Club Information
Welcome to the Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay - Celebrating Over 36 Years Serving Homer and the World
Homer-Kachemak Bay

Four Way Test: True, Fair, Goodwill & Beneficial to All

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Best Western Bidarka Inn
575 Sterling Hwy
PO Box 377
Homer, AK 99603
United States of America

Covid-19 Vaccines

January 18 Update – Thank you to the team of more than 100 community members who worked to host the first Covid-19 vaccine clinic on the Southern Kenai Peninsula this past weekend. Sponsored by South Peninsula Hospital, City of Homer and AK Public Health, we administered 715 doses at the two day event. Special thanks to local EMS and Fire Departments, City Parks & Rec and Public Works staff, hospital and clinic staff, Rotary and School District staff and volunteers, generous donations and numerous contributions for making this event happen.

Information for those receiving their second dose of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine on February 12 and 13. CLICK HERE

Looking for a vaccine?  If you did not get a vaccine in this round, please visit this page regularly for updates on the next shipment. We have no idea when to expect it for certain, but are anticipating an early February rollout.  For those not connected online, there is an informational recording at 435-3188 that will be updated as more information becomes available.

Vaccines are not available at Homer Medical Center or South Peninsula Family Care Clinic at this time.

Who is currently eligible for vaccines in Alaska?

See the map of vaccine locations statewide

How soon will 7-12 grade students return to onsite at-school learning every day?

Good news: the community spread of COVID-19 is continuing to flatten on the Kenai Peninsula, so it appears schools may soon open onsite every day for Grades 7-12. Thank you to everyone for your patience—if you have questions or issues to solve, call your school and talk to your principal, teacher, or school secretary.

When is the earliest possible date Grades 7-12 could resume attending onsite five days a week?

Monday, January 25, 2021, is the earliest possible date for:
Eastern Peninsula (Moose Pass and Seward schools)
Southern Peninsula (Homer area, Nikolaevsk, and Ninilchik schools)

Monday, February 1, 2021, is the earliest possible date for:
Central Peninsula (Kasilof, Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, and Sterling area schools) 

On or before January 22, 2021, KPBSD will provide an update with an official announcement.

How will I know when grades 7-12 will be open every day to onsite learning at my school?

Parents, students, and families will receive a message from the district through School Messenger, and schools will also contact their families when this change takes effect. An announcement will be posted on, the KPBSD mobile app, and on social media. The KPBSD team continues to monitor COVID-19 spread, health care capacity, and ability to staff and operate schools safely. Thank you for your good effort to open schools safely, and keep schools open! Monitor your school risk level on the COVID-19 dashboard.



January 15, 2021 Update

Hunger and malnutrition unleashed by COVID-19 could carry the impact of the pandemic far into the future

by Illustrations by 


Late 2019, just before the coronavirus began its relentless march around the world, I joined a group of fourth graders in their crowded classroom in an Ethiopian village. Their teacher posed an adventurous question to the students: What would you like to be one day?

“I would like to be a nurse and help people.”

“A doctor!”

“A teacher or a businessman.”

They were answers you might hear in any fourth grade classroom, anywhere in the world. But this was no ordinary group of elementary school pupils, so I asked a follow-up question: How old are you?

The answers: 18, 18, and 21.

At the time of my visit, I saw this classroom — with half of its students aged 18 and older — as an indictment of humanity’s past neglect of nutrition and agricultural development, which had allowed hunger to persist in our world. Many of these students were young children in 2003 when, in the first great hunger crisis of the 21st century, 14 million Ethiopians, many of them children, faced starvation. For the children who survived, this severe early malnutrition often resulted in stunted bodies and brains.

In this classroom, I saw how stunting can become a life sentence of underachievement. It is highly unlikely that any of the students I met — teenagers and young adults just now learning simple math and struggling to read — will fulfill their ambitions of professional careers and their desires to help others. Lost potential is the consequence of a stunted generation: What might these young people have accomplished for themselves, their families, their community, their country — for all of us — had they not been malnourished as children?

Several weeks after my visit, the coronavirus pandemic shifted my perspective of what I had seen in this classroom. These students aren’t simply showing us the effects of past malnutrition. They are giving us a glimpse into our post-pandemic future, a view of how the hunger and malnutrition unleashed by COVID-19 could carry the impact of the pandemic far into the future.

The Food Plant Solutions Rotary Action Group is working on sustainable ways to end hunger and malnutrition. Find out more and get involved at

These students are giving us a glimpse into our post-pandemic future, a view of how the hunger and malnutrition unleashed by COVID-19 could carry the impact of the pandemic far into the future.

The pandemic has changed how we see hunger today, both around the world and in the United States. The global health crisis became an economic calamity followed by a nutrition catastrophe. As businesses shut down, job losses mounted, supply chains shattered, and schools that had provided vital meal programs closed, access to food and nutrition was radically interrupted, and in many cases severely limited, for billions of people. The World Food Programme — the United Nations agency in charge of emergency food distribution as well as school meal programs in numerous countries — warned that an additional 270 million people were facing grave hunger, with children most at risk. Nutritionists predicted that stunting, which already affects nearly one of every four children in the world, would surely rise. Researchers, writing in the medical journal The Lancet, estimated that more than 6 million children would suffer wasting (severe underweight) and that as many as 10,000 children could die from malnutrition every month in the coming year.

The pandemic has made hunger and malnutrition more immediate, more urgent, more threatening. And that is not only happening in lower- and middle-income countries. It has also had a profound impact in one of the richest, most bountiful countries in the world, exposing a national oxymoron: hungry Americans.

Hunger has become more personal for many Americans than at any time since the Great Depression. As the pandemic paralyzed the economy and jobs and incomes vanished, we have seen massive demand at food banks and pop-up relief pantries — perhaps we have even been there ourselves or recognized our relatives, friends, neighbors, or co-workers in those crowds. We have seen highways come to a standstill with epic traffic jams at drive-through bread lines. We’ve seen the mad scramble to replace the subsidized breakfast and lunch programs once provided by now-closed schools. We’ve experienced the frantic dash to grab whatever food remains on the shelves of the grocery stores. At the same time, we’ve seen farmers plowing under crops and dumping milk and euthanizing livestock because their regular customers — the restaurants, schools, and businesses — have stopped buying.

We’ve seen all this and we are shocked. But we shouldn’t be.

Americans hold tight to the belief that ours is a land of everlasting bounty, with amber waves of grain stretching majestically across the fruited plain, from sea to shining sea. We sing of how “God shed his grace on thee” — on America. We believe ourselves to be the world’s breadbasket, with the richest soils, the best farmers, the most advanced technologies that allow us to feed the planet’s hungry, wherever they may be. We could imagine that a global health crisis would turn into a hunger crisis “over there” somewhere, in Africa or India perhaps. But in America? No way.

It is the lie we tell ourselves, blinding us to the 40 million fellow citizens who, even before the pandemic, struggled to come up with their next meal. But now we see. The pandemic has forced us to look. The truth is that while we may indeed feed the world, we don’t feed all our own citizens. It’s not that we can’t. It’s that we won’t. We allow hunger to abide.

The truth is that there have always been lines at food pantries, where the shelves are always in desperate need of replenishing; that the ceaseless wave across the fruited plain is one of schoolchildren heading to cafeterias for free meals; that the one thing that does stretch from sea to shining sea is a network of 60,000-plus food pantries and soup kitchens that outnumber McDonald’s restaurants by more than 4-to-1.

  1. 17 million

    Additional Americans facing food insecurity in 2020 because of the pandemic

  2. 43 percent

    Share of national food waste created by U.S. households

  3. $218 billion

    Amount spent annually in the U.S. on food that is never eaten

  4. 6 billion

    Projected number of meals U.S. food banks will provide by the end of 2020

We see the Golden Arches everywhere, but do we see the food pantries? They are there, tucked away in community halls and church basements; many of them are served and supported by Rotarians. They are places of relief and salvation. But all too often they are also places of stigma and shame. Who are the people who need them, and what did they do wrong? To look closely would mean examining painful truths and asking, What did we do wrong?

How does this obscene oxymoron persist? How do we, in a wealthy country, a democracy that has been the envy of the world, tolerate it? Economists have advanced a theory that there can be no famine in a democracy; surely voters would oust any sitting government amid mass starvation. But America proves that you can have hunger — if not outright starvation — in a democracy. Before the pandemic, even with 40 million food-insecure citizens, hunger rarely rated a mention in any political campaign.

U.S. Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, who is co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus, tells anyone who will listen that hunger is a political condition. But its consequences aren’t acute enough to prod lawmakers to take any kind of lasting, unified action to end it. There is rhetoric aplenty, and there are grand intentions. Most every politician can manage to summon a flash of righteous indignation against hunger — who could be for hunger? — but when it comes to spending political capital and actual money to eliminate hunger, there is eternal stinginess. When the purse strings do open, it is usually with a grudging motion and even a sneer: “Are they really hungry in this country?”

Over the years, U.S. legislators have enacted programs to provide nutritional aid: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, commonly known as food stamps; the Women, Infants, and Children program, or WIC; school breakfast and lunch programs. But these initiatives are perpetually underfunded, underpromoted, and under attack. As the pandemic hit, 18 million American households relied on SNAP benefits (which, although meant to last a month, rarely stretch to two weeks). Government analysts acknowledge that millions more people are probably qualified to receive the benefits but are intimidated by the process of applying, or recoil with a sense of shame at the notion of receiving aid, or simply don’t know it’s available. And so hunger abides.

Rhetoric, like charity, is fleeting. We generously give our cans of vegetables, jars of peanut butter, boxes of pasta, and cash donations during food drives, particularly in times of natural disasters. But without decisive action to match those donations, without commitment to eliminate the problems that cause the need, the structures of inequality remain in place and, away from the spotlight cast by the emergency, the suffering continues. We have become comfortable with hunger in our midst, and, in a mockery of our displays of sympathy, Americans are the most profligate food wasters in the world: We throw away one-third of all food prepared for consumption.

We don’t even call it hunger. We use a euphemism: “food insecurity,” defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food and proper nutrients for an active, healthy life. According to the government’s measurements, about 11 percent of U.S. households were food insecure before the COVID-19 outbreak; by late April — within one month of the start of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders — the rate had doubled to 22.7 percent. Once the pandemic’s impact began spreading across the country, more than 17 percent of households with children under age 12 reported that their children weren’t getting enough food (compared with about 3 percent of families reporting such hardship in 2018). Feeding America, a network of 200 food banks, calculates that it is now serving 50 million people, up from 40 million pre-pandemic. That’s 10 million more people who likely never imagined they would be reaching out for benefits in a food line. What did they do wrong? A global health crisis closed their office, their factory, their school.

Will they — will we, as a nation — look at our hunger problem differently now? Will we summon the sense of shared purpose needed to conquer COVID-19, the passion required to confront racism, the energy demanded to eliminate hunger in our most bountiful land?

We have become comfortable with hunger in our midst, and, in a mockery of our displays of sympathy, Americans throw away one-third of all food prepared for consumption.

Is this a moment of reckoning for our American oxymoron, now that “over there” is happening here?

I had seen, once before, the tragic, perplexing phenomenon of food surpluses destroyed or spoiled because of broken supply chains and disrupted markets, even as demand for food assistance skyrocketed — in Ethiopia 2003.

I was a foreign correspondent with the Wall Street Journal then, covering development and humanitarian stories. A catastrophic progression of agricultural miscalculations, international water disputes, local market breakdowns, and drought had triggered widespread famine after two years of bumper harvests. Up on the Boricha plateau, south of the capital of Addis Ababa, I parted the flaps of an emergency feeding tent and stepped inside to a scene of utter horror.

Dozens of children were starving to death. Speechless, I moved through the tent until I came to Tesfaye Ketema, who was sitting on the floor, holding his son Hagirso. Tesfaye, all skin and bones himself, told me he had carried his boy for hours to the tent, hoping to save his life. Just a year before, he had carried his surplus crops to this very field, which was then a bustling market. When I met them, Hagirso was five years old and weighed 27 pounds. The doctors were telling Tesfaye they didn’t know if his son would survive, so severe was the malnutrition shock.

“A teacher or a businessman”: That was the ambition voiced in December by Hagirso, now 21 years old, sitting in the front row of that crowded fourth grade classroom. He had survived. But he clearly hadn’t thrived over the past 16 years: He was physically and cognitively stunted, still struggling to learn to do simple math, to read, and to write.

At home, on a small plot of land, Hagirso helps his father and his mother, Fikre, raise their crops of maize, potatoes, and kale, and tend to the family’s cow and calf. He pitches in on community tree-planting and rain-harvesting efforts. And he is a role model for his younger siblings, who scamper after him when he walks to school. The youngest, a four-year-old brother, is named Enough — a plea to God, Tesfaye explained, that he be their last child and their last worry about malnutrition and stunting.

Enough. Will we make it our plea as well, as we look ahead into our post-pandemic future? Will we decide that we have had enough, that our new normal, however it develops, will be one without hunger?

• This story originally appeared in the November 2020 issue of Rotary magazine.

• Roger Thurow is a senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He has been writing about hunger and malnutrition for two decades, first as a foreign correspondent with the Wall Street Journal and now as author of three books. Parts of this story are adapted from his Chicago Council work, including an interactive feature on Hagirso and his fourth grade class

Follow these steps to organize a food drive on your own, or with a local food bank


Master gardener Alex Portelli was having lunch at an elementary school in Marion, North Carolina, where he volunteers, when two students, brothers, sat next to him in the cafeteria. “One brother pulled out his lunch and started eating,” recalls Portelli, president of the Rotary Club of Marion. “I asked the other brother where his lunch was, and he said, ‘It’s not my turn to eat today.’ I thought, ‘Oh, no. Not during my lifetime.’ That’s the type of personal story that gets us involved.” Portelli is now the chair of his county’s local food advisory council, and he’s active in the Rotary Zones 33-34 Hunger Challenge.

Rotary members in many places hold collection drives to help people, particularly families with children, get the food they need. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect jobs and school food programs, that need is growing. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the COVID-19 pandemic could add as many as 132 million people to the total number of undernourished in the world this year.

Want to organize a food drive in your community? Here are some ideas and tips to help ensure success.

Step 1

Choose a group to support

If you’re not sure whom to help, contact your local food bank or pantry for suggestions. “In some cases, towns are too small to have a local food bank, but Rotary can connect them with a larger food bank,” says Billi Black, a Zone 33 assistant regional public image coordinator. Then work with the group to address its needs.

Step 2

Make a logistics plan

Form a committee to determine when, where, and how you’ll hold your drive. Get your members’ input and tap into their connections and expertise.

Step 3

Set a goal

And make it measurable: pounds of food collected, number of meals supplied, or dollar amount raised. Look for matching opportunities from other organizations that could double or triple your impact.

Step 4

Promote your event

The members of the Rotary Club of Prescott-Frontier, Arizona, considered their May food drive a success when they collected an estimated 3,000 pounds of food. But they stepped up their marketing when they held another drive in June. After the club contacted local media outlets and lined up news articles, social media posts, and radio interviews, it collected 38,000 pounds of food. “It was unbelievably successful,” says member Mike Payson.

Step 5

Track your success

Consider naming a “food champion” in your club or district whose responsibility is to help set goals and to promote and track their progress, and to make sure members record their volunteer hours and contributions in Rotary Club Central.

Step 6

Thank your donors

Even if you can’t thank each contributor individually, show your gratitude by posting photos from your event on your website and on social media.


increase in food insecurity in households with children under 18 from 2018 to April 2020


million people in the U.S. who experienced low or very low food security in 2018

Work with a local food bank

Staffers at your local food bank have the experience and expertise to ensure that your food drive is a success. They know who needs what in your community and have conducted many food drives, so they know what works and what doesn’t. They can also:

  • Help with logistics, including publicity, choosing a location, and scheduling. “We just show up with the money, food, and manpower,” says Johnny Moore, an assistant regional public image coordinator for Zone 33.
  • Make better use of your funds. Because of their buying power, your dollar goes further.
  • Coordinate the distribution of food where it’s needed most.

Virtual food drives

If you’re looking for alternatives to an in-person food drive during a pandemic, organize a virtual one instead. Set up a page on your club’s or local food bank’s website to collect financial donations, track your group’s progress, and share updates with your supporters.

What to donate

Here are some items that food banks want:

  • Peanut butter
  • Canned soup or stew
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned fish
  • Canned beans
  • Pasta (most prefer whole grain)
  • Rice (most prefer brown rice)

What not to donate

You may have a freezer full of banana bread, but your food bank doesn’t want it. Here’s what else it won’t take:

  • Items needing refrigeration
  • Expired food
  • Leftovers
  • Baked goods

Source: Feeding America

This story originally appeared in the December 2020 issue of Rotary magazine.

The 2nd Annual Homer Project Homeless Connect event will be happening Wednesday, January27th, 2021 from 10 am - 2 pm at the Homer United Methodist Church AND SVT in Anchor Point.  Homer Kachemak Bay Rotary will be providing hygiene kits to distribute at the event.  If you wish to donate items for the hygiene kits such as:
           Tooth brush/paste
           Paper masks
           Hand sanitizer
           Hand lotion
I have provided a box at the Best Western Bidarka hotel inside the office area to the right in the breakfast room. Please drop off items at your convenience until noon, January 22nd.

  Many thanks for your help!
Cinda Martin
"You can't buy happiness but you can buy fabric and that's pretty much the same thing."

For patients who lack options, a virtual visit can mean the difference between going with or without care


“Right now, I can see all my patients through my mobile phone,” says Prakash Paudyal, a pulmonologist and member of the Rotary Club of Jawalakhel, Nepal. Paudyal uses a Kubi device to turn a tablet into a “mini-robot” for remote monitoring of his COVID-19 patients who are in isolation at Nepal National Hospital. Paudyal learned about the Kubi and other telehealth practices during a vocational training team trip to the San Francisco area last year. “I do one round with all my [protective] gear on, and then I see all my patients through this mini-robot,” he says, thankful that the Kubi helps protect him from exposure to the virus.

The doctor on call In rural Nepal, it can take a day’s walk to reach a medical provider. That limited access to doctors inspired Prakash Paudyal, a pulmonologist in Kathmandu, to offer teleconsultations so he could assist more patients. “You can have a hospital in a rural area, but who is going to treat the patient?” he wonders, citing the lack of critical care doctors and other specialists in those remote regions. With support from his club — the Rotary Club of Jawalakhel — Paudyal started a hotline that offers free medical advice for people seeking basic care. It has proven invaluable during the pandemic, which has taxed Nepal’s health system. “At the COVID-19 hospitals, the ICUs are almost full,” Paudyal says. He also helped found the newly chartered Rotary Club of Kathmandu Health Professionals; his wife, Kavita, who works for Nepal’s Ministry of Finance, is its first president.

Illustration by Viktor Miller Gausa

The use of telehealth has surged worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the United States, a study by McKinsey found that 46 percent of consumers are now using telehealth, up from 11 percent in 2019. Broadly defined, telehealth includes everything from virtual visits with a doctor to remote monitoring of a patient’s vitals to mobile health technologies.

The rapid increase in examining and treating patients remotely because of stay-at-home orders has not only helped in the fight against the coronavirus; it has also prompted a conversation about what the future will look like. What are the benefits of telehealth, and what controls for safety and privacy should be in place? One clear benefit is making health care more accessible to more people. For patients who lack transportation options or who live in remote areas, a virtual visit can mean the difference between being able to consult a doctor and going without care.

Telemedicine, typically defined as a virtual exam with a physician, requires access to the internet, which about 40 percent of the global population still lacks. But with the proliferation of smartphones, that’s becoming less of a barrier. Barbara Kiernan, a member of the Rotary Club of Catalina (Tucson), Arizona, has been working on a global grant project to bridge the distance between doctors and underserved patients in Sonora, Mexico, by supplying the equipment and technology needed for telemedicine, including solar power and internet access. They found that once community health care providers received the equipment and training, they were able to work with doctors located in bigger villages, allowing them to treat patients remotely. “Before, [rural villagers] really only got medical care during a crisis,” Kiernan says. With telemedicine available, “it’s shifted to preventive care.”

Fighting disease is one of Rotary’s causes. Learn more about it here.

James Gude, a California physician who founded a telemedicine practice called OffSite Care, says that when a doctor conducts a video consultation with the assistance of an on-site nurse and with access to a patient’s records and diagnostic test results, it can be nearly as effective as seeing a patient in person. “With a nurse there to help me examine you, I can order and look at everything I need,” he says. There are also sophisticated “robots” that allow a doctor to see a patient via videoconference and even send instrument readings, allowing the doctor to listen to a patient’s heart through a stethoscope, for example. (A Canadian TV show once followed Gude around as he conducted virtual rounds via a robot he controlled remotely.)

From his workstation, James Gude can review data and offer medical advice to health care professionals around the world.


Gude started OffSite Care in 2007 to help rural U.S. hospitals improve their quality of care by providing virtual access to specialists, who are often concentrated in bigger urban hospitals. He expanded his vision of dismantling the geographical barriers to quality care when he teamed up with members of the Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise, California, to create Global OffSite Care — a nonprofit that provides educational and consultative services to hospitals around the world.

“We started by contacting Rotary clubs where Dr. Gude thought there might be an opportunity [to improve a hospital],” says Mikel Cook, a member of the Sebastopol Sunrise club. “The mission of Global OffSite Care is to promote Rotary club-sponsored telemedicine projects. We bring together Dr. Gude’s medical expertise with financing, stewardship, and advocacy among Rotarians.” Cook says Rotary clubs have sponsored the equipment needed to get a hospital started conducting telemedicine, which includes a tablet and a Kubi device that transforms the tablet into a web-controlled mini-robot that can pan and tilt, allowing the user to look around the room. Local doctors are trained on the equipment and can then participate in weekly online “Global Grand Rounds” with Gude’s team to continue their education. They can also consult with experts on difficult cases.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) uses another aspect of telehealth: mobile health, or health care supported by mobile electronic devices, to make progress toward a polio-free world. Mobile phones have been used to track the number of polio vaccine doses children have received, and geographic information systems have helped health workers create detailed maps of their immunization activities.

Examples of telehealth

Live video
A two-way audiovisual link between a patient and a care provider

Store and forward
Transmission of health records to a health practitioner, usually a specialist

Remote patient monitoring
Continuous monitoring of a patient’s condition from a distance, in real time or not in real time

Mobile health (mHealth)
Health care and public health information provided through mobile devices

When the World Health Organization’s African region was certified free of wild poliovirus in August, Christopher Elias, president of the global development division at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said technology was a contributing factor. One example is how surveillance improved when community health workers were trained to use a mobile app called Avadar (Auto-Visual AFP Detection and Reporting) to report possible polio cases through their phones. Sharing this information electronically allows for quick intervention, preventing outbreaks.

Patricia Merryweather-Arges, a member of the Rotary Club of Naperville, Illinois, predicts that telehealth will continue to expand. “There are lessons we can learn from this,” says Merryweather-Arges, who runs an organization called Project Patient Care and recently secured a Rotary Foundation global grant to distribute more than 200 tablets to residents of Chicago-area nursing homes. The tablets will allow physicians to assess patients via telemedicine, and families to visit with their loved ones via videoconferencing.

Telemedicine is direct health care services to a patient, often over video.

Telehealth is broader and covers education, public health, and provider-to-provider interactions as well as telemedicine.

“There will have to be some quality assessment, and feedback from patients,” she says. “But the benefits are that telemedicine saves the patient time and lessens their exposure to others, so patients are more likely to make appointments.”

A survey of patients in Asia, Europe, and the United States by the consulting firm Accenture seems to back up her prediction: 60 percent of patients said they wanted to use technology more for communicating with health care providers and managing their conditions.

Gude thinks this presents an opportunity to increase the capacity of underresourced hospitals around the world: “I want Rotary clubs to know that wherever they are, if they want to help a local hospital, if they have $5,000 or if we can raise it from elsewhere, it’s done. We are at a point in the curve where we can go straight up.”

• This story originally appeared in the December 2020 issue of Rotary magazine.

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When clubs cultivate relationships with Rotary alumni, both sides benefit

by llustration by 

Rotary’s alumni relations team is always ready to help you connect with alumni and answer your questions about engaging them in your club or district projects. Write to

It’s always a pleasant surprise for Rotarians to meet someone who notices their Rotary pin and then to learn that the person was once a Rotary Youth Exchange student or Rotary Scholar. These conversations with Rotary alumni are great reminders of how many lives Rotary has had a positive effect on.

Rotary alumni can also have a positive effect on the organization, and many are looking for ways to reengage with Rotary. Chris Offer, a past governor of District 5040 in British Columbia, has seen firsthand what Rotary Peace Centers alumni can bring to the table. He and his wife, Penny, also a past governor of District 5040, were so impressed with the peace centers program that they established an endowment fund to support it; Offer now serves on the Rotary Peace Centers Committee. And peace fellows are only one part of the community of Rotary program alumni. One of them could make a fantastic speaker at your next meeting, bring valuable expertise to your club project, or be a great addition to your membership.

1. Why engage with program alumni?

There’s a great opportunity for Rotary clubs to hear firsthand from alumni — whether it’s Rotary Peace Fellows, Youth Exchange students, Rotaractors, or Rotary Scholars — about their challenges and successes. They’ve been there, they’ve done that, they’ve worked in the field. They can relate their experiences personally, not in an abstract way. Some alumni have incredible stories about how the experience changed their lives.

“Some alumni have incredible stories about how the Rotary experience changed their lives.”

2. What is the best resource for contacting peace centers alumni for speaking engagements?

The Rotary Peace Fellowship Alumni Association launched an online database last year. The database is voluntary in terms of who wants to be listed on it, so privacy restrictions aren’t an issue. And remember, peace fellows can be consultants as well as presenters. They aren’t just potential speakers to a club or at a conference. The database has a brief description of what kind of consulting they can do and where their expertise lies. If you’re doing a water project, you may need an engineer. If you’re dealing with a peace initiative, you should have someone who can help you avoid faux pas that can arise from cultural differences. Peace fellows bring all sorts of skills and can be a valuable resource.

3. What is the procedure for contacting alumni to speak at meetings or events?

There are no do’s and don’ts. Getting hold of most alumni can be more challenging than contacting peace fellows, because we still don’t have those types of databases readily available for other alumni. If you want a recommendation for a good alumni speaker, the district alumni chair would be a smart place to start, or any of our youth program chairs. If you’re interested in hearing about a vocational training team, you could contact a district grants chair. There are district chairs related to various alumni activities who can help connect you. Keep an eye on who is speaking at other clubs by following them on Facebook and Twitter and be sure to check the social media of the alumni groups. That may give you a lead on a potential speaker.

4. Many clubs have shifted to virtual meetings. How has that changed our engagement with alumni?

Alumni are everywhere around the globe, and with Zoom you can have a speaker from anywhere in the world. People are more available, and alumni are very willing in most cases. Our club had a peace fellow speak to us from London. You could have your Rotary Youth Exchange student talking to you live from a foreign country instead of sending a letter. Whenever the “new normal” finally arrives, one of the legacies for Rotary clubs will be having remote speakers.

• This story originally appeared in the January 2021 issue of Rotary magazine.

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News Release

Board of Education approves bringing more students back to onsite learning in high COVID-19 Risk

Soldotna, December 9, 2020—The option to attend school onsite, at-school during high COVID-19 risk levels for students in Pre-K through 6th grade, and middle and high school ages is expanding in 2021, after the Board of Education approved the SmartStart Plan updates at their December school board meeting. The 100% Remote Learning option will continue to be available.

These changes begin no later than Tuesday, January 19, 2021 (Monday is a school holiday).

Estimates indicate the peak of COVID-19 transmission in the KPB is expected to happen in early to mid-January. Based on this information and the timeline needed to retrofit school HVAC systems*, the January 19 date was selected.

12-9-20 important clarification: Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Special Education Intensive Needs students currently attend school onsite during High Risk, and will continue to do so up until winter break starts, and when school resumes January 4, 2021. The change is for Grades 1-12 in January.

Change is coming by January 19, 2021
Attending school onsite-at-school during High COVID-19 Risk levels (Red):

Pre-K through Grade 6: every day, Monday through Friday *this includes 6th grade at all KPBSD schools

Grades 7-12: attend two times a week onsite, with a split schedule

  • School teams may identify additional at-risk or vulnerable students throughout the semester to attend additional time onsite
  • Schools will communicate their plans with students and families. Your patience is appreciated as these schedules are created and shared

Previously identified vulnerable students may continue to attend five days a week

Enhanced Safety Plans

To keep schools safe and the COVID-19 transmission level low in school, these actions must be followed with fidelity at all times:

  • Staff and all ages of students wear a mask at all times
  • Mitigation plans at school sites must be faithfully and fully implemented
  • Pods or cohorts will be in consistent groups
  • 6’ physical distancing needs to occur whenever possible. Physical distance will keep staff and students healthy in school, minimize in-school exposure or transmission, and reduce the number of people who need to quarantine when a positive COVID-19 case occurs
  • *Most school facilities are receiving upgrades to their HVAC air handling systems. KPBSD is currently installing O2 Prime in schools that have large central air handling units (that share air with other rooms in the building). Some areas and older schools do not have central air handling units supplying air to different rooms, and these facilities are being addressed differently as KPBSD continues to implement options for O2 Prime in unit ventilators and small furnaces
  • Enhanced sanitation with electrostatic sanitizer: spraying Electrolytically Generated Hypochlorous Acid (HOCL) is currently occurring at all schools. Custodians can sanitize a classroom in about three minutes and complete approximately three classrooms per tank of HOCL. KPBSD is producing its own HOCL at the district warehouse

Winter break for most KPBSD schools is December 21, 2020 – January 1, 2021, with school starting again January 4, 2021. The updates to operations in High COVID-19 risk will not likely begin until Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

“This is a big step in the right direction with continuing movement towards the goal of getting all kids back at school onsite, full-time. These are trying and uncertain times but together we will get through this pandemic. I am hopeful that with a vaccination on the way, continued adherence to our mitigation plans, and a conscious effort on the part of our community to practice safe pandemic behaviors, we will get this virus under control. I appreciate our Board of Education, district leadership, and the KPBSD staff for their commitment to educate our children while at the same time navigating their own personal response to the pandemic.”

–Superintendent John O’Brien

Ideas to help our kids understand and cope with recent media messages

  • Alaska Governor Michael J. Dunleavey sent out an Emergency Alert on November 12, 2020, that students may have received on their cell phones or that they heard other people receive
  • In his YouTube Video, Governor Dunleavy asked Alaskans to change their behavior, and said, “The next three weeks are critical. … I’m speaking to you today, because Alaska is facing an escalating crisis that I need your help to solve. … Like the rest of the nation, Alaska’s COVID-19 status is now in the red.” (Source, website)

Parent Talking Points:

Help kids identify their questions

  • What is an emergency alert?
    • We have a National Emergency Alert System that allows alerts to be sent through TV stations, radio and cell phones to alert the public of an emergency. We use them for many different reasons including weather advisories, Tsunami warnings, and missing people are among them (Source)
    • Our Governor used this system this week to let the Alaskan people know that the rate of the spread of COVID is rapidly increasing and give instructions on how we can help slow the spread
  • Why is the virus spreading so fast?
    • It is a very, very contagious disease.
    • People are still building the habits of mask wearing and limiting their activities and contacts.

Help kids identify what they know

  • They have their family to watch out for them
  • School will continue even if remote
  • School Staff care about them and want to connect with them
  • Scientists are continuing to research the disease and are working on a vaccine (or medicine) to protect us
  • They have control over their behavior
  • They can connect using phones and technology with their friends

Help kids connect with what they are in control of

  • Washing their hands
  • Wearing a mask
  • Keeping 6 feet away from others
  • Limiting the number of people they come in contact with

Help kids recognize the supports they have

  • Family and friends
  • Teachers and school staff
  • Their knowledge of how to help protect themselves

Helpful Links

This is some very important information, and very timely. Recently one of the subject fire extinguishers discharged itself, and spread a white powder into the owner's house.  The powder MUST be vacuumed up, as it can be quite corrosive, and definitely shortens the life of moving parts as it is also very abrasive.  The extinguishers can self-discharge or not discharge at all!  Please check. Please note that there are several different brand names included in this recall.
Kidde Recalls Fire Extinguishers with Plastic Handles Due to Failure to Discharge and Nozzle Detachment: One Death Reported
Name of product:
Kidde fire extinguishers with plastic handles
The fire extinguishers can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge and can fail to activate during a fire emergency. In addition, the nozzle can detach with enough force to pose an impact hazard.
Recall date:
November 2, 2017
Recall number:
Consumer Contact:
Kidde toll-free at 855-271-0773 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, or online at and click on “Product Safety Recall” for more information.
Recall Details
In Conjunction With:
This recall involves two styles of Kidde fire extinguishers: plastic handle fire extinguishers and push-button Pindicator fire extinguishers.
Plastic handle fire extinguishers: The recall involves 134 models of Kidde fire extinguishers manufactured between January 1, 1973 and August 15, 2017, including models that were previously recalled in March 2009 and February 2015. The extinguishers were sold in red, white and silver, and are either ABC- or BC-rated. The model number is printed on the fire extinguisher label. For units produced in 2007 and beyond, the date of manufacture is a 10-digit date code printed on the side of the cylinder, near the bottom.  Digits five through nine represent the day and year of manufacture in DDDYY format. Date codes for recalled models manufactured from January 2, 2012 through August 15, 2017 are 00212 through 22717.  For units produced before 2007, a date code is not printed on the fire extinguisher.
Plastic-handle models produced between January 1, 1973 and October 25, 2015
Gillette TPS-1 1A10BC
Sams SM 340
Home 10BC
Sanford 1A10BC
Home 1A10BC
Sanford 2A40BC
Ademco 720 1A10BC
Home 2A40BC
Sanford TPS-1 1A10BC
Ademco 722 2A40BC
Home H-10 10BC
Sanford TPS-1 2A40BC
Home H-110 1A10BC
Sears 2RPS   5BC
All Purpose 2A40BC
Home H-240 2A-40BC
Sears 58033 10BC
Bicentenial RPS-2  10BC
Honeywell 1A10BC
Sears 58043 1A10BC
Bicentenial TPS-2  1A-10BC
Honeywell TPS-1 1A10BC
Sears 5805  2A40BC
Costco 340
J.L. 2A40BC
Sears 958034
FA 340HD
J.L. TPS-1 2A40BC
Sears 958044
Kadet 2RPS-1   5BC
Sears 958054
FC 340Z
Kidde 10BC
Sears 958075
FC Super
Kidde 1A10BC
Sears RPS-1 10BC
Kidde 2A40BC
Sears TPS-1  1A10BC
Fire Away 10BC Spanish
Kidde 40BC
Sears TPS-1 2A40BC
Fire Away 1A10BC Spanish
Kidde RPS-1 10BC
Traveler 10BC
Fire Away 2A40BC Spanish
Kidde RPS-1 40BC
Traveler 1A10BC
Fireaway 10 (F-10)
Kidde TPS-1 1A10BC
Traveler 2A40BC
Fireaway 10BC
Kidde TPS-1 2A40BC
Traveler T-10 10BC
Fireaway 110 (F-110)
KX 2-1/2 TCZ
Traveler T-110 1A10BC
Fireaway 1A10BC
Mariner 10BC
Traveler T-240 2A40BC
Fireaway 240 (F-240)
Mariner 1A10BC
Volunteer 1A10BC
Fireaway 2A40BC
Mariner 2A40BC
Volunteer TPS-V 1A10BC
Force 9 2A40BC
Mariner M-10  10BC
XL 2.5 TCZ
FS 340Z
Mariner M-110 1A10BC
XL 2.5 TCZ-3
Fuller 420  1A10BC
Mariner M-240 2A40BC
XL 2.5 TCZ-4
Fuller Brush 420 1A10BC
Master Protection 2A40BC
XL 2.75 RZ
Montgomery Ward 10BC
XL 2.75 RZ-3
Montgomery Ward 1A-10BC
XL 2-3/4 RZ
Montgomery Ward 8627 1A10BC
XL 340HD
Montgomery Ward 8637  10BC
Quell 10BC
Quell 1A10BC
Quell RPS-1 10BC
XL 5 TCZ-1
Quell TPS-1 1A10BC
Gillette 1A10BC
Quell ZRPS  5BC
Plastic-handle models with date codes between January 2, 2012 and August 15, 2017
Push-button Pindicator fire extinguishers: The recall involves eight models of Kidde Pindicator fire extinguishers manufactured between August 11, 1995 and September 22, 2017. The no-gauge push-button extinguishers were sold in red and white, and with a red or black nozzle. These models were sold primarily for kitchen and personal watercraft applications.
Push Button Pindicator Models manufactured between  August 11, 1995 and September 22, 2017
FF 210D-1
Consumers should immediately contact Kidde to request a free replacement fire extinguisher and for instructions on returning the recalled unit, as it may not work properly in a fire emergency.
Note: This recall includes fire extinguisher models that were previously recalled in March 2009 and February 2015. Kidde branded fire extinguishers included in these previously announced recalls should also be replaced. All affected model numbers are listed in the charts above.
Recall information for fire extinguishers used in RVs and motor vehicles can be found on NHTSA’s website.
The firm is aware of a 2014 death involving a car fire following a crash. Emergency responders could not get the recalled Kidde fire extinguishers to work. There have been approximately 391 reports of failed or limited activation or nozzle detachment, including the fatality, approximately 16 injuries, including smoke inhalation and minor burns, and approximately 91 reports of property damage.
Sold At:
Menards, Montgomery Ward, Sears, The Home Depot, Walmart and other department, home and hardware stores nationwide, and online at, and other online retailers for between $12 and $50 and for about $200 for model XL 5MR. These fire extinguishers were also sold with commercial trucks, recreational vehicles, personal watercraft and boats.
Walter Kidde Portable Equipment Company Inc., of Mebane, N.C.
Manufactured In:
United States and Mexico
About 37.8 million (in addition, 2.7 million in Canada and 6,730 in Mexico)
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to or call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at 301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at, on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.
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