Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Mike & Patty Louiso of the Williamsburg Rotary Club and a man named Father Hank. They shared about their trip to Romania last year in hopes of encouraging us to partner with them in their work with an orphanage for children with disabilities. Father Hank is a past president of the Bellefontaine Ohio Rotary Club.

The travel in Romania is extremely difficult, especially as you get out in the countryside. They worked with a Rotary club in a city called Targoviste. Romania was under communism from 1947 to 1990 which depleted the country's resources. Many people don't have jobs now that the communists are no longer in control and many struggle to truly think for themselves. Therefore the economy is really suffering. Romania has joined the European Union and should begin using the Euro in 2012.

The orphanage is a well-staffed facility with are high quality of care. A Rotary club provided a new heating system for them a few years ago. The living conditions are very simple. The Bellfontaine Rotary Club installed a commercial stove as well as a commercial laundry room.

$25, 265 is the total cost of the proposed project to paint and insulate the facility. The Targoviste Rotary Club has pledged $1500. Williamsburg is hoping to give $8000 with the help of their partners. The district will match $8000 and the Rotary Foundation will also match $8000.

Next week we will celebrate our students of the month from Batavia and CNE.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Neil Leist, Superintendent of Clermont Northeastern Schools

Over the past few years CNE has been recognized for making some “common sense” moves and Neil was invited to appear on the Bill Cunningham show. He was also interviewed by Fox and Friends in New York. Neil also wrote a book about their moves and he shared a few humorous stories from the book. CNE has formed many partnerships through joining the chamber, hosting a chamber-like event and building relationships with the FBI and other organizations who often donate valuable tangible items the district cannot afford to purchase.

Neil shared how their high school has recently been rated excellent and the elementary has been rated excellent for 5 years in a row. The chamber also awarded CNE as an innovative business award.

Next week we will hear from Dan Rolfus who will speak on doing business in Russia

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we toured Arch Materials in Batavia, Ohio.This was a truly amazing tour of their limestone mine which began nearly 2 years ago. It was dug at a rate of about 15-20 feet per day and now has about 5200 feet of roadway. As we approached the mine, we saw what appeared to be 2 entrances which our guide explained were identical tunnels. One tunnel was for truck travel and the other for their beltway to carry out the crushed rock. Every 500 feet the tunnels are connected by crosscuts so equipment can be repaired.
Upon entering the mine, we saw walls which had been fenced and “shockcreted” (a special mixture of concrete) by Sardinia Concrete to ensure no erosion takes place or loose pieces fall on people. Few companies were willing to begin this shockcrete project due to the risk. This procedure was done in various places throughout the mine.

The area was chosen for the quality of limestone it could produce. Limestone in this mine comes from what's called the “Camp Nelson Vein” which indicates the particular layer in which the rock resides. The mining equipment follows the layer of shale stone above the Camp Nelson Vein and the shale then acts as the roof. Six foot bolts, fencing and shockcrete are again used in various places to help maintain the integrity of the walls and ceilings. They dig the entire 25 acre mine in a checker board pattern leaving 40' by 40' pillars to ensure ceiling stability. After about 20 years of digging, it will be possible for them to dig down another 100' and start the whole digging process again. They could possibly go down as far as a third level. So it's likely this site could provide jobs and product for a total of over 70 years.

What's concern number one? Ventilation! While it's certainly important to breath, the ventilation is primarily to help dust, diesel and other fumes to escape the mine. Huge fans are placed in the beltway tunnel to evacuate these substances. Every so often we saw small passage doors and large garage doors installed to help maintain the air pressure. Large front loaders, dump trucks and crushing machines were impressive to see in these dark caverns. Occasionally, an area would be lit up and we also got an up close view of the crushing machine where the dump truck pours it's huge load to be broken up and sent up the beltway. Safety is a huge concern and as we exited the mine, there were even green reflectors to help us know we were heading in the right direction.

The company also places a high priority on being a good member of the community. They take such measures as recycling their water supply, requiring vehicles to wash before getting on the road and blasting in small sections so as to not disturb their neighbors. As you approach the facility, the frontage and signage looks clean and neat like any standard company. Arch prides themselves in making every customer from small pickups to large dump trucks feel like they are the most important customer. What's impressive is they do not charge a minimum price for a load. You simply pay for what you need.

Next week we will hear from Neil Leist of Clermont Northeastern Schools.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Sean Spurlock who is a senior at Miami Valley Christian Academy.

He shared a 10 minute speech on the constitution which he will be using to compete in an American Legion competition. This Sunday he will be competing in round 2 and after his speech will have to give an impromptu 3-5 minute speech on 1 of 4 amendments. Sean did a great job answering several challenging questions after his talk. This was truly an impressive speech.

Next week we will be touring Arch Materials.