90-year-old WW2 veteran plays tennis, studies ukulele, volunteers twice a week

Geno Muzzin is reading the Harry Potter series. When he’s not playing tennis three times a week, he’s practicing yoga and tai chi. He also recently decided to learn how to play the guitar. When it proved to be too difficult, he switched to ukulele.

Muzzin, of Lincoln Park, just celebrated his 90th birthday. He jokes when he says the secret to longevity is simply, “don’t die,” the actual key may lie in his youthful attitude.

“I just try to have a positive attitude, and I hang around with people that are younger then me because that keeps you young. Although, everyone I know is younger than me right now,” he laughed.

Muzzin was born August 20, 1927. He graduated from Cass Tech High School in Detroit in 1945. He has lived in the same house in Lincoln Park for 66 years. He is a World War II veteran who served in the Army during the military occupation of Korea in 1946. He married Violet and had four children. He would later have four grandchildren and one great grandchild.


He retired from Prudential Insurance after 36 years of service. After that, he took up a job selling furniture for Englander Triangle in Birmingham. He left that job when the furniture store went out of business.

Muzzin’s wife died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. He served as her caregiver for eight years, and often attended support groups. After her death, he decided he wanted to give his time, so he started volunteering for Meals on Wheels. He delivers meals every Tuesday and Thursday.

“I find it very, very rewarding,” he said. “Sometimes I’m the only person they (Meals on Wheels recipients) see that day, and they are right at the door waiting for the meal.”

Muzzin plays tennis Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Woodhaven High School. He started playing at age 62 because it was a sport he always wanted to try, but never had the time. “I play with a great bunch of guys and I’m still able to get the ball over the net, which is good, I guess,” he said. “I play for the fun and the camaraderie.”

Every weekend, he drives his 97-year-old sister-in-law to church and then off to lunch at Wendy’s.

His family helped him celebrate his birthday with a party at his son’s Birmingham home. He was thrilled to have received almost 90 birthday cards from family and friends.

“I’ve been blessed… very blessed,” he said.

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Any lice with that salmon? Parasite plagues global industry

ST. ANDREWS, New Brunswick (AP) — Salmon have a lousy problem, and the race to solve it is spanning the globe.

A surge of parasitic sea lice is disrupting salmon farms around the world. The tiny lice attach themselves to salmon and feed on them, killing or rendering them unsuitable for dinner tables.

Meanwhile, wholesale prices of salmon are way up, as high as 50 percent last year. That means higher consumer prices for everything from salmon fillets and steaks to more expensive lox on bagels.

The lice are actually tiny crustaceans that have infested salmon farms in the U.S., Canada, Scotland, Norway and Chile, major suppliers of the high-protein, heart-healthy fish. Scientists and fish farmers are working on new ways to control the pests, which Fish Farmer Magazine stated last year costs the global aquaculture industry about $1 billion annually.


So far it has been an uphill struggle that is a threat to a way of life in countries where salmon farming is a part of the culture.

“Our work has to be quicker than the evolution of the lice,” said Jake Elliott, vice president of Cooke Aquaculture in Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick.

Experts say defeating the lice will take a suite of new and established technology, including older management tools such as pesticides and newer strategies such as breeding for genetic resistance. The innovative solutions in use or development include bathing the salmon in warm water to remove lice and zapping the lice with underwater lasers.

Farmers worldwide consider sea lice the biggest threat to their industry and say the persistent problem is making the fish more expensive to consumers. Farmed salmon was worth nearly $12 billion in 2015, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The only hope is to develop new methods to control the spread of lice, which are present in the wild, but thrive in the tightly packed ocean pens for fish farming, said Shawn Robinson, a scientist with the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

“There are not enough tools right now to allow the farmer to really effectively deal with it,” Robinson said.

The lice can grow to about the size of a pea and lay thousands of eggs in their brief lifetime. But Atlantic salmon have held their own with sea lice in the wild for centuries, and fish farmers managed them in aquaculture environments for many years.

Then, farmers in Canada identified the lice as a problem around 1994, said Jonathan Carr, executive director of research and environment with the Atlantic Salmon Federation.

Feeding fish a pesticide with the active ingredient of emamectin benzoate became the tool of choice to control lice, Carr said. But around 2009, the lice appeared to become resistant to the pesticide, and they have spread globally since.

The industry’s key mistake was reacting when the lice evolved to survive pesticide, Carr said, rather than “getting ahead in the game.”

“The efficacy went away and pressure developed to create new treatments,” said Kris Nicholls, chief operating officer at Cooke, a major player in world salmon farming.

The worldwide supply of salmon fell almost 10 percent last year, with Norway, the largest producer in the world, especially hard hit. In Norway, there are hundreds of times more salmon in aquaculture than in the wild. And the fish potentially can escape their pens with lice attached and introduce them to wild fish.

Norwegian farmers are looking to use new closed-in pens that resemble giant eggs instead of typical mesh pens. Scottish farmers have deployed a device known as a Thermolicer to warm the water and detach the lice from fish. And farmers in North America and Europe are experimenting with using species of “cleaner fish” to coexist with the salmon and eat the lice.

Research about farming salmon along with mussels, which researchers have found will eat larval sea lice, is underway. Underwater drones inhabit the other end of the technological spectrum, zapping lice with lasers to kill them. That technology was developed in Norway and has been used there and in Scotland.

Cooke keeps a brood stock of fish in the hopes of breeding them for desirable traits such as disease resistance. And the company uses a pair of boats capable of pumping 10,000 fish at a time into a hydrogen peroxide bath, which kills most of the lice, although it also can stress and kill some fish.

On the shores of Beaver Harbour, New Brunswick, Cooke engineer Joel Halse stood recently aboard a $4 million vessel containing a series of tubes that send 300 salmon a minute on a winding journey while dousing them with warm water to remove lice.

Halse, who likened it to a “waterslide park” for fish, said the fish farming industry has no choice but to try such innovations.

“The cost to the salmon farming industry from sea lice is huge,” he said. “And having tools to control the population would be huge.”

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5 Great Ways to Reduce Stress

The constant juggle of work, family and other responsibilities can cause anybody to feel stressed. And stress is not only unpleasant, it can have negative ramifications on your health, including stomach upset, fatigue, headache and even depression and drug abuse, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Luckily, a bit of self-care goes a long way. Here are five great ways to ease tension and reduce symptoms of stress.

1. Have a spot of tea. Drinking black tea leads to lower post-stress cortisol levels, according to a University College London study. Brew yourself a cup and take a few minutes to relax.

2. Play piano. Playing piano can reduce stress, according to a study published in the International Journal of Music Education. And you can play whenever you need to take a minute to reduce stress, as keyboards come in all sizes these days. Check out Casio keyboards and music gear, which features models fit for any level of musical ability or physical space you have available to play.


3. Keep a journal. Spend a few minutes each day or when the mood strikes putting pen to paper. Writing in a journal can help you get things off your chest, and can have effects similar to meditation.

4. Get moving. Aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects. So, put on some sneakers and get moving.

5. Get together with friends. Close friendships are a great outlet to express oneself, get positive feedback and laugh, which can ease stress and tension. Even when youre busy, be sure to carve out time for friends.

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In every Louisiana cook's kitchen, green recipes

It was always there. Woven into the fabric of almost every cooking memory, every kitchen, of my Louisiana childhood. There, along with the cast-iron pot, aluminum Magnalites and Chime-O-Matic rice cooker. Its mischievous plastic teeth underbiting the worn-out spiral binding, tattered yellow tabs frayed and curled, stamped with grease stains and reinforced with rubber bands.

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Fitness and exercise rules that change after 50

Know what to do to adjust to your body and stay in shape

A funny thing happens on the way to 50 and beyond: Your body doesnt respond to exercise as it did earlier in your life. Fatigue, muscle and joint aches and increased injuries seem to happen with greater frequency.

Unfortunately, its not your imagination. It is a normal consequence of aging. In fact, some of the standard fitness rules no longer apply, at least not in the same way as they did in your 30s and even 40s. Heres how the rules change after 50 and how to stay injury-free as you age.

Old rule: Stretch a few days a week


New rule: Stretch after every workout, and then some

Stretching is no longer an option after 50. Staying flexible becomes more important as you age. Flexibility, because its related to collagenous tendons, which is a part of our lean body mass, starts to decrease. Since tendons that connect muscle to bone, the perfect time to stretch is after weight training. A total body stretch involving all major muscle groups a minimum of two to three times a week is best. This would ideally be done after each workout when muscles are warm.

As we get older our muscles and joints become less flexible, said Beaumont Healths Roger Sacks, an exercise physiologist certified with the American College of Sports Medicine. This lack of flexibility can impact our ability to reach, it can make us more prone to injury, and can make it difficult to move around.

Never stretch a cold muscle/joint, Sacks said. Do some light walking, pedaling, jumping jacks, etc. to make the body warmer. A warm muscle will stretch easier.

Stretch all major muscle groups, Sacks recommends. Thighs, hamstrings, calves, biceps, triceps, shoulders, back, and chest. For people just starting a stretching routine, static stretches are the easiest to follow. This involves holding the stretch for 20-30 seconds. You should feel the muscle pulling, but it should not be painful.

Old rule: Focus on cardio

New rule: Resistance training takes center stage

Bone density and muscle mass drops rapidly after 50, making resistance training a crucial part of a complete exercise program.

After the age of 50, we lose 0.5-1 percent of our muscle mass every year, Sacks said. Over 60, this percentage is even greater, he added. A reduction in muscle mass can eventually lead to balance issues, difficulty going up and down stairs, problems getting out of chairs, and poor posture. Resistance training can help counteract this muscle loss. Resistance training can be any activity that improves strength and muscle mass. This includes: weights, bands, machines, and body weight exercises.

In addition to the link between muscle mass and metabolism muscle burns more calories at rest than fat increasing muscle and bone strength also prevents falls and fractures. You still need cardio, of course, for reducing heart disease risk, which accelerates after 50.

When lean mass – bone and muscle – increases, the war against belly fast begins. In addition, studies have shown a 20-minute bout of weight training enhances memory. Strive for eight to 12 repetitions per set, two to three times a week.

Sacks further offers these key points to consider:

Only do resistance training on non-consecutive days.

Work major muscle groups(legs, back, chest, abs, biceps, triceps, shoulders, buttocks)

Men and women shouldbe doing resistance training

Focus on proper lifting technique to avoid injury

Remember to breath out during the hardest part of the exertion(This minimizes blood pressure spikes and drops)

As with stretching, always make sure to warm up prior to resistance training

Old rule: Slow and steady cardio is best

New rule: Use interval training to pump up the fat burn

Going for an easy stroll with a friend may be a good way to get fresh air, but it wont do much for calorie burning. Continue cardio for its heart health benefits, but focus on intervals since interval training for 30 minutes versus moderate, continues exercise decreases belly fat. Moderate cardio does not.

Interval training involves alternate bouts of higher intensity cardio with rest or easier periods. Intervals create an after burner effect called EPOC, which stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Thats a state in which your body continues to burn a higher rate of oxygen and calories after youve finished your workout. How many calories and for how long depends on the intensity of the intervals.

Additionally, some research shows that interval training can burn more calories during exercise, which in turn will lead to a higher percentage of fat calories burned, Sacks said.

At low intensity exercise, your body uses mostly fat calories, he added. At high intensity exercise, the body uses mostly glucose or carbohydrates. Because interval training is a combination of moderate and high intensity exercise, a greater percentageof fat and total calories are used.

Old rule: Take one day in between each weight training workout

New rule: You may need longer than a day between workouts

Taking a day off in between workouts gives muscles time to recover, but you may need more recovery time after age 50. Tissue recovery takes more time and more effort to support that recovery. The exact amount of time depends on your fitness level.

How do you know when youve had enough rest? If you find soreness isnt going away and is impacting your next workout this may indicate early signs of injury or no enough recovery time. Being unable to decrease your time or improve whatever markers youre using to gauge progress may also indicate you need more recovery time.

Old rule: Warming up is an option

New rule: Always include a thorough warm-up

Warming up before a workout increases circulation, raises heart rate and body temperature, prepares muscles for exercise and increases joint range of motion. Warm-ups are particularly beneficial after 50 to mediate some of the changes that occur with aging, mainly decreased tendon elasticity.

Debra Kaszubski, Vitality Special Writer, contributed to this report.

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Naf Naf Grill opens in Sterling Heights

Those of you out there looking for a new restaurant to expand your culinary palate, consider Naf Naf Grill which opened a location at 14796 Hall Road, Sterling Heights.

The restaurant features Middle Eastern cuisine. At their ribbon cutting,

Jon Garcia, General Manager; George Poulos, Market Manager; Sterling Heights Regional Chamber Directors, Ambassadors and staffer Linda Colton.

For more information, or to order online visit


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Amazon to cut prices at Whole Foods as acquisition closes’s acquisition of Whole Foods Market will close on Monday and the companies said they will cut prices beginning that day.

Whole Foods will lower prices “on a selection of best-selling grocery staples across its stores, with more to come,” they said in a statement. Members of Amazon’s Prime program will get special savings and in-store benefits through the integration, the companies also said.

Shares of grocery-store chains fell on the announcement. Kroger Co. declined as much as 2.4 percent while Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. sank 2.5 percent. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which sells the most groceries in the U.S., also dropped 0.8 percent.

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More seniors are taking loans against their homes – and it's costing them

As she was getting on in years and her resources dwindled, Virginia Rayford took out a special kind of mortgage in 2008 that she hoped would help her stay in her three-bedroom Washington, D.C., rowhouse for the rest of her life.

Rayford, 92, took advantage of a federally insured loan called a reverse mortgage that allows cash-strapped seniors to borrow against the equity in their houses that has built up over decades.

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The Southern glory that is tomato gravy

There are always moments in summer when I am overwhelmed by ripe tomatoes, either that I zealously purchased or that my own vines produced. They are demanding, urgent, precarious; when time is short, I regard them meanly. Yet they are, like so much stale bread or figs splitting at their seams, a problem I love to have. They practically obligate me to make tomato gravy.

One of the Souths many elegant lessons in ingredient economy, tomato gravy, like other Southern gravies, is an exercise in making much out of little. At its most basic, it amounts to tomatoes thickened by fat and flour, seasoned with salt and pepper. In its process, it transforms good tomatoes into something nearly luxurious, the roux rounding and plumping their flavor and giving rise to a rich, satiny sauce.

Gravy is the great extender, says Sheri Castle, Southern food writer, cookbook author and reigning gravy authority. In a skillet, it typically picks up where something else left off – a few pieces of bacon or some crumbled sausage, a couple of pork chops or pieces of fish – maximizing both resource and flavor (although it can also be made with reserved renderings or oil).

In tomato gravy there is the potential to add another element of utility, capitalizing on an ingredient that might otherwise go to waste, the way my grandmother would set aside leftover sliced tomatoes – the ones she always peeled before serving with dinner – and made tomato gravy when she had enough.


Tomato gravy casts a wide net in the South, where geography, economics and other factors have shaped distinct subregional cuisines. Aside from the choices of bacon fat or sausage grease and oil or butter, a cook might use cornmeal as a thickener instead of flour or use no thickener at all – relics of the onetime scarcity of wheat in the mountain South.

Water or stock might be used to thin the gravy, or even milk or cream. The gravy might be spooned over biscuits or corn bread, rice or grits, alongside or on top of anything that came in the skillet before it.

All the same, a name can be misleading. Tomato gravy is not to be confused with New Orleans red gravy, the roux-based tomato sauce with distinctly Sicilian roots, said Liz Williams, director of the National Food and Beverage Foundation, based in New Orleans. Red gravy, which can be fortified with red wine, dotted with meatballs and served over pasta dusted with cheese, is a long-simmered production.

Tomato gravy is, as Castle puts it, a desperation gravy, something to get on the table fast, without a lot of fuss. When my own gravy needs thinning, I use water, which preserves the tomatoes bright acidity and helps keep their flavor loud and clear. Once the pert, jade green pods of okra start to come in, I stir them in as well, sliced into coins and cooked just until their color deepens a shade.

But the tomatoes are what give this gravy purpose.

Any variety is fine, so long as they are delicious. Their flesh should be juicy and rich-tasting, the flavor up to the same standards you would apply to a BLT. If that flavor is not quite as developed as one might like, Castle suggests adding the boost of a tablespoon or two of tomato paste.

Look for tomatoes that are a day past just-ripe: Think farmers market seconds, the tomatoes you left on your counter a day too long and the ones on the vine with a fat split down the center. They should peel easily and be slightly soft to the touch; these will give you more sweetness and juice, the better for gravy. They also peel and chop into a nice, chunky slurry more easily, although I prefer to grate them on the large-holed side of a box grater straight into a bowl, which means less mess on the cutting board and makes for a smoother gravy. While you can use still-firm ripe tomatoes, too, its a bit of a waste. Save perfect specimens for a tomato sandwich or a simple tomato salad.

As far as the okra, the smaller the better: Their skins will be more tender and their seeds less obtrusive.

My oil-based roux is cooked just long enough to eliminate the taste of raw flour and bring out a sweet, nutty aroma. Minced onion goes in next, to brown softly around its edges, then the tomatoes, which will hit the pan with a sizzle, seizing in some places as they begin to thicken. Keep whisking until the mixture is thoroughly incorporated, then let it bubble gently until its glossy and thick, adding only enough water to keep the texture smooth.

You will tip in the okra last, before it has a chance to release too many of its viscous juices. If it does, add more water to adjust the consistency. Of course, if you are serving someone who simply cannot abide okra, the gravy will also be fine without it.

At serving time, ladle it into wide bowls, with a couple of biscuits or a heap of rice at the center, maybe a bowl of beans on the side. For me, on a warm night, this is plenty.

If you have any gravy left over, you can rewarm it on the stove over low heat, adding a little water to loosen it up. Thin it out even more and add rice to make soup. Pour the dregs over some vegetables off the grill. Get every last drop.

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Horton is a freelance writer living in Seattle.

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Tomato Gravy With Okra

4 servings (makes 3 cups)

Youll find several variations of this humble gravy throughout the South. Here, make sure to choose very ripe, in-season tomatoes – they will yield more sweetness and juice. If you dont have a box grater, you can peel the skins with a paring knife (if they are very ripe, the skins should come off easily) and chop the tomatoes on a cutting board.

Additionally, look for small-to-medium-size okra for their tender skins and small seeds.

Serve over biscuits or corn bread, rice or grits.

MAKE AHEAD: The finished gravy can be refrigerated for 3 days. Reheat gently in a heavy pan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and using water to correct the consistency, as needed.

From food writer Emily Horton.


2 pounds ripe tomatoes

2 tablespoons cooking oil (such as refined peanut, sesame or safflower oil)

3 tablespoons flour

1/2 medium or 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or more as needed

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed

1/2 cup water (optional)

5 1/2 ounces okra, tops trimmed, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices


Slice off the very tops of the tomatoes at the stem end, and remove the cores. Grate the tomatoes (cut sides) on the large-holed side of a box grater seated in a mixing bowl. Discard the skins.

Heat the oil in a large, deep-sided saute pan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth; whisk constantly for 5 to 7 minutes, to form a roux that begins to smell nutty and picks up a little color.

Add the onion and cook for 4 or 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they begin to lightly brown.

Add the tomatoes, the salt and pepper, stirring thoroughly to incorporate the tomatoes into the roux. Once the mixture begins to bubble at the edges, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. The gravy should be thick enough to flow from a ladle, but not so thin that it spreads across an entire plate. If the gravy seems too thick, add the water, a few tablespoons at a time.

Stir in the okra; reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until it becomes just tender. Taste, and season with more salt and/or pepper, as needed. Serve warm.

Nutrition | Per serving: 140 calories, 3 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 280 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber, 7 g sugar

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