President Jim opened the meeting with 18 members and one guest in attendance (Barre Police Chief Tim Bombardier, guest of Karl).

Roy and Ted both offered happy dollars to get things rolling, in recognition of their District 7850 cruise last week representing the Rotary Club of Barre.   They both survived some “rollicking” times on the high seas and said it was an enjoyable event.

Bill offered a happy dollar noting that Roy stepped up and volunteered to serve as program chair for the year ahead.   It’s likely that some members should brush up on their oratory skills and be prepared for some classification/re-classification talks in the months ahead…in actuality these are always some of our most memorable programs!   Claire offered a happy dollar for the sale of a property that’s been on the market for six years…a property that was not one of her listings I believe she said.

Roy proposed a fine of 1+9 on Karl for bragging before the meeting that he was able to get the chief of police to attend today’s luncheon on only 10 minutes notice.   Roy felt Karl should be humble rather than brag about his influence, however Karl said he was only pointing out that only in a place like Barre could anyone get the chief to drop everything to attend a meeting at the last minute.   The fine did not pass.

Claire reminded the club that we’ll be painting picnic tables at Rotary Park tonight, which got Tom on his feet complaining that he showed up last week to paint and no one else joined him.   It was while reading last week’s Chips on his smart-phone while waiting for everyone else that he found out the project had been postponed to this week.   This further prompted Karl to reveal he showed up for the regular Thursday downtown walk “last week or the week before” (he couldn’t remember which) and was the only participant.  He proposed a fine of 1+4 on Claire for not showing up to lead the weekly walk and Tom chipped in with a 1+4 amendment for the Rotary Park no show.   Claire’s defense (something about being sick) fell on deaf presidential ears.

Pres.-Elect Bill reminded members of the change-over dinner to be held June 26th at the Hilltop.   President Jim should be publishing more info to the club shortly, as well as seeking a head count for planning purposes. 

Bob proposed a fine of 1+9 on Bill and Ted allegedly talking while Karl introduced his guest (the aforementioned police chief).   This fine was clearly in retaliation (since neither Bill nor Ted was speaking during Karl’s floor time) for an earlier 1+9 on Bob for talking while Ted was offering his cruise happy dollar.   President Jim clearly understood the speciousness of Bob’s fine, which was soundly defeated.

Karl introduced our speaker, Peter Christ from the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).  Those not in attendance missed an extremely thought-provoking discussion on the success or failures of the war on drugs.   LEAP is an organization founded by five police officers in 2002 and has grown into an organization with 40,000 supporters including police, prosecutors, FBI/DEA agents, judges and others. Peter served as a law enforcement officer in Tonawanda, NY for 20 years, and opened by discussing the history of alcohol prohibition and its failure, and concluded that current prohibitions of drugs are just like those failed alcohol prohibition policies.

Peter stressed that while he did not advocate drug use, he indicated that they should be legalized and strictly regulated just as alcohol and tobacco is now, to take criminals out of the equation.  As Peter put it, prohibition caused problems, not alcohol and the same is true today.   Drugs will always be part of our society, so the question is who should regulate them.   Peter said while drug use/abuse is a terrible thing, drug users should not be treated as criminals.  He defined prohibition as “prohibiting of consensual adult behavior”, and said prohibition creates crime and violence.

Peter urged members to be aware and to speak out about the drug problem.   As he noted, bad things happen because good people remain silent.   He urged the club to check the LEAP web site ( to learn more about LEAP and its mission.

Peter drew the winning raffle ticket, held by Bertil, who was unsuccessful in his search for the clear marble.