Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thompson Addresses Water Usage

Jack Petersen and June McAfee greeted Rotarians, visitors and guests to the 3716th meeting of St. George Rotary. Ray Robinson led the SGR choir in a rousing version of “God Bless America.” Lee Warren invited those in attendance to follow him in the Pledge of Allegiance. June McAfee asked for the blessings of heaven on the meeting and the meal. David Clark took the podium for a spirited Horseplay to benefit the Polio Plus program with Shar Heitkotter collecting the fines.

Announcements: Mark Armstrong reminded members to look in their e-mailboxes for their electronic invoices for quarterly dues. Ken Seefeld noted he had hard copies for anyone who might prefer that format instead. Members with questions about their billings are encouraged to contact Ken or Mark directly.

June McAfee expressed her appreciation for the efforts of members to distribute dictionaries in 17 elementary schools in the county. There are three schools yet to receive their books, but distribution is scheduled for this week.

The club Christmas party is tentatively planned during lunch on Monday, December 15. Watch for more information.

Program: Jeannine Holt introduced Ron Thompson, Executive Director of the Washington County Water Conservancy District which organization oversees 72,588 acre feet of developed water. Thompson indicated two power plants in the area generate approximately $1 million in revenues for the county. Projects in various stages of completion include Crystal Lake (scheduled for completion in 2010); Sand Hollow on the southern corridor ; Anasazi Tank which will help level the arsenic levels in local reservoirs from 70 parts per million to 10 parts per million based on the most recent federal directives. Other projects include the Warner Valley pipeline (2014) and the Anderson Junction Reservoir. The Water Conservancy District is also in the process of construction of a new building on the Red Hills Parkway.

According to the "5 foot, 20 inch" executive director, 47% of water is consumed in the county for commercial use. 38.7% is consumed by fulltime residents and another 14.3% is used by part time residents and visitors. In order to meet the water demands of an ever-growing population in Southern Utah, the Utah Department of Water Resources and Washington, Kane and Iron counties are in the planning stages for the construction of the Lake Powell Pipeline. This pipeline will convey water from Lake Powell to Sand Hollow Reservoir. The 139 miles of pipe will bring 10,000 acre-feet of water to Kane County, 70,000 acre-feet of water to Washington County and 20,000 acre-feet of water to Iron County. The project will be funded at an interest rate of 3-4% shared in the state and region. Construction will begin in 2015 with water delivery scheduled to begin in 2020.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Immigration Reform is Luncheon Topic

Jack Petersen and Don Pendleton greeted Rotarians and guests to the 3315th meeting of St. George Rotary Club on Monday, October 20. Ray Robinson conducted the SGR choir in a spirited version of “God Bless America.” Our “Flag Man” Lee Warren invited members to follow him in the Pledge of Allegiance. Ken Seefeld asked for the blessings of heaven on the meeting and the meal. Ken Sizemore conducted an energetic Horseplay while Paula Bell collected fines on behalf of Polio Plus!

President Jeff reminded members invoices for the immediate past quarter were sent by e-mail. A hard copy invoice will also be distributed to members who prefer notification by that method. Any questions relating to invoices or amounts due may be referred to Mark Armstrong or Ken Seefeld.

President Jeff also offered the congratulations of the club to St. George City Mayor Dan McArthur on the recent groundbreaking for the city’s new airport. Club members broke into a spontaneous round of the “Dixie Song.”

June McAffee gave a brief report on SGR’s dictionary project which she says is “going well thanks to the efforts of Rotary volunteers, including Rotaract students.” This year 2100 Washington County 3rd graders will receive their very own dictionary.

Richard Isom announced the first-ever Rotary Bowl Souvenir Pin, available at a cost of $5 each.

Greg Basso reminded members time is running out to order wheelchairs in time for Christmas. Please call Greg as soon as possible to make a contribution of support.

George Whitehead announced the celebration of cultural arts month at Dixie State College. He invited Rotarians to a variety of events associated with the celebration including a Gala Ball on Friday, October 24 at the St. George Community Arts Center. On Saturday, October 25 there will be a Concert at the Burns Arena.

Program: Jeannine Holt introduced guests Washington County Sheriff Kirk Smith; St. George Police Chief Marlon Stratton; Washington County Commissioner Denny Drake; Mike Stewart, Supervisor for the St. George Field Office of Homeland Security; and Steve Branch, Director of the Salt Lake City Field Office of Homeland Security with responsibility for Utah, Nevada, Montana and Idaho.

Director Branch reported Homeland Security’s mission is to keep the country safe which is challenging because of scarce resources. The staff has recently doubled at the St. George office as a result of major recent changes in the approach for dealing with immigration issues through partnering with state and local municipalities. Director Branch noted, "If you enter this country illegally - it is a crime. We work to take these people off the streets, prosecute and deport them." Utah deports about 200 non-citizens a month from as many as 38 different countries. The largest share of deportations are to Mexico.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Meet Shawn Hatch

Shawn Hatch, one of SGR's newest members, came to St. George last year from Portland, Oregon following studies at Western States Chiropractic College including a six month internship in Peru. The bi-lingual Dr. Hatch is now in business as Advanced Spine and Rehab at 619 S. Bluff Street, Ste. 400 and can be reached by phone at 656-0234. Shawn grew up in southern Nevada, graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from SUU and served an LDS mission in Ecuador. In his leisure time, he enjoys any outdoor activities and playing ball - including basketball, baseball and football. He also plays the guitar "for fun, but not in front of an audience!" Shawn and his wife Stina are expecting their first baby next month!

What attracted him to Rotary? "I had been looking for ways to get involved in the community. When Nick (Lang) invited me to a meeting, I was impressed and decided to join!"

Monday, October 13, 2008

SGR Welcomes Senatorial Candidates

Don Pendleton and Jack Petersen greeted members attending the 3314th meeting of SGR. Ray Robinson lead SGR's choir in a spirited rendition of "In the Good Old Summertime." Lee Warren invited members to follow him in the Pledge of Allegiance. Sam McArthur asked for the blessings of heaven on the meeting and the meal. Linda Baker took the podium for Horseplay while Don Dunham collected fines on behalf of Polio Plus.

Announcements: Jim Coleman reminded the prez, prez-elect/membership chair and the president nominee of the Saturday, November 1 meeting in Provo which focuses on membership.

President Jeff announced the receipt of a $545 simple grant from RI for the club's dictionary project.

Kimberly Johnson encouraged participation as volunteers or entries in the DRB parade on Saturday, December 6 leading up to the bowl game at the Hansen Stadium

Kris Neal encouraged members to make their seat selections for the DRB and get the reservation form back to her by fax ASAP.

Program: Jeannine Holt introduced Steve Urquhart (R) incumbent and Brooks Pace (D) running for the Utah Senate District 29 seat. Pace called himself "an accidental politician" and thanked Steve for being a gracious opponent in this campaign. He noted "my cause is the future of Washington County. Bloomington and the advent of air conditioning got this big ball rolling, but with growth we have seen some great companies move to this area. I'd like to see an increase in tourism growth rather than retirement growth. Water? We have enough to support more than half a million residents. I support education, tourism, transit . . . but not the pipeline project."

Steve Urquhart expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to serve, noting "we have accomplished some good things up there. We are the best managed state in the nation and Utah is in pretty good shape in this economic downturn. We have reduced taxes by $400 million and increased funding for education by about 40% in the past few years - including Dixie State College which received more this year than any other college or university in the state. I appreciate the good work being done by our local elected officials . . . and I do support the pipeline project."

On the subject of immigration, Pace noted "it is a national problem, but the bulk of the impact is being felt in the SW United States. I am concerned about a bill passed by a single state which forces illegals into neighboring states. It does not solve the problem!" Urquhart responded, "Utah is a magnet for illegals. We need to do away with the driving card and educational support to illegals, but the federal government is 'missing in action' on this issue."

On water rights, Pace expressed the need to explore other water resources, including the Navajo Aquafer, conservation and alternatives to water use from the Virgin River and Santa Clara Creek." Urquhart responded that "our water should not flow downriver for other states to use. There are no phantom sources for water. If we say 'no' to the pipeline project, our future will be determined!"

Elections will be held Tuesday, November 4. Don't forget to VOTE.

Friday, October 10, 2008

SGR Meets the Candidates (10/6/2008)

Kimberly Johnson and Don Dunham extended a hand of welcome to members and guests. Ray Robinson lead the SGR choir in a rousing rendition of "You're A Grand Old Flag." Eldon McArthur invited members to follow him in the Pledge of Allegiance and June McAfee asked for the blessings of heaven on the meeting and the meal. Ken Sizemore took to podium to conduct a lucrative Horseplay while Dan Strobell collected the "filthy lucre" on behalf of Polio Plus!

Announcements: June McAfee reminded members of the assignment to deliver dictionaries to 3rd grade classrooms throughout the WCSD. Pick up books at Grant Carter's office.

Richard Isom enthusiastically shared one of several advertisements for TV promoting the upcoming Dixie Rotary Bowl (the first weekend in December).

Ken Seefeld announced the recent passing of Shirley Huskinson, wife of longtime Rotarian Garn Huskinson.

Program: Jeannine Holt introduced speakers Brad Last, incumbent candidate for the office of Utah House of Representatives (District 71); Don Ipson, Utah House of Representatives (District 75); Alan Gardner (incumbent) and Lyn Alder, candidates for the Washington County Commission. In remarks, Last called his service in the Utah Legislature "the most fun and at the same time, the most stressful assignment I have ever had." Ipson expressed kudos to Last and his colleagues calling their service "of great benefit to the people of this region!" The former president of the Utah Trucking Association, Chair of the Utah Applied Technology Colleges, Ipson is calling for a balanced budget and improvements in public safety. Alder, son of Doug and Elaine Alder has lived 22 of his 38 years in Utah's Dixie. A graduate of Dixie High School, Dixie State College and Utah State University, he is running as an independent "with the same priorities as my family has had in this community: education, environment, water, housing, roads, energy and taxes!" Alder feels there is an urgent need to develop renewable energy sources - "we should be developing our own (Boone) Pickens Plan! including a solar plant which would create power to be sold to California." Gardner, a member of the original sponsor of Vision Dixie, notes "our land is important and should not be locked up." Citing growth statistics, Gardner noted Washington County remains the lowest taxed county in Utah and supports the need to develop affordable energy sources such as oil shale. Citing growth statistics, Gardner noted the county has enough water to sustain itself for 10-12 years, but must move ahead on developing water from all sources.

Welcome to St. George Rotary Blogspot

When all else fails, I am not above borrowing a good idea from another club! In a make-up at Dixie Sunrise Rotary Club, I was introduced to the highly addictive hobby of blogging - joining in the fun with a couple of my daughters and my daughters-in-law - and with dixiesunriserotary.blogspot.com! (If you are interested in creating your own blogspot, Dixie Sunrise Rotary will be having a special program at their regular breakfast meeting on Thursday, November 6 at 7:15 a.m.) After creating my own, I decided to branch out to create stgeorgerotaryclub.blogspot.com. I hope you will find our club's blogspot to be a resource for information about upcoming meetings, notes on past meetings . . . and even a joke or two. I welcome your suggestions and hope you find our blogspot to be much to your liking.