Volume XII, Issue 25: January 9, 2015

On The Calendar
January 31st – AHS College & Career Center Pancake Breakfast at the D Street Neighborhood Center – 8 to 11 am
January 31st – Fortuna Sunrise’s 2015 Crab Fest at the Fortuna Veterans Memorial Building – 5 to 8 pm (Take Out/Drive Thru Service Available)
February 4th – Pints for Non-Profits at the Mad River Brewery Taproom – 5 pm to ??
February 7th – Adopt-A-Highway – 9:30 to 11:30 am
February 18th – Charter Night at the Arcata Playhouse – 5:30 to 8:00 pm
March 14th – “Down The Rabbit Hole” – our Spring Fundraiser … in Wonderland!!


Exchange Student Mozara reported that she enjoyed the holidays, which included a ski trip to Mount Bachelor. Although she said, “I got some bruises,” she is game to try again. Mozara will be changing host families in March, so President Barbara asked that her Word of the Day be “moving”. In Portuguese, that is “movendo” (moh-ven-doh).

Dan Johnson and President Barbara were recently asked to speak to the Senior Class at St. Bernard’s High School, along with another community leader, Rex Bohn. “It was just a thrill,” Barbara said. “They asked questions about leadership and our career choices and paths.” 

Barbara also checked in with Bryan Plumley for an update about his Financial Planner Certification course that we heard about at our previous meeting on December 19th. He was pleased to announce (and we were pleased to hear) that he received a 97 on his final exam! Congratulations!

At last week’s meeting of the North Bay Rotaract Club, Terri Clark did one of those things she loves … she presented
a Paul Harris Fellowship! This one went to Ashliegh Diehl, the Club’s Charter President! Congratulations, Ashliegh!

Terri with Ashliegh

Bob and Susan Johnson have been shuttling to and from Hawaii recently – for Sunriser weddings and their son Aaron’s graduation – not for fun, of course. President Barbara asked about a photo of Bob with Aaron and another gentleman, Ken. Ken is Aaron’s landlord and neighbor, and he is also a member of the Metropolitan Honolulu Rotary Club. The three attended a pre-Christmas Club meeting, held on the 20th floor of a highrise in downtown Honolulu. The meeting featured an auction, which made Bob feel right at home … even though they didn’t ask him to serve as their auctioneer.

Susan Jansson introduced the team that is working to produce our new Spring Fundraiser, which will take place on Saturday, March 14th. This year’s theme will be “Down the Rabbit Hole” – a trip to Wonderland, which will include the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party! For costume tips, check out the movies, or check in with the Costume Box in Eureka. Flyers and posters will be available at our next meeting. Individual tickets will be available, but our focus is on selling tables to businesses and other organizations. Romi Hitchcock-Tinseth reminded us that we should start looking for items for the live auction, the silent auction, and the raffle. 

A New Sunriser for a New Year
Friday, welcomed Tom Tellez into our Club.Tom owns Wallace and Hinz, a maker of custom bars in Blue Lake. Tom began working for the firm in 1987, and he purchased it from the founders in 2004. He has two adult children, Danielle and Marco. He is a Humboldt State graduate, and he enjoys skiing. Welcome, Tom!!

President Barbara, Tom Tellez, and Charlie Jordan

Presidential Smoochies
President Barbara then announced the recipients of her honors for December. In a surprising upset, Your Editor was named Rotarian of the Month! As you may remember, the previous recipient (Ron Sharp) received a kiss from Barbara. Even though I am not her spouse (Ron is), at the time, I said, “I don’t remember you kissing any of the other [Rotarians of the Month]. But I volunteer for next month!” I think that was probably my main qualification. However, Barbara said other nice things about me:

  • On the PR Committee 
  • On the Rotary Foundation Committee
  • The first non-Charter member of our Club
  • Past President, Former Treasurer, General Has-Been
  • Writer of the “Award-Winning Sunrise Spirit”
  • Brody’s Dad

Barbara’s Rising Star for December was the very deserving Dustin Littlefield. Dustin has stepped up in a big way in the short time he’s been a Sunriser:

  • He corralled ads for the AIBT Program
  • He serves on the Youth Activities Committee
  • He’s on the Recognitions Committee
  • He is a member of the Fellowship Committee, and he organized our HSU Tailgate Party in the fall
  • He will be heading up the bar at the Spring Fundraiser (helping our guests navigate the Rabbit Hole?)
  • He has represented our Club at meetings of the North Bay Rotaract Club
  • And … he played music in Austin!

Bryan Plumley offered the week’s Special Recognition of John Gullam. He began by telling us that John is very involved in the local adoption community, including serving on the board of Adoption Horizons. John said that his interest in adoptions stems from his experiences with his now-adult stepdaughter, and the children that he and his wife Denise Fitzgerald adopted together – Jack from Vietnam, Sam from South Korea, and Molly from China. “It’s a very tight community, John told us. “One of the things that Adoption Horizons tries to do is to have us be resources for folks.”

John Gullam

John is the Director of Donor Resources for the Northern California Community Blood Bank. John and his staff of two serve as the organization’s “recruitment department, the marketing department, and the graphic arts department”. They work with their peers throughout the country, sharing ideas and resources. 

Since they don’t cold call, the only new donors are those who walk through the door of the clinic or the Bloodmobile. They are cautious about announcing the need for a specific blood type, since their loyal donors may over-respond. Since a person can only donate blood once every 60 days, that could lead to a boom / bust cycle. John said that the Blood Bank uses social media and radio to modulate that possibility. They use television as an educational medium.

Bryan wondered, given John’s commitments to Rotary, to adoption, and to the Blood Bank, whether he does anything for fun that “isn’t saving the world”. John replied, “I’m building a trailer. And I play with my kids, and that’s completely selfish.” That’s not selfish … but it’s fun!

We Hear From a Busy (And Tired) George
Our Featured Speaker last Friday was our own George Cavinta, who told us that he had spent the previous day and into the night dealing with a homicide that had just been reported. He was exhausted, but he persevered and gave a great presentation.

George has been with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department since 1984, “which is about the time I started my administrative career” with the Department. He said that County Sheriffs in California are required to do two things: operate a county jail, and provide court services. Although other services are not mandated, all Sheriff’s Departments also provide patrol services and other special services. The funding for additional services has been more limited since Proposition 13 passed in 1982. This situation worsened with the financial crisis in 2008. The recent approval of Measure Z will help fund about 10 positions for the Department.

George Cavinta

George juggles several roles. He is a member of the drug task force, he heads up criminal investigations, and he is part of the SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) team and the EOD (Bomb Tech) unit. He told us that the SWAT team has 18-20 members, and it is the only Class II team north of Santa Rosa and west of Shasta County. The bomb squad is federally certified, and received special training in Huntsville, Alabama.

The Drug Enforcement Unit is part of the Special Services Division, and its funding and make up have changed in recent years. George noted that the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement pulled out in 2012, but the group’s remaining members are culled from the Sheriff’s Department (George and three others), the Arcata and Eureka Police Departments, the CHP, and an investigator from the District Attorney’s office. In addition, the DA’s office provides a legal office assistant to the task force. The group has county-wide jurisdiction, and it targets cases involving the sale and sourcing of “white dope” – heroin, methamphetamine, oxycodone, LSD, cocaine, and ecstasy, among others. They also deal with the money laundering that generally accompanies drug trafficking.

George showed us maps that indicated where large-scale marijuana grows are taking place in the county. The map was virtually covered with site indicators. He said that if you looked moved the view east to Trinity County, the density would be similar. Although the task force does not target marijuana grows, the damage done by these major operators causes significant environmental damage, and there is always the possibility of violence.