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Last update: 15-Mar-2015

Member Comments Re: OneExchange
We have received several comments from members about their experiences with health care medical plans. We are adding some of these to existing pages.

LMC Changes to Medicare-eligible Retirees Medical Plans

This is a further follow-up on prior communications from the COMARA Board of Directors regarding the announced changes to the COMSAT retiree medical benefits program as administered by Lockheed Martin.

  1. We cannot stress strongly enough that all COMSAT retirees entitled to these benefits pay careful attention to all materials sent to them by Lockheed Martin; to follow up and make contact with One Exchange at 1-800-596-0460 as quickly as possible; and to be mindful of all deadlines that have been established, as failure to do so could jeopardize your future eligibility for such benefits.
  2. The COMARA Board will continue to monitor developments related to these changes and will try to answer questions from COMARA members to the extent that we are able, including following up with Lockheed Martin directly if necessary. Any such questions should be sent to However, to be clear, while we may be able to help COMARA members better understand the nature of the changes that are being made, we are not in a position to offer any advice on particular medical benefit plan choices that any eligible COMARA member might consider taking.
  3. We are aware that those retirees who took the COMSAT early retirement offer in 1983 are treated differently for medical retiree benefit purposes than other retirees. If there are COMARA members who took this early retirement offer in 1983 who have any specific concerns about how these changes affect the benefits to which they are otherwise entitled, please let us know and we will seek to assist you in addressing those concerns to the extent that we are able to do so. Again, in such a case, please send any concerns that you may have to

Read reports from our members
Updated and consolidated comments. Check these regularly to see new additions.

Next Board Meeting

Tue, 12 May, 2015, 11:30am
Chez Kinzie

COMARA/IRAA 2015 Strathmore Concert

Sun, Mar 29, 2015, 3:00pm
Order Tickets by Mar 2.
Joint IRA/COMARA Event.

Deadline for Benefits Election

May 31, 2015
COMSAT Alumni Receiving Retiree Medical Benefits

Upcoming Events

Strathmore Concert Ticket Distribution - March 29, 2015

Just to let you know that all of your payments have been received and tickets purchased. There will be 21 COMARA/IRAA members and spouses/friends attending: 6 COMARA and 15 IRAA.

My wife and I will be over to the left side of the ticket window between 1:00 pm - 2:45 pm to hand out your tickets, after which time tickets will be available at the Will Call window. And, I am planning to take some pictures to post on the IRAA website if you don't mind.

A pre-concert lecture will be offered in the Concert Hall at 1:45 pm. The VIP Lounge will open at 2:15 pm if you want to stop by before the concert begins at 3:00 pm, and it will be open during Intermission. Wine and soft drinks will be available for purchase and 'snacks' are complimentary. If you want to go earlier to dine, here is a link about the Prelude Café at Strathmore and some local restaurants nearby:
Strathmore Dining

See you soon. Alan and Ati Olson

Strathmore Concert: Mar 29, 2015, 3:00 PM

COMARA and IRAA (Intelsat Retirees) members can enjoy an afternoon of 3 classic Russian masterpieces performed by the National Philharmonic at the Strathmore Music Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The performance is Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 3:00 PM

  • Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet
  • Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espanyol
  • Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3, featuring world-renowed pianist Haochen Zhang

Purchase discounted orchestra seats at $49.60 each and Grand Tier (2nd balcony) at $36.00 by Monday, March 2, 2015.
Children 7-17 can attend free without charge. If you are interested in bringing any children to the concert, please contact Yobi Beraki ( and/or Alan Olson (

Send your check to the IRAA Treasurer, or use PayPal from the IRAA website. See 2015 Joint COMARA/IRAA Strathmore Concert for details if you are interested.

Order Hershey Park Discount Tickets by April 3

Fred Kelly has made arrangements for discounted tickets to Hershey Park during the 2015 season. A summary of the offerings can be found at: Order 2015 Discount Hershey Park Tickets by April 3.

The page contains a form that allows you to let Fred know how many tickets you may be interested in purchasing. The form has two options: just thinking or ready to purchase. Filling out the form doesn't obligate you to a commitment - it lets Fred know of ticket quantity and he will confirm your order a few days before the March 28 deadline. Fred's phone number is listed on the announcement page. Call if you have questions.

Update for Satellites exhibit at the National Electronics Museum
Joe Pelton

There is significant new progress on the Satellites: Transforming Our Lives exhibit at the National Electronics Museum. See Satellites: Transforming Our Lives Exhibit to read Joe's report and view one of the concept drawings for the exhibit. Echostar-Hughes has just made a major new commitment of video display programmable boxes used in the Dish Network that will allow sophisticated programming on the video wall and Education and Multi-Media Center in the display area of the exhibit. The Satellite Industry Association has agreed to actively help our fund raising effort with particular support by Tom Stroup, the SIA's new President. We have a team of designers and script writers working on the final design that consists of Andrew Petitti, Philip Brady and Abigail Porter. We hope to have the new satellite display and outside upgrades to the Museum, including a 10' x 30' display sign along Nursery Road finished and in place by the Fall of 2015. We also will have a 60 page color brochure about the exhibit for students printed by the Summer of 2015. We wish to thank everyone that has helped make this effort a success. Contributions are still possible by going to the website for the National Electronics Museum.

Photos from the 2014 First Wednesday in December Gathering

Photos from the 2014 First Wednesday in December Gathering Over 40 people attended the First Wednesday in December Gathering held December 3 at the Golden Bull Grand Cafe. Only a few photos have captions to to help you identify the people in the photo at this time. We hope to have captions on the remaining photos by mid-January. Click any photo to view the photo in a larger size and display the caption. Navigate through the set using arrow links or arrow keys on the keyboard. There is also a link to the slide show from this view.

Thanks to Ron Johnson for organizing this event. Thanks also to Paul Schrantz and Ron Garlow for taking the photos.

Photos from the 2014 Social

Photos from the 2014 Social We had a great turnout for the 2014 Social at the Golden Bull Grand Cafe on Sunday, September 28. View the album containing photos. Captions on the photos identify the people in each photo. Click any photo to view the photo in a larger size and display the caption. Navigate through the set using arrow links or arrow keys on the keyboard. There is also a link to the slide show from this view.

Roland Liu just shared the phots he took at the social. They have been added to the first set provided by Ron Garlow.

If you took any photos you would like to share, contact to arrange for transfer of your photos. If any of the captions are incorrect, let the webmaster know.

Your membership dues status is shown at the top of our Home Page after you sign in. If you have already paid your 2015 membership dues, thank you for your support. If you have not yet paid your 2015 membership dues of $15 per year, please send a check to COMARA using our PO Box or use PayPal. Better yet, please send in $30 for both your 2015 and 2016 membership dues.
PO Box 34594
Bethesda, MD 20827
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In Memoriam
Board of Directors
  • Maury Mechanick - 2012
  • Paul Schrantz - 2012
  • Peter Jacxsens - 2012
  • Fred Kelly - 2013
  • Geza Serenyi - 2013
  • Ron Johnson - 2013
  • Denis Curtin - 2014
  • Dan DiFonzo - 2014
  • Bob Kinzie - 2014
  • Maury Mechanick - President
  • Fred Kelly - Secretary
  • Geza Serenyi - Treasurer
  • Denis Curtin - Social
  • Peter Jacxsens - Membership
  • Ron Johnson - 1st Wednesday
  • Paul Schrantz - Legacy
  • Jack Hannon - Benefits
  • Ron Garlow - Webmaster