Posted by Dene Hadden
SPOKES VOL. LXV NO. 7                                                                               August 14, 2018
Tony Martorano and Kathleen Brickley were our greeters this morning.
President Mark Odland opened today’s meeting with the “God Bless America” and Art Ayers provided our invocation.  Art included a special message of good thoughts to Dan and Missy Thompson as Missy undergoes cancer treatment over the next three weeks in St. Louis.
President Odland introduced Deputy Danny Thomason, our speaker this morning.
The Spotlight today fell on our pancake breakfast.  First Don Hodgman thanked everyone who helped in any way and is impressed how so many members handle the various responsibilities that need to be taken care of without even a reminder.  He also reminded us of all of the help we get from community members.  Bob Straits said we handed out 1542 sets of silverware and took in $12, 841.00 to date with a little more expected.  That should be enough to make this the fifth year in a row that we have increased our income.  Don Hixson spoke about the car show and how the “youngsters” from the local car club have taken it over for us and how they did a terrific job.  A couple of problems were noted:  One of the regulators on the gas tanks appears to have malfunctioned and it might be wise to replace some of the spatulas that were either broken or poorly designed.  Steve Larsen spoke about the parking situation caused by the heavy rains earlier in the week but that everyone recovered.  He would like to see some additional signage.  Jean Stein mentioned that we received raves at the most recent Township Board meeting.
Due to time restraints this morning we had to forgo our songfest, much to everyone’s disappointment – and we have been sounding so harmonious lately.
  • Jerry Gruber spoke about the annual club picnic, to be held on August 21st at the Gruber cottage.  It’s BYOB and BYOC (Chair).  Everything else will be provided, maybe even some entertainment!  Anyone who did not get signed up or needs directions can call Jerry at 269-906-2236.
  • Mark Twain will be in town for a presentation on Saturday, August 21st at the Methodist Church beginning at 7:30.  $10
  • On September 18th any candidate for public office will be able to present their program to the club.  The time will be divided into equal segments so each candidate/proposal will have equal time.  Please let Bob Straits know if you know a candidate who wants to appear in front of our group.
  • We have directory sheets for our newest members, Steve Miles and Tom Noverr.  If you did not get them, see President Odland.
  • Jeff Melvin, who also serves as president of the Bangor Lions Club and Tom Ruesink announced we would have a box available beginning next week to collect old eye glasses for distribution to those in need – a long held passion of Lions clubs worldwide.
  • We received a nice thank you from our district governor for his gift of blueberry treats.
Deputy Thomason had the winning ticket and used his investigative powers to draw the 4, winning the pot which he generously donated back to the club.  Bill Roberts won $2 this week.
  • Larry Lewis is grateful to celebrate the 11th birthday of grandson Max this week.
  • Bob Stickland was pleased to announce that his wife Delores is celebrating her anniversary this week.
  • Jerry Portman is taking the opportunity to celebrate his birthday this week.
  • Richard Swanson and his lovely wife Marilyn are celebrating their anniversary this week.
  • Deb Davidson is celebrating two birthdays this week, that of her son and son-in-law.
  • We were not going to sing to celebrate these happy events but a few members did eeek out a few verses of a Ludington style birthday song.
  • We passed the hat for folks to pay their fines for various offenses which will remain unnamed.
Art Bolt introduced Deputy Danny Thomason for his presentation on Internet Safety.
Deputy Thomason began with a video showing a “mind reader” telling people all about their lives and then it was revealed that he was getting all of his information from the Internet using just their name or possibly just facial recognition software.
His number one piece of advice:  Be Skeptical!
He told us that in this era of cyber wars, big money and very smart people are trying to hack into computer systems and your private information all of the time.
He mentioned that ransomware was a big threat for businesses and that most people have come across a fake ransomware screen on their computer that can be very scary.  Most of the time doing a hard restart of your computer of phone will solve this kind of problem, but if not, contact the police and your local IT people to resolve it.
He also talked about email scams in which you get an email that looks like it is from your bank or other institution you use.  His advice:  call your bank or other business directly to resolve any issue.  Do not click on any link.  He said that the request could be for something that seems trivial and harmless as they are just looking to get access to your computer.
He strongly advised against putting too much information on Facebook, especially when you are going to be gone or make a big purchase.  Also, make sure you status is set so your information is visible to “Friends Only”.
He also presented information about wifi and how important it is to make sure your wifi is secure, even the connections between your system and the many devices in your home that could be connected to it by wifi or blue tooth, including your computers, phone and the cameras on those devices.  Make sure you have a good, strong password!
Remember, when it comes to free applications like FaceBook, Linkedin and others, you are the product.  These companies are selling your information to make money, so the more they know about you, the more money they can make.  Businesses you use can retarget you in their advertising and sell you information to other companies to be distributed all over the Internet.
Lastly, Deputy Thomason talked about parenting and the Internet, urging parents to know: How many social networks your children are on and which ones; What are their usernames and passwords on those networks and email/messaging accounts; Who are their friends on each network.
President Odland thanked Deputy Thomason for his presentation and visit and presented him with a gift of our Rotary pen.
We closed our meeting with the Four Way Test.
Next week’s program: Tony Martorano will introduce Van Buren County Sherriff Daniel Abbott who will talk about new programs at the Sheffiff’s Department.
Next week’s Greeters:  Tony Martorano and Steve Miles
Editarian:  Dene Hadden