Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 09.28.2017

September 27, 2017

Today’s Program | Thursday, September 28, 2017

Today: Geoff Seper, Data Mining and Shopping (Hoschouer)

Next Week: Ben Martig, Classification (Heineman)

Birthdays: Jim Blaha, Chad Hjellming, and Gerhard Meidt (9/27); Laurie Williams (9/28); Michelle Lasswell, Kurt Larson and Robert Bierman (9/29); and Rachel McIver Morey (9/30).

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet. 

Last Week:
St. Olaf Economics Professor Steve Soderlind, PhD sees a clear difference between “liberty” and “laissez faire” philosophy. They’re not synonyms, as many people think. Steve wrote his book Liberty and Laissez Faire as a primer on freedom, government and prosperity – and to create a springboard for people (especially young adults) to do “the hard work of taking a personal position” on principles.

Steve’s book examines various philosophies of liberty and laissez faire government against a backdrop of calls for less government intervention. In it, he:

  • Describes economic orthodoxy
  • Appreciates that economics is a contentious field
  • Notes that we occupy a world of oppressive circumstances with restrictions on liberty; in this dynamic, laissez faire becomes an avenue of acceptance, even support for status quo oppression . . . the antithesis of liberty, Steve says.

Steve paraphrases philosopher Immanuel Kant: “Most people don’t have the courage to take their own stand on issues – they just adopt the stand of others. Have the courage to find your own stand.”



Bob Will gave the Reader’s Digest version of his life: Born in Wisconsin in a small town with three churches and six taverns. Dropped out of high school to join the Navy; after WWII, attended Carleton on the GI Bill, then on to Yale, then Amherst, where he met his bride, Barbara. They returned to Northfield to teach economics (and later, serve as dean) at Carleton, where he started the foreign studies program. Bob and Barbara gave considerable local service and leadership across a wide range of organizations – including Rotary, where Barbara served as our first woman president.

Guests: Howard Puczko (Puczko), Lance Miller, Apple Valley Rotary Club (V. Dilley), Jane Overstreet (Will), David McKeefe, International Falls Rotary Club (Wakely), Sue Pokorney, Capetown Rotary Club (Pokorney).

Scholarship Enhancement: Jim Blaha


Sunday, Sept. 24 is International Polio Plus Day. Charlie Cogan gave an update: There are only 10 cases of wild polio worldwide right now, the lowest number on record. Bill Gates has committed to match donations to Rotary’s Polio Plus fund 2 to 1. Keep giving! We’re this close.

Apple Valley Rotary Club is hosting a raffle to raise funds for its youth exchange program. Prizes are a 2017 Ford Focus; a gas grill; and a “sandbox experience” playing with big vehicles in a dedicated space. Tickets are $20 each.

The new Ethical Leadership Committee is planning an October 10 event for high school students. For more details, contact David Koenig.

The Turkey Trot committee invites new members as the group organizes this year’s run. Want to pitch in, or sponsor? See Rick Estenson or Kurt Larson.

The DJJD Craft Sale raised $4,500 for Rotary projects. Wow!

Rachel Estrella reported that 40 plus students have applied for Youth Exchange for next year. Interviews will take place on Dec. 1. Want to volunteer? Talk with Rachel.

Northfield Shares’ grant season has begun; non-profits are invited to apply. Deadline is Oct. 5. See Mike Krance for details.

Mike Lemming announced that Rock Stars & Ruckus, featuring international storyteller Kevin Kling and and Voice TV show finalist Kat Perkins, will take place on Thursday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. at the Grand with limited seating. A special allotment of 20 tickets has been obtained by the club, so if you are interesting in purchasing one or more, please see Mike. Tickets ($25 adults/$17 students/$5 each for any individual with a disability and their companion) also can be purchased on line at

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

Coming Up

September 29 — Keepsake Cidery, 501 Social Club (Wakely)

October 10 — Youth Ethics Workshop (Koenig)

October 12 — Matt Hillmann, Camp RYLA

October 19 — Hindolo Pokawa, Executive Director of Sierra Leone Foundation for New Democracy, (Cogan)