Volume XII, Issue 14: October 12, 2012


Ember works on our Pastel

Last Friday, we welcomed back Marianna Sanchez, who was our Rotary Exchange Student from Mexico during the 2010-11 year. She told us that she graduated from high school in Mexico, and she is taking a year off before moving on in her formal education. Part of that time will be spent here, so she will be attending our meetings while she is in town. How long that will be is not certain: “I bought a one-way ticket, so …”

Our current Exchange Student, Fa Sillapajarn from Thailand, recently participated in Pastels on the Plaza, a benefit for Northcoast Children’s Services. She also attended Homecoming at Arcata High School.

Speaking of Pastels on the Plaza … (Don’t you love smooth segues?) … the square sponsored by our Club was drawn by Ember and Vivian – two artists from the Arcata Arts Institute.

… with Vivian Harp

And while we’re on the subject of fundraisers, the team lists for finding auction/raffle prizes for A Taste of the Holidays were announced at our last meeting, and tickets were distributed. If you weren’t there, watch your mail, then start selling. The event is fast approaching (it’s on Thursday, November 15th).

Other stuff that’s on the Sunrise Horizon:

  • October 19 – Youth Exchange “Bluesbuster” Trip to San Francisco
  • October 20 – Lost Coast Rotaract Club’s Art & Wine Pairing Event

Chief John McFarland and Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal Desmond Cowan were at Friday’s meeting to deliver an update on the Benefit Assessment that was approved by property owners in July of last year. Chief John said that his department has accomplished many things as a result. For starters, all deferred maintenance on its equipment has been completed, additional personnel were hired, and a reserve firefighter program was established.

Desmond Cowan

Desmond told us that the department is now comprised of a combination of on-duty paid firefighters and volunteers. He encouraged us to contact him if we are interested in volunteering in any capacity. Desmond also said that he wants us to reach him if we have any questions or concerns about any aspect of the Fire Department’s operations. “I don’t want anyone with questions unanswered.” He even provided his cell number (498-5781).

John said that what we have in Arcata is “a showcase example of how fire services can be offered economically with quality”. For more information about the Arcata Fire Department and/or the Benefit Assessment Review, visit their website by clicking on the Arcata Fire Logo below.


Karen and Kahuna Kavinta with Jessica looking on

Last Friday was Karen Burgesser’s birthday. Since it was early in the day, she didn’t have much to tell us … yet … about that. However, after we sang “Happy Birthday” to her, our Recognitionist du jour, Jessica McKnight, asked Karen to tell us of her recent travels. It seems that she journeyed to Paris and London! She came home with a cold, she was still suffering from jet lag, and her luggage took an extra day of  vacation. In spite of the end-of-travel hardships, she had a great time. “I don’t know,” she said, “if there’s an adjective more awesome than awesome.” The trip was part of her mother’s 80th birthday celebration, and Karen noted that although “it’s a challenge to travel with two octogenarians in Europe,” they all had a great time. She brought a gift for Kahuna Kavinta – a crown pin commemorating Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.

Also in Europe recently (but only for a whirlwind trip) was Susan Jansson. Susan was in Italy for three and a half days at the invitation of exercise equipment manufacturer Technogym. The company’s facilities encompass 60 square miles, and they employ about 1,000 people. The event drew people from around the world, and featured speeches by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Economic Development Minister Corrado Passera. The keynote address was delivered by Former President Bill Clinton.

Ian Schatz had a longer vacation in Hawaii with his family. No former Presidents were involved, but he did get to chase sea turtles and hang out.

Our Featured Guests last week were Clint Rebek and Peggy Metzger of the Redwood Curtain Theatre. Clint is RCT’s Artistic Director, and Peggy serves as its Executive Director. 

Clint Rebik and Peggy Metzger

The 2011 Season was the group’s first in its new home at 221 First Street, in Old Town Eureka. The entrance to the Theatre is through Snug Alley. The final production of the current season, “Dusty and the Big, Bad World” will premiere on Thursday, October 25th, and it will run through November 17th. Clint and Peggy described it as a political comedy that involves a PBS program. The plot has taken on added relevance with the reference in the first Presidential Debate to Big Bird and PBS. Both say that it is not to be missed. 

Redwood Curtain Theatre was established in 1989, with its first productions staged at the Eagle House. The company was formed because there were locals who wanted to be professional actors, but didn’t want to have to leave the area. Since its beginning, RCT has helped the area become a magnet for arts tourists. 

Although the group’s intent was to be part of the cultural scene in the Old Town area, they did relocate to the Eureka Mall for seven years. However, in 2010, they were able to begin the process of moving to their current location.

RCT will soon announce the productions that will make up its 15th season, which will open in mid-February. And in January, the group will hold its Live Radio Show fundraiser, with a lot of help from Sunrisers Jessica McKnight and Laura Montagna. 

Peggy and Clint extended three invitations to us, as individuals and as a Club:

  1. Come to the shows,
  2. Become corporate sponsors, and
  3. Take advantage of RCT’s Benefit Nights

Unlike some of the other theater groups in the area, RCT maintains a company of players for its five-play season, Clint and Peggy encouraged us to consider auditioning for the 2013 season. Auditions will be held at the theatre on Saturday, October 27th. 

For more information about Redwood Curtain Theatre, please visit its website:

Redwood Curtain Theatre