CLIR groupThree times each academic year the Center for Learning In Retirement (CLIR) volunteers develop a course schedule that often includes classes on tough issues facing our society, providing members with expertise from knowledgeable presenters, as well as a forum to ask questions.

One such topic is the huge problem of crumbling home foundations, currently being discussed by the state legislature. In February 2017, CLIR members heard contractor Salvatore De Sciscio identify the source of the problem, a mineral called pyrrhotite that was unknowingly mixed in with concrete used to build hundreds of homes. He also discussed possible solutions. In a second class Attorney Brenda A. Draghi related her experiences with several affected families, recounting what can and is being done to help, and noting the financial impact on towns and cities for many years to come, as the greatly reduced value of the homes shrinks the property tax base. Both classes were well attended, and led to thoughtful discussions among participants and speakers.