Sep 30, 2013

Meeting of the Rotary Club of Eureka
September 30, 2013

Salute and Invocation
Past President Nancy Dean led the flag salute and John Gierek offered a prayer of thanks to our benevolent Creator.

Visiting Rotarians

Guests of Rotarians
Murl Harpham introduced our new Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills and wife Cathy. They will soon be relocating from San Diego to Humboldt County.
 We offered a warm welcome and expressed the hope the new chief will join Eureka Rotary.  Greg Gardiner re-introduced his guests, Dr. Kitty Poterack and Arnold Klein.

John Bradley needed volunteers for 4:30pm next Thursday at Humboldt Moving and Storage to help with Backpacks for Kids.  Looks like he got them—but anyone else who would like to help can contact John.  Next week Mindy Bussman will be here with a sign-up sheet for the next year.

G If you think of something fun and safe for a teen, call Greg @ 444 9313 (home) or 845 3041 (cell).
reg Williston said our exchange student Daniel Samokhzalov needs some activities to counteract culture shock.

Pat Folkins said our Foundation dinner is November 9th in Fortuna. More details forthcoming, but save the date.

Greg Gardiner reported to us on the revision of our Bylaws.  Why do we need changes in the Bylaws? Greg said they are not in full compliance with Rotary International, neither aligned with our own Constitution.  Hence his committee has been working hard, making suggestions for changes and submitting them to Jason Eads for legal review.  Recently the revised Bylaws were e-mailed out to all club members. In two weeks we will review changes in the Bylaws during our meeting.  It will likely take 3 weeks to complete these changes and a quorum must be present in order to make them (one third of our total club membership).  Final approval of the Bylaw changes must come from two thirds of our members.

Some of the areas to be changed will be the election of Directors and Officers including the succession of president and dates for elections.  Efforts are also being made to streamline the membership process. “Methuselah would be aged by the time he got through the current membership process,” said Greg. 

 President Ziggy stopped Greg and encouraged him to allow time to admit our newest member, Lisa Corral, who works with the Red Lion Inn as Director of Sales.  Lisa is involved in Soroptimist International and is a mom, wife and grandmother.

Greg then returned to the podium to explain the new streamlined membership process. Our goal is for it to be done in three weeks from start to finish.  Other changes include things like Rotaract members, who “age out” and will be able to become Rotary members with some exemptions from fines and fees.

For complete details on our Bylaws changes, see our Web page.  It has a link titled “Governance Documents.”  This link has our current Bylaws, but also New Draft Bylaws, our Constitution, New Member Applications and other links.

Bob Palmrose and Dennis Hunter won today’s raffle.

Steve Justus spoke to us about health care and especially The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare, a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.

By October 1, 2013, every business will have to give employees notice that there is available to them a health insurance exchange.  Anyone with fifty full time employees or the equivalent will be required to provide health insurance for those employees.  Steve thought that health care costs might become lower in other states, but not in California.  Open enrollment is going to be from January to March of next year.

What is the California Health Care Exchange?  It exists more or less in cyber-space according to Steve.  It essentially contains a lot of information on laws coming into effect that regulate health care on many levels.  The private market, at least for now, will stay intact with regard to health care and insurance.  However, many changes are coming: for example, the insurers can not ask about pre-existing conditions and they must cover ten essential health benefits.  ACA will also limit the premium increase between young and older clients to 3 times for the latter.  This will lower rates for older folks, but likely increase it for younger ones.  Steve said that this is the biggest social transition we have faced in a very long time.

If you know someone who would make a good Rotarian, bring him or her next week, says President Ziggy. 

Respectfully Submitted,
Dan Price

Sep 23, 2013

Meeting of the Rotary Club of Eureka
September 23, 2013

Pledge and Invocation
Our club bell is back and it rang out loudly at the hand of President Ziggy. (Moral to the story: never trust a stolen bell to the bartender.) Brian Papstein led the pledge of allegiance and Gary Todoroff the prayer. Gary suggested that the apostle Paul might have had Rotarians in mind when he wrote, “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith” (II Thessalonians 1: 11).

Student Guest
Dan, our Rotary exchange student from Russia, came forward to address us briefly. 

Visiting Rotarians

Guests of Rotarians
Greg Gardiner brought a trio of guests: Kitty Podarak, Russ Geritt and Arnold Klein. 

Greg’s wife, Kathy Cloney-Gardiner, introduced her guest, Dr. Tish Nielsen.

Sign Smith Foundation grants are open to applications for capital improvement projects, according to past President Carlton Nielsen.

Kathy Cloney-Gardiner “finally” showed up and received her Rotary T-shirt from President Ziggy.

Tim Foster was fined for being in Bend Oregon riding his mountain bike rather than at Rotary; his excuse, he bought a house at Bend and has been spending a lot of time there. His house purchase earned him a Rotary T-shirt.

Ken Stoddard got fined $50 for being a Red Sox fan.

Cruising over the finish line in Race #15
Stacy Lane became a legend (and televised at that!), cheering on Oracle’s yacht to two wins in Sunday’s America’s Cup challenge in San Francisco.

Rick Littlefield and wife got recognition over the weekend for their membership in the Redwood Art association. Rick’s wife Betty generously donated money to help Redwood Art Association buy a new building.

Brian Papstein stood tall and admitted to rooting for the Giants, the A’s and Raiders, because he has those three teams’ games on his radio stations. That was warrant for a $50 fine.

Gary Todoroff is going to Swaziland in January to work for a few weeks in their communications department spelling for someone who is going to have a baby (he’s not going to be the midwife). That earned him a $50 fine.

Greg Gardiner says that we will soon revise our by-laws to bring us into conformity to the Rotary Constitution. He promised it would be an exciting time and there will be no recognitions, but there will be a speaker.

Jay Bahner was recognized by President Ziggy of being a great prognosticator, but admitted to not doing well last weekend. The week before, however he admitted he was a big winner. He got a fine for the previous week’s good fortune.

Finally, Pastor Matt Messner received free recognition on behalf of his congregation and all they did for Winship Middle School clean up. Our club and especially Principal Kathy clapped with enthusiasm and appreciation.

Raffle winners were Jack Macdonald and Jim Davis.

Speaker of the day was Yana Valachovic from the University of California (UC) Cooperative extension program in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. This program is one hundred years old this year. The Humboldt County Farm Bureau had a lot to do with founding the UC Cooperative extension in our county along with land grants resulting from the Morril Act, Hatch Act and Smith-Lever Act over a hundred years ago. She mentioned that timber has always been our biggest producer, but things change. For examples, not only has timber declined but also, at one time potatoes were a big crop in Humboldt, but not today.  We continue to have agricultural industries like cattle, sheep, and orchard fruits like apples, pears, and other crops (smoked and not) growing strong in the north coast.

Yana showed a number of agricultural pictures from the turn of the century (1900 not 2000), reminding us that the agricultural base is still the foundation of our local economy. She pointed out that Humboldt had been a big population center about 100 years ago. In fact, Humboldt was number one in the state in dairy production and highly ranked in many other agricultural products about a century ago. So the Humboldt County Farm Bureau was formed in 1913. It was the second in nation.

4-H was founded in Ohio in 1902. The basic philosophy is hands-on practice and learn-by-doing. The first 4-H clubs in California were founded in Arcata, Ferndale and Fortuna. Along with 4-H came the concept of early youth agricultural education. Today groups like Farm Bureau and 4-H do a lot of research for local agricultural practices. Leadership development and community development are their major thrusts. Poultry is the most popular agricultural area in 4-H today. Through 4-H and other organizations her office currently sustains twelve after school programs.

From the 1930’s-2010 Humboldt County has not grown like other counties in the north state. Why not? No interstate through our county and a desire to resist growth. This can be viewed as good or bad depending on your business and political persuasions.

The Eureka office of the Farm Bureau is currently located at 5630 S. Broadway in the County of Humboldt Agricultural Center. 

Yana closed with a quote that affirmed the “best crops” are the boys and girls who are the future farmers and thus the foundation of America’s agriculture.

If you know of someone who would make a good Rotarian bring him or her around, said President Ziggy in closing.

Respectfully Submitted,
Dan Price

Sep 16, 2013

Meeting of the Rotary Club of Eureka
September 16, 2013 
President Ziggy, lacking a bell, shouted us to order on a sunny Monday afternoon. He then explained the absence of the bell by reading a letter from a member with the Southwest Club; the brigand had stolen it and they were holding the bell ransom. President Ziggy agreed to pay the money to free the bell because he (or someone) forgot to lock it up.

Pledge and Invocation 
Jason Eads led the pledge of allegiance and Greg Williston during the prayer encouraged us to depend on miracles. President Ziggy would appreciate prayers for his wife Ruth who is currently in St. Joseph Hospital.

Student Guests 
Our exchange student, Dan “Smith” from Russia greeted us warmly –in English—mostly.

Visiting Rotarians 
Mary Ann Rhodes from Eugene, Oregon Airport Club came with her brother-in-law and guest Hon. Christopher Wilson and Father Centurio Olaboro from Tororo, Uganda.

Guests of Rotarians 
Greg Williston introduced Don Smullin new Executive Director of Eureka Chamber of Commerce. 

Kim Bauriedel introduced Tom Strickland who is director of the Boys Scouts of America Pacific Rivers District. 

Tom McMurray introduced his niece, Ainsley Duncan.

Greg Gardiner brought three guests: Kitty Poteract, Arnold Klein and Dean Herst.

Jason Eads introduced his guest, John Ford, of AAA.

Greg Gardiner asked Nancy Dean to come up and be recognized. Nancy has been very generous to the Rotary Foundation and got a special pin, having donated over $5,000.

Mary Ann Rhodes introduced a good friend from Uganda where people from her club now visit every year with an ‘adopt a village’ program. Her friend is Father Centurio Olaboro from Tororo, Uganda. Father Olaboro, a Roman Catholic Priest, is also a commissioner for peace and justice in Uganda. He said we can become partners and make children smile; this can happen if we use intelligent means to resolve conflicts and establish meaningful relationships.

John Bradley will soon receive the Boys and Girls Club Man of the Year award. He was humble about being so recognized, nevertheless he bought a tee shirt. Carlton Nielsen had a water heater blow and could not make it, and others like Jesse Evansizer were also absent. Growing frustrated, the President seized upon Bruce Rupp, who confessed to visiting a recently  born grand child (in England no less) and paid $50. Will Kay was also fined for giving stingy counsel to Bruce.

Tony Smithers has worked with the Tourism Bureau since 1999, having grabbed the baton from Don Leonard. His assignment is to market Humboldt County as a tourist destination, in other words to help us compete with places like Portland and Las Vegas. In order to do that a new assessment on hotel rooms in Humboldt has been levied to help us market our county. He mentioned that Humboldt tourism is pushing toward 320 million dollars per year. (About 50 million of the revenue is from the lodging sector). Tony and others with the Tourism Bureau assembled owners in the lodging industry thus forming the Humboldt Lodging Alliance; it was created to keep track of the funds from the assessments (see their web site at This ‘tourism’ assessment amounted to a 2% surcharge. Add this to the 10% bed tax on the price of a room in Humboldt and this means 12% is added to the price of a room each night. Is this too steep for the customers? Apparently not, he said.

Of the assessment monies, 25% of these funds are set aside for local use. For example, environmental tourism is a new market niche, and buses are now driving around the Bay Area that say, “Get away to the Redwoods.” Females are especially targeted since they are the chief planners of vacations. Shoulder season (fall and spring) tourists are especially needed because summer tourists tend to keep our lodgings occupied. The Community Tourism program is one way the 25% of these assessment funds are used. For example, among other things, these funds can be used to encourage ‘pet travel.’ Dogs are big when it comes to traveling with a non-complaining sojourner.

The Bureau was approached by Stanford University who wanted to get some Chinese tourists and exchange students here to see the redwoods. Recently 38 provincial Chinese leaders from Guangdong Province came here to see the redwoods. They went to Founders Grove and fell in love with our big trees. They also visited the Gem and Mineral Shop, oyster beds (and bars?) and other venues. All of this leads to the conclusion that China is an exciting prospective market for Humboldt County.

If you know of someone who would make a good Rotarian, bring him or her to lunch, said President Ziggy in closing.

Respectfully Submitted,
Dan Price

Sep 9, 2013

Meeting of the Rotary Club of Eureka

September 9, 2013

Today’s menu: Meat (rumored to be beef) in brown gravy, chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad bar and chocolate cake with marshmallow frosting for dessert. 

Dennis Hunter led the pledge of allegiance. 

Dan Heinen told the story of 40 marines who saved a roomful of infants and toddlers by carrying them outside during the 911 attack on the Pentagon. He then asked for a prayer for our servicemen. 

President Ziggy called up our exchange student from Russia, Dan, who presented the club with a book about Владивосток and a Russian Flag.  Ziggy pronounced his last name as “Smith” because he had trouble with hard to spell names. 

Carlton Nielson came to the podium to give a brief history of the Sign Smith Fund and announced a firm deadline for applications of October 1st, close of business.  Requests must be for capital expenditures, not for salaries or other expenses. 

Then, in a stunning turn of events Stacy Lane was awarded her Blue Badge.  Odds-makers were aghast, having placed bets of 10 to one against. 

Steve Beckman and his son, who was in town for a visit.

Carol Rische discussed the rules of the small grants committee.  Emphasis would be placed on lasting value, and focus would be on youth, seniors, community, health, and literacy.  Deadlines for grants are 9/30/13, 1/31/14, and 5/31/14. 

Dave Dillon came up to recognize a mystery Rotarian who was leaving the area.  This person had graduated from Pacific University with a degree in Optometry, served in the army in Ft. Lewis Washington as an optometrist, moved to Eureka and took over Dr. Bartlett’s practice.  He joined Rotary in 1969 and was president in 1978-9. If you guessed Tim Gallagher, you’re 20-20.  Tim is moving to Boulder Colorado to be with his 3 children and 8 grandchildren.  He received a “standing O”. 

Dennis Hunter was recognized for winning 2nd prize at the Backpacks for Kids Raffle.  It was a $500 gift certificate to Pierson’s.  He happily paid $150 for a Rotary T shirt. Ok, maybe not so happily.  That was it for “Recognition”. 

Guest Speaker
After the Spengler Raffle drawing Mathew Owen introduced developer Kurt Kramer.  Kurt grew up in Eureka and built his first house in Field’s Landing when he was 20.  After accumulating some capital as a contractor, he formed an investment company.   

His current holdings include the Healy Building, the Professional Building, the Vance Hotel, 200 units of apartments in Arcata, the Meadows Retirement Building, and a new office building on Myrtle.  He is the contractor for the Betty Kwan Chin Day Center on 7th street.  He emphasized what a great project this was, and how it would help the homeless. 

McKay Ranch, surrounding Cutten's Redwood Fields.
He’s also involved in plans for a subdivision in the McKay tract in Cutten.  It will be a 15 year project.  He said he enjoys the challenge of renovating old buildings and being able to work with his hands.  For a more lengthy and nuanced version of the meeting, show up next time.

Submitted by Hank Ingham

Sep 6, 2013

Meeting of the Rotary Club of Eureka
September 2, 2013

The club was dark today in honor of the Labor Day holiday.