Spoke Newsletter – January 4th, 2024


LYNNE PATALANO, daughter of our own SHIRLEY HARRY, is a member of “Results” which describes itself as a movement of passionate, committed everyday people that use their voices to influence political decisions that will bring an end to poverty. Using in-depth research and legislative expertise, RESULTS seeks to use their voices to change the world. More information is available on their website, https://results.org.


RAYMOND MOREHOUSE with Inherit the Earth Outreach (IEO) spoke about his non-profit ministry to those stuck living chaotic lives in Redlands. He said that he prefers not to label these people as “homeless” because that places the emphasis on what he sees as only one part of the problem, their lack of shelter and other material needs. He observed that the state has invested $5 billion, or about $42,000 per person, on shelter and physical needs and yet has not seen a decrease but rather an increase in the problem. IEO believes that there is also a moral and spiritual component to the problem. In addition to providing for material needs, IEO also focuses on helping people in crisis by building relationships with them and encouraging them to live virtuous lives with God’s help. IEO is funded through private donations. More information is available on their website, https://www.ieoutreach.com.


WEN CHEN was born in China at the end of the Great Cultural Revolution (Revolution) initiated by Mao Zedong to preserve Chinese communism by purging capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society. The Revolution was characterized by violence and chaos across Chinese society with death estimates as high as two million.

Despite being discouraged from seeking education, WEN won a national prize at a science competition at the age of 16 and then attended a top university. She came to the U.S. in 1994 and received her Ph.D. in Biology from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Because of her personal experience in China, she decided to become a voice for the voiceless. She has worked for Caltech since 2000 conducting scientific outreach by speaking at conferences and seminars at universities. Since 2012, she has also given hundreds of presentations to community organizations.

She is an active member of Amnesty International, focusing on human rights in China, and serves as a board member and community liaison for Caltech Women in Biology and Biological Engineering. More information is available on her blog: https://wenchenview.blogspot.com/


Ever wonder about the origin of New Year’s resolutions? According to my extremely limited “research”, New Year’s resolutions can be traced back as far as 2000 B.C. in ancient Babylon. The Babylonians celebrated the New Year with a 12-day festival that included starting their farming season, crowning their king, and making promises to pay their debts. One of the most common promises, or resolutions, was
to return borrowed farm equipment.

According to one survey taken in October 2023, here are American’s top New Year’s resolutions for 2024. Do any of these match yours?

  1. Save more money
  2. Exercise more
  3. Eat healthier
  4. Spend more time with family and friends
  5. Lose weight
  6. Reduce living expenses (food, energy, etc.)
  7. Reduce time on social media
  8. Reduce stress on the job


Happy 2024! I hope everyone had a fun time ringing in the new year. We’ve got quite a bit to look forward to in this second half of the Rotary year, so I look forward to your help, attendance, and support! My apologies for missing today’s meeting, but I am currently teaching about 700 graduate students how to use GIS for urban land planning and economic redevelopment. We’ll file that away as “other duties as assigned.” I look forward to rejoining you next week, finally over my cold and with no more work events during Thursday afternoons (for a few months, anyway). Cheers.

Editor – Bob Tincher – Edition No. 26, January 4, 2024