Rotary Log for August 16, 2018
President Cleo opened the meeting with the Pledge. Al Lantinen was song leader. Greeter Yvonne Legge had four questions for us. John Rice intoned the invocation.
Guests (and Rotarian Hosts)
Paul Careno (Luis Melchor)
Scott Henry (Justin Finn)
Heather Inyert (Tristan Shanley)
Paula Parrish (Priscilla MacInnis)
Announcements and Fines
Cleo announced that Jessica Hamilton was placed on seven-day notice.
At this point the traveling microphone went kaput! So, each subsequent announcer had to rely on their own lung capacity to be heard.
Len Seagren had no problem with that! Len had attended the Seacoast Rotary Club’s breakfast earlier where Ted Alex had given an effective presentation on RotaPlast. As a result, their members individually contributed $110 toward our RotaPlast trip.
Prior to levying fines, Neal Ouellett explained the two pictures placed on each luncheon table. The first was a photograph of the 1954 Portsmouth Elementary School basketball team. Neal directed our attention to a smiling boy with his eyes shut. The savvy fine master surmised that young Basil Richardson was practicing sleep walking at an early age.
The second picture showed Past President Ben Wheeler proudly displaying the 48 -inch fish he apparently caught. Mark Larusso was in the background trying to share the glory. Neal fined Ben for possibly borrowing the fish from a taxidermist.
Our two speakers were Democratic District One U.S. Congressional candidates Lincoln Soldati and Deaglen McEachern. The primary will be held September 11.
Lincoln Soldati grew up in Portsmouth. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame despite the interruption of a stint in the Army. He went to law school back in New Hampshire after which he began to practice.
Between 1983 and 2001 Lincoln served as Strafford County Attorney. He highlighted the change effected during that time in Strafford County’s treatment of sexual abuse victims. He also was a vocal opponent of the death penalty.
In 2016 Lincoln traveled to the West Bank in Palestine. While there, he mentored Palestinian Public Defenders.
For Lincoln the two most important issues are climate change and health care. Climate change is the most “existential” issue, he maintains. One that will most impact our grandchildren. Regarding health care, Lincoln advocates a single payer (government) system. He posited that such a system would be less expensive than our current one.
Commenting on the immigration issue, Soldati said he prefers legal immigrants.
“But,” the ex-lawyer noted, “We already have a lot of (illegal) people here”.
He particularly favors asylum-seekers. On a personal note, Lincoln said that his foster grandson is an immigrant. According to Lincoln, the grandson spent 18 months in jail due to ICE agents forging his documentation.
Our second guest speaker was Deaglan McEachern. Introductant Tony Delyani did yeoman’s work in correctly pronouncing his name! Deaglen’s first wish was that all District 1’s residents would spend as much time focusing on his name as he surmised Tony had done.
Deaglan, a tech industry entrepreneur, offered three reasons why he is running:  health care, gun control and New Hampshire employment.
As a husband, Deaglan faced financial issues when his wife required hospitalization shortly after their marriage. The experience made him favor a single payer (government/taxpayer) system, a.k.a. Medicare for everyone. Costs would then decrease, the candidate says.
As a parent, Deaglan is concerned that children are at risk in schools. Therefore, he advocates more restrictive gun control. This includes more background checks and prohibition of specific firearm designs.
As a citizen Deaglan worries about employment opportunities in New Hampshire. He notes that automation will eliminate many jobs. To remedy this, Deaglan advocates increased focus on trade vocations for young people.
When questioned about term limits, Deaglan provided this scribe’s favorite riposte of the meeting. The congressional hopeful quipped, “Politicians don’t age well like good wine. Rather they age like vegetables”.
With both speakers in the same political party, their stated positions were often similar. Each candidate declared themselves well qualified based on background, experience and specific stances on the issues.
As always, informed Rotarians are encouraged to exercise their right to vote.
The $45 raffle was won by Tom Decker. There was no match.
Respectfully submitted, Richard Greulich
Photos by Tube Loch