Lee Kebler, who holds the position of Secretary with the Los Angeles Retired Fire & Police Association, called me and told me it was about time I joined this organization. I don’t know why it took me so long to join, but now I’m a card carryin’ member. The LARFPA Association does many things, includin’ watchin’ over our pensions and insurin’ the politicians don’t strip away our promised benefits. Ken Buzzell is the director of this association and is constantly battling for our due benefits. Thanks Ken, for your devoted service.
Although many of you probably already know this, the cost of livin’ increase will be 2.2 %, effective July 1, 2013.
The other constant battle is over our medical subsidy and insurin’, as stated in the City Charter, that we receive an annual 7% increase. The monthly maximum subsidy was increased July 1, 2013 from $1,174.23 to $1,256.43. Thanks to the work of Ken, along with Paul Weber and Corina Lee, representing the Police Protective League, and Tony Gamboa, representing UFLAC, the Board voted 7 to 2 to approve a 7% increase for 2013. Thanks again to you all for your devoted service and insurin’ our earned benefits remain intact.
So, if you’re not a member, please give it some serious consideration. This association does many good things for us and the $5 per month is money well spent. If you have any questions or want more information, please call (626) 285-5138.
Several months ago I did a story about Ray Rutter, who retired in 1978. Ray had kindly donated $100 to FS 87’s for their kindness and generosity shown to WWII veteran Pete Howenstein. Pat Rutter, Ray’s wife, recently contacted me and passed along a story about a friend and fellow retired firefighter in Grass Valley, Bill Sommers.
Bill is also a pilot and has given more than 600 young people free demonstration airplane rides. They’re a part of the Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles, which is introducing a new generation to the world of flight.
Not only does Bill participate in the “Young Eagles” program, but he encourages the Retired Guys in Grass Valley to partake in his “Joy of Flying.” He takes area residents, includin’ Pat Rutter, on flyin’ trips around Northern California for lunch. Bill’s only request is that his passengers “buy lunch.”
Bill also loves potato salad, so he flies to various destinations lookin’ to satisfy his urge. He usually buys several pounds at a time and gives much of it to the Firemen’s “Pot Luck” luncheons, held in Grass Valley. Bill has flown in every state, includin’ Hawaii and Alaska.
Bill joined the LAFD in 1968 and ended his career at FS 91. He retired in 2000.