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Meeting Notes: August 5th


  • Vocational Talks (Fred Meyer): It’s your 5 minutes of fame in front of the group. If you did it last year, take your name off the list. Newbies, who just did their 15 minutes talks are also exempt but can always sign up if they want to. Remember, if you don’t sign up, Fred will come for you. If you don’t want to speak, ask Fred or John who will set you up with something to read to the group.
  • Golf Tournament (Jim Neal): Sept 19th at the Villages. We have a couple more prizes, but still need prizes and players. Fred Meyer donated 49er tickets for the Chargers game on Dec. 20th. John brought in coupons, and Bill Highley donated a football signed by Dwight “The Catch” Clark.
  • Sally Howe mentioned our work last week stuffing backpacks in her column in the Campbell Express.

Guest Speaker

SV Quilts for KidsBonnie Stearns was a registered nurse and also did clinical research for Bronchus Technologies. She retired in 2008 and in 2011, founded Silicon Valley Quilts for Kids, one of 97 chapters across the country. Their mission is to comfort children who are seriously ill and/or abused by making and donating quilts to local children. As a local chapter, they decide where their quilts go.

What it takes to make a quilt:

  1. Fabric – Lots of it, some from a donation from Cupertino Rotary
  2. Time – About 10 hours per quilt
  3. Space – Two shops in Sunnyvale donate space in the evenings and the group rotates between them twice each month.
  4. Thread – A lot
  5. Batting – $7 per quilt
  6. Quilters – Including the current president of Cupertino Rotary
  7. Long arm quilting machines – One of the members makes 20 to 30 quilt tops for the club each month.

Where do they go?

  • Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence
  • Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Burn, Pediatric & Neonatal ICU’s
  • Hospice of the Valley – They create custom designs for children.
  • LACY (Legal Advocates for Children and Youth) – Foster kids and teens
  • Packard Children’s Hospital Oncology, ICUS & Organ Transplant Units
  • The Nest – A new shelter for trafficked kids 12 to 17 years old that opened in January. The kids can stay until they are age 18 in order to become reoriented to normal life.
  • EMQFF – 30 a year for the holidays
  • Maitri – A shelter for south Asian women which is spun off from Next Door.
  • George Mark Children’s House in San Leandro – A hospice for kids, palliative care and respite center

The group has donated a total of 1,102 quilts in three years from a group of 60+ quilters.

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 – Alan Varni, Los Altos Rotary Club AIDS Project

Meeting Notes: July 29th

A small but mighty group met at the Orchard City Banquet Hall and was treated to box lunches.


  • Golf Tournament: Jim Neal announced that we need MORE players. Right now, there are maybe have 6 or 7 foursomes. We need more prizes. They are tricking in, but keep ‘em coming.
  • Sue Clear announced the idea of having theme baskets. Once a theme is determined, a list of suggested items will let members know what to go out and bring in for us.
  • The American Red Cross Blood Drive will be at EMQ from 11am to 5pm on September 12, 2014. Do not give blood between now and then or you will be ineligible to donate on the 12th.
  • Join the Campbell Memorial Veteran’s Foundation on November 8th at OCBH to help fund the work they do.
  • Willow Glen Interact Club: Laurel Fisher and fellow members spoke briefly about their club’s goal to reach 80 members (currently 30 members) and send 40 of them to the Fall Leadership conference.

Guest Speaker

Campbell Library brochuresJane Cronkhite, our Campbell Community Librarian, began by reading We are In a Book by Mo Willems. Jane then took us on a journey of the Campbell Library past, present and future.

The Campbell Library is part of the Santa Clara County Library District and is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The current Campbell Library facility opened in 1975 using funds from a 1967 bond measure. It was remodeled in 1989. It is a two-story building that once housed a senior center.

Today, the library has 24,000 square feet of space, 200,000 items in the collections, and 300,000 visitors a year. Our library has been ranked as one of the top 10 libraries in the nation. Measure A passed in 2013 and now provides 18% of the revenue for the library including the bookmobile, research materials, and children’s programming.

The Bookmobile goes throughout the library district serving seniors and others with physical limitations, as well as children. It makes its rounds every two weeks and also visits the Children’s recovery center, Corinthian House

Our library has strong ties to education including, story time, summer reading club, college career and test prep, home work help, school visits and tours, adult literacy program, ESL, computer and technology help, Business, finance, legal, health and wellness resources. There are often free community events for hands-on learning in crafts, math and science, cooking, and more.

The library also focuses on learning technology with early literacy stations in the children’s area. They all look like games but they are based on learning standards. The Tech Tool Bar is like a petting zoo where you come in to play with some of the tech tools and toys. This new feature is coming in September and will be open eight (8) hours a week.

Everyone with a county library card can access the online/virtual library, which includes resources for test preparation, language learning, and health science. You can even download a mobile app that allows you to check out any item throughout the library district. And here’s the biggie… The SCCO Library mobile app (on iTunes or Android) provides free downloadable music you can keep.

The city has approved a master plan for the Civic Center area, including the Ainsley house and the library. The library has big plans to expand to add a larger community room, more square footage, and more services. The plans call for building an entirely new facility. A design workshop is scheduled for August 13th from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the OCBH.

A library anniversary fair will take place September 13th from 12 to 3 p.m.. And don’t miss the monthly book sale by the Friends of the Library!

To contact Jane:

Jane Cronkhite, Community Librarian
(408) 866-1991 x3200

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, August 5, 2014 — Bonnie Stearns, Silicon Valley Quilts for Kids

Meeting Notes: Club Assembly, July 22nd

Jane Low at AssemblyThis week, we held our regular Club Assembly to update members on current projects and provide insights into where our club fits in the Rotary universe.

John Shannon introduced himself as our Club President for FY14-15 — joking that he volunteered when no one else wanted the job — and recounted his trip to the Rotary International Convention in Sydney, Australia, in June. John said he is excited to be following dynamic leaders like Dr. Sue Klear, Marv Bamberg, and Janine Payton, and added: ”Boy are we in for a change!”

John invited Bob Carlson (Chair of the club’s Community Service Committee) and Dr. Jane Low (Director of Club Services) to outline our many upcoming local activities.

It was explained that our club is part of Rotary District 5170. On September 30th, District Governor Ed Jellen will pay an annual visit to our club. We will use that opportunity to present and display all of the school supplies we are donating to Rosemary School as part of Ed’s big initiative for his Governorship.

The District holds regular cabinet meetings every other month, which are open to all members — and part of our red-to-blue badge requirements. We will hold an evening meeting to provide updates on Rotary Avenues of Service. Additionally, Rotary University is available for new officers. Next year’s International Conference is slated for Sao Paulo, Brazil.

To close the assembly, John walked the members through “A Tale of Three Buckets,” his primer on the different “pots” of Rotary funds. Ever wonder where your money goes?

1. Campbell Rotary Club

What comes IN:

  • Annual dues ($210; We are the least expensive club in our region!)
  • Payment for meals ($10 per member per week)
  • Happy/sad dollars
  • Weekly marble draw (half the pot)

What goes OUT:

  • RI and District dues for members
  • Catering for lunches
  • Marble draw winners
  • Child advocate picnic
  • Avenues of Service registration
  • Speakers’ books
  • Chamber of Commerce dues
  • Sending kids to RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Academy)
  • Social events
  • New member breakfasts
  • Club runner website
  • Speech contest prizes
  • And more…

Note: Kathy Williamson is our Club Treasurer for FY14-15.

2. Campbell Rotary Foundation, our 501(c) (3) non-profit

What goes IN:

  • Tax-deductible donations
  • Capital campaign
  • District Designated Funds (DDF come from Rotary International. When our members contribute to RI, in three years the money comes back to the District. We then get a pro-rata share of the money our members contributed)
  • Investment Income
  • Fundraiser proceeds (Valley Flavors and Golf Tournament)

What goes OUT:

  • George Miskulin Memorial Scholarships (George was the first principle at Del Mar HS)
  • Relay for Life
  • ELC (Enterprise Leadership Conference)
  • Campbell Toy Drive
  • Rotacare
  • Back to school backpacks
  • Shelter boxes
  • Doris Dillon school
  • West Valley Veterans’ Resource Center
  • Other charitable giving

Note: Former Club Treasurer Phil Nielsen has stayed on as our Foundation Treasurer.

3. Rotary International Foundation

What goes IN:

  • Voluntary contributions (EREY: Every Rotarian Every Year)
  • Sustainers ($100+ per year)

What goes OUT:

  • DDF (District Designated Funds)
  • RI projects: Polio Plus, Peace fellowships, etc.

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 – Jane Cronkhite, Campbell Librarian

Linda LeZotte – Santa Clara Valley Water District

Linda LeZotte at lunchOur guest speaker this week was Santa Clara Valley Water District Director and former San José City Councilmember Linda LeZotte, who gave a brief history of Santa Clara County aquifers and how we have related to our water supply over time.

Linda also spoke about the current drought conditions and provided an update on several rebate plans offered by the Water District in order to incentivize conservation. These include rebates for landscape conservation, “gray water” reuse, installation of high-efficiency appliances, and commercial conservation.

Linda reported that Santa Clara County residents already use less water on average than most of the state, but she noted that the district is looking for any way to improve on our success. You can visit the Water District online at to learn more. Or contact the Water Conservation Hotline at (408) 630-2554 or by email at

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

Today’s guest was Al Mabanag, an officer based in the Dublin field intelligence office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

ATF is a unique law enforcement agency in the United State Department of Justice that protects our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products. We partner with communities, industries, law enforcement, and public safety agencies to safeguard the public we serve through information sharing, training, research and use of technology.

The Shifting Path – Elder Care

Today’s speaker is also a visiting Rotarian!

Lisa Huening has launched “The Shifting Path” to help family caregivers navigate challenges of elder care. In addition to being a member of the Saratoga Rotary Club, she is on the board of the Saratoga Senior Center, and is the founder/owner of The Shifting Path.

California has long been one of the younger states (on average), but our elder community is growing rapidly. By 2035, California will be home to more than 8.4 million senior citizens. Lisa asserts our state’s health care system is too fragmented and confusing for our elder population to manage without significant help from family members, which extends the stress of managing health care to another generation.

Taking Care of Yourself

Lisa presented the following key considerations for making sure you,

Health – “Put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others.” She encourages people to develop a strategic plan that includes limits and meeting for all of the family members. You also need to take time for yourself every day to recharge.

Support System – “A strong individual is someone who asks for help.” Ask family, neighbors, and friends for support with simple tasks that relieve your stress. Consider connecting with local churches, government agencies, caregiver support groups, and other service providers. Also be aware of family dynamics, and consdider a care manager to navigate conflicts and find other resources.

Organization – The more organized you can be, the more time you’ll have to enjoy your loved-ones. Documents are heard to keep track of, including birth certificate, health care directives, care waivers, contact details, insurance cards, etc. Home safety is also dependent on good organization!

Fianancial Plan – Discussing parental finances can be very tricky, but it critical to understanding what services can be brought into your situation. Its also common for only one parent to know the financial details. Consider a certified financial planner as a starting point, and look into long-term care insurance.

Rosemary School

Rosemary SchoolToday’s lunch featured guest speaker Brian Schmaedick, Principal of Rosemary School. Brian thanked the club for its consistent support of the school, one of the most impacted and disadvantaged in our area. He was especially grateful to the Rotarians who participated in Read Across America on March 3, reading Dr. Seuss books to first and second graders.

Brian recalled attending Rotary meetings with his father in Eugene, Oregon, beginning in 1978. He began his career in business management and real estate, but a stint in the Peace Corps introduced him to public service and social services. After many years in the education field, he is in his second year as Principal at Rosemary.

Some facts from Brian about Rosemary School:

  • The school teaches 510 students, from kindergarden to 4th grade.
  • There is a preschool on site with separate administration.
  • There are 25 teachers and 45 total staff with an annual budget of $2.5-3M.
  • The general boundaries for the school are Payne, Winchester, Campbell Ave., and Highway 17.
  • The Campbell/San José city limits is literally in the school driveway, but most students come from San José.

Rosemary is one of most improved elementary schools in Santa Clara County over the past few years. The school’s API score has risen from 675 to 835 since 2006. (California schools get a “quality” rating for an API over 800.) But the school is still not where the administration would like it to be.

Under Brian’s leadership and that of his predecessor, Rosemary has developed a model collaboration program for teachers as well as innovative intervention programs that serve over 200 students reading below grade level. These students spend one hour each day in targeted instruction. Rosemary is currently being considered for recognition as a California Distinguished School, but it is “a paradox in many ways.”

Over 50 families with kindergarden-age students within the school’s boundaries choose a school other than Rosemary. This amounts to around 250 kids per year who leave the Rosemary neighborhood to go to school. While Rosemary likely could not accommodate all of those students, the school would traditionally have a waiting list.

Rosemary staff and teachers are, to paraphrase Jim Stockdale, confronting the most brutal facts of their current reality:

  • 90% of Rosemary students live below poverty line.
  • 88% of students are Latino, and 83% have English as a second language.
  • 85% of students live in high density housing around the school.
  • The school is in a “high mobility” area — 23 students moved out since January 1st of this year, and 25 new students have moved in, the equivalent of a whole classroom turning over in just two months.
  • The school experiences 50% turnover of students between kindergarden and 2nd grade.

Despite great wealth and resources surrounding the school, the student population is in great need. Low-income students, like those at Rosemary, face a number of obstacles in their education, a situation that Brian says “should make us uncomfortable as a society”:

  • Low-income students miss 30% more school due to health problems
  • 50% of low income students have vision problems.
  • Low-income students are 3 times more likely to have untreated cavities than other students.
  • A recent on-site clinic found 18 students with urgent dental needs.
  • The stress of low-income life impairs working memory.
  • Low-income students have heard 13M words before kindergarden. That number jumps to 26M for middle-income students and more than 40M for high-income students.

While dealing with students suffering from “learned helplessness”, Rosemary’s leadership remains “absolutely committed to the success of every child.” The staff has established a wellness committee, and the school is currently partnering with outside nonprofits to augment their instructional programming and extracurricular activities to keep kids in school and off the streets:

  • PlayWorks organizes games and activities every two weeks.
  • A grant from Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools has funded a “rethink your drink” campaign to keep kids away from sugary drinks.
  • BAWSI runs a weekly after school program for 65 girls in grades 2-4.
  • Rosemary offers insurance enrollment events for local parents, and the Indian Health Center provides on-campus dental care
  • The school also offers year-round parenting and ESL classes.

How can Rotarians help? According to Brian, the first step is not to oversimplify public school problems in the context of budgets and API scores. A 980 API school is not much different from an 835. They also need financial support that the school district simply can’t provide:

  • $15,000 to augment a PlayWorks grant from El Camino Hospital
  • $1,000 each to provide opportunities for field trips to parks, universities, etc.
  • $50,000 per year to put a parent liaison in the school 5 days a week
  • $500-700 for a teacher appreciation event

Brian’s final missive to our club: “We don’t give up. We don’t use excuses. But we don’t hide from them.” We’re proud to continue our support of Brian and Rosemary School as they serve our neediest children.

The Hunger Project

Although he’s an established Realtor in our community, Campbell Rotarian Rod Hibner actually addressed us today about one of his community service projects. Rod and his wife have been an active donors and supporters of the Hunger Project for more than ten years.

The Hunger Project aims to empower women and men to end their own hunger, focusing primarily in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

The project is less about providing direct hunger alleviation with shelters and food shipments, and more about enterprise development and enrichment. They have identified three critical elements to their success:

  1. Mobilizing people to build self-reliance.
  2. Empowering women. When women are supported and empowered, all of society benefits.
  3. Forging Partnerships with local government.

The Hunger Project has also collaborated with Rotary International and other local clubs in various projects, including restoring clean water services to the Jaldu earthquake epicenter in Ethiopia. Rod tells us that Rotary and The Hunger Project are continuing to investigate new projects, including international grant support and local club partnerships.

Audacity Performing Arts Project

Performing Arts curriculum in public education is a hot topic these days, so today we welcome Louis Stone-Collonge, founder of the Audacity Performing Arts Project.

After sharing the dismal statistics for local graduation rates and statewide educational spending — including the disappearance of performing arts funding — Louis proposed performing arts as an inspirational tool that can be used to keep kids in school and to motivate them to succeed.

“Performing Arts educations is not about the manufacture of artists. Performing Arts education is about inspiration … unleashing that natural creativity that all of us have.”

AudacityArtsAmong the many arts groups and children’s theater companies in Santa Clara County, the Audacity Performing Arts Project is unique in bringing productions directly to children and families.

In addition, every child who shows at an audition plays. The learning experience and the benefits articulated elsewhere are made stronger when more people participate. Everyone benefits and grows in the performing arts, regardless of their starting position of experience. Audacity also teaches technical theater skills and backstage activities.

As an example of a recent program, Louis shared the “Shakespeare News Network,” produced by school children in Milpitas.

Louis also is also hosting a special webpage with more links and information tailored for his presentation:

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

Again with the timely Luncheon Speakers!

Days after the Governor announces the emergency drought declaration for California, Campbell Rotary welcomes Michael Frost, vice president of the steering committee for Restore the Delta, to discuss Restore the Delta’s concerns with the proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan.

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is a comprehensive conservation strategy aimed at protecting dozens of species of fish and wildlife, while permitting the reliable operation of California’s two biggest water delivery projects.


Frost argues that several elements of the BDCP are too risky and are irresponsible for future allocation of water resources across California. He is especially concerned about the role of some water districts and valley farmers spread across the San Joaquin Valley.

The draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and associated Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) has been made available for public review, with the public comment period running through April 14, 2014.

RestoreDeltaRestore the Delta is a grassroots campaign committed to making the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta fishable, swimmable, drinkable, and farmable to benefit all of California. Restore the Delta – a coalition of Delta residents, business leaders, civic organizations, community groups, faith-based communities, union locals, farmers, fishermen, and environmentalists – seeks to strengthen the health of the estuary and the well-being of Delta communities.