October 7, 2016

2016-17 Rotary Theme

This Friday’s Program:
Our Featured Speakers for Friday, October 14th, will be Jim Polly of Fieldbrook Nursery, who will tell us all about apples and the fall harvest!

RISE Calendar … “Rotary Involvement Strengthens Everyone
October 18-26 – Opportunity to travel to Nigeria to help fight polio and attend the West Africa Project Fair! Check your email for details, or contact Howard Tours in Oakland (800-475-2260).
October 20 – RCAS Cross-Country Championships at the Arcata Community Center
October 23  – Stetsons, Steaks, & Spurs – A Rotary Foundation Fandango! The annual Foundation Dinner at The Lodge – 445 Herrick Avenue, Eureka. No-host cocktails at 2 pm, then cook-your-own-steak at 3 pm. Check your email for your personal invitation!
November 17A Taste of the Holidays! Our Fall Favorite Fundraiser returns to help kick off another festive holiday season!
March 11, 2017 – The RCAS Spring Fundraiser! Put it on your calendar now (or as soon as you purchase a 2017 calendar)!!
May 12-14, 2017 – The District 5130 Conference at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort in Incline Village, Nevada

Sunrise Moments

  • President Susan was away last Friday, so Former President Jessica McKnight wielded the gavel!
  • Two members of the Arcata High School Interact Club checked in with us last week. Their Club didn’t meet the previous week, due to Homecoming, but they are back on it, working to place additional benches in front of the school to allow for more seating during lunch hour. They are also starting to work on the Coats for the Cold project, and they plan to volunteer at the Cross-Country Championships on October 20th (more on that below), as well as at the Humboldt Ice Rink in Fortuna.
  • Liz Smith of the Boys & Girls Club of the Redwoods (and a member of the Arcata Noon Rotary) also visited with us. She wanted to thank us for our support of the organization’s Camp Odyssey this summer. Liz said that they are working to avoid duplicating programs offered by other groups and identifying services gaps. Tw0 of those gaps are services for teens and affordable summer programs, and their summer offerings were intended to fill those needs. They also teamed up with the McKinleyville Family Resource Center to open a Teen Center in that community in late August.  There will be a Planting Day on Saturday, October 22nd, and we will hear more about that very soon.
  • The Foundation Dinner (or Fandango) will take place on Sunday, October 23rd. Even if you are unable to attend, you are encouraged to participate in the raffle. Several gift baskets are up for grabs, and your donation of $20 to the Rotary Foundation will get you a ticket. Wait!! I just heard that if you donate $100, you’ll get six tix!! Holy moley! And all of the Foundation contributions you’ve made so far in this Rotary Year will count toward your total tickets!!! Woo-hoo!! (If you’ve made online contributions, please make sure that Terri Clark has the information, so she can get you in the hunt! (Wow! I’ve used 73% of my exclamation point quota already!!) ( 77% now)
  • Rebecca Crow is seeking Sunriser Volunteers for this year’s RCAS Cross-Country Championships, which will take place Thursday, October 20th at the Arcata Community Center. She will need people on the course to guide the runners, and she is looking for help with setup and the award presentation as well. She anticipates that there will be two time blocks for volunteers – 1:30 to 3:00 and 3:00 to 5:00 (or both). If you have something that would make an appropriate giveaway for the participants (approximately 250 K-8 students).
  • Posters and flyers are available for Taste of the Holidays, which will take place on Thursday, November 17th, and tickets are available from Ticket Coordinator, Janice Newman. (If you were at Friday’s meeting, you have your bundle of ten, but see her if you need more.) Event Co-Chair Lisa Hemphill said that we would like to have the tickets sold by November 1st, if possible. Ray Noggle is Lisa’s Event Co-Chair; Nick Torres will be handling the front end, managing our greeters and troubleshooting ticket snafus; Craig Newman will be our liaison with volunteers from the Interact and Rotaract Clubs;  A.J. Gonzales will head up the raffle; the clean-up crew will be led by Romi Hitchcock-Tinseth; and President Susan Jansson and Emmanuel Rose will lead our publicity efforts. Lisa said that we still need coordinators to take charge of decorations, to procure supplies, to manage the setup, and to return items to our storage unit. Please let Lisa or Nick know if you would like to take on one of those roles. A Signup Genius will be circulated soon.

Vocational Moment

Last week’s Vocational Moment featured Tami Camper Dart, who works for CalTrans Environmental Division as an Environmental Planner/Biologist. She noted that many of her field studies involve bats, which congregate under many of the bridges in the area. The bridges “are concrete, and they’re warm, and [the bats] hang out in those crevices”. She said that during construction, CalTrans contractors will put up exclusion netting to keep out the bats as well as birds.

“Working along the side of the road is scary, as a biologist,” Tami told us. “I’ve worked in the median between here [downtown] and Giuntoli, and it’s nerve-wracking.” She prefers the “off-site” areas that take her out of harm’s way. One of those locations is at the mouth of the Mad River. There is a big abutment with a hole that CalTrans had to fill with sand. “We had to put sand on top of the abutment,” she said, “to keep foxes out so they wouldn’t eat the snowy plovers.”

Tami said that she works with other agencies, such as Humboldt County, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Water Board, and other government agencies. In addition, she told us, “I am the one and only Coastal Commission Liaison. And I did it because nobody else volunteered.” Spoken like a true Rotarian!

An Update from Judy

Claire Ajina is the Host Mother for our Exchange Student Judy, and she let us know that Judy experienced a significant loss last week, and she is in our hearts.

The previous weekend, Judy experienced Pastels on the Plaza, the fundraiser for Northcoast Children’s Services. She also watched a soccer game and attended Arts Alive in Eureka. She planned to go to a Haunted House last Friday, followed by Saturday’s HSU Tailgate Party, and then the Rocky Horror Show in Ferndale on Sunday.

Special Daze

Bob and Susan Johnson celebrated their 36th anniversary on September 20th. Bob said that the couple “had a nice dinner at Five … no … Three-Eleven … no …” It was Five-Eleven on Second Street in Old Town Eureka, and who wouldn’t get confused – that’s a lotta numbers! Their son Patrick and his girlfriend joined them for the celebration.

Chris and Lisa Hemphill will be celebrating their anniversary on October 18th, and they have a tradition. One year, Chris plans a surprise activity, and the next year, it’s Lisa’s turn. It’s on Lisa this year, since she gets the even-numbered years, while Chris is  … well … odd! We’re looking forward to hearing from them about Lisa’s surprise.

Member Ketchup! (Or is it Catsup?)

Last Friday, we had an opportunity to catch up with one of our favorite Sunrisers – Scott Heller! As most of you know, Scott is on an extended leave of absence from the Club, residing temporarily in San Francisco. He is there so his Michael can complete his last year of high school in the City, and Scott told us that Michael is thriving! He is applying for colleges, and playing on the soccer team, and the two of them are “having a great time being together”. Scott said that he has not checked in on any of the Rotary Clubs in the Bay Area, because “nothing compares to you guys”.

Scott was in town to help his wife Robin Meiggs and her HSU Women’s Crew Team staff the concession stand at the HSU Homecoming Game on Saturday.

Talkin’ Trails!

Our Featured Speaker was Hank Seemann, the Deputy Director of Environmental Services for the Humboldt County Public Works Department. In that role, he manages natural resources, water management, environmental compliance, and permitting. He also is in charge of the County’s parks and trails. Hank has a Master’s Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University. He is a Eureka native, and he lives in Bayside with his two children.

Hank Seeman
                                                                      Hank Seemann

The title of Hank’s presentation was “Expanding Trails in Humboldt County: Working Together to Meet the Need”. He told us that a group of several hundred people gathered at a summit meeting in early June to discuss current trail projects in the County, and to achieve interconnection between as many of the County’s trails as possible. The meeting produced a “State of the Trails” report, which is available on the Humboldt County Association of Governments website (click anywhere in this long sentence to access it). The report shows how a public trail becomes a reality, from the planning stages to the engineering and building phases. It also gives information about existing trails and proposed trail projects.

Hank said that the group’s vision is to provide safe trails that allow us to “move without a car through our communities and across the landscape”. Trails also allow us to connect with places and with people. In addition to focusing on the safety of those using our community trails, the group looked to bring together families to use trails. He showed a diagram that was developed by the City of Arcata that showed that providing safe trails had a cyclical effect – trails are fun, so we are encouraged to use them, which reduces traffic and road maintenance expenses, which helps the environment, which makes our communities more attractive to businesses and visitors, which promotes health, and allows us to have fun – that starts the cycle over again. He noted that Arcata has long worked toward infrastructure improvements that permit carless travel throughout the city.

Hank noted that many natural surface trails in the County are maintained by volunteers. Paved multi-use paths are generally built by governmental agencies, and they allow access to a wide variety of users, including many individuals with mobility impairments who may have a more difficult time accessing a natural surface trail. Hank described these paved paths as “little roadbeds”. They are designed and constructed like a street would be, but on a smaller scale.

Hank noted that it is also important to improve our streets, to make them safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. Throughout the County, efforts are underway to upgrade roads to allow more mixed uses. Intersections are points where the interests of those with vehicles may come into conflict with those traveling by bicycles or on foot.

A trail project has a life cycle, Hank told us. It starts with planning, which is followed by the acquisition of funds. This is followed by the engineering of the trail and the permitting process. Plans are then drawn up, and any right-of-way issues are negotiated. Finally, construction begins, and upon the completion of the trail, people begin to migrate to it, putting it into use.

Hank then discussed trails that are being constructed and/or in development:

  • The Humboldt Bay Trail would be a network of trails around Humboldt Bay. The section of this trail between Arcata and Eureka along the 101 Safety Corridor is envisioned as a multi-use trail separated from the highway. The project has progressed in segments. In 2008, the City of Arcata began working on a 1.2 mile paved stretch of the trail that was completed in 2015. This segment begins near Arcata High School, and runs south parallel to L Street, to the west of the Plaza almost to Samoa Boulevard.
  • Another section of the Humboldt Bay Trail that is in the works is the 3 mile Bay Trail North, which will run south from Samoa Boulevard through the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary extending to a point just north of the Bracut Industrial Park. Funding is in place, and construction will begin in 2017.
  • Bay Trail South would complete the multi-use trail to Eureka, which is being developed by Hank’s team. This trail would connect with the Bay Trail North, and extend to near the Target store in Eureka. Hank noted that the challenges are many – “eucalyptus trees, private property, wetlands, the railroad, and a 1,000-foot crossing of the Eureka Slough” all need to be solved before this part of the project moves on. He said that it will probably be two to three years before they are able to propose a plan and seek funding.
  • The Bay Trail South will connect with the 6.3-mile Eureka Waterfront trail, which is scheduled to be completed in 2017. It will begin on the north near Blue Ox Millworks, run under the Samoa Bridge, and come up into Old Town. From there, it will extend to Railroad Avenue and Waterfront Drive, and continue south past the Palco Marsh and the Bayshore Mall and connect with the Hikshari’ Trail in South Eureka. The goal is to extend the trail system to the College of the Redwoods.
  • The Annie and Mary Trail has been a dream of long standing. It would use old logging railroad right-of-way to connect Arcata with Blue Lake and Glendale. Funding and permits are being pursued to begin the initial phase of the project, within Blue Lake.
  • For several years, there has been a movement to provide a bicycle path alongside Samoa Boulevard, connecting Eureka with Manila. The County has applied for funding for this project, in the hope that construction could begin by 2021.
  • The Hammond Trail is an important asset connecting McKinleyville and Arcata, but the Hammond Bridge is aging and needs to be replaced. Funding has been requested for this project, which is expected to take place within about five to seven years.
  • The Arcata Community Forest is a great asset for the City of Arcata and its residents. There are many volunteers who assist in trail building and maintenance, and they “really take ownership of that place”.
  • The McKay Community Forest in Eureka is following the model established with the Arcata Community Forest – ecologically sound forestry, with strong social and economic underpinnings.

Hank encouraged us to check out the website of the Humboldt Trails Council at humtrails.org.  The group organizes “Trail Stewards” to help maintain and enjoy the many trails in our communities.