Agenda Departments


Lectures, Tours at Springfield Museums

December: The Springfield Museums’ monthly tour and lecture schedule continues in December with the popular Museums à la Carte lectures, which take place each Thursday at 12:15 p.m. in the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. Admission is $4 ($2 for members of the Springfield Museums); visitors are invited to bring a bag lunch (cookies and coffee are provided). For more information about Museums à la Carte, call (413) 263-6800, ext. 488. This month’s lectures include “Secrets of Leonardo da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks Revealed” (Dec. 3), in which Andrew Linnell, author and lecturer from the University of Michigan, unlocks the riddles of da Vinci’s two mysterious paintings of the Virgin Mary; “Cabinets of Curiosity: Historical and Contemporary Interpretations” (Dec. 10), in which Heather Haskell, director of the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts and the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, provides historical context for the current exhibit at the George Walter; and “The Star of Bethlehem: Investigating an Ancient Mystery” (Dec. 17), in which Richard Sanderson, curator of Physical Science, Springfield Science Museum, and Jack Megas, planetarium educator, Springfield Science Museum, explore one of history’s most enduring mysteries. No à la Carte lectures will be held on Dec. 24 or Dec. 31. As part of the Museums’ members-only Continuing Conversations series, museum docents Deena Maniscalchi and Pat McCarthy will also lead a guided gallery discussion at the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum following the Dec. 10 lecture. On Friday, Dec. 4, the Springfield Science Museum’s large rooftop telescope will be open for public skygazing at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Stars Over Springfield observatory series. These programs are organized by the museum and the Springfield Stars Club, and take place on the first Friday of each month. Each event features an introductory talk on topics such as space exploration, seasonal sights of the night sky, current astronomical research, or upcoming events like eclipses or comet appearances. This month’s featured speaker will be Alan Rifkin, Springfield Stars Club president, whose talk is titled, “Astronomy Gifts: All I Want for Christmas or Chanukah Is…” Stars Over Springfield programs are best suited for families with children ages 8 and older; however, younger children are also welcome. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children 17 and under. These programs are held rain or shine. If it is cloudy, a planetarium show will be presented in place of telescope viewing. For information about astronomy programs at the museum, call (413) 263-6800, ext. 318.


Affordable Care Act Breakfast Seminar

Dec. 3: Insurance Center of New England (ICNE) will host a breakfast seminar covering a range of financial topics related to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The seminar will be held at the Delaney House, 3 Country Club Road, Holyoke. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the seminar gets underway at 8:30 a.m. This event is free and open to the public, and a hot breakfast will be served. RSVP for the seminar by Monday, Nov. 23 by calling (413) 750-7150 or e-mailing Erika Noble at [email protected] Keynote speakers for the seminar include Peter Whalen, regional manager for CheckWriters Payroll, who will be discussing IRS Forms 1094 and 1095, and Shemeka Browne-Pohlman, ACA compliance specialist with Insurance Center of New England, who will be discussing the so-called ‘Cadillac tax.’ “For 2016, another level of implementation is taking place with the Affordable Care Act, so it’s important for individuals, families, and business owners to stay informed of their rights and responsibilities under the act,” said William Trudeau, president and CEO of ICNE. “This seminar is another example of our commitment to serving as an information resource regarding the often-complex world of insurance.”

Amnesty Day for Computer Parts

Dec. 12: Goodwill Industries of the Pioneer Valley will hold an Amnesty Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at each of its eight retail stores in Hampden and Hampshire counties, as well as at the corporate office located at 570 Cottage St. in Springfield. Visit for individual store information. Any brand of computer or computer components will be accepted at no charge to the donor through a partnership with Dell. This free program promotes responsible recycling while diverting e-waste from landfills. Dell Reconnect, as the partnership is called, makes getting rid of old technology easy as well as free. Make sure to remove your personal data from hard drives or other storage media before donating to Goodwill. Bring monitors, scanners, mice, printers, keyboards, speakers, cords, and cables. Television sets will not be accepted, however. “Dell has come up with an innovative way to reduce e-waste and recycle old computers,” said Steve Mundahl, Goodwill Industries president and CEO. “Previously, we had to charge consumers for each piece of electronics they wished to donate, as we were unable to find a suitable vendor. Partnering with Dell means this is now free to the consumer. And all donations help us forward our mission of helping people with disabilities and other barriers to employment get jobs.” In addition to its retail stores, Goodwill Industries of the Pioneer Valley offers employment and training programs, adult foster care, and community-based day services.

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