NEXT MEETING: June 24, 2016

The Contra Costa Housing Crisis – Challenges and Solutions

Jasmine Tarkoff Ruach Byline HeadshotJasmine Tarkoff is the co-convener of the Multi-faith ACTION Coalition, a group of Contra Costa County residents working together to address the root causes of poverty through advocacy and public policy change. Jasmine also serves as the Executive Vice President of Temple Isaiah in Lafayette overseeing their social action and community organizing initiatives.

Jasmine will offer her insights about the housing crisis in Contra Costa County and engage us in a discussion about what we can do together to address it.

MEETING OF June 17, 2016


President Alan Blavins called the meeting to order, asked a club member from the back of the room to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and asked Alan Baer to lead us in a silent prayer for peace. Sergeant-at-Arms Sid Chauvin offered the quote of the day: “Sometimes, I drink a glass of water to surprise my liver!” (Let the record reflect that immediately after, your Scribe promptly delivered a glass of water to Sid. Surprise!!)


  • Alan Baer reminded us to sign up for and attend the family-friendly July 23 A’s baseball game and tailgate party. Contact Alan for more details.
  • Pam Jones is looking forward to see those who signed up for the annual bocce ball tournament on June 18 in Martinez.
  • Ric Ambrose announced the following: Jan Brown will celebrate her 50th+ birthday on June 18 and Gonzalo Ochoa celebrates his 3rd year as a member of our happy club. Yippeeeee!
  • David Brown shared a nice thank you letter from the Rotoplast project.
  • David also reminded us to pay our Rotary dues!
  • Shana Bagley Howe announced that today there will be a dedication of the Richmond Law Library to David Del Simone.
  • President Alan Blavins is just finishing a portrait for the Young family.


Happy and Sad Dollars

Norm’s Nonsense


Fostering Love of Learning through Reading and Storytelling

President Alan Blavins introduced the lovely Ruth Major, the executive director of Read-Aloud Volunteer Program. The Program is a relationship-based program that fosters in children the joy and love of learning through reading and story-telling.

Literacy is a key skill that impacts a child’s school readiness and later academic success. One-on-one interactions over time provide children and adults with meaningful relationships. This relationship supports the child’s developing skills, allowing the child to read at their own pace without classroom and peer pressures. It gives them time to be curious, to experiment, to explore what is read.

The volunteers run the program at the following local elementary schools: Coronado, Dover, Downer, Montalvin Manor, and Washington. The more volunteers they have, the more children they can reach. Currently, they are reading to about 350 students a year. Each student receives books to take home and share with family and friends.

For more info, visit (website), or (email), or call 510-237-0735.

To make a donation, go to

To apply to be a volunteer:

And for several links to great reading resources (and bi-lingual books!) visit:

- Shana Bagley Howe, tu Escribita
(“A book is a gift that you can open over and over.” – Garrison Keilor)