Friday, October 12, 2018

Where Can I Find Impartial Information on the Upcoming Election?

Brendon Bass directs us to several sites voters can go to for impartial help as we prepare for the election in November.

The Maine Chapter of the League of Women Voters website is a wealth of information. Their Voter Guide includes easy to follow instructions, including how to get an absentee ballot and help at the voting booth. It also includes an easily understandable explanation of Ranked Choice Voting. And it includes brief descriptions of each party's priorities (Democratic, Green, Libertarian and Republican) and each candidate's positions and experience. (
The League also has a presentation on ranked choice voting and is willing to arrange to have someone present it; contact them at
For another simple, short explanation of ranked choice voting, go to How does ranked choice voting work? 

A nationwide source is There one can choose Vote Easy, enter your zipcode and see a yard-full of campaign signs. Clicking on a candidate gets you a chart of the candidate's expressed or inferred views on specific issues you may be interested in. Political Galaxy on the VoteSmart site gets you to a candidate's votes, campaign contributions, speeches, etc. Brendon Bass says VoteSmart is "committed to getting voters to as much information as it can without taking a position on any. News organizations, even government offices I think, respect this source."

Free Tech Help at Telstar on Thursday Afternoons

Once again a Telstar High School student is volunteering to provide free tech help to the community. To take advantage of this opportunity bring your phone or tablet and your questions to the Adult Ed office on Thursday afternoons at 2:30. It's always a good idea to call ahead (207 824-2136 ext. 1340).

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Brown Bag Lunch Discussion: Why Buy Local?

"Why should we buy local products?" This is the topic of Western Mountains Senior College’s next Brown Bag Lunch discussion to be held on Thursday, October 18 from 12:30 - 2:00 pm in the Greenwood Town Hall (on Route 26 in Locke Mills).

Bonnie Pooley, who will host the event, is looking forward to having a freewheeling discussion about what a vibrant local economy looks like. Some participants from the Greenwood Farmers Market will attend. Products from all of the participants will be available for sale. Here’s a sampling of what they will bring:

  • Velvet Hollow Sugar Works: gluten-free baked goods, granola, mixes prepared in their dedicated gluten-free commercial kitchen, maple syrup and honey.
  • Michelle Shutty: fresh roasted, organic, fair-trade Columbian, Sumatran, and Decaf Peruvian coffee.
  • Krazy K Soap: natural soaps using only high-quality ingredients, Bryant Pond Spring water, goat, oat or coconut milks, and essential oils for fragrance.
  • Laurie Bailey: goat cheese
  • Anna Sysko: baked goods

This event is free and open to the public. Bring a bag lunch and join the discussion. For more information and to RSVP:, 562-1089.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

To Your Health to Present Program on Communicating with Alzheimer’s Patients

On Thursday, October 11 Peter Baker, Program Director of the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter will present a program that explores how communication takes place when someone has Alzheimer’s disease. The program is sponsored by To Your Health of Western Mountains Senior College.

Peter Baker
Peter Baker said, “Individuals living with dementia often experience changes in behavior that can be confusing to friends and families.” He added, “For caregivers, learning to decode messages through attitude, tone of voice, facial expressions and body language can help both parties to communicate in meaningful ways. The program includes video interviews with professionals who explain critical aspects of communication throughout the Alzheimer’s journey, and caregivers who share tips that have worked for their families.

Peter holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Southern Maine and has been working in dementia care since 2008. He has worked in long-term care centers as a Social Services Director, Dementia Program Director and as an Executive Director. As Program Director for the Alzheimer’s Association, Peter oversees the care and support services provided by the Maine Chapter serving the entire state of Maine.

The program takes place on Thursday, October 11, from 4:30 to 6:00 pm at the West Parish Congregational Church in Bethel. It is sponsored as a community service by To Your Health of Western Mountains Senior College with the collaboration of the Bethel Family Health Center and MSAD#44/Continuing Education. Admission is free and light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Peter Musso at 207-890-7034.

October Events

Thursday, October 11
To Your Health: Effective Communication Strategies
Peter Baker, LCSW, Program Director, Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter, presents a program exploring how communication takes place when someone has Alzheimer’s disease. The program includes video interviews with professionals who explain critical aspects of communication throughout the Alzheimer’s journey, and caregivers who share tips that have worked for their families.

Thursday, October 11; 4:30-6:00 pm; West Parish Congregational Church, Bethel.

Thursday, October 18
Brown Bag Lunch: Why Buy Local Products?
Join us to hear why we should buy local products. Hosted by Bonnie Pooley, presenters include Velvet Hollow Sugar Works, Krazy K Soap, Laurie Bailey's goat cheese, Anna Sysko's baked goods, and Michelle Shutty's Fair Trade coffee. FMI and to RSVP:, 562-1089.

Thursday, October 18; 12:30-2:00 pm; Greenwood Town Hall (Route 26 in Locke Mills).

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

Friday, October 5
Living Well, Aging Well Expo
Annual conference sponsored by Seniors Plus, Oxford County's council on aging. $25 fee includes breakfast, lunch, and admission to all presentations and exhibits. FMI: 1-800-427-1421;
Friday, October 5; 8:15-4:00; Sunday River Grand Summit Hotel, Newry.

Wednesday, October 24
A Day in the Life of a Maine Guide
The Mahoosuc Land Trust announces a bonus event in the 2018 "Day in the Life" speaker series. On Wednesday, October 24, Kevin Slater and Polly Mahoney will share the delights of a Day in the Life of a Maine Guide. FMI:, 207-824-3806. 

Wednesday, October 24; 7:00 pm; McLaughlin Auditorium, Gould Academy, Bethel.

Wednesday, October 31
Community Supper
Come and join the people of the community for a delicious meal. No charge, all are welcome.
Wednesday, October 31; 4:30-6:00 pm; Bethel Alliance Church, 251 Walker’s Mills Road, Bethel.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Remembering Tineke Ouwinga

by Mary Haberman

Western Mountains Senior College members are saddened to learn of Tineke Ouwinga's passing. Tineke was a key player in more than a few Bethel organizations. These included Gould Academy, The Bethel Historical Society, West Parish Congregational Church, and Music Without Borders. She set a standard for community service, leadership, and friendship.

But we suspect that Tineke’s favorite role involved playing some outlandish character for Senior Players. Audiences loved her wigs, costumes, twinkle and bravado. She was a fun addition for two years of Readers Theatre.

Tineke may have missed her true calling, but all of Bethel has benefited from her amazing range of activities and interests. She will be a hard act to follow. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, November 3, 2:00 pm at the West Parish Congregational Church in Bethel.

Senior Players Rehearse on Thursday Afternoons

If rehearsing on Wednesday afternoon has kept you from joining the Senior Players, you are now in luck!  Rehearsals for the November plays will now be held every Thursday, September 20 - November 15, from 2:00-5:00 pm at the West Parish Congregational Church in Bethel.  If you'd like to join, or are just thinking about it, contact Jack Kuchta ( or 207 364-3137). The players always have a wonderful time, as does the audience, so give it a try!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

WMSC Fall Course Bulletin Is Out!

If you are a Western Mountains Senior College member you should have received your Fall Course Bulletin. If not, please let us know.  Perhaps we have an incorrect email or U.S. mail address for you. In the meantime, you can find Fall Course Listings, Public Events, and Membership/Registration Form downloads at the top of this blog.  In addition, there will printed copies of the course bulletin in the Telstar Adult Ed office.  But be sure to call first (207/ 824-2136 ext. 1340) to make sure someone will be in the office. 

We will begin processing registrations at 11:00 on Friday, September 7.  Mail your registration to the address on the form, drop off in the Adult Ed office, or bring to the WMSC Potluck/Annual Meeting on Wednesday, September 5.

A Request for Help from the Senior Players

For several years the Senior Players, a fall class offering of Western Mountain Senior College, has offered free performances to the people of the Bethel area. The Players are not professionals, as anyone who has been to a performance can tell you. We do it because it’s fun for the audience and fun for us. But this year due to health issues and other commitments, several of our past cast members will not be available. We need players!

Players don’t need to memorize their lines, we all carry our scripts. You can find a description of the class in the Courses Fall 2018 tab above. The Senior College is primarily for those over 50, but if you’re close, we can get you in. Even if you don’t want to act, we will need other help with lighting and scene changes.

If you have an interest in bringing laughter to Bethel or know someone who does, come to WMSC's Annual Meeting and Potluck supper at the First Parish Congregational Church in Bethel, 5:30 PM on September 5th, or call Jack Kuchta at 364-3137.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Thanks from the Bethel House

Karen Mills sends out a big thank you to all those who responded to her request for donations of puzzles and craft materials to use at the Bethel House. The response has been overwhelming! They now have as much as they can use, as storage at the Bethel House is tight. Your donations are greatly appreciated by the residents - we certainly do have a great group of senior college members.  Thank you all, and Karen says she is sure you will hear from her again!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Down Home Maine Looking for Suggestions for Presenters

By Brendon Bass

Recently the Western Mountains Senior College Program Committee spent some time generating suggestions for future Down Home Maine presenters. But we would also like help from our membership. If you know someone locally or not far away (it could be you) who has knowledge or experience in an interesting field, who would make an enjoyable presentation on a volunteer basis, and whom you would like to add to our list, please contact Brendon Bass (824-8580) with your suggested presenter and his/her phone number or email address. Thanks in advance!