Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 11.08.2012

November 7, 2012

Today: District Governor Joe Kovavarik (Esse)

Birthdays: Sue Boxerud (11/5), David Brown (11/6), Erin Mayberry (11/9) and Lee Dilley (11/10).

Next Week: To Be Announced

Last Week:

Mr. Speaker.

The Great State of Minnesota, the land of lakes and loons, the home of Judy Garland, Bob Dylan and Charlie Brown, the state still in search of a Super Bowl title wants you to know that Cliff Martin is in the house.” (Cue the balloons and confetti).

That’s maybe how Hollywood would have treated the arrival of Northfield’s Cliff Martin at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. It didn’t quite go like that.

A high school senior at Northfield’s Arcadia Charter School and son of our fearless leader, President Jane Fenton, Cliff was one of seven people elected to represent Minnesota’s DFL Party at the national convention. His interest in social change and political engagement drew him into the political process. His turn as a national political delegate was quite serendipitous. It was his improvisational, one-minute speech at the state convention, one in which he suggested he would use the opportunity to invite more youth into the process, that earned him the honor.

But the five-day convention experience wasn’t quite like the brochure. Cliff found it to be a very top-down event where convention delegates were relegated to being extras in the candidate’s political infomercial. Their stated role was to nominate the party’s candidate for president and adopt a party platform. In reality, they were there to cheer loudly for the candidate and not deviate from the campaign script.

Cliff said the experience clashed head-on with his other experiences in social change organizations. He was used to an environment where collaboration, creativity and relationship building were encouraged. The national convention included meetings, delegate events, speeches, parties, sprinkled with celebrity worship, but it wasn’t an incubator for transformational politics.

Yet, Cliff said he learned plenty. The experience helped shape his ideas about leadership and helped him discover the role he would like to play in the political arena. It also fueled his commitment to increasing youth engagement in the political process and his interest in local politics.

Mr. Speaker. We probably haven’t heard the last from Cliff Martin.

What would Paul Harris do?

Thinking of moving to a better open seat at a ballgame or a concert? President Fenton says “green light” under these conditions: 1) you ask someone in authority before you move, and 2) if your request is denied, you are not to argue.

Now, what would Paul Harris do if his boss congratulated him on his fine work that Paul knows was actually performed by a colleague? Do you accept the praise or redirect it to its rightful owner?

Guests: Mizuki (Mickey) Oeda from Japan, Diatou Gueye from France, Adnan Mansjur from Indonesia, Hsin-Yuan (Cindy) Wang from Taiwan, Mizuki (Mickey) Oeda from Japan, Carolina Riofrio from Ecuador and Rachael Dawson from India; Rhonda Pownell (Estenson); Kyla Smith, Frank  and George Zucolotto (Fenton), Jane Greenwood (Blaha), Tony and Lynn Starbird (Barnes) and Horacio Castillo (Thompson).

Scholarship Enhancement Winner: John Sinning

Paul Harris Fellow: Jim Holden was presented with a Paul Harris Fellowship for his contributions to the club and his commitment to service.


This was Aurino Neery’s last meeting with us, and we bid him fond farewell. He was the first of the New Generation Exchange Program and worked as a phy ed instructor for Laura Baker Services during his two months here.

President Fenton thanked Judy Brown-Wescott and all of the volunteers she recruited to help with interviews of prospective outbound exchange students earlier last week. There were 23 applicants and all were recommended for consideration.

Robert Bierman encouraged us to invite more sponsors for the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot and to promote the run/walk where ever we can. We also need volunteers for the day of the race. Talk to Robert if you are interested.

Betsy Spethmann asked for volunteers to help with the Accelerate Northfield program, an initiative to close the learning gap for low-income children in the Northfield School District. The program has attracted many more students this year, so more volunteers are needed.

Coming Up:

Nov. 22 — Turkey Trot