The Rotary Club of

Ojai Rotary Reminder Newsletter
January 14th, 2022

Suzanne Scar, Editor

January is Vocational Service Month

Are you an established professional who wants to make positive changes in your community and the world? Our club members are dedicated people who share a passion for community service and friendship. 
Our 1.2 million-member organization started with the vision of one man—Paul P. Harris. The Chicago attorney formed one of the world’s first service organizations, the Rotary Club of Chicago, on 23 February 1905 as a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of each member.
In the beginning...
Suzanne Scar and Janet Campbell greeted us warmly as we zoomed in to join our meeting.  The topic was “What’s for lunch?”
President Betsy Watson called the meeting to order.   
Larry Beckett led us in the flag salute and Tony Thacher gave us a thoughtful invocation:
"The good thing about Science is that it's true, whether or not you believe in it.”
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium
My son-in-law, Tony Ayala, has that as a bumper sticker affixed to the back of his pickup.  It got me to thinking, ”Where is the good news we all crave this Martin Luther King weekend?”  Perhaps we should look to the heavens and think about the James Webb telescope which blasted off Christmas Day and is going through its 130 programmed steps to reach its goal to further our knowledge of the universe.
As I reflect on your mostly pale faces before me and my mission this weekend it’s for more tolerance--not judging folks by their skin color, their manner of speech, their clothing or appearance.  I’ll try to do a better job of realizing they’re all one of us, and that, as our DNA tells me, we’re all mutts.  Who knows the next African American or Afghani I meet may become another astrophysicist.
So, here’s a selection from a poem written by Aracelis Girmay, a black poet from Santa Ana, which is about as far from where Dr. Tyson grew up in New York City as you can get in these United States, but not as far as the new telescope soaring above us.  She is imagining, imaging, an actual incident from Neil deGrasse Tyson’s boyhood, not as a scientist would but as a poet.
from The Black Maria
The Skyview apartments
                    circa 1973, a boy is
kneeling on the rooftop, a boy who
                     (it is important
to mention here his skin
                    is brown) prepares his telescope,
the weights & rods,
                    to better see the moon. His neighbor
(it is important to mention here
                    that she is white) calls the police
because she suspects the brown boy
                    of something, she does not know
what at first, then turns,
                    with her looking,
his telescope into a gun,
                    his duffel into a bag of objects
thieved from the neighbors’ houses
                     (maybe even hers) & the police
(it is important to mention
                    that statistically they
are also white) arrive to find
                    the boy who has been turned, by now,
into “the suspect,” on the roof
                    with a long, black lens, which is,
in the neighbor’s mind, a weapon &
                    depending on who you are, reading this,
you know that the boy is in grave danger,
                    & you might have known
somewhere quiet in your gut,
                    you might have worried for him
in the white space between lines 5 & 6,
                    or maybe even earlier, & you might be holding
your breath for him right now
                    because you know this story,
it’s a true story, though,
                    miraculously, in this version
of the story, anyway,
                    the boy on the roof of the Skyview lives
to tell the police that he is studying
                    the night & moon & lives
long enough to offer them (the cops) a view
                    through his telescope’s long, black eye, which,
if I am spelling it out anyway,
                    is the instrument he borrowed
& the beautiful “trouble” he went through
                    lugging it up to the roof
to better see the leopard body of
                    space speckled with stars & the moon far off,
much farther than (since I am spelling The Thing
                    out) the distance between
the white neighbor who cannot see the boy
                    who is her neighbor, who,
in fact, is much nearer
                    to her than to the moon, the boy who
wants to understand the large
                    & gloriously un-human mysteries of
the galaxy, the boy who, despite “America,”
                    has not been killed by the murderous jury of
his neighbor’s imagination & wound. This poem
                    wants only the moon in its hair & the boy on the roof.
This boy on the roof of this poem
                    with a moon in his heart.
Thanks to...
Kevin Davis hosted our Zoom call, Carl Gross was our photographer, Suzanne our Reminder Editor and Bret our Fining Master.
We welcomed Derek Poutney, CREW's Director, as our guest.  Sandy Buechley introduced him.
Happy 51st anniversary in Rotary, Jack Jacobs!
Rylee (Kiya) Pupa, awardee of the John and Ginger Wilson Scholarship
Dear Rotarians,
I am writing again to provide my classes for the upcoming quarter and to update on my academic progress.  I ended fall quarter with a 3.92 GPA while taking Environmental Impact Analysis, Linear Algebra, Environmental Toxicology, and Agriculture and the Environment.  I am also currently searching for internships for the summer and filling out applications to study abroad during Fall quarter next year.  I look forward to what these last years of college hold in store for me.  I am eternally grateful to the Rotary Club of Ojai for the financial support and for making my academic and extracurricular endeavors at UCSB possible.  
Best Regards,
Rylee (Kiya) Pupa
Greg Webster gave us a Membership minute discussing the departure of Ron Wilson, Nathan Kaehler, Dietrich Schmidt, Judy Gabriel, David Scarlett and Michelle Sherman and welcoming our newest members Fern Barishman, Kevin Davis, Rene Holbrook, Sean McDermott and Dominic Pino.
Last week we lost our dear member, John Lyon.  We will honor John at our January 28 meeting.  Please let President Betsy know if you would like a spot on the agenda.
The District Conference in Santa Barbara has been postponed.
There will be a Board meeting on Jan. 20;
ISC meeting on Jan. 18 on Zoom at 7:30 AM;
Community Grants meeting participants are needed, please call or text Sue Gilbreth at if you are interested.
Clubrunner emails:  Some members are not receiving emails from the Clubrunner program.  Please let Betsy know if that is the case.
Rotary Humor
Confessions and Fining: Bret Bradigan
Bret Bradigan confessed that his mentor and friend recently passed away and introduced us to a link to this man’s amazing sculptors. 
Bret continued on by fining almost all that he called upon (Tony Thacher being the exception), asking us questions about our fellow members.
The Program:  Chelsea Sutula--Sespe Creek Collective
Andy Gilman introduced Chelsea Sutula of Sespe Creek Collective.
At the helm of Sespe Creek Collective since 2013, Chelsea has lobbied local and state legislators for safe access to cannabis for nearly a decade. Sespe Creek was the first licensed cannabis dispensary to open in Ventura County, on the one-year anniversary after the delivery service was raided and all inventory seized by local law enforcement in November 2016. The unprecedented return of that inventory five years later was covered in Forbes magazine.
Prior to entering the cannabis industry, Chelsea managed the International Design Excellence Awards as well as design research/strategy projects for both startups and Fortune 100 clients. She considers herself a social entrepreneur and is currently working with the Sun + Earth Certification team as a Founding Retail Partner to raise awareness about the importance of choosing sustainably sun grown cannabis over large-scale indoor cultivation methods.
She holds an MS in Operations Research from Case Western Reserve University and a BA in Psychology from Northwestern University.
Chelsea outlined the challenges of managing a cannabis dispensary including security issues, taxation, competition from unlicensed growers, little or no banking access, and disappearance of smaller growers with the remaining growers being large conglomerates. (The Walmartization of the cannabis industry).
Ms. Sutula wants to provide seedlings for private growth and consumption.  She wants to offer onsite consumption as an alternative to bars.
Thank-You, Chelsea for a timely and informative talk.
Final Thoughts...
President Betsy gave us a closing quote.  
"Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere."
George Washington

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