Volume XII, Issue 20: December 6, 2013

Checking In With Alex and Silvie

Chef Alex

Our Exchange Student from France, Alex Rialet, experienced his first Thanksgiving this year. He said that he went to Lori Breyer’s house for a gathering of Exchangers. He made creme puffs, meringues, and quiche. Following that, he and his host family went to Oakland for Thanksgiving to meet with more family members. “Were there a lot of them?” asked President Jessica. Alex nodded quickly – “Yeah … and there was a lot of pie!” While he was there, he watched football and posed for his Senior Picture. And now, it’s back to school and to HealthSport.

Silvie Neander

We met next year’s Outbound Exchange Student at last Friday’s meeting – Silvie Neander. Sylvie is a senior at Arcata High this year, and she said that her “top choice” for an Exchange posting would be in Spain. We shall see …

Last week we held our annual elections, selecting two Directors and the Club President for the year 2015-2016. Scott Heller and Dawn Elsbree were voted in as Directors, and Howard Stauffer will lead our Club following Barbara Browning’s term.

President Jessica thanked us all for our work on this year’s Taste of the Holidays. Everyone did a great job with ticket sales and finding items for the Dutch Auction. However, the TOTH Committee deserves special recognition – Amy Bohner, Scott Heller, Julie Schaeffer, Angelo Baciagaluppi, Dawn Elsbree, Karen Burgesser, and Rina Brodhag. And a super special Thank You goes out to TOTH Chair Ron Sharp! If you are still hoarding ticket money or tickets, please turn those in as soon as you can, so we can get a final accounting for the event.

George Cavinta and another stellar group of Sunrisers also deserve a shout-out for hosting another successful Foster Youth Dinner last week. On the menu were turkey, ham, mashed potatoes (4 pans!), mac & cheese, and a huge salad. There was enough to feed the foster kids and their supporters, with enough left over for a donation to the Rescue Mission at the event’s end!

This week, we turn our attention to the  Arcata Invitational Basketball Tournament, better known as the AIBT. As usual, it’s a three-day affair, beginning Thursday, December 12th through Saturday the 14th. The Coaches’ Reception will take place at the Plaza Grill Friday at 10 pm. Coinciding with the AIBT is Saturday’s Annual Pancake Breakfast, which supports the AHS College and Career Center. Breakfast will be served from 8 to 11 am in the AHS Multi-Purpose Room. The cost is $8 for those between the ages of 18 and 60, and $5 for everyone else.

President Jessica announced that nominations are open for District Governor for the Rotary Year 2016-2017. Please let her know if you have someone in mind, or if you would like to be considered.

Karen Burgesser served up the recognitions last Friday, and she discovered that during our recent Holiday Hiatus, Mark Burtchett celebrated his birthday. He had plans to go on a morning bike ride, but it was too cold. Among other things, he hiked a bit (I think) and had a nice dinner. Most important, he was able to stay away from work.

President Jessica celebrated her birthday by “serving 250 people dinner”. Her birthday coincided with the Foster Youth Dinner on Thursday of last week. Following that, she and her husband James went to Robert Goodman’s Tasting Room for “a bite to eat and a birthday cocktail”.

Karen then called upon Your Editor to discuss his anniversary as well as his recent “exciting travels”. I had to confess that Shelley and I hadn’t had an overly romantic or exciting 18th anniversary – we picked up burritos from the mall. I noted that we planned to make up for it with a nice dinner over the weekend. As for the travels, I had a quick business trip planned for the week. I left Arcata on Tuesday, headed for San Diego and then to San Clemente Island to do some management training for our nonprofit’s staff there. However – and this was expected – I travelled by way of Salt Lake City. I went even farther afield on my way back, making an unexpected jaunt to Denver before returning to the Golden State. The good news was that there were clear skies over much of the Southwest, and I was treated to a great view of the Grand Canyon.

Tomas Chavez said that a lot of his family was in town for Thanksgiving week, and Karen found a photo of him fishing with his brother-in-law and his nephews, who are four and seven. “We took the boat out to Freshwater Lagoon and caught nothing.” Tomas laughed, “It was a lot of fun just to

be out there with the boys.”

Karen then called on Ron Sharp to discuss the Co-op’s recent prize-winning display. It was a national contest, and the Co-op received the Grand Prize for being the Non-GMO Project Supporting Retailer. Someone asked what the prize was, and Ron had to admit, “I’m not sure yet.” Apparently it won’t be awarded until September of next year, so they’ve got time to put something together.

Gregg Foster was asked about a photo of him with fellow Sunriser Laura Montagna. Gregg was the emcee for the TEDx Youth @ Humboldt Bay presentation, held Sunday, November 17th. Laura was one of the key organizers of the event, which featured 22 speakers, and lasted around four hours. Click here to watch video from the event.

Fire Station Update
Our Featured Speakers last week were Chief Desmond Cowan and Captain Alan Davis, both with the Arcata Fire Department, and Kirk Cohune of Greenway Partners. They shared the current plan for revitalizing the Fire Department’s facilities and operations.
Desmond started by telling us that they wanted to share the “evolution of the project that we’ve been working on for so long”. He noted that the partnership between his department and our Club has been “positive and so beneficial”. The department brought Greenway Partners on board to help them develop a strategic plan to sort through the many alternatives for relocating the main fire station.

The two entities looked at the data on the types of calls received, and more importantly, the locations of those calls. The analysis led to the conclusion that the optimal location for the main station is right where it is. The department serves a large geographic area, from Crannell and McKinleyville to Fieldbrook, Blue Lake, Arcata, Jacoby Creek, Bayside, Indianola, and Manila.

A task force was formed, and they considered all of the department’s assets and the needs of the people to whom they provide services. The analysis considered all of the properties the AVFD owns, and evaluated each to determine the best locations to house the needed functions. The sites discussed were the existing facilities – the downtown headquarters, the Mad River station on Janes Road, and the station on Central Avenue in McKinleyville; and the proposed sites – Bayside and the location on Sunset.

The task force concluded that the proposed new station at Sunset would require a continuation of fundraising efforts for years to come. The cost had increased to over $5 million, and so the consensus was to improve two of the current facilities. The current downtown station would be expanded and modernized with new quarters for the crew, an update to the volunteer meeting room and kitchen, expanded apparatus bays, creating offices for staff, relocating the administrative headquarters to the McKinleyville station, and ensuring that the entire facility met ADA and public safety standards. The McKinleyville station, would be expanded to accommodate the administrative offices, and its crew quarters and apparatus bays would be expanded and modernized. 

task force believes that the current plan is the best option for moving
forward and providing the best service to the people in the communities
it serves. They hope to begin the project in the early part of 2014.

Alan Davis, Kirk Cohune, President Jessica, and Desmond Cowan