Fellow Rotarians
Our 2/15/24 lunch meeting at Seascape had 20 attendees in person and 3 on zoom
No guests other than our guest speaker 

Lowry ran the meeting with style as usual
Sandy gave a grants update- we now have 6 applicants.  She encouraged us to find more.  We will look suspiciously at any 501 Cs with any variation of a member’s name on it. 
The speech contest is Feb. 29- Several entrants from Soquel HS but so far no kids from Aptos HS.  Your author knows kids who go to AHS, including some whose parents are attorneys- nope, not interested….might have to come up with a way to make it a video game?
 We need more members to review the scholarship applications 
Pam gave a rousing speech for us to get more donations for Treasure Cove fundraiser.  Her cheerleading talents were on full display.  Maybe that’s who we should be focusing our speech contest on- cheerleaders are used to yelling in front of crowds, speaking to us should be easy.
Dr. Art had the thought for the day:
If liberty means anything it means being able to tell people things they don’t want to hear.
Ironic that we didn’t have a joke of the day?
2/3 of UTI played the welcome song- Al did the keyboard ala Herbie Hancock
Rich played the rarely seen and, in this case, barely heard, ukelele bass
Lowry showed resourcefulness in holding a microphone in front of it- roadies are under-appreciated,
For announcements Kendra worked the crowd  in her sleek black ensemble like a game show host- a future side gig maybe?
The full band, Al, Sam and Rich had been trying to get gigs to play on Valentine’s Day, but nobody wanted UTI on VD
Kelly’s shirt drew more attention than his baritone voice
Al said, “ I haven’t seen a shirt like that since I woke up in an elevator in Las Vegas.” 
We have questions.  And probably many disturbing mental images.  Not sure if any of us want to know what happened. It might provide some historical context for the band name though.  Asleep in the Elevator doesn’t have the same panache.
Our guest speaker Bruce Jaffee did a brief detective stint about County government- a few things we learned-
The County budget is $1.1 billion and has 35 departments.   BTW, the County population is 265,000. That works out to $37,000 per person? 
Dr Art was the detective
Drawing on his experiences as a world traveler he had us name islands then pay the fines – we were able to come up with many and raised a lot of money quickly.  Great job Dr. Art
But he was taking notes and there was no disclaimer that he not was looking for new destinations for his travel medicine business (slogan, Don’t See the World Until You See Me, with a photo of unconscious Al in the elevator?)
Jack again used his Cal Bears hat to collect fines- particularly painful for us Stanford guys. 
Our guest speaker was Bruce Jaffe PhD, who just retired after over 30 years with USGS and also 25 years on the board of the Soquel Creek Water District.  He is coincidentally a candidate for Supervisor.  Bruce has his doctorate in earth science
Dr. Art asked if there was a geologic basis for all the potholes and there were many follow ups-might be. 
Bruce referenced the road-repair funding issues that Matt Machado told us about and said the “My Santa Cruz” app is a good way to get potholes dealt with.  BTW, the County can’t just reallocate money towards road maintenance- much of the budget comes from “non-discretionary” state and federal funds that are required to be spent on specific projects.
The focus of Bruce’s talk was Soquel Creek Water District and in particular the Pure Water Soquel project which is coming on line soon. He explained the reasons for the progressive rate increases we will see- the Sentinel had an article about it on Friday,
Pure Water Soquel will recycle water, purify it via microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light with oxidation then put it into the water system- as Kelly said, “drinking our own waste.”  It does pass all tests for safety,   The same technology is being used in many areas in Monterey and Southern California.
The water will also be pumped back into the aquifer which is being overdrawn and resulting in seawater intrusion, this pumping should reverse that.
The $145 million project was funded in large part by low interest loans from the state and federal government and grants. 
Bruce also explained the new rate structure that is designed to incentivize water conservation. 
Kendra questioned the need for such high rates- she lives in Santa Cruz now and her water bills are a fraction of what she paid when she was on Soquel Creek water.  She unnecessarily confessed to being a water glutton and taking long showers- just to prove the point?   Bruce was interested in that and offered to look into that- the water bills, not the shower.
Thanks for Kate and her phone for the occasional musical interludes during Bruce’s talk- it filled in the quiet times between questions. 
The raffle pot is down since Michele claimed it last week- winner wasn’t present this week.
Ken has not offered to lead hikes through Nisene Marks lately because it’s muddy, slippery, trees are down and the trails have been closed (to those who don’t know the back entrances) because of the dangerous conditions.  He will let everyone know when conditions permit.
Instead, how about going to the men’s gymnastics meet at Stanford March 16, 4pm, vs. Oklahoma. Those are the top 2 teams in the nation and have half the Olympic team on them.  There’s a tailgater at 2.  Let Ken know if you want to go and he will try buy or reserve tickets.  Usually $0-10.  As Jack can now attest- best gymnastics this side of the Olympics- and there will be 80+ Olympic level routines in 2 hours- no commercials.
See everyone Thursday!!!