Posted by Charles Rehberg on Aug 20, 2018
North Notes
Spokane North Rotary Club Bulletin
August 20, 2018        
            Our new schedule: Our next Rotary Serves project, Aug. 27 at noon, is filling the Holmes Elementary supply closet as boxes of pens, pencils, tissues, notebooks and other items are placed for use during the school year.  Holmes is located at 2600 W. Sharp.  Chef Sandy Fink will provide pizza and pop.
            Welcome!: Ron Noble, who has moved from the Colville Club, has joined Spokane-North Rotary.
            Fore!: Dave Hayward will coordinate organizing a club team for the Deer Park Rotary Club on Saturday, Sept. 22.
            Sgt.-at-Arms Q-and-A: What was founded earlier – Holmes Elementary or Rotary International? (If you missed the meeting, see answer below.)
            Pool party: Former director Brad Stark will host a gathering Sunday, Aug. 26, 2-5 p.m.  Pulled-pork provided; bring your own beverages (but no glass, please).  Brad’s house is at 6720 S. Tomaker in South Spokane.  The pool is down the hill.  RSVP by Aug. 24 to director Tim Zacharias at
            Schedule reminders: Aug. 27, noon at Holmes; Sept. 3, no meeting (Labor Day); Sept.10, Rotary Connects, 4:30 p.m. at Craftman Cellars in Kendall Yards (across from Maryhill and Nectar); Sept.17, noon luncheon meeting at Nectar in Kendall Yards.
 Another milestone for John
            Several of the Spokane-North Rotary Club has achieved Paul Harris Fellowship status for contributing $1,000 for the Rotary Foundation.
            But few have reached the “two ruby” designation of board member John Mailliard.  John’s contributions have reached $8,000 to $9,000, and Club President Lenore Romney presented the special metal at the Aug. 20 luncheon meeting.
            Lenore celebrated John’s achievement adding: “So much good begins with these gifts: wells are constructed, children are vaccinated against illness, senior citizens are afforded meals and services, children and adults are educated and given professional opportunities.”
            With the gift, she said, John had “gone above and beyond in doing good in the world.”
Agency helps us to breathe easy, if we can
            One of the busiest websites in recent days is the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency’s air quality index.
            As dense smoke blankets the skies from lingering forest fires the index numbers zoomed from breathable “Good” and “Moderate” categories to “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups,” to “Unhealthy,” to “Very Unhealthy” to downright “Hazardous.”  The last category hits the high index at 300.  Sunday night the meter hit “399,” the highest many observers have seen here.
            “It was very bad,” said Julie Oliver, executive director of the air agency.  “For those who like to breathe, it’s been a struggle,” she said.  Gusty winds during the Aug. 20 club luncheon reduced the index level to about 215, considered just “unhealthy.”
            Oliver said she doesn’t feel good about reaching the “hazardous” air quality levels, but it’s far better than “hazardous.”     
            Oliver explained the air quality components of ozone, particulates and other elements in the hazy stew.
            Groups impacted the most with the high smoke levels are children, pregnant women, senior citizens, asthma sufferers and those with heart and lung diseases, she said.
            “Children breathe 50 percent more than adults per weight groups,” she noted.  She said that the chemical process producing ozone “is like giving your lungs a sun tan.”
             Spokane County has been in compliance with statewide and regional standards, she said, but “we don’t have much wiggle room” to succeed those levels, said Oliver.  And as the “smoke seasons” seem to get longer each year, the standards also have been tightened.
            The countywide Spokane air agency, she said, is one of seven agencies in the state.  It operates with a staff of 19, including engineers, monitors and compliance members.  The Spokane agency checks air quality at 600 commercial and industrial sites.  Some in recent years included Kaiser Aluminum, Inland Empire Paper and Sacred Heart Medical Center, but most involved what she calls “mom-and-pop” businesses, like gas pumps, body shops which paint vehicles and others.
            Adding to the list of registered compliance sites are legal marijuana growing operations.
            Odor complaints, from rendering operations, composts and other businesses also reach the agency. 
            The agency’s five-member board includes representatives from the city, the county, Spokane Valley, a small-cities member and one at-large member.  Club member Michelle Fossum is a counselor for the agency.  Annual funding is $2.2-2.5 million, including fees, local assessments, grants, permits and penalties.  There were 650 citizen complaints and 250 staff-initiated complaints last year, Oliver said.  
(Q.-and-A.: Holmes Elementary was built in 1901.  Rotary International was founded in 1905.)   
Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg,  Sandy Fink, Eric Johnson
Photos: Sandy Fink and Eric Johnson