Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | November 1.2018

October 30, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, November 1, 2018

Today:  Richard DeBeau, Classification (Davis)

Next Week: Simone Gaetani, Inbound from Italy (Longwich)

Birthdays: Sue Boxrud (11/5), Dave Brown (11/6)

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.


  • Al Spens (J. Pokorney)
  • John Sauer (Rich) – new member


  • The film “Age of Consequences” will be shown on Friday, Nov. 9 at 7:00 pm at the Weitz Center. All are invited. Bruce Morland has details.
  • Breakfast Buddies wanted! Lori Williams, Chris Weber and the Literacy Committee are looking for several volunteers to read with students over breakfast at school. Background check required. Talk with Chris Weber to sign up.
  • The Community Action Center is collecting new books for “Operation Joy” holiday gifts. Please give your donations to Lori Williams.
  • Want to interview Youth Exchange applicants? It’s an important part of their application process. Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 5:30 pm at Emmaus Church. Talk with Rachel Estrella to sign up.
  • Wendy Sivanich is looking for a family to host an exchange student from Finland (through a different exchange program than Rotary’s). Ask Wendy for details.
  • Want to go to the District’s celebration for Foundation work to end polio? It’s Nov. 10 and our club has a table for 10. See Jean Wakely.
  • Turkey Trot has a new official starter: Our esteemed president Scott Richardson. Even though this plum job has been filled, there’s lots more for volunteers to do! You can sign up via – Robert Bierman has details.

Scholarship Enhancement:  Kyle Nordine

Last Week:

Greg Siems, St. Olaf’s Assistant Director for the Institute of Freedom and Community, introduced speaker Dan Hofrenning, political science professor at St. Olaf.

Dan traced three elements affecting American politics today: political change, campaign finance, and the politics of contentment.

Political change across the country has produced significant long-term shifts – for example, southern states shifting from blue to red over the century – as well as short- and middle-term changes across demographics including education and age.

In campaign finance, Dan points out that the 2018 mid-term elections find Democrats in their strongest fundraising ever, especially in states with tossup races – a strong shift from 2016.

And the politics of contentment? Trust in government has plummeted: In 1956, 70% of Americans trusted government to do well. Now, that’s only 20%. Social capital – including social goodwill for members of service groups like Rotary – is part of the decline: As membership in service organizations falls, so do trust levels in general. Meanwhile, deeply negative views of the other party have more than tripled: In 1994, about 17-20% of Americans felt negatively towards the opposite political party. In 2016, that was 66%.

As Americans do fewer things as a group, social capital and trust decline, and negative impressions of each other increase.

Vote, y’all. And keep building goodwill and better friendships through Rotary.

Coming Up:

Nov 15 – Sherri Meyers, Classification (Kaczmarek)

Nov 22 – Thanksgiving—Turkey Trot, no lunch meeting