Sunday, September 22, 2019

New Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s

Peter Baker, LCSW
Peter Baker, LCSW, Program Director, Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter, will discuss the “New Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s” on Thursday, October 10, from 4:30 to 6:00 pm at the West Parish Congregational Church, 32 Church Street, Bethel. The program is sponsored by To Your Health of Western Mountains Senior College.

Baker will discuss Alzheimer’s and other dementias that cause memory, thinking and behavior problems that interfere with daily living. He will cover typical age-related changes, the importance of early detection and benefits of diagnosis, and possible tests and assessments for diagnostic process. He will also give helpful Alzheimer’s Association resources. He said, “The warning signs will help people recognize common signs of Alzheimer’s and know what to watch for in themselves and others.” He added, “Alzheimer’s is not normal aging so if one encounters warning signs, it is important to look into the cause to be best equipped to know what to do next.”

Baker holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern Maine and has been working in dementia care since 2006. As the Program Director for the Alzheimer’s Association, Baker oversees the care and support services provided by the Maine Chapter serving the entire state of Maine. Externally, his work focuses on educating professionals and community members about the disease, facilitating support groups and training support group leaders.

The program is sponsored as a community service by To Your Health of Western Mountains Senior College with the collaboration of Bethel Family Health Center and MSAD#44/Continuing Education. The public is invited and admission is free. Light refreshments served. For more information, contact Peter Musso at 207-890-7034.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

New Director for Senior College Players

By Rosabelle Tifft

Ray Leghart is in his “element” as new director of the Senior College Players. He has been involved in theater for over 40 years. Now retired and living in Hanover with his wife, Cheryl, Ray looks forward to his new role.

Ray’s interest in theater started in high school. He joined the US Army, and while stationed in Germany, had a chance to work with a theater group. Ray was instrumental in founding a community theater. He filled various roles including actor and director, among them Man of LaMancha and The Odd Couple.

From then on Ray was “hooked.” Upon his transfer to Washington, DC, he took an internship on-the-job training position at a local theater, six months prior to his army discharge.

His love of theater and experience in multiple roles led him to become involved in local theaters and colleges as designer, technical director, artistic director, director and actor in Pittsburg, New York City, and Boston and Salem, Massachusetts. He also enjoyed two summers touring the summer stock circuit of New England as sound designer and engineer.

Ray and his wife are avid skiers and over the years spent time in various rentals around Sunday River. While seeking another rental, they discovered a small cottage in Hanover, which they immediately purchased. When Jack Kuchta, a neighbor and friend, heard of Ray’s extensive experience in theater, he immediately recruited him to be the new director of the Players.

Ray is enthused about several plays recommended by the Players at their recent meeting. He said new members are needed to fill some roles. No experience is necessary. Players carry their scripts and enjoy the experience. Ray welcomes interested persons to contact him at 781-223-1465 or

Pairs and Spares Dining Out September 25

Looking for an evening of delicious food at local restaurants? On Wednesday, September 25 we’ll venture to Nonna’s Kitchen in Gorham, N.H. for dinner at 6:00. Contact Kay Rector at 207-824-3333 or email her at to make your reservation. There’s only room for 15 – first come first served!

Online Courses Offered by Lewiston-Auburn Senior College

University of Southern Maine Lewiston-Auburn Senior College is making two online courses available to any members of a Maine senior college.

Avocado Toast And Other Health Claims looks at how to judge the validity of health information for those not in the medical profession. Instructor Martin Gagnon is a former journalist and current Head of Adult Services at the Auburn Public Library. The class begins on September 26 and runs for four Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 pm.  Online Course Fee for members of a Maine senior college is $25.

The Online Book Club - Books with a Maine Connection meets monthly beginning Thursday, September 26 from 10:00 to noon. Regular meetings will be the fourth Thursday of each month. (No class in December.) We will focus on books that have something to do with Maine, both fiction and nonfiction, titles may be new or vintage, by authors living in Maine or those who just like to write about it. The Book Club is free to Maine senior college members.

For details on these courses and how to sign up: September Maine Senior College Network newsletter.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

SAD 44 Adult Ed to Offer FREE Fall Courses

SAD 44 Adult and Continuing Education is offering three courses this fall that may be of particular interest to our members: Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention, Introduction to Forest Management, and Pickleball. All three courses are free of charge, but you must register in advance. Details below.  For more information and to register call the SAD 44 Adult & Continuing Education office at  207-824-2136 Ext 1340.

Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention 
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese form of exercise practiced around the world for its health benefits. This is a low-impact exercise performed in slow, fluid movements improving physical fitness and mental relaxation. The movements are slow, controlled, and gentle, emphasizing body alignment, weight transfer and internal focus. Both easy to learn and do, the forms are designed to improve flexibility and balance; enhance relaxation; increase strength and flexibility; develop better breathing; and improve overall health. Tai Chi is clinically proven to improve your balance and reduces the rate of falling. Movements can be done seated or standing making it ideal for people of almost any age or physical condition. This particular Sun style, developed by Dr. Paul Lam, is supported by the Arthritis Foundation, the Administration on Aging, and rated by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as the highest evidence-based program for older adult health and wellness.

Class is offered as partnership among SeniorsPlus, Gould Academy, Bethel’s Recreation Department, Bethel’s Age Friendly Community Initiative and MSAD#44 Adult Education.

Instructors: Karen Reilly & Lucia Owen

When: Tuesday & Thursday, Sept. 10-Oct. 31 
Time: 2:30 - 3:30 pm 
Location: Gould Academy Bingham Gym, Church St, Bethel
Tuition: Free

Introduction to Forest Management 
This six-week course is intended to give participants a better understanding of forest management in Maine. The course will provide basic instruction for landowners or people who want to better read the landscape on: forestry, wildlife, ecological and recreation management. The classes will be hosted by the Maine Forest Service District Forester, Mike Richard and will include guest speakers. For course questions, please contact Mike Richard at 207-441-3276 or

Week 1 Defining Your Goals as a Landowner/Deeds & Boundaries- Mike Richard, MFS 

Tree Identification- Mike Richard, District Forester, MFS
Week 2 Management Plans & Cost Share Programs – Mike Richard, MFS
Non-Timber Forest Products (Christmas Trees & Maple Syrup) – TBD
Week 3 Wildlife Programs and What You Can Do on Your Property- TBD, IF&W 
Week 4 Timber Trespass and Wildfire- Forest Ranger, Maine Forest Service Forestry Rules and Regulations- TBD, MFS 
Week 5 Common Tree Diseases and Logging Damage- TBD, MFS Chainsaw Safety Basics 
Week 6 Silviculture- Mike Richard, District Forester, MFS Consulting Forestry - TBD ~Optional Field Trip: TBD~

Instructor: Michael Richards

When: Thursday, Sept. 26- Nov. 7
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Where: Telstar High School
Tuition: FREE, but you must register


This exciting sport is taking the nation by storm, incorporating aspects of tennis, ping pong, and badminton. Join us to see what Pickleball is all about!

When: Tuesday & Thursday weekly

Time: 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm 
Location: Crescent Park School Gym, Bethel
Tuition: Free

For more information and to register call the SAD 44 Adult & Continuing Education office at  207-824-2136 Ext 1340.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Brown Bag Lunch Discussion Series Presents “Women of the White Mountains”

Bring your lunch and join a lively conversation of the forgotten women of the White Mountains at the next Brown Bag Lunch discussion on Tuesday, September 10 from 12:15-1:30 pm at the Moses Mason House (Broad Street in Bethel). Facilitator Karen Mills will use the book When Women and Mountains Meet as a jumping-off point. The names and feats of these women may have slipped from memory, but they were a fascinating group that helped make the White Mountain Region what it is today.

Four local women hikers with remarkable feats of their own (Lynne Zimmerman, Linda McDonough, Emily Ecker, and Jane Moosbruker) will join Karen Mills to talk about some of the places we can visit right at our back doors. You will want to get out there and hike after you hear what they have to say. Audience participation is encouraged. You are in for a treat!

Brown Bag Lunch discussions are sponsored by Western Mountains Senior College and are open to the public free of charge. For more information or to save your spot contact Liz Wooley (

September Events

Wednesday, September 4
Fall Potluck and Annual Meeting
Bring whatever you would like to the potluck supper - appetizer, salad, main dish, dessert. Contact Marvin Ouwinga if you can help with setup or cleanup ( or (207) 824-3304). Registration for fall classes from 5:00-5:30; annual meeting begins after dinner.
Wednesday, September 4; 5:30-7:00 pm; West Parish Congregational Church, Bethel.

Tuesday, September 10
Brown Bag Lunch discussion: Women of the White Mountains

Bring your lunch and come hear about the forgotten women of the White Mountains, a fascinating group of women who helped make the White Mountains region what it is today. Four local women hikers join f
acilitator Karen Mills to share remarkable feats of their own. Audience participation is encouraged. Please join us. You are in for a treat!
Tuesday, September 10; 12:15-1:30 pm; Moses Mason House, Broad Street, Bethel.

Wednesday, September 25
Pairs and Spares Dining Out
Looking for an evening of delicious food at local restaurants? Join us on our venture to Nonna’s Kitchen in Gorham, N.H. for dinner.
There’s only room for 15 – first come first served! Contact Kay Rector (207-824-3333 or to make your reservation.
 Wednesday, September 25; 6:00 pm; Nonna's Kitchen, Gorham, NH.

The following events are not sponsored by Western Mountains Senior College, but may be of interest to our members.

Thursday, September 5
Mill Brook Craft Series: Pine needle Basket-making with Donna Cairns
Highly skilled craftspeople lead workshops in the newly-completed Twitchell Education Center — a replica, on the exterior, of Dr. Moses Mason’s 19th century private library building. Each week, a different craft will be highlighted, with historical background, demonstrations, and opportunities for hands-on experience provided to participants.Although admission to individual sessions is free, seating is limited, so pre-registration is encouraged (207-824-2908 or The Series is supported by the Florence Bickford Hastings Traditional Crafts Fund and presented in memory of beloved volunteer and educator Tineke Ouwinga.

Thursday, September 5; 1:00 pm; Twitchell Education Center, next to the Dr. Moses Mason House, 14 Broad Street, Bethel.

Saturday, September 14
Great Maine Outdoor Weekend
9 a.m. Ridge to the River Challenge.  Start Time at Valentine Farm. Finish of both the 10k and half-marathon is at South Ridge Lodge at Sunday River Ski Resort
Details at
5:30-7:00 p.m. Art Show preview. Visit with the artists, enjoy light refreshments and peruse and purchase the art work.  Valentine Farm, North Road, Bethel.
6:30- 9:00 p.m. - Maine Outdoor Film Festival at the Gem Theater, Bethel.  Co-sponsored by Mahoosuc Land Trust.
6:30 - doors open; 7:30 - show time
Saturday, September 14; 9:00 am - 9:00 pm; various locations.

Saturday, September 21
Bethel Harvestfest & Chowdah Cookoff 

Celebrate the harvest and the beginning of fall foliage season with arts, crafts, music, a farmers' market, a chowder and apple pie cookoff, and much more on the town common. Don't miss the Chowdah Cookoff -- hundreds of hungry tasters line up as many of your favorite restaurants vie for Peoples' or Judges' Choice! For Complete Details/Schedule. 
Saturday, September 21; 9:00 am - 3:00 pm; Bethel Common.

Sunday, September 22
Hike to the Summit of Old Speck
Join experienced hikers, Paul Handlen and Pete Dubay, for a guided hike up the 4th highest peak in Maine. This all-day, 7.6 mile round-trip hike is rugged with over 2000 feet of elevation gain and loss. This hike is best for experienced hikers who should bring the following: adequate water, lunch, and fleece for warmth. Due to concerns about returning before dusk, the group will turn around no later than 1:00 pm even if the peak is not reached.
Sunday, September 22, 7:45 am - 4:00 pm; meet at trailhead (11.7 miles from intersection of Routes 2 and 26) no later than 7:45 am.

Wednesday, September 25
Community Supper
Come and join the people of the community for a delicious meal. No charge, all are welcome.
Wednesday, September 25; 4:30-6:00 pm; Bethel Alliance Church, 251 Walker’s Mills Road, Bethel.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

WMSC's Fall Course Bulletin Is Out!

All WMSC members should have received their Fall Course Bulletin in their email by now (or U.S. mail for those who do not have email access).  If you have not received yours please let us know right away - either we have an incorrect address for you or the bulletin has gone into your email's spam/ junk folder.

For those of you who are not members you can download a copy by clicking on WMSC Fall Course Bulletin. Printed copies are also available in the SAD 44 Adult Education Office at Telstar (call first to make sure someone is there). We have a great lineup of courses and events you won't want to miss!

We will begin to process registrations on September 6, so make sure we have your forms and payment by then.  We can accept registrations by mail (WMSC, PO Box 1305, Bethel ME 04217), in the Adult Education office (call first), or at the Potluck/ Annual Meeting on September 4.

Farewell to and Election of Board Members

At the WMSC Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 4 we will thank outgoing board member Janet Stowell for her six years of service (Thanks, Jan!), and elect Lucy Abbott to the WMSC Board of Directors.

Prospective board member Lucy Abbott
Many of you may know Lucy from the Great Decisions class, or from Inside an Embassy, the class which she developed and taught last winter. Lucy’s roots are in here in western Maine - the Abbott family started farming in Rumford in the early 1800’s, and during her years of working with the US Foreign Service Bethel was Lucy's legal residence.

While in the foreign service Lucy experienced wars, evacuations, presidential visits, the kidnapping of colleagues, government furloughs, and challenging menus. She figured out why Yemeni money changers were arrested every December, learned the nuances of Canada’s polar bear hunting quotas, and taught Saudi princesses to swim. As a diplomat, she developed ways to navigate the contradictions that arise when our security, economic and political objectives conflict.

When she retired Lucy moved back home. She is now working to make Maine even more “the way life should be,” and we look forward to her doing the same for WMSC!

Fall Potluck and Annual Meeting on Wednesday, September 4

WMSC's Fall Potluck and Annual Meeting will be held at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, September 4 at the West Parish Congregational Church. Bring whatever you would like to share - appetizer, salad, main dish, dessert. Thanks to Marvin Ouwinga for organizing this event - we will need helpers for setup and cleanup.  If you can volunteer to help contact Marvin ( or (207) 824-3304).

From 5:00-5:30 you can register for fall classes.  The Annual Meeting will begin after dinner. The Agenda includes brief comments from the Chair of the Board, report from the Treasurer, election of and farewells to board members, any new business, and adjournment.