Volume XII, Issue 35: April 4, 2014

Exchange Student News
Alex Rialet, our Rotary Exchange Student from France, told us last week that he has successfully changed host families. He left Craig Reed’s home to become part of Praj White’s family, if only for a while. His time with Craig was not wasted – the “American Firsts” he experienced there included an official TV Dinner. President Jessica said, “They’re terrible, aren’t they?” But Alex said, “They’re not so bad.” And it was just one TV Dinner – a cultural exchange of sorts, with Salisbury Steak. He said that Craig prepared a barbecue for Alex’s going-away dinner. The photo clearly shows that vegetables were a part of the festivities, and not just as decor!

On Wednesday of last week, Alex attended a Rotary Youth Camp meeting, and on Thursday, he attended the Every 15 Minutes assembly at Arcata High School. He thought it was “bizarre” at first, but he noted that as more students “died”, it had a strong impact.

Our other Exchange Student this year is Logan White, who is representing us in Italy. President Jessica read portions of his blog posts from this year. His most recent post noted that he also recently changed host families – twice in the past month and a half. Logan is also training for the Vienna City Marathon, which will take place this Sunday (April 13).

Ultimate Sledding Time!!

Logan also wrote that he has taken up “Ultimate Sledding”with friends. (He also coined the term). This involves renting bobsleds, taking a lift to the top of the mountain, eating dinner, then sledding over a mile down the trail, using the lamps on their heads to make their way. (I hope the lights are attached to helmets!) He writes, “This, my friends, is the future of winter sports!” For more from Logan, click on the link to your right – “Logan White in Italy“.

Finally, we received a visit from next year’s Outbound Exchanger, Silvie Neander. In a few short months, she will be on her way to Belgium. She will be living in Morlanwelz-Mariemont, which was once a royal estate for Mary of Hungary, who was the Governor of the Netherlands during the 16th century. Silvie has been corresponding with her first host mother, who assured Silvie that she will be well cared for. 

She and another Outbounder have started selling Jitter Bean Coffee to raise money for excursions once they are overseas. Check in with Silvie when your caffeine supply is running short.

Every 15 Minutes

Not real … this time

As Alex noted, our Every 15 Minutes Program was in full swing last week. The program is a two-day event that challenges high school students to think about the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Our Club sponsors Every 15 Minutes events on a four-year rotation with the cooperation of Arcata High School, the Highway Patrol, the City of Arcata, the Arcata Volunteer Fire Department, the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office, and the HSU Theater Department.  We hope to dedicate one of our weekly programs to the event soon, but for now, here are a few links:

Calendar and Announcements

  • April 11  Our weekly program will feature award-winning History Day presentations
  • April 19  Our Club’s “Green River Project” working to clean up the Mad River. Followed by a Hoe Down at the Friends of the Dunes HQ
  • May 5-9  Fireside Meetings will take the place of our May 9th morning meeting.
  • May 16-18  The District 5130 Conference will be held in Rohnert Park. Low room rates are available for Rotarians until April 19th.

Howard Stauffer recently dined with Kim Bauridel and other Rotarians who were hosting four visitors from Russia. You will remember that Kim has spearheaded the efforts of local Rotary to provide needed assistance in Siberia. The visitors were three medical doctors (a general practitioner, a pediatrician, and a cardiologist) and their interpreter. Howard said that they were “very nice, sophisticated, and charming – with great senses of humor”. Visiting Rotarian Jon Sapper had also attended, and he agreed. The visit was a fact-finding mission for the doctors – they wanted to learn how we work with children who have learning disabilities or who are physically challenged. In Russia, such children are generally institutionalized. 

Tomas Chavez once again led our recognition efforts, this time focusing on those Sunrisers associated with businesses which won Reader’s Choice Awards for 2014 (information provided by Lori Breyer):

  • Bob Moore and Ed Christians are with Coast Central Credit Union, which won for Best Credit Union, Best Bank, Best Mortgage, Best Real Estate Lender, and Best Investment Firm
  • Bryan Plumley heads the Arcata branch of Edward Jones, which was selected as the Best Stock Brokerage
  • Dan Johnson’s DANCO Group brings us Timber Ridge Senior Living, honored as the Best Retirement Home
  • The Best Independent Grocery Store was Murphy’s Markets, and that is due in no small part to the efforts of our own Don Rosebrook
  • Ron Sharp’s North Coast Co-op was cited as the Best Green Business
  • Terri Clark is with Hunter, Hunter, and Hunt. named as the Best Tax Service
  • HealthSPORT was declared the Best Health Club, which pleased Susan Jansson

Decade of Difference 20/20
Our Featured Speaker last Friday was Heidi Moore, who works for the Humboldt County Offfice of Education as the Coordinator for the Decade of Difference 20/20 initiative. The program was started with a $1.5 million investment by the Headwaters Fund as a way to provide the county with a “ready, willing, and capable workforce”. As Heidi told us, “We’re trying to change the quality of the workforce for you.”

Heidi showed us a video which highlighted the successes of the Decade of Difference program. Click here to watch. She then noted that the program now begins to engage students before they reach high school. The goal is to get young people excited about the career opportunities available to them and to provide them with the tools they will need to achieve their goals. A workforce equipped with those tools also better serves local employers, and helps to stimulate the local economy.

The program goals (from the Decade of Difference website) include:

  • 100% of 4th grade students will demonstrate grade level mastery in Reading and Math,
  • 95% of entering high school students will graduate with a high school diploma, and
  • 90% of high school graduates will continue their education and enroll in a post-secondary educational program.
Heidi Moore

Heidi also talked with us about changes in funding for K-12 education in California. Currently, our state ranks 49th in per capita funding, spending $8,341 (adjusted for regional cost differences) per student annually. This is 70% of the national average. 

The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) was developed in California to help increase flexibility and accountability at local levels, to ensure that student needs are the primary concern for those allocating resources. The plan will be fully implemented by the 2020/2021 fiscal year.

The LCFF mandates that a base amount is provided to each public and charter school to support basic costs. The target base funding level will match the amounts received by schools in the 2007/2008 fiscal year. Additional funding assistance is available for schools with students who are identified as English learners, economically disadvantaged, and/or foster youth. In addition, assistance will be provided to help reduce class sizes in Kindergarten through Third Grade, and to help high schools provide career technical education.

Each school district, charter school, and county office of education is charged with creating a plan for local control and accountability. The plans must contain annual goals and a resource allocation scheme. County offices of education will review the plans for school districts and charter schools with their counties, while the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s office will review plans adopted by the county offices.

For more information on the LCFF, visit the California Legislative Analyst’s Office website.

President Jessica’s Quote of the Week
Teen scores a 160 IQ which is the same as Albert Einstein . 
“If you cannot explain something SIMPLY, then you do not understand it enough.”
— Albert Einstein