Issue No. 83
The MSCN Newsletter
Welcome to Your April 2017 Newsletter!

April showers are in our future! Hence this month's featured painting titled  "Arlington Street Showers" (1983)  by Candace Whittemore Lovely.

A quick examination of all 17 Senior College catalogs shows we have approximately 346 offerings around the state this Spring. These include four to eight-week academic courses and one-day workshops. I included in the count educational excursions and some fabulous hiking trips!  

This month's newsletter reports on Acadia SC's "Schoodic Getaway," and the Lewiston-Auburn SC "Fear Factor" Food for Thought lecture! Speaking of food for thought, you can see below some of the upcoming lunchtime talks Senior College members will be enjoying as they munch into their sandwiches! 

Western Mountains SC Discussion on Food Security.  

Lewiston-Auburn SC features the humanitarian businessman Kevin Hancock, President of Hancock Lumber Company.  

Acadia Senior College provides an artistic "Food for Thought" with Jude Lamb as Chansonetta Stanley Emmons

In addition, Augusta SC present " Northern Reflections" with classical violinist and pianist Sarah E Geller, and Wenhan Anderson.

Next, I can report that I had a successful flying visit to the American Society on Aging (ASA) Conference in Chicago last week. I presented a roundtable discussion about our online memoir writing class. This pilot program fits well into the growing national trend to use technology as an element of the  "Aging in Place" movement

Finally, congratulations to Acadia Senior College on the birth of their beautiful new website!

Program Director
"Schoodic Getaway" with Acadia Senior College
Bird watching with the  Schoodic Education and Research Center 

In early March, nineteen Acadia Senior College (ASC) members bundled up to enjoy two days of outdoor activities and sunny skies at Schoodic Education and Research Center (SERC).  Billed as a "getaway," the outing definitely delivered as promised. We didn't go very far, but we certainly felt like we were away from our everyday routines and stresses.  As well as learning from the Schoodic Institute experts, we had a chance to connect with friends, meet new ones, and share some excellent wine and food in front of roaring fires.

Forest Ecology Director Nick Fisichelli

Upon our arrival, we introduced ourselves over a selection of soups, and then set off for Schoodic Woods, the new section of the Park, where we met with Forest Ecology Director Nick Fisichelli.  The wind chills felt as predicted - below zero in the gusts - but Nick kept us moving through the woods along the new carriage roads. He told us about his work studying the regrowth of forest, the effects of climate change, his efforts to involve students and citizen scientists.  We saw where moose had recently munched a birch tree snack and where old logging roads were returning to forest.

Wine Tasting!

ASC instructor and owner of Sawyer's Specialties in Southwest Harbor, Scott Worcester was on hand when we arrived back at Schooner Commons to warm up in front of the fireplace. He and Bob Bartlett, of Bartlett's Winery in nearby Gouldsboro, poured and told us about several of the wines Bob has crafted from local fruits, including blueberry, apple, and pear. We were fortunate to have in our group Jim Vekasi, who, as Chief of Maintenance of ANP (now retired), oversaw much of the conversion of this facility from the military to the Park Service. His informal talk made us more aware and appreciative of the success story of SERC. This wine and cheese hour was a great opportunity to interact before dinner was served.

A frigid but completely clear night sky opened up above us down at Schoodic Point, where amateur star-lover Ann Caswell was able to point out Venus, Mars, the circumpolar constellations, and the spectacular winter hexagon. We learned that Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, is only 8 light years away, while Rigel, in Orion, is seen by us as light which left that star during the time of Christopher Columbus.  Before dashing back to our cars, we were happy to observe the rising of Leo the Lion, a spring constellation promising warmer days to come.
The Big Year - Movie Poster

Back at SERC, we had the beautiful Moore Auditorium to ourselves, where we watched "The Big Year," a comedy that pokes gentle fun at birders. The film also showcases some gorgeous scenery as Jack Black, Steve Martin, and Owen Wilson race all over the country trying to outdo each other sighting species.

Cooking up a feast with wood and charcoal

After breakfast on Monday, the nineteen of us pitched in to prepare a multi-course lunch - all cooked with wood and charcoal at the SERC picnic pavilion. Retired NPS Ranger Ed Prontbriand and his twin brother Dan were somehow able to direct us in our efforts to cook up a feast using cast iron Dutch ovens.  After a couple of hours of  juggling hot coals and pot tops, we were able to chow down on lasagna, chicken and potato casserole, egg casserole, biscuits, blueberry crumble, and brownies.  Yes, we made all that and managed to eat it too. 

Next and last was our birding trip with Bird Ecology Director Seth Benz.  As we walked from Rockefeller Hall to Arey Cove and on to Blueberry Hill, we noticed the wind had finally moderated. Seth and several of our own astute observers were able to point out 15 species of winter birds and 81 individuals. These included great cormorants, buffleheads, grebes, eiders, eagles, and, perched on a dead tree on Schoodic Island, a rough-legged hawk.  Seth even knew that the Jack Black character in our movie was based on a real person who often comes birding in Acadia! 

If Acadia Senior College hopes to provide Learning, Interaction, Stimulation and Fun, this Getaway certainly fit the bill. Participant Ruth Rossi Blaney echoed the thoughts of many when she said, "If ASC plans another Getaway, count us in!"

Photographs and article by Ann Caswell, Acadia Senior College
University of Maine in Augusta (UMA) College of Arts and Sciences and UMA Senior College  "Concerts at Jewett" Series Present:  

"Northern Reflections" with Sarah E Geller, Classical Violinist and Wenhan Anderson, Pianist 

UMA Jewett Auditorium, Sunday, 
April 9, 2017, 2PM

The "Concerts at Jewett" Series sponsored by the University of Maine at Augusta will feature Sarah E Geller classical violinist and Wenhan Anderson, Pianist.

The Geller-Anderson Violin-Piano Duo returns to the Concerts at Jewett presenting "Northern Reflections" a program inspired by Northern Europe which weaves threads of light and dark through pieces by Grieg, Schumann, Sibelius, and Mozart.

Violinist Sarah E Geller, (right) a Maine native, has performed to critical acclaim in many prestigious venues as a soloist and collaborative artist and teaches and plays extensively in her hometown of New York City and beyond. She has been described as "a consummate artist perform(ing) with convincing vigor and passion. " A native of Taiwan, pianist Wenhan Anderson (left) is an active collaborative artist who has performed with numerous chamber ensembles as well as appearing with Sarah E Geller as an established duo.

Tickets are $10, students $5, 12 & under free. Tickets are available at Pat's Pizza in Augusta, Dave's Appliance in Winthrop and at the door.  
Call 621-3551, or email UMA Senior College  for more information or for mail order tickets.  More information available on the  Concerts at Jewett Website .

The next concert is Sunday, May 7, 2017, 2 PM featuring Mas Ikemiya, Pianist  (both ragtime and classical). 

Media contact:
Email Irene Forster or call 207-445-5227  

Brown Bag Lunch Discussion on Food Security

Tuesday, April 11, 12:15-1:30 pm 

Location: The Bethel Inn Library. 

The topic is Food Security, which has been headlined as an international crisis, but is not always obvious to us on the local scene. Because we thought it was worthy of serious attention, our Bethel Area Age-Friendly Community Initiative decided early on that it should be added to the list of livability factors designated by AARP and the World Health Organization. We hope the April 11th event will provide a way to start the discussion.

Participating in the session will be people from our community who are involved in programs to improve local access to healthy food at affordable prices (sometimes no-cost). They can always use help! There are also simple programs in other communities that may offer ways we can coordinate local efforts. Help us explore:
  • What are the challenges faced in our communities? 
  • What's already happening to address current needs? 
  • What new initiatives might be possible?
Sponsored by Western Mountains Senior College, this event is free and open to the public. Bring a bag lunch and join the discussion. FMI please contact: Nancy Davis.

AARP Infographics:

USM's Lewiston-Auburn Senior College 
Food for Thought Lecture
Kevin Hancock, President of Hancock Lumber Company

Friday, April 14
Location: Function Room 170 at USM LAC

Kevin Hancock

Kevin Hancock, President of Hancock Lumber Company, will share his experiences with being diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia and how this condition changed his management style and his approach to life at the next LA Senior College Food for Thought session on Friday, April 14.  Mr. Hancock never planned to join the family business.  After graduating from Bowdoin College with a degree in American History, he taught and coached basketball at a postgraduate prep school.  But when his father learned he had lymphoma in 1991, Kevin went to work at one of the company's stores.  His father, David Hancock, died in 1997; so in 1998, Kevin, then 32, became president.

Established in 1848, Hancock Lumber operates ten retail stores and three sawmills that are led by 460 employees. The company also grows trees on 12,000 acres of timberland in Southern Maine. Hancock Lumber is a multi-year recipient of the 'Best Places to Work in Maine' Award. The company is also a past recipient of the Maine Family Business of the Year Award, the Governor's Award for Business Excellence, and the MITC 'Exporter of the Year' Award.

Kevin is a past chairman of the National Lumber and Building Materials Dealers Association as well as the Bridgton Academy Board of Trustees. Kevin is a recipient of the Ed Muskie 'Access to Justice' Award, the Habitat for Humanity 'Spirit of Humanity' Award, the Boy Scouts of America 'Distinguished Citizen' Award, and Timber Processing Magazine's 'Man of the Year' Award. He also spent 20 years coaching middle school basketball for the Lake Region school district from which he graduated.

In 2012, Kevin read about the severe housing shortage at Pine Ridge, an Oglala Lakota Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.  Because of his ongoing interest in the history of the American West in the late 19th century, he became a frequent visitor to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and a passionate advocate of the economic and social challenges faced by the Pine Ridge residents. In 2015, Kevin published a book about his experiences with the Oglala Sioux Tribe titled, Not For Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse. The book won the National Indie Excellence Award, first place in leadership and runner-up in the spirituality category. Kevin is an advocate of strengthening the voices of all individuals -- within a company or a community such as Pine Ridge through listening, empowering, and shared leadership.  Books will be available for sale ($20 each) at the luncheon.

Senior College, now in its 19th year, presents this monthly luncheon program that is open to the public in Function Room 170 at USM LAC.  Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the program will begin promptly at noon.  The cost, which includes lunch, is $7 with an advance reservation or $8 at the door.  To make your advance reservation, call Senior College at 753-6510 by noon on Wednesday, April 12.  Reservation calls received after this date/time will be considered "at the door".

JudeLambAcadia Senior College 

Food For Thought - Jude Lamb as Chansonetta Stanley Emmons 

April 28, 2017 
11:30 lunch;  Noon - 1:00pm performance and discussion. 
Location Birch Bay Village Inn

Storyteller, Jude Lamb, will perform a first person portrayal of Chansonetta Stanley Emmons, sister to the famous Stanley Steamer twins from Kingfield, Maine. Though never as famous as her inventor twin brothers (FE and FO Stanley, primarily known for developing and building the Stanley Steamer automobiles), Chansonetta was a well respected photographer and artist of her time, around the turn of the last century. As mechanization and automation changed the lives of most people at that time, she captured the fast disappearing images of the farm life of Kingfield, Maine on photographic glass plate negatives. Most remarkable are her hand-colored images on small glass slides that she shared with various groups and organizations in a traveling slide and lecture show. This program will include a storytelling of Ms. Emmons and her family, as well as a slide show of some of her work.

Jude Lamb is an artist and storyteller who loves taking photos. She graduated from the College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor in 2000, with a degree in Human Ecology and a focus in Art. Her growing body of tales portraying women of Maine includes her 4th great grandmother Eunice Lakeman Hoar, a founder of Rangeley, Maine, and Ann Jarvis Greely, a 'mover and shaker' (granddaughter of Colonel John Black) in Ellsworth, Maine in the late 19th century. Jude's goal is to revive the stories of remarkable Maine women who history neglected and time forgot.

Source for news item Acadia Senior College

Class Catalogs Maine Senior College Network - Spring 2017 Courses 

LA Senior College March Food for Thought Follow Up 

Tanya Vanasse, who describes herself as a mother, daughter, sister, partner, Auburn resident, with a B.A. in Social and Behavioral Sciences, and FEAR FACTOR LIVE CHAMPION was the presenter at the Friday, March 10, LA Senior College Food for Thought session held in Room 170 of the LA USM Campus. Tanya quickly stated, "Speaking in front of all of you is another "fear factor" for me!" There were 60+ in attendance to hear first-hand about Tanya's experiences in the Endurance Hang, Eel Tank Relay (Part 1 = Retrieve bean bags from a tank full of eels and throw them into a bucket being held by your partner, who is suspended in the air; Part 2 = Throw "rancid octopuses" into your partner's bucket while you are being swung like a pendulum), and the Stunt(wo)man's Challenge. 

While on vacation in Florida in 2013, Tanya was challenged to try out for the Fear Factor episode and after some thought decided, "Why can't I do this?" She did share that this was a life-changing, stepping-out-of-my-comfort-zone decision that she is very glad she made. This experience continues to provide her with confidence today when faced with difficult decisions or challenges. She was one of six who made it through the "casting call" phase and on into the "prep" phase of the competition. The outfit she was provided was a wet suit with disposable underwear to enter the competition. And even though each challenge had been described to her prior to it taking place, during the actual competition, there was always "one more thing" to add to the challenge - being rained on, cold wind blowing on you to throw you off course, etc. Just prior to the final competition, both contestants were asked why they thought they would win and Tanya's opponent stated, "He will crush her in the final!". Tanya's response, "Wrong, [I will win} because I am a Mom!" Tanya's focus during the entire competition was to demonstrate to her son that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to and work hard to achieve. 

Please plan to join us for our April "Food for Thought" presentation when Kevin Hancock, Chief Executive of Hancock Lumber, will share his experience with spasmodic dysphonia, an incurable neurological condition that causes spasms in the vocal cords on April 14.
American Society on Aging - 2017
The Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago. Host to this year's ASA Conference. (It is the largest Hyatt Hotel in the world. My fitness tracker clocked up over 3 miles of walking during one day of the conference,)

There were over 3,000 attendees and more than 500 sessions at this year's Chicago ASA Conference. Below you will find links to items featured at the conference that may be of interest to you.
West Health Institute/NORC Survey on Aging in America - (Pre-event press release)
New national survey gauges hopes, fears and perceptions of aging during each decade of life after 30 and finds common ground between age groups.

2016 Influencers in Aging
These 50 advocates, researchers, thought leaders, innovators, writers and experts continue to push beyond traditional boundaries and change our understanding of what it means to grow older.

Better Together: Healthy Aging for Pets and People presented by Purina Pro - (Pre-event press release)

Telling a New Story: Using Research to Reframe Aging
This talk was presented by Nathaniel Kendall-Taylor, Phd and CEO of the Frameworks Institute and Robert Stein the President and CEO of the American Society on Aging.
Photo of Boris Karloff as Captain Hook from the Broadway play Peter Pan. (1951)

IRS Website Information 
Tax Scams / Consumer Alerts
In recent years, thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams and fake IRS communication. Scammers use the regular mail, telephone, fax or email to set up their victims. This IRS page looks at the different scams affecting individuals, businesses, and tax professionals and what to do if you if you spot a tax scam. 

REMEMBER: The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. In addition, IRS does not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement action. Recognizing these telltale signs of a phishing or tax scam could save you from becoming a victim.

The MSCN newsletter is sent to each Senior College board. The boards then forward the newsletter to their membership. However, if you are not a member of a Senior College or perhaps you are, and you simply want the news "hot off the press" subscribe here! 
Newsletter Submissions Deadline Date:
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Please submit your articles and photographs to Anne Cardale at

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