Rotary Log for Thursday February 6th, 2020
President Elect Jon Flagg greeted us in the absence of president Leo who remains in Columbia.  Let it be known President Leo has not been impeached--despite perceived rumors allegedly spread insidiously by a President-in-Waiting-- lol.  Barbara Miller gave us a lovely invocation and yours truly started the National Anthem. Rocky Mountain High was my second choice!
Richard Lyons brought his wife Joan and son Daniel. I introduced Chris Oberg--new owner of Infinite Imaging--and soon-to-be Rotarian.
Rabbi Ira Korinow was back again visiting from the Haverhill club.
Jim Rini brought his neighbor Chris who recently retired from Caterpillar.  Also visiting was Darren Cote, General Manager of Exeter Subaru.
Lots of birthdays this month!!  Proof positive the old saying, “the lusty month of May,” IS a thing.   
Today was Richard and John Lyons’ birthdays.  Hmm--same birthday and same last name--switched at birth query we?  Not a chance say they.   Tom Decker shares the same birthday with the Lyons boys.  All three had no better plans for their birthdays than to partake of our Rotary buffet feast.  Yummy--nothing says “it’s my birthday” like a Rotary Club meeting.
The non-exhaustive list further includes Gene Doherty, Stan Cross, Tony Delyani, Beth Tuttle, the magnificent interim chief editor--Mark Lorusso, Joanie Dickinson, Barbara Miller, the legend in his own mind and biased birthday list reader--Jon Flagg and Joe Bove.  For anyone missed, you can thank Flagg for his less than dogged review of our club’s birthday list.  Due to a lack of time to sing the entire “Happy Birthday song,” and in a blatant attempt to confuse the Rotary masses, Flagg directed us to sing just the third phrase.  To our collective unsurprise and Jon’s considerable delight, everyone got confused.  In written rebuke, here is the Rotary version in its entirety: Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday dear Rotarian, Happy Birthday to you!!!
  • Caitlin Hassett informed us the last Rotary Social in January had around 30 participants.  The next Social is scheduled for Tuesday, February 18th from 5-7pm at the Stalk Restaurant in Dover.
  • Don Chick took 60 headshots for Rotarians.  After editing wrinkles and any other visual imperfections, he will upload them to your profiles on the Club Runner – thank you Don!!!
  • Joanie Dickinson gave us an update on the Interact club.  The Interact club members have been doing Friday night socials for people with disabilities.  They serve pizza and sponsor dance parties.  The Interact students also volunteer during Special Olympics events (basketball).
  • Dave Holden griped about the disarray of New England sports with the Red Sox without a manager and the Patriots without a Superbowl birth.  BUT, BUT, BUT-wait for it--Punxsutawney Phil is predicting an early Spring.  And our venerable annual Poetry Hoot is coming to us on March 19th!
  • Next week, we vote for the Club’s officers – don’t forget – vote early and vote often as implored by our illustrious soon-to-be Club President!  You know who you are.
  • Caitlin Hassett won the $42 raffle.  Regrettably, the bonus was not a match L
Main Program:
Stella Scamman introduced our guest, the senator from the great state of Colorado, Michael Bennett.  Yet another candidate running for the President of the United States.  Stella reminded us that this has been quite a week for Politics.  On Tuesday, we watched the State of the Union.  On Wednesday, we watched President Trump being acquitted of Impeachment charges.  Just another ho-hum week in the Capitol.
Michael Bennet is an American businessman, lawyer, and politician who has served as the senior United States Senator from Colorado since 2009. A member of the Democratic Party, he was appointed to the seat when Senator Ken Salazar became Secretary of the Interior.  Bennet previously worked as a managing director for the Anschutz Investment Company, chief of staff to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, and as Superintendent of Denver Public Schools.
Bennet became superintendent of the Denver public school system in July 2005.  He was elected to the Senate in 2010 election, in which he defeated Republican Ken Buck. He chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 2014 cycle and was reelected to the Senate in 2016.
Michael encouraged us to ask him questions that we wouldn’t ask other candidates.  He assured us that his feelings have been eaten out of him during his time as a school superintendent!  He talked about the affordability of healthcare and was sad that some people have to work two or three jobs in order to make ends meet.  According to Senator Bennet, Americans spend twice as much on healthcare as other countries and this is not acceptable.
When asked about legalization for marijuana, Mr. Bennet said other states should learn from Colorado’s mistakes.  THC has a deleterious effect on a young person’s brain and the science overwhelmingly backs up that position.  Another negative was that this cash-driven business doesn’t bring in revenue for the state as was initially expected.  Banks are leery to lend to, or provide banking services to, companies that produce CBD and Hemp products due to the uncertainly brought about by federal law.
It was discouraging for Senator Bennet to hear that Rush Limbaugh received a Medal of Honor from the President.  He also stated that our education system promotes inequality as it is based on the parents’ financial status.
Our guest closed the meeting with the Four Way Test.  He lamented how he wished the federal government would take this test to heart.
Respectfully submitted, Yvonne Legge
Photos by Sara Treacy