Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, November 12, 2020


Join Our Thursday Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 853 8396 5788
Passcode: 601997
   Scott Wopata
Scott Wopata, Carbon Neutral Emergency Housing. CAC is bringing together emergency shelter, affordable housing, and environmental justice in a community-based solution in Northfield. Hear about this incredibly ambitious project that prioritizes the future of our community and planet without sacrificing the need for social justice and support. Yes, we can do all of these things at the same time and we need to do it now. Hosted by Fred Rogers.
Erin Bailey (10.25); Lee Dilley and Don Stager (11.10); Greg Carlson (11.11); Carl Caskey and Virginia Lorang (11.14).
Yogi Reppmann-25 (11.9.95); Carl Caskey-18 (11.11.02); Amy Goerwitz-1 (11.12.19); Kyle Nordine-18 (11.13.02); Dave Shumway-45 (11.13.75).


Our Rotary Climate Action Team (RCAT) is dedicated to making climate change a strategic priority and to raising awareness, providing education and encouraging individuals and businesses to act in the interest of our planet.

Our Climate Action Statement - Read our climate action statement here.

For additional information about our club’s Rotary Climate Action Team chair, Alan Anderson, at 507-371-4673 or


Thanks to last week's Cogwheel Reporter, Penny Hillemann.

Bill Lillibridge, Former club member Doug. Crane 


Interviewers are needed Nov. 30 for about 12 Youth Exchange Outbound applicants for next year. We need 2 people to interview each student on Zoom. Text 612-269-2507 or email Janice Lehmkuhl at if interested, and let her know if you've done it before.  

Salvation Army bell ringers are needed: sign up at

Operation Joy is still collecting donations for gift cards. Go to CAC’s Operation Joy page to donate.

Chamber car raffle continues. Many tickets are still unsold, so the odds are good!

Turkey Trot: it’s the last week of signup to get a shirt - 11/6. No extra shirts are being ordered. 300 have already signed up. 

Our Halloween drive-through event was a great success.


Former Inbound Itty from Indonesia, whose family was hit by COVID-19, is using the money we sent her after her mother died to attend dental school.

Amy Goerwitz was reelected to the School Board

Todd Thompson's youngest, age 16, just started his first job, at Subway. All his kids have jobs!


   Robert S. Spalding

Robert S. Spalding, Brig. General USAF (ret.), US-China Relations in a Post-Coronavirus World. Hosted by Bruce Morlan.

Brig Gen Robert Spaulding, US Air Force, retired. Senior member of the Hudson Institute, life member of Council on Foreign Relations, has written extensively on national security matters. Author of “Stealth War: How China Took Over While America's Elites Slept.”

The movie Top Gun inspired him to go into the military, where he applied for a program to live in another country and study a language. He was chosen to go to Shanghai for two years. He and his family loved China. The Air Force later sent him on various assignments there. 

Looking into the impact of China's activities to undermine U.S. society. Found we were in a bad position because we'd offshored everything -- couldn't guarantee supply for critical needs.  

Our relationship was based on engagement, binding China to the international order, and balancing them militarily, hoping for constructive partnership over time despite lack of shared values, dating back to 1972.

They believe we tried to overthrow them at the time of Tiananmen Square. Engagement gave them great opportunities to increase many capabilities, but also the risk of bringing in democratic values with them. When the Internet came, they built the great Firewall to control the narrative.

Chinese people don't have rights -- they are subjects, not citizens. The PRC government has one constitution, but the Chinese Communist Party also has its constitution. They control the banks, military, etc. The government is an arm of the party, using carrots and sticks on the people.

Challenge for the free world in post Cold War order: We invited China in wholeheartedly in every aspect, in ways we did not with the Soviets. China figured out that where we use war to achieve a political outcome (Kosovo, e.g.), they developed other strategies based on information and data.  

They used our own institutions against us -- e.g., incentivizing our corporations to fire people who say things the Communist Party doesn't like. They pay people, such as family members of politicians here, using graft to get them to adopt the Chinese view of the world.  

Rise of social media networks and data to influence consumption patterns -- China uses this for social and political influence too. Smart City - 5G: Uber picks you up by facial recognition, but they want to take it further. It's not anything like the society we all grew up in. “Social score” to identify good citizens. In Beijing they have two cameras for every person. Everything you do gets graded on a daily basis to create a score. Once your score drops below a certain level you can't get a bank loan, you can't get into school, can no longer use your phone to pay for things, which is what everyone does, and so on.

Recent report “Engineering Global Consent” -- TikTok determines a user’s personality, creates a dossier that is given to Chinese Communist Party, which they may use when it's in their interest. They believe their versions of Facebook, Amazon and Google will be globally dominant in 10 years.

They want us to be locked down in fear of Covid while they continue to gain industrial power.

What can we do?

  • We've been spending $800B on defense to fight wars around the world. We haven't invested in our society. Take a portion of that defense budget and invest in our people: industry, infrastructure, science research, STEM education.

  • Protect people and their data from outside influence.

  • China wants to be the Saudi Arabia of data. We need a secure Internet.

  • Tariffs need to stay permanent; the Chinese do not believe in fair trade. 

  • Your retirement investments are flowing into China.

YouTube has many interviews with Spaulding. 

The entire November 5th meeting can be viewed here.


   Ed Marek

November 19 — Ed Marek, 5960 District Governor, District Governor's Club Visit. Hosted by Vicki Dilley.

November 26 — Thanksgiving, Turkey Trot with Your Chosen Flock.

Vicki's Vision

Vicki Dilley, President

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

I have mentioned before how much I love visiting with people and I had a rich extended weekend with many visitors.  We even got to celebrate Lee’s birthday on Saturday evening with our daughter, Riana, and Lee’s 96.5-year-old mother!   Happy Birthday to my sweet husband! 
An impromptu visit came from Jesse Steed and his two amazing sons, Robert (age 8) and Henry (age 5). They were on a mission.  

The family had recently been on a bike ride on the east side of the Cannon Valley trail, one of my favorite places to ride too. While on the ride, Jesse pointed out to the boys that the Northfield Rotary Club helped to get this trail built and it took a lot of work (thank you, Peggy Prowe) and money. 
Robert was so moved by this information he decided he wanted to give some of his own money to these community efforts. He handed me five one-dollar bills. I know that when my children were eight years old, $5 would have been a large amount of their spending money. This was certainly a sacrificial gift.  

Rotary is a service organization; we are people of action. This must have spoken to Robert as he thought outside of himself and realized he was a part of our community, a receiving and contributing member of the community. A great deal of thanks goes to his wonderful parents, Jesse and Kathryn, but I also think that organizations like ours can inspire the next generation to be as generous as Robert.  

Thank you for all the ways you have and will be people of Service! 
PS: On November 19th our District Governor and my friend, Ed Marek, will be visiting our Club and if you were to ever wonder how you might bring pleasure to your Club President, it would be to try very hard to be on this call (all calls really, but this one especially for now). I would love to have him feel the support and goodwill from our club, his year has not been easy with Covid and then the death of his beloved daughter, Mandy. I hope to see you on the 19th!
PSS: Note, I only do distance visiting on my front patio, in case you were wondering what kind of risk taker I might be ... more than 6 feet apart outside.  

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.