Anchorage International Rotary Club
Join us Friday at noon at Coast International Inn

April 2017
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Anchorage International

Peace Through Service

We meet Fridays at 12:00 PM
Coast International Inn
3450 Aviation Avenue
P.O. Box 100516
Anchorage, AK  99510-0516
United States
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We always look forward to a visit by the APD K-9 Unit.  Friday April 28 is the day, please join us.
For almost 40 years, the Anchorage Police Department Canine Unit has been providing protection, expertise, and service to our police department and the community.

The APD Canine (K-9) Unit was created in the wake of Officer John Flora's death in 1975, when he was shot and killed in the line of duty while investigating a burglary.  Following his death, Officer Flora's widow created a memorial fund in his name with the expressed purpose of raising money to start a canine unit for APD. Since then, with the invaluable help of sponsorships and funding obtained through the Dollars for Dogs program, our Canine Unit has established a distinguished history of thwarting criminal activity, saving lives, catching suspects, and serving our community.
Today, this elite unit of 7 dog-handler teams is led by APD Sergeant Jason Schmidt.
The Anchorage International Rotary Club Adopt-A-Road Community Service Project will kick off this year on Saturday, April 29th for the first of three litter clean-up events!
We need your help! We need a minimum of 15-20 people to help and everyone is welcome. Rotarians, Family, Friends, Kids, Prospective Rotarians!
We will meet at the Balto Seppala Park at 3360 Wisconsin Street from 10 AM to 1 PM and divide groups up to pick up litter along Wisconsin from West Northern Lights Blvd to Spenard Road. Map 
Please sign-up online at
Thank you so much to the UAA Debate Team for joining us again and presenting us with another great debate and topic.
Steve Johnson leads the UAA Debate Team and he considers them more than a team, they are a full-fledged Debate program. Beyond their own debate schedule, the program is active in hosting middle school and high school presentations and events around the state of Alaska. They help out with the State Middle School championship and also do presentation at the McLaughlin Youth Center.
The team has just returned from the National University Debate Championships where they competed against 60+ other universities for 2 days of 8 preliminary rounds, and three of UAA’s Debate teams made it into the final top 32 team round on the third day. Steve is very proud of them to be up there with the top schools in the country.
For our meeting the debate topic was a recent controversial painting by one of UAA’s art professors, Thomas Chung, on display in the UAA Kimura Gallery that has gained some national attention through social media. The premise presented was “Should the painting be removed because of the controversial content it displays”?  The four debate students, John Macy and Demry Mebane on the pro (remove painting) side and Robert Hockema and Cara Pierson on con (keep on display) side, all did a great job and presented excellent points that we all agreed with. It was not easy when we were asked at the end to indicate which side was more persuasive.
The UAA Debate Team being one of our favorite presenters we wanted to show them our continued support and President Bruce presented Steve Johnson with a check from our club.


Many happenings and happy $


Al Biss stepped in as SSgt at Arms for today’s meeting and made the rounds. PP Kevin Fimon was happy to have his wife Karen as his guest and to once again have survived tax season.President Bruce mentioned how quiet todays group was, so they must be very serious about something. Which lead Toni Holmes to respond that she was very happy to be “seriously” retired.



Tim Trueblood called attention to next week’s Parent University at North Star Elementary School and invited anyone who would like to join and help out. This is the 10th year of providing computers through this event and the 400th machine will be given away next week. Tim also gave a shout out to the Dell Computer company for providing 24 beautiful refurbished monitors to his project because it was more cost effective for Dell to donate them to the project than to send them back to the factory.

President Elect-Elect Debra Mason will miss the 5010 Rotary District Conference in Sitka next week because she is heading for a competition with her singing quartet. We wish her all the best.



Tim Ellis reminded us of the Adopt-A-Road cleanup on Saturday April 29th on Wisconsin Street. Everyone will meetup at the Seppela Park. Signup is on-line and more information is in our weekly news letter.


We were very happy to see Penny May back in Alaska and attending our meeting. She is happy to be back and adjusting to life without Chuck. She just knows that there is something very special in her future; she just doesn’t quite know what it is yet.


Angie Rush announced that the Clair House dinner will be provided by our club Friday afternoon and gave an appreciative thank you out to Kevin Fimon for helping her out with her taxes while her husband is away.


Michael Duxbury is back from traveling for both business and pleasure which included some Maple syrup in the northeast corner of the US.


All of Karl Schroeder's “Girls” (his bees) will be arriving on Saturday and he was very happy at the prospect.




Boyd Morgenthaler was happy to announce that 10 - $1500 scholarships were presented to deserving candidates from the King Courier Center this past week from the Anchorage International Rotary Club Memorial Scholarship committee. Plus the Anchorage School District has awarded our club with the Scholarship Provider Award.










Bob Huston announced that he had registration/sponsorship forms for this year’s 16th Annual Land of the Midnight Putters Golf Tournament, which will take place on Friday June 23rd, 2017.





Thank you to Ted Trueblood for introducing the 2017 Report Card for Alaska's Infrastructure. The Alaska Section for the American Society of Civil Engineers completed this important project to ensure Alaska's leaders have the best information about the conditions of Alaska's infrastructure. Alaska received an overall grade of C-.

The three presenters for the Alaska Infrastructure report included Dan Nichols, in addition to Greg Kinney and Tor Anderzen. We learned that the National Grade for the USA overall is a D+ in a report recently released for 2017, updated every 4 years. The biggest highlight of the Alaska report came from Dan in pointing out the big difference in water and wastewater systems for urban versus rural Alaska. Tor enlightened us on high hazard potential of dams and the need for emergency action plans for those dams that could have catastrophic consequences if they fail.


Thank you to Greg, Tor, and Dan for presenting on Alaska's Infrastructure report card. We heard about our bridges, dams, airports, aviation, marine highways, and water/wastewater. We didn't get all the way through the 9 categories of the report due to time, but they encouraged us to visit for more information.



Thank you to Dr Betsy Baker for her excellent slide show and presentation on studying Alaska's amazing ocean spaces.



Only 4 months on the job as ED of the North Pacific Research Board, she took us on a condensed journey of marine science and how it impacts our lives. Previously, Betsy taught ocean law at universities, so she is very excited to be involved with the actual biological marine science.


Dr. Baker was the attorney on board the Coast Guard Cutter Healy as it mapped the Arctic Ocean floor. Only 8% of the Arctic Ocean floor is mapped, which impacts the treaty over the USA continental rights for exploring resources. If you missed the meeting, you missed an awesome slide show!




April AI Rotarian of the Month


The President Bruce Erickson’s committee of one, for the Anchorage International Rotary Club, selected member Tim Trueblood for the Rotarian of the Month of April.
A well-deserved recognition it is considering that Tim spends 250 hours per year on the North Star Elementary School Computer Program. With the 25 computers due to be donated at the end of April, that will put the total over 400 computer systems that Tim and his helpers have put together and distributed to Parents at North Star Elementary.
Tim's loot included the Rotary insulated tote bag, 4-way coin, Kona coffee, and a Barnes & Noble gift card. Thank you Tim for all you do and being a wonderful Rotarian!



WhoAmI - Phil Livingston



The "Who Am I" speaker for last Friday's regular meeting of AI Rotary was Phil Livingston.  A Past District Governor, we weren't sure how he was going to sum up his 80 years in 3 minutes. 
Phil did great! Born in Pittsburgh, graduated Dartmouth, joined the Marine Corp. Married his wife Diane. Pilot for 10 years with the Marines.  Moved to Alaska, with all 6 kids after visiting and hauling fish for a summer, and then his wife being offered a job. 
Phil was the 1997 Charter President of the Girdwood Club, after years of membership in the Anchorage South club.  He was District Governor in 2000-2001 when Russia was still part of our District.  Phil speaks highly of Rotary Fellowships he has enjoyed over the years, including the Skiing Rotarians and the Pilot Fellowship.  He and Diane now have 9 grandkids and have traveled the world with Rotary.




Travel goodies auctioned off by Bob Huston

Bob Huston was traveling and detoured through Hawaii recently. Not quite sure how Hawaii is a "detour", but AI Rotary is more than happy to bid high on the awesome bag of goodies he brought back.



Cathie Straub was the very happy winner of the auction, taking home Lavaman Red beer, which Bob bought to celebrate Janine Huston's participation in the Lavaman race. Lots of other Hawaiian goodies in the bag! Thank you Bob for helping the club raise money.





Thank you to Carol Gore for her presentation on Cook Inlet Housing Authority (CIHA)!
CIHA was created over 40 years ago by the State of Alaska and is not part of CIRI, although Carol found her way to CIHA through CIRI.
Carol took us through a tour of projects all over the city, including Eagle River.  She talked about housing done right.  CIHA is not just about senior housing or housing for Native Alaskans.  CIHA is about embracing community and serving everyone. 
Thank you Carol for an excellent presentation and slide show.

Happy and Sad $
Boyd Morgenthaler reported that the board for the Memorial Scholarship fund worked diligently the past couple of week in reviewing applications from 24 candidates and interviewing and selecting the top 10 for awarding scholarships to this year.
President Elect Ben Schulman just returned from PETS, or the Rotary President Elect training.  He didn't seem overwhelmed.  Or perhaps he was still dazed by the volume of information he learned!
John Spalding reported the sad news that the Alaska State Troopers lost another K-9 in the line of duty last weekend and Dollars for Dogs will try to raise funds for another dog to be purchased for the State Troopers.
Tim Trueblood reminded us that Parent University will be held at North Star Elementary School on the evening of April 27th and May 11th.
April 1 was no Fools Day for the Spenard Health Fair.  There were 116 customers served between 8 AM and 12 PM at Willow Crest Elementary School. 
Thanks to Tim Ellis, Tim Trueblood, Ted Trueblood, Jay Tung, Joe Tung, Phil Livingston, Becky Erickson and Bruce Erickson.  The Setup, Parking Assistance and Tear Down was a perfect prescription. 
The Anchorage International Rotary club was also the Major Financial Sponsor of this event.  Kudos !!
Thank you to ONE Volunteers Sue Stone and Kristin Amstrup for educating us about the ONE Campaign.
The primary focus of the campaign is the fight against extreme poverty. Where you are born shouldn't dictate whether you live or die.
ONE was co-founded by Bono, focusing on advocacy and campaigning to ensure government funds flow to those programs making the biggest difference in lives.
The name One comes from the campaign to pledge 1% of the federal budget to fight poverty with the goal to eliminate poverty by 2030. The campaign is funded primarily by philanthropists such as the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. ONE has volunteers in every state.

Surprise Visit by Mayor Berkowitz
Look who came to lunch?! Mayor Ethan Berkowitz joined us at our regular Friday meeting last week at our not-regular meeting place at the Aviation Museum.
The Mayor presented a brief slide show on the bonds being presented on the upcoming municipal election and he also took questions from the audience. We learned that the foot patrols that were launched last year by the APD have had an immediate impact. Don't forget to vote on April 4, 2017. 

Happy Retirement Toni Holmes!
Congratulations to Toni Holmes on her upcoming retirement!
It was no secret how happy she was about the announcement at last Friday's regular meeting of AI Rotary Club.
Anchorage International Rotary wishes Toni much success at retiring.

Good Scotch and Cigars
Dick Boyson generously offered up a fine 12 year old bottle of Scotch along with two Premium (Bourbon Soaked) Cigars to the highest bidder, with the $ going to Polio Plus.
Bob Huston, also very generous, was the high bidder. Thank you both!
Thank you to Paul Bowers, the manager of Merrill Field, for updating us on what is happening at Anchorage's oldest air field.
8% of registered aircraft in the state of Alaska reside at Merrill Field Airport (MRI). We learned that aircraft painting is big business and there are many new hangars being built at Merrill Field. The leasehold and safety improvements are impressive for a mature airport. A Municipality Enterprise, Merrill Field does not rely on Muni or State funding.
The airfield is built on top of a reclaimed landfill and as manager, Paul gets to deal with everything from lease holdings and sink holes, to noise complaints from the surrounding residential neighborhoods and security improvements to prevent vandalism. MRI is the only airport in the nation that has dedicated taxiway access to the helipad at the adjacent regional hospital.
Saint Patrick's Day Spirit
Everyone was in the Saint Patrick's Day Spirit at last Friday's meeting, but nobody could top the toppers worn by President Bruce Erickson and Past President Greg Wakefield. May the luck of the Irish be with you!
Heather Tarrant receives her Blue badge!
Congratulations to Heather Tarrant for swapping her red badge for a blue badge. Baby Emily, being held by dad Jonathan, was not so happy about it, crying the entire time, while Heather was getting her new blue badge.
More computers for North Star Elementary School Parents
Tim Trueblood was happy to announce that more computer systems are ready for North Star Elementary School parents and a Parent University will be held at 6 pm on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at the school. All club members are welcome to attend and help out.
Another Parent University will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2017. Please contact Tim Trueblood if you can help out.
Thank you to Bryant Skinner for the wonderful presentation on Alaska CARES, a philanthropy that heals. They see over 900 child evaluations for abuse per year. 70% are related to the sexual abuse of a child and 70% of those are under the age of 12.
The concept of providing a safe environment with all the caregivers in one location to deal with all of the issues related to child maltreatment is more effective and attuned to the needs of the child.
What can we do to help? Bryant says the power of open conversation helps to shine a light on the problem that no one wants to talk about.
Counting the Meetings

President Bruce counts every meeting when he opens the Friday meeting of AI Rotary. As he counts down his year, check out the many expressions of President Bruce.




Happy Birthday Janine Becka!



Happy Birthday to Janine Becka! Our favorite Administrative Executive ever (okay- our only Admin Exec ever). We about ruined her birthday by singing to her last Friday - good thing we aren't known as the singing club. But the gesture was from the heart as we truly wish her the happiest of birthdays.




Meet our 2017-18 Outbound Exchange Student!


Ellen Wallace and her mom joined us as guest of our YEO, Chera Boom at last week's meeting. President Bruce "interviewed" Ellen and presented her with an AIR Backpack along with a coin listing the Rotary 4-way test.



Ellen is a freshman at Chugiak High School. She will be headed to Belgium in August and will be a wonderful Ambassador for our country and our club next year.



Thank you to the North Star Elementary School "Singing Stars" Choir and their music teacher Anna Bondarenko for another wonderful performance at our club meeting.
A true delight, including singing "We are the World"! See our club Facebook page for the video.
First Friday and Rotarian"s" of the Month!
President Bruce doubled down for the March Rotarian of the month award.

Super Volunteer Anchorage International Rotarians Jan Ingram and Celeste Cohen were awarded the coveted March Rotarians of the Month for all that they do and their hard work for the amazing Rotary Foundation Auction, raising over $20,000. Yay for Jan and Celeste!
Sadly we report that Chuck May passed away this week.  Charles ‘Chuck’ May was a 25 year member of Anchorage International Rotary Club and served as club President during the 1996-97 Rotary year.  Chuck started as a member of Russian Jack Rotary and joined our club in 1991, sponsored by Trish Hardy.  Chuck was a great Rotarian, Family Man and an all-around Great Guy. 
Our deepest sympathies go out to his family, our fellow member Penny May and their 2 sons Charles and Patrick.  Chuck and Penny were married 53 years and were spending the spring winter months in Arizona.
Thank you to our main speaker for the meeting, Jeremy Price, with the Americans for Prosperity Alaska chapter. Jeremy helped form the Alaska Chapter about three years ago and it is one of 35 state chapters around the nation.
The primary goal of the Alaska Chapter is to help accomplish what is “Right for Alaskans”. Their current focus is the economic fiscal gap facing Alaska and finding a realistic workable solution to the states spending cap.
There is no perfect solution, but they are looking at models that have been successful in other communities, such as TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) in Colorado and the Municipality of Anchorage Tax Cap which is based on all taxes collected the previous year and then adjusted for inflation.

Presentation of Vocational Service Award
Jeff Promish presented the Anchorage International Vocational Service Award to long time member Ray Ellis. Congratulations Ray and Thank You for all you do!
Thank you to Captain Andrew Merrill of the Alaska State Troopers for a great presentation on the Village Public Safety Officer, or VPSO, program.
The VPSO program was started in 1979. Much change has happened in the program, especially in the last 5 years when the legislature approved arming the Officers.
We learned that the majority of crimes in the villages are not felonies, but assaults. 80 to 90% involve drugs or alcohol. 10 grantees, mostly regional native corporation non-profits, manage the 78 VPSO positions.
One of our newest members, Michael Duxbury, also with the Alaska State Troopers, arranged the program for us.
Who Am I - Al Biss
If you missed last Friday's AIR meeting, then you missed Past President (2008-2009) Al Biss playing the Who Am I game.
We learned that Al was born here in Anchorage and raised in the valley. His mother's family moved to Alaska in the 1930s!
Al graduated from Willamette University in Oregon, where he met his wife Shelley, who he calls the better half (yep), they married in 2000. When he moved back to Anchorage, he took MBA classes at UAA and worked a few jobs before opening an Edward Jones office in 1998 and he has been there ever since.
They have two children, Annika is 9 and Dave is 6. They added Morgan, 15, to their family after a relative died and she needed a home. Al was sponsored in 1999 by Dave Hillmeyer. Thank you Dave, for this fabulous addition to our club.
Thank you Jan Ingram and Celeste Cohen!
In appreciation for all of their hard work for a very successful 2017 Foundation Auction, Jan and Celeste were each awarded 1000 Paul Harris points.
Club Officers for 2017-2018
Officers for Anchorage International Rotary Club officer positions for Rotary year 2017-18 where once again presented to the membership and unanimously approved:
President Elect (President 2018-19) - Debra Mason
Secretary - Angela Rush
Treasurer - Oziel Villasenor
Congratulations and Thank You for stepping up!
Those "Share the Love" baskets that were auctioned off at the AI Rotary Foundation Auction are a huge hit with non-profits around town.
Nicole Decker of the Hope Center (upper left - many members will remember them by their former name - Downtown Soup Kitchen) was thrilled with the "Share the Love" basket of 100 sticks of deodorant. The deodorant will be distributed through their Shower House program. Thanks to Jeanette Wakefield for sponsoring this basket!
Celeste Cohen also delivered a basket of gloves, that was again sponsored by Jeanette Wakefield, to Jessica Symons with Lutheran Social Services (upper right) as she accepts 100 pairs of gloves.
Thank you to Cheryl Bowers for sponsoring another basket of gloves that was delivered to Camille Davis of Covenant House (bottom). The gloves will be shared with homeless teens in Anchorage.
What an event!
Congratulations to Celeste and Jan for a very successful Rotary Foundation Auction! The AI Rotary Club Foundation fundraiser was extremely well attended last Friday. All that hard work by the AI Rotary Foundation co-chairs, Celeste Cohen and Jan Ingram, paid off.
Funds raised at the 2017 AIRC Auction benefitting the Rotary International Foundation stands at $19,865—that’s right-- just short of $20 thousand dollars!!
Thank you to all the volunteers that came Thursday evening to help set up all the auction items, bid sheets and made sure everything looked perfect. The Coast Inn and it's staff outdid themselves with setting up the festive atmosphere.
With 150+ items offered, and 69 luncheon attendees, folks were bidding high and bidding often! Some new features at this year’s auction such as …the wine pull, a Super Silent section, and Share the Love baskets… helped nudge up the numbers too!   
Thank you Angie Rush for helping set up and run the wine pull, a new event this year that was very successful. A great way to try a new surprise wine and contribute to a great cause!
All the beautiful flower centerpieces on the tables were created and donated by Zulie Mason and were also auctioned off and taken home by fortunate bidders. Thank you Trygve Erickson and Rick Goodfellow (Anchorage East Rotary Club) who teamed up as live auctioneers, with Jan Ingram stepping in to show off the live auction items.
What a great outcome to an event celebrating the Foundation’s “100 years of doing good in the world!”  Thanks to everyone for contributing to the energy, generosity, and fun of this year’s Foundation Auction making it such a success!
Thank you Mike Mason of FNBA for a wonderful presentation on ways we can protect ourselves from Cyber Crime.

Mike was introduced by his mom, Debra Mason, who was nominated and voted in as Anchorage International Rotary Clubs President for the 2018-19 term during the meeting. Our new President Elect-Elect. Congratulations Debra, you'll do a great job!

Angie Rush was awarded the coveted "Rotarian of the Month" for February for our club. Thank you Angie for everything you do for our club!
No meeting would be complete without the "back table". Thank you for filling in Nina Mann and Trygve Erickson.

More wine, baskets and special items arrived for the Foundation Auction. We only need 8 more bottles to meet our goal for the event.
Everyone is invited to help setup for the Foundation Auction event on Thursday (2/9/2017) evening starting at 6 pm. Light snacks will be provided.
Thank you to Jay Her, who led us through a very informative and entertaining presentation about hypnosis, both for entertainment and for healing.
Hypnosis and meditation have their roots in ancient India, and help ease you into a state of calm. The hypnotist uses an “induction routine” to prepare their subject into a more relaxed state where the hypothalamus (back of the brain) becomes more active and the rest of the brain more dormant and the subject is able to focusing better on instructions and followings directions better.
Jay led all in attendance through a gentle refocusing exercise that filled us with positive energy, and another fun exercise that showed the power of energy we can envision just between our fingers.
Jay does Stage Hypnosis for entertainment and also works with the FABLE Center in Anchorage with hypnotherapy to help people succeed in overcoming issues in their lives.
We had many questions from the audience, particularly if someone can be forced to do something against their will under hypnosis. Jay reassured us that generally not, unless subconsciously we really did want to do it. Andy Varner wanted to know if hypnosis might work as sleep therapy for toddlers and Jay suggested that maybe yoga might work there.
President Bruce is back from Hawaii
President Bruce is back from Hawaii, running last Friday's meeting sporting a Hawaiian shirt under his jacket. He paid in his happy bucks to thank everyone for covering for him while he soaked up the sun. Aloha President Bruce!
Congratulations to member Zulie Mason, who was awarded her Paul Harris +4 level for her contributions to Rotary Foundation.
AI Rotary Foundation co-chair, Celeste Cohen, presented Zulie with her pin.
WhoAmI Presentation

Leverette (Hoov) Hoover was last Friday’s candidate for the WhoAmI presentation and very enthusiastically shared his lives story with us.



Leverette was born and grew up in Michigan where his dad worked for GM for 20 years and later for a meatpacking company for just as long, and his mom worked for GE for 45 years. His parents just celebrated 65 years together.


He met his wife Jackie just down the street from where he grew up and they have been together for 25 years and have two sons and a daughter.


Leverette attended Western Michigan University and was planning to get a degree in Aviation, but it turned out that he excelled in “beer” and sales thereof. He decided to join the Air Force and after applying to missile defense wound up in Air Traffic Control and Radar Maintenance in Biloxi, Mississippi at Keesler AFB.


While in the Air Force he was awarded a coveted remote assignment to Shemya Air Force base on the Aleutian chain in Alaska. While working there he brought his family to Anchorage and also worked for Reeve Aleutian Airlines.


Leverette is still in the Guard and Reserve, is the honorary commander of the 176th Guard Wing and today is the Alaska general manager for Siemens. Siemens would like him to take on more responsibility and move south, but he has told them that he will not move while his youngest is still in school, so he should be able to continue to attend our meetings for another five years, between business trips that is.

Happy $

Nina Mann showed off a stack of thank you letters from Muldoon Elementary 3rd graders for the dictionaries they received.


Jeff Promish announced that he will be changing companies.


Angie Rush thanked everyone for all the bottles of wine that were brought in for the foundation auction, and put a dollar into the hat for each bottle - $39! The offer stands again for next week, so bring in those bottles!


Bob Huston announced that he will be a grandpa in August and proudly showed of a sonogram that showed all fingers and toes were present.


Celeste Cohen showed off the “pay it forward basket” for the foundation auction that includes all kinds of goodies, including 102 pairs of socks. Make sure to get your paperwork for your donation in to her.


Andy Varner is back from trip to California; apparently traveling with four kids is exhausting.


Past President Greg O’Keefe announced that both he and his wife will be retiring in September and will move down to Oregon to their beach house. We will definitely miss him!


Thank you to Chidi Igbokwe for bringing us our outstanding speaker last Friday: Damian Bilbao, VP of Commercial Ventures for BP.
The topic was Alaska LNG, which Damian did an excellent job summarizing in the 25 minutes allotted.
He explained that an LNG project needs to have a strong foundation in the Alaska oil business, so he first talked about the 40th anniversary this year for TAP (Trans Alaska Pipeline) and Prudhoe Bay. He explained why BP supports the State lead on this project, but when questioned, noted that TRUST is one of the biggest roadblocks to getting this project going.
With Asia being the biggest market for LNG, did you know that Alaska has one of the few LNG export licenses thanks to our awesome Congressional delegation?!
Bill Pearson back to the podium

President Bruce was MIA for yet another meeting, hope he isn't getting sunburned in Hawaii while we trek long distances through deep snow to make it to our meeting.



Thank you to Past President Bill Pearson for filling in just like old times. Turns out that Nelson Defendorf joined Rotary 38 years ago, the same year Bill was born!


Happy Bucks $


AI Rotary club is a very happy club and we never have a shortage of happy bucks.



John Spalding announced the "anniversary" of his heart attack 37 years ago.


Mike Stinebaugh had brag bucks for his lovely bride, Charlotte Fox, who is receiving two recognitions: Meritorious Service Award from UAA and Lifetime Achievement Award from Governor Walker.


Frequent visitor from Hillside Rotary, Jules Tileston, announced the Moose Madness fundraiser.


"Party Bob" Huston turns 65 on the weekend and had a whole table of guests, including friends from Amsterdam, in town to celebrate. Happy Birthday Bob (so glad we didn't have to sing)!


Ellen Wallace is a Freshman at Chugiak Senior High School.  She loves to run, ski, do Irish dancing, and she plays percussion in the Chugiak Band.  Ellen is representing Anchorage International as our ambassador to Belgium!  And she is SO excited!  Ellen and her mother Christa will be joining us for our March 10th meeting to say hello, then she’ll be back over the summer as she gets ready for her journey. 
Pictures from last weekends Youth Exchange Winter Orientation, clockwise from upper left: Ellen and Chera; Ellen with her host country flag of Belgium. Ellen and Tom with their rubber chickens, they were selected by the Rebounds as the outstanding Inbound and Outbound students for the weekend. And guess what? Tom is from Belgium! He had great advice and information for Ellen. Ellen and Cassidy as Queens of Hokia in the cultural exchange game, they are demonstrating customs of the country of Hokia for the people of Helotia.  Anchorage and Eagle River Inbounds, Outbounds, and YEO's.
Thank you Paula Bradison and Glen Klinkhart for sharing with us about Victims For Justice (VFJ).
Thanks to the work of VFJ, Alaska was the first state in the union to modify our state constitution to allow victims rights in the 1980s. Other states have since followed.  Founded by two sisters whose parents were murdered in Anchorage, VFJ is a second responder and does not reach out to victims directly, but is free and is there to anyone that needs help negotiating the system once affected by violent crime.
VFJ also maintains the Homicide Victims Memorial, part of Hostetler Park at 3rd and L Street across from the Captain Cook statue. The park and the memorial are in need of revitalization and this is one of their current focuses, beyond helping victims directly. VFJ also partners with the Eva Program which helps victims of violent crimes and survivors of abuse regain their self-confidence and independence.
President Elect Ben Schulman leads his first meeting
While President Bruce was in Hawaii soaking up the sun last week, we enjoyed a great meeting lead by President Elect Ben Schulman. Great job Ben!
Visitors from Bismarck, North Dakota
Really, in January in Alaska? The Butchers both spoke about their clubs. They belong to different clubs in Bismarck, North Dakota. It was warmer here than there, so they were thrilled to be visiting their daughter and grandchildren here. We were thrilled to have them visit us and exchange flags.

We are back in! Thanks to Chera Boom stepping up as our Youth Exchange officer, AIR is sponsoring Ellen Wallace from Eagle River as our 2017-2018 Outbound Exchange student!


Chera and Ellen will attend the YE Winter Orientation this weekend at the Lakefront Hotel, and that's when Ellen will learn where she is going! Stay tuned for more details!


We are looking for potential host families! Please contact Chera if you are interested or have a recommendation. The commitment is 3-4 months during the 2017-2018 school year.


Help make that small change in the world by hosting a student from another country!


Penny May sounded the opening bell for our meeting, her last with us until she returns from Arizona in the spring.
Thank you Julius Brecht, for a very in-depth presentation on “Space, Gravity and General Relativity” in half an hour. 
Julius covered everything from pre-Newton physics, gravity from Aristotle and Galileo’s perspective; Newton’s theory of gravitation quantified in mathematics to Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity and the connection to space and gravity waves and how they have actually been able to measure them at LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) between Hanford, WA and Livingston, LA (3000 km apart in the US).
All this gives us evidence of light bending and the slowing of time by gravity. Many of the visual evidence is made possible by the Hubble space telescope.
Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, after 102 years continues to describe the quirky influence of gravity on the wonders of the Universe.
Rotarian of the month for January: Bob Huston with so many contributions to our club, they are difficult to list without missing some. Bob received the customary rotary coin with the 4-way test, the rotary cooler bag and several other goodies including a Kaladies coffee card.
This weeks "WhoAmI"/classification talk by Heather Tarrant, who grew up in Michigan and after high school spend a year and a half studying abroad in Germany. Heather returned to the US to attend college and meet her husband Jonathan. She earned degrees in K-12 education and German and was offered a job at Rilke German immersion school here in Anchorage.
Rilke Schule is one of only a dozen German immersion schools across the US. Heather has been teaching at Rilke Schule for the past 7 years, everything from 1st to 7th grade and is currently teaching second graders. Her daughter Emma was also in attendance at the meeting to cheer her on.
Art Clark was the happy winner of Football Mania and proudly showed off his $400 check!
Here are some of your fellow Rotarians as they were celebrating ushering in the New Year at the Captain Cook Hotel ballroom.
Our hosts PP Jan Ingram and Rick Goodfellow, Chidi Igbokwe and friend, Dodie Pruessner and husband Robin, and PP Kevin Fimon and wife Karen.
Everyone had a great time and it was wonderful to see how many in Anchorage like to get out and dance!
From the Anchorage International Rotary Club!
Hope to see everyone for our first meeting of 2017 on January 6th.
Bird TLC
May 05, 2017
Bird Rescue
Dustin Morris
May 19, 2017
American Heart / Stroke Assoc.
No Meeting Today
May 26, 2017
Enjoy Memorial Day
Jim Mackenzie - NeighborWorks Alaska
Jun 02, 2017
Paint the Town
David Ramseur - Author
Jun 16, 2017
Alaska Russia Relations
Upcoming Events
Five years since its debut, Rotary Club Central is getting a big upgrade
When we introduced Rotary Club Central in 2012, it revolutionized goal tracking and planning for clubs and districts — no more filling out paper club-planning forms or passing along boxes of historical club information every time a new leader took office. Rotary Club Central offered clubs and districts a quantifiable way to begin measuring local and global impact, specifically membership initiatives, service activities, and Rotary Foundation giving. But as with any technological advancement, in a few short years, Rotary Club Central began to show its age, and Rotarians took notice. They...
Rotary International Board adopts new zone structure
At its January 2017 meeting, the Rotary International Board of Directors adopted a new zone structure for Rotary clubs. Rotary bylaws require the Board to complete a comprehensive review of the 34 Rotary zones no less often than every eight years to ensure that each zone has an approximately equal number of Rotarians. The Board’s previous review of the zones occurred in 2008. The Board earlier approved the creation of three regional workgroups to develop rezoning proposals for Asia, Europe/Africa, and the Americas. These workgroups comprised one representative (either a current director,...
Centennial celebration honors 20 noteworthy global grant projects
Through The Rotary Foundation, Rotary members have supported thousands of projects that promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, save mothers and children, support education, and grow local economies. We’ve also led the fight to eradicate polio worldwide. As part of our celebration of the Foundation’s centennial, we’re honoring 20 global grant projects with special recognition. Learn more about the projects using our interactive map.
Convention: Southern hospitality
The Atlanta Host Organization Committee is offering some good old-fashioned Southern hospitality at the Rotary International Convention from 10 to 14 June. It has planned a wide range of activities featuring everything from good food and music to inspiring tours of local landmarks. If it’s your first convention, these events are chances to meet fellow Rotarians from around the world, and if you’re an experienced convention goer, you can catch up with old friends. Hall of Fame baseball player Hank Aaron will host Rotarians for a “Strike Out Polio” night at the new SunTrust Park, where you’ll...
Member spotlight: The power of the press
When Teguest Yilma helped found the Rotary Club of Addis Ababa Entoto in 2002, she thought polio had already been eradicated from most of the world. But while Ethiopia had been free of the disease, Yilma was shocked to learn that new cases had started cropping up in surrounding countries such as Somalia. “I was thinking, it’s not possible, we can’t be free if the countries around us are not free,” she says. Yilma, the managing editor of Capital, Ethiopia’s largest English weekly newspaper, has brought a journalist’s skills to the fight against polio. She became vice chair of the Ethiopia...