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'Senior Issues Etc.' Launches 13th Season

The show, featuring Libertyville seniors, included an interview with Mayor Terry Weppler.

Vita Verden sat quietly and patiently, waiting to dive into her interview with Mayor Terry Weppler.

Five. Four. Three. Two. One. As soon as the countdown ended, Verden jumped right in.

"I have a good show for you today … come and sit back—this one's for you," said Verden.

Verden is the host of Senior Issues Etc., which launched its 13th season Oct. 15. Run by Libertyville seniors, the show is taped at the Comcast public access television studio in Waukegan and then broadcast on Comcast Channel 17.

Senior Issues Etc. began in 2000. The non-profit group includes 12 senior volunteers and an intern from the College of Lake County. The seniors, many of whom are over age 80, serve as producers, directors and camera operators. Verden said Comcast certifies the volunteers to operate the cameras. The crew includes: Selby Hussey, Gloria Shapiro, Nancy Chaudry, Sharon Klish, Barbara Settle, Art Kick, Judi Ward, Pat Thompson, Joe Passalaqua, Helen Tull and Dave Bently.

She credits late Senator Adeline Geo-Karis for helping to start the show, as Geo-Karis helped secure a grant to launch Senior Issues.

"She took us under her wing," said Verden.

Weppler was one of the first guests on the show, appearing well before he started serving as mayor. During the Oct. 15 taping, Weppler took a few minutes to tell the audience about himself. Weppler explained that he grew up in Libertyville and attended both St. Joseph School and Libertyville High School. He also attended the College of Lake County.

"It is a tremendous campus," Weppler said.

Weppler worked as a police officer and firefighter in Glencoe while attending law school.

For the 13th season opener, Weppler talked about the village's electric aggregation program.

"It's a $25 word for saving money," said Weppler. The program saves residents 44 percent on their electricity rates.

Weppler said he wanted to talk about the electric aggregation program because some people—including seniors—have expressed concerns that the program is a scam.

Though there are plenty of companies contacting residents and claiming to be part of Libertyville's electric aggregation program, Weppler stressed that the contract the village entered into is legitimate.

Verden sang the program's praises.

"I have seen a huge reduction in my bill," said Verden.

Warning about scams, however, is an important part of the Senior Issues program. During her "Pearls of Wisdom" portion of the show, Verden told viewers to watch for emails that claim to offer deposits of millions of dollars. She warned viewers not to open attachments in those emails or give out their personal information.

"If it seems too good to be true, it's not true," said Verden.

Verden said topics for the show are chosen based on the questions she gets via phone calls or emails.

"The show is based on what the audience wants," she said. This season will also include interviews with a local veteran and the head of the Senior Council of Libertyville.

The show taped Oct. 15 will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Oct. 16 on Comcast Channel 17. It'll be broadcast occasionally for about two weeks, Verden said. It can also be seen on Channel 6 in Evanston starting Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. Look for the show later this week here on Libertyville Patch.

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