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Keep the senior college courses

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Sierra College might soon axe a program that fills baby boomer needs. For several years the community college has supported (and secured a $1 million endowment to operate) the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute series of courses. These six- to eight-week courses have attracted a following of over 500 seniors who have made a habit of keeping their minds sharp, their bodies active and their social skills intact. No other program in Placer County can boast of keeping independent seniors independent. No other program is easing the ultimate economic burdens of an aging population. Regardless, budget problems are evident and the Osher courses may be prime for elimination, in spite of the endowment and the benefits. If it is truly a “community” college, Sierra College must serve the entire community, including seniors. Securing votes for future bond financing of campus improvements seems to be folly if seniors are disenfranchised through the college’s budget decisions. These folks are in their golden years and not inclined to become “grey panthers.” You will not hear them spout out “What about me?” but you will count their votes. The Sierra College Board of Trustees should direct its administrators to continue supporting the Osher courses. Jim Bennett, Auburn