Volume XIII, Issue 11: September 19, 2014

On The Calendar
– Chamber Mixer at the Blue Lake Casino – 5:30 pm
October 3 – HSU Homecoming Parade – 4 pm 
October 4 – Rotary Foundation Seminar at the Monday Club in Fortuna – 10 am to 2 pm
– Tailgate Party at HSU before the Jacks take on the “Hardrockers” from
the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology – 3 pm to Game Time
October 11 – Adopt-A-Highway – meet at the Coastal Nature Center at 9:30 am
October 16 – New Member Social – Plaza Grill – 6 pm
October 23 – Arcata Sunrise Cross Country Championships
November 1RISE EVENT
– Foundation Dinner North in Crescent City 
November 20 – A Taste of the Holidays

President Barbara was unable to be with us for last Friday’s meeting, so our peerless and fearless leader was Terri Clark!

Mozara at the Brewery

Terri asked Mozara Abdalla, our Exchange Student from Brazil, whether the beverage in this photo was a beer. It was not, but Mozara did attend our Club’s RISE Event just over a week earlier, which was a tour of the Mad River Brewery. Mozara also said that she planned to attend the AHS Football game later in the day. 

Mozara’s Word of the Week was “chuva” which is Portuguese for “rain” – a timely term!

Terri Clark tells us that it’s a great job, and we know that she did a great job in the role – nominations are open for District Governor, and Rotary Past Presidents are encouraged to apply.

Recognitions and Confessions
Acting President Terri said that when she was President of the Rotary Club of Southwest Eureka, the Club had a tradition of allowing its members to confess fine-worthy information when the regular Finemaster was not around. Although we no longer assess fines with our recognitions, Terri offered us the opportunity to unburden ourselves last Friday.

Joyce Hinrichs told us that her daughter Kayla was in Baja California as Hurricane Odile was approaching. Joyce said that the situation “was pretty harrowing”. Americans were being advised not to go to the airport, because authorities “didn’t want a mob scene”. But since there was no other way out of the area, and since the hotel had run out of water and food, Kayla and her group went. She was able to board a Southwest plane to Los Angeles. Joyce said that she was thankful that Kayla was able to safely return to the US.

Maggie Kraft told us that her friend (and former Sunriser) Marylee Bytheriver is fighting cancer. So Maggie has been taking care of Marylee’s garden on the weekends. She said that people passing by compliment her on how beautiful the garden is. After explaining to many of them that it’s not her garden, she’s just taking care of it, etc., etc., she decided to save time and just thank them for their compliments. She invited others to join her last Sunday. Scott Heller added that the Community Service Committee has been looking at this type of activity for small-scale projects, so there will be more opportunities in the future. 

Special Daze
Ray Noggle was asked how he and his wife Holly MacDonell celebrated their 4th anniversary on August 21st. “I took my wife to the Sushi Spot and met the District Governor,” he said, “which was fantastic, since no one in the group here took him to dinner.” When DG Kevin noticed that Ray didn’t have his Rotary pin on, he asked why. Ray explained that he had taken it off in the car, and Kevin asked, “Why???”

Carol and Steven Vander Meer had dinner at Moonstone Grill for their anniversary. “Did you have a corner table?” asked Terri. “We did,” replied Carol.

Jeff Stebbins coached a soccer game on his (and wife Rachel Chandler’s) 17th anniversary. They decided to defer the celebration until the following day. Their situation is complicated each year since their anniversary falls on September 6th, and Rachel’s birthday is the following day.

Karen Burgesser said that her husband Steve is in charge of their anniversary dinner each year. Karen told us that her only stipulation is “I’ve ruled out McDonald’s”. This year, Steve heard about a “really good deal” at a local restaurant; they had a very good time.

Joyce Hinrichs and Stephen Watson deferred their 29th anniversary celebration. Joyce said that she remembered, but Steve “totally forgot”. They planned to attend the Giants vs Padres game this weekend as a present to each other.

Weather (and other) Warnings!
Our featured Speaker last Friday was Troy Nicolini of NOAA’s National Weather Service in Eureka, who talked about preparing for various natural hazards we face in our area.

Troy said that sneaker waves are the “number one natural hazard killer in Humboldt”. These are ocean waves that catch people off guard, with life-threatening consequences. When you walk near the ocean, you may be lulled by the rhythm of the waves. About every five to twenty minutes, a larger wave will occur. This happens because most of the waves cancel each other out; that is, the energy from one incoming wave is usually dissipated when it meets another wave. 

However, when the energy from the second wave is added to the first wave, the strength and height of the combined wave is much greater than the preceding waves. This produces a sneaker wave. 

Watch out for That Sneaker Wave!!

Troy said that more sneaker waves seem to be generated when the tide is rising, but the phenomenon occurs throughout each day. He warned us not to be fooled when the ocean seems calm. He also cautioned us to avoid steep beaches, rocks, and jetties; keep a close eye on children when you are near the ocean; never turn your back on the ocean; and don’t go into the surf after your dog.

Of local weather-related natural hazards, the most dangerous is hail. “Pea-sized hail,” Troy told us, “a half inch thick on the road gets people in trouble around here.” The Weather Service has joined with CalTrans and the Highway Patrol to educate drivers about the danger, and what to do. If you find yourself on a hail-covered road you should:

  • Ease off the gas pedal
  • Don’t slam on the brakes
  • Avoid over-correcting

Troy made the distinction between chronic and acute hazards. River flooding, like the floods of 1964, are acute problems. Another was the tsunami that hit Crescent City, also in 1964. That tsunami was generated by a distant earthquake. More destructive but less frequent is a tsunami generated by a local quake. The last local example occurred about 300 years ago. 

If another locally-generated tsunami occurs, Troy said that our warning will be the shaking itself. In the event of a major earthquake, drop, cover, and hold on. Don’t head for the door until the shaking ends. When it’s over, you have about 20 minutes to get to high ground. “Everybody is surprised how far you can get in 20 minutes.” Once you reach high ground, stay there, since the waves may continue for hours. 

Troy closed by encouraging us to prepare for the next earthquake. If your home has a post and pier foundation, you should reinforce the connection between house and foundation.

Also, he suggests, make sure that heavy items are not stored in high locations. “Look at the places where your children sleep,” he said. “If you have your prized bowling ball over your child’s bed, that’s not good.” 

Troy also noted that climate change is another event to prepare for. “Climate change will bring wetter wet years and drier dry years,” he said. Even though the change is happening over a number of years, we need to be aware of its impact.

In summary, Troy said that we should not be fooled – not by 20 minutes of calm ocean; not by 20 to 300 years without a major earthquake, tsunami, or flood; and not by the slow creep of climate change. Other areas aren’t fooled by time – they have tornados and hurricanes on a regular basis. He advised us not to be tricked by the unpredictability of the dangers we face.