*CANCELED* Inequality and the American Dream Date: Tuesday, July 24, 2018 Time: 5:30 pm-7:00 pm Location: Burr and Burton Academy, Hunter Seminar Room Fee: $15 in advance; $20 at the door
Public discussions and policy debates often mention rising income inequality as one of the greatest challenges. This talk will consider how recent trends in economic inequality shape our local, state, and national communities today. We will discuss how inequalities in income and wealth shape the prospects for upward mobility for future generations. And we will examine whether improving education – long seen as the most forceful way to strengthen social and economic opportunity – can still reduce inequality and its consequences.
*POSTPONED* BREXIT and the European Union Date: Tuesday, July 24, 2018 Time: 5:30 pm-7:00 pm Location: Burr and Burton Academy, Hunter Seminar Room Fee: $15 in advance; $20 at the door
In June 2016, the British people voted to leave the European Union, reversing six decades of diplomacy and initiating one of the most complex negotiations in the history of international affairs. Two years on and the future course of BREXIT remains uncertain. The British public, parliament and government are all divided on the issue and the negotiations with European partners are tense. The UK is set to formally leave the European Union in March 2019. How will the final phase of talks unfold and what does the future hold for the US’ most important allies? This talk will analyze the causes of the BREXIT vote, assess the current negotiations, and explore the potential consequences for both the UK and EU.
Full Moon Speakeasy - Fundraising Event Date: Friday, July 27, 2018 Time: 6:30 pm- Location: Taconic Hotel Fee: $150
Please join us for our Annual Fundraising Event - The Full Moon Speakeasy!
Wild Mushroom Identification and Foraging Workshop #3 Date: Sunday, July 29, 2018 Time: 2:00 pm-5:00 pm Location: Merck Forest and Farmland Center Fee: $15
Chanterelle season is in full bloom! Chef Ian leads the group into Merck Forest to unfold this summer’s golden chanterelle treasures. Come join the fun as we learn proper foraging techniques, safety precautions, field guide knowledge, wild mushroom identification and culinary applications.
The Great Flu Epidemic of 1918: Can We Prevent It Happening Again? Date: Tuesday, July 31, 2018 Time: 5:30 pm-7:00 pm Location: Burr and Burton Academy, Hunter Seminar Room Fee: $15 in advance; $20 at the door
The influenza epidemic of 1918-19, the so-called “Spanish Flu,” was one of the worst pandemics in history. It killed between 20 and 50 million people --- more than died fighting in the First World War, which was raging at the same time. This talk will discuss how it happened; why it was so hard to bring under control; what we have learned about epidemics, immunology and vaccines since then; and how prepared the medical and scientific communities are to prevent a similarly catastrophic outbreak in the future.
Pickleball - Session #3 Date: Thursday, August 2, 2018 Time: 5:30 pm-6:30 pm Location: Equinox Tennis Courts Fee: $30
Pickleball is a racquet sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and ping-pong. Players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a wiffle ball, over a net. The sport shares features of other racquet sports, the dimensions and layout of a badminton court, and a net and rules similar to tennis, with a few modifications. Loads of fun! All levels are welcome. Space is limited in this three-week session.
China’s Xi Jinping: The Next Mao Zedong? Date: Tuesday, August 7, 2018 Time: 5:30 pm-7:00 pm Location: Burr and Burton Academy, Hunter Seminar Room Fee: $15 in advance; $20 at the door
When China's President Xi Jinping was reelected in 2017, Western media called him the “chairman of everything” or the “next Mao Zedong” because of his expanded control over the party apparatus. It is, however, unclear whether he is doing this to fight corruption and poor policy implementation, or to merely to consolidate his own power and rule as a dictator similar to Mao. This talk will attempt to discern between these intentions, and to help us understand how Xi can be expected to respond to changing domestic politics, as well as challenges to China's hegemony from without.
Africa’s Amazing Mystery: The Stone Images of Esie Date: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 Time: 5:30 pm-7:00 pm Location: Burr and Burton Academy, Hunter Seminar Room Fee: $15 in advance; $20 at the door
The Stone Images of Esie (Eh see yeh) of Nigeria are a collection of about 1000 soapstone figures representing men, women, children and animals. Most were broken; many are very skillfully carved. Their origins are unknown. In 1965 as a Peace Corps Volunteer, Phil Stevens was assigned to repair and catalog the images, to research their possible origins, and to supervise the construction of a secure museum complex. This is the story of this amazing mystery, and of Phil’s work to resolve it.
Supreme Court Developments: Blockbuster Decisions, A Retirement, A Nomination, and Prospects Date: Thursday, August 16, 2018 Time: 5:30 pm-7:00 pm Location: Burr and Burton Academy, Hunter Seminar Room Fee: $15 in advance; $20 at the door
In this past momentous term, the nation’s high court rendered rulings on Trump’s travel ban, gerrymandering, labor unions, privacy in the digital age, religious liberty versus gay rights, and other vital issues. If that were not enough to make this an uber-consequential term, it was immediately followed by “swing-vote” Justice Kennedy’s announced retirement. Then, in less than two weeks, President Trump nominated federal appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a favorite of conservatives, to fill the resulting vacancy. This talk will survey these far-reaching developments.
Walk in the Woods: Forests for the Birds Date: Sunday, August 19, 2018 Time: 9:00 am-11:00 am Location: Old Gray Barn, Rupert Fee: $15
This walk in the woods with local Forester Alan Calfee will tour a recent logging operation in East Rupert. The focus will be to explore how forest management practices can be executed with neotropical songbird habitat elements in mind. We will explore forest management activities to reduce invasive plant populations and harvesting approaches to create structural enhancements for neotropical songbird habitat. This logging job was planned according to Audubon Vermont's Forests for the Birds silvicultural strategies. Wear sturdy shoes and come prepared to bushwack a little bit, and hike some moderate slopes. Pre-registration is required space is limited.
Money Laundering Made Simple: What It Is and Why It’s Easy Date: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 Time: 5:30 pm-7:00 pm Location: Burr and Burton Academy, Hunter Seminar Room Fee: $15 in advance; $20 at the door
This session will try to make sense of the wide variety of money laundering beneficiaries, the range of techniques they employ to hide both the origins of their funds and the ultimate uses, and the vast global network of enablers who facilitate the process, such as bankers, attorneys, accountants and even governments. The detailed revelations contained in the so-called “Panama Papers” and “Paradise Papers” would serve to graphically illustrate how the porous and opaque nature of the global financial system makes money laundering easy to pull off and extremely challenging for governments to combat.
Wild Mushroom Identification and Foraging Workshop #4 Date: Sunday, August 26, 2018 Time: 2:00 pm-5:00 pm Location: Merck Forest and Farmland Center Fee: $15
Wild mushroom season is in full swing! Join us for another workshop through the beautiful fungal adventures of Merck Forest. At the height of the foraging season, Chef Ian is confident that our greatest mushroom identification and diversity will unfold during this hunt.
Exploring the Arctic: Its Current Status, Canada and Russia Date: Tuesday, August 28, 2018 Time: 5:30 pm-7:00 pm Location: Burr and Burton Academy, Hunter Seminar Room Fee: $15 in advance; $20 at the door
The Arctic is undergoing rapid change. In this talk we’ll introduce the Arctic nations and the numerous indigenous peoples that live there. We’ll describe the many changes underway. Then we will explore Canada and join an expedition through Sverdrup Pass on Canada’s northernmost land -- Ellesmere Island. Our next stop will be Russia. From Moscow we will take a virtual journey to the decaying port city of Pevek in the Russian Far East and then join an expedition to Russia’s most highly protected nature preserve – Wrangel Island. Art and artifacts of the Arctic will be displayed.