Meeting of the Rotary Club of Eureka
August 26, 2013
Lunch Menu: Salad bar, fresh fruit, pork ribs, Swiss chicken, vegetables, scalloped potatoes, rolls and cheesecake.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Gary Todoroff.
The Invocation was led by Eric Bergel.
Liana Simpson – Old Town Rotary, Les Merrill- Southwest Rotary
Kim Bauriedel introduced his guest Patrick Cleary, Executive Director of Humboldt Area Foundation. Jim Davis introduced Kathy Smith, President/Superintendent of College of the Redwoods. Gregg Gardiner brought two guests- Dr. Ziggy Poterak, a new Pediatrician in Eureka and Arnold Klein, Attorney at Law.
Tim Gallagher, J Hockaday, Jill Macdonald, David Wells, Steve McHaney
Aaron and Jennifer Tilch, Donald and Ruth Ziegenfuss
Two new Rotarians were welcomed to the Rotary Club of Eureka... Dr. Bauriedel introduced Patrick Cleary who moved to Humboldt County from New York City 17 years ago. Patrick is the owner of Lost Coast Communications as well as being the Executive Director of Humboldt Area Foundation. He and his wife own 3 horses, 4 dogs and 1 cat. Patrick is a talented musician.
Jim Davis introduced Kathy Smith, President/Superintendent of College of the Redwoods. Kathy moved here about a year ago from Ukiah and is former President of the Rotary Club of Ukiah. According to Jim, Kathy is probably the only Rotary member who gave her craft talk prior to joining the club. (Kathy was the guest speaker at a previous meeting.) He noted the impact and positive changes Kathy has made at College of the Redwoods.
Former President Tim Gallagher, provided words of wisdom to our new Rotarians.
President Ziggy asked Gregg Gardiner to give the club an update on the Winship project, after first noting that after power washing and cleaning Zane over the past 5 weeks our President feels that chewing gum and skateboarding on the yellow curbs at Zane should be a capital offense.
Gregg noted that at 8pm last night the finishing touches were made to the project. The only thing left to do is install the basketball backboards, which will be here in a week. He reminded the club that at 2:30pm today, is the grand reopening of Winship. He hopes that many Rotarians can attend. In just 5 weeks volunteers installed 7,400 feet of irrigation, rehabbed 4 baseball fields, resurfaced and repaired all of the 2,200 square feet of asphalt, repainted the building and more. He again thanked all of the volunteers and especially the amazing donations made by Jack Rieke at Shafer’s Ace Hardware who donated all of the paint to repaint the entire school in addition to many other supplies. Teen Challenge, Sheriff Downey’s SWAP crew, Faith Center and of course volunteers from the Rotary Club of Eureka worked together to create an amazing project. Safeway and Jay Bahner from J’s RV Center made sure that there were 600 cupcakes to celebrate the ribbon cutting. He said there were a couple of mishaps… he lost the key’s and gas cap to the tractor that Jay Bahner loaned him for the project. Eureka Floor Carpet One had loaned him a dump truck and they managed to bend the tailgate on the first use. Lee Cunningham at Bay Tank fixed the tailgate. On the second use of the dump truck a hydraulic cylinder broke on the truck. He’s hoping that the Sign Smith committee approves a grant application for an LED sign that would be used to communicate to parents of Winship students. The majority of the $40,000 costs are being donated so the sign would end up costing $15,000. He asked for help to write thank you letters to the many volunteers and individuals/businesses who donated goods to the project. In summary this was a $300,00 to $400,00 dollar project that was accomplished by an amazing group effort.
Nick Bertel was signed $50 for the new addition to his family. A little girl, 6 lb.,10 oz. named Kate Bella.
Mindy was fined $50 for her new addition, a 3-year-old Cocker Spaniel that she recently adopted.
Craig Hansen was fined $50 for his recent vacation to England to visit his grandson and from there he and his wife toured Prague and Budapest. He tried to claim it was a work trip but Ziggy wasn’t duped.
Jason Eads was fined $50 for moving his office across the street from Ziggy’s house and potentially bringing down property prices.
$10 to Richard Storre and $10 to Greg Seiler
Our guest speaker was Rob Arkley from Security National. Rob commended the club on a magnificent, impressive project in regards to Winship Middle School.
He said in his opinion the economy is healing. What we experienced was called an economic shock. An Economic Shock leaves long-term consequences and long-term debt. It can devalue currency. However, slowly we are seeing growth.
Security National processes loans from all over the United States. They are seeing people going back to work. On the retail side their office building and mall leasing side has never been busier. He feels good about the economy and is planning accordingly.
He and Cherie have changed their residency to Louisiana which will save them millions of dollars a year in taxes. He said tax policy should maximize returns not drive policy but unfortunately, that’s not what’s happening in California. He feels optimistic about the future. He does feel that the systematic attacks on big banks doesn’t help the rebuilding effort and is in fact destructive. As landlords and a mortgage servicer they see a lot of angry people out there.
In northern California our influence is limited. We cost the State money and don’t have a lot of votes.
He wishes that the Rotary Club of Eureka’s next project would be writing and attending City and County workshops to address the issues of homelessness and drugs in our community. He wants to know why we have so many people with these issues in our community. He’s asked a number of people but nobody seems to have answers. He feels that we are allowing these issues to destroy our community. He has people visit from out of town and there are people sleeping in his doorway on 5th Street. To him this should be project #1 for all business people.
He said Humboldt County has an undeveloped port and developing that port can generate an extraordinary rate of return. He questioned the recent purchase by the Harbor District of a toxic site. He said they purchased no insurance and the State Water Board is all over it. He feels that we will be paying out money we don’t have for many years because of this purchase.
He said regarding the viability of the railroad… he and Cherie have significant holdings in Omaha and significant connections with Union Pacific. He said they are working on bringing the railroad here. They know what the costs are and it is a fraction of what is being reported. They feel it is viable. The biggest obstacle is the timeline. New members are coming on the Coastal Commission board that will give us a fair hearing. He feels there are great opportunities ahead.
His daughter recently graduated law school and is now an attorney. She also recently became engaged to Mike Holland, the son of a local dentist. She and her fiancé will be moving back to Eureka.
We need to make Eureka attractive. We need to deal with our homeless and drug addict issues to help all businesses. He is optimistic about the future of Humboldt County and California.
He then answered a few questions. He was asked if the Arkley Center would reopen and he said it would at some point. He just was tired of losing ½ a million a year. He said I understand that the ballet won’t be profitable but I know that the theater itself can be profitable. He’s not focused on it at the moment because he has so many other things going on but they will reopen at some point.
Meeting adjourned at 1:30pm.