Issue No. 71
The MSCN Newsletter

Welcome to Your April 2016 Newsletter!
"Spring is here, I hear" by Tor-Arne (2013)

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Aging in America Conference in Washington (March 20-24, 2016). One of the main discussion topics at the conference was recognition of what is best described as the "Disrupt Aging Movement." Keynote speaker, Jo Ann Jenkins the CEO of AARP, proposed that we revolutionize our attitudes towards aging. She shared insights from her book "Disrupt Aging: A Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Age".

The "Disrupt Aging" concept is influenced by the research work of the Frame Works Institute. In particular, Frame Work's aim to shift public discourse about older adults. Visit their "Reframing Aging" web page for more on this topic. 

I noticed that when I spoke to other attendees about Maine I was met each time with the recognition that Maine is the oldest state in the country. This gave me the excellent opportunity of being able to describe the achievements of the Maine Senior College Network and how the network has been "disrupting aging" since it began at USM in 1997! 

This month's newsletter reflects the broad scope of MSCN interests as the network quietly gets on with it own "disrupt aging" mission! UMA is presenting a Forum on "Women in Leadership" this Sunday, April 3rd. Western Mountains continues to provide us with their guide to healthy living with "Is Your Tummy Talking to You?" (On the subject of health, please note May is Tick Awareness month. ) The Gold LEAF Institute meanwhile reflects upon carbon footprints on their local campus at UMF. "Have You Met the Seniors Achieving Greater Education?" tells of two women Nancy Roe and Dr. Jacquelyn Lowman, who are without a doubt "disrupting aging" on the UMPI campus. 

April events to take note of are: LASC "Food for Thought" luncheon present a fascinating talk on "Lawrence of Arabia" on Friday, April 8. The DaPonte String Quartet performing at UMA Jewett Auditorium on Sunday, April 17. And on April 29th and 30th the AARP are providing free shredding events in Bangor and Portland.

Finally, if you want to hear more on subject "Disrupt Aging," and you are within reach of the USM Portland campus, catch the "Age of Disruption" Tour by Dr. Bill Thomas, on May 20.


UMA Senior College Presents Forum On 'Women In Leadership'

UMA Senior College, in conjunction with the College of Arts and Sciences, will bring together a panel of women who hold prominent positions in the State of Maine.  The  forum will be held at the University of Maine at Augusta at 2:00 PM  Sunday April 3.  The featured speakers are Terry Hayes, Maine State Treasurer, Gilda Nardone, Executive Director of New Ventures Maine, and Lori Parham, Maine State Director of AARP.

Coming from varied backgrounds, the presenters have in common a history of supporting women in both leadership and career development.  They will tell of their efforts to obtain a good education and to gain the experience which has made them highly qualified for the roles they now perform.  They will talk about what they have learned, how they have charted their careers, how they have dealt with gender bias and how they have balanced work and family. 
Other locations yet to be scheduled: Windham, Auburn, Ellsworth. 

Terry Hayes heads an office which guides the finances of state agencies and provides them with efficient banking services. Incidentally this agency seeks to find the rightful owners of over $200 million in assets now in the keeping of the Treasurer. One of Hayes' goals is to track and make more transparent how bond money in Maine is spent.  Now a political independent, she was nominated by the joint Republican caucus and elected by a bipartisan majority of the 127th Legislature to be Maine's first independent State Treasurer. From 2006 to 2014 she represented Oxford County in the House of Representatives as a Democrat and was Assistant Minority Leader from 2010-2012.  She served for six years on the Joint Standing Committee on State and Local Government.  She was a field organizer for Eliot Cutler's independent bid for governor in 2014. 

Gilda Nardone founded the Maine Displaced Homemakers' Program in 1978. The name of the organization was later changed to Maine Centers for Women, Work, and Community and then, in 2016, it became New Ventures Maine.  Despite its changes in name, the mission of her organization has remained the same, that of training and coaching women in career planning, helping them to hone their business skills and to develop their leadership abilities.  In 1993, Nardone was inducted into the Maine Women's Hall of Fame.  In 2008 she was named Women in Business Champion for Maine and New England by the Small Business Administration.

Lori Parham has been Maine's Director of AARP since February of 2012.  In that office she is the lead advocate and spokesperson for AARP -  and thus for most older people in Maine.  Prior to moving to Maine she was an interim Vice President of AARP in Washington D.C.  She previously served as a leader in the Florida Office AARP, as Advocacy Manager of State Affairs and as State Director.  She is currently a board member of Avesta Housing and of the Portland-based Independent Transportation Network.  She is also a commissioner on the Maine Commission for Community Service.

Moderating the panel and representing the UMASC Committee on Forum on the Future will be Marilyn Canavan.  Now retired, she represented Waterville in the Maine legislature for eight years and was Director of Maine's Commission on Government Ethics and Election Practices for ten years. 

At the forum, which will be held in Jewett Auditorium, there will be ample opportunity for members of the audience to comment and ask questions of the panelists. Refreshments will be served. The sponsor of the program, UMA Senior College, is open to all who are 50 years of age and older, their spouses and partners. To learn more about UMASC or to request curriculum materials, please call 207-621-3551, email us at, or check our web page at

Submitted by Bev Ludden, University of maine inb Augusta Senior College

USM Lewiston-Auburn presents "Food for Thought" Luncheon:

"Lawrence, the Arabs and Palestine."
Friday, April 8.
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence (1919)

Robert Begin
Robert Begin, a Lewiston native, now living in Needham, Massachusetts, will be the presenter at USM's Lewiston Auburn Senior College "Food for Thought" 11:30 luncheon on Friday, April 8. The public is cordially invited to hear his well-researched story of "Lawrence, the Arabs and Palestine."

A long-time history buff, Begin tells the story of T. E. Lawrence, a young idealistic English archaeological student, who became intrigued with the lure and mystery of the Middle East. He would ultimately help lead the Arabs into a revolt against the Ottoman Empire. Several photos and maps support this presentation.

Begin goes back 100 years as World War One was raging. He relates the struggle in the Middle East, an area of prime importance to England as it was adjacent to the Suez Canal which was the lifeline to England's major possessions, India and Australia. It was also the gateway to the Mediterranean which England viewed as her "private lake." The native peoples in the area, the Arabs and Bedouins, were ruled by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire. They were looking for relief from their Ottoman masters and joined the British as allies against the Turks who sided with the Germans. A huge incentive for the Arabs to align themselves with England was the promise that any lands they liberated would be theirs once the war was over.
On the Aerodrome at Amman: T.E. Lawrence, Sir Herbert Samuel and Emir Abdullah (Abdullah I of Jordan).

Lawrence became the link between the English and Arab leadership in this revolt. The Arabs had infinite trust in Lawrence and would follow him into battle at great risk. Lawrence soon learned he could not serve two masters, the Arabs and His Majesty's Government. (King George V, was Monarch of England at that time.) Another event which would have ramifications was the issuance of The Balfour Declaration which stated England would support a homeland for Jews in Palestine. This is a tale of diplomacy, false promises, a quest for empire and personal tragedy. Many of the decisions made in this area 100 years ago are still haunting us in the West

Begin grew up moving back and forth between Lewiston and Auburn and recalls his days as a carrier for the Lewiston Daily sun and the Lewiston Evening Journal with fond memories. He graduated from Edward Little High School and earned a BS degree in Business Administration from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

He and his wife Mary have been married 46 years and have two sons and five grandchildren. His interests include sailing, classical music, reading and Cohen Brothers movies. The love of history has given Begin several opportunities to give presentations on prominent historic people and historic events.

Senior College, now in its 18th year, presents the monthly 11:30 luncheon program in the Function Room 170 at USM LAC. The cost, which includes lunch, is $7 with advance registration or $8 at the door. For an accurate food tally, reservations must be made by noon on Wednesday, April 6, by calling 753-6510. Any late callers will be considered "at the door."

Submitted by Rachel Morin, USM at Lewiston-Auburn Senior College
Western Mountains Senior College 

Is Your Tummy Talking to You?
"La Bonne Digestion"
Colored lithograph by C.J. Traviès.

Roberta Balon (Androscoggin Valley Hospital) spoke on digestive health at Western Mountains Senior College's latest To Your Health presentation, "Is Your Tummy Talking to You? " The large group in attendance learned that the health of your digestive system is affected by what you eat, the medications you take, and your level of stress, all of which can change the balance between good and bad bacteria in your gut. If you are having digestive issues, chances are this balance is off.

Roberta Balon of Androscoggin Valley Hospital
You can increase the presence of good bacteria in the digestive tract by eating foods that contain probiotics (friendly bacteria and yeasts) such as milk, sauerkraut and live- culture yogurt. Prebiotics are foods that form good bacteria when they are broken down. These are plant-based foods rich in fiber such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Eating a diet rich in probiotic and prebiotic foods is essential to good digestive health.

Taking an antibiotic medication may be necessary, but it can negatively impact the bacterial balance in the gut. Taking a probiotic supplement can prevent this - take the probiotic for twice as long as you take the antibiotic. How about eating gluten-free? The gluten-free diet is on everyone's radar, but for most of us it provides no benefit. There are thee groups of people who should avoid gluten: those with Celiac disease, those who are allergic to wheat, and those who have a gluten sensitivity. Otherwise save your money!

To Your Health presentations are sponsored by Western Mountains Senior College, in collaboration with MSAD #44 and the Bethel Family Health Center. The next To Your Health presentation, "Move It or Lose It! " will take place on Thursday, April 7 from 4:30-6:30 pm at the West Parish Congregational Church in Bethel.

Submitted by Kathleen DeVore, Western Mountains Senior College
The Gold LEAF Institute
A Stroll to a Lighter Carbon Footprint 

Imagine peering into a huge furnace burning two tons of wood chips an hour.  Imagine watching the chips travel up from an underground storage bunker via a fully automated conveyor belt.  Imagine strolling past the whole operation, from chips being fed, to ash being collected.  

This was the "stroll" that Gold LEAF members were invited to take on our host campus.  We had been invited to the official opening of the University of Maine at Farmington's new Biomass Central Heating Plant. Our invitation included a tour and a ribbon-cutting ceremony!  After a few informative speeches, the brand new building on the UMaine Farmington campus was open to all.  Participants were astounded at what they saw.  And felt.  And learned.
A section of UMF's new Biomass Central Heating Plant

What they saw was the largest biomass hot water heating plant in the state of Maine.  What they felt was optimism about an annual campus reduction of 93% greenhouse gas (significantly ahead of earlier goals).  In addition,  their fingers felt the fine soft powder that is all that remains as an end product of the process. This ash is found after the emissions have been scrubbed and electronically collected, and it is destined to be mixed into usable compost (taking the recycling process yet further).

Here are a few of the details learned that day.  The project cost $11 million and has an estimated payback period of under ten years.  The fuel savings alone offset over 350,000 gallons of fossil fuel currently burned on campus annually.  The source of this heat is local and sustainably harvested as hard-wood chips. The new system will create jobs in lumber, trucking, and plant management. 

Most astounding was a peek into the huge furnace where the scene was nothing short of a mountain of blazes.  This is where the emissions are scrubbed, and the whole system is designed to place these emissions significantly below EPA requirements. 

The last part of the equation, and arguably the most important, will be the involvement and learning which will be offered to UMF students.  Already the number of environmental science applications is up for the campus. The central plant offers a meeting room with overhead smart classroom technology.  On the day of the open house, the screen featured a slide show of the construction process.  An upcoming GLI class will offer a presentation allowing those who missed the tour a chance to meet with the Sustainable Campus Coalition and faculty who were instrumental in moving the campus in this direction.  It is worth noting that along with the existing geothermal heat systems, this new Biomass Central heating plant will further reduce the campus reliance on fossil fuels.  

Submitted by Eileen Kreutz, The Gold LEAF Institute

Have You Met the Seniors Achieving Greater Education?

Nancy Roe is a fledgling journalist. She is also Chair, Board of Directors, of SAGE, the Senior College at the University of Maine in Presque Isle (UMPI). Nancy is currently studying the online course "Professional Communication and Journalism" with Dr. Jacquelyn Lowman. To do this, Nancy is taking advantage of the University of Maine System's "Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver." 

Although Nancy is auditing the course, Dr. Lowman gently made it clear that the only way to learn in her class was to complete the assignments. Dr. Lowman told Nancy (who is 85) that she was expected to carry out the same work load as the other (very much younger) students in the class. Dr. Lowman, an inspiration in her own right, was the subject of a Bill Green's Maine episode which documented her successful bid to be the first paraplegic to reach the top of Katadhin. She also founded "Beyond Limits," a non-profit that focuses upon showing that all things are possible when done in a supportive environment.

Nancy's article "Have You Met the Seniors Achieving Greater Education?" was written as a course assignment. Dr. Lowman encouraged her to submit the article about Seniors on the university campus to the University Times, UMPI's campus newspaper and they published the piece. 

Nancy says "This is my fifth online course that I have taken tuition free!  A wonderful  way to continue with the "lifelong learning" of SAGE and the other senior colleges. As a housebound person I am finding this a wonderful way to learn!"

Tuition Waivers

If you are interested in the UMaine System's Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver program here are some links that will help provide more information. 

Phone your local UMaine campus if their website does not list tuition waiver information.  Please be aware that enrollment opportunities under the Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver program apply only to undergraduate courses and are subject to space availability.
Submitted by Anne Cardale, Maine Senior College Network
JewettConcertUMA Senior College "Concerts at Jewett" Series Presents:

DaPonte String Quartet Will Perform at UMA Jewett Auditorium, Sunday, April 17, 2016, 2PM

The "Concerts at Jewett" Series sponsored by University of Maine at Augusta College of Arts and Sciences and UMA Senior College will feature the DaPonte String Quartet at Jewett Hall Auditorium on Sunday, April 17, 2017, 2PM. There will be a pre-concert talk at 1PM.

The DaPonte String Quartet, comprised of Lydia Forbes and Ferdinand Liva on violin, Kirsten Monke on viola, and Myles Jordan on cello, was voted "best musical group" in Maine (in all music genres) for 2014 by readers of Down East Magazine.  They were recently named the 2016 Maine Arts Commission Fellows in Performing Arts.

The Quartet now plays over 70 concerts a year across Maine in addition to performing and teaching all over the United States and around the world.   Its repertoire spans the entire history of music. The DaPonte String Quartet is now in its 24th season.

"Concerts at Jewett" Further Details:
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 for more information or for mail order tickets. UMA students may obtain free tickets from the Student Life Office in Randall. For additional information visit the Concerts at Jewett Website

The next concert is Sunday, May 15, 2016, 2PM - Erica Brown & The Bluegrass Connection

Media contact: Irene Forster. Phone: 445-5227 

AARP Event Links

ShreddingFree Shredding Events, Medicine Disposal Events and Scam Awareness Workshops - AARP Maine

Bangor - April 29th from 7AM-11AM at the Bangor airport. This is being held in collaboration with the Penobscot County Sheriff's office on the same day as their medecine disposal event which will run from 7AM-5PM. 

Portland - April 30th from 12:00-4:00PM at the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office at 36 County Way in Portland. This is being held in collaboration with the Sheriff's Office on the same day as their medicine disposal event which will also run from 12-4PM. 

Other locations yet to be scheduled: Windham, Auburn, Ellsworth. 


AgeDisruptionDr. Bill Thomas "Age of Disruption" Tour Visits Maine on May 20

Dr. Bill Thomas is visiting 30 American cities to ask the question "What if?"  What if we all lived in a world that saw aging not as a process of decline but as a vivid and enlivening process that presents us with extraordinary risks... and rewards? The Age of Disruption 2016 Tour reaches Portland, Maine on Friday, May 20 and includes two events at Hannaford Hall in the Abramson Center on the University of Southern Maine campus

For more information about the "Age of Disruption" please go to AARP web page.

Tick Watch!

Spring is here, so it's time to think about the outdoors and proper protection against ticks. Maine had 1,171 cases of Lyme disease reported in 2015. May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and we want to remind you the importance of daily tick checks and encourage the "tick watch" prevention strategy.

Ticks are primarily active in warmer months.  Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is caused by a bite from an infected deer tick (Ixodes scapularis).  In Maine, Lyme disease is most common in adults 65 and over and children between the ages of 5 and 15, but anyone can get the disease.  Individuals who work or play outside are more likely to be exposed to ticks. The most common and visible symptom of Lyme disease is a red bulls-eye rash that grows and appears within 3-30 days of exposure.  Other symptoms may include fevers, and joint or muscle pain. 

Lyme disease is treatable and most individuals recover completely with a proper drugs. However, the easiest way to avoid the disease is prevention, using "No Ticks 4 ME"
  1. Use caution in tick infested areas 
  2. Wear protective clothing 
  3. Use an EPA approved repellant 
  4. Perform daily tick checks after any outdoor activity

A tick must be attached for a minimum of 24 hours before the infection can be passed on, further stressing the need for prompt and proper tick removal. If you are bitten by a tick, or work in a known tick habitat, watch for symptoms for up to 30 days, and call a healthcare provider if symptoms develop.

Deer ticks can transmit not only Lyme disease, but also two other tick-borne infections that are present in Maine: anaplasmosis and babesiosis. Babesiosis cases increased in 2015 and cases of Anaplasmosis remained steady. The majority of tick-borne illnesses occur during the summer months when ticks and humans are active outdoors.

Remember that the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) is the only tick that can transmit Lyme disease, but there are other species of ticks throughout the state. Tick identification references are available to order online at Maine CDC's website. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Tick ID Lab offers free identification services and educational resources.

Additional information: 


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: 
The 26th of each month!

Please submit your articles and photographs to Anne Cardale at


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In This Issue
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


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