Tree Planting at Boys and Girls Home

District 7710 will be sponsoring a tree planting at the Boys and Girls Home at Lake Waccamam.

We will be planting over 100 pecan trees on September 30, 2017 starting at 10:00 AM.  These will replace trees damaged by storms over the years.   Please bring shovels and gloves with you if possible.  The home has equipment to dig the holes – we will be placing the trees in the holes and filling.  Lunch will be provided.

Click here or the link in the sidebar to sign up.

The address is 400 Flemington Drive, Lake Waccamaw, NC  28450.

Submitted by Melissa Mills – District Chair

Program Report: David Graham – The Atlantic Online

David Graham looked more the part of guest student until he took the podium as our featured speaker Monday representing one of the nation’s most venerable and respected magazine titles, The Atlantic.

Graham, it turned out, is a seasoned staff writer and journalist who covers national politics at The Atlantic. He told a full house that much of his work is producing journalism to compete for reader attention in the digital information battlefield where fine traditional reportage goes up against cheap clickbait, fake news, lazy rewrites, Tweets, blogs of all quality, some of it “total junk.”

Given this reality, serious readers, in Graham’s view, could do themselves and society muchgood by training themselves to separate the wheat and the chaff.

“In general, society benefitted from more media literacy,” Graham said. “It’s important to read articles closely.”

Among reminders he suggested in a broad, quick look at the state of today’s journalism are to keep any eye on the reporters and writers, their track records on the subject matter at hand, and

the number of sources driving a given story, plus how the sources are identified. Keep an eye on the reporter’s attitude about the subject matter at hand – is the writer generally hostile or friendly?

Graham is a 2009 Duke graduate who has served with other national quality publications such as the Wall Street Journal. Through the modern miracle of remote technology, some good bosses in

Washington and the fact that his wife landed a nice job in Chapel Hill, he is living back inDurham and still writing for The Atlantic. (Suggested piece: Bull City charms.)

Though young, he reminded club members of some age-old facts of journalistic life, for example:

“Reporters are sharks. We want stories. We want juicy stories. If we see blood in the water, we go after it.”

And: “Even the best outlets screw up. The difference is we are apologizing and correcting.”

Last: “The press should be adversarial, not the adversary.”

These maxims are both true and a fine standard of conduct and values that should be a refresher course for many participants in a once-proud profession trying to regain its footing. Our thanks to David Graham for his entertaining presentation.

Graham was introduced by Judge Nancy Gordon.

Submitted by Mark Lazenby

Program Report: Chris Ogden – The FENCE

What do Brooklyn, Boston, Atlanta, Houston, Santa Fe, and Denver have in common with Durham?

Besides innate coolness, they will all be sites of The FENCE 2017 – An Outdoor Photography Exhibition Series.

On Monday, local photographer Chris Ogden provided some background on the project which is scheduled to be on view from mid-August to November. Mr. Ogden was introduced by Past President Arthur Rogers.

Mr. Ogden is also chair of the city’s Public Art Committee and is not your average weddings and school pictures photographer.  He made his presentation in sunglasses claiming that he lost his regular glasses and needed the prescription sunglasses to see. Maybe, but it gave an artsy feel to the whole meeting that seemed appropriate. In his profile on his own website he describes himself as a fine art photographer “with a twist.” The images themselves have an abstract quality to them that is fascinating and make it worth spending a few minutes or more on his website viewing his work.

The Fence itself will encircle the block on Mangum Street directly across the street from City Hall on chain link fencing contributed by Dickerson Fencing in Durham and be about 1800 meters of large scale shots printed on black vinyl.

All the photographs were selected by a juror panel and Durham’s version will include local selections as well as national selections which are included on the fences in all the cities. The local jury included Rotarian Sarah Schroth of the Nasher and Frank Kronhaus, husband of Rotarian and architect Ellen Cassilly. A Durham photographer, Lori Vrba, is represented among the National selections.

Although the cultural benefits of such interactive events are clear, Mr. Ogden also described the economic development aspects of events like this and, in fact, one of the sponsors is the City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development.  The event is expected to draw people into the Downtown area from all over the area well beyond the Triangle. Another side benefit is that it get kids and their parents outside and walking.

One of the questions that Mr. Ogden responded to was from Rotarian Geraud Staton who was interested in how the artist/photographers were compensated. There are $25,000 in prizes that will be awarded but the event also provides the exposure to sell fine art photography and involve people in collecting and taking up this art. Durham is the sixth city on the tour for The Fence.

In the late eighties when the American Tobacco Plant closed, it would have been hard to imagine that someday Durham would be included in a list of major cities hosting a unique cultural even like this.

To learn more about The Fence there are two websites with lots of additional information. The first is which focuses on the national tour, and Enjoy the websites but also get out and enjoy the installation when it arrives later in the month.

Submitted by Jay Zenner

Fill That Bus!

On August 19, we will gather to collect schools supplies to support Crayons2Calculators and our Durham Public School teachers!  It will be warm out, so dress accordingly and wear your sunscreen.  Email if you have any questions.

Date: 08/19/2017 (Sat.)Location: Sam’s Club in Durham

Sign up here:

Program Report: Ward Nye – Martin-Marietta

A full house of Durham Rotarians sat down to listen to Ward Nye (no relation as far as I know to the science guy).

President Seth Jernigan introduced him in a speech “that could have been written by my Mother!”, said Mr. Nye, leading all to infer that Mr. Nye was well-loved indeed.  Ward Nye is Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Martin Marietta Materials, a large company.  He also serves on numerous other company boards and lives in Raleigh.

Yes, “materials”.  Some older Rotarians may remember M-M as an aerospace company, a part of Lockheed Martin.  They built many major engineering projects like nuclear power plants, the Walt Disney monorail and modified Titan II rockets.  Martin Marietta Materials specializes in heavy construction materials – such as aggregates, concrete and asphalt.

Mr. Nye gave a polished talk describing the aims of the company and its 400 current operations throughout the country. He emphasized the values of the company and its emphasis on safety – not a trivial matter in this kind of business.  They aim to go beyond the legal requirements of OSHA.  Working for M-M is apparently statistically safer than working for Wal-Mart.

MMM is very concerned that their projects have a “social license”, the concurrence and support of the local community. Some twenty percent of its business is in fact in housing.  Mr. Nye was optimistic about Durham and how we are doing.

There was time for a couple of questions. One was “Are we running out of sand?”  Mr. Nye seemed a little surprised by the question. His response was basically that there is sand and there is sand implying that there were shortages of certain types of sand but that we shouldn’t worry about the beaches.

Submitted by JS

2017 Scholarship Recipients

Rotary Centennial Scholars and Brown Family Scholarship Winners Announced

We were pleased to recognize recipients of the 2017 Rotary Centennial and Brown Family scholarships at the July 10 and July 17 club meetings.  All recipients received a recognition plaque and told members about themselves and their plans.    This year’s Rotary Centennial scholars are: Tasia Brownell (Meredith College), Desmond Jackson (Campbell University) (unable to attend), Laura Duran Velazquez (Durham Tech), and Armani Williams (NCCU).  All are Student U students. The Brown Family scholar is Laura Salazar (UNC Chapel Hill).   Laura is an Emily K student.

Each scholarship recipient will receive a $1,000 scholarship freshman year, and with continued college enrollment and academic success an additional $1,000 scholarship sophomore year.

Student U is a college-access organization founded in the proposition that all students in Durham have the ability to succeed. Student U creates a pipeline of services to support students through middle school, high school, and college.

Brown Family Scholarship recipients are members of the Emily K program.  The K to College programs of the Emily K Center develop educated student leaders who achieve in school, gain entry to and graduate from college, and ultimately break the cycle of poverty in their families.

Meg Solera and Marge Nordstrom coordinated the awarding of the scholarships that were presented on July 10 and July 17.

Pictured above are Alexandra Zagbayou, Executive Director of Student U; Holly Guss, College Adviser of Student U;  Meg Solera Committee Co-chair; Laura Duran Velazquez, Rotary Centenarian Scholar: Blanca Velazquez, Laura’s mother and Bill Ingram, President ,Durham Technical Community College.

Pictured from left to right are Holly Guss, College Adviser of Student U; Armani Williams, Rotary Centennial Scholar: Tasia Bromell, Rotary Centennial Scholar: Laura Salazar, Brown Family Scholarship; Meg Solara, Co-Chair , Scholarship Committee; Robert Polanco, Associate Directory of College Success, Emily K Center and Adam Eigenrauch,Executive Director, Emily K Center.