Operating Engineers Pension Fund Status
You have seen many stories about the problems in the finance
industry: the sub-prime mortgage disaster, the mergers and
bankruptcies of large institutions like Bear Stearns and Lehman,
the likelihood that the US is in a recession, and significant
economic problems throughout the world.
All of this has led to a stock market that has seen the Dow
Jones Index drop over 40% from January 1 through October 30,
What does this mean for the Operating Engineers Pension Fund,
its pensioners and working participants? We have some good news:
Your Board of Trustees has diversified the investments made by
the Pension Fund. The portfolio includes 20% Fixed Income
investments such as U.S. Treasury Bonds, corporate bonds and
cash, and 40% Real Estate investments. These investments have
performed far better than the equity markets.
you compare your Pension Fund’s investment results to other
pension funds like ours, we are doing relatively well. This
year, your Pension Fund investment results are better than 94
out of 100 similar pension funds (in the top 6% of all pension
funds out there).
Recently, the Pension Plan’s overall health was measured against
Federal Government standards set in the Pension Protection Act.
For the plan year ended June 30, 2008, your Pension Plan is in
the “Green Zone,” the best result possible. Your Pension Plan
will be measured again on June 30, 2009.
won’t pretend that everything is perfect. Our portfolio of
stocks has losses just as everyone’s stock portfolio does
because of the severe economic downturn.
However, because your Board of Trustees did not put all, or even
most of our eggs, in the “stocks basket,” your Pension Fund is
in a position to manage a downturn in stock values.
Professional advisors to the Board of Trustees believe that the
downturn will end eventually, and stocks will again become an
important contributor to your Pension Plan’s long term health
you have questions, please feel free to write the Fund Manager
at 100 E. Corson St., Pasadena, CA 91103.
Events for February, March & April 2009
Month. Feb. 1-28.
This month the
American Heart Association’s theme is “Go Red For Women.”
Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women—claiming
the lives of nearly 500,000 each year. Visit www.americanheart.org
for more information.
Month. Feb. 1–28.
Celebrate and support the value of libraries. The American Library
Association reports that there are an estimated 123,921 private and
public libraries in the United States, more than 1,600 of which were
funded by industrialist Andrew Carnegie.
According to legend, it is the day that the Groundhog, Punxsutawney
Phil, comes out of his hole after a long winter sleep to look for
his shadow. If he sees it, he regards it as an omen of six more
weeks of bad weather and returns to his hole. If the day is cloudy
and, hence, shadowless, he takes it as a sign of spring and stays
Valentine’s Day. Feb. 14.
Celebrates the feast of two Christian martyrs of this name. Now it
is one of the most widely observed unofficial holidays. It is an
occasion for the exchange of gifts, usually flowers or sweets, and
Presidents Day. Feb. 16.
Observes the birthdays of George Washington (Feb. 22) and Abraham
Lincoln (Feb. 12).
Fat Tuesday is otherwise known as Mardi Gras, the festival New
Orleans, Louisiana, is famous for. "Gras" is French for fat and
"Mardi" is French for Tuesday.
It is a day when
people eat all they want of everything and anything they want
because the following day is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of a long
fasting period for Christians.
First day of Lent for Christians. Begins the season of preparation
for the celebration of Easter.
Month. March 1–31.
To generate awareness about kidney disease and to encourage people
to learn more about preventing the disease. One in nine Americans
suffers from chronic kidney disease. For more information browse:
Time Begins. March 8.
Congress passed an energy bill in August 2005 that extended Daylight
Saving Time by a month. Beginning in 2007, Daylight Saving Time will
start the second Sunday in March and end the first Sunday in
Congress retains the right to resume the 2005 Daylight Saving Time
schedule once a Department of Energy study as to the impact of this
change is complete.
Day. March 17.
patron saint of Ireland, Bishop Patrick who, in and around A.D. 432,
introduced Christianity into Ireland.
First Day of
The dates have changed for the first day of Spring. In some years it
occurs on March 20th and in others on March 21.. For an
Annual Diabetes Alert Day. Mar. 24.
A one-day, “wake-up” call to inform the American public about the
seriousness of diabetes. The American Diabetes Association
encourages people to take the Diabetes Risk Test and find out if
they, or their loved ones,
are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. For information, browse:
and look under Community Programs & Local Events.
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) fights
the stigma and the disease of alcoholism and other drug addictions.
NCADD provides education, information, help and hope to the public.
It advocates prevention, intervention and treatment. For further
information, browse: http://www.ncadd.org/
April 1. A tradition that began in France in 1564. April 1
used to be New Year’s Day, but it was changed to Jan. 1 that year.
People who insisted on celebrating the old New Year date became
known as April fools, and it became common to play jokes and tricks
Commemorates the time in history when the Jewish people were freed
from slavery in Egypt.
A Christian festival that commemorates the resurrection of Christ.
April 24. A day to honor plants and trees. Usually the last
Friday in April but many states observe it on different dates based
on their best tree-planting times. For more information, browse
Radium: What a
Difference a Century Makes
Most of us
know of Marie Curie's groundbreaking work with radiation--her
discovery of radium and polonium, her two Nobel Prized, and her
contribution of the work radioactivity to our dictionary.
But it may come as a surprise to some that her experiments
opened the door to a health craze in the early 20th century.
radiation was believed to be good for one's health--a kind of
cure-all that could rejuvenate people and prolong their lives.
In fact, Curie argued that radiation could cure cancers, though
that's exactly what killed her at the age of 67. Here are
some of the items the American public clamored for:
drinking water, known as "liquid sunshine"
Bag, which contained cotton and radioactive ore used to treat
arthritis and other pains
tonic often prescribed by doctors
Revigator, a crock lined with radioactive ore and used to
produce radioactive drinking water at home
and "Oradium" wool for babies
Dr. Paul J. Rosch, president of the The American Institute of
Stress and clinical professor of medicine and psychiatry at New
York Medical College, many double-blind studies support the
belief that radiation has curative powers. However, what
we know today--and what eluded the great minds of the previous
century--is that the amount of radiation is key to receiving any
benefits from the exposure: The dosage must be low-level.
left behind not only a legacy to scientific research, but also
some personal effects (including lab books, calculations, and a
cookbook) that remain so radioactive a century later that
they're kept in lead-lined boxes or other protective storage.
Some Surprising reading Statistics
Here are some statistics gathered by The Literacy
Company and Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics.
Over 50 percent of NASA
employees are dyslexic. they are actually sought after by
the organization because they have superb problem-solving skills.
More than 20 percent of
adults read at or below the fifth-grade level--this is well below
what they need to earn a living wage.
Nearly three out of five
of prison inmates are illiterate.
Eighty-five percent of
all juvenile offenders have reading problems.
More than 75 percent of
those on welfare are illiterate.
Over 1 million children
drop out of school every year.
About 50 percent of
America's unemployed youths are functionally illiterate, meaning
they can't carry out simple tasks like balancing checkbooks or
reading drug labels.
American adults are poor readers or "functionally illiterate."
Americans can't read at all; one-fifth of high school graduates
can't read their diplomas.
Every Wednesday beginning February 4th, 2009,
the Fund Office Information Center will be open late for PARTICIPANT
ONLY calls from 5:00pm to 7:00pm.
Call for assistance at (888) 512-5279 or (626)
Women's Health and
Cancer Rights Act of 1998
Did you know that the Health &
Wlefare Plan, as required by the Women's Health and Cancer
rights Act of 1998, provides benefits for mastectomy-related
services including reconstruction and surgery to achieve
symmetry between the breasts, prostheses, and complications
resulting from a mastectomy (including lymphedema)? Call
the fund Office at 1-888-5125279 for more information
Board of Trustees
Operating Engineers Health & Welfare
MEDICATION REFILL PROBLEMS?
experiencing difficulties obtaining prescription refills on
medications that you've been taking for more than tree (3)
months, the Fund Office can assist you in resolving the problem.
Call the Fund's
Information Center at 626-356-1014 (8:30 am to 4:30 pm Mon -
Fri) to speak with a representative.
The curry cure
The next time
you have a craving for curry, you might be doing your health a favor
to give in to it. A recent study by researchers at the Medical
College of Georgia has found that turmeric, the Indian spice
commonly used in curry, can reduce the size of a hemorrhagic stroke.
Other studies have found that turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin,
can lower your risk for Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity,
rheumatoid arthritis, bone loss, and cancer.
watchdog for your laptop—and it’s free
tool that monitors the whereabouts of laptops has been developed
from the collaborative efforts of two students and two professors
from the University of Washington and the University of
California–San Diego. The tool’s name is Adeona, after the Roman
goddess of safe returns.
software is installed, the laptop will occasionally send its
Internet protocol address and related information to a free Web
storage network. This information can be used to establish the
computer’s general location. With commercial systems, where you pay
for tracking, a forensics trail is created so that you can see the
information—but so can other people. Adeona creates a private
forensics trail: The information is scrambled and can be deciphered
only with a password, which is known only by the person who set up
the account. If the laptop is stolen, only the owner can access the
information, but can then provide it to police to aid in tracking
down the stolen machine. Even if the free storage network were to be
hacked, the information would remain private, the developers say.
“Adeona is free
and easy to install, so anyone who owns a laptop, or even a small
company, can use it to track their assets,” says Gabriel Maganis,
one of the authors of the software. So far more than 50,000 people
have downloaded Adeona. The current version works on both laptops
and desktops running Windows, Macintosh, or Linux, and is available
for no charge at
Gum is more than a tasty diversion
University researcher and the Wrigley Science Institute have found
that gum chewing can lower stress levels and improve performance.
The results were presented at the 2008 10th International Congress
of Behavioral Medicine in Tokyo. For the study, participants
performed a battery of multitasking activities while chewing gum.
Among the findings? Gum chewing . . .
stressful activity, chewing gum was found to reduce anxiety in
gum-chewers by 17 percent when compared to non-gum-chewers. During
moderately stressful activities, the reduction rate was 10 percent.
stress activities, gum-chewers were 19 percent more alert than
non-gum-chewers. During moderate stress, gum-chewers were 8 percent
Salivary cortisol (a physiological stress marker) levels were 16
percent lower in gum-chewers during mildly stressful activities;
during moderately stressful activities, the difference was 12
Gum-chewers improved mean performance by 109 percent during mildly
stressful activities, and 67 percent during moderately stressful
activities, when compared to non-gum-chewers.
How failure and
imagination kicked off a journey
When J. K.
Rowling, author of the phenomenally successful Harry Potter
series, had been out of college for seven years, she found herself
at a dark point in her life. At that time, she says, she had failed
in life on an epic scale. “An exceptionally short-lived marriage had
imploded. I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is
possible to be in modern Britain without being homeless.”
Rowling says she was the biggest failure she knew. And while she
says there is nothing ennobling about being poor, she believes she
reaped benefits from her failures. Failure, she says, stripped away
all the inessential aspects of her life. She stopped pretending to
be anything other than herself, and it was then that she began to
earnestly pursue the only work that mattered to her. It was not, she
says, the fairy-tale transformation to success so often written
about her in the media.
imagine played an important role in Rowling’s life, yet surprisingly
it has nothing to do with the colorful world of Harry Potter
she created. Instead, she says, she learned to imagine when she
worked for Amnesty International in her 20s. There, she was exposed
to people and people’s stories from all over the world that were
filled with terrible realities that she herself had never
experienced; she looked at pictures of people who had disappeared
without a trace, read testimonies from people who were tortured, and
saw pictures of their injuries. She learned how evil human beings
could be to their own kind.
this dark side was anything but inspiring, Rowling says she also saw
what was good about people while working for Amnesty. People who
themselves had never suffered these atrocities organized to help
people who had, because they could imagine what it was like
to be surrounded by evil. Choosing to exercise your imagination for
the good of others was a humbling experience, she said. Choosing to
raise your voice for those who cannot do it for themselves can
transform lives in ways we often cannot predict.
have touched our lives
Black History Month and a good time to review the advances
provided by four African-American inventors.
who received a patent in 1893:
modified mop offered new efficiency to cleaning a floor: With
the addition of a clamp and lever, the mop was self-wringing.
John Lee Love
who received a patent in 1897:
Most of us were
introduced to Mr. Love’s invention at a tender age. He designed
the first portable pencil sharpener.
Marie Brown who
received a patent in 1969:
If you have a
video home security system, you have Ms. Brown to thank. She
created the first such system to use television surveillance.
who received a patent in 1988:
of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness
created the Cataract Laserphaco Probe, a method of removing
cataracts that was painless and more accurate than previous
is good for your brain
rosemary contains an ingredient that fights off damage to the
brain. The active ingredient in rosemary can protect the brain
from stroke and neurodegenerative conditions such as
Alzheimer’s, and also from normal aging, a collaborative group
of researchers at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research
say. The ingredient, carnosic acid, protects the brain cells
from free radicals. The findings were originally reported in
The Journal of Neurochemistry
and Nature Reviews Neuroscience.
comes from a shrubby evergreen bush with needlelike leaves. It
has trusses of flowers that can be white, pink, purple or blue.
Rosemary derives its name from the Latin
which translates as “dew of the sea.” Rosemary has a long
history as a memory aid. It was also used in the past at
weddings to symbolize love and loyalty.
HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR ADDRESS?
It is very important that you keep the Fund
Office advised at all times of any change in your address.
Changes of address cannot be accepted unless the change is in
writing and is signed by the eligible member. To print an
"Change of Address" form,