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.
Small Change 2019-10-10 08:00:00Z 0
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.
Four Questions About Our Strategy to End Polio 2019-10-10 08:00:00Z 0
2019 Rotary Health Fair November 2, 2019 2019-10-02 08:00:00Z 0
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.
Project Fair Forges Strong Friendships 2019-10-02 08:00:00Z 0
The City with the help of Dutch Boy is installing the playset our club purchased.  The monies came from the proceeds of the Cranium Cup held in 2018, as well as a matching grant from the District and a donation from McDonald's
 
 
 
 
 
 
Some Newer Pictures from Milli!  Nice!
 
 
Ben Walter's Park Playground is Going UP! 2019-09-26 08:00:00Z 0
We’re doing so much more than eradicating polio
 
                            By Vanessa Glavinskas                        Photography by Andrew Esiebo
 
Musa Muhammed Ali, a farmer in Borno state, Nigeria, has had to deal with the many ways polio has affected his life. For instance, he used to have to pay for transportation when he needed to buy feed for his animals. But after receiving a hand-operated tricycle funded through Rotary’s PolioPlus grants, Ali (pictured above) can now spend that money on other necessities. His life was changed by the “plus” in PolioPlus.
 
When we talk about PolioPlus, we know we are eradicating polio, but do we realize how many added benefits the program brings? The “plus” is something else that is provided as a part of the polio eradication campaign. It might be a hand-operated tricycle or access to water. It might be additional medical treatment, bed nets, or soap. A 2010 study estimates that vitamin A drops given to children at the same time as the polio vaccine have prevented 1.25 million deaths by decreasing susceptibility to infectious diseases.
 
In these pages, we take you to Nigeria, which could soon be declared free of wild poliovirus, to show you some of the many ways the polio eradication campaign is improving lives.

 
Preventing disease

Polio vaccination campaigns are difficult to carry out in northern Nigeria, where the Boko Haram insurgency has displaced millions of people, leading to malnutrition and spikes in disease. When security allows, health workers diligently work to bring the polio vaccine and other health services to every child, including going tent to tent in camps for displaced people. The health workers pictured here are in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno, where the insurgency began 10 years ago.
 
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), of which Rotary is a spearheading partner, funds 91 percent of all immunization staff in the World Health Organization’s Africa region. These staff members are key figures in the fight against polio — and other diseases: 85 percent give half their time to immunization, surveillance, and outbreak response for other initiatives. For example, health workers in Borno use the polio surveillance system, which detects new cases of polio and determines where and how they originated, to find people with symptoms of yellow fever. During a 2018 yellow fever outbreak, this was one of many strategies that resulted in the vaccination of 8 million people. And during an outbreak of Ebola in Nigeria in 2014, health workers prevented that disease from spreading beyond 19 reported cases by using methods developed for the polio eradication campaign to find anyone who might have come in contact with an infected person.
 
 
Children protected from polio still face other illnesses, and in Borno, malaria kills more people than all other diseases combined. Worldwide, a child dies of malaria every two minutes. To prevent its spread, insecticide-treated bed nets — such as the one Hurera Idris is pictured installing in her home — are often distributed for free during polio immunization events. In 2017, the World Health Organization, one of Rotary’s partners in the GPEI, organized a campaign to deliver antimalarial medicines to children in Borno using polio eradication staff and infrastructure. It was the first time that antimalarial medicines were delivered on a large scale alongside the polio vaccine, and the effort reached 1.2 million children.
 
Rotary and its partners also distribute soap and organize health camps to treat other conditions. “The pluses vary from one area to another. Depending on the environment and what is seen as a need, we try to bridge the gap,” says Tunji Funsho, chair of Rotary’s Nigeria PolioPlus Committee. “Part of the reason you get rejections when you immunize children is that we’ve been doing this for so long. In our part of the world, people look at things that are free and persistent with suspicion. When they know something else is coming, reluctant families will bring their children out to have them immunized.”
 
 
Rotarians’ contributions to PolioPlus help fund planning by technical experts, large-scale communication efforts to make people aware of the benefits of vaccinations, and support for volunteers who go door to door.
 
Volunteer community mobilizers are a critical part of vaccination campaigns in Nigeria’s hardest-to-reach communities. The volunteers are selected and trained by UNICEF, one of Rotary’s partners in the GPEI, and then deployed in the community or displaced persons camp where they live. They take advantage of the time they spend connecting with community members about polio to talk about other strategies to improve their families’ health. Fatima Umar, the volunteer pictured here, is educating Hadiza Zanna about health topics such as hygiene and maternal health, in addition to why polio vaccination is so important.
 
Nigerian Rotarians have been at the forefront of raising support for Rotary’s polio efforts. For example, Sir Emeka Offor, a member of the Rotary Club of Abuja Ministers Hill, and his foundation collaborated with Rotary and UNICEF to produce an audiobook called Yes to Health, No to Polio that health workers use.

 
Providing clean water

Addressing a critical long-term need such as access to clean water helps build relationships and trust with community members. Within camps for displaced people, vaccinators are sometimes met with frustration. “People say, ‘We don’t have water, and you’re giving us polio drops,’” Tunji Funsho explains. Rotary and its partners responded by funding 31 solar-powered boreholes to provide clean water in northern Nigeria, and the effort is ongoing. At left, women and children collect water from a borehole in the Madinatu settlement, where about 5,000 displaced people live.
 
Supplying clean water to vulnerable communities is a priority of the PolioPlus program not only in Nigeria, but also in Afghanistan and Pakistan — the only other remaining polio-endemic nations, or countries where transmission of the virus has never been interrupted. “Giving water is noble work also,” says Aziz Memon, chair of Rotary’s Pakistan PolioPlus Committee.
 
 
Access to safe drinking water is also an important aspect of the GPEI’s endgame strategy, which encourages efforts that “ensure populations reached for polio campaigns are also able to access much-needed basic services, such as clean water, sanitation, and nutrition.” The poliovirus spreads through human waste, so making sure people aren’t drinking or bathing in contaminated water is critical to eradicating the disease. Bunmi Lagunju, the PolioPlus project coordinator in Nigeria, says that installing the boreholes has also helped prevent the spread of cholera and other diseases in the displaced persons camps.
 
Communities with a reliable source of clean water enjoy a reduced rate of disease and a better quality of life. “When we came [to the camp], there was no borehole. We had to go to the nearby block factory to get water, and this was difficult because the factory only gave us limited amounts of water,” says Jumai Alhassan (pictured at bottom left bathing her baby). “We are thankful for people who provided us with the water.”

 
Creating jobs

Polio left Isiaku Musa Maaji disabled, with few ways to make a living. At age 24, he learned to build hand-operated tricycles designed to provide mobility for disabled adults and children, and later started his own business assembling them. His first break came, he says, when a local government placed a trial order. It was impressed with his product, and the orders continued. Rotary’s Nigeria PolioPlus Committee recently ordered 150 tricycles from Maaji to distribute to polio survivors and others with mobility problems. The relationship he has built with local Rotarians has motivated him to take part in door-to-door polio vaccination campaigns.
“It is not easy to be physically challenged,” he says. “I go out to educate other people on the importance of polio vaccine because I don’t want any other person to fall victim to polio.”
 
 
Aliyu Issah feels lucky; he’s able to support himself running a small convenience store. He knows other polio survivors who have attended skills training programs but lack the money to start a business and are forced to beg on the street. However, the GPEI provides a job that’s uniquely suited to polio survivors: educating others about the effects of the disease.
 
“Some of my friends who used to be street beggars now run their own small business with money they earn from working on the door-to-door immunization campaign,” Issah says.

 
 
Improving health care

In Maiduguri, Falmata Mustapha rides a hand-operated tricycle donated to her by Rotary’s Nigeria PolioPlus Committee. She is joined by several health workers for a door-to-door immunization campaign, bringing polio drops to areas without basic health care. UNICEF data show that polio survivors like Mustapha have a remarkable success rate persuading reluctant parents to vaccinate their children — on average, survivors convince seven of every 10 parents they talk to. In places where misinformation and rumors have left people hesitant to vaccinate, the survivors’ role in the final phase of the eradication effort is critical.
 
“Since working with the team, I have seen an increase in immunization compliance in the community,” Mustapha says. “I am well-regarded in the community because of my work, and I am happy about this.”
 
Eighteen million people around the world who would have died or been paralyzed are alive and walking because of the polio eradication campaign. Health workers and volunteers supported by PolioPlus grants have built an infrastructure for delivering health care and collecting data that, in many parts of the world, didn’t exist before. It’s already being used to improve overall health care and to fight other diseases, proving that the legacy of PolioPlus is more than eradicating a deadly disease from the planet — it’s also building a stronger health system that provides better access to lifesaving interventions for the world’s most vulnerable children.

• This story originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of The Rotarian magazine.
The Plus in PolioPlus 2019-09-26 08:00:00Z 0
From: "Jim Hunt PDG—Guatemala Literacy Project" <info@guatemalaliteracy.org>
Date: September 11, 2019 at 7:00:12 AM AKDT
To: "Donald Keller" <Donkone1999@yahoo.com>
Subject: Many hands needed to fight against poverty in Guatemala
Reply-To: joe@guatemalaliteracy.org
 
We need Rotarians to join service trips to Guatemala. 
 
Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP)
 
Dear Donald,
My name is Jim Hunt and I am a past District Governor and member of the Rotary Club of Ohio Pathways (D-6600). Joe Berninger, founder of the Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP), and I are organizing Rotary service trips to Guatemala and we are looking for interested Rotarians.                                                 
The GLP is the largest grassroots, multi-club, multi-district effort in the Rotary world not directed by RI itself and—according to former RI President Ian Riseley—the “gold standard” of Rotary projects. Over 600 Rotary clubs from 8 countries have participated in the GLP since its inception in 1996. GLP Textbook, Computer, Teacher Training, and Youth Development programs currently serve more than 50,000 impoverished children.
And we need Rotarians to join the following service trips to Guatemala:
  • Feb 1-9, 2020
  • Feb 18-23, 2020
  • July 12-18, 2020
  • July 21-26, 2020
These trips offer a variety of experiences: some are longer or shorter; some more hands-on; yet all give you the opportunity to serve as a meaningful part of Rotary’s work fighting poverty in Guatemala. Please visit the project’s website for more details.
Could you also share this opportunity with members of your club?
If you have any questions, you can email Joe at joe@guatemalaliteracy.org.
Yours in Rotary Service,
Jim Hunt, PDG 
Rotary Club of Ohio Pathways (D-6600)
Joe Berninger
Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP) 
Rotary Club of Ohio Pathways (D-6600)
www.guatemalaliteracy.org
 
 
P.S. Check out this heartwarming blog post about other Rotarians in action!
 
 
Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP)  
Rotary eClub of Ohio Pathways
2300 Montana Avenue, Suite 301
Cincinnati, OH 45211
(513) 661-7000
 
 
 
Guatemala Literacy Project 2019-09-18 08:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of Tokyo Hiroo, Japan
Tokyo Hiroo members Nikolaus Boltze (from left), Ai Ito, Yoko Hattori, and Alain Wacziarg at Zōjō-ji, a historic Buddhist temple in Tokyo.
Image credit: Irwin Wong
 
Even by the standards of Tokyo, one of the world’s great culinary cities, the spread on Yoko Hattori’s dining room table is impressive. On this evening in May, the 2018-19 governor of District 2750 has prepared rolls of maki sushi, filled with fresh crab and cucumber, and golden brown pockets of inari tofu rice. There are deep red slices of seared katsuo tuna and a plate of melt-in-your-mouth braised pork belly, or kakuni, simmered for hours in soy sauce, sake, and ginger.
 
There are non-Japanese delicacies too: The dinner, after all, is for members of Hattori’s Rotary Club of Tokyo Hiroo, who hail from six countries on four continents. Alain Wacziarg, a Parisian who has lived in Tokyo for 45 years, has brought a loaf of pain de campagne and authentic Camembert. There’s even guacamole. “Hattori-san made it,” says Pablo Puga, the club’s lone Mexican, using the Japanese honorific title for his hostess.
 
If this dinner feels more festive than a typical Rotary gathering, there’s good reason. Several times a year, the club breaks from its regular Thursday lunchtime schedule and holds a less formal evening meeting at a member’s home. This also happens to be the first time the club has met in Japan’s new imperial era: On 1 May, the 59-year-old Naruhito succeeded his father, Akihito, to become Japan’s 126th emperor, marking the end of the 30-year Heisei era and beginning the era of Reiwa, or “beautiful harmony.” The transition came with an unprecedented 10-day national holiday.
 
Tokyo Hiroo, Japan’s only bilingual club, prides itself on being different. While most Rotarians in Japan are older men, the youngest of this club’s 30 members is 33, and about half of them are women. Meetings are conducted in Japanese and English, and most members can speak both.
 
Chartered in 2001, the Rotary Club of Tokyo Hiroo was the result of a push by Wacziarg and other expatriate Rotarians to start an English-speaking club in the Japanese capital. It was named after Tokyo’s Hiroo district, an upmarket neighborhood of condominiums, boutiques, and embassies where many of its members resided.
 
Today, the club meets in nearby Roppongi, a neighborhood that’s home to multinational corporations, luxury retailers, and some of Tokyo’s most famous nightlife. Its regular meeting venue, the Roppongi Hills Club, is on the 51st floor of a Tokyo landmark: the 54-story Mori Tower, which boasts a rooftop observation deck that offers a 360-degree view of the world’s largest metropolitan area. On a clear day, you can even see the distant peak of Japan’s tallest mountain, Fuji.
 
Japan's only bilingual club prides itself on being different.
 
Because of its international connections, Tokyo Hiroo is particularly well positioned for global service. For more than a decade, the club has led a project in Kenya that began when Dennis Awori, Kenya’s former ambassador to Japan, was a member of the Hiroo club. Since then, working with the Rotary Club of Nairobi-East, where Awori is now a member, and several other Japanese clubs, Tokyo Hiroo has supported the construction of more than 30 wells across Kenya. The wells are drilled using a 19th-century Japanese technique known as kazusa-bori that a small group of people can carry out using locally available materials. “These wells are perfect for rural areas, because they don’t require electricity,” says Michiko Mitarai, who traveled to Kenya with a group of Tokyo Hiroo members in 2013. The project has received two Rotary Foundation grants.
 
The club also supports causes closer to home. It sponsors an Interact club at the Canadian International School Tokyo and every few years hosts a foreign university student through a Rotary Yoneyama Memorial Foundation scholarship (Umekichi Yoneyama was the man who brought Rotary to Japan in 1920). Because club members are fluent in English, they’re important assets for District 2750, which includes non-Japanese-speaking clubs from the Pacific states of Palau and Micronesia and the U.S. territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Members host students selected by clubs there to visit Japan on exchanges.
 
Nikolaus Boltze, the 2019-20 club president, is a German who has lived in Japan for two decades; he says Tokyo Hiroo’s greatest strength is the diversity of its members. In a way, this is also its greatest challenge: Many foreign members come to Tokyo on temporary assignments, he says, which means turnover is high. But despite the challenges, the club is growing: According to Boltze, membership has increased by 50 percent in recent years and remains steady as the club looks forward to a busy year. Next July and August, during the 2020 Olympics, the club plans to host meetings and events to welcome foreign Rotarians who come to Japan for the games. At the end of that year, it will celebrate its 20th anniversary.
 
On this particular evening, though, discussions of all that can wait. As the wine continues to flow and a cheesecake makes the rounds, business has largely given way to socializing, which continues late into the Tokyo night.
— JONATHAN W. ROSEN
 
• This story originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of The Rotarian magazine.
Cub Innovation:  Tokyo Rise 2019-09-17 08:00:00Z 0
Hawaii’s green sea turtles, also known as honu, are a symbol of good luck, wisdom, and longevity. In Hawaiian legends, honu figure as messengers, protectors, and guides. The turtles, which appear in ancient petroglyphs as well as in modern iconography throughout the Hawaiian Islands, are also the inspiration for the official logo of the Rotary International Convention in Honolulu, taking place from 6 to 10 June.
 
Image credit: Shutterstock.com
In Hawaii, snorkelers often encounter these graceful giants — adult turtles often weigh more than 300 pounds — as they use their long, winglike front legs to propel themselves through the water. The best places to see green sea turtles include Hanauma Bay, just a half-hour by car from Honolulu, and Laniakea Beach, on Oahu’s north shore.
 
At Hanauma Bay, you might see the turtles swimming in the shallow water near the reefs. At Laniakea Beach, the turtles come up onto the beach to sun themselves. Be sure to give them their space; for the protection of this endangered species, it is illegal to touch or disturb them. But seeing green sea turtles sunning themselves or swimming offshore is an unforgettable experience for visitors to Hawaii.
— HANK SARTIN
• Don’t miss the 2020 Rotary Convention in Honolulu. Register at riconvention.org by 15 December to save.
 
• This story originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of The Rotarian magazine.
Turtle Power 2019-09-17 08:00:00Z 0

 

 

with Steven Boe

President-elect, Rotary Club of Silverdale, Washington

1. Making Rotary family-friendly is one of Rotary President Mark Daniel Maloney’s priorities this year. What has been your club’s approach?

Several of our members have young kids, including me — I have a five-year-old and a seven-year-old — and many have grandkids. Our annual fundraiser is the Silverdale Rotary Duck Race, where we drop 18,000 rubber ducks into the bay and they race to the finish line. Through sponsorships and ticket sales, we raise $70,000 and upward a year. Several Rotarians bring their kids to help tag the ducks ahead of time, sell tickets, or do cleanup afterward. That prompted us to start coming up with ideas for projects that were specifically designed for kids and parents to work on together. That’s how our project for families got started.

2. What’s the project all about?

The project allows parents to lead by example and build the next generation of Rotarians. People often say they want to get involved in volunteering, but they don’t know what to do or where to start. Our website (kidsofaction.com) offers a list of kid-friendly ideas — everything from walking dogs at the animal shelter to stuffing bags of supplies for homeless teens. Families can do those things together. Our club has always been open to kids at events, but our project helps the family members feel like they’re part of Rotary, rather than guests. Now we’re working with organizations in our community to have a day of volunteering designed for parents and kids.

3. Did your kids inspire this project?

They have been the inspiration since the beginning. Last June, I created a comic book for our duck race — a small coloring book that kids could color while they were at the event. The characters were based on my kids. I realized a lot of kids might want to help others, but they don’t exactly know how. We have to teach them. That was the big moment. Now we’re in the middle of creating an animated commercial to help promote our project. My kids love Rotary. They like coming to the Rotary events and they steal all of my Rotary pins! One of the reasons I joined Rotary was to set an example of service for my kids. My five-year-old daughter was asking me about some homeless people she had seen. When I explained that they had nowhere to live, she said, “We should do something.” I told her that’s why I joined Rotary. I reminded her of the time she helped stuff bags of supplies for homeless teens at one of our meetings. She had a very big smile on her face when she realized that she had already been helping them. And that put a big smile on mine.

4. How are you connecting with parents, especially those who aren’t members of Rotary?

Rotary connects to the community, and we want the community to connect with us as well. For those who aren’t already committed to Rotary, it might seem difficult to come to a Rotary meeting — especially for parents, both in terms of money and time. But maybe they can come on a weekend to volunteer on a project, or we can call them when there’s an event. The next step is getting them into a pattern of service, not just the one-time thing. And that’s where Rotary comes in. The next time they see that park, that cleanup project, those people who were helped, that holiday event, or whatever it is, Rotary will be on their radar.

— JOSEPH DERR

• Illustration by Viktor Miller Gausa

• This story originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of The Rotarian magazine.

Four Questions About Family-Friendly Service Projects 2019-09-11 08:00:00Z 0

Our Club's International Committee decided to contribute funds, $500, to assist with this Rotary Dental clinic in South Africa.  Attached is information about the Clinic.  Our connection with the RC of Knysna is that Clyde and I took a Rotary organized and led tour of South Africa a few years ago and we stayed in contact with the Rotarians from the Knysna Club who were the tour guides/leaders. 

 

I'll be working on the transfer of payment details within the next few days.

I thought it would be good to keep club members informed of another good project we are helping to fund.

Vivian

Our International Committee in Action 2019-09-11 08:00:00Z 0
Image credit: Rotaract club of University of Moratuwa
 
The beautiful coral reefs along Sri Lanka’s coastlines have long attracted tourists. But the coral reefs, once filled with brilliantly colored fish and other species, have been dying. Coral bleaching due to warmer ocean temperatures, along with excessive fishing, sand mining, and polluted waters, has heavily damaged these living systems.
 
The Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa recently completed a three-year project to replenish the corals. Project Zooxanthellae — named for the type of algae that lives on the surface of corals and nourishes them — involved Sri Lankan Navy divers placing 10 steel-framed structures underwater several hundred yards from shore. The divers then attached about 60 finger-size branches of live coral to each of the six-sided, 5-foot-high frames, which look like industrial jungle gyms. The coral polyps secrete the protective exoskeletal material that forms a reef. In four to five years, new reefs will have formed around the frames. The frames will eventually rust away, leaving a healthy reef.
 
“We wanted to do something to save the coral and help tourism,” says Rotaractor Paveen Perera. “This project will help people in those coastal areas who earn a living through the tourism industry.”
 
The project came about in 2016 after Sahan Jayawardana, the club’s environment director at the time, heard a lecture on coral reefs by Nalin Rathnayake, an oceanography expert from the Department of Earth Resources Engineering at the University of Moratuwa. A similar reef seeding project had been done successfully in the Maldives.
 
The location of the future reef was determined by the National Aquatic Resources Research & Development Agency, which conducted a survey looking for optimal growing conditions. The structures were designed and made by Siam City Cement (Lanka) Ltd., in collaboration with Rathnayake.
The coral pieces came from a nearby site, and it took about a year to get permission to harvest them, explains club member Natasha Kularatne, who helped oversee the project. Over the course of a week, the structures were placed in the waters off Jungle Beach, Rumassala, a major tourist area, and the corals were attached.
 
So far, the project has been successful, and this year the club was recognized with a Rotaract Outstanding Project Award for the South Asia region. “The Navy went on a dive and took photos, and it shows growth,” says Perera. “They are doing well.”
 
— ANNE STEIN
This story originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of The Rotarian magazine.
Coral Reef Revival 2019-09-11 08:00:00Z 0
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You can help with a gift to our Disaster Response Fund


Disasters can devastate a community, leaving people in urgent need of medical care, housing, and other services. Following a natural disaster like Hurricane Dorian, your contribution ensures that we can deliver supplies, provide health care, and support rebuilding efforts. By making a donation today, you can help Rotarians respond swiftly and effectively, bringing hope to those whose lives have been affected by disaster.

Your gift will be combined with that of other Rotarians to provide disaster recovery and support rebuilding efforts where the need is greatest so that, together, we can continue Doing Good in the World.

Sincerely,
The Rotary Foundation
 
 
 
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Rotary Disaster Relief 2019-09-05 08:00:00Z 0

Hello all attendees of the 20th annual Labor Day (weekend) BBQ at the Gordon’s in Halibut Cove! Can you believe this is the 20th BBQ they have sponsored!

FYI there were 25 from the Homer side of the Bay who attended and 9 who decided not to attend. No doubt the weather forecast played a part in the lower count! Fortunately the NOAA forecast did not hold true!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable time, I certainly did!! If I Did not get around to talking with you it was not intentional 😀, seemed like the afternoon flew by. Every time I attend one of our functions I learn something new about the Homer Rotary history (both clubs) and at other levels as well, i.e. Speaking with Carolyn Jones, former District Governor and former Rotary International Trustee!

A HUGE Thank You to Mike, Shelli, and everyone else who helped us get there and made it such a pleasant and enjoyable gathering.

Thank you

~Yours in Rotary~

Don Keller

Boarding the AR in Homer

Ready to Go!

Got a Bit Bouncy Going Over!

Halibut Cove

Halibut Cove

Halibut Cove

We're There!

Now, a Little Climb

Up!

To Fantastic Views

Looking Back at More Up!

 

And Berries!

Made It!  And It is Really Worth the Climb!

Fantastic Food!  Gardens Raided, Cookbooks Perused, Skills Dusted Off!  Wow!

How About This View of Halibut Cove From the Deck!

 

Places to Explore

Beautiful Scentery

 

 

Berries to Chase (Pic)!

Lots of Friends, Old and New, to Visit With (Unfortunately No Pictures Submitted).

 

 

Unfortunately Even the Best of Days Must Come to an End

The Cove Says Goodbye

 

The AR Coming to Pick Us Up

And Homer We Go

On the Way a Humpback Whale Visits Us

And a Good Time Was Had by All!

20th Annual BBQ 2019-09-03 08:00:00Z 0

Per my announcement at yesterday's meeting, the Community Service Committee did donate $200.00 towards the back to school supplies, however, Delta Kappa Gamma spent over $600.00 and have run out of key needs.   They need the following: 

colored pencils

big glue sticks 

#2 pencils

wide lined notebook paper (be sure it is 3 hole punched) 

composition books

wide rule spiral notebooks

lead for mechanical pencils

If you are able to get any of these, please bring them to the meeting on Thursday and I will deliver them to the ladies who manage the program.

Thanks so much for your help.

Milli Martin

Community Service Committee

School Supplies Still Needed for Backpacks 2019-09-03 08:00:00Z 0

DG Andre's Message - September 2019

As the Labor Day weekend comes to a close, I reflect on the first two months into this Rotary year.   Two issues immediately come to mind:  Economic uncertainty for our state and the many summer wildfires that continue to impact so many communities in Alaska.  With recent budget vetos, Alaskans have faced uncertainty for much of the summer and are now adapting to a new economic reality as we look to the future of Alaska.  And while this summer was one of the warmest on record, many Alaskans were (and continue to be) impacted by smoke, water emergencies, changed travel plans and worries about their property.

With Hurricane Dorian devastating the Bahamas in the past 24 hours and threatening parts of the east coast, my thoughts are with the many citizens who have lost loved ones and property, but are now safe from this historic storm. Look for an e-mail from Rotary with details. Whether you want to help Past RI President Barry's home country or donate to one of the southern states that are awaiting the storm, there are a number of ways Rotarians can donate to the Hurricane Dorian relief fund. 

A hallmark of Rotary is providing service to community, helping others less fortunate and implementing projects that improve the quality of life for our communities.  There is no shortage of future opportunities for Rotary clubs in Alaska to step up and make a local impact to help seniors, the homeless, youth servicing organizations and community organizations at their greatest time of need.  How we as Rotarians and Rotary clubs respond will speak volumes about what we care about and who we are as Rotarians.

Since July, my Rotary journey has taken me to Ketchikan, Eagle River, Anchorage, Kodiak, Kenai, Soldotna and most recently Nome.  These club visits have allowed me to meet dedicated Rotarians (#PeopleOfAction) both young and old, who embody Rotary’s enduring values.  I've had opportunity to see current and past club projects and participate in lively and fun club meetings, fundraisers, parades and social events.  I even got to throw out opening pitches at a Glacier Pilot game and Alaska Goldpanners game.

As part of my club visits, I have been sharing my Rotary story, the Rotary vision of RI and goals established by 2019-2020 President Mark Maloney.  I’m also sharing details of several D5010 initiatives and projects for our district that are intended to strengthen clubs so they can be more effective in achieving their goals.

Congratulations Keith Green, President of the Rotary Club of Anchorage and Marti Buscaglia and Louise Russell for the newly formed Rotary Satellite Club of Anchorage ECO, Alaska.  If you would like to learn more about the club, their meeting format, please contact (marti.b@alaskaecorotary.org).

Our District membership on July 1st, after losing our two Whitehorse clubs, was 1653 members.  On August 31st (at the conclusion of Rotary Membership Month) was 1670, so we are up 17 new members in our first two month.  Congratulations to all our clubs that have increased membership since July 1, 2019.  Our district goal of 5% net gain in membership (82 new members) in 2019-2020 is off to a good start.

As we head into September you’ll begin to hear more about future district efforts to provide Rotary education and training about Rotary and roles of club officers.  I’ve asked our AG’s to talk with club presidents about the education and training needs of their clubs, so we can personalize the training needs by region.  This year we will be offering some regional training assemblies and also some online education sessions as an effort to help Rotarians new and old learn more about Rotary - it’s values, programs and resources.  We will start with offering a training session, hopefully in September, for club Public Image officers, a pre-requisite for taking advantage of the $200 stipends being offered to clubs in support of their club PI efforts.

In August we launched the new D5010 Mobile APP.  All 1600+ district Rotarians can download the APP from the Apple iOS store (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/rotary-district-5010/id1474291618?ls=1) and/or the Google Play store (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.rotarydistrict5010.app).

Currently five clubs are piloting the club version of this APP, and soon it will be offered to all other clubs in the district for $100 each.  Clubs interested in using the club APP will be asked to provide the name of a member of their club who we will train in how to enter club information into the APP.  

Using the new D5010 mobile APP, there are a couple features for members to use for sharing stories about their club (Open the APP, under Latest News button the feature is called Submit a News Story) Please provide copy ready content and images and submit. Stories that are shared will be put into ClubRunner, and you’ll find these as well in the APP under Latest NEWS or on the D5010 Facebook page (under Social Media button in the APP).

To share ideas (or any other feedback) with D5010 leadership (Open the APP, under Share Ideas button, select Send your Feedback, complete and submit).

Clubs should be planning now to celebrate World Polio Day on Thursday, October 24, 2019. In a separate e-mail you will receive information on how to participate and celebrate this important day.  We encourage clubs to work with local media outlets to promote this important event. I’ll also forward the most recent Polio Plus Institute PowerPoint, which clubs are encouraged to share in early October. I have issued a challenge to all club presidents in D5010 to have 100% of their members donate $25 minimum to Polio Plus in October so we can match the district donation made earlier this year.  This will raise an additional $35,000 towards that match. I have suggested each club include the $25 Polio Plus donation as part of their quarterly or monthly member dues invoice in October. 

Finally, I have received several requests from other Rotary districts about having a Friendship with D5010.  This is a reciprocal Rotary program, funded entirely by the individuals who participate, involving 4-6 couples visiting Alaska for 7-10 days, then 4-6 individuals/couples from D5010 visiting their district the following year. As a host district, housing, meals and sightseeing is provided by Rotary host families.  Travel and personal spending is provided by the guests. If you have interest in helping to organize the planning for a group visit here in 2019-2020 or 2020-2021, please let me or DGE Joe Kashi know.  Generally this involves visiting one community in Alaska, but may also involve attending another community or the D5010 district conference.

Sincerely,

Andre’ Layral

District Governor 2019-2020

Cell 907-460-7786

September District Governor's Letter 2019-09-03 08:00:00Z 0

 

The Halibut Cove BBQ is fast approaching! At this time we have 34 planning to attend! In addition to the AR which is Stillpoint Lodge's boat (23) passengers we have Steve Yoshida and Paul Seaton's boats. we are needing both of  the boats to get everyone over and back. Steve has room for several people more. Paul Seaton has room for 4, his boat is a large 23 foot open set net skiff so if you are traveling with Paul and Tina dress appropriately! Contact Paul at 299-3434 or email at < pkseaton@gmail.com >.

A reminder to bring a Dish to share ,as well as any beverage that you may want for yourself or to share. Last year those who were on the Stillpoint Lodge boat were encouraged to Tip the staff as we disembarked. The same would be appreciated this year. We are very fortunate to have them donate their time and vessel. Without them we would be looking at the expense of water taxi's which would likely decrease attendance! 

The Stillpoint Lodge's boat will be loading at RAMP 1, planning to leave at 1pm

Our new Exchange Student, Euna, will be attending, it has been brought to my attention that some one on one conversation would be appreciated as she continues to adjust to her new life and our language. She is still adjusting to larger groups.

~Yours In Rotary~

Don Keller 
Transportation To Gordon's in Halibut Cove Sunday, September 1 2019-08-28 08:00:00Z 0
This is information from the global grant project to which our Club’s International committee contributed $500.  
Seems to be a great project.  
The report comes from Mary in Ketchikan who coordinated the contributions from Alaskan clubs. 
Vivian
 
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Mary Kowalczyk <cliffdwelling@kpunet.net>
Date: Tue, Aug 20, 2019 at 11:40 AM
Subject: Fwd: Healing Little Egyptian Hearts - with gracious thanks for GG contributions
To: stuart <stuart@krbd.org>, Vivian Finlay <vivianfinlay@gmail.com
 
Dear All,
 
Recently I received this the below and attached information, but I haven't had a good opportunity to forward this update to everyone concerning their GG contribution to this 2018-2019 international project.  Please share this with your club members.  It is pretty exciting to see the accomplishments so far.  Also, a big thank you to District for the match with our 4 clubs.
 
Have a great rest of the summer!
Mary

From: "Rob Raylman" <robraylman.goli@gmail.com>
To: "Mary Kowalczyk" <cliffdwelling@kpunet.net>
Cc: "brenda giftoflife" <brenda.giftoflife@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 1:36:47 PM
Subject: Healing Little Egyptian Hearts
 
Hello Mary:
 
Hoping this finds you well
 
Our Rotary Global Grant to sponsor the healing of 64 Little Egyptian Hearts has begun….
 
19 precious children have been operated on by Dr. Hesham Shawkey (a Rotarian) at Cairo University Hospital…we have 45 more children to help under this grant….
 
Please see attached a pictorial report highlighting the 19 children who have received their Gift of Life!!!
 
Thank you for being part of our Global Network of 29 organizations and 1 individual who came together with The Rotary Foundation to answer the prayers of Egyptian children and their parents….in Connecting the World  we have Made A Difference in the lives of many!!!!
 
Rob Raylman
CEO 
Gift of Life International
(845) 546-2104
robraylman.goli@gmail.com
www.giftoflifeinternational.org
 
 
 
Report From International Committee 2019-08-28 08:00:00Z 0

 Dear   Clyde & Vivian, Ted & Gloria
 Dear All

 Let  me  tell you that my student Maria Kupchinskaia  has  safely arrived
 back home after an eventful month of her "Watch & Learn" internship in
 your part of the world.

 She  gave  me  the names  of  the many Rotarians and non-Rotarians
 to   express  her   and   our   heartfelt   gratitude    to   you for
 your  time,   efforts and willingness to share your   culture,  including  business  culture.

 Especially  she  is  grateful  to  Clyde & Vivian who coordinated her
internship   activities  and her first host family;  many thanks go
to Ted and Gloria for the coordination of her visit to  Anchorage
and for taking drastic  measures when she suddenly fell ill.

Maria  warmly  mentioned the names of Sue Clardy, her "angel guardian"
as    she  put  it.

Regrettably, she does not have  the e-mail addresses for
all   who  have  made  her  experience  in  Alaska  most  meaningful,
productive  and enjoyable. Warmest regards   and  a big thank you  to Andrew Peter, Steve and
Noko,   Maynard,   Kathy  Grimes,  Bill  P. Jay, Arthur Sose(Sp.), the
Clynes, and many others.

Unfortunately, I have been  unable to touch base with Maria as she has
acted   as  a caregiver for her dying grandfather and grandmother with
Alzheimer. Hence a delay in communication.

Within a week the reports of all ten interns, including Maria's ,  will be posted on the
 school's site (www.buk.irk.ru) for us  to see what has been accomplished
 due   to  the  wonderful  hospitality  of  Rotarians  and  non-Rotarians  in
 Australia, Canada and the U.S.

With  renewed thanks for all  your generous gestures  that are very much appreciated.

Vladimir Donskoy
PDG/Professor Emeritus
Irkutsk State University
1996-2019 Watch & Learn Intern Program
Coordinator

Letter From Vladimir Donskoy 2019-08-28 08:00:00Z 0
A Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea,Volume 2 2019-08-22 08:00:00Z 0
On his way from his home in California to the Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany, Edwin Velarde took an unusual detour.
Edwin Velarde is a member of the Rotary Club of Westlake Village, California
Image credit: Samuel Zuder
 
In an effort to raise awareness of diabetes, Velarde, 57, rode a bicycle for the last leg of his trip, cycling 525 miles from London to Hamburg. After making stops along the way to visit Rotary clubs and talk about the impact of diabetes, he arrived on 31 May after 13 days of riding. He spoke to clubs in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany.
 
This was not the first time Velarde, a board member of the Rotarian Action Group for Diabetes, had cycled to a convention. “I thought I could create awareness by riding to conventions,” says Velarde, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 29. He biked from Busan to Seoul, Korea, in 2016, from Chicago to Atlanta in 2017, and from Rotary headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, to Toronto in 2018. This year, the journey had added meaning; Velarde dedicated this ride to his son Davis Edwin Velarde, who died at 22 of lymphoma in April.
 
Diabetes is a chronic illness that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce insulin (type 1) or when the body cannot effectively use insulin (type 2). When diabetes is not controlled, it can result in severe damage to the eyes, kidneys, and nerves and can double a person’s risk of heart attack and stroke.
 
The World Health Organization estimates that the number of people with diabetes rose from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014.
Several years ago, when Velarde was feeling fatigued and depressed about his illness, a friend gave him a bike. He took it out for a spin.
“That ride woke me up to the fact that I was not fit,” he recalls. “I realized I wanted to become a cyclist, and not just someone who rides a bike.”
Velarde’s goal is to rally support among Rotarians to find a cure for diabetes, and to spread the word that a healthy lifestyle can help people who have type 2 diabetes better control the illness.
 
“We have what it takes to conquer the diabetes epidemic,” he says. “Imagine the 422 million people we could help.”
— ANNEMARIE MANNION
• This story originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of The Rotarian magazine.
Rotarian Rides Again AMM 2019-08-20 08:00:00Z 0
If you want to get serious about reading, time is not your friend. Here are some suggestions for making each book count.
 
Story by Joe Queenan               Illustrations by Joey Guidone
 
I have read more than 7,000 books, but not all of them were a good use of my time. I had to learn the hard way that certain habits are wasteful or even destructive. As a young person, I frittered away too much time reading trash, dross, and drivel. Now that I am in the autumn of my years, I almost never read a book that might not in some way elevate me. Life is a zero-sum game: Every bad book you read takes the place of a good book. And no matter what your age, the meter is running.
 
Sooner or later, most of us reach a point in life where we realize that we are not going to make all of our dreams come true. We are never going to learn French, never going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, never going to buy a stock like Amazon when it’s trading at four bucks a share. We will never have a 29-inch waist, never look good in leather pants, never learn to play the piano. These are the hard facts of life and we simply have to accept them.
 
But there are certain things we can control. And for those of us to whom reading books is like eating or breathing, there comes a time when we need to run the numbers. I read X number of books a year. I expect to live Y more years. Maybe Z, if I can get that cholesterol under control. So the question is: Do I have enough time to read all the books I want to read (X times Y) before the Big Sayonara? And if not, what adjustments should I make?
 
Text Messages
Three writers, each a lover of language, explore expedient strategies for reading, the labyrinths of lexicography, and the subtle pleasures of rereading — and re-rereading — a favorite book.
 
If you want to get serious about reading, time is not your friend. Here are some suggestions for making each book count.
 
A longtime lexicographer reveals the rebarbative precision by which dictionaries are made and celebrates the unruly evolution of the English language.
 
Rereading an old favorite at different stages in life is a chance to discover new things in the text and in ourselves.
 
Here are a few thoughts on the subject:
Beware of recommended books. Books tell us an awful lot about the person recommending them, and sometimes we would be better off not having this information. If you are a thoughtful, well-read person, you will regard a suggestion that you try out Clive Cussler or V.C. Andrews or anything with Special Ops in the title as an insult. If you have read masterpieces such as The Guns of August and A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, you will regard the suggestion that you sample something along the lines of The Day They Shot McKinley or The Plot to Kill Tippecanoe — and Tyler Too! as an affront to your intellect.
 
Get rid of unwanted gifts quickly. Gimmicky books that fit the template of A Short History of Wheat or Hook, Line, and Sinker: Ways of the Wily Halibut or Why Rutherford B. Hayes Still Matters may have started out as harmless Christmas gifts, but the longer they sit on the shelf, the more they start to resemble taunts, dares, perhaps even smacks in the face. For this reason, you should never be afraid to ditch a book you have no intention of reading. Donate it to the library or a nursing home or leave it on a park bench. Using an unwanted book as insulation in a drafty crawl space is not an unacceptable suggestion.
 
But do not regift it: If the book is so dull, cute, or slight that you have no intention of reading it, it’s not fair to place that burden on another person’s shoulders. People can tell when a book has been regifted; it has the smell of death about it. And it often has the words The Untold Story in the title.
Don’t climb all the mountains at once. When we start college, finally emancipated from those dreary, politically correct high school reading lists, many of us devour the classics in quick succession. War and Peace. Pride and Prejudice. Crime and Punishment. We are like children who have broken into the larder — and at first glance the larder seems inexhaustible.
 
The larder is not inexhaustible. Yes, there are plenty of mountains in the world, but there are a finite number of Everests. If you polish off Homer and Jane Austen too early in life, you will wish that you had kept a few titles in reserve for your autumnal years. Hadji Murat isn’t in the same class as Anna Karenina. This Side of Paradise is no Great Gatsby. Troilus and Cressida is a joke compared with Romeo and Juliet. If you use up Middlemarch too quickly, you’re going to be stuck with Daniel Deronda. And Adam Bede. Close, but no cigar.
 
Avoid inspiring books by the professionally inspirational. A friend of mine once said that he read Tolstoy because he seemed like the kind of guy who could help you solve some of life’s problems. You could say the same thing about Plato, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Jane Austen. You cannot say the same thing about most guys named Guy. If you are looking for inspiration, try Great Expectations. Or the Bible. And if you absolutely must read these sorts of faux-chummy books, try to hold the carnage down. Just as no one really needs more than one Gipsy Kings or Chieftains record, no one really needs to read more than one book by Jimmy Carter or Deepak Chopra. You get the idea pretty quick.
 
Learn to speed-read. This is an effective technique for quickly disposing of books you have to read for work, books your loved ones gave you, or amateurish, self-published memoirs by close friends. Remember: Mysteries and thrillers do not need to be read word by word. Nor do books about Ironman triathlons.
 
If you’re going to read trash, read higher-class trash. These days, when I read mysteries, they have to be really good ones, usually set in Scandinavia or Laos or Japan, where the exotic settings alone add value to the reading experience. Mysteries about trailer trash out in the sticks won’t cut it anymore.
 
Read the article, not the book. An awful lot of nonfiction books start out as mildly interesting newspaper or magazine articles before morphing into something totally out of scale to their actual importance. Search Google for the essay that inspired the book and read that. This is particularly true of books written about “mentoring” or “building team loyalty.” It’s all padding. And it’s all ghostwritten.
 
Reading is a deeply personal affair. Meaning that no matter how much you may love The Little Prince or Fight Club or Dune, you cannot make other people like it.
 
Read the first two chapters and skip the rest. Writing is a form of marketing: Authors show off their top-quality merchandise first. In most nonfiction books, everything of interest is jammed into the first two chapters; the rest is filler.
 
Avoid books written by politicians. For starters, the pols didn’t write them; some industrious hack ghosted them. And on the rare occasions when they did actually write them, you’ll end up wishing some enterprising hack had ghosted them. These books are all the same: America needs to get back to its roots; why, when I was a boy, you didn’t need to lock your doors; yup, that feisty girl I met walking across campus back in 1973 is now my wife; hey, whatever happened to class? The obvious exceptions to this rule are books written by Winston Churchill, Marcus Aurelius, Niccolò Machiavelli, or any of the Founding Fathers. One other thing: Never read a book by someone who lost his last election. Read the book by the person who beat him.
 
Avoid rock star autobiographies. The template never varies: I was born dirt-poor; I could never measure up to my father’s expectations; I triumphed over seemingly insurmountable adversity; drugs brought me to death’s door; I was saved by the love of a good woman. The lone exception to this rule about avoiding rock star autobiographies is Keith Richards’ Life. Then again, Keith was always the exception.
 
Avoid anthologies. They always contain Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” or Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown,” and they always make us think we are back in high school.
 
Recognize that not all reading pleasures can be shared. I have friends who will swear up and down that Frederick Exley’s A Fan’s Notes is the greatest sports book ever written. This, for the record, is like being the tallest office building in Duluth. Which in and of itself doesn’t make the building special.
 
No, reading is a deeply personal affair. Meaning that no matter how much you may love The Little Prince or Fight Club or Dune, you cannot make other people like it. My son assures me that spending my entire life without reading any science fiction or fantasy is to deliberately deny myself some of life’s greatest pleasures. For 68 years, I have been more than willing to take that risk. As the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t read The Chronicles of Narnia.
 
Seek out tiny classics. If you’re never going to get to The Portrait of a Lady, make do with Washington Square. If you’re never going to get to the daunting, six-volume History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, settle for the abridged version. If you can’t get to Dostoyevsky, settle for Chekhov.
 
Read three how-to books in your entire life, then call it quits. For my money, you still can’t beat trusty old classics like Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, Charles Goren’s Point Count Bidding in Contract Bridge, and, of course, Caesar’s The Gallic War.
 
When purchasing used books, check to make sure that no one wrote in them. Nothing wrecks Macbeth more than coming across marginalia like: “Boy, talk about sexist behavior!” or “She is such a head case!” People who write in books are having conversations with themselves. These are conversations you do not want to join.
Avoid self-help books with a number in the title. As in: Seven Steps to Serenity, The First Nine People You Meet in Purgatory, Twelve — No, Make That Thirteen — Steps to a Slimmer You. Books like this are a form of PowerPoint; the authors make lists because they can make lists. These books are built around the premise that success or happiness requires doing more than one thing. Wrong. Success is built around doing one thing. Stop eating Twinkies. Stop smoking. Stop being lazy. Stop being mean to your kids. Stop reading dumb self-help books.
 
Be careful what you reread. People often say that if you have a wonderful meal at a restaurant, you shouldn’t go back because the second visit will be a disappointment. The same is often true of books. Some books — Kidnapped, Emma, The Sun Also Rises — hold up no matter how many times we read them. Some books are brutal disappointments when we return to them. Siddhartha and The Prophet probably seemed wise and knowing when you were 18. Try them at your peril when you’re 58.
 
Occasionally, very occasionally, read a bad book. Reading bad books helps you articulate what you like or dislike about a particular author. Moreover, the occasional Lee Child thriller is a good form of inexpensive psychotherapy. Feeling vulnerable, distracted, overmatched, ineffective? Spend a few hours with Jack Reacher or James Bond. They’ll show you how to cut through the red tape.
 
Read books in an age-appropriate fashion. Death of a Salesman will make no sense to a pimply 16-year-old. It will make sense only to an adult who has carried the burden of a job for a few decades. Catch-22 and The Catcher in the Rye are great books to read when you are a snarling, impudent youngster; if you don’t read them until you are middle-aged, they will seem flippant and immature. For the record, Wuthering Heights will probably make no sense to you or anyone else no matter how old you are when you finally get around to reading it.
One final thought: Waiting until later in life to read a classic is not necessarily a bad idea. I didn’t get to Don Quixote until I was 51. I was 53 before I finally cracked open Jane Eyre. In each case, the experience was enthralling: I turned off the phone, refused to answer the doorbell, immersed myself in the incontestably sublime. Proving that a pleasure delayed is not a pleasure denied.
 
Joe Queenan is a freelance writer based in Tarrytown, New York. He wrote about the joy of procrastination in the February issue.
 
• This story originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of The Rotarian magazine.
Book Smarts 2019-08-20 08:00:00Z 0

Shekhar Mehta, of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India, is the selection of the Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International for 2021-22. He will be declared the president-nominee on 1 October if no challenging candidates have been suggested.

Mehta acknowledges that current membership trends are a challenge and says that membership development should be Rotary’s highest priority. He believes that focusing on regional plans, successfully transitioning Rotaractors into Rotary clubs, and increasing diversity and female members could yield a 5 percent net growth in membership each year.

“A major brainstorming is needed to find effective solutions suited to different areas of the world,” says Mehta. He adds that regional ethos and culture have to be taken into account to find localized solutions, as “one size does not fit all.” He believes Rotary can extend to new geographical areas and countries.

As a strong proponent of Rotary’s strategic plan, Mehta says he will encourage clubs to use action plans and reinforce the core values of Rotary.

Mehta says Rotary needs to become more contemporary and adaptable by focusing on partnerships with governments and corporations, expanding partnerships with organizations that specialize in Rotary’s areas of focus, and investing in technology.

Mehta, an accountant, is chair of the Skyline Group, a real estate development company he founded. He is also a director of Operation Eyesight Universal (India), a Canada-based organization.

Mehta has been actively involved in disaster response and is a trustee of ShelterBox, UK. After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, he helped build nearly 500 homes for families affected by the disaster.

Mehta pioneered a program that has performed more than 1,500 life-changing heart surgeries in South Asia. He is also the architect of the TEACH Program, which promotes literacy throughout India and has reached thousands of schools.

A Rotary member since 1984, Mehta has served Rotary as director, member or chair of several committees, zone coordinator, training leader, member of The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers, and district governor. He is also the chair of Rotary Foundation (India).

Mehta has received Rotary’s Service Above Self Award and The Rotary Foundation’s Citation for Meritorious Service and Distinguished Service Awards.

He and his wife, Rashi, are Major Donors and members of the Bequest Society.

To learn more about Mehta, read his interview and vision statement outlining his goals for Rotary.

The members of the Nominating Committee for the 2021-22 President of Rotary International are: Mikael Ahlberg, Ölands Södra, Sweden; Bernhard Baumgartner, Kitzbühel, Austria; Gerson Gonçalves, Londrina-Norte, Pr., Brazil; Serge Gouteyron, Valenciennes-Denain aérodrome, Nord, France; Mary Beth Growney Selene, Madison West Towne-Middleton, Wisconsin, USA; Allan O. Jagger, Halifax, W. Yorks., England; Masahiro Kuroda, Hachinohe South, Aomori, Japan; Hsiu-Ming (Frederick) Lin, Taipei Tungteh, Taiwan; Larry A. Lunsford (secretary), Kansas City-Plaza, Missouri, USA; Anne L. Matthews (chair), Columbia East, South Carolina, USA; Ekkehart Pandel, Bückeburg, Germany; P. T. Prabhakar, Madras Central, Tamil Nadu, India; José Antonio Salazar Cruz, Bogotá Occidente, Cund., Colombia; M.K. Panduranga Setty, Bangalore, Karnataka, India; Steven A. Snyder, Auburn, California, USA; Yoshimasa Watanabe, Kojima, Okayama, Japan; and SangKoo Yun, Sae Hanyang, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Shekhar Mehta, of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India, is the selection of the Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International for 2021-22. He will be declared the president-nominee on 1 October if no challenging candidates have been suggested.

Mehta acknowledges that current membership trends are a challenge and says that membership development should be Rotary’s highest priority. He believes that focusing on regional plans, successfully transitioning Rotaractors into Rotary clubs, and increasing diversity and female members could yield a 5 percent net growth in membership each year.

“A major brainstorming is needed to find effective solutions suited to different areas of the world,” says Mehta. He adds that regional ethos and culture have to be taken into account to find localized solutions, as “one size does not fit all.” He believes Rotary can extend to new geographical areas and countries.

As a strong proponent of Rotary’s strategic plan, Mehta says he will encourage clubs to use action plans and reinforce the core values of Rotary.

Mehta says Rotary needs to become more contemporary and adaptable by focusing on partnerships with governments and corporations, expanding partnerships with organizations that specialize in Rotary’s areas of focus, and investing in technology.

Mehta, an accountant, is chair of the Skyline Group, a real estate development company he founded. He is also a director of Operation Eyesight Universal (India), a Canada-based organization.

 

Shekhar Mehta of India Selected to be 2021-22 Rotary International President 2019-08-14 08:00:00Z 0
Our Newest Paul Harris Fellowship Member 2019-08-14 08:00:00Z 0
A father changes his tune after
a game of musical shares
 
By Jeff Ruby
 
"At the most crucial time of my daughter’s social and mental development, I had made it all about myself."
Illustration by Richard Mia
 
When my daughter was an infant, her sleepy-time playlist did not involve Mozart or Raffi. No Baby Einstein for Baby Hannah. She listened to Swordfishtrombones, Tom Waits’ notoriously creepy 1983 LP. On repeat. All night.
 
If you aren’t familiar with Swordfishtrombones, it’s basically 40 minutes of cockeyed tales from an underground world populated with freaks and misfits, herky-jerky howling and whispering accompanied by angry trombones and rusty marimbas being played in a bathtub. It sounds like steam oozing from a sewer grate outside a pawn shop at 2 a.m. Unless you want your offspring to grow up to be a boxcar-hopping grifter, Swordfishtrombones may be the absolute worst album to play in a baby’s nursery. 
 
“What the hell is she listening to in there?” my wife asked while slipping back into bed after a 3 a.m. feeding.
“The 11th-best album of the 1980s, according to Pitchfork,” I mumbled. Then I rolled over.
 
This, my friends, is what happens when a grumpy failed hipster has children. I cared not a whit whether Tom Waits was developmentally appropriate — or what twisted dreams were unspooling in my daughter’s evolving brain. I just knew I didn’t want her brand-new neural connections clogged with Kidz Bop and anthropomorphic dinosaurs singing B-I-N-G-O. No, sir. My tyke would listen to music about real life. Loss. Longing. Sailors on shore leave drinking forties of Mickey’s Big Mouth and shooting pool with dwarfs.
 
A closeted music geek, I spent much of my awkward young life standing in the back of sweaty music venues making sure I had on the right T-shirt, the right sneakers, and the right beer in my hand, tapping my foot but keeping a safe, ironic distance from it all, even if my heart was beating so hard I could feel it pushing against my chest. Only in the privacy of my home could I show genuine love for the music. But I married a woman who has no musical opinions whatsoever beyond turn it down! so in Hannah I was ecstatic to have someone with whom I could share my passion. The fact that this someone was not yet potty-trained, or even ambulatory, barely occurred to me.
 
By the time my daughter was four, I had her on a steady diet of Johnny Cash, Yo La Tengo, and Stevie Wonder (circa 1972-76, of course). By five, she was singing along with the Clash. The day she requested Bob Dylan’s original 1963 version of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” from her car seat, I knew I had done my part. 
 
Of course, it all came crashing down. When Hannah was six, I happened upon a story in the satirical online newspaper The Onion. Its headline: “Cool Dad Raising Daughter on Media That Will Put Her Entirely Out of Touch with Her Generation.” The accompanying photo shows a father watching proudly as his daughter pulls a Talking Heads record from its sleeve, while she gives the impression she would be more comfortable at a Taylor Swift concert. The father looked a little like me. And the girl was a dead ringer for Hannah.
 
It was a punch in the jaw. At the most crucial time of my daughter’s social and mental development, I had made it all about myself. Call it snobbery, call it the fragile male ego run amok; I was guilty of both. I had lied for years, to myself, to my wife, to anyone else who would listen, that I was helping to mold a human being who would grow up to be sharp and literate, fluent in what I called “the classics” — when all I really wanted was to create a perfect Frankenstein monster of pop culture references. A mini-me, but more hip.
 
There’s a possible biological explanation for my actions. “From the beginning, we tempt [our children] into imitation of us and long for what may be life’s most profound compliment: their choosing to live according to our own system of values,” writes Andrew Solomon in Far From the Tree, his 2012 book about families adjusting to children with disabilities and differences. Then Solomon twists the knife in further: “Though many of us take pride in how different we are from our parents, we are endlessly sad at how different our children are from us.” This may clarify why, 30 years after running as fast as possible from the Bach cantatas my father was always humming, I was force-feeding my daughter Ramones albums.
 
On its face, this is entirely rational. What is parenting, after all, but an attempt to instill values in your progeny that will live on once your time is up in this world? A desperate stab at immortality — the ultimate ego trip.
 
But without a moral code to impart, what’s the point? Once I got past the most basic principles (be nice! work hard! um ... help people?), it became clear that I didn’t have much left to offer. The rest of my knowledge was trivia. Values are one thing; making sure a kindergartner knows the difference between Lennon songs and McCartney songs — and demanding that she care desperately which is which — is another completely. Worse, most of my input for my daughter seemed to revolve around being “cool,” which in my middle age I had managed to forget was a constant burden that suffocated my teen years.
 
So I backed off. Or tried to, anyway.
 
OK, so Marvin Gaye might happen to be in the CD player when Hannah got in the car, or Elvis Costello on the turntable when she popped into my office. If she asked what was playing, I would tell her. When she gave a song a thumbs-down or, worse, expressed indifference, I felt strangely wounded, and when she went her own way and inevitably developed her own interests, my stunted heart broke. Not because I had to let go of my daughter, but because she would be shaped by influences that were not my own. Influences I perceived as inferior.
 
Hannah is 14 now, and we’ve both grown up considerably. She’s smart, anxious, and sarcastic, a terrific writer and a mezzo-soprano in the Chicago Children’s Choir. She has good friends and good sense and is always searching. And I stayed out of her face while she found her own offbeat diversions: episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix; the infinite minutiae of Greek mythology; the joys of online animatics, which I didn’t even know was a thing, by an obscure Polish artist. Best of all, she’s eager to share them all with me.
 
Last September, I took my daughter to her first concert. It was by Dodie Clark, a waifish British chanteuse whose aching vulnerability has made her something of a sage to quirky teenage girls. I had heard Hannah talk about Clark’s 1.8 million YouTube followers and was naturally suspicious — but also flattered that she was willing to have me there. Plus, she needed a ride.
 
The concert blew me away. Clark’s lilting performance was raw and endearing, every lyric conveying unironic, life-affirming messages I had forgotten existed. Social anxiety? Totally normal. Worried no one will ever love you? It’s OK. Sexually confused? Join the club.
 
The crowd — young, enthusiastic, and unjudgey — included girls and boys of all ages, shapes, sizes, colors, and orientations, each of them dressed how they wanted, singing how they wanted, laughing and crying and losing themselves in the music in a way I had never been able to with someone watching. Hannah could not stop smiling. And I cried. Because at 14, my daughter had learned how to be comfortable in her skin in a way that I never could.
 
Hannah’s own peculiar music play-list today includes everything from lo-fi pop to Croatian choral music. And yes, she has managed to enfold Queen and the Beatles into the mix. “I don’t mind when you recommend a song you like,” she said recently. “I like your taste in music.” This may mark the first time in history that a child has said that to her parent. And, as it turns out, I like her taste too.
 
• In our March issue, Jeff Ruby, the chief contributing dining critic for Chicago magazine, explained how his son Max got his name.
 
• This story originally appeared in the August 2019 issue of The Rotarian magazine.
Don't Play it Again, Dad 2019-08-06 08:00:00Z 0
EMAIL SCAM        EMAIL SCAM        EMAIL SCAM           EMAIL SCAM       EMAIL SCAM
 
Message From DG Andre'
 

Several Rotary members have notified me in the past few minutes that they have received suspicious e-mail(s) that appears to originate be from Amazon, or Chase.

This certainly looks like a Phishing attempt from a scammer, using Past District Governor Michelle O'Brien's e-mail account, and the signature line says Rotary District 5010.

The e-mails appear to be hacked from Constant Contact, or appear to imply so.

Please do not open the link.  These e-mails are not from D5010 or Michelle O'Brien, despite what they say.

Sincerely,

Andre' Layral

D5010 District Governor

2019-2020

 
FYI  I recieved the scam email just prior to receiving the above email.  They are trying to convince people that it is connected to Rotary.  In the past when I've recieved one of these, it is often followed by similar but different emails trying to get you to give them info, etc.  Please be careful.
 
Craig
IMPORTANT!  IMPORTANT! IMPORTANT! 2019-07-31 08:00:00Z 0
 
July 2019 is now behind us, all our clubs have inducted new officers, sponsored a few new members, held a few meetings, come together in fellowship, conducted a fundraiser or participated in a service project that has benefitted the community.  If you are like me, you have enjoyed the warm summer months, perhaps gone camping, fishing, hiking or enjoyed a barbecue or two. A reality of life in Alaska is that we are all beginning to think about our plans for the Fall.
 
I’ve had the privilege of visiting clubs and their projects in Ketchikan, e-Club of Alaska International, Eagle River, and the new Alaska ECO Satellite Rotary club.  Ive felt firsthand the spirit and pride of Ketchikan and Eagle River Rotary clubs and their communities as they conducted their annual Rotary Duck Race fundraisers while expanding my vocabulary with words like, “duck butts” and “quacker sackers”. I’ve thrown out opening pitches at Anchorage Glacier Pilots and Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks baseball games. 
 
Serving as District Governor enables me to learn about the many ways that Rotary Connects people, communities and the World.  The many projects I've seen thus far address a variety of community needs while positively impacting many lives.  These local projects are possible because of district grants that are funded by member contributions to the Annual Fund.  Half the donations each year come back to our Rotary District in the form of District Designated Funds that fund both local and global projects.  
 
D5010 funded 22 District Grants this year that were submitted by clubs.  We currently have several clubs participating in Global Grants in 2019-2020 with one or more partner districts, and all Alaska clubs have pledged to support our D5010 Global grant effort with D9141 to provide 1000 two seater desks in schools in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria, where currently students sit on dirt floors as they learn.
 
I've asked all club presidents to align their club goals based upon the Rotary Presidential Citation.  The goals in the citation support RI’s strategic priorities.  Club achievements toward their citation award are automatically verified through Rotary Club Central.  Therefore, I’m asking that all presidents take time to reacquaint themselves with the citation requirements and align their club goals with the citation requirements (900en19-20_theme_citation_brochure.pdf).  This year, there are also criteria for our Rotaract Clubs and Interact Clubs.
 
August is Membership and Extension Month in the Rotary world.  Making an impact in Rotary starts with our members.  Rotarians make the world a better place, so impact begins with every member making a commitment to serve their club, their community, bring new members into Rotary and contributing to the Rotary Foundation.  Rotary provides a way to connect our communities, opportunity to network with others who share Rotary values, share ideas and build strong and lasting relationships.  The global community of Rotarians begins with membership.  Rotary is very much a family and this year we must do better making Rotary possible and within reach to young leaders.  Part of this means making Rotary more family oriented for young leaders.  I am asking clubs to have a conversation with young leaders in their club about steps their club can take to establish reasonable expectations for busy young leaders.
 
Finally,  I am pleased to announce the new D5010 Mobile APP is now available FREE in the Apple store and Google Play store.  A separate e-mail will contain details about finding and downloading the APP. Only members of D5010 may download the APP.  The APP has many features that will put Rotary at your fingertips, including a calendar of events, latest Rotary news, a Directory of clubs, Resources for Presidents, Clubs and new Rotarians with a great section on Rotary ABC’s and how to engage with Rotary.  The APP links to a number of Facebook pages, including D5010, and there are links to Submit a news story, another to share ideas and provide feedback to district leaders. A number of volunteer leadership roles and opportunities are still available, so please check out the descriptors of our many committees.
Enjoy the remainder of the summer!
 
Sincerely,
 
Andre’ Layral
D5010 District Governor
2019-2020
 
Cell 907-460-7786
 
 
 
 
 
August 2019 District Governor Message to Members 2019-07-30 08:00:00Z 0

Nestled in the hills of Guatemala City, Colonia Trinidad is a neighborhood at odds with itself. “It’s a well-off area with huge apartments and lots of construction,” says Mónica Davila. “But we also have areas that are home to a lot of poor people.”

Davila is president of the Rotary Club of Guatemala Vista Hermosa Uwara, a satellite of the Rotary Club of Guatemala Vista Hermosa. While volunteering at a shelter for orphans, members of the Vista Hermosa Uwara club learned about Escuela Republica de Alemania, a school in Colonia Trinidad attended by 150 children between ages seven and 13. Some of the students live at the shelter, including some who lost family members when the Fuego volcano erupted in 2018 and killed at least 190 people. All of the school’s students live in poverty.

The school building was in bad shape, with rotting wood and problems with the roof, and had few of the resources needed for education. “Most of our club members live close to that school,” Davila says, and after seeing the conditions under which kids in their neighborhood were trying to learn, the members of the Uwara club knew what had to be done.

Nestled in the hills of Guatemala City, Colonia Trinidad is a neighborhood at odds with itself. “It’s a well-off area with huge apartments and lots of construction,” says Mónica Davila. “But we also have areas that are home to a lot of poor people.”

Davila is president of the Rotary Club of Guatemala Vista Hermosa Uwara, a satellite of the Rotary Club of Guatemala Vista Hermosa. While volunteering at a shelter for orphans, members of the Vista Hermosa Uwara club learned about Escuela Republica de Alemania, a school in Colonia Trinidad attended by 150 children between ages seven and 13. Some of the students live at the shelter, including some who lost family members when the Fuego volcano erupted in 2018 and killed at least 190 people. All of the school’s students live in poverty.

The school building was in bad shape, with rotting wood and problems with the roof, and had few of the resources needed for education. “Most of our club members live close to that school,” Davila says, and after seeing the conditions under which kids in their neighborhood were trying to learn, the members of the Uwara club knew what had to be done.

“We are trying to make a model school at Republica de Alemania,” she says.

In a three-month fundraising drive, the Uwara club members raised $1,000 and got additional support from District 4250 (Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras). In May 2018, they installed 100 new desks in classrooms. In February 2019, they set up a computer lab using donated equipment from a local call center.

“We are trying to make a model school at Republica de Alemania.”

The Uwara club has more plans for the school, including replacing the remaining classroom desks, fixing the roof, and stocking a library.

The work of the Uwara volunteers has inspired parents at the school to pool their own funds to help pay for some renovations.

María Valladares, a new member of the Uwara club, says her experiences at Republica de Alemania have confirmed to her how important becoming a Rotarian was. “I joined this club because the members are dedicated to education and helping children,” she says.

The Uwara volunteers see what a difference they’re making whenever they come back to the school. In February 2019, when they arrived to build the computer lab, the students were excited to show off how well they had taken care of their desks. “They said, ‘Can you come and see our desks? We have papers in them!’” Davila says. 

—  FRITZ LENNEMAN

• This story originally appeared in the August 2019 issue of The Rotarian magazine.

Class Project 2019-07-30 08:00:00Z 0
 

When it comes to addressing epidemics, the public health expert says we have the solutions. We simply have to embrace them

Jonathan Quick thinks on a grand scale. His book The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It argues that we can end not just one particular epidemic, but all epidemics. He lays out a seven-point call to action (e.g., “Invest wisely, save lives”; “Active prevention, constant readiness”) to prevent the inevitable outbreaks of diseases from growing into epidemics that kill thousands or even millions. The scale of his ambition is matched only by the scale of the problem and the price tag on his proposed solution: Quick calls for an investment of $7.5 billion annually for the next 20 years in prevention, but he points out that a severe pandemic — when an epidemic goes global, something made more likely by our interconnected world — could cost the global economy up to $2.5 trillion. 

When it comes to public health and disease prevention, Quick knows what he’s talking about. He earned his M.D. at Duke University and spent 10 years at the World Health Organization, working with local governments on access to medicine, particularly AIDS medications, in Pakistan and Kenya. During his time in Kenya, he was a member of the Rotary Club of Nairobi-South and was involved in the club’s polio vaccination efforts. When he returned to the United States in 2004, he led Management Sciences for Health, a nonprofit focused on helping governments develop effective health systems management.

Quick decided to write The End of Epidemics in 2014 during an Ebola outbreak in West Africa. He viewed with alarm the failure of governments, nongovernmental organizations, and affected populations to learn the lessons of recent epidemic outbreaks. “Based on what I’d seen with AIDS, with SARS [severe acute respiratory syndrome] in 2003, with Ebola, I asked myself where we would be in three years,” he recalls. “And my sense was we’d be just as vulnerable because we tend to go through a cycle of panic and neglect. I fear we’re going to leave my daughters’ generation a world that’s in more danger of pandemics if we don’t really get a good, solid, persistent response.” Senior editor Hank Sartin spoke with Quick about the factors that make for robust public health infrastructure, how engaged individuals have made a difference, what we should be focused on now, and the recent measles outbreak.

THE ROTARIAN: Since your book came out, we’ve faced a serious measles outbreak. What happened? And does this temper your optimism about the end of epidemics?

QUICK: The recent measles outbreaks in the United States and around the world are no surprise to those of us who have been tracking the rise of the vaccine resistance movement and the resulting global decline in measles immunization in many countries. This is a surmountable setback, but it must be confronted with utmost urgency.

The decade of the 2010s has seen an alarming decline in measles immunization. Between 2010 and 2017, more than 20 million children worldwide missed their first measles vaccination.

The global rise in vaccine rejection has been driven largely by a discredited and retracted 1998 article in a prestigious medical journal. The purported link between measles vaccine and childhood autism has been repeatedly disproven in rigorous scientific studies. As important, we now know much more about the real causes of autism, which include a combination of genetic and environmental factors, both prenatal and postnatal.

Our greatest challenge is not the microbes. Our greatest challenge today is combating the disinformation and underlying distrust of science that lead to vaccine rejection. The first step is to strengthen epidemic literacy, including vaccine literacy, from primary to graduate school and in continued public education. The second step is to acknowledge and respond to sincere concerns about past vaccine safety issues and to ensure the safety of new vaccines. The third, and most daunting, step is to develop local, national, and international vaccine acceptance efforts capable of turning around a well-organized global anti-vaccine community that has a simple, emotive message — “measles vaccine causes autism” — is highly effective on social media, and has enlisted stars and political leaders.

TR: You argue in the book that we need to move into prevention mode when it comes to epidemic diseases. But every time we’ve faced a previous epidemic, we have gone through a cycle of funding during the crisis and then defunding after. Is there any reason to think we will support a prevention strategy now?

QUICK: We had the combination of Ebola in 2014 and then the Zika virus in 2015. Coming so soon after Ebola, the Zika outbreak focused public attention on epidemics. And then in 2018, we had 80,000 flu deaths in the U.S. That accelerated the research on the flu vaccine. We have something new, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, dedicated to developing new vaccines. We have more funding put in the right places, and we also have much greater attention to building good public health systems. The global public health community put the SARS virus back in the box in 2003. We did that without a vaccine because of good public health: Go find the cases, isolate them, get their contacts, and stop it that way. The innovation, the funding, and the work on systems — those are the reasons I think it is possible.

TR: You write a lot about the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Why was that out-break so serious?

 

The Rotarian Conversation:  Jonathan Quick 2019-07-30 08:00:00Z 0
 A collaboration between Rotary and Heifer continues to produce big results, helping small farms provide healthier, locally-sourced food
 
By Arnold R. Grahl                               Visuals by Miriam Doan
 
In the fall of 2015, volunteers from Rotary and Heifer International came together to build hoop houses for a few farmers working small lots in Arkansas, USA. The afternoon outing was part of a larger project that is still reaping benefits four years later, supporting small-scale agriculture in the region and increasing access to locally-grown food.
 
Heifer has been using the small-scale agriculture model for decades to alleviate hunger and fight poverty around the world. The approach has the added benefits of being environmentally friendly and offering healthier food options.
 
That mission dovetails with Rotary’s mission to grow local economies and improve health. So it’s not surprising the two groups have teamed up on a number of occasions in the past 30 years to improve communities by helping families escape poverty. Several Heifer employees are or have been members of the Rotary Club of Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, the city where Heifer has its headquarters.
 
“Our values line up very well,” says Ardyth Neill, a member of the Little Rock club and president of the Heifer Foundation. “With Rotary, it’s Service Above Self and helping to serve others. Heifer has been working with farmers to be accountable, pass on their gifts, train other farmers, and work together in community. It’s learning to share and care, basic things that work well together.”
 
Sustainability
In the United States and other developed nations, a lot of food production is controlled by large industrial operations, which produce cheaper food by focusing on a single crop and using specialized equipment to cut labor costs.
 
But according to research into sustainable agriculture, this food model has downsides, including a reliance on commercial fertilizers, heavy pesticides, and other chemicals that can harm the environment.
 
The trend has also contributed to the failure of smaller family farms, increasing the poverty rates in places like rural Arkansas. 
Nationwide distribution networks have also resulted in food deserts in urban areas, particularly in the U.S., England, and Australia, where poor neighborhoods have little access to fresh produce and instead rely on less nutritious fast foods and packaged products.
 
Small-scale sustainable agriculture, on the other hand, tends to keep things local. The money you spend on food stays in your community and helps your neighbor. Farmers maximize land use by planting multiple crops that replenish the soil and reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides.
 
And fruits and vegetables grown closer to home keep more of their nutrients.
 
Consumers are increasingly aware of these health benefits, fueling the market for local produce.
 
“There’s a phenomenon going on, really nationwide, about people becoming more and more concerned and thoughtful about where their food comes from,” says Sharon Vogelpohl, a past president of the Little Rock Rotary club and a volunteer on the project.
 
In Heifer’s back yard
Before teaming up with Rotary on the project, Heifer USA conducted a study that found considerable untapped demand for locally grown produce. The study calculated that Arkansas spends more than $7 billion  a year on food, with about $6.3 billion of that coming from outside Arkansas.
Heifer set up a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) network — a food subscription service in which consumers buy produce in advance at a fixed price, guaranteeing farmers a market for their crop regardless of how weather or other factors may affect their output.
 
Rotary members used their extensive contacts to find buyers for the CSA shares, and offered business and planning advice to the farmers. Heifer provided training in sustainable practices and taught its philosophy of accountability, sharing, passing on training, and self-reliance.
Through its first five years, the number of shares sold grew from 150 the first year to more than 400 a year.
 
The New South Produce Cooperative became a largely independent cooperative in 2016, and in 2017 expanded to wholesale markets. Now, Heifer USA is transitioning oversight of the program to one of its funding partners, 275 Food Project, smoothing the path for expansion into the Memphis area.
 
"We’ve always viewed our role as being an incubator of this project,” says Annie Bergman, Global Communications Director for Heifer. “This will allow growth across the border and provide more support for the farmers. We will still offer training and funds when needed."
 
Farming around the world
The tools of small-scale sustainable agriculture look different around the world, but the principles are the same. Noel Mace, Heifer International’s program manager for Africa, explains that cooperatives play a crucial role in bringing together groups of farmers — many with both livestock and crops — and connecting them to markets.
 
“We are now developing more of a market-driven approach,” says Mace. “Historically, Heifer has spent a lot of time on how to bring poor farmers to a subsistence level where they can feed their families. But our mission is to end hunger and poverty, not to lessen it. Poverty is a big challenge without connecting to markets.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, and Heifer built a high tunnel for Joe Carr
.
“So the question,” he continues, “is not just how do we make sure you are not hungry, but how do we move you beyond a family-level production to participating with others in a market” that creates income and increases livelihood?
 
Africa has a strong dairy program, so much of Heifer’s work there flows out of milk. Tight groups of 15 to 20 farmers join with other groups in cooperatives that then have enough scale to access chilling plants and, ultimately, processing plants. The farmers then look to diversify further by using their milk co-op to sell avocados, lettuce, tomatoes, and other produce.
 
“If I am a consumer, I now can go to the co-op and buy milk, but also buy fresh fruits and greens, and I know it will have the same level of quality,” says Mace. “It’s really about marketing a brand, something I can rely on and know they will have when I go there.”
 
Spreading success
Back in Arkansas, Ben Wihebrink of Heifer USA says the larger vision is to encourage others to copy their model. In addition to building support for the cooperative in Memphis, pilot efforts have been launched in northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas Delta.
 
“There is an infinite demand across the (American) South specifically for local foods and organic foods,” says Wihebrink. “And as long as there is consumer interest, there is opportunity to help farmers in many places struggling to make a living.”
 
Joe Carr, recipient of one of the hoop houses, has been farming since he left his job at Whirlpool in 1987. He started a farmer’s market in 2003 that has grown to more than 60 vendors. The co-op and high tunnel (as it’s also called) have allowed him to increase his income.
 
"The beauty of the high tunnel is it gives you the quality you need for public demand,” he says. “Choy, kale, broccoli, carrots, and lettuce will all go through the winter. With the proper crop management, you can harvest all winter long."
 
 
Help Rotary Help Farmers
 
Fighting Poverty on a Small Scale 2019-07-25 08:00:00Z 0
Leadership Academy Application -- Due August 1, 2019 2019-07-24 08:00:00Z 0
District Leadership Academy
 
District 5010 logo
 
 
 
 
Greetings Fellow D5010 Rotarians!

My name is Jodi Stuart, your District Leadership Academy Dean for the 2019-20 course year! I’m excited to work along with you as your Dean. I believe strongly that being prepared with knowledge is the best way to be of service to my Club. I had been my Club’s Secretary for 6 years before I started the process of becoming a District Leadership Academy graduate. I wish I had done it sooner! The information provided through the Academy is helpful as well as the relationships made with other Clubs and Rotarians. I encourage everyone that is thinking of being in a position of leadership to participate in the Academy. The Academy provides knowledge and resources while instilling an additional level of enthusiasm for the work that we do as Rotarians. I recommend getting a team together for every Club in the District to attend! 

So, who should take the District Leadership Academy? Presidents-elect, Presidents Nominee, Past Presidents, Assistant Governors, District Committee Chairs, as well as all club officers and directors and those who aspire to serve as leaders at the club or district level, are encouraged to enroll in the District Leadership Academy (DLA) program. The DLA is an 8 month series of courses in Communications, Membership, Public Image, Youth Services, RI Organization, and The Rotary Foundation. All courses are taught online using Moodle. You can find the website at www.district5010leadershipacademy.org Each course is taught by an experienced Rotarian with extensive knowledge in their specific course topic. There are times throughout the courses to catch up if you fall behind as well! 

Since District 5110 (the Academy founding district) began the program 19 years ago, 12 Rotary districts have adopted the DLA to train their club and district leaders. In all, these districts have graduated more than 1400 Rotarians. Our District 5010 Leadership Academy training will provide our Rotarians with the broadest Rotary background possible, thereby enabling them to be the effective leaders that our clubs and district will need to grow and strengthen Rotary. All interested Rotarians are encouraged to learn more about the DLA and enroll for the Class of 2020. Download DLA information enrollment documents from our District Leadership Academy link on the D5010 website.

So, look around your Club and ask yourself, do I know what could make my Club the best Club it can be? If you do, come share your knowledge with the District Leadership Academy. If you don’t, come get some knowledge from the District Leadership Academy! Overall, I want to invite all of you that aren’t graduates of the program to join us. There is limited space, so make sure to get your application in early!
 
I look forward to a great year!
 
Jodi Stuart
Soldotna Rotary Club
District Leadership Academy Dean
District Leadership Academy 2019-07-24 08:00:00Z 0
September 1-30: Dynamic Leadership and Communication

The basics of leadership in a diverse organization are very useful in being a successful Rotarian. Students will register for their account on My Rotary at Rotary.Org. This account will be used to become familiar with and learn how to navigate the Rotary International (RI) and District 5010 web site as well as the various RI Social Media sites. In addition, best in class Leadership tips and traits will be referenced to help all learn how to lead diverse committees and grow strong, effective clubs under the new Council on Legislation changes.

October 1-31: Growing Vibrant Clubs

Rotary's Be a Vibrant Club leadership plan challenges members to revitalize their clubs and better engage new and established members. We use these fresh ideas and cover the new membership models, sharing of recruitment and retention ideas, and extension. All of Rotary’s latest membership resources are used, as well as tools to help students analyze their club’s membership over the previous years.

November 1-30: Tell Rotary’s Story – Public Image

Promoting Rotary to the general public can be as simple as wearing your Rotary pin or as elaborate as organizing an integrated marketing campaign. By increasing the public's understanding of Rotary, we're strengthening our ability to make an impact in communities around the world.

The course covers RI’s Public Relations policies and the importance of developing Rotary’s Public Image. Students will be given examples of the successful use of Public Relations to promote the work of their club and will survey their club's PR status. Learning to tell Rotary’s story and your own club story will help attract energetic new members and bring attention and support to worthwhile club projects

December – A catch-up month

January 1-31: Youth Services

The youngest generation in the family of Rotary take action in their communities, develop their leadership and professional skills, and have fun - many are participants in Rotary’s youth and young adult programs: Interact, Rotaract, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), and Rotary Youth Exchange. Others are service-minded young people involved in Rotary club and district activities. During this month’s course, you will review your Club’s various Youth Services programs, identify needed enhancements and consider new ideas to help formalize a final plan.

February 1-28 - RI Organization

Rotary International is the global association of Rotary Clubs. Our 1.2 million members are the heart of our service efforts and share a dedication to the ideal of Service Above Self. This course covers the organizational structure of Rotary at the club, district, and international level. You will learn how to propose changes to our rules and discuss the process for the latest Council on Legislation that is transforming Rotary into a forward-looking organization.

At the club level, you will bring all the above plans together to form an ongoing structure and process for your club.

The Rotary Foundation (TRF)

Part 1 - March 1-21
Part 2 - March 22 - Apr. 20

The Rotary Foundation is a nonprofit corporation(US 501(c)(3)) that promotes world understanding through humanitarian service as well as educational and cultural exchanges. The final course in the Academy program covers TRF. Due to the many components of TRF, the course covers seven weeks and is taught in two parts.

Part 1 covers PolioPlus, the various educational programs of TRF, the Six Areas of Focus, the club and district MOU’s and the various ways of giving to the Foundation.

Part 2 covers the new Grant Model, project sustainability, District Grants and Global Grants

In addition to discussions, students will prepare and submit a District Grant based on a project of their own choosing (preferably one that their club will be submitting to the district).

The Finale - Graduation!

All students finishing the year’s courses will meet to discuss the year and their experience. All will be recognized before the entire Conference attendees to receive their certificate, special pin, and vest with the DLA logo. Future Leaders of Rotary - go forth and share your passion for and commitment to enhancing communities and improving lives across the globe.

District Leadership Academy--Course Schedule 2019-07-24 08:00:00Z 0

While dining with an old friend, an acclaimed Chicago author witnesses the enduring repercussions of violence

By Illustrations by

Not long ago, over lunch at a restaurant, I asked Pharoah Rivers how much he remembered from a murder he witnessed 21 years ago. I’d written about Pharoah in my first book, There Are No Children Here, but the event I wanted to talk about happened after its publication, on a summer evening in Chicago in 1998. It’s at the restaurant that I come to realize how much that incident remains a part of Pharoah. “I can’t get it out of my mind,” he says.

The incident occurred on 19 August of that year. My wife, daughter, and I were visiting my parents in upstate New York when I received a phone call near midnight. The voice on the other end sounded familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it. “It’s Anne Chambers,” she said. Anne was a Chicago violent crimes detective whom I knew. She told me she was calling from the kitchen in my family’s home in Oak Park, a suburb bordering Chicago. She told me that Pharoah was there with her, and that he may have been involved in a murder. My legs buckled. I sat down to catch my breath.

At the time Pharoah, who had grown up in one of Chicago’s housing projects, had been living with me since he was 12 — a two-week stay that turned into six years. He had recently been accepted at Southern Illinois University and had decided not to visit New York with us during this summer trip because he wanted to get ready for classes that began the following week. And then I got this call.

I knew Anne from my time reporting There Are No Children Here. Here’s what she told me in that short midnight phone call: Pharoah had taken a taxi from our house to his mother’s home on the West Side, and when the cab pulled up, two young men pulled Pharoah out of the backseat and then jumped in. One of them held a pistol to the cabbie’s head, demanding his money. The cabbie must have panicked, and when he pressed down on the accelerator, one of the assailants shot him in the back. Anne told me that some detectives suspected Pharoah might have set up the driver. Fortunately, she knew him from her time in the projects and knew that he wasn’t that type of kid. I told her that I, too, couldn’t fathom Pharoah pulling such a stunt.

By the next morning, Anne and her colleagues had determined that in fact Pharoah knew nothing of the robbery. His sister had seen much of what transpired and could identify the assailants. For my part, I tried to reach Pharoah. This was before cell phones. His mother said he was out, but she wasn’t sure where. I tried calling regularly throughout the day. Both my wife and I were concerned. He’d just seen someone murdered. It wasn’t the first time, I knew, but I also imagined how disorienting it must be. Morning came and went. As did the afternoon. Finally that evening I reached him at our house.

Where have you been? I asked.

Shopping.

Shopping?

At Marshall Field’s. For school.

Shopping? I was incredulous.

Yeah.

Pharoah, how are you doing?

OK. Why?

Why? You just saw someone murdered.

I’m OK. I got to go. I need to get packed for school.

I hung up, shaking my head. I was dumbfounded — and angry. How could he not be grieving? How could he not be upset? Shopping? I told my wife that if it was me, I’d be curled up on our couch in a fetal position. I thought to myself, something must be terribly wrong with Pharoah. How can you not feel? How can you not cry? How can you not express gratitude for not getting killed yourself? Pharoah gets yanked out of the backseat of a taxi by two men with a pistol and then watches as they shoot and kill someone he’s just shared time with. Something, I thought, was off. Out of kilter. And for the longest time I thought Pharoah was without heart, that he’d become hardened, if not numb, to the violence around him. This of course is the mistake we all make, thinking that somehow one can get accustomed to it.

 

 

The Grief That Does Not Speak 2019-07-18 08:00:00Z 0

Would you like to contribute further to Rotary by serving on a committee? Each of Rotary's committees, made up of Rotarians and Rotaractors from around the world, works with the organization's leadership to ensure efficiency and promote the goals and priorities of the strategic plan.

The following committees are searching for qualified candidates for openings in 2020-21. All committees correspond via email, teleconference, or webinars as needed, and some involve at least one mandatory in-person meeting per year. Most committee business is conducted in English.

To be considered for committee membership or recommend someone for an appointment, visit .

Applicants must be registered on My Rotary at and ensure that their includes current contact details.

The application deadline is 12 August.

Communications committee

Function: Advises the Board on communication with key audiences

Prerequisites: Professional background and experience in a communications-related field

Commitment: One three-year term; multiple conference calls; annual meeting in Evanston

Finance committee

Function: Advises the Board on Rotary's finances, including budgets, investment policy, and sustainability measures

Prerequisites: Professional background in a finance-related field; nonprofit experience preferred. Candidates should have experience at the club and district level in financial matters.

Commitment: One three-year term; two meetings a year in Evanston

Leadership development and training committee

Function: Advises the Board on Rotary's leadership training program for Rotarians, clubs, and districts, with a special emphasis on training for district governors

Prerequisites: Must have significant training or education experience with a preference for leadership development

Commitment: One three-year term; annual meeting in Evanston

 

Apply to serve on a 2020-21 Rotary committeeApply to serve on a 2020-21 Rotary committeeApply to Serve on a 2020-21 Rotary Committee 2019-07-18 08:00:00Z 0

This 92-year-old Rotary club was once the place to see and be seen. But its numbers had dwindled. So one member took a unique approach to wooing new recruits, starting with the town’s civic leaders. Anyone need a badge polished?

By Illustrations by

The mayor gave me a funny look. "You want to do what?"

"Fill some potholes, sir. I want to prove our Rotary club isn’t just talk."

Mayor David Narkewicz and I sat in his office at City Hall in Northampton, Massachusetts, near a portrait of one of his predecessors, Calvin Coolidge. I told him I might also be good at stabbing litter with one of those spiked poles. I swore not to wound any of his constituents.

"It’s a nice gesture, but it’s really not necessary," he said. His phone was ringing; he had a meeting to get to. But I wasn’t quitting yet. For once I wasn’t fighting City Hall, but trying to butter it up.

"If you give me something to do,” I explained, “you’ll have one more reason to send a city representative to our Rotary meetings. We both win."

He shook my hand. "Let me get back to you."

I belong to a small club in Northampton, a busy college town with a population of 28,000-plus. It was once home to a thriving Rotary club with 92 members: doctors, lawyers, bank presidents, even the owner of Northampton Cutlery, which supplied the U.S. Army with knives.

But over time the club lost members and influence. The mayor gives an annual talk at one of our Monday meetings, but he isn’t a member. Neither are the local bank presidents, partly because locally owned banks are becoming extinct — eaten up by global banks. Today our members include a bank manager, a couple of lawyers, and a chiropractor, but Rotary meetings — once held at the luxurious Hotel Northampton — were no longer the see-and-be-seen events they used to be.

Phil Sullivan, a six-time club president and a Rotarian for 45 of his 74 years, remembers when all of Northampton’s civic leaders were members. "But times changed," Sullivan says. "We got older. I was the youngest one at the meetings when I began attending with my father in 1967, and when I turned 67 in 2011, I was still one of the youngest!"

Today our 92-year-old club has 30 members, up from its all-time low of 19. "It starts with one meeting," Sullivan says. "First, you have to get people in the room. Maybe they join, maybe not, maybe they tell their friends. One way or another, you give them a taste of Rotary and take it from there."

Thanks to Sullivan, our meetings definitely taste better than they used to. After years of steam-table lunches elsewhere, Sullivan moved meetings to a high-end Italian restaurant. Spoleto wasn’t open for lunch, and owner Claudio Guerra couldn’t begin to feed 20 or 30 Rotarians for the $20 per person the club had to spend. But he and Sullivan worked it out: The restaurant now opens early on Mondays exclusively for the Rotary club, with a limited menu that makes it affordable for both sides: a salad, a dessert, and a choice among four entrees, including one of the better chunks of salmon you’ll get this side of Boston. Holding meetings at Spoleto has boosted attendance and membership.

After Mayor Narkewicz, Police Chief Jody Kasper was next on my list. A Northampton cop since 1998, she has been the department’s chief — the first woman to hold that role — since 2015. We talked about the challenges a chief faces in a town like ours: the opioid epidemic; keeping officers from bolting to the state police for better pay; occasional sexism. Kasper said she enjoyed speaking to our club a few months ago and hoped we would support her department by liking its Facebook page, praising officers who do good deeds, maybe send a letter of support.

The Wheel Deal 2019-07-17 08:00:00Z 0

Over the past week, Alaska Rotary clubs have come together to celebrate the service of current club officers and welcome incoming club officers for a new Rotary year. Besides being a great fellowship event, it is a hopeful time, providing opportunity for every Rotarian to renew their commitment to their Rotary club and the enduring ideals that make Rotary the world leader of humanitarian service organizations. This planned succession of officers keeps Rotary strong, brings new ideas, engages our members, and makes Rotary unique.

On behalf of all Rotarians in D5010, I would like to thank outgoing 2018-2019 District Governor Diane Fejes for her dedication, commitment and leadership of our Rotary District.  In her outgoing letter to district Rotarians, Diane recapped the many accomplishments in her year as Governor, an impressive number of accomplishments.  Most of all I am grateful to Diane as a friend, mentor and leader whom I’ve had the privilege to work closely with for the last two years.  Diane is truly an exceptional Rotarian and she set a high bar as I begin my year on July 1st as 2019-2020 District Governor. Thank you Diane for Being the Inspiration for D5010 Rotarians.

I also would like to acknowledge the many Rotarians who have served our Rotary District, and the 38 presidents who served their clubs in 2018-2019.  In February, in Seattle, I first met all thirty eight President-Elects for 2019-2020, and also two Rotaract PE’s. This is a fun group of club leaders, and I was immediately impressed with the degree of fellowship shown, and the range of their talents and interests.   This gives me great hope for a great year in 2019-2020.

As I began preparing two years ago for my year as your Governor, RI has asked us to focus on a number of priorities. RI President Mark Maloney has asked us to Grow Rotary, become more effective in Telling Our Rotary Story, Make Rotary more Family Friendly and help Rotary finish the job of Eradicating Polio in the world through donations to Polio Plus.  You’ll hear more about these as we get into the new Rotary year.

I proposed four District initiatives, intended to move our Rotary district forward in 2019-2020.  These are being funded with D5010 Excess Reserve funds, have been vetted by the Excess Reserve Committee, and recently approved by the Finance Committee:

  • Provide stipends for young leaders to participate in the 2020 District Conference,  Zone Conference and International Conference.  
  • Provide stipends for travel to clubs who commit funds to International projects and would like to send a Rotarian to experience the project firsthand. 
  • Provide training to club Public Image Chairs and make $200 available to every club in the district to implement a club Public Image strategy.  
  • Implement regional Rotary education and training events in several areas (eliminating the annual Training Assembly connected to the district conference) to better prepare club leaders.  Part of this strategy will be to train Resource Leaders (Membership, Public Image, Foundation and Grants), in all five regions of our district, to help us implement this education and training. DGE Joe Kashi and the above committee chairs will help me implement this.

Lastly, DG Diane recently led an effort to complete updates to our district website so it is more user friendly for non-Rotarians and easier to find information. I’m pleased to announce that we will also be rolling out a district Mobile APP (targeting August 1st) which will link to the D5010 website, while providing an opportunity to more efficiently communicate with members in our district.  Provided at no cost to all D5010 Rotarians, members will have access to information, resources, district calendar at their fingertips (on their favorite mobile device - phone or tablet), and be able to share ideas, receive notifications, get alerts, get involved, contribute stories, post Rotary events, and find D5010 clubs/meeting times.  Clubs will have the opportunity to use the APP for their club (with a full suite of features), for a $100 annual fee, matched by D5010.

The Rotary Theme for 2019-2020 is Rotary Connects the World. I invite each of you to connect in fellowship and engage in Rotary, locally and around the world, to help share Rotary’s story as we Grow Rotary in D5010.

Sincerely,

Andre’ Layral

2019-2020 D5010 Governor

 

Rosie Roppel

2019-2020 Lt. Governor

2019-2020 AG’s:  Bill Wright (Interior area),  Mike Bridges (Anchorage area), Lori Draper (Peninsula area), Brenda Shelden (Mat-Su area), Sharon Bergman (Southeast area).

Dean McVey (Treasurer), Jodi Stuart (Secretary), Brad Gamble (Foundation), Lindsay Knight (Membership), Sharon Burns (Public Image)

2019-2020 D5010 Governor's Message -- Rotary Connects the World 2019-07-11 08:00:00Z 0
Approximately 18 People attended a Very informal gathering in the loft at Alice's July 10.  Appetizers and pizza were available.  Maria (Masha) was introduced to Rotarians and friends by Sue Clardy and members of the Sunshine Committee.  Many thanks to all who helped Masha feel welcomed and those who organized the gathering!!
 
Masha has already been Kayaking, Snorkeling, and swimming with Sue Clardy and Vivian!  Look at those smiles!
 
 
She's Here!!  Update! cmkf 2019-07-09 08:00:00Z 0
Rotary Garden! Lorna, Denice and Susie met today to finish up weeding and mulch. Stop by and enjoy! 💜
Rotary Garden--Wow! 2019-06-26 08:00:00Z 0
By Arnold R. Grahl              Photos by Alyce Henson
 
Rotary International President-elect Mark Daniel Maloney explained his vision for building a stronger Rotary, calling on leaders to expand connections to their communities and to embrace innovative membership models.
RI President-elect Mark Daniel Maloney announces the 2019-20 presidential theme, Rotary Connects the World, to incoming district governors in San Diego, California, USA.
 
Maloney, a member of the Rotary Club of Decatur, Alabama, USA, unveiled the 2019-20 presidential theme, Rotary Connects the World, to incoming district governors at Rotary’s annual training event, the International Assembly, in San Diego, California, USA, on Monday.
 
“The first emphasis is to grow Rotary — to grow our service, to grow the impact of our projects, but most importantly, to grow our membership so that we can achieve more,” Maloney said.
 
Maloney believes that connection is at the heart of the Rotary experience.
 
“(Rotary) allows us to connect with each other, in deep and meaningful ways, across our differences,” Maloney said. “It connects us to people we would never otherwise have met, who are more like us than we ever could have known. It connects us to our communities, to professional opportunities, and to the people who need our help.”
 
Maloney also called on every Rotary and Rotaract club to identify segments of their community not represented in their club by creating a membership committee with diverse members.
  
“Through Rotary, we connect to the incredible diversity of humanity on a truly unique footing, forging deep and lasting ties in pursuit of a common goal,” he added. “In this ever more divided world, Rotary connects us all.”
 
Maloney urged leaders to offer alternative meeting experiences and service opportunities to make it easier for busy professionals and people with many family obligations to serve in leadership roles.
 
“We need to foster a culture where Rotary does not compete with the family, but rather complements it,” Maloney said. “That means taking real, practical steps to change the existing culture: being realistic in our expectations, considerate in our scheduling, and welcoming of children at Rotary events on every level.”
 
Maloney said many of the barriers that prevent people from serving as leaders in Rotary are based on expectations that are no longer relevant.
“It is time to adapt, to change our culture, and to convey the message that you can be a great district governor without visiting every club individually, and a great president without doing everything yourself.”
Relationship with the United Nations
During 2019-20, Rotary will host a series of presidential conferences around the world, focusing on Rotary’s relationship with the United Nations and the UN’s sustainable development goals that many Rotary service projects support. More information will be available in July.
 
In 2020, the United Nations will celebrate the 75th anniversary of its charter and its mission of promoting peace. Rotary was one of 42 organizations the United States invited to serve as consultants to its delegation at the 1945 San Francisco conference, which led to the UN’s charter. For decades, Rotary has worked alongside the United Nations to address humanitarian issues around the world. Today, Rotary holds the highest consultative status that the UN offers to nongovernmental organizations.
 
“Rotary shares the United Nations’ enduring commitment to a healthier, more peaceful, and more sustainable world,” Maloney said. “And Rotary offers something no other organization can match: an existing infrastructure that allows people from all over the world to connect in a spirit of service and peace and take meaningful action toward that goal.” 
2019-20 RI President Announces His Presidential Theme 2019-06-26 08:00:00Z 0
A special report prepared for Rotary International by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies estimated the value of Rotary member volunteer hours at $850 million a year.
 
Cosmos Segbefia, a member of the Rotary Club of Sekondi-Takoradi, and Derrick Ababio Kwarteng, of Global Communities, assist with the construction of a borehole in the Western Region of Ghana in 2018. A report by Johns Hopkins University prepared for Rotary International estimated that Rotary members provide about 47 million hours of volunteer effort a year at an estimated value of $850 million.
 
That Rotary members log a lot of volunteer hours should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the organization. But a new report just released by Johns Hopkins University provides a powerful look at the impact of all those volunteer hours.
 
The special report prepared for Rotary International by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies found that Rotary members had volunteered a total of 5.8 million hours within a four-week survey period. Extrapolating those results over an entire year, the report gave a conservative estimate of nearly 47 million hours of volunteer effort generated by Rotary members in a typical year.
 
The report then analyzed the economic impact of all those hours and estimated the value conservatively at $850 million a year, if communities had to pay for the services that Rotary volunteers provide.
 
Rotary, with the help of Johns Hopkins University, is the first global service organization to conduct an empirical analysis of its volunteer’s impact using an internationally sanctioned definition of volunteer work. The authors of the report noted in their conclusion that at each stop, the analysis had chosen the most conservative estimates.
 
“This makes the results reported here all the more remarkable,” the authors noted. “Translated into economic terms, Rotary is annually generating a scale of social and economic problem-solving effort that is worth nearly nine times more than it costs the organization to produce.”
 
Rotary General Secretary John Hewko said the figure doesn't even include the in-kind contributions and the money that Rotary clubs and the Rotary Foundation raise every year. In addition, the figure doesn’t include the volunteer work of the many relatives and friends of Rotary that members often involve in a project, or that of members of Rotaract, Interact, or the Community Corps, that would easily double the estimate of Rotary’s economic impact.
Value of Rotary Volunteering 2019-06-26 08:00:00Z 0

Time for a little maintenance on the tables at the Water Trail Pavilion

 

Replacing worn planks

 

Rotary providing the labor to paint the tables with paint from City of Homer

 

Just about done Bernie, Thanks.

Table Maintenance at Water Trail Pavillion 2019-06-26 08:00:00Z 0
 
 Subject: New Alaska Eco Rotary Club - focus on the environment -
 
 Date: June 21, 2019 at 10:52:52 AM AKDT
 
 To: "Bernie Griffard" <griffbfgak@gmail.com>
 
 Reply-To: "Diane Fejes" <ndfejes.rotary@gmail.com>
 
 
Dear Bernie,
Soon to be PDG Diane:)  is helping to spread the Good news!  A new kind of Rotary is coming to Alaska.  Please join us in welcoming Alaska Eco Rotary Club. 
 
Rotary is where neighbors, friends, and problem-solvers share ideas, join leaders, and take action to create lasting change.  No challenge is too big for us.  For more than 110 years, we've bridged cultures and connected continents to champion peace, fight illiteracy and poverty, promote clean water and sanitation, and fight disease.
With fewer meetings than traditional Rotary clubs, a focus on projects not fundraising, and low annual dues, Alaska Eco Rotary club brings a fresh new perspective to Rotary in Alaska.  The club will focus on eco awareness in our great state.  Below are the mission and vision of the club. 
 
 Mission: to become a resource to the community in preserving and enhancing our region's natural beauty and resources through hands-on service projects and educational programs.  
 
 Vision:  A focus on service (not fundraising) in order to attract a non-traditional Rotary club member and become a strong and sustainable Rotary addition throughout Alaska.  
 
The original plan calls for meetings twice monthly, one hopefully to be a project, and annual dues of $160.00
We will be hosting informational meetings for interested prospective members in the next few weeks. 
If you are interested in a Make-Up meeting, or know someone who would like to join the club, please email  marti.b@alaskaecorotary.org  or text or call (907)268-9391.
 
And, please help spread the word throughout your organization, look for potential projects and enjoy the wonderful summer weather in our beautiful country.  Thank you!
  
Marti Buscaglia
 
 P: 907.268-9391 |
 
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."
                                   Philo of Alexandria
 
A New Rotary Club for Alaska 2019-06-26 08:00:00Z 0
 
Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP)
 
 
 
 
Dear Bernard,
My name is Jim Hunt, and I am a past District Governor and member of the Rotary Club of Ohio Pathways (D-6600). Joe Berninger, founder of the Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP), and I are organizing Rotary service trips to Guatemala and we are looking for interested Rotarians.                                                 
The GLP is the largest grassroots, multi-club, multi-district effort in the Rotary world not directed by RI itself—the “gold standard” of Rotary projects, according to former RI President Ian Riseley. Over 600 Rotary clubs from 8 countries have participated in the GLP since its inception in 1996. GLP Textbook, Computer, Teacher Training, and Youth Development programs currently serve more than 50,000 impoverished children.
We need Rotarians to join the following service trips to Guatemala:
  • July 21-27, 2019 
  • July 30-Aug 4, 2019
  • Nov 14-17, 2019
  • Feb 1-9, 2020
  • Feb 18-23, 2020
  • July 12-18, 2020
  • July 21-26, 2020
These trips offer a variety of experiences: Some are longer or shorter; some more “hands on”—and all of them give you the opportunity to be a meaningful part of Rotary’s work fighting poverty in Guatemala. Please visit the project’s website for more details.
Could you share this opportunity with members of your club?
If you have any questions, you can email me at info@guatemalaliteracy.org.
Yours in Rotary Service,
Jim Hunt, PDG 
Rotary Club of Ohio Pathways (D-6600)
Joe Berninger
Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP) 
Rotary Club of Ohio Pathways (D-6600)
www.guatemalaliteracy.org
 
Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP)  
Rotary eClub of Ohio Pathways
2300 Montana Avenue, Suite 301
Cincinnati, OH 45211
(513) 661-7000
Guatemala Literacy Project 2019-06-19 08:00:00Z 0
EVANSTON, Ill. (June 10, 2019) — Rotary is giving US$100 million in grants to support the global effort to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that once paralyzed hundreds of thousands of children each year.
 
The funding comes as Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) address the final—and most pressing—challenges to ending poliovirus transmission, and as Nigeria approaches three years without any reported cases of wild poliovirus, bringing the Africa region closer to polio-free status.
 
“We have the wild poliovirus cornered in the smallest geographic area in history, and now there are just two countries that continue to report cases of the wild virus,” said Michael K. McGovern, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee. “As we work with our partners to apply innovative new strategies to reach more children, and embrace lessons learned thus far, Rotary is doubling down on our commitment to end polio for good. I’m optimistic that the end of polio is within our grasp, but we must remain vigilant in rallying global political and financial support as we push towards a polio-free world.”
 
While there were only 33 cases of wild poliovirus reported in 2018, the last mile of eradication has proven to be the most difficult. Barriers to eradication--like weak health systems, insecurity, and mobile and remote populations--must be overcome. As long as a single child has polio, all children are at risk, which underscores the need for continued funding and commitment to eradication.
 
To support polio eradication efforts in endemic countries, Rotary is allocating half the funds it announced today to: Afghanistan ($16.3 million), Nigeria ($10.2 million), and Pakistan ($25.2million). Additional funding will support efforts to keep vulnerable countries polio-free:
 
  • Chad ($102,395)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo ($9.5 million)
  • Ethiopia ($2.6 million)
  • Iraq ($6 million)
  • Kenya ($6.3 million)
  • Mali ($1.2 million)
  • Somalia ($1.4 million)
  • South Sudan ($1.2 million)
  • Syria ($1.7 million)
  • Yemen ($2.1 million)
  •  
The World Health Organization (WHO) will receive $1.3 million to conduct research, and will also receive support for surveillance activities in its Africa ($10.9 million) and Eastern Mediterranean ($4 million) Regions.
 
Rotary has committed to raising $50 million a year to be matched 2-to-1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, amounting to $150 million for polio eradication annually. Rotary has contributed more than $1.9 billion to fight the disease, including matching funds from the Gates Foundation, and countless volunteer hours since launching its polio eradication program, PolioPlus, in 1985. In 1988, Rotary became a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Gates Foundation later joined. Since the initiative launched, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases in 1988 to 33 cases of wild poliovirus in 2018.
 
About Rotary
 
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. We connect 1.2 million members from more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world. Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Visit Rotary.org and endpolio.org for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio.
 
Contact: Audrey Carl,     audrey.carl@rotary.org,     847-866-3424
Rotary Announces US$100 Million to Eradicate Polio 2019-06-11 08:00:00Z 0

HAMBURG, Germany (31 May 2019) — To multiply the impact of the 25,000 Rotary members expected to attend the service organization’s international convention 1-5 June, mytaxi will donate all proceeds from rides to and from the Hamburg Messe - beginning today until 5 June – to Rotary efforts that improve lives.

“Along with being one of our main event sponsors, we are grateful for mytaxi commitment to support Rotary club efforts to transform lives and communities for the better,” said Barry Rassin, Rotary International president.

Each year, Rotary members invest hundreds of millions of euros and countless volunteer hours to promote health, peace and prosperity in communities across the globe. mytaxi contribution will support:

  • A bee pasture project developed by the Rotary Club of Ahrensburg to help the dwindling bee and butterfly populations to flourish;
  • Emotions Training for Autism, developed by Rotaract Germany, to support those with autism spectrum disorder thrive in their personal and professional lives; and
  • HANWASH, a collaborative initiative led by Rotary clubs in Haiti, The Bahamas, The Cayman Islands, The British Virgin Islands, The Rotary Foundation, DINEPA and others, to bring clean water to Haiti.

“We take pride in knowing that our donation will go toward improving our environment, economy and wellbeing,” said Eckart Diepenhorst, CEO of mytaxi. “With the leadership of Rotary clubs, we know that our contribution will result in lasting, positive change.”

About Rotary: Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Germany’s 56,000 members and 1,100 clubs are taking action to make the world a better place at home and abroad.

About mytaxi: mytaxi was founded in June 2009 and was the world’s first taxi app that established a direct connection between a passenger and a taxi driver. With 14 million passengers and more than 100,000 drivers, mytaxi is the leading taxi e-hailing app in Europe. Since February 2019, mytaxi is part of the FREE NOW group, the ride-hailing joint venture of BMW and Daimler. Within 2019, mytaxi will rebrand to FREE NOW. mytaxi today works with 700 employees in 26 offices and is available in around 100 European cities. Eckart Diepenhorst is the CEO of mytaxi. More information is available at: www.mytaxi.com 

Contacts:

Philipp Krüger: +49 (0)40 533 08878, P.Krueger@johnwarning.de 
Tamira Mühlhausen: +49 (0)40 533 088 87, T.Muehlhausen@johnwarning.de

mytaxi Donates Proceeds From Rides to Rotary 2019-06-11 08:00:00Z 0
Late last Friday I received word from Rosie Roppel, ADG from Ketchikan, that a Rotary Peace Scholar and retired High Court Judge, Roshan Dalvi, from India was heading to Homer to walk the Homer Spit.  She wondered if we could help Ms. Dalvi in her Quest. I, of course, said "Sure!" and waited for an itinerary.  Unfortunately, the first email didn't come through, and it wasn't until a resend on Monday that the Peace Scholar was already in Homer!  
 
When I met Roshan Dalvi, I was immediately impressed.  She really hadn't been expecting anyone to show her around but accepted my offer and we headed out on a quick tour.  Ms. Dalvi was interested in everything, and extremely friendly and easy to talk with.  A quick trip up East Hill to give her an idea what the Homer area looked like, especially the Spit that she came all those thousands of miles to walk and explore, then up to the overlook on Bay Crest where Mt. Iliamna was in full glory, as were Mt. Augustine and Mt. Douglas!  The sun came out just for her!  Our next stop was to City Hall to meet with City Manager and Rotarian Katie Koester, who is a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.  The conversation was mostly over my head, but the City Manager and the retired Judge seemed to have pretty good handle on solving the worlds problems.  Now to get the world's leaders to listen to them!
 
I had to depart and Van Hawkins joined Ms. Dalvi on her Spit Walk.
 
Roshan Dalvi with the Homer Spit and Kachemak Bay behind her.
 
Rt. to Lft.  Roshan Dalvi, Katie Koester, and Craig Forrest
Rotary Peace Scholar Visits Homer 2019-06-05 08:00:00Z 0
Elias Thomas
 
Rotary Club of Sanford-Springvale, Maine
 
In 2012, Elias Thomas was in Rajasthan, India, visiting a site that two years before had been dusty and barren but now was lush and green. “Waterfowl had moved in to make it their habitat,” he recalls. “I heard engines pumping water up the hills to irrigate garden beds on terraces. As far as I could see, everything was green.” The transformation was the result of a catchment dam, which collects rainwater during the monsoon season and holds it in reserve for the dry season.
Michael D. Wilson
The dam had been built in 2010 by Thomas and other Rotarians from his club and the Rotary Club of Delhi Megapolis, with the support of a water conservation trust in India. It was the first of 10 such dams they have built together. “I first went to India in 2001 to participate in National Immunization Days. We thought the time would be more valuable if we incorporated a service project,” says Thomas.
 
A local rural development foundation identifies ideal locations near villages and farms where the dams can be built, taking advantage of dry riverbeds formed during previous monsoon seasons. “We dam it up and force it to create a reservoir — that’s a water catchment dam,” says Thomas, a past governor of District 7780 (parts of Maine and New Hampshire).
 
Local workers use machinery to dig huge trenches, and then the Rotarians spend four to five days building the foundation and walls by hand. Local laborers finish the project. The dams allow farmers to employ gravity-fed irrigation, help raise the water table, and recharge wells.
 
Last year, U.S. Senator Susan Collins of Maine recognized Thomas on the Senate floor, reading a tribute to his four decades of work as a Rotary volunteer. But he isn’t resting on his laurels; in February, he led a group of volunteers back to Rajasthan to build another dam.
 
This new dam will benefit more than 11,000 people. “Farmers can grow three crops instead of one. The first is for subsistence, the second will feed cattle, and the third can be sold,” Thomas says. “So what they make from selling the crop can be used to buy goods and services from others, and there’s a ripple effect.”
— Anne Stein
 
Rain Trust 2019-05-30 08:00:00Z 0
with Margie Horning
District 5960 (parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin) grants team leader
 
1. How have you seen district grants help members become more engaged?
Participating in district grants gives Rotarians a sense of ownership and the knowledge that they made a difference in someone’s life. It also energizes people to donate to The Rotary Foundation and to become involved. A few years ago, there was a club in my district that hardly participated in giving to the Foundation and didn’t do any district grants. Then they applied for a district grant for a food shelf in their rural community. Within a year of seeing how their funds doubled because of the grant, nine members had become Paul Harris Fellows. They had a sense of pride, and they’ve gone on to be involved with other service projects.
 
2. Are district grants more often used for local or international projects?
Generally speaking, more district grant projects are local than international. For example, in our district, seven of our 25 district grants in 2017-18 were used for international projects. Currently, seven of our 18 projects are in foreign countries, including Guatemala, India, Nigeria, Togo, and Uganda.
 
3. How do district grants help clubs foster relationships with the community?
District grants can be like building blocks; they can allow clubs to start small and then go larger with their projects. There are always needs in your community. Even if it’s a $1,000 or $2,000 grant, get going on it. It doesn’t have to be a multimillion-dollar project to begin with.
 
4. What’s the most creative use of local district grants that you’ve seen?
Clubs have gone far beyond the park bench or dictionary project. They’re working with their communities, asking how they can help, and thinking bigger. One club, working closely with its local school district to come up with projects, provided equipment and software for an industry certification. It will help students get jobs in manufacturing or, if they go on to higher education, will count toward their coursework.
 
5. What are some misconceptions about district grants?
People say, “I could never do that; it’s too hard.” Our district has mentors who will help walk clubs through the process. It may seem like a lot of work, but that grant money allows you to apply your club’s extra funds to another project you want to work on. Apply for the grant, and if it’s too big a project for just your club, the district grants team can help you connect with other clubs.
— Diana Schoberg
 
5 Questions About District Grants 2019-05-30 08:00:00Z 0
 
A close up of a logoDescription automatically generated
 
Dear Friend,
On Saturday, June 29th the Great Gatsby fundraiser will be held by the Susitna Rotary Club & D5010 Rotary E-Club at Settler’s Bay Golf Course.  This is the third year for this joint fundraiser that benefits the Kids Kupboard meal program in Big Lake and the Water Safety programs for kids (Kids Don’t Float life jacket stations & Josh the Otter educational programs teaching kids to float).  The direct impact to our local community is tremendous with over 3,000 meals served to kids in the past year; and students from Glacier View to Talkeetna being taught water safety.
Please see attached flyer for event details & tickets.
We invite you to sponsor the Great Gatsby event where you will have a roaring good time AND make a difference in young lives!
 
$500 Flapper sponsor:  company logo proudly displayed on the event banner and announced at event by emcee.
$1,000 Jitterbug sponsor:  company logo proudly displayed on PSA’s, event banner and announced during the event by emcee.  Includes 1 complementary ticket for two ($250 value).
$2,500 All That Jazz sponsor:  company logo proudly displayed on PSA’s, event banner and announced during the event by emcee.  Includes 1 reserved table for 8 ($1,000 value).
 
For questions or to purchase sponsorship, please contact Cheryl Metiva (clmetiva@gmail.com or cell #907-315-9920).
 
In friendship & Rotary service,
Rosa & Floyd Shilanski, D5010 E-Club
Cheryl & Marty Metiva, Susitna Rotary Club
 
A person in a suit and tieDescription automatically generated
Great Gatsby Fundraiser 2019-05-30 08:00:00Z 0
2019 Russian Open World Visitors 2019-05-22 08:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of Evening Downtown Boston, Massachusetts
 
On the night the Rotary Club of Evening Downtown Boston was chartered in 2010, co-founder Scott Lush called it a “100-year-old startup.” He and two co-founders had respectfully broken off from another club because, he says, “we felt the existing model did not have mass appeal.” They wanted their new club to be a test model for Rotary — a place where they could experiment with the club experience while retaining Rotary’s commitment to fellowship and service. They envisioned a vibrant club that showcased stimulating speakers, focused on members’ needs, and welcomed everyone, no matter who they were or why they had come.
 
Evening Downtown Boston Rotarians Scott Lush (from left), Hélène Vincent, Samantha Drivas, Jim Hogan, and Jennifer Smith at Boston’s Old State House.
Photo by Ian MacLellan
 
Fast-forward nine years to a cold winter evening in a private room at a popular Boston pub. Every seat is taken and there are visitors at all the tables: friends, strangers, Rotaractors, a Rotarian from Brazil, the assistant governor of the district. Nearly half of the 40 people present are not members of Rotary.  
 
The room buzzes as everyone socializes over sliders and drinks. People come in, fill out name tags, give hugs, and join conversations. There is an informal rule for club meetings: No one should be standing alone. With so many visitors, members’ socializing exclusively with other members is gently frowned upon — that’s what the club’s members-only events are for. The monthly meetings are a way to introduce the club to, and a chance for members to meet, new people. 
 
In the beginning, the club tinkered with just about all the aspects of the Rotary experience. In addition to the monthly evening meetings, it holds members-only social events once a month — recent ones have included hiking, bowling, trivia nights, and ski trips — as well as volunteer events once or twice a month. Those have included serving meals at food kitchens and tutoring adults for their high school equivalency test.
 
The board members continue to come up with innovative approaches. But they don’t only try new things; sometimes they go back to tradition. The co-founders had promised, for instance, that they would never do happy bucks at meetings, but they eventually reversed course because new members liked the idea (with a twist: They accept electronic payment via the Venmo app). 
 
The board members also use technology to help make decisions. Based on click-through metrics, they discovered that they get the best bang for their marketing dollars from Facebook. On their website, they offer a $10 off coupon for the first meeting (visitors usually pay $20). They also promote their meetings on Eventbrite and use an email marketing platform, Mailchimp, to manage member communications. They even test different versions of their welcome email for new members to see which subject lines prompt a higher “open rate.” The constant influx of new members helps keep that innovation going. 
 
Members also do some old-fashioned marketing by “outing” themselves as Rotarians and talking openly about Rotary at work and with friends. A few years ago, the club gave out Rotary mugs and encouraged members to use them at work, hoping to create opportunities to talk up the club. 
 
Many of the club’s 40 members have walked in the door with a connection to Rotary through a family member, boss, or friend. President Jennifer Smith is a transfer from a Connecticut club. Membership Chair Jim Hogan’s parents are Rotarians in Vermont. Past President Hélène Vincent’s grandfather and father are Rotarians, in France and Rhode Island, respectively. “My dad was shocked when I told him I joined Rotary. I think he thought it wasn’t cool, but I always thought my dad was cool,” Vincent says. 
 
Samantha Drivas was in Interact and participated in Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. Her grandfather, like Vincent’s, was a Rotarian, and she remembers helping him sell Christmas trees as a club fundraiser. “I wanted to be a Rotarian from age five,” she remembers. 
 
 
Club leaders know that to compete for members’ attention in a city that has an abundance of cultural activities, they need to offer a consistently positive and uplifting experience. Meetings are casual but efficient, and the emphasis is still on excellent speakers, who have included former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis and Doug Rauch, the former president of Trader Joe’s and now co-CEO of Conscious Capitalism. 
 
Smith opens meetings with a short welcome that she practices at home. “I always try to tell a story or make people laugh,” she says. “I want it to be fun and I want people to walk away with something interesting.” This effort is not lost on those who attend. “You leave with a good feeling,” says David Hart, assistant governor of District 7930 (parts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire) and a member of the Rotary Club of Malden, Massachusetts. Then he leans in and lowers his voice: “When I recruit people, I love to send them to this club.”
 
Lush says the club is “the opposite of Facebook. On Facebook, you can have a million shallow friends. Here you have to show up and work together. We are the antidote to digital life. We are helping people get back what Facebook took away, and helping Rotary find a new formula.”
— Susie Ma
• Read more stories from The Rotarian
Rebels With a Cause 2019-05-15 08:00:00Z 0
When five trucks arrived at a secondary school in the city of Venlo in the Netherlands, members of the Rotary Club of Venlo-Maas en Peel were ready.
 
About 10,000 book and record aficionados attended the sale.
Photo courtesy of the Rotary Club of Venlo-Maas en Peel
 
The trucks were filled with items to be sold at the club’s 33rd annual book and record sale. The seven-day event in early January raised $95,000 that will go toward projects that improve the lives of children in Brazil, Malawi, Peru, and Sri Lanka.
 
In partnership with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the club mustered about 200 volunteers, including people who are not Rotary members, who made sure the event went off without a hitch. About 10,000 book and record aficionados from throughout the Netherlands, and from other countries including Germany and Belgium, attended the sale and took home 60,000 books and 15,000 records.
 
The club members work throughout the year to organize the fair. The club has drop-off points for book and record donations, and volunteers sort through them twice a week.
 
The items are categorized by genre, and a coordinator responsible for each category makes the final decision on what will be included in the sale. Most books sell for between 50 cents and $2.50, but those that are new or special can cost between $3 and $50.
 
Sometimes the club receives a donation of something unique. A few years ago, a dossier of documents related to the history of the city of Papendrecht brought in $8,000. The oldest of the documents, which the city bought, dated to 1328.
 
“The city of Papendrecht organized a special exhibition with these documents,” says club member Peter Elbers, noting that the documents contained previously unknown information about the city’s history.
 
After 33 years, Elbers has some tips on how to organize a successful book and record fair. Most important, he says, is to plan from the start to make it an annual event.
“Don’t try to organize such a fair only once,” he says. “When people recognize the quality of what you are selling, they will come back.”
 
A reliable volunteer workforce is also a must. Club member Jaap Verhofstad brought his children to help set up and break down the fair. “My children have had a few hours of fun helping out at the fair during the sale,” he says. “Our 11-year-old twins are too young for the heavy work — but in a few years we will have two more strong men.”
— Annemarie Mannion
• Read more stories from The Rotarian
 
 
Secondhand Treasures Book Sale Raises $95,000  2019-05-15 08:00:00Z 0
a best-selling author argues, but he thinks the world is in better shape than ever
 
If you watch the news, you could be forgiven for believing the world is on the brink of collapse. In the current media environment, that message is in heavy rotation, and it gets heavier all the time. In 2017, 59 percent of Americans said this was “the lowest point in U.S. history that they can remember.” To many, it seems obvious that the present is far worse than the past.
 
But Gregg Easterbrook has some news for them: The facts don’t support that conclusion. In his new book, It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear, he argues that the developed world is mired in “declinism” — the belief that things are getting worse all the time — when the opposite is true. In almost every area — the environment, the economy, education, health — Easterbrook says conditions are improving thanks to government policies and the efforts of organizations such as Rotary to find solutions to the problems we face. 
 
Why is this so hard to believe? Some of the reasons are psychological, some are economic, some are cultural. But the misperception matters, because pessimism can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. To solve problems, we must believe they can be solved. 
Image by Viktor Miller Gausa
Easterbrook is the author of 11 books, including the best-selling The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse, which examined why our standard of living and our sense of well-being have not risen in tandem. Easterbrook is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He spoke with frequent contributor Frank Bures from his home in Washington, D.C.
 
Q: What gave you the idea for this book?
A: The Progress Paradox was about what’s subjective — how we feel about our current moment. Things are mainly good, yet people don’t feel happy about them. That was the big question of that book. But I was left thinking, OK, things are mainly good. Why are things mainly good? What caused that to happen? Maybe some of it was just luck, but it can’t all be luck.
In It’s Better Than It Looks, I show that most of the improvement of society is the result of policy choices, by both institutions and individuals, that worked. Not only do people not generally understand that, but they believe the reverse. They think that everything that’s been tried has failed. But the facts are that the United States and Western Europe have never been in better condition. Most, although of course not all, of the world has never been in better condition.
 
Q: You trace the rise of declinism in your book and suggest that it accelerated in the early 2000s, when social media took off. 
A: The trend of thinking that things are worse than they are was already in progress before Facebook was turned on. But social media has accelerated that trend and made it worse. I’m not saying social media was the only reason. It was one of many. But it amplified a trend that was already in progress.
 
Q: Why do we want to believe that things are going downhill?
A: One reason is that we’ve been trained by schools and colleges to think that everything is bad and that anybody who’s telling you anything good must be a Pollyanna or an apologist. He must be secretly in the pay of the super-rich. Americans have been trained to a specific type of selection bias to only see negative news and not positive news.
Another factor is that government controls an ever-larger share of the GDP. When my parents were growing up in the 1920s and 1930s, government controlled hardly any of the GDP. There was a lot wrong with this arrangement. There was no Medicare or Medicaid, no federal housing assistance, almost no federal help for transportation, less federal funding for education. It’s good that we have those things now. 
Today, in the United States, government controls [through direct spending on goods and services and transfer payments such as Social Security, subsidies, and financial aid] 41 percent of the GDP. In the United Kingdom, it’s 48 percent. In some Scandinavian nations, it’s more than half. Increasingly our lives are tied to government benefits, which isn’t necessarily bad; the expansion of the entitlement state resolved a lot of the structural problems of poverty and destitution. But it also drilled into our heads the words “woe is me.” If you want something from the political system, you claim to be the victim of some injustice. You claim that the world is in terrible condition and that the only possible solution is for government to give you a special benefit. It gives us a huge incentive to claim that things are worse than they are. And the political parties have responded to that.
 
Q: So the belief that the world is getting worse isn’t just the province of the left or the right?
A: You can find it on both the left and right. But there are also many people who have what I call “abundance denial.” Most Americans now live better, in the material sense, than any generation of the past. Anybody who tells you he or she would rather live in the 19th century either is lying or has no idea what 19th-century life was like. Almost everybody today lives better than any generation in the past, but they don’t want to admit it. They want to deny it. People say, “It’s so terrible, I don’t live as well as my parents did.” Check your parents at the same age [as you are now], and see what their material living standards were — what their education level was, what their longevity was at that point in life, et cetera — and see whether you’re actually not living as well as your parents did.
 
Q: What are some of the things that are getting better?
A: Practically everything. Take the last 30 years: Criminal violence has been declining steadily. It peaked in the early 1990s and has declined since then. The number and the intensity of wars in the world have gone down. Many forms of pollution are in decline everywhere in the world. The big exception is climate change. 
The current Western generation is the most educated generation in the history of our planet. And education is rising everywhere. India, for example, is a very well-educated country. Not a century ago, almost everyone in India was illiterate. Now, a majority of people have received a pretty good education. 
Disease rates are declining in almost every nation in the world, including the big killers: cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Longevity is rising everywhere. We’ve had a little bit of sputter in American statistics because of painkiller abuse. That’s a big concern and a huge problem. But in general, longevity is increasing almost everywhere in the world. It’s been increasing for a century and a half. 
Material living standards are increasing. Buying power is increasing. In the United States and Western Europe, the level of income received by the middle class clearly has been stalled for the past 30 years or so, but buying power has continued to increase at 3 percent per year.
Those are the big trends. It’s hard to think of any underlying trend in the Western world that’s negative. And the same goes for most of the underlying trends, although sadly not all, in the larger world. 
 
Q: Are you even optimistic about climate change? 
A: I am. It would be wrong to say it will be easy to correct climate change. But I think it can be done, and I think it will end up costing a lot less than people think. Inequality is a much tougher nut to crack. In a free society, you want freedom of opportunity, but it’s hard to imagine equality of outcomes and retain that freedom. I’m much more optimistic about climate change than inequality. But I don’t think we should give up on inequality.
 
Q: You also say that climate change might be less apocalyptic than we think.
A: I think an apocalyptic outcome is very unlikely. If you look at the range of possibilities for climate change, there’s a tiny chance it will be apocalyptic. There’s also a tiny chance it will be beneficial. The more likely outcome for climate change is that it will gradually cause social problems like higher disease rates in the equatorial countries. But I think those problems could be avoided. It won’t be easy. It’s just more practical than people think. Greenhouse gases are fundamentally an air pollution problem, and the last two big air pollution problems — smog and acid rain — both were solved much more quickly and cheaply than anybody predicted. If society gets serious about greenhouse gases, we’ll address it faster and more cheaply than people think, too. 
 
Q: What would you say to people who have a feeling of dread about the future?
A: If you look at all of the predictions of doom in the past, none of them have ever come true. It’s not that a few of them came true. None of them came true. Population growth was supposed to destroy us in the 1960s. Fifty years ago, it was commonly predicted that there would be mass starvation, hundreds of millions or even billions of people starving to death. Now the global population is double what it was, and malnutrition is at the lowest level ever. Runaway, unstoppable diseases were supposed to cause millions, or billions, of people to die. But they’ve never been observed in society, and they’ve never been observed in nature. So far as we know, there has never been a runaway disease, and the likelihood is that there never will be a runaway disease. The biosphere is elaborately designed to resist all forms of runaway effects. That plants, mammals, and people are here is proof the diseases don’t win.
We were supposed to run out of oil. We were supposed to run out of ferrous metals. We were supposed to run out of rare earth materials. We were supposed to run out of natural gas. Not only have none of those things happened, but we now have significantly more of all those resources than when people predicted they were about to run out. A hundred years ago, everybody thought we were about to run out of coal. 
In general, one should be skeptical of sweeping statements, but I don’t think this statement is too sweeping: No predicted apocalypse has ever occurred. So it’s possible that predictions of doom that swirl around climate change could come true, but it’s not likely.
 
Q: You make a great case for the fact that things are slowly and steadily getting better. Aren’t you afraid that people might see that as a reason to sit back and do nothing?
A: Often when you say things are getting better, pundits and politicians say, “Oh, that leads to complacency!” That is not what I am saying. I am simply saying that things are getting better. The success of past reforms is the reason to support reforms for the future. Nobody expects me, or you, or any one individual to change the world. But we do expect each individual to influence the things that he or she is able to influence. Support reform programs. As a voter, when you have a choice, choose the optimistic candidate.   
 
Q: How do you define optimism?
A: Optimism is not being a Polly-anna. That’s what people say to try to discredit it. Pessimists believe that problems cannot be fixed. Optimists believe that problems can be fixed. Optimism is a hopeful point of view. You can be a cynical optimist. You can be an optimist and be furiously angry about all the things that are wrong with the world, which I am. But if you’re an optimist, you think those things can be fixed. In my book, I quote the economic historian Deirdre McCloskey, who says that throughout history, the pessimists were almost always wrong and the optimists were almost always right.
 
Q: That sounds good, but it is hard for people to trust that optimism, given that the news we consume about the world is so insistently negative.
A: If you, or me, or anybody wants to make a choice to be negative about life, you can do that, but it is important to remember it is a choice. Being a declinist is not something that’s imposed on you by factual understanding of events. It is your choice. But if you make that choice, the improvement of the world becomes a lot less likely.
 
Q: Rotarians are fundamentally optimistic; they believe problems can be solved. How do you think polio eradication fits into this mindset?
A: That’s a great example. People said eradicating polio was impossible, and we now know it is possible. Today people say that eradicating malaria is impossible. That’s because we haven’t yet figured out how to do it. That’s all.
 
People who make the optimistic choice — not to deny the problems but to believe they can be fixed — make the world better. 
 
• Read more stories from The Rotarian.
Optimism Has Gone Out of Style, 2019-05-07 08:00:00Z 0

 

Sushil Gupta

My Fellow Rotarians,

It is with a heavy heart that I announce my resignation as the president-nominee of Rotary International. While it was my dream to serve as your president, my health prevents me from giving my absolute best to you and the office of the president at this time. I believe Rotary deserves nothing less than that from those elected to represent this great organization of ours.

I have made this difficult decision after much soul searching and conferring with my family. This is not only a disappointment for us, but I am also keenly aware that this will be a disappointment for many Rotarians in India who were so proud to see someone from our country again named as president. I know that this is what is best for Rotary International.

I have been a Rotarian for more than 40 years and it has given me everything I could ask for. I can think of no higher honor than to have been selected by the Nominating Committee as president of Rotary for the 2020-21 Rotary year. I will continue to proudly serve as a Rotary member and pursue some major initiatives that I wanted to accomplish during my year as president, because I know that we are poised to achieve more great things in the future.

I wish nothing but the best to the candidate who succeeds me as president and thank you all for the support and encouragement you have shown me in the past year.

-Sushil Gupta

26-Apr-2019
Sushil Gupta Resigns as RI President-Nominee 2019-05-07 08:00:00Z 0

Congratulations to all members of the Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay. Due to your selfless efforts throughout the Club year, we were awarded the 2018-2019 Presidential Citation-Gold Distinction. Of all the Clubs in District 5010, less than ten received this recognition. Give yourself a pat on the back—you deserve it!!

Presidential Citation 2019-05-07 08:00:00Z 0
          By David Sarasohn                   Illustrations by Joan Wong
 
The woman sitting at the end of the carefully arranged tables looks as though she would rather be someplace else — maybe at her real estate agency, maybe just with people she knows, people who see the world the way she does. But a friend asked her to come here, and she agreed, and she will carry out her role.
 
“It’s not my notion of a family,” she says firmly, her chin set as she explains the burden of holding conservative views in a liberal town. “It’s my truth of a family. I don’t want my views to be considered hate speech. But I don’t want to celebrate things that I don’t celebrate.”
 
At least half the people sitting around the table disagree with her. But none of them show it, not by a snort, or an impassioned interruption, or even a rolled eyeball.
It’s almost as if she’s in a place, and a moment, where people actually talk to each other — and listen to each other.
 
 
She, and the other people in the room, are in a workshop of Better Angels, a growing movement built around the idea that red and blue Americans can meet and talk for a day without name-calling or Twitter-blasting one another — and that the custom could spread. In a church activities center in a suburb of Portland, Oregon, seven people from each side of the ever-widening divide — all of them white, most of them old enough to remember the time before the internet ate politics — get together, work through a set of carefully arranged exercises, and discover that they can talk politics without sounding like a cable news network.
 
Since its inception in 2016, Better Angels has held hundreds of workshops around the United States, from daylong events to 2½-hour training sessions, to help people cultivate the vanishing skill of listening.
 
This morning in Oregon, people start out wary about the venture, so wary that a visiting writer is instructed not to quote anyone by name. Wearing red- or blue-rimmed name tags and sitting in alternating red and blue seats, participants offer opening statements that sound discouraged yet determinedly hopeful. Their concerns cross party lines.
 
“I’m really worried about our country, about the way we’re separated more and more,” says someone wearing a red tag.
 
“A lot of my friends are really quick to cut off anyone who objects to them,” admits a blue sitting nearby.
 
“I’m really tired of the vitriol,” says a neighbor, sounding indeed tired of it. “Something is terribly wrong in this country.”
 
In the course of the day, they will talk, separately and together, about the stereotypes each side holds about the other — and how those stereotypes might contain a kernel of truth. They will devise questions to ask the other side, and answer the questions from across the line. 
 
From the front of the room, one of the moderators, Linda Scher, assures the group that nobody is there to persuade anyone else, and cautions that participants should be careful with body language. It seems that these days Americans have trouble not only talking to each other, but even sitting near each other inoffensively.
The hope, explains Dan Sockle, the other moderator, is to end with “more introspection, more humility.” 
 
Sockle got here partly by way of Rotary; he’s a member of the Rotary Club of Three Creeks Vancouver, Washington. He thinks the idea of Better Angels fits rather neatly with The Four-Way Test.
 
Sockle spent 22 years in the military, bouncing around Germany, Italy, Korea, and southwest Asia. He came back to the United States for a government job in Washington state, but left again to work with a military program in Iraq, partly because his son was stationed there. 
 
Sockle noticed that Iraqi politics had some similarities to what he had seen back in the United States. “If everybody’s screaming, who’s listening?” he asks in a speech he often gives. 
 
Returning stateside, he came to rest — although “rest” isn’t really a word that comes to mind where Dan Sockle is concerned — back in Washington state, just across the Columbia River from Portland. He joined the Three Creeks Rotary club as a charter member and became active in Peacebuilders, an effort of the Rotarian Action Group for Peace, speaking to clubs in the West and Hawaii.
 
In the spring of 2018, he came across Better Angels, a project dedicated to producing less screaming and more listening. The name comes from Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address, when, looking at an onrushing civil war, the president expressed his faith that “the better angels of our nature” would one day bring Americans together again. After four years of war and massive casualties, they did.
 
Sort of.
 
Sockle is a man of lengthy answers and big enthusiasms who sweeps other people up in them. For this session of Better Angels, his fourth, he has invited the president of his Rotary club; a former district governor; and his own son. The week after this event, he’ll drive 200 miles to a Better Angels training event in Grants Pass, a southern Oregon town situated, geographically and politically, at the other end of the state.
 
 
Expressing his enthusiasm for Better Angels, Sockle points to his eye, which is swollen for medical reasons but does look a bit like the result of a heated discussion about the proper definition of family.
 
“Here’s what you’re getting if you stay polarized,” he declares with mock warning.
 
In the day’s first Better Angels exercise, the reds and blues separate, which helps reassure those uneasy about interacting with people whose outlook is so clearly wrong. The goal is to think about stereotypes, and one stereotype is already reinforced: The blue team is almost all women, the red side heavily male.
Asked what image the other side has of them, and what might be its kernel of truth, the blue team members quickly fill up their whiteboard. They think that reds believe blues are unpatriotic, have anti-family values, are obsessed with political correctness, and are driven to tax, spend, overregulate, and grab everyone’s guns. But the blues see themselves as believing in inclusion and respectful language, and don’t think that America is necessarily better than anyplace else.
 
The reds have some trouble choosing from all the negative images they think blues have of them. While they see themselves as just more practical and cautious, they eventually agree that the other side considers them racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, intolerant, and anti-environment. Somehow, they go back out to talk to the blues anyway.
 
The contrast might explain why, especially in Portland, it can be harder to recruit reds than blues for Better Angels events. 
 
“The stereotypes about reds are so much more harmful,” says Scher, who works as a family mediator. While blues may be considered as too soft or as wanting to throw money at problems, she says, “the red stereotype is that you’re a terrible person.”
 
On the other hand, Sockle reports that in ruby-red Grants Pass, “blues are a little more reluctant” than reds to come to a Better Angels event. In general, when invited to encounter the other side, “people fear an ambush.”
 
In the second exercise, the Fishbowl, the two sides take turns sitting in the center of the room while surrounded by the other side. After agreeing that the media exaggerates differences and emphasizes extremes — even today, no political difference is so wide that it can’t be bridged by dislike of the media — both sides voice their beliefs and fears, and now have less anticipation of being attacked.
 
“I have a son who won’t have a family because of concerns about the environment,” says one of the women on the blue side.
 
Explains a man from the other side: “It’s good to be skeptical about policies and change. Republicans put more emphasis on who we are and how we got here.”
 
Gradually, the two groups get comfortable enough to admit to some discomfort with their own side.
 
“The Democratic Party has moved away from what it should be,” confesses one of its adherents.
 
A red then concedes that his Republicans have moved away from Abraham Lincoln, from the Dwight Eisenhower who created the interstate highways, from Teddy Roosevelt and conservation.
 
By the last exercise, when people from the two sides come together in small groups to ask each other questions, certainty on both sides seems a lot wobblier than it was in the morning.
 
“A lot of liberals equate conservatism with racism and sexism, and that’s not OK,” admits a blue participant. “We keep ourselves so isolated.” Another notes, “I live in a completely blue bubble.”
 
A red tells a cluster of blues: “There are no easy answers to any of these things. Even when I phrase my positions, they sound so lame.”
 
For the program, it’s a gain when each side says such things. And another gain when the other side listens.
 
At the Better Angels workshop, Nelson Holmberg wears a red-rimmed ID tag. He’s representing the Republican side, but he’s also representing something else.
“Applying The Four-Way Test to the idea of having a civil conversation is really appropriate,” he explains. “Being able to be part of both Rotary and Better Angels is incredibly valuable.”
 
 
Holmberg is president of the Rotary Club of Three Creeks — which, he notes proudly, has completed more than 25 service projects in only 2½ years of existence. Sockle, the club’s Peacebuilders chairman, has brought Holmberg today, but it doesn’t appear that Holmberg took a lot of persuading.
 
“I’m super-excited that there is this organization to address our politics,” says Holmberg. He was particularly taken with the first part of the daylong Better Angels program, identifying stereotypes and finding the kernel of truth. “The Four-Way Test really speaks to the idea that we all need to do what we did in that exercise.”
The same idea is bubbling up through other Rotary clubs. In November 2017, after reading an article about the work that Better Angels was doing, the Rotary Club of St. Paul Sunrise got in touch with Bill Doherty, a professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and a co-founder of the new organization.
The club invited Doherty to speak about Better Angels at its annual Community Forum in 2018, stirring such enthusiasm that the District 5960 Ethics Team, in conjunction with Better Angels, hosted three skills training sessions for other clubs in the district, training 100 Rotarians. One of the other clubs reported that “members couldn’t stop talking about it,” says Ellen Luepker, a St. Paul Sunrise member and co-chair of the Community Forum organizing committee. 
 
“Doherty kept pointing to The Four-Way Test, saying, ‘This is in your DNA,’” recalls St. Paul Sunrise member Ed Marek, who will be governor of District 5960 (parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin) in 2020-21. “It comes down to being respectful.”
 
The impact wasn’t just political, reports Luepker: “One person says she feels better in family conversations.”
 
Such communications gains might also be recognizable to someone sitting in on the Oregon session.
 
“I’m loving what I’m hearing,” says Mike Caruso, a past governor of District 5100 (parts of Oregon and Washington), after listening to the Oregon reds and blues exchange stereotypes. “I’m very excited about what this could be.”
 
At the end of the long day’s exercises in Oregon, reds and blues regather in the big central room to talk about what they might do next. The coordinators write down the participants’ “action plans” on big white sheets of paper, to be sent back to national Better Angels headquarters. Compared with the attitudes they brought in this morning, the participants now sound more open, less resistant.
 
The new plans may sound modest, but seven hours earlier, they might not have been heard at all.
 
“I make a commitment to you guys that when my fellow Republicans say Democrats are socialists who want to take our guns, I will say that’s not true,” declares the woman who had been firm about the behaviors she didn’t want to celebrate.
 
A blue woman promises, “I will challenge my more liberal friends.”
 
Many of the ideas are about everyday life, a sign that the experience can get very personal
.
“I’m looking forward to talking to my brother,” says a participant. “We’ll see what happens.”
 
One blue vows, on the topic of avoiding occasions of anger and misinformation, “I’m going to stay off Facebook, except for kitten and puppy posts.”
 
Another pledges, “I’m going to be writing handwritten notes to my representatives about education, the environment, and civil discourse.”
 
Nobody seems to consider it a wasted day. “The program sells itself,” says Sockle — who’s working hard to sell it, especially to fellow Rotarians — “once you get people in the door.”
 
And nobody has to be persuaded about the stakes involved.
“I’m taking away a faith that we can promote civil discourse,” says a participant, “as if our country depended on it.”
 
• David Sarasohn, a longtime columnist for The Oregonian in Portland, has written for the New York Times and the Washington Post. He has published three books including Waiting for Lewis and Clark: The Bicentennial and the Changing West. Read more stories from The Rotarian.
Putting Civility Back Into Civil Discourse 2019-05-01 08:00:00Z 0
        By Joseph Epstein                Illustrations by Davide Bonazzi
 
I only recently learned of The Four-Way Test, one of Rotary’s central principles. It is of special interest in the current day, when truth — or, more precisely, truthfulness — seems to be losing its prestige in public life.  
 
Examples are not difficult to find. A current member of the U.S. Senate claimed to have fought in Vietnam, which he didn’t, a major lie that seems not to have impeded his being re-elected to his Senate seat or to his continuing to make severe moral judgments about political opponents. Our current president, with his taste for braggadocio and hyperbole, would appear to operate outside the normal bounds of accuracy and precision of statement that once upon a time used to demark truth. Everywhere you turn, the first of the Four Ways — “Is it the truth?” — would seem more and more in danger of going by the boards.  
 
 
Poet Marianne Moore believed that “verbal felicity is the fruit of ardor, of diligence, and of refusing to be false.” Refusing to be false is a simple yet somehow majestic phrase that recalls the Houyhnhnms in Gulliver’s Travels, those intelligent horses who had no word for “lie” but fell back on “the thing that was not.” 
 
Saying “the thing that was not” has become a minor specialty, almost a profession. What else is “spin” — that word much revered by politicians, public relations experts, and others for whom truth is often a serious inconvenience — but twisting the truth in a manner that favors one’s own position, needs, or motives of the moment? 
Then there is the new use of the word “narrative.” Narrative once meant, simply, “a spoken or written account of connected events; a story.” In recent years it has come to mean little more than “my version” of events. Narrative, as historian Wilfred M. McClay has written, “provides a way of talking neutrally about [events] while distancing ourselves from a consideration of their truth.” Nowadays, several movie stars as well as a Supreme Court justice have laid claim to, or been accused of, “changing the narrative.” In an article in Vanity Fair, Monica Lewinsky writes that she intends to “take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past” — which, after all these years, she, as much as anyone, may be justified in doing.
 
And let us not forget the contemporary notion of “reinventing” oneself, as if people could easily shed their personality, their character, all that has gone before in their life, by changing jobs, neighborhoods, spouses. I myself have always liked the saying, in contravention of the notion of reinventing oneself, “Anywhere you go, there you are.”
 
Spin, the new use of narrative, and the notion of reinventing oneself are all subsets of relativism. Relativism is the doctrine that holds that, outside mathematics and certain physical laws, there are no central truths, only contending versions of what passes for truth. Under relativism, one opinion may not be as well-informed as another, but no one point of view, religion, or philosophy holds the monopoly on truth. It’s all, so to say, relative, dependent on a person’s time, background, or position in life. Truth? For the relativists, who play a major role in contemporary higher education, the word carries little weight, has no real authority. All the more reason, of course, for those of us who believe in the truth to defend it, which, surely, is one of the chief intentions behind The Four-Way Test. 
 
 
The Second Way — “Is it fair to all concerned?” — is of course inextricably lashed to the First Way. Truth may be difficult, trying, painful, and much else, but if it is unfair it isn’t quite truth. For truth is impartial, disinterested, by its very nature without favoritism — and hence fair. If you are unfair in your judgments or pronouncements, you are, ipso facto, being less than truthful, and if you are truthful you are, again ipso facto, fair. The two, truth and fairness, do not so much follow, one after or from the other, but travel, like well-trained horses, in tandem. A third horse, making a troika, is to ask, “Have I succeeded in treating my subject with the complexity it deserves?”
 
Often when we think we are being truthful, we are being less than fair. This seems especially so in politics. Politics has never provided fruitful ground for truth; quite the reverse. No single group is perhaps less noted for consistent truthfulness than politicians. The reason for this is that politics does not seem to allow for neutrality; in politics people are regularly asked — “forced” may be closer to it — to choose sides. Once they do, their version of truth takes on a coloration that is likely to preclude fairness to people with politics different from their own. 
 
Truth and fairness are most elusive where passions are engaged, and few things engage the passions more readily than politics. Left/right, liberal/conservative, Democrat/Republican, each side in the political debate encapsulates a version of virtue: If you’re of the left, then the virtue of social justice is central to your beliefs; if you’re of the right, then that of liberty is central. The reason arguments about politics can get to the shouting stage quicker than arguments on just about any other subject is that they are really arguments about competing ideas of virtue. Attack my politics and you attack my virtue. 
 
What, then, is to be done? One thing to do is keep in mind the aspirational impulse behind the Third and Fourth Ways. You’re likely to build goodwill and better friendships, to be beneficial to all concerned only if, even as political passions swirl about, you keep your eye on the goals of truth and fairness. Easier said, of course, than done. Yet I wonder if the reason our country is so divided, our politics so divisive, is that the spirit behind The Four-Way Test has largely been abandoned by the nation at large. 
 
Building goodwill and better friendships has in history proven more difficult than being beneficial to all. Think of the great historical heroes of truth: Socrates, Galileo, Giordano Bruno, among others. These were men whose truths did not find easy acceptance in their time — Socrates was forced to suicide, Galileo silenced by the church, Bruno hung upside down and burned by the Roman Inquisition — but whose thought has since been recognized as being at the heart of Western philosophy and science. 
 
Few people at any time are equipped to be truth seekers of the kind and magnitude of Socrates, Galileo, and Bruno. The best most of us can hope for, in Marianne Moore’s phrase, is “refusing to be false.” Bishop George Berkeley, the 18th-century Irish philosopher, wrote, “Few men think; yet all have opinions.” To be able to distinguish thought from opinion, no easy task, is perhaps a first step on the way to truth and fairness. A second step may well be cultivating a certain detachment that allows people to get outside themselves to view truth apart from their own personal interest. 
 
In his masterwork, The World as Will and Representation, 19th-century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, taking up the concept of the sublime, describes what he calls “the sublime character”: 
 
Such a character will accordingly con-sider men in a purely objective way, and not according to the relations they might have to his will. For example, he will observe their faults, and even their hatred and injustice to himself, without being thereby stirred to hatred on his own part. He will contemplate their happiness without feeling envy, recognize their good qualities without desiring closer association with them, perceive the beauty of women without hankering after them. His personal happiness or unhappiness will not violently affect him. ... For, in the course of his own life and in its misfortunes, he will look less at his own individual lot than at the lot of mankind as a whole, and accordingly will conduct himself in this respect rather as a knower than as a sufferer. 
 
When it comes to The Four-Way Test, Schopenhauer, this darkest of philosophers and a profound pessimist, would have made a good Rotarian. 
 
• Joseph Epstein’s most recent book, Charm: The Elusive Enchantment, was published in October by Lyons Press. Read more stories from The Rotarian.
The Four-Way Test in a Post-Truth Era 2019-05-01 08:00:00Z 0
 
 

This is a "news" item for the Club and for the bulletin.

The International Committee approved a $500 donation to the Altruist Relief Kitchen (ARK), a not for profit organization that provides emergency relief to people in natural disasters and to refugees at the USA border.  The founder of this organization is Lucas Wilcox who was the guest of Clyde and Vivian at Rotary on the 11th. 

 

Lucas Wilcox will be a speaker at our club meeting on May 2.   Lucas will not solicit funds because his presentations are not about fund raising.  He is interested in sharing what his organization is doing and he wants to get feedback, advice and learn from others' expertise to improve his organization and the services he delivers.  It seems as though the ARK is following four of Rotary's areas of focus:

  • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution 
  • Disease prevention and treatment 
  • Water and sanitation 
  • Maternal and child health
Read more about ARK at < https://www.altruistrelief.org/ > or on FaceBook at < https://www.facebook.com/altruistrelief/ >
Altruist Relief Kitchen 2019-04-17 08:00:00Z 0
Column: A would-be hustler learns to appreciate the game despite the odds
 
By Kevin Cook
 
My Tuesday nights used to be relaxing. I’d open a beer, watch a ballgame, do a crossword if I was feeling adventurous. Then my wife came home with news.  
“José runs a pool league on Tuesdays,” she said. “I told him you’re great at pool. Want to check it out?”
 
There were some good ballgames on that night. But, I thought, maybe it was time for something more challenging. Something new. 
 
There’s nothing more cinematic than walking into a poolroom. When I went to the bar that hosts the league, I heard the balls clacking and saw the players leaning over the emerald-green tables, calling their shots.
 
“Five in the corner.” Down went the orange ball.
 
“Ten off the 12.” Clack clack and the 12 fell in. 
 
 
I found my team captain watching the action from a barstool. Phil, a sleepy-eyed psychology professor at Smith College, thanked me for signing up. I told him I hadn’t played since college, 40 years ago. “I thought I’d just watch —”
 
“You’re up.”
 
My opponent shook my hand. “I’m Doyle.” He racked the balls, drew back his custom-made cue, and bang — sent them flying all over the table. Two balls fell into pockets. Doyle made two more before it was my turn.
 
The game was eight ball, the most popular form of pool. Picking a stick from a rack on the wall, I chalked the tip. It seemed like the thing a league player would do. I made an easy shot but left the cue ball in the wrong place. The rules say your shot must strike one of your own balls first, and I was literally behind the eight ball. Another rule of eight ball is that you have to call your shot. Good players do so with confidence, but I was guessing. “Ten in the side?” 
 
I banked the cue ball off the 10, which rolled into the pocket. Doyle was impressed. He whistled and said, “Phil, you brought a ringer!” 
 
Phil called it a highlight-reel shot. Unfortunately, that was my whole highlight reel. Still, Phil said, I’d had a good showing, losing a close one. “You’ll get ’em next week.” 
 
But I didn’t. Week after week, I lost. There were sharks in the league who could beat me on their worst day, but the tuna and mackerel ate me up too. I liked the guys on my team: Phil and another professor, Jamie, who could beat everybody except an elderly player who looked like Sigmund Freud (“When I play him, I get a complex”), and Eric, a burly bartender. But I was letting them down. 
 
One night Phil told me I had an easy assignment: thin, bearded Zeke, who knocked in two of my balls but won when I sank the eight ball by mistake.
 
“Think positive,” said Phil, the psych professor. “We’ll get ’em next week.” But we didn’t. Thanks largely to me, we sank into last place. I started dreading Tuesdays — the consolation handshakes and the long walk home. When my wife asked how it was going, I told her I quit. 
 
Thirty-five million Americans play recreational pool. Many of them are baby boomers like me, who remember when pool was cool. We wanted to be like Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler, going up against Minnesota Fats. 
 
To play a sport is to be part of its history, and pool has great history. Minnesota Fats, played by Jackie Gleason in the movie, was a real barnstorming hustler who once hit a shot while the pool-hall floor, unable to hold his weight, collapsed under him. Fats made the shot while plunging through the floor to the bar below, where he dusted himself off and ordered a drink.
 
But as anyone who has tried it knows, pool’s harder than it looks in movies. One advantage today’s players have is that you can learn a lot online. You’ll find experts demonstrating every sort of shot on YouTube. One of the best tactics is easy: By angling your cue downward you can apply backspin, making the cue ball stop or back up.
 
After watching the experts, I wanted to try out a few new shots. Why not? Even a quitter can rent a table. 
 
It wasn’t glamorous, racking and re-racking balls, practicing alone, but it was interesting. Sixteen balls on a table the size of a queen bed make for more angles than a computer can calculate, but an afternoon of practice gave me new looks at them. Bank shots began making angular sense. I saw why you don’t want to hit the cue ball harder than necessary and how sidespin adds or subtracts to its angle off a rail.
 
There’s one question the experts haven’t solved: What’s the best way to break? Six hundred years after the game evolved from croquet in 15th-century France, with green cloth on the table to evoke the grass of croquet courts, there’s still no consensus. Some players hit the cue ball with overspin. Some smash it into one side of the racked balls. Some make it hop in the air on contact with the racked balls. 
 
Trying every sort of break I’d seen on YouTube, I wondered if I’d quit too soon. Maybe I should be more like Elaine. One of only two women in the league, Elaine was petite enough to put her at a disadvantage on the break. She couldn’t smash the ball as hard as most of the guys, but she didn’t give up. She’d played me twice and won both times.
 
Life seems to speed up every year, and the faster it gets, the more quick fixes it offers. But maybe there’s still something to be said for stick-to-itiveness. As Minnesota Fats used to say, “If something’s hard, most folks won’t even try. That’s my edge on them.” 
 
Fast Eddie Felson didn’t quit. He came back 25 years later in "The Color of Money," the sequel to "The Hustler." Paul Newman was 61 at the time — my age now. He yanked a house cue off the rack and took on Tom Cruise. Fast Eddie’s only concession to age was a new pair of eyeglasses. Maybe I could win a game or two with a little more practice and a trip to the optometrist. 
 
So I gave the pool league another week. What did I have to lose but a little more self-esteem? Maybe there are more important things. Competition. Camaraderie. A challenge.  
 
That week I faced José, hottest stick in the league. “Your break,” he said.
 
I reared back and tried to bash ’em on the nose. To my surprise, the seven ball fell in. That made me solids, aiming for balls one through six, and what do you know — the five and six were perched next to pockets. I bagged those two bunnies and then, by sheer accident, the cue ball rolled to a spot between two more of my solids. I tapped them in, putting backspin on the cue ball. The yellow one ball beckoned from a far corner. 
 
“Ace in the corner,” I said. And knocked it in. José tapped the butt of his cue on the floor — a pool player’s applause. I had a chance to run the table. 
The eight ball hugged the rail 80 inches away, a tough shot. Lining it up, giving myself about a 10 percent chance, I decided to stay in the league.
 
• Kevin Cook’s new book is "Ten Innings at Wrigley: The Wildest Ballgame Ever, with Baseball on the Brink." Read more stories from The Rotarian.
 
The Hustler 2019-04-17 08:00:00Z 0
A Day In Homer With Some Exchange Students 2019-04-17 08:00:00Z 0
Are you in danger of getting Diabetes?  Do you want to know more about preventing diabetes, or perhaps keeping yourself from getting diabetes?  Check out the posters below.  A program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is looking for volunteers to take part in a study to help prevent diabetes.  Please check out the posters below, and if you are interested, please contact Leslie Shallcross and take part in the program.
 
Diabetes--Prevention and Detection 2019-04-16 08:00:00Z 0
They want a productive second act, but not everyone wants to be written into the script
By Joe Queenan
 
Shortly before my good friend T.J. decided to retire from his high-powered job, I suggested that we collaborate on a play. T.J., who had abandoned a career as an actor and playwright 30 years earlier, almost immediately sent me an engaging one-act play called Alms. I quickly got to work writing jokes and rearranging scenes, and within a month we had the play ready to go.
 
Before we could schedule a public reading of Alms, T.J. sent me a second play. Because I am still an active member of the workforce, I could not immediately give it the attention it deserved. By the time I started to work up a head of steam, T.J. had sent me the first 40 pages of a third play about two brothers divided by their opposing political beliefs. And he was already sketching out a fourth collaboration. 
 
It is a basic principle of warfare that you must never fight a war on more than one front. I learned this too late, as did Napoleon. And so I soon found myself facing the same situation as Bonaparte at Waterloo — so preoccupied with the English army directly in front of me that I never noticed the Prussian army sneaking in from the side. Because T.J., who was not even officially retired yet, was not the only Type A person I knew. I have a number of friends who have recently retired, and none of them is going gentle into that good night. They are attacking retirement with all the passion with which they had attacked their careers. And they expect me to help them do it.
 
Was I free for breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Could I go to the Army-Air Force game up at West Point? How about the New York Knicks developmental league game in White Plains? They had an extra ticket for La Traviata. They had an extra ticket for La Bohème. They had an extra ticket for everything.
 
Alas, these outings were not innocuous social get-togethers, but heavy-duty work sessions. While we were at the game or the film or the opera, they would spring the trap. Could I give a speech at an event they were organizing? Could I read a memoir they had just written? Any chance of my pitching in and helping with their foundation that helps teach ex-cons marketable skills?
 
Or consider this. My best friend, Rob, retired from the IRS in his late 50s. That left him with a lot of time on his hands. He filled it in various ways: estate planning, helping a sick friend sell his house, the usual. Then one day, thanks to Facebook, he found out that he was living not 15 minutes away from the lead guitarist in the garage band we had played in 43 years earlier while growing up in Philly. Feelers were put out and the bass player from the band was run to earth, and soon the Phase Shift Network had a joyous reunion. At first we merely got together to play “Sunshine of Your Love” and talk about the good old days before Billy Joel showed up on the scene and ruined life as we know it. But then we got a drummer off Craigslist. And then things got serious. And then we started playing all the time. 
 
Unfortunately, those guys all live in or around Philadelphia, while I live 120 miles away. I found myself flying up and down the dreaded Jersey Turnpike every fourth Sunday, playing “Hey Joe” with a band consisting of the retired, the semi-retired, and the soon-to-be retired. Fortunate son? I think not.
 
Last year we hired a hall and held a concert for a hundred of our friends. It was great fun. But after that, exhausted by all the travel, I suggested to Rob that we scale back the live music for a while and write a musical together. Rob quickly sent me 30 jaunty, exquisitely crafted songs. All we needed now was a script — which I could easily bang out if I weren’t already writing four full-length plays with T.J.
 
In olden days, people did not retire. They simply died. This made it impossible to write a musical. But as life expectancies lengthened, people began to live a long time after retirement. That first wave of retirees knew what to do once their race was run. They fished. They knitted. They read Master and Commander novels. They traveled. And they did all this at a relaxed pace. They did not overcommit. They did not overschedule. They chilled.
 
The first wave of the retirees among my own acquaintance fit into this laid-back, reassuringly generic mold. They packed in their jobs selling computers and moved to Hawaii, sending me an annual postcard telling me how much fun they were having golfing. Or playing tennis. That was fine with me, as I loathe both sports. And as I had no desire to learn Portuguese, or visit those amazing waterfalls in Argentina, or get a master’s degree in theology, their retirement activities did not make me envious. 
 
But then the second wave of retirees arrived. These were not laid-back old geezers happy to play bridge and drift down the Rhône in a houseboat and learn Introductory Sanskrit to help stave off Alzheimer’s. These were Type A retirees. They had seized life by the throat when they were working, and they were going to seize it by the throat now that they were retired. They were going to serve on the board of their local health clinic. They were going to chair fundraisers for the public schools. They were going to get things built, bills passed, politicians elected.
 
Once retired, Type A people — accustomed to delegating responsibility to others — must cast about for someone new to task with demanding chores. In my circle of friends, because I am self-employed and therefore appear to have lots of time on my hands, that someone is me. 
 
I am not a Type A person. I am not a 24/7 kind of guy. I do not take it to the limit one more time. I don’t even take it to the limit the first time. I am not the kind of person who gets things done yesterday. I get them done when I feel like it. Often I do not get them done at all.
 
But because I am now hemmed in by high-energy retirees, I have been plunged into a vicariously stressful Type A life. I am writing introduc-tions to books. I am listening to self-recorded compact discs. I am reading family histories, self-published astrological guides, novels involving hipster werewolves masquerading as hedge fund managers. It is quite, quite laborious. 
 
If retirees would embrace their traditional role and sit on the porch whittling or making quilts, the rest of us could breathe easy. But because so many of them fall into the Type A category, the rest of us find ourselves struggling to keep up. 
 
That’s why we need to cajole our Type A friends into doing things that will get them all tuckered out so they’ll leave us alone. That’s where golf comes in. Despite its negligible merits as a sport, golf performs a positive societal function because it takes four or five hours to finish 18 holes. Five hours spent playing golf is five hours that can’t be spent asking other people to read your self-published book of haiku. That’s why I never disparage the game in front of my retired friends. 
 
Nor do I ever discourage people from taking a year off to hike the Appalachian Trail or live on a houseboat in Tierra del Fuego. Take two years, guys. Take 10. For similar reasons, I never talk down bridge. I never make fun of people for playing bingo or attending supper club productions of Pal Joey. If retirees want to jump into the Winnebago and visit all 50 state capitals, to them I say, “Godspeed.” I even encourage them to visit every baseball stadium while they’re at it, or go to England and spend a month in the room where Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland, or visit the house where the lead singer from the Small Faces grew up. To deal with the coming onslaught of Type A retirees, the rest of us need to encourage them to sign up for Danish classes, join the Peace Corps, replace the roof on every abandoned house in the South Bronx, or go on long, long, long trips to Nepal. Otherwise, we’ll never have a minute’s peace. 
 
• Joe Queenan is a freelance writer based in Tarrytown, New York.                             Read more stories from The Rotarian.
Type A Retirees 2019-04-10 08:00:00Z 0
Why the last mile is so important 
      with Michael K. McGovern
               International PolioPlus Committee Chair
 
1. There were more cases of wild poliovirus in 2018 than in 2017. Should we be discouraged?  
No, not at all. We’ve always expected the number of cases to fluctuate somewhat as we get closer to zero. We’ve gone four straight years with fewer than 100 cases per year. That’s an indicator of great progress. With dedication from governments and Rotarians in areas still affected by polio, we’ll get there. 
  
2. Why is it so difficult to eradicate a disease like polio?
Remember that even in the United States, where the polio vaccine was readily available, it still took 20 years to become polio-free. And the areas we are working in now don’t have health systems that are as well-developed as in the United States. 
 
3. What challenges are you seeing now?
We have been working intensely in the endemic countries — Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan — for a number of years, and some of the citizens in those countries are getting concerned that we are spending money on polio eradication when they have so many other needs. There’s some resistance to keep on receiving immunizations for polio, and polio alone. Our challenge is to find ways to provide other services to the citizens and children so we still have the parental support we need — to provide the “plus” in PolioPlus. 
 
4. What role does armed conflict play in those areas?
It makes the logistics of immunization far more difficult. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative partnership is not only dealing with governments — we’re dealing with anti-government elements as well. While we’ve worked to gain everyone’s trust and support, we’ve had areas that were inaccessible to immunization teams for months and sometimes years at a time. 
 
5. Do immunization teams know when they miss children? Or are there children they don’t even know about?
I think we have a good handle now on knowing when and where we’re missing children. The challenge is to keep reducing the number we miss. In Nigeria, we have done a lot of work since we were surprised by the discovery of several polio cases in Borno state in 2016, two years after the country had last seen a polio case. We now know through GPS mapping where the children are, and we are working with authorities there to make sure all children receive the polio vaccine.
 
6. Where are we seeing successes?
We haven’t had any cases of wild poliovirus anywhere in the world in nearly five years except in the three endemic countries. And in Nigeria, it’s been almost three years since we had any wild poliovirus cases, and those occurred in a small area of the country.
 
7. What’s the most important thing Rotarians should know?
I’ve been extremely impressed with the dedication and persistence of Rotarians in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. They are working hard to make sure polio is eradicated. It’s pretty amazing what they do in those countries.
Rotarians should continue to be optimistic and to support eradication. We also need Rotarians to bring the need for continued funding to the attention of their government leaders. We can’t lose sight of the goal.
— Diana Schoberg
• Read more stories from The Rotarian
Top of Form
 
7 Questions About Polio  2019-04-10 08:00:00Z 0

The Club's International Committee is asking your help filling out this schedule by giving them ideas, and making commitments to host, hold a social event, help with a volunteer activity, take Maria on a fun event, and/or provide a job experience for her.

Please contact Clyde, Sue, or Vivian for information or to assist.

 
Maria Kupchinskaya – Russian Intern – July 5-19, 2019 for RC of Homer-Kachemak Bay
Tentative intern experiences, cultural, volunteer, and social events, plus hosts
 
Work opportunities   (Check on Ulmer's, NOMAR, Chamber, South Peninsula Hospital, City of Homer - Katie Koester and Rick Abboud – city planning, Harbor, water and sewer utilities, Peony farms, Kachemak Heritage Land Trust)
---------------------
All day options:
Save U More, Mark Hemstreet.
Optometrist business, Andrew Peter
Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, Beth Trowbridge
Ist National Bank, Cinda Martin? Needs permission
Coal Point, Craig will ask
 
Half day or less
Van Hawkins and Clark Cripps – Financial advising/consulting, etc.
Charlie Franz?
 
Volunteer options:  Food Pantry, AKF&G, Kachemak Advocates of Recycling, Farmer’s market,  
Host options: Van Hawkins, Andrew Peter, Vivian and Clyde
Fun options:  Minus tide on July 6.7.8; Send her on CACS tour to Peterson Bay?; Hiking? Boat cruise, Fishing, Dinner with Rotarians, Farmer’s market,
News and a Request From the International Committee 2019-04-03 08:00:00Z 0
How Rotarians are already fighting climate change
 
By Diana Schoberg
 
Rotarians are doers. Show them a problem and they look for solutions. But a global problem such as climate change might seem daunting to even the most resourceful Rotary member. 
 
Our climate change series
 
Rotarians understand that the whole world is their backyard. They can see the effects of climate change in communities they care about, and they haven’t waited to take action. They’re tackling the problem the way they always do: coming up with projects, using their connections to change policy — and planning for the future.
Read our series to see:
Break that complex problem down into smaller pieces, however, and you find there are many things Rotarians can do — and are already doing, with help from The Rotary Foundation. 
 
A coalition of researchers and scientists led by environmentalist and writer Paul Hawken mathematically modeled the climatic and economic impact of potential solutions to learn which ones would yield the best results for people and the planet. The list, compiled in a 2017 book called "Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming," included some surprising possibilities, such as educating girls, promoting family planning, and assisting farmers. As it happens, all of those align with Rotary’s areas of focus. 
 
Drawdown researchers ranked solutions from 1 to 80 based on their potential to avert or reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We looked at those rankings alongside global grant projects to see how Rotarians are already helping to fight climate change.
Photo by Brounat
 
Family planning
Drawdown ranking: 7
 
In lower-income countries, the Drawdown authors write, 214 million women who want more control over their pregnancies lack access to contraception, which leads to about 74 million unintended pregnancies each year. Giving women the health care they want and need also benefits the planet, reducing population growth as well as greenhouse gas emissions. 
 
Pregnant women who gave interviews to Rotarians in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, said that family planning was their top priority — a sentiment echoed by their families and doctors.
 
This led the Rotary clubs of Finot, Ethiopia, and Darmstadt, Germany, to develop a global grant project that trained skilled birth attendants and midwives in three health centers to provide family planning counseling. Medical staff also conducted home-based counseling for 1,500 women and organized a one-day family planning workshop for 90 women who were receiving obstetric care.
Photo by Ijeab
 
Girls’ education
Drawdown ranking: 6
 
A woman with no schooling has four or five more children than a woman with 12 years of schooling, which means that educating girls will have a huge impact on population growth.
 
While the regions of the world with growing populations are often the ones with the lowest per capita carbon emissions, reducing fertility rates will still have massive benefits — not only for the planet but also in reducing intergenerational poverty. And, the Drawdown authors note, one study found that educating girls is the single most important factor in reducing vulnerability to natural disasters, which occur more frequently with the extreme weather events associated with climate change. 
In Bosnia-Herzegovina, about 90 percent of Roma women are illiterate and less than 15 percent of Roma children go to school, leaving them vulnerable to human trafficking, among other things.
 
The Rotary clubs of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Denver, Colorado, partnered with a local nonprofit on a global grant project that mentored 80 families with at-risk girls. Twenty students from the University of Bosnia volunteered as mentors, and 15 Roma girls enrolled in school as part of the effort. Organizers estimate that at least 1,000 parents, teachers, and girls in 20 communities learned about the importance of gender equality in education through printed materials and workshops.
Regenerative agriculture
Drawdown ranking: 11
 
Regenerative agriculture practices include avoiding the use of plows to keep from disturbing the soil; planting a diverse array of cover crops; and limiting or abstaining from pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. These methods boost the amount of organic matter — carbon — in the soil, improving its health and that of the plants growing in it.
 
According to the Drawdown authors, regenerative agriculture increases organic matter in the soil between 4 percent and 7 percent over 10 years, representing an additional 25 tons to 60 tons of carbon stored in the ground per acre. That reduces the need for fertilizer — which means regenerative agriculture can help cut carbon in the atmosphere while increasing farmers’ production. 
 
Forty people from Meihua village, Taiwan, were trained in organic farming techniques through a global grant project of the Rotary clubs of Taipei Lungmen, Taiwan, and Patumwan, Thailand.
 
The effort, carried out in partnership with the Organic Farming Association of Taiwan, included creating a training facility and providing internships at organic farms. Organizers expected that growing without pesticides would lower farming costs and that selling organic vegetables at a premium price would improve villagers’ earnings.
Photo by Elena11
 
Reduced food waste
Drawdown ranking: 3
 
One-third of the fruits and vegetables, meat, and other food the world produces never gets eaten. Instead, it rots unharvested in fields, spoils in storage, or sits forgotten in the back of the refrigerator, only to end up in the garbage.
 
The production of uneaten food squanders resources such as energy, land, and fertilizer. In landfills, food waste generates methane, a greenhouse gas. From start to finish, uneaten food is responsible for releasing the equivalent of 4.4 million gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, the Drawdown authors write.
Centroabastos, a food wholesaler in Bucaramanga, Colombia, generates about 20 tons of organic solid waste per day. The Rotary clubs of Bucaramanga Nuevo Milenio, Colombia, and Woodland Hills, California, are working with the company’s nonprofit arm to set up a center that will use the surplus produce to provide training in safe food handling and processing. The project is expected to reduce food waste by 15 percent while creating employment opportunities.
 
Climate Change 2019-04-03 08:00:00Z 0

Here’s an opportunity for you to help Rotary District 5010 and get some added benefits for yourself anytime you travel on Alaska Airlines.

About EasyBiz

EasyBiz addresses the unique needs of busy travelers with rewards and tools to save you time and money.

Enjoy all of the benefits of flying Alaska Airlines when you book your travel using EasyBiz. They guarantee it. Get extra perks yourself while helping Rotary District 5010.

Earn more miles

As a participating EasyBiz® organization, Rotary District 5010 earns 1 Mileage Plan™ mile for every dollar you spend on base fares. These miles are accrued by our Rotary district on top of the miles that are earned by you on your own personal Mileage Plan™ accounts. Everybody wins!

24-hour reservation holds

Alaska’s EasyBiz® service provides time for you to confirm itineraries before you buy. All reservations made through EasyBiz® can be held for 24 hours before you pay for them.

Just remember your tickets must be reserved and purchased through our EasyBiz® portal at EasyBiz.alaskaair.com.  And, you'll always find the lowest airfares for flights at www.Easybiz.alaskaair.com.

To enroll, just let our travel advisor, David Berg (David@VikingTrvl.net), know that you’re interested and he will send you an invitation link.  All he needs is your name and email address.

Once confirmed, you’ll have access to the District EasyBiz account for all your future travel purchases.

Sorry, If you’re already an EasyBiz user with another group, this option is not available to you :(

Thanks!

 

Andre’ Layral

DGE 2019-2020

An Opportunity to Ease Travel and Help Rotary 2019-03-26 08:00:00Z 0
 
Heidi Kühn

Rotary Club of San Francisco
 
Heidi Kühn arrived in Utsunomiya, Japan, in 1975, a few months after the end of the Vietnam War. She was a Rotary Youth Exchange student, and what she saw and experienced in Japan led her to reflect on the post-World War II reconciliation between that country and her native United States. “The idea of former enemies bridging borders for peace left an impression in my heart,” she says.
Heidi Kühn, of the Rotary Club of San Francisco, founded a nonprofit called Roots of Peace to remove land mines and revive farmland.
Photo by Ian Tuttle
 
More than 20 years later, Kühn had become a successful television journalist. She was asked by the Commonwealth Club of California, a well-known public affairs forum, to host an event featuring Jerry White, a land mine survivor who had escorted Princess Diana on her last humanitarian mission in 1997. It was a short time after the death of Diana, whose efforts to ban land mines had inspired Kühn. “That night, I made a prophetic toast,” she recalls. “‘May the world go from mines to vines.’”
Kühn decided to act on those words and founded a nonprofit called Roots of Peace that has worked to remove hundreds of thousands of land mines and other unexploded ordnance from farmland and replace them with productive fields, such as orchards and vineyards.
 
In Afghanistan, the organization has helped restore fields in the Shomali Plain north of Kabul, which had been a thriving agricultural region until the Taliban burned vineyards, cut down fruit trees, and laid land mines. Since 2003, Roots of Peace has connected growers with supermarket chains in India. 
 
Roots of Peace is also partnering with the Rotary clubs of San Francisco and Bangkok Klongtoey, Thailand, which received a $197,000 global grant from The Rotary Foundation to remove land mines and plant black pepper vines and taro in Vietnam’s Quang Tri province, and help farmers market the high-value crop.
 
Kühn and her husband and Roots of Peace partner, Gary Kühn, visited Afghanistan in 2018 to see the fruits of their labor. They flew out of Afghanistan on a cargo plane carrying the harvest. 
 
“To me, that was the greatest inspiration, the greatest moment in my life, to know that we can turn dreams into reality,” Kühn says. “Not just for ourselves, but for countless farmers and families around the world.” 
— Nikki Kallio
• Read more stories from The Rotarian
Profile: A Vine Idea 2019-03-26 08:00:00Z 0
How Rotary has changed to help people get clean water for longer than just a few years
 
By Ryan Hyland
 
The lack of access to clean water, sanitation facilities, and hygiene resources is one of the world’s biggest health problems — and one of the hardest to solve.
Rotary has worked for decades to provide people with clean water by digging wells, laying pipes, providing filters, and installing sinks and toilets. But the biggest challenge has come after the hardware is installed. Too often, projects succeeded at first but eventually failed.
 
Across all kinds of organizations, the cumulative cost of failed water systems in sub-Saharan Africa alone is estimated at $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion, according to data compiled by the consulting firm Improve International.
Rotary projects used to focus on building wells, but Rotary started to focused on hygiene education projects, which have a greater impact.
Rotary International
 
Rusted water pumps and dilapidated sanitation facilities are familiar sights in parts of Africa, South America, and South Asia — monuments to service projects that proved unsustainable. A 2013 review by independent contractor Aguaconsult cited these kinds of issues in projects Rotary carried out, and the review included a focus on sustainability to help plan more effective projects.
 
That’s one factor in why Rotary has shifted its focus over the past several years to emphasize education, collaboration, and sustainability.
With Rotary Foundation global grants, a dedicated Rotarian Action Group, and a partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Rotary’s water, sanitation, and hygiene, or WASH, programs are achieving greater, longer-lasting change.
 
“All Rotary water and sanitation projects are full of heart and well-intentioned, but many of them didn’t always meet the actual demands of the community,” says F. Ronald Denham, a founding member and chair emeritus of the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group. The group, formed in 2007, stresses a needs-based approach and sustainability in projects.
 
In the past, equipment and facilities were usually installed properly and received well, but the local ownership, education, and sustainability were sometimes lacking. Communities often did not receive enough support to manage the projects independently for the long term.
 
One obstacle to sustainability: the ongoing human involvement that’s required.
 
Rotary members, by their nature, are volunteers. “Like everyone else, Rotarians have priorities like work and family,” says Denham, who has worked with clubs on water, sanitation, and hygiene issues for more than 30 years and led projects in Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, and Uganda.
 
Speaking of the Rotary members who work to make improvements in their own communities, he says, “It’s difficult for host clubs, for instance, to manage WASH projects long-term,” especially if the projects have complex technical components. “We’re extremely dedicated, but we need help. Reaching out is essential to our success.”
 
Community engagement, community ownership
 
That success now increasingly depends on collaborations with organizations that provide complementary resources, funding, technology, contacts, knowledge of a culture, and other expertise.
Rotary members work with local experts to make sure projects fit a local need and are sustainable. Educators Mark Adu-Anning, left, and John Kwame Antwi work with engineer Jonathan Nkrumah, center, Rotary member Vera Allotey, and Atekyem Chief Nana Dorman II on a sanitation projects in Ghana.
Photo by Awurra Adwoa Kye
 
“Clubs need to better engage with the community, its leaders, and professional organizations,” Denham says. “More important, we need to understand the needs of the community. We can’t assume or guess what’s in their best interest.”
 
The Rotary Foundation has learned over time that community engagement is crucial to making long-term change. It now requires clubs that apply for grants for some projects in other countries to show that local residents have helped develop the project plan.
 
The community should play a part in choosing which problems to address, thinking of the resources it has available, finding solutions, and making a long-term maintenance plan.
 
No project is successful, Denham says, unless the local community ultimately can run it.
 
In 2010, his club, the Rotary Club of Toronto Eglinton, Ontario, Canada, became the lead international partner in a water and sanitation program in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya, where clean water is scarce.
 
When initial groundwater tests revealed high levels of fluoride, the sponsor clubs changed their plan to dig shallow boreholes. Given what they learned, rainwater collection was a safer approach.
 
The Rotary Club of Nakuru, Kenya, the local host club, now provides materials and teaches families how to build their own 10,000-liter tanks. Each family is responsible for the labor and maintenance. With a $50 investment, a family can collect enough water to get through the dry season.
 
To date, the project has funded the construction of more than 3,000 tanks, bringing clean water to about 28,000 people. Family members no longer have to walk several miles per day to collect water, a task that often fell to women and children.
 
As owners of the tanks, women are empowered to reimagine how their households work. And with the help of microloans they get through the Rotary clubs, mothers are running small businesses and generating income instead of fetching water.
 
“With ownership comes liberation, not just for the mothers but for their children, who now have the time to attend school,” Denham explains.
 
Teaching WASH
 
It takes more than installing sanitation facilities for a WASH project to succeed in the long term. It’s also important to cultivate healthy habits. Good hygiene practices can reduce diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and pneumonia by nearly 50 percent. Washing hands with soap can save lives.
More than 4.5 billion people live without a safe toilet, the U.N. says. A lack of toilets leads to disease and also keeps some girls from going to school. In Ghana, Rotary and USAID projects at schools are leading to fewer days missed due to illness or menstruation.
Photo by Awurra Adwoa Kye
 
The Rotary Club of Box Hill Central, Victoria, Australia, facilitates Operation Toilets, a program that builds toilets and delivers WASH education to schools in developing countries including India and Ethiopia. The group constructs separate facilities for boys and girls to ensure privacy, and Rotary members teach students how to wash their hands with soap. Workers at each school are instructed in how to maintain the facilities.
 
The program works with the advocacy group We Can’t Wait, which raises awareness of WASH needs and promotes education to the community. Since the project launched in 2015, nearly 90 schools and more than 96,000 students have directly benefited from the program.
 
In another example of successful WASH education, the Rotary Club of Puchong Centennial, Malaysia, partners with Interact and Rotaract clubs in the Philippines to teach at several schools in Lampara, Philippines. The groups invited several speakers to instruct students about oral hygiene, hand washing, and the importance of frequent bathing. After each presentation, students were given kits that included toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, combs, and other toiletries.
 
Fluid Approach to Water 2019-03-26 08:00:00Z 0
Is there hope for indigenous Alaskans?
By Mary Robinson
 
For more than 2,000 years, the Yupik people have hunted and fished in the icy wilds of Alaska’s western coast, digging holes through the frozen sea to catch salmon and stickleback and communicating to one another in an ancient lexicon that includes dozens of ways to describe ice. Passed down from generation to generation, this linguistic adaptation has helped the Yupik to navigate safely as hunters, using specific terminology to describe the ice’s thickness and reliability. But with the advance of climate change, common Yupik words such as tagneghneq — used to describe dark, dense ice — are becoming obsolete as Alaska’s melting permafrost turns the once solid landscape into a mushy, sodden waste.
 
Our climate change series
 
Rotarians understand that the whole world is their backyard. They can see the effects of climate change in communities they care about, and they haven’t waited to take action. They’re tackling the problem the way they always do: coming up with projects, using their connections to change policy — and planning for the future.
Read our series to see:
Recent scientific data confirm that the Arctic is warming twice as fast as any other place on the planet, with the average winter temperature having risen 6.3 degrees Celsius over the past 50 years. Alaska’s soaring temperatures are caused by a perfect storm of confluence. When solar radiation hits snow and ice, most of it is reflected back into space. But as warming global temperatures encourage ice to melt, the exposed land absorbs the radiation, prompting yet more ice to melt. Now the people of Alaska — 85 percent of whom live along the coast — are among the first Americans to feel the effects of climate change as the ground beneath them melts and gives way.
 
Life in Alaska is defined by the cold, by the land, and by the people’s relationship to the sea. To fish and to hunt is to live and breathe, and the rapid melting of the ice is causing many indigenous Alaskans to question their cultural identity. Nobody knows this crisis more viscerally than Patricia Cochran, who has been working with communities across Alaska and the Arctic for 30 years to help them deal with the ravages of climate change. Cochran is executive director of the Alaska Native Science Commission, but she is also a native Alaskan and Inupiat, born and raised in the coastal town of Nome. Cochran grew up in a traditional Inupiat home, setting out across the tundra for fish camp every year and scrambling along the rocky coast with her siblings in the late-summer months, foraging for berries and herbs.
“It has taken science a very long time to catch up to what our communities have been saying for decades,” says Cochran. “For at least the last 40 or 50 years, our communities have noticed the subtlest of changes happening in the environment around them. We were seeing the signs of climate change long before researchers and scientists started using those words. Climate change is more than just a discussion for us. It is a reality. It is something that we live with and face every single day — and have for decades.”
 
As a child growing up in Nome, Cochran remembers the snow lying thick on the ground most of the year, and the sea — a single block of ice — stretching far toward the horizon late into the summer months. The winters were long and brutal, the summers exceedingly brief.
 
But over time, the winters began to arrive later and to rush prematurely into spring. Now, when Cochran visits her childhood home, the vast expanse of ice is gone, replaced by an open, glistening sea. “We have had to build a seawall in Nome because the sea ice that used to sit in front of our villages is no longer there,” she says. “That ice used to keep us safe. We have had so much rain that our fish will not dry on our fish racks. We have had such warm weather throughout the summer that berries have ripened twice in the season. Most worrying, the changing ice conditions have caused extreme erosion, flooding, and permafrost degradation across the entire community.”
 
Permafrost, the permanently frozen sublayer of soil that has anchored Alaska for thousands of years, provides a foundation for homes, schools, and roads, and it keeps the rising sea at bay. But mounting temperatures throughout the Arctic are causing this prehistoric underpinning to melt, turning the soil soggy and releasing more carbon dioxide into the air. As the cycle continues and the warming earth buckles and bends, the houses of Alaska’s indigenous people topple into the sea. As the dwindling permafrost exposes the soil and the offshore ice that normally buffers the villages from storms decreases, the sea advances, eating away at the land. In the late summer, increasingly fierce storms, the results of climatic shifts, batter the coast, eroding the topsoil until it crumbles into the sea.
Photo courtesy of "Glacier Exit," a film by Raphael Rogers, Kristin Rogers, and Paul Rennick.
 
Combining scientific expertise with her innate traditional knowledge, Coch-ran works to help communities across Alaska that are relocating. For years, the tiny village of Shishmaref, located on a barrier island 5 miles from the Alaskan mainland north of the Bering Strait, has been steadily yielding its shores — and buildings — to the frigid sea. When residents voted in August 2016 to leave their land, it was estimated they would need about $200 million to relocate homes and infrastructure to the new site and to build new roads, utilities, schools, and a barge landing. It is a staggering amount for a community of just under 600 residents, against which the state has offered merely $8 million.
 
About 400 miles south, the even smaller village of Newtok has been sliding toward the Ninglick River for years by up to 70 feet a year. Residents decided to trade their coastal land for a more secure swath on a nearby island, at an estimated cost of $130 million. While villagers plan their new homes and infrastructure, they still need to live where they are, maintain their daily rhythms, keep their children in school, and continue their ancient way of life hunting for moose, seals, and fish. Some residents fear that their centuries-old culture and identity will suffer if they move. “For communities who have been there for thousands of years, it’s a difficult decision to leave everything,” says Cochran. “It’s not only the physical exhaustion, but the mental exhaustion and trauma that come along with all those things.”
 
Cochran is redoubling her efforts on what she and her organization can do to help indigenous Alaskans with community-based initiatives, research, and action. She frames climate change as a human rights issue, expanding the dialogue beyond emissions and mitigation to incorporate the language of justice and humanity. As a self-professed “elder in training,” she encourages young people to take part in her climate-justice journey, so that they too can learn the tools to live a sustainable life in their native communities.
 
“I see that as my most important responsibility and honor,” Cochran says, “to pass on that information and knowledge to the young people who must live with the disastrous situation that we have left them in.” Across the one- or two-room schools that dot the vast Alaskan coastline, new climate programs are being introduced to teach young children the myriad ways to talk about the weather — and to describe snow and ice — in their native languages. It is a way to keep endangered words such as tagneghneq alive, and to help those children navigate a safer future.
 
While she works to help indigenous people affected by climate change, Cochran takes inspiration from one of her own elders, her beloved mother, who passed away some years ago at the age of 96. As a child, Cochran’s mother watched as a flu epidemic wiped out her entire family except for her father. Bereft and traumatized, she was removed from her village when she was eight and sent to a boarding school, where she would remain until she was 18. “She lost her language, she lost her culture,” says Cochran, who remembers her mother as an eternal optimist and an indomitable spirit. “She fought the rest of her life to make sure that her eight children had what it would take to survive.”
 
Keeping her mother in mind gives Cochran the focus that she needs — and it helps imbue her message with hope. Knowing about her mother’s experience “really makes me understand that we can deal with anything,” she says. “We have always been resilient, adaptive, creative, amazing people, which has helped see us through the darkest of times in the past. That resilience, that spirit, will help us in the times yet to come.” 
• This story was adapted from "Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future" by Mary Robinson, with Caitríona Palmer (2018). Used by permission of Bloomsbury Publishing. Mary Robinson was president of Ireland from 1990 to 1997 and was a United Nations special envoy for climate change. 
Climate Change 2019-03-20 08:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay
Minutes of the Regular Club Meeting, March 14, 2019
 
Meeting was called to order at the Best Western Bidarka Inn at 12:11 PM by President Bernie Griffard.
Board Members Present: President Bernie Griffard, Vice President Van Hawkins, President Elect Don Keller, Treasurer Read Dunn, Secretary Charlie Franz, Director Dennis Weidler and Director Gary Thomas.
Board Members Absent:  Director Lisa Roberts.
Club Members Present:  (24) Rick Abboud, Clyde Boyer, David Brann, Sue Clardy, Clark Cripps, Tom Early, Vivian Finlay, Craig Forrest, Vince Greear, Marianne Gross, Maynard Gross, James Hornaday, Doug Johnson, Ronnie Leach, Cinda Martin, Milli Martin, Marie McCarty, John Mouw, Marvin Peters, Susie Quinn, Paul Seaton, Bryan Zak and Karen Zak.
Quorum:  A quorum was established with a total of 33 club members (55%) present.
Action Item:
          President Griffard introduced the action item for the meeting:  Consideration of an amendment to the Club Bylaws to establish a Finance Committee.
Add to Article 9 Committees:
The Finance Committee - This committee shall assist with the development,
implementation, monitoring and modification of the budget.  The committee is authorized to make budget modifications up to 10% of the board approved committee budgets.  The Finance Committee shall consist of the President, Past President, President Elect and Treasurer.
          The proposed amendment was provided to the membership via e-mail on February 26, 2019 in compliance with the bylaws requirement for amendments that notice be provided at least 10 days in advance of the requested approval.
Dennis Weidler moved and Don Keller seconded approval of the amendment.  Approved – unanimous by voice vote.  A written vote in support of the amendment was also received from Jan Knutson.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:19 PM.
Respectfully submitted by Charlie Franz, Secretary
Minutes of Regular Club Meeting, March 14, 2019 2019-03-19 08:00:00Z 0
At least 15 members and prospective members met at the Duncan House Saturday morning for food, fun, and fellowship.  
 
 
 
Rotary Breakfast Meeting 2019-03-19 08:00:00Z 0

Dear Clyde and Vivian

My name is Mary, a fourth-year student at Irkutsk State University, Baikal International Business School. (Professor Donskoy’s student). Thank you very much for your willingness to host me and put together my internship.

I am looking forward to some valuable international experience in management, marketing, and finance. I'm also interested in logistics, foreign languages, leadership, and American culture. Therefore, project management is one of the areas that I am interested in. At this time, I work on my research on reducing inventory costs in our local trade company. Involvement in a wide variety of volunteering and community service projects through Rotary will give me the boost I need to advance my business career.

In addition to School, I work with a language school where I teach English to young kids. I would love to visit a school where American students study Russian and tell them a little bit about Russia.

I also love to bike, swim and dive. My father is a diving instructor, so we often go diving together. We dive both in summer and winter on Lake Baikal, which, as you know, is the deepest freshwater lake in the world.

I’d like to tell you a little about my family as well. In addition to being a diving instructor, my father has a PhD in Biology and works as an ichthyologist, and is the director of the Lake Baikal Museum. The museum provides educational programming, conducts scientific researches, and puts on exhibitions about Lake Baikal.

My mother works at Irkutsk State University, and my sister has a master’s degree and works as a HR Manager.

My family also loves to travel.

Sincerely,

Mary 

Letter From Mary Kupchinskaia 2019-03-14 08:00:00Z 0
(Issued January 30, 2019)
 
Rotary District 5010
 
Call for Resolutions
for
Consideration at the District Conference
 
(May 3 - 5, Anchorage)
 
Introduction
 
Each Rotary year, individual clubs in good standing and the Council of Governors have the opportunity to recommend changes to the District 5010 Manual of Procedure thereby ensuring that their contents are current and support the District’s needs.
 
Resolutions, which present a firm decision to do or not to do something, fulfill three purposes: recognition, amendments to the District 5010 Manual of Procedure, and general purpose District 5010 resolutions, thus:
 
1.            Resolution of Recognition
 
Yearly, resolutions are submitted recognizing, acknowledging and thanking certain groups and/or individuals for service to Rotary District 5010 during the Rotary year.
The Administration Chair submits these resolutions.
 
2.            Resolution for Amendment
 
Yearly, clubs or the Council on Governors may submit for consideration Resolutions for Amendment that purport to correct or delete existing District 5010 Manual of Procedure language or add language to existing text.
 
3.            Resolution of General Purpose
 
Yearly, clubs may submit for consideration Resolutions of General Purpose that inform, persuade, or convey a goal.  Such resolutions may result from an RI directive, e.g. nominating an individual to serve on a Rotary committee.
 
 
 
4.          Council on Legislation and Resolutions
 
Annually, clubs or the Council on Governors may submit resolutions for consideration by Rotary International’s Council on Resolutions, while every three years, clubs or the Council on Governors may submit legislation which amends Rotary International’s governance documents at the Council on Legislation.
 
Examples of 1 to 3 are attached. Specific information will be provided soon about Council on Resolutions submissions by Jane Little (Homer Downtown), District 5010’s Council on Legislation representative.
 
Resolution Process
Prior to submitting a Resolution for consideration, a club’s board of directors must first submit their resolution in the proper format, signed by both the club president and secretary, after approval by a vote of members at a regular club meeting.  The resolution is sent via email by the deadline set out below to the District Governor, with a copy to the Administration Chair.
 
Once received, the District Governor, in conjunction with the Manual of Procedure Review Committee, will determine whether or not the proposed resolution conflicts with RI’s Constitution, By-Laws or Manual of Procedure, and request the submitter, as necessary, to make changes.  If not, the resolution will be sent on to the Administration Chair which will prepare the resolutions for distribution by the District Governor and to the president of each club and all Past District Governors.  These resolutions will be voted up or down or amended at the Annual Business Meeting.
 
Should you any questions please contact Don Poulton at 907-863-2268 or poulton@mtaonline.net.  It is hoped that having questions answered during resolution preparation will be helpful.
 
Deadline
 
Email resolutions to District Governor Diane Fejes at ndfejes@gmail.com, with a copy to Administration Chair Don Poulton at  poulton@mtaonline.net by March 15, 2019.
 
Emergency Resolutions
 
Proposed resolutions may be submitted after the deadline and considered during the Annual Business Meeting if two thirds of the club presidents in attendance consider that its consideration is necessary for the District’s needs (District 5010 Manual of Procedure Article XIII.)
 
Resolution Format
 
The attached templates set out the information needed and prescribed format for resolutions. If suggesting a modification to the 2018 D5010 Manual of Procedure, underline any language to be added or [bracket] language to be deleted.  A General Resolution Format is attached for your use in preparing your resolution(s).
 
Please submit your resolution(s) in Word.  Each resolution will be displayed on a video screen and discussed during the Annual Business Meeting.  Any agreed to changes will be so noted in Word’s “track changes” for all to see. They will then be attached to the Annual Business Meeting minutes and included in the Manual of Procedure.
 
District Manual of Procedure and By Laws
 
The current Manual of Procedure and Corporate By Laws can be found on the District Home Page under “Documents” and “Quick Links” at D5010 Information and Administration, respectively.
 
Contact
 
Questions or comments?  Please contact Don Poulton, Administration Chair, at 907-863-2268 (call or text) or poulton@mtaonline.net.
 
Attachments
 
General Resolution Format
Resolutions of Recognition – Example
Resolution of Amendment – Example
Resolution of General Purpose - Example
 
 
 
General Resolution Format
 
 
Introductory Comments
 
Title:
 
Summary Description:
 
Purpose/Objective:
Insert a statement of purpose and effect not to exceed 300 words in order for the proposal to be considered. This statement should identify the issue or problem that the proposed resolution seeks to address and explain how the proposal addresses or resolves the problem or issue.
 
Impact (positive/negative/neutral) including monetary impact:
 
___________________________________________________________________________________
 
___________________________________________________________________________________
 
This resolution shall have an effective date of __________________________
 
 
District 5010 Manual of Procedure
 
A Resolution of Recognition
 
Or
 
A Resolution to Amend District 5010 Manual of Procedure
 
Or
 
A Resolution of General Purpose
 
Resolution No. _____________________
 
Resolution on ______
 
Whereas…;
 
Whereas…;
 
Whereas, this Resolution was adopted at a regular meeting of Rotary Club of _______ or at a meeting of the Council of Governors  on _______; and
 
 
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved that…
 
The Resolution language (if necessary).
 
 
 
NOW THEREFORE, in accordance with Article XIII of Rotary District 5010 Manual of Procedure it is resolved that the RI District 5010 Manual of Procedure be amended as follows:
ARTICLE ___– _______ Section ___ [Text]
 
Except as set forth in this Resolution/Amendment, the District 5010 Manual of Procedures shall remain in full force and effect.
 
The Rotary Club of _________/Council on Governors
 
__________________________                                             ___________________________
President/Chair                                                                          Secretary
 
Adopted during the Annual Business Meeting held during the District Conference in Anchorage, Alaska on May _____, 2019.
 
                                                                                                                                                                    
Conference Secretary                                                              Date
 
 
 
 
Rotary District 5010 Call For Resolutions 2019 2019-03-13 08:00:00Z 0

 

The two Whitehorse, Yukon clubs (Rotary Club of Whitehorse & Rotary Club of Whitehorse Rendezvous) have voted upon and requested that they be re- districted from District 5010 into District 5370 (the neighboring Rotary District of northern Alberta, Northwest Territories and northeast BC). The request is that this take place as of July 1, 2019, waiving the 2-year waiting period. Accomplishing this redistricting would also require a minor boundary change to provide that the Yukon Territory be moved from D. 5010 to D. 5370. In order for this move to be effective 1 July 2019, all Rotary Clubs in District 5010 have 30 days (starting March 1, 2019) to comment. Please see the attached documents from the Whitehorse Clubs and DG Diane Fejes for background and details.
 
Unfortunately I was unable to print the letter from DG Diane Fejes.
Whitehorse Clubs Request District Change 2019-03-07 09:00:00Z 0
 

Here are some of the volunteers that helped make the Ben Walters Park skating party happen.

1 Renee Krause, super help at the Homer City Clerks office.
 
2  Ingrid Harald, Counselor at Homer Flex School and Women’s hockey team, Chair at Parks and Recreation Commission.
 
3 Three students from Homer Flex School.
 
The Manager at Homer McDonald's receives Certificate of thanks from President Bernie.
 
5 Pat Irwin.
 
6 Matt Steffy and staff at Homer Parks, City.
 
7  Homer Chamber of Commerce.
 
8  Lisa played a key role arranging for parking.
 
9 Devony provided sit skates for folks to try out and brought some of her friends.
 
10  Robert Archibald, helper all around, makes it happen.
Groups and People Who Helped With Ben Walters Park Skating Recognized 2019-03-06 09:00:00Z 0

The Russians are really coming to Homer this year. After a couple of false starts, the Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay will be hosting a Russian delegation 17-21 May 2019. This visit is a program of the Open World Leadership Center, an independent government agency of the United States Congress, who sponsors and funds the Open World program. Open World brings emerging leaders from mostly Eurasian countries to the United States in order to give them firsthand exposure to the American system of participatory democracy and free enterprise.

The visiting group consists of five delegates, one facilitator, one professional interpreter, and a Rotary International Open World staff member. The hosting theme for their visit is Regional Economic Development: Fishing Industry and Tourism.

The delegation will arrive in Homer on 17 May 2019 and depart for Anchorage the afternoon of 21 May 2019.

We need Host Families for all eight visitors. This is a great experience, so please look at your calendars and take this opportunity to show our visitors real Homer hospitality.

Over the next weeks I will be developing the visit itinerary. Any suggestions you may have will be welcome. 

 

Thank you,

Bernie
The Russians ARE Coming! 2019-03-06 09:00:00Z 0
Rotary clubs in Canada invest in the PACT program, an urban peace initiative that aims to break the cycle of youth crime
 
By Ryan Hyland                                              Produced by Andrew Chudzinski
 
Akeem Stephenson wanted to go to jail. He believed it was the only way he could free himself from a life of crime — a life he desperately wanted to change. 
 
After being arrested for a fourth time more than 10 years ago, for aggravated robbery, the teenager in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was set to go to prison. But the judge saw something in Stephenson that suggested that he could redeem himself. So he gave Stephenson a choice: participate in an 18-month youth program, or serve the six-month sentence. 
 
 
Akeem Stephenson used the PACT program to turn his life around and launch his music career
 
For Stephenson, the choice was clear. He decided to transform his life through the PACT Urban Peace Program.
 
PACT, which stands for Participation, Acknowledgement, Commitment, and Transformation, is a Toronto-based, award-winning charity supported by Rotary clubs in Canada. It works with at-risk young people and those who have committed crimes to change their direction in life. Entrepreneur and Toronto Rotary member David Lockett co-founded the program more than 20 years ago. 
 
The intensive, step-by-step program aims to break the cycle of poverty and criminal behavior. Its goal is to determine what the participants need and develop strategies “to put them on a positive path in their life, so they can enrich not only their own lives, but their community,” says Lockett, a member of the Rotary E-Club of Social Innovators D7090. 
 
Lockett says PACT builds peace in urban communities. “It’s all about looking at the impact of violence and criminal behavior, and understanding the dynamics of the problem, and creating highly effective solutions to make investments for at-risk youth at an early stage,” he says. “It’s really quite simple. If you want to help at-risk youth, you really have to understand the simple needs they have.”
 
He acknowledges that young people who commit crimes should be held accountable, and for many of them, that includes serving jail time. But for some, those he says come from “squalid and deplorable backgrounds” with very little parental guidance, PACT is a resource that can change their lives and reduce the likelihood that they will commit more crimes. 
 
The organization works with the judicial system to identify repeat offenders ages 12-19 who may benefit from the program. After a young adult is convicted of a crime, the judge or judicial official refers them to PACT as part of a probation order. 
 
 
Judges in Canada see how the PACT program can reduce youth crime and help offenders stay out of the judicial system. 
 
Central to PACT’s success is its LifePlan Coaching program, an intense intervention system that pairs a participant with a certified life coach. The two meet each week for 12-18 months to set goals in six key areas: education, employment, health, relationships, contributing to the community, and staying out of the criminal justice system. Life coaching is a conversational process that provides structure and acknowledgement, builds capacity and self-awareness, and fosters self-directed learning and action. This ultimately helps the young person get from where they are to where they want to be in the future. 
 
PACT’s LifePlan Coaching differs from the traditional model of therapy or counseling in that it does not focus on the person’s past but rather concentrates on the present and future, says Lockett. The innovative program boasts a 65 percent success rate, with success meaning that the young person completes the program without re-offending. 
 
It was the relationship with his life coach that gave Stephenson the insight and confidence to reshape his future. “The PACT program will change your mindset,” he says. “They’ll give you the blueprint, but it’s up to you to run with it.”
 
Stephenson has since obtained his high school equivalency certificate and has been working at a call center. He also honed his passion for music through PACT’s Life & Job Skills Community Service Programs, in which participants learn through practical exposure to activities like music and film production, cooking, gardening, and entrepreneurship. 
 
Rotary brings compassion
To date, nearly 30 clubs in the Toronto area have supported PACT, many with annual commitments of $3,600 or more to fund the program, according to Lockett. 
 
 
PACT participants can hone their skills and passions through the program's Life & Job Skills Community Service Programs, which gives them practical exposure to activities like music, film production, cooking, gardening, and entrepreneurship.
 
But Rotary clubs are also playing a more in-depth role in PACT. The two organizations created the PACT/Rotary Youth Mentoring Program, which allows members to connect directly with participants. 
 
Liz Bosma-Donovan, a social worker and member of the Rotary Club of Wellington in Ontario, is the first Rotary ambassador to PACT. She works with Rotary clubs to find members who are willing to become mentors. 
 
“After learning about PACT and working with David [Lockett] on projects, I saw there was a missing opportunity for Rotary to create a more meaningful connection,” says Bosma-Donovan. “We want to enhance their sense of belonging, to make them feel more a part of the community. Rotary is uniquely positioned in the community to bring about these connections.”
 
For instance, members can help a PACT participant find volunteer opportunities, get a driver’s license, or secure job interviews. 
“Our members are caring and compassionate,” says Bosma-Donovan. “Those things are crucial to bring about change and to rebuild their lives.” 
 
  • 225
the number of young offenders PACT has coached since 2006 
  • 65%
of youths coached did not re-offend
  • $3,600
PACT's cost to coach one youth offender 
  • $120,000
the average annual cost of keeping just one inmate in prison
 
Turning Teens Away From Crime 2019-02-27 09:00:00Z 0

The below amendment to the club bylaws creating a Finance Committee and establishing its membership and authority has been approved by the Board of Directors.

The amendment is provided for your information in advance of a vote as required by Section 15 of the Club's Bylaws regarding amendments.

To comply with the bylaws requirement of at least 10 days notice of a proposed amendment, you will be asked to vote on this amendment at the regular club meeting on March 14, 2019.

 
Proposed amendment to the Bylaws to address the membership and authority of the Finance Committee.
 
Add to Article 9 Committees:
 
  • The Finance Committee - This committee shall assist with the development,
implementation, monitoring and modification of the budget.  The committee is authorized to make budget modifications up to 10% of the board approved committee budgets.  The Finance Committee shall consist of the President, Past President, President Elect and Treasurer.
 
Proposed Amendment to By-Laws 2019-02-27 09:00:00Z 0

This is a reminder that the second of three meetings to discuss the Council on Legislation Proposed Enactments will be held online on Go To Meeting by your District 5010 Council Representative, Jane Little.  If you have any questions, email Jane at rotaryjane@yahoo.com.

If you would like to participate, first review the proposed enactments at: https://my.rotary.org/en/document/proposed-legislation-2019-council-legislation

Then follow the instructions below and join the meeting on Thursday, February 28th from 2:00 to 3:00pm.

 

COUNCIL ON LEGISLATION MEETING #2
       Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019; 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM AKST

 

Please join Go To Meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/600852237

You can also dial in using your phone.
(For supported devices, tap a one-touch number below to join instantly.)

United States: +1 (571) 317-3129
- One-touch: tel:+15713173129,,600852237

Access Code: 600-852-237
 
More phone numbers:
(For supported devices, tap a one-touch number below to join instantly.)

Canada: +1 (647) 497-9391
- One-touch: tel:+16474979391,,600852237

                    ***********************

 

Council on Legislation Meeting #2 2019-02-27 09:00:00Z 0

From the Desk of President Don

FROM PRESIDENT DON

 

As I reflect on how the my Rotary year has been since becoming President, I am amazed at how  relatively easy it has been! I basically attribute his to the vibrancy of this Club which is, of course, due to its members! Thank you!
 
It seems that as meetings progress that sometimes I lose track or run out of time of to give credit where credit is due,  so I want to thank the Sunshine Committee for their handling of the potluck for our District and Assistant District Governors. Great job and it was a very enjoyable time and thanks one more time to Diane and Clancy Hughes. Thank you to those who have been greeters and doing the invocations also!
 
The Health Fair and the blood draws are fast approaching! Thank you to those who have volunteered. I know there is much to do yet, and I encourage those who have not yet signed up to please check your schedules and do what you can!
 
In regards to the email you received before receiving this in the newsletter, I encourage members to attend Ken Rienke’s program which we have titled “Cross-Country Biking With Polio at Age 67“. What a treat it has been to meet Ken and hear his story. It seems ironic that when Ken was living in Kodiak and would speak at the Rotary meetings regarding his nonprofit, he did not know about PolioPlus or Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio worldwide. Attend this Wednesday night's event, if you can, and especially bring family and or friends. I do not think you will be disappointed!
 
In last week's newsletter I neglected to thank Craig and Gayle Forrest for hosting the “Great Potato Weigh Off” sometimes called the “Great Potato Race”.  A total of 392 pounds was raised and given to the Food Pantry, I believe that’s up from 305 pounds the previous year. Charlie Franz was the winner in Largest Potato Raised in both the White and the Red Potato Divisions and also total pounds.
 
Heads up!  This Thursday's Speaker is from the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District. Should be interesting!
 

ROTARY CONNECTS THE WORLD!

~Yours in Rotary~

President Don Keller

 
 

Greeter and Invocator for This Thursday 

Greeter:  Clyde Boyer

Invocator:  Vivian Finlay

 

Announcements

 
 
 
 

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More Announcements

 

2019 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Attendees

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We have a new way of selecting Greeters and Invocators!  Come to a meeting and find out all about it!  It is much more fun than the old way!

 

We do need SPEAKERS signed up!!

 

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Being a greeter is a great way to learn names and have a chance to say hi to everyone who comes to a meeting!  And we all appreciate an interesting poem, saying, words to a song, etc. to inspire us for the day.

Thank you for helping us have a great meeting!

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Please continue to bring toiletries to our Thursday meetings so we can package them up and give them to Haven House for distribution to residents.  These items that go into the welcome baskets they provide are so important as many may arrive with nothing.

Thanks!


Bulletin Information:
If you have anything to put in the Bulletin, please get it to me no later than Monday evening.  I am trying to have the Bulletin out Tuesday evening, when possible, as most of my Wednesdays are full, and I cannot work on it until late at night.  I am trying to have the Bulletin be more for Club members and friends of the Club, and the Web Page be more for the general public.

 
Announcements: October 10, 2019 Craig Forrest 2019-02-25 09:00:00Z 0
This is a friendly reminder to register for this year's District Conference in beautiful and lively downtown Anchorage!  Time is ticking and it’s only a short three months away!  You don’t want to miss out on an inspiring and motivational District Conference, packed full with great fellowship, amazing speakers, and tons of fun! 
 
We are excited to announce Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar, 2005-2006 RI President, will be speaking and joining us for this year’s conference!  Carl-Wilhelm, a Rotarian since 1974 immediately became involved in all levels of Rotary and has held numerous positions at the club, district, and international levels. He began international service to Rotary in 1991 with an appointment to the Youth Service Committee, has been a member of the Audit and Operations Review Committee of RI,  member of the Polio Eradication Advocacy Task Force. To read more about Mr. Stenhammar, click on his full bio HERE.
 
 
image
 
 
To register, click HERE or on the following link: 
 
 
To check out the Conference page, become an amazing and appreciated sponsor of the event, as well as find information on hotel and airline discounts, click HERE, or on the following link: 
 
 
The Conference is the perfect venue to network, reconnect with friends, and find inspiration for continuing service and community leaders as we report on the district, including its successes and challenges. We will have local and international speakers giving information on topics relevant to our district members. Check out their bios here! SPEAKER BIOS
 
Friday, May 3rd, will be the highly attended and favorite Dinner in the Home event.  If you live in Anchorage, be sure to sign up to host dinner!  If you are coming from out of town, consider being hosted by a local Rotarian and enjoy this fellowship opportunity.
 
Saturday, May 4th, the Governor’s Banquet will be a time to remember as we enjoy one another’s company and fellowship, topped off with dancing the night away with the Ken Peltier Band!
 
We want to extend a big thank you to the following sponsors who have committed to helping make this district conference a success:
  • Anchorage Distillery
  • Advanced Oncology Associates and The Alaska Cyberknife Center
  • Anchorage East Rotary Club
  • Alaska Enterprise Solutions
  • Anchorage Women's Clinic
  • CSG, Inc Attoneys at Law
  • Diane Fejes
  • Glacier Edge Maintenance
  • Helping Hands for Nepal
  • Kashi Law Offices
  • The Julie Erickson Team with Janelle & Co
  • Moose Marble Madness
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Spawn Ideas
  • Sitka Rotary Club
  • Susitna Rotary Club
  • Thomas Head & Greisen CPA Firm
  • Wasilla Noon Rotary Club
We are looking forward to seeing you in Anchorage!
 
Teri Lindseth and Denise Kipke
District Conference Co-Chairs
 
Reminder 2019-02-20 09:00:00Z 0
David Ives
Rotary Club of Rhinebeck, New York
 
David Ives was a 16-year-old in rural Ohio in 1967 when he embarked on a trip that changed his life. With his parents, Ives visited church missions in South America, where he saw people living in shelters made of corn stalks or tin cans, and in homes with no furniture other than a mattress on the floor. He saw rivers that were used as both sewers and sources of drinking water. “That’s the touchstone I can never get rid of,” he says, “the feeling that I had when I saw poverty for the first time.”
 
David Ives
Photo by Peter Ross
 
Ives turned that experience into a career dedicated to peace and the eradication of poverty. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica, he was a nutrition educator, helping people plant gardens to feed themselves during difficult economic times. While there, he tried unsuccessfully to save the life of a child whose lungs were filled with worms as a result of drinking dirty water. “She’s on my mind a lot,” he says.
 
Ives is a former Rotary Peace Forum coordinator, an adviser to the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, and the executive director emeritus of Quinnipiac University’s Albert Schweitzer Institute, which conducts programs based on Schweitzer’s philosophy of reverence for life to bring about a more civil and ethical society characterized by respect, responsibility, compassion, and service. He has organized Rotary peace conferences around the globe which feature world leaders such as former Costa Rican President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Óscar Arias Sánchez. At one of those peace conferences, in Côte d’Ivoire, Ives — himself a polio survivor — helped administer the polio vaccine to children in local communities.
 
With his fellow Rhinebeck Rotarians, Ives helps raise money for U.S. high school students to visit Costa Rica and carry out humanitarian projects in conjunction with Earth University, which teaches students from Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America how to work for socioeconomic and environmental change. 
 
Though now living with Parkinson’s disease, Ives, who turns 68 this month, shows no signs of slowing down his peace efforts — particularly where Rotary is concerned. “I’ve been extremely impressed with the power of Rotarians to be a force for peace,” he says. “We have great potential to do even more.”
 
                                                                                                                                                                                Anne Ford
• Read more stories from The Rotarian
 
 
Peacemaker 2019-02-20 09:00:00Z 0
Received the following e-mail offering a presentation in April.
 

Interest in presenting to your club on April 4, 2019

Leslie Shallcross <lashallcross@alaska.edu>

1:54 PM (3 hours ago)
 
to me
Dear Homer Kachemak-Bay Rotary Club,
I am inquiring about the possibility of presenting to your club on April 4th.  I am a University of Alaska Fairbanks professor and dietitian who works with health promotion disease prevention programs in Alaska.  I am trying to get the word out about diabetes risks and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Diabetes Prevention Program.  The Alaska DHSS Diabetes Prevention and Control Program has grant funding to offer the Diabetes Prevention Program on the Kenai Peninsula for free during the next several years and I want to make sure that everyone at-risk can take advantage of this opportunity.  
 
I have scheduled a talk with another group in Homer on April 2 and would be pleased to stay and present to your organization on the 4th.  Let me know if this is possible.   
 
Best regards,
 
Leslie Shallcross, MS, RDN, LDN

Associate Professor of Extension - Health, Home and Family Development
UAF School of Natural Resources and Cooperative Extension 
Physical Address:1000 University Avenue, Room 109, Fairbanks, AK 99709
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 758155, Fairbanks, AK 99775-8155 
(907) 474-2426 office; (907) 242-6138 mobile
907-474-6885 fax
 
Possible Speaker in April 2019-02-20 09:00:00Z 0

Many thanks to Dave Brann and his cohorts from the City Parks & Recreation and FLEX for putting together a great Rotary co-sponsored Community Ice Skating event at Ben Walters Park on Friday, February 15. The weather was perfect and all attendees from all age groups had a great time

 
Those kids had a ball!
Ben Walters Park Ice Skating Party 2019 2019-02-20 09:00:00Z 0

If you are headed to Anchorage this weekend, take time to stop in at the Anchorage East Rotary’s second annual Rondy Rotary Beer Festival. It is held at the Alaska Center for Performing Arts, Saturday, February 16 from 3:00 to 7:00 PM.

Rondy Rotary Beer Festival 2019-02-13 09:00:00Z 0

 

Thanks to all who made our second annual Cranium Cup a success. Emcee Charlie Franz kept our enthusiastic participants on their toes and made sure we finished on time. For the second year, the Homer Medical Clinic team, headed by Dr. Bill “Tom Brady” Bell took home the coveted Cranium Cup trophy. Next time you visit the clinic look for it!

 

 

 

 

 
Cranium Cup 2019 Contest 2019-02-13 09:00:00Z 0
 
 
The first of three meetings to discuss the Council on Legislation Proposed Enactments will be held online on Go To Meeting by your District 5010 Council Representative, Jane Little.  If you have any questions, email Jane at rotaryjane@yahoo.com.
 
If you would like to participate, first review the proposed enactments at: https://my.rotary.org/en/document/proposed-legislation-2019-council-legislation
 
Then follow the instructions below and join the meeting on Friday, February 15th from 2:00 to 3:00pm.
 
COUNCIL ON LEGISLATION MEETING #1
Friday, Feb. 15, 2019; 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM AKST
 
Please join the Go To Meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone:
 
 
You can also dial in using your phone.
(For supported devices, tap a one-touch number below to join instantly.)
United States: +1 (786) 358-5410
- One-touch: tel:+17863585410,,601054165
 
Access Code: 601-054-165
 
More phone numbers:
(For supported devices, tap a one-touch number below to join instantly.)
 
This email was automatically generated by ClubRunner on behalf of Rotary District 5010. Unsubscribe
COUNCIL ON LEGISLATION MEETING #1 2019-02-13 09:00:00Z 0

It’s now easier than ever to strengthen Rotary’s image in your community with the materials and resources available in the Rotary Brand Center.

Launched earlier this month, the Brand Center offers a simple and intuitive way to customize your club logo, create a marketing brochure, or give your newsletter a fresh look. You’ll also find guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions as well as information about why telling our story is important.

“The Brand Center enables everybody to play an active role in promoting Rotary to the world,” says Alan Buddendeck, general manager and chief communication officer for Rotary International.

“What’s exciting is that the site has been designed in cooperation with Rotary members worldwide, which is critically important to the user experience,” Buddendeck says.

Here are five reasons you should use the Brand Center:

  1. You can create your own club and district logos featuring Rotary’s masterbrand signature and see your edits in real time.
  2. You can develop professional-looking PowerPoint presentations, press releases, and newsletters that incorporate Rotary’s visual identity. Templates can be customized as much -- or as little -- as you want.
  3. You can find guidelines for using Rotary’s logos and answers to frequently asked questions about our new visual identity. For instance, did you know that your member pin remains unchanged? Or that free fonts are available along with the commercially licensed options?
  4. You can upload and store the materials and logos you create for future use by creating a basket. Use the Quick Share function to email your basket and share your new materials with members.
  5. You can download broadcast-quality public service announcements, videos, and images to help tell Rotary’s story. Choose from a variety of topics to illustrate including Join Leaders, Exchange Ideas, and Take Action -- our three organizing principles.

“With the new Brand Center, anyone can use the tools and templates to create logos and documents that reflect a unified look, yet are personalized to the club or district,” says Elizabeth Smith Yeats, incoming governor of District 6400, which includes parts of Ontario, Canada, and Michigan, USA. “And they can achieve first-class results without hiring a designer or purchasing expensive software.”

Sign in or register to your My Rotary account to discover all the Brand Center has to offer.

Five Reasons You Should Use the Rotary Brand Center 2019-02-12 09:00:00Z 0

That is the question that Louisa Horne, a trainer in District 7820, asks leaders to think about when she runs her version of the presidents-elect training seminar (PETS) in the spring. When she was asked to be a district trainer three years ago, Horne knew she wanted to reshape what she called “drill and kill” sessions that revolved around information participants needed to learn.

“Instead, we leveraged the talents of some highly skilled trainers we happened to have among our members,” says the incoming district governor. “We got people who were adult educators who understood how facilitation should be done and were able to create a very different approach to developing our leaders.”

Rotary members should be thinking about what they can do to make their clubs more interesting to potential members. Good service projects is one way. Rotarians in Tanzania, above, operate a project helping people with albinism become financially independent. 

Photo by Miriam Doan

Horne recruited Doug Logan, a past governor, to help. They named their seminars “Training for Leaders of Clubs” (TLC) to stress the changes they made and persuade those who might not want to attend another seminar to give it a try. They later led a breakout session at the 2018 Toronto convention and have also brought their workshop to others outside of their district.

Strategic doing

The core idea is to get people thinking strategically about what they need to do to make their clubs more attractive to members.

“Decline in membership is not the problem. It is a symptom,” says Logan. “So rather than rushing to develop recruitment strategies, we want people to start thinking, ‘OK, what else is really happening here?’”

Logan and Horne recruit facilitators with a background in management consulting or adult education. They use a variety of tools to encourage “strategic doing.” Participants are asked to create a list of what they’ll do in the next 30 days to help achieve their clubs’ goals and decide how they will evaluate their completed tasks. They then make a list of what they’ll do 30 days after that to keep making a difference.

Succession

The seminars also stress succession planning and courageous leadership.

“This is not just for presidents and secretaries. This is for all leaders and aspiring leaders,” says Horne. “You can’t think of it in terms of ‘my year.’ Most clubs need to have a longer-term plan for what they want to accomplish and how they want to have an impact. Those strategic conversations need to involve people who can give it continuity.”

By shifting responsibility from a single person to a team, Horne says, clubs can make a role less consuming and more appealing. Horne plans to exemplify this approach to her clubs by using the title “chair of the district leadership team” in place of “district governor.”

“We expect our club or district leaders to be all things to all people, and that just doesn’t work,” Horne says. “It has to be a team, and there have to be very simple tools that people can use effectively with some basic training.”

What Would It Take to Make Your Club Irresistible? 2019-02-12 09:00:00Z 0
Female surveillance officer for WHO pushes through gender-related obstacles to help end polio in Pakistan
 
By Ryan Hyland
Dr. Ujala Nayyar dreams, both figuratively and literally, about a world that is free from polio. Nayyar, the World Health Organization's surveillance officer in Pakistan’s Punjab province, says she often imagines the outcome of her work in her sleep.
 
In her waking life, she leads a team of health workers who crisscross Punjab to hunt down every potential incidence of poliovirus, testing sewage and investigating any reports of paralysis that might be polio. Pakistan is one of just two countries that continue to report cases of polio caused by the wild virus. 
 
 
Dr. Ujala Nayyar, surveillance officer for WHO, talks about polio eradication efforts in Pakistan. 
 
In addition to the challenges of polio surveillance, Nayyar faces substantial gender-related barriers that, at times, hinder her team's ability to count cases and take environmental samples. From households to security checkpoints, she encounters resistance from men. But her tactic is to push past the barriers with a balance of sensitivity and assertiveness.  
 
"I'm not very polite," Nayyar said with a chuckle during an interview at Rotary's World Polio Day last year in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. "We don't have time to be stopped. Ending polio is urgent and time-sensitive."
 
Women are critical in the fight against polio, Nayyar says. About 56 percent of frontline workers in Pakistan are women. More than 70 percent of mothers in Pakistan prefer to have women vaccinate their children. 
 
That hasn't stopped families from slamming doors in health workers' faces, though. When polio is detected in a community, teams have to make repeated visits to each home to ensure that every child is protected by the vaccine. Multiple vaccinations add to the skepticism and anger that some parents express. It's an attitude that Nayyar and other health workers deal with daily. 
 
"You can't react negatively in those situations. It's important to listen. Our female workers are the best at that," says Nayyar. 
With polio on the verge of eradication, surveillance activities, which, Nayyar calls the "back of polio eradication", have never been more important. 
 
  • 56%  of front-line workers in Pakistan are female
  • 90% of front-line workers in Nigeria are female
Q: What exactly does polio surveillance involve?
A: There are two types of surveillance systems. One is surveillance of cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), and the second is environmental surveillance. The surveillance process continues after eradication. 
 
Q: How are you made aware of potential polio cases?
A: There’s a network of reporting sites. They include all the medical facilities, the government, and the hospitals, plus informal health care providers and community leaders. The level of awareness is so high, and our community education has worked so well, that sometimes the parents call us directly.
 
Q: What happens if evidence of poliovirus is found?
Dr. Ujala Nayyar, the surveillance officer for the World Health Organization in Punjab, Pakistan, navigates through barriers to hunt down cases of polio. 
Monika Lozinska/Rotary International
 
A: In response to cases in humans as well as cases detected in the environment, we implement three rounds of supplementary immunization campaigns. The scope of our response depends on the epidemiology and our risk assessment. We look at the drainage systems. Some systems are filtered, but there are also areas that have open drains. We have maps of the sewer systems. We either cover the specific drainage areas or we do an expanded response in a larger area.
 
Q: What are the special challenges in Pakistan?
A: We have mobile populations that are at high risk, and we have special health camps for these populations. Routine vaccination is every child’s right, but because of poverty and lack of education, many of these people are not accessing these services. 
 
Q: How do you convince people who are skeptical about the polio vaccine?
A: We have community mobilizers who tell people about the benefits of the vaccine. We have made it this far in the program only because of these frontline workers. One issue we are facing right now is that people are tired of vaccination. If a positive environmental sample has been found in the vicinity, then we have to go back three times within a very short time period. Every month you go to their doorstep, you knock on the door. There are times when people throw garbage. It has happened to me. But we do not react. We have to tolerate their anger; we have to listen.
 
Q: What role does Rotary play in what you do?
A: Whenever I need anything, I call on Rotary. Umbrellas for the teams? Call Rotary. Train tickets? Call Rotary. It's the longest-running eradication program in the history of public health, but still the support of Rotary is there. 
Virus Hunter 2019-02-07 09:00:00Z 0
Subject: Rotary Dictionary Day!
 
Dear Milli and Homer – Kachemak Bay Rotary Club members,
 
Thank you so very much for inspiring our third grade students and giving each of them a dictionary. Our students love their new dictionaries and had a great time looking through them for the first time in our library! We have included a few pictures from your visit. Thank you so very much from West Homer Elementary and Fireweed Academy!
 
West Homer Elementary Librarians,
Lisa Whip and Cheryl Illg
 
 
Rotary Dictionary Day 2019-02-07 09:00:00Z 0
As you know, we have a Russian University student who will be in Alaska for the month of July, 2019, as part of the University of Irkutsk Business school's internship program.  I am attaching Maria's photo, information about the program from the Director, PDG Vladimir Donskoy, and Maria's goals and resume.
 
When we return from Mexico, in late February, we need to begin the process of recruiting Rotarians who are willing for Maria to job shadow at their places of work.  We are working with the RC of Anchorage South to host Maria for the last half of the month, so our Club will need to host and find businesses for Maria for July 1-15.  Maria's visa was approved by the US government which apparently is a major achievement!  Our Rotary Club's activities, social events, and cultural experiences sound as important as the business shadowing/learning in this program.
 
Thank you very much.
Vivian and Clyde

 
Russian  Business Intern to Visit Soon! 2019-02-07 09:00:00Z 0
By Keri B. Lynch
 
In 2011, Kiran Singh Sirah turned 35 — “halfway through our life’s journey,” he says, citing Dante’s Divine Comedy. The UK native had been living in Edinburgh and Glasgow for a decade, working on a variety of cultural endeavors. “I felt I had done everything I needed to do and learn in Scotland. It was time to take my experiences and move them to the next level.” 
 
That’s when Sirah heard about the Rotary Peace Fellowship. Since the program began in 2002, more than 1,200 peace fellows have received fully funded scholarships to study at one of six peace centers at universities around the world. With help from Rotarians in Scotland, Sirah eventually landed one of those scholarships and headed to North Carolina, where he earned a master’s degree in folklore studies and a graduate certificate in international peace and conflict resolution. 
Kiran Singh Sirah, center, marches for peace. Learn why Kiran Singh Sirah believes spinning tales can foster world peace.  
Photo by Johnson City Press
 
“It felt like a chance at a second life,” he says. “Here was an opportunity to harness new skills, explore new ideas, and get the academic and theoretical knowledge I needed to advance my peacebuilding work.” 
 
So how does someone become a Rotary Peace Fellow? And how does a district nominate a potential fellow? Follow the steps laid out below.
 
 
Step 1: Determine which of the two fellowship programs offered by Rotary best suits your goals and circumstances.
The master’s degree program requires at least three years of relevant full-time work experience and lasts 15 to 24 months, including an applied field experience of two to three months between the first and second academic year. The program is offered at five Rotary Peace Centers based at six universities. Fellows accepted into the program must study at a center outside their home country. The universities are:
 
  • Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States
  • International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan
  • University of Bradford, Bradford, England
  • University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  • Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Aimed at candidates with at least five years of relevant full-time work experience, the professional development certificate program provides an intensive three-month program in peace and development that includes two to three weeks of field study. It is offered by the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. Residents of any country, including Thailand, may attend the Chulalongkorn peace center.
 
The Rotary Foundation annually awards up to 50 fellowships in each of the two programs. The fellowship covers tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and all research and field study expenses.
 
Step 2: Review eligibility requirements and application guidelines.
The fellowship application can be found beginning in early February at the peace fellowship page at Rotary.org. It includes an online tool that helps prospective candidates determine whether they are eligible for a fellowship and whether they meet the basic requirements related to education, language skills, and work experience. (For instance, candidates must be proficient in English since all coursework is conducted in that language. See step 4.) Rotary employees, members of Rotary clubs, and the children and grandchildren of club members are ineligible for fellowships.
 
Fellowships are designed for people with professional experience related to peacebuilding or international development. Candidates must have strong leadership skills and a clear commitment to peace, though what that looks like may vary widely and could include, for instance, work in environmental issues, education and literacy, women’s rights, journalism, public health, or disease prevention.
 
Step 3: Thoroughly research the curriculum at each peace center.
“Each peace center has a different personality,” says Summer Lewis, a Kansas native who studied at the University of Queensland from 2011 to 2012. “UQ was rigorous academically. It’s a master’s in the political science department, so it is heavy on theory versus practice.” 
 
"Duke-UNC was suggested to me by the Rotarian committee in Scotland that helped pull my application together,” Sirah says. “I looked into the program and realized they had one of the best folklore studies programs in the United States, if not the world. I also liked the interdisciplinary nature of the program.”
 
Candidates are asked to rank the peace centers in order of preference. For Chance Kalolokesya of Malawi, who will graduate in 2020, this was the easiest part of the application process. “I knew what academic program I wanted to study and what kind of career I was anticipating,” he says. “Not every Rotary Peace Center offers the same kind of program, and that’s why I chose the University of Bradford,” which has the largest department of peace studies in the world.
 
Step 4: Candidates for the master’s degree program should obtain their academic transcripts and test scores.
Candidates for the certificate program will not need these materials, but, like the master’s candidates, they will want to update their résumés, gather two letters of recommendation, and craft the required essays. All these materials must be submitted through the online application in English. 
 
When editing her résumé, Zimbabwe’s Chenai Kadungure, who received her master’s degree from the University of North Carolina in 2018, took special care to outline the role of peace in her life. “I had someone help me navigate where my passion for peace was in my résumé,” she says. “I discovered that, without realizing it, my entire career had been in peace. Don’t underestimate each of the little things you do and have done.”
 
As you write your essay, find a theme that tells your story. “If you’ve done work in a variety of areas that may appear to be diverse, figure out a thread that connects all those jobs and projects,” Lewis says. “Show how they relate to each other, how they build on each other, and how they all led you to where you are today. Do so in a way that tells your story rather than regurgitating your résumé.”
 
For letters of recommendation, a candidate should choose references who can provide concrete examples of his or her academic, professional, and volunteer achievements, while also describing how the candidate would be a good fit for the peace fellowship program.
 
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores are required for all non-native English speakers applying to the master’s program. GRE (Graduate Record Exam) scores are required for the master’s program at UNC and highly recommended at Duke.
 
"Register early for the required exams,” says Kadungure. “The number of individuals who can take the test on a particular date may be limited in your area, so contact the testing center in your country as soon as possible.”
 
Step 5: Contact your Rotary district, which will consider your application for endorsement, and request an interview.  
Usually the best way to contact a district is through your local Rotary club; go to Rotary.org and use the Rotary Club Finder to locate clubs in your area. Districts review applications and choose the candidates they wish to endorse.
 
"Districts can endorse as many candidates as they wish,” says Sarah Cunningham, senior marketing programs specialist for the Rotary Peace Centers. “There is no charge to districts to apply, nor do they incur any costs if any of their candidates are selected for a fellowship.”
 
Candidates who have trouble connecting with a Rotary club or district should contact Rotary Peace Center staff no later than 15 May. Districts that need help with the process should also contact staff. All questions and inquiries can be sent to rotarypeacecenters@rotary.org. “If your district feels inundated by a large number of applications, reach out to us,” Cunningham says. “We can help connect candidates with districts elsewhere that could review and possibly endorse those applications.”
As Kadungure discovered, “finding a club or district to sponsor you can be challenging if you live in an area with fewer Rotarians. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the peace center staff if you’re struggling to make that connection.”
 
Step 6: Submit your completed application to your Rotary district no later than 31 May.
Begin to prepare for your interview by getting to know all about Rotary. “During your interview, demonstrate that you identify with Rotary’s specific values,” Lewis says. “Talk about how your work ties into the Foundation’s six areas of focus and make it clear how your work aligns with Rotary’s, and how you can then help Rotary advance its work and impact in the world.”
 
Step 7: District representatives interview candidates.
Among other things, the interview can help determine if a candidate is ready for the program. “I recommend that if at first you don’t succeed, sharpen your application, goals, and plans, and apply again,” says Lewis, who applied twice before being accepted.   
 
"In the most recent round of applications, 30 percent of finalists had applied previously and not been accepted, and then were accepted this year,” Cunningham says. “So determination pays off.”
 
Step 8: Districts must submit endorsed applications by 1 July.
Each year, between July and October, the Rotary Peace Centers Committee, composed of appointed Rotarians and university representatives, screens endorsed and qualified applications and selects fellowship finalists. Districts and their candidates are notified of the results by November.
 
Step 9: Selected peace fellows apply to their universities.
Being chosen for a fellowship does not guarantee admission to the university. Candidates must apply for admission to their designated universities and meet all admission requirements. Carefully review the admission requirements to ensure that you’re prepared. It is recommended that candidates wait to be notified of their selection to the fellowship before applying for university admission. At Duke-UNC, fellows enroll either in the master’s program in international development policy at Duke or in master’s programs under various relevant departments and schools at UNC.
 
Looking to the future
All Rotary clubs and districts can support the peace fellowship program by recruiting and endorsing candidates. In fact, some districts take the initiative and, with an eye toward the future, build a pool of prospective candidates who might qualify for a fellowship in another year or two.
 
In 2018, to assist clubs and districts, the peace center staff added new training sessions and resources online. This year the staff will begin a campaign to increase participation in the endorsement process at the district level. The goal is to have a peace fellowship subcommittee chair appointed in each district by 2020, which should strengthen the peace fellowship program and advance Rotary’s peacebuilding efforts. 
 
"The program and course of study helped me refine my ideas, validate my past life and work experiences, and acquire the academic credentials I needed to build the networks to do my work,” Sirah says. “It has given me more than 1,200 peace fellows and 1.2 million Rotarians to build partnerships and projects with — and it gave me an international family, the people I spent two intense years living and studying with. Our time together created a binding force we can use to take on some of the world’s most pressing challenges.” 
 
• A freelance writer and editor, Keri B. Lynch also works with Rotary International as a PR consultant.
How to Become a Rotary Peace Fellow 2019-01-30 09:00:00Z 0

It's that time of year again!  I need your help to spread the word about RYLA and to pass on information to Sophomores and/or Juniors that you think would be good candidates to participate in RYLA.

This year RYLA is March 7-10th and is in Juneau.

The application and a FAQs sheet is attached to this email and we need to have applications submitted by Feb. 1.

RYLA is a great leadership building experience and networking opportunity for youth.  Please help get the word out!

Thanks!

Beth
 
 
RYLA 2019 -- Juneau, Alaska 2019-01-30 09:00:00Z 0

Todd Matthews’ first missing-persons case had a family connection: “Tent Girl,” a woman whose remains, wrapped in a tarp, had been found by Wilbur Riddle near Georgetown, Kentucky, in 1968. About 20 years later, Riddle’s son-in-law, Matthews, a factory worker with no detective training, started digging into what records he could find. In 1998, an online classified ad finally led him to uncover the woman’s identity: Barbara Ann Hackmann Taylor, who was 24 when she went missing.

Today, Matthews, a member of the Rotary Club of Livingston, Tennessee, is director of communications at the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, or NamUs. Funded by the National Institute of Justice, which is part of the U.S. Department of Justice, NamUs collects information about unsolved cases from local law enforcement into a single, searchable database. 

Todd Matthews, a member of the Rotary Club of Livingston, Tennessee.

Illustration by Viktor Miller Gausa

Q: What made you want to find the identity of Tent Girl?

A: My brother and sister passed away as infants. We visited their graves. But Tent Girl’s siblings, her parents, and her children couldn’t visit her grave because they didn’t know where she was. 

Q: How did you go from amateur investigator to working for NamUs?

A: At the time of the Tent Girl case, there were a lot of groups that would gather online to study serial killers or unidentified and missing-persons cases. And we were solving cases! There was a lot of low-hanging fruit, because Chicago didn’t know what was happening in Detroit; they weren’t sharing information. By demonstrating that we were sharing this information, I was able to help develop NamUs.

Q: How does the database work?

A: The public is effective in using data to solve these cases, so NamUs is intended for the public to see. But law enforcement can go deeper. The public will see photographs, brief descriptions, where a person was last known to be or where a body was found. Law enforcement can see the actual fingerprint card if it exists, the dental records if they’re available, where the DNA is stored in a database. The system is even capable of suggesting possible matches based on geography, chronology, physical characteristics. The system can actually develop investigative leads.

Q: How many missing and unidentified people are in the NamUs database?

A: Our database has more than 14,000 missing persons. We have over 12,000 unidentified bodies. That doesn’t include cases we have had some resolution on. Thousands of cases have been impacted by NamUs. For families, missing is worse than dead. That’s what I’d like people to know. You can’t grieve; you can’t move on. 

Q: In 2017, your home state of Tennessee passed legislation requiring law enforcement to enter missing-persons information into NamUs. Three other states have passed similar measures. How does this help your mission?

A: In Tennessee, we have held public events to educate families and friends of missing persons about the database. That means we don’t have to go one-on-one to tell people, “Here’s NamUs, and here’s what it does.” But there are 46 other states that need to pass this kind of law. A number of states are interested, but it’s going to take influential people like Rotary members to push it through. That can change things dramatically. — Fritz Lenneman

• Read more stories from The Rotarian

Rotary Member Helps Close Missing Persons Cases 2019-01-30 09:00:00Z 0
Cranium Cup 2019-01-30 09:00:00Z 0
131008_jones
By Jennifer Jones, a member of the RI Communications Committee
Over the past two years, Rotary has undertaken an unprecedented amount of research to study the effectiveness of how we communicate with each other and also to look at perceptions about the organization from the community at large.
 
What’s likely not surprising is that we determined we have all of the strengths necessary for greatness in our second century of service. However, when we looked at awareness about our organization in the greater public arena, they quite simply don’t know about us. It is very easy to ask the question – how can this be true?
 
Global research shows that when asked – four in 10 people have never heard of us, another four know us in name only, and the remaining two only have some familiarity, which is often colored by misconceptions. How can we attract and engage new members and partners when they don’t know who we are?
Personally, I think that in order to keep Rotary relevant and enticing for the next 100 years, we need to be innovative, forward thinking, and adaptable to ensure that the rest of the world views us the way we view ourselves. Here’s what I like most about the Strengthening Rotary initiative:
 
1. It helps us explain who we are, what we do, and why we matter.
Through this process, we have introduced a new framework to help Rotarians better define who we are when asked the inevitable question – what is Rotary? We Join Leaders – Exchange Ideas and Take Action. Of course each Rotarian’s story is different but if we could highlight the common ground, it begins to form a compelling call to action. We are leaders who act responsibly and take action to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges. When we are all singing off the same song sheet our message is amplified and it becomes much easier to engage people in Rotary.
 
2. It helps us present a strong, unified image to the public
For so long we did our good work quietly and not for recognition. While this was noble it made it difficult for people to understand the good work of Rotarians. Now that “telling our story” has become a priority, we need to make sure that we have a united voice.
An exciting new visual identity kit and guidelines have been launched and they provide tools for individuals, clubs, and districts to create a look that begins to introduce continuity across the globe. Of course, there remains room for personal creativity but a unified look and feel will propel Rotary into a very bright future. Everyone will know who we are, what we do and why it matters!
If you’ve visited rotary.org within the past few months, you’ve probably noticed evidence of this initiative in the form of simpler, more action-oriented words and visuals. I am also so heartened to see the materials that Rotarians are creating with these new tools. They are stunning and I have heard from countless Rotarians that they love the fresh new look and feel.
 
3. It will help us attract new members and supporters
Strengthening Rotary is essential to Rotary’s future. As we share our story in a more clear and compelling way, like-minded people are going to want to be part of our great organization. This really is one of our best membership opportunities. In the end, if we can elevate awareness and attract and engage new members and partners, our good work will spread and “doing good in the world” will not only remain our organizational compass but it will help us soar to new heights.
 
Three Reasons to Strengthen Rotary's Image 2019-01-23 09:00:00Z 0
A year after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, local Rotary members continue to rebuild homes and lives
By Vanessa Glavinskas                                       Photos by Alyce Henson
 
Eladio Montalvo faced a stark choice: risk drowning in his one-story home or climb through a window into the house next door. It was under construction but had a second floor where he could escape the rising floodwaters. He boosted his dog through and scrambled in after him. The two huddled inside an upstairs bathroom for 22 hours while Hurricane Maria raged over Puerto Rico. With 155 mph winds and torrential rains, Maria was the strongest hurricane to hit the island in more than 80 years.  
 
After the storm, Montalvo went out to see what was left of the home he had lived in since 1958. The walls were standing, but the water inside had risen chest-high. Everything was destroyed. Without any family nearby, he had nowhere to go. He moved into his car. 
“But after the storm came the calm,” he says. “Good people came.”
 
Rivera greets Eladio Montalvo, who was forced to live in his car before the Mayagüez club helped him rebuild his home.
 
Faustino Rivera pats Montalvo affectionately on the shoulder. It’s September 2018, a year since Hurricane Maria, and Rivera and several other members of the Rotary Club of Mayagüez have stopped by to visit. Montalvo lives in a fishing town called El Maní outside the city of Mayagüez on the island’s west coast. He invites his guests inside to see the progress he has made adding a shower to his bathroom. There’s a pile of tiles that he plans to lay soon, and he has started painting the walls a light shade of blue. The home is neatly but sparsely furnished: a bed, a TV, and a few plastic bins, including one labeled camisas that has shirts and shorts tucked inside.
“He’s become my friend,” says Rotarian Orlando Carlo, who checks in on Montalvo almost every week.
 
The Mayagüez club paid $4,200 for the materials Montalvo used to add a second story to his home. Made of concrete, outfitted with hurricane shutters, and built high enough off the ground to avoid flooding, the new addition contains a small kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. Montalvo did much of the work himself, calling on friends and neighbors skilled in construction when he needed help. 
 
To find people like Montalvo who needed help but didn’t qualify for reconstruction aid from the U.S. government’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Mayagüez club members worked with community leaders and screened each family. “We are trying to help those who really need help,” Carlo explains. “Those who can’t get it from anyone else.”
 
By the time Carlo met him, Montalvo had been living in his car for nearly six months. A local church leader introduced the two, hoping Rotarians could help Montalvo find permanent housing. “I could tell immediately that he was severely dehydrated from staying out in the sun and sleeping in his car,” Carlo says. “He seemed stunned and needed guidance on how to start rebuilding. We assured him we were there to help him.”
 
After the hurricane, Carlo was also living alone. His wife had gone to stay in Florida while he remained behind to run his construction business. But the lack of electricity and reliable communication meant his work projects were stalled, so he mostly spent his days volunteering. “It gave me a lot of time to help,” he says. His home survived the storm, but the shortage of gasoline meant he had to plan his trips carefully. He rationed bottled water and food, eating what he calls a “hurricane diet” of canned pasta or sausage and rice.
 
“We didn’t have power back until the end of October,” says Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade, president of the Mayagüez club. “We could use one bucket of water per day. My teenage daughter learned that water is the No. 1 thing you need. She could live without electricity and even without her cellphone, but not without water.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Antonio Morales spreads a message of hope and resilience to at-risk youth through theater. His project, Teatro Por Amor, is now supported by a Rotary global grant.  “I like coming here because it’s an escape from my life,” says 16-year-old Annie, above left. Student Kelvin Tirado, right, sits next to actress Anoushka Medina, who runs the Santurce Teatro Por Amor group.
 
Mayagüez is home to 75,000 people and to the island’s second-oldest Rotary club after San Juan. In the past, the club carried out smaller projects, but the massive devastation caused by Maria motivated members to do more to help their neighbors, especially the very poor.
“I’ve been a Rotarian for 40 years, and I’ve never seen so much help come from other Rotary clubs,” Carlo says. After Hurricane Maria, clubs across the United States wired the Rotary Club of Mayagüez about $50,000 directly; more than half of that money came from the Rotary Club of La Jolla Golden Triangle in California and a group of clubs in New York. As club treasurer, Rivera keeps track of every receipt and sends updates back to the donor clubs. A year after Maria, the club had helped 22 families repair their homes, mostly replacing roofs that were blown off by the hurricane.
 
Scanning the horizon from a hillside neighborhood nicknamed Felices Días — “Happy Days” — Carlo points out a less-than-happy sight: the many blue FEMA tarps that still stand in for permanent roofs. “There is still a lot of need here. This is not over,” he says. “But we are willing to continue to help as long as it takes.”
And for Montalvo’s part, he has remained optimistic in spite of all he went through. “Hurricane Maria gave me more than she took,” he says.
 
Rebuilding spirits: Addressing mental health
 
When Ken McGrath became president of the Rotary Club of San Juan in July 2017, he thought his most arduous task would be planning the celebration of the club’s centennial in 2018. Three months after he took office, Hurricane Maria hit. 
 
“While Maria was a major disaster,” McGrath says, “it had the beneficial effect of invigorating our club to show those in need the real meaning of Rotary.”
By the time he was able to get an internet connection and check his email, McGrath had received 200 messages from clubs around the world offering to help. Rotarians in Puerto Rico started distributing food and water every Saturday. Working with other clubs, they coordinated the distribution of 300,000 pouches of baby food. They even put dog food out for animals that had been left behind.
 
Once the immediate needs were under control, they started to think about long-term relief.
 
San Juan club members distribute mattresses in Villa Santo.
Photo by Gerry Cumpiano
 
“So much of the damage isn’t only to the infrastructure; it’s to the spirit,” says John Richardson, a member of the San Juan club and a past district governor. To address mental health after the hurricane, fellow member Bob Bolte suggested the club do something unconventional: apply for a grant to support youth theater.
 
Bolte had met Antonio Morales in 1995 when the San Juan club installed a library in the housing project where Morales grew up. He was impressed to see that Morales, who was just 14 at the time, was running a theater group for other kids living in his tough neighborhood.
 
“Theater saved my life,” says Morales, now a 37-year-old actor and director. “My father was a drug lord. My mother was a victim of domestic violence.”
Even though his father had forbidden him to pursue acting, Morales persuaded his mother to secretly take him to an audition at the public performing arts school. “Everything I learned at school, I brought back to the projects,” he says.
 
Eventually his theater group became an unlikely alternative to gangs in his neighborhood. “When boys reach a certain age, it’s very easy for them to join the drug gangs,” Morales says. “We told them, ‘Come join our club, not them.’ Even the leaders of the gangs supported me. They didn’t want their little brothers to follow in their footsteps.”
 
After the hurricane, Morales, who now runs the San Juan Drama Company and stars in a TV series called No Me Compares, started visiting housing projects with other actors to spread a message of hope and resilience to young people. “People were desperate. They were bored. They were depressed,” he says. “We decided to go into these communities to give love. We didn’t have aid kits, food, or water to give — but we had our theater experience. So we said, ‘Let’s go and make these people happy.’” With schools closed and the power out, teens turned out in droves.
When Bolte learned what Morales was doing, he suggested Rotary could help. “These theater groups provide almost a second family to a lot of the kids,” Bolte says. “I wanted to help him do this on a wider scale, across multiple neighborhoods.” A $99,700 global grant has allowed Morales to expand the project to four theater groups so far and to pay a stipend to the facilitators of each group. Funding for the grant came from Bob Murray, a former San Juan club member who now lives in Arizona, where he’s a member of the Rotary Club of Scottsdale. In December 2017, Murray gave $1 million to The Rotary Foundation for the recovery effort.
 
 
After the Storm 2019-01-23 09:00:00Z 0
By Paul Engleman
 
Last May, my 86-year-old mother-in-law moved from the Wisconsin farm where she had lived for 40 years to a smaller house 15 miles away. With help from seven children and 11 grandchildren, she has accumulated more stuff over her lifetime than she (or they) could ever use, and so during the week leading up to moving day, family members made a dozen round trips in minivans and SUVs, transporting small items — lamps, dishes, knickknacks, plants, wall hangings, her thimble collection, along with a profusion of canned goods  — to her new home.
 
Illustration by Richard Mia
 
About halfway through the process, my older son whispered, “Please, don’t let this happen to you and Mom.” Someday, it will fall to him and his brother to help move us. And so — although we have no imminent plans to move — the word “downsize” has crept into our vocabulary. 
 
As the 65-mile marker begins to fade in my rearview mirror, I had better get started — you know, while I’m still young. Gazing around my basement office at the walls of magazines and books, at the boxes and cabinets filled with outdated computers, monitors, keyboards, and cables, and at the 10 file drawers stuffed with paper, I realize that I should have started sooner. Like maybe 21 years ago, before we moved into this house. 
 
I’m not sure where to begin. There are enough books on decluttering to fill that big old bookcase you’ve been meaning to get rid of. And if you search the internet for “declutter,” your screen will be instantly cluttered with links to sites filled with tips. But should I be reading about decluttering when I could be using that time to actually do it? Clearly, I need help.
 
I start with the current world champion of decluttering: Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, who was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2015. Her approach to decluttering is a six-step process that relies on asking yourself whether a possession “sparks joy” when you hold it. If not, you should thank it and send it packing. 
 
 
I don’t doubt that Kondo has helped millions of people get their houses and lives in order. But few of my possessions spark joy — not even my last novel, probably because I know there are two cases of unsold copies lurking beneath the basement stairs. 
 
I make my way to MakeSpace, a website that calls itself “your closet in the cloud” and offers a page with “15 actionable tips” from six certified professional organizers. 
For parting with sentimental items, one of those pros suggests taking a picture and “writing a short story about its history and significance.” But in my case, those sentimental items include a dozen unpublished short stories that I thought were pretty good, even if a jury of editors unanimously disagreed. Upon closer examination, I discover that the MakeSpace business model is mostly about shifting clutter: “We’ll pick up your stuff, store it in our secure storage facility, and create an online photo catalog of it so you never forget what you have in storage.” 
 
I decide to consult my neighbor Therese Garrity, one of the most organized people I know. A real estate appraiser and the mother of seven children, she has had to confront clutter on a scale few of us can fathom. She is an ardent devotee of the “FlyLady,” Marla Cilley, a blogger who launched an online support group to help people counter household CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) in 2001. 
 
“I couldn’t keep up with stuff; I felt like our house was always a mess,” Therese says. “I liked FlyLady because she didn’t come off like she was perfect; I could relate to that.” By following the basic FlyLady flight plan of setting a timer for 15 minutes every day and picking up items with two bags — one for trash, one for things to be donated — she was pleasantly surprised by how much progress she made. 
 
I like the fact that Therese doesn’t proselytize. “Whatever you do has to work for you,” she says. 
 
But what I’m doing isn’t working, maybe because I’m basically doing nothing. So I turn to another friend, who recently downsized, for advice. 
 
Tom Wolfe and his wife, Barb Wallace, have been a comedy-writing team for several decades. Like me, they work from home, they have two kids who have graduated from college, and, as writers, they rely on deadlines for motivation. My own wife, Barb, says that the lack of an impending deadline is our biggest obstacle to getting started. 
 
“It’s not decluttering; it’s a purge,” Tom says, noting that the process of selling their house and moving “took about six months and seemed like a full-time job.” It included two garage sales and multiple trips to recycling facilities and outlet stores of charitable organizations. “I have a Puritan streak — I hate to waste stuff,” he says. “But I actually started wondering if the carbon footprint of driving things all over cancels out the benefit of trying to be environmentally responsible.” 
 
 
During their purge, Tom established a two-year rule: “If you haven’t used or worn something in two years, get rid of it. If it has value, sell it or donate it. If it doesn’t, throw it out.” Along the way, he made a discovery that makes me optimistic about finding the motivation to get started. “There’s a great sense of relief not being surrounded by stuff,” he says. “It’s a very freeing feeling. And I think it’s a great gift you can give your kids, to have your stuff in order.” 
 
In passing, Therese and Tom both make reference to a book that came out last year: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter. The author is a Swedish artist and grandmother named Margareta Magnusson. 
 
The guiding principle behind Swedish Death Cleaning is that you should try to keep things the way you would want someone to find them when you die. Now that makes sense to me. It has a responsible ring to it. Although it may sound morbid, when it comes right down to it, facing up to our mortality is what it’s all about. 
“If I die — check that, when I die — I don’t want our kids to be burdened with our stuff,” Tom says. 
 
My sentiments exactly. So I’m adapting advice from both of my volunteer consultants. I’m trimming the 15 minutes a day to 10 and extending the statute of limitations on unused items to three years. And I’m setting a personal goal: reducing my file drawers from 10 to eight by spring. I’m going to get started right away, as soon as I get back from Costco. We need to pick up a few things. 
 
• Paul Engleman is a frequent contributor to The Rotarian.
Downsize Now. Your Children Will Thank You Later 2019-01-15 09:00:00Z 0

We will miss you Fredrica!  R.I.P. dear friend!

 

image

Marjorie Frederica Hall

Oct. 14, 1924 – Dec. 8, 2018

Marjorie Frederica “Rica” Hall, 94, died on Dec. 8, 2018. she passed quietly in her sleep, the family wrote.

Rica was born in Whittier, California on Oct. 14, 1924 to Frederick Herbert Bahler and Nellie Marjorie Bahler (Sharpe).

She was the eldest of three daughters. Rica was raised an educated in Southern California, earning a master’s degree in education and later a master’s in art history from California State University Long Beach. While attending college she married Stanley Dale Jennings, with whom she had three children: Donals, Marjorie and Richard.

She taught elementary school in Southern California for 35 years before retiring to Bow, Washington with her second husband, Billy F. Hall, who preceded her in death in 1984.

In 1999, Rica moved from Bow, Washington to Homer, Alaska to share in the life of her youngest son, Richard, and his family.

Rica enjoyed painting, and she loved music, having played the piano, organ, accordion and glockenspiel. She knitted, crocheted, quilted and was a welcoming hostess She also made and decorated cakes and chocolate candies.

Rica was an active member of the community wherever she lived. Her community involvement included the American Associated of University Women, Rotary, Patrons of the Pratt, Soroptimist and Skagit Art Association. She was a woman of faith who read her Bible regularly, attended services and participated in church activities.

She is survived by her sisters, Lois Caro and Shirley Nelson; brother-in-law Robert Nelson; children, Donald F. Jennings and his wife Diane, Marjorie A. Lorant, Richard D. Jennings and his wife Rosemary; and six grandchildren, Scott Jennings, Todd Jennings, Weylin Lorant, Rhiannon Elliot, Rhonwen Jennings and Rhoslyn Anderson.

She will be greatly missed.

There will be a memorial service at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019 at Faith Lutheran Church of Homer, at 1000 Soundview Ave., Homer, AK 99603.

 

If you need information or have questions please call 907-399-1226

Obituary Homer Downtown 2019-01-15 09:00:00Z 0

It’s now easier than ever to strengthen Rotary’s image in your community with the materials and resources available in the Rotary Brand Center.

Launched earlier this month, the Brand Center offers a simple and intuitive way to customize your club logo, create a marketing brochure, or give your newsletter a fresh look. You’ll also find guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions as well as information about why telling our story is important.

“The Brand Center enables everybody to play an active role in promoting Rotary to the world,” says Alan Buddendeck, general manager and chief communication officer for Rotary International.

“What’s exciting is that the site has been designed in cooperation with Rotary members worldwide, which is critically important to the user experience,” Buddendeck says.

Here are five reasons you should use the Brand Center:

  1. You can create your own club and district logos featuring Rotary’s masterbrand signature and see your edits in real time.
  2. You can develop professional-looking PowerPoint presentations, press releases, and newsletters that incorporate Rotary’s visual identity. Templates can be customized as much -- or as little -- as you want.
  3. You can find guidelines for using Rotary’s logos and answers to frequently asked questions about our new visual identity. For instance, did you know that your member pin remains unchanged? Or that free fonts are available along with the commercially licensed options?
  4. You can upload and store the materials and logos you create for future use by creating a basket. Use the Quick Share function to email your basket and share your new materials with members.
  5. You can download broadcast-quality public service announcements, videos, and images to help tell Rotary’s story. Choose from a variety of topics to illustrate including Join Leaders, Exchange Ideas, and Take Action -- our three organizing principles.

“With the new Brand Center, anyone can use the tools and templates to create logos and documents that reflect a unified look, yet are personalized to the club or district,” says Elizabeth Smith Yeats, incoming governor of District 6400, which includes parts of Ontario, Canada, and Michigan, USA. “And they can achieve first-class results without hiring a designer or purchasing expensive software.”

Sign in or register to your My Rotary account to discover all the Brand Center has to offer.

Five Reasons You Should Use the Rotary Brand Center 2019-01-15 09:00:00Z 0
Location:     Chariot Group 
                      3120 Denali St., Suite #1
                      Anchorage, AK
Times:          8:30 AM Check-in Registration
                      Meeting starts at 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
                      Break for Lunch at Noon - 1:00 PM
 
Cost:             Registration cost is $35 (covers lunch and snacks throughout the day)
 
This meeting is intended for current and future district leaders, and District Leadership Academy participants. Club Presidents and PE's are welcome and encouraged to register, and any other interested D5010 Rotarians may attend as well.
 
AGENDA:      
  • DG Diane will provide an update on the health of D5010 Rotary. 
  • DGE Andre' Layral will speak briefly on the 2019-2020 Rotary Theme, RI Global Priorities and DGE Andre's vision and his goals for D5010 in 2019-2020.  Andre' will introduce key members of his team for 2019-2020.
  • There will be updates provided by Committee Chairs for Foundation, Grants, Membership, Public Image, and other key district committees.   
  • There will be brief reports provided about Rotary Youth Protection efforts, Rotary Youth Exchange, D5010 Crisis Response and Communication, Excess Reserve Fund Projects implemented this year. 
  • A D5010 Strategic Plan progress report will be given, with discussion time set aside for updating the strategies and activities related to the plan. 
  • A 2018-2019 Budget update will be given and the proposed 2019-2020 Budget will be introduced.
 
Please note: There are two GoToMeetings scheduled, Morning and Afternoon.
 
AM District Leadership Team Training and Strategic Planning Review 
Sat, Feb 2, 2019 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM AKST 

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. 

https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/378937485 

You can also dial in using your phone. 

United States: +1 (646) 749-3129   Access Code: 378-937-485 

If in Canada: +1 (647) 497-9391 

PM District Leadership Team Training and Strategic Planning Review
Sat, Feb 2, 2019 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM AKST 

Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. 

https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/375289701 

You can also dial in using your phone. 

United States: +1 (571) 317-3129   Access Code: 375-289-701 

If in Canada: +1 (647) 497-9391

D5010 Leadership Team Training Seminar and Strategic Planning Update 2019-01-15 09:00:00Z 0
                                                                                                                                            
Themes for the Upcoming months
             January is Vocational Service Month
  February is Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution Month
 
             
 
Vocational Service focuses on:
  • Adherence to and promotion of the highest ethical standards in all occupations, including fair treatment of employers, employees, associates, competitors, and the public.
  • The recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, not just those that are pursued by Rotarians.
  • The contribution of your vocational talents to solving the problems of society and meeting the needs of the community.
Our 4-Way test has been the foundation upon which we build our credibility as members of Rotary and our communities. I have heard numerous times from Rotarians that they use the 4 way test whenever they are confronted with a difficult issue or problem. 
 
More than ever – the World needs Rotary and the ethical standards by which we live.
 
This also covers our Global Grants projects and Vocational Training Teams.  I’m happy to announce that we have several approved Global Grants projects:
  • Belize School Sanitation Project 2018:
    • Thank you Rotary Club of Fairbanks - President Tammy Randolph, Mike and Peggy Pollen and Wayne Clark
  • Making Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) History-Vocational Training Team
    • Thank you Michael Jeffery, Marilyn Pierce-Bulger, Karl Schroeder, Ted Trueblood and Rotary Club of Anchorage International -President Debra Mason
Look for more to come on our Global Grants…..
And remember to Be the Inspiration to those in your businesses, the school children you read to,  the scholarship recipients you help on their way and those around you.
 
District Governor Diane
January 1, 2019
 
                                    
 
 
 
 
 
 
           
Be the Inspiration 2019-01-15 09:00:00Z 0
Rotary  People of Action Overview 2019-01-10 09:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of Aruba
Chartered
: 1938
Original membership: 22
Membership: 50
 
Home port: World-class dive sites, pristine beaches, and unique volcanic features make this Caribbean island a popular vacation spot, but “One Happy Island” is more than just a slogan for the tourism industry, say the members of the Rotary Club of Aruba. The Rotarians bring smiles to their fellow citizens, particularly the elderly and young children, when they need help, and the club’s annual street fair is a beloved island tradition.
Club innovation: The Rotary Club of Aruba is demonstrating how a club can engage Rotaractors to keep them in the Rotary family. Rotaractors regularly attend Rotary meetings, they participate in Rotary club projects — and use their technological savvy to promote them — and they are encouraged to become Rotarians. All this has brought the club new members, ideas, and perspectives.
https://www.rotary.org/sites/default/files/styles/w_600/public/club_innovation_2.jpg?itok=g-iwTwEz
The Rotary, Rotaract, and Interact clubs come together to clean up Bachelor’s Beach.
Oranjestad, Aruba’s capital, hosts one of the Caribbean’s most celebrated carnival seasons, but locals also mark their calendars for the Rotary club’s annual fiesta, a street fair and lottery that typically generates about $250,000. “I grew up with it,” says Shelby Maduro, the club’s 33-year-old secretary. While the club’s identity among islanders is linked to the festival, many in the community perceived the club to be an exclusive bastion of business leaders, most of them men. But perceptions are changing, and Maduro is one of seven former Rotaractors — all of them women — who have recently joined the club. (Maduro joined in 2016 while still a Rotaractor.)
Several years ago, the club decided to allow Rotaractors who were still building their careers to join. “When you’re 30, you probably don’t have a managerial position yet,” Maduro notes. She credits Club President Edsel Lopez, who happens to be her supervisor at the accounting firm Grant Thornton, with opening the door to membership. “Several of his employees are or were Rotaractors, including myself,” she says. 
Strong connections in the business community have led to successful projects that support the island’s residents. A golf tournament that raises about $70,000 augments the funds from the club’s fiesta to support Centro Kibrahacha, a facility for senior citizens; Sonrisa, which assists people with disabilities; and the YMCA. Rotarians serve on the boards of all three organizations, which also benefit from the participation of Interact and Rotaract volunteers. 
Other hands-on initiatives include an End Polio Now walk and a beach cleanup alongside Rotaractors and Interactors, and routine maintenance of Rotary-built playgrounds on the island. In 2017, the club delivered bottled water to St. Martin after Hurricane Irma.
The involvement of Rotaractors has been critical to the success of club efforts, Maduro says, noting that the heightened use of social media helps to let “people know what’s happening, and to let them know where the money is being spent.”
Every Rotaract club member is expected to attend at least two Rotary club meetings annually, and Rotarians reciprocate. Rotarians, says Maduro, “are really interested in what Rotaract is doing, and they are interested in the people. So you get to know them on a personal level.”
And Rotaractors have infused the Rotary club with fresh talent, she adds. “The flavor of the club has changed a little with the narrowing of the age gap between Rotaractors and Rotarians.”
— Brad Webber
• What is your club doing to reinvent itself? Email club.innovations@rotary.org. Read more stories from The Rotarian.
Fresh Faces 2019-01-09 09:00:00Z 0
In 2011, Rotary launched an initiative to strengthen our image, expand public understanding of what we do, and engage and inspire current and prospective members, donors, and partners.
 
As part of that effort, we established an internal definition of our brand, confirming Rotary as the organization that joins leaders from all continents, cultures, and occupations, who exchange ideas on solving some of the world’s toughest problems, and then take action to bring lasting change to communities around the world.
 
Rotarians have been working hard to tell the story of our impact in their communities. Thanks to their efforts, our public awareness levels globally have grown from 60 percent in 2012 to 75 percent in 2015.
 
But there’s still work to be done.
 
Our most recent research tells us that the public still doesn’t have a true understanding of what Rotary stands for, how we’re different, why we matter, or the impact we make. They don’t know what we do in local communities or what role we’ve played in the effort to end polio. And nearly 60 percent of those surveyed said they were unaware that a Rotary club exists in their own community.
 
As our next step in the brand strengthening initiative, we’re introducing our latest global public image campaign: People of Action. This campaign brings the Rotary story to life in a way that narrows the gap between public awareness and understanding.
 
The People of Action campaign communicates the essence of Rotary and reflects our values, such as:
 
  • We build lifelong relationships.
  • We honor our commitments.
  • We connect diverse perspectives.
  • We apply our leadership and expertise to solve social issues.

It tells our story in our own voice, which is:
 
  • Smart — we are insightful and discerning.
  • Compassionate — we tackle community challenges with empathy and understanding.
  • Persevering — we find lasting solutions to systemic problems.
  • Inspiring — we encourage others to take action, conveying hope, enthusiasm, and passion.

As a Rotarian, you’re also a brand ambassador. You can tell the story of Rotary and how we are people of action in communities worldwide.
 
To spread this narrative in a clear, consistent, and compelling way, we developed People of Action campaign materials in the Brand Center: print, digital, and outdoor advertisements, as well as videos and other marketing resources. We want to ensure that all Rotarians can support our effort to enhance awareness and understanding of Rotary.
 
Our story hasn’t changed. But how we share it with the world is vital to our future. Through a unified Rotary image and a clear, compelling voice, we are enhancing our legacy as one of the most respected organizations in the world.
 
Want to help tell the Rotary story? Read our Messaging Guide.
Strengthening the Rotary Story 2019-01-02 09:00:00Z 0

Ravi Bansal
Rotary Club of Buffalo, New York

Some years ago, my sister-in-law died of cancer. I wanted to find a way to raise awareness of the disease and to raise money for the charity hospital in my hometown, so I got the idea to fly around the world. It was an extremely ambitious plan for me, something like climbing Mount Everest — except that more than 4,000 people have climbed Everest, and more than 500 people have gone to space. But only 126 people have flown around the world solo, and I’m the only person of Indian origin to do so.  

Ready to take flight? Chart your course with the International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians at iffr.org.

 

Part of the reason it’s so hard is logistical. I flew more than 26,000 miles in six weeks, and I had to acquire numerous documents for each trip, customs clearances, and insurance. If you have a problem with a single-engine plane and you’re flying over land, you can usually land safely on a road or a field. But when you fly around the world, 70 percent of the time you’re flying over water. 

The scariest part of my trip was flying over the northern Atlantic, from Labrador, Canada, to Greenland. It was my first time over the ocean, and almost immediately my GPS went out. I later found out that this often happens at higher latitudes. But when I first lost the signal, I got extremely scared. When I looked down, all I could see were icebergs — millions of icebergs. I thought, “Where am I? Where do I go?” My GPS was out for no more than two minutes, but I can tell you: Those two minutes felt like two years. 

As a businessman, I had been to many countries. But I had never been to Greenland. When I finally got there, I could see these huge mountains of ice and that tiny runway, and it was the most beautiful moment of the trip. 

Another sight that I’ll never forget is flying from the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia over to Alaska. You fly over the Aleutian Islands, and there are hundreds of them. They are part of the so-called Ring of Fire, because of all the volcanoes. You’ve never seen so many volcanoes! Most of them are dormant. But many are active, and you never know when they might erupt. When you fly in a commercial airplane, you’re up at 35,000 feet, so you can’t see them. But I was flying at 10,000 feet and some of these volcanoes were just a couple of thousand feet below me. It was unbelievable. I’ve never been to space, so I don’t know how an astronaut feels when he or she looks down upon the earth. But for me, the journey showed me how just how beautiful, and how fragile, the geography of our planet is. 

There is so much technology available to pilots today. I had a satellite tracking device that plotted my position, so all my family and friends could find out where I was. During most of my flights, I spent the first hour texting people on the ground to let them know how I was doing and to check on the weather and make sure officials at the next airport knew I was coming. 

Before I flew out of Kamchatka, I had my logistics support person in Russia arrange to ship two barrels of special aviation fuel to the airport. After I fueled my plane, a ground official there suggested I check the dates on the barrels. It turned out the fuel had expired three years before. He recommended that I drain it from the plane. But I didn’t know when I might be able to get another barrel, and the fuel looked good to me. I decided to take off anyway. The man made me sign a liability waiver. For a second I thought, “Oh my God. What am I doing?” But you have to take some chances — without being foolish, of course. I knew, for instance, that I was going to have to circle the plane for 10 minutes to get high enough to clear the volcano next to the airport, so I had a chance to make sure the fuel was OK. 

When I first mentioned flying around the world, my wife did not want me to do it. My kids did not want me to do it. My son wouldn’t even make a website for me. He said, “Dad, I won’t do it, because I don’t want you to go!” But once they saw that I was going to do it anyway, they became a part of the team. It’s something I’d been dreaming about for years. Now, it’s been a year since I finished my flight. I don’t have a desire to do it again at the moment. I’m almost 70 years old. But I’m in pretty good shape, so you never know.

— As told to Steve Almond

Fly Around the World Alone 2019-01-02 09:00:00Z 0
In 2011, Rotary launched an initiative to strengthen our image, expand public understanding of what we do, and engage and inspire current and prospective members, donors, and partners.
As part of that effort, we established an internal definition of our brand, confirming Rotary as the organization that joins leaders from all continents, cultures, and occupations, who exchange ideas on solving some of the world’s toughest problems, and then take action to bring lasting change to communities around the world.
Rotarians have been working hard to tell the story of our impact in their communities. Thanks to their efforts, our public awareness levels globally have grown from 60 percent in 2012 to 75 percent in 2015.
But there’s still work to be done.
Our most recent research tells us that the public still doesn’t have a true understanding of what Rotary stands for, how we’re different, why we matter, or the impact we make. They don’t know what we do in local communities or what role we’ve played in the effort to end polio. And nearly 60 percent of those surveyed said they were unaware that a Rotary club exists in their own community.
As our next step in the brand strengthening initiative, we’re introducing our latest global public image campaign: People of Action. This campaign brings the Rotary story to life in a way that narrows the gap between public awareness and understanding.
The People of Action campaign communicates the essence of Rotary and reflects our values, such as:
  • We build lifelong relationships.
  • We honor our commitments.
  • We connect diverse perspectives.
  • We apply our leadership and expertise to solve social issues.

It tells our story in our own voice, which is:
  • Smart — we are insightful and discerning.
  • Compassionate — we tackle community challenges with empathy and understanding.
  • Persevering — we find lasting solutions to systemic problems.
  • Inspiring — we encourage others to take action, conveying hope, enthusiasm, and passion.

As a Rotarian, you’re also a brand ambassador. You can tell the story of Rotary and how we are people of action in communities worldwide.
To spread this narrative in a clear, consistent, and compelling way, we developed People of Action campaign materials in the Brand Center: print, digital, and outdoor advertisements, as well as videos and other marketing resources. We want to ensure that all Rotarians can support our effort to enhance awareness and understanding of Rotary.
Our story hasn’t changed. But how we share it with the world is vital to our future. Through a unified Rotary image and a clear, compelling voice, we are enhancing our legacy as one of the most respected organizations in the world.
Want to help tell the Rotary story? Read our Messaging Guide.
Strengthening the Rotary Story  2018-12-20 09:00:00Z 0

From 

N. Diane Fejes

Governor 2018-19,

District 5010 - Alaska/Yukon

 

On December 15, 2018, the D. 5010 Nominating Committee nominated Cheryl Metiva, Rotary Club of Susitna to serve as D. 5010 Governor in FY 2021-2022.

Five Rotary clubs in the district had also suggested a candidate for consideration for this position:  Rotary Clubs Anchorage South, Fairbanks, Kodiak Morning, Palmer and Wasilla Sunrise.  Anyone of these 5 clubs has the right to challenge the decision of the nominating committee through a resolution adopted by the club and to propose as a challenging candidate the candidate previously suggested by the club.  Such resolution must be filed with Governor Fejes no later than December 31, 2018.  If no challenge is received by that date, then Rotarian Cheryl Metiva will be the duly nominated governor of D. 5010 for FY 2021-2022.

Should a challenging resolution be submitted, additional concurring challenging resolutions must be received from at least 10 other clubs or 20% of the clubs in the district in existence for at least one year if the challenging resolution is to be deemed valid.  Receipt of the required number of concurring challenging resolutions will result in an election to be described further should the need arise.  See R.I. ByLaws Article 14.

 

 

District 5010 DG-Nominee 2021-2022 Rotary Year 2018-12-20 09:00:00Z 0
image
 
Dear Rotarians,
 
Remember to register for this year's District Conference by December 31st to receive your early bird discount!  You don’t want to miss out on an inspiring and motivational District Conference, packed full with great fellowship, amazing speakers, and tons of fun!
 
The Conference is the perfect venue to network, reconnect with friends, and find inspiration for continuing service and community leaders as we report on the district, including its successes and challenges. We will have local and international speakers giving information on topics relevant to our district members. Check out their bios here! SPEAKER BIOS
 
Friday, May 3rd, will be the highly attended and favorite Dinner in the Home event.  If you live in Anchorage, be sure to sign up to host dinner!  If you are coming from out of town, consider being hosted by a local Rotarian and enjoy this fellowship opportunity.
 
Saturday, May 4th, the Captain Cook’s chefs will dazzle our pallets during the Governor’s Banquet, where we will finish the night off dancing and singing with the Ken Peltier Band!
 
To register, click here! REGISTER
 
To check out the Conference page, become an amazing and appreciated sponsor of the event, as well as find information on hotel discounts ($150/night!), click here!  ROTARY DISTRICT 5010 CONFERENCE
 
Alaska Airlines has generously provided a discount for attendees traveling to the conference – use meeting fare code ECMC187.
 
We are looking forward to seeing you in Anchorage!
 
Teri Lindseth and Denise Kipke
District Conference Co-chairs
 
 
 
Rotary District Conference 2019 2018-12-19 09:00:00Z 0

After a four hour delay, our exchange student Winston departed Homer bound for his home in Nigeria. There were lots of tears shed at the airport as he developed many friends during his stay.

I went snowshoeing with Claudia and the visiting Exchange students on Friday.  Thank you Beth for the snowshoes and the venue! I wish you all could have shared in the joy of watching Claudia playing in the snow.  In her area of Spain she never has seen snow like this.  She is a delightful young lady and I hope that each of you will take the time to interact with her and include her in an activity of yours.  She is participating in a short ice skating exhibition tomorrow at 3:15PM at the ice arena.

 

Merry Christmas,

Boyd

After a four hour delay, our exchange student Winston departed Homer bound for his home in Nigeria. There were lots of tears shed at the airport as he developed many friends during his stay.

 

I went snowshoeing with Claudia and the visiting Exchange students on Friday.  Thank you Beth for the snowshoes and the venue! I wish you all could have shared in the joy of watching Claudia playing in the snow.  In her area of Spain she never has seen snow like this.  She is a delightful young lady and I hope that each of you will take the time to interact with her and include her in an activity of yours.  She is participating in a short ice skating exhibition tomorrow at 3:15PM at the ice arena.

 

Merry Christmas,

Boyd

 
Winston Heads Home--Claudia Discovers Snowshoeing 2018-12-19 09:00:00Z 0
 
Some pictures of the 2018 Holiday Party.  Great company and Fantastic food!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Holiday Party 2018 2018-12-13 09:00:00Z 0

At the last board meeting, the use of the Club Runner communication system was discussed.  A policy regarding use of the system was subsequently approved and is attached for your information.

 

A copy of the policy is also available in the "Documents" section of Club Runner under "Club Policies."

 
CLUBRUNNER USE POLICY
 
Club Runner is primarily a Rotary communication tool.  Our membership does not desire to be innundated with Community information available from multiple other sources.  However, there will be situations where Community information deemed key to our membership and our community mission will need to be expeditiously provided to our members.  With approval of the President, Club Runner may be used to accomplish this task.
ClubRunner Policy 2018-12-13 09:00:00Z 0
Could this be a project for Homer-Kachemak  Bay Rotary?
 
Alaska House Majority Coalition logoREPRESENTATIVE LES GARA
 
(907) 465-2647 (888) 465-2647
www.replesgara.com
rep.les.gara@akleg.gov
CONTACT: Mike Mason (907) 444-0889
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2018
 
2018 Laptops for Foster Youth Holiday Drive Underway
Laptops Help Foster Youth Succeed in School and Life; Donations Now Accepted
Anchorage – Today, Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and Amanda Metivier, a founder of Facing Foster Care in Alaska, are launching a holiday drive to collect laptops for foster youth in Alaska. Since the start of the Laptops for Foster Youth program, over 1,000 foster youth and recent foster care alumni have received laptop computers to use for school, college, job training, and to stay in touch with important people in their lives. Rep. Gara and Metivier, who are both former foster youth, jointly started the Laptops for Foster Youth program in 2010 to help youth through community volunteerism without state funding or the passage of legislation.
"Foster youth deal with the kind of upheaval that can cause lifetime damage and take youth off a track to success. Our goal is to help keep youth on the right track to success," said Rep. Gara.
 
 
A group of people standing in front of a storeDescription automatically generated

“Youth matched with a laptop have a greater chance at success in their education because it helps them stay on track in school. I have seen foster youth succeed and graduate thanks in part to the laptop they received through this program,” said Metivier.
This effort to get laptops into the hands of needy foster youth has come a long way. In the early years, the program accepted used laptops, but many of those computers were out of date and unusable. Today, the program matches new laptops with foster youth. Organizers prefer donations of Chromebook computers, which are lighter and come in many brands. The Laptops for Foster Youth program succeeds through a mix of individual donors, especially at the holidays when many people are looking for ways to give, and larger Alaska donors who help on an annual basis.
Facing Foster Care in Alaska, which is a non-profit organization run by foster youth and alumni, provides peer support, training to state caseworkers, and advocates statewide on best foster care practices. The organization can obtain discounts on larger purchases, so tax-deductible monetary donations are the most efficient way to help.
Donations to the Laptops for Foster Youth program can be made online at www.ffcalaska.org. Please donate what you can afford. Donations do not have to equal the exact cost of a laptop, which normally cost around $200 each. If you can't donate that amount, donated funds will be pooled together to purchase laptops.
Those who wish to donate a laptop(s), rather than donating funds, should contact Facing Foster Care in Alaska at (907) 230-8237 by text, or email info@ffcalaska.org so that you can discuss the basic features needed on a donated computer.
Rep. Gara's office is limited by state ethics law to providing information on how to help support the Laptops for Foster Youth Program. His office cannot accept funds. However, Rep. Gara, on his own time, has been allowed to help find individual donors and larger funders. Additionally, the law allows Rep. Gara to distribute information to the public to promote the effort.
For more information, please contact Rep. Les Gara at (907) 250-0106 or Amanda Metivier at (907) 230-8237.
###
 
2018 Laptops for Foster Youth Drive Underway 2018-12-12 09:00:00Z 0

Poppy Benson's High School Girl Scout troop is sewing big Christmas stockings for kids at haven House (they have been doing this for a number of years) and are looking for donations of items to stuff them with.  They will be sewing 15 total stockings - but don't need 15 of anything - all the stockings do not need to be the same.

They could use gloves, socks, scarves, little things to pass the time like small puzzles or games that would fit in a stocking, sudoko books, any kind of stocking stuffer stuff. 

A few things from Rotary would help. 

I will have a box at the meeting on Thursday so if you want to bring anything - please do!  They will be sewing the stockings on Sunday.

This photo is from last year's stocking sewing event!

Donations Needed for Haven House Christmas Stocking Stuffers 2018-12-12 09:00:00Z 0
2019 Spring Rotary Scholarships are available.  Please read and pass on the information below to anyone who qualifies for this Scholarship!  Final date for application is January 7, 2019
 
2019 Rotary Scholarships Application Time 2018-12-04 09:00:00Z 0
Under the waters of British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, along docks in the seaside community of Madeira Park, a population is quietly expanding.
 
Hand-sewn curtains, supplied by Rotarians, provide a crucial spawning environment for herring, which are a primary food source for salmon and marine mammals in the Salish Sea.
 
Rotarians prepare curtains on the docks.
Photo by Rotary Club of Pender Harbour (Madeira Park)
 
“This was formerly a thriving fishing community for both commercial and recreational fishers. Over the decades, the herring stocks have diminished substantially,” says Lorraine Wareham, publicity chair for the Rotary Club of Pender Harbour (Madeira Park), which is about a 40-minute ferry ride northwest of Vancouver. 
The project builds on the work of the Squamish Streamkeepers Society, which in 2005 found “orange goop” covering a creosote-treated piling under the docks at Squamish Terminals, says Jonn Matsen, herring recovery coordinator for the conservation group. “We suspected that the goop was dead herring [eggs],” he says.
In the winter and early spring, schools of herring gather along the coast. Females search out spawning locations, preferring smooth surfaces such as eelgrass, kelp, or wood, but unfortunately often choose dock pilings coated with creosote, a chemical wood preservative.
The conservationists decided to wrap the pilings at the terminals with a nontoxic material that keeps the noxious creosote from leaching through and provides a surface on which the herring can lay eggs. The herring bounced back, and with them came increased sightings of humpback whales, dolphins, and orcas which had been rare for years. 
After a Rotary club meeting where the Streamkeepers talked about their success, Pender Harbour Rotarians launched their own project in 2010. Rather than wrapping pilings, the club decided to hang curtains made of landscape fabric alongside docks. The fabric was provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the government department responsible for managing the country’s water resources, and local fishermen donated the floats and lead lines needed to keep the curtains hanging vertically in the water. 
“In November 2010, I made a couple of test curtains with my wife’s sewing machine one weekend when she was away,” says club member Jon Paine.
 
Pacific herring form schools that remain together for years. 
Photo by Rotary Club of Pender Harbour (Madeira Park)
 
The next month, the club made a dozen more curtains at a local art studio. Rotarians and other community members cut the landscape fabric, and Paine’s wife, Susan, sewed on the lead lines and floats. Local residents offered their docks.
The curtains go into the water in late February in anticipation of the spawn. (“The first year I was a little too enthusiastic and had some of our club members out in a torrential downpour to place curtains in the water on Christmas Eve,” Paine says.) The club monitors the curtains weekly to ensure that they hang properly and stay clean for the arrival of the herring. If algae accumulate, the curtains must be brushed off so the surface stays smooth.
The 4-foot-wide fabric is placed in the water in 20- and 40-foot sections, several hundred linear feet of curtains in all. The curtains stay in the water for six to eight weeks. After the eggs hatch, the curtains are pulled, cleaned, and stored for the next year.
“The creosote in the dock pilings killed the eggs, and we’ve had a declining amount of eelgrass in shallow waters and rocks where herring usually laid their eggs,” says club member Glen Bonderud. “We’re just trying to reverse Mother Nature a bit.”
Male herring fertilize the eggs with clouds of sperm, “turning the sea into a milky blue haze that can be spotted from the air,” Paine says. “A large herring spawn is a raucous affair with squawking seagulls, diving birds, seals, and other marine mammals in for a feast.”
 
The tiny black dots in these herring eggs, sitting on a dime, are the developing eyes of the fish.
Photo by Rotary Club of Pender Harbour (Madeira Park)
 
The eggs start as tiny opaque spheres, about 1/16th of an inch in diameter, Paine says. Viable fertilized eggs will be clear and have a visible sign of life after about two weeks, and within three weeks the eggs are ready to hatch. Juvenile salmon feed on the newly hatched herring.
The number of herring and eggs observed by the Pender Harbour club varies annually, but in a high-return year, eggs are several layers deep, Paine says.  
“We’ve had success at some places, and other places, nothing,” Bonderud says. “The herring just won’t listen to us.”
The Pender Harbour club’s 25 members represent about 1 percent of the population of year-round residents in the community, which is popular with retirees as well as tourists. The club has participated in other sea-related projects, including donating CA$10,000 toward a new marine research station. 
The herring curtain project resonates all the way up the food chain in the Salish Sea. The Chinook salmon population there plunged by 60 percent between 1984 and 2010, leading to government efforts to rebuild it. The herring population decline has received less attention from the government, making local interventions such as the herring curtains crucial. 
While the success of the herring project is difficult to quantify, “one of the main benefits has been public awareness of how essential the health of our marine environment is to all of us,” Paine says.
The project has caught on in other communities, including Egmont to the north and Sechelt to the southeast, as well as Victoria on Vancouver Island, Bonderud says.
“It’s been a topic of conversation for years,” he says. “This is a darn good project, and if we succeed just a little bit, it will help.”
—Nikki Kallio
• Read more stories from The Rotarian
Herring Curtains Spawn a Recovery 2018-12-04 09:00:00Z 0

The below email from DG Diane Fejes outlines how Rotarians can assist in the Alaskan earthquake recovery. Her goal is to ensure that donations from Alaska Rotarians go to assist Alaskans.

 
From: "N. Diane Fejes" <ndfejes@gmail.com>
Subject: FW: earthquake help for victims
Date: December 3, 2018 at 12:43:51 AKST
 
 
To all Presidents and AGs:
 
Here is the latest on how to help out the Earthquake victims. These organizations are helping out in  Anchorage, Palmer, Wasilla and Eagle River where some damage was extensive.
 
Please share with your club members. 
 
Since many buildings are still not safe to enter the physical help for re-shelving etc. will be on hold until we can get in and help.
School is out for the week so kids without a typical place to go and who need food during the day – Beans Café is looking into this – stay tuned.
The best way for now is to give cash to organizations who have the structure in place to disperse where needed most.  Rather than Rotary being the go-between here are the main organizations available to receive funds.
 
https://alaska.salvationarmy.org/                      - see their Earthquake button
https://www.redcross.org/local/alaska.html      Red Cross – general donation site
https://www.beanscafe.org/                               - Beans Café – helping those who need immediate food.
https://www.foodbanks.net/state/ak.html      - Food Bank – building is physically down for now but will need food to restock and give out  
https://myhousematsu.org/   -                           - MyHouse in  Wasilla helps out homeless teens and young people.  
 
For those in close proximity to the damage we’ll keep you informed as to when we can physically get into buildings to help those in need of re-shelving items or re-stocking inventory or keeping businesses open. 
 
Thank you all.  
 
Diane
 
N. Diane Fejes
907-230-7941
District Governor 2018-19
Rotary International District 5010 Alaska-Yukon 
How Rotarians Can Assist in the Alaskan Earthquake Recovery 2018-12-04 09:00:00Z 0

Here's a fun and 'hands-on'  opportunity for Rotarians to participate in a special holiday season event for foster children and foster parents in the Anchorage area.   The event, as described in the attached flyer, has been created on Rotary Cares for Kids Alaska & Yukon Facebook page.  Like the page and get updates on the event,    Our participation is a great way to show Rotary Cares for Kids!

Please be there at 5 pm. Volunteers are needed to help Santa with photos, wrapping presents, serving food, and hanging out with the children while their foster parents are "shopping for gifts". 

If you are unable to attend and would like to donate a gift, please chose one that has a value of approximately $25. Gift Cards at Wal- Mart, Target, Kohl's, Barnes and Nobel and ITunes are popular as are lap blankets, Bath and Body Works items and popular teen books and movies. Gifts can be delivered to any Alaska Club in Anchorage.

Hope you can join us to demonstrate the impact of Rotary and Rotarians!

Rotary Cares for Kids Event 2018-12-04 09:00:00Z 0

Dana Suskind’s mantra is written on a whiteboard in her office at the University of Chicago. She developed the easy-to-remember shorthand for parents to remind them of the importance of spoken language and warm interactions during a child’s first three years of life: Tune in, talk more, take turns. The “three T’s,” for short.

Suskind’s work in early childhood development started in the operating room. As a surgeon at the university’s Comer Children’s Hospital, she pioneered a cochlear implant program that allowed deaf children to hear for the first time. Yet some children with an implant never learned to speak, even though they could hear. Often, those were children from poorer families. 

 

Illustration by Viktor Miller Gausa

That led Suskind to wonder, what is the key to a child’s brain development? The short answer is language, and lots of it. The words a child hears in those first three years nourish the brain. She also made a surprising discovery: It isn’t only deaf children who struggle academically because of a lack of exposure to language in the early years — hearing children who aren’t exposed to enough words also lag behind.  

In 2015, Suskind wrote a book called Thirty Million Words, a reference to the gap in the number of words children from affluent families hear in their first three years, as opposed to children from low-income families. While the exact number may be debated, the science is clear: Affluent children hear millions more words by age three, and that can offer lifelong advantages. 

“Learning starts on the first day of life, not the first day of school,” Suskind says. That idea is the foundation of the TMW Center for Early Learning & Public Health, which Suskind founded to educate parents on the science of brain development and the powerful role that caregivers play.  

 “If we make healthy early brain development our north star, everything else falls into place,” she says. By “everything else,” she means less poverty, better academic outcomes, improved school readiness, even better “soft skills” such as impulse control and resilience. All of it starts with conversation, she told contributing editor Vanessa Glavinskas at Suskind’s Chicago office.  

Q: You wrote Thirty Million Words in 2015 to explain the importance of the words a child hears in its first three years. What has happened since your book came out?

A: The book set the foundation for the idea that it’s language, and parent-child interaction in the first three years of life, that builds a child’s brain. Thirty Million Words evolved into the TMW Center for Early Learning & Public Health. We asked, how do we get all parents from all backgrounds to understand the importance of the first three years of life? We are taking what I like to call a public health approach to early learning.  

Q: What do you mean by a public health approach? 

A: It means thinking about the importance of language in the same way we think about car seats, about “back to sleep” for sudden infant death syndrome, about not smoking around children. Our program meets parents where they are in their child’s first three years of life. For example, we developed a program that is combined with the universal newborn hearing screening. The idea is that every parent, when their child gets that hearing test, should understand why. It’s not simply to see if your child is born deaf; it’s because language is the food for the developing brain.

Q: How do you hope to help parents?

A: Here in Illinois, 76 percent of kids going into kindergarten aren’t ready. Our education system starts too late. The science shows that parents are children’s first and most important teachers, but we have no system to support parents in that. Now, some people say it’s just intuitive to love and nurture your children. Yes, but that’s different from understanding the brain science. We’ve got to share with families the science behind how babies’ brains develop and how powerful parents are in influencing that.

Q: You’re a surgeon specializing in cochlear implants. How did you end up focusing on helping all children, rather than only deaf children?

A: Often, the difference in outcomes among my patients was divided along socioeconomic lines. Children from poorer homes had poorer outcomes. I realized that what was going on in my patient population mirrored the larger population. That’s what took this project from my patients, children with hearing loss, to all children.

 

 

Dana Suskind: Talk to Your Baby Early and Often 2018-11-29 09:00:00Z 0
 
 
 
 
Here are some statistics for the 2018 Homer Rotary Health Fair:

794  = Total number of Pre-Draws - Blood Tests before the 2018 Fair

197  = Blood Draws at the Fair

991  =  Total number of patients that had their blood drawn in 2018

1,100  = Total number of people through the door at the Fair

75 = Number of exhibits

182 = Number of volunteers manning the exhibits

185 = Flu shots administered

68  = Hearing tests administered

84 = Vision Tests administered

87 = Professional Medical Consultations (Interpreting blood test results) 

278 = SPARC passes given out to people picking up their blood test results

What a great day for Wellness in Homer! And now some pictures of the Health Fair courtesy of Maynard!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Homer Rotary Health Fair 2018 2018-11-28 09:00:00Z 0
The Rotary Foundation has been welcomed into the University of Oxford’s Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors for its continuous support of the university.
 
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Mr. Michael Webb, Trustee of The Rotary Foundation and CCB representative, with The Rt Hon Lord Patten of Barnes, CH, Chancellor of the University of Oxford,
Photo by John Cairns
Since 1949, The Foundation has provided scholarships to more than 200 Oxford scholars including a former American ambassador to the United Kingdom, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and investigative reporter with the New York Times, and a Director & Senior Fellow at the Ansari Africa Centre.
“The university is enormously grateful to The Rotary Foundation for their support of graduate scholarships at Oxford,” said Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor, University of Oxford. “For almost 70 years, this support has enabled students from around the world to benefit from all that Oxford has to offer.”
Membership of the Court of Benefactors is conferred by the Chancellor on those who have been outstandingly generous towards the university. Members may be individuals, or nominated representatives of companies and trusts.
Michael Webb, trustee of The Rotary Foundation, accepted membership on behalf of the Foundation on 11th October at a ceremony in Oxford.
“The Rotary Foundation is honoured to receive this designation and I am humbled to accept on its behalf,” said Mr Webb. “The Foundation has fostered international interaction and understanding through academic scholars at Oxford for decades, and we will continue our efforts to help develop the world’s future leaders through academic support at this prestigious university.”
The Rotary Foundation is Rotary’s only charity, established over 100 years ago to support Rotary International in its mission to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational and cultural exchange programmes.
Ms. Vanessa Picker, Rotary Scholar in 2016-17; Mr. Michael Webb, Mrs. Alison Webb; and Mr. Mark Loong, Rotary Scholar in 2017-18, outside the Divinity School, University of Oxford
Photo by John Cairns
It also provides funding for Rotary projects across the world. More than $277 million (approximately £212 million) has been awarded over the past four years through The Rotary Foundation to support clean water and sanitation, education, prevent and treat diseases, save mothers and children and grow local economies.
The Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors celebrates and recognises Oxford’s most outstanding friends and supporters. Founded in 1990 by the late Lord Jenkins, the former Labour Chancellor and Home Secretary, today there are more than 250 members from around the globe whose significant contributions have assisted Oxford in being the world leading institution that it is today.
The Rotary Foundation joins a prestigious list of members including, Thomson Reuters Foundation, The Skoll Foundation and others on the Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors.
About Rotary Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world.
About Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland is a territorial unit of Rotary International, with 1,750 clubs and over 45,000 members, all using their time and talents to make a difference in communities at home and internationally through volunteering and humanitarian service. Rotary is open to anyone aged 18 and over looking to network, get involved with community projects and activities and have fun in the process.
Website: www.rotarygbi.org, Facebook: /RotaryinGBI, Twitter: @RotaryGBI
Contact 
Dave King, editor@rotarygbi.org, Mobile: 07918 838680
The Rotary Foundation Inducted into University of Oxford’s Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors 2018-11-14 09:00:00Z 0
Rotary and GPEI have put polio on the brink of global eradication
 
By Ryan Hyland                     Photos by Monika  Lozinska
 
After 30 years of bold action, historic achievements, and sometimes discouraging setbacks, Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) have nearly brought polio to an end. 
 
This groundbreaking public-private partnership and its innovative strategies were celebrated Wednesday during Rotary’s 6th annual World Polio Day event, held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Dr. Ujala Nayyar, left, a WHO surveillance officer in Pakistan, discussed with Alex Witt about how thorough tracking of the wild polio virus will help eradicate the disease. 
Audience members at the 2018 World Polio Day event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Hundreds gathered to celebrate World Polio Day at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.