Volume XIII, Issue 13: October 2, 2015

Coming Soon …
Oct 10RISE EVENT – HSU Homecoming Tailgate Party!
Oct 22/23
– District Governor Erin Dunn visits our Club (officially!). Thursday
night Board Meeting and Social, Friday Morning Club Meeting.
Oct 23 – World Polio Day! For more information, please click here
Oct 30 – Pumpkin Carving Contest (at our regular spooky meeting). Bring your creepily carved creation!
Oct 30/31RISE EVENT –  Lost Coast Rotaract’s 5th Annual “Spirits & Spirits” in Old Town – Three tours each night!! (We’re shooting for the tour at 7 pm on Friday.)
Nov 14RISE EVENT – Foundation Dinner North in Ferndale – “An Evening in the Enchanted Forest”
Nov 19A Taste of the Holidays at the Arcata Community Center 
Dec 5RISE EVENT – Christmas Caroling for Arts Alive in Old Town Eureka

Rotarian News 

  • Our Club was well-represented at two District 5130 events recently. The Foundation Seminar took place on Saturday, September 26, and President Howard, President-Elect Susan Jansson, Alyson Hunter, and Nick Torres all traveled to Fortuna for the experience. District Governor Nominee Bob Rogers provided a moving presentation about the fight to eradicate polio. (DGE Bob will be the Featured Speaker at our October 9th meeting.)
  • The following day, the District presented a Membership Seminar in Eureka. President Howard again attended, along with Tomas Chavez, Nick Torres, and Rotaractor Jose Zapata. Tomas said that we’re doing a great job of attracting and retaining members, but a lot of great ideas were provided. 
  • The Boys and Girls Club of the Redwoods invited President Howard and Past President Barbara Browning to their “Bids for Kids” Dinner and Auction. Ours was among the local Rotary Clubs that were honored as the organization’s “2015 Lance Madsen Champions For Youth”, in recognition of their support of the renovations to the Teen Center. Our Club was also thanked for organizing the SWOT Project to upgrade the BGCR Club House.
  • We have closed the (funding) gap! Thanks to the support of our Club, the Arcata Noon Club, local Masons, and individual Sunrisers, we have full funding to provide healthy meals for 43 kids at Arcata Elementary School and Trillium School for the current year. The Backpacks for Kids Program now needs Sunrisers to sign up to pick up the food, pack the bags (following our meetings), and deliver them to the two schools. Watch for the SignUpGenius emails. President Howard thanked the leaders of the Backpacks program – John Gullam, Julie Schaefer, Carol Vander Meer, and Mary Crow.
  •  Jessica McKnight told us that the Transitional Youth Program is on the roll. She encouraged us to sign up to help, noting that a new way to assist has emerged. “Some of the youths,” she noted, “have youths themselves.” We are hoping to provide child care for those youngsters (from one to four years old), so their parents can focus on the meetings. These take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 6 pm at the Samoa Women’s Club, and there will be some Saturday field trips in the mix. Currently transportation is not an issue, but there are still slots for those who would like to provide food for the meetings. 
  • Jessica also said that the Vocational Service Committee is seeking nominees for this year’s Vocational Service Award(s). Candidates should exemplify the ideals of Rotary by providing service to the community, but should not be (currently) affiliated with Rotary.  
  • It’s almost time for the Arcata Sunrise K-8 Cross Country Run. The event will take place on Friday, October 30th, and Event Organizer Rebecca Crow told us that we will need Sunrisers to serve as spotters on the course, to guide runners as they complete the race, and to help with award presentations. Watch your emails for signup info.

Sophia’s Week
Exchange Student Sophia Waern-Bugge said that she had a “normal week” – just school and cross country. She told us that the Cross Country team won its most recent meet, and that she continues to improve individually, day by day. When a Sunriser asked what her favorite classes are, she said that they are Art and French.

Committee Report
We heard from the Competitions and Scholarships Committee last Friday. Co-chairs Jeff Stebbins and Bryan Plumley reminded us that each year our Club awards the Arcata Sunrise Memorial Scholarships – three $1,000 scholarships and a renewable four-year scholarship that provides $1,500 per year to a deserving student. 

We also provide travel scholarships to local History Day winners who plan to compete in the State History Day competitions. And each summer, we send two incoming Arcata High seniors to RYLA camp (RYLA stands for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards.)  

Bryan and Jeff said that working on the Committee is very rewarding, as it gives them the opportunity to meet a lot of highly motivated young people. They agreed that it is inspiring.

Lori Breyer provided last Friday’s recognition of Rebecca Crow(e), or “Becky”, as she is known to her parents. She was born in Nashua, New Hampshire, but she grew up in Pepperell, Massachusetts, which is about an hour away from Boston. When Rebecca was in 10th grade, the family moved to Pleasanton, California for her father’s job.

Her mother said, “When Rebecca tackles a job, she puts 120 percent in. And if she’s not happy with the result, she persists until she is happy. This effort includes her job, her family, and all of the activities she gets involved in.”

Music became an important part of Rebecca’s life at an early age. And music has served purposes for her that are … unusual. Her mother said that when Rebecca got her first engineering job in Maryland. Mom didn’t understand all the terms that went with the position, so she would take notes, and put those notes into a song. Below is a video of Rebecca singing one for us:

Although her father and grandfather were both engineers,
Rebecca did not initially plan to follow their paths. But her aptitude in math and science led her to the field. She attended Humboldt State to pursue a degree in Environmental Engineering. It was there that she met her future husband Abe, when both were members of the Marching Lumberjacks. 

Rebecca has been with GHD (née Winzler and Kelly) for almost 15 years. Sunriser Steve McHaney is her boss, although he first met her via the Marching Lumberjacks. “I was an alumnus,” he wrote, “who periodically came back into town to play gigs with the band, and Rebecca was still in school.” He praised her enthusiasm for playing trumpet, and he said she had a great time. After Rebecca’s graduation and her stint in Maryland, he hired her to work at Winzler and Kelly. He said that Rebecca was “a bit timid at first when it came to making public presentations”, but she grew in the job. He noted that “Rebecca is a ‘can-do’ person”.

As we all know, her family is very important to her. Her husband Abe had this to say:

All I can say about my wife (without getting too mushy) is that Rebecca has made my life completely wonderful for the last 20 years, and I cannot thank her enough for that.

Their first child, Mary, is very well-known to all of us. Mary and Rebecca share a love of cooking, which (as Lori noted) has benefited many of us, along with the Rotary Foundation! Rebecca learned how to decorate cakes as a fourth grader, and she has shared that skill with Mary. They enjoy many other activities together, including working with the Girl Scouts, where Rebecca serves as Cadet Leader. Mary had this to say about her mother:

Mom is the most awesome and nice person in the world. She is always there when I need her. When I need help with my homework, she will always help me. She is the best mom in the world.

Rebecca’s son Max is a Cub Scout, so Rebecca also volunteers as a Pack Committee Chair. She is also the coach of the Fuente Nueva School Cross Country team. Max said, “My Mom always helps me when I need help. She is very nice and helpful.”

In closing, Lori shared this from Rebecca’s father: “Becky, you are amazing. Thanks for the grandchildren!”

Protecting Land on the North Coast
Our Featured Speaker was Mike Cipra, the Executive Director of the Northcoast Regional Land Trust (NRLT). Michael has been involved in conservation for most of his career, working as a park ranger and as a Program Manager for the National Parks Conservation Association. He returned to Humboldt County in January of last year when he assumed his current position. 

The NRLT was started in 2000 “by folks from every walk of life,” Mike said. Those involved included ranchers, farmers, foresters, land use planners, and others who wanted to protect the environment and quality of life in our area. He said that the group focused on “the 80 percent we can agree on” in moving forward to protect the land. The goal is to keep land in production – in agriculture or timber production – while keeping it intact. 

NRLT’s service area encompasses Del Norte, Trinity, and Humboldt Counties, and they have a few projects in Mendocino County as well. A core belief is that we can have local economic production from the land while protecting the landscape and wildlife habitats.

Mike’s family history drew him to the conservation field. His grandfather hand-built a cabin in the Tehachapi Mountains, and Mike and his family spend a lot of time there. Over the years, the family’s ownership of the land around the cabin was divided up and sold until only the cabin remained. When someone broke into the unattended cabin, Mike’s father had a heart episode while arguing with one of the neighbors. This led him to sell the cabin. 

Similar things are happening locally, as landowners are aging, and they often have no succession plan in place. Mike said that over a third of agricultural producers do not have an heir who will continue their operations, and 18 percent may sell their land within the next 15 years. The NRLT helps these landowners understand the risks to their land as well as its economic and wildlife habitat values.

In some cases, a funding source can be found to pay for subdivision rights, which are then held by the state, and monitored by the NRLT, which means that the land is kept whole. “Using these types of tools,” Mike said, “we’ve helped protect 25,000 acres in Humboldt, Del Norte, and Trinity Counties. That’s the size of some National Parks.”

The easements that are sought do not necessarily mean that the land becomes publicly accessible. The landowner does not lose control of the land, and it can remain productive. Each agreement is crafted differently, and the goals differ. Mike said that, while the NRLT does own some of the property it protects, a large portion of the land it protects continues to be privately held.

Mike showed us slides of an area they own in the Freshwater Slough area where agricultural activities co-exist with restored salmon spawning habitat. The salmon there are growing 40 times more quickly than those in the main stem of Freshwater Creek. “We have cows and coho on the same property,” Mike said with a smile. “When we started this, people said that you can’t have both, you can’t do both. But we’re stubborn that way.”

The NRLT partners with Friends of the Dunes to provide environmental education opportunities for local schools, with field trips to the Freshwater property. The relationship between working lands and natural landscapes is explored.

For more information, visit the NRLT website.