Big News!!

Judge Faubion was allowed to stand and address the group.  Details below.

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Special guests: (visiting Rotarians and visitors) Paulina Adams

Sunshine report:  Keep Sue Potter in your prayers for her father who is in Hospice.

Upcoming events and/or commitments for our club:

December 20 at 8 AM Christmas delivery with West Pierce Fire and Rescue.  Meet at UP fire station.  There is a need for more Rotarians to help with this, so if you can help out, please email Joyce Oubre

January 15: Fireside at the home of Marie and Bruce Barth.  Details to follow.

Other News:

Christmas shopping was most successful as was the wrapping party.  Many Rotarians attended, some wrapped some partied.

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Christmas food baskets were delivered to 35 families of students at Southgate Elementary School.

The New Member Orientation on Dec. 10 was most successful with many good stories about our history.

Tom Faubion was this week's contestant on President Sheri's game of "Two Truths And A Lie", although Tom put his own spin on it.  Invoking Rule #1 of the 4-Way Test, Tom asserted that he could not permit himself to tell a lie at a Rotary meeting.  So he told 3 truths, including a scary story of nearly being captured by rebels during his time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru.  And he has finally hung up his fire fighter's helmet and retired from the Graham Fire Department. 

Memorable fines and stories: 

Rick Ring got his blue badge.  We no longer have any red badge members, so that is a sign that we need to get out and do some more recruiting.

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Ken Sharp is back in the world of the working though temporary.  He is working part-time as Deputy Director of Operations at South Sound 911.  Also a birthday, so he donated $100 to the club and $100 to Paul Harris.

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Bonnie Boyle also had a significant birthday.  Bonnie offered up $200 to Paul Harris in exchange for no birthday song!

Tom Faubion took a trip to Washington DC to visit the Smithsonian and hoped for a chance to see President Obama.  He saw two SUVs with blacked out windows, concealing the inhabitants, so he might have seen somebody.  $50.

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Today’s speaker:  Dr. Ed Rubel came to brief the club about the work that he and others are doing at the Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center which is part of the University of Washington.  Our club had first come into contact with that organization through the efforts of the late Gene Pankey, who along with the late Dave Sclair and the still-living David Cotant, formed the Rotarian action group Rotarians for Hearing Regeneration.  That action group is now standing down, and so part of the program was the presentation of a check to Dr. Rubel for the continuation of their research efforts. 

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Dr. Rubel gave us an update on the science of hearing regeneration, which is focusing on how animals other than mammals are able to regenerate new hearing cells after they are damaged by noise or chemicals.  The current belief is that when mammals evolved the spiral shaped cochlea that allows us to hear a wider range of frequencies, this evolutionary step may have coincidentally erased the genetic code that allows other animals to regenerate their hearing cells.  Work is under way to isolate the relevant sections of genetic code that are involved, and hopefully the proteins they encode, with the ultimate aim to develop a drug therapy to regenerate hearing cells in mammals. 

It is worth noting that at this meeting, Dr. Rubel also made his own personal donation of $60 to our club's charities acccount. 

Raffle: Grant Blinn had the magic ticket, but not the skill at drawing an ace.  So the pot grows [ed. note: that's a reference to money, not agriculture].

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Reminder: No meeting next week on Christmas Eve, but please do join us on Dec. 31 for a club assembly.  As part of that, we will be hearing from Paul Means, who will be leading a trip to Guatemala to install more of the stoves in a remote village with Hands For Peacemaking.  Paul is looking for people who would like to participate in this trip.