Decatur Rotary Spoke 'n Wheel graphic

In This Issue
Book Of The Week
Guests & Visitors
Speakers At-a-Glance
Officers of the Club
President's Corner
Speaker's Corner
'Round the Room
The Four-Way Test:
In everything that we think, say or do:  
Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?

Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?



Rotary Networking Resources
District 6900 has created this resource to help Rotarians in our district find employment. To find out more visit the district web site and look for Career Networking.

Decatur Rotary is now on Facebook.  Check out the page for updates and become a fan. View the Decatur Rotary Facebook Page here.

Decatur Rotary is now onl LinkedIn. Check our page for updates and to join our group. View the Decatur Rotary LinkedIn Group here. 
NEW!! Link to the most recent District 6900 Newsletter:
District Newsletter

Book Of
The Week
" Second Nature"
by Michael Pollen
book of the week
Description: Chosen by the American Horticultural Society as one of the seventy-five greatest books ever written about gardening, Second Nature has become a manifesto for rethinking our relationship with nature.

With chapters ranging from a reconsideration of the Great American Lawn and a dispatch from one man's war with a woodchuck to reflections on the sexual politics of roses, Pollan captures the rhythms of our everyday engagement with the outdoors in all its glory and exasperation.

Guests & Visitors

Steve Ortlip 
gave the invocation.


David Ewing
introduced the visiting Rotarians.  


Our Guests included:

Diana Lipton:
guest of Jason Conn

Our Visiting Rotarians included:

At A Glance
January 28, 2011: Donna W. Hyland of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

February 4, 2011: 
Dr. Gina Lundberg,
The Director of the Heart Center for Women

Officers of the Decatur Rotary Club:


C.J. Becker

Jason Conn

Past President:
Bryan Downs
Betty Spiker

John Bennett

Sergeant-at-Arms: Doug Torbush

District Governor:
Casey Farmer



January 2:
Raiford Hodges

January 4:
Kathryn Johnson

January 4:
Bill Mealor

January 6:
Mark Hastings

January 7:
James Jarboe

January 9:
Wes Dodd

January 16:
Fred Boykin
January 19:
Alan Dishman

January 19:
Pete Pfeiffer
January 26, 2011

Don't forget to please visit our website at where you can update your contact information, view videos from past Rotary meetings and find out who our upcoming speakers are. Don't forget to join our LinkedIn Group and Facebook Page as well!

Elliott Augustine & Andrea Greengard

 President's Corner
President C.J. called the meeting to order


President CJ made the following announcements:
President CJ recognized Mark Burnette, Scott Thompson, Peter Michaelson and Bill Mealor for their work on the MLK Day Service project.  She announced that the Club would be donating a book to the Dekalb Library System in recognition of their service.

President CJ invited all club members, their friends and family as well as prospective members to attend "A Night Under the Stars" at the Agnes Scott Planetarium on February 10, 2011.  The event will cost a nominal $10, which will be added to your quarterly bill. 

Phil Smith: Concord Coalition

Kirby Thompson announced that the scheduled speaker had to cancel at the last minute but that he had been able to find an excellent replacement for the club program. 

Phil Smith is the national political director for the nonpartisan Concord Coalition, a nonprofit public policy organization dedicated to fiscal responsibility within the federal budget while ensuring that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are secure for all generations. The group is led by former US Senators Warren Rudman (R-NH), Bob Kerrey (D-NE), and former Commerce Secretary Peter Peterson. He is also the Past-President of the Atlanta Kiwanis Club.

Mr. Smith began his presentation with background on the Concord Coalition which was started in 1992 by former US Senators Warren Rudman, Paul Tsongas and former Commerce Secretary Peter Petersen.  Mr. Smith added that former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn had served as one of the co-chairs beginning in 1997 and that Former Senator Bob Kerry had replaced Senator Nunn.

Mr. Smith stated that the purpose of his program was to encourage us to realize the fiscal trends that were occurring related to revenues and expenses at the federal government level.   Mr. Smith pointed out that 2010 expenditures currently exceed revenues by $1.29 trillion and that the cumulative deficit was $14trillion.
Currently federal spending can be split into two categories - programs and activities that are considered "Mandatory" (61% of all expenditures) and programs and activities that are considered "Discretionary" (39% of all expenditures).

Part of the mandatory expenditures is interest on the public debt which has steadily increased and is projected to skyrocket as a percentage of US gross domestic product (GDP).  Mr. Smith added that in addition to concerns over the size of the public debt, we should also be concerned over the public policy implications of over 50% of the US debt being held by foreign investors. 
In addition to the increasing expenditures for public debt, mandatory spending includes payments for social security as well as Medicare and Medicaid.  Mr. Smith indicated that this is a concern because America's population is aging and living longer which means there will be more retired people receiving social security and Medicare benefits for a longer period of time.  This will increase costs for these programs as health care costs grow and longevity is extended.

Mr. Smith stated that unless fiscal policies change, expenditures for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on the public debt will encompass all federal revenues in 15 years.

Mr. Smith stated that the Concord Coalition would like to change that outcome by supporting fiscal policy that addresses these issues and to that end they are sponsoring a "Fiscal Solutions" program on March 2, 2011 at the Commerce Club in Atlanta.

Mr. Smith concluded with the following points:
  • Current federal fiscal policy is unsustainable
  • There are no easy solutions
  • Growth alone cannot solve the problem
  • Bi-partisan support will be required
  • Public engagement and understanding of the issues and results is necessary
  • It is not just about numbers, it is also a moral issue


Speaker Photo: Phil Smith


On behalf of our speaker, the book "Comeback America: Turning the County Around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility" by David M. Walker was donated to the DeKalb County Library System.

The meeting was then adjourned.

Reported by Peggy Merriss

Photography by Mark Burnette & Mark Hastings

'Round the Room...

Bill Harshman, John Adams, and Fred Turner
chat after before the meeting.

    around the room
 Stephen Ortlip and Jim Topple catch up


mlk day
Members chat at the MLK Day Volunteer Event

mlk day
Rotary Members hard at work while
at the MLK Day Volunteer Event

The Rotary Bulletin Committee
Decatur Rotary Club
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Decatur Rotary Club | PO Box 845 | Decatur | GA | 30031