Saturday from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tasting notes for each wine are provided. Marche Bacchus, Lakeside Center, 2620 Regatta Dr., Ste. 106, Las Vegas, NV 89128, 702-804-8008.

December 14

Bellagio’s Harvest by Roy Ellamar
is inviting well-known executive chefs from other MGM Resorts International restaurants to participate in Snack Wagon Takeover, a monthly culinary series that will feature each visiting chef’s spin on the venue’s signature circulating carts. As usual, the carts will stop tableside so guests may select culinary bites from the guest chef and interact with him or her. Dec.14, executive chef Sean Griffin of Jean-Georges Steakhouse at Aria. Harvest by Roy Ellamar, Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-693-8800; 866‑259-7111.

December 7

Aliante Casino + Hotel + Spa
will present an interactive holiday-themed Italian cooking demonstration hosted by chef Francesco DeFuria at Bistro 57 beginning at 6 p.m. Priced at $50, the four-course menu will include insalata di carciofi: frisée lettuce, baby artichoke hearts, warm walnuts, shaved fennel and fava beans tossed in a lemon vinaigrette; risotto simmered in white wine and chicken broth, finished with truffle oil and Parmesan; slow-simmered beef shank and broccolini; and panettone di chocolate Italian. After the instruction, all items will be brought out for the enjoyment of each guest. Space is limited and reservations are required by calling 702-692-7265. Bistro 57, Aliante Casino + Hotel + Spa, 7300 N. Aliante Pkwy., North Las Vegas, NV 89084, 702-692-7777.

December 9-11

The Venetian/Palazzo
will host the fourth annual Ultimo: A Weekend of Excellence “Le Grand Voyage” featuring feasts from an all-star lineup of chefs and wineries from around the world, including Dom Perignon, DAOU Vineyards, Marqués de Murrieta, Memento Mori and Pio Cesare. The signature event is the Grand Banquet on December 10, which this year will feature an international menu with courses celebrating each chef’s country of origin, prepared by Thomas Keller, Jérôme Bocuse, Emma Bengtsson, Curtis Stone, Ming Tsai, Vikram Vij, Pierre Thiam, Paul Bartolotta and Shaun Hergatt. For more details, schedule of events, pricing and to purchase tickets, visit here or call 866-659-9643. The Venetian, 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-414-1000, 877-883-6423.


Tom’s Urban at New York-New York
has launched a unique Beat the Clock happy hour running Monday through Friday, beginning at 4 p.m., with food and drink prices rising every hour until 7 p.m. It also takes place late night Sunday through Thursday, beginning at 11 p.m., with prices dropping every hour until 2 a.m. Among a dozen small plates are ginger chicken potstickers, crispy Brussels spouts, fried dill pickles and street tacos; drink specials include select signature cocktails, well drinks and all draft beers. Tom’s Urban, New York-New York Hotel & Casino, 3790 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-740-6766.


Due Forni
has introduced a happy hour menu of gourmet appetizers priced at $5, including oven-baked goat cheese with bacon, apple and honey; duck confit over arugula, caramelized onions and ubriaco cheese; pork belly with smoked bacon polenta and red wine reduction; turkey meatballs with tomato and Parmesan; and braised oxtail served with gnocchi, cremini and parsley. The happy hour is offered from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. daily; add a glass of select wine for $5. Due Forni, 3555 S. Town Center Dr., Ste. 105, Las Vegas, NV 89135, 702-586-6500.


Brand Steakhouse at Monte Carlo Resort & Casino
has introduced a daily happy hour, featuring a variety of appetizers for $9. Held from 5 p.m.-7 p.m., appetizers include hot rocks, lollipop wings and salmon carpaccio. Also offered are $5 well cocktails, house wines and domestic beers. Brand Steakhouse, Monte Carlo Resort & Casino, 3770 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-730-6700.

Monday through Friday

Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo
features happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Several items are priced at $10 each, including caprese salad; beer-battered shrimp on blue cheese coleslaw with creole tomato glaze; salmon carpaccio; steamed mussels in a beer broth with grilled french bread; truffle prosciutto crostini with herb goat cheese; beef sliders with cheddar cheese, caramelized onion & seasoned fries; and Buffalo chicken sliders topped with blue cheese coleslaw and seasoned fries. To drink, there are $5 bottled beers and $6 well cocktails. Lagasse’s Stadium, The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino, 3325 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-607-2665.

OMG! It’s Over

OMG! It’s over. A year and a half later – it’s over. Guess you know what I am talking about. I am talking about the great and historical campaign and election for president of the United States. Let’s face it: it was really something. It had me in its grip. We must realize here that I was not the breadwinner and mother of a large family so I had time to devote to this phenomenon! Not only was I constantly entertained, but I truly believe I learned more about our government than I did in my sophomore class of US&G (United States Government and History) Yes, I learned about the electoral college, more in depth this time around. I learned about the duties and responsibilities of members of the House and Senate and the various committees. I learned that each and everything you did in life comes back to haunt you when you are in public office. I learned a lot about the voting process and how it differs from state to state. I learned about the importance of primary elections and the importance (or not) of the political conventions. I knew all these things, but they were on the periphery of my consciousness. This year they penetrated deep into my brain! Wow! Did they ever!

I learned the media tries to brainwash us into thinking what some would want us to think. I don’t really know if it is the media or the “establishment”, but reporting on different channels and in different newspapers sometimes looked like black and white. Polls? They appear to be completely irrelevant! They are just all wrong, whether the result of accident or purpose, I don’t know, but I do have my suspicions.

Our country is divided half and half. My family is divided. My bridge table is divided. My friends are divided. Half want open borders: the other half does not. Half want Obamacare: the other half does not. Half want to respect and preserve life: the other half does not. Some want to say Merry Christmas: the other half does not. Some want to build our military: some don’t want to spend the money. Some want to get along with Russia: the other half does not. Some want to spend on climate change: the other half does not. Some want law and order, including stop and frisk: the other half does not. On and on we go! I can’t even think of all the differences we have. This election was close in the final tally but definitely not in the values it cherishes. We are totally divided. How could this have happened when we all live in the same country? Will we ever come together? My wish and my prayer is that we do.

When all is said and done, it appears to me that the working man elected a billionaire because somehow he managed to relate to them and not to the special interests, the “Washington D.C. elite”. Donald Trump understood that blue collar America was left out of the picture for a long time as they waved good-by to the jobs that once gave their families a decent living.

Donald J. Trump is now our president-elect. He will be sworn in to start leading our country on January 20, 2017. As I write this article he is gathering the best of men and women in our society to assist him in that indomitable task as he names them to participate in his Cabinet and our government. May we all, Democrat, Republican and Independent, wish him Godspeed. May he be the leader who takes our great country to greater heights, health, happiness and economic freedom.

Sandy is a certified gerontologist and past president and founder of The Speeding Theatre – Over 55.

About Love and Giving

In considering how to convey to the readers of Senior Connections Magazine best wishes for the holidays, I reviewed what makes Christmas special. Setting aside religion, the elements mentioned most often that seem to exemplify the spirit of Christmas are love, giving, and thinking of others, especially the happiness of others.

I had occasion recently to read a couple of short stories which gave me food for thought about these very subjects. One was entitled The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry.

The story takes place on the day before Christmas and is about a young couple, James Dillingham Young and his wife Della.

Jim’s salary had recently been reduced from $30 a week to $20 a week so they were really struggling to get by. However, they did have two possessions “… in which they took a mighty pride.” One was Jim’s gold watch which had been passed down from his grandfather, to his father, and then to him. The other was Della’s long, beautiful hair. It was so long that it fell below her knees and was so beautiful that it would “…depreciate Her Majesty’s jewels and gifts.”

Here it was Christmas Eve and Della had only been able to save one dollar and eighty-seven cents a penny or two at a time “… by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher …” to buy a Christmas gift for Jim. What could she buy with such a little bit of money?

She was still fretting about the situation while doing up her hair and she remembered a sign in a shop window that read “Mme Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds.” She wondered if Madame Sofronie would buy her hair and rushed to the store to find out. The Madame thought Della’s hair was well worth $20.

Della went shopping immediately and found the perfect Christmas present for Jim — “… a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone …” to go with his gold watch.

The problem was that Jim had just sold his watch to buy a gift for Della — “… The Combs—the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped for long in a Broadway window.” And, of course, her hair was too short for the combs.

Mr. O. Henry closed his story with these wise words: “The magi, as you know were wise men—wonderfully wise men who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.”

The second story was found in Anne Lamott’s book ‘bird by bird.’ This is verbatim from page 205:

“Here is the best true story on giving I know, and it was told by Jack Kornfield of the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre. An eight-year-old boy had a younger sister who was dying of leukemia, and he was told that without a blood transfusion she would die. His parents explained to him that his blood was probably compatible with hers, and if so, he could be the blood donor. They asked him if they could test his blood. He said sure. So they did and it was a good match. They then asked if he would give his sister a pint of blood, that it could be her only chance of living. He said he would have to think about it overnight.

The next day he went to his parents and said he was willing to donate the blood. So they took him to the hospital where he was put on a gurney beside his six-year-old sister. Both of them were hooked up to IVs. A nurse withdrew a pint of blood from the boy, which was then put in the girl’s IV. The boy lay on his gurney in silence while the blood dripped into his sister, until the doctor came over to see how he was doing. Then the boy opened his eyes and asked, “How soon until I start to die?” ”

If these stories did not touch your heart you should see your cardiologist to ensure everything is still working properly.

I would like to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Ramadan, or Happy Kwanzaa according to your beliefs.


Dr. Herb Randall is an advocate for Senior Citizens. He is the Immediate Past President of the Nevada Silver Haired Legislative Forum and a Silver Senator with the Nevada Delegation of the National Silver Haired Congress. He can be contacted at herandall@cox.

The 12 Sites of Social Security

Gathering with family and friends during the holiday season reminds us we’re part of a strong community. And sometimes, in the spirit of the season, we break into song. Our take on “The Twelve Days of Christmas” — a holiday favorite since 1780 — highlights the national community we care for all year long. We call it “The Twelve Sites of Social Security.”

For the first site of Social Security, we give to you: our home page, It’s the place to go for all things Social Security. Everything you could want — from online services and benefit screening tools to publications and frequently asked questions — you can find all these and more on this site.

For the second site of Social Security, we give to you: our hub for Social Security news and updates at our blog, Social Security Matters at

For the third site of Social Security, we give to you: an easy way to learn how to replace your Social Security card at And in some states, you can replace it online at!

For the fourth site of Social Security, we give to you: an online application for retirement benefits that you can complete and submit in as little as 15 minutes at

For the fifth site of Social Security, we give to you: five estimates of your future Social Security benefits! Or as many estimates as you would like using different scenarios. Get instant, personalized estimates of your future benefits at

For the sixth site of Social Security, we give to you: a convenient way to apply for disability benefits at

For the seventh site of Social Security, we give to you: fun and informative videos on our YouTube channel at

For the eighth site of Social Security, we give to you: Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs. You can learn more and apply for a subsidy online at

For the ninth site of Social Security, we give to you: our convenient publication library with online booklets and pamphlets on numerous subjects, at

For the tenth site of Social Security, we give to you: one of our most popular social media outlets, our Facebook page. This is where we engage thousands of customers and you can join the conversation at

For the eleventh site of Social Security, we give to you: answers to your Social Security related questions at our Frequently Asked Questions page at

On the twelfth site of Social Security (and we saved the best for last): open your own personal my Social Security account, which will enable you to verify your earnings, get future benefit estimates, obtain benefit verification letters, update your Social Security information, and more at

And a partridge in a pear tree! Find all of this and more (except the partridge and pear tree) at

Foundation Assisting Seniors & Veterans of Sun City Aliante Host 2nd Annual Charity Golf Tournament

The Foundation Assisting Seniors and the Veterans of Sun City Aliante will be hosting their 2nd annual golf tournament on Friday, Nov. 11 at the Aliante Golf Club located at 3100 Elkhorn Rd, North Las Vegas. The funds raised will be used on the Foundation’s current programs as well as new activities to benefit our senior population.

The entry fee is $75 and includes green fees, cart, range

balls and lunch. The event is an open scramble and will have flights for men, women and mixed (2 men and 2 women).

The event will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude with an award luncheon, where raffle prizes, ranging from vacation packages to dinner gift certificates, will be given away. Prizes will also be given for “Closest to the Pin” and the “Longest Drive” competitions.

To register as a golfer for the event, contact Karl Vonderohe at 702-588-0553, or visit to obtain a registration form and mailing information.

Date: November 11, 2016
Time: 8:00am to 3:00pm
Where: 3100 Elkhorn Rd, North Las Vegas, NV 89030
Cost: $75

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