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Minutes 05/14/14 – Panga Boats Off Our Coast

May 19, 2014

Greeters: Tom Heath, Bruce Belfiore

Invocation: Gillian Amery

Flag Salute: Susan Klein-Rothschild

Raffle: Chris Baxter – Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Bag

Sergeant at arms: David Vo

Visiting Rotarians:  None

Guests of Rotarians: Autusa Pardisi – Outbound foreign exchange student, heading to Italy. Lida Pardisi (mother), Kian Pardisi (brother)


  • Tom Heath – Camp Whittier work day this Saturday, May 17th starting at 8 am. Sign-up sheet will be passed around or email Tom to sign up.
  • Pat Hardy – The Dental Clinic will be Friday, May 16th. Sign-up sheet will be passed around.
  • Gary Jensen – Fiddlers Update: The Foundation Board approved bringing in the Goleta Art Association as a vendor for this year’s festival. They will share some of the cost of renting out the Stow House. Their artists will set up booths at the Festival to display/sell their art and Sunrise hopes this will increase attendance for the Festival.
  • Don Bennett – Last call for Polio Plus donations. Total donations from Sunrise members is slightly below $10,000, so please donate if you haven’t already and let’s get our total over $10,000!
  • Scott Burns/David Velarde – Need to start planning for President Betsy’s stepdown. Contact David Velarde or Bill Abel if interested in participating.
  • Getting To Know You with Gillian Amery: What was your best/least favorite subject in high school or college? Her least favorite subject was Latin. Her favorite was Art. She actually wanted to be a physical therapist but her art teacher convinced her to go to Art College instead.
  • Judith McCaffrey: What is your favorite restaurant in SB and favorite food? Her favorite food is Italian but her favorite restaurant is The Sojourner where she likes the crispy tofu w/ onions. She has lunch at the Sojourner once a month with Karen Kawaguchi.
  • Next Week’s Duties:

Greeters – Sandy Grasso-Boyd & Claude Saks
Flag Salute – Karen Kawaguchi
Invocation – Ken Beisser
Raffle – Kimberly Horn
Sgt At Arms – Bill Ringer

  •  Pay and Tell
  • Raffle – raised $82, won by Ted Deck. This is getting suspicious…..

Program: Jesse Aizenstat – “Panga Boats Off Our Coast”

  • Jesse is a journalist and documentarian. He wrote a book called “Surfing in the Middle East” about surfing from Israel to Lebanon. He hosts and produces documentaries for MSNBC and
  • He wanted to find a way to teach our youth how to care about political issues and events going on around the World.
  • He became inspired to do his 1st documentary called “Baja Smugglers” about the panga boats that smuggle drugs and immigrants from Mexico to CA. Documentary can be viewed for free on youtube.
  • Panga boats are typically, 15-25 feet long with an outboard engine capable of traveling 45 mph.
  • The boats are usually used for one-way trips. They drill holes and sink them upon reaching their destination.
  • 205 boats were reported in 2013 but the actual number of boats is unknown since most are not caught. It’s tough to detect since they are small boats sitting low to the water and not always picked up by radar.
  • Jesse and documentary team drove down to Mexico to investigate the panga boats from the Mexico viewpoint.
  • Went to the beach at the border and found just a small fence that extended out to the water. Surprised by the lack of deterrents, obstacles, and law enforcement presence.
  • Visited a fishing village where many of the local fishermen are forced into working for the drug cartels to smuggle drugs and immigrants over the Border.
  • Jesse was able to interview a drug smuggler who had learned English in a US prison. Told him they grow the drugs there and transport them by boat to the US.
One Comment leave one →
  1. September 14, 2014 11:46 AM

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