Monday, July 8, 2019

Congratulations to the U.S. Women's Soccer Team!

The U.S. Women's Soccer team won it's fourth World Cup on Sunday, beating the Netherlands 2-0.  It was the Netherlands team's first appearance in the World Cup tournament, so good on them, too.

picture from the NY Times
 The fans in the crowd chanted "Equal Pay!" in response to the victory.  And before the question's  asked, the women's team brings in more money than the men's team.

chart from Pharyngula

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Make Your Reservations for the July Meeting


Stevens Point Area Retired Teachers’ Association
July Meeting Announcement
“Retirement’s a Picnic”
July 8, 2019 – 11:30 a.m.

Program – What’s going on in the forest today?

Boston School Forest
5084 Lincoln Ave.
Plover, WI 54467

Meal - $12.00
Grilled Chicken or Burger (Choose One), Potato Salad, Marinated Vegetables, Potato Chips,
Fresh Fruit Salad, Dessert Bar, Beverages (supplied by SPARTA)

Reservation Required by June 21st – Noon
Bring a Friend!

Call – Sherrilee at 715-344-0031or
Please state Chicken or Burger Choice
Make Checks Payable to: SPARTA - PAY AT THE DOOR

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Looking Ahead

The Book Sale is off and running.  It's not too early to mark these dates on your calendar:

Book take-in days:

Monday, June 24
Monday, July 22
Monday, August 26
Monday, September 23

 Please do not block the sidewalk or leave books in the hallway!

The Fall Book Sale will be Wednesday, October 16, 2019 through Saturday, October 19, 2019.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Flying Spaghetti Monster Has Spoken!

 Remember the re-scheduled spaghetti dinner benefit for the Kollocks on Tues, April 16, from 4:30 to 7:30 pm at the Point of Discovery School at 1900 W Zinda Dr in Stevens Point.  Please help support this family.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Book Sale is Coming

The SPARTA Spring Book Sale is right around the corner.  You can find us on the first floor of the Central Wisconsin Children's Museum Building, 1100 Main St., Stevens Point.

Times are:
Wednesday, May 1  -noon - 7pm
Thursday, May 2     - 9am - 7pm
Friday, May 3          - 9am - 7pm
Saturday, May 4      - 9am - 2pm

If you can work a shift, contact Nancy Mezyk. 

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Our Latest Good Deed is Done

Sandy Williams, at far right, executive director of the Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum, demonstrates the recently installed Automatic Door Operator donated by the Stevens Point Area Retired Teachers’ Association (SPARTA) from profits of a recent book sale. The north entrance off the city parking lot is now handicapped accessible to the Museum and businesses on the first floor. SPARTA book committee members pictured, from left, are Janeen Kwarciany, Janet Swiston, Nancy Kemmeter with Maya Kemmeter, Mary Marks, Nancy Mezyk, Charlene Laurent, and Santha Bickford, president of SPARTA. The next SPARTA book sale is Wednesday, May 1, to Saturday, May 4.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Paid Your Taxes Yet?

What Those DNA Tests Really Show

Jennifer Raff makes these points:
  1. Your DNA is not a good snapshot of your whole family tree more than a few generations back. You have many more genealogical ancestors than you have genetic ancestors.
  2. Any given individual in the past (including all of the ancient people referenced in the Primeval DNA test) is extremely unlikely to have passed along their DNA to anyone, including you.
  3. Any person in the distant past—be they anonymous peasant or famous monarch—who passed on their DNA into present times might be your ancestor, but he or she will also likely be the ancestor of everyone else in the world. In other words, as geneticist Dr. Adam Rutherford explained in his post on the subject for The Guardian, “we are all special, which means none of us are.”

The BIG Picture

There can be only be one?

This image illustrates hominin history over 4 million years, highlighting a recent discovery in the Philippines. Is anyone else as horrified by it as I am?

It illustrates 8 species of Homo in the last million years. The fossil record is spotty, so there are probably more…and the record prior to a million years ago is going to be even weaker, and the number of species is going to be even less representative of reality. Our family was a wonderful flowering bush of diversity, and now its been pared down to a single twig, us.
That’s an illustration of failure. We should be worried, especially since we’re actively exterminating even our distant cousins, taking an axe to the whole family tree. We’re working towards only supporting one primate type on the entire planet, which seems a little selfish and short-sighted.


Click on graphic to enlarge.

George Who?

During a guided tour of Mount Vernon last April with French president Emmanuel Macron, Trump learned that Washington was one of the major real-estate speculators of his era. So, he couldn’t understand why America’s first president didn’t name his historic Virginia compound or any of the other property he acquired after himself.

“If he was smart, he would’ve put his name on it,” Trump said, according to three sources briefed on the exchange. "You’ve got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you"...

If Trump was impressed with Washington’s real estate instincts, he was less taken by Mount Vernon itself, which the first president personally expanded from a modest one-and-a-half story home into an 11,000 square foot mansion. The rooms, Trump said, were too small, the staircases too narrow, and he even spotted some unevenness in the floorboards, according to four sources briefed on his comments. He could have built the place better, he said, and for less money.

-Digby, Hullaballoo


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Notes from the President (The one that works hard and makes sense)

I wanted to get this little update out quickly so that you don’t think it’s an April Fool joke. First of all, doesn’t it feel great to be able to get outside again? Hurray! I hope you were not affected by the flood!
I also wanted to report on our WREA Seminar which we hosted for anyone with money in our state retirement fund. It was held on the evening of March 14 at the Lincoln Center and, even though it was the night of the big rain and we had many cancellations, we still had over 60 in attendance! They came from our Point Schools, Rosholt, Amherst, and Almond in addition to both city and county workers in many departments. Many thanks to those of you who helped with that! Judy Zimmerman and I took reservations, Lynne Kagelmann helped me with goodies, and Jan Langton helped sign folks in and get the evening launched. Remember that we do this in odd-numbered years, so we have a year off in 2020!
On that same afternoon, SPARTA was invited to a special program that our local Symphony held for all the third and fourth graders in the county. It is designed to introduce these young students to the orchestra through a curriculum developed by Carnegie Hall in New York. They have a portion where they can play their recorders along, and several teachers did actually bring recorders! Why, you may ask, were we invited? Because it is one of the projects we support with our Book Sale money. Jan Swiston, as head of the Grant Committee, was invited to attend with other folks who contributed in some way, and I tagged along with her! Wow! It was very impressive! Did you ever guess we’d get a chance to be connected to something from Carnegie Hall? All of us who helped with the Book Sales, take a bow!
On May 9 our District III Spring Meeting will be held in Wausau. So far Lauren Isberner, Jan Langton, and I are planning to attend along with Lynne Kagelmann, our own District President! Is anyone else interested incoming along? More details are in the latest edition of the Red Apple Express or call one of us!
This is not a joke-the Lincoln Center has several new exercise and strengthening programs for older adults (US!) and they need weights, which are expensive. If any of us have some sitting around at home, they would love to have them. I have a couple left from students and from my own good intentions, and maybe you do too! If so, give me a call and I’ll help you donate them.
Don’t forget the Book Sale May 1-4! If you’re helping with publicity, next week is the time for us to get the word out. And if you haven’t signed for your shift to work, call Nancy Mezyk! That’s all my ramblings until next time! Don’t forget to vote Tuesday!

--Santha Bickford

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Save the Date!

What:  SPARTA’s 50th Anniversary

Theme:  50 years of memories and shaping the future

When:   November 11, 2019
             Noon – meal
             1:00-2:30: entertainment & program

Where:  Sentry World, Stevens Point

Cost:     $15.00
             Non-refundable tickets will be sold at the
             May, July and Sept SPARTA meetings.

Friday, March 1, 2019

March 11, 2019 Meeting

Park Ridge Restaurant
3425 Church
Stevens Point, WI 54481

11:00 am. Socializing
11:15 am. Order Lunch Entrée
11:30 am. Business Meeting
12:30 pm. Program Speaker

Program Speaker for March is Susan Lemke, Transportation Superintendent for ADRC and Stevens Point Transit who have merged their services. She will talk about “I Get Around, ‘Round, Get Around” and explain how to do that in the Point area.

To download the newsletter, go to "SPARTA News and Notes" section in the sidebar.  The text translates to the blog, but the pictures do not.  Or, rather,  I haven't figured it out yet.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Family Crisis Center Needs

Subject: FCC Wish List - January 2019
Greetings from the Family Crisis Center,

Our warmest thanks for your generous donations and continued support. Attached is our January 2019 Wish List.  Items that are immediate needs are listed in bold.  There is currently a high need for disinfecting wipes, spray, latex free gloves, and bleach.  We would also appreciate if when possible you could provide to us receipts, or copies of receipts, for items that were recently purchased to be donated.  Please let me know if you have any questions.


Antonya Hogan
Office Manager
Family Crisis Center
CAP Services, Inc.

CAP Services Family Crisis Center
January 2019 Wish List
Our warmest thanks for the many items we have recently received through your generous donations. 
Items that are immediate needs for our programs are listed in bold and highest in red.
Thank you for your continuing support!

·       Gas Cards – Local (Kwik Trip, BP, Schierl)
·       Gift Cards for Grocery Stores (Copps, Walmart, Aldi, Trigs, Piggly Wiggly, Pick ‘n’ Save)
·       Gift Cards for Local Pharmacies (Copps, Walmart, Walgreens, Shopko)
·       Children and Infant OTC Medications (Tylenol, Advil, cold medication, etc.)
·       Basic OTC Medications (cold medications, Imodium, tums)
·       Kleenex
·       Hand Sanitizer
·       60 Watt Light Bulbs
·       Black Permanent Markers
·       Batteries (AA, C, D, & 9volt)
·       Markers/Crayons/Colored Pencils
·       Craft Supplies (yarn, paint, glue, glitter, beads, etc.)
·       Paper Plates & Bowls
·       Hot Hands  - Hands and Feet Warmers
·       Socks (wool, boot, slipper…)

·       Mop
·       Boys underwear size 4T

·       Comforters (twin & full size)
·       Sheet Sets (twin & full size)
·       Alarm Clocks

·       Disinfecting Wipes
·       Lysol (disinfecting) Spray
·       Latex Free Disposable Gloves
·       Bleach
·       Dishwasher/Dish Soap
·       Laundry Detergent (regular and high efficiency)
·       Dryer Sheets
·       Paper Towel
·       Basic Cleaning Supplies such as window, toilet, & multipurpose cleaners (including child safe and natural cleaning products)

·       Plush Bath Towels
·       Toilet Paper
·       Liquid Hand Soap
·       Styling Products (hair spray, mousse, ponytail holders)
·       Hair Brushes
·       Spa Products (face masks, body wash, lotion, body spray)
·       Hand Towels, Wash Cloths
·       Full-sized Shampoo and Conditioner (for women, men, & children/ethnic specific)
·       Nail Polish Remover & Cotton Rounds

·       Large Plastic Food Storage Containers with Lids (all sizes)
·       Ziploc Style/Freezer Bags (all sizes)
·       Tall Kitchen Bags (13 gallon)
·       Plastic Wrap
·       Aluminum Foil
·       Cooking Utensils (sharp knives, wooden spoons, etc.)
·       Microwave
·       Small Appliances (electric skillet, blender, etc.)
·       Pots and Pans
·       Bakeware (Pyrex, cookie sheets, muffin pans, cake pan)
·       Drinking Glasses
·       Dish Towels/ Wash Rags
·       Boxes of Cold Cereal
·       Jugs of 100% Juice/Juice Boxes
·       Coffee
·       Granola Bars
·       Crackers
·       Pasta
·       Spaghetti-o’s & Ravioli
·       Ramon Noodles
·       Fruit Snacks
·       Jello/Pudding Cups
·       Kool-aid
·       Microwave Popcorn