Lawrence Central Rotary | Lawrence, KS

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Lawrence Summer Community Bike Ride is Thus Saturday 7/16

Lawrence Community Bike Ride Summer 2016Plans have been made, volunteers have been scheduled so that this Saturday 7/16 anyone can come out to the Lawrence Rotary Arboretum and participate in this year’s summer Community Bike Ride.

The rides and activities start at 8:00 am to beat the summer heat.  There’ll be rides and activities for everyone ranging from a 1-mile easy loop around the Arboretum and Training wheel take-off for kiddos who want to the three-mile family ride out to the Clinton Lake overlook and back. Lastly, there is the 10-mile ride up to I-70 and back.

During all of the rides in the parking lot of the Arboretum there will be:

  • Helmets Fittings and Safety vests to participants (while supplies last).
  • Kid’s Zone with inflatables to burn off that extra energy.
  • Sunflower Bike will have a maintenance and bike check stand set up.
  • The Merc will have a great array of healthy snacks.

What a great way to spend a Saturday morning!  We hope to see everyone there!

LCBR-Summer-2016-info

Getting To Know Our Members

Getting to Know Lawrence Central Rotary's new and established membersKate Campbell’s last meeting as president of Lawrence Central Rotary on June 29 reflected a theme she has been emphasizing all year—“Getting to Know You.”

A panel of new members, Taryn Parillo and Jay Holley, and long time members, Glenn Davis and Lynn O’Neal, talked about their jobs, their hobbies, and their favorite things.

“I think the deepening friendships are what has made the comradery at the meetings so evident,” Kate said. “One of my favorite things has been watching people get to know each other. Building relationships was one of the reasons we set up potlucks that included spouses and children. And attendance at the holiday luncheon, the anniversary dinner, and the Family Frolic Picnic reinforced new friendships. At every meeting we each put in ‘Happy Money’ and talk about things that have happened during the week.“

On the 29th all four Rotarians told about their love for family gatherings, Christmas for Taryn and the fourth of July for Jay (although “we set the barn on fire with fireworks once,” he said.) Lynn told about big family get togethers in Branson and Glen travels often with some of his five children.

Differing in occupations, Taryn is a financial planner, Jay an architect, Glen in insurance, and Lynn a retired ophthalmologist, they have a common interest in community service that benefits Lawrence. Taryn said she especially enjoyed helping with the bike ride, while Jay talking about hearing about Rotary when members were planting flowers downtown. Glen, who said he is a “bike nut” has worked on several cycling projects over the years. Lynn said he joined Rotary for the friendships as well as the community service projects.

“It has been so good this year to have members bring spouses, children, and grandchildren to our volunteer projects,” Kate said. “There are so many examples of this such as the Community Bike rides, Christmas bell ringing, and presentations from Sister Cities, to name a few.

“Although fostering relationships was key, I’m also pleased that we continued all of our fundraising efforts and our international involvements'” she said.” Nearly everyone in the club has a project or has taken on responsibility for a particular task at some time during the year. And we’ve updated the ‘nuts and bolts’ for running the club by setting a budget, timely invoices, meeting notes and sending monthly Highlight emails.”

As Kate turns the gavel over to incoming president, Jim Peters, all the panel members agreed that her “Getting to Know You” project, aided by her warm and welcoming personality, has definitely been a success.

Kansas Association for Justice’s Matt Birch Speaks to Lawrence Central

bio_Matt_BirchFairness.  Impartiality.  These attributes are key to maintaining a court system that is respected by the public.  Matt Birch, attorney with Shamberg, Johnson & Berman in Kansas City, MO, and representative from the Kansas Association for Justice, spoke to Rotarians about the role of the judiciary on June 22. Birch began his comments by highlighting the division of power between legislative, administrative, and judicial branches that structures federal and state governments.  The courts were devised to stand independent of politics, serving as a check and balance to the actions of the other two branches of government where individuals are elected to office.

Birch began his comments by highlighting the division of power between legislative, administrative, and judicial branches that structures federal and state governments.  The courts were devised to stand independent of politics, serving as a check and balance to the actions of the other two branches of government where individuals are elected to office. The current method of appointing Supreme Court judges in Kansas is known as a “merit system.” It was established in 1958 in response to the infamous “triple play” that took place in Kansas in 1956.  Designed to separate judicial nominations from politics, the process uses a Supreme Court Nominating Commission made up of attorneys and other citizens to nominate three qualified people for the open seats on the court.  The Governor selects one of the three nominees to serve.

The current method of appointing Supreme Court judges in Kansas is known as a “merit system.” It was established in 1958 in response to the infamous “triple play” that took place in Kansas in 1956.  Designed to separate judicial nominations from politics, the process uses a Supreme Court Nominating Commission made up of attorneys and other citizens to nominate three qualified people for the open seats on the court.  The Governor selects one of the three nominees to serve.Birch explained that the merit system method of selecting judges in Kansas is now being challenged in the state legislature.  Instead of the merit system, the proposal is for a “federal-style” model where the Governor would select the nominee to the Supreme Court, subject to senate confirmation.  Such a change to the selection procedure for Supreme Court judges will require an amendment to the Kansas State Constitution. This new procedure is already in place for the Kansas appellate courts, established under a statute passed in 2013.

Birch explained that the merit system method of selecting judges in Kansas is now being challenged in the state legislature.  Instead of the merit system, the proposal is for a “federal-style” model where the Governor would select the nominee to the Supreme Court, subject to senate confirmation.  Such a change to the selection procedure for Supreme Court judges will require an amendment to the Kansas State Constitution. This new procedure is already in place for the Kansas appellate courts, established under a statute passed in 2013.Matt Birch noted that this fall five Supreme Court judges will be on the state ballot in a routine retention election.  Professional ethics prevents them from  “campaigning” or defending their records in any way.  Birch urged voters to avoid being influenced by whether or not these judges had made decisions that were popular with the public and instead to assess each of the five judges according to their professionalism, ethics, and legal credentials.

Matt Birch noted that this fall five Supreme Court judges will be on the state ballot in a routine retention election.  Professional ethics prevents them from  “campaigning” or defending their records in any way.  Birch urged voters to avoid being influenced by whether or not these judges had made decisions that were popular with the public and instead to assess each of the five judges according to their professionalism, ethics, and legal credentials.

Lawrence Central Members Spruce Up Rotary Arboretum

LCR members take a well-deserved break during the spring clean-up day at the Lawrence Rotary Arboretum on Saturday, June 18.  From left, Vern Brobst, Jim Peters, Fred Atchison, Audrey Coleman, Taryn Parillo and Glen Davis (not pictured) all pitched in to beautify the Arboretum. Members from all three Lawrence Rotary Clubs participated.

Arbor Work Day 6-18-2016 | Lawrence Central Rotary | Vern Brobst | Jim Peters | Fred Atchison | Audrey Coleman | Taryn Parillo | Glenn Davis (not pictured)

New Lawrence City Manager Tom Markus Visits Lawrence Central

Tom-MarkusNew Lawrence City Manager Tom Markus began his talk to Lawrence Central Rotary on June 17 by detailing his experience in the job. Beginning his career in 1973, he weathered 11 years in Cook County, Illinois, several years in Minnesota and, most recently, the top city job in Iowa City, Iowa.

“In Cook County, I learned how to keep a moral compass; in Minnesota, I was working in a state governed at that time by wrestler Jesse “the body” Ventura; in Iowa, I learned about life in a university town,” he said.  “All these experiences have shaped me, made me more patient and calm.”

But he knows he’s going to need all his experience and patience and a calm attitude in his new job. Markus said when he came to Lawrence he had an ambitious 100-day plan. “But I didn’t realize how complex Lawrence is.”

Now he is working to balance expenses and revenues in light of  the city’s potential for a $1.3 million deficit in 2017. He said some of the options are to raise revenue or cut expenses, but his preference is a middle ground of mixing and matching from both options.

“It’s close to the bone on decisions here,” he told Central Rotarians.  “The city has to provide core services such as police, education.  That’s essential.

“Federal and state government have shed their support for certain services which means we are going to have to handle them locally. Although,” he said “that’s not bad because the distance from services support can be too long. When it’s local, common sense can come into play.” He believes the new city commission has a good impact on budget planning.

“What I’m trying to do is figure how to settle the controversy, avoid polarization, and get to the middle,” he said.

Lawrence Humane Society’s Megan Scheibe Visits Lawrence Central

Megan Scheibe | Lawrence Humane Society | Lawrence Central RotaryMegan Scheibe of the Lawrence Humane Society said she always has loved animals and proves her point by currently being the adoptive “mother” of four pets.

Speaking at Lawrence Central Rotary on June 8, she said the Humane Society nurtures the human-animal bond by providing shelter, care and advocacy for abused and homeless pets.  In 2015 the Lawrence Shelter took in 3,571 pets including 2,186 strays and 851 that were surrendered by their owners. Dogs made up 1,611 of the received animals, cats were 1,883 and there were 74 others.

When an animal comes into the shelter there is an intake exam . Workers get as much information as possible and give the animal a medical check.  They prepare a behavior evaluation making sure the animals are happy, healthy (mainly  in the case of dogs) and what their personalities are like—if they are high energy or would be better off with an older family. They also see if surgery would be necessary.

“The place for a pet is in a home, not a shelter,” Scheibe said “and we work hard to place them.”  The number of adoptions is on the increase with over 2,000  in 2015. “We don’t keep them any longer than necessary,” she said.  The holding period for strays is three days minimum and for surrenders there is no hold. Others are handled case by case.  The average length of a stay is 27 days, with dogs averaging a 15-day stay.

The shelter staff also does cruelty investigations, 24 hour injured or ill pickup, community outreach education and low-cost micro-chipping.

“We can always use help,” she said. “We train volunteers, have a fostering program, encourage adoptions and are always very happy to accept donations.”

Melissa Fisher Isaacs Compares Lawrence Public Library to “Rotary’s Four Way Test”

Melissa Fisher Issacs | Lawrence Public Library | Lawrence Central Rotary | Four Way TestMelissa Fisher Isaacs, the information sources coordinator for the Lawrence Public Library, took the Rotary Four-Way test as her model and related it to  aspects of the library when she spoke to Lawrence Central Rotary on June 1.

“Is it the Truth?” Isaacs quoted the statement: “Google will get you 100,000 answers; a librarian will get you the right one.”

“Librarians help you get true, reliable information,” she said. “This year the Lawrence Public Library has answered 70,000 questions so far. Library information is vetted and reliable.”

“Is it Fair to all concerned?” 

Isaacs said the internet is necessary to daily life anymore and 88 percent of people in  Lawrence have it but there is a digital divide—and there are those who don’t have it.  So the public library offers help in using the computer and offers internet resources. Currently, they are sponsoring coding workshops for elementary school teachers, a filmmaking series and thousands of  book titles.

“Will it build Goodwill and better friendships?”

Joining a group builds goodwill and friendships. Isaac repeated the quote that joining a group “boosts your life expectancy as much as quitting smoking.”

The Lawrence Public Library offers book clubs, book talks, free meeting rooms, a sound & vision studio and several programs including one on genealogy.

And, finally, “Is it Beneficial to all concerned?”

The Lawrence Public Library is open to everyone and, currently, in the town of 90,000, there are 75,000 people in Lawrence who have a library card.  The library offers free yoga classes,  and programs that promote public health. It sponsors walks, free summer lunches for children and inexpensive lunches for adults.

Isaacs closed by saying the library staff is doing a community needs assessment to see in how many other  ways they can best serve the community.

A link to a PDF of Melissa’s complete comments is available here – it’s an interesting read!

Hosub Shim Discusses South Korea: An Important Ally in a Dangerous Neighborhood

Hosub Shim | Korea Today | Lawrence Central RotaryRepublic of Korea Army Captain Hosub Shim spoke on the history and security challenges of modern South Korea.  Captain Shim is a graduate and former teacher at Korea’s national military academy.  He also took an MA degree from Waseda University in Tokyo and is presently working on a Ph.D. in history at the University of Kansas.  Historically Korea has been invaded and occupied many times by powerful neighbors, including China and Japan.  However, Korean culture has survived and in South Korea, the people have prospered and built a powerhouse economy.The partition of Korea in 1945 was a defining moment in the history of the country.  The ensuing war between North and South devastated the peninsula.  The Korean War was also a Cold War

The partition of Korea in 1945 was a defining moment in the history of the country.  The ensuing war between North and South devastated the peninsula.  The Korean War was also a Cold War showdown with China and the United States engaged in combat in support of their respective allies.  Open combat ended after bitter fighting only to be replaced by a contentious ceasefire that is still in place.  North Korea continued to exist as a closed society with a one-party system dominated by the military and a ruling family.  Most of the people of the north live in poverty and suffer periodic famine and other material shortages.  In contrast the South is a democracy and boasts one of the strongest economies in the world.  Captain Shim illustrated the contrast by sharing a nighttime satellite photograph of the peninsula that shows the South full of points of light and the North almost totally dark.Captain Shim believes the biggest threat to the region is the present unstable regime in the North and their continuing development of nuclear capability.  The North continues to make threats and initiate provocative incidents.  South Koreans welcome the presence of U.S. military forces as a deterrent but the nuclear threat makes the status quo untenable.  Captain Shim belies it is essential for the United States to make a diplomatic neutralization of the North’s nuclear capability the highest priority.  Despite all obstacles South Koreans long for a reunification of the country some day.

Captain Shim believes the biggest threat to the region is the present unstable regime in the North and their continuing development of nuclear capability.  The North continues to make threats and initiate provocative incidents.  South Koreans welcome the presence of U.S. military forces as a deterrent but the nuclear threat makes the status quo untenable.  Captain Shim believes it is essential for the United States to make a diplomatic neutralization of the North’s nuclear capability the highest priority.  Despite all obstacles South Koreans long for a reunification of the country some day.

Dana Lattin on Rebuilding the Ryan Gray Playground for All

Ryan Grey PlaygroundRyan Gray was born in Lawrence in 1973 with an inoperable brain tumor, which limited him physically but not intellectually.  Noticed by KU basketball coach, Larry Brown, Ryan became an official ball boy for the KU team and its unofficial  number one fan and good luck charm, especially during the winning 1988 season.

Ryan died in 1990, and in 1993 a playground, named for him, was created  at Hilltop School, which was accessible to children with mobility disabilities, the first such in Kansas.

Now the  playground needs to be rejuvenated and a steering committee has been formed to purchase new equipment, increase accessibility even more and enhance options for exercise and health.

Dana Lattin, one of the steering committee chairs, told Central Rotarians on May 11 that the committee’s goal is to raise $260,000. The Lawrence school district will contribute part of the money and fund-raising efforts are under-way for the rest.

Dana Lattin, one of the steering committee chairs, told Central Rotarians on May 11 that the committee’s goal is to raise $260,000. The Lawrence school district will contribute part of the money and fund-raising efforts are under-way for the rest.

Changes to the playground will include a circular design and engaging play structures so children can play together. Signs and panels will include directions in Braille.  Currently, the pavement is buckling after years of use and needs to be replaced.

“We want to provide an opportunity for all youth and families to use the playground,” Lattin said.  “We want to re-engage the Lawrence/Douglas county community and increase playground usage,” she said.

For more information, or to contribute contact:  Dana Lattin, danalattin@gmail.com or Janel Leitch at janelleitch@gmail.com.

Record-breaking Bicycle Rider Ashton Lambie Tells His Tale

Ashton LambieThe old record time for the more-than-400-mile trip across Kansas on a bicycle was 29 hours and 52 minutes, set by Tim Parks of McPherson in July 1993.

Ashton Lambie’s wanted to complete the same journey in 24 hours or less.  “Technology has come a long way since the early 90’s and I was confident with newer bikes and aerodynamics I could do it, ” Lambie told Lawrence Central Rotary.

If you’ve attended any of Lawrence Central’s Community Bike Ride’s you’ve probably seen Ashton in the Sunflower bike tent tuning-up or fixing bikes that attendees bring to the event.

Ashton is also an avid distance rider who’s ridden in events all across the area and beyond.

The ride was sanctioned by the Ultra-Marathon Cycling Association after a barrage of paperwork was completed and he was able to coax and get a friend and co-worker approved as a race-officia and Lambie’s crew — made up of his wife and parents — drove behind him for the entire route.

Lambie rolled over the Kansas-Missouri border 23 hours and 53 minutes later, breaking the old record by nearly six hours and beating his personal goal by several minutes.

For more information about Ashton’s ride there’s a great article in the Lawrence Journal World you can read.

Lawrence Central Rotary Helps The Willow in May

Once again this May, Lawrence Central Rotary is collecting personal care products to deliver to The Willow Domestic Violence Center.  Becca Burns, Director of Volunteer Services at The Willow speaks regularly to the club.  The agency provides a growing variety of services to survivors of domestic abuse and human trafficking who live in Douglas, Franklin, or Jefferson County.  Find a list of items on their wish list at their website.

Every week we will have a bin where items can be placed into it that will be delivered to The Willow – they will also gladly accept monetary donations too!  In a note from Executive Director Joan Schultz their current needs are:

  1. Multi-vitamins (for children and adults)
  2. Bug spray
  3. Sunscreen
  4. Kid’s allergy I cold medicine (Triaminic, Zarbee’s)
  5. Kid’s pain relief I fever reducer
  6. Hairbrushes
  7. Laundry soap
  8. Face wash and moisturizer.

Lawrence Central Rotary Helps The Willow in 2016

Shon Qualseth, Bob Swan, & Sam Bhatka Named Paul Harris Fellows

Shon Qualseth | Bob Swan | Sam BhaktaLawrence Central Rotary has named Bob Swan, Shon Qualseth as Paul Harris Fellows in recognition of their service as president in prior years.  Bob joined LCR in February 2009.  His year as president was 2012-2013.  Shon joined the club in December 2007 and served as president from 2011-2012.

Lawrence Central Rotary has also named Sam Bhakta a Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of his four years as Treasurer of the club.  Sam joined LCR in November 2009.  Up until last summer, Sam was owner and manager of the Econolodge in Lawrence.  Since selling that business, Sam has been exploring new business ventures in the region.

Warm congratulations and a hearty thank you to each!

Downtown Lawrence’s Sally Zogry Update’s Lawrence Central

Sally Zogry | Downtown Lawrence Incorporated | Lawrence Central RotarySally Zogry’s motto is “Shop Small, Shop Local.” Zogry, the director of  Downtown Lawrence, has been on the job for three years. She’s watched activity in downtown Lawrence grow and is working to keep the downtown vital and busy.

“I plan an event that I’d like to attend—sometimes bringing the kids,” she said.

New activities in downtown have included the gift card program, collaborative partnerships with downtown businesses  which has been very successful. Discount gift cards ranging from $10 to $500 are accepted at 100 downtown businesses. “Annually we’ve sold $150,000 worth,” she said. “It keeps money downtown and is a closed loop program with only participating businesses. “

The Winter Parade, the first weekend in December has always been a popular event, but parade goers didn’t stay downtown after the parade, so it has been repackaged into a “Winter Weekend” with caroling, holiday shows and shopping and dinner packages.

Final Fridays have been rejuvenated with a goal toward including more businesses and encouraging more coordinated public relations and marketing by those participating, with an emphasis on restaurants.

The popular  Farmers Market, now in its 40th year, in the 800 block of New Hampshire on Saturdays, will be moving a Tuesday market to the Lawrence Library Lawn Plaza to facilitate parking.

Events scheduled for 2016 include  the Busker Fest in late May, the Dinners and Movies on the Library Lawn each month in the summer, and the fourth of July fireworks.

Zogry talked about six new businesses starting in town ,four restaurants, a boutique and a furniture store, and said she  is looking forward to a lofts and apartments building on New Hampshire and, possibly, a downtown grocery store.

Meeting Information:

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Location:
Eldridge Hotel
701 Massachusetts
Lawrence, KS 66044

Time:
Wednesdays at Noon

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