May 10, 2021     49th  VIRTUAL MEETING

Pre-Meeting Social Time: 
Our very own golfing champion, Nathan Twining, reviewed the book How to Lie with
Statistics by Darrel Huff. It’s a quirky look at how statistics are manipulated, sometimes
unintentionally, to distort reality and support conclusions that aren’t necessarily true. One common example Nathan sited was the use of the word "average" to quantify something, such as income or lifespan, without specifying what kind of average (mean, median,
midpoint, etc) is meant, since each will result in a very different "average" number. The intention of the book is to provide the reader with the ability to analyze statistics they are presented with and evaluate how valid the conclusions truly are.
Opening Welcome:  
President-elect Peter Theisen, subbing for President Gary Goldfogel, called the meeting to order at 12:30 PM and welcomed all members and guests.
Club and Committee Announcements
President-Elect Peter Theisen announced that there will be a Board of Directors meeting this Thursday, May 13th at 3PM (note time change) on Zoom. Club members are welcome to attend. Contact Sandee for the Zoom link.

Incoming Program Committee Chair Doug Cole asked members to let him know if they drive an electric vehicle, as he is trying to put a future program together.

Teri Treat reminded us of the annual RCOB cleanup, May 22, 9AM-Noon at the Sunnyland Memorial Park, rain or shine. There is room for six more volunteers. RCOB loans the supplies and equipment. Overall, the park is in pretty good shape.
International Student Exchange Committee Chair Monty McAllister announced that he had heard from Rumbi, one of our recent exchange students. She is studying diligently in Zimbabwe, preparing for her final comprehensive  high school exams, the results of which will be an important part of her college application process. She is hoping to attend university outside of Zimbabwe, perhaps back in the US.

Blood Donation Committee Co-Chair Steve Ban alerted us to the fact there is only another
month and a half in the regional Rotary blood/plasma donation 
competition. We can donate every 8 weeks, so repeat donations are encouraged. O+ donors especially are needed now.
2021-2022 Rotary Year Planning
Peter Theisen is working on planning his 2021-2022 Rotary Year as President.  Regarding committee planning, he has announced that he will keep all chairpersons and committee members in place for next year, unless a member requests a change.  Contact Peter or Sandee if you would like to be added to additional committees or want to make a change.  
Rotary Cruise
Marty Haines again reviewed the details of the planned Whale Watching Cruise, scheduled for June 21,  and urged all members to reply to the email invite. Family members and friends are encouraged to attend. Ahoy! Special price is $90 a person and the date is Monday, June 21st. You can sign-up by using the email that was sent out or go to the website under events and register. Marty guarantees great weather for the whale watching trip. :-)
Ongoing Announcements:
Blood Drive:
Steve Ban reminds us that when we donate blood, they are still testing for and informing the donor whether or not he/she has Covid antibodies. He also reported that our blood drive will be open for the entire Rotary year, until June 30, 2021. We are participating, along with the other clubs in our Area G, in a District 5050 challenge against the other District Areas. He is encouraging friends and relatives to join in. Those who can't donate blood can donate plasma. Currently, the W. Bakerview office is the only donation location open in Whatcom County. Click Here for additional information. The minimum age for donating blood is 16 and those 16 and 17 would need parent’s permission to participate. Rumor has it that you can score a Bloodworks pair of socks for donating!  You may schedule your donation appointment on the flyer in the above link or you can make an appointment by phone. In either case, when you are donating, please tell them that you are donating on behalf of RCOB.


Meeting Virtually
All Rotary meetings will be held Virtually on Zoom until further notice due to Covid-19 social distancing.  You can look for an email from Sandee each week prior to the Monday 12:30 meeting (you can start logging in at 12:00 for short socializing) with the link for that privacy protected meeting.  If you have not done so, please download the Zoom app on your computer (you need a camera and microphone on it), iPad or phone.  There is no cost to you.  If you do not have either, you can also call in.  On the invitation, there are US phone numbers you can call and enter the meeting ID number also indicated on the invitation. 
RCOB has now set up a Venmo account for ease in payment of Happy Bucks, Minister of Fun, Dues or donations to the club.  Our account is @RCOB-Bellingham.  If you do not have a Venmo account you can set up an account with your computer then download the app. on your phone (just Google "Venmo" and you will find all the information you need)  You then attach it to a debit or credit card (a fee on your end) or attach to your checking account at no cost.  Payment will be sent directly to the RCOB checking account. When you use it for the first time it may ask you the last 4 digits of the RCOB phone number which is 0282.   Give Sandee a call if you need help.  360-734-5532
Website and Phone App instructions:
Here is a tutorial on how to login for the first time.  (Click here)  In order to login you need to know your user name and password in your Clubrunner account.  The user name is Yourfirstname.Lastname.264 unless you have changed it.  Example: Sandra.Lindhout.264  The password is initially set by Clubrunner at 264 unless you have changed it.  Sandee can see your Username from my computer but not the password.  She can also change your password for you from her computer at your request if you run into problems.
Once you have originally created your User Name and Password you can download the ClubRunner Mobile app on your phone:                                                             
Here is a link for you to take a look at the app:

Please contact Sandee at 360-734-5532 or if you run into any trouble.
Dr. Michael Mallory and Jodi Borrelli joined us and were introduced by Sandee Lindhout and President-elect Peter.
Dale Rings joined us from Arizona.
Peter Theisen introduced the speaker, Allen Gordon President of 360 Module "Tiny homes and the homeless"
Minister of Fun:
Ken Marzocco gently stumped us with our lack of knowledge of facts drawn from well-known and contemporary sources like Edison’s Encyclopedia, published in 1895. Did you
know that men at that time weighed about as much as a 12-year-old boy does today. Needless to say, RCOB's coffers came out ahead in this game. Don’t forget to pay up, $5 max.

Happy Bucks:
There were many happy Rotarians, including Nathan Twinning, winner of multiple golf tournaments; Mark Knittel, who noticed in today's Herald that Recovery House, a prior recipient of RCOB funding, will have a ribbon cutting soon; Felicity Dye, for whom Mother’s Day was the occasion of multiple contacts from previous exchange students; John Dunne, who is back to being a Cinco de Mayo party animal, and doing that indoors for the first time in over a year (with masks, of course, as he conscientiously pointed out, lest his reputation in the contact-tracing world be tarnished).
President-elect Peter introduced our speaker, Allen Gordon, President and CEO of 360 Modular Building Systems, who talked about the advances in modular building construction.
Allen had some difficulty connecting via Zoom, so the crack RCOB tech staff orchestrated a phone call for him instead, supplemented by slides Allen had submitted earlier. Advance preparation pays off again. Thanks Sandee and Paul!!!

Allen is an entrepreneur who began in the tech sector, worked internationally, and lately has been engaged in economic development projects. In that work, he has had contact with Rotary clubs many times and commended Rotary for the work we do around the world.

His present company, 360 Modular Building Systems, was established in 2019 in South Dakota. Previously, he had constructed single-wide trailer homes and was a leader in that
industry. Following the recession, the company pivoted to modular building structures of all types (e.g., multi-family homes, apartment buildings, schools, health centers, conference centers). Tiny Houses is their first project in Bellingham, a project that started slowly, given the pandemic. They have a customer base throughout the PNW. Theirs is the only modular production facility in this region and demand is growing. They are hiring for many positions in the building trades and have among their 100 employees a greater variety of professionals than would an onsite construction company.

Allen claimed several advantages of modular over onsite construction: Modular units are constructed away from the eventual building location in sheltered buildings, which keeps products dry, a key quality advantage. Building in the factory also reduces risks inherent in onsite construction, since it is easier to standardize and enhance quality in the construction process. Today’s modular building construction is also greener because there is better control over waste and reuse when all construction happens in one place.
Allen claims “if you can imagine it, we can build it.” He says the process is like working with Legos and transformers. Structures like the tiny houses in Bellingham could last up to
100 years. The houses come ready for electricity (like an RV), and have combination locks that can be easily changed between residents. Speed of construction is an advantage for larger buildings like hotels, which can be assembled in five days. Rooms are shipped with the furniture inside. When completed, it is hard to tell whether a new building is of modular or onsite 

In the PNW, Allen's company is working with some urban areas (e.g., Seattle, Portland) to create affordable homes. Modular buildings are comparable in price to traditionally constructed buildings but can offer greater quality because of the controlled conditions in which the units are made, the standardization of the process, and the number of experts "on
the job" in a modular factory. 
In Washington State, L & I is a bottleneck in terms of time. Once L & I approval has been obtained, a typical project can be completed in three months. The units are delivered to a
developer’s site, and the developer hires the general contractor to prepare the site and put the modules together.

In response to a question, Allen acknowledged that modules may be the wave of the future as it becomes ever harder to find skilled workers in the technical and building trades. There
are places in Europe that require developers to justify not using modular construction, as it is seen as the 
reasonable choice.
Covid Report: 
Garrett Jeffery reported that, currently, there are 20 Covid patients in St. Joseph Hospital. There is adequate bed and equipment capacity, thanks to surge planning for ICU needs.
Transmissibility continues to rise. Garrett is not worried about the efficacy of the vaccines relative to the Covid variants. The statistical report card data doesn’t have enough detail
to reveal the ages, vaccination status, etc, of those getting infected in Whatcom County.

Members shared some anecdotes about possible sources of spread, younger than expected seriously ill patients, and effectiveness of the vaccines, all based on local news and training for contact tracers. Contact tracers are hard at work, but more contact tracers are needed by the Health Department.
Program Recordings:  We are now recording the speaker portion of our meetings:
Missed a meeting? Remember a great speaker but want to revisit the content? You can catch the recording on our Rotary Club of Bellingham YouTube page:
May Rotary Anniversaries - Thank you! 
Sandee Lindhout is celebrating 50 years of service as our Executive Secretary and 55 years affiliation with the Rotary Club of Bellingham. Wow! 
Sandee, thank you so much for all you do and happy anniversary! 
Dewey Desler
Member Since 1987
Chuck Snyder
Member Since 1994
Del VandeKerk
Member Since 1998
Phil Gubbins
Member Since 2004
John Macpherson
Member Since 2003
Rud Browne
Member Since 2007
Mark Knittel
Member Since 2007
Arlie Norman
Member Since 2008
Lynda Hinton
Member Since 2014
Rich Bowers
Member Since 2016
Andy Day
Member Since 2016
Garrett Jeffrey
Member Since 2018
May Birthdays
  • Colleen Baldwin
  • Monty McAllister
  • Ruairi Ward
  • Dennis Williams
  • Scott Wilson
  • Kathy Hiyane-Brown
Jun 14, 2021
Peacekeepers, Police Reform & Pandemics: Contemporary issues and challenges in law enforcement
Jun 21, 2021
Whale Watching Cruise
Jun 28, 2021
Changing of the Guard & Awards
Jul 12, 2021
Asian giant hornet Update and WSDA's response plans for 2021
View entire list
Upcoming Events
RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards)
Jun 19, 2021 – Jun 20, 2021
Rotary Whale Watch Luncheon Cruise
Jun 21, 2021
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards)
Jun 26, 2021 – Jun 27, 2021
View entire list
Interested in being a sponsor?
Download the website sponsorship guide
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Executive Secretary
Vice President/Program Chair
Past President
Director/Vocational Service & Membership
Director/Community Service
Director/International & Youth Service
Director/Club Service & Meetings
Website Administer
Editor:  Steve Ban
Reporter:  Catherine Riordan
Invocation:  Mike Plenkovich
Greeter:  Peter Theisen and Sandee
AV:  Shauna Naf
Music:  Rick Kaiser
Minister of Fun:  Ken Marzocco
Book Review:  Nathan Twining  "How to Lie with Statistics" by Darrell Huff