Charlotte-Shelburne Rotary Club
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Trinity Episcopal Church Community Room
President Richard Fox led the pledge. Kris Engstrom gave the devotional.
Richard introduced the visitors:
Ann Galloway, Founder, Editor and Executive Director,, a statewide news website
Brent Oman, guest of Phil Denu
Frank and Mary Mazur, guests of George and Linda Schiavone
Upcoming events:
June 19, 2015
June 24, 2015
Richard stated that the Board meeting last Thursday lacked a quorum. To finish up his term, he conducted several items of business.
Finance:           $500 match for Spectrum Youth Services: motion by Denny Bowen, second by                             John Beal, approved.
                        $750 for SCS playground project: motion by Ric Flood, second by Denny Bowen,                        approved.
Membership: Barbara Comeau member eligibility: Motion to waive 2 days left for eligibility and make her eligible today, second by Judy Christensen, approved.
Bowlathon/Changing of the Guard:  6/19/2015, Ric Flood reported that 58 people are signed up so far. Filet mignon and salmon by Randy Longe are main course choices. Everyone signing up should also sign up to bring appetizer or side dish. Happy hour starts at 6, dinner at 7.
Shelburne Food Shelf: The Methodist Church is reorganizing the Food Shelf after its many years of operation by Val Martel. A Board of Directors is being established and Charlotte-Shelburne Rotary has been asked to identify someone to represent the club given its past support. There is a June 22 informational meeting. See Trafton for an application.
Recognition of the Treasurer: Richard thanked Russ Blodgett for his many years of service as Treasurer. There was thunderous applause for Russ’s work. Bill Root is the new Treasurer.
Meeting Notes: Dave Rice said the system of rotating not takers is working but the list needs to be updated. He circulated it for sign-up.
New Member Induction: Ric Flood welcomed new member Ron Keen with appropriate pomp and circumstance. (OK, maybe pomp but not circumstance.) Ron expressed his interest in Charlotte-Shelburne Rotary as “a really important way to give back to the community.” Ron said that he has seen service as important, but now he is in a better position to act on it. Everyone welcomed Ron with enthusiastic applause.
Sergeant at Arms: Evan Webster jumped to his feet to lead everyone through Happy Fines.
HAPPY FINES: I’m happy for…
Ric Flood: looking forward to a 2 week trip down the Mosel River and much wine tasting.
Carole Obuchowski: Richard Fox and the beautiful day.
Doris Sage: Richard and a great club
Judy Christensen: Happy to be taking notes again. My Rotarian uncle would be proud.
Phil Denu: having my friend Brent here
Kris Engstrom: Richard Fox and Trafton. “He’ll be a different kind of President!”
Evan Webster: pre-Father’s Day weekend with his dad.
Barb Comeau: for Ron Keen
Ron Keen: for Trafton asking me to join this club
George Schiavone: “I just feel bad that I didn’t get a chance to address you about the New York prison break.” (This is because there was no time for it!)
Steve Dates: “Happy Birthday to me.” (We all joined in.)
Trafton Crandall:  (see Kris Engstrom’s remarks above). “I’ve been accused of being different before!”
Fritz Horton: Daughter – demolition. (Okay, my notes are not so good!)
Denny Bowen: Thanks to Richard Fox!
Alan Hathaway: One for Richard Fox, one for Trafton Crandall and one for new members
Roz Graham: For all the people who make our meetings so much fun, but especially to Richard Fox for his humor
Howard Seaver: Terrific meeting
Richard Fox: Many thanks to all
Lucky Draw: $301 in the pot. (All time record: $340). Frank Mazur picket the number. Ticket # 464 (the Back Bench). Fritz Horton drew the card. Rollover
Guest Speaker:
Lara Keenan introduced Anne Galloway, Founder, Editor and Executive Director of She is the Former Editor of the Sunday Rutland Herald and Times Argus. For many years she was a contributing writer for Seven Days and a visual arts reviewerfor the Times Argus. Her reporting has appeared in The New York Times, New York Daily News, Vermont Life and City Pages (Minneapolis). She is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors.
VT Digger is an online news website focused on Vermont State Government. When Anne was laid off in 2009 from Harold/Argus, she spent 9 months working on a business model for what is now VT Digger. Knowing that there is little profit to be made in traditional journalism businesses, Anne decided on a nonprofit model similar to Vermont Public Radio based on memberships, underwriters and donations. The steady decline of large daily newspapers can be attributed to rising costs, decreasing profits, consolidation of markets, etc. all of which has led to deteriorating content furthering the downward spiral.
VT Digger focuses on state government and provides in depth, current information about what is happening. Longer stories of 3,000 words were used initially. Several examples include Peter Welch questioning earmarks for the defense industry, the rising mental health needs in Vermont’s prison population and the high cost and low return in the dairy industry. In addition, coverage of the Vermont Legislature brought more up-to-the-minute content. Since then, VT Differ has used it’s unique formula to grow and earn a respected place among Vermonters wanting information about state government. Currently, the website has 130,000 readers and is growing every day. When the Legislature is not in session, more in-depth stories are covered such as concerns about Jay Peak investments and the mismanagement at Rutland Mental Health Center. Anne clowed by answering numerous questions.