2021 Winter Programs

Registration is required for these for these programs, unless listed as a public event.
The Zoom links will be sent to registered participants prior to the event dates;
public event links will be on the website.




Presenter:        Chuck Gillies
Chuck Gillies is a former member of 5CLIR, now moved to Pennsylvania. Chuck led a group of 5CLIR members in the 2012 Sesquicentennial Civil War Symposium with Eric Foner and others. He also led a 5CLIR group to Gettysburg and moderated several Lincoln/CW seminars.
Dates:            Tuesdays, January 19 and 26
Time:            1:30 PM
Group size:   25

Imagine a President elected by a minority of the popular vote, but with an electoral college majority, committed to a controversial viewpoint on major issues of the day – what could go wrong? Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1861 with less than 40% of the national vote but almost 60% in the Electoral College. He was committed to “no extension of slavery in the territories” that was, perhaps, opposed by a majority of the population. A passionate minority believed his election was a sufficient cause to break the Union, something Lincoln believed to be unconstitutional. What would he do, how would he manage it and why did it lead to war? What was slavery’s role in the developing story? What can history teach us about modern affairs?


Host:             Suzette Jones (email)
Dates:            Wednesdays, January 6, 13, 20, and 27
Time:            1:00-3:00 PM
Group size:   12

This is a Zoom get-together for anyone who knits, crochets, sews, hooks rugs, or does handiwork of any kind. Let’s share ideas and information as well as just conversation and each other’s company.

ENCORE (an Ongoing Program–resumes in January, continues through spring)

Presenter:     Martha Hanner (email)
Topic:           Neolithic Stonehenge: The Brooding Giants of Salisbury Plain
Date:             Tuesday, January 12, 2020 DATE CHANGED TO FRIDAY, FEB. 12
Time:            11:00 AM- Noon
Group size:   No Limit

Many stone circles exist across Britain, but Stonehenge is the most famous. For centuries, its construction and purpose have been debated. Now, archeological excavations combined with modern technology are revealing some of its secrets. Stonehenge was built in 2 main stages, ca. 3000 BCE and 2500 BCE. I will describe some of the discoveries, including the source of the mysterious bluestones, 230 km away in Wales, the analysis of cremated bone fragments buried under the bluestones, the excavation of a nearby Neolithic settlement dating from 2500 BCE and how pig bones tell us when the workers feasted.


Moderators: Cheryl (Sherry) Wilson (email) and Margaret Russell (email)
Sherry is a member of The Garden Club of Amherst. She wrote a regular garden column for the Daily Hampshire Gazette for many years.
As a volunteer, Margaret Russell created and helps maintain gardens at the Garden House at Look Park.
Dates:           Thursdays, January 21, 28 and February 4, 11
Time:            1:30-3:00 PM
Group Size: 10, plus moderators

By mid-winter, when the ground is still frozen, gardeners are eager to look ahead, pore over their print and online catalogues, order seeds, and think about the improvements they will make when spring arrives. This roundtable is for those gardeners. The goal is to share successes and failures and to learn from each other.

Each week will have a focus: Fun and Frustration in the Garden; Edibles; Trees and Shrubs, and Inspiration.

Participants will each speak for a few minutes on the week’s topic, mentioning their favorites, challenges, and maintenance tips. This will be followed by discussion prompted by participants’ questions and suggestions.


Host:             Ruthie Kosiorek (email)
Dates:           Thursdays, January 14, 21, 28, February 4, 11, 18
Time:            1:30 PM
Group size:   14

Each week the moderator will introduce one or more puzzles about topics involving the central arts of painting, music, sculpture, dance and drama. Some will be actual cases, and some will be hypothetical, but there will be no wrong answers to these puzzles. There will be no presentations or written papers required. Active participation expressing the feelings, beliefs and opinions of the members of the group should elicit lively and thoughtful discussions about these topics.



Presenter:     Jay Russell, for Part 1 (email)
Dates:           Tuesday, February 9 and Wednesday, February 10
Time:            1:30-2:45 PM
Group Size:  25

LIR continues its programming regarding the Supreme Court with three scheduled sessions. The first two sessions, presented by Jay Russell, will review a selection of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s notable majority and dissenting opinions from her 27-year tenure on the U. S. Supreme Court. The cases presented will include United States v. Virginia (admission of women to VMI), Olmstead v. L. C. (mental illness as a disability under the ADA), Shelby County v. Holder (Voting Rights Act), and cases concerning reproductive rights. Jay will summarize the facts and issues and focus on RBG’s opinion in each case. Following Jay’s presentation of each case, there will be a period for questions and discussion.

Presenters:    Ben Jaffee, Jay Russell, and Tyll van Geel, for Part 2
Date:             Wednesday, February 17
Time:            1:30-3:00 PM
Group Size:  25

This third session will take up the cases decided by the Court during its current session as well as significant cases pending decision. Of central importance will be the implications of Coney Barrett’s ascent to the seat that had been occupied by Justice Ginsburg.



Presenter:    Seunghee Cha of Bulkey, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP
Date:             Monday, February 8
Time:            1:30-3:00 PM
Group size:   25

Advanced directives – durable powers of attorney, living wills, MOLST forms, health care proxies, and HIPAA authorizations – are necessary to assure that your wishes for medical care are attended to and that your family or friends have the legal authority to execute those wishes. Seunghee Cha will discuss the nature of these documents, their execution, storage, and distribution.