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Past Events at CDHS 2015

This page lists recent lectures and events. It includes a brief description plus a link to a complete summary.


Bruce Roter:

The Albany Museum of Political Corruption
December, 2015

Bruce Roter, our December speaker, is the impresario of the planned Albany Museum of Political Corruption. This is not a joke – but a real project, with the museum’s opening currently projected for 2019. Roter is a Music Professor at the College of St. Rose. Why is a music teacher heading up a political corruption museum? Well, somebody had to.


Dr. Curt Stager:

Climate Change on Earth: The Long Term View
November, 2015

Dr. Curt Stager spoke to us about climate change on earth. But he made certain to stress that his goal was not to look at short term climate change (over the next 90-100 years) but rather long term change covering the next 100 thousand years or so. He also explained that climate is very different from weather as climate describes a more generalized pattern of local weather.


Walter Auclair

Review of Matthew Stewart's book "Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic."
October, 2015

Stewart started his working life as a management consultant, which he claims requires no great knowledge or study. After the success of his first career, he started writing. His studies took him into reading about the mental state and interests of the settlers in America just before, during, and after the time of the revolution. He became interested in why so many people today tout America as a “Christian Nation”, in spite of the fact that so many of the statesmen of the time wrote articles and letters that indicated a very different view of their mindset during the young years of this Nation.


Sheldon Solomon

“The worm at the core – the role of death in life.”
September, 2015

Dr. Sheldon Solomon, a psychology professor at Skidmore College, is an old friend of CDHS and spoke about one of our favorite topics: “The worm at the core – the role of death in life.”



Stephen G. Levy Esq-

Probate in New York
August, 2015

Our August speaker was Stephen G. Levy, an Albany “elderlaw” attorney specializing in estate planning and administration. He is also president of Ohav Shalom Apartments. Mr. Levy’s aim was to explain the probate process – the transfer of assets owned by a deceased person, when that transfer is under court supervision.



Dr. Julien Musolino-

"Soul Fallacy"
July, 2015

Julien Musolino is with the Psychology Department at Rutgers University, and discussed his recent book, The Soul Fallacy. He began by showing us a commercial. In a car crash, the driver is dead, and we see his filmy soul leave his body and ascend presumably to Heaven. His passenger’s soul is thinking about doing likewise; but the guy wakes up, unbuckles his seat belt, and lives. Then the message: “Heaven can wait. Buckle up.” [FSR: Musolino did not note the absurdity: if one IS going to Heaven, why wait?]



Edie Sennett-Jozwiak-

Choosing a Long Term Care Facility
June, 2015

Edie Sennett-Jozwiak is Director of Social Services for the Albany County Nursing Home, and formerly was an Ombudsman Coordinator for the American Red Cross. Her presentation was titled “Choosing a Long Term Care Facility;” but she chose to label it a “conversation” rather than a “talk.” And indeed there was much back-and-forth.



Carl Strock-

The Search for "True Faith”
May, 2015

Carl Strock is a former journalist with much Far East experience. For many years he was a columnist for the Schenectady Gazette, and wrote a wonderful memoir about that, From D’Burg to Jerusalem. He currently blogs for the Times-Union. His slide show presentation was titled (somewhat facetiously) “Search for the True Faith – Around the World with Carl and Pearl” (his wife).



Elizabeth Hitt-

“Homelessness in the Capital Region.”
April, 2015

Elizabeth Hitt has been Executive Director of Albany’s Homeless and Travelers Aid Society (HATAS) since 2010. Hitt has personal acquaintanceship with the problem of homelessness: she spent eight months homeless herself, after serving six years in the U.S. Army. This is not atypical; in fact, she noted, a majority of homeless men are veterans -- who tend to be difficult to help because of their pride. When homeless herself, Hitt never spent a night in a shelter.



Gregg Bell-

“The Danger of Oil Trains Through Albany.”
March, 2015

Our March speaker – a last minute replacement for the one originally scheduled – was Gregg Bell, of PAUSE – People of Albany United For Safe Energy. The concern is over oil trains going through Albany, a key transit point. Bell noted that such transportation by rail was happening only to a minor extent until about three years ago; the change is a consequence of the exploitation of the Bakken oil fields, traversing Canada and North Dakota, by means of newly advanced hydrofracking technology. The geographical remoteness of this production makes rail transport the only economic option.



Professor Mathias Vuille-

“The Science of Climate Change – Separating Fact From Fiction.”
February, 2015

On a snowy February day we heard from Associate Professor Mathias Vuille of the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University of Albany, on “The Science of Climate Change – Separating Fact From Fiction.” He started by identifying what he deemed to be four fundamental questions: Why and how is the climate changing? What are the global impacts? More immediately, how might it affect the Northeastern U.S.? And what should we do about it?



Assembly member Patricia Fahy-

“Legislative Challenges in Albany”
January, 2015

Our January speaker was Albany’s state Assembly member Patricia Fahy, who talked about her background, election, and legislative challenges. She described the Assembly as a very partisan place, totally controlled by the Democratic majority.



[Past Events 2014]

[Past Events 2013]

[Past Events 2012]

[Past Events 2011]

[Past Events 2010]

[Past Events 2009]

[Past Events 2008]

[Past Events 2007]

[Past Events 2006]

[Past Events 2005]

[Past Events 2004]

[Past Events 2003]

[Past Events 2002]

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