AARP Blacksburg Chapter #2613
Serving the New River Valley Since 1976

Monday and Tuesday, April 12–13, 9 am–1 pm

Safe Driving Course to be Offered in Blacksburg

by Gene Cielinski, instructor

The AARP Safe Driving Course will be offered at the Blacksburg Community Center on Monday and Tuesday, April 12–13, from 9 am to 1 pm. Registration begins February 6. Call Joy Herbert at 540-443-1142 to enroll.

The eight-hour course is divided in two days, Monday and Tuesday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm (students attend both days). The fee is $15.00 for AARP members and $20.00 for nonmembers. By completing the safe driving class, you can receive up to a 10% discount on your auto insurance. All students who complete the course receive a certificate, which they present to their insurer.

Students will use the “Smart Driver Guidebook” for the two days of class and then be able to take it home. The book features the latest driver safety and transportation innovations bundled with fresh information based on new research and expert recommendations. It is very colorful and informative.

The course is intended for seniors, and focuses on issues specific to aging drivers, including age-related physical changes, how medication can affect driving, and changes in roads and cars. We discuss practices to make us safer drivers. I talk a lot about being a “defensive driver” and emphasize that driving is a “full time job.” The class will cover driving strategies to practice for safe driving and how to react safely in dangerous driving situations. We review warning signs of unsafe driving and when it is “time to hang up your keys”—and discuss how to tell family members it is their time! There are videos to watch and class quizzes.

I include items that are not in the book, such as the Interstate system, why odd number roads are North and South, exit numbers, and advice about how to merge onto an Interstate. You will learn about the three-second rule at a traffic-controlled intersection and why three right turns may be safer than one left turn.

If you cannot take the course in person, you can take it online at


Chapter Members Receive Awards


Val Colouni’s diligent, informative, and occasionally passionate coverage of national and state policy issues was gratefully recognized by a Chapter Service Award.  He urged action to address possible harm from the Equifax data breach, drew our attention to important state-level deliberations and actions, monitored Supreme Court cases related to gerrymandering and voting rights, and urged us to vote, among other topics during the year.

Terry Wildman completed his second term as President and received a Chapter Service Award to recognize his leadership.  In addition to managing general Chapter business, Terry and his wife, Sue, were generous hosts of two memorable summer picnics at their farm home for all members, and he shared unique memories and perspectives in his monthly newsletter reflections. 

Molly McClintock’s volunteer profile demonstrates just how many worthy community causes benefit from her enthusiastic and effective involvement.  Molly was awarded the Chapter Spirit Award in 2017 to recognize her very significant work with the Blacksburg Refugee Partnership, her contributions to the Lifelong Learning Institute where she is a key member of the Program and Volunteer Committees, and the Christmas Store (among others).  







TimeBank helps connect people to exchange skills and services, using time rather than dollars. When a member provides one hour of service for someone, they earn one Time Credit. They can then spend this Time Credit by receiving an hour of service from someone else. The possibilities for exchange are endless and may include home repair, animal care, yard work, cooking lessons, computer instruction, etc. All services are valued equally, and all members are respected for what they have to offer. It is an old idea made new - the idea that our community is stronger when neighbors make a practice of helping each other.

The NRV TimeBank is excited to be partners with AARP counting many AARP members among their ranks. The membership of the NRV TimeBank has access to a valuable pool of skills and a social network that keeps everyone engaged in the community.

If you would like more information on the mission and activities of the TimeBank or on how to join go to

For more information see



Study seeks participants interested in fitness trackers

Have you considered using a fitness tracker? If so, you might be interested in being a participant in our study on the use of fitness trackers.

We are looking for people who are willing to use one of our fitness trackers and the related app on a smartphone for two to three months, and to share their usage, perceptions and feelings about this usage.

Eligible participants must be at least 18 years of age, agree to wear our fitness tracker and use the associated app on their smartphone (iPhone or Android), and answer questions before, during, and after the use of the fitness trackers. The research involves an initial meeting with the researchers, a mid-study online survey, and a final meeting. Meetings are held at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

The study is strictly confidential and approved the VT Institutional Review Board (17-221).

Participants receive:

$15 for the initial session

$5 for the mid-study survey

$20 for the final session

Those completing all study requirements are entered into a drawing for one of four fitness trackers (one on 10 chances approximately).

If you are interested, please contact us at


AARP Blacksburg chapter will host an Arts Across Generations special event in association with the Blacksburg Arts Walk program scheduled for June 1, 2018. See Members > 2018 Programs for more information.
An affordable housing project is near completion located on Givens Lane. The project is called Fieldstone and includes 60 affordable senior units. Contact Matthew Clemons, Community Manager, at 540.605.8156 or for details.

Bulletin Board

This page is used to post announcements about chapter activities.
Tips for Handling Cyber Threats


Following a presentation by an active FBI agent at our March member meeting, the agent offered some additional advice as follows:

Here are links to additional resources to help with online questions.


– - good resource for online safety.  Easy to understand user guides for applications

– – an information website from the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) with lots of tips and resources

– – a global online safety awareness campaign to help all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online


Reporting Cyber crimes

The Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3, gives the public a way to report suspected Internet crimes. Since its beginning in 2003, the IC3 has collected more than 3 million complaints — from small to significant dollar losses

–      File a complaint online at

–      IC3 will thoroughly review your complaint and may share information with the appropriate federal, state, local, or international law enforcement or regulatory agencies for criminal, civil, or administrative action