Posted by Charles Rehberg on Jun 18, 2018
North Notes
Spokane North Rotary Club Bulletin
June 18, 2018  
          See you Monday: The club’s annual Initiation Dinner is June 25 at 6 p.m. at the Kalispel Golf Club on Waikiki.  Spouses and guests are very welcome, but need to notify ahead of the event.  Four tasty selections are on the menu.  Please contact President-elect Lenore Romney if you add guests or make other changes.
          Holiday time: The club will not meet on July 2 in observance of the Independence Day.
          Next meeting: As the club makes major changes to its schedule for the new Rotary year, the next gathering is a “Rotary Connect” meet-up at 4:30 p.m. on July 9 at Nectar Wine and Beer, 1331 W. Summit Parkway in Kendall Yards.
Times and topics change with Rotary year
            With the admonition “let’s give it a try,” President-elect Lenore Romney shared the proposed club meeting schedule for the Rotary year, 2018-19.
            Rather than the weekly Monday luncheons, the new plan is this:
            Luncheons will continue as usual on the 1st and 3rd Mondays (except on federal holidays).
            A “Rotary Connect” networking meet-up is scheduled the second Monday of each month.
            A “Rotary Serves” time is scheduled each 4th of the week, with time and dates adjusted  as needed to suit the tasks.
            When a 5th Monday occurs in a month, that is an off day for the club.
            Lenore said the “Rotary Connect” fellowship and networking meet-ups are open to Rotarians, spouses, friends, prospective members and others interested in Rotary.  Locations will change each month and members are encouraged to suggest venues. 
            The “Rotary Serves” programs will provide monthly opportunities to serve causes in the community.  This is an organized effort for what club members used to call “dirty hands” projects.   Lenore said members are encouraged to propose potential service projects for non-profit organizations.
            Thus the current schedule for July is a Connect meet-up at 4:30 at Nectar on July 9, a lunch meeting at Nectar July 16, a service time to be determined on July 23 and no gathering on July 30,  the 5th Monday of the month.
            The August schedule will include a lunch meeting at Nectar on Aug. 6th, a Connect meet-up at 4:30 p.m., Aug.13 at the Maryhill Winery Tasting Room, 1203 W. Summit Parkway (just east of Nectar), a lunch meeting Aug. 20 at Nectar and a service time at noon, Aug. 27, at Holmes Elementary, 2600 W. Sharp, to store school supplies for the year.
            Lenore said during discussions at Rotary PETs (President-elect training), and again with talks from Spokane area clubs, many officers said many members are looking at adding different options for club meetings.
            She said a number of prospective members “just don’t want to go to lunch meetings,” at least week after week.  The “Connect” meet-ups offer some alternatives.  So does the organized community service sessions.  “Rotary is Service above Self,” she said.
            Initiatives might provide summer surprises
            Though summer weeks are not top-of-mind for most people to study lengthy legislative initiatives, a list of possible items which might hit the ballot – and our wallets – bear close watching.
            Sharing the daunting details for the June 18 club meeting was Chris Cargill, Eastern Washington director for the Washington Policy Center, a not-for-profit think tank which studies the law clause by clause.
            He listed nine major initiatives with major impacts, including carbon taxes, gas taxes, a sugar tax, a Seattle-based income tax, continuing school funding issues and a single-payer health care plan.
            Deadlines for the validating signatures for the initiatives come up in a few weeks, so sign-up efforts are getting in high gear.
            Of the judicial school decisions allowing smaller class sizes in some grades and other improvements, Cargill the teachers’ union response was “we won big.”   Now, he said, teachers are seeking from 15 to 37 percent tax increases in some districts. “And the Mukilteo teacher union has already authorized a strike,” he said.
            The income tax is at issue, Cargill said, because while a flat tax is constitutional in Washington, a progressive tax is not.  Some want to make sure there is a full ban on state income taxes.  The Seattle tax would affect those earning $250,000 a year and would be taxed at 2.25 percent.
            Continuing success of health exchanges is at question, Cargill said.  Some premiums have been increased 15-18 percent this year.
            With higher gas mileage in many vehicles in recent years, and subsequent tax-per-gallon losses, transportation officials are testing a road-per-mile issue to compare with fuel test by the gallon, Cargill said.
            Of the carbon tax, he noted that one “pollution fee” initiative covered 38 pages alone.
            Cargill said the Policy Center also is pushing to allow remote testimony, so people who want to testify – often done very quickly by legislators – can connect via Skype or some other electronic measures rather than driving to Olympia. 
            “The State Senate has permitted this in rare cases, but has not been allowed in the House,” he said, adding that “other states do it.”    
The bulletin producers:
          Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink
          Photos: Sandy Fink and Eric Johnson
          Program coordinator: Brad Stark