Posted by Charles Rehberg on Sep 25, 2017
North Notes
Spokane North Rotary Club Bulletin
September 25, 2017
District governor visits Oct. 2
                      Rotary District 5080 Gov. Jerri Anderson, of Sandpoint, makes her annual club trip Monday, Oct. 2.
                      Gov. Anderson will discuss issues with Spokane-North officers and directors at 11 a.m. then will talk with members and guests at the noon luncheon.
                      One key topic for the district leader is how to grow membership.  Another issue is finding a president-elect for the board.
New club site approved
                      At the Sept. 20, club officers and directors unanimously approved moving next year to the Nectar Wine and Beer shop at 1331 W. Summit Parkway in Kendall Yards. 
                     President Chad Haverkamp said the first new luncheon at Nectar will be Jan. 8.  The move was required when owners of The Lincoln Center closed meeting space to convert the facility to a church.  The original building, nearly 100 years ago, also was a church.
                    The Nectar shop in Kendall Yards opened in spring of 2015 with owner Josh White.  Regular hours start at 2 p.m., so the store will be closed to others for luncheons with Spokane-North members.  Meals, targeted at about $15, will be provided by Nectar, which also has a downtown winery at 120 N. Stevens.
                    Later this fall, Haverkamp said, members will have a social at Nectar to tour the site. 
Mentors needed for Holmes students
                   While fund-raising for various projects at Holmes Elementary is important, another important element is the human touch.
                   Long-time Holmes mentor Lenore Romney said the experience “is incredibly satisfying.”
                   Romney, the board treasurer and a two-time past club president, has been a mentor for 10 years.  She and other members talked about how important mentors are to the students.
                   Sandy Fink, a past president who has volunteered for several years at Holmes, said “the students wouldn’t miss” a weekly session with the mentors.
                   Board Secretary Melissa Keberle said research shows an impact even four and five years later can point to a person like a mentor to see someone other than a parent who can make a big difference in a student.
                   Romney said school administrators and teachers match mentors with students.  The mentors typically meet one hour a week, usually in mid-day breaks.
                   The key, she said, is to “be there consistently.”   Even “snowbird” folks can participate, joining with “mentor buddies” who can fill in during time off, she said.
                   Romney said “now is the time to match” mentors with students in the next few weeks to set brief credit checks and set opportunities for the school year.
          Holiday plans: The Christmas theme for club members this year is “45 for 45.”
                    Needy students and their families at Holmes Elementary will be distributed among 45 gift tags, with a suggested price of $45 each. 
                    Board President Chad Haverkamp said the increase target from last year’s holiday “40 for $40” plan was expanded because “all the tags were taken” then and the lower rate was too limiting for many members who wanted to provide both a toy and a needed item of clothing.
Challenges abound in the Ukraine
          “Tourist warnings” are nothing new for the Ukraine.
          Those bulletins have been around most of the time since the Mongols invaded in the 1400s in this land north of the Black Sea in eastern Europe.
          In recent years, with a lot of Russian influence, some of the Ukrainian topics most mentioned include “cronyism, corruption and voting irregularities.”
          Trying to make some sense of Ukrainian politics and strategy to maintain its sovereignty is Kevin Berkompas.  Just covering Kevin’s extensive resume takes most of the luncheon time at Spokane-North Rotary.
          In brief, Kevin, also a Club 21 Rotarian, is the principal of Bear Compass Consulting LLC, based in Spokane.  The consultancy offers leadership and strategy to various clients, ranging from Numerica Credit Union to the Ukraine.  He also teaches at EWU.
          Col. Berkompas completed a 29-year Air Force career, including piloting a KC-135 tanker.  He completed his service in international policy, in 2014 as Deputy Director of Partnership Policy & Strategy in the Office of the Secretary in the Defense Department.  Much of his work involved western Europe and NATO, but he also
worked in the Korean DMZ.
          Berkompas has visited eight times for two weeks each in the Ukraine, a land of 45 million people, most very nervous with the Russian Federation looking its shoulders.
          It’s a time and place “with a period of great tension,” Berkompas said, adding there were 20,000 casualties in the 2014-15 battles alone.  He added anecdotes about bombed elevators and assassinations in the street and another near a car at a McDonald’s.
          He describes a “mosquito fleet” navy which lost all of its 62 boats and a military of fiefdoms in which the army, air force and navy hardly talk to each other and the president.
          The United States cares, he said, “because Ukraine have been good U.S. allies.”
          He showed the wide gap comparing Poland, in 1990, soared economically with market values, compared with the Ukraine, which has stalled in a stagnant economy and very low wages.
          Much of Ukraine’s malaise involves poor systematic organization, Berkompas said.  But one of the scariest notions, he said, is that the Ukraine is “the sixth largest arms dealer in the world.”
          For Russia’s oligarchy, he said, “destabilization in the Ukraine is good for the economy.”  
          He asks if “are they willing to change?  The people who worked with us all got fired.”
          Still, he said, “There is some hope.”   
The bulletin producers:
          Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink
          Program coordinator: Brad Stark