Rotary International Theme 2020-2021




Rotary Club of Durham

Rotary International President:

Holger Knaack

Rotary District 5160 Governor:

Mark Roberts

Durham Rotary President: Jen Liu


Editor: Phil Price

Publisher:  Jen Liu



September 15, 2020


The  2020 Harvest Festival scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2020 has been cancelled.


2020                            Calendar for Durham Rotary


DG Mark Roberts Visit
(Jen Liu)
2 3 4 5
6 7 8
No Meeting
9 10 11 12
13 14 15
Mary Sakuma, Superintendent of Butte County Schools
(Glenn Pulliam)
16 17 18 19
20 21 22
Barrel Chicken Picnic at the Durham Park
23 24 25 26
27 28 29
(Daryle Polk)



1 2 3
4 5 6
(Jessica Thorpe)
7 8 9 10
11 12 13
No Meeting
14 15 16 17
18 19 20
(Jim Patterson)
21 22 23 24
25 26 27
No Meeting
28 29 30 31

This was our twelfth Zoom meeting.  We had only 11 members at this Zoom meeting plus one guest.  Where are the rest of you?  Zoom is not that hard.  After all, three of our oldest members are on at every meeting.  

So none of you have any excuse not to appear at the next meeting.

The Meeting

President Jen opened the meeting asking Eric Hoiland to lead the pledge, which he did.  Jim Patterson then gave the invocation.



All meetings at BCCC are cancelled until further notice.  But there will be meetings on Zoom as follows:


September 22nd:  Chicken in the Park


September 29th:  Daryl Polk


October 6th:  Jessica Thorpe


October 20th:  Jim Patterson.


November 3rd:  Ravi Saip


November 17th:  Kristen Cargile


December 1st: Mike Wacker


December 15th:  Jim Kirks




Visiting Rotarians & Guests

We had one visitor tonight.  Our former member and president, Mary Sakuma, who was here as our program.


None tonight.


Glenn Pulliam presented Mary Sakuma, Butte County Superintendent of Schools.  She is also a former member and president of Durham Rotary, back when she was Superintendent of the Durham Unified School District.

Mary initially intended to give us a update in the Butte County schools relating to the Corona  Virus.  However the Bear Fire, now known as the North Complex West Zone Fire intervened affecting Butte County Schools.  So she began discussing the destruction of the Berry Creek School, showing pictures of the burned remains of the school.  She also noted that the Feather Falls School burned, but it was not being used.  A group had been working on turning it into an historic site.  Regarding the Berry Creek School, the superintendent of that district has already made arrangements for the students to be taken into the Oroville School District.


Regarding the effects of the Corona Virus on Butte County schools things are somewhat confusing with regulation from several sources, although not from our local health department.  At the moment reopening waivers have been put on hold.  On the other hand, pre-schools and child care are required to re-open.


Next Meeting

On September 29th Daryl Polk will present a program.  His initial program had a conflict on the date and I do not know what he is working on now.

Chicken in the Park

President Jen will be hosting barrel chicken in the Durham Park on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.   Bring your family and prospective members.  This is a social gathering.  It'll feature barrel chicken, water, beer and Costco cookies.  Jessica volunteered salad last time, maybe she will again.  It'll start at 6:00PM.  We'll observe all social distancing advice.  Bring your own plates, utensils and drinks if your feel more comfortable that way.

The Rotary Foundation Donations

When every Rotarian gives every year, no challenge is too great for us to make a difference. The minimum gift to The Rotary Foundation is $25.00.   An annual $100.00 gift is a sustaining member.  Once your donations accumulate to $1,000 you become a Paul Harris Fellow.

It is possible to learn more about The Rotary Foundation on the Rotary web site.  Your gift can be made online or by sending Jim Kirks a check made out to The Rotary Foundation.  Send your check to James Kirks, 1199 Diablo Ave., Apt. 246, Chico, California 95973.

Reports and Anouncements


Accessing the new secure District and Club website (one more time).

The Districts and Clubs are moving their web sites to the relatively new District And Club data base (DACab).  for security reasons.  Our club roster is on it and can only be accessed through it.  But you do have to have a user name (email address) and password.  If you have not signed up for that you need to do so now.  The problem is that simply putting District 5160 in to your search line will not get you there.  There is no separate District web site any longer.  You need to access which gets you to the sign in page.  Also simply putting dacab into your search line will get you to a list of web sites, the first of which is  This is not what you want (well, you can eventually get there through this website, but it is far more complicated).  The second one listed is This is the one you want.  The third on says something about login, but that is not it.  Apparently, logging in will take you to your district’s page and your club’s page.  Apparently, once you have signed up, the program knows which District and Club to go to for your password.


You can get there from the Club’s web site as follows: Go to the clubs web site and click on Roster.  A list of the member comes up.  But if you click on a member’s name you will not get to the member’s information.  You will  get several lines to the left, one of which is: “Click on DACDB link to log-in to the district web site”.  Click on DACDB.  This will get you to user name and password page of  Proceed as above described.


Patrick Ranch Drive-Thru BBQ

Steve Heithecker reports that the Patrick Ranch Museum will host their 1st Annual Drive-Thru BBQ on Wednesday, September 23rd between 4:30 and 6:00 pm at the Ranch.  The dinner includes barbequed Tri-tip, ranch rice pilaf, green salad with dressing, bread and dessert.  For tickets contact Steve, me or the Ranch.  The tickets are $45 each (dinner for four).

The Putney Street Project

Mike Crump reports that the proposal has now been made to the County.  The proposal is to construct an improvement project in Durham from the intersection of the Midway and Durham Dayton Highway and extending westerly on Durham Dayton Highway to Putney Street. Specifically, the requested project is described as follows;

·       Install ADA wheelchair accessible ramps at the NW corner (taco cart corner) and SW corner (Durham Country Market) of the intersection of the Midway and Durham Dayton Highway.

·       Install sidewalks and or driveways (the Path of Travel) north on Midway to connect to the sidewalk fronting Tri Counties Bank and south on Durham Dayton Highway to connect to the sidewalk fronting Toziers Hardware store.  A driveway at the alley between Toziers Hardware and the US Post Office frontage improvements will also be necessary to make this section of frontage improvements ADA compliant.

·       Install curb gutter and sidewalk on the northside of Durham Dayton Highway between Goodspeed Street and Putney Drive per the plans prepared by NorthStar Engineering. A copy of the proposed plans is attached for your reference.

The Public Works Department has budgeted $50,000 for a “Durham Dayton Curb Gutter Sidewalk” project. There is, apparently, no budget line item for ADA improvements but note that the Publics Works Department has $1,000,000 budgeted for contingencies that hopefully can go towards this work.

Durham Rotary, the Durham Community Foundation and members of the community are wishing to assist the County in completing this improvement project by the following actions;

·       At the request of Durham Rotary Club, NorthStar Engineering prepared the Durham Dayton Highway Improvement Plans, a copy of which is attached for your reference.

·       Durham Rotary Club and the Durham Community Foundations will donate at least $7,845 to the County to be used for this improvement project.

·       Ed McLaughlin who is the owner of the parcel located on the NW corner of the Midway and Durham Dayton Highway will donate up to $3500 for driveway improvements to his parcel.

District 5160's Fall Virtual Training Seminar is here!

From District Governor Mark Roberts:

It’s not too late to join us on October 3rd for the Fall Seminar! The Fall Seminar is an opportunity for Rotarians from across the District to come together to discuss steps we can take to make our Clubs more vibrant. Based on feedback from across the district, we have added a keynote presentation on Finding Great Speakers.

What: The topics to be covered will include:

Who: Everyone. Yes, I mean everyone. New members can learn more about Rotary. Club leadership and more experienced members can get together to share best practices and new ideas to make changes that will enhance the club experience, attract new members, and keep current members involved in these challenging times. We all have room to learn more!

When – Saturday, October 3rd from 9:00 to 11:30am

You need to register for the conference.  Do that by going to the calendar on the District web site and you will see a link to register under October 3rd.
Questions? Please contact District Trainer Claire Roberts (email:


There were none tonight, except that President Jen rang the Bell for Eric Hoiland because he had discovered that Eric had already contributed $146 but had not been recognize with a belling ringing when he passed $100.


When we have live meetings again, bring guests, who you think you can interest in becoming a member, to meetings.  Your dinner and your guest’s dinner will be paid for by the Club.  In the meantime please invite Durham business owners and/or managers to one of our Zoom meetings.  Actually, you can promote membership by having a guest sit with you during one of our Zoom meetings.  Also, bring a guest to one of our occasional social gatherings in the Durham Park.

Speaking of new members, Jessica Thorpe reported that she had been in contact with John Bohannon, the current Superintendent of the Durham Unified School District.  He will be joining our Club.  He noted that he had found that it was a requirement for his job.


President Jen concluded the meeting by asking Steve Heithecker to recite a famous quote.  He recited two quotes and offered a Patrick Ranch ticket for a dinner for 4 next Wednesday to anyone who could tell him where the quotes came from.  They were:

“Not all who wander are lost”

“When you do not know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

Sharon Robertson guessed “Alice in Wonderland”, which Steve said was correct.  She gets the dinner ticket.


From Rotary International



What it’s like to survive through two pandemics

By Paul Engleman Illustrations by Fien Jorissen

Sixty-five years ago, in 1955, I was diagnosed with polio. I was two years old, so I was unaware of what it meant to have been infected with the poliovirus, but I became more aware of it in subtle ways as I got older. And at some point, I understood what my mother meant when she said I was “one of the lucky ones.”

My mother came from Jersey City, New Jersey, and she sounded like it all her life, aided and abetted by a daily regimen of unfiltered Kool cigarettes. She drove a supply truck as a civilian during World War II and delighted in telling a tale about a GI who tried to “get fresh” with her when she gave him a lift back to the base. When she told him she was married and her husband was deployed overseas, he said, “Baby, what’re you saving it for — the worms?”

She stopped the truck and told him, “Ride in back, buster!” I have no doubt that she used an expletive, although she never employed one in the retelling, Jersey accent notwithstanding. But she still thought “saving it for the worms” was the funniest line she had ever heard. She was a woman who could take things in stride, the quintessential “tough cookie.”

But there was one recollection that could unravel my mother like no other — the one that involved her youngest son being diagnosed with polio and the palpable fear that stalked parents across the country during the summers of the early 1950s. She could not stop her voice from cracking when she spoke about that time. That, along with her warnings about staying out of “polio puddles” after it rained, shaped my awareness of how frightening the epidemic had been.

Among my childhood memories, getting the oral polio vaccine is as vivid as the classroom drills that taught us to seek safety under our desks in case of a nuclear attack. While I can now joke about how sturdy school desks must have been back then, there’s no amusement in my recollection of lining up outside the local firehouse for the Sabin sugar cube — that was serious, important business. I knew it then, and I know it now.

My appreciation for having survived polio faded away over time, but returned in force about 12 years ago when I began writing for Rotary magazine. I had assumed polio had been eradicated — or, more accurately, I didn’t think about it. I have since had the opportunity to get to know, and be awed by, some of the Rotarian volunteers who are working to achieve that goal.


One of the lucky ones

Now, as the novel coronavirus makes its way across the world, I feel a renewed gratitude for what it means to  be one of the lucky ones — and a deeper understanding of how terrifying life was for many people six decades ago. As a 67-year-old former smoker, I’m among those now considered vulnerable — I have two adult children to keep reminding me of that — but I’m also among the privileged. My wife and I are able to work from home, we live in a single-family house with creature comforts, and we can afford to practice social distancing with little sacrifice.

Although adults were not immune to polio — President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously contracted the disease at age 39 — most of its victims were young children. Today, COVID-19 appears to pose the most danger to people over 60 — that is, the same group that polio targeted 65 years ago. “There was a high level of fear in the country then, very similar to what we have now,” says Cort Vaughan, who is one of those volunteers I’m awed by. When we spoke in April, Vaughan and his wife, Tonya, had recently returned from participating in a polio vaccination campaign in India.

A member of the Rotary Club of Greater Bend, Oregon, and a past End Polio Now coordinator, Vaughan began his work on the polio front before he was even aware of it: He was a March of Dimes poster child in Riverside, California, when he was three years old. He still has a copy of an article from a local newspaper with a photo of him dressed as a cowboy guarding the spare change that people contributed during a fundraising drive in 1955.

Vaughan doesn’t remember contracting polio at age two in October 1954, but, he says, “I have clear memories of my parents relating stories about it, and I could feel the emotion in their voices about what they went through. For my mother, it was like she was reliving the fear and anxiety of having her child stricken with a potentially deadly disease. Their stories were so vivid, so palpable, they almost became my own memories.”

The darkest story starts with his mother discovering one morning that her toddler was suddenly unable to walk, calling the doctor, and rushing him to the hospital. “If you had to go to the hospital, there was a high probability of being crippled for life,” Vaughan says. “Once my parents took me there, it was out of their hands.” At that time, polio wards restricted visitors, and Vaughan’s mother was desperate to be with him. “She discovered a women’s group that was sending volunteers to hospitals. She joined the Junior League primarily to get to see me.”

Vaughan’s illness paralyzed his right leg from the knee down, requiring him to wear a brace and sentencing him to a childhood in which frequent trips to the hospital for physical therapy replaced playing outdoors with friends. “I didn’t feel lucky then, but looking back, now I do,” he says. He also believes that the knowledge that comes from living with the scars of polio has heightened his grasp of what is required to overcome the current pandemic. “I know what it’s like to face a hidden threat, and I understand the need for people to stay vigilant and work together to prevent the spread,” he says. “I was defending the stay-at-home order in Oregon early on, when friends and relatives were thinking it was not really serious.”

Breaking the silence around polio

If the term “tough cookie” ever makes it back into common parlance, Carol Ferguson could be its poster adult. It wasn’t until her late 40s that she realized the pain and muscle weakness she was experiencing were post-polio syndrome linked to contracting the virus four decades earlier. Six years ago, Ferguson enlisted the help of three other polio survivors and five friends to launch the Pennsylvania Polio Survivors Network, a volunteer advocacy organization that shares people’s stories, provides information about post-polio syndrome, and lobbies legislators to increase awareness of polio and of the need to prevent infectious diseases through immunization.

Ferguson, a member of the Rotary Club of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and District 7430 PolioPlus subcommittee chair, says the stories she began hearing at the start of the first wave of COVID-19 bear an eerie resemblance to those her fellow polio survivors tell: a girl hospitalized at age five who remembers weekly visits from her parents during which she could only wave to them through a window; a two-year-old boy who was turned away from a hospital because no beds were available.

Ferguson’s own story is revealing for what her parents didn’t tell her. “When I was two years old, I had the ‘summer grippe,’ which we now know to be polio,” she says. “Ten years later, a doctor examined me and said I had a ‘polio foot.’ That was the only time that word was mentioned. My mother lived to be 92, but she didn’t speak about polio until shortly before she died. My father died having never spoken the word. I realize now that this is a reflection of the fear that they felt.”

Ferguson feels no such need for silence. Earlier this year, she spearheaded an initiative, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition and local Rotary clubs, to produce a vaccination information and resource card to distribute to new parents in the state.

When Jonas Salk announced the success of his historic vaccine trial in April 1955, there was widespread acceptance of the need for mass immunizations. At some point in the future, a modern-day Salk or Albert Sabin will emerge to announce a vaccine to control the spread of COVID-19. But it’s anyone’s guess how widely accepted that vaccine will be.

Although we now have the benefit of communications technology that people in the 1950s could hardly imagine, that technology can also allow misinformation — and disinformation — to spread as rapidly as a virus itself. Ferguson is hopeful that credible and accurate information about vaccines will prevail. Oh, do I hope she’s right.

• This story originally appeared in the September 2020 issue of Rotary magazine.

• Paul Engleman is a polio survivor and a frequent contributor to Rotary magazine.


The Rotary International web site is:


District 5160 is:


The Durham Rotary Club site is:


The Rowel Editor may be contacted at:


The deadline for the Rowel 6:30 am on Wednesdays.


The Editor’s photographs published in the Rowel are available, upon request, in their original file size.  Those published were substantially reduced in file size.