Volume XII, Issue 15: October 18, 2013

Checking in With Alex
Last Friday, our Rotary Exchange Student from France, Alex Rialet, told us that his previous weekend had been very eventful. His host family, the Baciagaluppis, took him out to dinner to celebrate his 17th birthday. They went to the Bayfront Restaurant in Eureka for teppanyaki. The next day, Alex went to HealthSport to work off some of that birthday dinner. He thanked Susan Jansson and HealthSport for the complimentary membership. After Monday’s Columbus Day holiday, the rest of Alex’s week was normal, and he planned to suit up for that night’s football game against Fortuna.

President Jessica provided a Sunshine Report, letting us know that three Sunrisers have recently lost close family members. The fathers of George Cavinta and Donnie Rosebrook passed away, as did Robert Goodman’s brother. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all three and their families. 

Jessica also announced that our third SWOT (Serving With Our Talents) Operation was a great success the previous weekend. The enormous volunteer effort was amazing. Barbara Browning, who planned and coordinated the makeover, was under the weather last Friday, so we can look forward to an in-depth recap at our October 25th meeting.

Rebecca Crow reminded us that the RCAS Youth Cross-Country Championships will take place on Thursday, October 24th. As of press time, we still needed race spotters and help at the finish line. The event will be held at the Arcata Community Center, and set-up begins at 2:45 pm.

There may still be a few tickets left for the Lost Coast Rotaract’s fall fundraiser – “Spirits and Spirits”. The walking (and drinking) tour of Old Town Eureka will visit the city’s haunted sites. Check the Lost Coast Interact Facebook page for more details and for contact information.

This year’s Taste of the Holidays is less than a month away – Thursday, November 21st from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at the Arcata Community Center, to be precise. Be sure that you are selling those tickets and acquiring your raffle items with your group. (And let the Raffle Committee know what you’re providing as soon as you can.) TOTH’ll be here before you know it!

Stan Elcock is the Past President of the Arcata Noon Rotary (and a Sunriser Spouse). He’s also serving as his Club’s liaison to the Interact Club at Arcata High School. He said that the group has over 60 members this year, and they are ready and willing to volunteer for anything! So … if you need help with a fundraiser or project, give Stan a call.

The North Bay Rotaract Club still intends to seek its charter soon. They are seeking additional members and a new location for meetings. If you know a young person (18 to 30) who will make a great Rotarian someday, help them connect with this group. They meet on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. See President Jessica for more information.

Humboldt Live! sent a thank you note for our recent donation. The program helps students in junior high and high school set goals and explore options for their futures. Five schools currently participate in the program – Fortuna Middle School, Jacoby Creek School, Pacific Union School, Sunny Brae Middle School, and Toddy Thomas School. (Thanks back atcha – Jim Ritter, the program’s Executive Director, lent a hand in the SWOT Operation at the Boys and Girls Center!) For more information about the program, check out its Facebook page.

Craft Talk: Tami Camper
Last week, we were once again treated to a Craft Talk, this time from Tamara Camper-Dart, aka Tami Camper. She was born on March 4, 1977 in Spokane, Washington, the only child of a general contractor and a nurse/writer. Although she was only three years old at the time, she recalled the aftermath of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980. She said that everything was covered in ash, and she collected several jars of it.

Her childhood home was in a rural area near Spokane. Tami said that her parents compromised in finding a place to live, since her father was an outdoorsman, and her mother was more urban. Her family is descended from Swiss/German farmers and ranchers, with a long history of living and working in sparsely populated areas. 

Tami said that she wanted to “get away from Spokane”, so she attended Western Washington University near Vancouver, BC. In 1999, she earned her bachelors degree in Environmental Science. Along the way, she studied abroad, in Michoacan, Mexico. In 2007, she received her masters degree in Biology from Humboldt State.

Tami Flexes

Tami started working at a young age, doing chores and general work around the family farm, and helping clean up at her father’s construction sites. “Everyone asks me where I get these biceps,” she said, “and I say ‘From HealthSport”, but it was actually from bucking [hay] when I was twelve.” Her work with her father took place mostly at schools and hospitals, but there were also a lot of septic treatment facilities as well, which were “really gross”.

As a young adult, Tami worked as a lifeguard, at a county park, and as a landscaper. In 1999, Tami worked for the Forest Service surveying bryophytes (plants without vascular tissue, such as mosses and worts). The next year, she began a three-year stint with the Mendocino Redwood Company and Campbell Timberland Management, studying fisheries, owls, and botany. In 2002, Tami started Camper Consulting, and performed botany and wetlands surveys. In 2008, she joined Streamline Planning Consultants, where she continued to perform studies of botany, wetlands, and streams, in addition to providing guidance to clients with permitting and CEQA/NEPA issues. Since 2011, she has been an Environmental Planner and Revegetation/Mitigation Specialist with CalTrans.

Tami’s volunteer work over the years has included working as a Candy Striper at Spokane Valley Hospital, helping at Cat Tales Zoological Training Center, serving in the LEAD (Learning, Environment, Action, and Discovery) program, assisting at the Wild Walls Climbing Gym, serving as Treasurer/Plant Sale Coordinator for the California Native Plant Society, and supporting the Arcata Christian School.

Here are some items from a “Random Facts” slide that we ran out of time for on Friday:

  • Running, Climbing, Snowboarding/Skiing, Hiking, Backpacking, Traveling, Painting, Photography, Scuba Diving, Surfing, Fishing, Gardening, Reading, Writing, Saxophone, Swimming, Cycling, Roller Derby, Dancing
  • Climbed Mt. Rainier and Mt. Shasta
  • Backpacked alone through Central and South America including Incan Trail and Machu Picchu
  • Adrenaline junkie – hang gliding, bungee-jumping, roller coasters, scary movies …
  • Stayed in the Ecuadorian Rainforest with the Secoya tribe and studied ethobotany; Uncle David was character in Serpent and the Rainbow and I was in Breaking Open the Head by Daniel Pinchbeck
  • General contractor and laborer on two houses, love designing and building.

Tami also participated in this year’s Ragnar Relay – a 200-mile run from San Francisco to Calistoga. She ran a total of 26 of those 200 miles. 

Bryan Plumley headed up our Recognitions last Friday, showing a video tour of the (relatively) new workplace of Charlie Jordan, Mad River Brewing Company. Charlie became the brewery’s General Manager in February of this year, and she is helping the company take their operations to the next level. They were at capacity when she was hired, and they have undertaken a three-year plan to increase that capacity by 300%. Even when they reach their production goal of 60,000 barrels per year, the brewery will still be considered “tiny”, but they will be considered more regional. Their distribution area covers the entire country and even extends to Japan. Charlie said that she recently returned from the North American Beer Festival, where their Steelhead Pale Ale won a silver medal in the Golden or Blonde Ale category. It won two golds and a silver in previous competitions. Charlie went on to say that the brewery will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year, and preparations are underway. Mad River Brewery also has a monthly “Pints for Nonprofits” program, where on the first Wednesday of each month, one dollar is donated to a local agency for each pint of beer sold. As a special treat, we each received a bottle of beer!

October 12th was Karen Burgesser’s birthday, and she said that it was fun. She worked as part of the SWOT Team at the Boys and Girls Club, and when she got home, her husband Steve had a surprise for her. Since beer was being distributed as she said what the surprise was, I can’t be positive, but I’m pretty sure that he had a birthday cake waiting for her.

Rising Stars and Salsa 
Sunriser Lori Breyer introduced two of her co-workers from the County Office of Education as our Featured Speakers last Friday. Colleen Toste is the Managing Director of the Rising Stars Foundation, and Linda Prescott serves as the Office’s Nutrition Education Coordinator.  Linda has been with HCOE for about 18 years, and Colleen moved there from Umpqua Bank this spring. 

On Saturday, October 12th, the Rising Stars Foundation hosted a Salsa Competition  as part of its Culinary ALLSTARS program. Groups of students from third grade to sixth were mentored by local chefs/cooks to create salsas, which were judged in categories including taste, presentation, use of local produce, and “People’s Choice”. Another category, “Most Marketable”, was awarded by Bien Padre Foods, who prepare, test, and produce the salsa according to the recipes created by the student teams. 

President Jessica with Colleen and Linda*

Linda said that the Culinary ALLSTARS program is an offshoot of HCOE’s “Harvest of the Month” program, which strives to educate students about the benefits of consuming fresh fruits and vegetables. Linda and her colleagues prepare and distribute an educator packet that crosses the curriculum, including math, reading, science, art, and history. Each month, a different fruit or vegetable is featured. The Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) and the North Coast Co-Op help to provide local produce when possible. 

Colleen said that the ALLSTARS program is an important part the Rising Stars Foundation, which was founded in 2005. Colleen said that the Foundation provides students “a place … to showcase the skills they’ve learned in school”. Other programs sponsored by the Foundation include:

  • The Seal of Biliteracy Awards Program, which last June recognized the first group of graduating seniors in Humboldt County to earn the California State Seal of Biliteracy.
  • The INNOVATE! Business Challenge, which encourages entrepreneurship among high school students. Participants develop business ideas and develop a 60-90 second “elevator pitch”. Those who reach Phases Two and Three are asked to defend their concepts, in written and oral presentations.
  • The GATE (Gifted And Talented Education) Academy, attended this year by 800 students, who learned about topics that varied from ancient Egypt and origami to roller coaster design and Chinese brush painting. 
  • History Day, which our Club has long supported, is also a Rising Stars program. This year, the theme for the competition was “Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, and Events”. As is often the case, students from Humboldt did well at the state level, with four local students reaching the finals.
  • Projects entered in the Gary Roberts Industrial Technology Fair are displayed over the Memorial Day weekend at Bayshore Mall in Eureka. This year, almost 250 projects in woodworking, metal crafts, and drafting were featured.
  • The All-County Music Festival is co-sponsored by the Rising Stars Foundation and the North Coast Section of the California Music Educators Association. The top student musicians in Humboldt County are culled to participate in the Junior and Senior Choirs and Bands, and the Junior String Orchestra.
  • The Doris Niles Humboldt County Science Fair is held each spring at HSU. This year, 15 students went on to compete at the state level, with 3 of those eligible to participate in the national competition. 
  • The 30th Annual Humboldt County Spelling Bee was held last March at the HCOE facility in Eureka. Four local students went on to compete at the state level.
  • In April, 19 high school seniors were recognized as Humboldt County’s Rising Stars Academic Achievement Team. These students were selected for their academic records and their involvement in leadership and community activities. 

Colleen encouraged us all to visit the Rising Stars website to read about the achievements of our local students and their teachers.  The Foundation has worked to increase awareness of the program through branding. Colleen would also like us to take special note of the green “DONATE” button that adorns the top of each page.

* – Photo of Jessica, Colleen, and Linda courtesy of Angelo Baciagaluppi.