Meeting Clipboard: 1/14/21

Meeting held virtually via ZOOM videoconferencing.

MEMBERS ATTENDING (22): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Carol Orvis, Murray Forth, Maggie Forth, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Debbie Rodriguez, Geoff Brewer, Terry Brewer, Tony Morris, Charlie Foote, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Pat Bailey, Andy Leyhane, Kevin Leyhane, Becky Raymond, Phil Kellerman, John Justino.

GUESTS (2): Lara Vazquetelles, Carrie Knudsen.

MEETING NOTES: President Dick Drumm welcomed members and guests. The 22 members constituted the largest such group we have had since transitioning from in-person to virtual meetings for this Rotary Year. … Bill Dowd reminded members that rather than sending out repetitive emails each week to give Rotarians the link to our ZOOM meetings, everyone is asked to check the calendar page on the club website to find the link and simply click on it to access the session. …

Our guests were two teachers from the East Greenbush Central School District, sharing their experiences so far handling “Education In the Age of Pandemic” — Lara Vazquetelles, a veteran special education teacher who joined the district in September, and Carrie Knudsen, who has been teaching sixth-graders at Goff Middle School.

They discussed the changes in public education created by the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They touched on the variables in class size, the need for innovative use of technology, group dynamics, distractions during virtual instruction (barking dogs, loud music, etc.), the ongoing need for socialization while maintaining proper distancing and safety measures, and so forth.

They took questions from members both during the meeting and for another 20 minutes or so in an “after hours” session attended by nearly every member who had participated in the formal meeting period.

NEXT MEETING: 7 p.m. Thursday, January 21. Terry Brewer will lead a discussion on the possibilities of applying for 501(c)3 IRS status (the club currently is recognized as a 501(c)4 organization) and the pros and cons of creating a foundation as an adjunct to the club. Members have been sent copies of an analysis by Terry that will serve as background for the discussion.

Meeting Clipboard: 5/14/20

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061 Virtually

Members Attending (19): Phil Kellerman, Dick Drumm, Terry Brewer, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Debbie Rodriguez, Roberto Martinez, Kevin Leyhane, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Carol Orvis, Ray Hannan, Charlie Foote, Geoff Brewer, Becky Raymond.

Guests (1): Merlin the Cat.

FOR THE SECOND TIME this spring, the club held a virtual business meeting via Zoom video conferencing. (We also held a virtual social hour last week, and will do so again on Thursday, May 21.)

• The main item on the agenda was the election of the Club Board for the 2020-21 Rotary Year. The slate provided to the membership a week earlier was accepted by those present without amendment or objection:

PRESIDENT-ELECT: Debbie Rodriguez
TREASURER: Murray Forth
AT-LARGE: Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Dean Calamaras, Kevin Leyhane

• President Phil updated members on progress in putting together the package of documents to be submitted to the Internal Revenue Service as part of our effort to regain tax-exempt status. The 8990 EZ forms have been completed, and the 1024A form is next. Within the next week, we hope to put all relevant documents on a password-protected web page. The current Board will have access to review the documents before final submission.

• Terry reported that we have received verifications from Columbia and Rensselaer high schools that scholarship recipients have been selected. We still need to hear from Maple Hill. The club subsequently voted to approve $1,000 individual scholarships for one graduating senior at each of those schools. Recipients will be invited to join us at a Zoom meeting, but the actual checks will be mailed to them.

• Roberto reported that we are on schedule to meet all requirements and deadlines for District Grants for the current and 2020-21 Rotary Years.

• Murray reported that a $1,040 grant check has been sent to the Freedom From Fistula Foundation, and that the same amount will be mailed to The Oley Foundation. The grants are funded by proceeds from our Foundation Bowl-a-Thon.

• Because of a lack of club activity, it was agreed to cease print advertising until September.



Club makes history with first-ever virtual meeting

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061  Virtually

Members Attending (17): Phil Kellerman, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Debbie Rodriguez, Pat Bailey, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Dick Drumm, Charlie Foote, Bill Dowd, Terry Brewer, Geoff Brewer, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Kevin Leyhane, Ray Hannan, Becky Raymond.

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Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 11.37.31 PMTHERE’S ALWAYS A FIRST TIME: Sixty years into its existence, the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club is always looking for something new to do. This week it did something it has never done before — met virtually.

With the current social distancing rules preventing in-person meetings (our last dinner meeting was held on March 12), we met today via the Zoom video conferencing system, with 17 members participating. We will hold another such meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 15. Members will be sent an email containing the meeting ID number. (Meanwhile, keep an eye out for information to come about a virtual cocktail party at 6 p.m. next Thursday.)

Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 8.13.04 PMMEETING NOTES: President Phil Kellerman called the meeting to order, thanked Peter Brown for making the Zoom arrangements, and asked everyone to let us know what has been going on with them since March 12. … Although we have not been formally meeting, some club business has been taking place behind the scenes. For example, several members have participated in virtual District training events, and Phil, Murray Forth, and Terry Brewer have been working on our application to the Internal Revenue Service for reinstatement of tax exempt status. The latter is a detail-intensive effort Terry estimates has already consumed an estimated 60 manhours. Phil said he expects to share the details with the Board via a password-protected website page Bill Dowd is creating, then submit the application within two weeks. …

Rotary CashThe Board, via email discussions, approved a $500 grant to the East Greenbush Central School District to aid in the purchase of masks for employees during the pandemic. … Terry reported that Columbia, Maple Hill, and Rensselaer high schools have verified they received our letters concerning scholarships of up to $1,000 for a graduating senior at each school. Depending on social distancing recommendations at the time, we will either have the checks available for presentation in June or will simply mail them to the recipients. …

Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 8.17.32 PMIt’s nearly Club election time. We will be emailing to members a slate of candidates for SRC Board seats for the 2020-21 Rotary Year. According to our Club Bylaws, a new slate must be approved at least a month before the June 30 close of the Rotary Year. Practically speaking, we need to have it done before then because we cannot submit applications for District Grants by the June 1 deadline if we do not have the slate in place.


Meeting Clipboard: 3/12/20

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Members Attending (12): Phil Kellerman, Murray Forth, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Debbie Rodriguez, Pat Bailey, Dean Calamaras, Dick Drumm, Charlie Foote, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Wells Packard.

Guests (4): Tony and Debbie Morris (potential members), Dennis Cicchino and Jeff Morris (Boy Scout Troop 41).

MEETING NOTES — President Phil Kellerman presided, welcoming members and four guests, including potential members Tony and Debbie Morris. … The main topic of discussion was about our future dinner meetings in light of concern over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In an email poll of Board members, several recommended suspension of meetings, others were in favor of continuing. After discussion at the meeting, it was decided to (a) continue meeting pending any further health-related concerns, (b) Phil will talk with Quigley’s owner John Walsh about us ordering off the menu if fewer than 12 people attend, and (c) speakers would be invited and given the opportunity to decline if numbers are small. …

Murray Forth reported that sales of raffle tickets for the March 28 wine dinner at Cafe Capriccio are slow, but we have raised enough to at least cover the cost of the event. The drawing is scheduled for next Thursday’s meeting. … Dean Calamaras reported that the district’s Gift of Life child underwent successful cardiac surgery at Albany Medical Center on March 11. …

Until further notice, members are asked to hold off on bringing Easter basket items to the meetings until we clarify the status of the project with Circles of Mercy. We will contact Circles of Mercy to ask about its needs instead and suggest that food items or money towards necessities might be more useful, especially since schools could be closed because of the coronavirus problem and lunch programs curtailed. On another topic, Circles of Mercy will hold a “Walk for Mercy” on Saturday, April 4, and is looking for sponsors. Contact Ray Hannan for more information. …

Phil has spoken to the IRS about our tax exempt status (one hour on the phone). It appears we will need to file missing annual reports. He, Murray, and Terry will work together to complete the required documents and file them. … Our SRC Recycling & Shredding Day remains scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 25, at Wainschaf Associates in Rensselaer. Details are on the event flyer that has been distributed to all members several times. …

Peter Brown reported that the Capital Region Nordic Alliance (CRNA), the adaptive sports program for disabled vets, is seeking a sponsor for a CRNA athlete to participate in the European Trail Orienteering Championships 2020 being held in Finland. About $500 is needed, and we already have raised $380 through the weekly money jug contributions. … We need at least two members to attend the April 4 District Training Assembly / Grants Management Seminar to be able to file for grants. … President-elect Dick Drumm said he would be unable to attend this week’s Empire Multi-District PETS training in Syracuse. …

Roberto Martinez reported that Julius Frankel is out of hospital rehab and is doing well at home. … Roberto also gave a short talk about the “new” flu and its symptoms, etc. … Wells Packard reported that the Rotary Youth Exchange still is on, and students will be traveling as expected in the late summer and fall. … Next meeting: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, March 19, at Quigley’s. The scheduled program will be musical trivia with Andy Leyhane. Members are reminded to check the website calendar page for program assignment dates/speakers/topics and to contact webmaster Bill Dowd as soon as they have a program lined up so he can publicize it.

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Dennis Cicchino (right) and Jeff Morris of Boy Scout Troop 41 visited to make their annual report on Scouting activities and their appeal for continued SRC funding.

The cost of summer camp has gone up again, and for this summer will be $545. Murray moved, Roberto seconded, and attendees approved without dissent a club grant of $545 to the troop for that purpose.


Meeting Clipboard: 2/27/20

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Members Attending (16): Phil Kellerman, Murray Forth, Terry Brewer, Pat Bailey, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Dean Calamaras, Doris Clamaras, Dick Drumm, Charlie Foote, Ray Hannan, Andy Leyhane, Jim Leyhane, Carol Orvis, Wells Packard, Debbie Rodriguez.

Guests (1): Ali.

Bowling logoMEETING MINUTES: President Phil welcomed everyone and introduced his guest, Ali. … Terry Brewer reported that the Foundation Bowl-a-Thon scheduled for this Sunday at the East Greenbush Bowling Center now has 23 sponsors at $100 each, and 28 pre-registered bowlers. Volunteers are needed for the two shifts. We will have a 50/50 raffle as an additional fundraiser. The Danes Rotaract club, which is sending nine bowlers, also will hold a 50/50 raffle. …

Screen Shot 2020-03-01 at 12.43.59 AMPhil, Debbie Rodriguez, and . and Becky attended a recent Freedom From Fistula Foundation event, and reported that there will be a fundraiser from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 20, at the UAlbany School of Public Health to support Foundation-backed clinics in Africa. The event will include a silent auction. The club approved using the event as a substitute for our regularly scheduled dinner meeting of that week. Debbie Rodriguez requested that the club approve funds for silent auction items for the  event. Murray moved, Andy Leyhane seconded, and members approved without dissent a motion that $200 be used for that purpose. …

Screen Shot 2020-03-01 at 12.47.33 AMWells Packard reported that he has been certified as a Rotary Youth Exchange representative. Since it is not in our budget for this year and he wants to be sure we do everything correctly, Wells recommended we not host an exchange student until next year. Murray moved, Peter Brown seconded, and members approved without dissent a motion that Wells be officially designated our Club Exchange Officer. … Murray Forth reminded members that he still has Hoffman Car Wash tickets for sale. All proceeds go to the club treasury. …

60th logoBill Dowd reported via Murray that 45 members, guests, and children have made reservations to the Thursday, March 5, SRC 60th Anniversary Dinner at the Comfort Inn on Miller Road. The event will begin with a 6 p.m. meet-and-greet period. … Calendar reminders: There will be no dinner meeting on April 16 due to school vacations that week. … All members with March program assignment dates are asked to let Bill Dowd know details of their programs ASAP so they can be publicized.

Screen Shot 2020-02-24 at 1.24.14 PMPROGRAM:  “Journey to the Golan Heights”

Dean Calamaras presented an illustrated talk on his visit, with son Michael, to the beleagured area of the Middle East occupied  by Israel from Syria during the Six Day War in 1967.

His photos included a topographical map of the Golan area, the Nimrod ruins, and a Druze Village on the heights. He explained that resorts are being built in the area as it is a much higher elevation and, therefore, cooler than most parts of the hot, arid country.

Additional photos included those of the Golan Reservoir, a bunker on the heights, a collection of listening antennas, the view toward Syria and Lebanon, and a line of several tanks ready to defend Israel.


Meeting Clipboard: 2/13/20

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Members Attending (19): Phil Kellerman, Pat Bailey, Terry Brewer, Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Roberto Martinez, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dick Drumm, Ray Hannan, Jim Leyhane, Kevin Leyhane, Wells Packard, Carol Orvis, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Becky Raymond, Debbie Rodriguez, Charlie Foote.

Guests (2): Noah Albanese, Hans Albanese.


Bowling logoMEETING NOTES: President Phil welcomed members and father-son guests Hans and Noah Albanese. … Terry Brewer reported that we have about 10 lane sponsors so far for the March 1 Foundation Bowl-a-Thon, and urged members to continue spreading the word about the event. He also encouraged people to create teams to compete in the fundraiser at the East Greenbush Bowling Center. … We received a handmade “thank you” gift and note from one of the Hazzard children we sponsored through Circles of Mercy in our annual Adopt-a-Family for Christmas program. …

60th logoOur annual Recycling/Shredding Day date has been changed to April 25. Members are again asked to share the official flyer they have been sent with their social media accounts, on bulletin boards, etc. … Coordinator Bill Dowd reminded everyone that Friday, Valentine’s Day, is the deadline for reserving seats at earlybird prices for our March 5 60th Anniversary Dinner at the Comfort Inn on Miller Road. Prices are $45 for adult, $10 for children 12 and under. After Friday, they go to $50 and $15 through the final deadline of the Thursday, February 20. Reservations must be made by email to Bill Dowd (, and checks made payable to SRC Rotary Club given to Treasurer Murray Forth. … Raffle tickets are being sold for our 3rd Cafe Capriccio Wine Dinner to be held on Saturday, March 28. The drawing is scheduled for our March 19 meeting. Tickets are $20 each for the private-room chef’s dinner valued at $1,300. …

Becky Raymond reported that a memorial for Rotarian Phil Nasca is planned at the UAlbany School of Public Health  from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 7. … Two board members from the Freedom From Fistula Foundation will visit the area on Monday, April 20, for a series of events involving SRC, Danes Rotaract, the School of Public Health, and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. Details will be announced closer to the event. … There is no regular club meeting next week, but there will be a 6 p.m. Board of Directors meeting at Quigley’s. … We will resume weekly dinner meetings on Thursday, February 27.


PROGRAM: “The Tides of Fundy”

Dean Calamaras presented a travelogue on his and Doris’s visit to the Bay of Fundy, places of the highest tides in the world.

The bay is located between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, with a small portion touching the state of Maine.

In addition to photos of the landscape between high and low tides and various waterways, Dean’s photos showed such things as waterside caves carved out of sedimentary rock over the centuries by the power of the tides; a hotel employee who took advantage of the tides for some regular surfing activities, and boats perched on muddy land at low tide.

Meeting Clipboard: 1/30/20

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Members Attending (18): Phil Kellerman, Pat Bailey, Terry Brewer, Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dick Drumm, Ray Hannan, Jim Leyhane, Kevin Leyhane, Wells Packard, Carol Orvis, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Becky Raymond, Debbie Rodriguez, Ray Hannan.

Guests (2): Jack Conway, Joshua Smith.

MEETING MINUTES: President Phil welcomed members and guests. … He reminded members that Bill Dowd has refreshed the supply of Clynk recycling bags and bar code stickers that help support ShelterBox and encouraged participation in the redemption-and-recycling program via Hannaford supermarkets. … Murray Forth noted that raffle tickets are being made available for the club’s 3rd Cafe Capriccio private wine dinner. …

Bill Dowd reminded members that discounted reservations for the club’s 60th Anniversary Party, scheduled for Thursday, March 5, are available through Valentine’s Day — $45 for adults, $10 for children under 12. After that, reservations are $5 more per category. Anyone wishing to attend is asked to contact Bill and make payment to Murray. … Terry Brewer reported that we are soliciting lane sponsorships and participants for our Foundation Bowl-a-Thon, scheduled for Sunday, March 1, at the East Greenbush Bowling Center. … Our next recycling/shredding event is set for Saturday, April 18. Members are asked to share the flyer via social media. …

Wells Packard presented an update on the Rotary Youth Exchange program, which he is working to resuscitate this academic year and next. His primary effort is to to establish a support system of host families through local schools. … Next week’s program will be Dean Calamaras with a travelogue on the “Tides of Fundy.”

PROGRAM: “The State of East Greenbush”

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Jack Conway

Jack Conway, just entering his second — and, as he proclaims, his final — term as supervisor of the Town of East Greenbush, presented his view of the “State of the Town.”

Jack concentrated on the rebirth of Columbia Turnpike, particularly its expanding lineup of ethnic restaurants he said he believes creates a more cosmopolitan tone from the addition of Asian fusion, Indian, and other ethnicities he said contradicts the idea that East Greenbush has no good restaurants. Rather, he said, there are at least 50 different choices.

Conway also provided details on a number of housing developments under way or proposed, and the broad scope of new businesses and the economic boom in development payments from corporations such as Regeneron that has paid more than $1 million to the town in recent months.

He also paid homage to several SRC members, calling Terry Brewer the best school superintendent in the county during his tenure with the East Greenbush Central School District and Dr. Dick Drumm as a compassionate businessman and veterinarian.




Meeting Clipboard: 1/23/20

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Members Attending (14): Phil Kellerman, Pat Bailey, Terry Brewer, Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dick Drumm, Ray Hannan, Andy Leyhane, Jim Leyhane, Kevin Leyhane, Wells Packard, Charlie Foote.

Guests (1): Jean Carazza.

MEETING MINUTES: President Phil Kellerman welcomed members and guest Jean Carazza. This gathering was one of the periodic Club Assemblies intended to discuss club matters. … We began with setting February 20 — a date on which there will be no regular meeting because of school vacation week — as the date for the next Board meeting. Phil will contact all Board members to arrange location and details. … Discussion was held on restating our policy on financial responsibility for dinner guests. It was emphasized that program presenters will be guests of the club, but non-presenters will be required to pay for their dinners rather than having the club foot the bill. All members who schedule presenters are asked to determine precisely who and how many people are involved in the program and (a) be sure dinner coordinator Debbie Rodriguez is informed, and (b) be sure the presenter knows any otherRotary Home Cooking loogo people attending are responsible for paying for their meals. … The annual Rotary Home Cooking series of member-hosted dinner events will take place this year. We have three such events accounted for — to be hosted by Wells Packard, Terry Brewer, and Murray and Maggie Forth — with specific dates and themes/details to be announced. Historically, hosts have created themes for their events ranging from historic menu recreations to wine-centric events to whimsical themes. …

Phil and Wells Packard reported on their participation in the recent District 7190 Membership Training Session. Wells noted that key to the effort are use of signage in the community and the meeting venue, and creation of brochures to distribute at community events. It was noted that we have had a brochure Bill Dowd created but have not distributed it for some time. We will review it to ascertain what updates may be needed. Since East Greenbush Town Supervisor Jack Conway is scheduled to be next week’s speaker, we will check with him at that time to see what we need to do to have a Rotary emblem posted on town limits signs. …

Rotary CashWells also reported on the Rotary Youth Exchange program he is working on. He was the RYE liaison for his former club, and is gathering information on club involvement in the 2020-21 academic year exchange. … Terry Brewer reported on a Finance Committee meeting with club member A.J. Amato, a financial planner, to gain information on how to improve our financial record-keeping and budgeting. We will schedule a Financial Committee meeting to put into place a variety of his recommendations, and report back to the club. … The next recycling/shredding day will be held at Wainschaf Associates in Rensselaer on Saturday, April 18. Bill Dowd will create a flyer to be distributed with all details.

60th logoWe will hold our third Cafe Capriccio wine dinner raffle as a fundraiser for the general treasury. The dinner will be on March 28 at the Albany restaurant. Ticket sales will be held on March 19. … Bill Dowd reported that plans are advancing for the SRC 60th Anniversary Party on March 5 at Comfort Inns on Miller Road. Discount reservations are available for members and kids 12 and under through Valentine’s Dat. Details are available online. Terry Brewer moved that we appropriate $500 from the general treasury to support the event; it was secinded by several members and approved without dissent.



Meeting clipboard: 1/16/20

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Members Attending (15): Phil Kellerman, Pat Bailey, Terry Brewer, Geoff Brewer, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Dick Drumm, Murray Forth, Ray Hannan, Andy Leyhane, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Wells Packard

Guests (6): Ruth Samuels Russell, Ryan Nowak, Madison Rifenberick, Mrs. Rifenberick, Madison Shumpert, Noah Mujalli

MEETING MINUTES: President Phil welcomed members and guests. … He reported that he and Wells Packard had attended the recent District Membership Training session and will discuss the information at the next Club Assembly, set for next Thursday, January 23. … Terry Brewer reported that the new Finance Committee will meet on Friday with A.J. Amato to discuss club investments and bookkeeping practices. …

Screen Shot 2020-01-18 at 3.37.57 PMWells Packard, who has accepted the role of club Youth Exchange Officer, explained that a student from Maple Hill High School has completed the process to be a Rotary Youth Exchange student next year. Now our club must decide whether to sponsor an incoming student as required by Rotary. He said he believes Maple Hill is receptive and will provide homes to the visiting student. This also will be a topic for the Assembly next Thursday. ….

60th logoCo-chairs Murray and Terry reported that lane sponsorship forms will be available next week for the March 1 Foundation Bowl-a-thon to benefit the Oley Foundation and the Freedom From Fistula Foundation. Businesses and/or individuals are invited to sponsor at $100 per lane. … Members are asked to contact Bill Dowd ASAP to make reservations for the club’s March 5 60th Anniversary Party. … Murray issued a save-the-date reminder that the next SRC Recycling & Shredding Day is scheduled for Saturday, April 18.

PROGRAM: New Visions Students’ Science Research Projects

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Ruth Russell with her New Visions students. From left: Madison Shumpert, Ryan Nowack, Madison Rifenberick, Noah Mujalli.

Debbie Brown introduced Ruth Russell, a professor of chemistry, biology, and mathematics. She is the project leader of the New Visions program’s Scientific Research and World Health Program, located at the UAlbany Health Sciences Campus in Rensselaer.

This program involves seniors from high schools in the region who spend five mornings each week researching scientific studies in addition to their usual class load. The program involves 15 to 18 students each academic year.

Ruth introduced four students to explain their projects:

• Madison “Maddy” Rifenberick, valedictorian for Troy High School, discussed mercury toxicity through ingestion or dental fillings and the risk of developing Parkinson ’s disease. Mercury can lead to the loss of dopamine receptors in the brain. Her study shows the majority of her subjects also had exposure to coal and often had a genetic factor. She explained that environmental risks clearly are a concern.

• Noah Mujalli, from Rensselaer High School, discussed his work on the pulmonary effects of hydrogen sulfide contamination from the Dunn Landfill in Rensselear. While the state Department of Environmental Conservation has said that hydrogen sulfide levels should not exceed .010 parts per million, tests show that levels around the landfill often exceed this, yet use permits have been given up to the year 2035. He explained his methods and talked about the risk of tumors and sarcoids (skin tumors)  that increases with higher limits. He recommended that those concerned speak up and attend town hall meetings.

• Ryan Nowak, a senior at Taconic Hills High School, discussed private wells near dairy farms and the risk of E. coli contamination in Columbia County. He said the increase in agriculture, while a good thing, also has added problems due to animal waste, the use of manure as fertilizer, and runoff into local streams. His surveys showed that nitrates were getting into local wells and water supplies, and he discussed possible symptoms of contamination. Ryan also spoke about the use of antibiotics in farming and the concern that this, too, can lead to new, resistant E. coli strains, so more study is needed.

• Madison Shumpert, a student at Shenendehowa High School, spoke on the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol — better known as THC, the primary psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis: i.e., the stuff in marijuana that gets you high — on the development of schizophrenia. Her study covered four countries that have liberal laws on the use of THC products. She said she is 90% confident that the higher use of cannabis can lead to the development of schizophrenia, but study is complicated by the variety of laws and regulations in each country.




Meeting clipboard: 1/9/20p

SRC ClipboardHeld at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061

Members Attending (18): Jim Leyhane, Kevin Leyhane, Dean Calamaras, Ray Hannan, Dick Drumm, Debbie Rodriguez, Pat Bailey, Wells Packard, Roberto Martinez, Murray Forth, Charlie Foote, Carol Orvis, Terry Brewer, Geoff Brewer, Phil Kellerman, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Jeff Simons.

Guests (5): Ida-Marie Lindberg, Jennifer Carraher, Jim McHugh, Michelle Hall, Alexandra Omicinsky.

MEETING MINUTES — President Phil Kellerman presided, welcoming members and guests to the first dinner meeting of 2020. … Phil will represent the club at the District 7190 Membership District Training sessions. … Treasurer Murray Forth reported that the themed gift basket silent auction at the recent Holiday Party he and Maggie hosted raised $500 for the club treasury. … Bill Dowd delivered $3,525 in member contributions to ShelterBox to the District SB liaisons Jack and Nancy Faddegon. …

Prices were set for the March 1 Foundation Bowl-a-Thon to raise funds for two organizations we regularly support — the Oley Foundation for people using tube feeding and the Freedom From Fistula Foundation that deals with women’s obstetrical issues in sub-Saharan Africa. Admission will be $15 per person, and lane sponsorships will be $100 each. … The date for the 2020 Gift of Life Golf Tournament fundraiser will be Monday, September 14. … New member Wells Packard reported that his daughter has been selected as a Rotary Exchange Student. She will spend an academic year in Germany. … Next week’s program involves Ruth Samuels and the New Visions project at the UAlbany School of Public Health.

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 10.22.52 PMPROGRAM: EGSCD English Language Learners

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Jeff Simons

Jeff Simons, superintendent of the East Greenbush Central School District and a former SRC Rotary member, was the guest speaker.

He introduced staffers involved in the languages programs. The number of  students involved in such study is growing faster Upstate than in other parts of New York. Nevertheless, the courses encourage students and their families to maintain their native languages while they increase their fluency in English.

The New York State Seal of Bi-Literacy is affixed to the diplomas of all students who are proficient in more than one language.