Our January 2 meeting will be a club assembly, in the Frangipani Room. President Mike Baker promised a variety of parts to the program.
This Week’s News
Ring those bells
Thanks to those who rang the bells for the local Salvation Army on Saturday, Dec. 16, at College Mall: Mike Baker, Leslie Green, Henk Haitjema, Steve Ingle, Steve Moberly, Glenda Murray, and Beth Spradley. Special thanks to Steve Moberly who has coordinated the volunteers this year and took unfilled shifts.
Schell becomes Paul Harris Fellow
Janet Schell, a longtime volunteer at Teachers Warehouse, became a Paul Harris Fellow, thanks to Judy Witt.
The Rotary nominating committee nominated Earon Davis as President Elect, Glen Steenberger as Treasurer, and Ashley Sullivan as Secretary, beginning July 1, 2018. Those nominated as board members are Ron Barnes, Ann Connors, and Marilyn Woods. Members were to vote by December 27.
New members approved
The board has approved the following two new members:
Julia Merkt, retired elder law attorney. Classification: Elder Law Attorney. She is transferring her membership from Chiang Mai International Rotary Club in Thailand.
Scott Shackelford, chair, Indiana University Cybersecurity Program. Sponsor: Jim Bright. Classification: Faculty Business Cybersecurity.
The club’s condolences are extended to Art Oehmich, on the death of his mother, Clarissa Oehmich, at age 100.
Rotarians in the News
Geoff McKim was among those interviewed in the December BizNet about the developing economy.
Owen Johnson was interviewed for a story in the Herald-Times about National Ernie Pyle Day. He was also interviewed by WISH-TV on the same subject. You can see the program here: http://wishtv.com/2017/12/12/push-for-national-ernie-pyle-day-underway/
December 19 Presentation
Loren Snyder introduced Joe McGuinness, who is the Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner. McGuinness was previously mayor of Franklin, and Loren served on the Johnson County Council, so they worked together on projects. McGuinness became INDOT Commissioner January 9, 2017. He spoke of the Next Level Roads projects, which involves $5.1 billion of improvements in most areas of the state over the next five years. The projects include 10,000 miles of repaving/repair, and work on 1,300 bridges. The projects are funded by a 10- cent increase in the fuel tax and more of the current sales taxes going to roads and bridges in the future. The state also receives about $900 million annually in federal transportation funds.
McGuinness addressed the changes in the I-69 project in the last year. He acknowledged that the project developer did not have the experience or the capacity to complete the project in a timely manner. The state took over the project in June and now has two managers working on site with the contractors. The schedule calls for Section 5 of I-69 to be completed by August 2018. Section 6, from Martinsville to Indianapolis, will be led by the state, not a developer, and will be paid for as work progresses. It is a $1.4 billion project. About $220 million will be spent on right-of-way acquisition, and that process has begun. McGuinness reminded us that I-69 connects three countries: Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Indiana still has to complete this section of the highway and build the new bridges over the Ohio River, in conjunction with Kentucky.
In Q&A, McGuinness explained that he believes public-private partnerships are best suited to projects when revenue is being generated. He noted that INDOT is studying tolling some roads, with the report due in December of 2018. Nationally, the states need to figure out different methods to fund transportations projects, since funding by gas taxes becomes more problematic as vehicles become more efficient and people use less gas.
Our December 19 Meeting
President Mike Baker led our meeting. Hank Walter greeted Rotarians and guests, with Jim Harvey greeting the first arrivals.
Owen Johnson led the pledge and reflected on the history of Rotary, from its founding in Chicago in 1905 to its growth in the United States and overseas. The organization became Rotary International in 1922. Rotary had to leave some countries during World War II, and it does not have clubs in most communist countries, but Rotary comes back to countries as soon as it can.
Michael Shermis introduced guests:
Anthony Christian, guest of Michael Shermis, from the City of Bloomington
Patty Campbell, guest and mother of Jean Emery, on Patty’s 82nd birthday
Caellaigh Klemz, guest of the club, IU student
Jeff Main, guest of Loren Snyder, from Hilliard Lyons
Julia Merkt, soon to be a transferred member
Lisa Ridge, guest of Liz Irwin, Monroe County Public Works Director
Janet Schell, guest of Judy Witt, volunteer at Teachers Warehouse
Alex Graham, guest and son of Susie Graham, recent SPEA graduate
Kim Pitcher and Jim Peterson, guests of Liz Irwin, Smithville
Birthdays for the next two weeks
Jon Barada, December 28
Lee Witt, December 29
Ron Barnes, December 30
Glenda Murray, Reporter
Charlie Osborne, Photographer