Events, News & More


June President’s Message

Posted: 6/6/2021

June, 2021, President’s Message:

The future is looking a little brighter and we have a lot going on.  Specifically, it looks like there is a lot of support for the picnic and we are going to resume out monthly luncheons.  So here is the plan for the summer of 2021:

LUNCHEONS:

The Old Spaghetti Factory is back in the meeting business, and our room is reserved for the second Wednesday of each month (except August) beginning July 14.  The topic of discussion for July, besides meeting and greeting old friends, will be the finalization of the Picnic plans.  We will need to have a head count for the luncheon because we will be limited to 40 souls.  An invite will be sent out in late June, a response is requested in order to determine the number of attendees.  The meals will be the same, 4 entrees with one being a salad, and alcoholic beverages will be self-paid.  The fee for the meeting will have to be increased to $25 to cover the cost.  We were considering doing that before the pandemic because we were beginning to lose money every month, and the lunch is our only regular source of revenue.  The remaining way to avoid a cost increase is to consider less costly meals.

The council meeting was held on April 24, and it seems like we are continuing to not only survive, but thrive.  We have a presenter ready for our November luncheon, and that will be our normal Marine Corps birthday luncheon.

 PICNIC:

An August 21 date for our picnic has been established with a reservation of the picnic grounds at the Port of Camas/Washougal.  We have heard from USMMA and USMA, who are eagerly awaiting to join us.  USCGA has been asked and will let us know later, and we have made contact with a few representatives from USAFA.  Now I have to begin getting commitments from YOU, so that we can get a count of participants from USNA and family members, Midshipmen on leave, Parents Club and other association supporters.  The cost should be in the $10 range, with a yet to be determined family rate.  Please use my email or text to let me know if you will be joining us.

HAPPY HOUR:

The Chapter continues to have its weekly happy hour Zoom meetings at 1800 hours every Wednesday.

Mike Carmichael is in charge of our Zoom subscription, and he asked that all of you are informed of its availability for your individual group needs.  It is a very nice option to have at our disposal, and he will accommodate you if at all possible.

Go Navy,

John Adams ‘69, CDR, USN (Ret)

John and Barbara Adams


May President’s Message

Posted: 5/2/2021

Greetings to everyone.  This has been a fairly eventful month, with the relaxing of outdoor CDC guidelines and indicators that we might be headed in the direction of normalcy.  We had a Zoom Council Meeting in April, and talked a lot about the possibilities and roadblocks associated with resuming our luncheons.  Oregon is one of the few states that is seeing an increase in COVID activity, to the extent that it looks like restrictions to activities might be reimposed in order to control outbreaks.  Janette Sandberg said that it would be a wasted effort to talk to restaurants until after things settle down, and Doug Bomarito said there might be an opportunity to eventually use the Forrester Building at the zoo.  So that is all on the back burner.

PICNIC:

What is not on the back burner is a picnic to re-start our Alumni Association activities.  An August 21 date has been established with a reservation of the picnic grounds at the Port of Camas/Washougal for us to have our much-anticipated picnic.  I am looking for volunteers to help me with the event and its planning.  Within the next two weeks, I will arrange for a Zoom Meeting for those who volunteer and those who are interested.  I’ll get the notice out to the Council and to the distribution list.  Mike Carmichael and Mark Springer have already thrown their hats in, and I am hoping for help from some of those who have assisted with prior picnics.  If there are issues with the date, I need to know soonest.

HAPPY HOUR:

The Chapter continues to have its weekly happy hour Zoom meetings at 1800 hours every Wednesday.  The confusion associated with the renewal of our URL has been resolved, so use the information below to access the meeting.  We are having consistently 10 to 12 participants each week.  We would love to have all of you join in.  There is no driving required and it is a fun time to connect with local alumni.

I’m thinking of using the Happy Hour time on May 12 as the kick-off meeting for the picnic.  It shouldn’t take up the whole time, and it might create some participation from Happy Hour participants.  I created an agenda with issues that need to be addressed and have already gotten suggestions for fulfilling those and adding others.  Thank you to all who are interested.    

The new Happy Hour invitation is below, good until July 7.

The council meeting was held on April 24, and it seems like we are continuing to not only survive, but thrive.  We have a presenter ready for our November luncheon, and that will be our normal Marine Corps birthday luncheon.  By that time, hopefully Oregon will have COVID issues under control.  More on that later.  Existing officers are maintaining their posts, but we will be looking for a change in personnel as we move on.

Mike Carmichael is in charge of our Zoom subscription, and he asked that all of you are informed of its availability for your individual group needs.  It is a very nice option to have at our disposal, and he will accommodate you if at all possible.

Go Navy, Beat them all,

John Adams ‘69, CDR, USN (Ret)


April President’s Message

Posted: 4/4/2021

The main highlight for March was that more and more people are getting vaccinated, and the VA finally announced that it is providing the service to all Vets and their spouses.  I never did get the VA to help me out, but now it’s official.  Businesses are starting to head in the direction of somewhat normal operations, so there are indicators that we are going in the right way even with the warning that there might be a spike in infections if we become more careless.

I got a little guidance from the Happy Hour group, with the consensus being August or September might be the first good opportunity to once again have a luncheon.  We also talked about potential efforts to engage those folks in other parts of Oregon.  A few years ago, a road trip was made to Bend to do an Army-Navy event there, and the year before last, there were simultaneous events at Big Al’s, in Vancouver, in Bend and in Medford (at an Army venue, I believe).

HAPPY HOUR:

The Chapter continues to have its weekly happy hour Zoom meetings at 1800 hours every Wednesday.  We are having consistently 10 to 12 participants each week.  We would love to have all of you join in.  There is no driving required and it is a fun time to connect with local alumni.  Mike had to renew the subscription, so there is a change in the access URL.  He will be sending that out before the event each week, so don’t use one that is more than a couple of weeks old.  We had a little problem the last week of March, but we are beyond that now.  These continue to be enlightening and entertaining events, so I’m encouraging anyone who has the time and the interest to participate.

It is time for our next Council Meeting.  We will address unresolved topics from past meetings, and prepare to address anything new.  Please send matters of concern to the Chapter to me by email as you think of them.  I will prepare an agenda soon and we will likely arrange to meet at our normal, Saturday morning on the 3rd or 4th weekend of April.  More later.

Mike Carmichael is in charge of our Zoom subscription, and he asked that all of you are informed of its availability for your individual group needs.  It is a very nice option to have at our disposal, and he will accommodate you if at all possible.

Go Navy, Beat them all,

John Adams ‘69, CDR, USN (Ret)


March President’s Meeting

Posted: 3/3/2021

Besides the weather, February wasn’t earth shaking, that’s for sure, but there are signs of hope on the horizon.  I still have not been able to schedule a vaccine for Barbara and myself, but there is progress on that front, and it looks like restaurants are opening on a limited basis.  My hope is that most of us will get vaccinated in the near future and that the Spaghetti Factory will be able to accommodate us after that happens.

I’d like a little feedback on scheduling a luncheon.  My thoughts are that if they could put 20 people, appropriately distanced, in our room that we might be able to meet.  It would be wise to ensure that we don’t have more people show than are legally allowed, so we might have to take “reservations.”  And I know I would be hesitant to attend if I was not vaccinated, so I’m assuming you feel much the same way.

We met Jill Richards at the happy hour a few weeks ago, and she filled us in on her family, career, and some plans for the Blue and Gold.  All in all, it looks like the Oregon B&G will be in good hands.  I also sat in on a meeting of the Parent’s Club, enjoyed meeting all of those folks and feel that they are a vibrant, engaged support system for the Mids in (and around) the academy at this time.  USNA is certainly going through some trying times and adjustments regarding the pandemic, feelings of racial and ethnic equality and balance, athletics scheduling and ensuring that Midshipmen get the education and leadership opportunities they deserve.

Once again, coming up in April, it is time for our next Council Meeting.  We will address unresolved topics from past meetings, and prepare to address anything new.  Please send matters of concern to the Chapter to me by email as you think of them.  I will prepare an agenda in March and publish it.  Wouldn’t it be nice if this is our last, Zoom Council meeting for a long time?

Mike Carmichael is in charge of our Zoom subscription, and he asked that all of you are informed of its availability for your individual group needs.  It is a very nice option to have at our disposal, and he will accommodate you if at all possible.

Go Navy, Beat them all,

John Adams ‘69, CDR, USN (Ret)

HAPPY HOUR:

The Chapter continues to have its weekly happy hour Zoom meetings at 1800 hours every Wednesday.  We are having consistently 10 to 12 participants each week.  We would love to have all of you join in.  There is no driving required and it is a fun time to connect with local alumni.


February President’s Message

Posted: 1/31/2021

Well, there weren’t fireworks or an incredible poet laureate, but John Adams has now assumed the role of President (un-elect) of the Oregon and SWW Chapter of the USNA Alumni Association.  I’m honored to give Mike a well-deserved rest, and at some future date the members might choose to elect me and make it official.  We’ll continue to “do our thing” during the pandemic, maintaining our comradery and looking forward to the time when we can resume our monthly luncheons.

Instead of Mike being the new Oregon Blue and Gold Area Coordinator, the Candidate Guidance Office has selected CAPT Jill Richards, who lives in Bend, to assume the role.  The transition from Butch Bewick to Jill is planned to be completed by June, but we know Butch will always be available to assist, as Mike will be to help me.  It is our every intention to maintain the close relationship that has long existed among the B&G, the Parents Club and our Alumni Chapter.  Jill has said she plans to join us at happy hour when she can, so we will welcome her and get to know her.

Coming up in April, it is time for our next Council Meeting.  We will address unresolved topics from past meetings, and prepare to address anything new.  Please send matters of concern to the Chapter to me by email as you think of them.  I will prepare an agenda in March and publish it.  Wouldn’t it be nice if this is our last, Zoom Council meeting for a long time?

Meanwhile, we will be further investigating opportunities to bring people together electronically, at the very least, and we are always actively soliciting ideas to improve or add to the work that we are doing today.  Once again, thank you for being enthusiastic members of the Oregon/SWW Chapter of the USNA Alumni Association.

Additionally, we received notice that the VA is offering COVID vaccines to its members.  I’m sure you know how to contact them if you need to.

Go Navy, Beat them all,

John Adams ‘69, CDR, USN (Ret)

 

And finally, from Mike’s January message:  The Chapter continues to have its weekly happy hour zoom meetings at 1800 hours every Wednesday.  We are having consistently 10 to 12 participants each week.  We would love to have all of you join in.  There is no driving required and it is a fun time to connect with local alumni.  Contact the chapter for login information.


January President’s Message

Posted: 1/10/2021

On behalf of the United States Naval Academy Oregon and SW Washington Chapter I would like to wish all of you a wonderful new year and hope that 2021 far exceeds 2020 (how can it not).

The Chapter continues to have its weekly happy hour zoom meetings at 1800 hours every Wednesday.  We are having consistently 10 to 12 participants each week.  We would love to have all of you join in.  There is no driving required and it is a fun time to connect with local alumni.  Contact the chapter for the invite.

The chapter is beginning a transition in leadership.  John Adams ’69 will be taking my position as chapter president effective 1 February.  I will take his position as vice president, but more importantly will begin a transition to relieve Butch Bewick of his duties as Oregon BGO Area Coordinator.  Butch’s shoes will be hard to fill as he has been such a dynamic force in ensuring Oregon has the highest quality of applicants to the Naval Academy each year.  The Academy Alumni Association leadership often tells me that the relationship between the Chapter, the BGO organization and the Parent’s Club is as strong as they have seen anywhere.  This is in great part due to the efforts of Butch over the many years he served as our area coordinator for the BGO organization.   While we are making this change now, once we start having meetings again, we will confirm it with a vote of the chapter.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the Parent’s Club leadership, both current and future.  They have done a remarkable job and have strengthened both their and our organizations.

Outgoing officers:
Doug DiCola, Treasurer (Justin ’23),
Marie-Louise Vallancey-Martinson, Secretary (Alexandria ’21)
Jeneane Douglas, Social Media Administrator (Cameron ’21)
Kathy Barnes, Past President (Taylor ’20)
Transitioning:
Dawn Brucker, President to Past President (Evan ’21)
Shelley Liscom, VP to President (Kirk ’23)
Jennifer Scypinski , Web master to Secretary & Web Master (Jack ’22)
Remaining in Current Position:
Ilene Wells, Send Out Cards (James ’22)
Incoming:
Barb Rivoli, Treasurer (Jon ’24)
Jen Wiley, Social Media Administrator (Nick ’21)


December President’s Message

Posted: 12/9/2020

Greetings.  Some good news at a time when it is in short supply.  The Oregon SW Washington Chapter of the US Naval Academy Alumni Association (our chapter) has been chosen for the second year in a row and the third in four years) as a Distinguished Chapter.  Of the 100 plus chapters the Board of Trustees selects 4 or 5 chapters each year as deserving of special recognition.  My deepest thanks to all the alumni who support the chapter and its activities.  You should all feel proud that in an area that is not recognized for its military facilities or strong support for the military, we are leaders of the alumni association.

While our only activities these days are weekly virtual happy hours each Wednesday, we are planning our first live in person meeting for April.  We are hoping that the virus situation will allow this to happen safely.  Our speaker is Capt. Don Walsh ’54. Capt. Walsh is an American oceanographer, explorer, and marine policy specialist. He and Jacques Piccard were aboard the bathyscaphe Trieste when it made a record maximum descent into the Challenger Deep on January 23, 1960, the deepest point of the world’s oceans.  We look forward to being able to get together again.  As I did last month, I am attaching below the Zoom invite for our happy hours.  If you get a chance join us some Wednesday.  We are having 6 to 10 participants weekly and have a good time for an hour or so.

On a sadder note, Jerry Rosette, nongrad alumni, ’51, lifelong resident of the Portland area died last weekend at age 91.  He left the Academy, married his late wife Virginia, graduated from U. of Wash. with an engineering degree, served onboard ships during the Korean and early VN War eras, was a long time engineer in the Portland area.  He  was a life member of USNAAA and attended most of our monthly luncheons until about ten years ago when his health started to fail.  He is survived by his three adult children and numerous grandchildren. His internment will be at Willamette National.

We wish you all a very merry and safe Christmas and look forward to a much saner 2021.

Beat Army.

Mike Carmichael CDR USN (ret) ‘69


November President’s Message

Posted: 11/8/2020

Just a short message as there is not a lot of alumni activity these days or in the immediate future.  We are having weekly Zoom happy hours which are drawing from 4 to 10 alumni weekly.  This is a good way to stay connected and have a bit of diversion from the joys of living in 2020.  Please contact the chapter for the invite.  This is a recurring meeting through the end of the year, so it is good for any Wednesday (the happy hour starts at 1800 each Wednesday).  We would love to see you there.  I do send out a weekly reminder to all that have participated in any chapter activity.

The Chapter has a zoom account that is available for use.  We use it for the weekly happy hours, any chapter meetings, Blue/Gold interviews and in the future parent club activities.  If you have the need for a zoom meeting please contact the chapter with time/date and duration.

We currently do not have any zoom meetings planned, but if any of you have ideas, we would appreciate hearing from you.  Like many of you I am pretty much zoomed out, but if there is anything we can do we would appreciate your input.

At our September Chapter meeting we did elect two council members Ron Smith ’72 and Mark Springer’89.

Lastly I would like to recognize and say fair winds and following sea to Ray and Judy Kutch.  They are relocating to Idaho.  Ray was a past president of the chapter and has been instrumental in many initiatives such as expanding the Army/Navy football game to SW Washington as well as finding and arranging for our August Picnic.  We will miss you both.


September President’s Message

Posted: 9/4/2020

We will be having our first Chapter meeting in quite a while this coming Wednesday September 9, 2020 at 1800 via zoom.  The agenda will include election of council members (Ron Smith, ’72 and Mark Springer ’89) as well as a presentation by SGM (Retired) Gavin McIlvenna President, Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS).  Gavin gives a truly inspirational account of the history and traditions associated with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  If I were to chose one activity to attend this year this would be it. We will zoom the meeting.  Do not miss this.  Sign in information will be provided on Monday.

There is another very interesting opportunity.  The Upper Midwest Chapter has been kind enough to open up the following event to all Chapters:

Who:  Admiral Mike Rogers, USN (Retired) Former Director, NSA; Former Director, U. S. Cyber Command
What:  Heartland Leadership Forum

When:  14 September 2020.  The event will be held from 6:45 – 8:15pm CST
Where:  Virtually
Why:  Because this event will now be on Zoom, the Upper Midwest Chapter wanted to extend an invitation to participate to the entire Naval Academy Alumni Association.

Please register at the below link:

https://events.bizzabo.com/HeartlandLeadership2020

NAVY vs BYU football Monday September 7, 2020 at 5pm PDT.  TV channel to be announced.

Lastly, we have  started having a virtual happy hour weekly for folks to be able to get together and chat on what is going on in their and alumni lives.  These are set up for Wednesday at 6pm on all Wednesdays that we do not have a Chapter meeting.  If you want to be on the invite list let me know.(mikec@1969.usna.com)

Please  safe and sane

Mike Carmichael CDR USN (ret) ’69


August President’s Message

Posted: 8/12/2020

Our chapter activities for August, like the past several months, is virtual only.  We do not anticipate any large group activities till probably the end of the year.  With that being said, there are lots of opportunities for alumni to connect and keep abreast of Academy and Chapter activities.  In July we held a virtual council meeting with one of two new members present and all past presidents.  The new members of the Council are Ron Smith, ’72 and Mark Springer ’89.  We will elect them at the Sept 9th meeting.

We would like to encourage everyone to join our Facebook page.  With the lack of meeting we will be using Facebook more and more to communicate happenings and event.  Currently there are two articles of interest on our Facebook page:

An update on the Commissioning of the USS Oregon SSN 793 which is scheduled to occur in the spring/summer of 2021 as well as a picture of the battle flag for the Oregon.  (anyone interested in purchasing a flag for about $50 contact Lenora Bay at lenora@ymail.com

An update on the events leading up to the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  The president of the Society of Guards of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will be giving a virtual presentation to the Chapter on September 9th at 6PM.

The All Academy Challenge, a fundraising challenge event for all 5 academies runs from August 16th thru the 20th.  Once the challenge kicks off online on 16 August, make your gift on the web page here.

Lastly, we will start having a virtual happy hour weekly for folks to be able to get together and chat on what is going on in their and alumni lives.  These will be set up for each Wednesday at 6pm starting August 19th.  The link to join will be sent out later.

While the current situation we are in (as Ray Kutch calls it a “low budget B horror movie”) is far from optimal, it does offer an opportunity for those not in the immediate Portland area to participate in Chapter activities.  We hope you all will take advantage.

Lastly do not miss the Portland Shoebox Derby held Saturday August 15th noon to 5pm.  My plebe year roommate Mike Jones and I have built two subs for the race. One is for the class of 69 and the other for the USS Oregon SSN 793.  The race will stream live at the following:

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0r3G_0nF_PvzqFSyw9MyQ

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PDXsoapboxracer

Stay safe and sane

Mike Carmichael CDR USN (ret) ’69


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