York, Pennsylvania – Capital of the United States, and More!

4287048_PA_YorkDid you know that York has a rich history and has played an important role in a number of historic events, beginning with the revolutionary war and post-war America?

York was founded in 1741. During the winter of 1777-1778, when Washington’s army was encamped at Valley Forge and the British occupied Philadelphia, the capital of the young United States, the Continental Congress convened in York, where they adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first attempt at a constitution of sorts. As a result, some Yorkers claim that York was the first capital of the United States (which most historians dispute).

There is a bell, known as the York Liberty Bell, which is housed at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church on North Beaver Street, which visitors can “bong” with a mallet to this day. That bell was dragged to the town square in July 1776 to announce the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and was rung to announce sessions of the Congress while sitting in York.

York was also the site of major intrigue in the winter of 1777-78. General Washington’s army had been badly beaten in several battles in 1777. By contrast, General Horatio Gates had been instrumental in winning the battle of Saratoga in New York. Some generals and politicians began to talk of replacing General Washington as commander of the Continental Army with General Gates.

This “plot” (it likely never really reached the level of a plot), known as the “Conway Cabal”, culminated in a banquet at the Gates House in York, the headquarters of General Gates while in York. The Marquis de Lafayette, a close friend and confidante of General Washington, was invited to the banquet. According to Lafayette’s memoir, he proposed a toast: “Gentlemen, there is one thing you have forgotten; I propose a toast to our Commander-in-Chief General Washington. May he remain at the head of the army until Independence is won.” That toast, which honor required those in attendance to join, brought an end to the conspiracy. [Sources: www.ushistory.org/march/other/cabal.htm; Living Places, www.livingplaces.com/PA/York_County/York_City/Golden_Plough_Tavern.html ] There is a statue of General Lafayette hoisting a cup outside the Gates House on West Market Street in York City.

Later, in 1781, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne set up headquarters in York to recruit for the campaign in Virginia, which ended in the surrender of Lord Cornwallis to General Washington’s troops at Yorktown, Virginia on October 19, 1781. Yorktown was the last major land battle of the war, assuring overall American victory and independence, and essentially ending the war (though it did not formally end until the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783).

Many of us are completely unaware of York’s long history. To get a better understanding of York’s role in our country’s early history, and more, visit the Golden Plough Tavern/Gates House and the York County Historical Society. They are well worth the time. Also, to get an excellent lesson on York’s significant industrial and agricultural heritage, be sure to visit the York County Agricultural & Industrial Museum. It is one of my grandson’s favorite places (especially the full-sized working water wheel).

Bill Poole


Medicare, Medicaid, and Long-Term Care Planning

Many people are confused about the difference between Medicare and Medicaid as it relates to paying for long-term care. Although both provide for medical care, they are very different.

Medicare is an entitlement program for everyone at age 65 (or for certain disabled people, regardless of age). Medicaid, on the other hand, is a public assistance program designed to help people with limited assets pay for medical care. Medicaid applicants must meet certain strict income and asset guidelines.

Medicare is run entirely by the federal government, while Medicaid is a joint federal-state program. Each state has its own Medicaid system; thus, the eligibility rules (and sometimes even the name) vary from state to state. However, each state must adhere to federal guidelines.  Medicare does not cover long-term nursing home care.

Part A covers only up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility, and only if the patient has been admitted to a hospital for at least 3 days. Worse, from days 21-100, the individual must make a daily copayment (the amount changes every year – in 2019 it is $170.50 a day), and it is quite difficult to qualify for those extra days.

Medicaid pays for all of one’s nursing home care if the person’s assets and income are below that state’s guidelines. However, do not be discouraged; if they exceed the state limits, steps can be taken to still be eligible, but care must be taken. There are many traps for the unwary.

For example, giving away one’s assets can be disastrous. If an applicant or spouse gives away assets within 60 months before applying, the applicant will suffer a significant penalty period, during which time the applicant is ineligible for Medicaid benefits; the larger the total of all gifts, the longer the penalty. However, through proper planning with a qualified elder law attorney who is versed in the rules of Medicaid eligibility, those who need skilled nursing care can become Medicaid eligible relatively quickly without having to spend down all of their assets.

The sooner you start planning, the better your chances of getting the care you need most while protecting much, if not all, of your assets. Join us for one of our upcoming workshops to discover what you need to know to get the process started.  You’ll find dates, times and locations here! 


Here’s What Candy Came Out the Year You Were Born – Gen-Z and iGeneration Edition

After seven decades of sweet, salty, and sour goodness, we have info on which candy came when. This segment will address candy from the Gen-Z (1995-2015), iGeneration (2015-to present) (also known as the Post-Millennial, Founder, Plural, and Homeland), and Generation Alpha (2015-present) generations, which saw the creation of some pretty iconic candy.

1998 – Baby Bottle Pops. These bad boys were popular in the early 2000s. Licking the lollipop, flipping it around, and shaking it like crazy until it was coated in sweet sugar was incredible to me as a child (as still is today, to be honest). And the song was just too catchy. Baby Bottle Pop, Baby Bottle Pop… ♪♫

1999 – Jolly Rancher Lollipops. Advertised as offering “even longer-lasting flavor than Jolly Rancher Hard Candy,” these lollipops give you a bigger and better way to enjoy your favorite hard candy. They come in the same flavors as the original small pieces: apple, watermelon, cherry, and pink lemonade.

2001 – Harry Potter Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. In 2001, the first Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone, depending where in the world you’re located) hit theaters and people everywhere went crazy. In response to the growing phenomenon that was (and still is) the Harry Potter fandom, Jelly Belly released Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, modeled after one of the most popular candies in the magic world. Now even muggles could enjoy snacking on Rotten Egg, Earthworm, and Buttered Popcorn flavored jelly beans.

2002 – Dulce de Leche Caramel M&M’s. In 2002, Mars responded to the growing Hispanic market in the US by releasing a new flavor of M&M’s: Dulce de Leche. Their time is stores was fairly short, but maybe one day these sweet candies will make their return.

2003 – Hershey’s Kisses Special Dark. While they were originally released in 2003 as a limited edition product, these babies were so popular that they remain on shelves today. Our guess is it’s because of the dreamy taste of Hershey’s sweet dark chocolate (and rumors that dark chocolate is good for you).

2004 – Wonder Ball: SpongeBob Edition. Wonder Ball was originally released in the 1990s before leaving shelves for a few years. In 2004 it was introduced again, this time SpongeBob SquarePants-themed and filled with little candies instead of a plastic toy.

2006 – Reese’s Crispy Crunchy Bar. This candy takes all the best elements of candy bars and combines them into one perfect bar: crispy, crunchy, chocolatey, and peanut buttery. It has a flaky peanut butter core, covered by a layer of peanut butter, topped with chopped peanuts and a milk chocolate coating.

2007 – Reese’s Whipps. Reese’s Whipps were introduced to the candy market as a healthier alternative to the traditional candy bar (if such a thing exists). Filled with a fluffy peanut butter-flavored nougat and a layer of peanut butter candy, this bar is “lighter than air” and has 40% less fat than regular chocolate candy.

2009 – Hershey’s Thingamijig. Released in 2009 as a limited edition sister bar to Hershey’s Whatchamacallit, Thingamajig bars were made of cocoa-flavored rice crisps topped with a strip of peanut butter and then covered in a layer of Hershey’s chocolate.

2010 – Take 5. In 2010 Hershey’s was telling its fans to relax, take a break, and eat some chocolate. With layers of sweet, salty, and chocolatey goodness, this candy bar contains peanuts, so it’s healthy, right?

2011 – Dubble Bubble Painterz Mouth Coloring Bubble Gum. Introduced to the candy market for Halloween in 2011, this Dubble Bubble gum came in five different flavors and colors and turned your mouth into the color of the gum you were chewing.

2012 – Nestlé Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Candy Bars. Released in 2012, these candy bars caused Girl Scout Cookie lovers (read: everyone) everywhere to rejoice. For the first time ever, you could enjoy the magical deliciousness of your favorite cookies all year long. The chocolate wafer bars come in three flavors, Peanut Butter Creme, Caramel & Coconut, and Thin Mints, and are modeled after the three most popular Girl Scout Cookies.

2015 – Hershey’s Candy Corn Bars. Although available in bite-size portions in years past, 2015 was the first year this candy hybrid was sold in full-size bars. The white chocolate bar is speckled with orange and yellow candy bits, giving the appearance and taste of everyone’s favorite Halloween candy: candy corn.

So, there you have it. Pick your favorite from any and every generation and enjoy!

Excerpted and adapted from Shana Lynch in Redbook Magazine.