Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Update on WMSC/MLT Snowshoe Hike on Saturday

Our annual snowshoe hike celebrating Maine Great Outdoors Weekend is this Saturday, February 13, and it looks like we'll actually have snow on the ground!

Meet at the Mahoosuc Land Trust parking lot (Forest Service building on Rt. 2, across from the Norway Savings Bank) at 10:00 am. We will carpool out to the Valentine property – it's about a 5 minute drive. Be sure to dress warmly, and bring snowshoes and poles if you have them. Contact Bonnie Pooley (pooleyb@gouldacademy.org) if you need to borrow snowshoes.

Mahoosuc Land Trust is providing hot cocoa and cookies; WMSC is responsible for finger food-type snacks. We need two or three people to bring something to share. After the hike we'll carpool back to the office to get cars, and should be done sometime between noon and 1:00 pm. We hope to see you there!

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at http://sad44.maineadulted.org/western_mountains_senior_college

Dr. Daniel van Buren Speaks on Atrial Fibrillation

Last Thursday, February 4, Dr. Daniel van Buren spoke at a To Your Health presentation on Atrial Fibrillation (AF). AF is an abnormal heart rhythm affecting 33.5 million adults in the U.S., with 5 million new cases each year. Seven percent of everyone over the age of 65 is affected.  AF is responsible for 15% of all strokes.

Individuals with AF have a problem with the heart's electrical system. Very simply, disorganized electrical activity in the upper chambers causes the lower chambers to beat erratically. Blood is not pumped properly, which results in the formation of clots, hence the greatly increased risk of stroke.

Symptoms of AF include palpitations, shortness of breath, racing heart, general malaise and fatigue. Some experience no symptoms at all. AF is diagnosed with an EKG. Dr. van Buren described the EKG as showing a heartbeat that is “irregularly irregular.”

Because of the increased risk of stroke, medication that inhibits clot formation is usually prescribed. Traditionally that drug has been warfarin. But warfarin requires a great deal of tweaking and monitoring, which has led to under treatment. Newer drugs are now available that have proven to be at least as effective as warfarin, at least as safe, and do not require constant monitoring. The downside with any blood thinner is the risk of bleeding, but in the case of preventing stroke the benefits outweigh the risks.

An interesting new development is the Watchman Device. Most clots form in the left atrial appendage. The Watchman Device is inserted over the opening to the appendage to prevent blood from entering and clots from forming.

Jackie Cressy, Jan Stowell, Dr. van Buren and Rosabelle Tifft.
The thirty-five people in attendance asked many questions, which Dr. van Buren graciously answered.

The next To Your Health presentation, “Is Your Tummy Talking to You?” will be held on Thursday, March 3 from 4:30 – 6:00 at the West Parish Congregational Church.  It is free and open to the public.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at http://sad44.maineadulted.org/western_mountains_senior_college

Sunday, January 31, 2016

February Events

Thursday, February 4
To Your Health  Understanding Your Heart Rhythm
Atrial Fibrillation, an abnormal rhythm of the heart, can lead to serious heart conditions and increase a person’s risk of stroke. Learn more about detecting and evaluating this condition and the two long-term treatment options. Presented by Daniel VanBuren, MD. Free and open to the public.  FMI: Rosabelle Tifft (824-2053).
Thursday, February 4; 4:30-6:00 pm;
West Parish Congregational Church, Bethel (Snow date Feb. 11)

Saturday, February 13
Snowshoe Hike on the Valentine Property
Join Rick Churchill and Bonnie Pooley on one of their famous snowshoe treks to celebrate another Great Maine Outdoors Weekend. We will tour the Valentine property on North Road just past the cemetery and across from the Bethel Airport. Hot drinks and snacks/lunch will follow the hike. Co-sponsored with the Mahoosuc Land Trust. Meet at the MLT Office (Forest Service building on Rt. 2) at 10 am to carpool to the site. FMI: Bonnie Pooley (pooleyb@gouldacademy.org).
Saturday, February 13; 10:00 am; Mahoosuc Land Trust Office

Tuesday, February 23
WMSC Potluck Dinner
Anticipate spring! Join us for a potluck meal - bring any kind of dish you'd like. Members are welcome to bring a guest. We need volunteers to set up at 4:30 and to clean up at 7:00. Contact Irene Kuchta (ikuchta@ramapo.edu) if you can help.
Tuesday, February 23; 5:30-7:00 pm;
West Parish Congregational Church, Bethel (Snow date Feb 25).

Wednesday, February 24
Down Home Maine  Learn About the People of Palestine
In 2007, Woodstock resident Jim Chandler met a teacher from Palestine, Osama Al Joaba, at the World Forestry Institute. Since then he has worked online with teachers and students in the West Bank. In the summer of 2015 Jim traveled to Palestine to visit friends, learn more about the culture, and help support science education. Come get a small taste of what it is like to live and work in Palestine.  Free and open to the public.
Wednesday, February 24; 4:30-6:00 pm; McLaughlin Auditorium, Gould Academy

Thursday, February 25
Brown Bag Lunch Discussion  Ideas From the Age-Friendly Community
Tremendous progress is being made in Bethel’s Age-Friendly Community Project. In our ongoing study of how we can make the Bethel community more livable for its senior population, this discussion will provide an opportunity for participants to listen to a host of ideas - and offer their own. There will be highlights from the survey administered last fall and, more important, some exploration of how that data might be translated into concrete community improvements. Bring your lunch. Free and open to the public. RSVP Nancy Davis (nancydavis.bethel@gmail.com, 207-381-1110).
Thursday, February 25; 12:15-1:30 pm; Bethel Inn Library

Sunday, February 28
Pairs & Spares Dinner Out 
Join us at the Mill Hill Inn in Bethel where we will experience the Sunday Bistro menu served by their new chef, Andrew Raymond (Charlie Raymond’s son!). Contact Kay Larson (kaymail3333@gmail.com, 207-824-3333) by February 21 for sign up. Guests always welcomed!
Sunday, February 28; 6:00 pm; Mill Hill Inn, Bethel

The following events are not sponsored by WMSC, but may be of interest to our members. 

Sunday, February 14
The Jesus Fatwah: Loving Your (Muslim) Neighbor as Yourself
Much of what passes for information about Islam is weed-like disinformation rooted in stereotype and watered by fear. In this 5-part DVD study seventeen Islam and Christian scholars offer reliable information about what Muslims believe, how they live out their faith, and how we all can build relationships across the lines of faith. Held on five consecutive Sundays beginning February 14. 
Sunday, February 14; 11:45 am; West Parish Congregational Church, Bethel

Wednesday, February 17
"Into the Woods"  Mahoosuc Land Trust Speaker Series
Garret Bonnema recently completed hiking the entire Grid, reaching the summit of each of the 48 peaks in the White Mountains that are over 4,000 feet, in each month of the year – 576 summits! He will share his experience. FMI: Mahoosuc Land Trust (207-824-3806).
Wednesday, February 17; 7:00 pm; Shelburne Town Hall, Shelburne, N.H.

Wednesday, February 24
Age-Friendly Community Public Meeting
An Age-Friendly Community discussion of improving transportation options in our community. Guest resources: representatives from Western Maine Transportation Services, Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, and the Independent Transportation Network of Maine.
Wednesday, February 24; 4:00-6:00 pm; West Parish Congregational Church, Bethel

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at http://sad44.maineadulted.org/western_mountains_senior_college

Fun for All at “Replaying the 60's”

Last Tuesday's Brown Bag Lunch, “Replaying the 60's,” was a fun-filled social event. Three teams of three players answered a variety of questions posed by Carlie Casey from the 60's edition of Trivial Pursuit. (A sample: What popular comedy hour was canceled by CBS in 1969?) Charlie Raymond put together a slide show of iconic photos from the 60's. Here's one:  What specific event does this political cartoon refer to?

Kathleen DeVore challenged the teams to a game of “Name That Tune.” Nancy Davis was scorekeeper. We ended the afternoon with a rousing rendition of “Twist and Shout.”

Stay tuned – plans are in the works for a possible multi-session course on the 60's in the not too distant future. The next Brown Bag Lunch discussion, “Ideas from the Age-Friendly Community,” is on Thursday, February 25 at 12:15 in the Bethel Inn Library. RSVP to Nancy Davis by Feb. 22; she really needs to know numbers for setting up the room (nancydavis.bethel@gmail.com, 207-381-1110).

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at http://sad44.maineadulted.org/western_mountains_senior_college

AARP Leads Effort to Protect Landline Access in Rural Maine

How important is landline phone service to rural Mainers, especially seniors? What about socialization and access to needed emergency services? Or medical monitoring of health devises like pacemakers and implantable cardiac defibrillators?

Fairpoint Communications is currently the “provider of last resort,” ensuring landline service in remote areas where other phone service might not otherwise be available. In the last legislature Fairpoint moved to eliminate that obligation. The bill was carried over to this session, but no agreement was reached, and the bill will be considered again this session. AARP Maine has issued a petition opposing this change and is collecting signatures from folks who want to make sure landline service remains available to our most rural older adults. If you are interested in knowing more, read AARP's information sheet and their petition. You can also sign the petition online.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at http://sad44.maineadulted.org/western_mountains_senior_college

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Trip to the Boston Flower Show

MSAD#44 Adult & Continuing Education is offering a trip to the Boston Flower Show on Saturday, March 19. The $65.00 fee includes round trip motor coach transportation and admission to the show. Meals and gratuities are not included.
We've just learned that there will not be a Flower Show in Portland this year, so this is your chance to experience spring in March. Seats must be purchased by Friday, February 5th. For full details and to purchase tickets click here or call Deanna Fowles in the Adult Ed office (207) 824-2136 ext. 1340.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at http://sad44.maineadulted.org/western_mountains_senior_college

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Health and Wellness Classes from Adult and Continuing Education

MSAD#44 Adult and Continuing Education is offering two Health and Wellness courses. For the next three Wednesdays at 10:00 am Haley Tripp is offering "Understanding Health Care Vocabulary" ($10 fee for seniors). On Tuesday, February 9 Emily Ecker presents two identical sessions of "Introduction to Chakras," one in the afternoon and the other in the early evening.  Click Health & Wellness for full details. 
For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at http://sad44.maineadulted.org/western_mountains_senior_college

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Update from the Age-Friendly Community: Livability Factor - Housing

(We will continue to provide updates on the Age-Friendly Community Project. The local planning team, which includes some WMSC members, has initiated Bethel’s participation as an AARP age-friendly community, and Western Mountains Senior College, though it is not a formal partner, joins other area organizations in supporting these efforts. The needs the project addresses will affect us all - if not now, in the not-so-distant future - and the articles contain information that we hope will be useful.)
We spend more time in our homes than anywhere else, so housing costs, choices, and accessibility are very important to those wishing to remain at home as they age. Great communities provide housing opportunities for people of all ages, incomes, and abilities. So how does Bethel rate?

The AARP has calculated a “livability index” for communities across the country. (Go to https://livabilityindex.aarp.org and type in 04217 in the zip code to see the entire index for Bethel.) Bethel’s housing index is 52 out of 100 in terms of accessibility, choice, and affordability.

But what does that mean for you, the individual, hoping to stay in your own home? It requires some careful planning on your part. There are many resources available to help you ask the right questions and find the answers that work for you, among them:

• The National Aging in Place Council (http://www.ageinplace.org/) offers practical advice and a planning template called “Act III: Your Plan for Aging in Place” that can be filled out online.

• Maine Senior Guide (http://www.maineseniorguide.com) has a section on home safety, modifications and maintenance.

If you have questions about housing opportunities in the Bethel area or suggestions on how to improve the housing situation, you may contact Jackie Cressy (rivendellhousebnb@me.com or 824-0508). Don’t forget the public meeting to hear the results of the survey administered in October: West Parish Congregational Church, Thursday, January 14, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at http://sad44.maineadulted.org/western_mountains_senior_college

Monday, December 14, 2015

MSAD 44 Continuing Education Winter Classes

MSAD 44 Adult and Continuing Education has posted their winter course offerings, some of which may be of interest to you.  The Beginner Fiddling class, taught by Paul Cormier, is filling fast. Haley Tripp's three week course on Understanding Health Care Vocabulary has a special fee of $10 for seniors over 65. Tim O'Connor is once again offering a class on Woodworking, and Simon Smith is offering quite a few music classes, including a new one on African Drumming.

Click here to see the complete listing of Adult Ed Winter Courses.

And don't forget to sign up for WMSC winter courses - registration begins Tuesday, December 15.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at http://sad44.maineadulted.org/western_mountains_senior_college

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Standing Room Only for Music of December

by Kathleen DeVore

Tom Davis, local musician, composer/arranger, and teacher extraordinaire, presented The Music of December - A Concert Class to a packed house on November 29. He, along with 20 of his friends, performed nine selections for us, chosen for their themes of winter, hope and rebirth.

The English carol The Holly and the Ivy, with its ancient Druid roots, had become Christianized by the 17th century, while Rob Raede's haunting song The Candles of Chanukah is from today.

Tom believes that the carols composed by Alfred Burt and Wilha Hutson in the 40's and 50's should be better known, so he chose three for this presentation – Caroling Caroling/ O Hearken Ye (medley) and Some Children See Him (with Thea Dunn, soloist).

Have You Seen a Child? (from Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors, the first opera composed for TV in 1951) was performed by Anneliese Smith, Jonathan Smith, Brendon Bass, and Simon Smith, accompanied by Clorinda Noyes, violin, Richard Noyes, cello and Elizabeth Smith, piano.

Rolly York and Jewell Clark treated us to Rolly's original composition Jesus, Our Savior, Our Lord.

The Lutheran hymn Comfort, Comfort Ye My People by Johann Olearius dates from 1671, whereas the concert finale Benediction (Christmas Song) by Dave Matthews was written in 1993.

In a pre-concert interview, Tom said he hoped to leave everyone in a mellow, peaceful mindset. He certainly did!

Warming up before the concert.

The Choir
Sopranos: Thea Dunn, Debby Luxton, Anneliese Smith, Jan Stowell, Carla Boyle-Wight
Altos: Jean Bass, Elizabeth Smith, Patricia Boyle-Wight, Wendy Youmans
Tenors: Tim LeConey, Jonathan Smith, Simon Smith
Basses: Ben Alford, Brendon Bass, Jim Bennett, Steve McCosh

Special Guests
Clorinda Noyes, violin
Richard Noyes, cello
Rolly York, guitar
Jewell Clark, guitar and vocals 

Selected Recordings
None of these recordings has the beautiful instrumental parts composed by Tom Davis for this concert, but they will introduce you to the songs.

The Holly and the Ivy  

The Candles of Chanukah
Caroling, Caroling
Some Children See Him

Have You seen a Child (from Amahl and the Night Visitors) 
Comfort, Comfort Ye My People
Benediction (Christmas Song)

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at http://sad44.maineadulted.org/western_mountains_senior_college