Clubs Tsunamis topic at local Rotary meeting

The Vermillion Rotarians, Kent Scribner presiding, met for our weekly lunch at the Neuharth Center. Guests today included Cecil Foster, Chris Coons, both doing some job shopping here at USD. From Vermillion High School our guests were Kristin Olson and Melissa Olson. No diversity, South Dakota style, today, as someone quipped. That is, no Olson with an "sen" ending. But diversity, broadly conceived, of a different sort was the theme of our program brought to us today by our fellow Rotarian, Chris Keating. Tsunamis are extremely diverse in their effects, we learned, and it all has to do with how high up and far from an ocean shore you happen to be. And as Chris showed some images of the damage wrought by the recent tsunami generated by an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, many of us were probably counting our blessings for being out, or up, in the middle of nowhere. This is one disaster that we in South Dakota will be spared. Tsunami is the currently preferred term for "tidal wave." Since tsunamis have little to do with tides, the term, "tidal wave" is misleading. But, as Chris pointed out, the Japanese word, "tsunami," would be literally translated as "harbor wave," and, as it happens, tsunamis don't have much to do with harbors, either, though you wouldn't want to be loafing around in a harbor or anywhere else along the ocean shore where a tsunami might hit. Tsunamis aren't exactly waves either. They are more like a wall of water coming in at five inches, or five feet, or 50 feet, or 250 feet above the usual height of the ocean's surface. In the recent tsunami the water wall reached up to 40 feet � high enough to cause much havoc even at a considerable distance (in Sri Lanka, for example) from the origin of that rolling water wall. Tsunamis can be set off by some (but not all, or even many) earthquakes, or by an exploding island volcano (Krakatau set off a huge tsunami), or by a large landslide either in the ocean or adjacent to it. With regard to the latter cause, there is the potential for such a large landslide in the Canary Islands and in the Hawaiian Islands and on the land shelf off the Atlantic shore. Major earthquakes are a possibility all the way off the Pacific Coast into Alaska and the Aleutians. All in all, a dream scenario for Karl Rove. I'm telling all my "blue state" friends to cast an absentee ballot and head inland for the 2008 election.

Local auxiliary hears reports

The regular meeting of the Clay Auxiliary to the Clay Post #3061 met on Feb. 15, with Senior Vice President Delores Gregg presiding. Roll call was taken and recorded. Chaplain Opal Smith gave the opening prayer. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved. Treasurer's report was read and filed to audit. Correspondence was read. Reports were given on membership, Hospice visits, sympathy and get well cards mailed and hospital equipment on loan. The VFW auxiliary members draped the charter in memory of Cleo Kosters and Carol Colwell. Our Americanism Chairperson, Dorothy Lane, requested supplier to be given to our local schools. The meeting adjourned to reopen on March 15.

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