The Forecaster for June 4, 2019

This bulletin reports on the busy program at our annual Boy Scout meeting. During the announcements we recognized our last student for this Rotary year, Carole Beckhorn from Bishop Ireton HS – an honor student who excels in academics, athletics, and in service to her community. The Director of BSA Colonial District, Geoff Thomas, thanked us for our support and said that our district’s scouting program, now including girls, is growing with 6% of scouts attaining the Eagle Scout rank.  Donnie Simpson and Todd Bolick presented awards to two local Eagle Scouts, Russel Biesada and Joseph Lepak and each of them gave us a short presentation on what scouting means to them. Our speaker was RADM, USN Ret Stephen Oswald, who also served as a Space Shuttle astronaut and was recognized as a Distinguished Eagle Scout. In closing he told us that scouting had helped him to be prepared when opportunities came his way. A highlight was the presentation of the Rotary Cliff Dochterman Award, named in honor of the man who was a President of RI and an Eagle Scout who consistently supported scouting. Donnie Simpson presented the award to Mike Wicks for his service to Rotary and our community as club president and enthusiastic supporter of scouting in the Colonial District. In his acceptance Mike mentioned that he himself hadn’t been a scout but that his father-in-law was active in scouting and his four daughters had had the good sense to collect husbands with strong scouting experience.

The Forecaster for May 21, 2019

This was another very busy meeting with announcements about no meetings on May 28th nor July 2nd, birthday recognition led by Meredith and Rick Endres (showing Meredith’s help over many years from the time she had to stand on a chair behind the podium to reach the mike), update info on our Flags for Heroes and Peace Building efforts at Bishop Ireton HS, and a presentation on the Paul Harris Society that culminated with Mike Wicks and Jack Fannon becoming members of this society. We then had an excellent presentation by the Netherlands Ambassador to the US, Hendrik Jan Jurriaan Schuwer. The Ambassador reminded us of the many ties between the NL and US going back centuries to when Henry Hudson (on an exploration funded by the NL) established New Amsterdam where NYC eventually was located (NL swapped it with England for Surinam), and that Thomas Jefferson was our first ambassador to the NL. His well reasoned and informative presentation on the US role in Europe (Pax Americana) has been so important and needs to be kept strong. This was a very interesting and well presented speech by an important friend and ally of the US.

The Forecaster for May 7, 2019

At our April 30th meeting we had some interesting announcements – recognition of the volunteers who did so much to help with our 2nd Annual Golf Tourney and our assistance with a Rebuilding Alexandria project, birthday recognition of Brooke Curran, his classification talk by Alphonso Hughes, and Sharon Meisel’s announcement of our 2019 “Flags for Heroes” fund raiser. To cap these announcements we had Gov. Jim Gilmore speak to us again. He first mentioned some info about his previous talk with us about North Korea and his current more optimistic outlook since their GDP is so small relative to other nations. He then gave us an interesting talk about his nomination as the US Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). He is currently only the nominee until such time as the Senate approves his nomination. He’ll be located in Vienna where the 57 nations that are in the OSCE meet weekly. As expected, Gov. Gilmore was both very informative and interesting.

The Forecaster for April 30, 2019

At our meeting April 23rd we had a series of interesting announcements that: 1. told us that the International Committee wanted everyone to complete the Cultural Identify Survey to tell us where we all came from, 2. reported on our golf tourney that was both enjoyable and a fund raising success, 3. reminded us we were participating in a Rebuilding Alexandria Together project on Saturday the 27th, and 4. heard from the President of Alexandria West Rotary Club about the Tea With Martha Washington they are putting on May 12th. Our speaker was Samuel Shepard, founder of the company ValAsta, about the antioxidant astaxanthin they have researched and developed protocols and products proposed to address a series of medical conditions and human diseases.

The Forecaster for April 23, 2019

Our meeting on 16 April was both busy and interesting with info from Casey in his news segment about the sorrow of the fire at Notre Dame in Paris, Donna Wilson announcing the “Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers” award to Connie Hammell and Ru Toyama for their dancing prowess on Charter Night, Roger Grooms giving us a last encouragement for our Golf Tourney, Christine Friedberg reminding us of our effort with Rebuilding Alexandria on April 27th, and Rick Bailer recognizing birthdays of Jeff Kohne, Andrea Koslow, and himself. In this bulletin we also got key contact details on a new member, Denise Kasper. Our speaker last week was Ramon Montes from the Regratifying Foundation he founded to helping kids coming out of foster care to think about and plan for their future. This organization also sets up adult mentors for these kids to meet with and assist them twice monthly and one of these mentors was our member Farheena SIddiqui who is currently mentoring two foster kids.

The Forecaster for April 16, 2019

The announcements at last week’s meeting were about our golf tourney coming up on April 22nd, our community service project (helping a Rebuilding Alexandria project on April 27th), and our student recognition student being Morin Tinubu from Episcopal HS who is going to Williams College next year. Roger Grooms also congratulated Brooke Curran on completing her 123rd marathon after having successfully overcome serious medical conditions (YEA BROOKE!!). Our speaker was James “States” Manslip who portrayed President George Washington in full Revolutionary uniform and looking much like we’d expect George Washington to look. ‘States’ had traveled across the US visiting towns and locals named after the President and gave us many of GW’s observations and comments. It was a most interesting presentation about our Founding Father who did so much to help establish us as a viable and continuing republic which is a beacon of liberty esteemed around the world.

The Forecaster for April 9, 2019

Last week’s meeting included announcements about Rotarian of the Month for March, Jim Carmalt,; blue badges for Andrea Downing, Pat Tokarz, and Andrea Koslow; presentation of Paul Harris awards to those who missed Charter Night; info on our April community service as a Rebuilding Alexandria project; and an update on preparations for our 2nd Annual Golf Tourney on Monday April 22nd. David Fishman introduced Ambassador William Hill who spoke to us about the USSR and Russia since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The US and the West basically went through three periods with Russia – 1. The Peace Dividend when we decided to stay involved in Europe, 2. Reunification of Germany, and 3. the collapse of the USSR and the Russian Empire. Amb. Hill gave us a very good speech about the many factors involved over the recent years and closed with a few observations and recommendations about the way ahead.

The Forecaster for April 2, 2019

Last week our announcements at the start of the meeting were about the success of the Charter Night dinner, Rick Bailer’s report on the water and sanitation projects we have underway, student recognition of Jasmine Vargas from St Stephens & St Agnes who is a real go getter and headed for the Univ. of Alabama, encouragement for more to sign-up for our April 22nd golf tourney, and John Moorman’s recognition of March birthdays of Edmund Willis, Dan Blaine, Mary Ann Karau, and Christine Friedberg. Our speaker was Tim Manning, a security an crisis management consultant who was introduced by his neighbor and friend, Mike Holm. In a fast paced speech accompanied by many well chosen photos Tim gave us his take on the on-going climate change/global warming we are experiencing. A key fact he put forward was: carbon dioxide is the primary culprit in global warming since it raises the heat in water and air thus being a major causative factor in climate and weather changes, melting ice caps, changes in plant and grazing patterns, coastal flooding and so many more problems. For thousands of years before the early 1900s the level of CO2 was very steady but shot up and is rising exponentially since the start of the Industrial Revolution. A most interesting speech that was also quite thought provoking.

The Forecaster for March 26, 2019

This Forecaster actually reports on both our weekly meeting on Tuesday March 19th and our Charter Night banquet on Saturday March 23rd. At our weekly meeting we had announcements about the celebration of the life of Lady Kaye Matthews on March 27th, our 2nd Annual Golf Tourney on April 22nd, and about a fund raiser by the Rotary club of Springfield on April 26th. Our speaker was Maj Gen (USAF Ret) Marty Whelan who gave us a most interesting speech about what has changed in the recent Missile Defense Review. He covered some basic facts of “Missile 101” and told us that international adversaries are constantly improving their missile capabilities and their threats to our space sensors needed for our own missile defense. On Saturday evening over 150 of us and our guests had an enjoyable social hour and dinner celebrating our 91st year since being chartered in 1928. Our program included a range of award recognitions – 41 various Paul Harris awards (including 6 for PH+6 as Major Donors) as well as other 3 club specific awards. All in all this was a very rewarding and enjoyable Charter Night.

The Forecaster for March 19, 2019

Last week we had a normal jam packed meeting with friends, fellowship, food, and good fun. Announcements were made about: finishing Paul Harris Awards by Charter Night, ROM for March being Frank Fannon, Golf Tourney on April 24th, EREY of $25 suggested before end of May, and a most interesting speech by Rev. Dean Schultz, mostly about the DALIT people of India. Dean told us of the deplorable life conditions of the Dalit (or “untouchables”- they are likely the most persecuted group in the world). He shared many of his photos taken around India showing the horrendous traffic and living conditions of a population of 1.3 billion people with the Dalits making up 250 million of them. A gleam of hope for the Dalits is that their schooling is improving somewhat and thus younger people are starting to bring themselves and their communities towards a more favorable future. This bulletin includes the sad news of the passing of Lady Kaye Matthews, wife of Sir Stewart.