August 11, 2015 Meeting Recap

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President Larry called the meeting to order and introduced Visiting Fig Garden Rotarian Norma Forbes. Linda introduced friend and Visiting Fresno Club Rotarian Lee Ann Eager. Laurel introduced Interacters Dhillon, Cameron and Sarah; Jerry introduced husband Chester; Julian introduced downtown blogger Christopher Rocha and Jackie introduced lifelong friend Kelly Jean Good, a school counselor visiting from Stafford, Virginia.

President Larry noted board meeting last evening and process being followed to set goals, with seven months to accomplish them, and thanked the committee and project chairs.

PAUL HARRIS QUOTE: Patsy shared this week’s quote: “Let us destroy the foes to understanding. The three generals in command of the destructive forces are Suspicion, Jealousy and Fear. Let us stimulate and encourage the constructive forces and place in their command the three greatest generals the world has ever known: Faith, Love and Courage.” from message to 1927 Rotary International Convention in Ostend, Belgium


Laurel expressed thanks to all those who gave her support through her dad’s Alzheimer’s and passing, and noted she will again participate in the September 12 walk to support Educators Erasing Alzheimers. She invited everyone to participate or donate, and circulated form. She said they are increasingly closer to cure.

Terrance reminded us this is the last week to drop off books for the Big Book Sale for Friends of the Library on August 20-23 at Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis

Larry noted our exchange student will be attending the Jr. Company Players Foundation fundraiser Wednesday evening


Sally introduced Craig Scharton, longtime ambassador and advocate for downtown and owner of Peeve’s Public House on the Fulton Mall.

Craig gave an update on the project to reopen the Fulton Mall to traffic, noting bids went out about three weeks ago; there is a full process with bid closing in 3-5 weeks; about 30-35 attended the bidders conference; and it is hoped for groundbreaking in about mid December of this year. He said all art will be removed, restored, and replaced within a one block area, with the exception of one piece at the stadium entrance. He said there will be more sidewalk than street, with two way traffic and sidewalks at fourteen feet on one side and twenty eight feet on the other side of the street. He said that configuration is referred to as Complete Streets and offer a variety of ways for people to move about. He responded a number of questions, noting traffic will be two lane two way. He added there were 189 pedestrian malls constructed in the country; 175 have been removed and every one of those spaces have been revitalized; and talked about the future uses. There are planned farmers markets for Thursday evenings and every Sunday morning, and his greatest quote was “The first thing they will do after they open the street is to close it.” That will be for the farmers market.

Craig talked about NEA and multiple agency grants applied for to acquire a new piece of art at the old clock tower site at Fulton and Mariposa malls. He said the four steps to compartmentalize revitalization of the space are:

1. the City gets the planning, code, infrastructure and traffic design and flow in place

2. investors in downtown come forward (both public and private)

3 investors get tenants (private)

4. once businesses are in, convince everyone to come downtown

He said the process is still in step one. Responding to question, Craig said there is some relationship to the high speed rail in that there is coordination through a High Speed Rail Master Plan.

Larry thanked Craig and presented him with one of Will Portis’ wonderful cups


Need volunteers to help set up on that day

Craig said he will donate Silent Auction items if someone will come to Peeve’s to pick them up. We’ll take you up on that. Thanks, Craig

Robert called for more restaurants


Elva attended the Latino Club and someone (besides herself) bragged about the ONLY Cultural Arts Rotary Club in the World

Richard 3 for visiting his kids in Chicago and Kansas, and for Chester graduating from Kansas

Marcy for National Council for the Arts visiting cities of board members, and they will be here at Arte on September 20 in afternoon. She urged everyone to attend and give input

Jackie 2 for friend Becky, and having Kelly Jean visit

Becky signed for being with us after a harrowing experience encountering intruders in the dead of night at her old house where she is packing up things to move. She’s so glad to be here, rather than a statistic, and said this is her incentive to get moved out and sell the house. We are SO glad for this outcome, Becky.

So thankful that Becky and all of us can serve together through the ONLY Cultural Arts Rotary Club in the World!

Jacqueline L. Ryle
Cultural Arts Rotary of Fresno