NEXT MEETING: October 3, 2014

The Importance of College and Career Readiness: Laney College’s Student Success Agenda

Dr. Elñora Tena Webb, President of Laney College, the flagship of the Peralta Community College District, will speak about the Peralta Colleges and their impact on the East Bay.

Dr. Webb is an engaged and effective leader who promotes openness and collaboration. As a creative problem-solver, she demonstrates an unwavering commitment to academic excellence and student success. Her ability to navigate through tough and complex challenges has led to recognition by members of the California Legislature and State Senate with the 2011 Community Hero Award.

Dr. Webb consistently demonstrates ethical, visionary and collaboration leadership in a range of instructional, student services, research, and administrative roles within all systems of higher education in California. Those institutions included the University of California at Berkeley and at Riverside, California State University at Sonoma, Stanford University, and Contra Costa Community College District. Dr. Webb has also contributed to books such as Honored but Invisible: Teaching in Community Colleges, and is a frequent speaker at economic, workforce and business forums.  She is a staunch advocate for strengthening partnerships, aligning resource commitments and ratcheting up strategic investments in the work of colleges and universities.

MEETING OF September 26, 2014


President Stoney Stonework called the meeting to order at La Strada Restaurant. Tom Waller led the pledge of allegiance and Stoney asked for a moment of silence for freedom, peace, and justice on earth. Sid Chauvin offered this thought for the day: If you can’t fix it with a hammer, then you obviously have an electrical problem.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

  • Sid’s guest was his son, Brian Chauvin.
  • Pam Jones’ guests were Neville Guard and Dominique Yancey, both from the San Ramon Valley Rotary Club.


  • After two weeks at La Strada restaurant, the Richmond Rotary Club will return to its regular meeting location at the Richmond Country Club beginning on October 3.
  • Don Lau encouraged everyone to join For Richmond at a no-cost Community Dinner with Ambassador Andrew Young, who is widely recognized for his life’s dedication to humanitarian service and the improvement of social and economic conditions for all. The dinner will take place at the Lovonja DeJean Middle School multi-purpose room on Monday, October 20, 2014. Doors open at 6:00pm with dinner at 6:30pm. Click here to reserve a seat.
  • Tom Waller reported that Jim Young successfully made it through surgery last Thursday at Kaiser in Oakland to have a malignant tumor removed from near his large intestine. This follows surgery done in June to remove a cancerous kidney.
  • Hank Covell spoke with Dave Calfee on the phone last week as Dave celebrated his 93rd birthday. Dave’s wife, Betty, was 98 on July 4th. Don Lau said he also spoke with Dave this past week on his birthday.
  • Erle Brown reported that Ralph Hill is upbeat as he goes in soon for more surgery (after deciding not to do radiation treatment).
  • Liliane Koziol reported that a recent thank-you party was held by the sponsoring group for which Richmond Rotary generously donated two new Vespa motor scooters for Bangladesh. The Vespas are being used by female community leaders for area-wide travel in order to train local villages on proper, efficient water-well operations.


Happy and Sad Dollars

Norm’s Nonsense


Alan Blavins Fishes in New Guinea

Alan Blavins shared fun stories, photo slides, and videos from his latest fishing excursion to the far ends of the earth, this time to Papua New Guinea in August. He’s done sixteen of these major fishing trips in recent years with his son, who lives in London.

This time they were in search of the local Black Bass, listed as one of the world’s ten toughest fish according to In-Fisherman magazine, the journal of freshwater fishing. During the presentation, we learned that “toughness” has to do with several factors, from size, sharpness of teeth, power or “fight” on the line, and general elusiveness.

Now that they’ve conquered the Black Bass from Papua New Guinea (PNG), Alan and his son are 50% on their way through the world’s top ten toughest fish (and a couple of those may only be in the hall of fame, possibly now extinct).

But it wasn’t easy. After hours and hours of separate travel, Alan and his son rendezvoused in Port Moresby, capital of PNG and seventh most dangerous, crime-infested city in the world. Rather than tour the local sites, they spent several hours in the airport lounge waiting for the final leg of their journey.

After another couple-hour flight, Alan and his son settled into pleasant but not so luxurious accommodations on an island off the northeast coast of PNG, home to many parrots (but surprisingly not many other birds), not so many insects or snakes, plenty of large crocodiles, friendly locals, and 11 active volcanoes (one of which erupted on camera during the visit).

There were also lots of fish, including the amazing “White Bait”, inch-long critters that gather in groups of thousands (supposedly looking for mates) in a way that makes the water seem to boil. Locals like to scoop them up and eat them with pancake batter.

And so the Black Bass from Papua New Guinea succumbed to the masters’ touch and were apparently quite tasty. All in all, quite a “dear diary” entry! Thanks for sharing, Alan.

- Tom Waller, Rotating Scribe