President: Catrina VanAtta
President-Elect: Mary Kane
Vice President:  "Six Pack"
Treasurer: Kati Flynn
Secretary: Joanne Lamoureux 

News 2022-06-08
June 8, 2022
Reporter:  Gail Lyman

Wednesday’s meeting:
Jay Franklin, Director of the Tompkins County Assessment Department
“Increasing Assessments and Their Impact on Property Taxes”
Meeting on Zoom only

The Four-Way Test was recited by volunteers Geoff Dunn, Heidi Goldstein (2), and Kelly Buck.
President Elect and meeting moderator Mary Kane asked us to reflect on the Four-Way Test.  As Rotarians, we are “not in it by ourselves,” but have relationships for action and service along with opportunities to learn about ourselves.
There were no guests or visiting Rotarians.

  • Kelly Buck announced the 9th Annual Road Rally to take place on Sunday, July 24th.  Geoff Dunn volunteered to help Kelly lay out the course this Saturday.  Goodie bag items are needed.  Larger prizes ($500, $250 & $250) will be awarded to local non-profits chosen by the winners.  All proceeds from registration fees will benefit our James L. Gibbs Scholarship.
  • Kelly Buck and Bob Gravani will co-chair the Community Grants Committee.  The process will remain the same:  proposals out this month, August deadline for grant applications, with final selection of grant winners to be made by the end of September.  There is approximately $10,000 available for these grants.
  • District 7170’s Pass the Gavel will take place Tuesday, June 21st from 5 to 9 PM at Traditions at the Glen, 4101 Watson Blvd., Johnson City, NY; cost is $40 per person.  To register, go to our district home page:  If anyone is interested in car-pooling to this event, contact Heidi Goldstein at
  • Our Rotary Club’s Pass the Gavel will take place July 6th at 12:15 PM at Coltivare in person and on Zoom.
  • Geoff Dunn needs help for our June 29th meeting over which he is presiding and closing out this Rotary year.  He’s creating a fun, interactive exercise called “Rotarian: What’s My Line.”  To participate, send Geoff “one thing about yourself that you think others in the club would be surprised to know—or may not know—about you.”  Geoff’s e-mail addresses are and  The meeting will also include Environment Trivia and Happy Dollars to support the Community Grants.
  • Heidi Goldstein needs help at our Rotary Rotary!  If you can help water these gardens on Thursdays, please contact Heidi at by Monday, June 13th.
  • Aly Evans will be awarded the Noel Desch Key Person of the Year Award at the Tompkins Chamber’s 2022 Annual Celebration & Award Ceremony (a bruncheon) on June 16th.
  • Mary Kane presented the 2022 James L. Gibbs Scholarship Award to Fatou Fofana at the Ithaca High Senior Award night held on Tuesday, June 7th.  She found it heart warming to meet Fatou, learning that she is beloved and well respected by her peers and teachers.  Fatou received seven awards at the ceremony!

Leslie Danks Burke gave us inspiring thoughts to get us through these volatile, tumultuous times:
  • “Learn from yesterday.  Live for today.  Hope for tomorrow.”  Albert Einstein
  • “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” Margaret Mead
  • “Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest to you.”  Mother Theresa

“City of Ithaca:  Federal and State Infrastructure Budget Impacts”
Brian Wilbur introduced Michael Thorne, PE, and City of Ithaca’s Superintendent of Public Works.
As it applies to Michael’s department, the passing of the historic federal infrastructure bill has presented a once-in-a century opportunity for the City of Ithaca to prioritize long-term goals and strategies regarding city infrastructure, in particular as it applies to roads, bridges  and  water/sewer lines.  However Michael acknowledges, that this opportunity does not come without multiple challenges.  His initial challenge is how best to mobilize his department’s internal infrastructure to develop ideas for how to spend this federal grant money, develop regulations for how it should be spent, and how the projects should be implemented.  As Michael indicated, “some grant offerings are easier to use than others.” Even after the approval process for federal grant money, implementation challenges of labor shortages, supply chain issues, and continued inflation are anticipated.
Michael spoke about the pressing need for a Tompkins County flood mitigation plan designed to build greater resiliency for any future flooding in the Ithaca City’s plain region that has close proximity to the Cayuga Lake Inlet and neighboring creeks.  In February 2022, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released their first draft of the Ithaca City flood hazard map since 1981.  For the 1981 FEMA flood map, 200 Ithaca City properties were in the flood zone; the preliminary 2022 flood map adds an additional 1,000 city properties.  The effect of this is that the houses in that zone that have mortgages will be required by lenders to have flood insurance.  This will significantly increase the costs of owning those homes.  The final FEMA map won’t go into effect until early 2024, but it is unlikely that the City will be able to delay its implementation while they attempt to implement the flood mitigation plan.  This means that during the time between the new maps going into effect and the flood mitigation work is completed, local residents will have the increased cost of flood insurance with which to be concerned.
To learn more about this issue, go to this link.

  • Jack Roscoe:  for promoting the Savage Club of Ithaca’s reunion concert at Statler Auditorium on June 9th at 8:30 PM
  • Richard Kops:  for his trip to Austin, TX to babysit grandchildren
  • Geoff Dunn:  for Happy Anniversary to Brian Wilbur, congratulations to Aly Evans for the Noel Desch Key Person of the Year, and Dan Brown’s retirement from the Racker Center after 27 years of leadership
  • Brian Wilbur:  back from a “real” camping trip after receiving a clean bill of health
  • Mary Kane:  $22 in recognition of our James L. Gibbs scholarship winner, Fatou Fofana

Newsletter Reporter:  Gail Lyman
Photographer:  Mike Brown
Newsletter Editor:  Loralyn Light
Set-up Zoom:  Brett Bossard
Recording Archive:  Paul Martin; click here
Club Service Facilitator:  June Losurdo