Phone:(703) 503-3384


About OLLI E-News

OLLI E-News was created by Rod Zumbro, who served as its editor from 2005 to 2013.

Editorial Staff
Chief Editor/Technical Editor: Irene Osterman
Associate Editor:
Weekly Editorial Team: Pat Bangs, John Nash, Paul Van Hemel, Sheri Siesseger, Leslie Vandivere
Proofreaders: John West, Gordon Canyock, Susan Van Hemel Backup Chief Editor: Sheri Siesseger

Submissions. Members are encouraged to submit letters to the editor, letters to Ms. Ollie Ettakit (on etiquette matters), OLLI-related news items, articles and photos. Submit material to:
Deadline – 6:00 pm Tuesday for that week’s issue (6:00 pm Monday for letters to the editor); early submissions are greatly appreciated. Please limit articles to about 250 words.
Note: You can view past issues of OLLI E-News on the DocStore. To search the content of issues, use Search Our Site or put your search term in Google followed by “” without the quotes.

OLLI E-News May 8,2015
Print a condensed .pdf copy of this newsletter, two web pages per sheet of paper.
OLLI members enjoy the annual picnic on May 1.

May 8, 2015

Editor of the Week: John Nash
Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

Meet Your Delegate: David Bulova 
David Bulova will be visiting Tallwood and speaking to OLLI members on Wednesday, May 13, at 2:15. Bulova represents Virginia's 37 District where Tallwood and Mason are located. Please sign up for class #973, “Your State Government --  Current Issues and How to Be an Effective Advocate for Your Community.” Space is limited.


Office of Elections Representatives to be at Tallwood on May 29
Representatives of the Office of Elections will be available to answer questions on how you can become an election officer in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Representatives will be at Tallwood at 10:00 on May 29.

The office is recruiting voters to serve as election officers a few days a year, including the upcoming general election on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Election officers are needed at each of the 240 precincts in Fairfax County to run the polls and assist the voters.

In order to be an election officer, you must:

·        Be fluent in English

·        Be a registered voter in the Commonwealth of Virginia

·        Be able to fulfill the federal I-9 employment eligibility requirements

·        Attend a 3-hour training class

·        Arrive at the polling place at 5:00 am and remain until all work has been completed after the polls close at 7:00 pm

·        Have basic computer skills

Election officers are offered a stipend of $175 for serving a full day. Bilingual citizens are encouraged to serve as language assistance is needed in many precincts. Residency in Fairfax County is not required. It is a wonderful opportunity for those interested in the election process or public service. Civic-minded individuals can help make Election Day a success! To apply, call the elections office at 703-324-4735. You can also email for more information. 

E-News Vacation
After the OLLI E-News publication on Friday, May 15, the next publication will be May 29. Weekly publication will resume on June 12.

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Annual Business Meeting Report

By Irene Osterman, Board Secretary

Glenn Kamber opened the May 1 business meeting with a discussion of our upcoming 25th anniversary. This provides an opportunity to reflect on who we are and what we want people to know about us. In pondering this, Glenn concluded that a major aspect of our OLLI is being an engagement organization. We are not just about classes but provide social engagement to our members. Going forward it is important to bring our newer members into this OLLI-Mason community.

Jennifer Disano then reviewed our current status, the past year and our needs. Jennifer emphasized that we are a volunteer-run organization and participation is vital. She discussed the major accomplishments of the past year: the new registration system, the much needed repairs at Tallwood generously funded by the university, opening of the new Loudoun location at Signal Hill, the increase in social activities at Reston and the enhanced partnership with the Reston Community Center. She also noted that finding new venues (Lord of Life at Fairfax and Clifton) which have resolved the severe parking congestion at Tallwood and safety issues with members parking across Roberts Road. Jennifer also reviewed things being done to engage with Mason, the City of Fairfax and Fairfax County and the steps being taken to increase collaborative intergenerational exchanges. To see Jennifer’s slide presentation, click here.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Martha Scanlon, chair of the Nominating Committee, moderated a time when each candidate for election to the Board of Directors gave a brief statement summarizing his or her qualifications and goals for the position. The statements were followed by a period in which the candidates answered questions from OLLI members present at the meeting.

Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue (Virginia Task Force 1) Visits OLLI

 Martha Powers, OLLI Member 

Did you know that Fairfax County is home to an internationally renowned search and rescue team? Virginia Task Force 1 is comprised of 210 highly trained and equipped firefighters, paramedics, physicians, structural engineers, and other specialized experts, plus a crew of six sniffer dogs. Last week, 57 members of this elite force flew to Nepal on short notice, where they immediately went to work in hopes of rescuing survivors of the recent earthquake there.
Five days after the quake, the team hit pay dirt. Working with Los Angeles County rescue workers and Nepali police, they helped extricate a young man named Pemba Tanang from the rubble where he had been buried alive. He was thirsty but otherwise unharmed, and wearing a New York Yankees t-shirt. He was the first live rescue that the Fairfax County team made in Nepal.
Meanwhile, here on the home front, Deputy Chief Charles Ryan of the Task Force addressed a full house at OLLI in Fairfax, on Wednesday, April 29. His presentation included photos just released from Nepal, as well as a thorough explanation of how his amazing team functions. After his talk, he was peppered with challenging questions from OLLI audience members, and he earned a resounding round of applause.
It’s not every day that we get to meet our local heroes, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is honored to have had that opportunity. Kudos to Stephanie Trachtenberg, the OLLI member who arranged this special event.
Please be sure to support our Fairfax Country Urban Search and Rescue as they continue to work in Nepal.


Come One, Come All to OLLI's Creative Aging Festival Events!

Alice Slayton Clark, OLLI Communications Associate/Registrar

If you haven’t signed up for the OLLI Creative Aging Festival events, now is the time! There is still space available in our three fantastic events:
OLLI Players Performance
“The Changing Seasons of Life”
Festival participants will enjoy listening to a story reflecting the lives and memories of the OLLI Players, accompanied by violin and guitar.  Friday, May 15, from 1:00-2:30
(Special Event 975). 
Tai Chi Class
Festival participants will experience meditation in motion as part of a Tai Chi martial arts class led by Dr. Jerry Cheng.  Thursday, May 21, from 2:15-3:15 
(Special Event 991). 
Arts Open House Extravaganza
Festival participants will be treated to a smorgasbord of OLLI creative arts, including performances by the OLLI Poetry Workshop, Tallwood Trio, Recorder Consort, Singing for Fun, and lovely images from the Photography Club, Sketching and Drawing, Crafts and Conversation and more. Enjoy free coffee and home-made baked treats sold by the Development Committee to raise money for the Friends of OLLI. Buy them for yourself, friends or a dinner party that weekend!  Friday, May 29, from 10:00-Noon.
(Special Event 992) 
These three events are a wonderful way for members to dabble in OLLI’s creative side. And they are a great way to showcase OLLI’s offerings to the public. If you have a friend, neighbor or social group that you think might be interested in sampling OLLI, bring them along!   
Registration couldn’t be easier. If you are an OLLI member, sign-up through the member portal or an add/drop form in the Tallwood office. (Click on the creative aging festival button). If you are bringing a friend, simply call the Tallwood office at 703-503-3384 with their name and address.


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Inside OLLI-Mason

A Day in the Life of Karen Nash:  OLLI’s “Institutional Knowledge”  

By Betty Murphy, OLLI staff writer

Have you ever wondered who keeps OLLI’s financial gears turning smoothly? That talented and experienced person is Karen Nash, who serves as the finance associate for all three OLLI campuses.

Karen pays OLLI’s bills, handles the 16 employees’ payroll, taxes and 403b contributions as well as the quarterly payroll tax reports and annual W-2s. One of Karen’s major responsibilities is to track who has paid dues and who hasn’t, providing that membership information to the executive director, Jennifer Disano. She works with the Finance Committee and prepares necessary financial reports before each monthly Board meeting. If the yearly audit is approaching, she gathers all the necessary documentation and financial information for the previous year. 

In a typical day, Karen responds to telephone calls and emails and performs her many and varied tasks. She reviews and pays bills. She coordinates bus arrangements for any upcoming trips as inputs to each term’s catalog and calculates the cost per member of those trips. She continually updates financial spreadsheets and records. As a key member of a small staff, Karen finds that it’s often hard getting everything done with so many demands, especially when class catalogs are going into production and yearly audits are due.

One of Karen’s recent challenges was helping implement the new OLLI registration system. Her close work with the previous registration system helped her advocate for various kinds and levels of user support to help members learn and use the new system. She recognized that members have a range of computer experience and, therefore, a range of needs for assistance with the new system.

Karen likes the flexibility of her schedule. She works at OLLI three days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and spends Tuesdays and Thursdays working at a for-profit company. What she finds most interesting is the “opportunity to get a good overview” of what’s going on within OLLI. A 10-year veteran of the OLLI staff, she “enjoys working with OLLI members” and getting to know more about their “interesting backgrounds.” Karen says, “I really enjoy working for OLLI. It’s a good place to work and it’s fun.”


The Fifth Annual Joseph Miller Abstract Photography Exhibit

By Susan Van Hemel, staff writer

Did you know that the greater DC area has its own regional abstract photography exhibit? It is the creation of Joseph Miller, a well-known photography teacher/mentor, lecturer, writer and judge in Northern Virginia, in collaboration with the Northern VA Association of Camera Clubs. Miller’s Center for the Photographic Arts in Gainesville hosts the annual abstract exhibit.

According to Miller, “. . . abstracts are non-representational and do not rely upon recognizable subject matter, but rather consist of colors, tones, shapes and textures. If the image has an obvious subject, it is not an abstract.” But all entries must originate as photographs of something! This challenge brings out the creativity and artistic talents of photographers to produce a marvelous collection of striking images. You can see images from previous years’ exhibits at This year’s images will be posted soon on that site.

Each year, invitations go out to local camera clubs, including the OLLI Photography Club, soliciting entries for the juried exhibit. This year, 469 images were submitted by 115 photographers, of which 120 images in total were selected for the exhibit. Seven OLLI Photo Club members (Dan Feighery, Jean Feighery, Ed Parker, Tom Simpson, Caroline Stevens, Paul Van Hemel, and Susan Van Hemel) had images exhibited this year, and Dan Feighery received a special merit award for his image “RGB Arches.”

The annual exhibit is a wonderful presentation of beautiful and creative work by local photographic artists, and is well worth the trip to Gainesville to see it. This year’s exhibit is free and open to the public from noon to 6:00 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in May, closing on Memorial Day. The gallery is at 4811 Catharpin Rd, Gainesville, VA, just a few miles from Rte 29.

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Lost & Found & Phones & Eyeglasses

By Wendy Campbell, OLLI Member

Did you lose something? The unclaimed contents of Tallwood’s Lost & Found box are donated at the end of each term, so now is the time to claim anything you might have lost in recent weeks. The box is located under the desk by the refrigerator in the Social Room.
Bring us your tired, your poor...especially your old cell phones!
If you have glasses or a cell phone you no longer need and you’d like to see them go to a good cause, please bring them to the Social Room and deposit them in the boxes under the desk marked “Eyeglasses” or “Cell Phones.”  We’ll see that they are donated appropriately.

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Requesting Program Ideas

By Kathryn Russell and Russell Stone,
Program Committee Co-Chairs

Our electronic version of Program Idea Week opens now and will be available for a week (at least). Here’s your opportunity to suggest future OLLI courses and/or special events. Is there a course you would like to teach or organize? A great teacher you want to hear (or hear again)? A course you would like to see offered? An event you think would interest your fellow OLLI members? Please tell us or contact any of the Program Planning Group chairs listed on page iv of each course catalog. To submit your ideas online, simply click or go to:

We look forward to receiving your ideas.
            Kathryn Russell  e-mail:
            Russell Stone     e-mail:
                    Program Co-Chairs

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Computer Club


By Paul Howard, Computer Club Coordinator   

The Computer Club (OLLI Personal Computer User Group, or OPCUG) will meet with its partner, the Potomac Area Technology and Computer Society (PATACS), on Saturday, May 16 at Tallwood. Join us at 12:30 for soft drinks and socializing in the social room. The program will begin at 1:00.
The first presentation will be by Dr. Patrick Gillevet from George Mason University who will speak on "The Selfish Microbiome." Most people are aware that their gut plays host to various communities of microbes that aid in digestion and other vital functions in a symbiotic relationship that benefits both people and bacteria. These microbial communities are beneficial and even necessary to their human hosts, but sometimes get out of balance resulting in illness in the host.
The human microbiome is an integral component of the entire human ecosystem and has far-reaching involvement in social behavior, reproduction, growth, cognition, and many diseases. Like the ‘selfish gene’, which uses individuals to propagate itself, the microbiome uses us to propagate itself, fortunately for the benefit of both organisms. Computers play an essential role in the computational analysis of non-linear systems in ecological modeling relevant to our subject.
Dr. Gillevet has been the lead scientist at the Environmental Biocomplexity and Ecology Group at George Mason University since 1996.
In the second presentation, Gabe Goldberg will talk about "Learn 30: Amazon Firestick." Gabe will look at a relatively new technology arrival, Amazon's Fire TV Stick. This is a simple and inexpensive device which plugs into a TV set and receives streaming content over WiFi from one's own Internet connection. It can play many "channels" (each of which includes broad/deep material) such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Gabe is a technology writer, editor, and consultant who focuses on audiences from consumers to computer professionals.
See full details on the May 16 meeting by clicking here. For information on the Computer Club, see the OPCUG website. OPCUG dues of $5 for 2015 will be collected at this meeting.
Can't make the meeting in person? Dues-paid club members may attend via Zoom's cloud meeting service, beginning at 12:45. Send a message to if you plan to attend in this way. Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android:

For information on the Computer Club, see the OPCUG website.

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The OLLI Book Club


Ceda McGrew, Book Club coordinator

The OLLI Book Club will meet at 1:30 on Wednesday, May 13, at Tallwood. All OLLI members are welcome.

The book for discussion is Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. It is the story of two women whose paths cross in Spruce Harbor, Maine in 2011. Vivian Daly is an elderly widow who in 1929 traveled from New York City to rural Minnesota on an orphan train after her Irish immigrant family died in a tenement fire. Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer who has spent most of her life in foster care has been assigned a community service project to help Vivian clean out her attic. 


The book for discussion in June is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

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Poet's Corner
Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop

           Open Sesame
           When I approach
           an automatic door
           I want to say
           Open Sesame
           as if I have the magical power
           to unlock an entrancing path
           to my treasure.
           Sometimes I actually
           do speak the incantation
           gesturing to emphasize my power
           pretending that I
           the great and magnificent
           control the gateway
           to my destiny.
                                 Carolyn F. Wyatt

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Carr “Jack” Whitener
On Thursday, April 16, Carr Whitener passed away peacefully at the Adler Care Center in Aldie, VA. A 1951 graduate of the Naval Academy achieving rank of colonel in the US Air Force, he enjoyed a life of exemplary honor, sacrifice and dedication to his family and his nation. He was a long-time OLLI member who served on the program committee to obtain outstanding speakers for OLLI classes. Memorial services will be held on Saturday, May 23, at 4:00 at the Springfield United Methodist Church, 7047 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield, 22150-2804. OLLI members are invited to attend.



Ivan Dietrich

A service is planned at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fairfax at 11:00 on Friday, May 8, to celebrate the life of Ivan Dietrich, a long-time OLLI member. A lunch reception will follow. (The church is located at 8922 Little River Turnpike at the end of Guinea Road as you approach Rt 236. Go across 236 toward the Jewish Community Center and turn left onto the access road. Go past the fire house and the church is the next building on the right.) Dietrich will be buried in Hershey, PA.


Nancy Dietrich thanks OLLI members for all of the prayers and comforting messages.

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Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, next ten days

By Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

For tickets for either Center for the Arts or Hylton, call 1-888-945-2468, buy tickets online through the event calendar (see links below), or visit the venue's box office. For more information see the CFA ticket page or the Hylton ticket purchase page.
At the Fairfax Campus Venues

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
Sat, May 9, 8:00
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 24
Stanislav Khristenko, piano
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.5
Concert Hall
Admission: $55, $45, $27.
Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel: Rachmaninoff and Friends
Sun, May 10, 7:00
Concert Hall
Admission: $40, $34, $24.

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Mason Student & Faculty Performances
(see for additional student recitals)

Mason Film Festival
Fri, May 8, 5:30 and 7:15
Sat, May 9, 12:00, 2:30, 4:45 and 7:00
Johnson Center Cinema
Admission: Free.
School of Music Honors Recital
Sat, May 9, 8:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.
At the Hylton Center (Manassas Campus)

Manassas Senior Center Art Exhibit
Apr 21 - May 10
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery is open to the public Tue-Sat, 10:00 - 6:00, Thu, 10:00 - 8:00 and two hours before performances. Gallery Reception: Thu, May 7 from 6:00 to 8:00. RSVP to
Admission: Free.
Manassas Symphony Orchestra: Sonus
Sat, May 9, 7:30
Merchant Hall
Admission: Adults, $20; seniors, $14.
Swing Machine: Big Band Goes to the Movies!
Sat, May 9, 7:30
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: Adults, $29; seniors, $20.
Manassas Ballet Theatre: Giselle
Fri, May 15 and Sat, May 16, 7:30
Sun, May 17, 3:00
Merchant Hall
Admission: $55, $45, $35.
Paul Reisler with Lea Morris & Marshall Keys
Sat, May 16, 8:00
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: $25.
2nd Annual Juried Art Show
May 17 - June 28
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery is open to the public Tue-Sat, 10:00 - 6:00, Thu, 10:00 - 8:00 and two hours before performances.
Admission: Free.
For further details on any of the above events, please see the CFA event calendar and the Hylton Center event calendar.
Mason Highlights

Other Mason events, next two weeks

By Helen Ackerman, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

Art Project. Temple of Transformance. The Temple of Transformance is a 20-foot handcrafted pagoda being constructed on Mason Pond, which has become a canvas for people’s stories of remembrance, loss and healing. The project will culminate in setting fire to the temple, allowing those stories and struggles to be let go. It will burn as it floats on Mason Pond. Fri, May 8, 8:00. Mason Pond. Free.

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Meetings & Clubs

The following list covering the next two weeks is extracted for your convenience from the master online calendar maintained by the office, with direct web links added when available. The list is accurate as of mid-week but to check anytime for the latest information, please view the latest forecast of upcoming events on our website (News/OLLI Calendar). Note: All OLLI members are welcome at, and encouraged to attend, meetings of the Board of Directors, committees and resource groups, Kickoff Coffees, etc. (bolded below).
Sat May 2 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Tue May 5 10:00am Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Wed May 6  1:30pm
Mah Jongg Club–TA-2
Bridge Club–TA-3
Special Events Committee–Annex
History Club–TA-1
Fri May 8  9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Photography Club–TA-1
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Classic Literature Club–TA-2
Homer, etc–Annex
Member Services Committee–TA-1
Sat May 9 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Tue May 12 10:00am Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Wed May 13  1:30pm
Book Club–TA-2
Bridge Club–TA-3
Art & Music Program Planning Group–Annex
Thu May 14 11:05am Loudoun Program Planning–Rm 209
Fri May 15  9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Classic Literature Club–TA-2
Homer, etc–Annex

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