President Bill opened the meeting with 15 members and 2 guests present.

Roy offered a short and heartfelt (and appropriate) blessing to start the meeting.

Claire followed by offering a happy dollar for Roy’s return, and the fact that his singing had not improved during his absence.   Roy then offered a happy dollar of his own for being in attendance, and updated the club on his health.   He’s undergoing chemo and is hopeful that his cancer will go into remission over the next few weeks and months, and he was thankful for the expressions of good wishes and support he’s been receiving.

Bertil provided information about the Hands to Honduras project that he’s been heavily involved with.   He asked club members to pass around the pamphlets throughout the community in hopes of stimulating some financial support for this year’s project, which is a neo-natal intensive care unit at a hospital in Honduras.   Roy urged the club to support the project and moved that we send 10% of our remaining charities budget to support the project.  Jack Barnes seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.  Elizabeth is going to determine exactly how much remains in our budget and make the appropriate 10% payment to support the project.

Past president Jim offered a happy dollar for the recent arrival of grand-daughter Charlotte Louis Burt (sp?).   Karl noted that traditionally it’s been one happy $ per pound for new arrivals, however, other than the limping Karl, no one in the club remembers ever hearing of that “tradition”.

George offered a happy dollar for the continued return to good health of his grand-daughter (daughter of former Barre Rotarian Jamie) who had been seriously ill.   He also proudly noted that she just joined the St. Johnsbury Rotary Club, becoming the 4th generation Milne to be a member of Rotary.

Bertil proposed a fine of 1+9 on Claire for recently bringing to his attention the sordid state of the bell in our Rotary closet, and urging Bertil to spruce it up.   Bertil did a wonderful job of fixing up the bell, bringing it back to near pristine condition.   However, Bertil rightly noted that the bell is an Interact bell, not our club bell, and thus it sits permanently out of sight in the closet.  Claire argued (fruitlessly) that she didn’t say it was our bell, and it did need refurbishing.  The fine passed, after Sergeant Ted brought said bell out of the closet for the club to admire.

President Bill reported on the nominating committee’s slate of officers for election for Rotary year 2014-15.   According to our by-laws, the annual election is to be held at the first meeting in December.   The slate, which was approved with no discussion and no nominations from the floor is:  Secretary- Sue Poczobut; Treasurer- Elizabeth LaPerlele;   Sergeant-at Arms- Ted Goulette:  Directors- Karl Rinker/Jack Barnes; Past-president- Bill Noyes.   The offices of President and President-elect are vacant.   The club will be governed (and meetings run) by the board of directors in 2014-15. 

Karl then offered a happy dollar for his broken ankle (yes, he was happy about it).   He said he was glad he broke nothing else.   He did not elaborate on the cause of the injury, but rumor has it that it involved a stairway, darkness, etc.  

President Bill reminded everyone of the Christmas program on Dec. 18th at the Hilltop   Jim Catone is accepting reservations.  The cut-off is next Friday, Dec. 13th.   Cost is $16 per person and guests are more than welcome.

Former Barre Rotarian Justin Bourgeois was introduced by Tom B./Ron Parnigoni.

Roy introduced our speaker, Ann Smith, executive director of the Friends of the Winooski, who gave a presentation on how rivers and streams work.   She spoke of the FOW mission, which is dedicated to protection and restoration of the Winooski River watershed through education and outreach, restoration and protection, and monitoring and assessment.  She noted that the Winooski River traces its beginning to the town of Cabot where it springs from Coyt’s (?) Pond and winds up emptying into Lake Champlain.

Water makes its way into rivers and streams one of two ways…it hits the ground and makes its way quickly overland or it’s absorbed into the ground, becomes part of an aquifer and slowly enters the river or stream.   Ann pointed out that human activity greatly affects.   Channelizing and straightening rivers, moving them to make way for development and over-development are all human activity that adds to increased flood risk and ultimately damage from flooding.   Most flood damage is caused by erosion.   She also showed photos of under-sized culverts, which also contribute to flood risk and flood damage,

To help break the cycle Ann said we need to open up river and stream corridors and keep development out of the way of the natural corridors of our rivers and streams.   We need to improve riparian buffers along our waterways and manage storm water runoff.    She said it’s not going to be easy to reverse the direction we’ve been heading in,  and planners need to determine what requirements we need to put in place for future development and for waterway protection, and we also need to determine how we can incentivize people to make the changes that will be necessary to protect our rivers and streams and abate the risk of future flooding.   Ann left a great deal of printed material with club members and answered numerous questions before and after the meeting adjourned.  

The winning raffle ticket belonged to Jim.

Next week’s meeting will be a club assembly.