Spoke Newsletter – 04/17/2014

Spoke Newsletter – 04/17/2014

This Week
Our own GRAEME AUTON will follow up last weekʼs program on Ukraine with a program on the challenges posed by Russia and the rise of Vladimir Putin. He might also talk about the Obama Administrationʼs response to those challenges since last yearʼs confrontation over Syria. As THE SPOKE goes to press, events look increasingly tenuous in eastern Ukraine, with some 40,000 Russian troops assembled on that countryʼs border.

Natalia Cherkas, a visiting Fulbright scholar from Ukraine at the University of Redlands School of Business, and Gerald Groshek, Professor at UofRʼs School of Business, talked about the origins of the crisis in Ukraine, and about the deep linguistic, ethnic and historical divisions within that country. They noted that there has always been tension between the pro Russian (and often Russian speaking) eastern part of the country and the pro Western part in the central and western regions. They mapped out several future scenarios, including a Russian attempt to establish land corridors to Crimea (which Russia annexed last month) and to Trans-Dniestr in Moldova. They pointed out, though, that a Russian occupation of parts of Ukraine could prove very costly for Moscow if a Ukrainian insurgency resulted.

Next Week
Our own SANDRA BENTLEY, will discuss our skin and its care. For many of our male Rotarians this may be just a wee bit late. For the female persuasion, “You look marvelous, simple marvelous.” Remember Sandi, this gang of Rotarians could be a tough (elephant hide skin) crowd. Did you know that Sandiʼs of fice is right upstairs above our meeting hall? Who knew… itʼs a rhetorical question.

District Assembly
Where could you find Rotaract Members, roughly a dozen or so members of our club and violin music? Citrus Valley High School is where, along with 20% of our 5330 Rotary District Rotarians. The event was near capacity to hear about RI Foundation, Grant Programs, Youth Services, International Projects and hundreds of other ventures scheduled by clubs within our district. President JIM PINDER and President Elect JIM NOLIN lead a large contingent of Redlands club members to be motivated and transformed. Keynote speaker, Amanda Wirtz wants us all to realize that “Peace is the harmony that pours out from within when we ask the right question and share the answer with the world.” The question you ask? “Who do you want to be? Wirtz, a veteran, a Rotarian and a classically trained violinist, has taken her lifeʼs challenges to inspire thousands of RYLA participants, Rotarians and others, to become better equipped versions of themselves. She is the first President of the United Service Rotary Club, the first online Rotary club in the world meeting exclusively on Facebook. Members include active military, reserve military, veterans and friends and family members of the international Armed Forces community. As a nationally renowned speaker and performer she continues to share the message of hope and outreach to the world.

Nuptials for a Club Member
Under the disguise of a Mad Men (The AMC Television Show) Event, our very own Minister of Mischief, LARRY BURGESS, presided over the wedding vows of club member NATHAN GONZALES to his long-time partner Todd Loza. A few Rotarians were spotted at the affair in their best 60ʼs attire, all trying their best to look the part of Don Draper. Closest to the mark, had to be DON McCUE followed closely by PETER DAVIS.

No Really, LARRY BURGESS is a minister. Who knew? Honeymoon on delay as NATHAN’S classic Ford Bronco sits in pieces at BILL HATFIELD’S body shop. I hear Monday thru Thursday has the best Vegas rates.

Weʼre still on baby watch…JENNIFER VANNATTER-WRIGHT, when can we expect to see some action here? Dates are falling off like hair at a Rotary Club meeting, excluding our female members of course

Breakfast and a Book
Join FLORIN ROMINU and MARIA WHITTAKER-SAUCEDO and their band of merry readers at Franklin and Lugonia Elementary Schools. Franklin on April 24th and Lugonia on May 1st. Speaking of reading, many of you are starting to put together your summer reading list. Letʼs share some interesting titles with one another. Iʼll get the ball rolling, Unbroken, by Hilengrand and Zealot, by Aslan.

Club Visits
How many of you have visited another club in the past five years? With over 50 clubs in our district and hundreds of clubs in Southern California, now may be a good time to see how another club operates. Why keep it Southern California. If you are out and about, across the pond or to the west in Asia, visit an international club and pick up some ideas and memories to share with us.

Quote of the Day
“Donʼt go chasinʼ black cats in a dark room” PRESIDENT’S CORNER “Eulogy to a Drone, Part 2” I couldnʼt wait to fly my newly-repaired drone. Finally a day arrived when I had time to head outside and enjoy watching the white craft zip back and forth. After setting up and running through the pre-flight check list, I gently lifted off and watched for any signs of trouble.

Suddenly the craft arced away from me at a 45degree angle. It climbed up to about 50 feet as it headed north over the bridge construction happening on Stuart Street. Frantically I manipulated the controls, trying to figure out what was going on. It was all to no avail. Nothing I did seemed to change the trajectory of the drone. After getting over the construction zone, it rapidly descended in a free-fall with a thump as it hit the ground. I ran to the construction fence, breathless and fearful at the same time. Several construction workers picked up the crumpled drone, wondering where it had come from. After alerting them they brought it over to me, minus the HD camera that was attached. Where was the camera? No one seemed to know. And they wouldnʼt let me conduct my own search and rescue operation.

Next week weʼll find out if I was successful on a warranty claim. After all, it did just fly away on its own and must have been defective….

April 24, 2014 No. 38 Editor: John Patterson

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