Volume XII, Issue 38: May 2, 2014

Exchange Student Corner
Sometimes Your Editor relies overmuch on technology. At our last meeting, Inbound Exchange Student Alex Rialet provided the usual recap of his week, which was followed by Outbound Exchanger Silvie Neander’s talk about her interactions with her soon-to-be host parents in Belgium. I pointed my video camera at them – I just forgot to make sure that the red “RECORDING” light was on. Soooo … Below are a few photos of Alex and Silvie to make up for the lack of reportage.

Alex and the Pixelated Tiger
Silvie with her “Navy Blazer Gang” of Exchangers
Alex Ready to Consume a Pizzaburger

The Pirate and the Pup

Silvie Learns She Will Be Off To Belgium

And … don’t forget that Silvie is still selling coffee to help fund excursions during her Exchange Year.

Calendar Items and Announcements

  • May 16-18:  Rotary District 5130 Conference in Rohnert Park. Celebrate the year that’s nearly over
  • May 26:  Memorial Day Fellowship at President Jessica’s home in Rio Dell
  • May 30-31:  Board Retreat 
  • June 1:  Kids, Crabs, and Rotary event at the Arcata Ballpark
  • June 6:  Arcata High School’s Top Ten Percent are honored at our Friday meeting

Tomas Chavez returned as our Recognitions Meister, and his first order of business was to ask Scott Heller about the person named as the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Women’s Coach of the Year. Scott told us that his fiancee Robin Meiggs received the honor. The group selected her from Divisions I, II, and III. She has previously been named National Coach of the Year.

The Gila Monsters’ First Ride

Although Charlie Jordan was not in the room last week, we learned that her Mad River Brewery won a Bronze Award at this year’s World Beer Cup, for their Pale Ale. We’re looking forward to more information about the award.

Ron Sharp wasn’t at our meeting to be recognized for the “Gila Monsters’ First Ride”, but Barbara Browning was able to address the issue for us. The Blue Lake Gila Monsters are Ron Sharp, Rick Levin, and Jeff DeMark. Barbara said that Jeff is known for being a storyteller, and now he does it with a backup band. On Mothers’ Day, the band will be performing at the Logger Bar in Blue Lake, and they will be telling stories about their mothers. As a special treat, Barbara’s mother will be sitting in on keyboards.

Angelo Bacigaluppi and his family recently traveled to Portland, Oregon for a vacation.  They went to the top of Mt. Tabor, where they found a playground for the kids! They also enjoyed visiting the zoo and the local foodie spots.

Bob Johnson was bewildered at first when he saw an older photo of him with his son Aaron.  Bob told us that Aaron is finishing up his fifth semester at the University of Hawaii, and the clinic he is involved in wanted additional funding to help their patients. He was talking with Bob about ways to raise money, and Bob suggested that he talk with his landlord, who is a Rotarian. “We’re coming to the end of the Rotary Year,” Bob noted, “and their Club might just have some money … for a medical project or a student.” Aaron gave a presentation at their District Assembly, and the clinic got the money they needed.

We then got to see a video of Ceva Courtemanche riding a tiny scooter down the driveway with her son Hayes. “Hayes is like a little daredevil,” she said. Looks like his mother takes after him, since she suggested the driveway run. Hayes wanted to do it again. And again. And again.

Lori and Dave Breyer’s 17th anniversary was April 5th,  and Lori said, “I have no idea what we did.” Fortunately, someone reminded her that she was at the District Assembly, which followed two days of the Every 15 Minutes program. “My [Wisconsin] Badgers played that Saturday night,” she said, “so instead of going out to dinner, we stayed in and ate and watched my Badgers, um, lose.” The next night they made their traditional trip to Abruzzi’s for dinner.

Wednesday, the 23rd of April was Barbara Browning’s birthday. But she started celebrating the Sunday before with a brunch on her patio, followed by dinner at her mother’s. Then on Wednesday, she knew that she wanted to go to the Trinidad Lighthouse, but it was closed. So they went to the Plaza Grill instead. She and Ron then spent the weekend in Ashland.

Last Friday was Ceva Courtemanche’s birthday, and she said that she would be going to Las Vegas for four days with husband Doug, son Hayes, and her mother and father. She also said that she will be taking a cruise in July!

Preparing For The Worst
Our Featured Speaker last Friday was Stephen R. Dieker, Jr. Stephen is an MD specializing in critical care medicine. He is also married to President Jessica’s sister, Audrey. Stephen and Audrey recently relocated to Rio Dell when Stephen accepted a position with St. Joseph Hospital. He spoke with us about how to acquire and store food and water as part of a plan of emergency preparedness. Stephen and his family are members of the Church of Latter Day Saints, which encourages its members to be prepared for emergencies.

Stephen covered these four basic ideas about food storage:

  • You need it
  • You can afford it
  • You can store it
  • You can use it
Stephen With His Sister-In-Law

He noted that food and water are only two areas of being prepared for an emergency. Other important aspects to consider are how you will be able to communicate with your loved ones and others, how to ensure that important documents will be kept safe, whether you have sufficient cash on hand in case other purchasing methods become unavailable, if you have fuel for vehicles and/or generators handy, and having a specific plan in place to deal with such situations.

Stephen reminded us that disasters happen by showing photos of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, an Oklahoma home that had been ravaged by a tornado, and the Scotia Inn after a 1992 fire. Larger scale disasters are followed (and sometimes preceded) by runs on grocery stores and other suppliers of basic human needs. Those who have stocks of such items on hand ahead of time fare much better than those who do not.

He also noted that there are other reasons that staple items could be in short supply in a community or in an individual household, including crop failures, inflating food prices, unemployment/underemployment, disability, world economic fluctuations, and communicable diseases. 

He provided some ideas for making food and water storage affordable. He said that when he and Audrey started storing, they were both students. They looked for seasonal sales on storable items, they set aside a specific amount in their budget (the example used was $5 per week) to purchase items incrementally, and they developed a plan for purchasing and using the items stored.

Stephen said that you the areas where you store food should be cool, dark, and dry, with containers off the floor – on shelves or pallets. Each container should be marked with the “use-by” date, and you should ideally have more that one location for storage. Do not place containers directly on the floor or in contact with a wall, and only use food-grade containers, not trash bags or plastic containers that may leach unwanted compounds into the food.

He noted that you can also purchase ready-made food supply kits at local retailers or online. These are often complete packages, but some may not include water and others may require a heat source for cooking/warming.

Stephen reminded us that we should cycle through our stored items. To that end, he recommends that we find a good food storage cookbook, and find things that your family will enjoy. Finding food that is as close to your normal diet as possible, so you don’t encounter unpleasant gastrointestinal surprises.

He said that we can look at three levels of food storage. The first level is good for about a month, and these may include items that could be stored in a deep freezer. This category would be things very similar to your current diet. The second level, with a storage life of about three months, would be non-perishable food such as beans, vegetables, and pasta. The third level would be large quantities of food that has a long shelf-life, such as wheat, rice, and oats. You may include seeds for a future food-producing garden in this category. The technology for food preservation continues to improve, and you can find items that can be stored for years.

To get started, you should decide how much food you want to store, and make a plan for acquiring it. You should check out various recipes for the types of food you will store, and you should continue purchasing the extra food until your goal is reached.