The loan arranger rides again, for the first time.  And Jeannie told us what NOT to do during a lightning storm.
Notes from the Sep. 7 meeting of
The Rotary Club of Clover Park
recorded by Tom McClellan
 
The meeting setup crew once again did a flawless job, earning presidential level thank yous to Mike Killen, David Cotant, and Tom FaubionJeannie Hill started us off with some inspirational thoughts:
 
1. Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. - - Thomas Edison
 
2. Remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.  - - Henry Ford
 
3. Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.  - - Albert Camus
 
 
We had one guest joining us, Judi Maier’s husband Tom Wie.
 
Foundation Minute:
Georgene Mellom shared a note about the resurgence of polio in the U.S., courtesy of a traveler from overseas.
 
PolioPlus is Rotary’s priority program which supports global efforts to eradicate polio. It was launched in 1985, with the help of Dr. Albert Sabin, developer of the oral polio vaccine, as a worldwide program to protect children from the cruel and fatal consequences of polio. In 1988, the World Health Assembly challenged the world to eradicate polio, and since that time, Rotary’s efforts, along with partner agencies, including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and governments around the world have achieved a 99 percent reduction in the number of polio cases worldwide.
 
As of 2018-19, The Rotary Foundation has raised over US$1.6 billion for polio eradication. By the time the world is certified polio-free, our contributions will make Rotary the largest non-governmental financial contributor to the global polio eradication effort.
 
You can help end polio by making a gift to the PolioPlus Fund at www.endpolio.org.
 
Future Programs:
Sep 14    Fellowship meeting, no speaker     
Sep 21    Shawn Durnen, NineLine Veteran Services
Sep 28    Shakisha Ross and Zach Kaija, Puget Sound Energy’s New Innovations
 
Membership Minute:
Gretchen Allen shared a tip from the District 5020 Presdents’ Council:  Reach out to others in the professional groups or associations you may belong to.  They may have always wanted to become Rotarians, and they just did not know it.
 
Announcements
Bob Lawrence reminded everyone of the Film, Arts, and Book (FAB) Fest, Oct. 14, 15, and 16 at the McGavick Center.  It will include a deeper presentation on the sinking of the Titanic.  And Saturday will have a screening of “Reel Art”, 5 minute videos prepared by local youths.
 
Gretchen Allen was nominated for a “Good Neighbor Award” by the Seattle/King County Realtors Association.  It involves a possible cash prize if she wins, which Gretchen has pledged to our club.
 
President’s Minute
Becky Newton reminded everyone that the final days of the Lakewood Farmers Market are Sep. 13 and 20.  And then on Sep. 17 is a “Street Fiesta de Familia”, with food, beer, and entertainment from 4-8 PM, at the Colonial Center.  See https://cityoflakewood.us/street-festivals/#fiesta
 
Becky also passed along reminders from District Governor Dale Roberts that September is Basic Education and Literacy Month.  The District 5020 training seminar will be May 19-20 in Victoria, BC.  And the Rotary International Conference will be May 27-31 in Melbourne, Australia.  
 
Next week’s meeting will be the first of four fellowship gatherings, and will feature no Fun and Fines. 
 
Becky asked a couple of members to share something about themselves which the other members might not know.  Sue Potter noted that she once had Wolfgang Puck himself serve her a pizza.  And she also got to meet actor Gregory Peck and his wife.
 
Jeannie Hill and a friend once sat on top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the very top, during a lightning storm.  They had climbed up as was normally allowed, and then could not get back down because the authorities closed it for the storm.  So Jeannie and her friend went back up to the top deck and enjoyed the atmospheric fireworks.  [ed. note: not an actual photo from Jeannie’s trip.]
 
 
 
Fun And Fines
Ed Trobaugh was present as finemaster, but preconfessed to being an early leaver.  He entrusted Georgene Mellom with his raffle tickets, noting that if he won then the proceeds would be donated to the American Lake Veterans Golf Course’s 9/11 Memorial Golf Tournament.  [ed. note: In literature, the foregoing is an example of what is known as “foreshadowing”.]
 
Becky Newton celebrated that her oldest grandson just turned 13, lives in Eagle, Idaho just outside of Boise and was selected for an all-star youth baseball team.  $20.
 
Gretchen Allen celebrated that her son is heading off to chiropractic school in Hayward, CA, leaving behind a career in marketing at Costco to pursue this dream.  But he is not leaving behind his pet cat, and thus will have to live in off-campus housing.  $50.
 
Paul Webb noted that he had celebrated his birthday in August, and he tried to pay the fine in August but just could not get it done, despite Ed Trobaugh reciting Treasurer Judi Maier’s mailing address at nearly every meeting.  There was some additional sniveling from Paul about the lack of a more ornate recognition for Paul’s noteworthy accomplishment of having been born.  Judi, who almost never speaks up during F&F, suggested that perhaps a late fee from Paul was in order.  
 
Jim Hairston noted that he spoke by phone recently with Marie Barth, who is in her other home in Montana.  Marie passed along 3 good and useful tips:
1.  When walking the dog, don’t look down at your phone.
2.  Marie got bitten by another dog.
3.  Marie has learned exactly how fast one must be driving to get pulled over for speeding in Montana, noting that the Trooper nabbed her as she was slowing back down through 97 MPH.  
 
 
This Week’s Program
Our own Jack Kammer gave a “classification talk” on his career as a mortgage loan officer.  He has 17 years in the mortgage business.  He formerly worked as a firmware engineer (the interface of hardware and software) in the San Francisco Bay Area, doing technical sales.  He left that to purchase a winery in Walla Walla, a place so nice they named it twice.  He got into the mortgage business from there.  He promised that someday, he might give another presentation on the difficulties of operating a winery. 
 
Jack started with a brief history of how lending discrimination has been a problem in the U.S., involving racial red-lining, and overt laws prohibiting women from getting a mortgage for a home without a husband’s signature.  That latter restriction was not ended until 1974.
 
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was started in the 1930s.  The Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968.  Both have served to increase fair access to mortgage banking services.
 
Jack spoke briefly about how the mortgage originators bundle loans into “mortgage backed securities” (MBS).  These have gotten a lot of attention lately, as the Federal Reserve has used the purchases of MBS along with Treasury debt to implement monetary policy.
 
Home prices have been rising.  Here are average USA home prices, according to the Federal Reserve:
2020   $374k
2021   $440k
2022   $525k
 
It is now really tough for a homebuyer to qualify for a mortgage, because higher interest rates along with those higher home prices mean fewer buyers will meet the income qualifications.  But CNBC notes that 85% of major real estate markets have seen some degree of price decrease, so that trend may be reversing.  And about 80% of current mortgages have an interest rate number starting with a 3, while new 30-year loans are going for above 6%.  So a homeowner has a big incentive to stay put, and to not upgrade to a better home that would cost a lot more with a much higher mortgage rate.  This will have ongoing effects on the real estate market.
 
 
Raffle:
With all of the foreshadowing above, you likely thought that Georgene Mellom would have won the drawing with Ed Trobaugh’s tickets.  But in a “dramatic twist” [cue the dramatic music], it was the FAB Fest honcho Bob Lawrence whose ticket was drawn.  With $685 in the pot, and only 12 cards remaining, of which 1 is an Ace, Bob could not find that one card.  So next week we will be down to just 11 cards, and a presumably even bigger pot of money to win.  While your scribe is not licensed in the State of Washington to give out financial advice, he can note that the pot and the odds are getting juicier!  So come to the meeting next week and try your luck.
 
 
 
And Finally…
Who says you can’t take it with you?