Guests - Melissa, carol and guest speaker

4-way test
Next meetings

Board mtg
Service log - calendar of vol projects past and regular — there is a learning curve so valuable to have new volunteers - a runway handbook of things - details of plan - phone numbers, order of activities - was done in 2004 — headstart with Linda’s list of projects — pass on to next generation.

Comm service proj - thanks from h2 for donations - Keith rec pie for breakfast event - big success — ppl can come and eat all they want - suggestions pie for Belfast - perhaps St. Pats weekend. Linda - ski challenge — in march.. Erik sugg proj for feb - go to basement, bring upstairs - sort, pitch, reorg.

Sgt at arms – Chris Davis
Diana Vachon — welcome to our guest speaker
Melissa O’Brien — children healthy
John Hammer -- happy Melissa here — Snow keeps coming
Erik Kolomaznik -- happy - playing in snow with son -- booking summer camps
Jon Lowell -- Patriots — Philadelphia - from last week
Howard Seaver -- happy
Linda Gilbert -- has new grand dog – Dakota, a Great Dane
Margo Casco -- happy
Keith Walsh -- happy
Carol Hesse -- Nice to be here
Jim Donovan — happy
Carole Obuchowski – close call with dangerous driver on Route 7
Susan Grimes -- happy lot of snow coming
Barb Comeau — day 15 of skiing — with her kids in Africa in February
Joan Lenes – daughter Sarah going to visit Peter in Austria
John Dupee - happy Chris is doing the Sergeant at Arms
Bob Sanders  — happy Roz is doing notes - applause
Bill Deming — more record miles of rowing
Tod Whitaker – enjoying the season
Gary Marcotte — made it
George Schiavone - happy for tomorrow
Linda Schiavone - happy for 32 degrees
Sam Feitelberg — celebrating a big anniversary of his Bar Mitzvah
Jon Lowell -- Syracuse beat Duke
Lucky draw:
Drew John Dupee’s number but he chose the wrong card. Rollover.

Melissa O’Brien, Editor of the Charlotte News, began her talk by admitting that she had always wondered what Rotary is, and that after observing for half an hour she had the answer: “Rotary is a meeting of stand-up comedians.” On a more serious note, she observed that there are so many organizations whose purposes and missions we don’t understand. “We don’t know what they are doing,” she said.
Ms. O’Brien, a resident of Charlotte who has been active with the Charlotte News for 14 years, explained that the Charlotte paper is a non-profit started by group of teens at Charlotte School 60 years ago. The paper continues to focus on the activities of the town, with widespread participation, an amazing 180 people in the community participating by writing and taking photos every year.
Her own journalism career began in high school, and she discovered her love of finding out what’s going on in the world and telling people about it. Fourteen years ago, as a new resident of Charlotte and the mother of three young children, she asked Charlotte News Editor Robbie Stanley if she needed writers, and began doing stories and photos. and accepting the role of editor for a brief period when Robbie Stanley retired, then stepped away to pursue her other passion, becoming a pastor as well as volunteering at disaster sites around the world and doing respite and hospice work at the medical center.
Now, in addition to being pastor of the Community Church in Pawlet,Ms. O’Brien is back at the paper, filling an important role in the life of the town, and also satisfying the curiosity she says she has recognized as one of the most important human character traits, exploring the way things work, what people do, the natural world around us, why are we here, is there a god, the importance of failure. She is enjoying sharing the responsibility of creating the paper with a staff that is a news editor, a production editor and a features editor.
She is proud of the Charlotte News’ place in the history of the town. “We have all the archive copies from the earliest days filled with individuals’ information about the news of the community, and 60 years later we focus on exactly same thing, filling a role in the community and telling us who we are.”
She said, “I know newspapers are disappearing but I believe small town papers are key to our communities, for the kids and to keep alive a spirit of curiosity about organizations, people and developments. Community news reminds us how important our immediate world is. Even in the age of social media, we need to have publications we can trust, where the people who write are our neighbors.”
She challenged her Rotary audience to let their curiosity propel them to new things. “Say yes,” she said. “Try things you might avoid, celebrate our communities and our connectedness. Enterprises like Charlotte News are very worthy of our yeses.”