Happy Halloween and Congratulations to the World Series Championship Red Sox.

President Dave and began the meeting with some introductory comments, the Pledge of Allegiance and Four-Way Test.   In honor of the Red Sox, the club song was Sweet Caroline, the 8th inning version from Fenway!


Guests were announced and the general meeting began following lunch.  The guests were Scott Tetanski, Stephanie Shaheen, Michelle Wagner and “Flo” Brownell.

Rotary Wreath orders are due soon – the last day to order is November 6th so get those orders in.    Remember, the club accepts credit cards – but credit cards charge fees, so if you know you’re buying something in advance, bring a check.

Announcements focused primarily on important holiday information and training.

Thanksgiving:   Please sign up to make turkeys, pies and for clean-up shifts - or see Priscilla for any other assistance that you can provide.

Christmas Trees:  See Flo (Marie) for Day Captain Training and Shannon for cashier training.   Bill mentioned that that slots for sales are almost full – but there are several left – please sign up if you can help.

Holiday Season:  Judy would be pleased to sign you up for a 1 hour bell ringing slot in Market Square – so please see her if you’d like to volunteer.

Joanie reminded everyone of the upcoming Auction in January, so if you want something fun to do in 2014, please see her.   Joanie also commented on the amazing effort by INTERACT with respect to its food drive – so far they have collected 627 items (up from 400 last year) and have a goal of 1000 items! Very impressive.

Happy dollars were offered in celebration of a new baby, awaiting a grandson, a new grandson, an anniversary, an engagement, and funds for attending Game 6 in which the Sox clinched the World Series,

Jim Rini then introduced our speaker, Jeff Barnum, who represents the environmental interests of the Great Bay Estuary, which is truly a national treasure.  Jeff advocates for Great Bay in general by offering information and education on its troubling problems and efforts to overcome them.   Jeff is supported by the Conservation Law Foundation, which as a New England based advocacy organization which endeavors to maintain and ensure compliance with four key programs: clean energy and climate change; clean water and healthy forests; healthy oceans and smart growth.

Jeff noted how Great Bay is a great spot for boating, birding, fishing and seeing wildlife.  However, the environmental impacts on the bay have been significant, and with a large continuing loss of eel grass, the ecology of Great Bay is struggling and its condition continues to worsen.  An example of this is the loss of oyster beds, which in 1993 the beds could filter the water in 2-3 days, but given the loss of beds, filtering the bay would now take about 1.5 years.  

In 2009, the EPA declared Great Bay to be “impaired”. The principal issue is elevated levels of nitrogen and suspended solids which blocks light infiltration, which in turn adversely affects the growth of eel grass.  Electric plants and wastewater treatment plants are two significant factors in the equation, but other factors, such are improper use of landscaping fertilizer and less impervious surfaces due to growth are also affecting the health of the bay.   Some efforts, such as reorganizing the metal scrap pile and government upgrades to treatment systems should help, but the question at this point is whether sufficient time exists to rehabilitate the bay.   Jeff urged action now, and the cost and impact of an ecological collapse of Great Bay would be devastating.

Keep Great Bay’s struggles in mind as you make decisions about issues at your house and on election days.

The meeting closed with Deb claiming the raffle of $89.00, but failing to secure the match jackpot – she needed a 3 but drew a 0. 

Next week’s program will be presented by the always entertaining Dennis Robinson.  

Departing Rotarians were greeted with an overcast 49 degree day – daylight savings will begin Saturday night, winter is on its way.