PROBE: Feb. 11, 2002

February 11, 2002

SEARCHING FOR MENUS: I am a senior citizen speaking for some other seniors. We like the "senior menus" in your Sunday paper. It tells us what will be served at senior nutrition centers around the Valley.

Sometimes the menu in the paper and sometimes it is not. We would like the menu in the paper. Two weeks ago the menu column was in. A week ago it was not. Please put it in every Sunday! — Senior, El Centro

Sunday Editor Don Quinn said he would be glad to put the menus in every week but says, "We don't get them every week."

He continued, "When we have them, we print them. When we don't have them, we can't put them in the paper." Quinn said it may be that we need to get after the people who are supposed to provide the menus and don't.


IN NEED OF SECURITY: I have a good friend who lives in Mexicali who said he worked at least 10 years in the United States and that should have made him eligible for Social Security. When he applied, Social Security reported its records showed he worked only five years. See what you can do for him. This man is so poor. — Tender-heart, Seeley

It looks like your Mexicali buddy dropped through a crack but we can't say for sure because we don't have enough information.

Before 1978 a seasonal worker could toil 20 years without getting the necessary 40 quarters or 10 years to qualify for Social Security. In those days, a quarter (specified three-month periods), counted only if you earned money in that period.

After 1978, a high-income quarter could qualify you for a year. Before 1951, farm labor didn't count toward Social Security.

There are other possibilities. It's possible some wages were not reported or reported on an incorrect Social Security number. To rule that out, your friend should get his records and study them.

FAXED UP: There is a business in the Valley that seems to be sending faxes on a random basis. The other day our phone rang at 4:10 a.m. When I answered it all I heard was the loud squeal of a fax machine.

The next day, on another telephone line, we got a call at 5:30 a.m. Caller I.D. on both phones showed the calls came from P&J Communications at 334-etcetera.

I have talked to several other people who say they have received middle-of-the-night fax attempts. I tried to send a fax to them to tell to stop but their fax was constantly busy.

Do any of your readers know who these rude, horrid people are? We have to get hold of them to tell them to stop calling or we're going to become a Valley of sleep-deprived zombies. — Nodding Off, El Centro

We tried to call the 334 number you gave us and got a 344 number answered by a sleepy woman who said she's been getting a lot of wrong numbers, like ours, in the middle of the night. Some people call her a 1 and 2 a.m., she said.

We called directory assistance and couldn't get a number for P&J Communications in Imperial County, the 760 area code or anywhere in California. We tried 800 number information. Not only could we not get a number, we couldn't get an operator.

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