Volume XII, Issue 4: August 2, 2013

“Putting the FUN in Rotary”


Exchange Student Fa Sillapajarn hit a bit of a glitch in her return to her home in Thailand last week. Her flight from Arcata was delayed, so she missed her connecting flight. Rotary came to the rescue, however, as a member of a Bay Area club offered her a place to spend the night. Then it was back to the airport the next day, and (according to Fa’s Facebook post), she made it home ” … after a long flight on the plane (about 20 hours).” Although she is happy to be back in Thailand, she noted that “I miss Arcata already, here [it] is super duper hot, I miss the fog, I miss people, I miss redwood, I miss Mexico, I miss the way that Glenn cooks, I miss salmon, I miss American sushi, I miss watching Netflix when we have dinner, I miss the biggest cat I [have] ever seen (Tim), I miss everything. Love you all”

Last Friday, President Jessica told us that Sunriser Howard Stauffer was injured in a bicycle accident. He has four cracked ribs that we hope will heal quickly.

You may be reading this on Thursday, August 8th. If so, and it’s before 5 pm, you should head for the Alchemy Construction Workshop at 330 South G Street to help with staining and sealing portable bookcases that will be stocked with children’s books and provided to families. Our Community Service Committee put together this project in conjunction with the Nurse Family Partnership. All supplies will be ready for you, and you are encouraged (but not required) to bring finger foods and/or beverages.

All Sunrisers are also encouraged to attend our Club’s Board of Directors meeting at 7 am on Tuesday, August 13th. It’s a great opportunity to discuss the directions that our Club and Foundation are pursuing. Your input is welcome.

We heard from members of the Lost Coast Rotaract last week. They discussed some of the activities they have planned for the coming year. This fall they will again present their annual fundraiser “Spirits and Spirits: Old Town’s Haunted Halloween”, and in the spring, they will participate in Bowl For Kids’ Sake to help out North Coast Big Brothers/Big Sisters. They also plan to continue their Softball Tournament, and they said that the Arcata Noon Rotary plans to vigorously defend their title.  We are encouraged to attend their meetings, which take place on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month at 6:30 pm, at Los Bagels in Eureka. If you know a potential member (think of someone between the ages of 18 and 30 who will someday make a great Rotarian), encourage them to check out the Lost Coasters or the North Bay Rotaract Club. The latter group meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month at the Village Pantry in McKinleyville, at 6 pm. 

Wednesday, August 21st is Rotary Day at the Humboldt County Fair in Ferndale. When you go, take advantage of the special steak barbecue dinner for only $20!

October 15 – 24 will be Polio Immunization Days in Lome, Togo. The immunizations will take place as part of the 9th Annual West Africa Project Fair. More details are available on the Rotary Club of Indianapolis website, or contact President Jessica.

More opportunities for World Community Service are available through Project Amigo in Colima, Mexico. The organization will hold work weeks in November, December, January, February, and March. See Jessica if you would like to participate.

Past President George Cavinta put out the word that an 18-year old member of the local foster youth community is looking for work. He is interested in a position that is not necessarily customer contact oriented. If you have an opening or know someone who does, Kontact the Kahuna!

Romi Hitchcock Tinseth reminded us that the HSU students will soon return to our community. She has welcoming materials for businesses who want to court this large local market. Classes begin August 26th, so be ready!

If you’re a night owl, our inbound Exchange Student for 2013-2014 will arrive shortly after midnight on Thursday, August 15th. Contact Lori Breyer for up-to-the-minute details.


Kyle Visser served as our recognizer last Friday. He askedFormer Club President Robert Goodman to rise. Kyle interviewed Bob’s staff at Robert Goodman Winery and the Tasting Room, and learned some things about the boss. His employees said that Bob is easygoing, that he allows people to do their jobs, he is slow to judge, and that he hears everyone out. And with so much going on, he still makes time for his family. Time to send him my resume!

Being a fan of the University of Texas is a long-standing tradition in Garrett Perks’ family. Even after they moved to California from Fort Worth, Texas, they maintained their Longhorn passion. “For me,” Garrett says, “it’s just a congenital defect.” When he’s not working or rooting for U of T, he serves on the board of the California Baptist Foundation, which he describes as “a learning experience”. Kyle interviewed several people who know Garrett well, and they described him as “the most ethical person I know”, and “extremely fair”. 

If you saw Dawn Ellsbree limping recently, it was due to a backpacking mishap. She “messed up” her toes, and fortunately I missed some of the details, since what I did catch involved pushing her toenails back in. You have my sympathy, Dawn … but owwww!

Romi Hitchcock Tinseth and Glenn Tinseth celebrated their 25th anniversary with a bash that featured a walking rack of wedding attire. Those in attendance were encouraged to wear bridal dresses, bridesmaids’ dresses, and/or tuxes. The group traveled to the Plaza to amaze and confuse onlookers. Romi said that even the police cars and ambulances stopped to try and decipher what was happening.

Dennis Mullins on Economic Performance in Humboldt County

Our guest speaker last week was Dennis Mullins, an analyst with the Labor Market Information Division of the Economic Development Department office in Eureka. Dennis provided some good news about recent economic trends in Humboldt County.

Dennis compared the rate of population growth in our county with other nearby counties, and he found that our population grew by 6.4% between the censuses of 2000 and 2010. The highest growth rate during that period locally was seen in Lake County, at 10.9% growth, and Napa County, with 9.8% growth. Siskiyou and Mendocino grew at the slowest rates – 1.4% and 1.8% respectively. 

EDD’s Dennis Mullens

He also said that our county’s reputation as a retirement community is unwarranted – our median age of 37 is the lowest of the nearby counties. That can be partially explained, he said, by the HSU population, however Sonoma County’s median age is 40, despite the presence of Sonoma State.

Our county is one of the best educated in the region, as well. 90% of our adult population has graduated from high school (a tie with Trinity County), and 26% of that group has achieved at least a bachelor’s degree. 

In 2011, Dennis said, Humboldt County had almost $1.7 million in taxable transactions. of the counties included in this comparison (Trinity, Siskiyou, Shasta, Mendocino, Lake, and Del Norte), only Shasta County saw a higher figure. On a per capita basis, Humboldt ranked behind only Shasta and Mendocino Counties.

Dennis then showed graphs indicating the number of “nonemployer firms” in each of the same seven counties. These numbers indicate the level of entrepreneurial activity taking place. Dennis’s data showed steady growth in all of the counties from 2003 to 2007. When the recession hit in 2008, our entrepreneurs weathered the storm better than their counterparts. In 2009 through 2011, Humboldt’s numbers remained relatively stable. “We are an entrepreneurial county,” Dennis said. He also showed that the sales from our one-person operations took less of a recessionary hit.

He then said that there are indications that Humboldt County is shrugging off the effects of the recession more quickly than our neighbors. Among these are the percentage of unemployed workers, which is lower that the surrounding counties, and lower than the state average. Dennis also pointed to the number of building permits issued in the various counties, and Humboldt County ranks high by this indicator as well – first in 2011 and second in 2012.