Next week: we are DARK on Feb. 5, due to Charter Night on Friday evening, Feb. 6. Hope to see everyone at Charter Night!

President John Cottle opened our meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Thought for the Day: It’s important to know that the best days are always yet to come.

Visiting Rotarians: Rex and Barb Reed from Spokane, who are visiting Mendocino while kicking off their retirement. Today’s speaker: Ukiah Rotarian and President of the Mendocino-Lake Community College District, Arturo Reyes. Also in attendance was our guest Barbara Rice, who is on College of the Redwoods Board.

Visiting Rotarian and speaker Arturo Reyes, and guest Barbara Rice.

Visiting Rotarian and speaker Arturo Reyes, and guest Barbara Rice.

Visiting Rotarians Barb and Rex Reed, from Spokane, WA.

Visiting Rotarians Barb and Rex Reed, from Spokane, WA.


Happy Dollars:

Happy John Porter.

Happy John Porter.


  • John P is happy to report that he got half his stitches out today, and the next half will come out next week. Yay!
  • Kira is happy to be going on vacation next week.
  • Donna is happy the crab feed was a success with Interact helping with service, and she’s also happy for today being such a nice, sunny day.
  • Kathleen is happy for the life of Lou Morton (parachute pilot), and GO SEAHAWKS!

    Kathleen shares her happy thoughts.

    Kathleen shares her happy thoughts.

  • Dean is really glad to be over the flu!
  • Gary: GO PATRIOTS!
  • Cornelia share happy dollars on behalf of Lindsay S., who is going on vacation for almost a month next week.
  • Rex (our visiting Rotarian) is glad to be out of snow and cold of Spokane, and happy to say he’s been retired for 29 days today! Congratulations!!
  • John C is happy to report that he had a great vacation in Mexico.

    1-29 Donna-r

    Donna shares her Happy Dollars.

Sunshine Report

  • Wilma is doing better every day, hopes to join us in early Feb.
  • Joe is still recovering as well, and they’ll be at Charter night
  • Jerry’s surgery was successful, but now he’s come down with a bug… no visitors yet!


Prez John kicks off the new Club Policy to bring back a present from an out-of-country trip.

Prez John kicks off the new Club Policy to bring back a present from an out-of-country trip.

Prez John announced a New Club Policy: when any Club member travels out of the country, he/she is obligated to bring back a gift of value $25 or more to share with Rotary or donate to an event raffle. To demonstrate this new policy, John C showed us the beautiful bottle of tequila he brought back from his vacation to Mexico. He is donating the tequila to the Casino Night raffle, coming up on March 7.

Charter Night: This terrific event is coming up on Friday, Feb. 6; send your RSVP and meal choice to Jody by email by the end of the day Monday, Feb. 2!  You don’t want to miss this year’s entertainment, a comedian from the SF Comedy Club.  Attendees will pay at the door — the cost is $35/person.

We will be DARK next Thursday, Feb. 5, due to Charter night Friday Feb. 6.

Raffle prizes for Casino Night should go to Pete Rose — every Rotarian should donate one raffle prize of value $25 or more.

The next regular Club Board meeting will be Monday, Feb. 9, at noon at the Mendocino Hotel. All are welcome; please bring $10 to cover the cost of lunch.

Dean will order new magnetic name badges – Erich, Heather and Jeffry raised their hands as being in need of a new badge. New magnetic Rotary pins will be ordered as well.

Today’s Program
Jody introduced our speaker Arturo Reyes, President of the Mendocino-Lake Community College District (aka Mendocino College). Jody is an alumnus of Mendocino College, class of 2004!  Before Mr. Reyes took the podium, Jody served as finemaster, and while paying for a lot of wrong answers we learned the following:

  • Mendocino College (MC) was established 42 years ago, in 1973.
  • 5300 students attend Mendocino College and its various extensions.
  • MC has 4 extensions, and they are: Ukiah, Covelo, Willits, and Fort Bragg/Coast.
  • MC gives out $8million in financial aid every year.
  • MC employs 450 people at all its extensions.
  • MC has teams for several sports, 5 of which are volleyball, softball, football, soccer, and women’s golf.
  • Each year, 180 students transfer from MC to another school.
  • Arturo Reyes has been president of MC for 2 years.
MC President, Arturo Reyes.

MC President, Arturo Reyes.

Mr. Reyes told us a bit about his background: he attended Sacramento State, majoring in communication studies and Spanish. Then got a teaching credential, and taught ESL and Spanish and coached in the Vacaville school district for 14 years. Then he became a faculty member at Cosumnes College. He held many progressively responsible positions throughout the state before he came to Mendocino College.

MC’s role is to serve as an intellectual, economic and cultural anchor for the region. They recently decided to take on the Fort Bragg/Coast campus (formerly College of the Redwoods). Mr. Reyes gave credit to MC Trustee Barbara Rice for her pivotal role in this acquisition. MC’s accreditation was recently reaffirmed.

MC has experienced declining enrollments in recent years.

MC has experienced declining enrollments in recent years.

MC enrollments have been declining in recent years, so they’ve been doing lots of work to recruit more students and increase awareness about the college. If declining enrollments continue, funding will become an increasingly challenging problem. Taking on the Fort Bragg campus will help boost enrollments. Mr Reyes is also aiming to increase enrollments among Latinos.

The age of the student population is trending younger. The ethnicity of the student population is becoming more diverse. MC’s course retention and success rates are very high: 92% of students who start a semester finish it; 73.6% of students pass with a grade of A, B or C. These numbers are very high amongst community colleges.

Mr. Reyes wants his legacy to be that he’s helped create a college-going culture in this region, within every community in the District and every family. He’s created new viticulture and small farm programs to reflect the educational needs within the community.

In Fort Bragg, they are teaching at the college campus and also at the high school and continuation school. Mr. Reyes believes that teaching needs to take place where the learning is needed. They will offer a class to every 9th grader to expose them to the idea of college and how to get there.


  • Adults can take classes without needing to find their old transcripts.
  • Mr. Reyes likes President Obama’s recommendation to make community colleges free. Community colleges were originally intended to be free.
  • Community colleges are measured/rated by their transfer rates, which is an unrealistic measure of success given that many of the students never intend to transfer, but just want to enrich their lives and advance their careers at the local level.
  • There is also legislation that dictates that students cannot repeat classes (such as ceramics, painting, etc.) more than 5 or so times. So local students who have “repeated out” of such classes with the College of the Redwoods can now start again fresh with Mendocino College.
  • Matt is taking a real estate course at the college now, and really appreciates the opportunity. He asked Mr Reyes to talk about the solar field. There are a number of panels out there and they will owe on it for 8 years, then it will generate financial benefits to MC. They also have a sustainable housing program.

    Matt shares his appreciation for MC.

    Matt shares his appreciation for MC.

  • MC can be very responsive to requests for specific courses, providing an instructor and coordination of the course. Just let them know what you’re interested in.
  • MC may be going through a re-districting process that will hopefully include the coastal communities, effective July 1, 2018.
  • Mr. Reyes was encouraged to refer to the Fort Bragg location as the “Coast Campus.”

    1-29 Ray Alarcon-r

    Rotarian Ray Alarcon.





Today’s Raffle drawing: our guest Barb Reed drew the joker and won $26!