Volume XII, Issue 35: March 20, 2015

On The Calendar 
March 28:  “Fiddler on the Roof” at Ferndale Rep – a fundraiser for local Outbound Rotary Exchange Students
April 2:  Arcata Chamber of Commerce Mixer
April 14:  Board Meeting at the Golden Harvest Cafe
April 18:  “Run For A Cause” – North Bay Rotaract’s Fun(d)raiser to benefit the La Trinidad Project in Costa Rica
April 22:  Earth Day Cleanup! Meet at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center at 3 pm
April 24-26:  District 5130 Conference at Yosemite!
May 4-8:  Fireside Meetings this week (no Friday meeting)
May 22:  Progressive Dinner
May 31:  Kids, Crabs, and Rotary at the Arcata Ballpark 
June 2-9:  Rotary International Convention in Brazil

President Barbara reminded us that District Governor Kevin Eisenberg’s theme for this year is “Pride And Joy”. She said that we can take a lot of pride in what we accomplished in our first “solo” Spring Fundraiser. Our gross earnings for the evening came to over $70,000!! We’ll hear more details at our next meeting, but Barbara did thank the members of the Event Committee for their outstanding work: Susan Jansson, Laura Montagna, Brenda Bishop, Rina Brodhag, Romi Hitchcock-Tinseth, Scott Heller, Rebecca Crow, George Cavinta, Gregg Foster, Cam Appleton, Craig Newman, Janice Newman, Kathy Fraser, Jeff Stebbins, Lori Breyer, Howard Stauffer, Ray Noggle, Dustin Littlefield, Charlie Jordan, Orrin Plocher, Bob Johnson, and Ceva Courtemanche. A fantastic group who led us “Down the Rabbit Hole” for a great event!!

Howard’s PETS Report
President-Elect Howard Stauffer reported that he attended the Far West PETS (President-Elect Training Seminar) in early March, and it was great. He had been looking forward to it for quite a while – the Past Presidents of our Club had told him that it was an incredible experience (and it is). The event brought together incoming Rotary leaders from nine Rotary Districts. 

Howard noted that the training sessions were helpful, although “I feel like I’ve already been trained by the examples of our previous Presidents”. Howard also said that his series of one-on-one interviews with Sunrisers has inspired him. 

At PETS, Howard met incoming RI President K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran, a member of the Rotary Club of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The theme for Ravi’s year is “Be a Gift to the World”. He feels that individual Rotarians have received many gifts over the years, which have brought them to a place where they can give the gift of “everything you are and can become” to humanity. 

Howard also told us that Erin Dunn, who will serve as the Governor of District 5130 during Howard’s term, has chosen “Explore” as the District theme. She would like us to look at fresh approaches to service – new ways to be a gift to the world in the coming year. President Barbara added that one of Erin’s goals for the year is that each Club in the District will complete a SWOT (Serving With Our Talents) Project.

Among those fresh approaches is a visit from two former students from the Cambodia Academy, which has received funding from several clubs in our District, along with contributions from individual Rotarians. They plan to visit 14 Clubs during their tour of the District.

Welcome Claire!!
Last Friday, under the leadership of Past President Gregg Foster, we welcomed our newest Sunriser – Claire Ajina! Ian Schatz asked Claire to check out our Club. She is familiar with Rotary, since her husband Haider has long been a member of the Rotary Club of Southwest Eureka, and their daughter Alia is currently a Rotary Exchange Student in Sweden. They have three other adult children – Nyle, Zaid, and Hadi. 

Claire Ajina and Sponsor Ian Schatz

Claire has worked for the McKinleyville Union School District as a School Psychologist for 1½ years, and she enjoys reading, kayaking, mindfulness, and child development. We are pleased that she chose to join our Club.

Alia sent the following message to Ian, who read it to the Club:

I’m excited to have a Rotary family, and for my Mom to be part of her Club. We all have our own Clubs, but we’re connected through Rotary. She will grow through her activity with Sunrise, but the Club will also gain her enthusiasm and determination to do good things in the world. I’m proud of her for adding this to her own life, and for letting others expand it as well. I’m excited to see where Rotary takes our family. Congratulations, Mom!

A Quick (But Important) Recognition
President Barbara told us that Craig Newman was recently honored by the California Licensed Foresters Association as the 2015 Outstanding Forester! Craig said, “It was very unexpected and appreciated.” Janice had noted in her Facebook post that Craig “has worked so hard throughout his career, especially for the rights of small landowners.” 

For his recent birthday, Craig, Janice, and their sons Michael and Ryan went to the 301 Restaurant in Eureka. “We save up and take out a small loan” for the event. “It’s actually very worth it,” he said. Craig just turned 65, and he had retirement plans. Those plans included spending Sunday afternoons on the porch, sipping whiskey, but Janice put the kibosh on that. “I’m going to try to learn how to putter,” he vowed, “and if I get that down, maybe later this year I’ll learn how to mosey.”

Protecting Yourself on the Internet
Our Featured Speaker last Friday was Sunriser Ed Christians, who talked with us about internet security. He noted that it’s difficult to defend against a cyberattack by a nation or large company, but most of the threats we face as individuals and families come from lesser sources. We can protect ourselves by limiting vulnerabilities in our various digital devices – computers, tablets, and smartphones. 

Ed described vulnerabilities as flaws in our devices which allow “bad actors to take advantage” of us. He noted that hardware and software manufacturers are constantly providing updates to close these security holes. He told us that one program looks for more than 71,000 vulnerabilities in its scan.

To protect against vulnerabilities, Ed recommends that you keep the operating systems for your various devices up to date. The easiest and most efficient way to accomplish this is to allow automatic updates. He also advised us to avoid outdated (and unsupported) operating systems such as Windows XP and old versions of OS X for Macs. 

Ed Christians

Your browsers should also be updated regularly, and Ed suggests that we avoid Internet Explorer (especially old versions). Instead, we should use Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari. He recommends that you allow these and your other software to be automatically updated. 

Running a reputable internet security program that includes a firewall and an antivirus module is essential. Ed also said that we should use a router at home and work (not just a cable or DSL modem), and make sure that it includes a built-in firewall. And be sure that you change the default password and disable internet admin access. Also check your modem, router, and computer regularly for suspicious cables or plugs. Use WPA2 encryption for your wireless router, never WPA or WEP.

Other concerns that Ed raised included the rise in viruses targeting Macs. He said that the firewall in the Mac OS is disabled by default, but he recommended that you turn it on. Also, if you are using a Google device (tablet, smartphone, or Chromebook), be sure to use a reputable internet security program. And if you’re using any type of mobile device, don’t jailbreak or root it – doing so will take you out of the security update loop. Finally, only download mobile apps from the Apple App Store or the Google Play store.

Ed expressed concern about the growing connectivity of other devices, commonly referred to as the “Internet of Things” or IoT. He plans to give this area time to mature before he takes the plunge. 

Ed said that in addition to protecting yourself against threats posed by vulnerabilities, you should be vigilant regarding malware. Be savvy in the sites you visit, and especially avoid clicking on links in advertisements or pop-ups. Don’t visit links that seem random or off-topic. And if your children are online, be sure that your internet security system is in place and be sure to supervise them. 

Also, be sure to back up your system often – a growing threat is “ransomware”. In this scenario, malware blocks access to the information on your system, and you are instructed to transfer funds to the hijackers to regain access. 

Ed said that connecting to a public wireless or wired network should be avoided whenever possible – use your own cellular connection if you can. If you have to use a public network, be sure that you do not enter passwords or banking information. Also unplug or disable your webcam and microphone when they are not in use.