The Flywheel

Program for July 27th

District Governor Stan Smalley

Our new District Governor introduces himself and outlines the goals for the new Rotary year.

 

MEETING OF July 18th, 2007

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Our almost-annual meeting with Berkeley Rotary is always special.  We were greeted by the music of the Berkeley RotoRooter’s Band (the sax player piloted bombers over Germany during WWII), and views of the Bay almost as good as the Mira Vista’s.  When asked to stand, Richmond representation at the meeting exceeded that of Berkeley in this writer’s humble opinion.  We were welcomed by Berkeley President Bob Randall; Cliff Ceridono led the Pledge.  The Berkeley Thought for the Day was obtuse and presented with circumlocution (this is a college town), involving torture, dungeons, mayhem and the Rotary Wheel.    

Rotarians with Guests

Richmond visitors included Jim Young’s guests, his wife Linda and eldest son Zeb.  Glenn Daggs had at least one guest, and there were others, but your scribe missed their names.   

Special Events

Would Richmond have the nerve and verve to sponsor a blue-haired circus performer as an Ambassadorial Scholar?  Berkeley did just that, and we enjoyed a blood-pumping performance by Charlotte Greenblat.  Charlotte is a local student, now attending a rigorous circus school in Brussels.  She provided a well-balanced act of handstands and general acrobatics to music.  She is the first American and English speaking student to be enrolled in the school. Following a great performance she presented the club flag of her co-sponsoring club in Brussels to Prez Randall.

Treasurer David Brown conducted a Paul Harris Fellowship Award presentation to Zeb Young.  Jim of course hasn’t exactly kept it to himself that he has a remarkably capable son.  Zeb recently graduated from McGeorge Law School with honors and has earned a judicial clerking job of the U.S. Ninth Court of Appeals in Las Vegas.  Congratulations Zeb – a young Rotarian in the making; and thank you Jim for the contributions.  

Announcements

Announcements were scarce at this meeting given the full agenda of circus performers and State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, but Jim Young clairvoyantly announced the good news to all Richmondians that “Our Fair City” just (07/17) had its General Obligation Bond Rating increased by Standard & Poor’s from BBB+ to A. 

More good news is that the City’s Joint Powers Financing Authority also had its bond rating increased two levels by Standard & Poor’s from BBB to A-.  John Knox Esq. of Orrick and financial advisor to the City said the city has already saved $600M in fees it would have had to pay on the $100MM Civic Center Renovation Project.  When those bonds are sold the city can expect to save tens of millions in interest costs because of the improved rating which is tangible evidence of the city’s improving financial condition.  Thank you very much Bill Lindsay, Jim Goins, Jim Matzorkis & Squire Knox.

Recognitions

Richmond and Berkeley were recognized for being selected “Best Club” in their respective size divisions at the 5160 District Awards dinner last Saturday.  Congratulations Past and Forgotten Prez George for a great year. 

THE PROGRAM

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer

State Treasurer and veteran politician Bill Lockyer was the speaker for this joint meeting. Bill stated that he is the longest continuously serving member of the California government, having started as an Assemblyman for Oakland and Alameda in 1973.

Bill Lockyer's been in his position since the last election, and previously served for 8 years as Attorney General. Bill commented on the Richmond DNA lab a facility that he is very proud to have had a hand in. When he became AG, one DNA test per year was available for use in the court system. Today, the lab provides results for 17 individuals each day. He is currently focused on structuring the financing of the various bond measures that have been approved by CA voters. The stem cell research bond measure has cleared the last legal challenge and is on his active list for financing.

Bill sees significant growth in CA in the next 20 years, with most of it in Southern California and the Central Valley. The state population is projected to grow from 37-60 million in that time. The Bay Area population will grow from 7-10 million. Infrastructure updates and new housing have become critical needs in the state. In his view, we missed a generation in infrastructure development, and now must make it up. He can be contacted at billlockyer@aol.com; treasurer@ca.gov; or of course through the offices of David Brown.

- Semper Paratus