Home Page Stories
Hello!  👋🏼
Did you see our (winning!) exhibit at the Santa Cruz Co. Fair Holiday Lights? Or maybe our sign in Aptos, & that's why you are visiting our website? Well, WELCOME!!! 
We are Capitola-Aptos Rotary! 
We are a non profit organization of like minded community leaders who want to have fellowship and be of service. 
Our club was chartered in 1965 as the Rotary of Mid County, and we became Rotary of Capitola-Aptos in the 1980's.  We are part of Rotary International's District 5170 (https://rotarydistrict5170.org/), Area 7 (which is all seven of the Santa Cruz County Rotary Clubs!). 
The programs that we are most proud of are as follows: 
1. Community Grants
The open application period is usually in Fall and local non-profits complete an application telling us about their organization and what they would be doing with the money if they are chosen. 
On Dec. 8, 2022 we gave out our most recent year's Community Grants. We gave out over $18,000 to this year's twelve non-profit recipients!  The 2022 focus that our club board & grant committee identified as top priority were food insecurity, mental health, children's issues and protection for parents & children (domestic violence). 

In 2022 our Grant Recipient organizations were: 

For Kids Foundation Monterey Bay https://www.forkidsfoundationmontereybay.org/
Grey Bears  https://greybears.org/
Monarch Services https://www.monarchscc.org/
Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes  https://www.pvloavesandfishes.org/
Safe Schools Project  https://safeschoolsproject.org/
Santa Cruz Symphony  https://santacruzsymphony.org/classical-music-classrooms 
Veterans Memorial Building:  https://www.veteranshall.org/revised-home-page/
Volunteer Center, Literacy Project:  https://scvolunteercenter.org/programs/literacy-program/
Siena House  https://www.sienahouse.org/what-we-do
Teen Kitchen Project  https://teenkitchenproject.org/about-us/
Walnut Avenue Center   http://www.wafwc.org/whoweare
Your Future Is Our Business  https://yfiob.org/about-us/
Meals on Wheels of Santa Cruz County   https://communitybridges.org/mealsonwheels/

Grant Recipient Organizations with Co-Pres Kendra
To support our Community Grants Program, our members pay annual and quarterly dues, weekly meeting fees, and this is in addition to any annual donations our members make. We also hold a few events annually that raise more money, which we then give away! 💸💰💸
🍻🎆 4th of July Beer Booth: 🎇🍻  After the Aptos World's Shortest Parade we sell beer and hard seltzers in the Aptos Village Party in the Park.  So every time you see us after the 4th of July parade buy an extra beer and leave a tip, since all the funds we raise support your local community! 
🍽️🎤Annual Dinner & Roast:🍽️🎤 in the late fall we hold a gala where a local community member is roasted at a gourmet plated dinner. 
🏓🎾 Pickleball Tournament:🎾🏓 2022 was our inaugural pickleball tournament and the event went so well we'll be holding our 2nd annual Pickleball in the Park Tournament in September 2023. 
🐎🌹Kentucky Derby Party: 🌹🐎 In 2023 we'll be holding our inaugural Kentucky Derby Party! Stay tuned for more details but put May 6, 2023 on your calendar!   
We have also fundraised and funded some very special large projects over the last decade alone! 
Sgt. Gutzwiller Memorial at Willowbrook Park: In March 2022 an initial sponsorship of the playground renovation for $50,000 was made, & then an additional $1,000 was given---the proceeds from our Inaugural Pickleball in the Park Fundraiser held in May 2022 at the Willowbrook Park newly resurfaced Courts! 
2. High School Scholarships
 We give about $6000 annually to students who are graduating from Aptos & Soquel High Schools.  To receive these scholarships students apply & write an essay, then once they are chosen they must come visit one of our club meetings to meet us & tell us about themselves & their plans! They also must provide proof of enrollment & grades to Treasurer Julie for a check to be cut, which goes directly to their institution of higher education. 
We also have a special scholarship called the John Fisher Scholarship---in honor of Past District Governor, RotaCare Bay Area Founder and our dear Rotarian Emeritus, John Fisher (1922-2020).
John is in the center, seated, in the blue blazer. Here he is pictured with fellow Rotarians at his 95th birthday celebration in 2017. 
A little about our dear John: 
John was active in Rotary for over 60 years, achieving perfect attendance for decades! John served as Club President in Cupertino (1966-67) and again for the Capitola/Aptos Club (1981-82). In 1988-89 he was named as District Governor of Rotary District 5170. John was a founding member of the RotaCare Free Clinics, providing no-cost medical treatment to the uninsured and working poor in the Bay Area, including Santa Cruz. RotaCare was a vision John brought to reality. John served as an active member of the RotaCare Bay Area Board of Directors from its inception. In 2019 he was honored with the RotaCare Lifetime Volunteer Award for his 30 years of service.
In 2000, John was a recipient of the KSBW distinguished Jefferson Award presented to those who have exhibited outstanding service to their community as a volunteer. He traveled to Washington, D.C. to receive this award in the chambers of the U.S. Supreme Court. 
We established the John Fisher Scholarship after John's passing and locally graduating high school students from Aptos & Soquel High Schools who are going to be attending Cabrillo College as the first part of furthering their higher education. 
3. Piatt (pronounced Pie-IT) Endowment at UCSC 
Capitola-Aptos Rotarian Henry Piatt and his wife Vera were children of Mid-America. Vera was born in Iowa in 1907 and Henry, a bit
earlier, in Missouri. In the late 1920's Henry was traveling the world with the U.S. Navy when he was stricken with Tuberculosis and
hospitalized for treatment in a Colorado military facility. Vera was a nurse in that hospital. They fell in love, Vera resigned her commission and after Henry's recovery began their lifelong marriage, which brought them to Sacramento.
Henry's business relationships led him to his first Rotary Club where he thrived in the "Service Above Self" philosophy. After relocating to Aptos, he became a member of The Rotary Club of Soquel (now The Rotary Club of Capitola/Aptos) in 1965, and remained a member until his death in 1984. His personable soft-spoken manner combined with vision & common sense made him a popular Rotarian and accounted for his long service as Club Secretary where he guided many Club Presidents during the 70's & 80's. Henry's vision of a Club Foundation to extend its capabilities to serve the community came to fruition, and in 1986 Vera established the Piatt Trust, which culminated in the Graduate Fellowship as it exists today. Vera passed on in 2007.
When asked why a graduate fellowship? Henry replied "I want to fund our community's best and brightest!"

Henry and Vera Piatt Fellowship is for Graduate Studies in the STEM Disciplines. The Piatt Fellowship provides a single award annually of $15,000 to a graduate of a Santa Cruz County Public High School who is pursuing a graduate degree at UC Santa Cruz in one of the science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) disciplines during the academic year following their application. 🧬🔬🧫🧪🔭

The Henry and Vera Piatt Fellows (as endowed with Capitola-Aptos Rotary Club) are:
♦   Kevin Weatherwax (2022-2023) 
♦   Megan Durham (2021-2022)
♦   John Wenger (2020-2021)
♦   Veronica Urabe (2019-2020)
♦   Alexey Munishkin (2018-2019)
♦   Chad Townsend (2017-2018)
♦   Keelan Guiley, Rubin Lab (2016-2017)
♦   Christopher Deming, Chen Lab (2015-2016)
♦   Kenji Kurita, Linington lab (2014-2015)
♦   Susanna "Susy" Honig (2013-2014) 
4. Adopt-A-Beach and Quarterly Beach Cleanups: Rio Del Mar State Beach 🚮🚭🪣🚯♻️
We partnered with Save Our Shores (SOS) and have adopted Rio Del Mar State Beach in Aptos! Prior to the storm of January 2023 we even had a sign! 
Adopting a beach means we do quarterly beach clean ups at our designated location. 
What is a Rotary Meeting? 
Want to know what to expect?! Currently Rotarians arrive on Thursday's around noon and first check in and pay for lunch, this is all done with our very friendly treasurer, Julie! (Sometimes Rich or Lowry will act as treasurer in Julie's absence!) 
After you check in with Julie you will see the buffet lunch, which is served right around 12:10pm!  Fill your plate and take a seat in our meeting room. We call our meetings to order at 12:30pm sharp! 
Our meetings start with the Pledge of Allegiance, our club song which is called "The Welcome Song!" with musical accompaniment by our in-house band; Sam Nigh on the guitar, Al DeCamara on the keyboard and sometimes Art Dover joins them on the Sax! Additionally to The Welcome Song, when Sam Nigh is in attendance we also sing an original song he wrote called "The Four Way Test Song" which is sung to the melody of Running Bear. 
Art Dover, Sam Nigh & Al DeCamara
After the song we introduce any visitors or guest Rotarians who are visiting from other clubs then we do club announcements.  After announcements we kick it over to that week's detective.  The detective changes each week as assigned by Detective Coordinator Trish Glassey. The job of the detective is to raise some money for our club, the goal is to raise about $100 per meeting in $10 fine's. Usually the detective either lets us brag, or "outs" us on something proud that has happened in our life or the lives of our immediate family (i.e. a new grandchild being born, a child graduating from high school or college, an award a Rotarian has won in the community). Or they run a pop quiz style Q&A on a topic of the day, usually something that happened on that day in historic years. Like history of Labor Day, or a memory from one's childhood Christmases, or a story from a summer vacation taken in years past! Usually only members are fined, we let guests off the hook unless they ask to participate! 
Then right at 1pm sharp we turn it over to the day's Speaker. The Speaker Calendar can be found on our website menu on the tab called Calendar, or you can find it here: https://capitolaaptosrotary.org/events/calendar 
The calendar lists who the day's scheduled speaker is, and the topic they will be speaking on!  Huge shout out to our Speaker Coordinator, Rotarian Anissa Novak who keeps the schedule booked and also keeps us entertained with really interesting and educational topics! 
The speaker talks until we adjourn at 1:30pm sharp!  Right at the end of our meeting we run a little raffle---that each member or guest can pay $3 to enter upon that day's registration with Treasurer Julie!  The weekly payout is $25, but if the winner wasn't present the previous week the pot rolls over to the next week so upon entry you'll see a sign saying what the week's jackpot amount is! 
We hope this has given you a little intro to our Rotary Club, what our meetings look like and what we do in the community. If you want to join us in person we'd love to have you! Check the calendar for our meeting location! 
Or if you want to join us via Zoom, the link is on our homepage!  
We look forward to meeting you! 
--Presidents Kendra & Laura on behalf of the entire club
Our January 26, 2023 lunch was at Seascape.  Remember, our February 2 lunch is at the Fairfield Inn on 41st Ave. in Capitola.  Do not go to Seascape at noon unless you want to avoid all of us AND get a $20 fine.

We had 18 attendees in person and 4 on zoom.

Kendra ran the meeting with her usual charisma and organization- impeded only by a new microphone system that randomly disconnected and announced the disconnection in a Lauren Bacall-esque sultry near-whisper that seems more appropriate for pay for view R rated movies than the wholesomeness of our meetings.

Kendra's announcement:  PLEASE respond to her emailed RSVPs

Dr Art's thought for the day: Don’t argue with a fool in public because people might confuse the two of you.  (Has he been to court lately?)

Dr Art announced that the Watsonville strawberry pickers need work help and food. He is seeking volunteers to help at Loaves and Fishes- shifts start shortly before noon.  Dr. Art's usual shift is every Tuesday, but they serve each day so they need volunteers each day! 

Paul announced that there had been driftwood pickup on Capitola beach- he and his companions (Laura, Julie, Dr. Art and Art's grandson Noah) spent hours of time and it didn’t seem to make a dent.  Residents are encouraged to pick up driftwood. 

There may be another beach cleanup, probably in about two weeks. Keep an eye out for an update. 

Lowry- announced that the Soquel High interact club wants to do service projects.

There were photos of our work on Facebook and instagram and from District 5170 website. Kendra encouraged us to go on those sites and give us 5 star reviews so the algorithm gives us more publicity.

Mardi-who appeared on zoom and is hopefully recovering- is doing great with updates and posts on our web page- ongoing shout outs to her.

Sam did the welcome song and  way test song mid= way through our program but the classics sound great any time.

We had an esteemed guest-  Lisa Berkowitz from Meals on Wheels-who was here to accept our grant and give a boost to fundraising efforts.
She gave shoutouts to Michele Bassi and Pam Arnsburger, who are both fundamental to that organization's efforts.
Meals on Wheels has now served over 11 million meals.
She also showed a video about their program that was done just before covid-starring Michele--and we are wondering when the Hollywood offers will be coming in!

Lisa said their program needs a new space-they are in the process of being evicted, same as RotaCare being that they shared a building. The eviction is not due to bad tenancy, it's due to Live Oak needing their current building to build Subsidized Teacher Housing.  They need about 4,500-5,000 square feet which can have a large kitchen. Anyone with connections in commercial real estate?
They are having a fundraiser Food From the Heart Luncheon on March 17- let's have a good turnout then and there.
For more details, follow this link: https://communitybridges.org/events/

Our guest speaker on zoom  was Jessica Hansen, the  Director of Alliance for Smiles, which was founded by Rotarians. 
The volunteer members of her organization, including our own Dr. Art Dover,  travel overseas and perform cleft palate and/or cleft lip surgical repair for kids in under-served areas.  Dr. Art is a volunteer surgeon with the group. He explained that there are very few surgeons who can perform the surgery in the countries where Alliance for Smiles does its work.  Jessica also expressed her gratitude to Anissa for her contributions.

This is one of Jessica's many charitable works and projects.  She truly exemplifies service above self.

About 1 in 700 kids are born with cleft palate and/or cleft lip.  The rate is double that in China.  In some areas infants with those conditions are killed, in other societies they are ostracized, abandoned or given away.  They have trouble breast feeding, eating, socializing  and finding life partners.  Jessica showed before and after photos of some of the young patients and shared some of their stories.  The physical transformation is dramatic and the impact on their lives cannot be over-stated. Having the reconstructive surgery puts them back in the mainstream and is a tremendous boon to themselves and their families. 

Alliance for Smiles also provides long term support for the kids and strives to see that the local health care have the resources to provide services.
They provided remote training to the local teams during the covid crisis and have recently returned to providing in-person surgeries.
Truly a worthy service that epitomizes the goals of Rotary and deserves our support.

See you tomorrow at Fairfield Inn, 1255 41st Ave, Capitola, CA 95010 
Park in the underground parking garage that is underneath the hotel, the gate will be open. Then take the elevator from the parking garage up to the main level of the hotel, and signs will direct you to the Meeting Room where we will be! 
Our January 19, 2023 lunch meeting was at Seascape.  The auspiciousness of the occasion was accented by a flyover by 3 Osprey heli-planes followed by a helicopter gunship  and Marine One.  They all would have joined us for lunch but we would have gone over our 25 person lunch allotment.

We had about 20 attendees in person plus 4 on zoom.

Dave was there in person- nice to see him again in person especially with his charming granddaughter-guest Ashleigh.  Also nice to have Trish back and Jimmy K made it too. Good to have the full contingent of club lawyers.

Al did a very hip welcome song on his keyboard a la Herbie Hancock. Rumor is that Sam is working on  a Hendrix-styled rendition of the 4 Way Test song.  Think Purple Haze/Rotary.

Co-President Kendra ran the meeting and had a few announcements.  Secret one- the reconnaissance team for an alternate venue was very pleased with the Fairfield Inn on 41st Ave.- working on a test run there soon.  Watch this space and your e-mail inbox.

Kendra also relayed that we had over- volunteered for storm-related cleanup.  The City of Capitola couldn't handle all of us, State Parks said they would only allow Rangers to help.  So Kendra gave her contact info to the Volunteer Center and told  us to stand by.  More on that adventure below.

Thought of the day Dr Art: mask up and join for cleanup.

Dr Art was also the Detective.  He asked several of the members to tell us how the storms had changed their lives.  Most of us reported nearly no effects, but Co-prez Laura had enough happen to make up for that: long power outages, trees down, road blocked and a tornado (Auntie Em!! Are we in Kansas?)

 Trish told about all the damage she saw at the beach.

Our guest speaker was Kent Benedict MD, a friend of Dr. Art's.  He gave a talk and power point (slide show of the 21st century) on a 37 day pilgrimage hike that he and his wife Paula took  over the Pyrenees in Southern France into Spain and over the Galicios Camino de Santiago and eventually to the Spanish Coast.

The photos of the scenery and ancient sites were dramatic, including a centuries-old cathedral and the remnants of a Roman legion fortress.
They walked about 13 miles a day and stayed in Pilgrim Inns and sparse but clean and safe lodgings in small towns and cities.

They were trekking at the perfect time- it was grape harvesting and wine-tasting season in the region so there was apparently a lot of hydration with vino.  Dr. Benedict said there was also an abundance of beer but it was  not as good as the wine.

He said that shoes can be a problem and his wife had serious issues- he showed the photos of her blistered feet which he treated (he is an ER doctor).  He called it the Agony of Defeet.  There should be a $20 fine.  Paula eventually ditched her hiking shoes for sandals which worked much better.

Dr. Benedict showed photos of a huge fire that crossed the trail.  He and Paula diverted through some local mountain trails to go around the fire while others gave up and called for transport out.

Dr. Benedict scattered his fathers ashes at the ocean at the end of the trail.
He also showed a photo of a Rotary peace pole at the end- there are thousands of them worldwide.

There was an article and photo about our fund-raising pickleball tournament in the Aptos Times.  The vivid and informative reporting is owed to Kendra's writing....

Kate won the lottery but she wasn't there to collect.

Kendra did a fabulous job organizing teams for our volunteer cleanup work.  Unfortunately she out-organized the volunteer center which waited until late Friday-early Saturday to assign us and instead of cleaning up the beach or a creek 7 of us ended up at a private residence in the Aptos Hills owned by a 66 year old woman.  Her driveway was flooded by a seasonal stream that dumped tons of mud and debris and moved her large wood she about 50 feet off its foundation.  The driveway was passable and the rest of the work required a bulldozer, not shovels and wheelbarrows, but the stalwart Rotarians moved mud and debris to widen the path for an hour or so and achieved as much as we could by hand.  Kendra has some before and after photos.  Some irony in that the owner asked for assistance in part because of her age and Kendra was the only one of us who doesn't have an AARP card. 

Reflecting a bit more on Dr. Art's detective question- the storm fortunately had little effect on those of us in my neighborhood but if we had gotten to 30 days of rain I was going to start going to church and looking at boats.
Volunteering Storm Clean Up Team are real Troopers!  Everyone was very busy working this weekend. Thanks to all our Rotarians who gathered together to help the community, Kendra, Ken, Eric, Laura, Dr Art and Grandson Noah, Lowry, Kelly, Becky, Julie, Nelson, Paul and Rotarian Bert Leake, you guys rock!

Sunday our small but mighty group of 5 club members joined a swarm of volunteers to clean up Capitola Village and move mountains of washed ashore trees, limbs, fence posts, decking, and in general storm debris.   The volunteer descended upon the chaos like an army of ants among huge amounts of interlinked pick up sticks. We filled a humorous "green organic" dumpster to the top. While this was a great accomplishment, looking at the beach there is still lots to be done.  Watch for more information about the ongoing efforts that are needed and our opportunities to help. 
Have you seen it??? Our Adopt-A-Beach sign is MISSING!! So, if your out and about and happen to see it—most likely face down in a pile of driftwood—please grab it and then let us know you found it! Thanks!!!

Membership Monday is Monday (yes, but it has to be said) at 530 at the Hideout.  Hope to see y'all there. 
Our 2023 Inaugural lunch meeting was 1/5/23 at Seascape.

15 intrepid members braved wind and rain to attend in person and 13 of them braved the lunch (kidding?)

4 members attended by zoom.  The rest of y'all best have notes from PG&E that you were without power or equally convincing excuses for not at least zooming lest 'ye be fined (Assuming a Sgt at Arms attends)...(your reporter had a deposition all day 1/12/23 and you don't want to know).

Konstantin attended in full storm regalia which even matched- a tribute to his European stylishness.

Sam led us in the Welcome Song and 4 Way test song.

Mardi zoomed us a presentation about the Christmas gifts to the Watsonville Nursing Center- it was touching to hear and see how grateful the seniors were and how much small things meant to them. 
Mardi also presented a rousing montage of photos of Capitola Aptos Rotary's Greatest Hits of 2022 Video here

None of the Red Badgers, which will not excuse them from fines nor giving their requisite autobiographies. 

But as an additional affront, since they all whimped out in their debut we had no program. Co-President Kendra filled the time nicely.  We won First Place in the Community Groups Division for our Christmas Lights exhibit at the County Fair!!! Congrats to all who planned, set-up, maintained and took down! Video here. 
The car seat drive organized by our club and Area 7 Presidents in conjunction with Baja Bridges had 30 seats and 6 bases collected from our drop off sites, and the local Rotary total was 80 seats, eight additional bases and one stroller.  There will be another round of donations in the Spring. ( No, past-prez Ken does not need a booster seat for our lunches.....) More pictures here

Nelson and Dr. Art ad libbed about the cleanup of trash mostly on Park Ave. in Soquel the Monday after Christmas by Pam, Dr. Art's grandson Noah, Dr. Art and Nelson.  They collected a disheartening amount of trash but prevented all of that from getting into the ocean.

Lowry told us about his trip to Europe and brought back a Rotary banner from Budapest.  He told us the club there is mostly expatriate Americans.  Hungary is feeling some strains from the war in Ukraine- their lunch prices have gone up 40%....See him privately about the pros and cons of Europe in the Winter.

Bill Witmer told us about his trip to Antarctica (warmer than Budapest?) and the thrill of seeing penguins, elephant seals that are twice as big as the ones here, and getting to spend 5 days in covid quarantine overlooking a monochromatic landscape....remind us of the days of black and white tv?

Sam told us about a murder mystery game played in his house- seems like much fun....more so if there is also mystery alcohol tasting?

Julie was in Vegas for the Oregon State Beavers' victory over the Florida Gators.  No clue what the over-under was or how she made out.  But it was a rare victory for the Pac 12 (soon to be 10?) in the post-season.

Segueing artlessly-we will be experimenting with a schedule other clubs have been using where meetings alternate between lunches and dinners.  Feb. 2 will be regular lunch but at a different locale, Feb. 9 will be a field trip day, Feb 23rd will be a dinner meeting. March 9th is our speech contest and that will also be a dinner meeting.    
Time for the 2/9 board meeting is thus tbd.
[[For Immediate Release: Dec. 1, 2022]]
Youth Speech Contest March 9th, 2023
Imagine Rotary - the future of a global network of 1.4 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.
Imagine Rotary Info:
Rotary International President Jennifer Jones wants members to imagine the possibilities in the change they can make to transform the world.
Form to Apply:
Last day to submit applications February 17th, 2023
Rotary Capitola Aptos Club, gives $25 award to all students making a speech after they enter.
Do you have a car seat sitting in your shed or garage that is unused (and perhaps expired too) and you find it collecting dust year after year?!
Well Rotary has the solution! The Rotary District 5170 Area 7 Clubs (which are the clubs of Santa Cruz County) are doing a car seat drive this weekend (12/10 & 12/11)!
We are partnering with Baja Bridges to get the car seats down to---and distributed among---areas of Baja (Mulegé and Santa Rosalia during this drive) where the mortality rate of children in automobile accidents is high.
Local fire houses in Baja are rolling out safety programs educating about the importance of car seats and booster seats (similar education programs to those done in the US in the 1970's and 1980's). Now that there is interest, the next problem being experienced is there aren't car seats available for the fire personnel to give out. Fire personnel are asking for more car seats to be brought down for them to distribute among their communities. That's where we come in!
Attached is information with four of our drop off locations.
We cannot wait to see you and accept your cleaned/all parts included and working car seats next weekend, December 10th & 11th!
Our October 20th lunch at Seascape had 27 attendees in person.

Pledge Follies. Seascape’s American flag also attended, so we did not have to salute a virtual flag. Co-President Laura Grinder virtually missed seeing the real flag but recovered and did a great job leading the meeting.
Attendance, Visiting Rotarians, and Guests. Al De Camara led us in the Welcome song on keyboard. Jimmy Kutch made it in person and is looking great! Likewise, nice to see Pam Goodman and Trish Glassey in person. Visiting Rotarians Anders Per and Constantin Gehriger again provided their European sophistication. Nelson Crandall claimed that his guest Barbara Meyer has been a friend of Nelson’s wife for 60 years; not so sure Nelson, they both look way too young for that. Michele Bassi brought her guest banking buddy Alicia Kretsch from Santa Cruz Community Credit Union. Your author remembers the days when bankers all looked like Milburn Drysdale (Beverly Hillbillies) pictured below.
  • The Capitola-Aptos Rotary Foundation board of directors meeting is set for next Thursday at 10:30. New directors will be elected.
  • District Governor Savita Vaidhyanathan will attend our Club board meeting at 11. Her focus project is to help end “period poverty” by increasing access to menstrual products in parts of the world where they are in short supply. The board meeting agenda will be light. It is protocol to stand in recognition of the district governor.
  • Membership Mondays have resumed thanks to Michele at Vino Cruz in Soquel at 5:30. The first one was 10/24- see Michele for a report.
  • Michele had the Willy (Elliot-McCrea) Roast sign up list, which Laura handed out—make sure you sign up if you haven’t already
  • Win Fernald advised that the deadline for community grant applications was that day.
  • Win also gave an update on former member Thomasjohn Wells Miller’s cancer condition; there is reason for cautious optimism.
  • Immediate Past President Ken Gorman reminded all that he is leading the next foray into the lesser- traveled trails of The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park on Sunday, October 30, at 10:30 am. Dress warmly/layered, wear shoes with good treads. 3.5 miles of trails, about 400-foot elevation gain/fall, should take about 2 hours. “Re-hydration” at Ken’s house afterwards. Rotary donations accepted/expected.
  • BTW, Ken has also been handing out tequila shots and kamikazes to adult trick or treaters for about 20 years. Vienna Woods is a great neighborhood for trick or treaters of all ages. So feel free to stop by and/or hang out at Ken’s house.
Detective. Nelson was the Detective.
  • Nelson first fined Doug Deaver and Karen Semingson in absentia to celebrate their anniversaries of joining our Club.
  • He then quizzed us on Zoom camera location, urged us not to walk out of the picture when speaking, and mentioned how we missed Co-president Kendra Cleary and her iPad, which normally provides a second camera.
  • Questioning then devolved to National Pumpkin Cheesecake Week. Unfortunately, no samples were provided. We learned that pumpkins are native to northern Mexico and southern USA, that they are fruit, and that they are fruit, and have been cultivated for around 8,000 years (give or take a millennium).
Guest Speaker. Vimmy Khatkar, an ER nurse at Kaiser Santa Clara, El Camino, and PAMF cardiology, spoke and presented a power point on Diwali, the Festival of Lights, which this year was celebrated on October 24.
How Diwali is Celebrated. The festival is one day, but celebrants start preparing a week or more in advance. The holiday is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs (Vimmy is Sikh), and Jains, but anyone can celebrate. The celebration includes cleaning sprees, lighting of lamps, new clothes, fireworks and bringing sweets to friends. Metaphysically, it is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil.
History. The Hindus began observing Diwali more than 1,000 years ago to celebrate the return of Rama after his imprisonment and to welcome the goddess, Lakshmi. Sikhs later updated the occasion to commemorate the release of Guru Hargobind sahib, the 6th profit of the Sikhs, from wrongful imprisonment by the Mughal emperor Jangahir in the early 1600s. Jangahir had tortured Hargobind’s father to death for not converting to Islam, and imprisoned his son and successor, Hargobind. After a few years, the emperor allowed the guru to leave with as many prisoners as could hold his robe. Hargobind sahib had 50 strings on his robe and led 50 prisoners to freedom.
Treats. Vimmy brought chai tea and delicious sweets - it doesn’t appear that Seascape charged a corkage fee.
About Vimmy. Vimmy’s family emigrated from Punjab to Modesto where her parents still live. She is multicultural and tri-lingual (speaks 3 languages). A person who speaks 2 languages is bi-lingual. A person who only speaks one language is … American.
Click here to view Vimmy’s PowerPoint presentation.
Raffle. Bill Gray  won the raffle!
See everyone tomorrow Thursday!
Our  October 13 lunch was attended by 28 in person attendees plus Mardi Padilla and Jimmy Kutch.
CPOM Laura Grinder ran the meeting with pizzaz and efficiency.
Strings and Keys:
Sam and Al de Camara rocked the Welcome Song and the 4 Way Test song; good to have the band back together.
Al brought his smaller keyboard, but size doesn't matter as much as performance and Al's piano sounded way better than the Seascape upright, which is still in absentia (with the flag).  It is also free.

Guest and Visitors:
Laura brought her long time friend Mary Bevernick as a first time guest.

Perennial visiting Rotarian Anders Pers is in town for a while to escape the Swedish winters. And it is nice to have Bill Gray back from his yacht club-living in Washington.

Honorary member Yvette Brooks also made it in person, adding to the ambiance.

Sue Lawson’s friend and our RYE alumni Celine Jolly honored us again with her presence, all the way from France; she still likes us enough to spend time here!

Also nice to see Eric Costello in person, setting the fashion trend with his suit and tie.

Reports from the Field:
Red Badger Lori Teller reported that there were 1500 people at the RYLA Fall Leadership Conference in San Jose. Lori attended to fulfill one of her badge requirements. Youth Services Chair Trish Glassey encouraged those with an in at Aptos High School to press for a new teacher advisor for their Interact Club. We are competing with many service clubs there already.
Our Hero!
Dr. Art Dover will receive the Aptos Chamber of Commerce Community Hero Award, at a dinner and auction at Seascape Resort on November 4th (not the golf club where we meet).  Standing ovation for a well-deserved award, Dr. Art.  You can sign up with Doug Deaver who is handling the reservations, so far we have about 20 Rotarians attending.  Tickets are $85, pay Julie so we can cut one check as a Club. Do not RSVP through the Chamber Form as you won't be sitting with the other Rotarians, unless you don't want to be associated with our two tables in which case RSVP to the Chamber!! 
Community Service Opportunities:
Second Harvest Food Bank needs volunteers for upcoming food distributions at the County Fairgrounds, October 24th, November 7th, November 21st, December 5th, December 24th. Let’s support the beneficiary of our annual fundraiser! To sign up click here 
Save the Dates:
The Club is planning a field trip to Loaves and Fishes on Tuesday morning November 15. Our members are encouraged to volunteer at Loaves and fishes Tuesday November 15th,  we will be working in the pantry 9 to 12, then serving lunch.
Sam and Karla Nigh are hosting a Christmas party at their house in Soquel on December 4th at 4pm, details to follow.
District 5170 Official Protocols: DG Savita Visit is confirmed for Thursday, October 27th. Please RSVP to Kendra, via email or the Google Form Link ASAP as we expect more than our usual attendance so need to ensure there's enough tables and food for everyone coming!

The Community Grants award luncheon to be held by our club is December 8th at Seascape golf course big room. Deadline to apply for one of our Community Grants is fast approaching, Thursday 10/20 is the deadline. Application is available on our website on the "Community Grants" tab, then email the completed PDF application to caprotary@gmail.com 
Guatemala Water Project:
There were flyers on the table for the Rotary 5170 district-sponsored Guatemala water project we have contributed to in the past. This next part of the project is adding fresh water to upper floors of the hospital.  The introduction of clean water has resulted in a complete elimination of infant deaths from the formerly-contaminated water. 

Apologies to Trish whose name was omitted as the prior week's last-minute fill-in detective.

This week' s Detective was Rich Hamlin, who ironically was inspired to educate/quiz us on shampoo.

$20 fine to Al for quipping that Rich "is Head and Shoulders above everyone else."

Worse-there's a horrible pun somewhere in there about the follicles of educating people about hair care ($25 fine).

We learned about the colonial lexicology of the word, that its main ingredients include a surfactant, that dander is caused by a fungus (blech). Rich atoned for any transgressions with his loot bag of shampoos.

Guest Speaker Amy Red Feather and Furry Friend:
Our guest Speaker was Amy Red Feather  from Native Animal Rescue.
Amy is a wildlife tech and neonatal and bunny expert, but cares for all the animals that come into the facility. Amy referred us to the website and focused her discussion on things not on the website.

One of the programs Amy spoke about was having ambassador animals visit with kids. A recent addition to the ambassador animal core - and fast-favorite - is a long tailed weasel.

Native Animal Rescue’s goals are to rescue, rehabilitate, and release. They accept animals that people decide they cannot keep as pets- without question and without repercussion. They accept any animals except mountain lions (too dangerous) and marine mammals, which are helped by the Marine Mammal Center.

The most common advice Native Animal Rescue gives to people contacting them about an animal they found or one they need to get rid of is to put it in a box and deliver it to the center. Do not try to feed a found animal.

Native Animal Rescue has a wildlife hotline open 8am- dark that gets calls from all over the USA and sometimes other countries. It forwards to Amy cell phone after hours, which she keeps on until bedtime.

Amy commented on the local bird flu influx. She cautioned to be especially wary of waterfowl acting oddly.

Amy also commented on the Increase in raptors locally because of habitat shift from fires and rodenticides. She attributed increased sightings of wildlife in urban areas more to the drought than wildfires.

Nelson Crandall volunteered that he delivered frozen trapped rats to the center. Yum. Actually, Amy said that frozen rats are very helpful. More appetizing- she encouraged people to drop off apples.

There was a discussion about rabies and distemper. Dr. Art said he recently treated people for rabies from raccoon bites. Amy said that there is a prevalence of distemper in raccoons. Unlike rabies, which is contagious and deadly to humans, distemper is not contagious to humans. However, it is highly transmissible to dogs and deadly to them.

Lori said she has squirrel problem. Al noted that the club has a lawyer infestation.

Perhaps the highlight of the day was Amy’s guest, Ambassador Possum Frankie. Frankie was a pet, relinquished by a family, who has found a new and welcoming home at the shelter. Possums do not make good pets and they only live a year or two.

Great thanks to Amy for her presentation and to program co-chairs Anissa Novak and Rich Hamlin for bringing her in.

See everyone Thursday!
Dear Members (and other interested readers):
Our October 6 meeting was at Seascape (that isn't going to be news for awhile).

We had 27 attendees in person and Jimmy K on zoom

CO-Prez Laura hosted

Sue Lawson's former French exchange student Celine returned after 8 years.  Celine was a sophomore at AHS in 2014 and is now a landscape engineer, traveling the world before starting work. C'est un femme charmante.  Unclear why she is not a Rotarian with all of our positive influence.
Rotarian Sue Lawson with her Rotary Youth Exchange daughter Celine! Celine was our exchange student 8-9 years ago. She is from Angé, France.   It’s been so wonderful to have Celine joining us again! 
Paul Duren attended again as Michele's guest.  The announcement that he has submitted his application for membership was met with tumultuous applause.

Anders also attended and gave a thoughtful thanks .

Dr Art, sporting a Bear Bryant hat ( for those too young ,it makes a cameo in Forrest Gump) delivered the thought for the day, which was a bit easier to understand written than oral, "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group in a society, over time they create a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."   Timely and well said.

Also special wardrobe shoutout to Anissa who was wearing one of her "over 300" t-shirts.

Nice to see Karen again- let’s lobby for making that a regular occurrence, AND she attended the Nisene Marks walk too (see below).

Sam led us again solo on his electric guitar in the welcome song with a country flavor to it and 4 way test with its homage to the melody of Running Bear.  Trivia- Running Bear was written by "The Big Bopper" but he did not sing the hit record- he died the year before it was a hit in the plane crash with Richie Valens and Buddy Holly.  Which in turn was the inspiration for "American Pie" (The Day the Music Died) by Don MaClean.

Laura reminded us that the District Governor will be at our lunch on 10/27. 
Kendra added that particularly since our lunch attendance is starting to consistently be above 25 please RSVP so she can tell Seascape how much food to prepare so we don't run short.

Win- reminded us that grants application closes 10/20 and that the Grants committee will be meeting soon

Trish told us that Soquel High Rotaract students are impressive

Lori announced that the avenues of service meeting is in San Jose 10/15 8am-4pm- contact her for details and volunteering

Also, Santa Cruz Rotary is re-enacting the dedication of Big Basin park on Oct. 22, which is the 100th anniversary thereof,  at 11 am at Big Basin- lunch is available for $20

Michele reminded us of the Willy Roast, the impending renewal of Red Badge meetings at Seascape bar on Wednesdays starting soon and the first renewed membership Monday at Vino Cruz on 10/24, as well as the hazards of attending Rotary lunches unprepared as she tripped standing up to make her announcements without a drink and in flip flops.  Vertically challenged as your author is, as for liability purposes it may be best  that she have a mandatory warmup cocktail and wear heels.  Can I get a second? An amen?

Al didn't attend so stand in detective ___________ had members talk about their favorite Halloween costumes.

Anissa was Wonder Woman  (not recently, lucky for Gal Gadot)
Michele dressed herself in small breakfast cereal boxes with knives in them and was a "cereal killer" (Captain Crunch was always a bit spooky)

Rich Hamlin told about his cool Spider Man costume that unfortunately fell apart so he ended up carrying it around in his undies.  Years ago, we hope. 
Mel Defe, executive director of Siena House 

Our guest speaker was Mel Defe  who is the Director of Siena House.  She  came to be director recently after a career in silicon valley- she was the yoga instructor there and was essentially appointed by acclimation when a new director was needed 2 years ago.
Laura did career counseling there and Michele was their banker
Anissa Novak (Club Speaker Coordinator) , Mel Defe (of Siena House) with CPOM Laura Grinder! 

Siena House was founded twenty three years ago by Wayne Schafer as a shelter for homeless pregnant women.  It is on the grounds of a convent but is non- denominational. 

Most of the women were drug users, mentally ill  and/or victims of abuse or neglect with no place else to go.  In addition to teaching the women basic life skills and how to care for babies, the goal is to get them off drugs or into therapy and/or on medication so they can care for their children and themselves.  Siena House is the first functional family environment for many of the women.  The environment is nurturing, educations, non-violent and non-profane.
They aim to change the women's lives, end abuse, break cycles, and make them good parents.

Mel estimated they have a 60 % success rate, but unfortunately many of the residents end up having their children taken away  by CPS because they do not learn how to safely parent.

The program has a few paid staff members but relies heavily on volunteers.  It is funded about 85% by private donors

They usually have 6-8 women in residence.  The young mothers relocate soon after their babies are born- usually with the assistance of a number of social programs and subsidies.  Occasionally the young mothers reconnect with their families.

Win noted that Siena House is a grant applicant.  Mel said they need a new kitchen- the present one is from about 1955, and they would love it if we could donate an oven.  Fabulous idea.

The Nisene Marks hike 10/9 was attended by 10 folks foolish enough to let deposed President Ken lead them into the forest without maps.  3.5 miles and 2 hours later the fortunate survivors recouped their courage at a rehydration ceremony on Ken's front yard.  There are plenty of leftover adult beverages to supply the next hike- 10/30.  BTW campers, "leave at 10 am" means leave Ken's house to start the hike at 10am, not leave your house at 10 am to get to Ken's house.....
Best excuse for not attending- Michele B was in Vegas celebrating her anniversary.  That also explains the leftover booze...
Special post- hike guest was Ken's neighbor Harry Koue who just stopped downhill skiing at 91 years old (2 years ago) and told stories about driving a dynamite truck for the US Army in the Korean war....

See everyone Thursday!
Our September 29 lunch at Seascape was attended by 23 folks in person and Jimmy Kutch and Sue Lawson on zoom.
Anders was in attendance- great to see him, Konstantin was also with us again
Lori Teller brought Dave, Sam brought his lovely wife, Dagmar's mom graced us with her presence.

Co-President Kendra led the proceedings and festivities.

Sam led us in the Welcome Song with a rousing guitar variation and the 4 way Test song, augmented by Kelly's chorus from Running Bear.

Sam also told a short joke that was both misogynistic and accurate. 

Kendra reported that the Chamber Showcase  was a great success- we had a booth at the 10th hole and great participation.  Kudos to Doug Deaver for all the work he put into it. 

Lori Teller advised that the area-wide Rotaract event in San Jose on Oct. 9 needs volunteers for shifts between 8 am and 4 pm.  See Lori for details and to sign up.

Deposed ex-President Ken is leading a hike through Nisene Marks forest on October 9.  The hike will start at ten from Ken's house.  There is plenty of parking in the neighborhood.  The hike will either be 2 miles of relatively easy trails or 3.5 mails which includes a little more challenging trails.  The length will be determined at this Thursday's meeting by vote of participants.  After the hike there will be re-hydration at Ken's house.  Some beverages will be provided but participants are welcome to bring their own.  Donations to Rotary will also be encouraged.  Rotarians and guests are welcome.  The Vienna Woods neighborhood is having its vehicle parade at 1pm- classic cars and kids cars will drive around the neighborhood.

On October 22 there will be a Rotary-sponsored re- enactment of preservation of redwoods at Henry Cowell park starting at 11 am. Lunch is available for $20
There is also a fundraising 5k run/walk at Harbor High starting at 9am.   Monarch is one of the beneficiaries of the raised funds.

Dagmar described the club's efforts and haul of trash at the beach cleanup: 15 humans and several dogs picked up about 6 lbs of trash and 6 lbs of recyclables and, disappointingly, there was quite an uptick in covid test swab's (ya know, the long brain-tickling-Q-tip ones).  Thanks to all who showed up and contributed.  The assertion that ex-prez Ken simply picked up the recyclables he had partied with the night before is not supported by any witnesses.

Michele hosted a celebration/happy hour in Keith's memory at her lovely house overlooking Kelly Lake.  About 25 folks attended.  The weather and locale were perfect.  In addition to fabulous company and the beautiful grounds and view, guests enjoyed reminisces about Keith, cocktails, wine and beer-and of course a Corona toast led by Michele in his honor.  Keith was clearly there enjoying it all in spirit.

Mardi was the detective.  She gave a very informative discussion on social media security.  She warned of the importance of having anti virus software on your electronic devices.  She summarized the ways in which Facebook/Meta creates and uses algorithms to learn about its customers and sells that information advertisers.  Mardi also explained that friending people can exponentially spread your personal information.  She emphasized  how important it is to get and keep protection against your personal information being shared without your approval.  Mardi is available for information and advice on how to do that.

Mardi also warned about the myriad of scams that victimize the unwary online.

Laura asked if personal information could be obtained by others via the Rotary Facebook page.  Mardi said  business pages are more secure.

Mardi concluded by celebrating National Coffee day and showing the recipe for Licor 43 and espresso.

Dr. Art  was going to be the speaker but deferred because we ran out of time. 
He did recommend the use of Avast for online protection.

Nelson stepped up and ad libbed with an impromptu presentation about his spontaneous visit to the Penny Bar in the oil town of McKittrick.  The bar closed for good 2 days after he and his wife visited- correlation is not causation.
All surfaces in the bar are covered with pennies and there are dollar bills on ceiling.  A lawyer's feng shui. Many of the pennies are rare.  There are many funny signs on the walls, for example, "Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder."  Graham pointed out Rotary buttons on the walls.  A shame it is closing.

The raffle once again was unclaimed.

We will see everyone Thursday at Seascape!
Our September 15 lunch meeting was at Seascape, which is noteworthy because owing to a recent conflagration alternate venues are in short supply.
We had 22 members in person, Jimmy and Sue on zoom.

Kendra presided and has glided into the role with far more class and ease than her predecessor (says the IPP, not referring to previous CPOM!).

Dr. Art, consensus nominee for Man of the Year (write-in for Man of the Decade) gave the thought for the day: to do well in old age we have to start early.  Not sure what that means but your author started drinking at 16 and hopes that counts.

It was also Dr Art's anniversary, so much to celebrate.

Al played the Welcome Song on his portable keyboard because apparently the space occupied by upright piano intrudes on the maximum occupancy of the porch, hence it once again was somewhere else.  Al's rendition was, as usual, rousing and celebratory.
We had a teasing moment of Kelly's keyboard skills as well, as he tickled the ivories with a few chords of Louie Louie.  He was not asked why, when given the opportunity to expose  his largesse as a pianist, he chose such a short piece.

Dr. Art increased  his Renaissance Man cred by also being the detective.  Noting that our club is white as homogenized milk, and no doubt drawing from his days in Chicago, Dr. Art asked the club members to name dead black female singers.  The members knew many.
Perhaps we could add a song from Billie Holliday,  Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Bessie Smith or Tammi Terrel in addition to (instead of?) the 4 Way test song?  Sam, Al, Kelly?

By informal consensus there will be walks/hikes through Nisene Marks Park leaving from Ken's house on the mornings of Oct. 9 and 30.  The walks will be followed by re-hydration at Ken's house.  Ken will supply the hydrants, participants are asked to donate generously to Rotary.
Start time will be 10ish.  Length will depend on the abilities of the attendees. More details will be worked out as folks commit.

There were 7 birthdays- leading to the question, what happened in 40-70 years ago on January 15?  The Super Bowl used to be played in the 2d-3d week in January until about 1979, but otherwise.....?

Bill Witmer brought pledge cards for the Rotary Funds- everyone make sure to donate- thanks to Bill's strong-arming/persuasion/charm (not his uncanny resemblance to fellow Bostonian White Bulger) we have been at100% participation for years.  Better contribute if you know what is good for you.

Michele bought us up to speed on the Second Harvest Willy Roast: We need sponsors and auction items. The event is likely to sell out so get your tickets now.

Next Saturday (Sept. 24)  will be busy: beach cleanup at Rio Del Mar at 10 am and a Happy Hour at  Michele’s house in Keith’s honor 4-7.  This is an either/or.

Oct 27 will also be busy: the District Governor will be visiting and we understand taking a kinder and gentler approach to motivation and leadership We will also have a Board meeting and a Foundation meeting.

Kendra advised that Santa Cruz Rotary is celebrating its 100 year anniversary with a gala in the evening of 10/22, and Freedom Rotary is holding their fundraiser called Uncork Corralitos at Aladdin Nursery earlier that same day.   (Lack of coordination perhaps?!)  Uncork Corralitos venue is right next to El Vaquero winery.  Contact Kendra about tickets and wearing tuxedos to the grand event at the nursery, or call the Rudy  Giuliani campaign....    (DG Savita and other 5170 leadership will be attending both, and will wear their black tie attire to the nursery then continue onto Coconut Grove for the Centennial Gala!) 

Our guest speaker was Sierra Schneider, head of the UCSC science internship program.   Her presentation on zoom was informative and inspirational.
The program has been in existence for 14 years and is  now in all 5 divisions at UCSC: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics, hence the acronym STEAM.
CrEst is an umbrella organization overseeing several programs and initiatives driven by parents and alums and which seeks to increase opportunities for careers in research and increase diversity in research and are particularly interested in opening opportunities to students from other areas.  Unfortunately, locally, the lack of in-person programs during Covid has severely curtailed participation from students from Watsonville.

Their flagship program is a ten week summer class which places high school students into research labs at UCSC.
Sierra commented that we have recently been beset by two pandemics: one of disease, the other of disinformation.  Teaching students how to learn and research (literally searching again and again) to ascertain the truth is a way to defeat both.
They try to demystify science, as Sierra said, by "pulling back the curtain" and "dipping ones toe" into science.
Remarkably, all students in the program have gone to college.

One of the programs that CrEST sponsors is  Shadow the Scientists, where students literally follow scientists around to learn how do science correctly.  Covid has forced all of those relationships to be remote, but they are still successful.
Others include: "Pajama mode" astronomy where students learn and follow astronomy on-line;  Python and research in computer language tutorial where students learn how to use Python programming to do research; ReComBio which teaches programming for bio research and We Are Stardust which teaches the ways of native sky watchers as well as scientific ways of learning, Global SPHERE network including  Harvard, Cal and  AMNH  Peer to peer-alumni at various colleges, workplaces and alum parents.

Our next meeting, and all of those in the near future, will be at Seascape until further notice.

Hope to see everyone there then!
The Hub
September 8, 2022
Our September 8, 2022 meeting was at Seascape Golf Course ran by El Presidente Laura and El Presidente Kendra ran the technology in Secretary Nelson's sted (we wish him a negative Covid test and good health!). 
Today we had a Fisher Scholarship recipient, Andrew Morrissey come to the club today to give us an update on his plans after Cabrillo to attend Colorado School of Mines. 
Andrew was familiar to us as he participated in our Aptos High Interact Club and the Richard King Speech Contest! 
Andrew (center) pictured with President Laura Grinder (R) and Capitola-Aptos Rotary Foundation's Al DeCamara (L) 
Michele Bassi was Detective for the day standing in for Anissa who had some car trouble en route to Rotary. Michele executed the detective (with credit to Anissa for her idea and plans shared!)  short, sweet and very on topic!  We went table to table and she fined the longest married at each table, and everyone over 20 years had to pay an abbreviated fine!  
Then our speaker for the day was Sherry Cassedy to talk about Marriage and her new book called Marriage Unveiled.

Sherry Cassedy is a family lawyer, mediator and private judge. She has practiced family law
and mediation for over 35 years in Palo Alto. She has also taught Theology of Marriage at
Santa Clara University, and led marriage preparation and support groups as well as
officiating at weddings. Sherry has been married to her college sweetheart for over 40
years, now living here in Santa Cruz. Drawing on all of her personal and professional
experience with marriage from every angle, Sherry has recently published her first book,
Marriage Unveiled; the Promise, Passion and Pitfalls of Imperfectly Ever After.

Author Sherry Cassedy
Our August 18 meeting at Seascape had 22 in person and 2 zoom attendees.
Great Big Welcome Back to Jimmy Kutch!!! Congrats on being well enough to join us- always a better event with Jimmy K there. Also nice to see Marie at lunch again – we are hoping she can convince her daughter to join.
Kendra Cleary and Jimmy Kutch; Marie Mosely.
Sam led us in the Welcome Song and 4 Way Test song and we got a taste of Kelly's oompa oompa beat.
Dr. Art provided a thought for the day that paraphrased Steven Hawking, who said, “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.” Dr. Art’s version left his audience deep in thought.
It was CPOM Laura's birthday and Sam led us in the Birthday song- happy 54th Madam Co-President. Happy Birthday Laura!!!
He wasn't there to refute or deny it. but Graham Stokes supposedly has agreed to succeed Craig as Sgt at Arms. Congratulations?
Alexandra Weiss, one of our scholarship recipients, attended via Zoom and was prodded by immediate past president Ken to brag a bit about the things she accomplished that warranted our scholarship. She is delightful and a very deserving and grateful recipient. We wish her all the best.
Trish Glassey and Ken virtually present Alexandra
with her scholarship certificate.
Becky announced the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on September 17 at Seascape. A hat was passed for donations for her walking. Details are online – summary is that the event is at Seascape Park and Resort- registration at 8, ceremony at 9 and walk starts at 9:30 – route is tba.
Michele passed out flyers and gave more details about the Willy Roast on November 18. Sponsors are needed for this fun charitable event.
By voice vote we elected the at large directors nominated/voluntold by the board (Michele, Dagmar, Dr. Art, Win, Mardi, and Trish), including Graham so he now cannot get out of it.
Michele also announced the 9/28 Business Showcase: we need somebody to be in charge or assembling and staffing our booth and recruiting Interacters to volunteer - job descriptions seemed suspiciously easy... we also need volunteers to staff the booth.
Sadly, it was announced that former member Bob Curtis passed. His wife passed along their gratitude for our club's thoughtfulness. His memorial will be September 9 at 11 am at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church at 9850 Monroe Ave., Aptos.
Mardi was recognized for her hard work in arranging for a large, three-part ad for our Club in the Volunteer Recognition supplement in the Saturday, August 13 edition of the Sentinel. Images of the ad page were projected. Two of the parts appear below:
Nelson was the Detective. He revealed that it was also co-President/birthday girl Laura’s 18th anniversary of joining Rotary. - a well-deserved round of applause. Celebratory drinks to be.....later?
Nelson also coined a new acronym – CPOM - Co-President of the Month.... For those not sure how the monthly title will be determined, Laura and Kendra had previously announced that they were alternating months chairing Club meetings and being primarily responsible for Club business. Kendra is CPOM in the odd months, Laura in the even months.
Nelson queried the attendees on the identify of non-members of our club who appeared in the event photo below, which ran as the third part of Mardi’s Sentinel ad.
The members scored about 50%. Without naming names, there were 1 or 2 whom some of us might prefer not to recall....
Sandra was asked to tell something about her past that we did not know about. She told us she was from Coalinga, of which she said most people remark, "I've driven through there." She said that one of the events of her childhood was tarantula races held in her driveway. And one wonders why folks didn't stop there....
Afterward, Kendra presented Laura with a gag birthday t-shirt.
Presumably, pickleball players get the joke.
Our guest speaker was Ashley Bridges, the Director of Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes.
Dr. Art volunteers at Loaves and Fishes every week. He has set up our club to be there 11/23 to help with meals. Everyone is encouraged to lend a hand.
Ashely said that Loaves and Fishes started after the Loma Prieta earthquake. It serves meals Mondays thru Fridays noon-3 pm. Our club's last grant to Loaves and Fishes went to support "Pantry on the Go," which provides bags of food for the homeless.
Loaves and Fishes addresses food insecurity which affects 1 in 4 residents of Santa Cruz County, and is particularly acute at months' ends. 80% of their clients are in South County. Ironically, many of their clients are farm workers.
The organization has 4 full time employees and 1-20 volunteers a day. They provide bags of pre-packed staples and choices for other items.
Their major distributions are on Thanksgiving and Christmas and that’s when they need the most help.
This year the County did not fund Loaves and Fishes (or many other non-profits) so they will have to draw on reserves.
They will also hold their Empty Bowls fundraiser.
We look forward to seeing everyone next Thursday!
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Capitola.Aptos.Rotary/ 
Follow us on Instagram: www.instagram.com/Capitola.Aptos.Rotary/ 
By Nelson Crandall
Pre-Meeting. Setting up Zoom for the Club meeting at Seascape is like a box of chocolates. I never know what I’m going to find. Will there be a piano? Will there be an American flag? Will the flagpole be larger than the flag itself? Will there be an extension cord? Will there be something to prevent the cord from becoming a tripping hazard? Will there be a table for the projector? The treat this week was two upside tables instead of a flag. The creativity is amazing.
Call to Order. CPOM Laura Grinder presided over the August 9 Club meeting. (CPOM stands for “Co-President of the Month.”) Laura started what I hope is a new tradition – acknowledging three members who joined us on Zoom.
Thought of the Day. Dr. Art Dover paraphrased Dr. Martin Luther King, who said, “it is cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.”
Thank You Note. Nelson Crandall shared a lovely thank you note from our scholarship recipient, Celeste Ferreira.
Keith's Celebration of Life. Al De Camara announced that Keith Medeiros's celebration of life will be held at Keith's home on Saturday, August 27.
Jacob's Heart School Supply Drive. Julie Lambert announced that last week Club members generously pledged $ 1,000 to be matched by the Capitola-Aptos Rotary Foundation for Jacob's Heart. Julie asked that anyone who had not yet made good on their pledge to pay Julie in cash or by check or to pay Michele Bassi by Venmo. 
Board Meeting. CPOM Laura announced that the August Club board meeting will be prior to our lunch gathering at 10:45 a.m. next Thursday, August 18 at Seascape Golf Club. Everyone is welcome. 
Opening Anthems. We were treated once again to the musicianship of Al on his new, lighter electric piano and Sam Nigh on his resonator guitar. Singing our Club songs is always a highlight.
Detective. Co-President Elect Lowry Fenton was the detective of the day. The themes of his trivia questions were saxophones and Africa in honor of our guest speaker who was both a sax player and an Africa scholar.
Scholarship Recipient. We were treated to a visit by one of our Club scholarship recipients, graduating Soquel High Interact President Danika Marlatt visiting with her mother, Monica. Danika will be attending Vanderbilt University in the fall. In the photo below, Win Fernald presents Danika with her scholarship certificate.
Guest Speaker. Thursday’s meeting featured a presentation by David H. Anthony, III, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of African History at UC Santa Cruz.
Dr. Anthony spoke at the invitation of Dr. Art Dover. The two bonded when they realized that they both spoke Portuguese.
Dr. Anthony confessed that he had just this month completed the complex task of retiring from the faculty at UC Santa Cruz – a process that required him to produce, among other things, his marriage license and other oddities that kept him from providing a topic in advance of our meeting. With no input from him, the topic of his talk was listed as “Racism,” but that wasn’t correct. Not even close, really. So strong are pre-conceived beliefs that when he was introduced as a professor of African History, I heard African American History. But no, his scholarship centered on Africa, not America.
Dr. Anthony showed how we are all aware of many of the conflicts that have characterized the African continent. We are also generally aware that colonization and decolonization have played important roles in shaping modern Africa. Dr. Anthony stressed that factors other than conflict – especially language and clan structure – have affected Africa’s evolution. For further reading, he recommended Getting Somalia Wrong?: Faith, War and Hope in a Shattered State by Mary Harper (African Arguments, 2012).
National Nonprofit Day was August 13th and we were on the News! Below the article launched in the Sentinel Newspaper
The Hub - August 11th, 2022
Field Trip to Second Harvest Food Bank
On August 2, 19 Club members met at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Watsonville. About 8 of us carpooled. In attendance were Co-Presidents Laura Grinder and Kendra Cleary (Laurda on social media), Co-Presidents Elect Pam Goodman and Lowry Fenton, Michele Bassi, Craig Bagley, Nelson Crandall, Eric Costello, Al De Camara, Win Fernald, Trish Glassy, Dagmar Leguillon, Mardi Padilla, Julie Lambert, Sam Nigh, Anissa Novak, Becky Peters, Kate Southerland, and Matt Wetstein.
We gathered in the front patio, enjoying the pleasant weather and beautiful tile wall. Julie pointed out her family’s tile, but it’s not in the picture
Sandra, Pam, Win, Laura, Craig, Mardi, and Eric.
A sign in sheet was circulating as we arrived. We learned later that as part of its food security protocols, everyone who enters the warehouse must sign in and sign out.
The first announcement was that everyone who had parked on the concrete next door was illegally parked. Five of us immediately scampered off to move our cars.
Chief Development Officer Suzanne Willis, seen below left thinking “Is he really a Rotarian?”, gave us a tour with a nifty headset and belt-worn speaker to ensure everyone could hear. Brand new CEO Erica Padilla-Chavez tagged along to make us feel important.
First stop was the warehouse, piled high with canned goods on palate racks. They didn’t have palate racks in 1989, leaving them a lot to pick up when the shaking stopped.
Left to right, Suzanne, Julie, Laura, Sandra, Lowry, Trish, Win, Michele, Anissa, Craig.
Left to right, Craig, Kate, Trish, Al, Dagmar, Erica, Sam, Sandra, Matt, Suzanne.
The biggest question on everyone’s mind was, “What is lezinine?” but no one had the nerve to ask out loud. Instead, we learned that Second Harvest acts as a distribution hub rather than as a distribution point. Second Harvest provides food to dozens of organizations that distribute food directly to consumers.
From there we moved to a narrow hallway with a 50-year timeline. Who knew that Second Harvest, the nation’s second food bank, was inspired by the Santa Cruz branch of the Black Panthers who were participating the Black Panthers’ nationwide Free Breakfast for School Children Program?  
From that narrow hall we moved to the shipping and receiving room and its labor-saving loading docks. Before the loading docks were built, it took half an hour or longer to unload a truck. Now, it takes five minutes.
This painting adorns the wall of the shipping and receiving room, along with a warning from the voice of experience:
From there we passed a capacious freezer with a padded roll-up door that opens and closes in the flash an eye; too fast for the camera to capture. With the door open, everyone with exposed skin below the knees could feel the cold air flowing out of the freezer. Next to it was an equally impressive cooler.
One of our resident vegans, Dagmar, ironically asked if Second Harvest handled meat. Dagmar, why would you want to know? Yes, Second Harvest handles meat. But not normally turkeys. Who has room for multiple frozen turkeys? (Al said that Sam did, but Sam denied it.) Frozen chickens are about as large as people can handle. Most of the meat is canned and comes through the Department of Agriculture.
Next stop was another cooler stocked with strawberries and watermelons, among other things. In answer to questions, we learned that before the pandemic, Second Harvest served around 50,000 persons, roughly 20% of the county’s population. At the height of the pandemic, that figure soared to 100,000 and presently is about 85,000.
We also learned that much of Second Harvest’s offerings includes local fresh fruits and vegetables. Sometimes it is produce that isn’t pretty enough for the retail trade; sometimes it is produce that is too ripe to survive a round trip to a Central Valley distribution center before returns to local shelves.
Food that is not good enough for humans is distributed as animal feed, unless there are too many berries. Animals can stand only so many berries. Food not good enough for animals goes to the composing facility in Seaside.
All the food Second Harvest distributes is given away for free. Well, almost. Sometimes a non-profit needs a food that Second Harvest does not have in stock, such as peanut butter. In that case, Second Harvest will use its buying power to purchase the item at a deeply discounted price with the non-profit contributing a small portion of the purchase price.
After the tour we lunched on deli sandwiches and water in the employee picnic area. The meeting ended promptly on time, with everyone both spiritually and physically sated.
Attendance. Our July 21 lunch meeting at Seascape was attended by 20 members and 2 guests in person, 4 members on Zoom, and our guest speaker.
Guests. Our guests were attorney Shelli Strohle, whom we hope to see as a member soon; and Marie Moseley's daughter Michelle, who has recently returned here from Texas. Michelle was president of Rotaract at Aptos HS.
Happy New Year! The peaceful transition of power is complete: Co-President Kendra hosted and, of course, ran the meeting seamlessly...pretty much..., especially impressive because she had just headed her first Board meeting and timed it perfectly. Co-Prez Laura was sick and attended on Zoom.
Welcome Song. Sam and his guitar led us in the Welcome Song and 4-Way Test song. Nelson expressed his immersion in Rotary by telling us he now sings the 4 Way Test song in the shower at home. We will take his word for that. We already have it on zoom at the club
Jokes of the Day. Sam also told the joke of the day-which believe it or not, is a true story-about the lawyer who got a $10,000 payout on a fire insurance claim for the cigars he smoked, but then was convicted of arson. We love happy endings.
Dr. Art told a joke/warning about not monkey(pox)ing around...
Rich added to the mirth with a few jokes that were much funnier than he predicted....one- what does an agnostic dyslexic insomniac do? Lies awake wondering if there is a Dog.
New Officers. Kendra convened the clubs' annual meeting, and by voice vote the nominated 2022-23 officers and at large directors were confirmed. Lowrey and Pam are our co-presidents elect. Nelson and Julie will continue as Secretary and Treasurer. We are waiting for someone or two to take over Sgt at Arms for Craig.
Field Trip! Kendra announced that our August 4 meeting will be at Second Harvest, not Seascape.
Sunshine Report. Former member and continuing friend Brenda Mee suffered a horrific family tragedy- her husband’s brother-and sister-in-law were killed in a car crash. Condolences and support from her Rotarian friends will be appreciated. She is not in ClubRunner, so Kendra sent an email with her email and phone.
Keith Medieros Services. Keith's family sent an announcement about a memorial/celebration of life on August 27 at Keith’s home. Members are checking the details and will report updates.
Peruvian Food Festival. Mardi announced that there will be a Peruvian food festival at Seacliff Beach Saturday July 30 11-3pm. She handed out colorful flyers with the details. Food must be pre-ordered. Call Mardi to place your order. Let's support this culinary and cultural adventure!
Detective. Mardi was also Detective. She told us about her funny experiences with American junk food (to whet our appetites for real Peruvian food?) She also had some good historical questions -example- the first native American on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?..... Jay Silverheels (Tonto). And, more recently- the Best Band at the 4th of July parade? Sam Nigh's!!!
Professor Carrie Partch on Circadian Rhythms. Our guest speaker was Carrie Partch PhD, a biochemist at UCSC, who spoke and presented a power point on Circadian rhythms. (Not to be confused with cicadas, the 17 year locusts....Rich.)
Dr. Partch explained that all sun-dwelling life builds its schedule around sunlight cycles. As an example of how photosynthetic lives (plants) do it, she showed a time lapse video of a sunflower "waking up" by opening its leaves facing East, tracking the sun to the West as the day progressed, and closing down its leaves at night to "sleep."
Non photosynthetic creatures like humans have developed internal clock schedules.
The focus of Dr. Partch's presentation was on humans' Circadian/sunlight rhythms. Some key points:
  • Our Circadian rhythms affect sleep cycle, appetite, and cognitive performance. Melatonin production increases as night falls and decreases dawn-ish. Blood pressure and heart rates also fall at night and rise in the morning.
  • Most people have an approximate 24-hour sleep-wake cycle, but a "chronotype survey" showed a bell graph of people with longer and shorter cycles, some as short as 20 hours. People with significantly shorter cycles can have problems establishing a regular sleep schedule.
  • People with somewhat shorter sleep cycles tend to be early risers, "morning larks." "Night owls" often have longer cycles. These differences may be inherited, particularly a DNA mutation present in about 1 in 75 Europeans where a tail is missing from a key protein. This genetic difference is frequently misdiagnosed as chronic insomnia.
  • Studies on circadian rhythms have shown that certain times of day are optimal for certain activities. Perhaps most important- the time when food is eaten is as important as what is eaten. Snacks at night, for example, are worst because the body is not prepared to digest them. People participating in a study where they were restricted to 10 hour eating periods and only when active lost weight and lowered their blood pressure. An experiment on mice had similar results and showed the inverse as well- mice with unrestricted eating hours gained significant weight.
  • Though most of us have coffee or tea in the morning, caffeine is actually most effective at 1-2 pm.
  • Workouts are best mid-late afternoon for muscle mass; Skin damage is best repaired just before sleep.
Dr. Partch's lab investigates proteins and genes and the molecular basis for Circadian rhythms. The lab purifies protein crystals and subject them to light at Livermore to see how clock proteins fit together in DNA. They hope to assist in the development of therapies to extend circadian clocks that are too short and perhaps alteration of dosages of drugs to increase their efficacy.
Don’t Tease the Author. BTW- to those members teasing your author about being on the phone working during the meetings- as shown to Dr. Art and Co-Prez Kendra, I was taking notes for this article (I got my degree in journalism). Mostly....
We hope to see everyone in person or on Zoom at Thursday's meeting at Seascape.
Our June 30 lunch was at Seascape.  We had 22 attendees in person, none on zoom but it is recorded.
Ralph Miljanich visited us from Santa Cruz Rotary
Justin Deng was Bill Witmer’s guest.  Justin’s daughter is an Aptos HS recipient of our scholarship this year.  He is recently retired…whatever that word means.
Rick Klevins attended his first meeting after the board approved his application.
Al led us in the Welcome Song on his keyboard.
Nelson brought our projector again so that Seascape won’t try to tag us with a $50 projector fee.
Al advised that hours of visiting Bill Weston at Dominican Oaks are 10am and 2pm, NOT 10am to 2pm, as your author wrote in the most recent Hub.
Jimmy Kutch is also newly placed on Injured Reserve as he fell and broke a  hip.
Dr. Art provided the thought for the Day.
Nelson told the joke of the day- An oxymoron walks into a bar, the silence was deafening…..thanks Mrs. Clinton….
The Board approved the slate of officers for the incoming regime.  We need a volunteer for Sgt. At Arms.  Please talk to Craig about that asap.
Dagmar gave the most memorable announcement of the year about the July 9 beach cleanup, which will be at Rio del Mar starting at 10 am.
Showing rousing patriotic fervor, she wore a thong- bikini US flag long t-shirt.  It was suggested that photos of her adoring/adorning the flag be used in our recruitment efforts.
Almost equally as compelling haberdashery- Rotary capes will be available for wearing at the beach cleanup.  Choose your own super-power. 
Dagmar also brought prosecco and offered a toast to outgoing/demoted President Ken- thanks Dagmar and thanks to all the fabulous members who make this club so special.  As Dagmar pointed out- while most other clubs struggle (ironically)  to get members to volunteer for the myriad of activities and offices, our members volunteer willingly and readily, which exemplifies the spirit and purpose of Rotary.  (except Sgt at Arms, come on guys….)  We also need more folks to help break down the beer booth at the end of the 4th of July  afternoon…..
Kate was the detective and probed the attendees’ knowledge of 4th of July facts, clearly drawing on her skills experience as a teacher.  Overall, members scored a B-.
President Ken can further explain Palsgraff vs. LIRR to anyone significantly bored with life…
Our guest speaker was Martha Denny.  Her connections to the club were that she met Anissa drinking (surprise!) and she recognized Dr. Dover because he saved her baby’s life! 
Martha owns a local accounting firm.  She is married with several kids.  But her story is far from typical- she escaped  dire poverty in Jalisco as one of 13 kids in a farming family with no beds or running water.  Her Dad worked in the US and sent home spare money. As a child she made trinkets to sell to tourists, her brother sold chiclets.  She was thrilled to be one of the only kids in the family to go to school- in her one pair of shoes and one uniform.  As the efforts to process her applications through US Immigration stalled over years, she was smuggled into the US in the trunk of a car when she was 15.  She graduated with a 4.2 GPA from Aptos HS in 1998 despite never having spoken English before getting  here. 
It can take more than ten years to obtain citizenship here. She got her citizenship when she was 30- as a birthday present to herself.
Martha spoke movingly about her passion for education and the motivation for her, and many other immigrants, to come to the US because it offers hope and opportunity.  She extolled the virtues of the education system here, and dismay/disappointment at the number of kids and families who do not take advantage of it and do not appreciate the paths to success that are available here.  She also derided stereotypes against Hispanics, noting that they still exist: when she recently treated her 3 Caucasian employees to a spa day in Monterey recently, the spa staff served her employees first- she also was recently told
” You look like you earn minimum wage.”  Ugh.
Martha fielded many questions from the members, some of which were about sensitive political and personal topics and engendered engaging discussions.  She showed poise and compassion.  It was surprising that with all of her worldly knowledge, she did not know the answer to Eric’s question- where are chiclets made?  Fun facts- they were made in the US until 2019 (now being made in Mexico).  The name is derived a Mexican/Spanish word derived from an Aztec word meaning sticky.
Our next meeting is Jul 6 at Seascape under the new regime of co-President’s Kendra and Laura, neither of which will actually be present that day, how ironic.  So the mice (you) can play while the dictator cats (Kendra & Laura) are on vacation! But be warned, on July 14, Hail to the new Chiefs! 

 Also, first board meeting of the new regime will be on July 21, 10:45am. 
Our June 23 meeting had a special venue- the garden court of Constantine’s bed and breakfast, Cliff Crest just a few blocks from the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz.  The weather was perfect as was the ambience on the grass under the trees. 
Special thanks to Constantine and his charming wife Adrianna for their accommodation, Kendra and Anissa for their extra efforts in setting it  up and coordinating lunch=deli sandwiches that were perfect for the picnic lunch.
Al brought his keyboard and provided some relaxing mood music then led us in the Welcome Song.
Al reported that Bill Westin is in room C 107 at Dominican Oaks
He welcomes visitors but it’s best to be there at 10am or 2pm.
Keith is at home.  He also accepts visitors but tires easily, so visits should be short and coordinated in advance. 

Constantine told the joke of the day- quite funny but not fit for print
Ken was the detective and tested the lunchers’ ability to discern real Rotary fundraisers from fictitious ones.  Hilarity ensued.
Constantine was our guest speaker and gave a presentation on the history of the house from its original construction and ownership to his purchase of it and  his transition from chemical engineer to eminent hotelier. 
Constantine and Adrianna led the guests on tours of the mansion that they have decorated beautifully.  It certainly is a charming property in a great locale with extraordinary owners.
President Ken’s debunking was at the Santa Cruz Yacht Club building on June 27.  Hilarity ensued in no small part to the endless supply of material.  The humiliators were of course very funny but appeared to have pulled their punches.  There has been no confirmation of the rumor that legal action was dangled as a threat.
This Thursday’s meeting will be at Seascape at noon.  The board meeting will precede it starting at 1045am.
Reminder that the 4th of July celebration is on Monday….July 4th….at Aptos Village Park.  All who have not signed up to help- shame on you but seek salvation by attending the fair and spending lots of money at the Capitola Aptos Rotary beer and hard cider booth.

Hybrid Meeting Announcement for 6/23 Rotary: 

Due to the scheduled field trip and logistics, we will NOT be doing a hybrid Zoom meeting on Thursday, June 23rd

Please join us at Cliff Crest Bed & Breakfast, 
407 Cliff St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060
There is plenty of onsite parking behind the main house, and we will convene at Konstantin’s B&B at noon! See you all there. 

NOTE Re: Lunch that day: If you have not gotten a Sandwich order to Kendra [[ kcleary(dot)rotary(at)gmail.com ]] by the morning of Weds 6/22, please bring a bag lunch for yourself to the meeting!

Our June 2 meeting was at Seascape. We had 23 attendees in person and 2 on Zoom

Michele announced the signups for our beer and hard seltzer booth at the July 4th festival in Aptos Village Park and passed around a signup sheet.  We need Ms y more volunteers for the shifts which run 4 hours.

President Ken’s debunking is set for June 27 starting 5 pm at the Santa Cruz Yacht club
The committee to nominate the 2022-2023 President(s) elect is meeting and talking to nominees.

Dr Art announced that Loaves and fishes has asked for help in its food drives the week before thanksgiving and week before Christmas. He is going to the Rotary international convention on Houston in July

Sam soloed leading the Welcome song and 4 way test song

Sue Detective.  She asked members to park about:
Where they grew up and what brought them to California 

Joni :  came here to get away from Winters in Iowa though she is still fond of the Hawkeye star

Anissa came here from Endicott NY and got a job at KDON

Bee came here from South Carolina for college, did nursing school back in South Carolina then returned here asap

Kelly is from Seattle.  His family moved to Colorado and decided to move here while spending Winter in San Diego

Laura grew up near Detroit where her family of 9 kids lived in a log cabin and owned an orchard. Visiting an uncle in LA motivated the move to CA.

Win is from Maine and still loves the state except in Winter 

Trish was born in Honolulu when her dad was in the service. She was Raised in the SoCal mountains, came North for UCSC and stayed

Dave born and raised in Nevada. He came To California for college and officer school. Nice to see him back- he is doing well

Dr Art was raised in Chicago and came here because it was too cold to ride his motorcycle 

Our guest speaker was Alexis Carr

The subject of her presentation was sustainable wine

Marcus is from a Santa Cruz farm family zand got her degree in agriculture at UCSC
She is an expert, connosieur and entertaining speaker. She also brought 3 bottles of Pinot noir: one from Toyon , one from Sante Arcangelli and the third , for tasting.
That certainly did not detract from the enthusiasm of our members
Each vineyard is at a different elevation. They all grow organically using sustainable ag practices.
She told us that in 1980 CA wines beat out French in comparison so SC mountains became own appellation. There are now several micro climates. Grape growers adapting new grape types for climate change  
She and others are studying  damage from smoke- people can taste smoke in wine
Not every grape gets smoke taint, it depends on many factors including where grapes were, when picked. Blanc noir is white wine from red grapes without the skins. Because smoke settles in the skin many producers opted for blanc noir after the 2020 fires.

There is now a glass shortage because much of the sand for wine bottles comes from Ukraine.
She thinks production of box wine may increase because of that and because it is much cheaper to ship because it has much less weight

Laura brought up screw capped wine.
Alexis said that screw tops are not indicator of quality, and one advantage of them is that the do not can’t get cork taint.

Dr Art. asked how the drought was affecting growing practices. A nexus said growers are adopting more efficient water usages.

She note that stressed roots, which have not been irrigated, reach deeper into the soul and absorb different chemicals

Alexis said that because of the 2020 smoke damage many wineries didn’t have a vintage

Most don’t have crop insurance.
Note from your Prez- I had a few cases where people who were only growing grapes purchased crop insurance but their fire damage claims were denied because grapes aren’t considered crops. WTH?  There was intense disagreement with the insurance companies and agents which sold useless policies 

Not endearing:  on Friday Seascape advised that they were charging us a $8 per bottle corkage fee (discounted from $15) even though Alexis opened the wine and brought the glasses and Ken poured.  It’s not so much $24 but…. And they tacked on $50 for using their projector for zoom- again a surprise 

Some of our scholarship recipients from Aptos high and Soquel high will be at our June 9 lunch at Seascape 
Our June 16 lunch is also at Seascape 
Will keep you posted for our June 23 meeting 

Let’s all wish Kendra a full recovery from food poisoning
Our April 28 meeting was in the Tap Room at Michael's on Main.  We had about 25 Rotarians plus our guest speaker on site and 2 zoom attendees.
For the non-attendees- the Tap Room is very well lit and airy, high ceiling with a piano that is not subject to random confiscation by the management and a bar.
The walk from the buffet in another room is about the same as at Seascape.
Our guests were Constantine and Anders .  Supervisor Manu Koenig guested from Seascape, unclear as to why he didn't get the memo and attended the meeting physically in his supervisorial district from a venue in Zach Friend's district.

Julie and Lowry reminded all that the Pickle Ball tournament/fundraiser at Willowbrook Park is on May 22.  The suggested donation is $45 whether participating or not.  We are also offering sponsorships for $250.  We are working on the logistics for food and beverages.  Reminder- no alcohol allowed.

Lowry's birthday was April 1.  Much better to be born on April Fool's Day than conceived on it.

Dr. Art's thought for the day was a moment of silence in remembrance of Holocaust Day.  Never Forget.

Al led us in a birthday song to Lowry and the Welcome Song.  He also played some great background tunes while we were socializing before the meeting, inspiring $3 in his tip jar.

There was no joke of the day so your author has a short sub-G rated one- Why did Captain Cook cross the road?  (answer below)

Michele filled in as detective and predictably was marvelous.  The topic was Pickle Ball.  Members knew some of the answers and some myths about the sport were dispelled- good to have clarity in this era of rampant disinformation
Pickle ball was invented 1965 in the state of Washington by Joel and Bill (?) because their teenage sons were bored.  The legend that it was named after a dog named Pickles is untrue- per the inventor, he made that story up.  Because(???) Surprising (and disappointing) that such scandalous revelations have not knocked the Kardashians out of national media prominence. The original equipment consisted of a whiffle ball, ping pong paddles and a badminton net.    There was a debate about the scoring system that will apparently will not be resolved.

Our super-stand in guest speaker was Kaylene (?) who agreed to speak at the last minute when Carrie Partch was injured.  She introduced me to herself by saying "Kaylene, like 'K' and I leaned over."  Really.  It's Gaelic....and that was just the start

Kaylene has her PhD in chemistry and has transformed that into a career as a wine expert as a researcher and in consulting and sales.  She was fun, informative and charismatic without any slideshow, power point or even props.
Kaylene is a Santa Cruz native who developed an interest in wine well before legal drinking age but has clearly benefitted from the early start.  (She certainly looks young enough to be carded).
 Her 30 minute presentation ranged from the scientific to the practical and whimsical.  Clearly she loves her work, but then again, who wouldn't? 

Academically, she is researching ways to introduce proteins into wine that do not trigger autoimmune responses.
Professionally, she is the wine director at Deer Park and Seascape and works at a wine lab and as an assistant wine maker
Not surprisingly, she knows Anissa, whose connections are astounding.  During the presentation, Anissa, Julie and Michele sat at a table in the back engaging in an impromptu "lab" regarding the subject of the speech.  Troublemakers always sit in the back.

Kaylene explained  the chemical composition of alcohol.  It mostly ethanol alcohol which is converted from glucose and/or fructose- the residual sugar is what makes a wine sweet or dry.  The natural sugar levels are below human sensory perception but give the same feeling.  The perception of sweetness can come from sugar or the viscosity of the wine.

Wine also has acids, mostly tartaric.  Low acid wines reduce the mouth's production of saliva, are less "mouth watering." High acid wines, like champagne, cut fat. The Ph of white wines is generally around 3.2, reds are 3.5.  The Ph of saliva is 6.8-7.2, which means it is basic. 

Wines also contain phenalics; color compounds which also provide the "drying" sensation perception.

The alcohol in the wine must always be in balance with other ingredients.

Kaylene emphasized that wine selection is personal: what do you like to taste? How does it feel in your mouth? What foods are you planning to eat with it'? what is your price range?  She said, "it's not just what's in your glass and your spit."  A bit more elegantly, she said the selection should be based on how the wine in your glass interacts with your body to make you feel good. 

She noted that some wines taste like dirt and mushrooms- which has its niche clientele, but the source of those taste sensations is not understood.  She did not ask for volunteers for continued research but perhaps that could be explored.

The second highlight of the week was the Uno de Mayo party at Keith's house (please don't ask when it happened).
About 30 people attended though President Ken brought liquor for about 60.  There was great food and an abundance of liquid cheer and a good time was had by all.  As befits the duties of President which are otherwise being sorely under-served, your author made frozen daquiris, kamikazees and quarantinis, with great help from Mardi

Inadvertent tragicomedy:  Mardi was bringing a blender and the first blender at Keith's house didn't work so Ken texted Mardi as follows: "SUBJECT Blender;  Keith's died.  Hope you will be here soon."  Mardi did not see the SUBJECT, only, "Keith's died.  Hope you will be here soon."  As though Keith has passed on before his party, but we were carrying on anyway (not sure if that would be as Keith would want it and/or the Capitola Aptos Rotary sprit,  but if that happens with me, please wait to tell the coroner and party on).

Catastrophe averted: Bill and Rita Witmer were hit by a wrong way driver leaving the party but were not seriously injured.  President Ken was accused of ambulance chasing but to be fair, the ambulances were parked.

Today's lunch is at Michael's on Main again.  It is important to be there as we will be deciding whether to make that permanent.

If Manu Koenig contacts anyone, please make sure he is clear this time

See everyone there then.

To get to the Second Hand Store
Our April 20, 22 meeting was a bit lightly attended- 18 people in person, 3 on Zoom. 
Sam soloed on guitar and led us through the Welcome Song and 4-Way test song.
He repeated his double duty by also being the Joker- reading a few more unfortunately worded but real Church announcements – examples- “At the evening service tonight the sermon topic will be, “What is Hell?” come early and listen to our choir practice.”  “Irving B and Jessie C were married on October 24 in the Church.  So ends a friendship that began in their school days.”  “The 8th graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 pm.  The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.”   Reminds your author, who got his degree in journalism, of some fabulously amiss headlines: “China may be using sea to hide submarines”; “Bodies Found at Morgue”; “Feds Raid Gun Shop, Discover Weapons”;  “Tiger Woods plays with own balls, Nike says. “
Constantine was our only non-speaker guest- noted that he has a better attendance records than most of our members.
Keith invited folks to show up a bit early to the Cinco de Mayo party at his house this Sunday May 1st to help set up.  As an incentive- he promised that the bar will be open by then.
Bill Witmer announced that we reached 100% member contribution to the Rotary Foundation- we are one of the few clubs to do that.  Thanks to all the members and to Bill for his powers of subtle persuasion and thinly veiled threats.
Graham announced that several new members have not been formally inducted via their presentation to the club and receipt of their red badges.  If you are one of those folks please contact Ken or Graham.
Kendra reminded everyone that this Thursday’s meeting (April 26)  AND next Thursday’s meeting (May 5) will both be at Michael’s On Main in Soquel, regular start times.  If you don’t know where that is- WTH have you been?  In-person attendance is strongly urged since we will evaluating moving our meetings to Michael’s. 
Detective Win asked questions and provided informative information about Easter, including the origins of the Easter Bunny and colored eggs, and some disturbing statistics on the number of jelly beans and peeps Americans eat at Easter.
Our guest speaker was Megan Durham, a Piatt Scholarship recipient.  She is a 28 year old UCSC student who was born and raised here. She spoke and presented a slide show on her research which involves detecting cancer-causing mutations.  She does DNA sequencing to locate cell mutations at splice sites where the exons are skipped, called incorrect RNA splice sites.  Cells that skip the exons in the DNA/RNA sequencing are suspect for cancer-causing. She grows cells and observes their viability- cancer-causing cells survive much longer than normal cells.  Her research has confirmed her theory and located specific mutations that in turn can be treated with currently-available medications.
Her research is specific to lung cancer cells.  There are 2.1 million lung cancer cases reported worldwide each year, 1.8 million are eventually fatal. 
Megan is a very effective speaker- highly intelligent (obviously) but able to bring the discussion somewhat down to our level.  She is also very personable.  It’s obvious that the Piatt scholarship money has been well used. 
Megan was introduced by Dr. Peter Biehl, the dean of her department at UCSC.  Dr. Biehl spoke glowingly about education in the USA (he is originally from a small German village) and the influence of clubs like ours.  His story of being the first one from his village to graduate from high school, let alone college, was inspirational.  He was accompanied by Almut Wolf, who is the Assistant Director of Foundation Relations at UCSC.  She is also from Germany and, though she didn’t speak to the club, had some very pleasant and informative conversations at the table.  After the meeting Megan, Dr. Biehl and Ms. Wolf stayed for a bit and told us how much they actually enjoyed our club- we were so much fun, in addition to actually paying attention and asking informed questions.  Yes, we rock.
They suggested a field trip to their lab, which seems like a great idea.
Please respond to the head count!
See everyone at Michael’s (2591 S Main St, Soquel, CA 95073) Thursday and Keith’s on Sunday!
Our April 14 meeting was attended by 22 people in person and 3 on zoom

Announcements:  the Club's Cinco de May on Uno de Mayo is at Keith's house- parking is tight, bring a dish to share.  Guests are welcome and encouraged.  If you haven’t signed up please do so asap so Keith can plan accordingly.

The club Pickle ball fundraising tournament will be at Willowbrook Park on May 22 from 9-5.  The donation is $45.  We get the courts and adjacent parts of the park so it will be a great day even for the non-players and of course a nice revenue raiser for our charities.   Leashed pets are allowed.

We will be selling beer and probably hard seltzer and wine at the  4th of July party in Aptos Park.  We will need volunteers to help set up, serve/pour and break down. 

Lowry reported that he visited the Kingston NY Rotary and exchanged banners with them.  He had one of theirs but no other proof of his story, which is suspect given the photo attached.
For Revolutionary War buffs- the British burned Kingston in retaliation/anger over the battle of Saratoga.

Michele announced that there will be a fundraising opportunity for the roast of Willy Elliot-McRea, the retiring CEO of Second Harvest, probably in the Fall.

After a brief pause to get in tune, Sam and Al led rousing versions of the Welcome Song and the 4 Way Test.

Sam's Jokes of the Day were readings of several actual announcements sent out by Church service groups with unintentionally funny word juxtaposition that made the messages mean something quite different than the authors intended.  Lack of editing.....

Graham did a great job as Detective with educational and entertaining questions with differing degrees of relationship to Easter, including references to Peter Rabbit and Beatrix Potter, the Killer Rabbit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Alice and Wonderland's White Rabbit.

President Ken presented Al DeCamara and Bill Gray with their Paul Harris certificates and pins.

Rod Dirdiron was our guest speaker, via Zoom. 
Mr. Dirdiron had been the chair of many transit projects in Bay Area, has held several political offices and has the San Jose transportation hub named after him.
He has been a Rotarian for over 50 years and is now actively involved in Rotary's Climate Action Council.  Climate action has become Rotary's seventh Avenue of Service.  He urged the club to appoint a delegate to the disctrict's council on climate change which meets Mondays at 5pm.  Volunteers?

After a technical glitch heroically solved by Nelson, Mr. Dirdiron presented a series of slides via power point accompanied by his oral explanations and information on climate change.

Some of the highlights of the presentation:
There have been 5 mass extinctions from carbon buildup, some scientists say we are headed to 6th mass extinction if changes are not implemented by 2030.
Samples from the polar icepack and Greenland ice pack show that CO2 concentrations are the highest they have been in 800,000 years.
Per many agencies, including the UN, NOA and NASA, climate change is caused by humans and will be Irreversible if not addressed asap.  The planet's temperature has risen 2 degrees in the past 70 years, which coincides with the increase in global use of fossil fuels.  The last 4 years have been the hottest in recorded history. The UN has issued a code red State of Emergency for the planet because of the effects of climate change.

There is opposition to efforts to get away from reliance on fossil fuels from oil and coal companies.

38 per cent of CO2 in Calif is from transportation- 20 per cent from industry, small amounts from agriculture.

Populations at the equator are moving because of climate change.

We are seeing the beginning of planet-wide disruption in food production and supply, water shortages and unexpected epidemics.
Ocean warming is causing more water vapor and weather extremes;
A polar ice melt could increase ocean heights by 60 feet 

The solution is a  rapid switch to alternative energy; transform power grids; abandon carbon based energy sources worldwide.

Lowry asked about carbon tax: Mr. Dirdiron said it was a great idea but has been-blocked by Republicans and Democratic Senators, Sinema and Manchin
He added that President Biden's Build Back Better bill has not passed yet

On the local level:
Dr Art asked about the claim by Yes on D (Greenway) that rails in place are not suitable.  Mr. Dirdiron is a backer of No on D. He said that rail scrappers and oil companies are committing subterfuge.
He also said that federal grant money is available for rail projects like the one proposed here.

This Thursday's lunch is at Seascape.  April 28 and May 5 will be at Michael's on Main.  PLEASE respond to the RSVPs for lunch.
Here are some other highlights, we received a letter from Walnut Avenue, we are glad we can Serve to Change Lives! We are bringing you also the magic around the Nisene Marks hike with some photos as well as the participation of Lowry in a golf tournament, we are proud of you all!
See everyone on 4/21!

Letter from Walnut Avenue
Lowry Fenton
Nisene Marks Hike 
I am Groot
Banana Slug
This grove of about 40 trees corkscrews so they were never logged 
Our April 7 meeting at Seascape had 28 attendees in person and 3 on zoom. 
Constantine was a non-surprise guest and during the pre-meeting social got chatted up into having an event at his Bed and Breakfast which is near the Boardwalk- looks like that will be in June.
Al keyboarded us in the Welcome Song I n his inimitable style, but- we miss Sam’s accompanying guitar.
Dr. Art’s thought for the day hit home- “You know your age when you sit on the floor and can’t get up”
Announcements: Keith reminded everyone that his Cinco de Mayo party is on Uno de Mayo at his house.  Every event at Keith’s house is a great time.  He passed around the signup sheet.  Guests are welcome and encouraged.  Parking is tight so car-pooling is encouraged.
Dagmar reported on the beach cleanup- a comparatively small turnout was attributed to the 9am start time (usually 10 am) so the next one will start at 10 am.  The small but mighty crew picked up 17 lbs. of trash including over 150 cigarette butts and a bunch of recyclables.  The event saw the debut of Rotary capes which appear to confer superhero powers on the wearers.  Michele and Kunha looked like Supergirl and Wonder Woman.
Win announced the non-denominational concert at his church which is raising money for Ukraine.
Dr. Art was honored with a Paul Harris Award certificate recognizing his incredibly generous donations.
He then was the detective and asked members to name a Black author and/or a book written by a Black author.  The club members did pretty well- Oprah, the Obamas, Dr. King, James Baldwin, and a few members knew authors and books that Dr. Art didn’t know about. 
Don’t even want to mention Rich’s answer… accurate but…..
Our guest was Jack Brown who spoke on behalf of Yes on Greenway.  Jack had a slide show and an oral presentation and took questions from the members, and there was some discussion among the members.  Hoyles Rules were not strictly followed.
Highlights of Jack’s presentation:
The proposed  pedestrian/bike trail will be paid for by existing funds from proposition D.  The proposed railway would cost millions of dollars.
The existing rails cannot carry any trains other than 5-10 mph freight, and freight traffic is minimal since the Davenport cement plant closed.  The measure would probably result in the existing tracks being torn up.
The rail trail runs from Watsonville to the San Lorenzo bridge just South of the Boardwalk, it is 32 miles.  It does not impact Big Trees/Roaring Camp’s line.
Rail Banking maintains the status of the land so that future rail use is not forfeited.
If passed, the proposition would amend the current county plan from the current focus on developing a passenger rail line from Watsonville to Los Gatos, to prioritizing the trail.
RTC surveys in 2016 showed only 300 riders would use the service.  Michele Bassi noted that neither she, nor anyone else she knew in Watsonville, had been contacted and there was very little information circulated to Watsonvillians.
Laura questioned the wisdom of dismantling the existing alternative infrastructure to Hwy 1, especially given the daily traffic jams.
Kelly noted the great expense of maintaining/repairing the deteriorating trestles.
Doug pointed out that all commuter train systems are heavily subsidized, the fares do not fully pay for construction and maintenance.
Jack said one problem with the proposed passenger train is that it would require riders to drive or otherwise make their way to the train stations, ride in with stops along the way, then find another way to get to their destination.
Anissa won the raffle in her leopard print dress.
Actual Cinco de Mayo is Thursday (do we have to say May 5?) and that lunch, as well as 4/28, will be at Michael’s on Main.
(May 4th is Star Wars Day….if you don’t know why, say the date slowly).
PLEASE fill out the RSVPs for the lunches, even for Michael’s on Main.  Every restaurant that we contacted (about 12) said they would require it and the area presidents who are looking for new places also report that head counts are required.  Kendra has made the form as easy as possible and if we don’t get accurate head counts we will either be paying for meals that go uneaten (no doggie bags allowed for buffets, per state law) or we will be short of food- as happened this past Thursday.
See everyone at Seascape on April 14!
Club Officers
Co-President Elect
Co-President Elect
Immediate Past President
The Rotary Foundation
Service Projects
Club Foundation Chair
Public Image Chair
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Zach Friend, Supervisor
Feb 16, 2023 12:00 PM
update on our district
ALT LOCATION: Beth Carr, President/CEO
Feb 23, 2023 5:30 PM
Santa Cruz Community Credit Union sells branch to help the poor
Julie Anderson
Mar 02, 2023 12:00 PM
Brain Personality Connection
ALT LOCATION: speech contest
Mar 09, 2023 4:45 PM
Club Level High School Speech Contest, Topic "Imagine Rotary"
Liz DePuydt
Mar 16, 2023 12:00 PM
Safe Families for Children
FIELD TRIP: Kevin Weatherwax, Piatt scholar
Mar 23, 2023 12:00 PM
UCSC Field Trip
FIELD TRIP: Annieglass tour
Mar 30, 2023
field trip to Annieglass
Matt Machado
Apr 06, 2023 12:00 PM
Public Works on building permits
Melissa Wolf
Apr 13, 2023 12:00 PM
Living Unchained
Dr. Birchbark
Apr 20, 2023 12:00 PM
Birchbark Foundation
Kathleen Crocetti
Jun 08, 2023 12:00 PM
Watsonville Brillante
Rotary International
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Second woman nominated as Rotary International president

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