SPOKES VOL. LXIV NO. 14                                                                               October 10, 2017
Our greeters this morning were Jean Stein and Bob McAlear.
We opened our meeting with “America the Beautiful”, and Art Ayers offered our invocation.
Our guests today included our speaker, mayoral candidate Paul VandenBoesh.
No spotlight this week
Jim Davis, assisted by Larry Wittkop and a newly repaired Dottie, was our song leader this morning.  We had a couple of tear jerkers on the music sheets this morning, beginning with the 1910 hit, “Down by the Old Mill Stream”.  Several hounds in the neighborhood were heard howling as we made our way through this barbershop quartet favorite.  Next up was “Me and My Gal”, a 1917 popular standard song by George W. Meyer with lyrics by Edgar Leslie and E. Ray Goetz and recorded by Van and Schenck.  This song was used in the 1942 film of the same name, where it is the first song that Jo Hayden (Judy Garland) and Harry Palmer (Gene Kelly) perform together.  We finished with “Sing a Song to Rotary” which is sung to the tune of the University of Maine’s “The Maine Stein Song”; it was popularized in 1930 by Rudy Vallée and became the only college song to become a number one hit.
  • Don’t forget the Club Runner App for your phones, it’s a great resource! It now features member birthday and anniversaries.  Hopefully consistent use of Club Runner will keep members aware of their anniversaries and save much grief.  Spokes can also be assessed through this app.
  • Snowbirds are reminded to let Bob Straits and Rhonda know when you will be gone and to take care of your financial arrangements prior to leaving.
  • Members are encouraged to move around each week so you get to know your fellow Rotarians, especially new members.
  • Our first Blessings in a Backpack work session is scheduled for November 3rd.  Let Rhonda know if you will be able to help.
  • We will be manning a beer tent at the Haven Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 21st.  More information later, but put it on your calendar, either to work or to enjoy a beverage or two.  There will be a signup sheet passed around next week for two hour shifts from 4:00 to 9:00 PM on the 21st.
  • We received an email from District this week thanking us for selling all of our raffle tickets.  They seemed a little amazed and very happy with our results, especially given our previous efforts.
Stu Comiskey, as substitute Sgt.-at-Arms, found a politician hopeful to draw out ticket today.  Bill Roberts had the lucky ticket, but drew a “pot builder” for a future winner.  He did draw a $2 winning ticket for Ted Weber, however.
  • Tom Renner and several other Cub fans are celebrating the Cubs and are are hoping for a victory tonight.
  • Jim France’s youngest daughter is celebrating her birthday today and was serenaded with a rather well done birthday song.
  • Larry Wittkop’s twin grandsons are celebrating a birthday while their sister qualified for three different events at the MHSAA State Swim Finals in November.
  • Bob Boerma was proud of the halftime show at the MSU/UofM game Saturday, with the music written by his son Scott.
  • Dene Hadden paid for his son and grandson’s birthday’s today and for having his picture in the paper while he was announcing the volleyball match last week.  (SH won in 5 sets, 17-15 in the 5th.)
  • About half of the membership was delighted with the outcome of the game in the Big House last weekend.  About half of the membership was slightly heavily disheartened.
  • There were no comments about the Lions.
For the second week in a row, Bob Stickland introduced our speaker, this time Mayoral candidate Paul VandenBoesh
Paul began by passing out his priorities and action plan to our membership.Included in that plan was his main priority, fixing the streets and continue the road improvement program.
His focus is on making South Haven a quality residential community.He wants to improve pedestrian safety and build a bike friendly community, insuring the quality of life in every neighborhood.
He wants to listen to residents and make decisions in open meetings, not behind closed doors.
He sees city government as only having one job – to serve the citizens of the community – and he wants to make sure that is how the city and its staff needs to operate.
He would hope that the city uses its horticultural history to improve the design aesthetics of town, making South Haven a beautiful place to live, even using the concept of a place like Meijer Gardens to build how we look.
He also wants to make sure that we don’t use progress and/or development to force out current residents.He suggests that be done as the zoning and planning functions of city government look carefully at each proposed development and the affect it would have on current residents.
His economic development plan revolves around his belief that it is best to work regionally, developing relationships with organizations like Southwest Michigan First in Kalamazoo to help develop businesses.He also believes that we need to make a concerted effort to work with Kent and Ottawa counties to build relationships that will encourage them to recognize the potential we offer for business, labor and places for workers to live.
He does suggest that we might look at putting together a business incubator, encourage STEM training in our local schools and especially to help develop remote work spaces for those people who can work from anywhere.
Paul indicated that the biggest obstacle to commercial development is the high cost of commercial space, most of which is privately held.He does see working with the township in developing an industrial park as a possibility, especially given the high cost of developing these kinds of spaces.
President Renner provided Paul with one of our speaker’s gifts and thanked him for presenting.
President Renner also reminded us that the AAUW will be holding a forum for all of the City candidates on Thursday evening, October 26th.
We closed the meeting with the Rotary Four Way Test.
Next week’s program: Scott Smith, our other mayoral candidate will be our speaker next week.
Next week’s Greeters:  Mark Odland and Bob Straits
Editarian:  Dene Hadden