Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 04.27.2017

April 25, 2017

Today’s Program | Thursday, April 27, 2017

Today: Wanzita Ally, (Barry Carlson)

Next Week: Gordon Marino, St. Olaf philosophy professor and boxing coach

Birthdays: Richard Maus (4/24) and Regi Haslett-Marroquin (4/28)

Last Week:
The saber rattling over North Korea’s nuclear weapons testing and the controversy surrounding the deal to retard Iran’s nuclear program have raised anxiety about nuclear weapons proliferation. But Margo Squire, a third-generation Foreign Service professional, reminded us that great progress has been made in reducing nuclear arsenals world-wide.

Since a nuclear non-proliferation treaty was signed in 1968, nuclear stockpiles have been reduced from a peak of 30,000 a piece for both the United States and the former USSR to about 7,000 each for the U.S. and today’s Russia. The “new start” agreement reached in 2010 should reduce that number to about 1,500 for each of the nuclear super powers.

The number of countries with nuclear weapons has been reduced to nine, Margo said. They are U.S., Russia, France, China, United Kingdom, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea. Twelve others have shuttered their nuclear programs.

Four things are required to build a nuclear weapons program: nuclear materials, technology to weaponize them, missiles to deliver them and the expertise to make that all happen. States that pursue a nuclear capability need strong resolve, organizational ability and financing.

There are three basic approaches to policing nuclear proliferation — diplomacy, sanctions and military action.

Margo said the Iran deal is not perfect, but it effectively puts Iran’s nuclear program on pause. “The hope is 10 years from now we will be in a better place,” she said.

North Korea is more challenging, but she said she believes we will eventually strike a deal that curbs its nuclear program. We will need to make concessions, such as lifting sanctions and providing food and fuel for the North Korean population, but she thinks we can get to “yes.”

Robert Flaten has spent half of his life here in Northfield. He grew up in Northfield and graduated from St. Olaf College. He went into the Air Force and then settled into a long, distinguished career in the Foreign Service before retiring to the city of Cows, Colleges and Contentment.

Robert served in France, Israel, Pakistan, and Rwanda. He also lived and worked for a time in Washington D.C., where he didn’t lobby Congress, exactly but did share the State Department perspective on matters related to American foreign policy.

Paul Harris Presentation — Kari Nelson

Guests: Mary Hahn (Frago)

Scholarship Enhancement: Leo Lawlor, the master of suspense.



— The club sponsored three students at RYLA last week; the high school sponsored a fourth. RYLA is Rotary Young Leaders Awards, a dynamic workshop on leadership for senior high school students.

—- Rachel Estrella announced that our outbound exchange candidates will be practicing their presentation Sunday, May 21, 4 p.m. at Emmaus Church. They need an audience. Dessert will be served.

— Jane Fenton’s service dog Xena has a role in the Northfield Arts Guilds’s production of the “Miracle Worker.” The play is running through Sunday of this weekend. Jane is a former member of our club; Xena has been an occasional guest.

— President-elect Jean Wakely will host new-member orientation and lunch on Wednesday, May 3, from noon-1:00 p.m. at Community Resource Bank. Current members who’d like a refresher are also welcome. Please RSVP to Jean.

— Rotary will hold a party Thursday, June 8, at the Estenson Event Center to celebrate graduation for our exchange students. The fun will begin at 5:30 p.m. and go to 7:30 p.m. It will also be an opportunity to thank sponsors of our Turkey Trot and Bike Tour.

Inbound students are:
Daniel Chien from Taiwan

Nico Suarez Toloza from Colombia

Eric Kwun from South Korea
Wanzita Ally from Tanzania
Matteo Lombardo, Italy

Our 2017-18 outbound students are:
Madison Asp — Finland

Joan Erickson — Argentina

Annika Fisher— South Africa

Bergen Hoff — Czech Republic/Slovakia

Emma Iverson — Spain

Alex Kovach — Japan

Joseph Kreis — Italy

Benjamin (Ben) Mohlke — Brazil

Piper Nelson — Germany

Jenna Olien — South Korea

Jack Overstreet — Brazil

Gregory Pelletier — Argentina

Espen Richardson — Norway

Elizabeth (Betsy) Schuerman — Denmark

Allison (Al) Weise — Thailand

2016-17 Outbound Students

Sage Brinton, Argentina

Caroline Hummel, Norway

Noah Klein, South Korea

Jane Ludwig, Colombia

Yizel Marcial, Germany

Daiki Nishioka, Taiwan

Liliana (Lily) Noble, Italy

Emma Prichard, Taiwan

Nathaniel Urke, Brazil.

Coming Up

May 11 — Bill Davnie, retired Foreign Service Officer, the Future of Europe (S. Flaten)

May 18 — Club Assembly, Five-Year Plan (President Lasswell and President-Elect Wakely)

May 25 — Pete Sandberg, St. Olaf Assistant Vice President for Facilities, Solar Panels (Covey)

June 1 — Kari Albers, Dundas Bike Kiosk (Prowe)