The Flywheel

Program for March 23, 2007

Marsha Tomasi, Chef

Our local chef, caterer, and author discusses food, flavors, and the not altogether satisfying fact that good things can come in smaller servings.

MEETING OF March 15, 2007

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Hosting Club President Gary Aguiar welcomed the assemblage with the help of Prez George Egan from Richmond, Prez Willy Wong of Albany and Prez Scott Maskell.

The Prez’ immediately recognized Jan Brown and Margaret Morkowski for their heroic work making the Russian Architect vision work.  Thank you Jan & Margaret!

Visiting Rotarians

Visiting Rotarians filled the room along with guests.  Representatives from all the participating clubs were there.  Were they visitors or were they hosts?

Rotarians with Guests

As noted the large room at MVCC was pretty much full this included guests, many guests.  Your scribe noted that Jerry Feagley brought his wife Jan.

Sunshine Report

The Head Table reported that Werner Schwarz was at home recovering from pneumonia, taking his medicine and being even more dependent on Lea to get things done.


The El Cerrito Club is going to sponsor the Rotovision Bowl-A-Thon this year, I believe it will be the second annual Bowl-A-Thon.  List for announcements from Pam Jones the Richmond Team Captain or contact Tracy Giles at the EC  Club.

Special Events

As this joint meeting for the Russian architects was a special event, we dispensed with Recognitions, Happy and Sad Dollars.

Raffle Results

The EC Club conducted their raffle successfully.  The Richmond Rotary Raffle will continue at our next regular meeting March 23rd.

The Program

A look at architecture in Russia

We tip our hats to the Russian architects and their translators for the difficult task of providing quick overview of their work which spans the width and breadth of their very large environmentally diverse country.  Given the monumentalize and uniformity of Soviet era architecture, it was nice to see style, color and a commitment to historical renovation and reflection in new buildings.  It was surprising to see the number of new churches in the group’s collective portfolio.

The projects described were ranged Belarus in the west to Yerkuts in the Far East. and the Arctic circle in the north to Rostov-on-Don by the Back Sea.  While mostly residential condominium the projects includes office buildings, churches and urban design projects and large single family homes.

For the purpose of information the Q&A portion provide the following:

  • 70% of the land is still owned by the state with privatization a work in progress.
  • Church construction is being supported by a resurgence of Believers.
  • New residential development is taking place in “ecologically safe zones”, areas that were not contaminated during the Soviet era industrialization and taken to be in remote previously undeveloped portions of cities or the urban fringe.
  • Most building materials used in new construction are of Russian origin.
  • It takes 1-½  to 2 year to take a project from start to finish.
  • Renewable and solar energy are elements considered in modern Russian architecture but the environmental diversity of the country makes them less attractive options in many parts of the country.

We tip our hat again to all the Russian translators but especially to Ellie Meckova of CCI whose simultaneous translations was a sight to see and hear.

Your Rotating Editor, Scribe, etc. Jim Young