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  • Events and classes

    Members may attend some events at no charge.

    Online registration is open to all (members and non-members).

    Register online

    Thank you to all who helped deliver Rotary Lights program brochures to advertising businesses during the last two weeks of November. Also to those members who helped decorate and remove decorations from LIR’s tree at Riverside Park. Names to be included in next issue of this newsletter. ~ Bob Perlock, LIR Rotary Lights Liaison


    Topics to interest both current LIR members and non-members as well! Members may attend most any of these events at no charge; however, you need to register in advance, as these classes fill very quickly!

    Lunch Bunch

    (All dates are Thursdays at noon)

    If you are interested in meeting friends, old and new, good food and casual conversation, check out the dates and locations below. Lunch will be on your own and pre-registration is not required. Be sure to invite a friend! Reminders will not be sent.

    Feb 18 | Three Rivers Lodge
    Mar 17 | Olive Garden 
    Apr 21 | Red Lobster
    May 19 | Famous Dave's
    Jun 16 | Huck Finn's

    Bicycles and History: WWII, the Victory Bike and How History Shapes Culture, Behavior, and Policy

    February 12, 2016 | 1-3 p.m. | 332 Cartwright Center, UWL | No cost for LIR members, $5 each for non-members

    Dr. James Longhurst, UWL Associate Professor of History and Author of Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road

    Americans tend to think of the bicycle as a toy, suitable for recreation or children. But a closer look at the history of everyday objects show us that the bicycle has meant very different things to people at very different times - mechanical marvel, vehicle of gender equality, symbol of modernity, economic building block, or environmental savior. For a brief period in WWII, adult bicycle riding was a symbol of cheerful self-sacrifice for the war effort, and the federal government undertook a complicated and contentious bicycle rationing program to both manage strategic resources and encourage efficient travel. Examining this unexpected and forgotten history of the bicycle helps us to understand the policy decisions that have prioritized certain transportation options in America.

    Update from Mayor Tim Kabat

    February 19, 2016 | 10 a.m.-noon | 3rd Fl. Conference Rm, City Hall, 400 La Crosse St., La Crosse, Wis. | No cost for LIR members, $5 each for non-members

    The mayor discusses current challenges facing La Crosse and his priority plan and goals for the community. His plan is to help strengthen and revitalize neighborhoods, help grow jobs and businesses, and work to improve city hall operations and transparency. There will be opportunities for questions and answers.

    w-pondHenry David Thoreau & Walden Pond

    February 26, 2016 | 10 a.m.-noon | Myrick Park Center, Myrick Park Dr., La Crosse, Wis. | LIR members - $15

    Presented by Richard Frost, Earth Science Educator

    H.D. Thoreau is recognized as the 1st John Muir Aldo Leopold of the great environmentalist. His cabin at Walden Pond becomes his place of solitude, contemplation and closeness to nature. You’ll come away thinking of ways to simplify your life and enhance your connection with nature.

    Thoreau-TMHenry David Thoreau & Transcendentalism

    March 4, 2016 | 10 a.m.-noon | Myrick Park Center, Myrick Park Dr., La Crosse, Wis. | LIR members - $15

    Presented by Richard Frost, Earth Science Educator

    H.D. Thoreau reflects on his personal declaration of self-reliance, simple living and spiritual discovery. These overall attitudes toward life and our purpose were shared by contemporaries RW Emerson and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

    Reading and Enjoying Literature

    March 10 & 24 and April 7 & 21, 2016 | 10 a.m.- noon | 332 Cartwright Center, UWL | LIR members - $15

    Sonja Simonson Schrag

    Literature addresses the basic question of what it means to be human. In reading and discussing several works of short fiction and poetry, we will use an approach which acknowledges our role as readers in determining what a literary work means. Literature enriches our lives because it invites us to bring our experiences and emotions to what we read. And when we share with each other our various and different responses, everyone’s aesthetic experience is enhanced and enlarged. This class does not require any prior knowledge, only a willingness to read and discuss ideas.

    LIR-IndiaTravel Talk on India: The Golden Triangle and the Taj Mahal

    March 11, 2016 | 10 a.m.-noon | 340 Carwright Center, UWL | No cost for LIR members, $5 for non-members 

    Robert Wingate, Ph.D.

    Enjoy the geography and history of India through a photographic essay. Witness the world’s largest democracy, the home to a third of the world’s poor. View the splendor of the Taj Mahal, the 7th wonder of the world. 

    Global Economics and Market Volatility

    March 16, 23 & April 6, 2016 | 1-3 p.m. | 340 Cartwright Center, UWL | LIR members - $15

    Roger/Warren Deets

    This course will provide students with a better understanding of how global economic events may potentially influence investment strategy. We will also discuss how global economic events might affect current market conditions and what strategies could be used to navigate different economic environments.

    Geology and Biology of Rock Island (Wisconsin State Park)

    March 18, 2016 | 10 a.m.-noon | Myrick Park Center, Myrick Park Drive, La Crosse | LIR members - $15

    Richard Frost, WisCorp Earth Science Educator

    In the summer of 2015, Richard worked as a Naturalist, historian, and campground host at this unique island state park. It was once owned by a rich Chicago inventor and later, acquired by the state. Rock island boasts a rich natural and historic beauty. Richard will discuss the extraordinary trails, beaches, and campgrounds, as well as a beautifully restored lighthouse and a huge Viking boathouse built in Icelandic style. 

    LIR-ChinaTravel Talk on China: The Effort of China: Why It’s Hard & Why It’s Worth It

    March 21, 2016 | 10 a.m.-noon | 340 Carwright Center, UWL | No cost for LIR members, $5 for non-members

    Kay Rutherford

    For two full years, Kay Rutherford experienced China, without knowing a work of Chinese. She taught conversational English, though her PhD is in Counseling & Wellness. Her students were post-grads in many majors, but mostly engineering, biology, business and fashion design, popular majors at Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou, China (student population of 200,000). 

    LIR-geocachingGeocaching Fun

    April 15, 2016 | 10 a.m.-noon | Myrick Park Center, Myrick Park Drive, La Crosse | LIR members - $15

    Stephanie Hanna, WisCorp Naturalist and Educator

    What is Geocaching?  Google it and you’ll find it’s a search and learn game. It’s a great way to get outdoors, exercise, and hunt for a hidden geode using a GPS navigation system. Let the search begin!

    Computer Security – A Self Defense Approach

    April 20, 27 & May 4, 2016 | 10 a.m.-noon | 340 Cartwright Center, UWL | LIR members - $15

    Jack Pfister


    This course will enable participants to understand the risks and threats in using the internet and cellular networks and use appropriate security and privacy measures on their electronic devices. I will be discussing security and privacy as it relates to electronic devices (computers and cell phones) using a “self-defense” approach with preliminaries covering the participants concerns and the risks and threats to their devices and data. I will be using a lecture/workshop approach with a lecture/discussion for the first half of the session and a workshop to address specific participant issues. I will be offering specific recommendations for useful applications and device settings. 

    LIR-2016-political-button2016 Political Hunger Games: Who will be left standing (part 2)

    April 26, 2016 | 10 a.m.-noon | 337 Cartwright Center, UWL | LIR members - free if attended Part 1, $5 if only attending Part 2

    Joe Heim, UWL professor emeriti

    A look at various perspectives, strategies and tactics of the Republican and Democratic candidates for the US Presidency. A special focus will be on the part nominating through the various state caucuses and primaries. If you are an LIR member who registered and attended Poltical Hunger Games Part 1 you have already registered and paid for this event. If you did not attend Part 1 but would like to attend Part 2 it will be a $5 registration fee. 

    LIR-wildflowersWildflowers of Springtime 

    May 6, 2016 | 10 a.m.-noon | Myrick Park Center, Myrick Park Drive, La Crosse | LIR members - $15

    Jon Cowan, WisCorp Naturalist, Volunteer

    Remember the childhood wonder of finding and picking a whole bouquet of flowers and dandelions for Mom?  Join experienced naturalist Jon Cowan in discovering the beauty and the variety of the wild flowers of Hixon Forest. Jon is a Naturalist, retired from the US National Park Service. 

    LIR Spring Annual Meeting

    May 17, 2016 | 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. | Valhalla Carwright Center, UWL | LIR Members - $12

    Plan to attend and bring a friend! Join other LIR members for a brief business meeting, an opportunity to visit with one another. There will also be a brief presentation by one of La Crosse’s finest police officers.

    Wisconsin Association of Lifelong Learner's (WALL) Conference

    September 7-9, 2016

    Planning for the WALL Conference to be held in La Crosse in the fall of 2016 is now underway. Become a member of the committee by contacting Karen McGarvey:!



    As we prepare for the upcoming Spring Annual Meeting we are looking for nominations for LIR Officers for the 2016-17 year. If you or someone that you know is interested in being on the ballot, please contact Jan Olson or Sally Olson to have your name included. The open offices include President, Secretary and Treasurer, although we are accepting nominations for all positions on the board.

    Look for a  class about Wolves and their status in Wisconsin to be coming soon!