GRSP’s Purves introduces herself, her culture to the club

GRSP student Kirsty Purves, with slideshow in the background, shared her experience so far  in America and her native Scotland.

GRSP student Kirsty Purves, with slideshow in the background, shared her experience so far in America and about her native Scotland.

As is the tradition of the Georgia Rotary Student Program, each fall the GRSP student partially sponsored by our club presents a program introducing him/herself to the club and in the spring, before heading back to the home country, sums up the year-long experience.

This year’s student is Kirsty Purves from Edinburgh, Scotland, who shared bits of her culture and differences she’s already discovered since she came to the United States.

Already, milkshakes have become her favorite food, she likes fried chicken, doesn’t like grits, was shocked at sweet tea – really, iced tea in general. At home, tea is a hot drink, soccer is football and religion is a background movement.

“I’ve never been to church,” she told the club Sept. 20. “Until I came her it was never really talked about.”

While Kirsty admits she’s not a big fan of traditional Sottish food, such as the famous combination of haggis (a pudding made with sheep organs), neeps (turnip-like root vegetable) and tatties (mashed potatoes), she still loves her home. Her two heroes are J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, and Sir William Wallace, better known to most Americans as the lead character in the movie “Braveheart,” about the 13th century knight who fought for Scottish independence.

Still, the differences Kirsty has already discovered between here and her homeland are significant – guns, lack of public transportation and politics.

“Guns are illegal in Scotland,” she said. “The only time I’ve seen a gun is when I went to the U.S. Embassy to get my Visa.”

Kirsty has been surprised by the lack of public transportation and equally surprised by the current presidential race.

“So many people I’ve talked to about politics tell me they have no idea how the two people running for president became the final choices.”

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Rittenbaum: Quality-of-life strides being made concerning CF

Scot Rittenbaum

Scot Rittenbaum

Through a deliberate effort to raise money to fund its own research and development efforts to come up with a cure, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is making great strides in improving the quality of life of young people diagnosed with the genetic disease, said Scott Rittenbaum, executive director of the foundation’s Georgia chapter, who visited the club Sept. 12.

And our club will make help by participating in the Great Strides Walk to raise money for the cause.

“There are only about 30,000 people in the nation who have CF,” Rittenbaum said. “That makes it especially hard to find pharmaceutical companies willing to spend the money for R&D on a disease with a relatively low demand.”

Rittenbaum said “cooperation and collaboration is better than competition,” nothing that the CF Foundation has raised millions to reach out and attract the best and the brightest to research the disease.

“Are we a special interest group? Sure! We want to have the best care for the ones we love,” he added.

Efforts are paying off. Rittenbaum said there are more clinical trials under way this year alone compared to all other years combined. The statistics take on a personal note when they impact your own 31-year-old child.

“My daughter floated down the aisle in March to get married,” he said. “Your support has allowed her to fulfill a special dream.”

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Hiett: Rural public transit a necessary transition

Robert Hiett

Robert Hiett

The poor, the elderly and believe it or not – millennials – all have something in common – a need for public transportation, Robert Hiett, director of the Government Services Division of the Three Rivers Regional Commission told club members last week.

Later that same day, the Carroll County Board of Commissioners approved a plan for Carroll County, the only county in the region that does not have a rural public transit plan.

Hiett  noted that counties that do not provide options will have a recruiting problem for workers down the road.

“Fifty percent of the millennial generation is willing to move to places where public transportation is an option,” he said.  “Add to that an aging population and you can see the need for public transit.”

Hiett pointed out he wasn’t talking about a MARTA-like system, but a ride sharing that likely would encompass the use of vans.

“Two of the biggest uses will be getting people to work and seniors getting to medical services,” he said. “Having this service also allows for more opportunity for seniors to retire in place.”

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Hall ready to repeat run with different outcome

UWG Wolves head football coach Will Hall speaks to the club.

UWG Wolves head football coach Will Hall speaks to the club.

Physical and mental toughness, plus a strong belief in the Golden Rule, are tenets Coach Will Hall demands of his University of West Georgia Wolves. These expectations took the team to a historic finish last year, just shy of claiming a Division II national championship. And he personally takes the blame for the Wolves not bringing back the trophy.

“Attitude is everything,” said Hall. “Where I’ve fallen short as a leader is expecting it to happen organically. I think that was wrong. There are behaviors to teach and these behaviors should reinforce our culture.”

Hall is doing just that by making sure his players learn specifically how they need to be and making sure coaches and upperclassmen model the behavior. He also is using the military playbook as a guide.

“I lead through the unit leaders, developing a combat mode of competition,” said Hall, who shared his philosophy with the club Aug. 30.

As for this season, UWG is ranked No. 2 in the polls and so far is 1-0 on the season after last Saturday’s double-digit victory over Cawtaba.

“We’re deeper and more talented than we’ve ever been,” said Hall. And with a more deliberate focus on expectations, the Wolves are in a great position to repeat last year’s historic run with a different outcome.

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Kesler pumped about leading the Central Lions

Central's head football coach, Larry Kesler.

Central’s head football coach, Larry Kesler.

A second new head football coach visited the club last week when Larry Kesler came to talk about his new role as head coach of the Central Lions.

“I can’t tell you how happy I am to be here,” said Kesler. “I’m not inheriting a bad job. I’ve inherited a program that is well established.”

Kessler, like Carrollton Trojans new head coach Sean Calhoun, is a first-year head coach and is seizing the opportunity with gusto. He talked with excitement about all the improvements on the field for the Lions, from new turf to an expanded field house to a renovated concession stand. The booster club is officially out of debt and fundraising is going strong.

“Do you know we sold $13,000 in Vidalia onions last spring?” He still speaks of the fundraiser with astonishment.

The biggest challenge Kesler says he faces is a young team and a tough region. There are only two starters who have had any varsity playing time, and with Central moving up in classification to AAAA in Region 5, there’s no time to waste.

“This region is the SEC of high school football,” he said. “But we expect to be competitive in every contest. Our philosophy is to follow the process of dominance, much like Coach (Nick) Saban at Alabama utilizes. Treat every play like it has a life of its own.”

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District 6900 Governor visits club

DG-raymondRotary District 6900 Governor Raymond Ray visited our club last week and shared housekeeping tidbits about the upcoming Rotary International Convention to be held in Atlanta next summer, but his primary focus was on the Rotary Foundation and the great good that is happening around the world because of Rotarian support of the charitable organization, including the eradication of polio expected very soon.

He also commended our local club and others in 6900, making it one of the top 10 Rotary districts in the world.


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Carroll’s Chief Tax Appraiser sets the record straight

IMG_3434Renee Parmer, chief tax appraiser with the Carroll County Appraisal Department, gave a candid overview of the county-wide reassessment currently underway at last week’s club meeting, “this is the first mass appraisal of residential and agricultural properties in the county since 1999.”

There are ~53,000 tax parcels in the county and the appeals process has had just over 770 applications to date.  Last year, teams of field appraisers from the Carroll County Appraisal Department in conjunction with a private contractor, GMASS, started door-to-door property reviews. Their work is now complete and assessments were mailed on July 18th.

Mrs. Parmer outlined the appeals process and encouraged anyone who feels their appraisal is in error to bring their documentation to the College Street Annex auditorium.


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