Club Information
Welcome to Boise Rotary
Service Above Self
We meet Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Historic Hoff Building, Crystal Ballroom
802 W Bannock St.
Boise, ID  83702
United States
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Todd Fischer:  Photos  Cheryl Godbout:  Editor

President Ron called the meeting to order

Rich Demarest gave the invocation


Visitors and Guests
President-Elect Dirk Manley introduced two visiting Rotarians:
              Clovis Johnson, Rotary of Nampa
              Jim Lewis, Rotary or Moorpark, CA


Kevin Allen reminded the group that the Tree Project would be out at Hidden Lakes Reserve this Saturday, April 14th, at 1:00 pm.  They will meet in the parking lot.
Karen Lansing provided an update on the Century Scholars dinner event that took place earlier this week.  It was a great evening, honoring the top 100 graduating students and their selected teachers.  The list of honorees was published in a special insert of the Idaho Statesman on Tuesday, April 10th.  A highlight of the event was President Ron presenting a Century Scholar award to his son, Jack, who was among the recipients.  Special thanks to Bea Black, who has chaired this event for ten years!  Karen also expressed thanks also to Phil and Bobbi Brubaker, Gary Gunther, Diane Boothe, Judge Deborah Bail, and President Ron.
President-Elect Dirk Manley encouraged everyone to sell their District Conference raffle tickets.  50% of proceeds goes to Rotary International, 25% to Rotary Youth Exchange, and 25% to our club.  The top prize is a $4,500 travel voucher, which will be awarded to the winning ticket holder AND the Rotary member who sold the winning ticket.
Todd Fischer reported that RYLA applications are open for another month.  There are still five spots open for this youth leadership camp.  See website for more information and to get the application.
Jim Lewis, visiting Rotarian, informed the group that, while he is from California, he has no plans to move to Boise…yet.   In the meantime, Jim is on the Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee.  Anyone who would like to support or get involved with this effort should contact Jim directly, or Clovis Johnson of Nampa Rotary.
Todd Fischer announced a World Service meeting next Thursday at 11:30 am, before the regular Rotary meeting.  Anyone interested should attend.
Phil Brubaker led the group in “Grandfather’s Clock”, dedicated to his own grandfather.  Maestro Jerry Schroeder provided rousing accompaniment on the piano.  At the conclusion President Ron suggested that song not be in the repertoire going forward.
HAPPY DOLLARS – lots of happy, and maybe competitive, attendees:
Paul Schmidt donated a self-imposed fine because he has already printed member sign-in sheets for the next several meetings without new member Brianne McCoy listed, so she will need to write herself in for a little while.
Vern Gentry donated in sympathy to Shelley Eichmann because she had to wait until Wednesday after the NCAA Championship to read about Villanova’s victory in the Idaho Statesman
James Slover is happy for 35 years of membership in Rotary, which he believes has made him a better person.  President Ron spoke for the group, saying Rotary is better for James’s participation.
Tim Bower is happy for 30 years of marriage… to the same woman.  And 33 years of friendship with his father-in-law, who was sitting with him at the table.
Ken Howe donated in honor of visiting Rotarian Jim Lewis, a polio survivor, and his work to eradicate polio.  He gave a brief update on polio cases worldwide.
Jim Lewis matched Ken Howe’s donation and ‘raised him a buck’.  He is heading back to India for another polio outreach trip in the near future.
Visiting Rotarian Clovis Johnson matched Jim Lewis’s donation and further ‘raised him a buck’, saying he has known many polio survivors and is happy for Rotary’s efforts and success in battling it.
President Ron demonstrated that his son Jack is not the only mathematician in the family and reported the number of polio vaccines funded by today’s happiness.
Our Speaker
Dwight Pond introduced our speaker, Steve Scranton, CFA.  Steve is Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer & Economist at Washington Trust Bank.  He has served as Economist for 38 years and visits us from Spokane.
Steve discussed the state of the national and local economy, stressing the importance of separating politics from economics.  In 2017 the US economy grew 2.3%, and he expects closer to 3% growth in 2018.  The midterm elections are this year but their impact will not be felt until 2019.  The economy is growing well and should continue to do so until there is a catalyst to change it.  The Northwest economy is stronger than the national average.  Boise is particularly strong with only 3.1% unemployment versus the national rate of 4.1%.  Although we are likely past the peak of job growth nationally we continue to increase jobs at a steady pace.
Global growth is also strong as evidenced by positive economic trends in all 35 OECD nations last year.  The US will benefit from $300+ billion in stimulus in 2018:  $200 billion from the tax cuts and another $100 billion in increased government spending. 
One concern, however, is the high level of debt, both for government and consumers.  Steve is more concerned about the level of consumer debt because the consumer cannot print money to pay it.  As interest rates rise the cost of this debt will increase.  Consumers who have to pay more in interest have less to spend on other things.  Government interest expense will also increase, limiting what they can spend elsewhere. 
A second concern is the possibility of a trade war, which Steve pointed out “no one wins”.   He cited the Smoot-Hawley Tariff in 1930 as an example.  Tariffs are not all bad, Steve explained, but they are essentially a tax on the consumer who buys the product.
Steve discussed Boise’s positive growth trend as millennials flee high cost cities.  Companies may leave their headquarters in larger west coast cities but move support divisions to Boise to take advantage of lower cost office space, bringing employees here.  This trend has caused a decline in Boise’s housing affordability but it is still better than the national average.
In summary, Steve predicts that 2018 will be ‘a good year with lots of noise’.   He cautioned that we should be prepared in case of a downturn at some point, however.   Because, in his words, “Winter is coming.”


Thank you to Molly Guenther for taking this week's notes!
Upcoming Events    
 Serving Dinner at River of Life the first Thursday of every month.   6:45 to 7:30 


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Architecture in Boise
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May 24, 2018
Rotary Youth Exchange
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Russell Hampton
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