Wildlife in Washington, and in our weekly meeting!!  Plus no wild cases of polio now for 15 straight weeks!
Notes from the January 4 meeting of
The Rotary Club of Clover Park
recorded by Tom McClellan
It is officially the New Year, and Clover Park Rotary Club members have had enough time to forget about their resolutions.  But they still lived up to their commitments to join together in service and fellowship.  Jeannie Hill kicked things off with some quotes to inspire us:
1. The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. - - - Socrates
2. What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven't even happened yet.  - - - Anne Frank
3. Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to.  - - - Bill Vaughan
Ed. Note: Columnist Bill Vaughan (1915-1977) also once commented further on the topic of New Year’s Eve, noting: “An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.” 
We had only one guest at this meeting, our guest speaker Michelle Tirhi, who you will meet further down in these notes.
Future Programs
Jan. 11     Matt Costanti, New Developments in Waste Recycling
Jan. 18     Desniege Haywood, Tacoma Rescue Mission
Jan. 25     Shawn Mattingly, What's New in Tax Laws
Foundation Minute
Georgene Mellom made a brief mention of the work that Terry Toone is doing as the District 5020 End Polio Now Coordinator.  And she celebrated the news that the globe has now gone 15 consecutive weeks without a report of a case of wild polio transmission. 
News From A Rotary Friend
Occasional visitor to our club George Lin of Taipei, Taiwan, sends Happy New Year greetings to all of his Rotary friends.  For our newer members, George has ties to our area, and before Covid he used to visit our meetings frequently.  He is hoping to get to see all of us one day soon. 
Other news from our larger Rotary family
Ellie Carr checks in, and misses everyone.  She has not been able to make Wednesday meetings thus far this year due to her son’s school arrival time, and looks forward to joining us once that changes.  Ellie also notes that she has an employee at Carr’s named Jazmyn who is one of the line cooks, and who is training to be a lead.  Jazmyn is a single mother of 4 who gets no support from the kids’ father, and really needs a car.  Ellie notes that they are not looking to get her a freebie, but perhaps if someone has a used car that could be in the $5000 price range and is ready to let it go to someone who really needs it, this would be a great way to help someone out.  
President’s Minute
Becky Newton shared several items of interest.  She first noted that our club’s Public Image Director Hallie McCurdy is looking for any bits of help with photographing club events, and writing articles for the District 5020 newsletter. 
The board is updating the club’s bylaws, and hopes to have a completed new draft for the next board meeting. 
The City of Lakewood had a 1-week outage of its email system, and almost that long for its phone system.  All service is now restored.  The City also has one position open on the City Council, because Linda Farmer left to become Pierce County Auditor.  The Council is asking for applicants, so please send a note if you are interested to the City Manager’s secretary, Brianna Schumacher. 
The Fundraising Committee is set to meet January 18 after the weekly club meeting, to work on preparations for the Clover Park Rotary Invitational (CPRI) event on March 17, including prizes and sponsors.
The City is sponsoring a “Love Lakewood Yoga” program, with sessions held in the pavilion in Fort Steilacoom Park.  Sign up at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/love-lakewood-yoga-tickets-460451030427
The club’s board approved a $350 donation out of our Fund Requests budget for the Habitat For Humanity project in Tillicum being done in honor of the late Claudia Thomas. 
Becky finished by sharing a story from the January 2023 issue of Rotary Magazine, about Lungiswa Gwaai of South Africa, who suffered heartbreaking loss of both her mother and sister as a child, but found redemption through involvement with Rotary in Capetown, South Africa.  She attended RYLA, did a Rotary Youth Exchange in Brazil, and came back to South Africa to finish her education and go to work for the Langa Education Assistance Program (LEAP).  This led to an award-winning film, “The Story Of Lungie”, which can be viewed (7 minutes) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cWJ4sh4FgA
Fun And Fines
This week’s guest finemaster was Alan Billingsley, who led a rousing game of “Deal Or No Deal”.  Each table got to have a chance to either answer a trivia question, accept a dare, or pay a fine of varying magnitude on a board with concealed amounts.
One such challenge was for one table to identify Rotary’s 2 slogans.  They got “Service Above Self” easily, but cheated on the other one (“One Profits Most Who Serves Best”), and thus had to pay $5 each. 
Another was to have everyone at the table agree to pay a fine, or serve as a future meeting’s finemaster.  They agreed to serve, and so at some future meetings, you will be seeing guest finemasters Joyce Oubre, Sue Potter, Paige Hansen, David Cotant, Jim Hairston, Georgene Mellom, and Mike Killen.  Since Fun and Fines falls under the direction of Fundraising Director Joyce Oubre, it will be left to her to schedule those members for that duty.
Gretchen Allen was the lone Zoomer attending, and so she got the full responsibility for that “group”.  She failed to know an unrecorded piece of Rotary trivia, but lucked out in selecting only a $2 fine. 
This Week’s Program
Michelle Tirhi is the District Biologist working for the WA State Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), whose coverage area includes Pierce County and northern Thurston County.  She is fortunate to get to work in the area where she grew up, being a member of the very first graduating class of the then-new Steilacoom High School.  She did her undergraduate work at WSU, then grad school at UW.  She is in charge of all terrestrial animals in her district, so bears, coyotes, deer, elk, turtles, and more, but no fish. 
She started by expressing gratitude for our club adopting the South Puget Sound Wildlife Area.  The staff who work there have a hard time keeping it wild, with many parties clamoring to put that land to other uses.  Rotary’s involvement is really helpful in this regard, and has made it a much nicer area for people to visit.  
The WA DFW works with the federal fish and wildlife service to preserve and protect the wildlife in our state.  She deals a lot with prairies (there are a lot of them in Thurston Co.).  Prairies have special wildlife found nowhere else, but they are also popular for things like building housing areas.  An estimated 70k acres of habitat (all types) are lost each year in WA State. 
She discussed a project to remove mountain goats from the Olympic National Park.  Introduced in the 1930s, and with no natural predators there, they have outgrown the carrying capacity.  Some have been drugged and transported to the Mt. Baker area, others were hunted.  They have removed over 600 of the goats. 
There are 19 packs of wolves in WA State.  A “pack” is any group of 2 or more individuals moving together.  They are slowly migrating back to our area as they recover.  The first pack has entered the Yakima Indian Reservation, and some have been spotted around Mount Rainier but they have not stayed.  
One task Michelle is involved in is trapping and relocating problem beavers, whose dams interrupt stream flow in problematic ways.  She does a lot of data collection, and in winter months when animals are quiet she does a lot of analysis of those data. 
Raffle: With a new deck, and $95 in the pot, Georgene Mellom had the winning ticket, but could not draw any of the four aces.
And Finally…
Thankfully, we do not count alligators nor crocodiles among the wildlife in Washington State.  But if you ever wanted to know what the difference was between them, here is a graphical representation:
I’m no zoologist, and I could be wrong, but I believe that the main difference is that one will see you later, and the other will see you in a while.