January 20, 2017

2016-17 Rotary Theme

Welcome to the Sunrise Spirit –
the Weekly Newsletter of The Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise

Our Next Meeting:
Please join us for our “Foundation Final Friday” meeting on January 27th at Jacoby Storehouse. We will celebrate the Rotary Foundation, and there will be an auction, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Foundation!

Click Here To Watch The Complete Meeting

RISE Calendar … “Rotary Involvement Strengthens Everyone
February 4 – “Swine & Wine” – A fundraiser at the Eureka Elks Lodge for Make-A-Wish of the Greater Bay Area. See Alyson Hunter for tickets.
February 11 – History Day at HSU – Judges and other volunteers are needed!

February 13 – RCAS & Foundation Board Meetings – 7 am at the Golden Harvest Cafe
February 18
– Charter Night at Baywood! It’s the Silver Anniversary of the Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise, and tickets are only $25 per person!!
March 4 – AHS College & Career Center’s Annual Pancake Breakfast

March 11 – The RCAS Spring Fundraiser! Put it on your calendar now (or as soon as you purchase a 2017 calendar)!!
May 12-14 – The District 5130 Conference at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort in Incline Village, Nevada

Sunrise Moments

  • In the absence of President Susan, our meeting was helmed by Former President Barbara Browning. (Once again, if you weren’t there, click on the cameraman near the RISE Calendar – you’ll be able to watch the whole meeting!)
  • Ian Schatz reported that the weekend of January 27th through the 29th will be the annual meeting where the 2017-2018 Outbound Rotary Exchange Students learn the countries they will be living in. The “Country Reveal and Ziplining Trip” will take place in Healdsburg.
  • Carol Vander Meer provided a brief Community Service Committee report, noting that work on the Manila Family Resource Center is going well. Danco Builders took Little House A down, and it is now “a clean slate”. Carol said that another contractor will be donating time to rebuild the structure, and our Club will be able to help with some hands-on projects this spring. Carol also said that the Club received a Matching Grant from District 5130 to help Humboldt Domestic Violence Services with upgrades to their facility in Eureka. We will also be taking on some “Mini-SWAT” projects, helping seniors and others with small projects that allow them to maintain their independent living situations.
  • Our annual distribution of Dictionaries for Third Graders is coming soon. Bryan Reeser announced that we will be delivering the books on January 31st, and February 1st and 2nd, so please sign up today.
  • Jeff Stebbins is once again leading our Club in the annual Pancake Breakfast to support the College and Career Center at Arcata High School. Save the date – Saturday, March 4 – and sign up to help out, or come have a great breakfast while supporting a great program. If you are interested in sponsoring the event, please contact Jeff.
  • The amazing Lisa Hemphill received a round of applause, after John Gullam announced, “There’s no Backpacks for Kids this morning. They needed them early, so Lisa did it all by herself.”
  • The Spring Fundraiser Committee will hold its first meeting this Thursday (the 26th) at the Plaza Grill, starting at 5:30 pm. Please consider attending to help shape this important event.

Learning About the Last Chance Grade

Jason Meyer, is an Associate Environmental Planner for CalTrans, and our Featured Speaker on Friday. He holds an MS in Wildlife Management from Humboldt State, and he has spent years working in the field with various avian species. He joined CalTrans about 5 years ago, with most of that time spent working on the Last Chance Grade project.

Last Chance Grade is a 4-mile stretch of Highway 101 in Del Norte County, between Klamath and Crescent City. The roadway is on the move – one report says that between July 2012 February 2013, parts of the roadway dropped 10 inches vertically, and slid 13 inches toward the ocean. Although the road is safe to use, CalTrans and others are seeking a long-term solution to the problem. In addition to CalTrans, project partners include the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the National Park Service, the Yurok Tribe, the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, and Elk Valley Rancheria.

Jason Meyer

Jason said that heading north, the area being studied begins at the Wilson Creek Bridge. He described the road there as “wavy and kind of curvy”. He noted that the land is “slowly moving down, but in a way that is maintainable for a highway”. Because the movement is slow and generally predictable, CalTrans is able to keep that portion of the roadway passable.

Farther north, the grade is sliding “in different ways,” Jason said. There are more block-like rocks that are moving, which makes that portion of the highway more difficult to maintain than the Wilson Creek area. Jason showed several pictures of the “undulating vertical alignment” of the highway, demonstrating how the ongoing slide affects the roadway.

There are currently seven walls at various points along the grade, with at least two more in the works. Jason told us that the movement of the road is monitored carefully, and he said that some places “move as fast as a couple of inches a month”. During periods of heavy rain, like we have had lately, the movement increases.

Jason said that those associated with the project don’t think that a major collapse is likely, which would shut the highway down for a long period. The slide is moving “fast enough to be alarming, fast enough that we want to do something, but not so fast that we’re worried about the whole thing collapsing,” he said. He expects that they will be able to keep the highway functional for the next 10-20 years until a bypass is built. The project website contains a wealth of information about the various routes that a bypass might follow. Each alternative carries pros and cons, especially with regards to negative impacts to natural and cultural resources.

Click on the logo below to visit the Last Chance Grade website: