Volume XII, Issue 36: April 11, 2014

Scott Heller Gets “The Call”


Alex’s Week In Review

Is it a pizza or a burger?

Last Friday, Exchange Student Alex Rialet said that he was impressed by the Every 15 Minutes program that had taken place on Thursday and Friday of the previous week. Later, Alex went with his host Dad, Praj White, to visit a power plant. “A power plant?” Acting President Scott Heller asked Praj, “You took him to a nuclear power plant?” No – it was the biomass power plant in Blue Lake.There may have been some radiation involved at some point, however. Alex reported eating a mutant “Pizzaburger”, which turned out to be a hamburger pizza. There must be a subtle difference there. Apparently there was no lettuce in the mix, but pickles were in there. That was followed a few days later by a quiche that Alex prepared for his host family. Alex also said that he was planning to participate in the Safe And Sober Fashion Show that was held over the weekend.


  • April 18  Our meeting will feature a program about the “Every 15 Minutes” program mentioned above. The presentation will include the video shot by local photographer Matt Filar.
  • April 19  Mad River Work Day, followed by a hoe down at the Friends of the Dunes in Samoa. Our Club will meet at Stardough’s in Blue Lake before heading for the river.
  • May 5-8  Fireside Meetings will take the place of our regular Friday meeting this week. This is your opportunity to give guidance to President-Elect Barbara Browning as she plans her presidential year.
  • May 16-18  The District Conference will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Rohnert Park.
  • June 1  Our Club hosts young baseball players (and other young people) at the Arcata Ballpark for “Kids, Crabs, & Rotary”.
  • In a non-calendar announcement, we learned that “It’s a girl!” Our 2014-2015 Inbound Rotary Exchange Student will be coming to us from Brazil. We still need one more host family, so please let a member of the Youth Exchange Committee know if you would like more information.

History Day 2014

Each year, we honor students from local schools who have participated in the annual History Day competition. Colleen Toste, a Trustee for the Northern Humboldt Union High School District, noted that the local competition began in 1982. This year, students came from schools throughout the County to HSU on Saturday, February 7th to present their projects. These can take many forms – dramatic role-play, documentary videos, project boards, and essays, among many others. The theme uniting the projects this year was “Rights and Responsibilities”. 
Colleen said that a total of over 100 judges reviewed about 400 entries in several categories: 
  • Two-Dimensional Displays
  • Historical Papers
  • Grade Exhibits
  • Live Performances
  • Documentaries
  • Historical Web Sites

60 students were offered the opportunity to move on to the state competition, which will take place next week, April 25-27 in Riverside. The Rising Stars Foundation offered to pay the $90 registration fee for those students who wanted to compete, and who participated in a coaching session last month. Colleen said that the organization was bowled over (pleasantly) when 53 of the 60 showed up. In addition, the Foundation provided travel scholarships for six of these top scholars. 

Our first presentation was by Arcata High School’s Elijah Pasko, a Senior Division Individual Exhibit winner. His topic was “Dorothea Dix: Manumitter of the Mentally Impaired”:

Janie Mendosa, a Rotary Kid who is also a student at Jacoby Creek School, was a Junior Division Champion for her paper “Working Women: Rights and Responsibilities of Women in World War II”:

Our final presentation was the video, “Men of the Bomb”, by Jacquelyn Opalach, who earned a Senior Division Individual Documentary award and a travel scholarship. [Editor’s Note: Below is a video of Jacquelyn’s video – not up to the quality of the original.]

Following the presentations, Acting President Scott and Julie Vaissade-Elcock presented a check representing our contribution toward travel for the three young scholars. Good luck in Riverside!

Scott Heller, Elijah Pasko, Janie Mendosa, Jacquelyn Opalach, and Julie Vaissade-Elcock