Meeting of the Rotary Club of Eureka
President Carlton Nielsen convened the meeting at 12:30. Gary Todoroff, recently returned from Africa, led the pledge, and Lisa Slack the invocation reading a prayer from Emily Dickinson.
Guests of Rotarians
Lowell Maffia (with the Red Lion) was the guest of Larona Farnum. Eric Bergel’s guest was Fred Hane. Tom Macmurry had his son Thomas at his table; Ken Stodder’s guests were Burt Nordstrom and Mary Wells, and Bill McAuley had Gregory Schauer at his table. Ted Loring had son David as his guest, the latter sharing about his studies including biochemistry.
Eric Bergel gave us a brief biographical sketch of our inbound exchange students: one is from Norway another from Brazil. He encouraged us to be good hosts to our exchange students because it could change a life and that life might be your own.
Pat Folkins said Honor Flight recently sent thirty-nine veterans to Washington DC with eleven guardians. Pat expressed special thanks to Blue Lake Casino who loaned us a van to transport vets to the airport. Most of the veterans were in their 80’s and 90’s. On a related subject, there will be a fund raiser at Blue Lake Casino May 26th for Veterans. Tickets are $50 and are available from Blue Lake Casino or Pat Folkins.
Red Badgers were asked to stand up and they got a lecture about what was needed to graduate to the blue badge. I believe there were seven who got the word on how to switch from red to blue.
President-elect Greg Pierson said the 2011 District Mini-Assembly is Friday June 17 noon to 5pm at River Lodge Conference Center in Fortuna. Greg also urged us to sign up for a Committee on one of the many sign up sheets at our tables.
CC Cree (also known at “Cindy” by others—her badge is bi-nominal) said she has managed the Irish Shop since 1994. She travels widely to look for merchandise to sell at the shop. She is married with three kids and several grandchildren.
Teresa Sims returned from a trip to Ecuador to the Amazon jungle where she was looking for natural cancer cures. It is not on her short list to return any time soon. She donated $80 to our service fund. Gary Todoroff has been for many weeks in Bulembu, Swaziland, a total travel time of 48 hours away. Gary helped install the hydroponics from American Hydroponics in Arcata on behalf of our club project sponsored by Rotary Eureka, Rotaract and Overseas Resource Link.
Ken Fisher is a 1972 graduate of Humboldt State University in economics and Chairman, CEO and Founder of Fisher Investments. He spoke to us concerning economics, a topic on which he has authored some seven books. He was happy to be able to stand in front of us after a harrowing trip through Jedidiah Smith State Park. He began with the bold assertion that capital markets exist to humiliate as many people as possible and take as much of their money as possible. We laughed and he said he was serious, but the market is an equal opportunity humiliator. History shows market patterns but we seem seldom to learn from them: for example, if the stock market remains strong the economy is likely to recover. One constant of the market, according the Mr. Fisher, is its length of concern into the future. The “fret-zone” is 90 days to 30 months in the future.
Presently, we see high unemployment and employment is not that high; but he countered that all time world GDP is at its highest level ever and there is not always a direct inverse proportion between employment and unemployment. Closer to home, Mr. Fisher said that California has become too dependent on income tax and capital gains taxes, and therefore has been hard hit by the recession. When asked about inflation he thought it would not ignite unless factory production increases rapidly and steeply. He also was asked about the Lehman Brothers debacle and if it had perhaps contradicted his earlier assertion that the market only looks forward between three and 30 months. He responded that Lehman Brothers was killed by high level federal regulators and he did not have time to fully explain it in detail, although he did provide some details that went over the head of this reporter.