Rotary Club of Honolulu Sunset Weekly newsletter

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 President's Message

Aloha my fellow members,
Hope everything is going well. This long holiday weekend I am traveling to Russia. Even though it's quite a long journey because it would take about 3 days to get to my destination city - Moscow, I am quite excited to visit my home country and see my family and friends. As you know, traveling is always an opportunity to meet new people and make connections, especially in Rotary. So, I hope to attend a meeting of one of the local Rotary clubs in Moscow. Stay tuned for an update on this! 
I will be continuing to host our weekly club meetings on Zoom. However,  next Thursday night, I need to attend a "Tree Planting" project Zoom meeting. That's why our President Elect Arjun will be taking over and hosting the club meeting on Zoom instead of me. (I still hope to join but a bit later around 7 pm). 
Stay safe & healthy! See you on Thursday night!
Ary Radnaeva
2020 - 2021 President of the RCHS


As the number of COVID-19 cases in Hawaii is increasing, the RCHS, following City and County of Honolulu mandates and guidelines, is offering only virtual Zoom meetings in September. We are committed to ensuring the health and well-being of our members, guests and the community.
Please join us for our weekly meeting on September 10th. This meeting will be only on Zoom! Our usual informal happy (half) hour begins at 6:00 pm, and the bell rings at 6:30 pm to formally start the meeting. 

Our speaker is Katie Taladay, Program Manager for STEMWorks, who will talk about Facilitating the STEM Edcuation to Workforce Pipeline in Hawaii. 

 STEMworks is a statewide 501(C)(3) STEM education initiative of the Maui Economic Development Board. Originally branded as Woment in Technology in 1999, STEMworks has impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of students across the state. In this presentation, Katie Taladay, the Program Manager of STEMworks, will share about a few of the core STEMworks programs including professional development for teachers, STEMworks' curriculum, the STEMworks Lending Library, the Annual STEM Conference, career readiness training, paid internship opportunities, and monthly led industry challenges. Katie will highlight how the program has responded to COVID-19 and opportunities for Rotary Club members to get involved through volunteering their time or donations to specific programs. For more information, visit

Katie Taladay loves all things STEM. She has a BA in Cultural Anthropology specializing in human rights and development, an MS in Marine Geology and Geophysics focused on marine energy and mineral resources, and she is currently is working on a PhD in Geography in GIS/Remote Sensing and Machine Learning. Katie was previously a Geospatial analyst on contract for NOAA's Office for Coastal Management, before joining the STEMworks team as their Program Manager in February 2020. She regularly participates in science challenges and hackathons herself includingConservation X Challenges, and currently she is a participant in the EMER-GEN program

To join the meeting via Zoom, please follow this link:

Meeting ID: 865 8869 6909

Passcode: 1995

Dial by your location: +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma).

Last Week's MEETING - September 3

Last week's speakers were Caroline Kunitake & Younghee Overly who are actively involved in the work of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Honolulu Branch. They told us  about AAUW’s mission and work.
Younghee explained that AAUW was originally started to give scholarships to encourage girls to go to college. It has now expanded to provide grants, fund research, and to do advocacy. Last year, for example, it gave $120 million in grants to students from 140 countries. It funds research into the question of why so few women are in science and technology. AAUW works to improve Hawaii state laws on gender equity, especially focusing on Title IX, which protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance.  This year, it is hosting candidate fora, panel discussions, webinars (all virtual for the time being), and doing op-eds.
Caroline told us about some of the programs of AAUW, including Wahine Work Smart, which is a salary negotiation workshop. It is a reality that women are not paid the same as men. This workshop helps women to balance that field. AAUW also holds book discussion groups, discussing books related to its mission. Another program is Girls Talk Back, which helps teenagers explore issues and pursue community projects. It gives scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students, and it has grants available to working women in any field.
AAUW is a private foundation. It does not need to do fundraising.

Member Spotlight

Samir El Swaify writes: 

My Motherland is Egypt. I was born in Port-Said at the northern end of the Suez Canal, grew up in Alexandria; then known as the Pearl of the Mediterranean. No wonder I have opted for Hawaii a locus for my professional career! After completing my Ph.D. (in Soil Science with a Water Science/Irrigation option) from the University of California at Davis and a Post-Doctoral year on basic research at U.C. Riverside; I accepted a faculty position in the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1965. After 40 years of rewarding service which included sabbatical leaves in Australia, India, Egypt and Switzerland; several high value awards for competitive International Extramural Grants (most famously from USAID to partner with Iraqi universities after the 2003 invasion); leading the founding of a new department at UH (Natural Resources and Environmental Management, with an interdisciplinary scientific and educational mission); forming a new global scientific/professional society (International Soil Conservation Organization in which I still serve as Coordinator of the Board of Directors), receiving the first Distinguished Researcher award by my college (CTAHR) in 20004 , receiving an excellence recognition from Gamma-Sigma-Delta, the Honor Society of Agriculture, election as Fellow by Soil and Water Conservation Society and the American Society of Agronomy, and an Honorary Lifetime Membership by the World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (WASWAC);  I “formally” retired in 2005. I hosted several international conferences of these societies and others in Hawaii. Perhaps the most satisfying achievements were to publish widely on fundamental soil attributes, behavior and overarching management issues, especially land degradation and conservation in tropical environments. The outcome: 5 books including the first dealing with soil erosion in the tropics, 150 scientific papers and book chapters; and guiding about 20 students, mostly from Asia and the Pacific region, to successfully complete their M.S. and PhD degrees. Many have assumed leadership positions in their home countries. I must credit Hawaii as a wonderful place, offering great opportunities for natural scientists who wish to capitalize on greatly diverse ecological settings lying within close proximity of one another.

I earned my U.S. Citizenship in 1971, was introduced to Rotary by UH colleague Charles Weems in 1998, and have served the RCH Sunset as Foundation Chair (2001-2002) , Club Service Director (2003-2004), President when my team earned Club of the Year title for large clubs (2006-2007) and most recently as Vocational Director last year. I credit fellow Rotarian Liz Kane as a highly, well versed Rotarian who preceded me as Club President, of being a wonderful mentor on my Board of Directors. She easily earned that year’s Thorn-in-My-Side Award for the first and last time in our club’s history. As an extension of my professional interest, I led a number of outdoor community service projects focusing on water quality, environmental enhancement and natural resource conservation; most famously to the UH Lyon Arboretum; and have joined both WASRAG and ESRAG action groups. With support from our wonderful club, I have secured a Global Grant to partner with the Rotary Club of Limbe for  protecting water resources in Malamulo, Malawi.

My wife, Charlene and I have 3 children, 9 grandchildren and 4 great-granddaughters. Shortly, we hope to celebrate our sixtieth wedding anniversary.


Reese Liggett from the Rotary Club of Honolulu told us about the D5000 Centennial Park project, at Seaside and Aloha, in Waikiki.

The project is nearing the completion of Phase One, with work days on September 18, 19, and 26. The primary work day will be on September 18, to plant about 150 shrubs in 3-gallon containers; begin planting about 1500 pothos ground-cover plants.

  • There are 40 four-hour slots each day (20 slots in morning and 20 slots in afternoon) and 
  • we will be working in four separate sections of the park with six-foot social spacing in masks that volunteers bring with them.  Start times for each section are staggered so as to prevent crowds at beginning of each shift 
  • No catering is planned.  
  • Volunteers are asked to bring their own water flasks and there will be an ice-water supply for replenishment. 
  • Volunteers are asked to bring work gloves and spades, hand troughs, and landscaper’s spades.  And pick-axes for the last inch or so for shrubs😊

To sign up, email Reese at wliggett@twc.comIt will be great to have a cross-section of D5000 Rotarians from different clubs take part in this phase of park construction (a permitted activity).

RCHS BOARD Secretary position is Open!

A club secretary is an important role and it helps to  run the club smoothly and effectively. The secretary also monitors club trends to help identify strengths and areas for improvement, and share this information with club leaders.


  • Maintain membership records - update club membership data

  • Record attendance at meetings and events 

  • Maintain minutes of club, board, and committee meetings.

  • Make required reports to RI.

  • Perform any other duties that usually pertain to the office of secretary.

We need you to continue to run our club successfully! Please reach out to our Club Trainer Beth at for more detailed information.

President Ary Radnaeva

Thought of the Week

“Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.”  


Upcoming Events
RCHS Meeting w/ Nainoa Mau(Friends of the Library)
Waikiki yacht club
Sep 17, 2020
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
RCHS Meeting w/ "Edible Landscapes"
Sep 24, 2020
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Bill tobin
Waikiki yacht club
Oct 01, 2020
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
RCHS Meeting w/ Nate Gyotoku (Junior Achievement)
Oct 08, 2020
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
View entire list
Executives & Directors
Immediate Past President
President Elect
Club Service Director
Community Service Director
International Service Director
Vocational Service Director
Youth Service Director
Foundation Giving Chair
Membership Chair
Club Trainer
Public Image
Sergeant at Arms
Social Media Director
Past District Governor
Past District Governor
Rotary International
Rotary.Org Home Page
Rotary Leader
Rotary Voices
Impactful Service
Learning And Reference Center
Membership - Join Us
The Rotary Foundation
Foundation Giving
Big West Rotary
Big West Rotary - Zone 26/27
Zone Institute
District 5000
D5000 Website
District Conference
Club Information
Honolulu Sunset
Thursdays at 6:30 PM
Waikiki Yacht Club
1599 Ala Moana Blvd.,
Honolulu, HI 96814
United States of America
Venue Map
in August
Join Date
Daniel Murariu
September 1, 2011
9 years
Elizabeth Kane
September 5, 1996
24 years
Arjun Aryal
September 13, 2018
2 years
Samir El-Swaify
September 24, 1998
22 years
Jonathan Okabe
October 5, 2001
19 years
Christel Yount
October 24, 2002
18 years


Pfizer COVID19 Vaccine Trials here in Honolulu.
The East-West Medical Research Institute in Honolulu, HI is recruiting more volunteers for the Pfizer mRNA Vaccine Trial.  
Volunteers need to meet an exposure risk factors (which means that they cannot be totally isolated from all people on a permanent basis). 
For more details, check out the link:
The Pfizer mRNA vaccine trial may only be conducted for another two weeks. 
If you wish to enroll or have questions about the Pfizer mRNA vaccine trial,  please email Ronald G. Ruhaak at His phone number is (808) 440 4426. 
Feel free to share this information with your networks.
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