The Forecaster for June 27, 2017

President Elect Paul Anderson led our meeting last week and did an excellent job while Presidents Tom Roberts and Mike Wicks were unavailable. Our speaker was Chuck Vollmer from JOBENOMICS who updated us on their recent actions toward their plan for America: 20 Million New Jobs by 2020. In Erie, PA they have an effort to develop a model to use in other areas using such activities as urban agriculture and mining. Urban agriculture uses generally vertical hydroponic micro farms on vacant lots. Urban mining works to reclaim high value components from electronic waste.

The Forecaster for June 20, 2017

We had a most interesting meeting last week with Sergeant at Arms and Past President Peter Knetemann being in charge of our meeting as current leadership was either in Atlanta at the RI annual convention or they were out of the country. Peter did well as he oversaw many announcements and reports (like by Brooke Curran on our June Community Project helping up grade a local playground). Janet Barnett had arranged a fantastic speaker, Diane Hendel from INOVA Housecalls, a new capability at INOVA Fairfax where doctors, nurse practioners, and social workers actually make house calls, mainly on those who are now medically unable to continue driving. The concept is that they bring expertise and experience in fields related to geriatric issues right into the patient’s home. Great and helpful concept along with a most interesting presentation.

The Forecaster for June 13, 2017

Wow and double wow for the great meeting last week. John Porter from ACT was our speaker who complemented our Rotary club for the work we do in assisting Alexandria non-profit organizations who in turn are working to develop solutions for pressing community needs. Our Foundation Committee and the Alexandria Day Nursery & Children’s Home Foundation awarded a total of $108,000 to 46 Alexandria organizations. Our two committees did an excellent job of organizing this 2017 Contributions Day right from the month long effort to solicit then evaluate over 100 grant requests, then organize and run an impeccable performance so that the day came off without a hitch. It’s time to mark your calendar for the 2017 Taste for Giving that will be held at the Patent & Trademark Office on Friday evening October 20th.

The Forecaster for June 6, 2017

Our meeting last week was a busy one with information and recognition of Memorial Day to remember our service personnel, the victims of the Manchester bombing, and also a bit of history about Memorial Day itself. We also had student recognition and awards for two outstanding students – one from Bishop Ireton (Emma Klein) and one from Edison Academy (Vincent Mai). The new Alexandria Police Chief, Michael L. Brown was our speaker who told us a bit about how effective and well integrated the police department is in the life of Alexandria and some of the plans he has for the future to further improve overall support by the department for the citizens of Alexandria.

The Forecaster for May 23, 2017

An interesting and somewhat scary presentation on cyber security was given to us last week by Dave Alard of the Operational Test and Evaluation Directorate of the Secretary of Defense. He said that of the over 2 billion users of the internet, there are some 1 million who are hackers, and that over 500 of these hackers are very, very good. The threat to cyber security is very real. Some of his guidance was to pay serious attention to our passwords and he suggested passwords of 15 characters using 4 unrelated words along with numbers and symbols/characters. Also suggested doing frequent updates and always use firewalls and anti-virus software. We also induced our newest club member, Rachel Talay, had birthday recognition, and were encouraged to review current directory entries and let Sharon Meisel know if all was ok or provide updates to correct any errors.

The Forecaster for May 16, 2017

Dr. Basim Khan who is Executive Director of the organization, Neighborhood Health, was our speaker last week. He told us this organization supports un- and under-insured families in Northern Virginia. They have 4 locations to also support a range of health services. Dr. Khan said they serve about 15,000 patients and have over 50,000 visits per year. A third of their funding comes from fundraising, like we provide at Contributions Day. Dr. Khan said his biggest worry is the patients they don’t see. Also last week Todd Bolick, a red badger, gave his classification talk when we learned he is a native of Alexandria, gained Eagle Scout, and is the current District Executive for BSA.

The Forecaster for May 9, 2017

During the “business” part of our meeting last week we learned that a group of our members had participated in the Rebuilding Alexandria effort on behalf of a family who needed help, that our Little League baseball team had some games we were encouraged to go visit and cheer, Nolan Forness was announced as Rotarian of the Month for May, and Ralph Karau was recognized for 55 years of perfect attendance. A very delicious slice of while cheddar cheese helped “introduce” Jo Sable Courtney, our speaker from Cabot Creamery Coop – a collective group of over 1,100 farm families in New York and New England. Jo told us how the coop members get ‘paid’ based on the percentage of their goods delivered to Cabot Creamery. Also she described an effort to recognize and support volunteer activities through a group called Reward Volunteers that works to make a difference in the world by supporting non-profits and volunteers who help create and sustain strong and healthy communities.

The Forecaster for May 2, 2017

Last week Megan Beyer joined us once again with a presentation that was both interesting and informative. She told us that when she and Don had been the US Ambassador team to Switzerland, they’d found that using American arts with the Swiss brought them to a more friendly relationship after the Swiss had been upset with US policies. When she was preparing for the trip to Cuba with the 1st US government-to-government activity after many years of opposition and tension, she thought arts could be the bridge for warmer and more relaxed relations. That worked and the trip resulted in a more friendly environment that bodes well for the future. A real enjoyable presentation by a most interesting and impressive lady. Janet Barnett also did a bang up job with birthday recognition by starting with a younger/childhood photo of each person for us to try to recognize them. She then capped each recognition with a song or poem she’d revised based on some aspects of their life.

Forecaster for April 25, 2017

At our meeting last week we inducted Chris Hook as our newest member, he is the grand nephew of our recently passed and esteemed member, Tom Hook. We were reminded to sign up for Rebuilding Alexandria that we’ll support on Saturday April 29th. Our speaker, Constanza Hasselmann told us of a charity she has started, Project Aquarelle, which collects, sorts, and reallocates new or slightly used school supplies to support students in several other countries. In the two years since she founded it, this organization has impacted over 3500 students in 8 countries.

The Forecaster for April 18, 2017

Our speaker last week was Austin McNair from the Brain Injury Service of Springfield, an organization that assists individuals and families who have experienced the devastating effects of brain injury, stoke, or concussion. He told how the organization was formed in 1989 by parents of children who’d suffered brain injuries and that each year their organization assists more than 500 individuals. Also last week we had student recognition for Hadiyyah Abdul-Jalaal from Episcopal HS as our Student of the Month. With Hadiyyah at the meeting were several members of her family and the school.