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Rotary reflections - September 2012

October 10, 2012
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

The Westfield/Mayville Rotary Club recently heard about the experiences of a musical physician, water quality and government mandates imposed on schools.

Bangladesh and music

Robert S. Northrup, M.D., a Westfield Academy and Central School graduate and son of Westfield's late Dr. Robert R. Northrup - who was also the club's song leader - talked about his service to the children of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. Robert S. Northrup was part of a team that developed an oral method for treating cholera and other diarrhea diseases, which saves more than two million children annually from death due to diarrhea today.

Article Photos

Submitted photo
Dr. Robert S. Northrup, left, told of his experiences in Bangladesh which led to the saving of more than two million children annually from death due to diarrhea. He was introduced by his sister, Rotarian Betsy Northrup of Westfield, right.

In Washington, D.C., he also worked with developing countries to improve their health and health-care systems. He lived and worked in Okinawa, Japan and in Indonesia. In the U.S., he taught health care at the University of Alabama, Brown University and Johns Hopkins University.

In addition, Dr. Northrup kept up with his interest in music and took courses in jazz, piano and arranging at West Virginia University. A Rotarian for many years, he will be an official song leader for his Rotary. He recently moved to Ann Arbor, Mich., to be near his two children. Each year, he resides in Chautauqua Institution during its nine-week season. He was introduced by his sister, Rotarian Betsy Northrup, who lives in Westfield and is also musically inclined, accompanying the local singing on the piano.

Chautauqua water quality

Adjunct physics SUNY Fredonia instructor and retired Fredonia Central School science teacher Lee Servatius is now commissioner of the Chautauqua County Lake Erie Management Commission. Introduced by club member Doug Richmond, he talked about the quality of water in the county.

The county Water Quality Task Force member described the current watershed, which is a place where water gathers and then moves to a larger location. The commission's mission deals with water identification, priorities and recommendations.

Public school mandates

Former Westfield/Mayville Rotary president and current president-elect Ben Spitzer, Chautauqua Lake Central School superintendent, described "school mandates," what government "says we must do or else." Mandates, he added, are not exclusive to schools. Included are food, cars, construction, health care and so on.

Some of those mandates include child abuse reporting, deliberators, course offerings, special education, academic intervention services, safety net for children not eligible for special education and on and on. Spitzer referred to a list of mandates, which started with a few and, as the years have gone by, now total more than 100.



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