NEXT MEETING: November 30, 2012

Update on the August 6th fire at Chevron Refinery

Our own Heather Kulp describes that dramatic August afternoon from the vantage point of the refinery offices.

What was the feeling of employees within the plant?

What was learned, and by whom?

And what steps are being taken to avoid this kind of incident in the future?

MEETING OF November 16, 2012


Jan Brown led us in the pledge today, and Stoney asked the club for a moment of silence for “Peace and freedom on Earth”. Henry Kelman commented on the stock market.

Rotarians with Guests

  • Mark Howe brought his daughter to lunch today who was on break from college at Boulder, where it is now legal to smoke marijuana – should I be worried?
  • Mr. Adiago, a friend of Sid’s, was visiting today.

Sunshine Report

Erle Brown, who was still out after his back surgery but doing well, asked us to remember the Crab Feed. The popular event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2nd.  Tickets are $40 in advance. Download the flyer and ticket order form. Questions? Contact Erle or Henry Moe.


  • The Club is Dark this Friday. Don’t show up unless you want to eat a bag lunch in your car.
  • The always fantastic Heather Kulp will be our speaker the week after Thanksgiving.
  • The Holiday Auction is upon us. As of this writing, 32 members remain on the slacker side of the ledger.  Take a few minutes right now to make your donation by going to our Auction page. There you’ll find a handy link near the top of the page. Click it and a form will appear, which enables you to send a description of your item and a photo is you have one. (If you have notified Don, Nick or a member of our solicitation team but there is no green check next to your name on the Auction page, we messed up. Sorry. Send Nick an email and remind him of your donation.)
  • Among the more novel of auction items this year is the Banker’s Brunch, which prez Jim Young described from the podium. So what is a Banker’s Brunch? Go the Auction page, scroll down and look for the symbol of the Federal Reserve Bank. (You’ll recognize it.)
  • Stoney is planning a Christmas Extravaganza with the El Cerrito Club.  The event will take place on December 15th,  6:15 PM, at the Richmond Country Club.  The cost of $150 per couple.  You will be entertained by a terrific dance band, a choir, and a magician.  No-host bar. If you’re interested, get you money to David Brown ASAP.
  • Felix Hunziker is planning a tree planting ceremony at Pogo Park in early January, Date to be determined.,
  • Mike Winter has accepted appointment to that most august body, the Board of the Richmond Rotary.
  • We were sorry to learn of the passing of Russ Schulze on November 18th, at Kaiser Hospital in Walnut Creek. Russ was the president of the Richmond Rotary Club in 1969-70. We will post information about the services if it becomes available.


Our scribe did not record any Recognitions on this day.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Hank Covell donated a few buck to recognize the success of the recent
    Salesian Boy’s and Girl’s Club fund raiser that both he and Stoney attended where the hit 50’s band Poison Ivy played.  $10,000 is what the raised for the club.
  • Michelle Itagaki bemoaned the demise of the company that makes her favorite junk food Hostess Twinkies, which is entering bankruptcy. (News flash: as of this writing, Nov 20th, a bankruptcy judge has postponed the proceedings because, apparently, some investors may pony up millions to buy parts of the Hostess operation. Take heart, Michelle. All is not yet lost.)
  • Jan Brown wanted to thank the club for being such an integral part of Don’s life and how she was felt so supported by the Richmond Rotarians at Don’s memorial service
  • Herb talked about a back surgery that was performed on his son that worked miracles.
  • Joan Davis congratulated Josh Genser on receiving the Barbara Obele Community Service award from the Chamber this week.
  • And finally Stoney told a joke about an older man who was found crying on the street, he explained that he was so in love with his young girlfriend, they made love all the time and he was so happy.  When asked why he was crying he said “ I can’t remember where my home is”

Norm’s Nonsense

In ancient Egypt a whip master on a royal Nile boat addresses his rowing crew one morning: “Today I have some good news and some bad news for you. First, the good news: You will all receive an extra ration of grog. The bad news is: The Pharaoh wants to go water skiing.”


Enriching Richmond's Youth: YES

Nick Despota introduced Eric Aaholm, the Executive Director of Youth Enrichment Strategies, or YES.  This Richmond organization brings together children, their families and their school communities through camping trips in our regional and state parks. YES also offers workshops in non-defensive communication, PeaceTalk. In addition, they help teenagers obtain internships in local businesses and community organizations.

After attending a summer camp, teens may take volunteer positions with local non-profits like Solar Richmond, Urban Tilth and others, which offers the opportunity to accept and develop personal responsibility.

YES communication workshops that encourage communication between races, neighbors, and among students which can help to prevent violence from erupting in the community.

Eric gave an example of an obese young women who rarely felt comfortable enough to venture far from her home.  Thanks to her participation in the YES camp, the young woman gradually gained confidence and a more positive self-image.  She has now attended 6 camps and works with Building Blocks for Kids as a volunteer.  She now feels involved and part of the community.

YES’s most recent events, “Walk to Nature”,  offered walking expeditions to nearby East Bay Regional Parks.: Miller Knox Park and Point Pinole. Provisions for the event included watering stations and free food.  Chevron is a major contributor.

YES does not get any funding from the government.  One-third of their funding comes from individuals and the balance comes from foundations.  Under Eric’s leadership, the YES budget has grown from $270,000 to $530,000. He greatly appreciates the funding he gets from Richmond Rotary. Over the last few years, our club has contributed approximately $4,000 to YES.


-Rotating scribe, Mark Howe.