Posted by Dene Hadden
SPOKES VOL. LXVI NO. 2                                                                               July 16, 2019
We were greeted by Don Dobbins this rainy summer morning.
President Odland opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and Art Ayers provided the invocation.
We welcomed a hoist of guests this morning including  grandson of Don Hixson and prospective member Vince Duggan, South Haven Assistant City Manager Kate Hosier, Marian Hixson, Jane Copping, our speaker Jim Hettinger and his assistant Patricia Mullin. Frank Cunningham and another possible member, Kaleigh Eddy.
Getting to Know You:
Sue Duval was our Getting to Know You participant this morning.  Sue is a member of a fourth generation South Haven Family who left South Haven after high school and went on to study nursing, reaching her doctorate degree.  She has lived a life of adventure, traveling all over the world for her work.  She especially enjoyed the learning experiencers she had moving from place to place, recalling one of the biggest culture shocks was moving to New Jersey.  She returned to South Haven last November to help care for her mother.  She like the town we have turned into and enjoys her role as a Rotarian here.
Paul Harris Fellow
Tom Renner received his Paul Harris Fellow pin and certificate this morning.  Part of his Rotarian of the Year award, congratulations to Tom on a well deserved recognition.
  • We received word this week that we received two Rotary grants, one for $3,500 to add to our splash pad donation for a total of $13,500 and a second for $2,000 for scholarships to be presented in honor of Don Hixspn and Glenn Pietenpol.
  • Pancake Breakfast Information:  We served about 850 people at our July 7th breakfast and collected more than $9,000, both well above previous highs.  The fly-In breakfast will be moved slightly – into a tent neat our current location as the hanger we use will not be available.
  • Marty Graber sent us an update on progress in Ngoswani and they are putting the finishing touches on everything and expect the x-ray machine this week.
  • Flyers for the Speaker’s, Performance, and Theater Series along with other events were on our tables today.
Bob Boerma led us in song today.We started off with one of our newer songs, “If You Knew Suzie”, written in 1925.In the largely comic song, a man sings that he knows a certain woman named Susie to be much wilder and more passionate than most people realize.We followed that with the 1928 classic, “Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella”, originally recorded by Lee Morse and Her Bluegrass Boys - recorded for Columbia Records on January 23, 1928.We finished with an old Rotary favorite, “Roll, Rotary, Roll”.
Ted Weber got back to his winning ways this week, winning half the pot.He did leave $2 for Deb Davidson to win in the second drawing.
  • Tom Renner and his lovely wife Carol are celebrating their 54th anniversary this week and it is also Carol’s birthday.
  • Larry and Barb Wittkop ajre celebrating their 55th anniversary this week.
  • Steve Larsen is celebrating a birthday this week.
  • Ivo Knapp, our 96 year old WWII veteran, is celebrating his birthday this week.
  • Larry Lewis is also celebrating a birthday this week.
  • Vince reminded us that his grandfather’s birthday (Don Hixson) is later this week.
  • Tony Martorano reported that he is all repaired and everything is “shooting straight up”.
Bob Straits introduced our program today, Jim Hettinger, and his topic, Economic Development in the South Haven Area.
Jim is a long time worker in the economic development field, beginning in Battle Creek with the development of the Fort Custer Industrial Park.  He is assisting South Haven as we review our economic development options and growth potential.
Jim and his associate Patricia Mullin presented a slide show about economic development and what is being discussed in South Haven.  He began by reviewing seven examples of definitions of what economic development is.  His favorite included, for our purposes, a 10 mile radius in which to affect business growth.
He indicated that progress in this area is not a straight line and can vary from time to time and place to place.  He did mention that a new group, Market Van Buren has undertaken the task of studying economic development in Van Buren county.  South Haven’s work will focus on the South Haven area and it’s future and will coordinate with Market Van Buren as opportunities present themselves.
South Haven is doing this work because the status quo is not acceptable, fellow communities are doing it, the closing of the Palisades power plant and to look at other opportunities beyond tourism.
He then talked about what works in economic development including how to go about it, from city based to contracting an agency to doing nothing.
He described how a plan would work, including many possible strategies with many tools available.
The goal is to fine tune South Haven’s plan and strategies to give us every opportunity to improve the economic situation of our community and the people who live here.
Patricia Mullin then indicated that we would be receiving a survey from their office about our thoughts on economic development in South Haven.
President Odland thanked Jim for his presentation and wished him luck as he and the city move forward.
We closed the meeting with the Four Way Test.
Next week’s program: John Hamilton will present the program “Ending the Silence”
Greeters:  Sue Duval and Jerry Gruber
Editarian:  Dene Hadden