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Welcome to the Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay - Celebrating Over 34 Years Serving Homer and the World

Homer-Kachemak Bay

Four Way Test: True, Fair, Goodwill & Beneficial to All

We meet Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Best Western Bidarka Inn
575 Sterling Hwy
PO Box 377
Homer, AK  99603
United States of America
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Home Page Stories
with John Sever
International PolioPlus Committee Vice Chair
 
Why do we need a new strategy?
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s (GPEI’s) previous strategic plan was from 2013 to 2018. We achieved many important things: Wild poliovirus type 2 was declared eradicated in 2015; wild poliovirus type 3 was last seen in 2012, giving us high confidence that it’s no longer circulating; no wild poliovirus has been detected outside Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2016. But the clear factor in creating the new Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023 is that we have not yet achieved complete eradication.
 
The new plan has three goals. The first goal is eradication. Second, integration — collaboration with other public health actors beyond the GPEI to strengthen health systems to help achieve and sustain eradication. Then, certification and containment — we have to prove through surveillance that we have interrupted the transmission of the poliovirus, and we have to be able to show that the virus in laboratories either has been destroyed or is appropriately contained.
 
The GPEI’s five-year budget to execute this is $4.2 billion. Why does it cost so much?
Every year, we have to vaccinate more than 450 million children in up to 50 countries to prevent the spread of polio from the endemic areas. In addition to the children in Pakistan and Afghanistan, we are immunizing children all over Africa and Asia. So we have to have a lot of people out there to help immunize, and that costs money. We have to have the vaccine, and that costs money. And we have to maintain and pay for sizable quantities of vaccine in case of an outbreak, and that costs money. Then we have to investigate about 100,000 cases of paralysis each year to rule out polio. We have to continue surveillance — looking for cases of polio to be sure we are not missing cases in certain areas. We need to test sewage samples in 34 countries to ensure that the poliovirus is not circulating undetected. And all of those things cost money. It’s a significant expense every year to maintain that level of performance.
 
What strategies are in this plan?
One key element is establishing a regional hub for Afghanistan and Pakistan to consolidate our efforts and increase technical support. We’re also focusing on mobile and hard-to-reach children — children who are crossing borders, riding on trains, and coming out of areas where our access has been restricted. We are developing rapid-response teams and surge capacity so if the virus is detected, our response can be swift and intense. We’re working with other actors such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to help strengthen immunization systems. And we’re delivering additional services such as clean water, nutrition, health, and sanitation, because often the local people say we’re always coming back to immunize against polio, but what about their other problems?
 
What can Rotarians do to ensure that the plan is successful?
The No. 1 thing is to continue to support the program. We have a $3.27 billion funding gap. We will need Rotarians to make direct donations as well as to advocate with their governments and other groups for their support so that we can continue to do all of the immunizations and surveillance we’ve been talking about. Rotarians in countries where active polio eradication efforts are underway need to continue helping with these efforts and immunizing children. They need to keep advocating with their governments to continue to support polio eradication.
 
• Illustration by Viktor Miller Gausa
 
• This story originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of The Rotarian magazine.
A story of superstition and a sea turtle named Piggy Bank
 
By Victor Fleming
 
 
Image credit: Richard Mia
 
What can you say about a 25-year-old female who died? That she lived near the Gulf of Thailand in a small province called Chon Buri. That she had a life expectancy of another 50 years or so. That she weighed 130 pounds and was a really good swimmer — especially in the pond she knew as home. That she seemed to have an inordinate love of money — so much so that those who knew her nicknamed her “Piggy Bank.” That her death, in March 2017, was predictable and preventable.
Piggy Bank, you see, was a green sea turtle, a member of an endangered species. Sea turtles, by the way, are featured on the logo for the 2020 Rotary International Convention in Honolulu. And what fascinating creatures they are.
 
“Sea turtles travel far and wide, riding currents across the open ocean,” reads a description on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s website. “Females return to the same beach each year, using magnetic clues as a map back home.” Mother turtles lay their eggs on the beach, then cover them with a sandy quilt before returning to the sea. After hatching a couple of months later, the newborns dash to the water to escape being eaten by predators.
 
Unlike their kin found in rivers and creeks, sea turtles cannot retract their limbs into their shells. Over the millennia, sea turtles’ forelegs developed into “flipper-shaped blades, which help them ‘fly’ through the water” at speeds of up to 15 knots, or about 17 miles per hour, as they use their hind legs as rudders. In lieu of teeth, sea turtles have sharp beaks to help tear apart their food, which they wash down with sea water, using special glands near their eyes to desalinize it. This process makes them appear to be crying.
 
This seems apt. The natural habitat of sea turtles — and, thus, their very survival on the planet — is in peril. Among the threats are pollution, poachers, and residential and commercial development along the shorelines where the turtles nest. These creatures are often also accidentally caught by fishermen, although the fishing industry has developed some nets with “trap doors” to allow turtles to escape.
 
Scientists believe that, as oceans warm and sea levels rise, the basic tasks of finding food, mating, and nesting will become increasingly difficult for sea turtles. One problem is that females are born from eggs that are warmer; males result from cooler eggs. Ponder what this could bode for the species’ future on a warming globe.
Regrettably, sea turtles cannot distinguish between what is digestible and what is not. This was Piggy Bank’s downfall — coupled with the penchant of her human admirers for practicing a common superstitious ritual.
 
This turtle was given her nickname (“Omsin” in Thai) because people — human beings, we — knew that when coins were thrown into the pond, Piggy Bank would swim to them. And eat them. Or swallow them whole, rather. And she did that over and over. How could the humans — how could we — not have seen what was bound to come of this?
 
What can you say about people who throw money into bodies of water?
 
In Thailand, turtles are a symbol of longevity. Somehow related to this archetypal concept is a superstition: “If you throw coins into waters where turtles swim, you’ll live longer.”
 
Throwing coins into water for what you could call selfish reasons (such as making a wish) goes beyond Thailand and its customs. The practice started in ancient times, when water was often undrinkable. When potable water could be found, it was deemed a gift from the gods. People figured those gods would appreciate a little something in return. So they would toss a little money into the fountain, spring, or well.
 
When tossing in a coin, a person might say a little prayer, ask for something, make a wish. In 1876 when British archaeologist John Clayton excavated Coventina’s Well — a spring in a basin that was about 2.5 meters square, in England’s Northumberland County — 16,000 Roman coins were recovered. I cannot but wonder how many of the people who contributed to that cache felt lucky after their tosses. Or believed that their wishes had been granted.
 
In early 2017, folks began to notice that Piggy Bank was having difficulty swimming. National Public Radio reported that her shell had cracked. That couldn’t be good. Rescuers got her to a team of veterinarians. During seven hours of surgery, 915 coins, foreign and domestic, were removed from the swimmer’s stomach. Piggy Bank’s condition and recovery were chronicled on social media. Shortly after the operation, the patient was said to be stronger, brighter, happier.
 
But a few days later, Piggy Bank took a turn for the worse. One report cited a “gaping space” where the coins had been. The total weight of these coins was 11 pounds. As for the space they filled, imagine a roll of quarters containing 40 coins — it’s about an inch in diameter and about 2 3/4 inches long. Now, imagine 22 rolls and visualize the space required by such a collection. Piggy Bank’s intestines got tangled up in the void created by the removal of this small fortune. The result was an infection. The infection was made worse by the toxicity from the old coins. Piggy Bank became depressed and irritable, a bad sign. She was obviously in a great deal of pain and distress. Rushed to intensive care on 19 March 2017, she slipped into a coma and died.
 
Something about this story resonates in my soul. Or perhaps in my psyche. OK, in my brain, then. The symbolism, the pure metaphor of it all, simply cannot be overstated. Forget about The Lobster, the 2015 dystopian movie in which humans who cannot find mates are turned into the animals of their choosing. We are the green sea turtles. The green sea turtles are us. I am Piggy Bank!
 
In fairy tales, mythology, and dreams, money often symbolizes energy, power, prestige. How odd it is that, even in small doses, we humans regularly deploy it in such a way that it does us no good. And does others harm.
 
I frequently pass by a multi-tiered fountain at one of the landmarks in my city. It’s always cluttered with pennies, along with a few nickels, dimes, and quarters. This fountain probably attracts as many visitors as Coventina did in its heyday. Each time I’m there, it occurs to me that I ought to reread the littering statute. I’m fairly certain that there’s no exception for money thrown into public waters.
 
Tongue in cheek, I brought that up one day in conversation with a person of authority at this establishment. Her response included a smile and an eye-roll. I dare not repeat her full reply. Suffice it to say that it is someone’s job to clean out that money regularly.
 
Oh, well. At least there are no turtles in this fountain.
 
Victor Fleming, a member of the Rotary Club of Little Rock, Arkansas, is a District Court judge and, since 2006, the author of this magazine’s crossword puzzle.
 
• This story originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of The Rotarian magazine.
In 2004, a few years after Vasanth Prabhu joined the Rotary Club of Central Chester County (Lionville) in Pennsylvania, a flyer caught his attention. It was for a Rotary project fair, the first to be held in Quito, the capital of Ecuador.
 

The long-term collaboration between clubs began in Quito, Ecuador.

Image credit: F11photo

At the time, Prabhu was in charge of international projects for the club. So far, it had participated in two projects in India, where he had grown up, but the club wanted to expand its work to other countries. Prabhu had never been to Ecuador, or to a project fair. But the event intrigued him. There he could meet Rotarians who belonged to 40 clubs in Ecuador, some of them in remote parts of that country. At the fair, they would lay out their projects in a buffet of ideas to make communities across Ecuador better off with Rotary Foundation grants and help from international partners.

 
But something else stirred in Prabhu when he saw the flyer. As an avid reader of National Geographic as a teen, he had seen pictures of Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands and read about Charles Darwin’s historic visit there. Ever since, Prabhu had dreamed of seeing them. One of the post-fair trips organized for visiting Rotarians was to the Galápagos. Now he had a chance to realize his dream.
 
Galo Alfonso Betancourt Criollo (from left), Vasanth Prabhu, Juan Prinz, and Rene Romero Solano discuss plans at a project fair in Ecuador.
Courtesy of Vasanth Prabhu
 
In a conference room at the Hilton in Quito, as Prabhu strolled among the booths and looked over the projects, he met Juan Prinz, a member of the Rotary Club of Quito. Prabhu, who doesn’t speak Spanish, was happy to find Prinz, who speaks Spanish as well as English and German. “He offered to translate for me, and we talked about different clubs and their projects,” Prabhu says. “After that, we became really good friends.”
 
Prinz, who had been born in Argentina, first became aware of Rotary while working for a German company in Singapore in 1974. Later the company relocated him to Venezuela and finally, in 1983, to Ecuador, where he has lived and been a Rotarian ever since.
 
“One thing that interested me about Vasanth was that he wanted to make connections to clubs in the smaller cities that were not assisted by international partners, like the Rotary clubs of Morona-Macas and Puyo, which are in the Amazon River basin region of Ecuador,” Prinz says.
 
Prabhu explains: “Being in charge of the international projects, I realized that clubs in small towns don’t get much help with projects in their areas because they don’t know many people and they don’t have enough money. So our club decided we did not want to partner with big clubs, but instead with small clubs.”
 
Projects the Central Chester County club has collaborated on include buying a school bus.
Courtesy of Vasanth Prabhu
 
As Prabhu looked over the projects, his curiosity was sparked by a booth with information about a high school in Macas, on the edge of the Amazon rainforest, that didn’t have a computer lab. This led to a project partnership for the Central Chester County club. In a later visit, the partnering clubs also supplied computer equipment for a school in Bahia de Caraquez, on the coast.
 
In 2005, Prabhu was back, and he and Prinz traveled around the country. “He took me everywhere in Ecuador,” Prabhu says. “I have circled Ecuador maybe 10 times. Each time I go there, I visit different project sites and the Rotarians there.” They went to the city of Puyo, where two schools and a community center needed computers and other equipment, which the Central Chester County club helped provide. The club also helped pay for heart surgery for children in Quito.
 
The years went on, and so did the club’s work in different parts of Ecuador. One year, the Central Chester County club partnered with the Morona-Macas club to equip a mobile medical van to travel through rural areas, treating general medical problems out of one side and dental problems out of the other. The van has seen tens of thousands of patients since 2008.
 
Projects the Central Chester County club has collaborated on include providing eye exams.
Courtesy of Vasanth Prabhu
 
Another time, the club partnered with the Puyo club to purchase a bus to transport children with disabilities to school. The Rotarians also supplied a virtual medical library to medical students, dialysis machines for people with kidney failure, and biodigesters to purify wastewater. So far the Central Chester County club has partnered on 16 grant-supported projects in Ecuador and has plans for more.
 
The Ecuador Project Fair now is in its 16th year. Since 2004 the number of Foundation grants in Ecuador has increased, and so has the number of clubs participating in grant-supported projects, creating links with clubs abroad like the Rotary Club of Central Chester County. Prabhu has come back to all but one of those project fairs, though a few things have changed since he and Prinz first met. Project fairs have become more popular globally. Some, like those in West Africa and Central America, have become well established, while others, like the one in East Africa, are in their early stages. The fairs have helped to increase the flow of funds (and the success of projects) around the world, but some of the benefits can’t be measured in dollars.
 
“The successes we had in Ecuador opened up our hearts to go to other countries,” says Prabhu. “As we moved along, we became more understanding and tolerant of other cultural norms. We became better citizens of the world.”
 
To date, the Central Chester County club has done more than 120 projects in more than a dozen countries. But the most important benefit may be the hardest to quantify. “We developed a very good friendship,” says Prinz of Prabhu. “That’s why I think the project fair is so important. One of the main points of its success is the personal understanding between Rotarians. At the project fair, the contacts that our international partners get usually turn into friendships.”
— FRANK BURES
 
• This story originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of The Rotarian magazine.
This is some very important information, and very timely. Recently one of the subject fire extinguishers discharged itself, and spread a white powder into the owner's house.  The powder MUST be vacuumed up, as it can be quite corrosive, and definitely shortens the life of moving parts as it is also very abrasive.  The extinguishers can self-discharge or not discharge at all!  Please check. Please note that there are several different brand names included in this recall.
 
Kidde Recalls Fire Extinguishers with Plastic Handles Due to Failure to Discharge and Nozzle Detachment: One Death Reported
 
·  https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/styles/thumbnail/public/110%20and%20Excel%20FX%20Identification%20Guide.jpg?4UuTu3RhWgLocT6MZ9J57XE39R76Kr50&itok=l_sHwRUR
·  https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/styles/thumbnail/public/Pindicator%20ID%20Guide.jpg?YBUwMb.UZSgcriCoDi0cWeQu4orHym_X&itok=Ayu1icKv
Name of product:
Kidde fire extinguishers with plastic handles
Hazard:
The fire extinguishers can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge and can fail to activate during a fire emergency. In addition, the nozzle can detach with enough force to pose an impact hazard.
Remedy:
Replace
Recall date:
November 2, 2017
Recall number:
18-022
Consumer Contact:
Kidde toll-free at 855-271-0773 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, or online at www.kidde.com and click on “Product Safety Recall” for more information.
Recall Details
In Conjunction With:
Description:
This recall involves two styles of Kidde fire extinguishers: plastic handle fire extinguishers and push-button Pindicator fire extinguishers.
Plastic handle fire extinguishers: The recall involves 134 models of Kidde fire extinguishers manufactured between January 1, 1973 and August 15, 2017, including models that were previously recalled in March 2009 and February 2015. The extinguishers were sold in red, white and silver, and are either ABC- or BC-rated. The model number is printed on the fire extinguisher label. For units produced in 2007 and beyond, the date of manufacture is a 10-digit date code printed on the side of the cylinder, near the bottom.  Digits five through nine represent the day and year of manufacture in DDDYY format. Date codes for recalled models manufactured from January 2, 2012 through August 15, 2017 are 00212 through 22717.  For units produced before 2007, a date code is not printed on the fire extinguisher.
 
Plastic-handle models produced between January 1, 1973 and October 25, 2015
2A40BC
Gillette TPS-1 1A10BC
Sams SM 340
6 RAP
Home 10BC
Sanford 1A10BC
6 TAP
Home 1A10BC
Sanford 2A40BC
Ademco 720 1A10BC
Home 2A40BC
Sanford TPS-1 1A10BC
Ademco 722 2A40BC
Home H-10 10BC
Sanford TPS-1 2A40BC
ADT 3A40BC
Home H-110 1A10BC
Sears 2RPS   5BC
All Purpose 2A40BC
Home H-240 2A-40BC
Sears 58033 10BC
Bicentenial RPS-2  10BC
Honeywell 1A10BC
Sears 58043 1A10BC
Bicentenial TPS-2  1A-10BC
Honeywell TPS-1 1A10BC
Sears 5805  2A40BC
Costco 340
J.L. 2A40BC
Sears 958034
FA 340HD
J.L. TPS-1 2A40BC
Sears 958044
FA240HD
Kadet 2RPS-1   5BC
Sears 958054
FC 340Z
Kidde 10BC
Sears 958075
FC Super
Kidde 1A10BC
Sears RPS-1 10BC
FC210R-C8S
Kidde 2A40BC
Sears TPS-1  1A10BC
Fire Away 10BC Spanish
Kidde 40BC
Sears TPS-1 2A40BC
Fire Away 1A10BC Spanish
Kidde RPS-1 10BC
Traveler 10BC
Fire Away 2A40BC Spanish
Kidde RPS-1 40BC
Traveler 1A10BC
Fireaway 10 (F-10)
Kidde TPS-1 1A10BC
Traveler 2A40BC
Fireaway 10BC
Kidde TPS-1 2A40BC
Traveler T-10 10BC
Fireaway 110 (F-110)
KX 2-1/2 TCZ
Traveler T-110 1A10BC
Fireaway 1A10BC
Mariner 10BC
Traveler T-240 2A40BC
Fireaway 240 (F-240)
Mariner 1A10BC
Volunteer 1A10BC
Fireaway 2A40BC
Mariner 2A40BC
Volunteer TPS-V 1A10BC
Force 9 2A40BC
Mariner M-10  10BC
XL 2.5 TCZ
FS 340Z
Mariner M-110 1A10BC
XL 2.5 TCZ-3
Fuller 420  1A10BC
Mariner M-240 2A40BC
XL 2.5 TCZ-4
Fuller Brush 420 1A10BC
Master Protection 2A40BC
XL 2.75 RZ
FX210
Montgomery Ward 10BC
XL 2.75 RZ-3
FX210R
Montgomery Ward 1A-10BC
XL 2-3/4 RZ
FX210W
Montgomery Ward 8627 1A10BC
XL 340HD
FX340GW
Montgomery Ward 8637  10BC
XL 4 TXZ
FX340GW-2
Quell 10BC
XL 5 PK
FX340H
Quell 1A10BC
XL 5 TCZ
FX340SC
Quell RPS-1 10BC
XL 5 TCZ-1
FX340SC-2
Quell TPS-1 1A10BC
XL5 MR
Gillette 1A10BC
Quell ZRPS  5BC
XL 6 RZ
 
Plastic-handle models with date codes between January 2, 2012 and August 15, 2017
AUTO FX5 II-1
FC5
M10G
FA10G
FS10
M10GM
FA10T
FS110
M110G
FA110G
FS5
M110GM
FA5-1
FX10K
M5G
FA5G
FX5 II
M5GM
FC10
H110G
RESSP
FC110
H5G
 
 
Push-button Pindicator fire extinguishers: The recall involves eight models of Kidde Pindicator fire extinguishers manufactured between August 11, 1995 and September 22, 2017. The no-gauge push-button extinguishers were sold in red and white, and with a red or black nozzle. These models were sold primarily for kitchen and personal watercraft applications.
 
Push Button Pindicator Models manufactured between  August 11, 1995 and September 22, 2017
KK2
M5PM
100D
AUTO 5FX
210D
AUTO 5FX-1
M5P
FF 210D-1
 
Remedy:
Consumers should immediately contact Kidde to request a free replacement fire extinguisher and for instructions on returning the recalled unit, as it may not work properly in a fire emergency.
 
Note: This recall includes fire extinguisher models that were previously recalled in March 2009 and February 2015. Kidde branded fire extinguishers included in these previously announced recalls should also be replaced. All affected model numbers are listed in the charts above.
Recall information for fire extinguishers used in RVs and motor vehicles can be found on NHTSA’s website.
Incidents/Injuries:
The firm is aware of a 2014 death involving a car fire following a crash. Emergency responders could not get the recalled Kidde fire extinguishers to work. There have been approximately 391 reports of failed or limited activation or nozzle detachment, including the fatality, approximately 16 injuries, including smoke inhalation and minor burns, and approximately 91 reports of property damage.
Sold At:
Menards, Montgomery Ward, Sears, The Home Depot, Walmart and other department, home and hardware stores nationwide, and online at Amazon.com, ShopKidde.com and other online retailers for between $12 and $50 and for about $200 for model XL 5MR. These fire extinguishers were also sold with commercial trucks, recreational vehicles, personal watercraft and boats.
Importer(s):
Walter Kidde Portable Equipment Company Inc., of Mebane, N.C.
Manufactured In:
United States and Mexico
Units:
About 37.8 million (in addition, 2.7 million in Canada and 6,730 in Mexico)
 
 
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
 
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at 301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.
 
 
Speakers
Superintendent of Schools John O'Brian
Oct 17, 2019 12:00 PM
Kenai Peninsula School District Highlights
Don Keller
Oct 24, 2019 12:00 PM
Assembly
Bob Shavelson
Oct 31, 2019 12:00 PM
Pebble Project
Ryan Smith, CEO
Nov 07, 2019 12:00 PM
South Peninsula Hospital Update
Paula Kulhanek
Nov 14, 2019 12:00 PM
???
Bruce Shelley
Nov 21, 2019 12:00 PM
Homer Electric Association Update
No Meeting No Meeting
Nov 28, 2019
Happy Thanksgiving!
No Meeting -- No Meeting
Dec 26, 2019
Hope you had a Merry Christmas
No Meeting -- No Meeting
Jan 02, 2020
Happy New Year!!
 
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