Meeting Location

Meeting Location:
The George Inn (click for directions)
84 Route 94
McAfee, NJ
Tuesdays 7:00 PM

December 2, 2009

It's that time of the year again! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! And, of course, the annual Gift of Life Super Bowl Raffle. $10 gets you a chance at an all expense paid trip to Miami Florida for two to see the Super Bowl at the end of January. They are going fast, so contact any Rotary member for a ticket.

Next week, we'll have our annual Family Christmas Party at Heaven Hill Farm, courtesy of Martin Theobald. Thank you, Martin! We all look forward to the evening, especially with a visit from Santa!

Steve McGee announced that the Hidden Valley Ski Patrol Annual Beefsteak is this coming Saturday night at Hidden Valley. Advance tickets are $25 each, more at the door. Also, Steve broke the news that his son had achieved the highest rank in Scouting, that of Eagle Scout. Congratulations!

May 5, 2009

We were joined today by the Group Study Exchange (GSE) team from Switzerland. The team consisted of five members and their Rotarian leader, Rolf Neumann. The team members include Katja Ruttimann, a communications specialist in the tourism industry, Andrea Schulte, a social worker, Carlo Mathys, a business architect working for a telecom company, Marco Juri, an intern, and Pascal Ruedin, a timber engineer.

The group was treated to a tour of the Sterling Hill Mine and Museum. Reg Phillips, David Gornstein, and Susan George accompanied them and had a terrific afternoon. At the meeting, the group gave us a program on Switzerland. They introduced themselves and talked about the politics, economics, and the history of Switzerland. One item that was interesting is that though Switzerland has no ocean access, its balance of trade is positive, illustrating the Swiss skill at working with different countries in Europe.

Seen in the photo are, from left to right, Reg Phillips, Pascal, Marco, Rolf, David Gornstein, Katja, Andrea, and Susan George.

For those that have never visited the Sterling Hill Mine, here is a link to their website. It is definitely worth a visit and since it is literally around the corner, there is no reason not to go.

April 28, 2009

One of our members, Jim DiZenzo, is suffering from a condition called Non-specific Interstitial Pneumonitis (NSIP). This causes an inflammation that leads to scarring of the lungs in the area between the air sacs and the blood vessels. This, in turn, leads to reduced lung function. The causes of this condition are difficult to determine, but can be related to toxic fume exposure, lung infection, or connective tissue disease such as arthritis.

The bottom line for Jim is that he needs a double lung transplant. Jim is on the active list for a transplant and could be called any time. In preparation for that, the Club is organizing a community blood drive on May 24, 2009 at St. Francis de Sales Church in Vernon, NJ from 8:30 am until 2:00 pm. Everyone should donate who is at least 17 years old and in generally good health.

April 21, 2009

Last week we had a joint meeting with the Vernon Chamber of Commerce to provide input to the Township's Sign Committee on possible changes to the Township's sign ordinance. Most business owners agreed that the current sign ordinance is difficult to adhere to and, in fact, employees of the town barely understand it.

Many proposed changes were recommended. There seemed to be some concurrence about a need for consistency of color and look and feel, but there was an overwhelming desire to simplify it. There also needed to be some greater allowances for banners, particularly as they relate to seasonal or special promotional types of offers that businesses might be considering.

There did seem to be agreement that backlit signs were not a good idea and should continue to be prohibited. But what started to come out of the meeting was the issue of "grandfathered" business signs. There are several businesses that do have backlit signs or signs that do not adhere to even the current ordinance, yet they are "grandfathered." So the question becomes - if we get a new ordinance, does it have the desired effect of upgrading the overall look and feel of the community or does it only apply to businesses that haven't opened yet or to businesses that want to change their signs.

April 14, 2009

This "blogger" is doing a lousy job of keeping this thing up-to-date. Ah, the travails of the self-employed business owner and their community service responsibilities!

Actually, today we have an interesting program scheduled with a joint meeting the Chamber of Commerce and members of Vernon Township to discuss the various sign ordinances and how to improve them to benefit businesses in town. The sign ordinances have been very confusing in the past, such that it has taken a fair amount of time to even figure out if a proposed sign is allowed.

The "Coming Events" column to the right has been updated. We have some interesting programs coming up, so be sure not to miss any of them.

February 1, 2009

Winter is in full swing here in Northwest New Jersey, but nevertheless, we have started off the year with a diverse program schedule and service activities for the Club.

Last weekend was the Sussex County United Way's 6th annual Chili Open. One of their major fundraisers for the year, this year they actually had snow for the golf "course" and a full contingent of golfers was on-hand for the game. Inside a warm greenhouse at the Sussex County Fairgrounds were refreshments, games, and, of course, chili! The Club, along with the other four Rotary clubs in Sussex county, were there to support the effort. Our niche is the gaming area. Thanks to Janet O'Neil, we had an assortment of games to keep the golfers entertained while they ate and awaited the drawing of the door prizes and raffles.

Saturday night was the annual President's and Foundation Ball at the Parsippany Hilton. We were all present to lend a hand (and horn) to David and Sharon and their presentation to the rest of the District. What was particularly noteworthy was the recognition paid to the many Paul Harris Fellows that the Club has.

This year's Group Study Exchange is with Switzerland. It should be interesting for those that get to travel there and also for those that get to come here. Entertaining the GSE team is always a treat for both those of us that get to accompany them and for the team themselves.