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Rotary of Avon-Canton - Founded 1973
Service above Self
Fridays at 7:30 AM
Golf Club of Avon
160 Country Club Road
Avon, CT 06001
United States of America
(860) 760-6364
In person starting July 9, 2021. Zoom will also be available for those unable to attend in person.
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Special 9/11/01 Twenty-Year Anniversary Remembrance Edition
Come to Order:
President Christine Lamadrid opened this 9/10/2021 meeting with a moment of silence in recognition of the 20th anniversary of 9/11/2001. Gary Roman gave the invocation, similarly recognizing those who lost their lives, as well as the families of the lost, in the multiple tragedies of that day, including in NYC, in Washington and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
September 17, 2021
Business Appreciation Presentation
Members Present: 31
Members Virtually: (1) Robin DiNicola
Guests: James Voorhees (Tom's son),
Speaker: Eleni Kavros-Degraw
Visiting Rotarians: None
Happy Dollars: $88
Raffle: $40.00
Fines: None.
Kim Murphy (9/1) was absent.
Phil Ferrari (9/6): In light of all he's been through this year, Phil forgot about his birthday. Indeed, "In falling off the roof, I forgot about a lot of things: my birthday, my knee and Covid." Phil thanks the group for their support during his now over 6 months of recovery. He remembered that Art Hayes first introduced him to Rotary a long time ago, and that joined along with Craig Buhrendorf.
Shanee Hoyt (9/7) was absent.
Arnie Goldman (9/11): Arnie noted that 9/11/01 is the "Pearl Harbor Day" of our time, and recalled his ties to New York City generally, and Staten Island in particular, where many of the firefighters lost that day resided. Arnie noted that so many individuals were touched in some way by these acts of terrorism, and acknowledged his close friend Dave Russin, now of Virginia, who lost his cousin Steven Russin at the WTC. The latter Mr. Russin had worked at Cantor-Fitzgerald. Arnie also acknowledged Phil Worley for enlisting him in Rotary and for their long friendship.
Below is the (hastily) revised front page of the 9/11/2001 Staten Island Advance, and selected images from the 9/11/2021 "Angel's Circle" 9/11/01 memorial service, held annually on Staten Island.
"Angel's Circle" Memorial, 9/1/2021, Grasmere, Staten Island
Happy Dollars:
Sue Budde gave 3 happy dollars noting her niece's boyfriend recently took a job with Sue's husband and they are moving close to her; Sue's stepdaughter is soon to have a baby boy; Finally, Sue's husband was supposed to be in the WTC on 9/11/01, but serendipitously was not there that day and they later met on 10/12/01.
Gary Roman read a letter from the Neighbor to Neighbor fund of New Hartford to which we gave a $1000.00 grant in support of those who lost their homes and possessions in the 8/10 New Hartford House fire. That structure dated to 1888.
Gary Miller thanked the golf tournament committee and the entire club for their enthusiastic participation in creating and operating the tournament.
Salin Low presented a check for $100.00 to the foundation. She'll be absent for the next three weeks visiting family members in Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City and St. Louis.
Lisa Barrall-Matt is still looking after her mother in Florida, and sadly her mother's brother recently passed away, presumably due to heart disease.
Peter Vignati donated $32.00 in honor of he and wife Susanne's 32nd anniversary. She's the best thing that ever happened to him. The couple, along with their two dogs, are leaving for Schoodic Point, Maine tomorrow which is near Acadia. He wishes us well on our upcoming golf outing.
Don Bonner is thankful his child has moved back to Avon, and also glad to have completed the golf booklet.
Jolly Lux had 4 happy dollars. While in Uganda she dreamt we had signed up 400 golfers and hopes we will come close. Jolly thanked us all for our support of her 8/15 trip to Uganda, where a new well was drilled in a community in which people had never seen a well or gushing water. Jolly is planning another trip in November to further develop the infrastructure for the well. A needs assessment was also made to 4 local households.
Bob Cave gave 2 happy dollars to recognize the surprise party to be held for his wife this weekend, with their kids secretly flying in from California and Colorado. What a big surprise Mrs. Cave is going to have!
Luke Violette had $20 happy dollars for 8/20/21, a date he will long remember. His girlfriend Katie, whose idea of camping is a rustic hotel room, was told she was going on a Colorado camping trip with Luke. She was happy for the thought she would also be going to be near her best friend who lives in Colorado, and hoped to see her. She still thought this as Luke and she traveled to Bradley airport for their 6 AM departure on 8/18. But surprise, surprise their connecting flight was delayed and the flight attendant asked for show of hands for those with connecting flights. In raising his hand, Luke was forced to reveal they were actually going to California to "see members of his family." The real reason however, remained a secret, right up until they became engaged in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in San Diego. Now Luke is up to his neck in wedding spread sheets. Congrats to Luke and Katie! Learn more about Torrey Pines here: ]“A Walk through Time – Beaches and Bluffs of Torrey Pines” at:
Gary Miller thanked Don Bonner for his golf booklet work. The booklet has great remembrances of Nancy Nation and Jim McIntosh. We have 125 golfers who will get a 24 oz double wall flask. All looks good for Monday!
Joanne Santiago noted we will have the "business appreciation event" right after our next meeting. The committee picked 8 businesses that have stuck by us, year in and year out, for the TOTV.
Katelyn Kaplan thanked all for their auction assistance, and noted it is online as of now. Please bid! President Lamadrid also thanked all participants.
Larry Sullivan noted we have an experienced crew for the hole-in-one contest and a Honda and a Jeep are at stake. Looking forward to a good day!
9/13 Rotary Club of Avon/Canton golf tournament
Induction of New Members: None today.
Joanne Santiago called Greg DeManche to the lectern to present him with a "Paul Harris Plus Seven" award, representing $7000.00 in donations to the foundations.
Community and International Service Grants: None today
State Representative Eleni Kavros-DeGraw
2021 Legislative Update
Rotary Club of Avon-Canton president Christine Lamadrid introduced State Representative Eleni Kavros-Degraw. A freshman state legislator, Ms. Kavros-Degraw serves on the public health committee and the finance, revenue and bonding committee. She noted, "I'm not here as often as I'd like to be, but am glad to be here today."
Referring to the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks, Ms. Kavros-Degraw explained that her parents were both "in the air" that day. Her mother is a flight attendant and her father, a pilot. She characterized aircrews as the "very first responders" that day.
Ms. Kavros-Degraw had previously distributed a summary of this year's legislation, which included over 300 individual items. Going into specifics, she noted a large difference among states in their teaching requirements regarding 9/11/2001. Unlike many of the eastern states, many western states' educational systems seem less inclined to include it in the curriculum. She promotes inclusion of that history wherever and whenever she can.
A few highlights from the recent session include the paying down of about a billion dollars of the pension fund deficit, saving many hundreds of millions of dollars in future interest debt. This was a bipartisan effort and in general, members of both parties work well together. Constituents of legislators of both parties want bipartisan collaboration.
The car theft issue, which is very concerning to many local constituents, is being worked on in a bipartisan way. She sees her role as bringing her constituents concerns to her colleagues and to the Governor. Car theft cases are left unresolved 92% of the time, with no arrests even when cars are recovered. Recently they have closed a legal loophole that allowed one municipality's juvenile arrest to be hidden from other municipalities, so that serial juvenile offenders were repeatedly released, often leading to repeat offenses. Now they can be more easily identified and judges advised to hold the individual, rather than allow immediate release. She noted that "when the economy goes down crime goes up", emphasizing the economic causes aspect for the problem more than the personal responsibility for one's behavior aspect of the problem. "When school is closed and kids are sitting at home, they get into trouble. Idle hands, and all that. Putting kids in jail doesn't work." We need innovative solutions to juvenile crime and in that vein, Ms. Kavros-Degraw conferred with the Avon acting police chief and the Canton police chief, who noted that vehicular crime is already decreasing. The chiefs also noted that for 95% of cars stolen, the key fob is in the car, showing that keyless technology creates a temptation and is therefore is an unexpected underlying "cause" of the problem.
She also helped with the law requiring removal of the date of birth from employment applications to lessen age discrimination.
She advanced bicycling and walking interests and raised the bottle deposit amount from $0.05 to $0.10.
The Connecticut DMV now includes far more online services than ever before. The DOL website has been improved and continues to be.
With respect to the overall economy, 67% of our just pre-pandemic jobs have been recovered. State pandemic unemployment benefits ended 9/4 and we will have to wait and see what happens to the jobs market now. Our restaurants and small businesses were assisted by making it easier to have outside dining and patio space. Finding employees remains challenging.
Covid impacts are ongoing. She has asked but as yet does not know if the Governor will ask for a further and controversial extension of his so called "emergency" powers. Finally, the legislature has eased the use of telehealth services and also and specifically for nursing home telehealth services in which patient safety is even more fraught.
She remains glad she ran for office and looks forward to cutting more red tape and make common sense decisions. She believes she and her colleagues from both sides of the aisle will continue to work cooperatively to benefit the state.
Gary Roman: How big is the (pension) hole? EK-D: She doesn't know the exact number but it is huge. Gary heard it was $70 billion dollars, made more glaring when held against an annual budget of $25 billion dollars. EK-D: Most of the debt is teacher's pension related.
Rollie Sterrett: Any thoughts on the defund-the-police and police liability legislation? EK-D:  The legislature has modified the law already. Further, Canton's Chief Arciero raised an issue with police department accreditation, asking for approval for departments to receive departmental accreditation from not just one of the existing certifying entities, but from either of them, allowing more flexibility for different departments with different needs and priorities. This was approved. Ms. Kavros-Degraw also noted no one here is advocating for "defund-the-police." Further, and unexpectedly, our chiefs did not request removal of the personal liability aspect of the law. She, and apparently they, feel that, that element will be a very minor and rarely exercised aspect of the law, as there are so few so called "bad apples."

Special Announcements: None this week.
Mail Bag: None this week.
Photo Credits: Mike Mezheritskiy [Unless otherwise indicated]
Technology Credits: Mike Mezheritskiy [Unless otherwise indicated]
Editor's Notes
Submission Deadline: Members are kindly encouraged to submit all materials directly to the week's designated editor for inclusion in that week's Early Riser, and to do so as early as possible. Please note that some editions may be published and distributed as early as the Saturday following the most recent meeting, and therefore further contributions will not. be included in that week's edition.
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1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all Concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?