Wednesday, October 11, 2023
Town Hall Meeting
Join President Ann and our Board of Directors as we look at our projects and goals for the rest of the year. We’re doing great and have amazing members, new and old, stepping up and bringing forward new energy and ideas. This is your chance to either get more help with your projects or get more involved with a project that speaks to you.
There will be a special raffle based on your participation on Wednesday. I promise you won’t want to miss this opportunity!!
Click here for the current calendar (Subject to updates).
UPCOMING SOCIALS & PROJECTS & EVENTS
Redwood Empire Food Bank – 2nd Wednesday of the month. The next one is October 11th – 5 PM – 7 PM
SRJC Rotaract Fundraiser – You can make your donations here: Click here to donate
SRJC and Sonoma State Rotaract members walked to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on Saturday, September 23rd. If you would like to donate, you can make a donation here.
NOTE: Club Dark & Social – On the 5th Wednesday of a month, the Club is dark. There will be a social on the following Saturday each month, there is a 5th Wednesday.
For more details and additional events, see the Announcements and Such section below.
More socials, projects, & events coming soon!
- CANCELLED: The Meat Auction will be on October 15th at Kim Murphy’s Party Pad. Please plan on attending. Any party held at a pad promises to be a good one!
- The Golf Tourney to support Ukraine refugees. October 13th. You can help them by going to https://ukrainianfamilyaid.org/ to sign up for the golf tournament or the dinner.
See the Announcements section below.
Opening the Meeting
President Ann Gospe opened up the meeting by inviting Bill Hatcher up to do the Pledge of Allegiance, the Four-Way Test and the opening thought. As he was making his way up front, this bulletin writer was focused on the spiciness of the rice. Like, wow. It was spicier than Robert in a bathrobe. At any rate, Bill knocked the pledge and the Four-Way Test out of the park. In fact, I nominate Bill to do the Four-Way Test every week. Let’s not mess with greatness. Bill’s opening thoughts were quotes about leadership, including this gem from Lao Tzu: “Leadership has been defined as the ability to hide your panic from others.” If this is the case, then I’m an excellent leader.
Captain Sean Kelsey, from the Salvation Army, was introduced as a visiting Rotarian and will be joining our club. Captain Kelsey said he’s been in Palm Springs, El Cajon, and Los Angeles. Someone buy that guy a glass of wine. He can finally relax a bit.
When your program speaker is a state Senator, people suddenly want to bring guests. Steve Olsen introduced Amy Jones Kerr, Superintendent of the Rincon Valley School District, and his daughter Jennifer Cardova, an educator in Roseland, as his guests. Heather Thurber introduced Joe Schneider from the North Bay Association of Realtors and we had two community members who crashed the party to hear Senator McGuire speak. Renee Blair and Elicia Saal shared they are part of a group called the Mama Bear Collective who advocate for child victims of domestic violence. They were there to thank Senator McGuire for his support.
Folks, it was not a sunny day at Rotary. Past President Kris Anderson shared that her husband was ill and at Kaiser undergoing tests to figure out what is wrong. She wasn’t sure yet what was causing the illness but that it was “something in the gut area.” Kris will keep us posted on how he is doing.
Rich Rossi then shared that his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer this past week. Fortunately, the cancer appears to be very treatable and she will start treatment in the next couple of weeks.
Rich Rossi was the man in charge of the marbles this week and it was exciting because there were only TWO MARBLES LEFT with a whopping $299 to be won! Anticipation hung in the air like the stench of a teenager’s room. The numbers were called out and my numbers were not called. Which frankly sucked. But Past Past President Ray had the winning ticket and, having a 50-50 shot at winning three hundred bucks had to feel pretty good. Alas, he was as lucky as a bald man who won a comb. He pulled the last yellow marble and that $10 never hit his pocket but instead went straight into the pail for Polio.
Stay tuned for next week when only one marble left means an all-out brawl could break out at any moment. Or we add all of the marbles back again. I forget.
Keven Brown was back to honor Rotarians with October birthdays. Only three Rotarians were brave enough to admit they’re getting old. Kris Anderson, John Poremba and President Ann all got up to be serenaded. And I must admit, after Keven gave everyone the key in which to start, we didn’t sound half-bad! We didn’t sound half-good either, but it wasn’t terrible! Happy Birthday, Rotarians!
President Ann started off by announcing that the Meat Auction will NOT be held on October 15th as previously announced. It turns out that while Rotarians like to buy meat, they don’t like to buy meat on a Sunday afternoon. So, the social committee will be looking to return to our roots by having it on a Thursday night. Stay tuned for a new date! No word if it will still be at the Party Pad. I hope so. I like Party Pads.
Ann then reminded us of the Pepperwood hands on project on Saturday and the upcoming Food Bank night. Be there or be square.
Good old Fred Levin then got up to tell us about the Veterans Event happening on Friday, November 10th at The Iron & Vine at the Bennett Valley Golf Club. We are assuming you all know where that is. A buffet lunch will begin at noon with the program starting at 12:30pm. Congressman Mike Thompson has been invited to be the keynote speaker. He hasn’t accepted so the keynote speaker could be you. Or me. Stay tuned on that. Contact Casey D’Angelo for ticket information.
Julia Parranto then got up to remind us she still has some Rotarians at Work shirts for a $20 donation to the club and then reminded us of the Stargazing Social/Fundraiser/BBQ that will be held on October 4th and will start at 4:30pm. She’s still taking signups but if you’re reading this on the website, it’s probably too late. Maybe just look up in the sky and ooh and aah on your own.
At about this point, Ann began talking again but I totally zoned her out so I don’t know what she said. She then invited Jeff Gospe up to give us the 100th update on Ukraine. Denys Andrushchenko, from the Rotary Club of Cherkasky-Centre in the Ukraine will be in Northern California later this month. He will be visiting our club on the 25th and there may be a reception for him at the Gospe Ranch on the 22nd. Stay tuned!
A guy who was sitting at the next table in a bow tie caught my attention when I first sat down. It turns out he’s a Rotarian in our club and his name is Wes Daniels (thank you, DACdb!). At any rate, Wes shared that his daughter got married in June and that he spent her honeymoon in Italy. They then somehow got to Africa for three weeks and, despite blowing through his life savings this summer, he donated $250 towards a Paul Harris.
Curt Groninga went on a very long walk exploring the great vastness of the Pacific Northwest. He spent 7-8 weeks hiking and watching mediocre college football teams. He survived and made his way back to Rotary where he donated $250 to Jeff Gospe Ukraine.
Jeannie Levin then announced that her daughter, who is a winemaker, won some prestigious awards at the Harvest Festival. Interestingly, Fred didn’t say a word. At least Jeannie was proud enough to donate $100 to the club. I’ll drink to that!
Finally, Keven Brown announced that the opening of the Symphony season is this weekend followed by some fancy musical words that I couldn’t understand, and ended by stating that tickets are still available. He also mentioned that Art Trails is kicking off around the area and encouraged us to barge into the artists homes and studios. He then donated $100 to Jeff Gospe Ukraine.
Right before 1pm, Senator Mike McGuire strode into the room like a lion claiming its territory and, in typical Mike McGuire fashion, took over the room and covered a number of relevant topics. But first he announced that he was an 11-year member of the Noon Club in Healdsburg where he still gets fined whenever he shows up. He’s been a Rotarian since he was 21 which means he’s been the youngest member of that club for 23 years now.
Anyways, he started off by giving us an overview of his district which is pretty damn big because only a few hillbillies live in the areas north of Santa Rosa. [Editor’s note: This is a joke. This bulletin writer lives north of Santa Rosa and is only half hillbilly] He did say that the district is a microcosm of America with many political beliefs, which I assume he means those who have “Bigfoot for President” bumper stickers on their car.
He then spoke about the following topics in rapid-fire succession:
Jobs: California is on pace have more jobs than at any point in history with 3.2 million jobs by early 2024.
Economy: This year California took in $154 Billion in tourism spending – the highest ever and seven economic sectors experiencing record growth.
Transportation: The Hwy 101 portion between Marin and Sonoma county will finally be expanded to 3 lanes in both directions by the end of 2024. It only took 1,000 years to do it. The SMART train through Windsor has been fully funded and the expansion to Healdsburg will be fully funded by 2025 (he promises!). The biggest expense is the retrofitting of the bridge across the Russian River. And the stretch of Hwy 37 will be the focus over the next several years as they will raise the highway out of the flood plain and, much later, eventually build a bridge from Sears Point to Novato to the tune of $9 billion.
Climate Crisis: California has ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gases, reduce oil consumption and install quick charging car stations throughout the state.
Schools: California went from dead last in per pupil spending in 2015 ($8,931) to top 10 in 2024 ($23,723) because “we have to fund our schools.” He touted support for community colleges as a way to reduce student debt (one of the largest drivers of bankruptcy), providing free meals for every child in public schools, and how 96% of all schools now have high speed internet.
Homelessness and housing issues: The Senator spoke about a bunch of ways they are addressing this from building more housing and housing for those suffering from mental illness and addiction to strengthening conservatorship laws that would allow judges to compel an individual to treatment for up to 24 months. They have also added psychosis and addiction to the official definition of disabled to open up more support. 30-40% of the homeless won’t be housed in traditional ways and they are looking at tougher laws to help.
Wildfires: The Senator got emotional when talking about the impact of fires and said that the state has contracted with 11,300 CalFire Fire Fighters (say that 10 times fast), up from 6,700. In the next three years they will have 12,300 CalFire Fire Fighters. They have also worked with the Feds to have better land management and bought more aerial firefighting planes and helicopters. More controlled burns and technology upgrades have also happened.
Insurance: Finally, the Senator acknowledged the insurance hikes and difficulty in obtaining insurance and said the state is poised to compel any insurance provider that is writing auto insurance policies to also offer home insurance policies as well.
Senator McGuire then took questions until President Ann gave him the hook for talking too long. Oh, the irony.
(No program’s slides this week)
Club Job Openings:
Need a person on the board for Vocational Service Recognition
Click on the picture below to see more fun pictures from the meeting.
Governor, District 5130
Debi Zaft P.O. Box 505 Santa Rosa, CA 95402
Board of Directors
Ann Gospe – President
Casey D’Angelo – President Elect
(awaiting confirmation) – President Elect Nominee
Kris Anderson – Past President
Debi Zaft – Secretary
Karen Ball – Treasurer
Robert Pierce – Sergeant At Arms
Julia Parranto – Club Service- Membership
(Open) – Club Service – Club Meetings
Matthew Henry – Club Service – Fund Raising
Charlie Howard-Gibbon – Club Services – Local Service
(Open) – Club Service – Records and Outreach
(Open) – Member Involvement
(Open) — Community – Service – Youth
(Open) – Vocational Service
Scott Bartley – International Service
Paul Hamilton – Foundation Representative
DIGITAL EDITION No. 519, October 4, 2023 EDITOR: Matthew Henry PHOTOGRAPHER: Richard Rossi & Jeff Gospe PUBLISHER: Richard Lazovick