Not all court judges are created equal.  Some are “Superior” court judges, and we had one who is an old friend visit our club.  Plus, a recounting of the “frequency” of our club’s ruthless lawbreaking. 
Notes from the Feb. 9, 2022 meeting of
The Rotary Club of Clover Park
recorded by Tom McClellan
There once was a time when past club presidents would start the meeting late, despite the best efforts of your scribe and program coordinator to run a tight ship, and it was a great joy for our finemaster because it gave him some material.  But not lately, as President Teresa Nye once again started the meeting with perfect punctuality.  
She thanked the setup crew of Tom Faubion, David Cotant (back from wrassling with Omicron), and Mike Killen.  And thanks too to VP Sue Potter, holding down the Zoomxecutrix duties in cyberspace from a secure undisclosed location.  
Jeannie Hill offered an inspirational moment, with 4 quotes:
1) There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.  - - - Jane Austen
2) All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt. - - - Charles Schulz
3) In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine. - - - Maya Angelou
4) Today is Valentine's Day, or, as men like to call it, Extortion Day! - - - Jay Leno
Our guest speaker and former Rotarian Grant Blinn led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Jim Hairston led us in reciting the Four Way Test. 
Sunshine Report
Jeannie Hill noted that she has not heard reports of anyone under the weather.  She has been in touch with Kerri Pedrick, whose work obligations at Communities In Schools have kept her away.  She looks forward to joining us again very soon.
Future Programs
Feb. 16     Brian Laubach & Jesus Villegas, Homeless Programs in Clover Park School District
Feb. 23     Hanford McCloud, Nisqually Tribal Council Member
Mar. 2       Walter Neary, Historic Fort Steilacoom
Membership Challenge
Gretchen Allen reminded us of the challenge for all members to nominate someone who would make a good Rotarian.  See the flier on the Club’s Facebook page.  Please copy that flier and share it on your own social media.  
President’s Corner
Teresa noted that at our last board meeting on Feb. 4, the board grappled with our club’s Charities Account budget.  Treasurer Judi Maier added some details. 
Last autumn, the board voted to move some excess money out of the club’s General Account, leaving in there enough to cover one year’s worth of ordinary expenses.  This meant that about $23,000 was moved over to the Charities Account.  And because of our club’s 501c3 status, money budgeted in the Charities Account needs to be spent in the year budgeted, which means this year, before June 30.  Here are the allocations that the board decided on:
$1500 to St. Leo’s for a summer food program in Lakewood, or the Springbrook mobile food bank
$1000 to ShelterBox USA
$2500 to Nourish Pierce County
$2500 to the Steilacoom Food Pantry
$1000 to Partners For Parks
$1000 to Caring For Kids
$250 to the Lakewood Playhouse Summer Youth Program
$1000 for scholarships
The scholarship budget allocation has gone to Pierce College in recent years, because they have been willing to meet our club’s stipulations that the recipient be a member of the local community, remain in good academic standing, and come talk to our club about what the scholarship will allow them to do.  Pierce was willing to meet those requirements but the Clover Park Technical College Foundation previously was not.
There is a new manager at the CPTC Foundation, and as part of taking over that job she has gone through the books and turned up an endowment that our club established back in 2005, to fund scholarships for CPTC students.  No one in the club’s leadership remembered establishing that.  The $14,000 now in that endowment throws off a little bit in investment returns to fund scholarships, but in some years it is not enough to meet the CPTC Foundation’s $600 threshold for a scholarship.  
So the board decided to send $500 of the scholarship budget to Pierce, and $500 to add to our newly re-found endowment at the CPTC Foundation, in hopes that it will throw off larger amounts of investment returns in the future. 
There is also $2500 in the Funds Requests budget, not yet spent this year.  This is intended for local projects or groups, usually not to exceed $500 per allocation.  Sheri Hodson heads the committee reviewing requests for money from this account.  This is something that we all should be on the lookout for worthy candidates to support, all the time, and especially with only 4 months left in the Rotary year to allocate that money. 
And after the board’s actions in the overall Charities Account, there remains an amount of $5000 not yet allocated for this year from the Charities Account.  The board asks that the membership at large weigh in with suggestions for what to do with that remainder, with an understanding of what has already been allocated as described above.  We also need to understand the IRS mandate that these Charities Account funds get spent by June 30.
Teresa closed out the president’s corner with some pictures of her son Patrick, already getting into the swing of lacrosse season.  He is #26, the one wearing black socks in these pictures.
For those who are untrained in the subtleties of lacrosse, you may notice that Patrick's lacrosse stick is on the long side, revealing him to be a defenseman whose job it is to use that longer stick to poke, harass, annoy, dislodge the ball, and otherwise impede the efforts of opposing offensive players.
Fun And Fines
Ed Trobaugh joined us in person on this day, which is always more fun.  He started off by asking Teresa Nye just how proud she was of her son the lacrosse player.  She replied that she was $20 proud. 
Becky Newton was pleased to have been able to celebrate her birthday (a big, undisclosed round number) with her daughter visiting.  
Scott Adams also celebrated a big round number, but failed to bring a big fat billfold and so has entered a Nye Owe You for his birthday debt.  
Hallie McCurdy was sitting next to Scott, meaning that she was within the bursting radius.  She was asked about the volume of calls for service at the Fire Department, and she noted that indeed the volume is up. 
Ed Trobaugh then turned his attention to a thorny legal problem that our club faces, and called upon Mike Killen to address the issue.  Mike has been working for several months to locate and order replacements for our two wireless microphones that are kaput, thus far without success.  He finally found out why.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) changed the rules for wireless mics a couple of years ago, taking away certain radio frequencies that they formerly used so that cellular phone companies can use them for the new 5G standard.  That is why manufacturers have stopped making them.  Our remaining mics are now non-compliant, and by continuing to use them we have apparently been in flagrant violation of federal law.
Ed thanked Mike Killen for that report, and for getting to the bottom of the issue, and then Ed turned his attention to several past presidents who were present, seeking to assign blame.  This included Tom Faubion who is exempt from fines due to having purchased a “Fraley” last year.  Tom deftly dodged the accusation of responsibility as a former club leader, and instead noted that he was intrigued as a personal injury lawyer that our club’s continued illegal use of these microphones might have perhaps caused some cause of action for a potential legal client.
Our newer members may not be aware that we have long had a rule that anyone speaking during a meeting must use a microphone.  This rule predates Covid and Zoom, and stemmed from a now-deceased member Gene Pankey who was about 85% deaf.  That made human interactions very difficult.  But Gene had a special electronic gizmo that could plug into our amplifier during Rotary meetings and send a clean signal to his hearing aids, such that Gene could hear everyone better in meetings, provided that we all used a microphone.  So the microphone rule was implemented for Gene's sake.  Sadly, Gene passed away in 2011, but we kept the rule, which actually made things easier when Zoom came along because we were already used to the need for a mic. 
Heidi Wachter was asked how her kids were doing, and she noted that her youngest daughter Katherine struggled a lot with home schooling, and her grades “plummeted”, which Heidi stated could not possibly have been any reflection on her parenting skills, but is now back in class and earning a 4.0.  That was worth $5.
This Week’s Program
We welcomed back former Clover Park Rotary Club member Grant Blinn, who is a Pierce County Superior Court judge.  Grant had arrived at the meeting fully expecting to be fined, and had his money out and ready, so he instead called it a “donation” to our club.
Prior to being on the Superior Court, Judge Blinn was the Municipal Court judge for Lakewood.  He previously worked as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney from 1996-2014 where he prosecuted special assault unit cases and homicides.
Blinn described the profound feeling of responsibility he has in serving as a judge, which he called a “wonderful job”.  The Superior Court is one level above Municipal or District Courts which typically handle only traffic infractions and misdemeanors.  Superior Court is the first court of “general jurisdiction”.  It also does family law, which is where Blinn is working this year. 
For this program, he spoke about the Felony Mental Health Court, a program started in 2015 for nonviolent felony offenders.  They can get an opportunity to earn a second chance.  It is done in partnership with Greater Lakes Mental Health.  Defendants usually have addiction and mental health issues, some suffer from homelessness.  The prosecutor has to agree that diversion to this program is suitable.  The defendant has to plead guilty and in exchange gets deferred sentencing.
It is an 18-month program involving mandatory community service hours, drug screening, and a reprogramming of the decision making process.  Subjects have to go before a judge weekly for evaluation of compliance.  Must make restitution to crime victims.  Recidivism is lower with this program.
Blinn also discussed what administering justice has been like under Covid restrictions.  Jails have a decreased ability to take in new bookings.  There is worry over liability for infections spread in the jail.  Prosecutors have thus had to pick their battles.  This has led to a big drop in cases being brought to trial.  There is also a diminished capacity to hold jury trials due to concerns over jury safety.
Civil cases (non-jury) have been moved to Zoom.  Covid outbreaks at Western State Hospital have created big bottlenecks in terms of processing criminal mental patients.  
With $185 in the pot, Jim Hairston had the winning ticket, but not the magic touch.
And Finally…
They say you shouldn’t believe everything you see on the Internet.  I'm not so sure.