Oct. 16, 2017 Newsletter


The beautiful “Inca,” a falcon native to South and Central America and to the Southern U.S., let her feelings be known occasionally during last week’s presentation.

If you count “Inca,” the falcon who occasionally squawked loudly during Alina Blankenship’s presentation on birds of prey last week, we actually had two guest speakers!

Alina was introduced by John Kerekanich, and was also accompanied by falcons “Caspian” and “Siren,” and “Orion,” the owl.

John Kerekanich introduces Alina Blankenship with Siren looking over his shoulder.

She has a wildlife conservation facility in Molalla, and is licensed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to do educational presentations.  “All migratory birds are protected,” she said. “You have to be licensed to possess them.”

Some of Alina’s birds are “abatement” birds. They work with agricultural growers, who hire them to intimidate and scare off nuisance birds which cause loss of crop revenue. Others, such as Siren, a peregrine falcon, work landfills and airports to move gulls away.

Arctic native Caspian.

Wildlife conservationist Alina Blankinship with Orion, a Barred owl.












Alina described these birds as “performance athletes.”  Some have been clocked at 242 miles per hour. They are “hearing machines”–they have depth perception in their hearing– and have amazing vision.  “Where we might be able to look down and see a bug, she can look and see a bug on a bug.  We have a single focal point, they have two.”

“They are also smarter than we give them credit for,” she said.

Someone asked Alina if she was afraid of being bitten. “I’m actually more fearful of their talons,” she responded. “They have 350 pounds per square  inch of pressure available.”

She said these birds have a 85-90% mortality rate their first year. “Falling out of the nest is actually learning to fly, but some don’t make it.  I have a simple rule: If you can catch one of these, it needs to go to rehab. If you can’t catch it, it will probably be just fine and should be left alone.”

If you would like to learn more and donate to Perch, Alisa’s nonprofit (it’s only $20 to sponsor an owl), please go to www.ISaveWildlife.com.


Dave Henderson, left, moved to Newberg from California about a year ago. He said he plans to start attending our meetings “frequently,” and was the guest of Jeff Lane.

Beth Pent from Attrell’s attended for the second week in a row. (Hopefully she’ll be joining our club????)

Shannon Buckmaster‘s daughter, Anna, joined us as well. Anna has been accepted into the Rotary student exchange program for an overseas study program this summer.

 Judy Robinson’s husband, Marvin, accompanied her for lunch. Judy, at right, also reported that the high school Interact club is off to a roaring start.

Paul Jellum brought “David” Gao, a visiting professor of international trade from China who is working at GFU this year.


Tony Lelack reported the dictionaries are here and ready for distribution to students. They need to have Rotary stickers applied prior to going out.  If you would like to help, please contact Tony.

Rota-Dent Update: Grant Gerke reported that the International Chair of the Beaverton Club is supporting the development of a medical clinic in Uganda. They intend to outfit a full dental clinic there, but until it is built and ready, they will use Rota-Dent equipment.


Jeff Lane, along with Club Treasurer Terry Weldon (center) and Bob Ficker (far right), share a laugh after last week’s meeting. 


Jeff Lane reported there will be an 11:30am get-together before our regular meeting this week to discuss getting the third School Resource Center up and running. Our club is helping to organize and staff these centers to help students. The Center at Mountain View Middle School is slated to open Nov. 3.

This week’s meeting will feature Mary Ann McCammon and the program “Quilts for Empowerment.”

Next week, Rotary Peace Fellow Bianca Neff will be our speaker. Bianca has lived in Kyrgystan, Kenya, Morocco, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S. She now lives in Malaga, Spain.  She is the founder and CEO of Petra Peacebuilders, an organization designed to help provide global peace builders with the emotional, mental and psychological support they need as they work in really tough places.



Oct. 9, 2017 Newsletter

Club Past President and Chehalem Aquatic and Fitness Center renovation project manager Jim McMaster.

An update on one of Newberg’s biggest and most exciting projects–the Chehalem Aquatic and Fitness Center–was provided last week by Club Past President and Aquatic Center Project Manager Jim McMaster. Jim was also the project manager for the construction of the Chehalem Cultural Center, and started out by saying that project was “tame compared to this.”

He gave a section-by-section overview of the new facility, which is slated for completion in March, and includes three new pools: a Leisure pool, a Competitive pool and a Spa pool.

“The existing pool was built in 1970 when the Haworth and Villa Street area was farm. It was a large facility for that time” he said. “But, the community has outgrown the building and equipment.”

One view of the proposed new entrance.

Front Entrance  Jim said the newly designed entrance will allow kids to be dropped off in front more safely and the amount of parking will be quadrupled. 

Back side  A Care Home on Cherry St. donated some property to the project, which will allow easier access for everyday maintenance activities like garbage trucks, chlorine delivery, etc.

 Front Recreation Area  Will have lots of glass and be “real inviting.”

Rendering of new lobby (from CPRD website).

Lobby  Will serve as more of a community area. Will have a check-in desk and 2 large classrooms nearby with views out to the pool.

Leisure Pool  There will be programs and features for all ages, and Jim said this pool will get the most use by far. One very unique feature will be the “fire truck,” which was specially built for little kids and has a slide on it.  He said it is important to have a good swim lessons program. He came to the Aquatic Center in 1980 to manage it, and said kids were older then when they started lessons, maybe 6 or 7. Nowadays they start at ages 2 to 4.

For teens, there will be a diving board, 2 rock climbing walls, and drop slides. He thinks GFU students will like that, too.

The leisure pool will have a Figure 8 shape and a “Lazy River” for floating. 

Competitive Pool Jim said this pool will feature a floating bulkhead to adjust the size, and will be 6 feet, 7 inches deepIt will have a spectator area capable of seating 302. Both GFU and the high school teams will have a separate entrance.

Spa Pool  Will be 25% bigger than the current one. It will hold 14 people, and features different sized jets. 

Phase 2: The Gym and Fitness Area. CPRD will borrow $5 million to complete Phase 2, with an elevated walking track and room for yoga, cardio and free weights. The entire building will be brought up to seismic code.  Design is just beginning.

Total cost is estimated at $18.9 million. Opportunities to donate to the project and to be recognized for your support were presented. Ideas range from a park bench for $1400 to Lobby Naming Rights for $20,000. The two Newberg Rotary Clubs have already stepped up to help sponsor the building of the new, $143,000 park playground. For more info on this tax deductible opportunity, please contact Jim.


Jim also mentioned that his son, Spencer, has been accepted into the Peace Corps, and will be leaving for Swaziland soon.

Welcome back to Dan Keuler, who has been on paternity leave with his new son, Jackson.

And congrats to Shannon Buckmaster, who announced her daughter will be joining the Rotary student exchange program.



Becky Ankeny, seen at right with Dr. Stan Kern and Paul Jellum (front), deserves kudos for being so good at “doing the Duck.”  Her willingness to take on the job frequently with a unique blend of humor and irreverence has increased the amount of giggles, snickers, snorts, and donations! Thank you, Becky.






  •  Beth Pent, after care and pre-arrangement specialist with Attrell’s, is checking out both Newberg Rotary clubs and visited ours last week.
  • Heidi Czarnecki, wife of Jack, joined us for lunch.


 Past President Leah Griffith found the timely photo below of “Rotary Pumpkin Champs” in the Newberg Graphic 1965 archives in the Library. (Remember Stan Kern telling us about this contest?) Now there’s a club activity we could consider resurrecting!  


  • This week’s program sounds like a “Do Not Miss.”  The topic was suggested by John Kerekanich in the recent club survey for program ideas (thank you, John).  Alina Blankenship will discuss wildlife conservation featuring a live bird of prey. 


  • Don’t forget “Soup’s On,” the Fall fundraiser for Soroptimist International, this Saturday, Oct. 14 at 5pm.  Come enjoy a variety of gourmet soups made by professional and home chefs.  Soroptimists work to improve the lives of women and girls locally and around the world.  The venue is the Dundee Community Center, 1026 Hwy 99W in Dundee. Tickets for the event, which includes a silent auction, are $25. For more info, or to buy a ticket, go to SICV.org or call Debby at 503-740-8182.


  • Dec. 2 is the annual Holiday Tree Lighting event in the Cultural District. Festivities get underway at 3pm; Santa arrives at 5:30pm. A holiday craft fair and a kids craft sale are also planned.


  • Providence Newberg Health Foundation is sponsoring “An Evening of Hope” on Dec. 13, from 5:30 to 8:30pm at the Chehalem Cultural Center. Well-known violinist Aaron Meyer will be performing. The event is to fund new technology which will help increase breast cancer detection and save more lives.  Tickets are $25, and are available at http://pnhf.ejoinme.org/benefit or by calling 503-537-1671. 

Oct. 2, 2017 Newsletter

Our very own International Director and Grants Chair Laura Tilrico was the speaker last week. “Yours truly” introduced her with some info you may not know about Laura:

  • She has been a Rotarian for 26 years
  • She was the first woman president of the Tracy, California club
  • She is originally from Brooklyn, New York
  • She is an artist and gourmet cook who also loves to garden
  • She has 3 sons and 2 grandsons
  • She ran a graphic design business for 30 years and is now retired. She generously donated the design work on the new Peace Pole Trails brochure

Laura’s topic was projects and grants–global, district and club. She distributed a  helpful hand-out with a summary of the projects/grants our club did last year, this year and the plans for the future.

Global projects/grants:

Last year’s project funded through a global grant was the clean drinking water project in Godamcour, Nepal. It was approved for $62,000 total, and our Foundation contributed $8000.  A holding tank and infrastructure have been built, and water lines are now being dug to individual homes.

This year, a proposed grant for $105,000 to expand/renovate a school in San Mateo, Guatemala is being written.  Our Foundation would donate $17,500. The needs assessment is complete, thanks to the work of Auggie Gonzales and Lynn Montoya Quinn.  Detailed costs of construction, labor, product and training are now being gathered. The goals of this project are to expand/renovate classrooms to alleviate overcrowding; to provide an industrial sized cookstove; and to provide teachers with new techniques with sustainable results. Dave Parker will be involved with the latter component.

Future plans for 2018-2019 include a grant to do an E-Med clinic in Kathmandu, Nepal and for 2019-2020, a clean water project in Zambia.

According to Laura, we must qualify for these matching funds by meeting our Rotary International giving goals.

District projects/grants:

Each year our club is allotted $2000 of District Designated Funds (DDF) for matching with $2000 of our club funds, for a total of $4000 for projects.  The deadline to apply for these funds is Aug. 15.  Sometimes, some clubs in the district do not spend all their funds, so there is another round of applications later in the year.

Last year, our “Act of Kindness Day” promotional materials were funded for $500 for the International Day of Peace.

Also, “Dream It, Be It,” a one-day seminar led by the Soroptimists to help teen girls with career choices was funded for $500, and the Christmas Tree Lighting gift bags for children for $3000.

This year, there is a repeat of the “Act of Kindness Day” and “Dream It, Be It.” In addition, the printing of 1,000 “Peace Pole Trail” booklets to be distributed widely in Newberg and Dundee is proposed for $2000 from our Foundation and $1500 from the district. “We feel that this effort will serve as a great public relations tool in helping to get the word out that Rotary is a working and indeed thriving component of our community,” she indicated on the handout.


Guest Heidi Hopkins.

Heidi Hopkins was a guest of Past President Leah Griffith. Heidi is teaching Mindfulness at Chehalem Valley Middle School this year, and is working toward incorporating it into the District curriculum. Since school budgets are tight, she requested financial support from the Club Foundation. Jeff Lane indicated there would be a positive response!



Dave Benson reminds us of the international exchange students’ fundraiser.



Dave Benson from the Early Birds club visited to remind us about the fundraising dinner the international exchange students were planning last Sunday, Oct. 1. They hoped to raise enough money to purchase five Shelterboxes for families of the recent natural disasters.


You don’t want to miss Past President Jim McMaster talking about the new Aquatic Center at this Wednesday’s meeting!

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You’re invited to “Soup’s On,” the Fall fundraiser for Soroptimist International, on Oct. 14 at 5pm.  Come enjoy a variety of gourmet soups made by professional and home chefs.  Soroptimists work to improve the lives of women and girls locally and around the world.  The venue is the Dundee Community Center, 1026 Hwy 99W in Dundee. Tickets for the event, which includes a silent auction, are $25. For more info, or to buy a ticket, go to SICV.org or call Debby at 503-740-8182.


It sure was great to have Marge O’Connell back in attendance at our meeting. She reported it was really tough to recuperate from a detached retina, but she is on the mend now.

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Jeff Lane is recruiting volunteers to work in the Resource Rooms at Chehalem Valley Middle School and Newberg High School. The work involves attending and helping kids select items they may need. According to Jeff, 48% of kids in the school district are from families living below the poverty line, so the need is great. Please see Jeff for more info if you are interested.

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How about contributing your ideas for our club’s weekly programs? Om Sukheenai said the period January through June 2018 is now open for booking speakers and topics.  She is hoping that interesting luncheon talks will help draw new members and “brand” our club. Please send your ideas to Om.


Sept. 25, 2017 Newsletter

“Jam-packed” might be a good way to describe last week’s meeting. We had an informative presentation by one of the pioneers of the Oregon wine industry, and lots of guests, including some of the international youth exchange students and three newer members of the Early Birds club.

Exchange Students Pay a Visit

Dave Benson, right, a member of the Youth Exchange Committee, introduced some of the students who participate in what he called “one of Rotary’s most exciting programs.”  Kathryn Lawson, left, spent the summer in Germany. Clara Perez, second from left, is here this year from Argentina. Danielle Bosse, second from right, studied in Argentina. Neves Eryigit, second from right, is here from Turkey.  

ShelterBox Fundraiser

The exchange students are fundraising to buy ShelterBoxes to give to some of the families affected by the recent natural disasters.  Each ShelterBox contains a tent, water purification kit, blanket, tools and other necessities to help a family in need. An international dinner and auction will be held October 1st at Windrose Conference Center starting at 4pm. Please email Paula Radich by 5pm Tuesday the 26th if you are interested, as space is extremely limited.

Steve Palmer introduces our guest speaker.

Steve Palmer introduced our speaker, Alan Holstein, formerly of Argyle Winery and member of the “Oregon Wine Walk of Fame.”  Steve mentioned that he and Jack Czarnecki solicit wine for our annual auction, and that Alan was always very generous in making donations.  Alan recently stepped down at Argyle, and he and his son now each have their own private wine label.

Alan came to Oregon in 1979, so this is his 4th decade of living in Yamhill County. To start, he posed the question, “Why does pinot taste differently depending on where it’s grown?”  He then added, “Great wines taste like they come from a certain place. And, the more specific the location on the label, the more expensive the wine.”

He explained there are six designated wine grape-growing regions, called American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), in Yamhill County.  “I’m going to talk about three– Yamhill Carlton, Dundee Hills and Eola-Amity,” he said. The other three are Chehalem Mountains, Ribbon Ridge and McMinnville Foothills.

Wine expert Alan Holstein.

To answer his original question, Alan did a “deep dive” into our area’s environmental factors and the geologic background of the soils. He explained that environment is defined as people interacting with the plants and the soil. 

“We’re located at the 45th parallel, further north than most of America.  Plants respond to day length. Wines from grapes grown here have a finesse and elegance on the palette that others from below do not have.  We’re also located 40 or 50 miles from the Pacific Ocean. We have a temperature regime, as influenced by the ocean. These are some of the key environmental factors that distinguish Oregon from other areas.”

Alan explained how the unique soils of the area came to be. First, there was the geologic process of “accretion,” where the “ocean plate slid under the continental plate.”  Then there was subduction, and pressure from the two plates colliding created the hills.  Fifteen million years ago, there was a volcanic eruption that covered parts of Washington, Oregon and Idaho. That resulted in the Columbia River basalt flows. A second geologic event, the Missoula floods, also influenced the formation and structure of the soil. “Today, we can even see a color difference in the soils from the two events,” he said.

“Even the Van Duzer corridor, which provides a conduit of marine air into the area, has an influence on the grapes,” Alan said.  “When I got these weather machines going, I found wind gusts at Eola of 30 to 40 mph. They were much lower at Dundee over the same 24-hour period. There was as much as a 35% difference between the two. The result is a more dehydrating environment in Eola. Therefore, Eola has more tannin than Dundee and can be complexing when done.”

Alan also entertained questions about wine corks, mechanical grape picking and Oregon Chardonnay. It was a very educational session, and as Alan even said at one point, “the more you learn, the less you know!”


Sharon Champagne from Guild Mortgage, Stewart Brown Group, and Ashley Mumm, who attended for the second week in a row, were guests of Om Sukheenai.

Jim McMaster introduced Jennifer Marsicek, lead architect on the new aquatic center.

In addition to Dave Benson and the students, we had quite a delegation from the Early Bird club…Kari Fahrenkopf and Geno Harrison from the Youth Exchange Committee, and newer Rotarians Yvette Heryford, Rachel Powell and Rod Federwisch.  (Yvette is a business coach, career consultant and former owner of Sip City Coffee.  Rod is pretty new to Newberg and a 25-year member of the Chino, California Rotary club.)