January 22, 2019
Next week’s meeting, Tuesday, January 29, in the Frangipani Room, will feature Erin Predmore, executive director of the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. Erin was appointed to her position last summer. Before then, she was executive director of Monroe County United Ministries. She previously served as executive director of the Family Service Center in Springfield, Illinois. The University of Virginia and University of Georgia graduate is a Certified Fund-Raising Executive.
THIS WEEK’S NEWS
Funds are still available to support Rotary members who plan to attend the April 27 District Conference, which will take place in Clarksville. See Loren for details.
Rotary 5:05 Meetings
You’re invited to join fellow Bloomington Rotary Club members for a casual dinner on January 31 at 5:05 p.m. The location is Nick’s English Hut on Kirkwood Ave.
Child and Maternal Health Update
“It Takes a Village” is the name for the upcoming Rotary resource fair for parents, infants, and toddlers that focuses on child and maternal health. The free event for mothers, infants, and their families, will take place on May 18 at the Warehouse, from 12 to 4 p.m.
Lunch Buddies Program
The third Quarter “Lunch Buddies” continues to be available for Rotary members. More info about this initiative is in your email inbox. Natalie will also have hard-copy info available at upcoming meetings.
Jim Bright introduced our legendary guest this week: Rotary Paul Harris Fellow and Bloomington’s media ‘voice’ for 42 years, Bob Zaltsberg. As editor of the Herald Times for 33 years, Bob is considered by many as the dean of Indiana newspaper editors. As a careful observer and constructive critic, Bob has participated in many state, regional and national organizations. A devoted teacher, he has taught at the IU Media School for the past 5 years. As a local commentator, he has led WFIU’s talk show, “Noon Edition,” for the past 20 years. Upon being introduced, Bob received a standing ovation. An impromptu Happy Dollars donation drive in celebration of his presence raised more than $125!
Bob started by thanking everyone present. “Rotary’s been good to be me, more than I’ve been to Rotary,” he said. His decision to retire from the HT, made in 2017, came out of a recognition that this might be a good time to hand over the reins to someone younger, more connected to emerging trends, style, and even grammar use!
Starting his career as a sports writer in Owen Valley in 1975, Bob remembered using a manual typewriter. So much has changed since then, allowing everyone to think of themselves as ‘journalists.’ The proliferation of platforms and means by which people receive news, however, don’t change the foundations of professional journalism – and the Herald Times continues to be committed to the foundation principles of benefiting those reading the paper and the community that it serves. Recent HT coverage of the tragic house fire that left a child dead (through lack of smoke detectors) and the Home to Suites hotel story last Sunday are a continuing testament of the paper’s value to its community. The HT is as committed as ever to covering City of Bloomington news, activities at the Courthouse, schools, sport teams, health care, the arts and the environment, among many other areas of interest. Over the past few years, the paper has expanded its online, social media and mobile presence. Fewer staff members produce more, including video and podcasts
Four points Bob brought to our attention:
- Bloomington is a special place to be a newspaper editor. It’s smart and progressive with local experts on everything – which can also be vexing at times! With multiple sides to every story, it’s good not to make assumptions – a lesson learned during his first week on the job when he received two opposing letters in response to publishing national news from the New York Times.
- Hugely important stories and issues about the community have been in abundance, such as the PCBs and incinerator issues in the 1980s. Back then, Bloomington was ground zero of this national issue. Time during Bobby Knight’s tenure at IU was of enormous importance to the paper, which benefited from Bob Hammel’s extraordinary journalism. The tragic killing of Korean student Won-Joon Yoon in 1999 by a white supremacist shook the community to its core and led to an ‘extra’ edition of the paper on July 4. Who could forget 9-11, another day the HT decided to produce an ‘extra’ edition.
- Great people have been ever-present in Bob’s journey through the years, including Mable Gunther, whom Bob met when she was in her 80s. A quote from her reads, “You know, honey, truth is a prism that shattered at the top of the world. Nobody ever finds the prism; all anybody ever finds is a shard.” Community leaders such as Charlotte Zietlow and Harmon Baldwin focused on doing the right thing. Bob’s time at the HT covered five IU presidents (“Three were mad at me!”) and four mayors (“Everyone was mad at me!”). Bob Hammel was mentioned again as one of the most extraordinary writers. Others who came and went at the HT included Frank McCloskey (6-term Democratic representative), Chuck Crabb (announcer at Assembly Hall), and so many others!
- Finally, Bob spoke of support. Support for community for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. And the much-needed support for the Herald Times as it continues its valuable work in the community. With the current media changes, the HT’s circulation is down, but readership is up. At such a critical time, the HT needs to be there to celebrate success in the community, cherish and sometimes challenge its values, to keep Bloomington strong, and keep its leaders accountable.
President Loren Snyder presided and Sally Gaskill (birthday girl!) greeted Rotarians and guests.
The pledge and reflection were given by Tim Jessen, who praised Bob Zaltsberg’s courage and read a quote attributed to a fictional 19th century Irish bartender named Mr. Dooley (written in 1893 by Chicago Evening Post journalist Finley Peter Dunne) – “‘The job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” Tim also mentioned how similar the foundational values of being a journalist are to being a Rotarian: causing us to question, discuss, explore points of view, and always seek the truth.
Winston Shindell welcomed and introduced the guests:
- Mary Jensen, guest of Ron Jensen
- Anne Bright, guest of Jim Bright
- Ken Bikoff, guest of Jim Shea
- William Smith, guest of Trent Deckard
- Jane Perry, guest of John Hobson
- Elizabeth Thompson, guest of Jim Bright
- Jan W. Steenblik, guest of Jim Bright
Birthday this week
- Sally Gaskill
- Judy Witt – 30 years!
Thought for the Week from Loren Snyder
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Alain Barker, Reporter
Charlie Osborne, Photographer