This newsletter is brought to you by Human Resources with the support of the Cornell Retirees Association (CRA). It replaces the CRA Newsletter that was published three times a year and will now be sent on at least a monthly basis.Articles, events, and opportunities for retirees will be included. Have a suggestion or lead? Let us know!

Cornell Retirees Association (CRA) Board Reorganizing as a Steering Committee

By Jeanette Miller, CRA President

You may recall that in our March CRA Newsletter there was an article updating possible changes to our programming and future organization. We shared that particular issue would be the last printed copy to be mailed to retirees. The CRA Board had voted to support a monthly electronic newsletter sent by Human Resources. The money saved by this action will be used to provide more (lower cost/free) events and activities of interest to retirees.   

We agreed that Human Resources (HR) and CRA have the same goal to serve retirees of Cornell University with programs and activities for all. We also agreed that we need to find a better way of doing this for the current and future retirees. The current CRA Board has found it difficult to interest retirees in serving in leadership roles. After months of discussions and searching for solutions, we decided it was time for the board to evolve. The following motion was introduced: “The CRA Board will reorganize in the form of a CRA Steering Committee for the purpose of planning activities and programs for Cornell University retirees.” This steering committee will be a smaller group of new individuals who are eager to help guide the future of the Cornell Retiree Association. The motion was passed unanimously.   

We are very hopeful that this newly created committee will be able to work with others in finding many new and interesting things for retirees to do and enjoy! If you are interested in volunteering and/or have suggestions for this new committee, email 

Our first event for the upcoming academic year is the Annual George Peter Memorial BBQ scheduled for Thursday, September 14, 2017 at the CRC Park with Bingo or other games at 11:00, lunch at noon and no RAIN we hope!! Details and registration information below. Please sign up early as seating is limited. See you there! 

Human Resources Thanks CRA Board

Human Resources thanks the CRA Board for their commitment to serving Cornell retirees. A vast majority of the board members have served multiple terms, some serving a decade or more! These individuals gave Cornell many years of service during their employment at the university and then continued well into retirement through CRA. We would especially like to thank President Jeanette Miller and Vice President Dominic Versage for their leadership during a time of reflection and transition.  

In addition to the new steering committee that CRA President Jeanette Miller has noted, and the new retiree seat on the Employee Assembly, HR has formed the HR Retiree Engagement Advisory Committee, which is comprised of representatives from campus departments (Benefits, Cornell Wellness, etc.) and retiree representatives. The charge of this group is to provide relevant expertise and insights to inform Human Resources on issues related to the retiree experience and engagement. The goal for the group is to provide information and input to help HR (particularly the Work/Life department) establish priorities and make recommendations related to programs and services to foster a “retirement-friendly campus.”   

Please send questions, suggestions, and concerns to

Pictured at right is the 2016-17 Cornell Retirees Association (CRA) Board: Seated, l to r: Helen Swank, Treasurer; Ann Shumate; Jeanette Miller, President. Standing, l to r: Kathee Shaff, HR Liaison to CRA; Dominic Versage, Vice President; Bruce Rich; Jimmie Merrill; Ted Bosworth; and Frank Robinson, CAPE representative to CRA. Not pictured: June Niblock, Secretary and Bill Paleen, former Board member.

Employee Assembly Update From Your Representatives

By Hurf Sheldon and Peggy Andersen

Note: For those of you that missed the May Retiree Newsletter, Hurf and Peggy are sharing the newly designated seat on the Employee Assembly, representing Cornell retirees. 

We were warmly welcomed at the two May meetings of the Employee Assembly. We were formally seated at the first June meeting, the official start of our two-year term. We are pleased and honored to represent a group that likely represents 100,000 years or more of service to Cornell. 

President Martha Pollack attended one of these meetings. President Pollack spoke very briefly and then asked for the concerns of the EA members going forward. She was very sincere. We were able to mention parking for the retirees as one issue that had been raised. Support for retiree community concerns going forward was also discussed. We explained that retiree representation was new to the EA and as such we did not have specific items from the community. This is a long winded way of saying, "To be effective, we need feedback from the retiree community!" so please praise, point out needs, and/or ask questions whenever the spirit moves you. Email us at

Job Opportunities
Part-time Paid Positions: Elevator Operators in Willard Straight Hall

Ready to take your career to the next level? Going up! The Division of Student and Campus Life is now hiring part-time elevator operators in historic Willard Straight Hall location. Apply now - positions are available immediately! Our elevator operator team will support students, faculty, staff, and visitors by providing access to the freight elevator in our Willard Straight Hall facility. Elevator operators will be trained on freight elevator operation and safety compliance, and will be responsible for monitoring and managing access to the main freight elevator and creating a welcoming and safe environment for all who use the elevator. The position is currently advertised online through the careers page. Apply online now. Direct Link to Job Application and Posting: Elevator Operator - Part-time Positions

Alternatively, please feel free to contact our hiring manager directly:
William Marsh , (607) 255-3362

We value any former staff members or retirees who would be interested in fulfilling this role. The work schedules will likely vary, and are flexible based on availability and business needs. We’re likely looking to make some hiring decisions in the next few weeks, so we are staffed and ready to go for the upcoming fall semester.

Temporary Position: Chair’s Assistant in College of Engineering
The College of Engineering has a temporary opportunity to share. Please contact Connie Park, with your resume if you are available and interested.

Full time, temporary opportunity – starting August 16, 2017 for approximately 12 weeks to cover a maternity leave of the Chair’s Assistant (Administrative Asst IV)
School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Hourly rate: ~$21.00/hour

Responsibilities will include:
  • Managing the Chair’s calendar
  • Assisting with travel coordination, meeting plans, and reimbursements
  • Providing administrative coordination for departmental meetings and events
  • Assisting in facilitating administrative processes on behalf of the Chair, may include working communications, facilities, HR, and other college functions
  • Providing general administrative assistance as needed  

Campus Events & Activities
Save - the - Date!

Saturday, October 7Fall Employee Celebration. Time and events to be determined. Volunteers are needed to help out! More details will follow. 

Recruiting Seniors for a Cornell Study on Mature Blended Families

Hello--My name is Mariana, I am a PhD student at Cornell's Policy Analysis and Management Program. I am currently collecting data for my dissertation, which is focused on mature blended families. I want to understand what are the challenges faced by older step-parents, how they manage their relationship with adult step-children, and how much support they receive from their stepchildren. I am currently recruiting seniors (age 60+ who are step-parents) who live in upstate New York to participate in this study. Each volunteer participates in a 90-minute interview and is compensated ($30). All their information is kept confidential, and I can meet them wherever is convenient for them. I am interested in recruiting men and women, from age 60 to 85, who have high or low income. Right now, I am having trouble recruiting low income step-fathers and older step-parents (age 75+). I am looking forward to hearing from you. Please contact me.

Cornell Cinema - July 26
Cornell Cinema concludes its “Cinema Under the Stars” summer series with a screening of Billy Wilder's classic film noir, Double Indemnity (1944), starring Barbara Stanwyck & Fred MacMurray, on the Willard Straight Hall Terrace on Wednesday, July 26th. A pre-screening reception will start at 8:15pm and  feature a cash bar, complimentary snacks and a great view! Patrons are also welcome to bring picnic dinners. The film will start at 9:30pm after dark.
In the event of rain, screenings will be held in Willard Straight Theatre. Tickets are $13 general/$11 students & seniors (62 & up) and can be purchased in advance online. These tickets will be held at the “will call” table for pickup the night of the show. Any tickets unclaimed by 9:15pm may be resold. Credit cards cannot be used at the door. Terrace shows typically sell-out in advance, so patrons are encouraged to plan accordingly! For more information  or call (607) 255-3522.
Booze and Botany: A Garden Cocktail Party - July 27

Cornell Botanic Gardens invites its members to a special herb-themed cocktail party, July 27, 2017, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Robison York State Herb Garden. Meet us for an evening featuring drinks and savory hors d’oeuvres made with fresh herbal ingredients. Guests will mingle among six stations, where they will enjoy small cocktails paired with tapas plates, all prepared by the mixologists and chefs of Agava Restaurant. Pam Shade, curator and horticulturist of the Robison York State Herb Garden will be on hand to share her expertise. Guests will leave with new insights on enjoying herbs, and recipes for the cocktails and tapas served in the garden.  

Participants must be 21 or older and prepared to show proof of age.

Pre-registration is required. 

Fee: $50 (NOTE: This event is open to Cornell Botanic Gardens Members only.) 

If you’re not a member, join today! With your $50 ticket to Booze and Botany, enjoy a one-year membership for $40, a 20% savings. (Total fee is $90 for new members.) Please contact Lori Colwell or (607) 255-8734, to take advantage of this offer and register for Booze and Botany.

CRA Annual BBQ - Sept 14 - Limited Seating - Sign Up Now!
CRA Annual George Peter Barbecue
T hursday, Sept 14,  11:00 am - 2:00 pm
CRC Park, Monkey Run Rd (at the intersection of Hanshaw Rd and Lower Creek Rd), Ithaca
Reservations required in advance! Deadline: Sept 1 or when venue capacity is reached. Limited seating!

The Cornell Retirees Association (CRA) invites all Cornell retirees to the annual barbecue, named in memory of the late George Peter. George was a past CRA president, officer, and board member – and an inspiration and dear friend to many. Come and catch up with fellow retirees and friends! 

Activities begin at 11 a.m. The traditional BINGO will be available as well as some new activities including horseshoes, corn hole, badminton, card games, and more. Lunch, catered by Bob’s Barbecue, will be served at 12 p.m. Menu includes: 1/2 barbecued chicken or vegetarian lasagna, salt potatoes, coleslaw, rolls, watermelon, and lemonade, water, and coffee. Parking is available on the grass along the driveway. Accessible parking is available next to the pavilion. This is a FREE event sponsored by Cornell Human Resources. Limit of 1 retiree and 1 guest per reservation. Limited seating. Please register early!

Reservations must be made by September 1. In the event registrations exceed pavilion capacity, a waiting list will be created. If your ability to attend changes after RSVP'ing, please notify so that seats can be offered to those on the waiting list. Volunteers are needed to help at the event: doing set-up, clean-up, and lead activities. If interested, please contact Kathee Shaff.

Opportunity for Cornell Retirees to Support the United Way. 
The United Way of Tompkins County will hold its annual Stephen E. Garner Day of Caring Food & Personal Care Items Drive in September. THANK YOU to Cornell retirees who contributed generously last year and donated over 170 items! Let’s keep up the good work and support our local community again this year! Please bring items to the BBQ. Food and personal care items will be given to local food pantries and community organizations for distribution throughout Tompkins County.   Give. Advocate. Volunteer. LIVE UNITED. 
Any questions, please email or call: 607-255-0388.
Pawprint 2017 Photo Contest Accepting Submissions 
The 35th Annual Pawprint Photography Contest is now open! 
Start thinking about summer and those great photographs you are going to take.  Please submit photos electronically, now through Sept. 22, by emailing them to Aggie Binger, with the subject line: 2017 Photo Contest. Entries will not be posted online until AFTER the deadline.
The tentative schedule for this year’s contest is:
  • Sept. 22, 11:59 p.m.: deadline for all photo submissions (note: date is earlier than recent previous years)
  • Oct. 13: winners for each category announced; voting begins for People’s Choice among these winners. Deadline for voting: Oct. 20
  • Oct. 27: People’s Choice and Grand Prize winners announced
  • Oct. 30-Nov. 17: prizes available for pick-up or delivery
Out on the Trails
Cornell Botanic Gardens and partner organizations have launched a new website designed to help outdoor enthusiasts of any age, ability, or interest find the perfect trail experience. 

Out on the Trails is a GPS-enabled, mobile-optimized site that maps all of the trails in Tompkins County, and invites users to search by the experience they seek. Criteria include distance, difficulty, scenic views, wildlife viewing, or picnicking, and also access directions to trailheads and information on parking. Use a desktop computer or grab a smartphone to explore the 32 miles of trails in the Cornell Botanic Gardens' natural areas, as well as more than 200 additional miles of trails throughout the area.
Volunteer Opportunities
Opening Day - August 18 

It’s time once again to prepare for a new class of Cornellians! 

Volunteers are needed for Cornell's Opening Day, August 18, when almost 4,000 new undergraduate students and their families will arrive on campus. We need your help directing new students in and around Barton Hall for New Student Check In, where students will pick up their Cornell ID card and learn about services and opportunities available at the university. This event wouldn't be possible without the help of our wonderful volunteers, which is why we need your help. There are many ways to be involved, from distributing ID cards to sharing directions and campus information with new students and their families.
Sign up today (and before Aug 5) to volunteer for Opening Day! All volunteers will receive a volunteer t-shirt and lunch. Thank you in advance for your participation.

Questions? Contact Marisa LaFalce, (607) 255-2373.

Cancer Resource Center Seeks Financial Advocates
Want to volunteer, but need flexible hours? We have a job for you!

The Cancer Resource Center seeks Financial Advocates to help our clients sort through medical bills, manage complex insurance issues, complete applications, connect with resources, etc. Advocates gather monthly to discuss cases and receive specialized training. No experience necessary. Please contact Sharon Kaplan for more information or call 607-277-0960.

Unwind and Volunteer at Cornell Botanic Gardens!
Drop-In and Volunteer!
Tuesdays are drop-in volunteer nights this summer at Cornell Botanic Gardens! Stop by and unwind from your day with some evening weeding therapy. Meet new people, learn about plants from a knowledgeable staff horticulturist, and help keep our gardens looking beautiful. Wear comfortable clothes and bring your own garden gloves and hand tools, if you have them. Open to ages 15 and older. Cancelled in the event of rain.
Dates/time: Every Tuesday from  5:00 to 7:00 p.m; July 11 - August 29
Location: Meet at the Nevin Welcome Center
Pre-registration is not required.
Cornell International Friendship Program

Cornell International Friendship Program (CIFP) needs the participation of more local Cornell retirees and other community members!

Hundreds of foreign students and scholars from all over the world attend Cornell each year and experience life in the U.S. for the first time. CIFP connects an international student or scholar with a local family or individual for the purpose of cultural exchange.  It’s sort of like having an exchange student, but they don’t live with you. They live and study at Cornell but get together with their new local community friend to enjoy activities or events such as Thanksgiving dinner, sporting events, museum visits, shopping, visiting the Ithaca Farmers Market or local parks, etc.

The problem is that there are fewer local individuals and families than there are international students and scholars that request to be matched. That’s why we’re letting you know about this wonderful program offered by Cornell. There is no cost to be in the program and no connection to Cornell is needed. 

For more informationcall 607-255-3815.

Step Up to Home Plate!

Cornell staff, faculty, retirees and Ithaca community members are invited to serve as host families through Home Plate, a program started in 2015 by Cornell Student Assembly’s City and Local Affairs Committee.

Home Plate connects Cornell students with the Ithaca community by matching small groups of students with local families for regular meetups, usually dinners hosted by the families. Organizers said dinners offer a great opportunity for both sides to learn about one another and establish meaningful relationships.

The program has been well-received by students and families. Inspired by a similar program at Washington University in St. Louis, Home Plate allows students to get off campus, have a home-cooked meal and find a home-away-from-home in Ithaca, and families report they enjoy engaging in conversations with students.

Email with questions.

Wellness News
Healthy Living Summer Schedule

Healthy Living Program for the Summer

All-Day Sailing Lesson - July 30
New Sailing Lesson Offering
For those learning sailors who have some sailing experience, the Cornell Community Sailing Program is now offering an all-day lesson to experience destination sailing. Learn to sail efficiently to each destination. Refine sail trim and improve boat speed as well as working on using the best points of sail. Sailing from the Merrill Family Sailing Center, the objective will be to sail to Taughannock Falls and back to the Sailing Center.
Class will be offered on Sunday, July 30 from 9AM-4PM. Price is $125 per participant. Crews will be limited to 3 participants per boat. Lunch is included in price.
To register, or for more information, contact The Merrill Family Sailing Center.  
Community News
“Controlling Clutter Before it Controls You” Workshop

Presented by Robin Schwartz, Organizing Consultant.
Starting in July, August and September

Office in Center Ithaca, Ithaca Commons

This “Controlling Clutter Before it Controls You” workshop is for everyone who wants to begin a decluttering and organizing project! Four 2-hour sessions are spaced 1 or 2 weeks apart (which leaves plenty of time for decluttering homework) with a fifth session a few months after to compare success stories. For a detailed list of what this workshop covers, cost, and testimonials, visit the web. Dates and times are scheduled that work for those who sign up. Registration is required. For information.

Funding Available for Home Accessibility Modifications

Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services has been awarded an Access to Home Grant thru the NYS Housing Trust Fund Corporation. These funds allow us to provide accessibility modifications for homeowners with disabilities and for those who are frail elderly and are encountering difficulties with activities of daily living due to aging. The program's aim is to provide home modifications to the physical environment that will allow residents to maintain their independence and age in place in a healthy, comfortable and safe home.

The program serves low- and moderate-income homeowners and renters (landlords must agree to terms of funding) throughout Tompkins County. The program is also able to assist homeowners in mobile home parks.

Examples of modifications

  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Accessible showers with grab bars and seats
  • Comfort-height toilets
  • Easy-to-reach work and storage areas and other kitchen modifications
  • Widening doorways for walkers and wheelchairs
  • Remedying trip hazards  and installing door levers
  • Modifications for those with impaired hearing or sight
  • Locating a bathroom or bedroom from the 2nd to the 1st floor and more . . .

Please contact Patrick Mitchell or call 277-4500 ext. 216 for more information or to obtain an application.

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Cooperative Extension  puts a wealth of useful, research-based information at your finger tips! In addition to what you'll find on their website, they offer free or low-cost workshops on topics that range from how to start an organic garden to making a home spending plan. Explore their links, check out upcoming events, then give them a call or visit the CCE-Tompkins Education Center to learn more.
Compost w/ Confidence
  • Saturday, July 29, 2017, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
  • Saturday, August 26, 2017, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
  • Saturday, September 23, 2017, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
  • Saturday, October 21, 2017, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Local composting experts provide information and give hands-on demonstrations to help you set up and manage a compost system in any setting! Each class of this FREE series covers composting basics, and a different focal topic is addressed each month (see below) to help you address any compost issue you may encounter. Stop by for one or all classes, and bring your composting questions!

  • July 29 - "Troubleshooting Your Bin" - Covers what could go wrong and how to prevent / remedy the situation
  • August 26"Is it done? & Compost Uses" - How do you know when your compost is ready to use? And if it is ready, what are some of the ways that we suggest using it
  • September 23 "Indoor Composting" - How to maintain an indoor bin using a double bin ("stealth") system
  • October 21 - "Winter Composting" - How to extend the composting season well into the cold months and the preparations necessary to ensure successful composting over the winter

Location: Compost Demonstration site is on the 'railroad side' of the the Ithaca Community Gardens, outside the fence. The Ithaca Community Gardens is on Carpenter off the 3rd St Extension (on the way to the Ithaca Farmers Market).

*Registration each Compost with Confidence class is not required, but helpful for our planning. Please register online. You may also call Cooperative Extension during businesses hours to register (607) 272-2292 or with questions.

Avoiding & Resolving Problems with Car Purchases & Repairs

Thursday, August 10, 2017, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

In this Consumer Issues Program, a NY State Attorney General's Office representative will make a brief presentation, then consult with individuals on unresolved consumer problems until 1:00 pm. Free and open to the public. No appointment is needed.

Individuals should arrive by 12:30pm for a consultation. Cornell Cooperative Extension is located at 615 Willow Avenue, Ithaca, New York. For more information call the Consumer HelpLine at 272-2292 weekdays from 11AM to 3PM.

Lifelong Walks in the Community
LIFELONG WALKS! Meet every other Wednesday at 1:15 PM in the Lifelong lounge at 119 West Court Street, Ithaca. Participants must be able to walk independently, 1 - 2 miles. Lifelong membership is required.
  • August 2 - Stewart Park with artist Christi Sobel
  • August 16 - Arboretum
  • August 30 - Game Farm
  • September 13 - Downtown Ithaca Mural Walk
  • September 27 - Sciencenter
  • October 11 - Beebe Lake
  • October 25  - Inlet and Marina

Please note: All participants in the walk program must be members of Lifelong. Member-ship forms are online, in the catalog, and at Lifelong. Contact Lifelong at 607-273-1511.

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