David Wells led the club in the Pledge of Allegiance and called for the introduction of guests, who included:
  • Brenda Davis a San Jose Rotarian
  • Helene Davis, a Cupertino Rotarian and the leader of Rise Against Hunger for District 5170
  • Greg Smith introduced Neil Kirkland from Saratoga
  • Hal Rosen introduced his wife Lydia
Remembering Dom Norcia
In lieu of a standard inspiration, John Pencer took a few moments to recognize the passing of Dom Norcia. Dom joined Rotary in 2001, and was president of our club from 2007-2008. In Dom’s own life, he heavily emphasized family, faith and friendships, and he loved Rotary. John encouraged us to, of course, remember the loss of Dom, but also reflect on the opportunity Rotary gives us to meet and become close friends with people we wouldn’t have otherwise known. 
Gae also noted that part of Dom’s legacy has been strengthening our club through the family tradition of Rotary, with Lisa and Mike being leading members of our club.
There will be a Mass on February 27 at 10AM at Immaculate Conception Church. Additionally, there will be a celebration of Dom’s life from 5-8PM at La Rinconada Country Club. Check Marty’s weekly letter for additional details.
Events and Announcements
  • The club Board meeting scheduled for this Thursday has been cancelled. (Overlap with celebration of life for Dom Norcia.)
  • Work continues in the lead up to the Great Race on 19 April. If you are on this committee, see if there is extra work you can take off the plate for Mike and Lisa at this time.
  • Rotary speech contest continues into round 2 and will be held at the Los Gatos Morning club. Come at 7:15 for breakfast, and to cheer on the competing students.
  • The district 5170 Rise Against Hunger event will be held on Saturday at Monta Vista High School Cafeteria. Click here to sign up and find out more information.
  • Please join in for the First Thursday for March. It will be at Number One Broadway (across the street from the post office, above the Los Gatos Spa). It will be from 5:30-7:30 on 5 March and Los Gatos Morning Rotary has been invited as well. It will be a Mexican theme night, and a well drink plus 3 tacos is $10!
  • Sylvia Whitlock, first Rotary woman president will be speaking at the Cupertino Rotary on 11 March at 12PM. Should be a very interesting presentation.
  • There will be a Service Project Fair for District 5170 on March 14th at the Dryco facility in Fremont. Learn more and register at the District web site:
  • Chris Potter is leading our club’s effort to get more engaged with the homeless farm project in Santa Cruz. The next volunteer opportunity is on March 21, for any or all of 10AM-4PM. If interested, please click here to contact Chris.
  • This Friday is the deadline to apply for service project funding. Lots more details in Marty’s regular letter.
Membership Updates
  • Jamie Hekkelman, granddaughter to Avis is joining as a red badge member. Jamie described how early exposure to service through opportunities that Avis and Rotary created for her was meaningful in her life. Welcome Jamie!
  • David Wells moved from Red Badge to Blue Badge, and provided a record short speech.
  • Heidi Owens Red Badge Bio
The theme of Heidi’s bio was family. Her family originally immigrated to the U.S. from Sweden after the potato famine in the mid-19th century.
Heidi’s grandparents met at Minnehaha University in Minnesota. Her grandfather was deployed at D-day +8 days and was a chaplain in the service, and post military, a minister. Her close family has a reunion every five years - that Heidi now organizes - which is full of singing and competitive sports. Heidi grew up on the beach in Huntington Beach. She played high school basketball and loved rollerblading. She earned a Bachelor in Business at CSU Fullerton and an MBA from Santa Clara. She moved to Los Gatos for work in 1999 working for a Cisco partner, then worked at Cisco for many years. She is the mother of two children, now 8 and 10. Service in the broader community is now of interest, and she is currently serving on the county advisory committee for consumer affairs, among other public service roles. Heidi is on the November ballot for Los Gatos town council.
  • Nicholas talked about his time at the super bowl, and donated $100 to the club, and said “Glad to be a Chiefs fan” :-)
Speaking Program
Ron Cassel introduced Josh Zulliger, Game Warden in Humboldt County in California. Ron introduced members of Josh’s family - his parents Dianne and Tim, and a friend of the family, Bob Leonard. Josh was Ron’s student at Los Gatos High School, where he graduated in 1994. Josh grew up in Santa Cruz mountains, did a tour of duty for the Coast Guard and is to be married in July.
As a Game Warden, Josh works for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and is one of a handful of people who help manage and preserve the natural environment, with his focus being the watershed in Humboldt county.
The CDFW has a dauntingly large area it is responsible for. As just one example, it owns one million acres directly, and has a remit that includes private land as well. It’s primary role is to enforce the fish and game code, and rules which change from time to time such as bag limits. 
The major focus of Josh’s presentation was the ecological impact of marijuana cultivation. He cited an estimate that 60% of marijuana consumed in the U.S. comes from Humboldt county. With relaxed federal enforcement, and marijuana consumption legalization in California why do game wardens get involved in marijuana cultivation? It is the impact on water - water use, pollution, and more.
Josh showed some dramatic pictures from Google Earth where empty forest had been turned into a patchwork of marijuana farms over the last five and ten years. These farms locate next to rivers and streams. Sometimes, they consume water illegally. Sometimes, shoddy road or water containment work results in sediment dumps into the river - killing fish roe. Sometimes runoff from heavy nitrate and other fertilizer uses pollute the watershed. 
The state of California now has a cannabis enforcement program that came along with the legalization of marijuana in California in 2016. Since marijuana is a cash crop, marijuana production is moving towards ordinary farming methods and shifting towards larger farms, and not in the far north of the state. The cannabis enforcement program is ensuring some standards in production that don’t allow for the significant negative environmental impacts of the rogue farms in Humboldt and elsewhere.
Josh concluded his comments on the environmental impacts of marijuana cultivation by saying that things are improving, but there is still a lot to do, and few people to do the work.
Josh also had just a few minutes to tell us about the status of abalone in California. In short, it is dire. The abalone fishery has been closed since 2018.There have been many stressor factors: a rapid decline in the size of the kelp forest, harmful algal blooms, persistently warm water, a sea star wasting disease, and an explosion of purple urchins which simply devour everything. Abalone grow slowly, requiring twelve years to reach maturity, and Josh predicted we were at the very least 15 years away from any kind of recovery of the abalone population.