SPOKES VOL.LXXV NO.34     March 10, 2020   

We were greeted warmly this morning by Kathleen Brickley.

On this Election Day, President Odland welcomed everyone  and we opened with the “Pledge of Allegiance”, followed by Art Ayers’invocation, which also offered healing prayers for Bob Stickland, Jerry Portman, Tom Fleming, as well as our Rotarian chef, MattShafer.


Brian Dissette, City Manager
John Davidson (Deb)
Mary Sue Lyon (Bob Copping)
Jane Copping (Bob)
Sean Davis (grandson of Jim Davis)

Blessings in a Backpack on Friday, March 13th, at Lincoln Elementary. Please arrive by 1:15pm.
President Odland reported on the good progress being made by both Bob Stickland and Jerry Portman. Jerry Gruber reported on his visit to Bob, and Dan Thompson reported that Jerry Portman was in “great spirits”, when he visited.
Dan Thompson reminded all of us that nominations for our annual awards (Club Hero, Educator of the Year, Rotarian of the Year, and Citizen of the Year) are being accepted. Nomination forms are available on our websiteand, needless to say, we were encouraged to make a nomination or two.
ABO (After Business Hours) will be at Tello’s on March 19th.
President Odland indicated that he had received a thank you note from Hospitality House.
He also mentioned that Mary Sue Lyon had submitted her membership application! Mary Sue is President of the Theatre Series and is very active in SHOUT.
Our Educational Fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, April 25th, at the Beeches.


Bob Boerma had the “baton” this morning, and couldn’t help but mention that Brian Dissette had been one of his favorite tuba players in the South Haven High School Band. Our selections this morning were: “Shine on Harvest Moon”, “Sweet Adeline”, which, not so sadly, has been “retired” from our list of songs, and “Smile, Sing a Song”.

Sergeant-at-Arms, Stuart Comiskey, selected Kathy Brickley to draw the first winning ticket, which belonged to Brian Kurtz. Brian surveyed the table, hoping he could find the “2” or the “4”, but to no avail. He drew the “Ace”, meaning the “pot” was safe for YET another week. Don Hodgman was awarded the $2 prize, but I don’t believe it made it back to Don.

Steve Larsen’s daughter, Nadia, is celebrating her birthday.
Dan Thompson’s granddaughter, Elizabeth, who lives in Houston, is celebrating her 12th birthday.
A traditional “Happy Birthday” was offered to the two young ladies!


Richard Swanson shared a humorous tale about a cardiac surgeon and a mechanic. The mechanic figured that their jobs were quite similar, since they both repaired “engines”, changed “valves”, etc.; yet, he  failed to understand why the surgeon made so much more money. The surgeon simply replied that his occupation was special, since surgeons were required to make their repairs WITH THE ENGINES RUNNING!
Scott Mark- “Go Spartans”!
Tom Renner gave a “shout out” to the Hope College Women’s Basketball Team, who happen to have an unblemished record (29-0) and are currently playing in the NCAA Tournament.
President Odland reminded everyone to vote today, and mentioned that Rotarian Jean Stein was working as an election official.
Tom Rummel mentioned that Team 4855 RAMAGEDDON received a tremendous honor last week, when presented with the Chairman’s Award. This award is “presented to the team judged to best exemplify the true meaning of FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), through measurable impact on participants, school, and community-at-large, with emphasis on promoting science and technology through FIRST programs”. The award also provided an automatic berth into the state tournament!
Paul Hix reminded us of Big10 Tuesday, in Tom Fleming’s absence, and also indicated that stocks were up at the beginning of the day.


South Haven City Manager, Brian Dissette

“High Water and City Needs”
Program Chair: Don Hodgman

As Brian mentioned at the outset, most, if not all of us, are quite familiar with the many ramifications facing our city as a result of Lake Michigan’s high water levels. Brian’s presentation addressed those issues, in terms of what is being done, what is being planned, and the projected costs for each. Before actually beginning, Brian paid tribute to the work of Tom Renner, who not only provided most of the photography in Brian’s presentation but, as we well know, for Tom’s tremendous dedication to the city of South Haven in so many ways!
Some highlights:

+ Topics Covered: Water Levels/Coastal Erosion - most recent highwater occurrences were in 1958 and 1986; Riverbank Erosion; Beach Nourishment; Monroe Bluff Beach; North Beach; Southside and Northside Marinas; Black River Park

Electrical Conduit

Infrastructure: Huge issues involved at wastewater and water filtration. Ability to remove waste may be severely impacted; A million gallons of underground drinking water may be in jeopardy

Flooding: Additional dam structures to be placed; Assistance from the Army Corps of Engineers

Bascule Bridge: Brian referenced the story from News Channel 3 a few weeks ago, which stated that the bridge’s electrical issue might not be fixed. He indicated that the story “ran” without any knowledge/approval of the city, and that there were NEVER any plans NOT to have it fixed.

+ If ALL of the aforementioned issues were addressed, the repairs would top $20 million! We have no ability to fix everything immediately; however, we should all be assured that the city is investigating all avenues of funding (state budget, federal funds, grants, etc). As Brian stated, “The situation is rough, but the sky isn’t falling!” ENCOURAGE people to visit!!!

+ The Splashpad is scheduled to open prior to Memorial Day.

President Odland thanked Brian for his presentation and all of his dedicated work. On behalf of the South Haven Rotary, Brian was then presented with our trademark pen.

A special thank you to Steve Miles for insuring that our technology worked well!

A Board Meeting is to follow the regular meeting.


Next Week’s Greeters: Melinda Gruber and Rosalie Plechaty

Next Week’s Program: Senior Housing Update
Steve Larsen, chair

We concluded the meeting with the Four-Way Test.

Seasonal Editarian: Art Ayers