The Flywheel

Program for June 15th

A technology training center in San Pablo

Executive Director Barrie Hathaway presents the history, mission and future plans for Street Tech.

This home-grown non-profit technology training center serves disadvantaged and under-employed adults of the Bay Area from their facility in San Pablo.

Visit the Street Tech website.


MEETING OF June 8, 2007

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

George Egan, our entertaining president, presided over today’s meeting and welcomed back to the club Elof Grandberg after an extended health absence.  Stoney conducted the invocation today.  Pam Jones had an interesting thought for the day, which I entirely missed – but it had something to do with a Cat and Mouse.

Rotarians with Guests

  • Rafael brought to the club Bob Bell and Josh Seveity from USA Carpets.
  • Jerry Feagley brought his two sons, visiting sister and his wife to the club today.  One of his sons, Chad was smartly dressed in his Navy Whites after having just graduating from Army Navy academy in San Diego.   His other son Brad was also in attendance.

Sunshine Report

There was no Sunshine Report today.  EVERYBODY IS HEALTHY – Hey my back hurts!


  • The Richmond Rotary Picnic will be held on 7/21, a Saturday.  There was a flyer on the tables describing how, when to get there.  We will also re publish the information here.
  • Your editor is in charge of the Regatta portion of the day and we are looking for more boats to participate in the Regatta.  We already have Rich Brandes (Happy Hooker?), Mark Howe (White Fang), and Barbara Medwadoski (Infinity), David Brown (Big Dog?).   Remember, these boats all need crew and there is no better place to tune up for the big day than attending a RYC beer can race.  Anybody is invited to be at my house 1321 Sanderling Island (boat is in back at dock)  at 5:30 Wednesdays on either of the following dates: 6/20, 7/11, 7/18.  Beer cans are informal, fun, last about 45 minutes, and your choice of wine or beer will be served after we round the windward mark.  $6.50 Hamburgers are served afterwards at RYC.  Be there and dress warmly.
  • For god’s sakes get to know the difference between a jib sheet and a bed sheet.
  • On Tuesday 6/26 there will be a Hotel Mac Rum Tasting Night.  Don’t drink too much, but after all that sailing you are going to do at the Regatta you just may need a good dose of grog.


Today was voluntary recognition day and guess what?  Nobody stood up.  Surprise, surprise.

Happy & Sad Dollars

  • Marku donated $100 but he was speaking Finnish again and my Finnish is weak, so I don’t know what he said.
  • Rich Brandes, after a long absence fishing in the Sea of Cortez, suggested that someone investigate the demitasse spoons – In Mexico we keep it primitive and use our hands.
  • Hank Covell just came back from a Selisian High School Graduations ceremony where half of the students received a 3.5 GPA or better.  He found them to be an impressive group of kids and donated accordingly.
  • Jan Brown donated $5 to recognize the contributions of people in the armed forces dressed like Chad was today.
  • Charlie Wong contributed $ to celebrate the absence of Verners voice and the presence of Elof.
Lilian was happy to be back at the club after back surgery.


The Crucible

Michael Sturtz, Executive Director

The Crucible is located in West Oakland near the Oakland West BART station in a 56,000 SF donated building powered exclusively by solar energy. It is an industrial arts cooperative/training center where one can take classes or work on you own projects. It is 8.5 years old. The lost arts of steel casting, sheetmetal forming, TIG welding, Mig welding, as well as woodworking and more conventional trade skills are all taught there. 5,000 students attend the center each year and 70% of its funding comes from tuition.

The Crucible hires teachers who do not require a formal education background; tradespeople who can demonstrate a desire and proclivity to teach are the ones teaching these courses.

The center is the brainchild of Michael Sturtz a young man with a cowboy swagger and dirt under his fingernails. To the disappointment of his orthopedic doctor father, Michael decided to attend art school — 4 in fact before he found the one that worked for him. If I had to guess I would say the Crucible is the final manifestation of this search.

The Crucible being in West Oakland also conducts youth outreach programs for the local kids in West Oakland. They have a fix a bike day once a month and on other days you can bring in anything and try to get them to fix it.

Fire, a very important tool in the metal working trades, a tool that is instrumental in transforming metals, is their mascot. They perform operas and theatrical works that involve thousands of gallons of propane in huge fireball displays. They even produce a fashion show that involves the prodigious use of fire.

This is a place and person that you just must see to believe.

-Flywheel notes painstakingly penned by Rotating Scribe Mark Howe.