KACL Spring 2021 Class Descriptions

Tuesday and Friday 10:00 AM – Noon

March 23-April 30:  The Apocalypse:  Controversies and Meaning in Western History.  Dr. Craig R. Koester, Professor, Luther Seminary.  The Apocalypse (aka Apocalypse of John, Revelation) is one of the most confusing and often misinterpreted books of the Bible.  In this class of twelve KACL sessions, Dr. Koester (on DVD) examines the nature of evil and the nature of hope.  The course involves the nature of apocalyptic writing, the text of Apocalypse itself, and the effect of the book on mankind’s interpretation to the present age.  The class is a study of the book as literature, not involving millenarist interpretations often “read into” the text itself.  The study will be facilitated by Dave Petke, who has translated Apocalypse from Greek.  E-copies of his literal translation will be made available to those who are interested.  Since KCHE is closed on Friday, April 2, class will be held on Thursday, April 1, that week.


Tuesday 1:30 – 3:30 PM

March 23:  Changing the Paradigm:  Transportation of People and Goods in the 21st Century.  Scott Sluder, PE, Senior Research Engineer, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  The 21st century promises to be an era of great change in the transportation sector driven by advancing technology, climate change, and consumer convenience.  Scott’s career has focused on research aimed at improving the efficiency and emissions of cars and trucks.  He will provide a brief introduction to ORNL’s research areas and will discuss trends and challenges in the transportation sector for the 21st century, including connected and autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, future fuels, and related topics.  Scott will introduce the technologies, their limitations, and how changes in the transportation sector may impact the norms of personal and commercial transportation in the 21st century.

March 30:  Exploring the Pacific Northwest. Ron Zucker, Retired Professor of Computer Science, ETSU, and avid landscape photographer will take us on another multi-media photographic journey to the Pacific Northwest. This area contains some of the most majestic national parks in America.  He is a favorite of KACL audiences.

April 6:  Symphony of the Mountains.  Cornelia Laemmli Orth, Music Director of the Symphony.  Ms. Orth will include the story of Symphony of the Mountains’ history, organization, performance and educational programs; insight into “behind the curtain” planning and implementation of Symphony of the Mountains programs.  There will be plenty of time for questions and discussions!

April 13: Bordeaux and Southwestern France.  Rick Currie, attorney, retired, and photographer.  Rick will take us on a tour of Bordeaux and the southwestern region of France, illustrated with his beautiful photographs.

April 20: Flying and the Guinness Book of World Records.  Daniel Moore, Watauga Flight Service, Elizabethton, Tennessee.  Mr. Moore, is an Insurance Approved Trainer, FAA Pilot Examiner and ASA Senior Aircraft Appraiser, only to mention a few of his designations. He will talk to us about all things aviation as well as his Guinness World Record.  The record was achieved September 12, 2019 with 92 airfields visited. He holds the record for the most airfields visited in 24 hours by a fixed-wing aircraft.  Mr. Moore attempted this record to honor those who died in the 9/11 attacks in 2001.


Wednesday 10:00 AM – Noon

March 31:  Unholy Mess: What the Bible Says About Clutter.  Angie Hyche, professional organizer and owner, Shipshape Solutions. Angie will take us through her recently published book about clutter, organizing, and living up to the advice of the Bible to do with less and appreciate the gifts of God more.

April 7:  A Review of the Writings of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Sharon Petke will facilitate this discussion.  Dr. King wrote letters, books, speeches, and sermons over a span of 17 years. During that time, his understanding of the issues swirling in America developed and expanded. It is not surprising that a serious look at his body of work will expose contradictions in his philosophy and his life. In fact, he wrote, “In my own life and in the life of a person who is seeking to be strong, you combine in your character antitheses strongly marked. You are both militant and moderate; you are both idealistic and realistic.” In this session we will explore both the paradoxes he inhabited and the consistent beliefs he embodied.

April 14: Hawkins County: Our Neighbor to the West.  Jeff Bobo, reporter, videographer, and photographer, Kingsport Times-News.  Rogersville is known as “Tennessee’s Best Kept Secret.”  This second oldest Tennessee town, settled in 1775, has several interesting historic sites.  Jeff will share the rich and fascinating history of Rogersville and Hawkins County.

April 21: By Hand: The Re-emergence of Letterpress Printing in a Digital World. Art Brown, Associate Professor of Communications, Milligan University.  Beginning with the world-changing invention of movable type by Gutenberg in the 15th century, letterpress printing became the predominant process for nearly 400 years. But as new printing technologies emerged in the 19th and 20th centuries, and later with the onset of graphic design software and digital printing in the 1980s and 90s, centuries-old knowledge and skills were rendered obsolete and thus began to disappear. Then just as those older processes seemed forgotten, the early 21st century fostered a resurgence of hands-on design, and so letterpress printing and the craft of the past would be rescued and passed on to a new generation. Professor Brown is one of the artists who has chosen to reengage with these older practices, and he will discuss the revival of letterpress printing and its juxtaposition with digital technology, along with how he uses antique wood type as a part of his creative work and as a teaching tool to enhance student learning in his design courses.

April 28: Sullivan County Extension Office. Chris Ramsey, Director and Extension Agent.  Chris will give us an overview of the functions of the office and staff, such as 4H program and Master Gardener program, and will take us beyond the office into the agricultural functions of the county agent.


Wednesday 1:30 – 3:30 PM

March 24 – April 28: Great Decisions.  This program, cosponsored with the Friends of the Kingsport Public Library, is held at the Kingsport Center for Higher Education. The series will provide commentary on current topics of international interest and time for guided discussion following each presentation. This program will require purchase of a booklet of background information. (not included in the KACL membership fee)


Register for this class only with Joe Zoeller at jzoeller@chartertn.net and provide your name, email, and phone number.  The booklet has sold out at the library.  Please note that participants may order a booklet directly from the Great Decisions Foreign Policy Association Website: https://www.fpa.org/great_decisions/

Click on Bookstore and the first item is “Great Decisions Material 2021 Briefing Book.” Participants can order the booklet and have it shipped directly to them.

Great Decisions 2021 Briefing Book
Publication Date:
January 01, 2021
Item #:

The order of topics may change.  Topics include:

  • March 24:  The End of Globalization (Discussion Leader: Gail Preslar)
  • March 31: Brexit and the European Union (Discussion Leader: Leslie Lynch)
  • April 7: China’s Role in Africa (Discussion Leader: Rick Currie)
  • April 14: Persian Gulf Security Issues (Discussion Leader: Mary Ellen Eubank)
  • April 21: Struggles Over the Melting Artic (Discussion Leader: Dave Cornell)
  • April 28: Global Supply Chains and National Security (Discussion Leader: David Petke)


Thursday 10:00 AM – Noon

March 25:  Coal Mining in Appalachia.  Ted Olson, Professor, Department of Appalachian Studies, ETSU.  In recent years the national media have focused on mountaintop removal surface coal mining in Appalachia, and the economic, environmental, and social impact of that particular mining practice on local communities, on the region, and on the nation is very much an unfolding story.  Coal mining in one form or another has been practiced in Appalachia since the late nineteenth century and has literally and figuratively reshaped the region’s landscape.  Today, many people think that coal will play a diminished role in the region’s future.  This program will explore coal mining in Appalachia, investigating the technological and legal developments within the region’s coal industry, the social life associated with the coal towns, and labor struggles among governments, mine companies, and groups of miners.

April 1: The Apocalypse:  Controversies and Meaning in Western History.  Dr. Craig R. Koester, Professor, Luther Seminary.  Since KCHE is closed on Friday, April 2, Session 4 will be held on Thursday, April 1.

April 8:  Immigration Law. Mike Eastridge, Attorney, Hunter, Smith and Davis.  This program will examine the U.S. immigration system from a broad perspective beginning with the underlying legal and social principles of migration.  Mike will review the immigration system as it now exists and take a glimpse into the possible future in light of recent, rapid and ongoing changes to immigration policy in the U.S.

April 15: Faith-Based Community’s Role in Rehabilitation of Addiction.  Eric Landry, Coordinator, East Region, Metro Drug Coalition.  Eric will discuss the role of the Metro Drug Coalition of Tennessee and how the faith-based community can have a role in the rehabilitation effort for people overcoming drug addictions.


Thursday 1:30 – 3:30 PM

March 25: The Election Process at the County and State Levels.  Jason Booher, Commissioner of Elections, Sullivan County, Tennessee.  Jason will explain the role of the Election Commission in the operation of elections in Sullivan County and its three cities and will field questions about the entire election process.  Bring your questions!

April 1: Dealing with Pandemic Fatigue.  Dottie Blades, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, retired.  The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all into unfamiliar territory, particularly with respect to social interactions and preventive medical measures.  Dottie will help us examine and understand our feelings about and responses to these unprecedented times.

April 15: East Tennesseans at the Battle of Shiloh.  Ned Jilton, Kingsport Times-News.  Ned will give us a look at the Civil War Battle of Shiloh and the four companies of soldiers from our area (Hawkins, Sullivan and Washington counties) that fought with the 19th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry of the Confederacy.

April 29: The Kingsport Archives. Brianne Wright, Archivist, City of Kingsport.  An introduction to the Kingsport Archives! Learn about the history of Kingsport and the importance of collecting and preserving our history.

 Friday 10:00 AM – Noon

March 26-April 30:  The Apocalypse:  Controversies and Meaning in Western History.  Dr. Craig R. Koester, Professor, Luther Seminary.  See Tuesday morning for the class description.

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