Meeting of 5/26/16: ‘Wondrous World of Ticks’

SRC Minutes LogoMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
May 26, 2016

Members Attending (18): Terry Brewer, Debbie Rodriguez, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Jim Butterworth, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, April Dowd, Dick Drumm, Ray Hannan, Carole Spencer, Roberto Martinez, Ron Annis, Monika Annis, David Taylor, Charlie Foote.

Guests (4): Incoming member Phil Kellerman, speakers Linda Pezzolesi and Chuck Levy, guest Holly Aiken.

PROGRAM: “The Wondrous World of Ticks”

Red areas show the spread of ticks throughout much of the world.
Speaker Linda Pezzolesi

Charlie Foote introduced Dr. Linda Pezzolesi,  an assistant professor of biology at Hudson Valley Community College, a member of the Lyme Action Network, and an expert on ticks.

Linda described the spread — pandemic? — of tick-borne diseases, noting that there are an estimated 333,000 new cases of Lyme disease reported every year.

She explained that Lyme disease, which often is misdiagnosed because there can be as many as 300 different symptoms or combinations of symptoms, is a relapsing fever caused by bacteria that is carried by ticks.

She said that although a widely-held belief is that deer are the major carrier of ticks, thus the common term “deer tick,” it is more accurate to point to mice and dogs as the biggest carriers.

Linda showed slides of different types of ticks, and how they attach themselves to mice and dogs, dropping from plants and grasses onto the unwitting host animals. She said that warmer temperatures, and the creation and spread of suburbia have worked together to  greatly increase breeding areas for ticks and the growth in the number of their hosts. The main season for ticks becoming adults is August through early April. They tolerate a wide range of temperatures, prefer moist, warm areas, can survive intense cold and hatch later. What they do not tolerate is drought. It is not the heat, it is the dry atmosphere that does them in.

She recommended using the sprays Buzz Off or Deet, or even such essential oils as lemongrass and geranium oils to protect against ticks. She also suggested when coming into the house after gardening, hiking, etc., outdoors that people should undress and put their clothes in a dryer onhigh heat for at least 60 minutes. She said it is not the heat, but the dryness that will kill any ticks. She also strongly suggested examining your body for ticks, and immediately showering.

Linda demonstrated the use of a small tool known as a “Tick Twister,” used to safely remove ticks that are burrowing into the skin. She also suggested that any ticks that have been removed be put in a jar with a moist towel to keep them alive, then sending them to the Bay Area Lyme Foundation in California for research purposes.

She also explained there are two different treatment protocols for treatment of Lyme disease, called IDSA — two pills — and ILADS — 20 days of medication. She recommended discussing both approaches with your physician.

Linda’s Lyme Action Network colleague Chuck Levy also spoke, giving the organization’s point of view on tick-disease funding, research, legislative, and regulatory issues.

Some products to use against ticks.


WELCOME — President Terry Brewer welcomed incoming member Phil Kellerman, who just submitted his application, and Holly Aiken, who became interested in Rotary after speaking with Terry at the recent Rotary Business Expo in Albany, as well as our guest speakers.

Pure Water logoCLEAN WATER — Terry reported that we have sent a $500 installment toward fulfilling our pledge of $1,400 to “adopt” one school in Haiti as part of  the Pure Water for the World Inc.‘s initiative there. The organization, which has strong and growing Rotary support, plans to raise $14,000 to aid 10 schools at $1,400 each.

FUNDRAISERS — Two organizations we have been aiding have fundraisers scheduled. Girls On the Run – Capital Region has planned a Wednesday, June 1, event at the restaurant Roux in the ShopRite Plaza off Route 85 in Slingerlands. Debbie Rodriguez has details for anyone interested. … Circles of Mercy will hold a food-and-beverage tasting event, called “A Taste of Mercy,” with live music, on Wednesday, June 8, at the Shaker Ridge Country Club, 802 Albany Shaker Road in Loudonville. (Details on that event are on our website.)

CPR TRAINING — Ron Annis has agreed to set up an American Red Cross-sanctioned CPR training course. Many members who graduated from the last such event need to be certified. Ron will keep us updated on the effort.

Screen shot 2016-05-13 at 2.06.04 PMDRIVER TRAINING DEADLINE — Event organizer Jim Leyhane said next Thursday is the absolute deadline for signing up for the Sunday, June 5, driver training course he is arranging. Interested parties are asked to call him or email him ASAP. The venue will be the conference room in the Community Care Physicians office building at 81 Miller Road, Schodack.

SUMMER CASUAL SCHEDULE — The signup list for July and August events, either for hosting or arranging an event, is being circulated. Event details, including open dates, are available by clicking here. All events are, as always, open to guests. These also offer prospective members a good opportunity to get to know our members in an informal setting.

WEBSITE SPOTLIGHT — Terry again urged members to bookmark then make a regular practice of visiting our club website ( ). He noted that it contains a lot more than meeting minutes, including numerous pages of information, links to various topics and resources, and more.

JUNE MEETING DESIGNATIONS — A reminder that three of our June meetings have special designations: June 16, Scholarship Recognition Night; June 23, New Member Induction Night; June 30, Presidential Changeover. The first two events will be part of our regular Thursday dinner meetings. The Changeover will be held at the Forth residence.

SUNSHINE COMMITTEE — April Dowd has agreed to continue serving as our “Sunshine Committee” person through the 2016-17 Rotary Year. Since assuming that position several months ago, she has sent cards and flowers to several members and spouses. Anyone who knows of a club member or spouse in need of such cheer is asked to inform  April.

Screen shot 2016-05-25 at 4.38.58 PMSHELTERBOX UPDATE — ShelterBox Liaison Bill Dowd reported that the most recent ShelterBoxes purchased by our club have been sent to staging areas for South American disaster relief. Bill reported that a second wave of earthquakes in Ecuador and floods and mudslides in Sri Lanka have killed hundreds of people, displaced tens of thousands, and destroyed much infrastructure. As always, ShelterBox teams were on site to help before most government organizations, one of the strengths of the program. We are asking for donations in any amount to purchase several more ShelterBoxes before the end of this Rotary Year in June.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS — The Nominating Committee of Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, and Murray Forth formally presented a slate of candidates for club offices in the 2016-17 Rotary Year. Copies had been emailed to all members some time ago, and have been posted on the website and Facebook page. Bill explained the voting process required by our bylaws, asked for any nominations from the floor and, hearing none, recommended that the President call for approval by acclamation. That was done. The slate that will take office on July 1: President Debbie Rodriguez, President-elect Roberto Martinez, Vice President John Sawchuk, Treasurer Murray Forth, Secretary Pat Bailey, Directors-at-Large Bill Dowd,  Jim Leyhane,  Jim Butterworth, Andy Leyhane, and Ron Annis, and Immediate Past President Terry Brewer.

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, June 2. Club member Carole Spencer will discuss her recent journey through India.

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