The Flywheel

Program for May 11th

Water Supply in California

James Freschi, Public Information Specialist for the Contra Costa Water District, will discuss a perennial concern for Californians: our state's water supply.



Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

President–in–waiting Pam Jones rang the bell and asked Z-Prez Stoney Stonework to lead the members in an Invocation for Peace and Freedom and the Pledge of Allegiance (so demanding!).  Henry Kelman shared this wonderful thought, “It is a wonderful day because I got to wake up.”

Rotarians with Guests

Stoney Stonework introduced one of his very favorite guests, his lovely wife, May Anne Stonework.

Sunshine Report

It was a great day for fishing so we were minus one David K. and the Sunshine Report.  As “no news is good news”, we wish the best for all members who might be under the weather or otherwise less than 100%.


  • Margaret Morkowski described the recent successful Science Fair Project activities at Peres Elementary School and thanked the members for their support.  She noted that the project was extended to 1st 2nd & 3rd grades this year and that the group also went to the Lawrence Hall of Science which was a great experience for her too.  In May we expect a from of Peres sixth graders to also join us at one of our regular meetings.
  • Rafael invited the club to participate with himself and Mario Paucar in the City’s Cinco De Mayo celebration as they will be marching with the Rotary banner.
  • Jon Lawlis invited the members to participate in the Albany Club’s Bowl-A-Thon for Roto-Vision May 19th at the Albany Bowl. Jon and the other Richmond Rotary team members will be looking for sponsors and the Albany Club has agreed to by the first round of beer for all participants and spectators.  There was a lot of discussion about how one actually raises money with a Bowl-a-thon, but the main beneficiary, a new eye surgery clinic in Nepal, which is the project focus of EC Club member Tracy Giles, was not in dispute.
  • Hank Covell reminded the members that Pinole Festival of the arts is just around the corner (Saturday June 2nd) and he again is going to have an awfel lot of wine he’s going to have to get rid of and he’ appreciate some Rotary help.  The Festival themele is “A Night in Vegas”, with cheaper tickets from Hank, $40 at the door.
  • Swabby David Brown Esq. asked the members to mark their calendars for the First Annual Richmond Rotary Regatta and Picnic at Avilla Cove Angle Island and points in between, July 21st .  More information will follow.
  • Hank Covell came up for another announcement about the West County Winds performing an all Russian program at Temple Beth Hillel.  WCW features the remarkable talent of David Brown Esq. (Look out Winton Marcellus.)
  • The Erle of Brown gave one of his “you know who you are…” pep talks as the Club is almost at 200% of goal for support for the Rotary Foundation.  Being only $1,400 short of that milestone because of the fantastic support of the club’s Yeomen Members, Erle encourages those who have not yet given $100 to get those bottles and cans to the recycling center so you to can support the club’s support of Rotary Foundation.


  • X-Prez Leslie “just back from Europe & Israel” Levy, recognized Nick Despota’s unnumbered birthday.  Nick and his favorite “bird” Nel Benningshof when birding in San Rafael.  In spite of Marin’s “shi-shi” reputation, Nick said some of the best birding in the Bay is in the Richmond Marina area, where he and Nel counted 51 species on a single February morning— Richmond again celebrating its diversity. Nick continued the celebration with a donation to the Foundation.
  • Ace tooth technician Dan Tanita also had an unnumbered birthday and a great family dinner in the City and a check for the Rotary Foundation.
  • Henry Kelman was honored for celebrating his 30th anniversary with Richmond Rotary and Hank celebrated the Foundation with a contribution.
  • And far from least but celebrating his first anniversary with the club was Tom “Best Rookie Rotating Flywheel Scribe” Waller.  Tom can graciously help any of you who are interested in the mysteries of the club’s newsletter, the Flywheel, and how such a fine publication is produced week after week.  It’s good having you aboard Mr. Waller.

Happy & Sad Dollars

Leslie had Happy $$$ for her just completed vacation and Happier $$$ for her just out-of-the-shop car, being full repaired after $20K in damages and two months work.

Markku Pelanne had Happy $$$ for being through his incredible hassle with the DMV. 

Seems the DMV issued two personalized license plates exactly the same, one to Markku and the other to a person wanted by the Law.  The law thought Markku was wanted & etc.  See Markku for details.

X-Prez Herb Cole has Happy $$$ for his pending visit to Virginia and the pending arrival of his 4th grandchild.

Jim Young had Happy $$$ for a fantastic week’s sail with Capt. Rich Brandes through the Sea of Cortez on the good ship Patriarch, and, “Whatever $$$” as Greater Bay Bank just announced it is being merged with Wells Fargo Bank.

Raffle Results

With over $700 in the kitty, it doesn’t mater who lost, but that person did.  I’m sure you will want to buy a fee raffle tickets at our next meeting on the 11th.

The Program

Continuing the Speaker’s Program sub-theme, “To Your Health”, Dr. Jeffrey Ritterman, another expert physician from Kaiser Richmond discussed his specialty, Preventing Heart Attacks and Strokes.

Dr. Jeff is a local boy and greeted many of his neighbor Rotarians from the Point. He has been involved in cardiac medicine and public health at Kaiser his entire career. Absent members missed some good information. They are reminded, as my Mama used to say, “If you want the good stuff, you better be there.”

Dr. Jeff started praising Rotary and the community we work to maintain. He noted that if you have a heart attack but are part of a community were you can talk about it, you have a lower risk of having a future heart attack (lower than those who are, say, isolated on an island in Hudson Bay.)

  • Volunteers in general live longer than people who are only self-focused.
  • The primary causes of heart attacks are preventable; in other words, things you can change:
  • Smoking = STOP!; high blood pressure = medication (lower is better); diabetes = control blood sugar; high cholesterol = better diet & medication; exercise = do more; sedentary life style = get active; stress = don’t worry, be happy!
  • Much of America’s health problems are the product of the processed food industry which produces 200% of the daily caloric intake that people actually need. Advertising promotes this dramatically higher level of consumption.
  • It’s easy to gain weight: gaining "only" two pounds a year would balloon you into being 40 pounds overweight in 20 years. (We sort of knew that.)
  • 50% of America’s current annual food dollar is spent out of the house.  Consequently Dr. Jeff is working to pass legislation that will require restaurants to have food information and calories on the menu.

Thank you Dr. Jeff. Hope you will return to Rotary soon.

-Your Rotating Editor, Scribe, etc. Jim Young