The Flywheel

Program for August 11, 2006

Deep in the Heart of Taxes

Kris Hunt, Executive Director of the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association, discusses the proposal to increase business license fees in Richmond.

Learn more about the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association.


Meeting of August 4th, 2006

George Egan our new president opened today’s meeting. Jon Lawlis announced the invocation and led the crowd in the pledge of allegiance. Pam Jones, in light of the poker game tonight, presented some applicable thoughts for the day:

  • Why don’t they call it “Kansas hold um” instead of “Texas Hold um”?
  • Never say “are we out of beer?"
  • Stoney, is there something call a royal Macflush?

Guests (another full house today)

  • A guest of the speaker from the Clayton club was in attendance to day.
  • Barbara, a new face from Levin terminal, attended the meeting.
  • Rich Brandes brought his daughter, Lisa (AKA his wife), today. And Beav yelled out “this is not Arkansas she’s your wife”.  Tom Butt, who regularly threatens regularly to return to the Ozarks, was amused by the remark, while the rest of the crowd burst out laughing.

Sunshine Report:

David K reports that all Rotarians with the exception of Dan Tanita who recently had back surgery, and Elof Grandberg, who can no longer carry his chain saw, are in relative good health despite some creaky bones and unexplained pains here and there.

Happy & Sad Dollars

  • The ever popular and quick witted, Jim the “Beav” Beaver conducted the ceremonies today.
  • Marku, the fun loving Finn, was happy for the contribution that Rotary made to his Seaman’s organization.
  • Jon L, the backbone of Richmond Rotary, contributed some sad dollars today to recognize the death of his father who was 80 years old.
  • Glenn contributed some happy dollars to celebrate the opening of his Atlanta office.


Saturday 8/5/06 is the day 11 Rotarians will meet at the local Mervyns store to pay for back to school clothes for the kids that were assembled by the Salvation Army. Rotarian Frank Desplancke from the Appian Way Salvation Army thanked the club for their participation.

(The photos on the right document the ChildSpree day at Mervyns. Pictured are Jon Lawlis, Pam Jones, and George Egan.)


The much anticipated Poker Game was on Friday night. As yet your scribe has not heard any news on the outing. So on the principle that “no news is good news” I assume all were well behaved and Henry Kelman walked away with the money.


The Program

“Maji Safi" Clean Water

“They died before they ever tasted clean water “were the words Pirmin Ngolle, the Benedictine Monk who converted to become a Catholic Priest and director of Catholic Missions in Tanzania, used to describe the deaths of his two siblings due to contaminated water.

Father Ngolle reported “Most often the Western people think that it is AIDS/HIV that is the big killer in Africa. But he observed that "contaminated water is a killer of equal size in his South Tanzanian neighborhood, and much easier to eradicate."

There is no running water so housewives go into the streams nearby that are also used as bathrooms to retrieve fresh water for cooking. Water borne diseases infect people using this route and cause stomach infections. The diseases particularly affect children who have not acquired immunities to some of the bacterias that older people have. Childhood mortality rates are extremely high in Africa as a result.

Running water is the solution -- running water especially for the sewage system. Think about it for a moment. For a toilet to work you need running water to carry away the waste and this keeps it out of the streams where it causes infections.

Running water is also used for the more obvious purpose of providing fresh water for cooking.

Pirmin was advocating a program that asks for a donation of $25. The donation is used to purchase a 20’ X 10” length of PVC plastic pipe that is used to bring clean water from the mountains. On his brochure he is shown carrying one of the pipes while standing in front of a large stack of the pipe.

Pipe is the key to solving the puzzle and it is cheap he says. The West, to assuage its guilt over the African crisis, sends millions of dollars of expensive AIDS drugs but he says the money could save more lives if it was used to buy pipe which is also locally made and provides jobs.

Please contact for information on how to purchase a section of pipe.

-Submitted by your scribe, Mark Howe