Welcome to the Sunrise Spirit –
the Weekly Newsletter of The Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise
We hope that you will attend one of our lively Friday meetings,
whether or not you are interested in joining Rotary.
We meet (almost) every Friday at 7 am in the Plaza View Room
of Arcata’s historic Jacoby Storehouse,
Please note: Our meetings will take place online through the month of January 2022, and possibly beyond.
For more information and for the meeting links, please visit the RCAS Website.
Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create
lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.
The RCAS Calendar
RISE: “Rotary Involvement Strengthens Everyone“
- January 26 – Street & Shelter Point In Time Count
- February 1-6 – District 5130 Environmental Tour in Mexico
- February 13 – Super Bowl Fellowship Activity
- June 4-8 – The 2022 Rotary International Convention in Houston, Texas.
For Openers …
President Ian started the meeting with Birthday Recognitions from December. Several of the honorees were not on hand, but Dick Johnson reported that he had spent his special day with his two boys and their girlfriends, and (of course) his wife Shelley. It was a relaxing time with family. Jessica McKnight spent her birthday with family as well, but in the opposite chronological direction – she was with her parents. Then it was time for December Anniversaries. First up (again) was Dick Johnson, who reported that he and Shelley had enjoyed a quiet dinner at home. But the big story was that Janice and Craig Newman celebrated their GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY! The Sunriser Couple were married on December 18, 1971. Congratulations and lots of love to you both!
President Ian then reported a slew of opportunities for service. Here are the “Help Wanted” ads he posted:
- We need at least two host families for the coming Rotary/Academic Year.
- With the departure of Ed Christians, we need a new Webmaster for the RCAS site.
- Treasurer Sophie Saucedo is looking to spend the coming Rotary Year training a replacement. Contact her for details or to volunteer.
- President Ian is still looking for suggestions for raising funds this spring.
- We are looking for a new Sergeant At Arms for the coming year. If you’re interested or want to know more about the position, please contact our current SAA, Nick Torres.
- The morning of Wednesday, January 26, the national “Point-in-Time” count of people who are living in shelters or on the street will take place. If you would like to help, please contact Past President Maggie Kraft.
Thanks to Romi Hitchcock Tinseth and her husband Glenn for handling our Backpacks for Kids duties last week. And thanks to Craig Newman for helping out the Arcata High School Interact Club by purchasing cold weather garb for their “Coats for the Cold” project. Our liaison with the Interactors, Nick Torres, said that they purchased and distributed about 500 coats last year, and they plan to do about that number again this year.
The World Community Service Committee gave a brief report on three projects that we are supporting this year – rebuilding the kitchen at the Cambodia Academy, helping with the Swat Relief Initiative’s Model School in Pakistan, and the Navajo Nation Water Project.
The DEI Minute: Difficult Conversations
Jessica McKnight delivered the “DEI Minute” on behalf of the Club’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. She spoke to the importance of having “hard” conversations – those that make us uncomfortable, that we may prefer to avoid. There are many potentially difficult topics, but she encouraged us to engage with others on the subjects of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Members of the DEI Committee have been working on having those hard conversations and airing issues that would otherwise foster hidden resentments. We have tried to work through uncomfortable emotions when the discussion challenges our long-held beliefs and biases.
She shared tips for working through hard conversations, paraphrased from advice from marriage and family therapist Katrina Stoddard:
- Prepare – Know who you are talking with; know what conversations might come up.
- Be Calm and Patient – Recognize that sometimes the conversation can be triggering, and we can find ourselves heated. But a calm presence goes much farther to having a productive conversation.
- Think of Who You’re Talking To – It may be a family member or a fellow Rotarian. Remember that the relationship will go beyond this particular conversation, so find a common ground and be mindful to avoid language that may torch the relationship bridge.
- Hear, in Order to be Heard – Really listen to the other person and allow them to express their point. Then really try to consider it before responding. Too often, we are drafting what we’ll say next instead of really hearing the other person.
- Set Healthy Boundaries – You don’t have to have all of the hard conversations in one go round. But we do encourage you to find the opportunity to have at least one. It may be with a family member, a work colleague, or a fellow Rotarian. Because when you have one, the next one feels easier, and before you know it, you’re building “muscle” that allows you to be more comfortable with hard conversations
Jessica cited a recent situation that created division within our Club. Many hard conversations arose as a result of this, and it even led to the resignation of a few members. She noted that the incident created an opportunity to discuss our understanding of what our Club and Rotary as a whole stand for. And we can consider how our interpretations may differ from our fellow Rotarians, which gives us something to talk about.
Trinidad Coastal Land Trust & Friends of the Dunes.
Sunriser Carol Vander Meer was our Featured Speaker, and she provided updates for two groups that she has been involved with for many years: the Trinidad Coastal Land Trust and Friends of the Dunes.
Carol has been serving as the acting Executive Director of the Land Trust for quite a while. However, the organization recently hired a permanent leader – Michelle Kunst, who started this week. Carol is now serving as their Special Projects Manager, a role that she is excited to fill. The group working on improving accessibility and interpretive information at several locations, including Houda Point, Tepona Point, and Luffenholtz Beach. Restoration efforts are also underway at those sites. In addition, Carol said that they are working to establish an easement to make accessing Strawberry Rock available to the public.
She also noted that Trinidad Head Lighthouse is celebrating 150 years of operation. She hopes that we will take visit the historic location soon. It is open from 10 am to noon on the first Saturday of each month. The group is celebrating 40 years of service, preserving the natural beauty and biodiversity of the coastal areas.
Carol also serves on the board of Friends of the Dunes. She reminded us that the organization hosts a series of webinars called Naturalist Notes. These take place on Tuesdays from 6 to 7 pm. The details and topics are on their website – click on the Friends of the Dunes logo below. They continue to explore additional educational opportunities
For more information, visit the websites of the Trinidad Coastal Land Trust and Friends of the Dunes by clicking on the logos below:
President Ian’s Closing Haiku …
You can contribute
Utilize your practiced skills