Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | December 13.2018

December 12, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, December 13, 2018

Today: Barb Wornson Classification (Hillmann)

Next Week: Holiday Cheer meeting

Birthdays: Dale Ness (12/15), John Ophaug (12/15), Bob Thacker (12/17)

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.

Guests: Elise’s host families, Mitzi Baker (new City Community Development Director), Al Spens (Pokorney), Amy Gurwitz, Itty’s host mom (Galdeen), and Rick Olson from Prior Lake Rotary told us about Eastern Europe Rotary Tours in May of 2019

Announcements:

More than 1300 people participated in the 2018 Turkey Trot. Net profits will be over $42,000!
Kristi Purcell invited us to donate to CRWP before December 31st and win a canoe full of brew
Jim Pokorney thanks everyone who signed up to do Meals on Wheels.
Jack Hoschouer is celebrating good medical news
Greg Carlson was happy to hand off his title of Turkey Trot winner
Jean Wakely’s daughter won her Roller Derby tourney – if you ever want to tag along to watch, just ask Jean!

Scholarship Enhancement: Lori Williams

Last Week:

Brad Frago came to Northfield to attend Carleton College, then went to the University of Minnesota Law School. He met his wife Michelle when they were working as law clerks in Olivia, Minnesota. They later moved back to Northfield where they now have a family law practice and two teenagers. Brad’s favoritehobby is participating in the Civil Air Patrol at the Stanton airport. He introduced Elise as one of the easiest, most delightful students they’ve had.

Elise Marillet says that people think of France as Paris but many do not know that France has 13 overseas territories. The state of Texas is bigger than the country of France, so it was an adjustment for her to drive five hours and still be only in Wisconsin. Elise is from Gannat, a small city of 7,000 people. Her other hometown is Clermont Ferrand, a much larger city. The local rugby team there is one of the best in France.

She is enjoying lots of friends and fun experiences in Minnesota. Her favorite things about France are crepes, croissants, cheese and bread. She also loves the museums, cathedrals, castles and other landmarks. Elise loves it that you can go to the beach, ski, go to the countryside, or join the party in the city after France wins the World Cup.

Her great-grandfather was in the French Resistance in WWII. In the future, she wants to study law, possibly in the U.S. The biggest surprise to Elise so far in Northfield has been how warm the people are, even though the weather is cold. She ran cross-country and next she is trying out for Rock & Roll Revival as a dancer. Welcome, Elise!

Coming Up:

Dec 27 – No lunch meeting

Jan 3 — Yuyu Ose, Exchange Student from Japan

Jan 10 — Larry Vorwerk, Classification (Krause)

 

Rotary Cogwheel | December 6.2018

December 5, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, December 6, 2018

Today:  Elise Marillet, Inbound from France (Frago)

Next Week: Barb Wornson Classification (Hillmann)

Birthdays: Carl Behr (12/12), Jim Holden (12/6), Jim Pokorney (12/7),

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.

Guests:

Nikki and Che Regnior, Amy Goerwitz (host mother of Indonesian inbound Itty), Lucas Schmidt (Janine Atchison’s adult son–happy news – he survived an accident that totaled his car yesterday, he’s fine but they are car-shopping today), Jon and Deve Drenth, Michelle Drenth, Pepe’s host families and grandparents

Announcements:

  • Rachel Estrella – thanks to all the volunteers who interviewed outbound applicants last week — it’s a good, varied pool of applications this year
  • Wendy Sivanich – asking on behalf of Andre — still need 3 more vol’s to valet park for LBSA gala
  • Rachel McG Morey – noting program is being projected on wall, not screen. This is transitional. They will not be using the old screen anymore. Please don’t get it out of its storage spot.
  • Alyssa Melby – St. Olaf 2018 Midterm Elections Conference next week, Dec. 6, 1:30 to 7:30, 280 Tomson Hall – all invited
  • Mike Leming – went to Greenvale School where volunteers are planning a community meal for Viking Terrace and nearby apt bldgs on Dec. 19 – hoping each child’s family will get a turkey, a gift, and a meal that night. (I asked for clarification after the meeting whether he was looking for volunteers or donations. He said he thinks they have what they need, not asking for help)
  • Richard Collman – mentioned the nice pics of Rotary volunteers serving Thanksgiving dinner at the Key in the Northfield News. Also, he has a t-shirt for Karen Olawalla.
  • Scot Richardson says the Big Idea survey is out – it was emailed Monday morning. Please complete it by Friday of next week (Dec 7).

Scholarship Enhancement:  Tuomas

Rotary Almanac with John Ophaug:

John asked the audience how the Ford Foundation has changed the world; how the Rockefeller Foundation has changed the world — no obvious answers … BUT:

Rotary started 30 years ago to do something that did change the world. In 1982 they decided to do something big for their 100th anniversary in 1985. They selected PolioPlus as this initiative, with the goal of seeing that all the children in the world were vaccinated by 2005. They set a $120 million fundraising goal. In two years they raised more than twice that amount. They used top-down fundraising where each region told each district how much to raise, each district told each club how much they needed to raise — about $250 from each member, locally.

Then they went to the World Health Organization and said “we want to eradicate polio” – which was not well received at first. They said, “You’re just a service club” — then Rotary told them “we have a million volunteers on the ground and $240 million raised.” “Come on in!” WHO said. To date $1.8 billion ($450 million from the Gates Foundation) has been raised by Rotary for this effort. There were 350,000 polio cases worldwide when they started; last year, just 22.

WHO later said of all the organizations in the world there was no one but Rotary they could turn to for such an effort. Rotary did something that dramatically changed the world. Turkey Trot helps provide our annual $10K contribution to the Rotary Foundation.

Last Week:

Jim Pokorney, Pepe’s counselor, introduced Pepe and said he likes the counselor role because he gets to play the “crazy uncle.”

Pedro “Pepe” Gomes do Nascimento shared with us about his life in Brazil. He says that Carnival is a major attraction in there, and the carnival in Rio is the best in the world. He showed us a video about Rio. There is the street carnival where people dress in costumes, and also there is the big parade with huge floats.

Belo Horizonte is Pepe’s hometown — the capital of the state of Minas Gerais in southeastern Brazil. He was born there, then moved to a small city and spent his childhood there. Pepe’s father teaches sociology and politics at a university and is also a writer. His mother works in state government helping the counties. He also has a little brother Miguel, age 13.

Pepe told us about Junina Party, a celebration that happens every June where they dress in costumes, have dancing at schools, food. Families come to see their children dance.

On vacations his family likes to go to beach cities and to visit relatives.

Brazil is the biggest country in South America and the only one that speaks Portuguese. They have a population of over 208 million population, making it the 5th largest country and 6th most populous. The capital is Brasilia. Brazil has 26 states and 5570 cities. It is also one of most culturally diverse nations, due to their history. The capital Brasilia was built in the shape of an airplane. The Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio is one of the modern 7 wonders of the world.

Pepe showed a video about the Amazon rainforest, which reminded us that the earth depends on a healthy Amazon – clean water, stores carbon, etc. Our choices can make a more sustainable world and protect the Amazon for future generations. The Amazon Jungle is the biggest rainforest in the world, with the largest river in the world. 10% of the species there are yet to be discovered, scientists say.

Pepe is enjoying his classes at Northfield High School and he is taking German He played football this fall, where he made a lot of friends. He learned how to play American football and also learned lots of life lessons.

He had an amazing time with his first host family and thanks all his host families for taking him in (he was originally supposed to go to Faribault but is glad he is here!)

From the Q&A:

  • People told Pepe that MN would be very cold. They were right! He had the option of choosing MN or FL for exchange — wanted to go somewhere different from Brazil so he chose MN.
  • He does not yet know what he wants to do with his career. He hopes to discover a lot about himself through his exchange year.
  • People have been very friendly to him — he thought they might be more cold.
  • He had the idea that people in US are very sedentary, but has found people to be active and involved in sports.
  • He had taken some years of English before coming.
  • Q about politics in Brazil. This last year was very controversial, country very divided. His family was not very happy with the results. You can vote at age 16 in Brazil.
  • Q about travels since he has been here: Has been as far as southern Iowa so far.
  • Would like to see the Northern Lights while he’s here.
  • In Brazil he did swimming as a sport and a sport that’s like boxing.
  • Was asked who plays “real football,” Americans or Brazilians — Brazilians!

Coming Up:

Dec 20 – Holiday Cheer meeting

Dec 27 – No lunch meeting

Rotary Cogwheel | November 29.2018

November 28, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, November 29, 2018

Today:  Pedro (“Pepe”) Gomes do Nascimento, Inbound from Brazil (Pokorney)

Next Week: Elise Marillet, Inbound from France (Frago)

Birthdays: Alan Anderson (12/5), John Ehresmann (12/4), Matt Hillmann (11/29), Chris Kennelly (12/1)

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.

Guests:

  • Jodi Thompson (Wakely), Marilyn Neuville (Stevens), Alan Cox (Blaha), Suzi Weinbeck

Announcements:

  • Thanks to everyone who helped with another successful Turkey Trot!
  • There will be a “celebration of life” for Hannah Puzcko this Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Northfield Golf Course. All Rotarians are invited. Memorials can be sent to Scholarship Fund Northfield School District Community Services Division. 
  • Kyle Haugen presented a certificate from the District celebrating our club’s achievement of #1 in Membership Growth.
  • David Stanford is our new club Treasurer, taking over for Virginia Kaczmarek
  • Vicki Dilley has one open spot for the trip to Tanzania next March – see her if you’re interested
  • The Thanksgiving meal at the Key was a huge success – 50 pounds of turkey and many pies were enjoyed by our local youth. Thanks to Janine and everyone who volunteered!

Happy News

  • Bruce Morlan says Rotary was well-represented at the Citizens Climate meeting in D.C.
  • Rachel Estrella’s son Finn just turned 2 years old
  • Carl Caskey celebrated his 85th birthday
  • Peggy Prowe was happy to break ground on the new bike trail bridge and thanks Rotary for helping to make it possible
  • Jim Holden says Kengo is doing well and Bia just applied early decision to St. Olaf

Scholarship Enhancement:  Charlie Kyte

Last Week:

Alan Anderson introduced the newest member of the Rotary Climate Action Team, Sherri Meyers. Sherri grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, which is located between Cleveland and Pittsburgh two miles from the Pennsylvania border. People there are either Browns fans or Steelers fans and Sherri likes black and gold. Youngstown is the midway point between New York City and Chicago, which gave it a prime location for mafia turf wars. Many immigrants came to Youngstown for the steel mill and auto plant jobs, and Sherri’s were no different. Her extended family includes folks of Irish, German and Italian descent, which classifies them as ‘dramatic drinkers.’

Since 1959, Youngstown has lost more than 60% of their population and boasts the highest murder rate per capita in the U.S. Sherri educated us on the ‘Youngstown Tune-up,’ which means that your car might blow up when you start it. People in Youngstown are tough cookies. But they also value cookies, featuring a prominent cookie table at all social events.

Youngstownians are not Midwesterners – they embrace an east coast identity. They have a good work ethic, display mental toughness, and believe that results matter. They are resilient, root for the underdog and believe that family is the most important thing. And don’t try tattling – they’re taught growing up that ‘snitches get stitches.’

Sherri is an only child. Her dad was a computer class teacher and her mom was a legal secretary. She married her husband Joe in 1991 at age 19 and they have two daughters, Kate and Harper. Joe works at Shattuck-St. Marys so they get to live on campus.

After enjoying a successful career primarily in retail, including running $25 Million stores for Target, Sherri is now the General Manager of the Just Food Co-op in Downtown Northfield. Sherri is proud to call herself a feminist, and loves to cook, read nonfiction and travel.

Coming Up:

Dec 13 – Barb Wornson Classification (Hillmann)

Dec 27 – No lunch meeting

Rotary Cogwheel | November 15.2018

November 14, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, November 15, 2018

Today:  Sherri Meyers, Classification (Kaczmarek)

Next Week:

Birthdays: Kim Briske (11/22), Carl Caskey (11/14), Art Monaghan (11/25), Jim Prichard (11/17), Matthew Rich (11/17), Anika Rychner (11/14)

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.

Guests:

  • Ellen Dunn (Weber) who is our $35,000 Global Scholar grant recipient. Ellen is studying public health at St. Olaf and will study global health in London at University College
  • Ronnie and Dawn (Dilley) who have been visiting from Oregon to work on the Angie Craig campaign
  • Matt Tiano (Estenson) who runs the Twin Cities soccer leagues
  • Marty Hadel, Dave Geist and Amy McBroom (Longwich) who are Simone’s host families

Announcements:

  • Congrats to Robert Bierman on winning the election for State House Seat in 57A (Apple Valley)
  • Congrats to Jayne Hager Dee on being re-elected as District 5 Supervisor on the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District Board
  • Congrats to Matt Hillman and the school district on the ‘landslide for learning’ school referendum passage
  • Invite your friends to participate in the Turkey Trot and support our work to eradicate polio
  • The Rotary Climate Action Teams’ statement was ratified by the board and is on our website
  • Community Resource Bank will host a Red Cross Blood Drive Wednesday, Nov. 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 1-800-733-2767 or go to redcrossblood.org to schedule an appointment
  • See Rachel Estrella if you can help with outbound student interviews on Nov 27 at 5:30pm
  • Andrei Sivanich is looking for 12 valet parkers for the LBSA Gala – see him if you can volunteer
  • If you would like to help coordinate our first ever Four Way Taste event, see David Koenig

Scholarship Enhancement:  Jacob Conway

Last Week:

Stacy Longwich moved to Minnesota from San Francisco about a year ago. She is married, has a 9-month old German Shorthair Pointer and works at St. Olaf. She is proud to report that the early November snow and cold did not faze her in the least. Stacy introduced Simone, our inbound student from Italy, as a conscientious student, cross country runner and big eater.

Simone Gaetani comes to us from a suburb of Milan, Italy called Milano2. He has a younger sister Alice who is 16, and parents Costanza and Paolo who work in education. He and his family live in an apartment and love to travel. They have visited most European and Middle Eastern countries, plus the U.S. and Mauritius (a small island near Madagascar).

Simone attends a scientific high school in Pioltello with 600 students. His biggest adjustment to Northfield High School has been switching classrooms, as Italian students remain in one classroom for the entire day.

He loves reading, hiking, outdoor activities and sports including basketball, cross country and track. Winter sports are Simone’s favorite. He enjoys cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, back country skiing and ice skating. Simone is a boy scout in the Milano1 group and is a member of CAI Milano, a national alpine mountaineering association. Every year in the early summer, he participates in freetime parish activities, entertaining children in the mountains.

Simone addressed some common stereotypes that Americans have about Italians. He says Italians are known for eating pizza, pasta and spaghetti and reports that this is partly true. He says it is a myth that Italians are all good at soccer but it is mostly true that Italians have a terrible accent.

He will participate in cross-country skiing at the high school this winter. Although he has not yet decided on a career path, he is interested in history and geography. Simone’s favorite thing about Northfield so far is the wonderful way that strangers talk with him on the street. He says this would not happen in Milan. And his least favorite thing about living in Minnesota? Simone says he thought he was used to a cold climate, but evidently he was wrong. Welcome Simone!

Coming Up:

Nov 22 – Thanksgiving—Turkey Trot, no lunch meeting

Nov 29 — Pedro (“Pepe”) Gomes do Nascimento, Inbound from Brazil (Pokorney)

Rotary Cogwheel | November 8.2018

November 8, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, November 8, 2018

Today:  Simone Gaetani, Inbound from Italy (Longwich)

Next Week: Sherri Meyers, Classification (Kaczmarek)

Birthdays: Erin Bailey (11/9), Greg Carlso (11/11), Lee Dilley (11/10), Jen Dunn-Foster (11/11), Paul Krause (11/9)

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.

Guests:

  • Doris Welke (Peggy Prowe)

Announcements:

  • Andrei Sivanich is looking for volunteers for the upcoming Laura Baker Association Gala. See him if you can help.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Crazy Holiday Sweater contest will be December 20, so start preparing now

Scholarship Enhancement:  Bob Will

Happy News

  • The 2nd edition of David Koenig’s is in print and it is already doing well in several categories on Amazon
  • The Northfield Fairfield Inn & Suites opened for business on October 30th. Brett Reese thanks everyone who had a part in making it a reality. The public is welcome at the hotel bar, which will serve drinks and appetizers daily from 4pm.

Last Week:

Richard DeBeau has toured 50 states and 9 Canadian provinces on his motorcycle. His life journey began in an abusive home and as a result, he struggled with depression and anger. As a teenager, he expressed those feelings through stealing, vandalism and truancy. He graduated in the bottom half of his class and was a married father at age 18.  Little did he know that this background was preparing him for his life’s work.

Richard got a night shift job at a Mankato factory while he attended college. After graduation he got a job as a probation/parole officer. He then got his masters in criminology and began working with kids and families. He served on several important board and committees and worked to advocate for those in treatment. Richard got a PhD in family sociology and worked with the National Council on Family Relations. He led a young professionals group and has provided counseling to families from 11 different treatment facilities in the state of Minnesota. He also developed an asset-based protocol for diagnostic assessment.

Richard has six children and four grandchildren. Richard knew that his wife Doris on eharmony. He knew she was the one for him when he asked how she liked the motorcycle ride and she replied, “My face hurts because I can’t stop grinning.” They have ridden 60,000 miles together.

The Northfield community benefits from Richard’s involvement as a Red Cross volunteer, Northfield Human Rights Commission member and Citizens Climate Lobby/RCAT member. His favorite bike is a 2002 Honda ST 1100. He owned one but sold it to buy his Gold Wing, and then miraculously found another in great condition on craigslist. As a proud colon cancer survivor, Richard rides in the “Multiple Regressions” motorcycle gang where he is known as “Semi-colon.”

Coming Up:

Nov 22 – Thanksgiving—Turkey Trot, no lunch meeting

Nov 29 — Pedro (“Pepe”) Gomes do Nascimento, Inbound from Brazil (Pokorney)

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.

Guests:

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

Announcements:

  • 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 SignUpGenius.com – 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

Rotary Cogwheel | October 25.2018

October 25, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, October 25, 2018

Today:  Dan Hofrenning, Political Landscape (Siems)

Next Week: Richard DeBeau, Classification (Davis)

Birthdays: Barry Carlson (10/22), Doug Crane (10/25), Mark Gleason (10/20), Rob Martin (10/23), Bruce Morlan (10/18), Brett Reese (10/25)

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.

Guests:

Pat Richardson (Richardson), Emily Fulton (Atchison), Petra and Hans Rong (Reppmann)

Announcements:

  • Alan Anderson shared an article about climate change from Smithsonian.com and reminded us to take the climate change survey
  • Kurt Larson says the Turkey Trot has already surpassed last year’s corporate sponsorships. Yard signs will be available after Nov. 7. Rick Estenson says runners should sign up by Nov. 9 to get a t-shirt. See Kurt or Rick if you can volunteer to help with the event on Thanksgiving morning.
  • Brett Reese urges everyone to vote on Nov. 6 – two important referendums on the ballot for Northfield Schools and the proposed Cannon River Civic Center
  • Kristi Purcell invited everyone to Keepsake Cidery for the CRWP Membership Appreciation dinner and tour on October 26 from 5:30-8pm. There is a suggested $50 donation for dinner.
  • If you are interested in learning more about human trafficking, Rotary is holding a training event on Saturday, Nov. 3, 9 a.m. to noon at the Southdale Library in Edina. For more information, contact Meg at MLow.ROTARY@gmail.com.
  • The Annual Foundation Celebration Dinner, Saturday evening, Nov. 10, in Oakdale will shine the light on Rotary’s polio eradication campaign. Nancy Barbee will be the keynote speaker. Jean Wakely is planning to attend. Contact her if you are interested. There is a discount on tickets if we reserve a table for eight. 

Scholarship Enhancement:  Carl Behr

Happy News:

  • Virginia Kaczmarek thanks everyone for their support through the years and says she will stay at our Rotary club through November.

Last Week:

You may not know that Bruce Morlan was in the Air Force and was later a mediator in Rice County courts. He is the chair of the Citizens Climate Lobby. He is learning about how people use language as a weapon and shield and once went to Washington DC to speak about being bi-lingual and bi-partisan. You also might not know that Bruce likes to draw political cartoons. He introduced Bill Doherty, a Marriage and Family Therapist who co-founded Better Angels. Bill spoke on Restoring Civility to our Political Discourse.

Political polarization is spiking in America and is now at a historical high. In 1960, 5% of survey respondents were uncomfortable with their son or daughter marrying someone from the other political party. That has now risen to 35-40%.

Bill asked us, “What are the sources of this rise in polarization?” We responded with answers like: media, labels, only reading things you agree with, tailored news, financial insecurity, fear of the future, personal entitlement, destruction of decorum and hate speech. After the 2016 presidential election there were two populations: one feeling buoyed by hope and change and one feeling intense grief. We cannot run our communities with this level of polarization.

Bill toured 8 states and 15 towns on a bus tour to help people learn about communicating across the divide. The name Better Angels comes from an Abraham Lincoln quote that says, “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

The mission of Better Angels is to depolarize America. They want to help us to find understanding of each other beyond stereotypes and find common ground. Bill says we need to create a structured conversation to help people change their minds about each other. We are all assuming the other side doesn’t care about this country–that we have profound moral differences. But we aren’t that different. Better Angels teach how to set a tone so the other person might be receptive.

Be curious and use good listening skills, speaking in a way that makes them hear you. Even therapists struggle to use their own communication techniques when it comes to politics. Think of it as an interfaith conversation-the goal is not to change their mind. Don’t characterize their position. Stick to characterizing your own side. You can achieve disagreement but you will understand where you differ and where you agree. Better Angels also teaches how to get out of the conversation when there is a meltdown. Don’t answer bait and provocation. Don’t try it in a group, particularly a family group. Try a one-on-one conversation, but not online—people are losing 30-year long friendships. Reds and blues tend to use the same terms differently, which can create mistranslations.

Minnesota has become the hub of this work. St. Olaf held a successful student-led red/blue workshop recently. We have polarization based on geography-states didn’t used to be red or blue. The demoralized middle is seen as a sellout. But people can form a red/blue alliance and diminish this toxic polarization. We need to humanize the other side. We can agree on policy without changing our political identity. Better Angels encourages people to come together and get something done. Visit better-angels.org to learn more and get on their mailing list.

Coming Up:

Nov 8 – Simone Gaetani, Inbound from Italy (Longwich)

Nov 15 – Sherri Meyers, Classification (Kaczmarek)

Rotary Cogwheel | October 18.2018

October 17, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, October 18, 2018

Today:  Bill Doherty, Restoring Civility to our Political Discourse (Morlan)

Next Week: Dan Hofrenning, Political Landscape (Siems)

Birthdays: Kelly Dennis (10/18), Mike Krance (10/16), Larry Vorwerk (10/18)

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.

Guests:

John Souer (Rich), Renee Moen (Rychner), Brian Scheeler (Longwich)

Induction of New Members:

Barry Carlson welcomed new members who have joined our club over the past few months:

Ann Leming (Dilley), Greg Siems (Melby), Bob Thacker (Koenig), Kristi Purcell (Hager Dee) Jody Gunderson (Richardson), Tony Huettl (Quinnell), Kim Furman (not in attendance)

Announcements:

  • Alan Anderson reminded us that we will be have the opportunity to take a survey about the City’s Climate Action Plan at Rotary on 10/18
  • David Koenig reports that they had a successful 4th annual Ethical Leadership Workshop for 30 high school students. They rated it 3.85 out of 4 stars and gave the food a 10 out of 10.
  • Ron Linde shared a volunteer opportunity for those able to help remove buckthorn at Riverside Park on October 20th from 9am-12pm.
  • Mike Krance says storm cleanup volunteers are still needed. Sign up at northfieldshares.org
  • Kristi Purcell invited everyone to Keepsake Cidery for the CRWP Membership Appreciation dinner and tour on October 26 from 5:30-8pm
  • If you are interested in learning more about human trafficking, Rotary is holding a training on Saturday, Nov. 3, 9 a.m. to noon at the Southdale Library in Edina. For more information, contact Meg at MLow.ROTARY@gmail.com.

Exchange Students:

Scott asked our inbounds about their initial reactions to Northfield. Elise from France says she has made some good friends and it’s been cold. Itty from Indonesia says it is a very beautiful city with friendly people. Simone from Italy says “the people are warm but the weather is not.” Tuomas from Finland says he’s met some great people. Pepe from Brazil says everyone is nice and he saw a bit of snow today. Yuyu from Japan says people are very kind. Welcome, Inbound Students! We’re glad you’re here!

Scholarship Enhancement:  Wendy Sivanich

Last Week:

Jean Wakely introduced our District Governor, Mike Becker. Mike was born and raised in Rochester and has served on every Rotary board position. When he is not doing Rotary work, he works as a senior appraiser. Mike and his wife Nancy have been foster and adoptive parents and enjoy spending time with their six kids and their grandkids.

Mike asked us some great questions:

How many times do we talk about Rotary? Wear our pins? If someone asks you, “What is Rotary?” how do you answer?

Mike likes to answer “It’s the best time I’ve ever had helping people around the world without leaving home.” He recommends that we speak from the heart and tell Northfield stories. We should celebrate all that we do and share tidbits like the fact that we have students from all over the world at our meetings, and that we’re working to eradicate polio.

Mike has made some improvements on the district level, including a strategic plan, six core values, a sexual harassment policy, help with the Club Runner website, a climate action initiative and restructuring of the grant process.

We are thankful for all Mike is doing for our district and our club!

Coming Up:

Nov 1 – Richard DeBeau, Classification (Davis)

Rotary Cogwheel | October 11.2018

October 10, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, October 11, 2018

Today: Mike Becker, Rotary District Governor

Next Week: Jennifer Novak, Classification (Rich)

Birthdays: Richard DeBeau (10/11), Larry Defries (10/6), Nathan Heilman (10/10), Kyle Nordine (10/7), Zack Zastrow (10/6)

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.

Guests:

Jim Bassett (Kyte), Beth Eaves (Kyte), Kim Furman (Maus), Ben Houser (Steed), Emily Fulton (Wopata), Todd Iverson (Sivanich), Leslie Vanderwood (Will)

Announcements:

Virginia Kaczmarek is leaving the Y and our Rotary Club for the Rochester Y and Rotary Club. She will be greatly missed in our community and club!
The Turkey Trot is looking for corporate sponsors and volunteers—see Rick Estenson to get involved
Want to promote the school referendum? See Rick Estenson for vote yes buttons and yard signs.
Want to promote the Cannon River Civic Center? See Brett Reese for vote yes buttons and yard signs.
Meredith Galdeen reminded everyone to use the survey link in the Richardson Report and share what you’d like to see on our new club website
Rotary will be hosting a Thanksgiving dinner at the Key on November 14. See Janine Atchison if you can volunteer to help.
Interested in learning how to speak with someone when you hold different views? Come to Rotary’s Better Angelstraining session Thursday, Oct.18 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at United Methodist Church. This is part of the district’s initiative to take the four-way test into the community and is one of the projects of our club’s Ethical Leadership Committee. It is open to Rotarians and their guests. If you have questions, contact Bruce Morlan.

Happy News

Erin Bailey is back from maternity leave. Matt Hillmann, the school district and our club are happy to have her back!
David Koenig’s daughter Sylvia turned 16 and the 2nd edition of his book is due to drop soon.
Betsy Spethmann is happy to have both Rick Estenson and Rachel Estrella featured in the latest edition of the Northfield Hospital magazine.
Greg Siems is happy about the turnout at St. Olaf’s recent event

Scholarship Enhancement:  Simone Gaetani

Last Week:

Charlie Kyte and his wife Dianne will celebrate 50 years of marriage this year. He says that having children is just a necessary path to the true joy in life: grandchildren. Charlieintroduced Steve Shier, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Carleton College. Steve has authored and/or edited 21 books and published numerous articles and essays.

Steve Shier says this is “not a lighthearted time in American politics.” But evidently polarization is not a new phenomenon. 100 years ago, G.K. Chesterton said, The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.”

Steve was recently interviewed by French televisionevidence that Minnesota politics are a hot topic right now. Negative ads abound, because people are more likely to believe and remember negative information about public figures. Steve shared insights from the book Microtrends Squared: The New Small Forces Driving the Big Disruptions Today by Mark Penn. Penn has argued that the future is not shaped by society’s broad forces, but by quiet changes within narrow slices of the population.

The “Old Economy Voters” are hard working, religious and family-oriented. They are former democrats who opted for Trump in the presidential election. They make up Minnesota’s 8thDistrict, which is likely to become GOP.

The “Impressionable Elites” trust the media chorus and don’t see what’s actually happening. Whether conservative or liberal, they stick to their ideologies.

The “Militant Dreamers” are here without documentation and may be the most powerful force in the next presidential election.

The “Happy Pessimists” are happy about their personal circumstances, but even though the stock market is up and unemployment is down, they are still pessimistic about the future.

The “Couch Potatoes” don’t pay attention to politics most of the time, then get excited, vote, and return to the couch. They are the people who elected Jesse Ventura in 1998.

The Impressionable Elites dominate the Republican and Democratic ranks. The other groups can move the upcoming election in a variety of directions. The Old Economy voters and the Happy Pessimists are important and volatile groups and the outcome of the 2018 election is highly uncertain. The question is, who will get off the couch and vote? If the Democrats do well it will be primarily because of the anti-Trump women vote and the Millennials. Be sure to vote on November 6th!

Coming Up:

Oct 25 – Dan Hofrenning, Political Landscape (Siems)

Rotary Cogwheel | October 4.2018

October 3, 2018

Today’s Program | Thursday, October 4, 2018

Today:  Steve Schier (Kyte) 2018 Elections

Next Week: Mike Becker, Rotary District Governor

Birthdays: Robert Bierman (9/29), Kurt Larson (9/29) Michelle Lasswell (9/29), Rachel McIves Morey (9/30), Sherri Meyers (10/1), Laurie Williams (9/28)

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.

Guests:

Dawn and Ronnie Lesley (Dilley), Kim Furman (Maus), Jerry and Susy Blake (Stevens), Thomas Lako (Purcell), Mike Ericson (Atchison), Hoff Family and Mike Puppe (Kallioniemi)

Announcements:

  • Brent Nystrom has some extra JJBT t-shirts for sale for $5
  • Todd Thompson will lead another sing-along at Imminent on October 4th
  • Alan Anderson invites everyone to tune in for the Climate Show on KYMN radio on the first Wednesday of every month
  • Penny Hilleman announced that the United Way campaign is underway. Visit northfieldunitedway.org for more information or to make a donation.
  • Mayor Rhonda Pownell says recruitment for City boards and commissions will be starting soon.
  • Interested in learning how to speak with someone when you hold different views? Come to Rotary’s Better Angels training session Thursday, Oct.18 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at United Methodist Church. This is part of the district’s initiative to take the four-way test into the community and is one of the projects of our club’s Ethical Leadership Committee. It is open to Rotarians and their guests. If you have questions, contact Bruce Morlan.

Happy News

  • Rachel Morey offered thanks to the community for the wonderful support the Methodist Church received after the storm
  • Barry Carlson enjoyed reading with elementary students at Sibley through our Breakfast Buddies program
  • Jake Conway thanked everyone for their help with storm damage, especially Ryan Blumhoefer who worked on his birthday
  • Dave Brown’s daughter had research published in Nature

Scholarship Enhancement:  John Stull

Last Week:

Jesse Steed has led an interesting life. He was homeschooled, went to Kalamazoo College, studied French Literature, was in the Yacht Club, played Ultimate Frisbee and studied abroad. He taught English in France from 2002-2003, worked for a mortgage company and for a construction company before getting his real estate license in 2004. He and his wife moved to Northfield in 2010 for her job at Carleton and he now works at Edina Realty.

Tuomas Kallioniemi is a 2018-19 inbound exchange student from the Sepanhaka Rotary Club in Finland. He comes to us from the town of Forssa, population 17,000,which is located an hour and a half away from Helsinki. His father Perti is a farmer, his mother Leona is a dentist and he has two younger brothers.

In his free time, Tuomas likes to play hockey. His favorite sport is hockey, and his hobbies include…hockey. When he’s not playing hockey, Tuomas enjoys fishing and tubing on the many lakes of Finland. His mother’s home is in Forssa and his father’s farm is located just ten kilometers away. “I’m a pretty clean guy,” Tuomas said, as he showed us photos of his tidy bedrooms at both parents’ houses.

Finland has a population of 5.5 million people and is spread over 338,448 square miles. They enjoy incredible displays of northern lights from August to April. Finland is very similar to Minnesota, with thousands of lakes and temperatures of -31 degrees F in the winter and 95 degrees F in the summer. However, one major difference is that the sun does not go down at all during the summer in northern Finland. Finland also boasts the most saunas in the world. After getting warm in the sauna, people often go ice swimming or roll around in the snow. However, contrary to popular belief, there are no polar bears in Finland.

Tuomas says they “pay big taxes” but enjoy free healthcare and education, including free university schooling. Favorite Finnish foods include Karelian Hot Pot made with potatoes and pork, Pasty, and Rye Bread.

He thanks us for choosing good host families for him—he is very happy with our choices. If anyone has odd jobs for Tuomas, he is raising money for the East Coast trip. “If you have work, I can do it” is his motto. Welcome to Northfield, Tuomas!

Coming Up:

Oct. 18 – Jennifer Novak, Classification (Rich)

Oct 25 – Dan Hofrenning, Political Landscape (Siems)