Arlie Norman                              Julie Shirley 
                                                       Bellingham Herald Editor


August 2, 2021   

Book Review by Dominique Zervas - "The Cellist of Sarajevo"  by Steven Galloway, 2008
          In 1945, a few bars of a sonata were found in the remnants of a firebombed Library. The musicologist who found them believed the notes were by composer Tomas Albinoni, and spent the next twelve years reconstructing a larger piece from the manuscript fragment. The resulting piece is called Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor—a slow and beautifully haunting piece for strings.
          About fifty years later, Serbian fighters held Sarajevo under siege for four years. From bunkers in the surrounding hills, they daily bombed the city; and their snipers killed residents on the streets and in their homes. Most buildings were destroyed, the rest were damaged; and the residents were cut off from food, water, and electricity.
          Early on, a mortar round aimed at the marketplace killed 22 people, and injured nearly another 80, who were waiting in line for food. 
          Soon after Vedran Smailovic, a Bosnian cellist, played the Adagio for 22 days in the destroyed marketplace—one day for each person killed.
          Despite its title, the book is not about the cellist, instead the central characters are three people:
  1. Kenan is a young father who lives with his wife and three young children. He struggles with life and exists in fear, trying to pretend that everything is the same as it was before the siege. Every four days he walks to the outskirts of town, carrying water jugs for his family and their neighbor to fill them—he pretends he is walking to work. Like for the other residents, each trip for exposes him to sniper fire. He struggles to care for his children, fearful they will be permanently scarred by the war. When horrible things happen—bombings, sniper attacks, he is frozen in fear—he watches and can do nothing. He relaxes only when he hears the cellist play; the sound of the music gives him hope
  2. Arrow is a young, solitary, military woman with an extraordinary aim. Her struggle is with who she was before the war, when she was a student and just like other young women of her age; and who she becomes during the siege. She is brought in by the Defense Council as a sniper to protect the cellist from being killed while he is playing; the music touches her deeply and transforms her attitude and her understanding of who she is and what she must do.
  1. Dragan is an older bakery worker whose family escaped. Initially, he completely isolates himself because he is afraid to lose people. He feels trapped by the snipers and out of fear of them will wait for hours before crossing an intersection. At one point, he meets an old friend at an intersection, and she is shot by the snipers; the unfolding of that event changes how he sees himself and his place in the City. He also hears the cellist play and comes to believe that the cellist does so to keep ideals—those of civilization and beauty and hope—alive.
          Through their experiences, each of them is able to find a way to retain their souls and their humanity. It is a terrible and beautiful story; and the writing is attentive, simple, delicate, and lyrical.
Opening Welcome:  
At 12:30pm President Peter Theisen welcomed everyone to our 4702nd meeting and 4th in-person meeting since the pandemic. He had a moment of silence in remembrance of Arlie Norman who died over the weekend.  A tribute to Arlie will be held in the future.
Rick Kaiser, in memory of Arlie Norman and in recognition of Arlie's son Jeff who is an officer in the Army, shared a video of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” played by the US Army Field Band and sung by the Field Band Chorus.
Debbie Ahl gave the invocation.
Minister of Fun: Larry Halgren
Club and Committee Announcements

1. John Dunne announced that the Major Projects Committee will be meeting immediately after the next Rotary meeting to hear a project presentation by the YMCA.

2. We are looking for Website sponsors for the next Rotary year starting July 1st . It is a great opportunity to advertise your business and support Rotary; cost is $350 for the year. Check out the current sponsors on our website by going to  We have 3 spots remaining, Thank you for those that have renewed their sponsorships!!



Weekly Meeting instructions:

You will still receive an email from Sandee each week prior to the Monday 12:30 meeting if you are unable to attend in person (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.  HERE ARE ZOOM INSTRUCTIONS.

Four Points is not requiring a Contract thru 2021 and need only 72 hours to cancel an event. We will continue to evaluate other locations for a permanent location.   Lunch will be $22 for a sit down meal. We must notify them by Wednesday at 4:00 pm each week prior to the Monday meeting as to the number of members attending.  We are sending out meeting “Invite's” weekly and members are asked to sign-up ASAP. You can also sign-up by going to the event section of our website at  If you sign up for a meal at the meeting, you will need to pay the $22 even if you don't wind up attending the meeting after numbers are turned in.  If you plan to attend but not eat, PLEASE indicate that on your sign-up so we don't overorder meals and still make sure there is enough seating. 

Four Points also will not collect the payment weekly, so the Club will collect payments prior to the meeting or at the door.

We urge members of the RCOB has set up a Venmo account for ease in payment of Meeting lunches, 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

Other payment options are to bring a check in the correct amount to the meeting made out to RCOB or cash in the exact amount to speed up the payment process.  There is also the PayPal option as usual and we are set to take payments at the meeting.  We have a QR Code that you can simply click on to pay thru paypal also.

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.
Dale Rings zoomed in from Arizona with member Chuck Snyder
Other members who were on Zoom:  Loch Trimingham, Dennis Williams, Sandy McIntire, Dick Tucker, Brad Burdick, Debbie Ahl, Monty McAllister, John Harris, Scott Wallace, Frank King and Jennifer Moehl.
Program: Good News about the Bellingham Herald!
Julie Shirley, a past member of this Club and Executive Editor of the Herald since 2013.  She gave a presentation about the struggles that the paper and other print newspapers have faced since internet news sites have been diverting advertising money away from print outlets. Newspapers now receive only 3.2% of all the money spent on advertising in the U.S.  Newspaper publications have been very slow to adapt to the change, not only in funding, but also in realizing how people prefer to get their news. The Herald’s parent company, McClatchy, declared bankruptcy and was sold in 2020 to Chatham Asset Management Co. which has been able to revive the Herald by revising policies and management, encouraging subscribers to get the paper online, outsourcing all departments except news, and investing more in the newsroom. They sold the Herald’s outdated downtown office building and have relocated to a modern “green” office in Barkley Village. Circulation is up 15% in the past year and they have been able to hire 2 new reporters, one to cover environmental affairs and the other to cover indigenous affairs. Shirley stayed after to answer questions and to discus the future of the local newspaper industry.
Covid Report: 
Dr. Gary Goldfogel gave a brief COVID report. There are 10 people hospitalized at St. Joe’s, a 50% increase from last week. Of those, 5 are in the ICU
President Theisen closed the meeting shortly after 1:30.
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:
August Rotary Anniversaries - Thank you! 
Brian Griffin
Member Since 1960
Steve Hager
Member Since 1988
Kelli Linville
Member Since 2011
Sara Maloney
Member Since 2018
August Birthdays
  • Robin Halliday
  • Ken Marzocco
  • John Pedlow
  • Debbie Ahl
  • Dave Blair
  • Lynda Hinton
  • Ken Culver
  • Susie Thomson
  • Cathy Buckley
Sep 20, 2021
Chris Kobdish - Way Station
Sep 27, 2021
Doug Ericksen, Washington State Senator
Oct 04, 2021
Beyond Net Zero Commitment, PSE's Clean Energy Implementation Plan and local clean energy projects
Oct 11, 2021
"Port of Bellingham 101"
View entire list
Upcoming Events
RCOB In-Person Meeting September 20, 2021
Four Points by Sheraton
Sep 20, 2021
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
RCOB In-Person Meeting September 27, 2021
Four Points by Sheraton
Sep 20, 2021
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
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:  Catherine Riordan
Reporter:  John Dunne
Invocation:  Debbie Ahl
Greeter: Lynda Hinton & Jodi Borrelli
Raffle Sales:  Rob Westford
AV:  Jamie Vos, Ward Naf and Mark Knittel
Photographer:  Lynda Hinton
Music:  Rick Kaiser