Acadia Senior College

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Is Medically Assisted Dying a Right To Enshrine Or a Wrong To Forbid in Law?
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Opera Preview at the Grand - Fedora
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James Webb Space Telescope
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« January 2023 and beyond

Is Medically Assisted Dying a Right To Enshrine Or a Wrong To Forbid in Law?

January 13, 2023

8:30 a.m.

Havana Restaurant, Bar Harbor

Our Coffee Clash series returns in person at Havana in Bar Harbor.

Join us for a lively discussion along with coffee, tea, buns, and muffins. The cost is $10 per person payable in cash or check at the door.

The discussion will also be available on Zoom.

We all die. Should we each be able to choose when and how to receive medical assistance if we choose? Most of us are of an age when we now think about our endings. Sadly, many of us have witnessed loved ones die in long, painful, and sometimes degrading and expensive passages. We were taught reverence for life in church, school, or family. What does that mean for us now, as elders?

Medically assisted dying is a choice open to citizens in many states, including Maine. One must be judged to have six months or less to live by two doctors. But how should our society regard that choice? As an ethical and moral challenge or as a right to exercise within the bounds of love and community? The means of medically assisted dying are not simple but are enshrined in law in several states. What should our society say about this possible passage out?

Click to register for this event

This event is open to the public. Masks are required at all times while indoors, except while eating or drinking. The cost to attend in person at Havana is $10 per person which includes coffee, tea, and pastries.

Doors open at 8:30 a.m. and the discussion starts at 9:00 a.m.


Cookie Horner is a retired registered nurse. She has been a volunteer in palliative care and hospice for the past 16 years, following her career in Labor and Delivery at MDI Hospital and later as the MDIHS school nurse. She is a member of the Palliative care advisory at MDI hospital. For the past ten years, she has been teaching classes on end-of-life issues in Senior College courses, at local libraries and churches, and at the College of the Atlantic. She has also hosted several Death Cafes on MDI and in Ellsworth. She recently became certified as an End-of-Life Doula through the University of Vermont Medical School.

Art Blank served as President/CEO of MDI Hospital from 1999 until his retirement at the end of 2020.  He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Boston University, Art’s professional training and background was in Finance working in Maine since 1976 as a Certified Public Accountant and CFO of St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor among other roles prior to coming to MDI. Art is a past Board Chair of the Maine Hospital Association and currently serves as Chair of the MDI YMCA Board, and is a member of the Board of Healthy Acadia and the Maine Rural Health Network.


Click to register for this event, or email learn@acadiaseniorcollege.org

Is Medically Assisted Dying a Right To Enshrine Or a Wrong To Forbid in Law?

Opera Preview at the Grand - Fedora

January 14, 2023

11:00 a.m. - noon

The Grand, Ellsworth

Bob Gallon, ASC Instructor and opera enthusiast, will discuss Umberto Giordano's Fedora at The Grand in Ellsworth prior to the live broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera.

Bob's talk will be from 11:00 - noon, followed by a break for lunch. The live broadcast begins at 1:00 p.m.

The preview talk is free. Tickets for the Live Broadcast can be purchased online or at the door.

No reservations required.

For more information about the opera and live broadcast click here.

The Grand, 165 Main Street, Ellsworth, ME 04605

Opera Preview at the Grand - Fedora

James Webb Space Telescope

January 27, 2023

11:30 a.m.

Birch Bay Village Inn, and by Zoom

Click to register for this event

NOTE: The in-person lunch and lecture at Birch Bay Village is now FULL. However, you may still register for the Zoom presentation which begins at noon. When you register you may also choose to join the waiting list for the in-person lunch.

The Webb Telescope is a marvel and is bringing us pictures of our universe that we could have never dreamt of when we were young. Join Bob Gallon as he tells us more about the project and shows us some amazing pictures, maybe even pictures of the first stars after the Big Bang.

Join us for soup, salad, sandwiches, and dessert at our January Food for Thought presentation at Birch Bay Village in Hulls Cove. The luncheon at Birch Bay Village in Hulls Cove, begins at 11:30 a.m. and costs $15, payable by cash or check at the door; the lecture is from noon to 1:00.

‚ÄčNote that masks are required at the in-person event except while eating.


This presentation will also be offered on Zoom.

The Zoom presentation begins at noon. If you register for the online talk, you will receive the link the day before. There is no charge for the Zoom presentation.

This event is open to the public.


Bob Gallon is a clinical and forensic psychologist who is also an amateur astronomer and a musician. He was the tuba player for The Bangor Symphony Orchestra for 35 years. Bob has taught many courses for Acadia Senior College over the years, including many on music.


Click to register for this event, or email learn@acadiaseniorcollege.org.

James Webb Space Telescope

Can and Should We Manage Growing Congestion of Mount Desert Island?

February 10, 2023

8:30 a.m.

Havana Restaurant, Bar Harbor

Join us for a lively discussion along with coffee, tea, buns, and muffins. The cost is $10 per person payable in cash or check at the door.

The discussion will also be offered by Zoom.

Our beloved 110-square-mile island, deeply blessed by nature, has long been valued by many, from natives to summer colonists to day tourists. Within the 500-mile radius from Cadillac are 100 million souls and as many autos. Our Acadia National Park now hosts more than three million visits each year. Cruise ships land thousands on many days. Diverse users contend for space in our bounding bays. Most waterfront is privately held. Many who would live here cannot. Employers would hire more but do not because there are no beds. What to do?

Should be have faith that markets will temper these tensions in the best ways possible and let that magic work? Or should our citizens, businesses, organizations, and governments envision and enable a desirable future in which we shape island life through regulations that reduce congestion and create the healthy community we desire?

Click to register for this event

This event is open to the public. The cost to attend in person at Havana is $10 per person which includes coffee, tea, and pastries.

Doors open at 8:30 a.m. and the discussion starts at 9:00 a.m.


Evan Richert is the retired owner of Richert Planning, a town and regional land use planning consulting firm. He worked with public and private clients in Northern New England on planning and development projects that ranged from neighborhoods to regions, including as consulting planner to the Town of Orono. From 1995 to 2002 he was Director of the State Planning Office under Gov. Angus King. Prior to that he was co-owner of Market Decisions, Inc., a market research and planning company, and Planning Director for the City of South Portland. 

He serves on the boards of directors of UpStart Maine, Inc. (a coalition of entrepreneur support programs in the Bangor Region), and two business incubators in the Bangor Region; and is an emeritus board member of GrowSmart Maine.

Born in Bar Harbor, Eben Salvatore is a 9th generation Mainer. He is a direct descendent of the Pineo family, a well known Bar Harbor family from the late 1880's. Eben has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years. He has also been a Board member of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce for more than 20 years, and has a long history of advocating for the business community in Bar Harbor. Currently, he also sits on the YMCA Board, is a member of the Cruise Ship Committee, is a member of the Parking Solutions Task Force, and is Chair of the Business Round Table. He was also recently elected to the Warrant Committee, a position he has held previously.

Click to register for this event, or email learn@acadiaseniorcollege.org


Can and Should We Manage Growing Congestion of Mount Desert Island?

Conspiracy Theories and Theories of Conspiracy

February 24, 2023

11:30 a.m.

Birch Bay Village Inn, and by Zoom

Click to register for this event

In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in the study of conspiracy theories, much of it driven by growing concerns about how the recent widespread acceptance of such ideas in the United States is undermining the foundation of our democratic governance. Whether it’s Pizzagate, QAnon, 5G, or vaccine microchips, just to name a few, there is a worry that such beliefs are not only irrational, but potentially dangerous.

However, this is hardly the first time that such ideas have gained salience in American politics. In fact, as Richard Hofstadter noted sixty years ago, American politics has always been home to a certain strain of “paranoid style” arguments. Similarly, the study of these conspiracy theories also has a long history as well, one that spans a wide array of disciplines and methodological approaches. For decades, historians, philosophers, political scientists, psychologists, anthropologists, and many others have wrestled with a series of fundamental and often intractable questions about the role conspiracy plays in our politics.

Why do people believe in seemingly absurd conspiracy theories? Should we dismiss all conspiracy theories as unreasonable or irrational? What does it mean to label something a “conspiracy theory” in the first place?  Is there a danger in the widespread acceptance of conspiracy theories? What about the danger in dismissing them?  Previous generations of scholars and researchers found these questions to be more challenging than they may seem at first glance.  By looking back to the past, perhaps we can glean some insight from their work that will help us make sense of our world today.


This presentation will also be offered on Zoom.

The Zoom presentation begins at noon. If you register for the online talk, you will receive the link the day before. There is no charge for the Zoom presentation.

This event is open to the public.


Jamie McKown is the Wiggins Chair of Government and Polity and Associate Academic Dean at College of the Atlantic. He has been teaching and writing about conspiracy theories and their role in American political history for the past 20 years, dating back to his graduate student days. Prior to teaching at College of the Atlantic, Dr. McKown was a visiting professor at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. He also previously worked as a college debate coach as well as a political campaign adviser and consultant. He holds a BA in Political Science from Emory University, an MA in Political Communication from Georgia State, and a PhD in Rhetoric from Northwestern University.

Click to register for this event or email learn@acadiaseniorcollege.org

Conspiracy Theories and Theories of Conspiracy

Winter Birds of Acadia Outing

March 16, 2023

10:00 a.m. to noon

Mount Desert Island location(s)

Explore and learn about the winter birds on Mount Desert Island with Seth Benz and up to 15 ASC members. Watch for common eiders, black-capped chickadees, bufflehead, eagles, downy woodpeckers, harlequin ducks, and more while learning about their habitats, migration patterns, and bird phenology. 

Participants will meet at a location on MDI such as Seawall, and possibly carpool to a second viewing area. 

The cost for the outing is $12 per person. Grab a friend and sign up now - space is limited. To register, please call 207-288-9500.


Seth Benz has nearly 30 years of experience in conservation science and environmental education leadership. He has guided Road Scholar birding trips in Maine, directed Hog Island Audubon Camp (1999-2008), worked as an island supervisor for Project Puffin, served as Education Director of the Audubon Expedition Institute and as Assistant Curator of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania. He is now the director of the Schoodic Bird Ecology Lab, a collaborative field station focused on bird migration, phenology studies, and public participation in scientific research at Acadia National Park.

Seth's hands-on work includes raptor and songbird migration research, hawk watching, tern restoration efforts, bird flight altitude and wind energy studies, telemetry of wintering bald eagles, catching migratory peregrine falcons at Assateague Island National Seashore, next box monitoring projects with American kestrel, eastern screech owl, and eastern bluebird, and, ecotourism scouting trips to Peru and Mexico.

Winter Birds of Acadia Outing