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LIRIC Newsletter

  • General Membership Meeting Report

    Closing out LIRIC’s Fall 2018 sessions at the Greek Orthodox Church was a well-attended General Membership Meeting, followed by a delicious buffet luncheon. Attending members were introduced to the LIRIC Board and given a financial report from Treasurer Marguerite Fredrick, who projected the accompanying pie chart to summarize LIRIC’s annual expenditures. She noted that about three-quarters of the income from dues was spent for the director’s salary and rent to the church for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday classes. Linda Whetzel, Curriculum Committee Chair, recapped the fall programs, described the winter intersession topics, explained the curriculum plans for spring and announced that Canada would be the focus of literary discussions, Friday lectures and films in the fall. A brief Q&A session rounded out the informative one-hour meeting.

  • Great Decisions 2019

    A national grassroots foreign policy discussion program, Great Decisions continues to be America’s largest such discussion program on world affairs. Organized by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA), Great Decisions serves as a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding and informed opinion on US foreign policy and global issues. Annually, the FPA highlights eight of the most thought-provoking foreign policy challenges facing Americans today. LIRIC historically presents these eight Great Decisions topics in its spring line-up of programs. In the upcoming Great Decisions programs this spring, organized by Chris McCormick and to be presented on Thursdays at 10:30 am, these 2019 topics and their respective moderators will include:

    • Refugees and Global Migration
      March 7
      Moderator: Lois Lovisolo
      • Every state in today’s global system has its own laws and policies about who is permitted to cross its borders and how they will do so. Who determines whether someone is a refugee or a migrant? How have different countries reacted to migration?
    • Decoding US-China Trade
      March 14
      Moderator: Muhammad Saleem
      • The US still uses centuries-old numbers to measure trade, which mangles understanding of the US-China trade relationship and shrinks America’s true economic size and competition, while swelling China’s. What tools can the US employ to counter China’s unfair trade practices?
    • Nuclear Negotiation: Back to the Future
      March 21
      Moderator: Mel Radner
      • The Trump administration has brought a new urgency, if not a new approach, to dealing with nuclear weapons. To what degree should past nuclear talks guide future US nuclear arms control regulations? Can the art of the deal apply to stabilizing our nuclear future?
    • The Middle East: Regional Disorder
      March 28
      Moderator: Naomi Eliezer
      • The Trump administration has aligned itself with strongmen in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, which along with Israel have a common goal of frustrating Iranian expansion. What will be the fallout from policy reversals? Does the US see a path forward in troubled states such as Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq?
    • The Rise of Populism in Europe
      April 4
      Moderator: Roseanne Klein
      • Mass migration has directly abetted the rise of populist parties in Europe. Opposition to immigration was the prime driver of support for Brexit; it brought a far-right party to the German Bundestag for the first time since the 1950s and propelled Marine LePen to win a third of the vote in the French presidential election.
    • Cyber Conflict and Geopolitics
      April 11
      Moderator: Lewis Koflowitz
      • Cyber conflict is a new and continually developing threat, which can include foreign interference in elections, industrial sabotage and attacks on infrastructure. Dealing with cyber conflict will require new ways of looking at 21st Century warfare. Is the US prepared to respond to such threats?
    • The US and Mexico: Partnership Tester
      April 25
      Moderator: Ernest Odierna
      • The US and Mexico have a long, intertwined history, with both countries prominently featured in each other’s politics and agendas. The war on drugs, immigration and trade issues have taxed the relationship over the years. What impact will new leadership in both countries have on this crucial partnership?
    • State of the State Department and Diplomacy
      May 2
      Moderator: Joseph Lechowicz
      • During the Trump administration, the usual ways of conducting diplomacy have been upended. Many positions in the State Department have never been filled and meetings with foreign leaders have been undertaken with little advance planning. What effect are these changes having now, and how will they affect ongoing relationships between the US and its allies and adversaries?
  • LIRIC Winter Luncheon a Huge Success

    Dr. Michael Jordan, Chris McCormick, Suzanne Page, Dean Joseph Stabile, Lois Lovosolo From Left: Dr. Michael Jordan, Chris McCormick, Suzanne Page, Dean Joseph Stabile, Lois Lovosolo
    Photo credit: Ira Weinberg

    Louise Shepherd & Marion Carew
    Photo credit: Ira Weinberg

    Kathy Pinella, Kathleen Fredrick, Marguerite Fredrick, Lori Mazzolla Kathy Pinella, Kathleen Fredrick, Marguerite Fredrick, Lori Mazzolla
    Photo credit: Ira Weinberg

    On a scale of 1 to 10, the LIRIC Holiday Luncheon rated an 11! So said the almost 150 members and guests who joined us at the festively decorated Larchmont Shore Club on December 13. Comments centered on the attractive holiday decorations, the sumptuous hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, the delicious luncheon choices, the gracious wait-staff and the welcoming camaraderie and good cheer at every table.

    Nary a complaint was heard, but warm wishes for a “Merry Christ- mas” and “Happy New Year” abounded. The good news is that Luncheon Chair Gail Apfel and her hard-working committee (many, many kudos to all!) are already planning the LIRIC Spring Luncheon for Wednesday, May 15, at the same inviting venue. Photographer Ira Weinberg snapped great shots of members and guests enjoying the hour-long reception, as seen in the accompanying photo gallery.

  • Meet Our Member: Beth Hofstetter

    If your idea of a perfect summer vacation is sharing a beach house on the Jersey Shore with your four adult children, their spouses and twelve grandchildren, you want to meet Beth Hofstetter. Beth and her husband John, also a LIRIC member, look forward to this annual reunion with their clan, who travel from Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire and New York to celebrate their love of family time at the beach. Now Beth and John are “snowbirds,” so the family can also have beach time in the winter!

    Beth grew up in Manhattan, where she recalls playing tennis at Inwood Hill Park and ice skating in Central Park. Her education included majoring in American History at the College of New Rochelle and studying the Russian language, enabling her to accompany her professor to USSR around the time the Berlin Wall was coming down. Beth has remained active in the CNR Alumni/ae Association and loyal to her Ursuline teachers.

    After living in Manhattan when first married, Beth and John moved to Mamaroneck to raise their family. Here, Beth became involved in many community activities while studying for her Master’s Degree in Gerontology. Her volunteer work with the PTA, CCD and League of Women Voters filled her busy schedule to the point that one of her younger children, when asked about his mother’s job, responded, “She goes to a lot of meetings.”

    Beth’s work experience began early as a library page at her local branch of the New York Public Library. Her varied career has included working as an editor of a trade magazine, teaching briefly at the high school level, serving as a counselor for those seeking senior housing, running for public office and managing the local office of State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer.

    After serving as chapter president of the League of Women Voters, Beth was persuaded to run for public office. She was elected as Trustee of the Village of Mamaroneck and served in this capacity for ten years, from 1982 to 1992. This led to her association with Suzi Oppenheimer, then mayor of Mamaroneck, who successfully campaigned to become State Senator. From 1992 to 2009 Beth served as District Manager of Suzi’s local office. In this role she represented the senator at local events and attended more meetings.

    John & Beth Hofstetter John & Beth Hofstetter -- Photo credit: Ira Weinberg

    One monthly meeting Beth most loyally attends is her Mamaroneck Book Club, which started as part of the Newcomers Club. Since 1972 this high-energy community activist has managed to maintain her support of this local group while indulging her love of reading. Beth and John love to take long walks on the weekend – along a beach, in the woods or on a nature trail – and are grateful to have access to so many nature areas. She also loves to travel, although getting there is NOT half the fun anymore!

    At LIRIC, Beth attends many sessions dealing with history, politics and literature, among her favorite interests. Most recently, she led the literary discussion of the novel Norwegian by Night as part of the Scandinavian focus. Leading such discussions allows her to share her enthusiasm with others.

    LIRIC is glad Beth Hofstetter is sharing her high energy with us!

    –Maureen Liptack

  • Member News

    Congratulations and best wishes to Lila Kass, who downsized from a house to a condo here in New Rochelle this past summer! We wish you many happy years!

    Get well wishes to Suzanne Scherer, who had been a member of LIRIC, but did not join this term due to a summer of illness. Suzanne’s comment to us about LIRIC was: “It was like finding a chest of gold coins!” We hope you return to your old “you” and will be back soon to us, Suzanne!

    Sad news: longtime LIRIC member Atha Conte passed away November 8th at the age of 99.

    Our deepest sympathy goes to LIRIC member, Jeanne de Saint Ouen, on the sudden passing of her dear daughter.

    Sympathy to our member, Mary Sayers, on the recent loss of her sister.

    Greg and Diana Koster shared a hand-written letter they received from former longtime LIRIC member, Esther Bedney, who moved away from New Rochelle a few years ago to a home near her daughter and family in snowy Syracuse. We all remember how active Esther was at all our LIRIC presentations, offering many words of wisdom. In her letter she wrote that she misses Greg’s jazz and classical music classes, especially jazz, which reminded her fondly of the musical interaction of the jazz musicians during her early days of courtship in Manhattan. Reminiscing, she continued that her parents came from Greece and spoke only Greek and Hebrew. When she began her first-year college literature class, she was the only student lacking an understanding of Greek mythology and had a lot of catching up to do! (I’m sure if Esther was attending LIRIC this fall, she would have been an active participant in Shirley Radcliffe’s mythology lectures.) On a recent visit with her grandchildren, Esther shared her old and rare books to their great delight.

    Please let me know any newsworthy information (particularly good news) you would like to pass on to our members in the newsletter.

    - Chris McCormick

  • Aging–in–Place Organizations

    Lila Ogman’s continuing series about Aging-in-Place organizations:

    I have to date written four informationals about communities with organized centers for Aging in Place. This article briefly describes two differently organized centers, both with the goal to assist older adults to age in their own homes and remain active, independent and safe in their own surroundings and communities.

    The DeHaven-on-the-Hudson in Yonkers, begun in 2008, has approximately 130 members, who reside in condos and co-ops on the city’s west side. Its services include social activities, friendly home visits, education, information and referrals to social agencies.

    The other organization, The Boxwood Alliance, is headquartered in Mt. Kisco and researches and organizes information about aging in place, which is useful to older folks. Somewhat broader in scope, The Boxwood Alliance serves all the communities in Westchester and Putnam Counties.

    - Lila Ogman

  • Nostalgic Trip to NY Aquarium

    Entrance to New York Aquairum.

    Trip organizer Dianne Heim chose a picture-perfect fall day for the LIRIC visit in early October to the renovated NY Aquarium. The oldest continually operating aquarium in the US, the NY Aquarium first opened in Castle Garden in Battery Park in Manhattan in 1897. Today it’s located on the Coney Island boardwalk, having moved there in 1957. Mary Ann Gallick recalls being “a little girl from the Bronx” and visiting Coney Island and the Aquarium soon after it opened: “My Uncle Bill took me there by subway and I remember seeing ‘Olaf’ the Walrus.”

    Lila Ogman, Judy Osten, Lina Zimmerman and Adrienne Finlay From left: Lila Ogman, Judy Osten, Lina Zimmerman and Adrienne Finlay
    Photo Credit: Ira Weinberg

    Besides catching the show at the Aquatheater and seeing the newest $158 million “Ocean Wonders: Sharks” exhibit with sharks and rays gliding overhead, an experience that Ira and Jo-Anne Weinberg enjoyed immensely, LIRIC members enjoyed a delicious lunch at Tatiana in Brighton Beach. Jo-Anne noted that she had eaten at Tatiana’s before and “was delighted to see that it was still as good as I remembered.”

    But an unexpected treat was the trip down memory lane for those familiar with some of the neighborhoods seen en route. Mary Ann noted that “our driving through Brooklyn was fascinating, as we passed so many visibly ethnic areas and saw an array of architecture in the various neighborhoods. It was fun to overhear fellow travelers reminiscing about when they lived ‘there.’” Jo-Anne explained that “it’s a long way from Westchester to Brooklyn, no matter what your mode of transportation, and we were traveling during rush hour, which seems to start earlier and earlier.”

    A manta ray swims along in a tank.
  • Highlights from Boscobel

    The Boscobel house. Photo Credit: Gil Siegel
    A room inside the boscobel house. Photo Credit: Gil Siegel

    On a picture-perfect November day, about 40 LIRIC members and guests journeyed upstate to Garrison, NY, to visit the Boscobel House and surrounding gardens. Arranged by trip coordinator Dianne Heim, the day-long outing included docent-led tours of the early 19th-century Federal-style estate, leisurely strolls through the spectacular gardens, a delicious buffet luncheon, and, of course, a visit to the newly renovated gift shop, brimming with tempting handmade craft items. Lorraine Rosano confesses she bought several treasures as Thanksgiving and Christmas gifts and was joined in her shopping escapade by many other LIRIC folks.

    But perhaps the most memorable part of the outing was the spectacular Hudson Valley scenery visible in every direction from Boscobel. Gil Siegel captured many views of the vistas and interiors with his trusty camera, as shown in the accompanying photos. Definitely, on this LIRIC trip, a good time was had by all!

    A beautiful view of the hudson river from the house grounds. Photo Credit: Gil Siegel
  • LIRIC’s Wine Tasting

    LIRIC members who attended the October 23 Wine Tasting program learned about and enjoyed four wines selected by wine connoisseur Greg Koster (also our All That Jazz presenter, production editor of the LIRIC newsletter and a LIRIC Jeopardy! Champion!). Greg organized the wine tasting in honor of past president and wine lover Ed Richman, who had presented French wine tasting programs during many LIRIC summer sessions, enjoyed by many members.

    The four wines chosen for the tasting included two full-bodied white wines, a medium-bodied red and a full-bodied red wine. Greg described the growing locale of each wine, explained how to “taste” the wines and noted the character and nuances of each selection. The group tasted and enjoyed:

    • Macon-Lugny “Les Charmes” Chardonnay 2015, a full-bodied Chardonnay from the Burgundy region of France. It is made without aging in oak barrels to preserve its crispness and minerality.
    • J. Lohr Estates “Riverstone” Chardonnay 2016, a Chardonnay from the Central Coast region of California, aged in oak barrels to add a rich creaminess.
    • 90+ Cellars “Lot 143” Cotes du Rhone 2016, a typical southern Rhone blend of Grenache and Syrah grapes.
    • Columbia Crest “H3 Merlot” Horse Heaven Hills 2014, a big, fruity Merlot from Washington State with chewy tannins.


  • Spring Trips Preview

    On Wednesday, March 27th, Dianne Heim, LIRIC’s trip planner, has arranged for New Rochelle Historian Barbara Davis (who gave LIRIC two terrific programs on “Famous Residents of New Rochelle” in November) to conduct a bus tour of New Rochelle, the Queen City on the Sound. “From one end of New Rochelle to the other, every corner, every section of the New Rochelle community tells a fascinating story,” explains Dianne. On this special tour, which begins and ends at the Greek Orthodox Church, the bus will travel to downtown New Rochelle and neighborhood environs. Barbara Davis will reveal the history of New Rochelle events and players, while pointing out homes of famous artists, activists, actors and other notables. She’ll also direct attention to ancient cemeteries, former amusement parks and much more. Midway through the trip, a lunch stop will be made at the Modern Restaurant on Huguenot Street. Look for the trip flyer with price information and registration form in your spring catalog packet.

    Arial view of New Rochelle and harbor.

    Also in your spring packet will be detailed information on another interesting trip Dianne is planning: on April 17 LIRIC will visit the medieval treasures at the Met Cloisters, with lunch at the Seawalk Restaurant. This trip is sure sell out, so reserve as soon as you get the flyer.

    the Met Cloisters.
  • Upcoming IONA Events

    • Thursday, February 7 at noon
      Christopher J. Murphy Auditorium
      (free with LIRIC name tag)
      • Rocky Middleton Jazz Ensemble
        Jazz bassist, Rocky Middleton, assembles an eight-piece band to pay tribute to America’s Jazz Greats. He will address the progression of Jazz from the Atlantic slave trade to our only original art form.
    • Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m.
      Christopher J. Murphy Auditorium
      ($5 with LIRIC name tag)
      • Ajkum Ballet Theatre
        Highlights from Greatest Classical Ballets
        Featuring works from France to Imperial and Soviet Avant-Garde Russia to America from 1869-2016.
    • Sunday, March 10 from 1–3 p.m.
      Brother Kenneth Chapman Gallery
      655 North Avenue
      • Opening Reception
        SHE Voices: Expressions of Femininity
        Three artists – Esther Kong Lo, Gloria Nixon-Crouch, and Judith Weber – explore female themes using earth mediums to celebrate Women’s History Month.
    • Thursday, April 11 at noon and Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m.
      Christopher J. Murphy Auditorium
      ($5 with LIRIC name tag)
      • Iona College Dance Ensemble
        Space and Places
        Annual spring concert showcases diverse dances, including modern, contemporary, jazz and theatrical.
    • Tuesday, April 16 from noon–2 p.m.
      Brother Kenneth Chapman Gallery
      655 North Avenue
      • Opening Reception
        The Visual Arts Student Exhibition
        Curated by the Visual Arts Faculty
        Artwork in photography, sculpture, drawing and painting.
    • Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m.
      Friday, April 26 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
      Saturday & Sunday, April 27 & 28 at 2 p.m.

      Doorley Auditorium
      ($5 with LIRIC name tag)
      • Iona College Theater Ensemble
        The School for Wives by Moliere
        Directed by Professor Thomas Donnarumma
        Moliere, the great master of French farce, crafts the swift unraveling of a pompous man’s plan to mold the perfect wife.
    • Saturday,April 27 at 8 p.m.
      Christopher J. Murphy Auditorium
      (free with LIRIC name tag)
      • The Symphony of Westchester
        All-American Music Program
        Featuring Copland’s Appalachian Spring: Suite and Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F Major.
  • Upcoming LIRIC Events

    • Friday, March 1
      • LIRIC Spring Semester begins
    • Tuesday, March 12
      • Bring A Friend to LIRIC Day
        Beginning at 10:30 a.m., LIRIC invites you to bring a friend or neighbor to a LIRIC program. (Please do not bring guests to the Writing Workshop or to Tai-Chi.) Since other members will be bringing guests, March 12 will provide the perfect opportunity to welcome many potential new members. Although not required, please email Suzanne at to let her know how many guests you’ve invited.
    • Tuesday, March 19
      • Lotus Flower Lantern Workshop
    • Wednesday, March 27
      • LIRIC Tour of New Rochelle
    • Wednesday, April 17
      • LIRIC Trip to the Met Cloisters
    • Thursday, May 2
      • General Membership Meeting
    • Wednesday, May 15
      • Spring Luncheon at Larchmont Shore Club
    • Sunday, September 8
      • Open House at Iona
    • Wednesday, October 30
      • An American in Paris
        at Westchester Broadway Theater