Wow, stop the presses, what a way to start our meeting! The Overtones performed a rendition of the National Anthem rivaling Whitney Houston’s version! What would it cost the club to have the Overtones as regular openers??? They joined us today to promote The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace to be performed last Sunday the 19th. Rotary was a generous supporter of this production.


After introduction of several guests, and the invocation by Reverend Allen, President Dave put above the fold that India is now celebrating 3 full years of being free from polio! Rotarians everywhere should be proud.


This just in: Final report on tree project looks like this:

                Gross sales over 95k, club net projected to be over $38,000!

                This is $5,000 over budget and about $2,000 over last year.

                Special salute to Janice’s wreaths team with over $6,000 in gross sales.

                Big thanks to our friends at the Mavericks and Interact and the host of Rotarian’s kids who helped out.


Finemaster Neal was nailing the front porch every time with these fines: $2 to John Lyons just for being at the meeting; John Rice for his flamboyant tie; John Tabor for his flamboyant tie wannabe; Dick for his bow tie; $1 if you did not have a striped shirt; $1 if you delivered newspapers as a kid, and the list went on…


Joanie Dickinson announced that she is looking for donations for the auction set for February 20. You can access the donor form on our website or go to : Please bring wine to the next few meetings to add to the wine raffle. Here are the stats:


WHAT: Our Annual Auction





WHEN: Thursday, February 20, 2014 (No lunch meeting that date)
6:00 To 9:00 pm, Live Auction Starts At 8:00 pm


WHERE: Portsmouth Country Club





BID TO WIN: Silent Auction, Live Auction, Wine Raffle, 50/50


INFO: Sponsor A Table, Buy Advance Tickets

Or Donate Auction Items!


Joanie Dickinson at 603-858-5626








The Herald’s publisher (and our own member), John Tabor, introduced Howard Altschiller, Executive Editor of the Portsmouth Herald (and all the other seacoast papers). What is a day in the life of a newspaper editor like anyway? Howard describes it as “triage”. “Every day is different”, Howard said, “and you have to be ready to adjust quickly”. As an example, just a few days ago there was a standoff in Hampton Falls. The Hampton editor had to get pulled off what he was working on, a photographer who was covering a sporting event left that to go to the scene, others jumped on social media, someone had to draft the copy, editors had to decide how and where the story would be placed in the paper, and this had to all be done very quickly to beat press deadlines. Pressure. Excitement. Stress. News!!


Howard has been in this business for 30 years. He and his 29 full-time reporters and a host of special feature writers, have learned to do more with less of a budget and to adapt to rapidly changing technology in a news-hungry world. In the last 10 years, Howard said, “it’s all about change”. New owners, social media, electronic media, smaller budgets, all part of the challenges of being an editor. “Information is power” Howard observed, and he thanked his dedicated staff, by name, for being ever mindful of that and the responsibility that comes with such power.


Every day at 3pm, the editors get together and decide what will be covered on the front page. They may have a great story with no picture, or a great picture with no story. Sometimes they have both! The Editorial board meets once a week and decides what issues to tackle. Howard reads all the letters to the editor. They are a good barometer of how well the paper is doing getting issues in the public eye and often spur contents of editorials. But the herald is about more than news; it is about a connection to the community. Howard was struck by how much the community is engaged with local issues and how they refuse to be passive. That is, in the end, a sign of a strong community Howard observed. Howard proudly announced that the Hearld had raised over $50,000 in fuel assistance as part of its commitment to this community. Fascinating program!


Former president Tony won just enough of a raffle to get a year’s subscription to… the Portsmouth Rotary Log.