Ann Arbor Rotary Harpoon


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Harpoon for the Week of July 19, 2017

No Meeting this Week - Have Fun at the Art Fair!

Young Rotarians Host Happy Hour
You Are Needed for our Golf and Tennis Outing


Upcoming Meetings and Events

  • July 25 (Tue): Young Rotarians Happy Hour, Dominick's (see article below)
  • July 26, 11:00:  G&TO Committee Open Meeting, John Simpkins
  • July 26, 12:00 Luncheon Meeting - Greg Stejskal, "Talking to Michigan Football Teams About Illegal Gambling and Lots of Other Stuff'"
  • August 11 (Fri): G&TO Executive Committee, 9:00 a.m., Bank of Ann Arbor, Plymouth Road
  • August 16, 11:00: G&TO Committee Open Meeting, John Simpkins
  • August 24 (Thurs): Rollin' on the Detroit River (
  • Sept 8 (Fri): G&TO Executive Committee, 9:00 a.m., Bank of Ann Arbor, Plymouth Road
  • Sept 11 (Mon):  Golf & Tennis Outing, Travis Pointe Country Club
  • Sept 17 (Sun): Playscape Grand Opening, Chuck Blackmer
  • Sept 23 (Sat): One Rotary Summit in Troy (details later at
  • Oct 11 (Wed): New member induction and orientation

If you would like  your meeting to appear here, email
Details on monthly meetings may be found on the club's website.


Notes of Interest

Young Rotarians Host Happy Hour
The first monthly Young Rotarians Happy Hour will be held Tuesday, July 25, from 5 pm to 7 pm at Dominick's, 812 Monroe St., Ann Arbor.  This event is for anyone who considers themselves to be on the younger side of Rotary membership, or simply young at heart.  We look forward to a time of fellowship with other like-minded professionals from different Rotary Clubs in the Area.  This event will be held the last Tuesday of every month.  Feel free to invite friends who are not yet Rotarians, but might consider joining.
You Are Needed For Our Golf And Tennis Outing!
The 2017 Golf and Tennis Outing, our largest fundraiser supporting our club’s charitable contributions, is approaching (September 11, 2017), and I want to invite to participate:
  • If you have worked with a corporate sponsor (e.g., tee sponsor) in the past and have not invited them to contribute this year, could you please do so?
  • If you have donated an item to our auction in past years and are willing to do so again, could you please let us know via the donation form linked below?
  • If you plan to register and have not yet, can you do so using a printed copy of the registration form at the link below (website version will be up soon, but not yet)?
The GTO is returning to the Travis Pointe Country Club, which in past years has provided great access to the auction items that will be displayed around the table for bidding.  Please look over the GTO brochure for more information.   If you are able to donate an item to our auction, please contact member Cassie Dawes Rein (  Tee and non-golfing sponsorships are filling up (there are only so many tees!), so if you wish to support the GTO in that way, would you please inform member Norman Herbert (
John Ackenhusen

Notes from the Meeting

A beautiful day: The Anderson Room was cool and comfortable and everybody was enjoying lunch (and perhaps in mid-sentence)  when President John rang the Rotary bell. A resonant “God Bless America” filled the room, after which Ed Hoffman came to the podium to deliver the Inspiration – Bob Mull’s Inspiration, actually, as Bob had to attend to a family matter. So Ed read Bob’s lovely words about growing up in Michigan, near Grand Rapids; his lyrical descriptions of fishing in its lakes, and of the responsibility he feels “as a riparian,” owner of a lake property, for the environment. “I would like to tell you a personal story about living in the Great Lakes region, and Michigan in particular,” he began. Then a reminiscence: “My father impressed upon me how special the Great Lakes were…[and he] was indeed correct that Michigan and…the region is a truly special place on this earth.” In conclusion Bob linked his message with that of our speaker: “I urge all of us to support actions that protect our Great Lakes region. I am pleased we have our speaker today to educate us and look forward to hearing his remarks. Thank you.” Thank you, Bob.
Then Shelley MacMillan and Joanie Knoertzer, our wonderful music directors, led us in singing Shel Silverstein’s majestic psalm, “The Great Lakes Song.” What an experience -- a hundred or so people murmering, like a heaving winter swell, the refrain: “Sweet Mother Michigan, Father Superior/Coming down from Mackinaw and Sault Ste. Marie/Blue water Huron/Rolls down to Lake Erie-o, falls into Ontario…And runs out to sea.” At the conclusion Shelley pondered, “Al Storey is with us today and will critique us, so I’m nervous.”
John returned to the podium to welcome the members, visiting Rotarians, and guests. Several distinguished Rotary guests were present: former district governors Michael Angelo Caruso and Jim Gilmore and Ann Nauts, our Assistant District Governor. Among the many guests was Larry Eiler, hosted by Immediate Past President Collyer Smith.
After wishing a happy birthday to those celebrating this week, John asked Ann Nauts to describe an upcoming event, ‘Rolling Down the River,’ Ann urged the members to “get your tickets before they’re gone,” and that the cruise along the Detroit River is quite beautiful.
Next, Former DG Michael Angelo Caruso addressed the audience in tribute to Collyer Smith. “I would be in contact with 52 club presidents. [I found] some clubs like to run their own show and don’t really care to interface with the district governor,” Michael began, “then there was Collyer.” After recounting his many meetings and warm cooperation with our Immediate PP, he announced: “I am pleased to present Collyer with this Distinguished Service pin. We’re going to work on something together – that’s how it works [meaning, ‘forget about retiring’]. Every solution creates another problem,” Michael laughingly proclaimed. Raucous applause followed as the color receded from Collyer’s face and he began to realize his one week of languid freedom had ended decisively. What’s Pacino’s famous line from Godfather IV?
Ed Wier then announced the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award in a moving speech. First, though, he listed his fellow-members on the bestowing committee: Anne Glendon, Jim Irwin, Len Stenger, Ashish Sarkar, and Agnes Reading. He then continued: “Think of all the encouragement and financial support given to struggling area students by – Ann Arbor Rotary STRIVE. Ladies and gentlemen, our Distinguished Service Award recipient, Andy Dahlmann!” A standing ovation followed as Andy came forward. To his surprise his father, uncle, daughter and sister were present, at a table on the other side of the room. “We could see the enthusiasm in his work for STRIVE,” Ed noted, “and Andy would want me to mention the members of the STRIVE Committee. Now, I’d like to ask Patricia Garcia to come up and say a few words about Andy.” More applause as PP Patricia Garcia stepped to the mic. “Andy Dahlmann has been an important person in my life for 27 years. STRIVE founder, Judy Tull DeSalis, said once ‘When Andy joined STRIVE we still had many problems. The gap in age between students and Committee members [was apparent].’” This gap, Patricia explained, was bridged deftly by Andy, who aligned Rotary’s capabilities with the students’ needs and newly-awakened goals. 
The award ceremony was being videotaped for Andy’s mother, who could not be present but whose birthday it was. His uncle Neal came forward and presented John with the flag of his Rotary club in Highland Park, Illinois. He had flown from Chicago that morning, thus underscoring the family’s support for Andy’s dedication to Rotary and youth. “You got me good,” he admitted to his family. “You know I sit on the [east] side of the room, and you were on the other!” After some brief words about what Rotary and STRIVE have meant to him, Andy declared, “I guess you have me as chair for another year,” which generated great laughter and another standing ovation.
Threats facing the Great Lakes
Jennifer Fike then introduced our speaker, Mike Shriberg, Ph.D, Great Lakes Regional Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation. Following a warm greeting by the audience, Dr. Shriberg began with, “It’s really an honor to be here, to speak about a topic I am passionate about – the threats facing the Great Lakes.” He immediately positioned his speech on non-partisan ground: “Conservation can be a bi-partisan opportunity, and that’s what I’ll stress today.” The Great Lakes, Shriberg began, are truly the well-spring of our multi-state region and the world. “They represent the largest body of fresh water on the planet and provide drinking water to over 40 million people, yet they renew at only 1% a year.” He then cited an incredible fact: “If the five Lakes were emptied out over the country, it would be covered in five feet of water!” The threats – exotic species, climate change, and man-made obstacles, such as dams. “If the Great Lakes were a hospital patient, we’d say it is suffering from a compromised immune system,” he stated flatly. “Invasive species are a big issue, and getting worse…Zebra and other mussels are increasing; plankton, the food foundation of the Lakes, are receding. However, toxic chemicals are showing some significant improvements.”
A map appeared on screen indicating the most affected shorelines around the Great Lakes. No doubt many in the Anderson Room took notice of the vast swaths of red and orange outlining Lake Michigan, particularly the shoreline from Muskegon to Mackinac. While the image of our namesake Lake elicited soft gasps from the audience, it was nothing compared to those of Erie and Ontario, which looked like collapsed arteries in cross-section. “Lake Erie is warmer and shallower, and Ontario is completely surrounded by development,” Shriberg observed. “It is the places where people live that indicate the most stress.” Indeed, by contrast, much of the interior and coast of Lake Superior sported pristine shades of cobalt, as did sizable areas of Lake Huron. “They are wide, deep, and cold,” he pointed out, “and are in better shape.” The prime culprit to the overall situation is nutrient pollution, the overuse of fertilizers. Shriberg reminded his audience of a recent event in Toledo: “Remember when toxic algae shut down the City’s water supply?” He then showed a photo of the massive intake tower – Toledo’s only source of Lake water – clogged with algae. (Similar toxic blooms have been making news in the Chesapeake Bay area for 20 years.) Of especial concern to Dr. Shriberg and his staff is the fretwork of aging oil pipelines spanning our region above ground and sunk in the Lakes. “This is a major hazard,” our speaker asserted, “Line 5 runs directly on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, or just suspended. It is 60 years old and was built to last for 50.” Another grim multicolored map: “If it were to break, it would be a catastrophe. 700 miles of coastline are at risk.” He quoted Bill Schuette, Michigan attorney general: “It was grandfathered in. It is in exactly the worst place and should be shut down.” Shriberg agrees: “It’s Canadian oil, meant for foreign markets. We take all the risk for little benefit.” [Reporter Note: While it is a major hazard, and it seems crazy that a pipeline would ever have been strung through the Lakes, the fact is oil is rarely local. It’s orphaned at birth, sent off almost immediately to the global market.]
Dr. Shriber concluded with a review of the much-covered issue of the possibility of Asian carp penetrating the Great Lakes. “An adult male has been discovered [in Lake Michigan]. Whether that is an aberration, and that he was alone, we’ll find out.” He described how the carp were introduced into Mississippi as a conservation initiative. But they didn’t stay put. “They are extending their range faster than we thought,” he admitted. A canal built between the Mississippi River and Chicago, Shriber explained, brought the ravenous fish to Lake Michigan’s front door. “They eat 40% of their body weight every day…If they make it into the Great Lakes, it will be significant.” Other invasive predators like sea lampreys arrived in the bilge water of barges and freighters traveling into the Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence Seaway. “The lampreys are parasites and attach themselves to fish, eventually killing them.” Shriber explained the problem is made worse by the aggressive barge operators’ lobby: “They’re powerful,” he admitted in answer to a question by Past President Russ Reister, who urged that pressure be put on the barge operator “crooks in Illinois.” 
Dr. Shriber received a hearty ovation for his informative and highly enthusiastic address. John thanked him warmly, then reiterated the meaning of JET, an acronym for the goals set for his administration: Join leaders, Exchange idea, Take action. Then he adjourned the meeting by striking the Rotary bell. 
“Be The difference that makes A difference.” – Nagaraja Rao 
Notes by Ed Hoffmann, Photos by Fred Beutler


Meeting Statistics
A total of 93 Rotarians were on hand to hear Mike Shiberg from the National Wildlife Federation. We also had six Visiting Rotarians (Neil Dahlmann of Highland Park IL, former Ann Arbor Rotarian Larry Eiler, Kat Forsythe of Sausalito CA, Jim Gilmore of Livingston Sunrise and Ashley Plichta of Battle Creek). We also had 14 guests, several of whom from the family of awardee Andy Dahlmann and two of our outbound Youth Exchange Students: Eli Richards and Emma Jane Rhodenhiser. Both will be going to Chile. There were also meeting of the International Humanitarian Projects Committee and the Community Allocations Committee. A total of 15 Rotarians participated.
Makeup Cards for Roving Rotarians
None this week.
Rollin' Down the (Detroit) River with Rotary
Save the date for this special event! District 6380 Rotarians will be "Rollin' Down the River with Rotary" in celebration of 30 years of women in Rotary. This dinner cruise will be on the Detroit Princess on Thursday, August 24 from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. Details and registration information will be coming soon.


  • July 12 - Bruce Benz, Fairfax Fair, Joyce Hunter
  • July 15 - Bob Johnston
  • July 16 - Ray Detter, Dan Romanchik
  • July 17 - Joanne Pierson
  • July 18 - Loren Rullman

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"