President Dudley Thompson called the 5,378th Civic Thursday meeting of the Rotary Club of Oakland meeting to order at 12:30 pm. He expressed the elated feelings of everyone enjoying the first in-person meeting in the California Ballroom in a number of months. In addition, more than 40 people attended the meeting via Zoom.
Jean Rains presented the thought from Susan Felder: “Inspiration and imagination go hand in hand”. President Dudley lead the group in the recitation of the Rotary Vision Statement.
Past President and Past District Governor Ed Jellen introduced Richard Schwart, President of the San Francisco Chinatown Rotary Club. On line were Past-Presidents Jon Gresley and Gudrun Dybdal on vacation in Maui, and Past President Iris Brody Lopez, zooming in from Peoria, Arizona. Keith Uriarte introduced his guest in the Ballroom.
International Women’s Day: President Dudley reminded everyone that District 5170’s celebration of International Women’s Day is scheduled for March 13th at the Rotary San Jose Summit Center. Oakland Rotary is one of five clubs invited to have a table there to showcase its projects. Volunteers are needed for the club’s table. Featured speaker is Zoom COO, Aparna Bawa.
Oakland Marathon and Running Festival: On Sunday, March 20th, the club will work at two of the water stops. Register on the Club calendar website https://www.oakland-rotary.org/calendar/events/2022-03-20/service-day-oa... the two water station locations available and make sure to include the Password for the one where you want be.
Bob Barth’s Letter to Rotary Magazine: Pres. Dudley called attention to Bob Barth’s letter to the editor in the March issue of Rotary. Bob urges Rotarians attending the International Convention in June to purchase certified carbon offsets for their travel. He describes how to determine the calculations. Bob also suggests that Rotary International should calculate the carbon footprint of the Convention and purchase offsets to minimize the footprint. What a positive way for RI to inaugurate its first year focusing on the Environment.
Renia Webb introduced the Club newest member, Cathy “Kittie” Adams. She is President of the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce.
Leeann Alameda, president of the ORE Board of Directors, outlined the impact ORE makes. She spoke about progress to date ($50,000+ pledged) toward the goal of $100,000 and the impact made in the past few years. The campaign wraps up the end of March. Great job, Leeann! To pay online go to www.oakland-rotary.org/donate . Choose Oakland Rotary Endowment for your donation.
John Holmgren, KinderPrep Chair, picked it up from there to describe the impact Rotarians have on this pre-kindergarten program in the Oakland schools. While some of the activities have been on hiatus during the pandemic, such as volunteering in the classroom, chaperoning children on a field trip to Children’s Fairyland or the Oakland Zoo, and the summer book program for each child, others have continued. Classroom supplies, virtual science kits for students and a virtual library for those schools who are without libraries have been made available. Now that the children are back in the classrooms, John expects that a field trip may be doable this spring, and he indicated that volunteers will be needed to pack and delivering books for the summer book program, just like they did pre-pandemic.
David Stein introduced Park Williams, UCLA Professor in the Geology Department. Prof. Williams began his presentation showing a satellite photo taken on Sept 9, 2020 of the smoke layer inundating the entire coastal area of California. The current megadrought we are experiencing is 22 years long, and 2021 was drier than any other year in this period. Last year was also the driest in the past 121 years. He attributed this to 40% caused by humans and 60% caused by “bad luck” from nature.
The distribution of water across continents changes and life changes as well. He noted that the Sahara Desert, now an extremely dry area, was once a lush habitat. He also commented that at a depth of 60 feet in Lake Tahoe, a grinding stone used by Native Americans has been found dating back 6,000 years ago.
At this point 80% of available water in California is used by agriculture, much of it now being pulled in the Central Valley from ground water reserves, which will take many years to replenish. While solving droughts is not the mission of his group of scientists, he noted that humans need to use less water in the future, and also need to be more efficient in their uses. He mentioned desalinization plants, which have been on the state’s agenda for many decades. Cities can and should consider building and maintaining desalinization plants even though they are expensive.
Click here to watch Professor Williams video segment.
Missed our meeting, but interested in checking out the next one? Click below to learn more. https://www.oakland-rotary.org/calendar
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