Rotary Club of Topsham Expresso

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April 2017
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Topsham Expresso

A great start to the week!

We meet Mondays at 7:15 AM
Priority Group Business Center
2 Main Street
Topsham, ME  04086
United States
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Stories
Minutes of January 9, 2017
Dear fellow Rotarians,
I know there has been a lot of back and forth about meetings in the next few weeks.
Here is the update:
WE WILL MEET MONDAY DECEMBER 5
Ron McLaughlin will present a program on the Salvation Army.  Ron has a background with the organization and has served on the board in recent years.  It is a timely program given that we are scheduled to ring bells on Sat December 10.  
WE WILL MEET MONDAY DECEMBER 12
Joe Grant will present around the topic of the internet.  Joe works with Mid Coast Health in their IT department.
December 19 NO MEET
December 26 NO MEET
January 2 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: STATE OF AFFAIRS
 
Please note”
Bob Davis will have hip surgery next Monday
Charlie Ault will have hip surgery next Thursday
Bill Gillispie has been back to work this week for a few days following his first dialysis procedures.  Might we see him in the coming weeks?????
Thanks for your flexibility
Hope see you on Monday.
Bob Beaumont
The Prez
Minutes of November 28
Minutes of November 21
NO MEETING - MONDAY October 31
Minutes of October 17
Minutes of September 19
Minutes of September 12, 2016
 
Prez. Bob Beaumont called the meeting to order promptly at 07:15 and led us in the pledge of Allegiance. He then called for a minute of silence in remembrance of 9/11 (15 years ago yesterday).
 
Prez. Bob then called upon Club Sheriff Bill Gillespie for Happy / Sad dollars. With the first real chill in the air that morning Bill had a  happy dollar for the on-set of fall weather. Prez. Bob had happy dollars for a visit to Martha’s Vineyard to visit family. Bob Guerette had a happy dollar for spending time at his camp on Pleasant Lake in the County.  Pastor Ron had a happy dollar for time at Reid State Park and Five Island Lobster Wharf. Cliff Hodges had happy dollars for the University of Michigan football team win resuming continuing professional education. Ron Kozlowski had a happy dollar for joining us at the meeting. Gordon had several sad dollars commenting that likely we could all recall exactly where we were when hearing of JFK being shot and the attack on the Twin Towers. Late arrival Bob Davis had a happy dollar for great weekend weather.
 
 Under announcements Bob Davis said the speaker on Monday, September 19 would be Peter Lindsey from United Way / Success by 6.
 
Bob Beaumont reminded us to RSVP to Bill Brillant regarding our 10th anniversary function at the Black Lantern B & B at 6 PM on Thursday, September 29. Bob also passed a sign up sheet for working the Pack Back program on from 5 to 7 on Tuesday, September 27. We need a minimum of 6 but more is better.
 
We had a Club Meeting primarily discussing how the events of 9/11 had changed life in America and impacts on our daily lives. It was a very thoughtful, interesting discussion with all members contributing.
 
See you all Monday, September 19.
 
Submitted:
 
Tom
Minutes of July 25, 2016
 
Minutes of July 18, 2016
 
Prez. Bob Beaumont called the meeting to order promptly at 07:15 and led us in the pledge of Allegiance. He then called on Pastor Ron McLaughlin for the invocation and Ron delivered, calling us to serve Rotary in the Community and throughout the world.
 
Club Sheriff Bill Gillespie had a happy dollar for summer and another one for one of his baseball quizzes – none of us knew the answer. Prez.Bob had a happy dollar for all our work on the Habitat Build day on Saturday. Despite the heat we got a lot done and enjoyed the camaraderie. Bob also had a happy day for family visiting from Sacramento, CA. Newly retired (actually transitioned to self employed consultant) Bob Davis had a happy dollar for the Habitat work. Bob Guerette kidded about there being two many Bob’s in the club but also echoed Bab Beaumont and Bob Davis thoughts about the great Habitat Build Day. Joel had a sad dollar for the recent police shootings. Pastor Ron had a happy dollar for a visit with grandkids. Gordon had a dollar for his amazement at watching his adult grandson (a great addition to our work crew on Saturday) and Bob G climbing through the roof trusses on Saturday installing the final bracings.
 
Bob Beaumont announced that our guest next Monday, July 25, will be District Governor Marge Barker and our local Assistant Governor, Claudia Frost. All are urged to attend and show our support for the District Governor. Bob passed around the Defeat Polio can and pointed out the article in this months Rotarian magazine highlighting our continued success to eradicate Polio with only two countries remaining.
 
There will be no meeting Monday, August 1. We will have a “service day”, no meeting based on our club service day working on the Habitat build day on Saturday.
 
Our scheduled speaker, Jon Larssen, from Mid Coast Hospital failed to show so we had a Club Meeting, focusing first on  a discussion of the expansion of the facilities of the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention program and related non-profits followed by a very interesting discussion by Joel regarding the difficulties individual Law Enforcement personnel are facing in light of increased resistance and hostility by a small segment of society and how it effects all of law enforcement personnel. Truly challenging times striking the right balance of personal safety and effective, respectful law enforcement. Thanks Joel!
 
Remember: District Governor Marge Barker tomorrow, July 25
                    No meeting Monday, August 1 – Club Service Day
 
Submitted:
 
Tom
Minutes of July 11, 2016
 
Outgoing Prez. Bill called the meeting to order promptly at 07:15 and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. He then requested incoming Club President Bob Beaumont give the invocation. Bob called for a moment of silence to reflect on both the current racial unrest in the country and all the good that Rotary does in this country and the world.
 
Bill then passed the gavel to Bob, officially assuming the duties as Club President. Bob presented Bill a certificate for his year of service as president and noted that the Club had made a donation in his name to the Save Our Swinging Bridge non-profit in the amount of $50.00.
 
Bill Gillespie started Happy / Sad dollars with a happy dollar for the sunshine after nearly a week of overcast weather with frequent drizzle. His baseball question, what was the original name of the Boston National League Baseball team, stumped us – Boston Beaneaters.  Prez. Bob had a number of happy dollars, for Bill as President this past year, for the strong community we live in and a great week for sports in England with success in the Tour de France and Andy Murray winning at Wimbledon. Bill B. had a great past week. Joel had a sad dollar for the current racial troubles, having just returned from a conference in Minneapolis, site of one of the newsmaking incidents. Bob Guerette commented that while the past week had been dreary there was not enough actual rain to eliminate the high fire hazard, particularly in the County where he has a camp. Cliff commented that he enjoyed watching Soccer the past two weeks on TV with both the Copa tourney for teams in the Americas and the Euro Cup. Fred had a happy $5 for Bill as Prez. And spoke of the need for support of the Rotary Foundation. Gordon had a fun quiz on the Declaration of Independence.
 
Under announcements Bob reminded us of our commitment to the Habitat project this Saturday, July 16.
 
Our Club is scheduled to work on the latest Habitat project on Saturday, July 16 from 8:30 until 3:30. The site is on Hope Lane, Brunswick. Take Harpswell Rd (rt 24) just past the Bowdoin athletic field. Hope Lane is on the Left.  If you see the Maine Pines Fitness you have gone too far. Please plan on being there.
 
The Rotary International theme for the year is “Rotary Serving Humanity”
 
Bob discussed his view of the club, stressing our history of strong leadership, with most members as past presidents, and high rate of participation at all of our activities and service projects demonstrating our commitment to community service. He commented on our strong presentation programs, coordinated by Bob Davis. He encouraged us all to use the introduction to the club cards Fred generated for us all last year as a means of encouraging potential new members to join us for a meeting. Bob distributed the new Rotary pins highlighting this years RI theme.
 
He talked about some of our activities for this coming year including the planning for our 10th Anniversary, the Music at the Museum fundraiser, support for early childhood literary with the children’s book program for the Topsham Library. The Diaper Drive Challenge will be a new activity for us this year. He encouraged us all to support the RI Foundation by making a contribution on our Birthdays with every member making a donation of some amount during the year. We will continue to support the Eradicate Polio program by passing the can around weekly for whatever change we have. Bob is optimistic that our club will submit and be awarded a District Local Grant this year. He plans on our continued support for the Backback Program and likely support for the expanded food pantry in Bowdoinham.
 
It looks to be an exciting, interesting year.
 
Monday’s speaker will be John Larson of the Topsham Fair Mall.
 
See you all on Saturday at Habitat Build Day and at Monday’s meeting.
 
Submitted:
 
Tom
 
Minutes of June 27, 2016
 
On his last official meeting as Club President Bill Brillant called the meeting to order promptly at 07:15, ringing the bell and leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a request for an invocation from incoming President Bob Beaumont. Bob gave a nice invocation followed by his first official proclamation. He plans on rotating giving the invocation among all the club members.
 
Under Happy / Sad dollars Club Sheriff  Bill Gillespie had happy dollars for the Cardinals winning. Bob Davis had a happy dillar for outgoing Prez. Bill. Incoming Prez. Bob was looking forward to a happy 76th birthday with family on Martha’s Vineyard. Fred had some words about a Finnish celebration of the summer solstice this past week. Bob Gurette had a happy dollar for time on then golf course. Gordon happily passed out billing notices for Club dues, due July 1.
 
Prez. Bill read a letter from Karen Parker of MidCoast Hunger Prevention, thanking us for our recent donation. That led to an interesting discussion about the extent of poverty caused hunger in our region and the fact that it is a problem in all of the communities in our region. The extent was documented by a study performed by a Bowdoin College student for MCHP who plotted the addresses of those receiving Federal Food stamps on a map to identify specific areas with the greatest need. Despite the need and positive publicity the hunger prevention program receives some eligible people do not utilize the resources available to them feeling that there is a stigma associated with participating.
 
Our Club is scheduled to work on the latest Habitat project on Saturday, July 16 from 8:30 until 3:30. The site is on Hope Lane, Brunswick. Take Harpswell Rd (rt 24) just past the Bowdoin athletic field. Hope Lane is on the Left.  If you see the Maine Pines Fitness you have gone too far. Please plan on being there.
 
There followed a general discussion about planning for our Club’s 10th anniversary function, to be held in late summer / early fall.
 
See you all on Monday, July 11 when Bob Beaumont takes the reins from Bill Brillant.
Submitted:
 
Tom
Minutes of April 25
 
President Bill Brillant called the meeting to order promptly at 07:15, ringing the bell and leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance. After first welcoming our guest speaker, Amy McLellan, Bill then called upon Pastor Ron for the invocation and he delivered with his usual aplomb. Bill then called upon Club Sheriff Bill Gillespie for Happy / Sad dollars. Bill G started it of with a happy dollar for being treated to a nice dinner in Boston by his two step-daughters, the clear inference being that Dad usually pays. Bob Davis had a happy dollar for our guest speaker, Amy McLellan. Joel Merry, with not to many more gray hairs, was very happy for a very successful “Patriot” tour the previous week, chaperoning 60 or so 8th graders on a tour to Washington, DC, Philadelphia and NYC, among other locations. The highlight was hearing a presentation from an actual Holocaust survivor at the National Holocaust Memorial in DC. Bob Guerette had a happy dollar for a fun, and successful, fishing trip to Sebago Lake with a long time friend. Ron McLaughlin was still raving about the Celtics great comeback, overtime win the previous evening. Fred had a happy dollar for the progress on building a new garage and the hope for getting the storage containers, in use during the garage construction, off his front lawn. Cliff Hodges had fun weekend with yard work in the nice weather and activities with his family. Gordon was happy for a welcome spring.
 
Under Announcements Prez. Bill reminded all of the up-coming District Conference June 10 – 12 at the Tarry-A-While Resort in Bridgton, ME.
 
Bill then turned the meeting over to Bob Davis who introduced our guest speaker, Amy McLellan and her presentation on Age Defying Living. Amy is an RN with a lot of experience with seniors and aging whose passion and conviction is that the baby boomer generation, presently becoming seniors, will be healthier and, as a group, will live longer, than recent generation seniors, and will be seeking a more physically active, and mentally stimulating lifestyle then is presently offered by senior and assisted living facilities. She provided some interesting statistics regarding the aging population of Maine, While presently 16% of the population is over 65 that percentage is forecasted to increase to 27% by 2030. Amy is presently spearheading a project to convert the Schofield House building on Union Street in Brunswick, previously used for assisted living into up-scale apartments / assisted living for seniors still living active involved lives. While extolling the advantages of the location, close to the center of Brunswick and within walking distance of restaurants, the college, bike trails and even grocery shopping she relayed the difficulties of complying with the towns zoning and building codes that appear to discourage in town apartment living.
 
An very interesting, thought provoking presentation. Thanks Bob for scheduling it.
 
Submitted:
 
Tom
 
Minutes of March 28
 
As is his custom Prez. Bill led us in the Pledge of Allegiance promptly at 07:15. He then called upon Pastor Ron for the Invocation and Ron responded with a nice invocation calling us all to service for the community and Rotary around the world.
 
The meeting was scheduled as a Club Meeting (no guest speaker) but before getting to Club business Bill called upon Club Sheriff Bill Gillespie for Happy / Sad dollars. Bill started with some stories of the annual meeting of the Maine Citadel Alumni Association held over the weekend. The grad from the oldest class, class of 1932, died over the past year with the grad from the class of 1934 now the oldest. Bill said while they continue to lose members due to age there are recent grads as well and he is presently working to recruit several high school students to attend, including a female sharpshooter for their rifle team. Bill Brillant told of being exhausted from watching his young niece. Bob Davis and Joel Merry had happy dollars for nice Easter’s with family, with Joel getting a start on spring yard work as well. Sports fanatic Ron McLaughlin had kind words for the U. Conn Woman’s Basketball Team. Bob Beaumont also had a nice Easter with family, enjoying his 9 month old niece and watching her try to walk, bypassing the crawling stage. Cliff had some sad dollars for the people of Belgium and recent terrorist attacks. He has some family living in Brussels. Gordon told of going to a great Easter buffet.
 
Under announcements Prez. Bill reminded all of the no-host gathering of Rotarians from local clubs 5 PM Thursday, March 31. 
 
March 28 is the deadline for submitting proposed amendments to the District By-Laws.
 
The District is sponsoring an essay contest fort High School students on the Four Way Test.
 
Saturday, April 2 is the District Assembly at USM – Portland.
 
Cliff Hodges has agreed to be our Club Foundation Chair for next Rotary year.
 
Bob Davis presented the $100 check to Bill Brillant for the Save our Swing Bridge event. Bill serves on that committee as well.
 
Short minutes as I had to leave early to assist with breakfast.
 
Submitted:
 
Tom
Minutes of March 14
 
President Bill Brillant called the meeting to order promptly at 07:15, ringing the bell and leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance. With Reverend Ron missing in action he than called upon Bob Beaumont for the Invocation. With no guest speaker Bill then called upon Club Sheriff Bill Gillespie for Happy / Sad dollars. Bill G started it of with a happy dollar for being a week closer to opening day of the baseball season and commented that the Red Sox, not his team, are not looking good in spring games. Prez. Bill had a happy dollar for a quiet weekend. Bob Davis then started, what turned out to be a running gag for the morning, commenting that Joel Merry has one of the few business, that of running the County jail, that never seems to lack for customers. Joel had to ruefully agree, putting in a sad dollar for a busy weekend with over 50 “guests” for the weekend against an average of 30 or so. Bob G. had a happy dollar for visits with old friends from Bangor, including  having lunch at the seafood restaurant in Damariscotta. Bob Beaumont had a happy dollar for a great sunrise and pleasant weekend weather allowing for a walk along the waterfront. Gordon had no news, just a happy dollar for being able to attend the meeting.
 
Under Announcements incoming club president Bob Beaumont gave a brief summary of attending PETS (incoming Club President Training) outside of Boston over the weekend. The District Assembly, to be held at USM Portland, will be April 2 with the District Conference held in western Maine on June 10, 11 and 12.
 
Prez. Bill reminded all that there will be a no-host social get together for members of all 5 local clubs at Joshua’s Tavern, 123 Maine Street, Brunswick on Thursday evening, March 31. Time 5 to 7 PM. Please plan on coming for some social time with fellow club members as well as with fellow local Rotarians.
 
This was a scheduled Club Meeting with various items of Club business discussed some of which I got involved in discussing and failed to take notes.
 
  1. A motion was made and seconded for the Club to donate $100 toward the Save or Swinging Bridge event. Passed unanimously.
  2. This year is the Club’s 10th anniversary. After some discussion it was agreed we should plan for an event in the fall marking this Club milestone.
  3. Bob Davis gave a financial recap of the Music at the Museum event. Gross receipts, at $23,896.21, were down slightly from last years record high. The Pledge Round receipts, this year for Hunger Prevention, were up totaling $6,133.50. After expenses the amounts for Success by Six and Family Focus will be right at $7,000 and change each.
  4. Kudu’s by all to Bob Davis for chairing the planning committee and for he and Mechanic’s Bank staff for doing much of the work.
  5. Under general discussions for next year it was agreed to continue to have the event at the Maine Maritime Museum, recognizing that decision restricts the capacity to just over 200 but feel that that is the correct size for our event. More focus will be placed on finding items for the Silent Auction that will generate greater interest (read higher) in bidding. We will continue to change beneficiaries of the Pledge round. We will get a Tax Exempt stamp to use on receipts given to Pledge Round participants.
 
A good working meeting. See you tomorrow – assuming no serious snow.
 
Submitted: Tom
Minutes of March 7
 
President Bill Brillant called the meeting to order promptly at 07:15, ringing the bell and leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance. He than called upon Bob Beaumont for the Invocation. While informally welcoming guest speaker Brad Smith, Superintendent of MSAD #75, and acknowledging that Brad Smith is leading the initial planning to build a new High School for the District Bill told Brad, that he, Bill, was part of the first class of students to go Grade 7 – 12 in the present High School building and knows first hand some of the deficiencies of the open plan layout of that building.
 
Prez. Bill then called upon Club Sheriff Bill Gillespie for Happy / Sad dollars. Bill G started it of with a happy dollar for being a week closer to opening day of the baseball season. Both Bob Davis and Joel Merry had happy dollars for having Brad Smith as our guest. Bob Beaumont had a happy dollar for being with grandkids over the weekend. Ron McLaughlin delivered dire predictions for the Red Sox this season. Cliff Hodges had happy dollars for nice weather and being outdoors with his children over the weekend. Fred had happy dollars for several recent Bruins wins.
 
Under Announcements Prez. Bill announced that there will be a no-host social get together of members of all 5 local clubs at Joshua’s Tavern, 123 Maine Street, Brunswick on Thursday evening, March 31. Time 5 to 7 PM. Please plan on coming for some social time with fellow club members as well as with fellow local Rotarians.
 
Bob Davis then formally introduced Brad Smith, Superintendent of MSAD #75 for about three years now, stating how fortunate the community is having Brad as a follow on to the now retired Mike Wilhelm as great superintendent’s.
 
Brad gave a very interesting presentation, starting out by talking about the very good joint Middle School – High School production of the show Annie over the past weekend , commenting not so much on the production qualities but rather on the numbers of students involved in all aspects of the production and how statistically it has been established that involved students are much less likely to engage in inappropriate behavior.  
Brad then went on to describe how the State Department of Ed requires all students / school staff take a self evaluation survey every several years regarding the mental health issues and substance abuse behaviors of grade 5 through 12 and that he had just received the results of the most recent survey. MASD is slightly better than most districts in most areas, below average in a few. Statewide 31% of students are judged to have some mental health issues. Brad then related to process of issuing suspensions and expulsions. Principals may suspend for up to 10 days, suspensions beyond 10 days or expulsions require action by the School Board and he explained that he spends time with any student recommended for a long suspension or expulsion and that invariably there are domestic problems at home or significant mental health issues with those students and that recognizing and treating mental health and home domestic problems are major tasks for school staff, at all schools throughout the District, for students to be successful.
 
Brad gave a very short update on the HS project. Essentially the original configuration of the existing school as roughly square make the building impractical to modernize into traditional classrooms with natural light and ventilation. Parents were also adamant about not having students in portable classrooms during construction of the new school. While the existing HS site has plenty of acreage wetlands and other geographical features restrict the area for siting a new HS building to the existing athletic field and student parking area. That will be the site of he new school with the site of the existing school reconfigured to athletic fields following opening of the new school.
 
Great presentation.
 
Submitted: Tom