Russell Hampton
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Nov 09, 2021
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Nov 10, 2021
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Nov 22, 2021
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Meeting Notes from October 5, 2021
The Light for October 5, 2021
By Kate Collinson
President-Elect Kathy Tate-Bradish (standing in for Linda Gerber) welcomed members to the meeting before Susan Prout led the group in the Why We Are Rotarians statement.  Susan also shared several appropriate autumn Thoughts for the Day:  
Spring is beautiful, and summer is perfect for vacations, but autumn brings a longing to get away from the unreal things of life, out into the forest at night with a campfire and the rustling leaves. – Margaret E. Sangster.
Autumn, the year’s last loveliest smile – William Cullen Bryant
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower – Albert Camus
So glad I live in a world where there are Octobers – Anne of Green Gables

Bruce Baumburger introduced a short video featuring RI President-elect Jennifer Jones from Global Citizen Live, a 24-hour event held in Paris on Sept. 25, uniting the world to defend the planet and defeat poverty. Jennifer explained that Rotarians in 180+ countries are working with global partners to makie a difference through impactful profects (eliminating polio, empowering girls worldwide, providing clean water). She announced that Rotary International has committed $97 million in 2022 for sustainable member-led projects. Rotarians are truly "People of Action." With travel constrained due to COVID, we are lucky to have Jennifer and her husband, Nick, in our neighborhood for the coming year or two.

Sunshine Lady Ann Searles had no news on Linc Janus’s health, but sadly reported that Neil Gambow’s brother died recently in an auto accident in Florida.  Our sympathies go to Neil and family.
Wearing a different hat, Membership Chair Ann reported that new members will no longer be required to get signatures from all club members in order to earn a blue badge.  “It really should be the responsibility of seasoned Rotarians to get to know our newest members!“  Ann will provide a list of our newest members via email.  Please do your best to introduce yourself and get to know them. 
Due to a cancelled class, Patrick Mbullo was able to join the meeting from Kenya!  International Service Co-Chair Sue Bova reported that Hillary Hufford Tucker will be joining the committee.  At its most recent meeting, the Committee received a Smile Train Brazil update -- five surgeons are fully trained and performing cleft surgery in remote hospitals.   A trip to Brazil to meet our Rotarian partners is planned for April. In Kenya, the second of four planned HIV prevention training workshops was held with 30 participants.  Don Gwinn and Albert Menard continue to update the committee on Ak Tenamit (Guatemala) and the Karam Syrian Refugee Project (Turkey), respectively.  The committee is also concerned with immediate needs in Haiti and Afghanistan.  As always, members are encouraged to bring project ideas forward. 
Albert Menard announced that the next Golf Road Clean-up session will take place this Saturday, Oct. 9, from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., gathering at the T.J. Maxx Skokie parking lot.  "Grabbers" will be available as we pick up litter from McCormick to Crawford!
Zbig Skiba gave a brief preliminary report on the tree planting that took place last Saturday.  An effort that began five years ago as a Rotary challenge (Plant as many trees as you have members), the ELRC has planted more than 270 trees!  This may, however, be the last joint project with Evanston’s Parks/Forestry Department.  They now prefer to plant larger, more expensive trees that require more resources than we can provide.  A more detailed report (with slides by John Searles) will be given at a later date. 
Community Service Chair Steve Goranson announced that the committee will be meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m. (via Zoom) to discuss possible themes and projects for the coming year.  In a related vein, Steve thanked several of our club’s Community Service project leaders, specifically Zbig for his tree planting efforts, and Albert Menard and Louis Allred for overseeing Golf Road clean-ups.
Keith Banks, ERLC member and Executive Director of Reba Place Development Corp., explained that RPDC & Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) will be interviewing with the City of Evanston today, hoping to earn the opportunity to develop a designated lot for affordable housing.
Thanks to a generous donation by Joe Moos, TOE 2021 will benefit from an auction of Bears tickets.  Jean Saunders announced that two tickets (Section 334, Row 9, Seats 7 & 8) for the Bears vs. Vikings game on Dec. 20, 7:15 p.m. at Soldier Field, will be auctioned off at a future club meeting.  The total face value of the tickets is $326 ($163/ticket).  Details will be forthcoming.   
Kristin Brown announced that four members of our club and their partners will be participating in the 2021 Ride to End Polio in Tucson on Saturday, Nov. 20.   Barb and Nick Miles, Evan and Michael Girard, Jean Saunders and Joe Moos, and Kristin Brown and Mahmoud Ajamia will be riding this year to raise funds for polio eradication.  Marga and John Hewko will be there, too!   To support their ride and contribute to PolioPlus, go to  Thanks for your ongoing support.
Jackie Mack passed along an update from Luiz De Abreu, one of our exchange students from Brazil: “I’m excited for being here in Paraguay, going through my fourth year of Medicine. It has been amazing.  Tell everyone I said ‘hi’ and I miss you guys and USA!”
Roasts & Boasts
Nick Powers quizzed members about TV show spin-offs of spin-offs.
Chris Joyce boasted Young Leaders Committee members who represented the Committee at recent service events -- Sue Bova at the Tree Planting and Charlotta Koppanyi and Barb Miles at the Learning Fair at Beacon Academy.
Helen Oloroso boasted (and enjoyed talking with) Steve’s daughter Alicia Goranson who was the winning bidder for the Chicago Girls Getaway at TOE 2021.
Bruce Baumberger boasted Zbig Skiba for coordinating our tree planting efforts, an important environmental project that brought together all three local Rotary clubs!  
Helen Oloroso boasted Charlotta Koppanyi, MaLu Simon, Kate Collinson, and Fran Caan for helping to make the TOE Silent Auction a success!
Topic: High Speed Rail Alliance 2001 – Present
Speaker: Rick Harnish, HSRA Executive Director
Jean Saunders introduced Rick Harnish, who helped found the High-Speed Rail Alliance in 1993, an organization advocating for integrated rail and transit networks connected by 200 mph high-speed lines. By connecting cities, towns, and airports, the high-speed trains will dramatically expand economic opportunities and slash carbon emissions.  A native Chicagoan, Harnish has been HSRA’s Executive Director since 2001. He was joined at this meeting by William Porter, HRSA Board member.
HRSA’s work is informed by a strong commitment to researching and learning from global best practices.  Personal contributions and foundations are nearly equal sources of funding for the Alliance.  Much of the alliance’s work focuses on why and how to build, educating leaders as part of the process. 
The Acela – which services the route between Boston, NY and DC – is our nation’s only high-speed train.  Its success confirms that Americans WILL ride trains when fast, frequent, and convenient.
At the state level, three things need to happen: 1.) Modernize Metra with new equipment. 2.) Develop a statewide integrated network plan. and 3.) Overcome political resistance to design a railroad station at O’Hare Airport.
From the HSRA website, “The Integrated Network Approach connects entire regions by combining the transformative power of dedicated high-speed lines with the geographic coverage of tracks that handle both passenger and freight trains. Used across the world, it delivers steady and incremental progress, guided by a long-term plan.”
Train travel allows passengers to connect face-to-face, sit (with or without table) and safely walk around.  Gas-fueled cars are inefficient and their infrastructure is very expensive.  Train travel builds stronger communities, lowers carbon emissions, and reduces government spending.  Speed rail can be a catalyst for other development.   In a project in the Pacific Northwest, one high-speed track is expected to take the place of 10 highway lanes!
Rick presented an interesting U.S. map, ranking the states by visitors to Chicago. Broadly, visitors hailed from the most populous states (California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and New York), plus the nine states geographically closest to Chicago.  More than 75 percent of both business and leisure travelers from these origins drive when they could be taking the train.  Chicago also boasts a “powerhouse” international airport, well-positioned for non-stop flights to much of the world.  A real train connection at O’Hare could make this happen! 
High speed rail is high tech, but it’s not a separate technology.  Much has been learned over the past years of train travel.   Safety rules have been developed.  A number of factors can improve achievable speeds – separating freight and passenger trains, separating highway crossings from tracks, electrification, and fencing.
Three categories of tracks are involved:  Shared-Use Lines (Up to 110 mph, many highway crossings, mostly diesel, mostly privately owned), Regional Lines (Up to 160 mph, few highway crossings, electric preferred, mostly government owned), High-Speed Lines (Up to 250 mph, zero highway crossings, electric above 125 mph, mostly government owned). 
Rick also shared a Federal Railroad Association map -- FRA’s Initial Network—showing an exciting mix of train services connecting Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Nashville, and other Midwest cities.  There is a huge potential market as thirty million people are within three hours of Chicago by high-speed rail. 
California has been a major rail innovator since 1990, with an integrated rail network plan (including connecting buses).  It is imperative that Illinois begin comparable planning.   Very simply, an integrated plan boosts usage.  There are many opportunities for improvement – nationally and locally.  The bipartisan Infrastructure bill currently working its way through Congress, if passed, has substantial sums that can be used for high-speed rail. 
Guests & Milestones
Brien Johnson, prospective member
Joanna Bukowska, learning about our Club
William Porter, HSRA Board member
Club Anniversary
MaLu Simon – Oct. 4, 10 years