Ann Arbor Rotary Harpoon


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Harpoon for the Week of April 26, 2017

Wednesday's Luncheon Meeting will be in the
Michigan Union's Anderson Room

2017 Rotaract year comes to a close
Rotarians at Glacier Hills update
DOGS is looking for a picnic table

Speaker: Joel Berg, CEO, Hunger Free America
Responsibility for All America

Joel Berg is CEO of Hunger Free America, which has been called one of the leading direct service and advocacy organizations on hunger and poverty in the nation.  Joel is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on US politics, hunger, poverty, food, volunteerism, and nutrition.  Joel will use humor and hard facts to discuss how all Americans are responsible for the nation’s declining middle class, surging poverty, and imperiled democratic institutions; and how all of us are responsible for fixing them by requiring concrete, specific actions from all Americans to make ourselves accountable for the success of the entire nation.  

Song Leader:  Shelley McMillan
Accompanist:  Maurita Holland
Inspirational Speaker: Victor Stoeffler
Greeters:  Norma Sarkar, Chuck Ritter

Attendance:  Vic Rosenberg, Susan Rossi


Upcoming Meetings and Events

  • 11:00 New Member Six-Week Meeting, Room 2105B Michigan Union, Ebru Misirli Mansfield
  • May 2 (Tues) – Food Gatherers Recognition of Ann Arbor Rotary, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
  • May 3 – Social Committee, Susan Smith Gray
  • May 3 Speaker: Lou Anna Simon, President of Michigan State University, "Michigan State University - the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams"  
  • May 4 – 7 (Fri-Sun):  District 6380 Conference, Mackinac Island
  • May 5 (Fri) 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm – DOGS Spruce up Alpha House, Phil Weiss
  • May 6 (Sat) 8:00 – 12:00 noon – DOGS Spruce up Alpha House – Phil Weiss
  • May 10 Speaker: Thomas Shehab, M.D., Innovations in Health Care: Why do Physicians Still Have Waiting Rooms
  • May 13 (Sat.):  Touch-A-Truck, Norman Herbert
  • May 17: STRIVE Awards Banquet, Andy Dahlmann, Jennifer Schwartz
  • May 23 (Tues):  Social Committee “Act Your Age”, 7:30 Kerrytown Concert House
  • May 31: Our luncheon meeting will be in LEAGUE Ballroom. We will be treated to a jazz concert. Guests are welcome!
Farther Out:
  • June 10-14 - Rotary International Convention, Atlanta
  • Sept 11 (Mon):  Golf & Tennis Outing, Travis Pointe Country Club
  • Sept 17 (Sun): Playscape Grand Opening
  • Sept 23 (Sat): One Rotary Summit in Troy (details later at

Details on monthly meetings may be found on the club's website.

Notes of Interest


2017 Rotaract year comes to a close
Rotaract had so much fun at the last potluck - the perfect end to an incredible year. They closed the year volunteering at an urban farm with Neighbors Building Brightmoor and working a Rent-a-Rotaractor project. Several will be serving as RYLA chaperones or representing at the District Assembly next weekend - so the Rotaract train keeps kicking! 
The Rotary Fights Summer Hunger campaign has grown to be Food Gatherer's fifth largest food donation event.  In recognition, they are honoring us at their Spring Gathering on Tuesday May 2nd from 5-7pm at their location.  We will be receiving their Community Gatherers Award.  All Rotarians are welcome, but please call Food Gatherers to RSVP.
Rotarians at Glacier Hills update
The Rotarians at Glacier Hills met on Friday, April 21st and again the meeting room was at full capacity.  Our featured speaker was Club member Susan Froelich, Chair of the International Projects Committee.  She gave an overview of the work of the Committee and shared detailed information about the impact of eight recent projects.  Susan received many questions and compliments, and will likely receive more as attendees reread the handout she provided.  Snap Shots were given by Duane Renken and Ashish Sarkar, and Tom Millard treated everyone to a copy of the hot-off-the-press The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor History Minute 1916-2016.  ”  An additional treat was hearing from Glacier Hills’ new President, Reed Vander Slik.  
The next meeting will be on Friday, May 19, and the guest speaker will be Club member Griff McDonald.  The working title of his presentation is Trends & Directions in Retirement Investments.  If you are planning on attending please give Kristine a quick call at 734-929-6759 or email her at 
DOGS looking for a picnic table
The DOGS Committee is looking for a picnic table for the staff as part of their project to spruce up Alpha House.  The table needs to be sturdy and useable but the DOGS are happy to repair it.  If you have a table you are willing to donate, contact Phil Weiss,
Summary of Board of Director’s Meeting, April 19, 2017
The Board of Director’s Meeting was held Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at the United Way Building. The Club’s active membership on March 31 was 320 Active Members plus six Honorary members, eight Inactive Emeriti plus two new Members Elect. The Board acknowledged with great sadness that Bill Stegath passed away on March 29 at the age of 97. Bill served as Club President from 1991-1992 and will be truly missed by all of us who had the privilege of knowing him. The Club’s attendance for March’s four meetings was 38%. 103 was the average for attendance and 62% of our Active members attended at least one regular meeting during the month of March.
On March 31, the Operating Fund Balance was $44,798.51. The Club's Endowment Investment market value was $1,854,126.97. It was noted that 32 members have not yet submitted their annual CSA assessment due in December 2016. Final notices will be sent out this month.
Peg Talburtt presented the list of awards for this year’s Community Grants Program. Before announcing the recipients, she summarized the exceptional quality of this year’s applications and how difficult it was not to be able to support more of the very deserving proposals received.
President-Elect John Ackenhusen presented his proposed budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year which was passed unanimously by the Board. He also presented proposed updates to the Club’s Constitution and By-Laws for the Board’s future consideration.

Notes from the Meeting

When President Collyer struck the Rotary bell, everyone rose and joined in in singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” He then nodded to Ingrid Sheldon, who approached the podium to give the Inspiration. And what an Inspiration! “I thought to speak about taxes. Taxes are like golf – you drive hard to get to the green, only to end up in the hole,” [laughter and applause], but I’d really like to say that one of the greatest joys in life is to give to those in need.”
Collyer then asked Social Committee members Shelley MacMillan, bedecked in a stunning wide-brimmed straw hat, and Ed Hoffman, who sported a “steam punk” ensemble of a (borrowed) top hat and vivid green aviator glasses. Frankly, Mr. Hoffman’s couture was a bit of an overreach, but then he is the ingénue in this committee. Their message, however, was unambiguous: the upcoming “Act Your Age” event starring Beth Urech, on Tuesday, May 23rd, at Kerrytown Concert House is not to be missed! This performance, which promises to make the audience “laugh and groan,” costs only $25, and was made possible by Ann Schriber.  
Steve Pierce and Tom Strode then led us in song – three, to be precise. They were, however, well-chosen, and the assembly returned the compliment by belting them out with gusto: “Happy Days Are Here Again,” “Don’t Fence Me In,” a Pierce favorite, but, according to Steve, “Cole Porter thought of it as his worst song”; and our beloved Rotary standard, “The Happy Wanderer.”
Collyer thanked Steve, Tom, and Ingrid as well as all the volunteers who made the meeting possible. We then heard from Scott Nelson, president of RCAA North. Scott pointed out the steady support Rotary North has given over the years to our club’s events, including the G&T Outing, Centennial celebrations, and the World Peace Conference. In return he asked for a simple favor: “This is our [Rotary North’s] 50th anniversary. Please attend our Third Annual Invitational on May 20th at Washtenaw Golf Club…you can come just for dinner!” Hearty applause followed Scott’s address, emphasizing the friendship between the two clubs. Let’s take Scott up on his offer!
Dave Schmidt, a recent Emeritus member, came to the podium and delivered a very personal introduction to his good friend and colleague, Brooks Sitterley, in celebration of his attaining Emeritus status. “He earned every possible award in the Boy Scouts, [and achieved] academic excellence….He was going to be a lawyer, but decided to go to medical school, where he joined the same medical fraternity as mine.” A groundbreaking radiological imaging specialist, “Brooks helped found an HMO,” and has served in many leadership capacities during his membership in RCAA. “It is my privilege to celebrate Brooks as an Emeritus member of this club.” Everyone in the room rose in spontaneous tribute to Brooks, who beamed for Fred’s camera while brandishing the Maize & Gold Rotary blanket Collyer had presented to him.
Laura Thomas, Junior Rotarian chair, took the podium and introduced the assembly to Huron High School’s Junior Rotarians, Taimor Williams and Shiksa Sneha. Taimor’s brother was also commended, but could not attend as he was competing in a school tennis tournament. As Laura remarked about the Junior Rotarians, “I’ve come to understand how these young people utilize their time efficiently.” One needed only to look about the room to notice the universal admiration for these accomplished young people. In closing, Laura welcomed them to consider becoming Rotarians in the future.
Collyer returned to the podium to bestow a special Paul Harris Award. “Her life represents the values of Rotary,” he began, “I am delighted to award this Paul Harris to Lauren Warren [of Huron High School]. Thank you for your commitment to the values of Rotary!” A loud ovation followed as Lauren accepted the award, and thanked Collyer and the members.
Working for Michigan's Environment
Past President Paul Glendon came up to introduce our speaker, Chris Kolb, President and CEO of the Michigan Environmental Council. As Paul began, “You all know that Earth Day is this Saturday. Chris Kolb has deep roots in Ann Arbor: He was a member of this club in the 90s, until his duties took him out of the area. (His father was a long-time member.) Chris was a Delegate in Lansing…and he was named by the Governor as a co-chair of the Flint Water Commission, where he was able to detect who was at fault for that fiasco – the Emergency Manager and the [water utility officers].”
“I’m assuming most of you don’t know the Michigan Environmental Council, or have a sense of the scope of what we do,” Mr. Kolb began. “We were founded in 1980 and now represent over seventy environmental groups.” He then touched on one of the Council’s recipes for its ongoing success: “We focus solely on policy, not politics…we work with Lansing. There’s a saying there that ‘if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu!’”
Kolb gets a lot of mileage out of his staff and volunteers: “We have a budget of $2 million. Our expertise is supported by our relationships with decision-makers – We are perceived as honest brokers in environmental matters.” He then described some of the issues the Council is involved with: “Safe drinking water. [Our goal] is to pass the nation’s most stringent water purity laws, and to make sure the water utilities KNOW WHERE all their lead pipes are located.” Kolb then addressed the critical dangers of lead contamination: “There is no safe level…this exposure affects a child for life.” A particularly pungent fact followed – “Ten percent of juvenile crime can be attributed to childhood lead poisoning.”
Recycling is another initiative that gets the attention of the MEC. “Sixty to seventy percent of what we consume is recyclable. Right now, in Michigan, we recycle only 15 percent. Now the Governor has a more modest goal [compared to ours] – to double that amount to 30%.” Water poisoning from long-term agricultural runoff and septic failures is another concern. “Michigan is the ONLY state without a septic code,” Kolb emphasized. There have been positive achievements, however. One is Clean Energy, “perhaps Michigan’s greatest area of progress over the last ten years.” He cited the commitment of Traverse City, Northport, and others “to running 100% of their public buildings by clean energy.” Another victory has been Michigan’s outdoor industry: “[It’s] significantly larger than Colorado’s or Utah’s,” Kolb asserted, “and generates $1.4 billion in taxes.” He recommends the establishment of an Office of Outdoor Recreation. “That would put a spotlight on our public lands.”
However, one issue dominated the end of Kolb’s address – the condition of Line 5, the aged oil line running underwater between the Straits of Mackinac, near the Bridge, where a break, as Joe Fitzsimmons noted in a question later, “would flow into both Lakes.” Mr. Kolb added, “It [the oil line] is now 60 years old, with a life expectancy of 50.” He urges the line’s decommissioning, quickly. In summary, with regard to Line 5 or algae blooms in our ponds and rivers, Kolb quoted a letter received by a concerned citizen: “’Without safe water and safe soil, we can’t have safe food.’ Michigan is significantly under-spending in its water infrastructure.”
Collyer thanked our speaker, and rang the Rotary bell in adjournment.
“Be The difference that makes A difference.” – Nagaraja Rao
Notes by Ed Hoffmann, Photos by Fred Beutler


Meeting Statistics
A total of 121 Rotarians learned about the Michigan Environmental Council from former Ann Arbor Rotarian Chris Kolb. It was the best turnout of members since January. We also had one member-elect (Beth Nissen), one Visiting Rotarian (Scott Nelson, President of Ann Arbor North) and eight guests. Just before lunch, a total of 22 Rotarians met in meetings of the Program, Rotary Youth Exchange and Operations committees. Also reported were two meetings for the Peace Conference (a total of ten members on January 26 and February 1), eleven members in a STRIVE meeting on March 10, four Rotarians honoring Jim Reece on March 17, 15 members at the Board Meeting on April 19, four Rotarians of the Website committee on April 20, 15 Rotarians at the Glacier Hills satellite meeting on April 21 and eight members at the District Assembly on April 22 (whew!).
Makeup Cards for Roving Rotarians
None this week.
  • April 24 – John Debbink
  • April 24 – Bob Mull
  • April 24 – Dennis Powers
  • April 28 – Dave McDowell
  • April 29 – Don Devine
  • April 29 – Glenna Frank Miller

Websites of interest to Rotarians

Rotary International: The RI home page has links to About Rotary, The Rotary Foundation, Club Locator and Member Access. Our Club is in Zone 29. The zone has 17 districts and covers portions of Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ontario.

District 6380Our district's website includes 51 clubs in the counties of Washtenaw, Livingston, Oakland and Macomb in Michigan and Kent in Ontario. The district’s monthly newsletter and articles of district-wide interest are posted there.

Rotary Club of Ann Arbor: Our Club’s website provides background material and information including the current Annual Report, Active Framework (aka Strategic Plan), New Member Nomination Form, Committee Descriptions, Club and Golf Outing brochures, synopses of upcoming programs and an archive of Harpoons. Find us on Facebook.

Submit news, committee meetings, and announcements to the Harpoonthe newsletter of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor. Contact the Club to subscribe by email.

Our Club also sponsors the following Rotaract and Interact Clubs:

 U-M Rotaract Club

Huron High Interact Club

Pioneer High Interact Club

"Rotary Serving Humanity"