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Rotary Club of Saint Paul

September 12, 2023

President Elect Shelly Rucks called the hybrid meeting to order at 12:15 pm. Lynne Beck was scribe. The greeters were Pat Brault and Joel Theisen. The A/V Tech Team was Matt Magers Noble Orji and Al Zdrazil.

Shelly Rucks led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Noble Orji read the words from the song It’s A Small World and led members in the 4-Way Test.

Linda Mulhern gave two things for What You Don’t Know About Me (WYDKAM). They were 1) She was a former 4-H’r who had her cross-stitch work displayed at the State Fair, and (2 Her 1925 Model T garage was recently demolished and replaced with a modern one.

Dave Dominick introduced a guest, a colleague of Pat Brault.

Beth Naughton introduced the speaker, Heather Britt, Executive Director of Wilder Research. Prior to joining Wilder in 2022, Heather served in leadership positions at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Minnesota Hospital Association, and Allina Health. She has her doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota, her master’s in public health from the University of North Carolina, and her bachelor’s in science from Cornell University. She lives in St. Paul, has two children, and a rescue dog and two rescue cats.

Wilder improves the lives of residents of St. Paul and the East Metro through direct services and research. Heather leads the research division of Wilder which includes three focus areas: understanding community programs, research library, and capacity building. Some research areas are arts and culture, young people, health care, public health, and criminal justice.

Wilder is conducting a Minnesota Homeless Study for the first time since 2018. They are recruiting around 1,000 volunteers to help interview more than 4,000 people experiencing homelessness around the state. Homelessness increased by 10% between 2015 and 2018. The proportion of people not staying in a shelter increased 62% from 2015 to 2018. 32% of respondents had been turned away from a shelter in the previous three months due to a lack of space.

Lack of affordable housing is a major cause of homelessness. Adults experiencing homelessness listed a low median income as the main factor for their situation and half of homeless adults are on a waiting list for subsidized housing; the average wait time is 12 months. Other risk factors are an adverse childhood, incarceration, substance abuse, and mental illness. Communities of color, women and LBGTQ individuals are more subject to violence which can lead to homelessness.

Heather asked Rotarians to volunteer to help with the Homeless Study for four hours on October 26, 2023. It can be a life changing-experience. You can also donate to the project.

Dave Dominick asked for Happy Dollars. In a week, there will be a 100 Holes youth golf event. Youth can play in various courses for under $5. Heidi Fisher gave $5 for the Packer’s win.


Shelly Rucks made the following club announcements:

501: September 19

University Club or online via zoom

5:01 – 6:15 pm


Service Project

September 20, 2023

Habitat for Humanity

8:30 am – 2:00 pm


Signature Lunch

September 26, 2023, 12 PM

InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront or online via zoom


Fellowship Reception: Minnesota Rotary – Let’s Shine for 2029

September 27, 6 – 8 pm

Nicollet Island Pavilion


All-Rotary Lunch: Minnesota Rotary – Let’s Shine for 2029

September 28, 11:30 – 12:30

Edina Country Club


The meeting adjourned at 1:15 pm.

Lynne Beck


Rotary Minutes Sept 7, 2023.

President Heidi kicked off the meeting at 5:15. Carolyn Will was our Inspirational speaker today and she had a lot of Hockey things to say. But Jeff Olson said it best: from the great one Wayne Gretsky: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take “and “I pass the puck to where the player should be!“

Beth Naughton introduced our speaker: Jeff Olson. Jeff spoke about HOCKEY in Minnesota! It was a rousing speech. We have many players from Minnesota that were in the NHL. Almost as many as Canada! Dave Langavin has 4 Stanley Cups in a row. He who is from WBL and played at Hazel Park. From 1977 to 1982: we had 18 players from Minnesota playing in the NHL. Reed Larson, Mike Anotonovich, Bob Paradise, Bill Butters, Warren Miller, Tom Youghans, Dave Langavin etc. In 1982 and 83, Minnesota had 31 players in the NHL. This was our Golden age in Hockey, with Neal Broten, Bob Johnson, Kenny Yackel. Why? Because from 1960 to 1982 we had more indoor ricks (we went from 7 to 131), better to excellent coaching; we had High School teams, The Boys State Hockey Tourney was established, College hockey was big, and the NHL arrived in Minnesota in 1967 with the North Stars. We can thank Lou Nanne, John Mariucci, and Herb Brooks. Radio coverage, newspapers reporting the scores and all other media helped play Hockey up. By 1977 we had 132 indoor arenas to play hockey. The next great wave was 2002 to 2009 with 18 players in the NHL: Spehare T.J. Oshe, Kyle Oposso , Tim Sheehy, and Nyrob. And of course Herb Brooks and his Minnesota team beat the Russians for an Olympic gold medal. In 1982 there was Phil Housley from South St. Paul. He had 1232 life time points. He was a career scoring leader. Reed Larson had by far the hardest shot in all of hockey and he was from Minnesota. Jeff had his book there for sale. A very Minnesota and a very hockey speech! Micheal Jon was the greeter, DALE Quigley introduced visiting Rotarians and guests, and our fantastic tech team of: Ken Crabbe, Matt Majers, Nobel Orji, and Al Zdrazil.

Laurie Murphy, Scribe.

Rotary Club of Saint Paul
August 22, 2023                    
President Heidi Fisher called the hybrid meeting to order at 12:16 pm. Lynne Beck was scribe. The greeters were Jason DeKeuster and Dayle Quigley. The A/V Tech Team was Matt Magers and Noble Orji.
Heidi Fisher led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Joy McElroy read from the book The Second Mountain by David Brooks for an Inspirational Minute. She read selections about “Community: Code of the Neighborhoods and This Expert” and led members in the 4-Way Test.
Michael-jon Pease introduced two guests: Kathy Madore from Edina Realty and Anne Rodenberg, the Director of Individual Giving at the Wilder Foundation.
Jay Pfaender introduced the speaker James P. Francis, Mayor of South St. Paul and an employee of Benefits Advisor for Assured Partners. A graduate of Brown College in broadcasting, Jimmy was the 2010 Prime Minister of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival and a 16-year member of the South St. Paul Rotary Club. His program topic was “Send ‘Em All to South St. Paul” about the $31.5 M upgrade to Concord Street. He began by giving some background on South St. Paul.
  • In the 1800’s, the region was the home of the Dakota Sioux tribes.
  • During the late 1800’s, the stock yards located there (Swift and Armour).
  • By 2008 the stock yards became an industrial park.
  • It is considered an economically depressed area so is eligible of federal funding.
  • It is a thriving community now that is developing up not out.
Some facts about South St. Paul
  • 3 governors came from there.
  • It is a Special School District.
  • Many Olympians came from there.
  • Augustus “Gus” Francis, a relative of the speaker, was mayor in 1906.
  • His grandmother was elected the treasurer before there was a finance director.
  • Jimmy is the first mayor in 136 years without a stock yards connection.
Concord Street was the center of economic activity the late 1800’s and 1900’s. South St. Paul has been working on the Concord Street Project from 2016-2023. It is a partnership between MnDOT and Dakota County. The total cost of project is $31.5M, funded by a number of sources. It includes new sidewalks, pipes, lighting, road resurfacing, bike shoulders, etc. “The road no longer looks like an alley to a slaughterhouse.” There will be more housing for middle and high income families since there is already plenty of affordable housing.
Michael-jon Pease asked for Happy Dollars. Shelly Ruck announced that she will be sending a survey to everyone to ask their opinion of the Como Lakeside Pavilion location. She will end the same survey after the meetings at CHS stadium and the InterContinental Hotel. Linda Mulhern told about our Japanese Youth Exchange student Sophia Cutrone who arrived from Nagasaki. She asked club members to include her in activities during the year. Doug Hartford mentioned that Winter Spark will be on December 7 at Metro State. Brianna Haglin announced that there will be a RYLA meeting tonight. They can use some more volunteers for the marketing and curriculum committees. Peter Grayson is the chair of RYLA this year. Michael-jon Pease said that St. Paul Park Conservancy is working with the City Council on a $6M Pedro Park project and is partnering with the Minnesota Historical Society on a coloring books featuring parks.
Heidi Fisher led the club in a Trivia Question: When was the phrase “Service Above Self” adopted.
Ken Crabb announced that Science Museum Project will be September 2, 10-2. You can sign up for the entire time or 2-hour shifts.
Signature Luncheon
Kevin Engdahl, Colunbia EMERGE
August 29, 2023, 12 PM
CHS Securian Club
Social at CHS Field
Rotary Night at the Saints game
August 31, 7:07 PM
Contact Sherry Howe
Signature Lunch:
Jeff Olson, MN Hockey Greats
September 5, 2023, 12 PM
InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront
The meeting closed at 1:20 pm.  
Lynne Beck
Rotary Minutes Aug. 15, 2023
President Heidi Fisher opened the meeting on time.  Michael-jon chimed us in, and we sang happy birthday to Bo.  Heidi recognized the meeting volunteers and lifted up the tech team (Matt) for helping us manage some temporary difficulties with the projector and sound.  After the Pledge of Allegiance, Michael-jon offered an Inspirational Minute featuring reflections by Edward Abbey, John Muir, and others on the need to connect with nature and the outdoors.  We enthusiastically recited the Four-Way Test.  There were no visiting Rotarians but Shelly recognized our two guests, Annabelle and Rachel Gifford.  Linda then formally introduced Annabelle, our featured speaker, who recently returned from a sojourn in Italy with Rotary Youth Exchange.  Annabelle spent several months before her departure learning Italian.  She went through an orientation program designed to help her understand differences between cultures and to develop skills in figuring out how to successfully navigate those differences.  She was also presented with a stylish navy blazer that is now festooned with souvenirs from the places she has visited and the friends she has made.  Annabelle stayed with four host families and attended three different schools in the cities of Cremona and Brescia in northern Italy.  The school days were set up differently than in the U.S., with students going home at 1 to have lunch with their families then returning to school afterward.  Annabelle was intrigued to learn that Italians actually said "Mamma mia!" and used hand signs to communicate.  She also learned that Rotary dinners in Italy may have many delicious courses, so it's best not to fill up too soon.  Her favorite moments were a weekend in the Dolomites and a trip to Sicily, plus making good friends.  She looks forward to future travels and offers her thanks for being selected as a Second Century Scholar.  Linda mentioned she is looking for volunteers to join her in meeting our inbound Rotary Youth Exchange student at the airport this Saturday, August 19, at 2pm - if you can join her please reach out!  Linda is also looking for people interested in planning activities with Rotary Youth Exchange students this year - the more lead time, the better, so please reach out to her today!  Everyone is encouraged to attend the next two lunch meetings on August 22 and August 29, as they will be hosted by two venues vying for the honor of hosting our Club meetings in the future.  Last but not least, Doug Bruce got fined $20 for 2 puns.  
Submitted by Karin Ciano, rookie scribe.  All errors are solely the fault of the scribe.
Rotary Minutes Aug, 8, 2023
President Heidi Fisher opened the meeting on time.  She auctioned off 2 tickets to the LOONS game that night. The money went to Rotary Foundation. Dick Nicholson bought them. Dana Bruce introduced our speaker: Russ Hanes.  He opened up the company Mental Health Matters – Invisible Warriors Program. Russ discussed how he was a police office, EMT, Corrections officer, 911 Dispatch person, etc so he has a great background for this mission!  He spoke to us about the mental health issues he faced and how he opened up this company to help others.  It is a way to give back to others. The company specializes in helping first responders, police officers, nurses, doctors, EMTs , 911 people, and those in the front lines of care.  It is really a needed thing to do, as those people really needed help. The video he showed talked about a nurse who was so traumatized by the Covid deaths and how much help they gave her. We don’t often think about those first responders.  In 2022 they worked with 1500 individuals. They had 200 sessions of woodworking for their clients. A 30 day Chem Dep program. 50 mental health retreats.  Trained 200 people in suicide prevention.  They have some service dogs available as well.   What’s unique about their program is that if you go with a problem they get you into see somebody that day.   They have a lot of partnerships with many therapists, and others to help.
Doug Bruce got fined $10 for a pun today !
Submitted by Laurie Murphy scribe.
Rotary Club of Saint Paul
July 25, 2023                      
President Heidi Fisher called the hybrid meeting to order at 12:20 pm. Lynne Beck was scribe. The greeters were Bo Alyin and Todd Nicholson. The A/V Tech Team was Paul Meekin and Noble Orji.
Heidi Fisher led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Doug Hartford read the Prayer of St. Francis for the Inspirational Minute and led members in the 4-Way Test.
John Andrews introduced Chris Nelson, Metro State University Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, a guest who is applying for membership.
St. Paul Foundation President John Chandler presented the Scholarship Management Task Force Update. Since 2010, we have raised over $580,000 for the student scholarship fund. The yearly scholarship recipient, who receives $20,000 over four years for college, must be a St. Paul High School graduate and participant in RYLA. Scholarship America has managed the fund for an annual fee of $1,540 but is raising the amount to $3,320. The four Rotarians on the Task Force are John Chandler, Carla Hauge, Jim Kosmo, and Melissa Musliner. They are considering 4 options for the future of managing the fund.
  • Do nothing: Stay with Scholarship America
  • Manage it ourselves: No cost but more administrative and volunteer work
  • Move to a new vendor – BOLD-org: No fees but we design the donor and application pages
  • Move to the Minneapolis Foundation: One online payment of $2,500 plus $275 per applicant   
John answered questions from the members and will bring feedback to the Task Force. 
Jay Pfaender introduced the speaker, Wendy Paulson, President of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association and President Elect of the National Alliance of State Broadcast Associations. Wendy started in the broadcast industry nearly 40 years ago, working at Midwest radio stations serving as news director, on-air, promotions and as Program Director running News Talk stations, including 12 years at WCCO radio. The highlight of her career was leading the team who covered the Flood of ’97 in Fargo, ND and ultimately winning a George Foster Peabody Award. She followed this by working with WCCO legendary broadcasters like Steve Cannon, Boone and Erickson, Dave Lee and Sid Hartman. The topic of her presentation was “Is Local Broadcasting Still Relevant?”
Wendy asked Rotarians where they get the news? The answers varied from TV to radio, newspapers, and social media. The Minnesota Broadcasters Association serves 300+ radio and TV stations in Minnesota. Their key issues are: business issues; First Amendment Rights, Freedom of the Press and Protection of Journalists; and local broadcasting.
5 people will be inducted into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame this year. They all have a love for community and giving back.
  • Jim Bartels: KDUZ, New Ulm, MN
  • Mary Campbell: Omni Broadcasting Company, Bemidji, MN
  • Boyd Huppert: KARE-TV, Minneapolis/St. Paul
  • Tim Russell: WCCO AM, MN Public Radio
  • Lee Velsivik:!Heart Media and KARE-TV
Local broadcasting helps the national and local economy by providing jobs. The stations also contribute to national and local charities. They are staying relevant by making the news available on numerous platforms: online, apps, pod casts, websites, social media, streaming, etc.
The National Association of Broadcasters is working with stakeholders on key issues such as the Journalist Competitions and Preservation Act and AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act. 
Breaking News!!
Wendy told about the launching of NextGenTV on August 14 in Minneapolis. It is a new free broadcasting platform. This announcement was followed by Q&A’s.
John Andrews asked for Happy Dollars. Everyone is invited to Night at the Gatsby at Landmark Jewelers on August 10, 4-8. It is a partnership with Meritage and Heimie’s Haberdashery. Doug Hartford’s grandson hit a grand slam and another home run. Jason DeKeuster is this year’s Aquatennial Commodore.  Amanda Mai is in the play “Ruthless” at Theatre Elision. Dana Bruce invited everyone to Bad Luck Ball at the Commodore on Oct. 26, a fundraiser for St. Paul Parks Conservancy. David Dominick gave a happy dollar in honor of President Heidi Fisher.
Heidi Fisher made the following club announcements:
Saint Paul Rotary Social Aboard the Lady Chateau
August 1, 2023, 5:30-9:00 PM
422 E. Mulberry St., Stillwater, MN
Signature Luncheon
August 8, 2023
InterContinental Hotel or Online via zoom 12:00 PM
Social at CHS Field
Rotary Night at the Saints game
August 31, 7:07 PM
Contact Sherry Howe
The meeting closed at 1:15 pm.  
Lynne Beck
Rotary Minutes Dave Roast July 18, 2023
The roast opened with Dana Bruce being the Greeter. Then Todd Nicholson did the 4-way test.
The roast began with the “Day in the Life of Dave Dominick” by the Club 10 Players. This skit was very humorous.  Shelly Rucks began by saying that Dave is like a superman.  Bill Collins did a spoof on Daves running around.   John Andrews pointed out that Dave makes the best cupcakes.  Paul Meekin: he has a clone that never sleeps. Bill Collins: Thanked Dave for his dedication, friendly demeanor and kindness in his manor. Ken Crabbe:  was thankful that Dave was always ready with his power point presentation.  John Andrews said that Dave was in charge of the largest scout troop in USA.  Ken Schaffer said that Dave really lives the 4 way test.  Shelly Rucks said Dave always shows his appreciation, which was great for all. Bill Collins pointed out that the Club 10 Players had to cross the picket line for Dave (there was a strike in Hollywood at the time). Bob Cardinal: what is the difference between a baseball cupcake and a muffin? The batter!  Dave always writes the person a note whether it is their Anniversary date in Rotary, etc.  He has a welcoming attitude, is positive and has a lot of joy for all of us.  Dave’s Mom passed away this year and he sent a note to two Rotarians regarding their mothers passing a way. Tom Farnham said that Dave has is a cupcakeaholic!  He has made about 7000 cupcakes a year. Dave has been a Rotarians for 36 years! Thank you Dave.  The evening ended with a standing ovation for Dave. Dave thanked everyone.
Laurie Murphy scribe
Rotary Minutes July 11, 2023
President Heidi called the meeting to order. Susan O’Neil and Scott Van were greeters. Micheal jon-Pease gave the inspirational minute. And Sur Rostkoski did the Happy Dollars and the guest intros. Our speaker was Phil Esten, Vice President and Director of Athletics at the University of St. Thomas.
Of course there was the typical Tommie Johnnie back and forth, for a minute!
Phil took the school from a D3 to a D1 school in one year.  UST is now a DI school. It is the only school in many, many years to go from a D3 to a D1 school. Three areas he covered were:  1. Transformational experience, 2. Experimental Learning. And 3. Faith. He also talked about merging these characteristics in the Athletic Program: Community, Classroom, competition, Resources (human, Financial, and physical).  UST is the only private Catholic school in the conferences of all their sports.  Mental health issues of the students are critical today at Universities. UST has a 3 special people for sports only of the several mental health professionals on the UST staff.  Phil went from a 30 person department to a 130 person department!  They have a lot of coaches, trainers etc for all sports.  He mentioned the new facility for Hockey, basketball and baseball being built at the new Highland Ford plant location.  The questions produced a discussion of the NIL concept or the name, image and likeness concept.  UST does not fund the NIL. This apparently cannot happen at a D1 school.  They are really happy in the Summit League. They will be playing the University of Minnesota in hockey this year and playing Harvard in Football.  They will be looking to have more exhibition games with other schools in the future. They want a competitive and sustainable league in all sports by year 6, they are on year 3 of their D1 status now.  UST has a 4 year program in the Athletics Dept where they teach life skills: how to buy a house, how to invest, and how to manage the students money plus a lot of other practical things.  Also asked what he thought of the New York Times getting rid of their newspaper Athletic reporting staff: he said that everyone gets their sports news by a different method today: online. Phil was a very interesting speaker and topic was great.
Submitted by Scribe : Laurie Murphy
Rotary Club of Saint Paul
                                                             June 27, 2023                     
President Dave Dominick called the hybrid meeting to order at 12:20 pm. Lynne Beck was scribe. The greeters were Shelly Rucks and Michael-jon Pease. The A/V Tech Team was Matt Magers, Ken Crabb and Al Zdrazil.
Dave Dominick led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Bob Cardinal gave an Inspirational Minute about putting the Rotary emblem on the back window of a SUV. When it is there, you can tell whether the window is up or down. Things are up when the window is up. He then led members in the 4-Way Test.
John Andrews introduced visiting Rotarians and guests, including Brianna’s husband Adam Haglin from the White Bear Lake club and Aaron Gjerde’s son Finn who traveled around Europe with him. John also asked for Happy Dollars: John Chandler for LSU baseball’s national championship, and John Andrews for the 95th anniversary of Boy Scout property purchased by the Rotary Foundation.
Foundation President John Chandler introduced the members of the St. Paul Foundation Board of Directors: Jerry Faletti, Deb Katzmark, Todd Nicholson, Michael-jon Pease, Chuck Whitaker, Dion Powers, and Linda Mulhern.
Dave Dominick introduced Past Presidents who were at the meeting: Todd Nicholson, 2021-2022; Jason Bradshaw, 2020-2021; Michael-jon Pease, 2019-2020; John Chandler, 2018-2019; Carla Hauge, 2015-2016; Doug Bruce, 2011-2012; John Andrews, 2010-2011; Doug Hartford, 2009-2010; Al Zdrazil, 2008-2009; Joe Kovarik, 2007-2009; Nancy McKillips, 2001-2002; Ken Crabb, 1992-1993; Jay Pfaender, 1984-1985; Jerry Miegs, 1981-1982.
  • Jerry Miegs, Past International Director presented Bill Neilsen with an award for his 50 years of perfect attendance.
  • Todd Nicholson, Past President presented Ken Schaefer and Ken Crabb with Spirit of Rotary Awards for their dedication and contributions to the club. Ken Schaefer did a fantastic job as the chair of the program committee, going well beyond the call of duty. Ken Crabb led the tech team, was Director Emeritus last year, has been on many committees, and served as District Governor.
Outgoing President’s Remarks
President Dave Dominick gave his State of the Club Report. Highlights of 2022-2023 were:
  • Accomplishments
  • Community Service Project Recap
  • International Service Project Recap
  • Social Engagement Recap
  • Public Image and Awareness
  • Strengthening our Club Recap
  • St. Paul Rotary Foundation Recap
Dave Dominick was presented with the president’s plaque and past president’s pin.  Dave presented President Heidi Fisher with the Gavel and President’s Pin.
Michael-jon Pease introduced the 114th President, Heidi Fisher. He said she leads through the 4-Way Test and has style, grace, and a sense of humor.
President Heidi Fisher said she will follow the international theme: Create Hope in the World.  She believes in fellowship, integrity, service, diversity, and leadership.
The 2023-2024 Club Board of Directors is:
President Heidi Fisher
President Elect Shelly Rucks
Treasurer Bo Aylin
Secretary Aaron Gjerde
SGT At Arms Brianna Haglin
Director Emeritus Michael-jon Pease
Immediate Past President Dave Dominick
Returning Directors: John Bennett, Victoria Cammack, Steve Gerber, Susan Rostkoski
Incoming Directors: Matt Magers, Melissa Musliner, Andrew Vincelli, Karin Ciano, John Kupris
Heidi Fisher made the following club announcements:
501: July 4th – Cancelled
Signature Luncheon: July 11, 2023
Phil Esten, Athletic Director, St. Thomas
President Dave’s Roast
Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Pool & Yacht Club
$35 – RSVP by July 11, 2023
The meeting closed at 1:10 pm.  
Lynne Beck Scribe
Rotary Minutes June 20, 2023
President Dave Dominick opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Melissa Musliner gave the Inspirational minute. Susan Rostkoski was the greeter, Matt Magers and Ken Crabb were the tech team, and Micheal jon-Pease did the intros.  The 4 way test was recited by all.  We went through the June Birthdays and anniversaries.  Joe Kovaric has 44 years in Rotary!  The 114 new President Heidi Fisher introduced our speaker who was Jason Bradshaw.  He spoke about the funeral Industry.  He told us that they were the first to offer water cremation in Minnesota and elsewhere.  He spoke about what’s changed in the last 10 to 15 years, the effect Covid had on the industry, water cremation and cremations stats.   By 2025, Cremation will be about 72% of all funerals, up from 10% in 1975.  It has gone up drastically in the last 10 years. The southern states are a lot slower to use cremation. Canada has stabilized at 72% of all funerals are cremation. What’s changed? The role of religion, family structures, medical care, Hospice care, and families what to be more involved in funeral arrangements, earth friendly ways to bury, and the economy or rising costs of funerals.  The amount of sudden deaths has been radically reduced.  People don’t want to take up much space to be buried.  They want to be ecologically responsible.  But it’s mainly that the cost of funerals has risen so much.  People like the water cremations. The flame based form of cremation uses a lot of energy, expels a lot of CO2, and gas.  There are mercury issues also, from dental fillings, pace makers etc. Water based was patented in 1880, but Mayo began using it in 2006.  It uses 75% less energy to do, no mercury emissions, and takes about 3 hours. Then there are natural cemeteries. And finally composting, where you are put in a pod for 30 days and when you are finished, you will be put in the ground.  With natural cemeteries there are no markers or vaults. Vaults are a Cemetery regulation, to help keep the sod firm.  It’s not a funeral regulation. Finally he spoke about the effect Covid had on the funeral industry. There is currently a lot of burn out. So many deaths and funerals also that the Funeral homes could not  keep up with the deaths, especially in New York, Chicago, LA and some of the big cities.  The industry doesn’t have funeral directors in the pipeline to handle this amount of death.  Many people have left the industry as they were burnt out.  It’s just now coming out of the effects of Covid.
The Roast for President Dave is July 18 at the Pool and Yacht Club. The Changing of the Guard is next week on June 27 at COMO Park.
Laurie Murphy, scribe