The Forecaster for December 10, 2019

Another meeting with numerous interesting announcements: sign-ups for Salvation Army bell ringing on Sat. Dec. 14th, a group of birthday recognitions, encouragement to participate in the Scottish Walk on Dec. 7th, sign-up for Meals on Wheels Dec. 28th & 29th, the installation of PH+5 for Bill and Betty Vosbeck, request for RSVPs for Christmas Luncheon on Dec. 17th, and urgent announcement that our first meeting after the Luncheon will be on January 28th (NO MEETINGS Dec. 24 & 31, nor Jan. 7, 14, 21). We had a most interesting and informative speech from Michael Maibach who told us the rationale of the US Government separation of powers and its adoption by the city of Alexandria. After some changes over the years he put forward recommendations relating to the date of city elections (same as that for Virginia- odd number years) and having 6 city wards.

The Forecaster for December 3, 2019

Our last November meeting had several good news announcements – Salvation Army bell ringing will be on Saturday Dec. 14th and sign-up sheets are available, Taste for Giving raised $75,000 and had over 300 guests, we had a successful project in collecting soccer and musical equipment for the Haiti school we support, the ALIVE food collection reached its goal of 900 cans of food, we were encouraged to participate in the Scottish Walk on Dec 7th weekend, the young lady we’re supporting for a Rotary Global Scholarship told us a bit about herself, and we heard about Mike Holm’s raincoat recently going home with someone else. Our speaker was Mia Wallace who gave us a good update on the process of the Rotary Global Grant we are part of that supports education improvements in Honduras. All in all a very interesting and encouraging meeting.

The Forecaster for November 26, 2019

The Nov. 19th meeting was very enjoyable with several pertinent announcements about matters of general interest. First was Drew Carroll with his normal lively and humorous recognition of members’ birthdays when he regaled us with details of the person’s background, maybe an interesting fact relating to the dates of birthdays, and finishing with a joke relative to that individual. Then Nancy Van Gulick Cooper reminded us that our campaign to raise food for the ALIVE food pantry had just the one more day for us to try to provide 1,000 cans of food. The Alexandria Scottish Walk will be on Sat. December 7th and we were encouraged to walk with our club’s parade group. Rick Endres gave us an update on actions by the Bishop Ireton HS Interact Club we recently helped establish – they are preparing food boxes for the needy and gave us the opportunity to help by contributing funds to provide $25 gift cards for each box. Our speaker, the Executive Director of the Alexandria Symphony, George Hanson, started his speech with an enjoyable violin solo by Erica Sato to set the scene for his discussion about the value of music and the symphony. His speech covered many factors of the value of music in general and some activities of the Alexandria Symphony in detail.

The Forecaster for November 19, 2019

This meeting was one of those where we were blessed with a pre-meeting concert from our own Rotary Rooters orchestra – great music from various periods and very well presented. Since it was the day after Veteran’s Day the Rooters played each of the 5 US military service hymns and veterans of that service stood. Then we had a reading of “In Flanders Field” by Sir Stuart Matthews – a poem memorializing the graves of allied soldiers of WWI. Several announcements dealt with actions of various elements of the club. We then had an interesting speech by CAPT. (USN, Ret) Tim Oliver who told us about US submarines and their various capabilities and also about the non-profit Naval Submarine League he works with. More detail can be seen in the copy of the bulletin for Nov. 19 that is attached below.

The Forecaster for November 12, 2019

Casey Lindsay started the unique parts of the meeting last week with an auction for a silent auction item that was mistakenly missed at TFG – brought in another $425 for TFG totals. A new Red Badger, Tom Connaughton was inducted by Gant Redmon, Drew Carroll then recognized some birthdays – Will Morris (95 years old) and Frank Fannon, and we were reminded to bring in groceries for ALIVE as well as soccer and music equipment for the school in Haiti. Dr. Gregory Cardinal, ‘Podiatrist in Motion” told us about common foot problems and some ways to treat them.

The Forecaster for November 5, 2019

The great news about the success of Taste for Giving started this meeting off on a most happy way. Next up was Christine Friedberg telling about our November Community Service project being to bring in food for ALIVE (a charity we happily support). We were also encouraged to bring in soccer and musical related items for us to share with the elementary school in Haiti that were are supporting. Another Alexandria charity organization we support is the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium – Lisa Jacobs from the organization gave us a short update on their efforts to help children in kindergarten and first grade to learn to read and to put books in their homes. A good point she made was that to unleash a person’s full potential – teach them to read. In the speaker slot for this meeting we had classification talks by Mark Wright and Keith Lawson Moore. Both of these red badgers gave us an overview of their lives and careers that were really enjoyed by everyone.

The Forecaster for October 29, 2019

As the meeting the week before was a very busy one, this week’s bulletin is also rather jam packed. On Friday Oct. 25th was our very important annual fund raising event, Taste for Giving so much dealt with that upcoming evening. Rich Morrison gave us a most informative presentation on our Polio Plus activities since World Polio Day was also that same week. Rotary has played a major role in the worldwide efforts to eradicate polio and is planning and financing more efforts to bring the eradication to a successful ending. We were pleased to have a club banner exchange with a visiting Rotarian from the UK who plans to return often. This bulletin has an initial report on the success of Taste for Giving with summary of a memo from President Sharon Meisel. Our most thought provoking speaker last week was the retired diplomat, Paul Sutphin who discussed the uses of hard power (military) and soft power (persuasion and economics) and observed that we are most effective when we use both types of power together. A major point was that the US should lead by example due to our economy, military and uniqueness (like our swearing allegiance to a document of principles). His summary was that diplomacy is a good value for the US – it saves lives and supports those in uniform.

The Forecaster for October 22, 2019

At the start of our Oct. 15th meeting we were presented a certificate from the local Sons of the American Revolution by Jack Pitzer. They wanted to recognize the benefits of our recent Flags for Heroes that was an impressive display of the American flag. Since our annual fund raiser, Taste for Giving, is on Oct. 26th many things were announced to help that event – sale of tickets, invitation to folks to attend, and donation of items for the silent auction. We recognized many birthdays, encouraged volunteers for Meals on Wheels, and heard of attendance at a Rotary Youth Leadership Institute by members of the Interact club we sponsored. We had a most interesting and enthusiastic presentation about Singapore by Ms. Cindy Wee, Singapore Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission. She told us of the similarities between Singapore and Alexandria and the scope and favorable relations between the US and Singapore. In response to a question as to Singapore’s current relations with Japan, she mentioned some favorable relations and their process “to forgive but never forget”.

The Forecaster for October 15, 2019

One news item from Casey Lindsay last week was that Alexandria has been listed as the third best small towns in America by Conde Nast then Connie Hammell identified Charlie Ballou and Jesse Hernandez birthdays for September. Mike Wicks gave us a good report on countdown for TFG with info on the travel raffle options, the need for good silent auction items, and encouragement to pass the TFG flyer to friends and relatives. Our initiative towards helping a school in Haiti needs items to re-equip them for sports and activities that were taken away by Hurricane Hugo was covered by Denny Kuhns. Rick Bailer gave us a brief report on our participation in the Walk for Water and Brooke Curran thanked us while showing a video of the nice new playground we helped build near Four Mile Run. Last week’s speaker was Mohammed Eid who gave us reports on a range of peace keeping and peace building activities in several regions of the world. He finished with info on how humanitarian aid and just human kindness can help reduce the stress suffered by people undergoing environments relating to severe conflict.

The Forecaster for October 8, 2019

Last week Casey Lindsay told us that Alexandria has decided to go with a single connected high school rather than a new and separate campus. Our Taste for Giving (TFG) update by Mike Wicks gave us status on preparations for our Oct. 25th event and also suggested we invite friends to attend and enjoy with us. Donna Wilson reminded us that Frank Fannon was our Rotarian of the Month (ROM) for Sept. and Nancy Cooper earned that recognition for October. President Sharon encouraged us to attend the District 7610 Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) Oct. 19-21 to become more active and effective Rotarians. Also in this bulletin is contact info on a new member, Tom Connaughton and details on cost savings arrangements for the Forecaster. Our speaker last week was Ambassador Thomas McNamara who talked about “The Triple Whammy Corrupting American Politics” – these are gerrymandering, the party primary system, and the Supreme Court’s decision that allows unlimited, anonymous financial donations to political action committees. He feels these ‘whammies’ have resulted in Congress being broken as well as our entire process.