Issue No. 55
December 2014
The MSCN Newsletter

Welcome to Your December Newsletter!
Angel carvings. (Roof decoration) found in the "Cathedral of the Marshes" - Blythburgh, Suffolk. UK.

Welcome to the December issue of the Maine Senior College Network newsletter! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I send my thanks out to all of this month's contributors. Now It's time for readers to make a nice cup of tea and sit back to read about some fascinating classes that cover all sorts of topics from bats to spices and everything in between!

Happy Holidays,  

Anne Cardale

Program Coordinator

Maine Senior College Network    


Going Batty at Penobscot Valley! 


Did you know that bats represent 20% of mammalian species, have a life span of up to 35 years, only have one baby each year, and live and hunt in social colonies? Small bats, some weighing only 2 grams, are called microchiropterans. The common belief is that all bats use echolocation, but actually only these small bats use this skill to find the insects they eat.


At the other end of the spectrum, megachiropterans are like flying foxes, using their big eyes instead of echolocation to find the fruit nectar that is their food. These bats can have a wing span of up to six feet! They are found in climates more tropical than ours in Maine, however. 


These facts and many others were presented to spellbound students of PVSC by Katelin Craven at the final class of "The Birds and the Bees and More," a course about our natural world. Katelin has a master's degree in wildlife biology from the University of Northern Colorado. In Maine she coordinates the FrogWatch USA Lower Penobscot Chapter, serves on the Bangor Land Trust Program Committee and on the board of PVC of Maine Audubon. 


In addition to the session about bats, each of the other six weeks of "The Birds and the Bees..." had a different expert presenter. The syllabus included topics like Gardening with Insects: The little things that run the world; Frogs, Toads and Salamanders; Bees; Birds; Turtles of Maine (including visiting turtles); Sculpting Wildlife by Forest Hart (including sculptures under construction as well as the finished product). Students commented that the classes were so interesting the two hours disappeared in a flash, leaving them eager for the next session.


Illustrations from Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary (1890-1907) 



Submitted by - Valerie Levy, Penobscot Valley Senior College
You are invited to:
Food for Thought Lecture
 "A View inside the Maine State Legislature"
at USM Lewiston-Auburn Senior College
Newell  Augur will present
"A View inside the Maine State Legislature".
Attorney Newell Augur will give an in-depth view of just how the Legislature works. He will focus on how ideas are drafted and introduced as a bill, how those legislative bills are discussed, debated and amended by the joint standing committees, how those bills are reviewed and ratified by the full legislature and how they eventually become law. The roles of the various participants in that process--State Legislators and staff, the Governor and the executive branch, lobbyists and advocates, the general public, among others, will be evaluated. The Lecture will also include a brief review of the results of the 2014 statewide election and the prospective issues that are likely to be introduced in the upcoming legislative session, set to get underway in January.

View Newell Augur's profile as a pdf. (Newell is a Portland Native with nearly 15 years of experience working in the fields of law and government relations.)

Friday, December 12
11:30 "Food for Thought Luncheon"
Location: USM LAC Campus: The Function Room - 170 
51 Westminster St., Lewiston 

The cost (which includes luncheon!)
$7 with advance reservation
or $8 at the door.
Reservations must be made by noon on Thursday, December 11, by calling 753-6510. Any late callers will be considered "at the door."


Submitted by - Rachel Morin, Lewiston-Auburn Senior College
From Bombs to Biodiversity
That course title certainly captured my interest when I opened the current SAGE program brochure! Though I moved to Aroostook County soon after the closing of Loring Air Force Base, I knew a bit of its history and have remained curious about the changes to the base and surrounding areas since it has become a commerce center. Naturally I signed up.

Penny Kern, a SAGE board member and a volunteer at the Aroostook Wildlife Refuge gave us a two hour introduction to the on-going conversion of the former Caribou Air Station (which abuts the former Loring Air Force base in Limestone, Maine) to its current status as a wildlife refuge. Kern explained such terms as ecosystem, habitat, biodiversity, keystone species and food web as each relates to the refuge. She discussed the outreach program that has been developed by refuge volunteers to help people of all ages who visit the site to understand more about conservation and environmental safety. Kern also stressed the importance of wetlands in the refuge and reminded us of our responsibility to maintain and preserve the ecosystem. As she reminded us, "There is NO new water!" 
Assured that "there is no nuclear waste" on site, an adventuresome group of fifteen SAGE students went on a field trip to the refuge a few days after the class. At various educational stations created by refuge volunteers (eight of whom assisted on the day of the field trip) they explored such topics as "Secrets of the Woods" and bird/animal migration. They even had a chance to play "biodiversity Jenga" and migration hopscotch.
Lush wildlife refuge as it looks today on the former Caribou Air Force base .

Barbara Murray, a SAGE member, noted that "Dave King, who had served at Loring Air Force Base guarding the bombs, gave us a tour of the ammo bunkers, explained some of the workings of the base, and pointed out many changes that had occurred to the land since the base closed. One of the major changes is the reclamation of the wetlands, where nesting boxes for wood ducks have been installed. We were shown the fields where sand pipers, an endangered species, build their nests. We even got to see bear paw prints along the side of the road." 

As Kern reminded us, we are decomposers, producers or consumers . . . and we ALL need the same things: air, shelter, water, food. Certainly food for thought!

Submitted by - Pam Crawford, SAGE at UMaine Presque Isle


Western Mountains Senior College Sponsors Two Sessions on Alzheimer's Disease 

Western Mountains Senior College's To Your Health program presented two sessions on Alzheimer's Disease. This is a very important topic, as evidenced by the high number of people who attended these sessions.
Janet Stowell, WMSC's To Your Health Committee member and Mark Pechenik, Alzheimer's Association, Maine Chapter
(Photograph by Rosabelle Tifft )

On October 9, Mark Pechinek from the Maine Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association gave a talk entitled "Know the Ten Signs of Alzheimer's." (View the Ten Signs of Alzheimers as a separate document here.) If you notice these signs in yourself or a loved one, see a doctor. The dementia could be due to a number of things, including coronary disease or another life-threatening problem with blood flow. And if it is Alzheimer's, while there is not yet a cure, there are medications which can slow the progression. 
Linda McDonough of WMSC and William Kirkpatrick, Alzheimer's Association, Maine Chapter
(Photograph by Rosabelle Tifft )

The speaker for the follow-up session on November 6, "The Basics of Alzheimer's Disease," was William J. Kirkpatrick, Program Director for the Maine Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. Kirkpatrick stated that at least 5,000,000 people in the United States are at some stage of the disease - early, middle, or late. He also spoke of the four major risk factors for the disease, the highest being age: 90% of those people with the disease are over 60. Three additional risk factors are health status, environment, and genetics. The focus of future research, he said, will be on drugs and early detection. 

Along with detailed information concerning the disease, Kirkpatrick encouraged the audience to learn even more by contacting the Maine Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. The Alzheimer's Association offers many types of support to the person living with Alzheimer's and to their friends and family. Kirkpatrick alerted the audience to a 24/7 Helpline (800-272-3900), which offers information and referral services, support groups, safety services, advocacy, and education programs. 

These To Your Health programs were a collaboration of WMSC, the Bethel Family Health Center, MSAD#44/Continuing Education, and the Alzheimer's Association, Maine Chapter. All WMSC To Your Health programs are free and open to the public. 


Submitted by - 
Kathleen DeVore and Roberta Taylor, Western Mountains Senior College 

Lewiston-Auburn Improv Class 

Dan Marois' Improv Theater Class was a popular fall semester course at Lewiston Auburn Senior College, ending with a performance for family and friends, which drew lots of favorable press in the local newspaper and a video on You Tube!
L to R, Dan Marois, Instructor; Polly Robinson, Anita Poulin, Mary Desrosier, Don Favreau; Back, Joel Goodman, Patricia Vampatella, Stephanie Hlister-Croteau, Bob Gardner, Roger Desrosier, Calvin Cutter. Absent, Barbara Randall.
(Photo by Rachel Morin)


Waiting to Move


We bought the condo

and have the paperwork.

The new keys jingle in our hands

and we send a change-of-address.

The date is set for the movers,

and now we wait,

imagining how the furniture will look,

wondering if the rugs will fit,

where the coffee pot will go,

where we'll put the cat box.


But I don't know yet if I am moveable.

Moving implies action, transfer:

moving out, moving in,

moving ahead, moving on.

Moving requires leaving behind,

and I have no paperwork for that, no key,

no way for the movers to schedule

what I am leaving, the left.


I feel left: left out, left apart,

left over, left behind,

still thinking about what's left

after I've left, and,

so then, what gets taken:

taken along, taken aback,

taken out, taken for granted.


I wait to find out:

I am moved, it seems

when immoveable,

which makes moving

so moving.


Poem by - Janet Stebbins, OLLI at USM


SAGE - The Gift of Spice
Father Labrie (left) and Mary Godfrey blending spices


SAGE recently offered a learning excursion to the local Cooperative Extension Office, where we heard an excellent presentation about spices. Lisa Fishman, a nutrition educator with the Extension office in Fort Kent, Maine, reintroduced us to flavorful spices and offered a hands-on opportunity to blend Moroccan and Indian spices to "excite our taste buds". 


Lisa asked the following questions and engaged the audience in a rousing discussion, well past the planned two hours for the event!

Lisa's spicy questions: 

  1. Do you know the three most expensive spices in the world? 
  2. Do you know the lifespan of spices, ground or whole? 
  3. Do you know how to use spices to minimize your need for salt or sugar in your cooking and baking? 
  4. Do you try new spices to vary your menus and excite your palate? 
  5. Do you know how to store spices to retain their flavor? 
  6. And the big question, when was the last time your sorted out YOUR spices????? 
Answers at the end of the newsletter!



Submitted by - Pam Crawford, SAGE at UMaine Presque Isle
Winning Photos from Gold LEAF
Gold Leaves by Susan Wahlstrom

Entries for the Gold LEAF photo contest entries faced final scrutiny at our mid-October kick-off for the current term. Judgement was levied by attendees who viewed all of the 16 entries. These were put on show in a circular display area where ballots were also provided.  


The "gold leaves"of the birch trees was submitted by Susan Wahlstrom and received the most votes. Coming in as the second choice was the photo of Gold LEAF hikers taken by Michael Field up on Wing's field, at the start of the Pico Mountain hike. 


Gold LEAF hikers by Michael Field

Both winners will receive credit for one year's membership dues. Congratulations to our Gold LEAF winners and thanks to all the photographers who submitted entries. 


The next step in this process will be to design a new cover for the Gold LEAF informational brochure due to go to print this coming spring. The brochure used in recent years came from a graphic design contest that was offered to UMF students. Now that it is time for more brochures to be printed, we wanted the option of using photos submitted by our members. Watch for the contest entries on future term booklet covers as well! 


Submitted by - Eileen Kreutz, Gold LEAF Institute
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Answers to SAGE Spice questions 

1.Do you know the three most expensive spices in the world? 
A. Saffron, vanilla, and cardamom! 

2. Do you know the lifespan of spices, ground or whole?

3. Do you know how to use spices to minimize your need for salt or sugar in your cooking and baking? 

5. Do you know how to store spices to retain their flavor?

photo Photo Credit
Angel carvings. (Roof decoration) found in the "Cathedral of the Marshes", Blythburgh, Suffolk. UK. Photo by Anne Cardale

"Going Batty at Penobscot Valley": Illustration from Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary (1890-1907) Images used courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

"From Bombs to Biodiversity": An airman guards a B-52 Stratofortress at Loring Air Force Base in winter. (1960).Image used courtesy of LIFE magazine and Wikimedia Commons. 

The Maine Senior College Network is a program of the  
In This Issue
Going Batty at Penobscot Valley
Food for Thought Lecture
From Bombs to Biodiversity...
Two Sessions on Alzheimer's Disease
Lewiston-Auburn Improv Class
Poem - Waiting to Move
SAGE - The Gift of Spice
Winning Photos from Gold LEAF
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

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
MSCN Promotional Videos

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: 

Contact Information
Maine Senior College Network 
P.O. Box 9300 
Portland, Maine 04104-9300 
(207) 228-4128
(207) 780-4317 (fax)

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Anne Cardale at

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