The Next Meeting:
When:  Friday, April 20, 2018
Where:  The Country Club of Lansing, 2200 Moores River Dr.
Speaker:  Bob Hoffman
Topic:  "ePIFanyNOW"
Chair of the Day:  Dan Aylward
Invocator:  Jerry Granger
Chair of the Month:  Dan Aylward
Greeter:  Sandy Draggoo
Remembrance:  Diane Sanborn
Microphone:  Susan Angel
Editarian:  Helen Mickens
Biography for Father Francis Limo Riwa
Francis Limo Riwa (pronounced Lee-moe Ree-wah) founded the St. Clare Centre for Girls in Kenya, Africa which the Lansing Rotary Club supported with a significant contribution that recently helped several girls go to college in the U.S. St. Clare Center is part of the Children's Village, which also houses St. Francis School for Boys, and the St. Philomena Home for Hope which houses children living with HIV/AIDS. Father Riwa founded all of them.
Fr. Riwa was born on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania on March 23, 1956 to the late Barnabas and Francesca. He has four bothers (two are deceased) and four sisters. His family farmed coffee as a cash crop and bananas for subsistence.
Fr. Riwa was sent to the neighbouring country of Kenya for his high school education because Kenya had a better education system. In Kenya, he completed his high school studies at Thai High School and, responding to God’s call, decided to study for the Catholic priesthood.
On October 1, 1983, after studies at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Nairobi, Fr. Riwa was ordained a Catholic priest for the service of God’s people in the Diocese of Meru in Kenya. After several years as a teacher in St. Pius X Minor Seminary, he was as assigned as a pastor to the nomadic pastoralists in the northern desert region of Kenya, where he founded Oldonyiro Catholic Parish.
The arid land and lack of rain in the desert region combined to cause widespread poverty. However, a river flowed through the area and Riwa saw this river as a solution. He taught himself Italian and approached the Italian people for assistance to build a dam on the river and install a turbine to pump water for domestic and irrigation use, hence transforming the area. He founded three boarding schools and thirty mobile nursery schools, which gave the possibility to 2,000 poor nomadic children access to quality primary and secondary education.
In 1998, Fr. Riwa was appointed diocesan medical director to oversee the 46 dispensaries and seven hospitals under the care of the Diocese of Meru and to begin a new parish in Nchiru. Working in the city of Meru, he was appalled by the hundreds of children living and begging on the streets of Meru. This was a sight he did not encounter in the desert region of the north and it bothered him deeply. On August, 18, 1999, he rescued nine thin and starving street-children, took them to his parish, and the Children’s Village was born.
Fr. Riwa also serves on the diocesan executive committee advising the Bishop of Meru. In 2009, in recognition of his leadership and service to the community, Riwa was installed as an elder by the village chiefs; a rare event for a non-Kenyan.
Paul Harris
April is Paul Harris month.  Please show your commitment to Rotary International Foundation by wearing your Paul Harris pins to each meeting this month.  The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match 2-to-1
every $1 that Rotary commits to polio eradication.  Up to 50 million in donations to
Rotary for each of the next three years.  Thank you!
Long Time Past Member - Michael J. Harrison
Michael J. Harrison, born August 20, 1932, died April 7, 2018.  He grew up in a close extended family, on the South Side to become the first Jewish president of his high school senior class.
With a full scholarship to Harvard College, he graduated with honors, and then had a Van Loon Fellowship in physics to the University of Leyden, the Netherlands.  Michael returned to the University of Chicago for his PhD, followed by a two year post-doc at the University of Birmingham, England, under the mentorship of Sir Rudolph Peierls.
In 1961, Michael joined the faculty of MSU, where he spent his entire career, finally retiring in 2007.  In addition to his work in theoretical physics, he had several administrative assignments including Dean of Lyman Briggs College for eight years.
Michael is survived by his wife, Ann of 47 years; his sister, Esther (Jerome) Delson; Esther's three children as well as numerous other nieces and nephews.  He had been a Lansing Rotary member since 1976 and resigned in 2014.
Editarian Report for April 6, 2018
In President Brewster’s absence, President Elect Dennis Fliehman called our meeting on a cold April day to order promptly at 12:30. Due to technical difficulties, he yelled a welcome and turned the podium over to Craig Stiles who promised to deliver his invocation loudly, but with a soft stick. With Ken Beachler and John Dale Smith both MIA, Mark Hopper led us as we sang My Country Tis of Thee.
Although not armed with a microphone, Maria Lenz moved through the assembled Rotarians to insure that all guests and visiting Rotarians were introduced. Several of our guests have submitted applications and hope to be new members before we meet again.
Diane Sanborn informed us that Ed McRee is in hospice and is failing. He is no longer able to speak. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.
PE Fliehman presented George Loomis with his Red Badge and welcomed him to our club. Linda Lynch revealed that this week’s mystery Rotarian was none other than Irv Nichols. This answer was correctly submitted by Barb Lezotte. Both were in attendance to receive their prize.
Donna Gardner kicked off April by refreshing our memories regarding our annual Paul Harris campaign. This annual campaign, which happens every year, raises money for the Rotary International Foundation and is an excellent way to safely change the world. Although there were more technical issues, we were eventually able to see the list of FAQs that Donna had prepared. For those who have been part of the club for less than a year, or those who have been here longer, but need a refresher:
  •  Paul Harris was the founder of Rotary
  •  Money goes to the Rotary International Foundation (RIF) and can be designated to Polio Plus or the Annual (share) Fund
  • We are asking for your support again because this is an annual campaign – we ask every year.
  • You can earn a Paul Harris award by contributing $1000. You do not have to contribute that in a single year. Your contributions are accumulated until you reach $1000 and earn your award. You can also earn multiple awards.
  • The Annual (share) fund is used in two ways – 50% funds RI projects, while the other 50% is returned (after 3 years) to the district that it came from to fund district grants.
  • RI initiatives include clean water, fighting polio, malaria and HIV, peacemaking, health care for mothers and children, education/literacy and local communities.
  • Our club goals are:
    •  100% participation – this is the most important goal
    •  $14,000 – a goal set by our board
  • RIF is very reputable, earning 4/4 stars from Charity Navigator for 11 consecutive years and being named the world’s outstanding foundation in 2016 by the National Association of Fundraising Professionals. An amazing 91 cents of every dollar donated to RIF goes to programs.
  • Donate by writing a check to the Rotary International Foundation, go to and click on Give (Editarians note: you will want to login first so that credit goes to our club), or in cash (preferably in an envelope with your name on it to Cathy or Donna).
Donna concluded by letting us know that this will be a theme throughout the month of April. (Thank you Donna for being a GREAT Paul Harris chair!)
PE Fliehmann introduced Dan Aylward, our April Chair of the Month and our Chair of the Day. Dan introduced Dr. Kenneth Boyer, Professor of Economics at MSU, whose research interest is the economics of transportation. While that may sound a bit dry, let me assure you that it was anything but!
Dr. Boyer commutes from Ann Arbor, so he surely has firsthand knowledge of road conditions in the area. He began by discussing how we might go about calculating the cost of roads per mile travelled, just as we might personally calculate our contribution to the cost of maintaining our roadways based on the miles we drive and the fees we are charged for vehicle registration. He noted that we pay far less than other countries. Fuel taxes in other countries run $2 - $3, but the tax is not restricted to roadway maintenance and development. Some states partially fund roads through tolls as well.
Americans do drive more than people in other countries, but we continue to see some erosion to user fees (gas tax) and we have started to supplement these fees with money from the general fund. Local roads also receive some funding from millages.
It is clear that our current system cannot survive. As fuel economy increases, we purchase less fuel, which leads to less revenue. Additionally, vehicle miles travelled per person levelled off around 2010 and is now dropping. Millenials drive far less than older generations and tend to not even own a car. Michigan also has some unique laws around truck weight, limiting weight per axle, but not the total number of axles. This may contribute to higher than average road wear.
Roads are rated around the country by using a road roughness index. Our rural roads (those that go through farm or undeveloped land) tend to be in better shape than average, while our urban principal arterial roadways are much worse than average. Our funding formula gives more dollars per person to fund rural roads has remained unchanged for 67 years. The formula is not adjusted for traffic usage.
Dr. Boyer wrote two survey questions to determine our attitudes towards road funding in Michigan. When asked how much more you would be willing to pay to improve our roads, 56% responded that they were not willing to pay anything more. (One could conclude that our citizens actually want worse roads.) The second question asked how road maintenance should be funded. Over half refused to answer the question. Of those that responded, the preferred option was increased gas tax, while tolls were the least popular.
There are other alternatives. Some questions that could be considered:
  •  Should trucks pay more than they do now?
  •   What about electric (or other alternative fuel) vehicles? How should those drivers contribute to our road maintenance fund if they are not purchasing gasoline?
  •   Is private financing an option?
  •   Do we raise fuel taxes to European levels?
  •   Should we pay by the mile?
Dr. Boyer stressed that Michigan is not alone and that it will be very hard to come up with a viable solution if we mistrust both government and toll financing.
As usual, our club asked a number of excellent questions. Those questions revealed that:
  •   Cement roadways can last 25 years, while asphalt lasts only 15 years
  •   In some situations, neighborhoods are being asked to pay for road maintenance through      assessments. 
  • Toll roads don’t have to involve significant infrastructure. Tolls are assessed in Europe almost entirely through satellites
  •  Opinion – CAFÉ standards, while not the ideal way to improve fuel economy, have had an effect. Economists have gone back and forth on this issue, but believe, in general, that they are better than nothing and are not welcoming a relaxation of the standards. A better way to improve fuel economy is to increase fuel taxes.
PE Fliehman thanked Dr. Boyer for speaking and told him that we will be making a donation to a clean water project in the Dominican Republic in his name in lieu of a speaker’s gift.
The last order of business was a follow up to our Paul Harris appeal. All members who have earned at least one Paul Harris award stood. It was obvious that we have a number of members who have taken these appeals seriously over the years.
PE Fliehman announced that we would be back at the Lansing Center next week, when Father Riwa will speak about the Friends of Kenyan Orphans.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:29 p.m.
Linda Lynch's email is:
Apr 27, 2018
Detroit FBI at the Crowne Plaza
May 04, 2018
at the Lansing Center
May 11, 2018
"The Startup Engine at MSU" at the Lansing Center
May 18, 2018
@ the Country Club of Lansing
View entire list
Rotary Club of Lansing
P. O. Box 13156
Lansing, MI   48901-3156