Aug 26, 2011

August 22, 2011
Meeting of the Rotary Club of Eureka

Lunch: enchiladas, chocolate chip cookie

Weather: 57 degrees and overcast

S&P 1127.34

President Pierson called the meeting to order.

Ron Pierre read verse 4 of the Star Spangled Banner.

Visiting Rotarians, announced by John Bartholomew:
Kathy Philp
Rory Hanson, Nicole Schwerdt, Kyle Muteff, Kathy Philp, Kathy Miller, Lee Cunningham, Helene and Zoran Sajovic

Fred Griffith brought Mike Casey of Security National.

Jon Bartholomew brought Ted Sheets, Paul Brisso brought Russ Gans.

Craig Hansen brought “The Birthday Boy.”   

Mandy Nash brought Miguel Sotello, her son.

Lee Cunningham brought Sharon Taylor and Marian Brady.   

Ken Stodder brought Ted Stodder.

Mike Cunningham brought Mr. Nielsen.   

Greg Williston brought his wife Laurel.

No student guests, but our new exchange student Marina joined us and told us about her rafting trip. It was fun, and cool, and she loved it.

PP Lane Strope was in attendance. This would later cost him money.

Mitch Mastroni, our outbound exchange student to Italy, thanked the club and asked for money, since he has “bought the house” for a play and desperately needs to sell those tickets. Bold move Mitch, we’ll see if we can help you out.

Birthdays and Anniversaries are in the book, congrats to all.

PP Nielsen and Dan Heinen were called up to show the new, high-tech, web based something or other. PDG Dillon tweeted about it immediately, and PP Schallert blogged about it and posted a link to his Facebook page.  Just kidding, everyone stared blankly at the projector and Dan was unable to log in. Eventually he showed us the many cool features available on the website; the web admin expects traffic to soar to the high single-digits.

(In all seriousness, this is pretty dang neat).

If your photo predates the invention of the internet, please see the photo committee after the next meeting.

Mike Cunningham announced today was the final day to sign up for the Rotary Rafting Trip.

Dues are due. Send a check, please. Or just use PayPal. Kidding again, send a check.

Kurt Barthel-You went to Portland? For work? Still $50, Kurt.

John Bartholomew went to the Mediterranean? For your 25th wedding anniversary? Venice? Cruise around the Adriatic? Greece? Istanbul? Croatia? That’s gonna be $145 and a free tape measure.

PP Lane Strope is printing stuff? $145. $95 refund if he comes back soon. $50

PP Brian Papstein has been advertising in the Wall Street Journal? $20.

Ken Stodder? Your grandson was St. Bernard’s athlete of the year? 4.0 GPA? Scholarship? $100.

PP Brian Papstein made a short joke, pitched his product, and introduced proud Eureka citizen, Rob Arkley.

Rob Arkley, owner of Security National.

Rob noted the currency crisis sweeping the globe since 2007. Rob says growth will be very slow for many years in America and Europe. He predicts the end of the Euro, and applauded the discussion surrounding the debt ceiling debate.  He anticipates tax increases and cuts in services and entitlements. Rob would like a constitutional amendment for a VAT, which would be regressive, and a balanced budget amendment. Rob discussed the “entitlement generation” as those “paid to vote.” They will not be happy in our new future. Suck on that, stoners!

Rob believes the key to the upcoming election is solutions on the budget deficit.  Most banks are now regulated utilities, and real estate will require 40% down. Less leverage and opportunity are in our future. Residential real estate will bottom middle to late 2012.  California is a difficult place to get business done and there will be an exodus of those who can move. Logging is ascendant locally.

The future of Humboldt County is in niche industries and the port.  Security National is adding 25 employees in the next 4-6 weeks and Rob is pleased with the quality of local employees.

National Austerity, Statewide Schizophrenia, Locally we’re in good shape!

Corky Cornwell has a “hypothetical” bag of money hidden in the woods. Rob says to buy manufacturing businesses. I’m going to go hiking in the woods…

Chuck Edwards thinks China is taking over the New World Order. Rob says no worries; we’re still running things for the foreseeable future. I am studying Mandarin just in case.

BofA is likely to fail. Moving my money to WaMu Coast Central.

Lorana Farnum said something about the Fed, the gold standard, and that Tim Geithner looks like an idiot. Rob said the Fed sucks and the next 10 years will be rough.

NEXT WEEK: Abbie Hoffman & Noam Chomsky! Oops, my mistake,  looks like we will be hearing from Peter Hannaford, former Ronald Reagan speech writer.

$10 Council member Marian Brady $10 Tom McMurray.

Rob Arkley was thanked, the library book was signed, and the meeting ended 3 minutes late.

Respectfully submitted,
John Harper

Aug 25, 2011

August 15, 2011
Meeting of the Rotary Club of Eureka

PledgeDan Heinen

Invocation PP Carlton Nielsen

Student Guests:  Our two incoming exchange students, Marina from Brazil and Tonya from Norway, joined us for the first time.  They are staying, respectively, with the Williston and Owren families.

Visiting Rotarians:  District Governor Maureen Merrill & President of Old Town Rotary, Steve Knight.

Guests of Rotarians:  Intern, Gilbert Resendez, was a guest of County Supervisor, Virginia BassPP Carlton Nielson brought Eleanor Umidon, Gabriel’s sister from Milan, Italy, who, by the way, is an accomplished viola player on loan to the Eureka Symphony for several months.  David Loring, son of Ted Loring, came to hear our guest speaker’s presentation on his year in China.

Pat Shanahan
Other guests included Pat Shanahan, Arthur Nielsen & Christian Hill (just kidding, Christian)!

Birthdays and Anniversaries:  Happy Birthday today to Gary Todoroff…congratulations on your new hammer!  Happy Birthday also to Fred Whitmire and Ron Pierre.  Ron, you sat at a round table, so that’s going to cost you $15.  Anniversaries were many this week.  Congratulations to the Whitmires, Bauriedels, Shimasakis, Stodders, Brissos, Nashs, Nielsens, and McCauleys.

AnnouncementsJohn Bradley spent some time talking to the group about our great Backpacks for Kids program.  Over 10,000 kids in Humboldt County qualify for the free/reduced lunch program and are at or under the poverty level of $30,000/year for a family of four.  BFK, through the combined efforts of the Rotary Club of Eureka, Old Town Rotary and Southwest Rotary, currently delivers approximately 400 packs every Friday morning to Alice Birney, Lafayette & South Bay Elementary Schools.  Last year the group delivered over 3,000 bags of food for needy students.  This year the program received a generous donation from the McLean Foundation to make this a self-sustaining program.  Also, the program will be a beneficiary of this club’s 1st Annual Smokin’ In the Redwoods Bar-B-Q Challenge, September 24th at Redwood Acres.  Come out and join us on Thursdays at 4:45pm to pack bags at Humboldt Moving & Storage.  It’s a great way to meet your fellow Rotarians as well as mingle with members from both the Old Town & Southwest clubs!

Packpack Buddy Night.…Be a Buddy….Bring a Buddy….Help Us Feed Humboldt County Kids!  President-Elect Nancy Dean announced that there will be a fundraising prime-rib dinner on Tuesday, September 27th at Cher-Ae Heights Casino in Trinidad to support Backpacks for Kids.  Please call 269-4335 to reserve your tickets, to volunteer or if would like to donate live or silent auction items.  The annual cost to run this extremely important program is over $20,000, so bring your checkbooks and donate, donate, donate!  Tickets are $30 each and the ever entertaining Rex Bohn will be our auctioneer.  Click here for more information.  A big shout out of thanks to the event sponsors:  Coast Central Credit Union, the Times-Standard, Ming Tree Realtors, Cher-Ae Heights Bingo & Casino, Cunningham, Malone & Morton, and Norman’s Dry Cleaners.

August 27th is our Bigfoot Rafting trip down the Trinity River.  Everyone is welcome, but please contact Mike Cunningham or Keith Crossley with the ages of any children you would like to bring.  More information can be found by clicking here.

President Pierson said a great time was had by all at the Foundation Super Seminar held at the Humboldt County Office of Education last Saturday.  Arcata Sunrise Rotary Club will be hosting the Foundation Dinner North this year, which will be held on October 15th.  The guest speaker will be Rick King, Past President of Rotary International (2001-2002).  

President Pierson presented Dave Perris with his Blue Badge.

PP Steve Justus reported that the Honor Flight fundraising dinner held last weekend at the Elks’s Club blew away the pre-dinner estimate, and netted nearly $19,000!  That will support a lot of our honored WWII veterans!  PP Justus held Captain Hank responsible for bidding him up too high for his winning Prime Rib Dinner.  Way to go Captain Hank, it’s all for a good cause!

RecognitionsPP Bruce Rupp, $10 for not turning off your cell phone.  President Pierson also toyed with the idea of fining Corky $10, as it was probably one of his phones! 

Neil Carnham was fined $145 for Winzler & Kelly’s beautiful new LEEDS Certified building on the site of the old McMahon’s furniture in Eureka.  LEEDS Certification and rating is the leading standard world-wide for measuring building sustainability.  Neil said they were doing their best to reduce their overall carbon footprint.  Speaking of footprints, Neil’s fine also included an impressive trek to the top of Mt. Shasta in honor of his 60th Birthday.  Very impressive Neil!

PP Carlton Nielsen’s son, Hayden, recently received a perfect score (for the 2nd year in a row, mind you) on his state-wide standardized testing for mathematics.  In math terms, that means $145 for good ‘ole Dad.  In addition, Hayden is the founder of the Entrepreneur Club at Freshwater Elementary School.  They sell cookies, soup and will wash your car at the school on Thursdays from noon-3pm.  The school is located at 75 Greenwood Heights Drive, near Three Corners in Freshwater (right before the Freshwater Stables).  They can be reached at 707.442-2969.

President Pierson held up a picture of Jim Hoff, back in Humboldt from Texas, with presidential candidate and current Governor of the Great State of Texas, Rick Perry.  It did not take long to decide documentation of this unique event was worth at least $145.  Not missing a beat, Jim presented President Pierson with Perry’s book “Fed Up” in exchange for the fine, stating that a picture is worth a 1,000 words.  President Pierson accepted the deal.  The president then recognized Jim again for $145 because his son, Henry joined the US Army.  Thank you, Henry, and God Bless!

Raffle:  Congratulations, Jason Eads & Mandy Nash!

Program:  Today’s speaker was Ryan Knight, son of Old Town Rotary President, Steve Knight.  Ryan is a student at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, majoring in Peace & International Studies.  For the past year (August 2010 through July 2011), Ryan studied in China on a multi-cultural education exchange sponsored by his school.  He chose China as they were a growing world power and both Russia and North Korea weren’t options. The program had students from all over the world, including several from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.  Ryan set five very clearly defined goals for his year abroad:  (1) Learn to speak/read Mandarin, (2) Understand who the Chinese are as a people, (3) See as much of the country as possible, (4) Make friends, and (5) Understand what it is like to be religious in China.  Ryan said he is a Christian, and was surprised to learn that there is an increase in the number of Chinese that also identify as being Christians.  Surprisingly, they are able to practice their religion without fear of being persecuted, just so long as they don’t challenge the government or make a scene.  There is also a fairly large group of practicing Muslims in China. 

Based on his presentation and photos, Ryan did an excellent job of making sure he accomplished Goal #3.  His Chinese travels took him to places such as Xi’an, Beijing, Chengdu, and Lhasa in Tibet.  He said Lhasa was the most beautiful place he had ever visited and after doing so, now feels he has a much better perspective on the issues with this area, stating the situation is much more complex than we know in the US.  He also visited Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall of China and the Terra Cotta Warriors before ending his trip in Southern China on the North Korean border.  All politics aside, he felt that the western media doesn’t give justice to what a great place China is, both in terms of natural beauty and the people.  He stated that crime is very low and he never felt unsafe walking around the larger cities, save for minor pick pocketing.  Gun laws are very strict.  He also spoke of the paradigm shift between the very rural areas of the county and the busy, mass-populated cities. 

Of particular interest was the fact that Ryan was physically in China during several large political events that occurred over the course of the past year.  This included Chinese anti-Japanese protests, the Chinese New Years, Arab Spring, the Tibetan unrest, the assignation of Osama Bin Laden, Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama and the US military action in the Yellow Sea.  As he mentioned at the beginning of his presentation, several of his fellow students were from both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.  He thought it was interesting to hear their take on issues such as the US entering Pakistan to find and kill Osama Bin Laden.  He mentioned that bribery is very much an active part of the culture in China, noting an example of obtaining a boat license on the Yangtze River, a major trade route flowing West to East through the middle of the country.  Audience questions included what was his favorite food (he lost 10 lbs, but loved the frog legs!), the use of traditional Chinese medicine vs. western medicine, censorship in the media and the internet (there are lots of computer firewalls, but you can pay to get around them), the outlook of fellow students from Pakistan (one’s father was the Vice Counsel for the country) and an overview of what religions are practiced and how.  He noted that due to manufacturing interests in China, there were a large number of American ex-pats, as well as quite a few French.  Overall, Ryan gave a fabulous presentation and is looking forward to his next adventure abroad.  He then signed his book for the Humboldt County Library, “Bats! Strange and Wonderful.”

President Pierson concluded the meeting at 1:31pm with a strike of the hammer to the bell and a reminder that the Small Grants Committee is having a quick meeting by the flag pole.

Respectfully submitted,
Stacy Lane

Aug 9, 2011

August 8, 2011
Meeting of the Rotary Club of Eureka

Pledge:  Bruce Emad
Invocation:  Dan Heinen

Visiting Rotarians:  Harry Sharp of Santa Rosa was introduced by Sally Arnot.

Student Guests:  None Today

Exchange Students:  Imogene Carson, one of our outbound exchange students for 2011-2012, is packed and ready to head to Kolbu, Norway tomorrow morning.  She has established a blog,, if you would like to follow her adventures over the next school year.  Imogene was a guest of Nancy Dean.

Guests of Rotarians:  Carlton Nielsen introduced Brad Gibson of Rockport Healthcare.  Jay Reed’s guest was Mike McElroy from Aalfs, Evans & Company.

Birthdays & Anniversaries:  Today was Pat Folkins’ birthday.  In honor of such, President Pierson presented him with a birthday hammer from the folks at the “Big Hammer,” complete with a red bow.  Other birthday folks who all managed to sit at the front table included Dave Dillon and Rick Littlefield.  Anniversaries this week include the Greg and Laura Williston, Matthew Owen and Virginia Bass and Dave and Carol Dillon.  The Dillons are celebrating 61 years of marriage!

Announcements:  Next week at 11:30am, the Membership Committee will meet at the Wharfinger building in the Yacht Club room.  Please feel free to attend if you are a red-badger and need to complete your required meeting or just feel like hanging out with Steve Justus and John Bradley

The Foundation Super Seminar will be held on August 13th at the County Office of Education located at 901 Myrtle Avenue in Eureka. Click here for more information.  President Pierson is expecting a good turnout, so let’s make him look good!

August 27th is our rafting adventure on the Trinity River with Bigfoot Rafting Company.  Click here for more information or contact Keith Crossley or Mike Cunningham at 707.441.1111.

Red-badgers….what’s taking so long?  Hurry up and get your requirements completed so you can get your blue badge.  President Pierson called out a few red-badgers who need to complete their requirements, but thankfully missed calling on a few of us in the back!

Recognitions:  President Pierson is on a roll with a heavily laden fine collection for his first 6 weeks of leadership.  Watch out, he has spies everywhere!  HA HA!

Sally Arnot- $145 of your fun week in Hawaii with 11 members of your family, including your new 8 month old granddaughter.

John Ash-  $145 for helping Rotaract with the kayak storage facility on Woodley Island and for North Coast Dance’s tribute to Romano Gabriel, including a cast member playing the part of your wife.  Also, we hear you’ve been busy designing housing units for the Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria.  By the way, John mentioned that if anyone is interested in hanging out with the Rotaract gals, they meet on Monday nights at the Winespot at 3rd and F Streets in Eureka. 

Burt Campton stood up and advised that on behalf of all the past presidents, they would be fining President Pierson for building said homes at Bear River….$145! 

Not missing a beat, President Pierson then asked PP Campton to pony up $145 for providing the electrical materials installed on that same project.  $435 isn’t a bad total for just one project!

Dennis Hunter-  So we hear the local GOP selected you as the 2011 Republican of the Year.  Congratulations and you owe us $145.

Dean Christiansen-  Although we in the community are most grateful for Coast Central Credit Union's Community Investment Program, it’s your two weeks in Scotland at an international credit union world council conference that will cost you $145.  CCCU’s dedication to providing much-needed grants in our community have recently included a $22,000 backup generator to provide life-saving measures in Trinity County, $8,000 for a medical transport vehicle and $20,000 to the North Coast Honor Flight.  Thank you, CCCU!

Dale Warmuth-  Congratulations for being good and not eating those wonderful cookies your mother brings for the customers at work.  $100 to you (and your parents) for 50 years in business at Leon’s Car Care Center and extending your working hours from 7:30am to 5:15pm.  Working commuters everywhere thank you!

Greg FosterSteve Justus was nice enough to agree to complete a phone survey last week on local political issues.  He was asked whether or not he would vote for you in your bid for County Supervisor.  Since you verified that this was a nice rumor, but not true, your pocketbook is safe….for now.

Raffle:  John Fullerton & Jim Howard….thanks for donating your earnings to Backpacks for Kids!

Program:  Allison Talbot, Government Relations Representative for PG&E in Humboldt & Mendocino Counties, introduced Paul Roller.  Paul is the Site Director and Nuclear Plan Manager for the Humboldt Bay Generating Station in King Salmon.  Besides the decommissioning of the former nuclear power plant, PG&E has been working locally with Humboldt State University through the Schatz Energy Research Center and on a project to support the projected influx of electric vehicles in our area in the not-so-distant future.  They have also been working with Greg Foster on a broadband redundancy project.  In an effort to keep the general public abreast of happenings with our local power generation facility, PG&E will be holding an open house and tours of the Humboldt Bay Generating Station on August 20th

The decommissioning of the former nuclear power plant is a process that will take seven years from start of finish.  Phases of the process include infrastructure and planning, removal of large components, removal of small and medium components, removal of the nuclear reactor, building demolition & site remediation.  The overall project was started in 2009 and won’t be completed until 2015.

Mr. Roller presented the group with a very visual presentation of the before, during and after photos of the project.  It was particularly interesting to note the intense planning that has gone into the encapsulation of the spent fuel assemblies and how PG&E has planned for a truly worst case scenario in our seismically active area.  Rather than thinking in terms of just Richter Scale magnitude, as most of us do when talking about earthquakes, PG&E measures vulnerability in terms of g-force strength; that is, the amount of gravitational pull associated with a particular movement, in this case, earthquakes or tsunamis.  PG&E designed this facility’s containment site on a hill, 44 feet above sea level, and is projected to be able to withstand a g-force event of 1.3g horizontal and 1.6g vertical.  For those of us who don’t have a PhD in a geological science field, that means this facility is specifically designed to withstand a force three times GREATER than that Japan experienced earlier this year.  He noted that the fault lines that would primarily affect this area include those in the Cascadia Subduction zone and specifically, the Little Salmon Fault at the south end of Humboldt Bay.  The hill on the plant site is also the primary evacuation point for residents of King Salmon, who could have as little as two minutes warning to evacuate.  PG&E will be participating in a community tsunami evacuation drill in case “the big one” ever hits our coastline.  The canisters stored in the hill are encased in six inches of stainless steel, then 40 tons of carbon steel, and are finally sealed with a 26,000 pound lid.  There are no reasons to be concerned about public safety, he stated.  These are the only structures in Humboldt County built to specifically withstand g-force pull up to those levels stated previously.

The pieces of the former plant are being hauled by truck to an area in Utah for disposal.  Parts of the units are being used for replacement parts, while all the copper is being recycled.  It was interesting to note that throughout the entire project to date, there have been no injuries, or even first aid claims!  A few answers to audience questions included the hardest part of the project (the asbestos containment and abatement) and that the storage site would be able to persevere through both a large tsunami and the sea level increase due to global warming.

He summed up his presentation by sharing PG&E’s Decommission Vision:  “To establish a benchmark for future nuclear power plant decommissioning.”  Considering we’ve had guests from France, Spain, Russia and England visit the site over the past six months to visit this literally groundbreaking project, I’d say they are doing a great job.

President Pierson ended the meeting at 1:30pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Stacy Lane
August 1, 2011
Meeting of the Rotary Club of Eureka

Pledge:  John McBeth

Invocation:  Tom McMurray

No student guests today. 

Visiting Rotarians:  Liana Simpson of Old Town Eureka Rotary and Bob Palmrose.

Guests of Rotarians:  Our local Rotaract ladies: Clark, Lindsey & Jessica; Brent Rassmussen, business partner of Alicia Cox.

Birthdays this month:  PP Steve Justus, Kurt Barthel & Ron Pierre ($10 from Ron for not sitting at the head table!)

Anniversaries:  Craig Hansen, George Owren, Tom McMurray & Richard Whittaker.


Today was the first day the club utilized the new badge scanning system to track attendance.  The scan gun was purchased by Past President/Captain Hank and Tim Foster, who got it synced to automatically send attendance to Rotary International.   Special thanks also to Wayne Wilson who reorganized the badge box and applied the bar code labels to the badges.

President Pierson presented Matt Messner his Blue Badge.  He also reminded everyone that additional rosters are available for a $20 donation to Backpacks for Kids.

Rotaract:  Clark announced that Rotaract is having a garage sale on Saturday, August 6th.  If you have donations, please call any Rotaract member and they come pick up your things.  Click here for more details on the garage sale.  They are also selling car wash vouchers for a $10 donation, and can arrange to have your car washed at your home or office. 

Keith Crossley announced a club-sponsored river rafting trip on the Trinity, provided by Bigfoot Rafting.  The cost is $59 per person and will take place on Saturday, August 27th.  More information can be obtained from Keith or Mike Cunningham by calling 707.441.1111 or clicking here.  If you haven’t been before, Bigfoot does a fantastic job with their rafting adventures.  I highly recommend you try to attend!

Our club is the sponsor of the Humboldt County Honor Flight.  PP Steve Justice encouraged everyone to attend a fundraising seafood dinner for the next Honor Flight at the Elks Club on Sunday, August 14th.  The cost is $25 per person.  This has been, and continues to be, a very successful program, honoring those who fought for us in World War II.  Click here for more information on this important event.

Our club will be sending care packages to family members of club members serving overseas in the armed forces.  Ron Pierre said volunteers are needed to cover the cost of items in the care packages, as well as for packing the boxes.  This form is available to provide information on those to whom a care package should be sent.  Please complete and return to Ron to ensure your family member is included in this special project.

A Foundation/Membership Super Seminar will be held on August 13th at the Humboldt County Office of Education from 8am-4pm.  The cost is $25.  Registration is online at or by contacting Sandie Krutz at 707.837.5210 or

President Pierson had intended to provide an overview of our new club database, but there were issues with the wireless network.  Stay tuned for a demonstration of this great new tool at a future meeting.

Dave Perris gave his craft talk, complete with very entertaining stories from his 30+ years spent with the Eureka Police Department.   As a youngster, Dave enjoyed listening to stories told by local law enforcement at the home of his grandfather.  Dave joined the EPD in 1980 after graduating from the academy.  The first part of his career was spent on patrol before eventually becoming a detective.  He shared how important it was to him to have good mentors, such as Murl Harpham and Charlie Swanson.  He told several colorful stories of how his “mentors” liked to play jokes on him.  He noted that he has participated in the investigation of over 200 homicides and 100 bank robberies.  Dave spent time as the Yurok Tribal Police Chief and currently serves as the Coroner for the County of Humboldt. 


Despite his best efforts to the contrary, Dr. Kim Bauriedel was fined $100 for the recent weeks he spent on a trip to Alaska.  Despite spending time “on official Rotary business” he enjoyed attending a Siberian-Taiwanese wedding.  He also brought back a flag from a Rotary meeting he attended in Anchorage.  President Pierson fined him $100 instead of $145 since part of his trip was spent on “official Rotary business.”

Stacy Lane was fined $145 for her trip to Europe.  Highlights included a trip up the Jungfrau mountain range in Switzerland and witnessing the Italian soccer draft in Milan.

Active community member Bruce Emad was recognized, but not fined, for his fourteen years spent volunteering before retiring from the Planning Commission.  In addition, Bruce has spent time on the St. Joseph’s Hospital Board of Trustees and as a member of the Board of College of the Redwoods.

A two week trip to Crater Lake and Bend, Oregon cost Aaron Tilch $75.  He reported that the Crater Lake area is still inundated with snow from a late winter, but his family had a great time, nonetheless

Tim Foster paid $145 for going to Florida with his family to celebrate his daughter’s graduation from Fortuna High in June.  A fun time was had at Universal Studios, Disney World and of course, at the new Harry Potter Theme Park.  He will soon be moving her to Eugene, where she will be a freshman at the University of Oregon.  Go Ducks!


Rex Bohn, community volunteer extraordinaire and “generally just a good guy,” was our guest speaker.  Rex is also running for the 1st District Supervisor seat on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, on the June 2012 ballot.  He also volunteers at approximately 50 fundraising auctions each year.  This year he is adding approximately 12 more auctions for local schools, with the primary goal to raise money to fund needed art and music programs.  With our club having been instrumental in the development of the Redwood Fields in Cutten, he focused his presentation on the benefit to both the local and North-State area for having such a facility in our community.  Redwood Fields was founded in June of 1999 on a large parcel of land at the end of Fern Street in Cutten.  Over 600 youth sports games, primarily baseball, football and soccer, are held at the complex each year.  Rex stressed the importance of youth sports quoting a statistic that kids involved in an afterschool sports program have a 19% higher chance of graduating from high school than those that don’t. 

In terms of the importance to the community from a fiscal standpoint, he gave an example of a tournament for 12 year-old boys that was recently held at the complex.  Besides one local team from Fortuna, other participant communities included Gridley, Susanville, Chico and Red Bluff, who won the tournament and has now gone on to the state championship in San Bernardino.  If they win at that tournament, they would then travel to Williamsport, Virginia for the Little League National Championship.  As part of the hospitality provided by Redwood Fields, each player from out of the area was given a packet with information on local restaurants, hotels and places to visit in Humboldt.  The tournament players generated revenue to the community, including using 320 hotel room rentals during the course of the tournament.  Further community involvement was provided to visiting teams and their families by a generous oyster BBQ donation from Humboldt Bay Oysters who donated both the oysters and their time.  Having community involvement (and a moderate climate) are important to drawing teams to participate in our tournaments, proving additional out-of-the-area money from visitors.

The annual budget for maintaining the complex is around $37,000.  A large amount of this funding is provided by leasing land on which two cell phone towers are located.  Other funds come from fees for the baseball, soccer and football programs, in addition to site-based field advertising.  He noted that despite averaging 50 inches of rain per year, the water bill to keep the fields green hovers around $3,000.  Currently Redwood Fields is raising money to fund a $305,000 project to provide night lighting in the park.  This would allow over a 20% increase in the number of games that are currently held.  Must Go Lighting, the proposed vendor for the project, also just completed the installation of lighting at HSU’s Redwood Bowl.  In addition to the baseball programs, the last season saw over 550 local youth football players use the fields, as well as approximately 300 players on the complex’s Bocce Ball courts.  Rex mentioned his thanks to our club for also supporting the fields at Washington Elementary and the recently renovated Bud Clooney Field at Eureka High.  Overall goals for the complex include expanding programs, enlarging the soccer program, continuing to provide good examples of sportsmanship to our young folks and encouraging continued positive interaction between the players.

President Pierson ended the meeting with a strike of the hammer to the bell at 1:30pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Stacy Lane