Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 09.01.2016

August 31, 2016

Today’s Program | Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016

Today: Earl Weinmann, SCOPE Program (Lawlor)

Birthdays: Hannah Puczko (8/28) and Tate Running (8/30)

Next Week: Bike Tour Volunteers and Chalk Talk

Last Week:
Joel Wagar has staying power.

For 30 years, he has worked for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources developing bike trails in southeastern Minnesota. He carries with him the grand design, the institutional memory and the passion for making these projects happen.

He said we are close to getting miles of connected trail, from Red Wing through Northfield and Faribault to Mankato. “Close” is a relative term. The idea of a Cannon River Trail, which includes Mill Towns Trail, first surfaced in 1990. The first segment of the trail, from Northfield to Dundas, was completed in 1998. A joint powers agreement between Northfield, Dundas, Faribault and Rice County resulted in state trail designation in 2000 and a full-blown master plan in 2005. The first improvements as a state trail came in 2006. The Peggy Prowe Bridge in Northfield and the Dundas trail head followed.

So, it has been a long gestation period for this project. Joel pleads patience. The DNR does not use eminent domain to acquire land for these trails. We must rely on willing sellers.

Progress is now being made on a key bridge spanning the Cannon where Goodhue and Dakota counties meet. In addition, an abandoned rail line between Dundas and Faribault has recently been acquired. This will facilitate a bike trail connection between CR 8 and Faribault. Then, it is on to Mankato and Red Wing.

Peg Prowe joined Rotary in 1994 at the invitation of Pete Stolley, then Northfield City Administrator. He promised the bike tour would raise money for local bike trails, and Peggy was all in.

Our  exchange students: Nicolas Suarez from Colombia; Matteo Lombardo, Italy; Wanzita Ally, Tanzania; and Eric Kwun, South Korea; Gene Enders, Larry Fowler, Bob and Lin Bruce, and George Kinney (Prowe); Kristi Pursell (Conway); David Bennet (Zweifel); and the newly-married Steve Wilmot (Estenson).

New Members:
Mike Leming, retired St. Olaf College professor, and Ben Martig, our new city administrator, were formally brought into the fold. Mike is sponsored by Rick Estenson and Vicki Dilley, Ben by Chris Heineman.

Scholarship Enhancement: Virginia Kaczmarek

Barry Carlson announced that the Rotary Outdoor Musical Plaza (ROMP) at Way Park is now open and available for use. All of the musical instruments are installed. There will be a formal dedication on Saturday, Oct. 29.

We need three or four more volunteers to help with the Rotary Ethics Workshop Tuesday, Oct. 25. See David Koenig if you can help.

Cannon River Watershed Partnership (CRWP) will hold a river cleanup Saturday, Sept. 17. Work will be done at three sites — Sechler Park, Carleton College’s Cowling Arboretum and Riverside Park in Cannon Falls — beginning at 9 a.m. All volunteers are invited to a post-cleanup celebration at Bay Point Park in Red Wing at 3 p.m. where there will be bluegrass music and food. If you can help, see Jake Conway.

Members of the intrepid Turkey Trot Committee refuse to stand still. This year they are adding a new wrinkle to boost participation and our net dollars. It’s called the “Wild Turkey Trot.” The plan is to use social media to encourage all of our friends and supporters, especially exchange student alumni, to participate long distance if they cannot physically be in town for Thanksgiving. People can sign up online ( and for $20 receive an event T-shirt in the mail prior to the event. They will be encouraged to take a photo or video which will be shared on our website. These will be viewed and voted on by the masses and a prize awarded for the wildest “Wild Turkey Trot.”

Mike Leming announced the celebrated storyteller Kevin Kling will performing Saturday evening, Oct. 28, at Northfield High School for a fundraiser that will benefit Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts. Interact is national leader in creating art opportunities for artists with disabilities. Tickets are $25 and available at

Charlie Cogan provided some context for the news that two polio cases were discovered recently in Nigeria after a two-year absence. Aggressive vaccination campaigns are underway there and in neighboring countries to knock out the disease. There are three types of polio. Type 2 and Type 3 have been eradicated. Type 1 remains in a handful of countries. For more on this, go to:

Charlie also reported that we are within striking distance of fully funding a bed project for a secondary school in Tanzania, a need brought to our attention by Vicki Dilley.  Makongoro secondary school in Nyamuswa.needs beds for four dormitories. The total cost is $14,440.

President Lasswell invited members to consider a Global Study Exchange trip to Northern Australia next year. See her if you are interested.

Flyers for the Defeat of Jesse James Days Rotary Bike Tour are now available. If you have a place to display them at your place of business, please pick some up.

The traveling Vietnam War Memorial Wall will be at the Rice County Fair Grounds Wednesday, Aug. 31, through Monday, Sept. 5. It will be open to the public 24 hours a day.

Yogi is hosting a party for Gitta’s upcoming milestone birthday on Saturday, Sept. 24. We are all invited to 103 Orchard at 4:30 p.m.

Our 2016-17 outbound students are:

Sage Brinton, Argentina

McKenna Dale, Brazil

Caroline Hummel, Norway

Noah Klein, South Korea

Jane Ludwig, Colombia

Yizel Marcial, Germany

Daiki Nishioka, Taiwan

Liliana (Lily) Noble, Italy

Madison Peterson-Bradford,  Brazil

Emma Pritchard, Taiwan

Nathaniel Urke, Brazil.

Coming Up

September 15 — ENT Gerard O’Halloran, MD, “What I Wish My Patients Knew” (Spethmann)

September 22 — Patrick Donahue, James J. Hill Center (K. Hargis)

September 29 — Joe Wakely, Clean Drinking Water in Guatemala (Halverson)

October 6 — Bruce Morlan, Classified.