Event Types

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Are Zoos Still Zoos?

People have always had an innate curiosity about animals. Perhaps one of the greatest illustrations of our curiosity has been the zoo. Over the past 30 years I have seen dramatic changes in the zoo and aquarium world- how zoos operate, and the growing roles zoos play. Modern accredited zoological facilities like our Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park are outstanding examples of the continued advancement zoos are making in animal care, wildlife conservation, and community connection. 

You will be amazed at the depth of care provided to our animals as well as the conservation achievements of Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. I’m excited to share with you not only the new facilities and programs that we have in store, but our developing vision of who we will be in the future.

Alan Varsik came to Metro Parks Tacoma in February 2015 as Deputy Director at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park with 30 years of zoo, aquarium, and conservation experience. His experience includes keeper, curator, Director of Animal Programs and Conservation, and Chief Operating Officer roles at an array of organizations, including Brookfield Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Santa Barbara Zoo, and Oklahoma City Zoo. He has been a university instructor and has a long history of conservation work, including with the California condor and Channel Island Fox.

Alan holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental and systematic biology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and a master’s degree in conservation management from DePaul University in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’, AZA,  Executive Leadership Development Program and a Certified Park and Recreation Professional through the National Park and Recreation Association. He also serves as an accreditation inspector, on the Diversity Committee, and is a professional development instructor for the AZA.

While at Northwest Trek, he oversaw activities that included the celebration of Northwest Trek’s 40th anniversary and construction of the $1.9 million nature-inspired Kids’ Trek playground. Under his direction, Northwest Trek also set two attendance records and served more than a quarter-million visitors in 2016.

Apr 19, 2018
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Current Events in Washington State and Pierce County Elections

Auditor Julie Anderson talks about election technology, significant changes to voter registration, and Washington’s new Voting Rights Act.

Julie Anderson has a long history of public service. She has served as the Pierce County Auditor since 2009, and previously served as the senior policy advisor for the Washington State Department of Commerce, as well as a member of the Tacoma City Council. As auditor, Julie is responsible for everything from elections to licensing to animal services. You may remember Julie as a longtime member of Rotary 8.  She hasn’t missed a beat, but she did change her affiliation to Sunrise Rotary. 

Apr 26, 2018
Apr 28, 2018
5:30 PM – 11:00 PM

Volunteer for the District Food Repack

May 03, 2018
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An Unforeseen Tragedy of the Commons - Our Resident Killer Whale Decline and What We Can Do

Ken Balcomb III

Ken obtained his Bachelor's degree in Zoology in 1963 from UC Davis and soon after was employed by the US government as Field Biologist GS5-7, first in Eastern Pacific large whale research and later in Central Pacific marine bird research. During the Vietnam era, he was a commissioned US Navy pilot and oceanographic specialist. He then did his graduate studies in marine biology at UC Santa Cruz with Dr. Ken Norris, the world-famous marine mammal scientist. While a graduate student, Ken conducted Humpback whale research in the North Atlantic with colleague Dr. Steve Katona and taught marine biology aboard r/v Regina Maris for Dr. George Nichols of ORES and Harvard University. Ken is a pioneer in photo-identification of cetaceans and is the founder of Orca Survey (1976), a study of Pacific Northwest Southern Resident killer whales (SRKW or simply “orcas"). He founded the non-profit Center for Whale Research in 1985 and is its Executive Director and NOAA Fisheries contract Principal Investigator for Orca Survey, a long term study of killer whales in the Pacific Northwest. Ken is a Charter Member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy and has authored or co-authored dozens of scientific publications; and, his work has been featured in books and television documentarie

James Waddell, CE/PE

Jim Waddell is a Civil Engineer who is retired from a 35 year public service career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  For over twenty years of that career he has been a leader in developing the policies and practice of Sustainable Development within the Federal family.  He also served with the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation.  His work with the NSF and then as the Senior Policy Analyst for the Environment in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy was largely focused on climate change policy, budgets and research integration.  He was the first in the Federal Government to identify and integrate all the global warming research programs allowing scientific information to better inform National and International policies.  His efforts in 1989 helped establish and organize the US Global Change Research Program.  In 1999, Mr. Waddell became the Deputy District Engineer for Programs at the Walla Walla District at the time the Lower Snake Feasibility Study was into its 5th year of development.  This $33 million study was the most comprehensive ever under taken by any government to determine the feasibility of breaching dams to restore salmon runs.  His recommendation to breach the dams based on the study and input from over 100,000 commenters who were largely in favor of breaching, was ignored.  After his retirement from the Corps in 2013 he has undertaken a re-evaluation of the study and his work shows that the magnitude of cost errors in the report clearly supports the conclusion that breaching the 4 Lower Snake Dams is not only a sound biological choice but will prevent the waste of millions of taxpayers’ dollars and loss of economic benefits to the Nation and region.

Over the last 10 years working primarily with EPA's Brownfield's Program he developed the visioning process that is known as Multi-Vision Integration/Vision to Action.  The process is a decidedly different approach to vision and public involvement found in public and private development agencies.  To date the process has been utilized in over 55 workshops in 45 plus communities and numerous leadership courses.  The MVI process is nationally recognized as a highly effective approach to sustainable community revitalization. 

May 17, 2018
May 22, 2018 6:00 PM
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Mik

Rotary Youth Exchange and Scholarships

May 24, 2018
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Attorney General

Bob Ferguson is Washington State’s 18th Attorney General. As the state’s chief legal officer, Bob is committed to protecting the people of Washington against powerful interests that don’t play by the rules. He is a fourth-generation Washingtonian, a graduate of the University of Washington and New York University law school.  Bob and his wife, Colleen, are the proud parents of 10-year-old twins, Jack and Katie.

Interesting facts about Bob Ferguson:

  • Bob has hiked hundreds of miles of Washington trails and climbed many of the state's highest peaks. Bob has summited the highest point in 45 of the 50 United States.
  • His family homesteaded on the beautiful Skagit River, which may explain why Bob is such an enthusiastic mountain climber, backpacker, and birder.
  • Bob is an internationally rated chess master and twice won the Washington State Chess Championship.
  • Bob is an avid baseball fan and once took a trip with a college buddy to see a baseball game in every major league stadium.
  • Bob began his legal career in Spokane. He clerked for two federal judges before returning to Seattle to join Preston, Gates, and Ellis (now K&L Gates) where his civil litigation practice included work on behalf of taxpayers, corporations and small businesses.
  • In 2003, Bob was elected to the King County Council. In 2005, after the council was reduced from 13 to nine and Bob's district was eliminated, he was re-elected. He was unopposed in 2009.
May 31, 2018
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Marah's Story: Love, Loss, and Hope

Penny LeGate is an Emmy award-winning journalist who is best known locally as an original cohost of “Evening Magazine,” and for her anchoring work at KIRO TV.  Today she enjoys freedom as a freelance reporter/documentary producer, filing stories from remote places such as Ethiopia, Uganda, India, Rwanda, Nepal, Vietnam, Morocco, and Bolivia.  Penny speaks often about her travels with Rotarians to vaccinate kids against polio, and was  honored to be a keynote speaker at the Rotary International Convention in 2011.  For her humanitarian work around the world, Rotary has awarded Penny six Paul Harris Fellowships! 

More recently, she has become a tireless advocate for those struggling with opioid addiction after losing her daughter to the disease in 2012.

Penny enjoys skiing, scuba diving, hiking, biking, and yoga.   She lives in Seattle with her husband and a small herd of rescued animals.

Jun 07, 2018
Jun 07, 2018 11:15 AM
Jun 08, 2018
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
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Tacoma Housing Authority - A Brief Review of Its Work

The Executive Director of the Tacoma Housing Authority will explain how THA understands its mission, how that mission fits in a successful city, and how that work shows in some examples of current THA projects.

Michael Mirra is the executive director of the Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) in Tacoma, WA.  He has served in that position since 2004.  Before that he served for two years as THA’s general counsel.  Prior to joining THA, Michael practiced law for about 25 years with Columbia Legal Services in Washington State and legal services in Tennessee representing low-income persons and organizations in civil matters.  Michael graduated from the University of Chicago and Vanderbilt Law School.  He grew up in Queens.

Jun 14, 2018
Jun 19, 2018 5:30 PM
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Sounders FC 2 and the Tacoma Partnership

Join us on June 21st as we hear from Sounders FC 2 Head Coach, John Hutchinson and Rainiers and Sounders FC 2 President, Aaron Artman about bringing professional soccer to the South Sound. From new opportunities for community partnerships to the power of the Sounders FC development pipeline, Aaron and Coach Hutch will share more about S2 and its future here in Tacoma.

Jun 21, 2018

This is a program you will not want to miss

Jun 28, 2018
Jun 28, 2018

Enjoy the 4th of July

Jul 05, 2018
Jul 10, 2018
7:00 AM – 8:30 AM

Vision for the Club

 You will want to be here for the first meeting of the Rotary year. This will be a great way for the club to join together to support a wonderful new year.

Jul 12, 2018
Jul 12, 2018 1:00 PM
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Eldercare's Impact on the Workforce

Mary Lynn Pannen is a leading expert on Geriatric Care Management and Homecare for seniors and individuals with complex needs. With a quarter of adult children providing personal and financial care to a parent, eldercare responsibilities are changing the workplace. Many employees are balancing care of a parent with work and the cost of missing work and increased healthcare spending is a two-fold setback. Never in human history have we lived so long, we are becoming an aging society and many employees are working longer as well creating changing demographics. You will learn about the impacts of this permanent shift on the workplace.

Jul 19, 2018
Jul 19, 2018
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Jul 23, 2018
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

The Port of Tacoma Centennial

This year the Port of Tacoma is celebrating its centennial year. Created by a vote of Pierce County citizens Nov. 5, 1918, the Port started out on 240 acres in the Tacoma Tideflats.

Today, the Port is a major economic engine for our region. Port terminal and real estate operations cover about 2,700 acres of land and connect to more than 29,000 jobs in Pierce County.

Port commissioner John McCarthy and staff member Rod Koon will team up to present some of the highlights of the Port’s first 100 years as well as some of the challenges and opportunities facing the port and the shipping industry today.

A former Pierce County District and Superior Court judge for more than 22 years, John McCarthy recently retired from the bench.  He worked as a longshoreman for 10 years and served previously on the Port of Tacoma Commission from 1983 to 1992.  McCarthy has been a member of the Washington State Bar Association since 1975 and volunteers at Mount Rainier National Park.  He is an honorary life member of the Washington Public Ports Association.  He was the first member of the Boys and Girls Club of South Puget Sound’s to be selected to their Alumni Hall of Fame, and he continues to officiate high school football.  He also is on the Pierce County Regional Council and serves as the Port of Tacoma’s Tribal Liaison. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Science with a minor in Mathematics from Seattle University and a law degree from the University of San Francisco.

Jul 26, 2018
Jul 28, 2018
12:00 PM – 2:30 PM
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A Visit from Our District Governor

Craig Gillis was raised in Williams Lake. He pursued a B.A. (history) at the UVIC where he met his wife Gerry. They ventured to Prince Rupert as high school teachers before moving in 1976 to Campbell River, to teach, retiring in 2008. After serving as a counselor, vice-principal and principal in elementary, middle, and high schools, Craig spent eight years as Director of Instruction (K-12) and Assistant Superintendent for SD 72. Craig and Gerry have their Master of Education degrees. Gerry, a high school counselor, chartered and then sponsored the Interact Club of Timberline Secondary. Since retirement Craig has worked as a SD 72 consultant, coordinating mentorship for principals and vice-principals and facilitating the Aboriginal Education Improvement Agreement dialogue. He works with VIU and the UVIC in Field Services, supervising student teachers. Recently, he trained all workers in Campbell River for Elections Canada. He serves as a B.C. Marriage Commissioner.
 
A Rotarian with Campbell River Daybreak since 2001, Craig has always had service in his blood. He has served as director/grants chair for the C.R. Community Foundation for seven years. Prior to his year as President in 2010-2011, he was named ‘Rotarian of the Year’. He has served on multiple club committees citing youth activities as a focus---Literacy, Student of the Month, Scholarship, RYE. An advocate of the club’s wheelchair project, he participated in the distribution of 280 wheelchairs to Colombia. He is a multiple Paul Harris fellow and soon a Paul Harris Society member. A perennial presenter at DLTA, he has served as District Trainer, Asia Country Officer and Youth Exchange Chair, and has cofacilitated over twenty Rotary Club Vision sessions.
 
The Gillises are very proud of their daughter, a clinical psychologist, and their son, a documentary film maker. Their first grandchild recently arrived!
Aug 02, 2018
Aug 03, 2018 8:15 AM
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Aug 09, 2018
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
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Imagine Eastside - Coming This Fall

A mother's greif is bringing good things to the Eastside of Tacoma. Shalisa Hayes is the founder of the Billy Ray Foundation, an organization in Tacoma whose mission is to reduce violence and teach young people to be civically engaged while connecting them to educational and employment opportunities. After suffering the loss of her teenage son to gun violence, Shalisa also founded the Mothers of Magnitude (M.O.M.) support network which works to connect mothers of deceased children. Her story has also inspired the building of the new Eastside Community Center, that will be opening in October. Her mantra: “When he died, he gave me purpose”

Aug 16, 2018
Aug 16, 2018 11:00 AM
Aug 16, 2018
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
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A Teachers Evolving Mind

Aug 23, 2018