Posted by Jerry Goldberg on May 25, 2017
Sunrise Rotary
May 24, 2017
Jerry Gee at your service
Clearly buoyed by the warm, grade school-reminiscent “Good morning, President Damon!”, the very same President Damon opened the meeting with his always engaging This Day in History:
*  1844 -- Samuel Morse sends the message, "What hath God wrought" (a biblical quotation from Numbers 23:23) from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in Washington D.C. to his assistant Alfred Vail in Baltimore, Maryland, to inaugurate the first telegraph line.
*  1883 – The Brooklyn Bridge opened. A total of 1,800 vehicles and 150,300 people crossed what was then the only land passage between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Noted NYC historian Will Shakespeare added that the very first bridge crossers were 20 elephants – performers in the Ringling Bros. circus – to demonstrate to the faithless and fearful that the bridge could handle it.
*  1976 -- In the Judgment of Paris, wine testers rate California wines higher than their French counterparts, challenging the notion of France being the foremost producer of the world's best wines.
Josh introduced Jaques (she pronounces it Jacks) Reilly, in Healthcare Clerical, and Caleb Atwood, in Nuclear Security, both of whom would later be inducted as new members. And while he had the floor Josh announced a clean-up request by an assisted living facility on Black Mountain Road for, well, cleaning up on Saturday, 10 June. This is as much detail as I have, so if you need more – and you doubtless will – ask Josh. Operators are standing by.
Bethany Martin, former Sunrise Student Rotarian, back again.
Student Rotarian report
Sarah covered finals, graduation, fundraising for the California trip – a car wash at the Putney Fire Station.
He (didn’t get the name) talked about the March of Dimes Walk and general getting ready for it all (school, not the M of D) to end.
A stalwart few of the Birthday Singers nevertheless performed a rousing – and very much in close harmony – “Happy Birthday, dear Michelle!” 
Anniversaries celebrated by Josh, for five years in the club, and Marcy, for 14 years total in Rotary (remember, she started out in, what was it, Springfield?).
  1. Sadie:  Scholarship committee meeting on Thursday, 1 June, at her place.
  2. Tristam:  The Coffee Shop is open.
  3. Debra: Ready for the next blood drive. As it had gone well last year (the first for us) the sentiment is to do it again. Proposed dates: First two Wednesdays in September. An informal vote was taken and we decided to have it once again during our regular meeting. Sarge o’ Arms Ed’s quite vocal advocacy for doing so won the day.
  4. KJ: Dining for a Cause – for Rescue. Saturday 10 June – 10a-2p – at the West Townsend station.
  5. Ross: Sarah Donohue (spelling of both up for questioning) of the small West B non-profit Family Garden, asked for some painting help at their facility – indoor and outdoor. A show of hands demonstrated a resounding “Yes!”
  6. Dan 1: Our 4th (or is it 5th?) annual announcement re Touch A Truck for BMH: $780 was donated to the hospital. Oh those burgers and dogs!
  7. Dan 2: The club’s participation in Camp for a Common Cause for Groundworks Collaborative netted $1,400. Yay!
The 19th Hole
Will S: HCRS 10th Annual Golf Tournament“ to benefit the Children, via HCRS’s summer and after-school programs.  Friday, 9 June at the Woodstock Country Club. 11am Registration and silent auction. 11:30 Lunch Buffer. 1pm Shotgun start. 6pm Buffet Dinner and awards. 
Guest from Noontime Rotary Rob Spylla: Brattleboro Rotary Club’s 42nd Annual Charity Golf Tournament to help support Brattleboro area community projects. Proceeds this year will benefit local youth initiatives and the BMH Campaign for the Emergency Department. 11 am registration, 12 shotgun start, 5:30 Dinner, prizes, silent auction and raffle.
Ali: The garden needs you. Responding “yes”: Bethany, Sandy L, Jon S, Debra, Jen, Sadie, Jaques and of course Ali.
Kevin: Sticking a pin in the proceedings, stickler Kev called for fines to be levied on the pinless. Aaargh.
Bowl of Life 
“I found out that you can’t ice-skate in Antarctica.” Toni to Michele to Jon to Marc E and bingo! Way to go, Jon. From Marc:  I went down to Antarctica on a work project. I’d thrown my skates into my bags and on the way down these scientists I was travelling with told me that I wouldn’t be able to skate. I tried and nearly fell on my face. Seems the ice is just too cold to let the skate blades do any melting at all. Your skates turn into like cleats!
$14.  Five o’ diamonds – in the deck.
  1. Bob F: A $53 brag for 53 years of marital bliss (my words!)
  2. Lisa F 1: $1 for Michelle for making me laugh like I hadn’t for years!
  3. Lisa F 2: $1 for Dan for rescuing me with my new set of tires.
  4. Jon: For Marc for reconnecting a couple propane tanks to his home stove, saving Jon “in oh so many ways.”  In other words:  Don’t try this (yourself) at home!
  5. Evie: As ever enthusiastic about a musical event her group performed at. This time a concert of… She’ll tell you if you ask!  Evie’s got it down!!!
  6. Michelle 1: For Lisa for putting together a cruise for M’s folks – to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
  7. Michelle 2: For her daughter who’s just completed her first year at law school. First grade to come in was an A. Booked herself into Trinity College in Dublin for a summer course.  One to watch!
  8. Rob S: For Damon and Ed and their magic tractor and chipper. Something about a golf course and hard work. 
  9. Bethany:  For myself for finishing my freshman year. For BUHS’s pop concert soon at the BUHS auditorium. Didn’t get the date. And for the Memorial Day participation at the celebration on the Common.  (Note from your scribe:  If you’re wondering where the next lump in your throat is coming from, be there at 11am on Mem Day and you’ll find out.) 
  10. Toni: For daughter Kyle for graduating, earning a Bachelor degree in Business.
  11. Tristam J: For son Blake’s enlightening road trip up the California coast, helping him trade in his Boston “box“ for a future of exploration and opportunity. Nice!
  12. Damon 1: For Jaques and Caleb for choosing to become members of the club
  13. Damon 2: For wife Catherine (Katherine, Katharine?) who works at the Maplewood Nursing Home in Westmoreland NH. Seems her board just voted for a $36M bond for a total re-do of the facility.
  14. Damon 3: For sons Aidan and Toren with good luck for this weekend’s championship track tourney.
Our rep to the state -- singular pride and joy, and fellow Rotarian Tristan Toleno -- gave us an update, as promised in January at the beginning of the legislative session.
TT started off by alerting us that Valerie Stuart woulda been there if she coulda, but she couldn’ta because she’s at an economic development conference – and we all know how critical eco dev is to us, don’t we?!
So dear reader:  Rather than try to make sense of my notes here which, truth be told, will put me away and I’m afraid will distort irrevocably TT’s brilliance, I shall give you my jottings down as best deciphered. Think Faulkner. Think Joyce.
TT assistant majority leader of the house. New man in leadership position. 24 new Dem members. TT is “Whip”. 13 committees, not particularly partisan. Government Operation, which TT is on, can get political. New on the Strategic Thinking in Leadership team. Emily Long, rep from Newfane, is Assistant Whip.  1) Veto threat re budget. Teacher/Staff Healthcare is big issue.  2) Pot Bill – will Governor Scott sign or veto.  Vermont alone among states has no binding referenda. There have been only 23 non-binding referenda in Vermont history.  Vermont’s is the first legislature to take a modest step: personal possession of under one ounce and cultivation of two plants per dwelling. Next year. Intervening year – needs 77 votes? The New York Times editorial board urged Gov. Scott NOT to veto the bill. Tax and regulate model. Only 1/3 of Republicans support any bill at all. The original bill is still in…………………..  Gov’s top staff poobah (my word) is influencing Scott re the vote ‘no’ on pot. Gov: One more thing. Wants his way on the teach/staff healthcare issue.  Possible drop in Vermont’s bond rating from AAA to AA. 
Jim V’s question (sorry if I’ve screwed it up, Jim) about why the big deal about the teacher/staff health issue with all the rest that’s wrong with the state’s school system, etc.? TT answered it in ways that defied my note-taking. He was brilliant. By that point I was far from it!
Respectfully submitted,
Jerry Goldberg