215-627-2493 | center@oldpine.org


Consumers Corner # 32


By Jim Murphy

You may not realize it. But one of your best sources for the many great things happening in the Philadelphia area is visitphilly.com.

This website is packed with info on the top things to do in the current month, places to go, attractions for first-time visitors, 60 biggest events and festivals coming to Philly in 2018, 10 essential things to do on your first trip to Philly, top things to do with your kids, top free things to do and much more.

And the magnificent photos visitphilly uses make you want to attend every single event.

Food & drink … great hotel deals … and UWISHUNU

You can also scope out the best food and drink places, hotel packages and UWISHUNU’s picks for things to do this week, this month, next month and this year.

And here’s a great bonus. You can receive “Stories of the Week.” This e-mail allows you to see what major publications across the country are saying about Philadelphia. In one issue alone, I read:

  • Condé Nast Traveler’s great special section: “Beyond the Basics: Philadelphia”


  • TIME’s Money Magazine listing, “The 20 Best Places to Go in 2018”


  • Food & Wine’s look at Reading Terminal Market


You’ll see and learn things here you won’t find anywhere else. And make sure you don’t miss such great coming events as: Sail Philadelphia, a 4-day festival over Memorial Day Weekend with 12 Tall Ships; Philly Beer Week, June 1-10; The Roots Picnic June 2; plus, the reopening of The Bourse, the opening of the Cherry Street Pier (both dates to be determined), and so much more.

Philly just keep setting records

By the way, Philly is so hot that our area set another record for domestic visitors in 2016 with 42 million, the 7th year in a row for record visits. What’s more, while Saturday night used to be a complete bust for area hotels, it’s been the busiest night of the week here for 14 years running!

Saturday occupancy reached a record high of 90% in 2017, even though the number of hotel rooms keeps rising! Center city will add 1,795 rooms in eight new hotels by July of this year. And VisitPhilly wants to keep them filled!

Sign up today

To start getting visitphilly.com emails, go to: www.visitphilly.com/contact.

I believe you will really enjoy the information you get back.

You can also stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, see visitphilly ads on You Tube, or use LinkedIn or Snapchat.



My apologies. I’ve been posting this Consumers’ Blog twice a month since Sept. 12, 2016, but missed one on March 13.

I had a huge editing project to complete that took most of my time for about ten days.

As a bonus to you for my missing one, I hope to slip in an extra blog issue on March 30, 2018. This will run in addition to my usual schedule: the second Tuesday and four Thursday of the month.

Thanks for your patience. And I hope you enjoy the information you see here on this blog.

Jim Murphy




To help protect millions of Americans from identify theft, Medicare will start mailing new Medicare cards without Social Security numbers in April 2018.

The new cards, to be mailed through April 2019, will contain a new Medicare Claim Number unique to you. It is not a Social Security number.

Fortunately, Medicare beneficiaries in Pennsylvania and Delaware are among the first scheduled to get the new cards.

Key things to know:

  • You don’t need to do anything to get your new card
  • Your new card won’t change your Medicare coverage or your benefits
  • You should keep your new number confidential and only give it to doctors, pharmacies, health care providers, your insurers or people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf

Note: Medicare will not call and ask you for private information about the card. They already have it. If someone calls and asks you for your information, for money, or threatens to cancel your benefits, don’t reply. Just hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE (or 1-800-633-4227.)




The percent of scams in 2017 that began with a phone call, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).


$1 billion

The amount of money scammers took from Americans last, year, says Trevor Hughes in USA Today.



The average amount of money consumers in their 80s lost to scams (almost double that of victims in their 70s). The best advice, says Amy Nofzinger of the AARP Foundation: ignore phone calls from people you don’t know. And don’t give in to their demands.  The FTC’s Monica Vaca says: “Take a deep breath. Take your time. And before you do anything, talk to somebody.”


Safety Check:

Did you change your smoke detector batteries when we switched to Daylight Savings Time? If not, why not do it now? It’s a great time to replace all your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries. And a great way to protect your family.


Who is UPMC for Life … and
why don’t they say who they are?

 I’ve seen a high volume of purple and white health inserts in my newspapers recently asking: Is this your year to enroll in Medicare?

The ads all carry the logo: UPMC for Life.

When I first started seeing these late last year during the Open Enrollment period for Medicare, I wondered who UPMC was? Was it connected with the University of Pennsylvania?

I did some research and learned it is the highly respected University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. And, according to a UPMC news release, the health plan ranked highest in Pennsylvania in overall member satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power 2017 Member Health Plan Study.

My only question is: why do their promotional materials not use their full name. Any ads I see for Penn Medicine use the Penn name and a logo.

For UPMC, I don’t see a full name or location. To me, I wonder why not? Or am I the only one who doesn’t know who they are? Or why they appear to be hiding their identity?


 Philly Fun Fact 

In the book “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson, I learned about a local Philly connection I’d never heard about before. Andy Herzfeld, a key member of the Apple Macintosh development team – who was from Lower Merion’s Harriton High School – brought in fellow alum Susan Kare to develop fonts for the Mac. The original fonts were named after Paoli Local railroad stops on the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Main Line. Among them: Overbrook, Merion, Ardmore and Rosemont. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs complained one day they were “little cities nobody’s ever heard of.  They ought to be world-class cities,” he decided.  The new typeface names became: Chicago, New York, Geneva, London, San Francisco, Toronto and Venice.


Photo Credits



Jim Murphy is a direct marketing copywriter who has run his own consulting business since 2004. For nine years, he wrote and edited “Choices,” an award-winning credit union magazine with a circulation of 80,000. Now a certified member and vice president of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides, Jim also writes historical articles for the Queen Village Neighbors Association magazine.

Any comments made are Jim’s opinion, and not necessarily those of the Old Pine Community Center.





Our awesome programs are only possible with your generous help!