Rotary Clubs Announce 2018 Youth Salute Awards
In April, the Rotary Club of Scottsdale, along with the Paradise Valley Rotary Club, selected four winners and two alternates to receive trips to a Youth Salute Leadership Town Meeting on Tomorrow Conference to be held October 20-23, 2018 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Youth Salute is a recognition program for high school juniors who are leadership achievers. The program is designed to applaud young people who are good citizens, have at least a B grade point average, and have been elected to leadership positions by their peers, in their schools and or community organizations.
There were 46 applicants from eight different Scottsdale high schools. Students were interviewed as Youth Salute candidates on March 22 by Rotarians and community leaders. On April 3, 12 semi-finalists were announced at a gathering at Scottsdale Community College. Each of the semi-finalists were given two minutes to answer a "final question" on stage. The final question was "Teens with a sense of purpose do better academically, are healthier and more resilient. How do you, as a leader, define your sense of purpose?" After hearing each student’s remarks, the judges convened and selected four students and two alternates as the 2018 Scottsdale Youth Salute winners.  Dr. Jan Gehler, president of Scottsdale Community College; Mary Blank, Rotary Club of Scottsdale past president; and Adam Evans, president of Paradise Valley Rotary Club, were the evening's judges.
Congratulations to the 2018 Scottsdale Youth Salute finalists and winners: Soniyah Robinson, Chaparral High School; Luis Ayala Gutierrez, Arcadia High School; Kari Harper, Desert Mountain High School; and Adway Gopakumar, Scottsdale Preparatory Academy. Alternates Haley Richardson and Austin Brown, both from Pinnacle High School, were named in case one of the four winners is unable to attend the Town Meeting on Tomorrow Conference. The remaining six finalists are: Briana Walker, Arcadia High School; Brian Lee and Grace Taylor, Chaparral High School; Jose Herrera and Katie Cabrera, Coronado High School; and Sean Holford, Scottsdale Preparatory High School.
While the judges convened and shared notes, nationally-recognized Coach John Avianantos was on hand as the evening's keynote speaker. At the event, which has been sponsored by the Rotary Club of Scottsdale for the past 23 years, co-chairs Mike Savastio and Sara Crosby-Hartman extended special acknowledgement and gratitude to the applicant interviewers and judges, as well as parents and school counselors for mentoring Scottsdale's teen leaders. A special thank you was extended to Chaparral High School for hosting the initial interviews and Scottsdale Community College for hosting the award night's festivities.
Interact Clubs Provide Resources for School in India
Adway Gopakumar, a Scottsdale Preparatory Academy student and Rotary Interact Club member, spoke at a recent luncheon meeting of The Rotary Club of Scottsdale to update members and guests about the "Liberation Through Education" service and fundraising project that his school is spearheading this spring. Gopa stated that the vision of the project is to be a driving force in liberating under-privileged communities in India by providing primary education. The school's Rotary Interact Club is part of Scottsdale Prep's extra-curricular programs that are driven by members of its faculty and reflect the levels of student interest and engagement on campus.  
The target for this project is a village primary school located in Trivandrum, Kerala, India. This school lacks the resources to provide the kind of education that would lead to earning power. Gopa noted that of the school's 128 students, 58 live below the poverty level (less than $1 a day).
The students are planning to provide the following items to the India school, for a total cost of $10,000: back bags, umbrellas, uniforms, stationery items and toys. They will also provide the teachers and staff with four laptops and a printer. Gopa expects that the students will raise funds through dodge ball competitions, restaurant partnerships, tailgate event sales, raffle tickets sales, its GoFundMe campaign and sticker/logo sales.
Scottsdale Prep's Interact Club has engaged a half dozen other Scottsdale and Paradise Valley high schools in an effort to supply these resources. The Rotary Club of Scottsdale is assisting with the project and appreciates the effort the students have extended to improve education worldwide. 
Rotarians Learn About Palo Verde's Creative Technology
Rotary Club of Scottsdale members and guests welcomed Bob Bement, EVP and chief nuclear officer Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Facility (APS) to the club's luncheon meeting held at Scottsdale McCormick Ranch Golf Club's Pavilion. The nuclear facility, operated by seven owners, has 2,600 employees is the nation's largest power producer for the past 25 consecutive years.
During his introduction, Rotarian Joe Cusack, stated that Bement, a Buckeye resident, started his career in the U.S. Navy serving aboard submarines as a nuclear-trained electrician. Prior to joining APS in 2007, Bement held nuclear leadership positions with Arkansas Nuclear One, as the site general manager, and Clinton Power Station, as the site vice president.    
During his talk, Bement noted that the 4,000 acre Palo Verde Nuclear Facility is the state's largest tax payer with over $55 million paid in real estate taxes. Per Bement, the nuclear facility has great value through its clean carbon-free energy generation, its reliability and its 24x7 powerful efficiency. Additionally, Bement provided overviews of: the facility's peak period (when people come home from work); the facility's challenges; changing electric bills; increasing battery storage; creative technology used to conserve water resources by using waste water; the facility's cooling towers and their escaping water vapors; and, the facility's plant maintenance and testing cycles.
Also at the meeting, Rotarian Richard (Dick) Hasenpflug was honored for his financial support of Rotary International's Foundation. The Rotary Foundation transforms Rotarian gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world.  During the past 100 years, the Foundation has spent over $3 billion on life-changing sustainable projects.  
Grady Gammage Jr. Addresses Lessons from Sustaining Phoenix
Grady Gammage Jr. spoke to the Rotary Club of Scottsdale members and guests at a luncheon meeting held at Scottsdale's McCormick Ranch Golf Club's Pavilion. While introducing Gammage, Rotarian Jim Bruner noted that Gammage is a part-time academic, practicing lawyer, author, sometime real estate developer and elected official – a man who does many things.
During his talk, Gammage shared highlights from his recent book, “The Future of the Suburban City: Lessons From Sustaining Phoenix.” He shared responses and rebuttals about the following:
Arizona is running out of water: Variability of rainfall makes for sustainability. Most places use what is collected annually. Arizona leads the world in "banking water" during high rainfall and maintains a 12-year banked supply. Arizona uses today the same amount of water it used in 1957. Crops and people are grown in the same place. When agriculture is replaced by population and development, water is saved. Crops use more water than people. The Valley will always have drinking water, Gammage stated. However, it would be wise to cut back on agriculture, landscaping, pools and golf courses.
It's too hot: Cold kills 12 times more people than heat. Arizona is 45th in creation of greenhouse gasses – thereby, contributing less to climate change. It is cheaper, cleaner and less power is used to cool houses and businesses than it takes to heat them.
Cars are a problem: The Valley is 39th in traffic congestion in the U.S. The light rail is being embraced by the public and reduces cars, miles driven, pollution, etc.
The Valley is the poster child for urban sprawl:  The "sun-corridor" (Phoenix to Tucson) actually has a greater population density, to land area, than most other highly populated parts of the U.S.
The Valley has a far more diverse economy than most major U.S. cities.
Since Arizona is not subject to natural disasters, it is a far safer place to locate businesses and people.
At the meeting, members welcomed the club's newest Rotarian, Matthew Graham, District Director at Grand Canyon Council BSA (Boy Scouts of America).   
For more information about Rotary Club of Scottsdale programs, membership and upcoming speakers at meetings, see
Dr. Honora A. Norton