In a nondescript part of New Bedford, sits a little fish market called, Captain Frank's Seafood Market. Captain Frank's has been a staple in New Bedford since 1965 and there is a good reason why. They have kept it simple, low key and have always served the best and freshest seafood to its customers. Whenever I have a clam boil, I always go to Captain Frank's for their fresh Maine clams. They are the cleanest and freshest around. It is wise to pre-order. Pre-ordering doesn't guarantee the price since a catch can vary from day-to-day, but it does guarantee that you will have clams! That is how popular Captain Frank's clams are! I have gotten lobster, swordfish, shrimp, scallops, cod, sole, etc. and I have never been disappointed. What it lacks in being fancy, it makes up on quality and I am more than OK with that! Competitors may come and go but Captain Frank's has proven that it is here to stay! They are located at 360 Hathaway Road, New Bedford, MA. They can bew reached by phone at (508) 992-3000. their hours of operation are: Tuesday- Friday 9am-6pm, Saturday 9-5 and are closed Sunday and Monday (Although, for some holiday weekends they do open on on a Sunday for a few hours. Best to call ahead to be sure).
6-ounce can of blue jumbo lump crab meat or fresh from your fish monger
¼ pound cooked shrimp, shelled and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
½ cup fresh Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Boil water with a little bit of vegetable oil in a large sauce pan or pot. Gradually add shells when water is at a rapid boil. Boil for 1 minute less than package directions for al dente to avoid mushy pasta. Initially under-cook the pasta because the shells will continue to cook when placed in the oven.
Remove shells and drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Dampen 2 paper towels and place them on top of shells to keep them moist. Set aside.
Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add chopped onion and mushrooms. Saute for 5 minutes. Remove mushroom mixture and set aside.
In the same saucepan add flour and whisk into the remaining butter to make a roux (paste). Blend until smooth and bubbly. Whisk in milk, half and half, white pepper and salt (to taste). Simmer for an additional 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.
Ladle ½ cup of hot sauce to a small dish with 2 beaten egg yolks. Whisk together fully and then slowly add to the rest of the sauce. Whisk again. Sauce will get thicker and thicker. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and sherry. Bring to a low boil. Remove from heat
In a medium mixing bowl, toss shrimp, crab meat, mushroom mixture, parsley and ¾ cup cream sauce. Stuff mixture into shells. Arrange in a casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray.
Ladle the remaining sauce over stuffed shells. Top with Parmesan cheese.
Place casserole dish in a cold oven and heat to 350 degrees for a total of 20 minutes.
Alice and Mark drove John out to Worcester and dropped him off at his dorm. The college was about two hours from their home on Cape Cod. Once he was moved in, Alice gave him a tearful goodbye. Things seemed to be going well that first semester of college. They talked and texted regularly. John hadn’t come home yet and everyone was excited to see him at the Thanksgiving break.
About 10 pm on the Thursday before Thanksgiving, Alice and Mark received a call from Frank, John’s roommate. Frank explained that he was at the emergency room of the local hospital. He explained that he and John had been in a bad car accident. Frank was okay but John didn’t seem to be doing well. The hospital wouldn’t tell Frank anything and he thought they should come to the hospital right away. Mark called the hospital to find out what was happening, but they would not tell him any information because John had not given them permission to discuss his medical care with anyone.
The drive to Worcester was nightmarish. When Alice and Mark finally arrived they found out that John had been moved to a room in the critical care unit. They went up to check on him. The nurse explained that John was resting now and while it might be a while before he was 100% he should be okay. Alice and Mark were relieved and started to ask more questions. But the nurse said until John woke up and gave permission for them to discuss his medical care she could not give any more information. Eventually, John did wake up and gave permission for his parents to speak to the doctors about his care. How could something like this happen?
It happens every fall at one college or another. Why? Because once a person reaches age 18 that person is a legal adult. As an adult no one else is entitled to make medical or financial decisions for us unless we authorize them to so. Our medical information is private and the federal HIPAA law says it is against the law for any medical person to discuss your private medical information with anyone beside yourself.
How can this situation be avoided? Well prior to going to college, John should sign three basic documents: a HIPAA release, a health care proxy and a durable power of attorney. With these three documents John’s parents would be able to get the information they wanted about his situation from the hospital and make legal and medical decisions for John if John was not able to make them for himself.
Durable Power of Attorney - This is a legal document in which you designate who you want to make legal and financial decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself. Our DPOA is extremely comprehensive. It allows your agent to handle virtually all legal and financial matters for you. Our DPOA is in effect right away. This means your agent can use it even if you are not disabled. This is necessary for the DPOA to be accepted at many financial institutions. Therefore, it is very important that you pick only people whom you trust to be your agent on your Durable Power of Attorney. Every Durable Power of Attorney should have a primary agent and an alternate agent who would act only if the primary agent is unable to act for you.
Health Care Proxy - This is a legal document in which you designate who you want to make your medical decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself. It is only effective when a doctor indicates in writing that you are not able to make medical decisions for yourself. Every Health Care Proxy should have a primary agent and an alternate agent.
HIPAA Release – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) preserves the privacy of your medical information. It prohibits access to your medical information to anyone except yourself. It also makes it very difficult for family members to assist each other with medical issues such as insurance, finding out about test results, speaking to a doctor or pharmacy about a prescription. In our HIPAA Release, you authorize the people listed on it access to your medical information. The HIPAA agent can fax or give a copy of the HIPAA Release to the medical provider and then the medical provider will be allowed to speak with that person.
1 tablespoon gochugaru (coarse Korean hot pepper flakes), or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 pound boneless pork loin, trimmed hanger steak, boneless short rib, or skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
Combine pear, garlic, soy sauce, gochugaru, ginger, sugar, and sesame oil in a large resealable plastic bag or medium bowl.
Using a sharp knife, slice meat into very thin strips. Add to marinade, seal bag, and squish everything around until the meat is coated.
Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes, or chill up to 8 hours.
Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high until oil is hot.
Remove half of meat from marinade, letting excess drip back into bag; season lightly with salt and cook in a single layer without moving until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
Toss meat and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until cooked through and crisp at edges, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, remaining meat, and more salt.
Summer is a time for fun but make sure you don't throw caution to the wind. We are all mindful of winter and all its' pitfalls but summer has it's own hazards. Here is a list of things to do (or not do) to make sure your summer is safe and fun!
Take care of your skin! Make sure you have a good sunscreen on: the higher the SPF, the better the protection. Not only is a sunburn painful but it is dangerous! Remember to reapply after sweating or being in the water. Don’t forget to wear a hat because your scalp can get sunburned, too!
Don’t overdo it! Limit you’re outdoor activities especially between the hours of 10am-2pm. If you must work in your garden, try to do it early in the morning or in the early evening when the sun is not as strong.
Wear light colored clothes of breathable material. Dark clothes and synthetics trap heat.
Stay hydrated! And by “hydrated” we mean, water! Caffeine and alcohol may taste good, but they actually dehydrate you. Always keep a bottle or two of water with you.
Make sure you have a fan or an air conditioner. Be sure to get a fan or A/C BEFORE the heat hits! Never wait to the last minute to buy one because more than likely they will be sold out! If you have one, put it in early in the season to make sure it works properly.
If you don’t have an A/C or fan check with your city or town for municipal buildings that are available for keeping cool, such as a Senior Center or a library. Consider taking in a movie or doing your daily walk in the mall instead of the park!
Pull down your shades or close your drapes wherever the sun comes in. This will help to keep your home cooler and your A/C won’t have to work as hard!
Do not sit in a hot car for any extended period of time. The temperature of a car left in the sun can easily reach over 100 degrees!
Pets are important too! Make sure they are not left outside, or in a hot car! Be sure to keep them hydrated and do not cut or shave your pet without consulting your vet first! Some pets have very light skin and can get a sunburn or heat stroke. That coat of fur actually keeps them insulated from the sun!
When outdoors, make sure you have a bug repellent on and be sure to reapply! Mosquito and tick bites can cause a number or serious illnesses in both humans and pets! If a bite has serious signs and symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, then be sure to contact your doctor (or vet) immediately!
Make sure your vaccinations, such as tetanus, are up to date! Digging in the dirt or playing in the sand is a lot of fun but it can be a host to a lot of bacterias as well.
Be sure to wear water shoes or sandals in and out of the water! There is nothing worse than a nasty cut from a sharp rock or a shell!
And just like during the winter months, be sure to keep an eye on your elderly family members or neighbors! Check up on them by offering some lemonade or inviting them over for a swim in the pool.
Don’t play with fireworks! They are banned in many states for good reason: they cause burns and wounds and can start fires. Also, keep children at a safe distance from fire pits! S’mores are delicious to eat but are dangerous for kids to make without proper, and vigilant, adult supervision!
Although I love the convenience of having a pool, nothing beats a day out at the beach! There is nothing like it. All lot of people don't take advantage of what their town (or the Commonwealth have to offer). Here is a quick list of popular local beaches. Of course, be aware, some are for residents only!
Dartmouth - Round Hill Beach, 231 Smith Neck Road, Dartmouth, MA 02748; Jones Beach, 66 St. John Street, Dartmouth, MA 02748; and Apponagansett, 77 Gulf Road, South Dartmouth, MA 02748
Day Pass Fees:
Round Hill - $15 for residents, available Monday-Friday only, no weekends or holidays
Jones Park - $10 per day
Apponagansett Park - $10 per day
Seasonal Sticker Fees:
Residents - $35 per year
Senior Residents (65+) - $25 per year
Disabled Veteran - No Charge w/ proof
Seasonal Renter - $100 per week
Fairhaven - West Island Town Beach, 36 Bluepoint Road, Fairhaven, MA 02719
RESIDENT FEES: Season Pass $30 per vehicle, Day Pass (car) $ 6, Day Pass (walk in) $ 3, Day Pass (bus) $150 with 2-weeks notice required. No charge for Fairhaven seniors 60 or over.
NON-RESIDENT FEES: Season Pass $100, Day Pass (car) $20, Day Pass (walk in) $ 10, Senior Walk-ins $5. No out-of-town buses.
New Bedford - East Beach, East Rodney French Boulevard, New Bedford Ma 02744; West Beach, West Rodney French Boulevard, New Bedford, MA 02744
Resident seasonal pass - $5
Lloyd Demarest - Barney's Joy Road, Dartmouth, MA 0274; $12 for a day pass
Fort Phoenix - Green Street, Fairhaven, MA 02719; FREE
Horseneck Beach - 5 John Reed Road, Westport, MA 02790; $13 for a day pass
For a list of other saltwater ocean beaches in Massachusetts to explore, click here.
7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, or any chocolate you like, broken into pieces
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
½ cup cold water, divided
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the crust. Crumble graham crackers into the work bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground... or graham cracler crumbs works fine, too. Pour melted butter into crumbs and mix with hands until the butter is fully incorporated and the texture is that of wet sand. Butter or oil a 9-inch pie pan and firmly press the graham cracker crumbs against the sides, then against the bottom of the pan. Chill for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan until scalded (DO NOT BOIL!). Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 1 minute. Whisk the cream and chocolate together until glossy and smooth. Add a pinch of salt, then crack the egg into the chocolate mixture and whisk to fully incorporate. Pour into chilled crust and bake for 25 minutes, or until the filling is set but still slightly wobbly in the center. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
For the marshmallow topping, pour 1/4 cup water into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the gelatin on top. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together the remaining 1/4 cup of water, sugar and corn syrup just until sugar is dissolved. Heat until a candy thermometer reads 260 degrees, or hard-ball stage. Remove from heat, turn stand mixer to medium speed to begin beating the bloomed gelatin, and slowly pour in sugar syrup, aiming it down the side of the bowl to prevent splatter, and scraping any remaining syrup from the pan with a heat-proof spatula. Slowly increase the speed of the mixer, and beat until the mixture is white, fluffy and doubled in volume. Add vanilla and beat for a few moments more. Pour the mixture on top of the cooled chocolate layer, gently spreading it to the edges of the crust with a spatula. Refrigerate, uncovered, 30 to 60 minutes.
To slice the pie, it helps to dip your knife in hot water, then dry it with a towel. The heat facilitates easy slicing through the marshmallow layer.
By Erin L. Shea, Esq. and Attorney Brandon C. Walecka, Esq., LL.M. of Surprenant & Beneski, P.C.
It’s that time year again to update on the ever changing important estate planning numbers. Below is a chart which includes changes to many figures that affect seniors in our community. Call our office if you have any questions as many of these figures carry with them a planning opportunity for you or a loved one. At Surprenant & Beneski, P.C., we use this data to pursue government benefits while complying with the rules to help clients preserve assets.
Long-Term Care, Medicaid and Medicare Figures
Nursing Home MassHealth Figures
Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Standards
Community Spouse Resource Allowance
Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance
Home Equity Limit
Community MassHealth Figures
Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
$ 980.83 per month
$ 980.83 per month
$ 1,304.50 per month
$ 1,304.50 per month
300% Federal Benefit Rate (FBR)
$ 2,199 per month
$ 2,199 per month
Average cost of nursing home care according to MA
Average daily cost of nursing home care
$ 310 / day
$ 354 / day
Average monthly cost of nursing home care
$9,300 / month
$ 10,620 / month
Average yearly cost of nursing home care
$ 111,600 / year
$ 129,210 / year
Part B Premium
*Figure until July 1, 2017.Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefits Figures
Single Veteran Monthly Benefit Amount
Veteran in need of Aid & Attendance
Standard 5% VA UME Deduction
Married Veteran Monthly Benefit Amount
Veteran in need of Aid & Attendance
Standard 5% VA UME Deduction
Surviving Spouse of Veteran Monthly Benefit Amount
Surviving Spouse in need of Aid & Attendance
Standard 5% VA UME Deduction
Gifting and Estate Tax Figures
Annual Gift Tax Exemption (per year per beneficiary)
Lifetime Estate Tax Exemption (Massachusetts)
Lifetime Gift and Estate Tax Exemption (Federally)