The 115th Congressional session has just begun. Once more, harmony settles into the Capitol. Before long, winter will pass, the cherry blossoms will proliferate and Senators and Representatives will be seen walking merrily through the park-like grounds of Washington DC. Polite debate and earnest compromise will forge America’s way forward. The memory of the spirited election of 2016 will fade into obscurity as democracy asserts itself. At the state and local level, altruistic elected officials and efficient government employees will initiate subtle improvements to our everyday lives without adding burdensome regulatory hurdles.
 
Ha, ha, ha – just kidding! 
 
I
Just like Congress, President Rose Tweeted the session open … wait just a minute here! That wasn’t President Rose! An impostor called on seasoned cabinet members – Secretary of Invocations Mick Johnson and Secretary of Pledges Rob Erb – ol’ Squeaky - to render their work.
 
II
Past President Chris Kimball, for those of you who forgot - graciously thanked the help peeps (all undersecretaries and assistants to assistants): Rob, Duncan, Troy, Tommy, Bob, Chuck, and Ole.  Secretary of Sgt. at Arms Tommy introduced visitors from outer space. Well, my hearing isn’t so good anymore so I just thought it would be fun to have visitors from the Outer Space Rotary Club. The Power of the Pen, if you will. The introduction of guests yielded Susan Marks, and Koree Wick. Returning exchange student Nick from Brazil graced us for a few moments of gratitude, as his time spent with us was life changing. Nick is now an architect in his home country and wants to become a Rotarian. PP Dave Covey insinuated himself into the conversation by pointing out that Nick’s Dad had also been a Rotary Exchange Student with the Sun Valley Club. While here, Nick lived with the Korsmos, Coveys, Allens and Blanchards.
 
                          
 
III
PP and PAG Greg Horn gave a Rotary minute regaling us with all things Rotary websites. There is lakewoodrotary.com, rotary5020.org and rotary.org. Check’m out. John Forkenbrock of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sunshine offered that Bud Montgomery’s mother passed away in Charleston, SC, at 96 years of age.  Norm Tremaine’s memorial service is 1:00 PM Saturday January 14th at The Little Church on the Prairie.
 
Half of the duo of Mary Horn and Jan Gee received their replacement blue badges.
 
The 2017 Lakewood Rotary Congressional session is a very busy one. Busy, busy, busy! No time to chitchat: dockets, calendars, hush-hush meets, long lunches and late night hearings at Lakewood Rotary. Busy, busy, busy!
 
IV
Beginning with birthdays, PP Senator Greg Horn said the following Rotarians were born: Troy, Bill, Sonia, Steve, Ralph, Jim and Joe. There was also another one and in my notes of the meeting it says, “Dvmkky.” We’ve never met.
 
                     
 
He went on to say that the following were married and apparently still are: Sonia, Mick and Mary, Jim, John and someone else. Furthermore, Joe, Chuck, Wynn, Dave, James, Cal, Leon, Jason, Jim, and Richard have been members ranging from a mere 11 years to 53 years. Richard Simmons gets the nod for longevity.
 
V
Saturday February 11th at 6:00, The McGavick Center. Put it on your calendar and be there. Other dates to keep in mind are May 4th and April 27th. That April date is especially important because it is brought to you by the Lakewood Rotary Procrastinators Group who has not met yet.
 
VI
Charlie Maxwell, Minister of all Good Things and Ambassador from Clover Park Rotary noted that Rotarians delivered 30 repaired bicycles. Waste Connections repaired and delivered 6000 bikes throughout America. Splendid. On the same day a delegation of Rotarians and representatives of the DAR, JBLM personnel and families placed wreathes on the graves at Camp Lewis Cemetery. Thanks to Connie Hoffman and Ed Shannon for organizing that event.
 
VII
Representative Mo Sarram came to the Floor of the House to inform us of the World Affairs Conference in Wisconsin June 25th – 30th. Chief Mike Zaro’s daughter attended in 2016 and Gayle Selden went when a junior in high school. She related that it is a wonderful, tremendous experience in education and learning about social justice.
 
         
 
VIII
Senator Kim Prentice presented an Educator of the Month to Kim Sandusky of Tillicum. Kim teaches Reading Intervention. She thanked us for recognizing that she just does what she does. Apparently she does it very well. She invited us to stop by and read a book to a kid. Wonderful, and she was touched by the generous donation of $100 by PP Chris.
 
                      
 
Above: Educator of the Month, Kim Sandusky (left), with Kim Prentice (right) (who is that guy in the background?)
 
IX
Mike Brandstetter and Marie Barth of Lakewood City Council presented City of Lakewood – Vision Statement.
 
                      
 
Above: Presenter, Marie Barth
 
“Our VISION for Lakewood is a thriving, urban, South Puget Sound City, possessing the core values of family, community, education, and economic prosperity. We will advance these values by recognizing our past, taking action in the present, and pursuing a dynamic future.” Says so, right there on a big sheet of paper.
 
Paraphrasing eight major points the VISION statement focuses on a date 30 years hence. The major topics emphasize both history and progress, safe and attractive neighborhoods, downtown, arts and culture. Further: economic growth and job creation as well as public and private education, community and technical colleges are noted. Parks, environment and natural beauty receive mention as well as municipal service excellence. Diversity and support of JBLM, Camp Murray and all military service members and families round out the vision statement.
 
X
The drawing caught Tommy by surprise so he won the whole enchilada - $1465.
 
                 
 
XI
So, if you actually did read this stuff (let Greg Rediske know if you did and you get a make-up), you probably noticed agenda item #V. It had dates but nothing was said about what those dates meant. Do you want to know what they meant? Okay then. The first one is the Lakewood Lions Club Crab Feed. Always a great event supported and promoted so vigorously by our dear friend the Late Larry Saunders. Let’s put a couple of tables together for that one. April 27 is the Sportsman’s Dinner and Auction. The Procrastination Club will produce copious further notices. You can bet on that! May 4th and 5th is the DLTA/District Conference at The Clearwater Casino and Hotel on Bainbridge Island. Check it out at District 5020 website. PP Greg Horn says Google it! In addition to the forgoing, you may have learned today that “It’s not that things move slowly, it’s that they really do take time”.
 
Now then: who reads this stuff?
Ole
 
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