Is Our Food Killing Us?

Presenter: Celeste Wirsig, Neuroscience

Class Dates: Tuesdays,  May 7 – May 28

Class Time: 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Class Location: PHF Conference Center | 655 Research Parkway, OKC Kairos Classroom

Class Cost: $40

Class Description: This course will cover:

  1. How our bodies digest and utilize food
  2. Basic nutrition requirements
  3. A review of all the food additives in current food products that are detrimental to our health, what these additives do to our bodies and how to avoid them.

The course will have a workshop for participants to bring in some of their favorite foods for analysis.

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History of U.S. Intelligence from Colonial America to the Civil War

Presenters: Chris Sartorius and Ula Wildfield, Department of International and Area Studies

Class Dates: Wednesdays,  January 30 – February 20

Class Time: 1 to 3 p.m.

Class Location: PHF Conference Center | 655 Research Parkway, OKC Symposium Classroom

Class Cost: $40

Class Description: This course is designed to trace the history of U.S. intelligence from the American Revolution through the U.S. Civil War. We will explore the creative use of espionage to collect and analyze intelligence to help America gain its independence from Britain as well as counterintelligence activities to uncover spies working against the colonists. We will also see how intelligence was key in helping preserve the Union in a period of great internal crisis. The course will examine the interesting personalities on both sides of the intelligence  war and the fascinating tradecraft employed to ensure critical military and political information reached key decision-makers. Take a step back in time and discover how U.S. intelligence functioned in an era before the United States was a major international player—before the creation of a large, centralized intelligence structure reliant on technical collection capabilities.

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Governor-Elect Kevin Stitt: Who Is This Guy and What Are His Plans for Oklahoma?

Presenter: Cal Hobson

Class Dates: Thursdays,  February 14 – March 7

Class Time: 1 to 3:30 p.m.

Class Location: PHF Conference Center | 655 Research Pkwy, OKC Symposium Classroom

Class Cost: $40

Class Description: Beats me. The only thing I know for sure is what Mr. Stitt HAS promised us for over a year, which is: “Our state’s turnaround starts right here, right now.” Great! Other similarly hopeful hints include his admirable goals of insuring Oklahoma becomes a top-10 state in everything good, reversing our too-often inclusion on lists of everything bad, providing another teacher pay increase, making everyone healthier, improving our infrastructure, never favoring one industry over another (good luck with that) and promising not to raise taxes.  So far, what’s not to like?  However, dozens of hot- or at least warm-button issues related to gun control, school and agency consolidation, abortion, the environment, tribal gaming compacts, reapportionment and many other legislative proposals are sure to end up on his desk for signature or, less likely, a veto. After all, Republicans have earned super majority numbers in both the House and Senate while purging themselves of many Platform Caucus lawmakers and replacing them mostly with teachers. So, what could possibly go wrong during The Outsider’s honeymoon with Sarah and their six as they settle into the mansion?  Kevin Stitt, our 28th Governor, will take office in Jan. 2019 and this seminar starts the same month. Together, we’ll watch his state of the state speech, track early legislative initiatives and hear from guest speakers who know him best. Of course, pollsters, reporters, partisan party promoters and yours truly will also offer opinions and commentary.

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The Issues, Initiatives, and Innovations of Oklahoma City: A City Forum

Class Dates: Wednesdays,  April 10  – May 1

Class Time: 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Class Location: PHF Conference Center | 655 Research Pkwy, OKC Kairos Classroom

Class Cost: $40

Class Description: This class will be a forum-based course featuring Oklahoma City leaders dis- cussing old and new issues facing OKC and its inhabitants.  Each week, a different city leader will meet with OLLI members to talk about issues in city government, economic development, education, and quality of life. Meet with city leaders and dive     into areas such as MAPS, the Boathouse District, how money is spent, and what challenges and opportunities lie ahead for Oklahoma’s capital city.  Some sessions will be held at the PHF Conference Center, while others will be held in locations around Oklahoma City. Members enrolled in this course will be notified weekly of the location.

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The 2019 Oklahoma Legislature

Presenter: Cal Hobson

Class Dates: Thursdays,     April 25  – May 16

Class Time: 1 to 3:30 p.m.

Class Location: PHF Conference Center | 655 Research Pkwy, OKC Symposium Classroom

Class Cost: $40

Class Description: Elections matter, and the 2018 vote reaffirmed the continued demise of the Democratic Party in the Oklahoma Legislature at the state capitol. Here are the numbers: 76 Republicans in the House, 25 Democrats, revealing a net loss of three seats. The math is even worse in the Senate, populated by 39 elephants and only 9 donkeys. This reflects a continuing rejection of the Democratic Party that previously dominated politics in Oklahoma for over 100 years. Yet some pockets of azure can be found in three metropolitan counties—Cleveland, Oklahoma and Tulsa. In rural areas, it’s all blood red except small blobs of blue in distant LeFlore, Ottawa and Sequoyah counties. Worth noting, these pick-up seats were due to crimson-colored incumbent departures. Conversely, Minority Leader and 10-year veteran Steve Kouplen (D) Beggs was dispatched by a Republican challenger who spent NOT ONE PENNY on his campaign for the House. Steve dispensed $37,000 in a losing effort and still had $57,000 unspent in his campaign account when the polls closed.  Ironically, but predictably, the 51-seat advantage Republicans now enjoy in the lower chamber is precisely the number held by Democrats when I first was elected in 1978. So our governing trifecta, that being control of the House, Senate and executive branch, remains in place at the capitol as well as Republican occupancy of every statewide position.  Sounds like cooperation, consensus and harmony will surely reign on 23rd street going forward. But remember, this political power structure is exactly the same that has dominated over the last decade, a period when many lawmakers ran afoul of the law or were turned out of office in record numbers.  So put on your helmet, strap tight a seat belt, maybe even occasionally cover your eyes and ears, but do join Cal Hobson and his special guests for a rollicking good time this spring as we discuss, and sometimes cuss, politics Oklahoma style.

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The Lure of Alaska: Geology, History, Wildlife, Gold, Oil, and the Inside Passage

Presenter: Ken Johnson, Geologist Emeritus

Class Dates: Thursdays,  March 14 – April 11*

*Note: Class will not meet March 21

Class Time: 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Class Location: PHF Conference Center | 655 Research Parkway, OKC | Kairos Classroom

Class Cost: $40

Class Description: This beautifully illustrated Senior Seminar is for YOU, if you fit into any of these three categories:                                                      

  1. You’ve been there, and want to relive the experience
  2. You are going to go there, and want to be prepared for the trip
  3. You never plan to go there, but you wonder what all the fuss is about;

Alaska was formed by volcanic activity and by the accretion of islands and small geologic plates that collided with the northwest coast of North America over the past 200 million years, and geologic processes have emplaced the great stores of gold, oil, and other mineral resources of the state. Glaciers then molded and shaped the landscape we see today and helped set the stage for the variety of wildlife and humans that have inhabited this great American wilderness. For many Americans, their first visit to the 49th state is on a cruise ship from Seattle or Vancouver that goes through the famed “Inside Passage”— a network of passages that weave through islands of British Columbia and southeast Alaska.  Original settlers of Alaska were natives that crossed the Beringian land bridge from Siberia during the Great Ice Age, and those that still live in Alaska are referred to as “Alaskan Natives.” Vitus Bering “discovered” Alaska in 1741 and claimed Alaska for Russia. Russian hunters and fur trappers harvested so many otters, seals, sea lions, walruses, and sea cows that they thought they had annihilated the significant (“fur-bearing”) wildlife. The United States then purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million (about 2 cents per acre), and a few years later gold was discovered in the Juneau area (ohhhh…the Russians must have been mad!). This set off the first rush to Alaska. Then the discovery of gold in the Canadian Klondike in 1896 set off the second great rush, because several access routes to these new gold fields were through the District of Alaska (before it became a territory or a state [1959]). And in 1968, the discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay led to another rush, this time for “black gold.”  Glaciers have carved Alaska into a beautiful and rugged landscape. Phantastique fjords and coastal waters are the home for much of the marine life, including whales, orcas, seals, sea otters, salmon, and halibut—to name a few. And the pristine wilderness has helped preserve large numbers of bald eagles, moose, caribou, and bears (grizzly, black, and polar bears). There also are many reports of Bigfoot-sightings in the vicinity of bars and pubs in the smaller villages—mostly just after closing time.

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