November 7, 2008

Come to “A Taste of the Holidays”
Thursday, November 20th from 5 to 8 pm
Arcata Community Center

Bob Johnson, our Taste of the Holidays Chieftain, said that posters are available for the event. It’s coming quickly, so be ready and sell those tickets. Michael Boreing could use help on the day of the event – they’ll start setting up and decorating at 8:30 am, and continue until it’s finished. Other committees also need your assistance – be ready for a flurry of sign-up sheets at our next meeting. And if you haven’t gotten together with your team members to provide a prize for the Dutch Auction, give ’em a call before our next meeting (the last before TOTH).

Janice Newman gave a brief update on our Exchange Student from Denmark, Kasper Troelsen. He took part in the Arcata High Talent Show the last two weekends, playing an original composition on the piano.

If you’re planning to attend the International Conference in Birmingham, England (or even if you’re just thinking about it), see President Mark. He has all the information and forms for the event.

President Mark also provided a follow-up to our recent meeting with the Arcata Volunteer Fire Department. The City of Arcata approved the lot line adjustment they needed to be able to proceed toward construction of the new Fire Station/Community Facility. They expect to close escrow on the property soon.

Barbara Browning said that there is “room for two more” to
travel to Colima, Mexico for the week of January 9 – 17. If you go, you’ll be able to be part of Project Amigo’s Vision Week project. Contact Barbara for more information.

Once again, we were reminded that Jessica McKnight is a thespian (at least she “pals around” with them)! She said that the Redwood Curtain Theatre is presenting “Getting It”; a play written and directed by Dell’Arte veteran Jane Hill. For more information on the play, click here. The play will continue through the next two weekends.

Looking a bit farther ahead, Romi Hitchcock Tinseth told us to reserve the morning of Saturday, December 13th for the annual breakfast to benefit Arcata High’s College and Career Center. The event, which is held in conjunction with the Arcata Invitational Basketball Tournament, this year honors Jackie Foote. Jackie headed up the Center until she passed away earlier this year.

Finemaster Jessica McKnight took aim at Your Poor, Defenseless Editor last Friday. And it’s all because my band, Two-Car Garage, played at the Halloween Harvest Festival at Redwood Acres recently. I told her that that Festival and the Spring version are regular venues for us now. This time, Kasper and some of his fellow Exchange Students listened for a bit, and got some “sexy” balloon hats.

Janice Newman (who was the likely leak of the above information) was recognized for the adventures of a more well-traveled band – her son Ryan is in a “Roots Reggae” band called “Groundation”. The band was featured in the Times-Standard’s entertainment magazine, Northern Lights a few weeks ago, and they were scheduled to perform in Denver last weekend as part of their Western States tour. Ryan recently told Janice that he wouldn’t be able to make it home for Thanksgiving – the band is playing in New Caledonia. (You head for New Zealand and hang a right.)

Jessica asked Bryan Reeser about his housing situation, and he said, “I already told you about that.” But the topic was not Bryan’s own house, which is undergoing renovation, but where he is … “I moved in with Rosebrook,” he said. Apparently, a beer or two needs to be replaced?

So far, according to Jessica, Kathy Fraser’s grandbaby is “the light of your life”. But there is new light on the horizon – Kathy’s son and daughter-in-law are expecting. They live in Reno, and they are all very excited. Kathy’s daughter-in-law would like her to come visit when the baby is born for, say a month or two.

Brett Johnson was quick to share the news of his new home recently. But he has other good news – he and wife Tracy are expecting their first little one soon!

Bob Moore is a prisoner no more! In early October, he completed a swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco. The feat took only 33 minutes. (Just think how fast it would have been if there had been guards shooting at him.

In August, a party of six traveled to Southeast Asia to attend the dedication of the reconstructed Vangtang Village School in Laos. Two travelers were Sunrisers – Howard Stauffer and Jessica McKnight. The other four were supporters of the cause – James Hitchcock, David Hitchcock, Jeff Knapp, and Sarah Stauffer. All but Sarah were at our meeting last Friday to discuss their adventure.

Funding for the reconstruction project came from the Arcata Sunrise Rotary, the Arcata Rotary, the Eureka Rotary, Bob Thompson and Far and Away Cycling, Hans Eide, and Ben Fairless. The project was handled in three phases: Phase One, which took place in the last half of 2007, was the construction of the foundation. Phase Two saw the building of the walls and roof, which was completed in early 2008. The final phase ended this summer, and culminated with the school’s dedication on August 28th.

The original village school could only accommodate two grades; it was dilapidated and had dirt floors. The new facility has room for five grades, and it serves two villages.

The group had many adventures on the journey, which lasted 30 days – mostly traveling via bicycle. However, there was an elephant ride involved. For more details, please check out Howard’s account of the trip at