Alex’s Weekly Report
As she introduced Exchange Student Alex Rialet, she complimented his Host Dad, Craig Reed, who provides “just a wealth of choices” of photos on Facebook for her slide show. Here was the one she chose last week, which had this caption: Alex was getting a big head until Chloe the cheerleader said, “NO!” The photo was taken in Crescent City at a basketball game between Arcata High and Del Norte.
Alex told us that earlier in the week, he prepared for baseball by learning how to bat, and he watched his first Super Bowl. Somewhere in there, he ate a “spaghetti burger pizza”. Jessica grimaced, and suggested that he should convince Craig that more eggplant is needed in his diet.
Alex also thanked the Club for presenting him with a Paul Harris Fellowship at the previous meeting. He said that he was “very happy and very surprised” to receive the honor.
We were able to help Sefvon, a young man who recently aged out of the Foster Youth system and is attending College of the Redwoods. He was doing pretty well, had paid his registration, but he couldn’t afford to purchase the books for his English class. President Jessica stepped in, accessing her Presidential Discretionary Fund to keep the student from being dropped from the course. He is doing well in his class.
We continue to need folks to sign up for packing Backpacks for Kids on Friday mornings following our meetings. It only takes a few minutes to help needy students have nutrition over their weekends.
Don’t forget that we have the Spring Fundraiser coming up on Saturday, March 8th. There’s still tables left to be sold and auction/raffle prizes to be gathered!
SBMS Interact Update and Valentines
Linda Yeoman is the Principal at Sunny Brae Middle School, and she also serves as the school’s Interact Club Advisor. She brought members of the group with her to sell hand-crafted Valentines Day Cards; the proceeds support St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
The Interactors got a late start this year, due to construction taking place on the campus. Once they got going, they came up with an idea to deal with the “piles and piles of old uniforms”. The students decided to gather up all the unis from track, basketball, soccer, and other teams and sent them to be used in schools in Central America.
Linda said that the group always likes to help our Club at Taste of the Holidays, and this year was no exception. They also appreciate our Club’s involvement in their projects.
New Member Welcome!
We welcomed our newest Sunriser last week. Dustin Littlefield was born in Crescent City, and raised in Arcata. His father is a Rotarian and former President of a Club in the Stockton area. Dustin moved to Austin to pursue a career in music, but eventually returned to Humboldt State University, where he majored in Economics. He currently works for Redwood Coast Financial Partners in Eureka, and he is single. The photo shows (from left to right) Dustin, his sponsor Angelo Bacigaluppi, former Club President Dick Johnson, and President Jessica McKnight. Great to have you with us, Dustin!
Humboldt Air Travel Update
In June 2012, Don Ehnebuske of the Redwood Region Economic Development Corporation (RREDC) visited our Club. At that time, he discussed the Fly Humboldt initiative, which was an effort to bring a second airline to our local airport. Last week, he returned to provide an update. He said that a good deal of money has been raised, and as of the end of last year, things were looking good. However, in early January, the FAA changed the rules for pilot flight and rest times, which had the unintended result of making a stop in Humboldt economically unworkable for the airline they were negotiating with. The group is still negotiating with other airlines, but no agreement is expected soon.
Don then spoke to us about ways to invest in the local economy. He said that since we all benefit from a healthy local economy, it is an appealing concept. Investing locally can help an investor to diversify his or her holdings, and it provides a different relationship with your money – you know more directly how and where your funds are being put to use.
He pointed out that the US economy can be split roughly in two, with half consisting of large, publicly traded companies, and the other half consisting of small independent businesses. Both sectors generate about $7 trillion in revenue each year.
Don estimated that there is about $1 billion in retirement savings controlled locally. That figure is based on 25,000 individuals with an average retirement fund of $40,000. If only 5% of that amount was invested locally, that would be a $50 million total.
Don provided ideas for easy ways to invest locally:
- Keep your money in a local bank or credit union
- Pre-purchase local goods by using Community Supported Agriculture organizations (CSAs) and other local producers and retailers
- Support local Crowd Funding efforts, such as Fund Humboldt
|Don Ehnebuske & President Jessica|
The same rules that are in place to protect investors from scams also make large-scale alternative investing difficult. Since most of us don’t qualify as “Accredited Investors” – those with over $1 million in assets (not including your home) and an annual income of at least $200,000 – we are pushed toward investing in publicly traded companies.
Don then talked about other vehicles for local investing, including the new North Coast LION, which is short for Local Investing Opportunity Network. This group has a meeting scheduled for Monday, March 17th from 3 to 5 pm at the Humboldt Area Foundation. Don said that subsequent meetings will provide information about other ways to invest locally, such as direct public offerings (DPOs) and self-directed IRAs.