President’s Letter – February 28, 2018

President’s Letter – February 28, 2018

We had a nice gathering last Friday at Viva! on State Street. Our Sargent-at-Arms was again Michael Baker, who shared a photograph of the astonishing new home Jim Carberry, AIA, designed for the Baker residence. We all understood Jim’s inspiration from golf.  Invocation was given by Don Jack and we always thank him for his thoughtful words. The Pledge of Allegiance sounded great. Kathleen Blake gave us a break with a familiar tune, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.”

We had one Visiting Rotarian and a few Rotarians with Guests.  Of course, Gem Munro, our speaker, was with us. Davis Darnall was once again a guest of Bob Fatch. Sally and Bruce Hansen were guests of Bob Hansen. Kirk Greene was our Visiting Rotarian. The microphone went around for some announcements touching on International Service.  Bill Dutton reminded us of the upcoming Guatamala trip and the summer’s opportunity to go to Rwanda. All this when he was, in fact, leaving for Guatamala yet that evening! I asked, “are you packed?”  “No.”  Well, you don’t need too much if you attract goodwill like Bill.

We did call to order the Annual Meeting of the Club, postponed from December due to the Thomas Fire and Debris Flow. Robert Fatch presented the slate of members willing to serve the Club:  Mike Bieza, President, Dean Axelrod, President-Elect, Michael Gardner, Past President and Directors Steve Baker, Stacey Lydon, Steve Milam and Matt Nehmer.   Steve Petersen will be Treasurer and Pamela Galvin will remain Secretary. Upon, motion, second and a vote of those present, the slate was approved and the Annual Meeting was concluded.

February was Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution Month for Rotary International, so our speakers generally had this focus. Don Jack introduced our speaker, Gem Munro. His presentation, Peace Through Education, is a humble title for the work Gem and his wife Dr. Tanyss Munro, have undertaken. “Where’s the poorest of the poor, the worst of the worst conditions?” was the question, with education being the answer. Gem described going into Bangladesh and creating groups of women able and willing to be educated; and then become teachers themselves. His first-hand report was of astonishing success. Gem is a truly enigmatic, globe-going gentlemen.

This Friday, March 2, we are off-planet. What’s the difference between a meteor, a meteorite, a comet and an asteroid? Should we be concerned about one of these impacting the earth?  What is Las Cumbres Observatory?  Come to Rotary this Friday to learn the answers to these questions and about one of the little-known treasures of the Santa Barbara area, the Las Cumbres Observatory. They have a network of twenty-one robotic telescopes at eight sites around the world, working as a single networked instrument. Our guide will be Dr. Tim Lister, Project Scientist, who received his Master’s and Doctorate from St. Andrews University in Scotland. He joined Las Cumbres Observatory over ten years ago, and handles the data coming from the many telescopes, as well as doing research on solar system objects. Don’t miss!

Michael Gardner
Rotary Club President


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