Volume XII, Issue 39: April 17, 2015

On The Calendar 
April 22:  Earth Day Adopt-a-Highway! Meet at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center at 3 pm
April 24-26:  District 5130 Conference at Yosemite!
May 3:   Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir Prayer Breakfast
May 4-8:  Fireside Meetings (no Friday meeting)
May 7RISE EVENT! – The Living Rooms perform at Chapala Cafe 
May 22RISE EVENT! – Progressive Dinner Substitute (Watch this space and save this date)
May 31RISE EVENT! – Kids, Crabs, and Rotary at the Arcata Ballpark 
June 2-9:  Rotary International Convention at “Mozara’s Place” (aka Brazil)
June 20:  Oyster Festival Beer Booth
President Barbara told us that the Foster Youth Program had its wrap-up meeting, recapping the accomplishments of the past year, and looking toward continuing its work next year. 

Big Man, Big Trophy!

Barbara also posted a photo of our town’s two Rotary Club Presidents. She and the Noon Club’s Susan Diehl-McCarthy were seen attending a recent meeting of the Arcata Chamber of Commerce.

Apparently, Angelo Bacigaluppi has found a way to entertain himself while Michelle is off doing taxes. His team took first place in the Tuesday Night Bowling League. The team is sponsored by Mad River Brewery, which is perfect!

Claire Ajina and her husband Haider recently returned from a trip to Sweden. They were visiting their daughter Alia, who is a Rotary Exchange Student stationed there for the year. 

Haider, Alia, and Claire

Gregg and Neil

Gregg Foster was at the airport to visit with his wife, Emily Jacobs the other day, when he ran into astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson. The previous evening, Mr. Tyson gave a presentation at HSU for its CenterArts program. Gregg didn’t have the opportunity to attend, but sitting and chatting with him was the next best thing.

We heard about some opportunities for hands-on service last Friday. The organizers of the Tour of the Unknown Coast contacted our Community Service Committee, requesting volunteers to help along the course. The race will take place on Saturday, May 2. And on Saturday, June 20th, our Club will be staffing a beer booth at the Oyster Festival.

Debbie and Alan Davis

Our Club lost a good friend with the passing of Alan Davis on April 11th. Alan had been honored as the AVFD’s Volunteer Firefighter of the Year earlier that evening. Sunrisers will remember Alan as a perennial Spring Fundraiser presence – both in the planning and during the events. He will be missed by all.

Exchange Student Mozara Abdalla has been busy with friends lately. Last week, we met Michelle Lack, who is a Rotary Exchanger from Switzerland, and last week she spent time with another Exchange Student from Germany. In honor of Mozara having her ears pierced, her Word of the Day was “brinco”, which is Portuguese for “earring”.

Helping Jamie
After being orphaned at 14 and spending a few years in foster care, Jamie Carroll became an emancipated minor. She told us that soon after that, she learned about the Rotary Youth Exchange program, and she wanted to participate. She interviewed and was accepted for the program, and with the help of Rotarians (and her own determination), she was able to overcome the difficulties of entering the program given her status. Jamie was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Eureka to be their Exchange Student to Brazil for 2008-2009, and she is currently a member of the Lost Coast Rotaract Club.

President Barbara, Jamie, and Angelo

The 2015 Rotary International Convention will be held in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and Jamie plans to attend, returning to her host country. President Barbara was very excited to present a check for $1,000 – our Club’s contribution to her travel fund. If you would like to help Jamie’s efforts, visit her gofundme page.

Heart of Rotary
Kathy Fraser has been an important part of the Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise for many years, and President Barbara pointed out that she has done everything there is to do in support of our Club, short of being Club President. She truly deserves the Heart of Rotary Award.  

All About Brandi
Bryan Plumley provided a Special Recognition of Brandi Easter last Friday. “For those of you who don’t know,” he began, “she’s a free diver, a scuba diver, photographer, and spear fisherman.” Brandi said that her personal activities were limited last year following the loss of her mother. But she plans to make up for it this year. 

Brandi’s “friend” is a 34 pound yellowtail

Brandi has been scuba diving since 1987, and free diving since 1992. Five years later, she began spearfishing, and she has competed locally, nationally, and internationally. She enjoys catching (and consuming) delectables of the deep, and she wins awards for it!

Brandi said that the World Spearfishing Competition in Chile in 2004 was one of her most amazing adventures. There were competitors from many countries around the world, and they “took over the hotel”. The hotel served breakfast and lunch, but at dinnertime, the divers would be in the kitchen to cook up their catches. 

She was introduced to scuba diving by a former boyfriend, and she started free diving because that is the only way to take abalone. 

Learning By About Osmosis
Our Featured Speaker was Andrea Achilli, who is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Resources Engineering at Humboldt State University. He spoke about the prospect of using pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) to generate power. The process is similar to reverse osmosis (RO) and forward osmosis (FO), and the power is solar energy that is captured through the mixing of fresh water and saltwater. 

Andrea noted that existing renewable energy sources produce about 10,000 terawatts of electricity per year. The annual amount currently generated via mixing saltwater and freshwater is about 20% of that, or 2,000 terawatts per year. 

Andrea Achilli

When reverse osmosis is used for desalination of seawater, the waste water has a much higher saline content than the original seawater. When this is re-used in a RO-PRO system, more energy can be extracted, reducing the energy requirements of the system as a whole. 

Andrea said that small-scale experimental models have been tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico and at the University of Nevada, Reno. One of the largest desalination plants in the world is at Ashkelon, Israel. It covers 25 acres, and uses RO technology. He noted that a PRO plant of the same size would use 16% less energy. 

He compared the footprints of PRO power plants versus other renewable energy sources. A PRO plant with an output of 14 megawatts would cover about 25 acres. A solar farm that is four times larger (covering 100 acres) only produces 20 megawatts. A proposed wind farm in Arizona that will cover 1,110 acres is expected to generate 15 megawatts. 

Andrea concluded by saying that tests of the pilot RO-PRO system showed reduced costs in desalinating seawater. In addition, the process may reduce the need for wastewater treatment, and it may help to mitigate issues surrounding high-salinity discharge. He also reiterated that PRO-based systems have smaller land footprints when compared with other renewable energy sources.