Volume XIII, Issue 5: August 7, 2015

Coming Soon …

August 14/15 – RISE EVENT – Exchange Student Sophia Maria Waern Bugge is scheduled to arrive at approximately midnight. 
August 15RISE EVENT – The 2nd Annual Kevin Ebbert Memorial Trail Run in Redwood Park. Sign up at any HealthSport location 
August 19RISE EVENT – Welcome Party for Inbound Exchange Student Sophia at Redwood Park – 6 pm
Sept 13RISE EVENT – “Out of the Darkness” – Arcata Community Walk Against Suicide. Begins at 10 am at the Arcata Plaza 
Sept 26 – District 5130 Rotary Foundation Workshop in Fortuna – 10 am to 2 pm
Sept 27 – District 5130 New Focus Membership Meeting in Fortuna – 10 am to 2 pm

Rotarian News
  • Former Rotary Kid Zoë Tinseth, who represented the Arcata Noon Rotary as an Exchange Student to Denmark a few years ago, will soon be headed abroad again. She was selected for the CSU International Program, and she will spend the 2015-2016 school year in Queretaro, Mexico.
  • President Howard is still processing the evidence, but he has reason to believe that Scott Heller is in Hawaii. More details to follow once Howard breaks the case.
  • Congratulations are in order – Tom Tellez was awarded his Blue Badge last week!

Firehouse Flash! 
Last Friday, AVFD Chief Desmond Cowan was on hand to provide an update on the renovation of the Arcata Firehouse and to give us his cellphone number (707-498-5781). He provided the latter information since he believes that the public should be able to easily contact the officials that work for them. He also encourages Sunrisers to check in with him if we want an inside look at the construction. “It’s actually more interesting right now,” he noted, “than [it will be] when it’s all done.”

Chief Desmond Cowan

Desmond said that the current construction “is coming together quickly”; the station should be completed by the end of August or in early September. There will be ceremonies – the first will honor the traditions surrounding the re-staffing of a fire station, followed by a community gathering to re-dedicate the station.

Desmond closed by saying, “I cannot tell you how much we appreciate the support of Arcata Sunrise, and the support of the community.” He reminded us that when the Arcata project is completed, the AVFD will begin working to renovate their facility in McKinleyville. 

Scholarship Update
Our Club awarded Dustin Wallis our Four-Year Memorial Scholarship in 2013, and he returned last Friday to update us on his academic progress. Dustin said that he is very grateful for the support our Club has provided. 

He is beginning his third year at Humboldt State, majoring in Rangeland Resource Science, which he explained is the management of rangelands. These areas are found mostly in Nevada, Wyoming, and other areas. He noted, “It’s like Forestry, without the trees. It’s land management, but more grasses and shrubs, and you work a lot with livestock.”

Dustin Wallis

Dustin has worked for the past five years on a sheep ranch in Fieldbrook, which led him to his major. He received a lot of encouragement to go into Rangeland Management from an HSU professor who was also the parent of one of his fellow 4-H members. He expects that when he graduates, he will need to leave the area for employment, but he hopes to return to Humboldt eventually.

Women’s Health Issues in Afghanistan
Our Featured Speaker was Frederica Aalto, who has been a volunteer with Six Rivers Planned Parenthood since 1989, serving as the president of its board and chairing many of its committees. She has been active in the international family planning community, traveling to many countries in the Middle East, including Egypt, Iran, and Turkey. Frederica holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology, and a master’s degree in Psychology, and she has taught Psychology courses at HSU.

Our World Community Service Committee has pledged their support to a project that Frederica is working on, to improve women’s health in Afghanistan. She said that she is impressed that Rotary works on international projects. She applauded our “large view” in taking on such projects in addition to our local efforts.

Frederica began her presentation by discussing the importance of family planning in general, saying that it “holds the key to reducing misery in the world, on many levels”.  For individuals, it promotes better health for both mothers and for children. It also leads to stronger families and the reduction of poverty. For society, family planning reduces unemployment rates, leads to a better functioning infrastructure, and increases the resources available for investment. 

Frederica Aalto

Globally, she said, family planning reduces three things – environmental destruction, the need for international migration, and the pressure for war. Frederica said that, while we enjoy generally good maternal health in our country, many parts of the world do not have access to quality resources. In such places, pregnancy carries a much greater risk of serious injury and death.

Frederica has worked for some time with colleagues in Iran for many years, and they told her that the country that really needed help with family planning is Afghanistan. She compared the mortality rates for infants and mothers in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and showed that the Afghani rates for both are significantly higher. 

In fact, the country’s maternal mortality rate is the highest in the world, with 1 in 16 mothers dying as a result of pregnancy. The two main causes are post-partum hemorrhage and obstructed labor. There are only 373 obstetricians for a country with 13.4 million women of childbearing age, a ratio of 1 per approximately 34,800 women. Most of these obstetricians are located in the major cities.  Frederica said, “One mother dies every two hours from childbirth or other related complications.”

To help educate health care workers, midwives, and the residents of Afghanistan, Frederica and her group developed a program to provide two days of training to midwives and community healthcare supervisors. Each of the supervisors works in at least 30 villages.

They decided to begin in Herat. It is one of the largest provinces in the country, and it shares a border with Iran. They told the residents how to treat post-partum hemorrhage with the drug Misoprostol – a pill that causes uterine contractions, which in turn often stops the bleeding. (Misoprostol is also effective in terminating an unwanted pregnancy.)

They also provided information about contraception, not only to the local women, but also to their husbands. The group worked with mullahs to ensure that their message was in keeping with religious teachings. 

Frederica and her group have targeted the provinces that they would like to work in next. All are in the North, bordering on Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, avoiding the instability of the southern provinces. 

She is confident that the work they are doing will continue on, despite any political unrest that may follow. “We’re not building any buildings that can be knocked down,” she told us. “We’re investing in education.” Ideas don’t disappear, and education has a huge impact. We will hear more about the project in the weeks and months to come.

All About Maggie
Rebecca Crow told us everything there is to know about Sunriser Maggie Kraft last week. Okay, not everything, but we know more now …

Maggie was born in Palo Alto, the family’s third child, and the first girl. One of her high school years was spent in Germany. Her mother said that Maggie’s German was so good that she was often mistaken for a native. She attended UC Santa Cruz for her undergraduate degree, and earned her master’s at Sacramento State University.

She has five nieces and one nephew, all of whom agree that she is a great aunt (but not a great-aunt). Her niece Caitlin said that Maggie has taught her not to be wasteful, how to care for her dog, and (recently) how to drive. Caitlin told Rebecca, “Maggie’s the most stable, responsible person [I] know, and she’s someone [I] can always count on.”

Maggie’s mother Eleanor provided many stories about her daughter’s compassion and generosity. In her conversation, Rebecca noted several times that she still displays those qualities. She has always shown concern for the poor, and she’s always the one to soothe a friend who is upset. Her service in the Peace Corps in Botswana was a logical extension of her compassion and love of travel.

Maggie provided the pictures that accompanied Rebecca’s talk, and many were photos from past Halloweens, ’cause Maggie loves to dress in character. She loves to laugh, and her niece said that she has a thick skin. 

Another group of photos were from Maggie’s travels throughout the world. Rebecca quizzed her on the date and location for a number of pictures, and Maggie beat the buzzer consistently. Maggie is fluent French as well as in German, and her ability with languages has helped her during her travels. She has remained connected with friends all over the world.

Some random Maggie Facts:

  • Her favorite ice cream is Carob and Honey from Rick’s Ice Cream in Palo Alto
  • Her favorite vacation spot is Paris (or anywhere they speak French)
  • Her heroes include her mother, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Patrick Swayze, and Ellen DeGeneres

PR Committee Report  
Julie Vaissade-Elcock provided a quick update from the Public Relations Committee, noting that its number one goal is to gain recognition for the great things we do as a Club. Julie said that her number one goal is to win awards for the Club every year. In the past several years, we have won at least four awards from the District, and that is in no small part due to the PR Committee telling the community about our activities. 

She also said that we are getting the message out that our Club represents the community. “We’re not a bunch of white, rich men,” she said. “What we do is relevant, and the community needs to know that.”

The Committee needs your support to do its job well. We need your photos and information about the projects that we take on. Take a photo of any Rotary activity (or even a non-Rotary event) you are involved in, and send it on to Julie with a brief note. She is very good at getting that into the paper, on Facebook, and on our Club Website. (Note: When you send Julie a photo, please copy President Howard in the message as well, so he can get it into the next meeting’s presentation.)

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