Spokane North

We meet In Person
Mondays at 12:00 PM
Bark, A Rescue Pub
905 N Washington St
Spokane, WA 99201
United States of America
We welcome visiting Rotarians and all Community Members interested in Rotary!!!
President Elect
Past President
Rotary Foundation
International Service
Board Member
Board Member
2023-24: Create Hope in the World
RI President-elect R. Gordon R. McInally calls for Rotary to create hope in the world by working for peace and mental wellbeing. He urges members to engage in tough conversations and earn the trust that’s necessary to realize these values.
North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club
Dec.4, 2023
             Dec.11: Noon lunch at the Bark. Yvonne Trudeau, Spokane Parks Foundation.
             Dec.18: Noon lunch at the Bark. Speaker: President Nancy Hanson, quarterly report.  Bring your wrapped gifts!
             Dec. 25: No meeting. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
             Jan. 1: No meeting.  HAPPY NEW YEAR! 
            Lenore Romney shared some heartfelt notes from Holmes Elementary families thanking the club’s 40 for $60 holiday gift program.
Rotary Christmas Party
Hosted by Bill Simer and Renee Rolando
Here are some pictures of the fun times had by all who were able to attend.
Here is the file to tap to see the pics:  C:\Users\hsfin\Dropbox\Rotary\2023-2024\Christmas Party
A ‘Lumen-ary’ visits
     At the Dec. 4 club luncheon, T’yanna Williams, one of our scholar winners from the Lumen High School, talked about her plans.
                 Shauna Edwards, Lumen executive director, joined the luncheon.  Lumen is the downtown high school for teens who have their own children.
                 T’yanna works as a teaching assistant at the YWCA, working with one and two-year olds.  She graduated early from Lumen this winter and has worked at the Y since September.
                 Her son, Lucas, celebrated his second birthday last month.
                 “I like to work with kids.  It’s where I’m most comfortable,” Williams said.
                 T’yanna is enrolled in a two-year community college program for early education and plans to transfer to EWU and major as a teacher in elementary education.
                 “Child care can be really tough,” she said, noting she is expecting a second child in March. “It’s hard to do all the adult things,” she said.
                 In the club’s pilot project with Lumen, T’yanna was funded for $1,500 this year and a similar amount next year.
This “Ronald’ doesn’t clown around
                The Ronald McDonald House is a much bigger deal than just a big meal.
                 In Spokane, since 1987 the program has provided temporary lodging, social and emotional support for families with hospitalized children who need longer-term care.  There are 40 facilities serve nationally since the first McDonald House opened in Philadelphia in 1974.
.                “If you are 40 miles or 40 minutes away you can stay with us,” said Trinette Baer-Kowalski, executive director at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Inland Northwest.
                 The campus facility on West Fifth in Spokane opened with 14 guest rooms, but had expanded in stages now to 56 rooms, Trinette said at the Dec. 4 club meeting.
                 An added eight rooms were added in 2019 at Ironwood Place in Coeur d’Alene, she said.
                  And Seattle has its own RMHC facility and mobile care vans are located in the Yakima Valley and Columbia Basin, she added.
                 The reason for the expansions, Trinette said, “People were sleeping in chairs at the hospitals” as treatments for children continue.
                 Joining at the club luncheon was Kara Bilbo, volunteer and outreach coordinator for RMHC.
                 They were invited by club member Laura Zahn, who was in a class of the Leadership Spokane program with which picked McDonald House to partner.
                 Trinette said the McDonald House of the Inland Northwest operates with a $2.5 million annual budget.  But she said the program is helped by a tremendous amount of volunteer support and donated supplies.
                 Of the large generosity throughout the communities, she said simply, “It’s bananas.”
                 She said the average stay for families is 22 days.  In Seattle, she added, the stay is 63 days.   
                 “The hospitals are struggling, so many of the patients can’t stay overnight,” Trinette said.  “It’s a definite shift in how we operate.  We are really operating a hotel,” she said.
                 When the stays are extended, she said, some of the other youngsters at McDonald House are partnered with Roosevelt Elementary School.
                 “We want them in school.  Kids are safer in school,” she said. 
                 Trinette said there is a large “magic toy room” at the McDonald House where the youngsters “can pick out a toy when they come and when they leave.”
                 And those toys are a lot more meaningful than a Happy Meal.
Lunch with Laura?
                 Club member Laura Zahn has challenged other members to help serve a lunch or dinner at the Ronald McDonald House on West Fifth.
                 She said six volunteers are needed to help with a meal and the house operates seven days a week, so a number of openings are available.
Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink. 
North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club
Nov.27, 2023
            Dec. 4: Noon lunch at the Bark. Speakers: Trinette Baer-Kowalski, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the NW and Lumen School graduate T’yanna Williams.
            Dec. 11: Noon lunch at the Bark. Yvonne Trudeau, Spokane Parks Foundation.
            Dec.18: Noon lunch at the Bark. Speaker: President Nancy Hanson, quarterly report.
            Dec. 25: No meeting. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
            Jan. 1: No meeting. HAPPY NEW YEAR! 
            Bill Simer has the directions and gift-exchange rules for the club’s holiday gathering at his home, Friday, Dec. 1, 6:30-9:30 p.m.  Nectar will cater the event.
            Lenore Romney is the coordinator for Kids Without Borders and volunteers are needed weekly to pick up clothing for various charitable outlets.  Sheila Fritts was first to help out and said Burlington Coats stores have added items to the drive.
            Melinda Keberle needs to know the volunteers for Dec. 15 for tear down of activities at the Spokane Fairgrounds.
            Bill Simer continues to add a small heart decal to the badges of members who have contributed any amount to the club’s charitable fund.  The annual drive runs from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024.  Target is about $15,000.
Happy Buck$:
            John Mailliard was happy that his grandson could help John’s wife to find a holiday gift, even telling her to “stay focus” on the shopping. 
            Nancy Hanson was happy that the WSU ladies volleyball team will host a playoff match for its first time ever.
            Melinda Keberle was mahalo for a five-day trip to Hawaii with Melinda’s mom and son.
Facing a sticky, toxic issue  
            John Hancock and many other West Plains residents have PFAS on their minds.
            They also have serious questions about their drinking waters and the ground water in a wide area that include thousands of homes and businesses which include Fairchild Air Force Base and the Spokane International Airport.
             At the Nov. 27 club luncheon, a packed room of 22 people learned a detailed presentation about PFAS, often called “P-Fas.”
            Some in the club know Hancock as a key administrator who helped the Spokane Symphony’s $33 million rebuilding of the Fox Theater.  Club member Bill Simer was a key volunteer in that effort.  But now Hancock, president of the volunteer West Plains Water Coalition, is focused on the challenging issues of PFAS. (See below for a quick tutorial on these chemicals.)
            Hancock’s presentation was peppered with descriptive phrases.
            His slide showed “a measles map of private wells” which could potentially be polluted, adding “each red dot is a home at-risk.”
            The waxy coverings developed by DuPont and 3M, he said, “looks like the wax paper on the bottom of pizza boxes.”
            The sole cause of concern, Hancock said, is the massive hosing down of aircraft, the tarmac and other items on the base to rid the coatings covering the areas.  The water-soluble substances wash into the sandy soil near the base and the water continues along basalt-base pathways to a wide West Plains area.
            The washing process, done two to three times a month, Hancock said, “looks like shaving cream shot out at 150 feet.”
            Similar contaminants have been found at other air bases, including Whidbey Island in 2015 and near Selah in 2017, Hancock said.   About that time it was noticed that private wells had been contaminated by PFAS.
            Hancock said the main culprit is fluorine, which is highly corrosive and which has no half-life, “a forever chemical” that doesn’t die off.
            Some of Hancock’s map has orange “measle” dots, including his own home, where more testing is needed.
            He said about 100 homes near Fairchild have been given filters to help clean the substances, but wells at least 400 more homes still must be tested.  At his own home, Hancock said, he uses a special Brita filter and a tank for his water.
            Hancock said “DuPont and 3M knew all about the PFAS issues” early on and the air base has been studying the problems for six years now and counting.
            While not all of the washing process water can be captured, he said some water now is filtered into several huge upright tanks of granulated charcoal to mitigate the waste water. 
            And while the EPA and State Ecology ponder the issues, the residents and business-owners of the fast growing West Plains try to find answers and worry about possible cancers, such as testicular and kidney issues. 
           They also worry that groundwater with fluorine could leech all the way to the Spokane River and that the water table in our drier years is depleting the resources.  The clean Spokane city water could not serve the growing West Plains, Hancock said.
           “The scientists know what they are doing; the neighbors don’t,” Hancock said, hoping the answers come sooner rather than later.
Some of the ABCs of PFAS
            The website for the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention offers some information about PFAS.
            Per-and polyfluoralkyl substances, such as PFAS, are a group of chemicals to use fluoropolymer coatings and products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease and water.
            Coatings can be in a variety of products, including clothing, furniture, adhesives, food packaging, non-stick cooking surfaces and electrical wiring, among other items.
            The concern:
                 --PFAS do not break down in the environment.
                 --They can move through soils and contaminate drinking water.
                 --They build up in fish and wildlife.
             Human health from exposure may affect reproduction, thyroid functions, the immune system and injure the liver.
             Since 1999, CDC scientists have measured at least 12 PFAS in blood serum in ages 12 and older, but finding a measurable amount of PFAS does not imply an adverse health effect.
Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink. 
Luncheon Menu at Bark
Spokane North Facebook