Rotation Day

This week is Rotation Day, otherwise known as Rotary Career Day. If you signed up to join fellow Rotarians onsite at one of our amazing locations, we look forward to seeing you there!*

(*Don't go to the JCC!)

Rotation Day Special




June 14 - Sarah Burgamy, PhoenixRISE - Alphabet Soup: Understanding Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
June 21 - Julie Comerford, CU Assistant Professor in Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences: Song of the Universe: Surprising Supermassive Black Holes
June 28 - Mel Tucker, New CU Head Football Coach- Buffs Football Outlook

Are You Ready to Read?

BRC's Book Club is to read and discuss books that explore subjects that relate to Rotary's areas of focus and Rotary's values.

The next meeting of the Boulder Rotary Book Club is scheduled for Monday, July 8 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Lenna Kottke has graciously offered to host and has selected It's Better Than It Looks, by Gregg Easterbrook, as the book.

Lenna's address is: 1067 Ravenwood Road, Boulder

As always we will have some happy hour snacks and liquid refreshments. Questions? Contact co-chairs Sue Deans,, or Darla Schueth,

Read more about It's Better Than It Looks by clicking HERE.


Paul Harris Fellowship Matching Donation Program

The Ted Manning Memorial Match is back for the 11th year.  Michael Weatherwax is again honoring Ted Manning by continuing the Paul Harris Fellowship Matching Donation that Ted and Michael started 11 years ago.

Do you want to become a Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) by making a total donation of $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation (TRF), then May 17 to June 15 is the time to do it.  If you make a contribution of $500 to TRF, Michael will match your donation with another $500 to get you to your PHF.  If you have previously donated some amount less than $1,000 to TRF, you donate half of the difference and Michael will donate the other half and you become a PHF.

If you are already a PHF ($1,000 total donations) to a PHF+7 ($8,000 total donations), you donate one-half of what it takes to get to the next PHF level and Michael will donate the other half.  PHF+8 is the top level.  If you are already a PHF-8 or a Major Donor, you donate $500 minimum and Michael will match what you donate.  Matches are limited to $1,000 per donor.

Michael will be out of the Country from May 20 to June 6, 2019, so TK Smith will assist you in making your donations and getting the supporting paperwork to Michael for his match. 


Time to SMILE!

Rotarians are great multi-taskers! You can shop and contribute to the Boulder Rotary Club Foundation every time you buy something from Amazon (and it does not cost you anything.)

For example, you can spruce up your garden with this awesome Godzilla vs the Garden Gnomes statue and Amazon (through the Amazon Foundation) will contribute .5% of the purchase price to the Boulder Rotary Foundation.

How do you make it happen? When you want to buy something from Amazon, you can go to   and it will ask you what charity you want the donation to go to. You can enter "Boulder Rotary Club Foundation."

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice.

Looking for a New Volunteering Opportunity?

Cultivate (F.K.A. Boulder County CareConnect) is a non-profit dedicated to helping seniors flourish.  Their programs include grocery shopping for seniors, taking vets to doctor's appointments, handyman and simple home repairs, snow shoveling, yard work, and more.  You can learn more about Cultivate at or by contacting Jon Jonis (  




June 5 - Grant Hickman
June 6 - Brian Vickers
June 7 - Cassidy Murphy
June 8 - Hony Tarrall

Your birthday is a great time to share the joy by supporting the BRC Scholarship Program by making a gift of $1 for every one of your years, or more, during the month of your birthday. Put Birthday Scholarships on the memo line of your check and mail to Boulder Rotary Club Foundation, 2995 Baseline Road, Suite 310, Boulder, CO 80303-2318.

Member Introductions

Linda Davidson

Cynda Collins Arsenault introduced her friend, Linda Davidson, to the club on Friday.
Linda moved with her family quite a bit when she was a child - IBM moved their family whenever there was a need for them. By the time Linda was about to graduate high school, her parents were ready to move again (though not for IBM) to an undeveloped Caribbean island with no phones and no TV. Linda decided she wasn't interested in that and with $15 in her pocket, she followed a friend to Boulder.

She dived into Boulder and won a full scholarship to CU. Linda got her BA in Psychology and Elementary Education and went on to teach school at Bixby School before changing careers to real estate.
For over forty years, Linda has put her education in psychology to use in her profession as she listens intently, teaches patience and builds relationships. Linda now works with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services specializing in residential sales and investment properties all along the Front Range.
Linda’s been married since 1986, and has two children and four step-children. Linda has six grandchildren. Growing up, her children were all active in all school sports- football, basketball, baseball and lacrosse.

Linda's son Mike died in 2010. Linda and Cynda met in a group that supports people whose children have died and have since been fast friends. 

Linda’s biggest passion is to travel. Linda’s now been on every continent except Antarctica and in every state in the U.S. So far, she counts Greece as her favorite country. Linda would love to do more travel and hopes for opportunities for helping people in other countries. Cynda shared that Linda has tons of "genergy" that is- generosity and energy! Let's all welcome Linda as a new Boulder Rotary Club member!

Stephanie Rudy

Sue Deans introduced her long time friend and new Boulder Rotary Club member, Stephanie Rudy, to the club on Friday. 

Stephanie and her family moved many times when she was young for her parent's commitment to A&P. Eventually, they ended up in Richmond, Virginia where Stephanie went to high school and West Hampton College.

Stephanie and her husband Alan, retired and came to Boulder from Houston in 1997.  She spent most of her career in Houston, Texas, in Human Resources in banking and as Director of Personnel for the City of Houston.

Since coming to Boulder she has been on the Board of the Colorado Music Festival, works as a volunteer for TRU Community Care, served on the Board of Open Studios, chaired the Conference on World Affairs, served on the Advisory Board of the CU Opera program (she fulfilled a bucket wish by being in four CU operas- mute parts, of course), serves on the Advisor Board of the Jaipur Literature Festival, was a founding member of the Conversation Project, served on the Board of the Dairy Arts Center, served on the programming committee of the Boedecker Cinema (where she writes a weekly Boe Blast Newsletter), is a Victim Advocate with the Boulder Police Department, and pulls weeds at Columbia Cemetery.

Stephanie and Alan have fifteen grandchildren and three great grandchildren! Stephanie's favorite things are her family and friends, the Broncos, laughing, living in a city without a society column in the newspaper, reading, cooking, politics, chocolate, guests, jewelry, traveling with her sister, film (especially at the Boe), art, opera and Christmas.

Sue said Stephanie is a person with so many ideas, you can't keep track of them and Sue's delighted Stephanie decided to join Boulder Rotary. Thanks for joining Boulder Rotary Club Stephanie!

Any comments may be sent to the Boulder Rotary Club administrator at:


John O'Loughlin, CU Geography Professor - Should We Fear Russia?


John O’Loughlin, Professor of Geography at the University of Colorado, spoke to Boulder Rotary Club on Friday about Russia. Professor O’Loughlin has been researching, visiting and writing about the political geography of the post-Soviet Union for his entire career. He’s particularly interested in Russian geopolitics, Eurasian de facto-states, ethno-territorial nationalisms and post-conflict societies. He teaches undergraduate classes in Political Geography, Geographies of Global Change and the Geography of the former Soviet Union. He teaches graduate classes in Political Geography and Nationalism.
The title of Professor O’Loughlin’s presentation was, “Should We Fear Russia?” He started by challenging the premise and asking instead, “Should we fear Putin?” Or, as he put it, “Should ye fear Putin?”
Why “Putin” instead of “Russia”? Professor O’Loughlin pointed out that you cannot fear a country, it is the ruling regime or the leader. In this instance, the leader is President Vladimir Putin. Professor O’Loughlin examined the question from Vladimir Putin’s point of view and he offered nine propositions to challenge the usual narrative.
Vladimir Putin believes in a NIMBY philosophy. (NIMBY -Not In My Back Yard) Much of Putin’s policies and actions address not world affairs, or the United States’ affairs but what Russians call the “near abroad.” The near abroad is much of Eastern Europe and the countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union.
In the West, Russia seems to have an air of mystery. Winston Churchill described Russia as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” However, Professor O’Loughlin said that Russians are like anyone else in the world. They value economic security, they value family. They do also have a growing negative opinion about the United States. It’s changed dramatically over the last fifteen years.
Over a tightly paced twenty five minute program, Professor O’Loughlin gave nine propositions to illustrate why he believes Russia is not as strong as you might think and President Vladimir Putin knows they are not as strong as the West and he also knows that Russia is only equal to the West in one regard – in its nuclear arsenal.
Proposition One: Russia is far weaker than the US and its allies (NATO & EU) and Putin knows it

Some figures support this proposition. Overall, Russia’s military spending is only about 1/20th that of the NATO countries and Russia has focused it’s strongest military assets (aside from it’s nuclear arsenal) in its Western, NATO facing regions.

Russia is also now a fairly small economy. It is the 12th largest in the world but is only about 1/10th that of the economy of the United States. Personal income, ranked around 70th of 200 countries of the world, Russia looks like a “middle income” country. It’s also an oil economy. Oil makes up about 30% of the gross domestic product of the Russian economy and about 60% of its exports. For Putin, his popularity rests significantly on the price of oil. If a barrel of oil increases in cost, Putin’s economy benefits as does his popularity.

Proposition Two: Putin runs a corrupt and powerful “Sistema” in Russia but he must be careful
Vladimir Putin runs what is often referred to as a “bureaucratic authoritarian regime.” Professor O’Loughlin said that the regime is not as repressive as some authoritarian regimes and it relies on a small number of very rich individuals, the oligarchs, with whom he has a bargain. The oligarchs have access to state resources such as oil and their companies can contract with the government of Russia to make lots of money, they support Vladimir Putin and they agree to stay out of politics.  If the oligarchs don’t stay out of politics they get kicked out of the country or they meet a “mysterious” end.
The bargain has worked for Vladimir Putin so far but it could be upset if the right set of circumstances (or proper plotting by the oligarchs) arose.
Proposition Three: Putin or Yeltsin- Russians remember the chaotic, immiserating 1990s
After the fall of the Soviet Union, in the 1990’s, Russian citizens’ lives were difficult- poverty, lack of basic necessities, and the collapse of their society under Yeltsin- and they remember that time. Russian citizens turned to Putin to “shape things up” according to Professor O’Loughlin, “and he did.”

Putin ended the conflict in the North Caucasus, he ended the Chechen rebellion and he “restored order.”
Professor O’Loughlin pointed out that Russians rank “democracy” very low on their list of government priorities. (see graph) This ranking priority hasn’t changed since 1990, when Putin came to power. Stability is number one on their list and as remained there for decades. With “stability” as their main goal, Russians have not cared as much about things like civil liberties.
Putin’s popularity rating has always been above 50%- it’s now at about 66% buy has been as high as 81% immediately after the Ukraine crisis.
Proposition Four: Putin is a “realist” in the international relations sense and despises a US dominated world and wants a multilateral one instead of a “unipolar” world

Putin is a realist. One of Putin’s long running assertions is that America is attempting to institute a unipolar world and he’s against that outcome.
Putin has a weaker country than the United States so to combat the United States’ push toward unipolarism, Russia must find an ally. Increasingly, that ally is China according to Professor O’Loughlin.
Therefore, China and Russia are making more economic ties, doing more joint military exercises and more cooperation in Central Asia. That is not to say that Russians trust China across the board. Russians fear China will try to establish themselves in Siberia, for example.
Most of Putin’s ire is directed at the U.S. military bases in Eastern Europe but he is also interested in creating headaches for the United States in places like Venezuela and Cuba. Putin has also made more significant commitments to the Assad regime and in Iran which are taken more seriously both internally and on the world stage.
Putin asserts that Russia should be taken seriously as a world power. In the 1990’s, it was not taken seriously and Russia suffered for it. Putin takes great pains to make sure Russians know he is working to make Russia a serious power.
Proposition Five: Putin cares most about the countries closest to Russia- especially Ukraine and Georgia (& Kazakhstan)

Vladimir Putin keeps a close eye on countries closest to Russia, especially Ukraine, Georgia and to some extent, Kazakhstan.
In each, there are large Russian populations and large numbers of Russian speakers. In the Ukraine, more than half the population speaks Russian as their first language.
The concern of “encirclement” or threats at the borders has long been part of Russia’s foreign policy. Winston Churchill described it as did George Kennan writing in 1946. (see slide)
Proposition Six: Putin remembers broken Western promises about NATO expansion

Immediately before the Soviet Union fell, Vladimir Putin was a KGB agent in Dresden in East Germany. He was on the ground for all of the radical change that happened when the Soviet Union ended.
Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union’s leader at the time, had agreed that East and West Germany could unify and that the members of the Warsaw Pact could make their own decisions going forward. At the time, Gorbachev was assured by NATO leaders from France, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States that NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) would not expand “one inch eastward.” As you can see from the map, those assurances were not honored.
Going back to Putin’s deep seeded concern with border security and Russian legitimacy, the broken promises of the NATO leaders feeds the belief that the U.S. and European countries are trying to hem in Russian power.  
Proposition Seven: Putin, like the West, deploys “hybrid” weapons to promote Russia’s interest
This idea, of “hybrid” weapons has come up most recently in the charge of Russian interference in the U.S. Presidential election two years ago. Primarily through the use of monetary influence, social media manipulation and digital hacking methods.
Professor O’Loughlin said that Putin and Russia learned how to do this method of interference from the West. In the 1990’s, pro-democracy, pro-western groups like the National Democratic Institute came in a flood to Russia to try and build democratic society in Russia.
Putin saw this effort by the United States and other pro-democratic groups as trying to actively undermine his credibility, and his control. Putin pushed back against this effort strenuously, enacting laws against “foreign agents” among other policies. This effort included not allowing polling firms.
Putin also struck outwards- if the West was going to actively attempt to interfere in Russia by promoting their own goals, Putin would interfere in their affairs.
These actions also affect how Russians perceive the United States. This year, the United States is number one on the list of countries Russians perceive as their enemy.
Proposition Eight: Local powers and interests can act to complicate Russia-West arrangements
This is another “neighborhood” issue. Again, two key bordering countries, Georgia and Ukraine have asked to join both NATO and the European Union. (“EU”)
Some EU countries’ leaders do not want either Georgia or Ukraine to join either NATO or the EU because, as Professor O’Loughlin puts it, “they’ll bring their headaches with them.”
Both Ukraine and Georgia have major separatist movements within their countries and Ukraine has active war areas around the separatist strongholds. Russia has sent troops into both countries to support Russian interests. This leaves both Georgia and Ukraine unstable and their governments reaching out to NATO and the EU to find some stability perhaps. However, the EU and NATO want countries to be stable before they join.
Proposition Nine: Current stability is not certain to continue- “break a regime: chaos ensues”
Professor O’Loughlin asks, “who do you want to be in charge of Russia’s nuclear arsenal?” Putin, despite all of his issues, is a force for stability. His term as President will end in five years. It is the second of two terms as President. What happens after?
There are several ways his transition from power could happen; he could gracefully retire leaving his successor to lead; he could rule from behind the scenes, he could find a way to get a third ten year term. However the transition happens, the rest of the world will want a stable Russian government.
Professor O’Loughlin hopes that NATO and Russia will find a way to co-exist. Any escalation of the games of chicken that they play on the borders could lead to greater instability. Ultimately, it is to everyone’s benefit to find the middle way that allows Russia to remain stable.
If you want to find out more about Professor John O’Loughlin, you can see his University of Colorado faculty page by clicking HERE.
If you missed Friday’s meeting, you can still watch Professor O’Loughlin’s presentation by clicking HERE.
And you can watch the rest of Friday’s meeting, including Marty Coffin Evan’s tribute to Boulder Rotarians we lost this year, by clicking HERE.
You can catch up with previous meetings and speakers by clicking on the TV icon below.


Looking to attend a satellite meeting or curious about what social events are going on? Check out our events page to get all the details.



The Yellow Submarine is your place to submit announcements and club happening for the RIB.

Click the submarine, fill out the form as completely as possible, and your submission will be included. All submissions must be in by midnight on Saturday for inclusion in the following Tuesday's edition.


Click the mic, fill out the form, and let the program committee know about the ideas you have for upcoming BRC programs.
Meetings on Fridays at noon
Boulder JCC
6007 Oreg Ave., Boulder

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The Cyber RIB is the official journal of activities for the Rotary Club of Boulder, Colorado U.S.A., chartered on April 1, 1919 as the 455th Rotary Club in the world. The RIB is edited by Cassidy Murphy and Chad Stamm and sends current club information to members and interested parties. Heartfelt thanks to our late distinguished editors Bob Bradfield and Ted Manning, as well as Ron Secrist, Laura Smith, Diana Sherry, and Sue Deans.
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