The Flywheel

Program for FEBRUARY 9th, 2007

Old Timers' Who Am I

Back by popular demand, the club’s octiganarians and 50+ year members do their “Who Am I’, reintroducing themselves to the younger members and also providing a brief oral history lesson.  First in a series.


Meeting of February 2nd, 2007

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

On this First Friday in February…the meeting was called to order by Prez. George who asked Past Prez. Stoney to give the invocation which he did asking for Peace, Freedom and Justice for All!  Jerry Feagley led us in the Pledge.  Incoming Prez Pam Jones gave the Thought for the Day from our very own John Nicol, “the reason you work is the avoid boredom, vice and poverty.”  Wise man that John!

Visiting Rotarians

Almost a regular…Neal Wells from El Cerrito.

Rotarians with Guests

There was a plethora of visitors with our members: Bill Wahbeh has as his guest Nae Park; Josh Genser has as his guest (for the last time) Lydia Stewart; David Brown brought his Rabbi Dean Kertesz, who was also a member of a famous Marina Bay Softball Team; Nick Despota was accompanied by his wife Nel; and Monique LeConge was escorted by her son Greg King.

Sunshine Report

David K was not in the house so substitute Sunshine man John Nicol reported that Elof Granberg, who had 2 knees replaced, is managing to walk up and down the hall with the use of a walker.  He will be in a rehab clinic for another week!  Keep on movin’ Elof!


  • Bill Terry reminded us again about the upcoming Rotary Foundation Raffle. (Download a description of the terrific prizes.) Rotarians are expected to purchase 5 tickets @ $20 a piece (for those of you using your fingers and toes to count that’s $100).  Remember, purchasing these tickets can go a long way in giving both you and the Club credit in the following ways: 1) Paul Harris contribution, 2) your expected Annual $100 contribution to the Foundation; 3) support of the Raffle; and 4) I am sure something else if you are creative.  Our tax consultant and Prez. George indicates this is all tax deductible!  There will also be “Mini-Raffles” at the end of each moth so get your tickets early so you can be eligible for the Mini-Raffle as well as the Grand Raffle Prizes!   See Bill—soon!
  • Poker Party…LaStrada Restaurant, 2/16 at 6pm.  Come and win some of David “The Barrister” Brown’s money!
  • “The Russians are Coming…The Russians are Coming!!!”  Jan Brown reported that Russian Architects will be hosted by our Club (as well as El Cerrito and Albany) for 3 weeks.  They will be here to learn more about US architecture practices.  Thanks to Rotary architects Don Hardison and Tom Butt for their support.
  • Thanks also go to Margaret Morkowski for coordinating the
    home host and social events, Stoney Stonework, for transportation and
    Werner Schwarz for planning a "How to start a Rotary Club in Russia"
    training session after our March 2 Rotary lunch featuring District
    Governor Candice Pierce. A joint Rotary meeting on Thursday March 15
    (El Cerrito club day) will feature a presentation to Rotary by the
    Russian architects

Special Events

Josh Genser was called up to introduce our newest “red badger” Lydia Stewart, who is with Stewart Rose Manor Funeral Homes (started by her father).  Lydia was welcomed to the club and given her instructions on how to turn her red badge to blue.  Welcome Lydia!!


Jim “who was that guy” Beaver had the honors of doing Recognitions.  Actually, the Beav was the only Recognition for the day having celebrated his birthday in early January with his favorite meal (Beef Stroganoff).  Beav had a generous contribution to his favorite…the Carl Rehfuss Fund

Happy and Sad Dollars

Josh Genser was happy that his daughter a sophomore at El Cerrito HS, made the Varsity Volleyball Team (sports genes from where??). Leslie Levy was happy that Nick and Jan completed her website (late due to Leslie not Nick and Jan)…it is beautiful and everyone should visit it at www.   Nick Despota was happy that his wife Nel was “refocusing” her life…but sad that he was now carrying the economic load.  Anybody need a website???  Jon Lawlis was happy his daughter has already been accepted at Sonoma State (the pressure is off)…hopefully with more to follow.  Paul Allen was happy to announce his new office which is on Jacuzzi Street for his Solar Power business.  Jim Young was happy that his son is working on building an aircraft…he was also (shamefully) interested in sponsors for his son’s project.  Jim Beaver tried to extract something from Rich Brandes (but alas he was too late, again) although Rich will be traveling to the Middle East soon.  Chi-town Joey Bags cherished the Bears last Super Bowl and hopes for good things on Sunday.  Go Bears!  The Beav, not interested in the Super Bowl, was happy that pitchers and catchers report on February 19th.  

Raffle Results

With $293 in the pot, Bill Terry picked a white ball and a free lunch.


The Program

Lisa McIntosh,
EBMUD Board of Directors

Jim Young introduced our speaker of the day, not stranger to many Rotarians, Lisa McIntosh, who represents District 1 on the EBMUD Board, and is the current Board President.  Lisa also brought along Michelle Blackwell, EBMUD staff, to answer the hard questions. 

Lisa gave a brief history of where EBMUD’s water comes from and noted that because of the new concerns around the security of our levy system that EBMUD is currently doing a great deal of work to strengthen the infrastructure of the entire system.  Many residents and businesses have received notes in the mail asking them to cut down on their water consumption not due to a lack of water, but because of all the maintenance work being done on the system.  We have also been extremely lucky that we have not suffered a draught since 1990…although because of the light precipitation this year (we are projected to reach only 76% of normal) EBMUD is being very cautious about water consumption this year. 

EBMUD is at the forefront of such innovative ideas as water reclamation and desalinization of ocean water.  Lisa also indicated that there will be no more dams built in the near future.

The Menehune, Rotating Editor -Don Lau