NEW MSCN HEADER (With border)
Issue No. 48
April 2014
The MSCN Newsletter
Welcome to Your April Newsletter!
Judging by the articles in this month's newsletter, Senior Colleges found some great programs to combat winter ennui, and are resolutely looking forward to celebrating beauty -- even if it is mud season!     



Kali Lightfoot

Executive Director

Maine Senior College Network    


PVSC Hosts Program on Bangor's Historic Architecture and the Great Fire of 1911
The Great Fire of 1911
Imagine losing the heart of a town's business district and many lovely homes in one day. Imagine the rubble and ash left by a devastating fire. While a few Maine towns have experienced this in recent years, Bangor sustained the dreadful impact in the Great Fire of 1911. In late February, local architect and AIA member Mike Pullen described for Penobscot Valley Senior College members and guests the architectural treasures of Bangor and the demise of many during the nine-hour conflagration. 
Using a PowerPoint slide show, Pullen identified characteristics of Colonial/Federal, Greek and Gothic Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne and Craftsman styles that exist currently in Bangor. He emphasized the importance of preserving the city's architecturally significant buildings, and noted that works of several well-known architects, including Charles Bryant and Richard Upjohn, stand among noteworthy homes located close to the downtown area.

Pullen shared stories and images of destruction and renewal resulting from the Great Fire. On April 30, 1911, fire started in a hay shed near Kenduskeag Stream, igniting a wind-driven conflagration that swept along streets near the stream, up Center Street and then to Broadway and destroyed many residences, churches and numerous commercial and civic buildings in its path.

In the aftermath, community members collaborated to plan redevelopment of the city center to serve retailers, professional offices, and municipal services. Their goal was accomplished in three years! Imagine!
submitted by - Helen Genco, Penobscot Valley
Belfast Senior College 12th Annual Festival of Art


submitted by - Sara Shute, Senior College at Belfast
It's All About Color


On Thursday, March 6th, Cathi DiCocco, professional chef (and Bethel treasure) showed some two dozen participants how to think about food choices, especially the nutritional values of colorful vegetables, whole grains, citrus and spices.  As she talked, we watched and learned her methods of chopping, chipping, slicing, and stripping vegetables of every color that are part of her "Culinary Color Wheel."

Cathi DiCocco, professional chef, talks with Western Mountain members about good food choices.

"Pigments that give fruits and vegetables their bright color represent a variety of protective compounds for our better health," Cathi explained. For example, greens, such as spinach and kale, provide folate for healthy cells. The red of tomatoes are providing lycopene, and the yellows and oranges, vitamin C. Many of the vegetables, and some spices, are excellent antioxidants. Whole grains and beans provide essential fiber.


Cathi put together a delicious Mexican concoction (later sampled by the participants) that included everything she had talked about, plus spices for "zingers." A Waldorf salad, using roasted grapes (amazing), walnuts and local apples topped off her demonstration. Throughout, she stressed the need to get close to what is natural - organic, unadulterated and local - when possible.


This presentation - her time, food and skills - all were Cathi's community service contribution, and we were, and are, most appreciative.


submitted by -  Mary Haberman, Western Mountains

Winter Warm-ups Program 

at Sunrise

Impression of Bess Truman by Betty Duzen


On a stormy day in Down East Maine, Betty Duzen brightened the view for three dozen seniors, as she presented herself as Bess Truman, wife of Harry, our 33rd president of the United States (1945-53).  Attired in a powder pink pleated skirt, frilly blouse and old lady (peg heels) shoes, Bess told us about her life in Independence Missouri, and later as a US Senators wife, which she loved, and then shared why she so disliked her life as the wife of the President of the United States.  She was not socially inclined.  She had strong family ties back home.  Harry was "too involved in politics."  He even missed Christmas one year!  After they moved into the Blair House while the White House was being restored, there was an attempt on the life of President Truman.  After that, there was no privacy, for Secret Service Agents were ever present.  Bess was pleased that Harry was not going to run for a second term as president, and eagerly awaited returning to Missouri as soon as his term in office was completed. 


Betty Duzen has been entertaining members of Sunrise Senior College for several years, on President's Day weekend.  In addition to Bess Truman, she has also performed as Mary Todd Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt and Abigail Adams, for our group.  She is a minister of the Congregational Church in Whitneyville, Me.  She and her husband, the late Reverend Norman Duzen, used to travel to the hometowns of the past Presidents and their wives.  This gave Betty the background for the portrayals that she has done so well.  She has also been an integral part of the DAR in Machias, where she developed the lively interpretations of more than a few of our President's wives.


Betty tells us that this may be her last presentation for Sunrise Senior College, as she is retiring soon.  If this is so, she will be sorely missed by this group of avid followers!

submitted by - Joan Miller, Sunrise

There is a Better Way     

Your house may have used more or less heating fuel during this colder than average winter, but the average Maine house consumes the equivalent of 1,000 gallons of oil during an average year for space and water heating.


Roughly half of this energy is typically wasted.  Heat escapes through poor insulation.  Warm, moist air leaks out through holes and gaps in walls, floors and ceilings, only to be replaced by cold drafts. At the recent local fuel oil price of $3.99 a gallon, this 50% waste costs the average Maine household  $166, month, after month, after month (more if  burning propane).


Must we throw away almost $2,000 a year per household - at a collective annual loss of  $874,000,000 to the Maine economy? Can we, instead, invest such now wasted funds in permanently cutting the energy consumption of our homes by 50% or more? The short answer is yes, we can!


This is why the Coastal Senior College (CSC), offers free two-hour Homeowner Energy Clinics in area libraries and other public venues several times every winter. Conducted by a retired engineer with decades of experience in building research and currently active as a professional energy auditor, these clinics cover the basics of building science, followed by richly illustrated techniques homeowners and contractors can employ to address specific energy problems in a home or other building.  Questions from the audience are encouraged throughout the presentation.


CSC offers these workshops in cooperation with the Midcoast Green Collaborative  (MGC), a nonprofit citizen initiative dedicated to the premise that sensible energy utilization and the mitigation of climate change are good for the Maine economy. MGC is open to collaborating with Maine's other senior colleges in offering similar workshops  for home owners and weatherization contractors. Their web site is


submitted by - Paul Kando, Coastal

News From Here and There

Maine Senior Guide is hosting two senior expos: April 11th at the Elks Banquet Center in Waterville and May 7th at Saint Maximillian Kolbe Church in Scarborough.  For more info visit the Maine Senior Guide website.

Are you looking for a yoga class that caters to people 50 and older?  Jade Integated Health has started a class just for you.  Click here for all the details! 


Northeast Lifelong Learning Conference is be held on
June 1-3, 2014 at the University of Massachusetts Conference Center, Amherst, MA. Both mental stimulation and an active social life are keys to successful aging, and the theme of the conference is "Learning and Social Engagement." This theme will echo through many of the conference sessions and presentations. The Keynote speaker will be Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne, professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Whitbourne's research has focused on adult development and aging, and includes topics ranging from contributors to successful aging to the relationship between physical health and personal identity. Click here for more information. 

Like MSCN on Facebook

Facebook logo Now you can "like" Maine Senior College Network on Facebook. We've created an MSCN page on Facebook, so please visit it to share experiences, ideas, photos, and information about upcoming Maine Senior College happenings. We'll also post links to articles about lifelong learning and other topics relevant to senior college members.


Bangor Image: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ggbain-09169 (digital file from original neg.)
In This Issue
PVSC Hosts Program on Bangor's Historic Architecture
Belfast Senior College 12th Annual Festival of Art
It's All About Color
Winter Warm-ups Sunrise
There is a Better Way
News From Here and There
Like MSCN on Facebook!
Don't forget to go to the Maine Senior College Network website to find out what is happening around the state!

Maine Senior College Network
Maine Senior College Network

Acadia Senior College

Augusta Senior College
Coastal Senior College

Downeast Senior College

Gold LEAF Institute

South Coast Senior College

Midcoast Senior College

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Penobscot Valley Senior College


Senior College at Belfast

St. John Valley Senior College

Sunrise Senior College 
Western Mountains Senior College

York County Senior College
The Maine Senior College Network Display Boards are available to any senior college that would like to borrow them. For more information, check out the link below.

Maine Senior Guide is a comprehensive web resource about all things senior that provides "one stop shopping" for Maine's seniors at the link below: 

About Us
Maine Senior College Network 
P.O. Box 9300 
Portland, Maine 04104-9300 
(207)780-4317 (fax)
Kali Lightfoot
Executive Director
Anne Cardale
Director of Communication 
Director of Conferences

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Deadline:  Third week of each month for the following month's edition