Sunday, May 21, 2017

Age-Friendly Community Has a Website

The Age-Friendly Community Initiative has launched their new Website:   Take a look - you will see a lot of familiar faces!  The website is still under construction, but when the resources link is active there will be a link to Western Mountains Senior College.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Down Home Maine Presents “Take a Hike: From Wildflower Walks to Kilimanjaro”

We've all heard the advice about the importance of spending time in nature, and of staying active as we age. Fresh air and an active lifestyle can improve our sleep, mood, and self-confidence; help us maintain flexibility, mobility, and balance; and even ward off illness and lessen chronic pain. Western Mountains Senior College member Lynne Zimmerman has taken this advice to heart: she has trekked in the mountains of India, summitted Mount Kilimanjaro, and spent two weeks hiking in Patagonia--all since her 70th birthday. She leads other seniors on hikes that range from AMC-sponsored trips in Montana’s Glacier National Park to the Western Mountains Senior College's annual Wildflower Walk.

On Wednesday, June 7, from 4:30-6:00 pm at Gould Academy’s McLaughlin Auditorium, Lynne will talk about some of her biggest adventures, and share ways for the less adventurous among us to get outdoors and stay physically active. This Down Home Maine presentation, sponsored by Western Mountains Senior College, is free and open to the public. For more information contact Amy Chapman ( and/or Ellen Marshall (

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Mahoosuc Kids Looking for People to Share Travel Stories

This year the Mahoosuc Kids Association summer program for children ages 5-10 will be focusing on "Countries of the World." They will be exploring a different country each week:

Week of June 26th - Kenya
Week of July 10th - Italy
Week of July 17th - Japan
Week of July 24th - Mexico
Week of July 31st - Brazil
Week of August 7th - France
Week of August 14th - Australia

MKA coordinator Kayla LeVeille is looking for people who have visited any of these countries to come share their stories with the children
from 9:00-9:30 on Monday morning of that country's week.

If you are willing to come talk with the children please email Adult Education director Lois Ruff ( with your name, date, country, and phone number. This is a great way to connect with young people in the area! And if you have a well-traveled friend who might be interested, please feel free to pass this information on to them.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Sunday, May 7, 2017

State Newsletter Features WMSC Brown Bag Lunch/ Wildflower Walk

Western Mountains Senior College's "Searching for the Plants and Flowers of Spring" is featured in this month's Maine Senior College Network's Newsletter.

Each month we post a link to the MSCN Newsletter at the top of the blog (it's the tab just before the blog posts begin).  Check it out - it's interesting to see what's going on at some of the other 16 senior colleges around the state.

If you want to attend the "Searching for the Plants and Flowers of Spring" Brown Bag Lunch/ Wildflower Walk it's not too late - contact Liz Wooley ( The event is this Thursday, May 11 from 12:30-4:00 at the Valentine Conservation Center, 162 North Road, Bethel.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Minimizing the Risk of Heart Disease

Ever-popular cardiologist Dr. Daniel van Buren recently spoke to a To Your Health audience on the risk and prevention of heart disease. Some risks (age, race, sex, and family history) are non-modifiable; but others, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and lack of physical activity can be modified.

Dr. van Buren divided prevention of heart disease into two types – primary prevention (lifestyle changes) and secondary prevention (medication prescribed after disease has been diagnosed). This presentation focused on primary prevention.

Inactivity, obesity, and diabetes are among the greatest risks for developing heart disease. The good news is that there IS a magic pill – it's called 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week. (Examples of moderate exercise: a brisk walk, snowshoeing, or using a treadmill). Regular exercise coupled with eating a healthy variety of foods in moderation can work wonders in reversing the risk associated with inactivity, obesity and diabetes.

Dr. van Buren left us with a prevention list of seven things to do:
  • Get regular medical checkups.
  • Control your blood pressure.
  • Check your cholesterol.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Manage stress.

And one thing not to do:
Don't smoke.

Dr. Daniel van Buren with To Your Health committee members Jan Stowell, Ellen Crocker, Rosabelle Tifft and Judy Whitman.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Monday, May 1, 2017

Senior College Players Looking for Actors

A message from Jack Kuchta:

Several of our Senior College Players members are retiring this year, and we may not have enough actors for a fall production. Both the players and the audiences have a great time and we really want to keep this program going. This is your chance to give acting a try! I am not asking for a firm commitment now, but please send me an email if you think you may be available. And if you know anyone else who might like to join the troupe, please send this on to them.

Thank you,

Jack (

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

May Events

Thursday, May 11 
Searching for the Plants and Flowers of Spring
Jointly sponsored by WMSC's Brown Bag Lunch program and the Mahoosuc Land Trust. 
Bring your lunch for Barbara Murphy's introduction to the natural beauty of the Mahoosuc Land Trust's property at 12:30; at 2:00 Lynne Zimmerman will guide the group in identifying  spring wildflowers. You may attend either or both sessions. Open to the public and free of charge.  RSVP to Liz Wooley ( so that we have adequate seating for lunch.
Thursday, May 11; 12:30-4:00 pm; Valentine Conservation Center, 162 North Road, Bethel

Tuesday, May 16

Pairs & Spares Dinner Out
Join other couples and singles for the Pairs and Spares dinner at the Town and Country Inn and Resort located a half hour west of Bethel on Rt. 2. WMSC members may bring a guest. To sign up and make carpooling arrangements, please contact Kay Larson at or call 207-824-3333.
Tuesday, May 16; 6:00 pm; 2 Main St., Gorham, NH

Wednesday, May 24 
Spring Potluck Supper 
Join your Senior College friends for an evening of good food and conversation. Bring any kind of dish to share. Members are welcome to bring a guest. We need volunteers to set up at 4:30 and to clean up at 7:00. Please contact Marvin Ouwinga ( if you can help. 
Wednesday, May 24; 5:30-7:00 pm; West Parish Congregational Church

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

Wednesday, May 3
Iconic Places: Hiking the Appalachian Trail

Carey Kish will talk about his 189-day trek along the Appalachian Trail. Kish has through-hiked the 2,189-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine twice, first at age 18 in 1977 and again in 2015. He will show images of the mountain scenery and talk about the camaraderie of fellow hikers, fun trail towns, trail angels, scary wildlife encounters and the highs and lows of hiking for six months.
Sponsored by the Mahoosuc Land Trust and the Shelburne Trails Club. FMI: 

Wednesday, May 3; 7:00 pm; Shelburne Town Hall, Shelburne, NH

Saturday, May 6
Local Clean-up Day
Happy spring! And with it, clean-up time in our towns! Woodstock: meet at Bryant Pond Ballfield; Greenwood: meet at Greenwood Town Office; Bethel: meet at Davis Park. Bring work gloves and wear work clothes; bags will be provided.
Saturday, May 6; 9:00 am - noon; see above for your town's location

Sunday, May 7
Mahoosuc Community Band Spring Concert

Annual spring concert of traditional and popular music for concert band. Free and open to the public; donations welcome. Refreshments afterward.
Sunday, May 7; 4:00 pm; West Parish Congregational Church

Saturday, May 13
Shred Day
Mobile, on-site shredder will be available to shred sensitive paper-only items.  Staples and paper clips need not be removed. No plastic or electronic items. FMI: Al Cressy (824-0508).
Saturday, May 6; 9:00 am - noon; Bus Garage, 197 Main Street, Bethel

Tuesday, May 16
Telstar Middle and High School Spring Concert
Annual spring concert performed by the Middle and High School Bands and Choruses.
Tuesday, May 16; 7:00 pm; Telstar High School Auditorium, Bethel

Thursday, May 18 & Saturday, May 20
Gould Academy Spring Musical 
“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” based on the well-known and well-loved comic strip by Charles Schultz.
Thursday, May 18 & Saturday, May 20; 7:30 pm, Bingham Hall, Gould Academy

Saturday, May 27
Birds and Blooms
Emily Ecker and Lynne Zimmerman lead a guided walk around Valentine Farm, identifying ephemeral spring flowers and a variety of birds that reappear each year in Maine. FMI:
Saturday, May 27; 8:00 am; Valentine Farm Conservation Center, 162 North Road, Bethel

Wednesday, May 31
Community Supper

Free community supper the last Wednesday of the month. All are welcome.

Wednesday, May 31; 4:30 - 6:00 pm; Bethel Alliance Church, 251 Walkers Mills Road, Bethel

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Changes to Tech Help Offerings at Telstar

When school resumes after April vacation Tech Help at Telstar will only be offered on Tuesday afternoons.  But be sure to call the Adult Ed office before you come (824-2136 ext. 1340). Spring is a busy time for students and your helper may not be available.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Monday, April 10, 2017

On Arthritis

At To Your Health on April 6, Christopher P. FitzMorris, D.O., M.P.A. introduced the causes and symptoms of arthritis to an interested group. There are several types of arthritis, but Dr. FitzMorris concentrated on osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is by far the most common type, resulting mostly from wear and tear or injury. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and swelling of joints, which may be worse first thing in the morning or after sitting for awhile. Anti-inflammatories can help, but for severe arthritic pain, you should see your physician. Injections and drugs can relieve the symptoms.

More debilitating is rheumatoid arthritis, which usually presents between the ages of 30 and 50. Diagnosis and treatment by a physician are required.  While the causes of rheumatoid arthritis are still under investigation, there are drugs which can alter the disease, not just treat the symptoms.

Whatever kind of arthritis you may have, take control of the situation! Discuss self-management strategies with your primary care provider. Research credible sites, such as the Arthritis Foundation (  Manage your weight. Eat a healthy diet. Remain active as much as possible. If you are not active, begin a gentle exercise program, remembering that small increments provide the most benefit.  Use assistive devices (cane or walker) when necessary.  And perhaps most important, form a support team of your medical professional, your friends, and family.  But remember, you are the captain!

To Your Health team members shown with speaker:  Linda McDonough, Judy Whitman, Jan Stowell, Dr. Christopher FitzMorris, Donna Coe and Rosabelle Tifft.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Someone's Had a Birthday!

On Thursday, April 6 members of the drawing and painting class presented Suzanne Taylor with flowers and a cake in honor of her 80th birthday.  For many years now Suzanne has facilitated both this and the creative writing class.  Thanks, Suzanne!      photo Karen Mills