Archive for the ‘Letter from President’ Category

2020 Fall Letter

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

Summer is behind us and soon, Monsoon season will officially end in the Sonoran Desert.  You say, “what Monsoon?” It has been a dry summer, and historically hot. On top of the heat, we’ve had the personal challenges of COVID and wildfire in the Catalinas with local evacuation warnings.  For our winter Tucsonans who spend their summers in the Pacific Northwest, the wildfires in that part of the US have been life changing for some.  But the fall of 2020 is rapidly approaching.  With the change in seasons comes cooler weather, and in the Pacific Northwest, generally wetter weather. For us at TGDA, we are about four months away from the scheduled start of the 2021 Great Decisions discussions

Our topics this year are:

Topic 1: The Role of International Organizations in a Global Pandemic
Topic2: Global Supply Chains and National Security
Topic 3: China and Africa 
Topic 4: Korean Peninsula  
Topic 5: Persian Gulf Security 
Topic 6: Brexit and the European Union 
Topic 7: The Fight Over the Melting Arctic 
Topic 8: The End of Globalization?

These are great topics and engaging with them will be valuable to all of us, but our 2021 Great Decisions discussions must be vastly different from prior years because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The Board of Tucson Great Decisions Association (TGDA) recognizes the danger the virus poses for our discussion participants and is planning to support Great Decisions discussions using online meetings. I personally used this medium for my summer discussion groups and the participant feedback was particularly good.

With Zoom, it does not matter where you are, or your concern about being in a group setting.  It provides a means for sharing the topic video, any presentation materials and individual participation in a discussion with a larger group.  Access to a discussion can be on phone, smartphone, tablet or computer.  It only requires that you have a voice connection to Zoom

We need your help in preparing for the season.  Your discussion group moderator will be asking you for your plans for the season and they will need that so that we can know how many books to order. We order our briefing books in bulk to qualify for a volume discount that allows us to reduce the cost to you and pay our operating costs.  While we can order additional books after our initial order, we are not able to return books that we have already bought. So, please respond to any request for information about your 2021 Great Decisions plans.

On another note, our fall event will be a webinar. The topic will be Wicked Water Problems: Scarcity, Sharing and Sustainability with our speaker Sharon B. Megdal on October 23rd. The cost per person to register will be $10 and registrants will be able to join the webinar from anywhere. For more information, check the website Registration for the webinar will open September 24th and close October 20th.  Be sure to follow the registration instructions carefully since invitations to the webinar will be generated from the received registrations.

Your personal comments are invited using the contact tab on or by email to

Dick Kelbaugh
Tucson Great Decisions Association