ALL holds quarterly Happening at NOAA

The Association of Lifelong Learners held its Spring Happening on March 6 at the Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary. The meeting was opened by ALL President Jere Doyle who welcomed members and guests.

Doyle then introduced Dan Vollmar, who with Mark Kinney, gave an update on the progress of the Alpena County Youth and Recreation Millage Fund grant that ALL and the Alpena Public Schools received for 2014. ALL volunteers and Alpena High School students are learning how to build Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) as a part of the class called Shipwreck Alley.

Another training session will be taught by Sarah Waters on April 15, and ALL members can register for this class as listed in the program schedule. Another part of the same program is the class Oral History in Shipwreck Alley: A Progress Report on April 14.

Lee Fitzpatrick, parent involvement coordinator for Alpena Public Schools, next addressed the gathering and appealed for volunteers to assist at the fourth and fifth grade Knowledge Bowl competition to be held May 15 at ACC. Volunteers are needed to act as readers, timers and scorekeepers. Anyone interested in helping should contact Fitzpatrick at 464-6447.

Florence Stibitz recognized Marlene Werda and all the people who coordinated programs over the last year. Coordinators are vital to the success of ALL programs by assuring that presenters, rooms, equipment and attendees are brought together in a timely manner to produce a successful event.

Coordinators were thanked for their efforts and given a token of appreciation. When the business portion of the meeting was concluded, members and guests were treated to a lunch of soup, sandwiches, coffee, punch and various desserts.

The 2014 spring program schedule was also released at the Happening. History seems to be a popular theme this quarter starting April 10 with To and From Alpena a Family History Since 1839 by Marjorie Brandenburg. A history of the blues follows in an open to the public presentation of Nothing But the Blues on April 12 with Allan Grund at the Brush Creek Mill in Hillman.

Oral History in Shipwreck Alley: A Progress Report will be presented by John Caplis and the students of his Shipwreck Alley class at the AHS Auditorium on April 14. Hurricane Katrina occupies a spot in American history and the aftermath and recovery are examined from the personal participation of Harold Ruder in his Hurricane Katrina Slide Presentation on May 1.

Jim Hopp then tells Interesting Stories from the Early History of Rogers City on May 20 at the Rogers City Area Senior and Community Center. Much of Hopp’s program is from his recently published book, “Jewel by the Sweetwater Sea.”

More local history is covered in the presentation, A Pioneer Alpena Mailman by Don Londo on May 22 at Turning Brook. History of the Metz Fire will be detailed during the Metz Fire Tour by Mark Thompson on June 12. Participants will meet for lunch at Karstens Restaurant in Rogers City. There will be charges for lunch and the bus.

Food is always a strong theme every quarter at ALL. Good food and social interactions inspire eager anticipation. A practical aspect is presented by Cheryl Bates in Learning to Cook for a Diabetic Diet on May 7 at the Trinity Episcopal Church Fellowship Hall.

An ethnic touch is provided by Chef Kurt Pratel in German Cooking with Kurt on May 15. Participants will prepare and sample beef roulade and German potato salad.

Three Soups, Three Entrees and Three Desserts will be taught by Mark Thompson on May 28 at the Rogers City Area Senior and Community Center. Participants will learn and sample.

On June 25, Sue Nagy will present Memories and Taste of a Central Europe Tour at the Alpena County Library. Nagy concentrates on the culinary aspect of travel.

This quarter’s Movable Feast is at the new Sand Bar and Grill on the shore of Long Lake on Long Lake Road. This feast is hosted by owners John Fisher and Mark Birmingham on June 25.

Arts and crafts in the spring quarter include Dragonfly or Butterfly Plant Stakes made by participants from stained glass under the guidance of Tina Montgomery at My Glass Wings on April 9. Barb Beem is back to help participants produce an Ink and Scrub Covered Bridge in two sessions on May 8 and 15.

Some people spend too much time indoors during the winter so spring exercise has some appeal. Bill Haase hosts his annual 16-mile Spring Bike Ride exploring the Volger Conservation Area, Rogers City Marina, Hoeft Park and Forty Mile Lighthouse on June 10.

Join Dolores Zelinski for a Hike in the Rockport Recreation Area on June 16. Hikers will visit the cemetery, the ghost town of Bell and make their way to Lake Huron. Zelinski also hosts Volleyball every Friday at the Park Arena.

Two programs this quarter might appropriately be listed under the heading of adventure. The first is Thane Whitscell’s presentation, Through Rain, Sleet and Snow on a Bike on April 7. Whitscell details the challenges of his 77-day bike journey from Yorktown, Va. to Astoria, Ore.

The second program in this category is Sailing on Lake Huron: How Does it Work? by Mark and Nancy Kinney. They will show and tell about their sailboat Sannu, how to sail and some memorable trips to the North Channel and other places.

Taking care is another category this quarter with two presentations. Mental Health First Aid by Tom Hainstock is designed to help people recognize symptoms of mental illness, know available resources and how to help a person in crisis. This program is on April 7 at the Northeast Michigan Community Mental Health Services. On a lighter note is Introduction to Skin Care by Sherryl Kay on June 3.

Two more public programs are Looking at the Second Vatican Council by Father David Greka. This presentation will take a look at the 16 documents of the Second Vatican Council, the reasons behind the convening of the council and the teachings of the council.

Another public program is Lansing Update with Rep. Peter Pettalia on June 9. He will update attendees on recently passed legislation in Lansing as well as review proposed legislation and answer questions.

Carey Rapin’s quarterly Book Lover’s Gathering is on May 29. Participants are invited to come tell about their latest favorite book. Bring a book or two to trade, lend or give away.

Some programs in this spring curriculum are unusually diverse. Many people drive by Alpena’s new water tower but know little about it. Meet at Island Park (or Duck Park) on April 2 and hear Mike Kendziorski tell about the idea behind the water tower and future plans he has for the park.

On April 3, learn about Exchange Students at AHS. Lori Vought and exchange students tell about life and experiences in other countries.

Science on a Sphere with Harriet Smith will focus on global weather patterns as displayed on a room size global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a six-foot diameter sphere. This will be shown at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary on April 3.

Bird lovers will want to attend Maggie Peterson’s presentation on The Kirkland Warbler on April 23. Joe Gentry presents The Problem Solving Approach to economic situations and compares it to strokes of insight or intuition on April 29.

Dr. Olin Joynton returns on June 19, with his quarterly philosophy presentation. The Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr. is detailed as it evolved throughout King’s life.

The final presentation of the spring quarter will be What’s It Like to be Imprisoned by Judy Kalmanek on June 26. The program will be conversation based on the presenter’s experiences while working in a men’s correctional facility.

Ongoing activities include Dominoes “Mexican Train Express,” hosted every Tuesday by Barb and Jerry Meek. Cards, Cards, Cards for bridge play every Friday with Carlene Aliferis coordinating. Focus on Fun Camera Club meets the third Wednesday of every month with Ray Zelinski. All three are at the Madeline Briggs Center.

Attendees must be pre-registered for all programs/activities. Call 358-7207 for additional information.

ALL is active in developing activities and programs for its members and the Alpena community at large. People of all ages are welcome to join. Call 358-7207 or talk to a member to join.